Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Nothing is simple: the closet edition

Not even a fairly straightforward closet makeover.  We have a closet that's on the wall that separates the master bath from the dining room that had become a catch all for everything that we didn't have a home for - you name it, and it was probably in there.  Cat toys, tablecloths, out-of-season wreaths, light bulbs... The problem was that none of it was organized.    My wonderful husband, in a fit of frustration, pulled everything out of the closet one Sunday afternoon while I was at work and organized it.

It was great, but by the next weekend, we decided that we should take advantage of the clean state of the closet and put in an organizer of some sort.  So, off to Home Depot and Lowes we went. 

This is what the closet looked like before we started.

There was a wooden bar that ran across the closet, as you can see by the holes.  The wooden planks at the top supported a shelf.  The former homeowners left behind some extra wallpaper at the very back of that shelf, along with some pretty scary pink and silver sparkly wallpaper.  I am deeply relieved that I haven't found that wallpaper hanging anywhere.  I should have taken a picture of it to share!

I'm sure you can see that the door is rather more narrow than the closet itself.  We made sure we measured carefully before we set out, both the doorway and the internal dimensions.  The little door at the bottom is an access panel to the plumbing for the shower in the master bath.  I had forgotten it was there.

Our travels took us to both Home Depot and Lowes, though we ended up settling on stuff from Home Depot for this project.  We bought a customizable shelving unit, along with a single enclosed drawer and a basket drawer to go in it.  We also bought a wire rack to go along one wall, tall and narrow, and a mop/broom holder for the other wall.  

My husband and I cleverly began assembling the shelving unit in the kitchen.  We prefer to do things that might scratch our hardwood on the linoleum in the kitchen.  Once we got the shelves assembled, we trotted them over and slid sideways them into the closet.  They fit through the doorway just fine, but when we turned them to face forward, we found that we couldn't.  Although  we measured carefully and everything fit, we had neglected to take the corner-to-corner diameter of the shelves into account - our shelves had a turn radius that was too big!  

After a few frustrated moments, we marched ourselves and the shelves back into the kitchen and pulled them apart.  Back into the closet we went, reassembling them there.

Can you tell I was having a great time?

That went fairly well, even for having to use a hammer in a very tight space.  I spent about twenty additional minutes sitting at the floor of the closet while my husband fed the cats, flipping through a  Martha Stewart magazine and sipping on my mojito-flavored Crystal Light.  I actually sort of enjoyed my short-lived hidey-hole!

Once the shelves were together in the closet, I clambered out and we picked spots for the wire basket and closed drawer, and then we hung the organizer along one side, and the mop and broom holder on the other.  It wasn't terribly difficult.

See the iron at the bottom right?  My mother bought this for me when I went away for college in 1993, for $0.25 at a yard sale.  I still love it!  It doesn't have a single fancy function, it doesn't have steam or anything, but it's my favorite iron to use; a few spritzes of water from a spray bottle and I don't need a steam function.

Plenty of room to store extra towels, hand soap 
(I love to order a bunch all at once from Bath & Body Works, 
so we always seem to have extra), my extra purses/totes.  You can 
see the mop and broom hanging on the right side of the closet.

Wow, that's a lot of toilet paper.  It must have been on sale.

I'm so happy with how our closet has turned out.  If I'd planned ahead, I would've painted the inside of the closet some bold color, but this will do for now.   I'll save that project for some other weekend.

Incidentally, the drawer on the bottom?  It's where the cat toys live.  Yeesh.

Sharing at:


  1. I love your closet redo! It is so organized and you managed to fit a lot of stuff in there! Super job! If you hire out I need you at my house!

  2. You and hubby did a great job organizing that closet. Looks like you made a space to store lots of things. Thanks for joining Your Cozy Home Party to show the result of your hard work.---------- Shannon

  3. Projects never go as I plan them either... but your outcome is perfect! I love the toilet paper organizing!

  4. The closet redo turned out great! Love the idea of the enclosed drawer & the wire drawer.

  5. Huge improvement in the functionality of that space! Great job!

  6. I too love your closet redo. You did a fabulous job for having to work with such a small space. I never thought to store the toilet paper like that...what a great idea.

    blessings, jilly
    visiting from cozy home scenes