Tuesday, February 18, 2014

The closet, before

So, good things to report today – the sun is shining, the temperature is rising (if only for a few days) and the laundry is DONE! Well, the laundry that was on our closet floor is done. Now I need to do more again, funny how that happens. But for the first time in a long time we can walk through our closet. And “walk through our closet” means “can actually see the floor” – but who needs those details?

I’ve finally gotten my side to an acceptable before picture status. Maybe when I’m all done with this transformation I’ll show you the true befores, but not today. You all know I don’t shy away from showing our messes and real life, but this one was pretty dang bad.

Anyway, hubby has been out of town so we have more work to do over there, but my side is looking decent:

walk in closet

When I shared my plan for this closet last week I mentioned that our closet is big – it’s really big. About 80 square feet. And that’s what makes me even more annoyed with myself that I’ve never addressed this space – it could be such a great room! We are so lucky to have such a big closet.

When we moved in there was one row of wire shelving around the entire room. Shortly after I moved the one off the back wall, had it cut down, then raised up the other two sides and put the extra underneath. Does that makes sense? So what used to be one line of shelf around the room is now two layers on both sides – top for our shirts and bottom for pants/skirts. This has worked pretty well for us, but we have to use a step stool to get to the top shelf.

Here’s a view from the other direction:

walk in closet

This is after a MASSIVE purge – see all those extra hangers? WHOOT. Those will be used for a few of my husband’s clothes that are still on plastic hangers. For about three years now I’ve been transitioning to these felt hangers and I love them.

This is what I got out of my side of the closet -- two lawn trash bags and two smaller bags full:

clothing purge

This doesn’t include all the clothes my sister took. :) I actually still want to get rid of more. I’m on a roll now!

So I learned something about myself during this process. I’ve always said I’m not a big clothing kind of girl – I wear yoga pants or leggings most days. Well, apparently I AM a clothing kind of girl. Totally lied. Totally had a ridiculous amount of clothing. Who knew? I didn’t because it was all LAYING ON THE FLOOR.

We don’t use a dresser in our bedroom for clothes – years ago I thought about it but I knew I’d get annoyed having to go room to room to get different bits of outfits, so we keep it all in here. I have my great grandmother’s old dresser in here that is beautiful and actually quite functional:

I made the inside a bit more functional by hanging shoe holders on the inside and cup hooks to hold my necklaces:

shoe and jewelry organization

The shoe thing is great but this is actually only about two thirds of my shoes, so not enough room. The cup hooks for necklaces looks like a mess but works pretty darn well – they don’t get as tangled up as you’d think. (I keep about four on each hook.)

I use a sliding tackle box inside for other jewelry:

jewelry organization

It’s kind of a mess but it gives you an idea – this doesn’t work as well anymore because I need to purge some of it. I haven’t gone through that in years and there’s just too much in there now.

And there’s nothing of value in there, if any freaky freakersons are looking. :)

The dresser/armoire is OK functionally – but there’s just not enough room for clothes. Hence the wire shelf I hung above it with the clothes teetering off. I just need more places to put folded clothing. I’m SO excited about my plan to add more drawers.

When the top isn’t covered in piles of stuff you can actually see my pretty trays with perfumes. And Shout. :)

perfume on trays

This is another thing I should purge – I have no idea HOW I got so much perfume. I wear it maybe once a week. Obviously still lots to do in here!

Both trays were Goodwill finds years ago – the one on the left is one of my all time favorite finds ever. It’s so beautiful. I can’t wait to display it a bit better when this room is changed up!

So there’s the before – one of the rooms in our house I’ve never showed you. It was the bane of my existence till a couple weeks ago. Just having it clean has made it SO much better, but I have big plans! I’ll share my progress soon!


  1. I love this! I think this is a a neat idea! Hummm gives me an idea too!~Ames

  2. OMG your closet is HUGE! Our master is about 3 ft/sq. I wish I was kidding. Yes three. I can't afford to have stuff in it I don't use. Suffice to say we use dressers, under bed space, other closets, floor etc!

  3. Your closet is LITERALLY bigger than my bedroom. Ha! I cannot WAIT till the day I can buy a new house with a huge master closet. That armoire you have in there is beautiful. I love the idea of hanging the shoe holders inside! Can't wait to see your "after"! Have fun!

  4. I love that you have a bracelet made out of pony beads and a pipe cleaner. I've had one amongst my jewelry for 12 years. I don't think I'll ever not have it!

  5. Love the idea of the shoe organizer in the wardrobe!! What a perfect use of space! The hooks are awesome too! Looking good girl!!

