An Organized Clothes Closet - What a Concept!

claire_de_lunaJanuary 22, 2005

52. Buy a closet organizer instead of just dreaming about it.

In reading Blazedog's 100 Tips to Becoming Organized, I realized I'm on my way. (Think Talley Sue's "Infrastructure"!) I DID it. Hallelujah. Organized Living was having a sale on their closet systems, and the Time is NOW. Tomorrow it gets installed, and I can hardly wait. I thought I'd done pretty well up to now, but having a new kitchen that puts "everything in its place" made me realize I could get better space from my closet, and make it easier on myself to find things. I've been slowly trying to get there in the other closets, and my clothes closet has been the last to get any atttention. I secretly lusted for a closet organizer that I would never let myself have, always trying to "make do". I'm glad my husband was willing to assist me in this, and am looking forward to making things work better! I'm getting an actual shoe rack, and three different spaces on two levels for hanging clothes. We also thought about putting a clothes bar up near the ceiling to hang the out-of-season stuff, so changing seasons can be done in in a matter of minutes. I bought open-end pant hangars, which should make hanging pants a breeze. I can hardly wait. (Do I sound like a freak?)

Who actually has an organized closet "system" in place (which requires hardware) that's working for you?

Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I don't but first get rid of all the clothes you don't need. Then you're system will cost less. Closets have to be the worst space waste-ers in the world. Some day...I'm actually working on it. I will say however I have 2 linen closets in my master bath and only need one, so I have our socks and undies in one, so at least something is covered after the shower. That idea I really like. I can just walk in the shower w/out worrying about bringing the underwear with me then trying to figure out where to lay it down while I shower. The rest is in the adjoining closet.

    Bookmark   January 22, 2005 at 8:19PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I don't have a "system".

But in the 'Clearing your clutter with feng shui' book she says you should organize your clothes by color. Since I have thinned out the closet contents I have been trying that. It's true - I like looking in there a lot more now that all the beige is together, all the black is together and so forth. I do keep the tops to the right and the pants to the left, but sorted by color; then way on the other side of the closet are the t-shirts and pants that are only for sleeping in or yardwork.

I do have two shelves of a small bookcase next to the bed that are dedicated to my shoes, which are mostly birkenstocks and don't fit on normal shoe racks. I like that, too. That way the bottom of the clothes closet is dedicated to my yarn cones that are waiting to be knit up, my gym bag, and my work bag. I like that the bags are hidden instead of sitting out.

    Bookmark   January 22, 2005 at 8:57PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

annellis, I actually like that idea of keeping your undies in the bathroom. I've had some very nosy people in my home lately though, and I can just SEE them going through my underwear drawer! (There is no master bath, so it's the main bath for the house.) Absolutely, this is the time to clear the closet. I have a small closet, which is why I thought I could do better space planning. The system is only as big as the closet, which isn't very big! Unfortunately, no walk-in or even a large 50's ranch house double door closet here. I have an amoire that houses everything else.

Slvia, I use the color idea too. It makes it so much easier to put your hands on something. Thanks for the reminder!

    Bookmark   January 22, 2005 at 9:59PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Oh brother. Armoire, not amoire. (Since I brought it up...again...I like this better than a dresser since you can open the whole thing and put it all away at once.) Not that anyone was talking about this but me...

    Bookmark   January 23, 2005 at 12:01AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I have an armoire with about 6 shelves. Are you saying it will be useful to stack underwear on one of the shelves among other things? Right now I have my sunday suits in it.

    Bookmark   January 23, 2005 at 3:31PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Grin...Re: underwear. You put it where you see fit. Right now mine is in a lovely basket in the armoire, but I'd really like to get everything into the closet. I was thinking I could then use the armoire storage for bed linens and things like that. (I'm restructuring my entire system.) I like the armoire for folded items like sweaters, but usually end up hanging my t-shirts.

My closet shelving is almost in place, and I THINK it's going to be wonderful. (The jury is still out but it looks as if I'll have much better access than I had before.) Everything I had was crammed in there so tight it's no wonder I could never get to any of it. Breaking up the space is going to be so helpful, and using the top 30 inches of the closet to hang out of season clothes will be my saving grace...I'll check in once everything is in place!

