Ready for a peek at my new closet?

through a narrow doorway ...
through a narrow doorway …

As I mentioned yesterday, my closet is entirely made up of IKEA pieces (the Pax and Komplement series) with custom trim added by my husband. The three units gave me plenty of storage options; so much so that we ended up nixing our original plan for a separate shoe rack/display, and adding 3 extra shelves to one of the units instead. This saved up a considerable amount of space, which is at a premium in my still-tiny (but infinitely better organized) closet. This left room for a few extra touches I quite enjoy. I’ll come back to those in a moment. First, let’s have a closer look at how everything is organized.

left third
left third

The top shelf in each unit is reserved for my bags, most of which are stored in large bins for convenience. I am debating getting shelf dividers instead. (I caved, and signed up for Amazon Prime at the end of December. My life has changed. Everything is a click and free two-day shipping away.) For now, this works. The rest of the first unit is taken up by my extensive blazer collection, along with cardigans, work tops, and skirts. My sweaters and casual tops are stored in three small baskets in another unit in my bedroom (no change from before).

blazers
blazers
cardigans, tops & skirts
cardigans, tops & skirts

At the bottom of the unit, I have a large, zippered Skubb container that’s holding (a) my jeans and casual pants, (b) my tights; and (c) my loungewear. I have no idea if Marie Kondo would approve of my folding strategy, but it’s quite effective.

loungewear, tights, casual pants & jeans
loungewear, tights, casual pants & jeans

The middle unit is my favourite, if only because it holds all my vintage sparklies. But first, under the bag shelf, we have a smaller shelf which holds 2 boxes – one for my scarves, and one for belts and other miscellany. These units are 23 inches deep, and they offer a lot of space.

middle unit, top shelves: bags & miscellany
middle unit, top shelves: bags & miscellany

Moving on, my “display” shelf is mostly an excuse to show off my thrifted milkglass collection. The piece de resistance is the jewelry display shelf underneath, which is at least 70% of the reason why I wanted the Pax in the first place. It’s awesome, and very sparkly.

milkglass and baubles
milkglass and baubles
all that sparkles (is costume jewelry)
all that sparkles (is costume jewelry)

Below, we have a drawer for unmentionables (organized using more Skubb cubes), and then a rack for my dress pants. My husband decided to surprise me with the fancy version of the latter, which comes with “built in” hangers as opposed to a plain rack. I would say that each rail comfortably holds 2 pairs of pants (and you could probably squeeze 3, in a pinch), and there are 5 of them in total.

pants rack
pants rack

The last unit holds my work and casual dresses. (The special occasions ones are in the basement overflow closet.) We also installed two extra racks on the side, one for belts and one for longer necklaces.

dresses peeking out
dresses peeking out
belts!
belts!
necklaces
necklaces

Finally, shoes time! We went with the fanciest option here (approx. $50 per shelf) because it looked to offer the greatest storage capacity. In total, each shelf can hold about 10 pairs of shoes. I did end up having to edit down my collection in the process of moving it into my new closet, and a few pairs, which I was unable to fit in OR part with, found their way to the downstairs closet.

shoooooes!
shoooooes!
shoe pyramid
shoe pyramid

Because the Pax system is so nicely self-contained, I was left with 3 “blank” walls to play with. We re-installed my nail polish display case on one of them, and will be adding a ¾ length mirror on the opposite wall which is super helpful; the only other full-length mirror in the house is in the basement, which is not particularly useful when I’m getting dressed in the morning. Finally, I upgraded my cork-backed jewelry display case by hacking an IKEA picture frame; I did this one all by myself, and managed not to injure myself, and I am disproportionately proud of it, you guys.

jewelry miscellany
jewelry miscellany

Lastly, we added three wall hooks (on the same wall as my jewelry display) to serve as a replacement for my beloved clothes valet, which no longer fits in my closet. I love being able to hang my outfits for the week together in one place, and this was a simple, space-saving solution.

Because things got moved around and re-organized, I also changed up my vanity table-top. Previously, I had used it to display my vintage brooch collection; now, it houses my Wedgwood collection, along with a few more milkglass pieces. It is less cluttered than before (believe it or not), which is a nice bonus.

vanities
vanities
milkglass
milkglass
a few stragglers ...
a few stragglers …

All told, the new closet cost came in at around $900. That does not include the future sliding door my husband plans to install. We probably could have swung the whole project for closer to $600, but I decided to splurge on a bunch of extra features, and my husband insisted that everything had to be trimmed out properly. (Wood is expensive, who knew?) I think the results are great, and the closet 100% more functional (and prettier) than before. No regrets … needless to say, I love my new closet.

