Master Closet Makeover: Before and After

In December, I suddenly realized how large and yet how very dysfunctional our closet was. The clothes were crammed in (decluttering hello), the hanging rods were really high so I had to stretch or knock the clothes down, the shelves were great to have but the whole thing wasn’t arranged very well. So instead of complaining- I decided to improve it.

Immediately I thought about IKEA’s closet systems that are fully customizable and work wonderfully; however I just wanted something that looked a bit more sophisticated. So I found out that Home Depot does flooring, kitchen and other projects among also organization and closets!

The first step was to have a “closet designer” come out to sit down with me and plan out and configure what would be most beneficial and useful in our every day lives. They also take the initial measurements and render the space in 3D with a laser. Which is the coolest part of the plans being in your email and in your hands on their work tablet. He was very helpful even as I changed my mind a few times with certain elements which wasn’t really a problem. It’s nice that you can see it all come together in real time with the build simulation of the room.

It took a few hours but it was pretty fun going through all the options, textures and colors of wood, knobs and more accessories which we didn’t really want or need to get. There was options for a tie hanger, valet hooks, pants & jeans hangers etc, a dressing station elements, lighting and much more. We did get a few cabinets and a few glass elements on the cabinet fronts as well as extra optional removable shelves. I didn’t see anything more that was worth paying for. The top three glass front cabinets were for displaying my purses in a stylish fashion and having them up and out of the way. We added a set of 12 drawers to replace the place for our underwear, socks, pjs, swimwear and my jeans. Sean also wanted his own tall cabinet for storage, so we added that in one corner. There was what I called the “problem” corner that I was going to keep for extra shelving and storage but in the end I wanted more hanging so that was converted again in the second measuring appointment. They do this with a more experienced technician so they can verify the measurements that were taken and double check the plans for any problems that maybe someone missed. The problem corner had an area that was too tight to use and so it made more sense to take out that extra hanging section behind the door that was going to be installed. (This will make sense when you see the blueprints/mock-up). The final piece was a tall hang corner for my long sweaters and mainly my wedding dress- anything that had a longer hemline. I put my tanks tops on a specific type of hanger there for everyday access when I want to wear a camisole under a shirt or sweater. It’s been a very useful spot to have certain things at a quick grasp.

Then of course because of C-19 then everything in materials for the actual installment was backordered. Our original date was January/February and it didn’t get done until April so…. I understood that it would take awhile. I was very excited!

We ended up having to adjust the measurement height of the upper rod because Sean’s clothes are taller than mine despite the original measurements. But everything fit and worked out for the best. We also switched a cabinet door and hinge direction, also one drawer was slightly damaged at the back corner (luckily not noticeable so I didn’t care). It took two days and they were so quick and nice explaining any tiny issue they ran into and swiftly discussed with me to solve it. They disassembled everything and took the debris with them as well as patching any small rough parts that may be seen- of which none were because of the backing.

Once it was completed and I was loading our clothes, I noticed how much space we had and how it was immediately more efficient. He could put all his shirts, muscle and workout tees, jackets, polos etc up on his racks and they would look just as nice but would not then be dragging on the lower shelf. With his regular everyday shirts they happen to fall into two categories: solids and graphic tees. Choosing a visually appealing and easy way to spot what he wants to wear: rainbow order or type i.e star wars, comics, movies, quotes. This has worked out well and he hasn’t needed to ask where anything is because A) it’s all hung up and easier to see and B) organized, so he knows now exactly where to look. Also the second benefit to extending the height is still having some upper storage on top for short items and seasonal items in collapsable totes.

Next, I decided where each section of my tops where going to go. As I hung them all back up, I began seeing a bunch more things that I could donate and get out of my closet. So many things that I forgot that I had and that upon looking at each piece again; I didn’t like. Three or four bags later and I’m so glad that I wasn’t shoving a bunch of unworn and discarded pieces back into my closet. My short sleeves tops got hung up in rainbow order again like Sean’s did. My long sleeves got hung up all together with over shirts I wear often and then thicker long sleeves like he lets and corduroy type button ups.

I folded my jeans and pants using the Marie Kondo method into the bottom three drawers. I made them fit vertically and sorted them by type. Ever since then I’ve found how much neater it keeps my pants in the drawer and more organized when I know where to find a certain pair. In the other drawers I folded in my swimsuits (of which I have a few new ones) that needed space in a drawer. I have a separate sock and intimates drawer, I laid these out nicely and tucked my socks together into the organizer I have. I have one extra drawer for workout underwear and sticky bras etc, miscellaneous pieces I don’t reach for often. My pajamas and sweats had to be spread out among a couple drawers but they all fit in the end. And the last couple drawers I put Seans’ underwear and socks in and organized them as best I could.

The best part of this closet redesign has been laundry loads have been so simple because now each item has a place and I don’t feel like I’m scrambling to find a hanger, get the step stool and figure out where in the closet it should go. Or how I can fit one more coat in the closet downstairs. Because I have less now and with a new closet it all just fits.

And with that it’s the season to declutter and donate whatever isn’t serving you. I recently read a book called “Decluttering at the Speed of Life” and I really resonated with much of the routines and philosophies of the book. Showing you step by step for one space or room at a time and how to declutter at your own pace; while remaining productive and diligent about getting things OUT of your home. There is a procedure or method she explains in the book, ways to declutter efficiently and to get the obvious trash out first, then by putting away the things that have homes and can be put away quickly, followed by the things that need to find a permanent home. I have always been great at the one in and one out rule but also forgetting what I have or what I even like. My other saving grace is seasonal closets, so I didn’t quite move all my winter clothes back into my master closet although I could I stashed the puffer vests, parkas and huge scarves in another closet to take back out in the fall when it gets cold, although I did already go through and minimize what I had.

Well anyway if you are thinking of decluttering or are thinking of doing a project like this one- I say go for it! This was a vast improvement on what we had before and has made my daily chores and laundry routines so much easier. I’m glad I can share this project with you and our experience using Home Depot and their closet installation department (*not sponsored*). I really enjoyed the whole process and we may likely hire them again in the future for another project where we could use their help.

Thanks for reading and bye for now!

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