Wednesday, July 13, 2011

26 Reader Space: Roxann's Rockin' Closet

Today's Reader Space is brought to you by Roxann.  She wrote:
Hi Jen!

I would love to submit a closet redo I just finished for your Reader Space.  It is published to my blog at

Can't tell you how much I LOVE LOVE LOVE your blog.  Every time I see you post something to do with a labels I swoon.  Oh, and your boys are DARLING.  Can't believe how beautiful the blue eyes are! 

Thank you for your consideration,

I took one look at the INCREDIBLE transformation and couldn't wait to share it with you all!  Talk about taking control of a space.  Conquering it.  Making it lovely.  Extreme function.  Bliss.

Roxann blogged:

I love our home, but one of the frustrating parts of living in this 1950s house is that storage is limited, and what closets or storage we do have is rarely utilized to it's fullest possibilities.  I've been weeding through all of our belongings and relentlessly sorting through the excess.  If I don't love it or use it, it's gone to the yard sale pile.  I've been busy redoing a closet in our home for about ten days now.  My progress was slowed due to fatigue and my {frustrating} perfectionism.  However, it is finally done and I'm quite satisfied with the results! 

The closet outside our upstairs bathroom was wearing on my nerves.  It seemed to be a catch-all for every item that didn't really have its own home.  Instead of a junk drawer, we had a junk closet.  I never knew what was towards the back, couldn't reach half the items stored there, and wanted to scream every time I opened the door.  Because I couldn't stand it anymore, I decided it needed to become a first priority in my room by room redo.

I'm pretty organized by nature, but this closet needed severe help. Here are some before {aka, embarrassing! No judgment, please!} closet pics:


I recently saw a blog post with a closet painted a pretty color inside. { I wish I could remember where it was, because I haven't been able to find it since!}  I was charmed by it.  I'd never considered painting the inside of a closet any color but white.  But why not?  I know the prettier something is, the more likely I'm going to work to keep it that way.  Thus the deliberation began over paint color.  I've mulled over the possibility of painting our master bedroom grey, but I'm a bit nervous about grey.  I decided to use it on the closet interior so I could try some out some shades.  I initially tried the $3 samples of Home Depot Behr paint colors Anonymous, Pewter Mug and Sage Grey, but I wasn't drawn to any of them.  Too dark, too purple - too this or that.  Then I stumbled across this gorgeous room on Cents-able Spaces Blog.  I swooned over the Coventry Gray walls.  Home Depot doesn't carry Benjamin Moore paints, but they matched it by looking it up in their computer and I came home with a gallon of this gorgeous paint color.

Before I began painting I had one more task to do.  I wanted to be able to put a broom and vacuum in this closet.  Both get left all over the house, shoved into various closets or are out in the open since there's no broom closet.  I measured the height of my vacuum and removed the bottom three shelves from the closet so that vacuum and broom would fit below the two remaining storage shelves.  I was a little freaked out about losing all that shelving space, but figured the less shelving, the less likely to fill them up with junk! 

I left the shelving supports on the closet walls, just in case I ever decided to put shelves back into the closet.  I initially painted the entire interior gray, but somehow it just wasn't right, so I went back and painted the shelving supports white.  I didn't think to take a pic of the all gray, but here's the inside with white supports.

Let me just say that trying to get clean paint lines on those supports resulted in me aging five years and fretting endlessly for two days.  I tried painters tape, small brushes, wet rags and researched "clean paint lines" on Google for hours.  I finally had to say it's as good as it gets, (after all - no one will see it but me, probably!) and from the picture above, you can't even tell they aren't exact.  When I paint our bedroom I will use these great tips at Living with Lindsey.  Live and Learn!

When the paint was dry, it was time for the exciting part - organizing!!! I had splurged on some new baskets, a mop and broom holder, and some catchy tags, so I got busy putting my closet back together.  Here is the finished result!


The black storage baskets came from Marshall's.  The two smaller baskets {$3.99 each} are on the top shelf and the two larger baskets {$5.99 each} on the bottom shelf.  In order to pull them out of the top easily I needed the shorter size up there.  Each has plenty of storage room inside.  The top left basket stores soaps, sunscreens and bug spray.  The top right houses cleaning rags.  The bottom left contains 12 rolls of toilet paper, and the bottom right my Shark Steam Mop accessories.  There was just enough room then between the two baskets on top for three rolls of paper towels and on the bottom room for Kleenex.

These adorable labels were at Target in the greeting card section.  There are 16 labels total in four different patterns.  I stuck to using pink for all four baskets, and then labeled them with my beloved label maker.  I get giddy when I get to use my label maker!  Each is stuck to the  basket with velcro tabs.

While perusing my local Ross I found the perfect broom and mop holder.  It holds my broom and Shark Steam Mop, my duster, the extension to my vacuum, and it even holds my Shark hand vac since the vacuum has two little holes in the bottom that fit precisely over the two hooks. 

In the bottom of the closet sits my Little Green Bissell, and my Shark vacuum.  Yes, I got paint on the carpet, but in a future project, that will be yanked to reveal the hard wood underneath.  There is room behind the vacuum for something to hang if needed, and there's just enough room between the vac and Bissell for my little step stool to store. 

To the right side I put two metal hooks for additional storage.  I may add a matching set on the left side, but for now I have plenty of storage.

I wanted to do away with the black storage pockets on the door and instead place a row of hooks; however, I didn't want to lose all that storage.  I decided what I hated most about them was that they accumulated too much junk, with items stuffed haphazardly in there when they don't go anywhere else.  The solution, of course, was to give each pocket a job.  Obviously it was a task for my label maker.

