Wednesday, June 6, 2012

19 Reader Space: A Conquered Clothing Closet!

Since I have officially labeled this week, "Conquer Your Clothing Clutter" week on the blog....

I thought it would be fun to share an incredible reader space transformation that shows the importance of good space planning and design!

Lisa wrote:

Our master closet was installed by the flippers we bought our house from.  While it looked good, it didn't function.  If we hung clothes on all the rods, there would have been a 6 inch walkway!
We needed easier access, more shelves, and deeper hanging space, while being affordable, and looking good. 

We bought 2 shallow Pax (Ikea) wardrobes, a Closetmaid {Home Depot} system, and off the shelf rods, brackets, and shelving.  We installed the wardrobes and closet system as directed, and installed an extra deep double rod to hold suit jackets, and polos for my husband.

We bought Pax interior fittings to organize clothes, shoes, handbags, and towels, Ikea magazine holders to keep handbags orderly, and Ikea boxes to hold bedding, clothes, and accessories.  Some previously owned Target totes hold winter blankets. 

We now have a closet where we can store everything and find anything.  It holds what we currently have, and room for even more.  I love a reason to shop!


Let's take a peek at what Lisa started with {Hey!  It looks exactly like our old walk in closet!}

They removed all of the wire shelving, patched and painted:

And as she mentioned in her note, installed systems that were mixed and matched from different big box stores:

So much better already right?  Then came the fun part!  Filling it all back up!

Taking what was previous lacking in effective storage and space....

And making it a super fantastic place to store all of their clothing, accessories, linens and more {which room to spare!}

I asked Lisa some questions about her space:

What is the main function of the space?
The closet functions to hold clothing, shoes, accessories, bedding and towels for my husband and I.

Any superstar tips for keeping it organized?
I used magazine holders to keep handbags neat, and a drawer to store flip flops, which always look cluttered on a shelf.

What items did you find essential when organizing this space and why?
I found that the Skubb boxes fro IKEA are a dream come true.  They come in various sizes and colors, and they have handles, which makes them easy to get a hold of, especially on the top shelf.  I used the medium cube boxes to store bedding and clothes, and the small boxes to store hats, scarves and belts.

What did you do to go the extra mile and "make it pretty"?
We patched holes and painted the walls to give the closet a clean slate.  We chose white closet systems {Pax from IKEA and Closetmaid Selectives from Home Depot} and all birch hangers for a cohesive look.

Where did you find your inspiration?
I had spent months looking at photos on Pinterest, Decor Pad, IHeart Organizing, Made By Girl and dozens of other blogs.

What items did you DIY to stay on a budget?
My husband is broad and so are his clothes, so I needed depth to hang his items, especially his polos and suit jackets.  I doubled up a 1x2 to create a 2x2 and attached it to a stud, and attached a rod support bracket to the 2x2.  This gave us an extra two inches of depth for his clothes.  This would have been impossible with the standard closet systems available and would have required a custom closet build, which we couldn't afford.

How has this update impacted your life for the better?
I no longer put clothes on the floor {teenage habit}, which drove my husband crazy.  Plus, I have an excuse to shop!  I have twice as much space to hang clothes, and a couple for shelves for shoes!

  • The system looks like thousands of dollars worth of custom closets, however, it is really just a well thought out mix of big box store items which the homeowners installed on their own.
  • Magazine holders for handbags?  Smart!  I love when y'all find new uses for common items!
  • The closet feels twice as big!  They can now easily walk through it to quickly find anything they may be in search of.
  • I adore that they took into consideration the size of the mister's clothing and DIY'd their closet to make it fit nice and flush with the system.  It is so important to really assess all needs when working on any project.
  • Using bins as drawers/storage saves oodles of cash over having custom drawers installed.
  • Keeping all of the hangers the same style really brings a cohesive and clean look to the closet.
  • They didn't settle for the standard closet system.  They knew it wasn't an effective use of space and they problem solved a better solution.  Never settle my friends!
  • They installed double rods to maximize hanging space.

A special thanks to Lisa for submitting her inspiring closet makeover which was perfect timing for this week's challenge.  If you want to see more pictures and learn more about their process, you can find all of the details on her blog here, here, here and here.

