Saturday, April 30, 2011

A Spoon Full of Sugar...

makes the medicine {of closet reduction} go down, in the most delightful way!

I love them.
At one point, I loved them so much that it caused me to collect --- as much as possible.  Anything that I put on in the store that made me even remotely happy felt like a must-have.  And before I got married (and had uncommitted money), I spent pretty much all my paychecks on feeding the need for more clothes.  I wish I hadn't --- that was silly --- and I will advise my kids not to do that, but that's another story.  
Anyway, this story is a closet makeover story.

I needed to fit my clothes in with his.

Hmm... doesn't look like its gonna fit.
One closet rod, in a non-walk-in!?
Sheesh.  What's a girl to do?

Make it work.

Make it work like its goin down a runway.

Ok, confession time...
After my man and I got engaged, he told me I could turn the smallest room in our house into a "closet room."  Yeah.  You heard right.  I had a whole room(!) for a closet.  (When he tells the story he says that's how he got me to marry him --- but since this post is on smooshing our clothes together into one small closet, you can see it wasn't a permanent condition.  So the idea of marrying someone for a closet room is something I will also advise our kids against --- marry for love and goodness of heart.  Because that is, in fact, why I married my man.  And I did get a good one!)  

Sadly, I never took a single picture of this closet-room of wonderment. 
So what I am about to show you is a ridiculous picture of myself in the mirror of my closet room, because then at least you can see a tiny glimpse of it.
(This picture was part of a failed attempt at one of those look-books that closet makeover people tell you to make, when you take pictures of different ways to wear your clothes so you can have a look-book.  So please ignore my expressionless face, which was never meant to be included in any blog posting.)

I had a dresser in there, a desk-turned-vanity, jewelry hung up in awesome picture frames, and two racks of clothes.  Not to mention the actual closet that was in the closet-room!

(I had two racks from Ikea, end to end in there.  And they fit just perfect from one wall to the other.)

(Here is one other surviving photo from that room.)

So, needless to say, when ladies would come over and see it, they kinda hated me. 
Which was never ever my goal. 
Some ladies kinda get a kick out of stuff like that.  I didn't.  It bothered me. 
So when it was time to say goodbye to the closet room so it could become a baby room, I was delighted. 
Yes, of course I was delighted to be doing a baby's room! 
But separately, all on its own, I was happy to be doing away with the closet room.  No more uncomfortable moments when I showed my friends around. 

So now...
How to make this closet hold my stuff.  (Now that you know how much stuff I had!!) 
I mean it's got a decent amount of his stuff in it already. 

Well, one thing that made this transition easier was the fact that I was pregnant, so all those lovelies I had were slowly but surely getting too tight, packed away into Rubbermaid bins, and stored in the garage.  And since I didn't really think to plan maternity clothes into our have-a-baby-savings, I didn't get many maternity clothes.  (Those things are pricey!)  My part of the closet looked desolate compared to the old space.  But once again, that's another story, one to save for when I bust out some maternity clothes posts in all their glory.

So, back to business. 
I knew the closet needed to have two closet rods... 
So I went to Menard's (a large hardware store, for our international viewers) and picked up five closet rod supports: Three for the top, two for the bottom; and two wooden rods, a bit longer than needed, which would be cut to size. 
I already had wooden shelves in the closet that I planned to use, so that was all I needed to buy.  I don't remember exactly, but it probably cost me $20 or less.

And I came home and took the closet apart. 
Clothes banished to another room. 
Shelves taken out.  Closet rod and its holders, demo'ed out.

Ok.  So.  The closet is taken apart. 
And you know how I love pretty... 
So I decided I would paint the back wall.  I've seen it done in magazines and loved it, so this was my chance. I had a gallon of paint from a project gone wrong, which had never gotten used up.  So that's how I chose the color.  But it was a happy accident because I am ecstatic about it.  Its a fleshy mauve.  I think it rides that line of feminine without alienating men entirely.  And since it's fleshy, it's awesome having it against my clothes --- I feel like it gives me a great impression of what they would look like on, without having to literally paint the closet a skin tone.  And since it's still neutral-ly, I feel that it could be seen in a room painted any color. 

I left the top shelf in the same spot (it ended up being a great place for my boots and tall shoes), and then left just enough room for Blake's guy shoes to rest on the shelf above the first pole.  To get the measurements of the rods and supports.  I just held up Blake's shirts and my shirts in different combinations to get the height between them just right. 

And then I found the studs and put the supports in place accordingly.  I'm sure I used a level and all that, but I don't remember the step by step process --- besides, I was doing what I do best, winging it. 
It was surprisingly easy though. 

I took the old red shelves out and painted them glossy white (I couldn't stand them being red!!!  It always bothered me.) and that made a world of difference.  And while I was painting, I went over the rest of the closet in glossy white as well.  I figured since it was dark in the space that the gloss might help to bring a pinch more light in there.

Once it all dried it was time to put the clothes back in. 
Like I said, at the time I was pregnant so not many of my clothes went in. 
Surprise of the century for me: I grew to love having barely any clothes! 
How much easier was it to get ready in the morning... I had a few things, knew how they looked, and would just choose one. 
 (In the closet-room I had so much stuff that I didn't remember how any of it looked and I spent an enormous amount of time trying things on.  And then they ended up on the floor in a disgusting mess.)
So I'm kinda keeping that going.  Less has become more. 
I've tried many different ways to organize my clothes in the past --- all those ones I've read in the magazines, like color blocking and such.  But what's been working for me as a new mom is just keeping common types of clothes together, so I can grab and go. 

 Often-used pants/shorts/skirts are in the white drawers on the right for easy access. 
Dresses and suits are hung on top, after the second shelf ends.  There is also a hanging shoe holder way back  in there. 

Now for my jewelry obsession... 
Nesting helped take care of that. 

I had this silver mirror that I picked up cheap from the thrift was laying around, so I put that in there
 and around it I took cup hooks and spaced them around it with my largest earrings in mind. (It goes way faster if you use a tiny drill bit to pre-drill the holes --- otherwise you will be doing this forever.)
I took quilters' pins (they are sturdier than regular sewing pins, and they have a "T" shape at the end) and pounded them in with a hammer just kinda eyeballing it according to the necklaces and bracelets I had. 

I know, thats a ton of jewelry. 
I never claimed to not have a problem! 
Funny thing is, I don't get to wear any of it.  J tries to remove anything I wear by force.  It's a special day when I can keep some "jewels" on. 

 So there you have it! 
My closet, made over. 
I seriously love it.  We leave the closet doors open a lot, not because it's any easier, but because I like the sight of it. 


If you have to do something un-fun, you might as well fun it up.


  1. I remember very clearly, the first time I saw your downsized closet I was VERY impressed. I don't even wear jewelry very much but I wanted to spend time just touching all of your prettily arranged "jewels". :)

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