Friday, July 8, 2011

A Closet Redo...

I love our home, but one of the frustrating parts of living in this 1950s house is that storage is limited, and what closets or storage we do have is rarely utilized to it's fullest possibilities.  I've been weeding through all of our belongings and relentlessly sorting through the excess.  If I don't love it or use it, it's gone to the yard sale pile.  I've been busy redoing a closet in our home for about ten days now.  My progress was slowed due to fatigue and my (frustrating) perfectionism.  However, it is finally done and I'm quite satisfied with the results! 

The closet outside our upstairs bathroom was wearing on my nerves.  It seemed to be a catch-all for every item that didn't really have its own home.  Instead of a junk drawer, we had a junk closet.  I never knew what was towards the back, couldn't reach half the items stored there, and wanted to scream every time I opened the door.  Because I couldn't stand it anymore, I decided it needed to become a first priority in my room by room redo.  

My progress was slowed due to fatigue and my (frustrating) perfectionism.  However, it is finally done and I'm quite satisfied with the results!  I'm pretty organized by nature, but this closet needed severe help. Here are some before (aka, embarrassing! No judgment, please!) closet pics.

Mostly cleaned out.

Unsightly shelving.
Usually these pockets are stuffed with random homeless items.

I recently saw a blog post with a closet painted a pretty color inside.  (I wish I could remember where it was, because I haven't been able to find it since!)  I was charmed by it.  I'd never considered painting the inside of a closet any color but white.  But why not?  I know the prettier something is, the more likely I'm going to work to keep it that way.  Thus the deliberation began over pain color.  I've mulled over the possibility of painting our master bedroom grey, but I'm a bit nervous about grey.  I decided to use it on the closet interior so I could try some out some shades.  I initially tried the $3 samples of Home Depot Behr paint colors Anonymous, Pewter Mug and Sage Grey, but I wasn't drawn to any of them.  Too dark, too purple - too this or that.  Then I stumbled across this gorgeous room on Cents-able Spaces Blog.  I swooned over the Coventry Gray walls.  Home Depot doesn't carry Benjamin Moore paints, but they matched it by looking it up in their computer and I came home with a gallon of this gorgeous paint color.

Before I began painting I had one more task to do.  I wanted to be able to put a broom and vacuum in this closet.  Both get left all over the house, shoved into various closets or are out in the open since there's no broom closet.  I measured the height of my vacuum and removed the bottom three shelves from the closet so that vacuum and broom would fit below the two remaining storage shelves.  I was a little freaked out about losing all that shelving space, but figured the less shelving, the less likely to fill them up with junk! 

I left the shelving supports on the closet walls, just in case I ever decided to put shelves back into the closet.  I initially painted the entire interior gray, but somehow it just wasn't right, so I went back and painted the shelving supports white.  I didn't think to take a pic of the all gray, but here's the inside with white supports.
Lurve it!  Much better!  Ignore the rack on the right - it was later relocated (as you will see). 
Let me just say that trying to get clean paint lines on those supports resulted in me aging five years and fretting endlessly for two days.  I tried painters tape, small brushes, wet rags and researched "clean paint lines" on Google for hours.  I finally had to say it's as good as it gets, (after all - no one will see it but me, probably!) and from the picture above, you can't even tell they aren't exact.  When I paint our bedroom I will use these great tips at Living with Lindsey.  Live and Learn!

When the paint was dry, it was time for the exciting part - organizing!!! I had splurged on some new baskets, a mop and broom holder, and some catchy tags, so I got busy putting my closet back together.  Here is the finished result!

Its new glory!  Isn't it purdy?

Top portion.
The black storage baskets came from Marshall's.  The two smaller baskets ($3.99 each) are on the top shelf and the two larger baskets ($5.99 each) on the bottom shelf.  In order to pull them out of the top easily I needed the shorter size up there.  Each has plenty of storage room inside.  The top left basket stores soaps, sunscreens and bug spray.  The top right houses cleaning rags.  The bottom left contains 12 rolls of toilet paper, and the bottom right my Shark Steam Mop accessories.  There was just enough room then between the two baskets on top for three rolls of paper towels and on the bottom room for Kleenex.
Perfectly holds two layers of toilet tissue.
Love, love, LOVE my shark mop, especially with puppies around!  Especially love having all the pieces in one place now!

