Monday, January 7, 2013

Master bedroom closet: A state of disaster

Our closet is a disaster. I mean literally. It basically makes me nauseous to pick out my clothes and get dressed in the morning--it's that bad. In the last few years I have gone from my oh so wonderful walk in closet in an apartment, to my parents where I had double closets, and when I was at my sister's, I still maintained a closet at my parents. So I was not lacking in closet space in the slightest. Until now. I have to share my closet (ew, I know) and I don't get to take over anyone else's closet or any kind of space. It is a sub-par situation. Okay, closet space does not rate that high in the grand scheme of things but it does rate high enough to get its very own blog post and cause me great irritation everyday.
I knew that our situation needed to be re-evaluated when after both of us got dressed for the day we ended up with this---clothes in baskets and clothes on the floor that were in baskets before becoming overturned in a frantic search to find--something.

This is embarrassment people, seriously, I wouldn't even want my sister to see this! But its all for a good cause right?

Seriously. Its a lot to take in, right? Your poor eyes probably can't even focus. Let me break down the mess for you.


Does it make you a little nauseous? Because it sure made me want to run away screaming! Which leads us to our first step.

1. Admit you have a problem.

I have no problem admitting we have a serious problem here people! We had a problem long before we reached this point. But its not like I am the kind of person who is okay with this kind of situation, I am very much not okay with it. And I sort of have a system in place….its just not working for our space, lives, and needs. So that is about as useful as no system at all. I have a lot of clothes, I mean a lot. so I have hanging clothes which are color coordinated and hung within their color by sleeve length. If not for the quantity this part of the system would be working fine. That aspect of the system will stay throughout the closet makeover, I think. That pink laundry basket holds the majority of my sweaters. The totes next to the pink basket hold long sleeve colored t-shirts, then neutral long sleeve shirts, then regular t-shirts, followed by jeans, and on the bottom are the less worn heavy and fur lined sweatshirts and hoodies. So it is a system, just not an effective one.  So I need to start from square one.

Be sure to check out the top of the closet too…..

Oh, and this stack of clothes over here too!

Now that we have established that we have a serious issue we can get started. Or at least try to get started. The first step in my mission organization-- damage control. Get things back into a livable situation. That means everything refolded and sorted into their proper genre.

Yep, unmade bed. Add that to the list. It happens when one of us get up early and the other works nights and sleeps til nearly noon. Also, clearly cheez-its are a normal midnight snack??

Remember those new tubs in the first picture? I had actually snagged them at Target prior to the disaster. I knew I needed to expand and re-evaluate prior to the huge explosion. Here's one of those new totes now. Filled with folded dress pants. Dress pants should be hung! You're screaming at your computer screens right now, I can tell. I know this and its in the plans, just not today. And the totes will get used, so its not like I wasted money on the nice totes for a transitional period.

See that stack of dress pants on the far left side of the dresser? Those are some of the pants that made it into the new totes. I don't want to talk about the disastrous state of the rest of the dresser. And yes that is a random pink craft supply organizer. Don't ask why, I have no idea.

So for awhile, I continued on with the damage control. And stared into the depths of my closet, searching my brain for a new and brilliant system. With nothing brilliant coming to mind, I spent a while just moving stuff around, back and forth.

Look! Neat and tidy folded towels. I think that was the only neat and organized thing in the room at the time. ugh. 

I used to have a little "antique" dresser in the closet, that was my grandmothers. It was jam packed full of craft type supplies and a few school things. I emptied it out and moved it out into the living room. Leaving me with glorious empty space in my closet.

So I picked up the random things and vacuumed the space. The bags went into a big tub and the flip flops got stuck in a pile to get stashed away with other summer things. 

 Sigh, look at the glorious {small} empty space! I thought that this would be a good place to stash some more of those totes. For right now anyway.

To make way for a recycled shelving unit from my mom, I moved our laundry hamper into the closet. My scrapbook bag is actually tucked away behind it. Not sure if it will stay there or not.
By this time, I had more laundry to fold. So to escape the disaster area, I took my laundry to the living room to fold and watched an episode of Rizzoli and Isles (I heart that show)

I really think the amount of laundry we have is seriously expanding. I know at one point, when we moved in, all of our clothes were put away. At least I think they all fit?  But maybe that was before my mommy sent me all the clothes from my closet at home. Isn't she helpful?

And a basket of socks from the the many loads of laundry that are just waiting to find their mate.

