Hello and welcome to my closet!
Something not many people probably say, but I wanted to show you what we have been up to…a closet renovation! Yes, we do kitchens and bathrooms, but we also do anything custom, such as theatre rooms, wine cellars, built-in entertainment centers, and … closets! It would just be a really long name if we listed everything we do. We have been busy renovating our master bedroom closet and wanted to give you a tour. Come join me-I’ve done a video tour of our closet makeover as well, so if you are so inclined, please watch it too!
Our closet, “Before”
Just like most people living in the lower mainland, our closets become a catch-all for everything. We stored wall art that was out of season, sentimental treasures, as well as the usual clothes, shoes, belts, ties, coats…you know what I’m talking about!? And, although we have a walk-in closet, it’s not huge by any means and we needed to organize it to give us more space. Here is what we did to go from cramped to “glamped”! I found some great little ideas that you might like to incorporate too! Let’s get started!
Our closet, “After”
The biggest thing we did to create more space is to reduce. Yeah, I know you have heard it before and so many people say they need to let things go, but it really is true! Ken and I each culled 40 items out of our closet. I struggle with my weight going up and down up to 20 pounds. I know-crazy, right? So I have learned that I cannot let go of all my clothes that don’t fit. So, I keep a few items so when it fluctuates, I don’t need to buy a whole new wardrobe. But, I was pretty proud of myself for letting go of 40 items! A trick I learned that works well is to hang your clothes on the rack with the hanger facing the wrong direction. Next year when you go to cull your clothes, if that hanger hasn’t been turned around (meaning you wore the item and hung it back up the right direction) then consider letting it go.I wanted to share this tidbit that I find helpful: Be careful to not buy clothes for your “fantasy lifestyle”. I find myself loving a beautiful dress, but the reality is I rarely wear fancy dresses. So, along with that, there are the beautiful heels-I have stopped looking at them to prevent my wallet from accidentally opening up and paying for them! Just reminding myself that I wear comfortable shoes and versatile clothes, not those of the Real Housewives of Vancouver, is enough to stop an impulse purchase. I hope this helps you as well!
Now, back to the actual reconstruction: a trick I stumbled upon to give us more space, and this works in an alley walk-in closet like ours, is we moved the rods from 12″ from the wall, to 10″ from the wall. Our hangers still worked and we gained 4″ in the center “catwalk” of our closet. That really made a big difference! Now it feels even more luxurious!
We completely customized the closet-the taller rods hold my dresses (and Ken’s pants) and I measured my own height to see what I could comfortably reach while giving myself room to have a shoe rack underneath and making sure I had enough space on the top shelf to put a storage box. I found these lovely lidded boxes on wayfair. It took some searching, but I found some in a size that was large enough to hold our sentimental treasures, hats, winter ski clothes, and mementos from trips that we wanted to keep. Not bad-four boxes and still room for storing all my purses!
I had been keeping my purses in baskets, but the problem for me was that I kept forgetting which purses I had and didn’t use them. I now have the purses is plain sight and I found these lovely acrylic dividers on amazon and they keep my purses in place. I know a lot of people recommend a dust cover, but that would mean I couldn’t see them and, for me, seeing them is of great help!
Since the top shelf isn’t a place I need to reach often, I set it higher up. Yet, for the occasion when I do need to reach it, I found this lovely little step stool that folds completely flat and can be hung on the wall out of the way. Perfect-problem solved! Handy and yet not in the way! It’s sturdy too-holds 300 pounds. I guess I can eat that second dessert after all! 😉
I have lots of scarves and they can be a challenge to keep tidy and easy to see. So, Ken is building me a storage on the inside of the closet door. Out of the way, yet easy access (there might be a theme here!). I was researching closet organizers and stumbled across this idea that I love: I printed off a number of different ways to tie a scarf and put it in a frame in the closet. It reminds me of different options and has the instructions on it because I forget everything! It looks lovely sitting on top of my shoe cabinet-don’t you agree!?!Ken opted for drawers on his side of the closet, whereas I chose shelves. It works for my sweaters, workout wear and blanket scarves and for his socks, pajamas and work t-shirts. It’s a matter of taste and that is what makes a custom closet so great! I do envy his lovely drawer pulls…
In the other open space of the closet, we chose double rods for hanging shorter items-my blouses and Ken’s shirts. This was a great way to gain more space. And, since I am an organizing freak, I organized the clothes in groups of long sleeve, short sleeve, sleeveless and jackets, with the colour going from dark to light. I did this with Ken’s shirts too, but I know that he probably won’t keep that up. I’m just a bit overenthusiastic about organizing!
In the shoe racks, we made the shelves adjustable because your needs change. I have some high heels that need more space, so I put the shelf higher. Then I make a small shelf for my ballet flats. It’s great because when your needs change, you can adjust the shelves to make it work! I also learned a little trick to get more space-have your shoes face one backwards and one forwards. Not only for the extra space, but then you can see the shoes from front and back to decide which one to wear! (Bonus is it looks really cool!)
Above the shoe rack, I have a place to keep my necklaces-I have a number of hooks on the wall under the window sill and this keeps them untangled and easy to access, plus, I can just hold them next to a top to see which one I like best!What to do with belts and ties? Another great solution! We found these pull out racks from one of our hardware suppliers. We tucked them beside Ken’s shelving unit. Out of the way but organized and easy access! Another win!
I have saved the best for last…this was my dream wish list for a closet and Ken delivered!!! Lighted Closet Rods. Yup-you read that right! The closet rods have little LED lights inside and Ken hooked it up so that there is a motion sensor when we enter the closet, they automatically go on and turn off 1 minute after exiting. Isn’t that amazing! This is great in the winter if Ken is getting up earlier than me and doesn’t want to wake me by turning on the light. He can just pick out his clothes with the soft glow from the closet rods. I am over the moon with this addition! If you are going to get your closet completely customized, why not!?!
Want your own closet makeover? We can help!
I hope I have shared with you some helpful ideas that you might incorporate into making your closet more useable, accessible, organized and beautiful. And, obviously, if you are looking to create your own custom closet – just ask Ken! I can help give him some of my ingenious tips if you would like!
From all of us here at Elite Kitchens & Bathrooms, happy organizing!