    Bookmark   January 23, 2005 at 6:12PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Gosh, I am having a major case of closet envy ;-)

    Bookmark   January 24, 2005 at 3:17AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I'm checking in...and HeidiHoHum, I highly recommend:
52. Buy a closet organizer instead of just dreaming about it.

Here is what I know. I have put almost everything back (OK I purged a few items) that came of there, yet it looks bigger and is MUCH easiser to access. There is the same amount of hanging space (5 feet), organized into sections for pants, blouses, and dresses, nightshirts, etc. There is actually more shelf storage than I had before. My favorite thing is the slanted shoe rack on the left side, with one foot of SPACE around it so I can put my hands on anything I need. I didn't have enough room for out-of-season hanging space, but I'll just use the armoire for that. There is nothing on the floor except the shoes I usually change into when I get home. I figure I will be able to sweep inside the closet, something I've never been able to manage! All of the clothes I'm currently wearing (including socks/undies) are in my closet. I always keep a toiletry bag ready to go, and with this system I figure I can pack for an out-of-town trip in 10 minutes. Hooray!!!

I found several "lost" items (knew they were there but couldn't put my hands on them) like my favorite pair of black shoes, and my extra cell phone battery, MIA for at least 12 months.

I have to give my "Darling Dear Husband" kudos for jumping right on this and installing it for me with good humor, and his usual generosity of spirit. This required another trip back to the store for shorter brackets and different shelves, once we figured out the best approach. I only wish I'd taken a "before" and "after" picture!

I'm still a little shocked that Giving Up one foot of SPACE makes my closet look bigger and function better, simply because I can see and access what's in there. I've always been used to counting inches. A true case of less being more. My only real question is...."Why did I wait till now?"

    Bookmark   January 24, 2005 at 12:01PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Hooray, Claire!

That's great; you must really feel charged up, and proud.

Nice to have a cheerful and helpful husband! Mine is in lots of ways, but I'm the power-tools guru in my home.

    Bookmark   January 24, 2005 at 10:01PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Thanks Talley Sue. I won't be dragging people in to see my closet, but it really feels good. Now if I can just keep up with it...if the kitchen is any indication, this should be a piece of cake!

    Bookmark   January 25, 2005 at 12:19AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I believe (who knows if I'm right) that when your organization is the right one, it IS a piece of cake to keep up. Even if YOU get lazy, as long as the SYSTEM is good, clean-up or catch-up is a snap.

Not everyone can use the same system--my "sewing supplies" storage might not work for someone else--of course. So it's not that there's an external "right." But when the system is the right one for YOU, your space, your stuff, your life, you find it easier to use.

I find this to be true of several places in my home.

And I definitely think the converse is true: If you just can't keep an area organized, something's wrong w/ the system. Not just me, the system/space/amount of stuff/infrastructure. (ok, maybe me *too*, but not *just* me)

    Bookmark   January 25, 2005 at 3:17PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Hey, just wanted to say congratulations on the new closet system!! I hope it works very well for you! :-)

My closet is organized, but not with a closet organizer system of any sort. Clothes hang on the rack color coded and in sections divided by type, and I have yarn stacked on the top of the shelf, and on a bookshelf under the clothes. There's a hamper in there as well, and my shoes. It seems to work well enough for me - for now, at least. ;-)

    Bookmark   January 26, 2005 at 10:40AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

California closets has done two closets for me. One was a 15 ft long wall closet with sliding mirror doors. I was so impressed with that small job that I had them come back and do my dressing room in my 1925 house.

They come and measure your clothing and ask questions about what you wear often vs not and voila, the next week they install the whole thing in half a day. I opted for elfa basket vs enclosed drawers for cost and I like the look of being able to see what's inside things.

and when FTP starts working you can view this photo

Here is a link that might be useful:

    Bookmark   January 26, 2005 at 11:00AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

TS, you're absolutely right about that. I'm realizing I need a system that doesn't let me cram in anything extra.

Thanks Jamie. It sounds like what Talley Sue says, that your method is working for you. Mine almost did, but then there were always those things I needed just out of r e a c h...