In the mean time, I also got this little shelving unit from my mom. And I had these itso bins from Target for ages just sitting around. So I popped them into the shelves and filled them up with tank tops and sweaters. Moving the sweaters freed up some space on the top shelf of my closet and I popped the tub with my bags into its space. The relocation of my tank tops left an open drawer under the bed. Side note: My daddy made my bed frame and it has these nice little drawers underneath and a nice tall headboard with a shelf and two more drawers. It's so nice!
Here's a quick progression of that small space:

my recycled shelves and already owned bins

just pop them into place--perfect fit!

fill a few bins with sweaters

nicely color coordinated tank tops

pop some pretty tanks into two bins

and then think for a minute and change your mind….

move fleece jackets into those bins

switch pretty tanks over to two smaller bins

After the move in of my new totes and the shelves from my mom, I was spent. I seriously had no idea what else to do. I knew that the space was still not functional. I also knew that I wasn't going to think of anything brilliant on my own. So what did I do? What anyone does who needs some brilliant collaboration! Call your sister!

It didn't even take that much bribery. And she even agreed to come the next day. Wah-hoo! I said she could bring the kidlets and I would provide some form of supper. I can handle that. So the night before the sister closet makeover project, I popped over to Walmart after work. I would have preferred Target, but since Walmart is literally across the parking lot from my after school job, I settled for that.

I headed straight for the closet organization isle….

It's kind of intimidating to stare at all the options….no idea which ones to choose for my space. I came home with an arsenal of closet organizing supplies. I got a few things since I didn't know what our plan of attack was going to be. I wanted to have all the accoutrements available to us. (I love it when I can throw that word in, it is one of my favorite words).

Let's hope my brilliant sister can come up with something brilliant to do with these!! Sometimes you just need two minds instead of one. My brain could only think of my current system and nothing new, poor sad brain, it needed help.

So we set to work and while it was a slow beginning, we finally got to a workable situation. At least it is the best we could come up with at the time and maintain our budget of well basically nothing.

The sorting process got serious:

  The sorting continues….this time I got a bit more serious. Pulling some things out for my niece and some for Goodwill. I also sorted things out out to go into totes to make room for my new sweater hanger and dress pant hangers.

We ended up with a few extra hangers.

we popped in the new sweater hanger...

started putting in dress pants...

We were getting close to a "completed project". Only a few more things left.

My sweater hanger ended up being a bit fuller than I had anticipated. But I swear my school is actually in Antarctica, so I wear a sweater pretty much every day. I pick out an outfit, thinking its going to be all cute. And then I have to adjust it because otherwise I will literally shiver all day long! Last step we just popped the other totes in, in the place of the laundry hamper.

We gave up and called it quits after that.
Here's what we ended up with:

I know it's still not perfect, but its a whole lot better than where we started!! 

So here's the bf's side:

On his top shelf on the left are sweats, slicks and jerseys. In the middle are his two tubs with shorts and a few jeans then hats on top. Next to his tub are the hoodies he wears a lot and his new jeans.

Here's his tiny side of the hanging space.

Separating our hanging sections is a sweater organizer. I actually returned the original one that I bought at WalMart and got this one at Menards. It had a prettier pattern and seemed a little tougher and I knew it was going to be jam packed full. Each shelf is categorized by color, with the last shelf containing all the random colored sweaters.

Now we head over to my side, which in reality is most of the closet.  My top shelf holds the red tub with bags that used to be on the floor of the closet, then my scrapbook bag, followed by my bin of workout clothes. All are still within easy access. I decided to move the totes that used to live here because climbing a step ladder to get my everyday clothes was not really as convenient as I thought it might be.

The totes from the top, plus a few more, moved down here to the bottom of the closet. Essentially they make up another dresser in the closet--just not quite in the standard dresser form.

Next to my sweater sorter are all of my dress pants. They are on those pants hangers that I snagged at WalMart. They would work much better if they weren't jammed full. Yep, more than 20 pairs of dress pants. I probably need to go through them again and be a bit more brutal. I just like to have a lot of options :)

And here's my side of the hanging clothes…a much smaller section than what it used to be.

So it took a long time, and its still not perfect, but it is soooo much better than it was and I know that it will greatly improve our morning routines. I am super excited to see how it works out in practice. I ended up giving a few bags of clothes to my niece and a some after that went on to be donated to Goodwill.

And just for impact, a before and after:

That makes the end result seem so much better and I am so happy with it :)


  1. Great job! That was a lot of work!

    Becky B.
    Organizing Made Fun

    1. Thanks Becky! It was a pretty big project, but so worth the end result. It's a much better situation for us! If only I could import a glorious walk-in closet to my apartment!!