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 submit your story and photos here and I would heart to feature them right here, on the blog!!  Photos should be high resolution and unedited.  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!


  1. That's a great idea.. I'll need to do this in our walk-in closet eventually!

  2. Wow I would love to get my closet organized! The makeover looks great!

  3. Her "clothes on the floor" comment made me think of a question I've been meaning to ask. What do you do with clothes you've worn (like jeans) that you aren't ready to wash, but you don't want to put back in the closet? (I throw them on the floor, and it's driving ME crazy!)

    1. One of the drawers I installed was empty, but you can't see it any of these photos. I use that for "floor" clothes. It has been a life changer for me!

  4. My biggest question... where do I start? My closet looks EXACTLY like her before picture. But can anyone give me steps to follow to get the after picture? Should I lay out what items I have? Sketch it then hope I can find a system to fit? Custom closet designers online? I know what I want, but don't know how to get there.

    1. I measured out the actual before usage. For example, 12 feet shelving, 8 1/2 feet hanging. I then measured the room, and shopped around for possible systems that would fit. The Closetmaid system on the right is adjustable, to accommodate almost any width. I planned out the possible systems on paper, and measured out the new usage. For example, 20 feet shelving, 13 1/2 feet hanging. I then remeasured everything to make sure it would actually fit.
      Hope this helps!

    2. When I did my two systems at my previous home I used a system they carried at lowes but now it's at Home depot. I just measured out the space and the pieces and went from there. I do believe I had to cut some shelves down but it wasn't a huge deal. It really is pretty easy. I think mine was also Closetmaid.

  5. I have a brand new 7'x 5' closet all to myself (courtesy of a remodel that is still in progress...ugh), and I've been on the lookout for ideas on how to maximize the space. I am NOT an organized person, nor am I particularly creative, so I greatly appreciate your blog and that you highlight your reader's projects, too! Great work...I'll be visiting Home Depot/Lowes to check out their closet aisle and start pricing!

    1. Just a word of advice to you, home improvement stores can get pricey for closet renos quick !! Another great option is look in thrift stores for book shelves or dressers you can repurpose for much less... good example i love to use is two walmart book shelves with a curtain rod between is simple and only around 40 bucks !! Good luck

  6. This looks so great! I love how well organized it appears now.

  7. In England we don't tend to have roomy closets, we either have freestanding or built-in wardrobes, like mine. They look like a huge amount of storage across one entire wall, but actually there is a chimney behind two of the doors and only narrow shelving there. I fold items on those shelves, but they always fall out and look a mess. I'd love any suggestions for what sort of containers would work to keep slim spaces tidy?

    1. Anotnia, I use to live in Germany and we had the same type of wardrobes. I would always use plastic containers or bins. If you have and ikea around they have wonderful selections of slim containers. Or you can always order online. Measure your wardrobe and go from there. Bins that stack are great too.

    2. Thank you :-)

  8. I think this is a great reminder not to settle for what you buy. We have a house that has all wire shelving. In the boys room it had awkward wire long shoe racks that made it so hard to get into their walk in closets. Needless to say those were the first to go. I also added additional wire shelving in one section where there was just space to hang clothes. Instead of just one shelf there are 5. He had plenty of space for hanging clothes so we utilized the other space by adding more shelving for toy storage. We will however get rid of all the wire shelving in the Master and do pre-fab closet cabinets.

  9. wow, what an AMAZING project., the finished closet looks so very professional. i'm in love, big time!

  10. The vertical dividers that appear on the photos separating the purses are just the thing I'm looking for in my closet. Would you mind sharing where they came from? Thankyou so much!

    1. The magazine holder are from Ikea. You'll find them in the Besta system section.

  11. Such a great transformation. I love how it was carefully planned out and looks so neat and tidy!

  12. This post completely inspired me to redo my closet! I'm already kind of an OCD freak with color-coding my closet and usually sleeve length as well. But this post finally made me accept the fact that I need to get rid of my old or unworn clothes since my weight loss! And maybe get the extra junk out of my closet too :) I have so much clothing that since moving (and gaining a smaller closet because of it) I have a clothing rack and two dressers outside of my standard closet! Thank you all for your closet inspirations! I got a reality check and hopefully after I'll have more space!


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