Diana, your closet is bigger than my main bathroom! I love the look of it, and only wish someday to have a big walk-in like yours. (On the other hand, some of us probably do better with less if you know what I mean!)

    Bookmark   January 26, 2005 at 5:03PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I'm realizing I need a system that doesn't let me cram in anything extra.

That's me!

    Bookmark   January 26, 2005 at 7:00PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Claire: Are you calling me messy (grin) that photo was on a good day.

    Bookmark   January 28, 2005 at 4:42PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Diana, that comment was no reflection on you, but me! I only meant that my closet is one small fraction the size of yours!!

;) Frankly, I'd love your closet no matter what state it was in.

I'm tackling the armoire. Horrors. I've cleaned out 3 bags of stuff so far, but still have a ways to go. It's going to be nice when I can say it's done. I may have to use this weekend to start on the office, since it's going to snow. I've turned into a Fiend.

One nice thing is I found a favorite pair of shoes I've never worn (bad feet) that I'm going to give a friend for her birthday. (We wear the same size.) They are the softest, most wonderful Deerskin moccasins, and I'm glad they're going to someone who will love them. She has a major shoe fetish. That is the one thing allowing me to part with these. What IS it that makes it hard to part with things you've never worn, but Love? I keep singing "Freedom" to myself while I pitch and toss.

    Bookmark   January 28, 2005 at 5:37PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I need to treat every place that's a closet or a cupboard like a piano bench. Very defined storage, very limited space for that storage, like the materials you store in a piano bench. Space limitations are my only hope.

OT, but I wanted to add that the wire shelving unit that I purchased at Lowe's for my sun/play room has been an excellent investment. Finally, after years of wall-to-wall toys, my sunroom is cleaned and vacuumed daily. Hallelujah!

    Bookmark   January 28, 2005 at 6:06PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

cup, I once raised the bottom of a drawer that was so deep it ket me just keep sticking extra stuff in on the top. And that drawer is neat to this day!

I'm so glad that set of shelves is working out! You must feel really glad.

    Bookmark   January 28, 2005 at 6:22PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Cindy, I think you are really onto something re: very defined storage. I finally got some pull-out shelves for the 18 inch kitchen pantry cabinet. Every time I had to find something on those fixed shelves, I ended up moving things around so much to find them, it became a real chore. The shelves are now limited to the height of the cans/bottles, which are divided according to height. It's a beautiful thing. Let me join you in the Hallelujah chrous on your wire shelving!

Now I'm off to finish my armoire so I can sleep know...little steps!

    Bookmark   January 28, 2005 at 9:36PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

oh let's start a thread about "junk drawers" or better yet junk closets or junk rooms. I had a junk basement where i would just throw things down the stairs until the bottom was impassible. hahahahah

    Bookmark   January 29, 2005 at 3:32PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Hi All,

After years of drooling over the Elfa stuff, I broke down and bought one closet of this stuff for my new house. In my old place I had purged and purged and got my stuff down to reasonable stuff. I was so proud and it was MUCH easier to find stuff. I also found that I gravitated towards color oraganizing, I think from watching too many episodes of Clean Sweep :)

In the new house, I'm starting with just the MB reach-in closet for now. My house is 53 years old and doesn't have near as much closet room as my 33 years old condo did... So, I figure to stay uncluttered, I NEED to have closet organizers systems :) At least that's what I'm telling myself...

I'm putting in the MB one this weekend in fact. I put the Top Track and standards and some of the ventilated shelves in yesterday and then I decided that I wanted to "flip" the first and forth "columns" in the plan because of logistics of stuff outside the closet... I.e. I have a night stand that would be in front of drawers that pull out and I thought even though they would clear I didn't want to reach to get to the contents. I thought since this stuff is so "modular" I should be able to flip it and not have to buy anything else.

But just to be sure that the system would still be "sound" (as in structural) I decided to take the plan papers back to Container Store and get them to use their CAD software and flip it around on paper for me... Well it was doable. And my goal is to have it all done today and have the rest of my bedroom unpacked!!! I'm sick of living out of boxes and a suitcase.