  6. Eighty square feet?! I am pretty sure my clothes would fill up about 1% of that. Excited to see how you finish 'er up! :)

  7. I really enjoy your blog! I don't comment much, but appreciate all your posts and how practical you are. Also like that you will take on so many construction projects that I'd never touch!

  8. When I read your teaser on FB, I thought, "I hope it's her closet!!" Ha! Can you tell I've been reading forever? :) It looks so good! You grandmother's dresser is beautiful! Love the idea to hang shoes inside. You've given me some inspiration. My closet is a DISASTER. I must have felt your post coming because last night I cleaned out part of my side - two bags full of clothes to get rid of! Whoohoo! Can't wait to see more, Sarah! Hope you're having a great week! :)

  9. This is me holding my hand up saying I can relate! I am awful about keeping my closet clean but I did do a HUGE cleanout a few months ago because I got new carpet in the bedroom/closet. When I would clean and show my husband the bags of all that I took out, he would say why are you storing the trash in the closet :) good question!

  10. WOW! I know if feels great to clean out the closet. I can't wait to get to mine now! That dresser is perfect!

  11. We should have a messy closet contest. Mine is similar in size to yours..maybe a little narrower, but it's a disaster!!! I went from having a well organized bifold closet door type of situation to having a large out of control absolute disaster of a situation. You've inspired me to find the floor.

  12. Wow- This space is incredible! I am so envious of your closet space. There is so much potential to make this a fabulous room! Our closet is smallllll and I have ZILLIONS of clothes. It's the one thing our beautiful, new home is lacking. It's not a walk in, but rather one full, wall closet the whole length of the bedroom. So, it's long but not wide. I'm thinking about getting a whole organizing system to maximize space and make it look prettier. I'm crazzzzzy about keeping closets neat. I'd have a field day in yours. :) Thanks for sharing. Can't wait to see the progress.

  13. With the amount of clothes I own you would think I have a great selection. Not so. It's definitely time to purge. I have asked a friend to come over and help since fashion is not my strong point. I was so ready to get it done but the longer I wait, I'm afraid I'll want to hang on to too much.

    I say, "Purge on, while you're in the mood. :)

  14. WOW!! You did an amazing job. You've inspired me to get organized better. :)

  15. I love the interior designs that you have changed in your home. I have been looking for something for myself. Everything that I have tried I haven't liked so far. This looks like something I am going to have to try. Thanks for sharing. http://www.bsharpstudio.us/architecturaldesign.shtml

  16. Can I just say that I love you?! I've been catching up on reading some of your posts, but this almost-before photo of your closet just seals how I feel about you. I WISH I were brave enough to post a "before" photo of my closet. . . and I wish I were organized enough to have an "after" photo to post! My things are such a mess. But you've given me hope and courage.

    By the way, I think your idea of kitchen cupboards in here is brilliant!

  17. Cleaning up an area always makes you feel so good. I am currently doing it to my kitchen and painting the cabinets as I go along. Your area looks great :)

  18. You could hang some of the folded stuff now! I have only nightgowns and
    Husbands sweatshirts in my dresser. Everything else
    Is in closet.

  19. My closet is pretty similar to yours, the only difference is yours looks nicer now that is all organized :) I want to get rid of that wire shelving. Looking forward to see what you come up with!

  20. Oh my you are so lucky to have a walk in closet. We don't and it sucks. Do you have room for an island in there? I was thinking and island with drawers on both sides would be wonderful... and a tufted chair and automon.. gosh I'd never want to come out! A nice chandelier would be good too... Are you going to paint it? Add a mirror on the back wall? Shoe racks? I have lots of ideas for you and closet envy. Victoria

  21. It somehow gives me a feeling of peace for you knowing that you have such a clean and organized closet. I've been putting off organizing my closet for months now. It's a lot smaller than yours but I see things you have done that get me motivated to go ahead and do mine. Especially the purge part!! Lol!

  22. In our last house, our master closet was 150 square feet. It was crazy. If it had a window and wasn't through the bathroom, we could have used it as a bedroom. Really, though, most the space was in the middle and unused. Where we live now, our walk in is long and has a door on either end. I like it better, because I feel that there is less wasted space. I like what you've done!

  23. Take all your jewelry and put it in a box on the floor. As you wear it, put it away. In a month or two you will see what you use the most.

    One of the things I have learned is that I am the only person who has any idea what I wore yesterday. Other people only notice if you look nice or not. Limit your wardrobe to colors that make you happy. I share six linear feet of closet space with my husband so a California Closet made it happen. Of course, it helps to be in my 70's (how did that happen?).

    Barbara in CT

  24. Well done, Sarah on those bags heading out the door. Huzzah!
    Oh and freaky freakersons made me laugh.


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