So there you have it!  Let's see it again, shall we?

Total cost for this project around $50, but I still have 3/4 a gallon of paint for the bedroom, so not counting paint the project was around $30.  Totally worth it for the satisfaction of being organized and knowing where items belong. 

I am squealing with delight.  YES YES YES to painting the inside of a closet.  It's a great base, a great way to love your closet like it's a room in the house, a great way to be excited to get your organizing on!  I promise, it's a huge motivator to make your closet totally rock.

So many other great things going on here.  Those pockets for organizing cords and other itty bitties!  Not accepting the closet for what it originally was and modifying it to fit her personal needs.  The uber adorable labels so everything finds it's way back to the rightful home, and taking the right steps to ensure she won't have to endure the labor of closet love again.

Feel free to leave some love and questions for Roxann.  You can find all the details here on her blog.  Who else is grabbing a can of paint right now?  Aren't shoe pocket organizers seriously the best answer to any organizing dilemma?  What's your favorite part of this makeover, any additions to your to do list because of it?

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. I like how the supports actually add interest to the closet! Hanging those appliances work great! :) I love using the shoe organizer to hold stuff! Such an easy and inexpensive idea!

  2. Roxann stated what a hard time she had painting the shelve supports and working with painters tape and it not looking right. I hope I can explain this so that everyone can have a vision of what I am trying to say.

    When I was remodeling my condo I had a professional painter paint the walls but I did all the trim. The painter gave me a painters tip because I had molding in every room.

    Instead of masking off the walls around the bottom of the trim so you can paint the little bottom portion he said paint it the same color as the walls. It was so easy to paint the rest of the molding without masking tape anywhere.

    I did it on base boards, door trim. He called it the allusion and it looks beautiful. elli

  3. I can't wait to go grab an over the door shoe organizer to finally do something with the cable/cord knot of the century i've been harboring in a hidden drawer!!

    Thanks so much for posting this!!

  4. What a great improvement! And a genius way to use the shoe organizer in a new way!


  5. who thought a closet could look so cute!?

  6. If I didn't have such a light sleeper taking a nap right now, I'd be off my bum and cleaning out my hall closet. That transformation is great!

  7. I am *so* doing this to my two linen closets! (one upstairs/one downstairs) LOVE IT!!!

  8. I want to know what happened to all the other stuff that was in there? That's the problem I always have.

  9. Such a dramatic improvement for nearly next to nothing in expenses. Great job!

  10. Wow! LOVE it!! Fab closet makeover... thanks so much for sharing!

  11. I love the use of the shoe organizer. Great job Roxann!

  12. Love it!!! I think I will be painting the inside of my hall closet now. It's organized but painting it would give me a bit of happiness everytime I open it. How exciting! Thanks for the inspiration!

  13. Wow, thank you all for the sweet comments and encouragement! You guys are amazing. To address a couple of the comments:

    Tara: I liked how the supports turned out, too! They were worth the frustration over paint lines!

    Anonymous: It went one of two places - directly into my yard sale pile or directly to the location where it has been 1)used in the last six months or 2)placed where it belongs because it is loved. I have a yard sale scheduled for this weekend as a fundraiser for my non-profit. Otherwise it would have gone into a donation bin for Goodwill or Habitat for Humanity. Because I have been known to buy things simply because it's a good deal or what have you, I had far too much excess. So now, it's either used, loved, or GONE! And I don't miss a thing I've gotten rid of - especially when it benefits those in need! If it's worth keeping, it's worth designating a permanent home for!

    Christy: I smile every time I open it! I am sure it won't last forever - after all, I usually only open it when I need to vacuum or mop, but for the time being I will enjoy it while it lasts!

    Thanks again all!

  14. sahhhweet! Great job Roxann! The grey and white look marvelous together! and now everything is beyond neat and organized! I bet you're in closet bliss with this girl! =)

    fab feature jenn!

    Jenn @ Peas & Crayons

  15. Oh my goodness that is lovely! I am inspired!

  16. I LOVE how this turned out!!! Roxann did an awesome job. I love it all. The paint was a great idea. Love all the function too. I wish I could do this to one of my closets, but I have two really small closets in the hall and I don't think I can do anything else with them, but I will keep this in mind and maybe I can change some stuff around. Thanks for the inspiration.

  17. Wow, great job! I am totally inspired. We've got the same problem with storage in our house...a total of one (yes, ONE) coat closet to fit all the extra stuff laying around. By the way, LOVE the color. I've been searching for the perfect gray myself!

  18. this is great! very motivating! thank!

  19. Hey Jen,

    I use the closet organizers for hats and gloves as well as household items. After seeing that posting, I'm glad to see I'm not the only one putting extension cords in those pockets for good homes!

    Also, I got one of those tubs from Target that was on sale that you used under your sink, and I used it for art supplies (varnish,sealer,spray paint) I wanted to get more of them but the Target I was at was sold out! I will be painting it as well as it was primary striped coloring and that is not my style. But thanks for the inspiration! =)


  20. I love closets painted a different colour. I must try this!

  21. I need this closet in my life! What a wonderful job!

  22. Roxann - can you tell me where you got a black mesh shoe organizer? Thanks!

  23. What was the steam mop hanger thingy called from Ross? I so want that.

  24. Looks awesome!!Thanks for the labeling source- I need some for my daughter's newly organized closet :-)

  25. Hi Roxann, I too would like to purchase the exact mesh shoe organizer. Where can I buy it? Thank you!


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