And it has inspired me to cast a more critical eye to my wardrobe. Before, it was easy to shove in new pieces because my closet was something of a black hole; it didn’t look that nice to begin with, so adding to the clutter made little difference. Now that it looks much more like a boutique display, I find that I am more inclined to be selective about what I put in it, and also more inclined to respect its inherent space constraints.

Which brings me to my wardrobe management philosophy for 2017.

As should be amply clear by now, I am not a minimalist by nature when it comes to clothes. But also, and perhaps more surprisingly, I am not really a maximalist either. An overflowing closet makes me no less anxious than a too-spare one. My happy place is a balance of classic staples and fun, statement pieces, and each of these categories has its own life cycle. I tend to hang on to my staples for years, because they form the foundations of my outfits; here, functionality and practicality overrule aesthetics, so these pieces are much less likely to fall victim to my desire for novelty. I’m pretty well-stocked up on staples at this point, so subject to finding some replacements for pieces that are coming to the end of their life span, I don’t expect to see a lot of turnover this year.

The second category is where I struggle with wardrobe management. I love prints like they’re never going out of style, but I am fickle in my desires. I get bored fairly easily, and I am easily attracted by new ones all the time. The key is matching up the rate of acquisition of new pieces, and removal of old ones. Since I plan to do most if not all of my shopping second-hand this year (same as last year), the constant turnover does not pose financial or ethical problems for me, but I do need to work on my hoarding tendencies. I’ve never been very good at enforcing the “one in, one out” rule, but it’s never too late to start, right?

 

 

26 Comments on Small Closet Remodel: Reveal!

  1. Oh it looks great, there’s a lot of stuff but it’s well organised so you can see it all and more importantly, know where the things you can’t see are!

    I have shoe drawers too, although they are deeper than yours so I can pile the flats on top of each other. Really handy though and I then box up the out of season stuff.

    Also signed up for Amazon Prime just this week! My sister messaged me last night asking for next day delivery of Supernatural season 9 and seconds later my Dad asked me to order a Mike Oldfield CD, ha ha! I’m going to get my money’s worth of free delivery for sure 🙂

  2. The new closet looks wonderful! I miss being able to display my costume jewelry (there isn’t any good wall space for it in our current apartment, alas). Looks like it was a very successful DIY project!

    • It was … except that I used a super old cork board (seriously, it was my old mood board when I was a teenager) and it’s a bit too dry now. Makes it harder to pin my earrings. Oh well.

  3. I am so jealous of your closet – especially the shoe display racks! Gorgeous! You and your husband should be very proud.

  4. Swooning over your new closet! I love that it’s functional but also has lots of pretty throughout. And those shoe drawers — perfect! I love getting peeks into things like closets…don’t know what that says about me. 😛 But thanks for sharing — so fun!

    • Whatever it says about you, it applies to me as well … because I love peeking into people’s homes, period. I would totally watch a show that consisted simply of tours of people’s homes, with the owners explaining how and why they decorated each room.

  5. Hand to Jesus, I really thought you would have WAY more clothes. Looks pretty Kondoed to me! One thing that was life changing for me was hanging all the dresses together on one side, then all the Blazers on the other upper side, trousers and skirts hanging below those. Then all sweaters folded in the middle by season. I still struggle with my unwieldy scarf collection though. This makes me want to do a big purge, it’s been a while!

    • I have a LOT of turnover in my closet, so collectively I have (had) way more clothes than you see here. I’m starting to think that my ideal closet is a modified version of the 10-piece French wardrobe (all the basics, plus a limited number of statement pieces that get cycled in and out regularly). I need to chew on this idea for a bit longer, but stay tuned for a wardrobe management update.

    • My blazer collection is out of control, but as my style evolves, I’m finding more and more value in blazers. They can really change up a basic outfit.

  6. Just drop-dead GORGEOUS!!! Congrats to you AND the hubby–what a team!

    Our current home is the third in our 26 year marriage; while it has the best family room, the closets are the WORST. Ironically, our “starter home” had the best closets!

    Still counting my blessings, though 🙂

  7. Looks great! Would you please share the name of the shoe shelves you installed? Were they from Ikea? Thanks!

  8. I am so jealous right now I could cry 🙂 I love how it’s all laid out so beautifully and perfectly. You don’t want to ruin that AT ALL with cramming it full of stuff right?

    I need to start getting rid of crap at the bottom of my closet / office.. lol

    I have taken to hiding in my closet as a break from Baby Bun

    • That’s a legitimate coping mechanism, haha! Although, nowadays, my kids love to hide in my closet (no door, sigh) so it doesn’t always work 😉