The Closet Upgrade

While on our honeymoon, my parents were overseeing the construction that was being done in the kitchen (more on that later), and they decided to treat us to a new closet when we got home. It was the best surprise, because while I had been making steps in the right direction, I hadn't had time to devote to a complete overhaul.

Before: I wasn't planning on doing a total closet overhaul, so I unfortunately didn't take very good before pictures, but I dug through old archives and found a couple. I had already maxed out the available closet space on my own, and when it came time to integrate Trav's clothes into the closet, it left it overstuffed and in need of some serious organization. Our closet is broken into two areas - the "closet room" downstairs that is our primary closet, and our bedroom, which has a small closet without any hanging space. 

This is the primary closet in our closet room - it is technically a guest room, and has a futon, but we use it primarily as a closet - it has our big mirror, all of my jewelry/shoes, and 85% of our clothing: 

Here's the closet in our bedroom, where we had our dresser and some super disorganized piles of workout clothes, hoodies, and swimwear:

My First Step: A few weeks before the wedding I had Travis help me install this shelf and hanging rod, primarily for his clothes. My dad had given him a TON of dress shirts and ties, and they just weren't fitting into the closet without coming out completely wrinkled, so we needed more hanging space. He's not the best at putting away clothes, so keeping it out in the open like this helps him keep it organized. This small change, which took about $100 at Home Depot and 3 hours of our time, was a huge step in the right direction. 

What My Parents Did / The After: My parents did the rest of the work and made some excellent decisions. I'll walk you through them.

First, they moved the futon over in order to bring the dresser from the bedroom closet into this closet. This dresser used to only hold workout and lounge clothes, and now I keep my underwear and tanks in it, and Travis keeps all of his tees, jerseys, and workout clothes in it. My mom also hung the bulletin board and organized my jewelry bins, spreading things out so I can actually see what I have to work with. 

This jewelry organization (originally built for me by my mom when I was in high school) has followed me to college and then back to Seattle again. In this house, I added some nails around it to hold my statement pieces. I love how I can see everything and ensure I'm wearing it all.

The closet itself didn't change that much, although by re-arranging a couple of shoe shelving units, I was able to free up other shelves, which meant the folded items on the right (seen in the second photo below) didn't have to be as crowded. I'll be hanging a second mirror on the closet door since Travis and I often get ready at the same time and he hogs the big mirror (tying his tie (he says) or just admiring his bold tie-shirt pairings (I think). 

Travis's clothes can finally be organized by purpose: golf shirts, suits, ties, dress shirts, casual shirts, cardigans, with jeans and sweaters folded up above. The shelf under his clothes actually has a purpose - I keep my Le Tote bags there for my return and Travis empties out his pockets after his workday. It's nice to have a hidden little shelf for things like that. Plus, it helps keep my shoes easily displayed since nothing can fall off a hanger and onto them.

In the bedroom closet, my mom had the contractor add in a couple of real shelves and a hanging rod. We now have our hoodies and lounge-wear stacked and we're able to hang the frequently-grabbed sweatshirts and coats that don't go in our upstairs hall closet, which we try to keep in-season. Right now our lighter-weight jackets are down here, and in the summer, that will swap! The bottom shelf sticks out enough that when I'm packing that little red suitcase for business trips, I can lay it right there and keep it out of the way.

Overall, a huge improvement. I know it doesn't look like it, but we got rid of about 7 garbage bags full of clothes (all to Goodwill) as we organized the shelves and closet space. We still definitely have some other pieces that we need to part ways with, but being able to see everything will dramatically help with that!

Posted on March 13, 2015 .