Next is the linens closet and then eventually the Guest Bedroom reach-in closet, which is the same size and everything as the MB closet, since it's on the mirror side back to back. But in that one, I'd probably go for no clothes hanging space... but since I have no real "hall closet" (i.e. for coats and stuff) I might have to put some hanging space in this one for that... But I am hoping that one of the teeny hall closets might work as a coat closet... but I doubt it... better to let the one be a storage closet or a utility closet (vaccuum, mops, etc, plus cleaners and such)... but I do have a garage now (yeah, I've never had one) and much of hang-up stuff like mops, brooms, etc are better for there... but I do want my vacuum real handy since I use it all the time...

Oh the planning... you can see I have much more to do... but in the meantime I'm hoping that at least my MB stuff will be set. I'm doing the Birch and White stuff. Some wood trim and basically the white ventitlated stuff. Very open, very visible.. I like that. Also I used so much container type stuff already in my old MB that I'm hoping that some of that will just move into my new MB closet without a problem. This is the purses, travel bags and doohickeys, hats, off-season clothes. Also sweaters.. but now those will fit in the pull-out drawers...

In the old one I had put a 2 shelf titatium mesh rack for shoes so it was 3 shelves including the floor. I'm foregoing that in the new closet and going with my shoes being on open shelves... some in clear shoe boxes (dress shoes and occastional wear stuff) and the rest of everyday stuff just set on open shelves with liners...

I'll let you guys know if this winds up working. Don't know yet... sounds good in principle but I'll have to see in practice...


    Bookmark   February 20, 2005 at 3:05PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Good luck Jan; I hope the end of the day finds you unpacked in your new master bedroom! Come back and let us know how you made out.

I still leave my closet door open sometimes, just to look in and see everything stacked/hanging so nicely...

    Bookmark   February 20, 2005 at 4:33PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Hi Luna,

I read your profile. I envy your landscaping ability :) I just moved into a new house as you probably could tell and it's my first single family home and all the exterior and yard stuff is all new to me. I'm waiting till just before Spring and I plan to start visiting nurseries and garden centers and start to come up to speed on what I have in my yard and what it needs for maintenance, etc. I have some flowers (have NO idea what they are) blooming already. But mostly it's been rainy, gray, dreary and really WET here of late. I'm in Northern California.

I figure a ton of landscaping needs to be done here. But I spent a small fortune already so everything in its time I figure. I want to get some basics covered like pruneing, cutting grass and figuring out how much water is necessary for the lawns.

As for the MB closet, thanks for your post. I did finish it up very late last night and unpack pretty much everything that's going into that closet. I learned a few things.

1) The short hanging clothes are kinda of high. I'm a short person. I maybe could have gone with the top row being started alittle bit lower so that the hanging rod would have been just a wee bit lower. I'm going to live with it awhile and see how I like it. I can get to stuff and take it off hangers okay, but when I hang up a bunch of stuff all at once (just as when emptying wardrobe boxes) I found it easier to get up on the first step of a step stool...

2) The top shelf running along about maybe a foot down from the ceiling is really too high for any real storage as it's blocked by the wall (the closet door opening is much lower down than where this shelf runs) and plus the clothes running across 3/4 of the closet also make it impossible to get over the top and onto the shelf. So this top shelf is pretty useless. On the postitive side though there's a number of shelves thoughtout so I still have storage.

I'll wait until I get the other closet done (Guest BR) and see how that goes and what stuff I'd still like for living in closets and where it all goes.

Also, I really wish that I didn't have the type of closet door I do have which is a three panel mirrored slider... the closet isn't really deep enough. My hanging clothes stick out a bit and can get caught up in the doors some. Maybe a different closet door type would avoid this...

I also have to add the bottom drawer (a 3 Runner, if you familar with Elfa stuff) and finish putting the birch fascia on the rest of the shelves that are going to get it. A few pieces are back ordered and for the fascia I decided to change up what the designer selected. I only had 4 pieces of the fascia and I've decided to put it on all the lower shelves.

I'll try to link some pictures in... see the album titled MB_closet.


