Closet Makeover

I have been warning you that I was planning an overhaul on my closet.  This project was less about cleaning out my closet and more about re-organizing.  I cleaned out my clothes closet pretty severely back in March, so this time around I didn’t need to spend much time purging items.  I do, however, plan on going through my clothes closet after Fall/Winter and purging items.  As I was starting to re-organize there were several pieces that I felt iffy about.  But, I’ll allow myself the opportunity to wear them this Fall.  (The clothes hanging in the closet are mostly my professional wardrobe: dresses, skirts, dress pants, button up shirts, blouses, cardigans, and blazers.  Tank tops, cami’s, t-shirts, shorts, jeans, and workout gear/sleepwear are housed in my dresser in the bedroom.) A few things were not working for me in my closet.

#1. Belts and Scarves.  I was corralling them in an over the door shoe organizer with clear plastic pouches, but it wasn’t designed to hang on a closet rod.  Therefore, it wanted to turn perpendicular to the way that I wanted it to hang.  Also, it hung the length from the closet rod to the floor.  The problem with this was that the shoe organizer was in the way.  Lastly, it blocked easy access to the items in the left hand side of the closet and because it’s dark inside the closet it was difficult to tell black belts from brown from navy.

#2 Purses and Bags.  I did not create a designated space for my purses and bags like I had wanted to the last time I cleaned out the closet.  Therefore, my bags and purses were shoved under the bed.  I wanted a solution that was a little more bag-friendly and kept them out in the open where I can easily see and select them.

#3 Lighting.  There is no internal lighting in my closet.  I added some touch lights, but they were super inexpensive ($1, maybe?) and didn’t work as well as I would have liked.

#4 Wasted Space.  There was a lot of space above the closet rod that wasn’t being utilized to its fullest potential.

You can see many of these pitfalls in the BEFORE pictures, below.

I purchased a few items to help facilitate my re-organization project. First, some tiered skirt hangers. These will hold up to 6 skirts on a single hanger. I purchased two of these at Wal-Mart. (They were pretty cheap, maybe like $6.) I also purchased two pants organizer hangers that hold 4 pairs of pants each. (These were about $5-$6, too.)  I also purchased a Clostmaid stackable organizer at Target for $20.  Lastly, I purchased some different (hopefully better) push-on lights.

Now, I was ready to begin.  First, I pulled everything out of the closet.  This wasn’t entirely necessary, but I knew that I wanted to switch out some hangers and re-organize the location of types of clothing, so taking everything out just made it a lot easier.  Now I had a blank slate.

I replaced the old push-on lights with the new ones and left the double-hung rod in the same place in the left-hand side of the closet. I did re-arrange the shoe organizer in the bottom to be narrower and flush to the right wall. I also flipped it upside down to create more of a gap between the floor and the bottom rung to house flip-flops.

Next, I sorted my clothing into piles by type: dresses, skirts, pants, button up shirts, blouses, cardigans, blazers/jackets, and cardigans. I took the skirts off their original hangers and grouped them in categories by color, and then re-hung them on their new hangers.

The maxi-skirts I hung from the top set of clips, but had it behind the other skirts so that you could still see all of them, and it wouldn’t touch the ground. You can see this better from the back. I repeated the same process with my dress pants.

Third, I started loading my clothes back in. I started with the dresses all the way to the right, and then the skirts next. I discovered that with the tiered hangers, they were longer than before. They touch the top of the shoe organizer, but that doesn’t bother me. Next, came pants.  (Although, I moved them to the other side in the end.) Cardigans were next and then blouses. In the left hand side, I hung my button-up shirts and dress pants on the top and my blazers and jackets on the bottom rod.

Fourth, I assembled the shelf organizer and turned it horizontally.  I looked at several different organization options for the top of my closet, including Itso blocks, Yaffa blocks, and many other cube storage systems.  But, given the dimensions of my closet and my budget, this ClosetMaid item was the best option.  One note, I had planned all along to use this item horizontally.  What I didn’t count on was that the shelves sit on plastic clips and rely on gravity to keep them in their place!   While they still work for separating the space and helping the purses stay upright, the “shelves” fall over when I remove the purses.  (I think that I can remedy this problem by purchasing some additional plastic clips and putting them on the other side of the shelves to hold them in place from both the right and left side.)

Lastly, I re-arranged the items that were previously stored in the top of the closet.  The two plastic shopping bags were relocated into the rectangular plastic bin sitting on top of the purse organizer.  The cardboard box of table linens are also sitting on top of the purse organizer.  This makes much better use of the space–almost to the very top of the closet.  In the top of the left hand side I loaded back in our suitcases and travel bags and extra pillows.

This re-organization has addressed 3 out of 4 of my concerns: purses and bags, lighting, and wasted space.  The last and final hurdle for me to overcome is a suitable storage option for scarves and belts.  I am still surveying the products out there to find the best solution for me.  I like the idea of a hanger type item for the scarves.  But, that type won’t work for my belts because I don’t have a lot of vertical space.  Also, I don’t have usable space on the back of the closet door because this hall closet has a bi-fold door.  That leaves me with the small amount of space between the double-hung rod in the left hand side and where my clothes begin on the right hand side.  (I currently have my sun hats occupying this space.)  Any suggestions for belt storage would be greatly appreciated!!


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