These adorable labels were at Target in the greeting card section.  There are 16 labels total in four different patterns.  I stuck to using pink for all four baskets, and then labeled them with my beloved label maker.  I get giddy when I get to use my label maker!  Each is stuck to the  basket with velcro tabs.
While perusing my local Ross I found the perfect broom and mop holder.  It holds my broom and Shark Steam Mop, my duster, the extension to my vacuum, and it even holds my Shark hand vac since the vacuum has two little holes in the bottom that fit precisely over the two hooks. 
Neat and tidy!
These two holes line up perfectly with ...

these two prongs!
In the bottom of the closet sits my Little Green Bissell, and my Shark vacuum.  Yes, I got paint on the carpet, but in a future project, that will be yanked to reveal the hard wood underneath.  There is room behind the vacuum for something to hang if needed, and there's just enough room between the vac and Bissell for my little step stool to store. 
To the right side I put two metal hooks for additional storage.  I may add a matching set on the left side, but for now I have plenty of storage.
I wanted to do away with the black storage pockets on the door and instead place a row of hooks; however, I didn't want to lose all that storage.  I decided what I hated most about them was that they accumulated too much junk, with items stuffed haphazardly in there when they don't go anywhere else.  The solution, of course, was to give each pocket a job.  Obviously it was a task for my label maker. 

In my perfectionist ways, I wanted these labels to somewhat match the labels on the baskets, but I didn't want to buy more.  I pulled out a favorite stamp and some pink ink along with tags I had in my scrapbooking stash and went to work.
Lurve these, too!
I wanted to stick these onto the organizer, but needed them to be moveable, just in case I decided to place items in different areas (for example, most often used items at the most accessible height.)  The pockets are made of nylon and the sticky velcro dots I used on the baskets worked perfectly above each pocket.  Obviously, the pockets are mesh and see-through, but labeling was more to ensure items are returned to their rightful pocket rather than identifying what's in the pocket.
Smaller items (like batteries) are housed in a clear zip loc for easy access, otherwise it's a pain to fish around for them. 
A place for everything and everything in its place!
So there you have it!  Let's see it again, shall we?
Total cost for this project around $50, but I still have 3/4 a gallon of paint for the bedroom, so not counting paint the project was around $30.  Totally worth it for the satisfaction of being organized and knowing where items belong. 


  1. Visiting from I Heart Organization...

    I LOVE THIS REDO!!! You seriously did a fantastic job! Your decisions were so smart (taking out the shelves you didn't really need to make it work better for you). That color is great - I looked at it for my office but it was too light. I'm thinking of using it for our guest bath. Your use of the black over the door thing as storage is a great idea!

    Good job!

  2. Found you from I Heart Organizing...

    WOW!!! You did an awesome job! LOVE it all - you have inspired me to redo one of my closets: I don't have a great spot for my broom & vac, too.

    Thanks for sharing!

  3. Way to go Roxann! I too found you via iheart organising! Yesterday I tackled our kitchen cupboards where we store food (sadly we don't have a pantry!)
    I look forward to looking through your blog!
    I appreciate you sharing the 'before'..... it really helps me, as I always think everyone else has everything all organised!!!

  4. Hi! You did a great job! I'm also visiting from I Heart Organizing. I love your stripes and baskets and the hanger for all your cleaning tools. Wow!

    Tina Matteson

  5. Roxann! I LOVE THIS! I need to hire you (would that work as a good excuse for you to come visit me for a few days... hehe)! My favorite house that I lived in as a kid, had Gray walls/carpet and white crown moulding and baseboards. LOVED those colors and that house. This looks great!! Like you, I never thought of painting the inside of a hall closet! I will have to keep that in mind when we move. Miss you!

  6. I'm from I Heart Organizing too! LOVE, LOVE, LOVE the closet redo. Good job!!!

  7. The fact that you already had that black pocket thing hanging there for random homeless items was already a great idea to me even before the redo. I am definitely going out to buy one of those for our homeless cords and things. Love the break up of the grey and white shelving and the black baskets. Thanks for sharing.

  8. Thank you all for the sweet comments! You made my day!

    I don't have a pantry either, so that's my next goal - figure out smarter kitchen storage.

    Jerri - would love to visit anytime!

    Thank you all for visiting and please come back soon!

  9. Really enjoy that you love things organised and orderly (like me!!) is great to acknowledge that having things beautiful and functional is really energising and has so many spin-off effects apart from the practical benefits of the space. Really admire your work love the grey and white (and super organisation).

    1. Andria, so glad you enjoyed :) I haven't changed much about this closet since I reorganized it. It's worked pretty great! I love having everything in one place, and a place for everything!!!