Here is a link that might be useful: MB_closet

    Bookmark   February 21, 2005 at 4:37PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Hi Jans,

Because our house is so small I did not have room for the closet door to open into the room. A different kind of door than yours are. Hung and not a slider. I took down the door ,along with several other doors in the house, and hung pretty lace curtains. I can't tell how wide,side to side, your closet is. Might be too wide for a curtain. I am thinking by having the three doors having to pass each other it is taking up more space than it would if you only had two doors. Guessing your closet is very wide.

Love your organizer!!! We do have a 6 by 5 walk in closet and I am still stymied what to do to make it better. Our small library is also in the closet because there is no other place in the house for it yet. Still working on that one.


    Bookmark   February 21, 2005 at 5:08PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Jan, I had seen a decorating show which had your mirrored sliding doors. They put strips of wood on it, making squares (like some windows have). Anyways, it ended up looking like patio doors instead of closet doors. I thought it was really ingenious the way it was transformed.

    Bookmark   February 21, 2005 at 5:36PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Hey Jan, your closet looks good! I think you'll want to lower that top pole though, if it's hard to get to. I'm short as well, and decided a long time ago that if I can't reach it, I won't use it. You bought an adjustable system so it shouldn't be hard to move. I love how much room you have in your closet! (Mine's very small.)

California's been having the rain. It will be great for the soil once you dry out a little. Don't get in too big a hurry to landscape; you might find some real treasures you didn't know you had.

Great start on your closets!

Chris, I think my closet is 4x5. Do you want a picture of my system? It's working really well for me.

    Bookmark   February 21, 2005 at 10:17PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Clair_de_Luna I would love to see a picture of your system. You would think having a fairly nice size closet would be easy to work with. I am not getting it. I am seeing rods on both sides and one across the back as it was when we moved in. The back rod shortens the side rods a foot and we do not use the back rod because of the library area on that wall. I was even thinking something so simple as to buy longer rods for the sides and take the back wall rod down. And then I got into painting my kitchen. LOL Can you tell I keep avoiding the closet???

Thank you very much Chris.

    Bookmark   February 22, 2005 at 12:57AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Chris, Here you go. I needed easy access shoe storage, which had always been a problem. It's a little difficult to see, since it's already full, but maybe you can get the idea. In the third picture where the blue colors start again (towards the far right under the black bag) is the long hanging storage.

I designed this system at the store and double checked with the designer. He said he had a very similiarly sized closet and this is exactly what he did. I was relieved to be on the right track. It's been working really well for me.

Here is a link that might be useful: Closet system

    Bookmark   February 22, 2005 at 10:03AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Claire_de_Luna, That is a very nice closet system!! Thank you for the pictures!! I am going to have to think some more in that direction. We have had the double rods before and I do like them. We have a vaulted ceiling in the closet. On the one side it would give us extra space for the second rod. Also my husband is six foot tall so reaching the top rod is not hard for him.

Thanks Again!. Back to painting.:^(((


    Bookmark   February 22, 2005 at 10:11AM
Sign Up to comment
More Discussions
Get rid of cookbooks, and cook more?
About a year ago, I got rid of most of my cookbooks...
Can I get rid of my wedding gown?
Hi everyone. We went to spend the weekend with my parents...
Where to donate a 15yo nebulizer
Years ago, when my now-17-y-o was a little one, he...
Why I look in the box before tossing
One of the boxes I recently sorted through was marked...
Anyone know of good boxes (plastic?) for storing papers?
I've been purging DD's school work and paper crafts...
Sponsored Products
Metropolitan Outdoor Armchair
Grandin Road
Progress Lighting Ceiling Mounted Lighting 1-Light 48 in. White Fluorescent
$37.35 | Home Depot
Panacea Deluxe Log Rack With Cover 8'
Set of Two Cane Back Folding Chairs
$249.00 | FRONTGATE
Easton Metal Luggage Rack
$499.00 | FRONTGATE
Cedar Sweater Box
Signature Hardware
Magenta Hanging Shoe Organizer
$7.99 | zulily
akadaHOME Closet Tower
© 2015 Houzz Inc. Houzz® The new way to design your home™