Wednesday, June 1, 2011

6 Reader Space: Creating Closet Candy

It seems to be a trend sweeping across the nation.  Closets turned into awesome zones.  Like completely functioning rooms.  Let's face it, most homes have such limited space, that sometimes a closet is a way to maximize square footage!  And today's reader shows us just how she did that.  Twice!

Rachel wrote:

Dear Jen,

Three years ago my family of four moved into a ranch home built in 1952. With closet space at a minimun, I am always looking for ways to stay organized and maximize every square foot we have! We have no garage, no basement, no laundry room, no pantry, and very small closets throughout our house. It is a challenge to find room for everyday items like cleaning supplies, paper towels {I usually buy one roll at at time}, toilet paper, and everything that accumulates when you have two elementary aged kids! When I add in my sewing machine and art supplies, it sometimes feels like we are busting at the seams! In our den we have a closet that we used as storage {all those boxes that take forever to unpack} until last summer. It was then my husband built a sewing nook so that I could finally have my own little space. It was GREAT...for a few months. It quickly became unorganized, accumulating things, fabric, projects, and supplies that I didn't know what to do with. Finally it was unuseable...
It was about this time that I realized we were not using this space to its fullest potential. At 54 inches wide and 34 inches deep it was one of the biggest closets in our house! I measured and thought and thought and measured. One day I thought...what if we could turn this area into a laundry nook? It was a big project, and with no power, light, or washer and dryer hookups in the closet it was going to be an expensive transformation. One that we would have to be fully committed to. No changing our minds! It took...oh...about a second to convince my husband. He was as thrilled as I was to get the washer and dryer out of the kitchen. Yes, it was next to the stove in what could be a super great breakfast area.

We would have room in this closet to stack and full size front loader off we went!
Step two was figuring out what to do with all the STUFF that had accumulated in this big closet. Using your blog as a great source of inspiration, we took full advantage of our hallway coat closets...we have two! We took some time, sorted and condensed, and were able to move what we needed into one closet. The rest of the stuff was packed and put into our attic while some things were packed and sent to Goodwill. It was a super easy decision on what to do with our newly empty coat closet...turn it into a cloffice!

I wanted a space for my sewing and other crafty supplies. The kids wanted a homework area. My husband wanted a spot for the family computer so we would leave his work laptop alone.  Ummmmmm...that's a lot of stuff crammed into a 4 foot x 2 1/2 foot out! We had to dig deep for this project and we were on a serious budget. I started shaking paint cans, trying to find the one with the most in it. We settled on Restoration Hardware Silver Sage. It's the same color we have in the Master Bedroom, but we didn't have to buy paint! I also had left over chalkboard paint from another project. We recycled the wood from the former sewing closet and I managed to find a few old cans of stain and polyurethane. We were set! When we were ready to put it all together, I went through all of the items in the previous sewing area and had to get rid of a lot!. No worries though! I saved what I needed and got rid of the fluff! The cubbies and top shelf are devoted to my sewing machine and supplies, fabric, and craft paint. The desk is just for the kiddos. I mounted a bulletin board with their practice schedules on it along with some fun family photos. There is a hanging organizer on the opposite wall with plenty of notebook paper and rulers. I keep a pencil jar stocked with sharpened pencils for homework. Under the desk I have a large drawer set on wheels filled with scrapbooking materials. In the center is a woven basket with wrapping paper, tissue, and gift bags. On the right side is a 3 drawer organizer with more sewing supplies. All of this is super organized, but hidden with a skirt I made for the desk. Our new area is family friendly, super organized, and we love it!

With everything now out of the closet in the den, we were ready to move on to the second part of the transformation...the laundry nook! We purchased a new washer and dryer and stacked them. I had enough room for a small shelving unit to put beside them. We didn't want anything permanent to make maintenance to the machines easier. The shelves are on felt pads and they are super easy to slide in and out. Behind them I mounted the iron and ironing board to the back wall. This has been a wonderful use of space! My husband and I are beyond thrilled...It is so nice to have our washer and dryer behind closed doors!
Anyone  who does work to their house knows that one project always lead to another! We are currently working on turning the extra space we now have in our kitchen into a breakfast nook. I am excited about having an eat in kitchen and a place where the family can gather while I cook dinner. Thank you so much for your inspiration during these projects. Your blog is a wealth of knowledge that everyone should take advantage of!


Pretty GREAT life changing story right?  Seriously, I just love love love when people don't settle with the original layout, plan and design of a home, and think about ways to make better use of the space provided.  Perfect example of that!  By using a perfectly sized closet for laundry instead of a "catch all", she just gained an entire laundry room plus dining room!  And how great does that laundry closet look?  SO ORGANIZED and tidy and it looks like she has the right systems put in place to easily maintain it to boot!

And oh I adore that "cloffice".  Chalk board paint?  Genius!  And the skirt below to hide the computer tower and scrapbook cart {which can cause eye clutter}.  Super smart.  And the great storage above for her sewing supplies, up out of kiddo's reach!  Rachel has some mega space planning talent!

Thanks so much to Rachel for taking a moment to write and share her incredibly inspiring story!  Who else has been making the most of spaces, by completely switching rooms around?

{Pssst, don't forget to head over and link up your projects over at our monthly link party!}

ATTENTION!!  Want to be featured in a Reader Space edition?  Have an awesome organizing story to share?  I am looking for projects that have made a positive impact to your life.  Please send your story and photos to and I would heart to feature them right here, on the blog!!  Photos should be high resolution and un-editted.  Please include a description of the project, including any costs, inspiration, and how it has changed your life and routine for the better!  Oh, and no worries my friends, we will NEVER judge "before" pictures because that just wouldn't be nice!  Only love goes on at this blog!  More Info HERE.


  1. WOW! So maazing!! I'm now trying to wrack my brain for where I can move my W/D to create more space!

  2. That is an amazing transformation! My house is only 700 sq ft, so I am always looking for new ways to maximize space!

  3. I'm very impressed with the ideas and the execution!

  4. what a great space from Rachel! I LOVE when people change up the layout of their home for better usability and convenience! Sometimes home-builders don't always have it thought out!!! :) Nicely done!

  5. I just found your blog and I absolutely love it. I, too, love organizing, and your blog is inspirational. I will definitely enjoy catching up with the previous projects and posts.

  6. I think the washer & dyer itself is pure eye candy! I'd love to see an update on the newly purposed breakfast nook too!


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