Remember Bob Villa's Home Again? I used to love watching that show when I was a little girl. I just thought it looked like so much fun to build things and fix things and I was certain that I was destined for a career in home improvement. Well, after this weekend, I think it's safe to say that it's a good thing I didn't pursue that career.
John and I set out to reorganize our closet. We have a pretty small walk-in closet (approximately 5'x6') so we were looking for ways to maximize our space. You see, I'm not the only one who likes clothes. John quite likes them himself so when you put two people who really love clothes together in one small closet, you're bound to run into some problems. We originally wanted to go with Ikea shelves (what else?) but decided that the cost and hassle of traveling to Orlando (not to mention having to rent a truck to haul all that stuff back with us) was not worth it, so we opted for custom wire shelves from Lowe's. I did some research online and decided it was an easy enough project to tackle myself in one afternoon. Ha! Was I wrong.
According to the Lowe's video, we would need a tape measure, level, screwdriver, drill, drill bits, and a hacksaw. We didn't have half these things. So far, we were off to a great start. I originally went to Lowe's by myself and felt I could gather all the materials, but when I got there, I found that there were so many options that I began to feel very overwhelmed. I had to call John to come help me before I entered into a full-fledged panic attack. John was very helpful (unlike the sales associate there) and soon we had our cart full of all the materials we would need. Except for the drill. And drill bits. Oh, and the hacksaw. Did you know that drills are extremely expensive?! Anyway, we ended up borrowing from a family friend, so that problem was solved.
We opted to get the adjustable wire shelving, which includes vertical tracks that you can place brackets on and adjust the height of your shelves to fit your needs. Installing these would not have been a problem if it weren't for my stud finder, which turned out to be pretty useless. Every time our stud finder lit up green (indicating that there were no studs) we would start drilling and whatdyaknow - there would be a stud there! It was quite frustrating. But we finally got everything installed. What started out as an afternoon project turned into a 2-day ordeal. But I'm happy with the results.
Here's what our tracking systems looks like:
This is a sliding tie rack that we purchased for all of John's ties.
And now for the results! I'm almost embarrassed to show you the before pictures because I think of them as my "Monica" closet - I think people would be shocked to know that my closet was this messy before considering I'm such a neat freak and an aspiring professional organizer. But enough talk - on to the pictures!
I know that I have far too many dresses. I actually got rid of several before I put these in the "new" closet and it still looks like a lot! But I can't help it - I just love dresses. As you can see, they're organized by color.
Here are all of John's shirts, organized in order from solids to stripes to checkered to plaid, and then long-sleeved to short-sleeved. I just hope that he can keep it this neat!
We went for a double-layered look to maximize our space. All of John's shirts went up top (he's pretty tall so he would have no problem reaching them) and all of our pants are on the bottom, again in colored order.
I love how this rack neatly displays all of John's ties and belts. And the sliding feature makes it easy to view all the ties and neatly tuck them away when you're done.
I decided to get rid of all the shoe boxes and simply place my shoes on these racks. This makes them easier to see. Plus, getting rid of the jumbled look of a bunch of miscellaneous boxes provides a very clean look. Only problem is - I have too many shoes! They don't all fit on the shelves! I will probably have to buy another shelf to accommodate the shoes in the corner.
Even though we placed the shelves a bit higher, we still have some room left on top. I haven't decided what to put up there yet. The only thing is, I have to use a step stool to reach my dresses and the tops of the shelves. Not a big deal though.
I'm so happy with how our closet turned out. It was a much bigger project to take on than I had originally thought, but so worth it in the end. If you're thinking of installing adjustable wire shelving, definitely do so! There's so many accessories you can buy such as hampers, baskets, and drawers and again, the shelves are adjustable so you can change them whenever your needs change. For example, I'm probably going to place my dresses a bit higher to accommodate another shelf for the shoes underneath.
Our final cost for this project was about $300. That may sound steep, but the shelves we were going to buy at Ikea would have set us back about $1000, so this was a good alternative. We also saved money by borrowing some of the tools, doing the labor ourselves, and reusing our old shelves.
In the end, I learned two things: 1) Having an organized closet feels good. 2) I have too many clothes. It was like I had an epiphany - it made me realize that I didn't need to go shopping. In fact, I was quite disgusted with how many clothes I had that I packed a lot to sell to Plato's Closet or donate to Goodwill. And the best part? I don't have any desire to go shopping anymore. Maybe this was the breakthrough that I needed to help with my shopping addiction. Forget the rules, I just needed to reorganize my closet!