a closet mini-makeover

Last week, I read this blog entry from my friend Letia over at Downtown Digs in Diapers about her closet overhaul. Here's her before:

and her after:

Awesome, right? This was just the kick in the pants I needed to finally tackle my own closet. So I looked on Pinterest (totally obsessed, by the way!) and found a couple closets that I love. Here's one of my favorites:

I love the wallpaper, the shelving, the chandelier, everything! So, I decided I was going to completely renovate my closet. It still has the poorly-planned out builder-installed wire rack system that I loathe. Like, seriously detest! I was going to rip that out, repaint or wallpaper the closet, and then install a beautiful yet functional wood shelving system with multiple bars, shelves and a wall of shoes. Everything was going to finally have a home.

Here are some before pictures of my horrendous closet:

So, first step....remove all of my stuff from the closet. After the Semester at Sea t-shirt incident of 2003, I have learned not to touch Jay's stuff. As much as I would like to throw away most of his clothes and start over, I decided to leave that side of the closet for him to deal with.

So I took all my stuff out and laid it on the floor. You know how you don't realize how much stuff you own until you move? Well, I had no idea how many clothes I owned until I started laying it all out on the floor. It's probably a good thing Jay wasn't home for this process. The amount of times that, "ooh...I forgot about this!" came out of my mouth was disturbing. Here's a look:

For, those of you wondering...yes, I keep a level in my closet, along with an entire reusable grocery tote full of assorted tools, nails, screws, etc. And yes, those are snowboard boots and no, I have never snowboarded. In addition are 2 bags full of Finlay's baby clothes that I can't bring myself to part with. Why? Because I am planning to make a quilt out of them! No, I do not know how to make a quilt. But I did buy a sewing machine on Black Friday! It too lives in my closet, and has yet to make it out of the box.

So after emptying the closet, it looked like this:

This is about the point in which I called Jay and said I wanted to re-do our closet. I told him about my big plans to paint, the wood closet systems I had found, my wall of shoes. Imagine how much time we'll save in the morning! To which, he responded, "I just called the patio guy. I'd rather spend the time and money working on the backyard". Hmmmm...well, he did have a point. It's not like the whole family is going to spend a nice day in my closet.

The only problem was that the idea of putting all that stuff back into that closet made me want to cry. So after it sat there for almost a week, I decided to make a few minor adjustments to the closet that didn't cost a lot of money but that would tide me over until we can do a major over-haul.

I bought a hamper, a couple fabric bins and 2 inexpensive shoe shelves. I ripped the lower wire rack off the back wall. This way the clothes on either side could run all the way to the wall. I decided to hang the two shoe racks on the back wall. I hung a hook above the hamper to hang the dry cleaning bag. I also hung a shelf in the closet to keep Febreeze, stain remover spray, and a lint roller.

While it's not the closet I envisioned, I think it looks a lot better and more importantly, is much more organized. And I only spent a little over a hundred bucks!

So, I think it was a good compromise. I got a more organized closet and a wall of shoes. Jay got to spend the weekend working on the backyard, instead of inside hanging a closet system. And the kids will get a pretty landscaped backyard with a patio to play on, with the money I could have spent on a closet. I'm so proud of myself, I might just have to buy myself a new pair of shoes to fill that spot on the top rack!

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