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Project Runaway From My Closet: Completed!

January 11, 2010

Oh man…

I’m done! My closet is organized and clean!


Do you remember what it looked like before? If you don’t, here’s a reminder:

So…are you ready?

Ta Da! Just kidding. I did want to show that I put up a curtain rod and curtains since I HATED the big wooden doors that used to be up.

Ok, here’s the real “after” picture:

I am a renter, so sadly painting and construction aren’t really an option for me, so everything had to be temporary and reusable.

The first step, after a massive emptying of the closet, was to organize my shoes. I went to Ikea and purchased these clear soft Komplement containers from Ikea.

The shoe boxes are the BEST. I can’t stress that enough. They keep the dust out of my shoes. I don’t wear some of my shoes for months at a time (strappy sandals in freezing January weather is not my idea of fun fashion.) so being able to keep them in a protective container where I can still see them –and remain hopeful that Spring will eventually come– is ideal for me.

I didn’t buy them for ALL of my shoes for two reasons. 1. I have a lot of shoes and thus would have to spend a lot of money to house them all in brand-new boxes, and 2. I had actual shoe boxes that fit some of my nicer shoes anyways, so I just kept them stacked up in those. I figure as I visit Ikea in the future I will buy a set at a time to spread out the cost until they all my shoes have their own cute little homes.

In an effort to save money, I pounded nails into the wall of the closet to hang my necklaces and hanging earrings on. I wish I could have purchased this super-cute jewelry tree from Urban Outfitters, but I was trying to spend as little money as possible. My birthday is coming up, though…Mom? Do you read this? If so…You now have a suggestion for something to get me for my 25.3 birthday;)

On the left side of the closet, there are three built-in shelves, which are convenient, but not enough! It might not look it, but these shelves are very organized. The top shelf is all my jewelry and my “staging area” when I am picking out my outfit for the next day.

The next shelf is part bookshelf (I own too many books, every shelf is a bookshelf) part headband-storage area, and part extra hair-related electronics in a basket.

The last shelf is for towels. As I’ve mentioned, my apartment is tiny, and there are not many places to hide/store things. This explains why my bedroom closet doubles as a linen closet and bookshelf.

The shelf at the bottom is a  5×1 Expedit from Ikea. I did purchase two sets of casters to put on the bottom of the Expedit shelf, but once I built it, I realized that I didn’t need that kind of mobility on the shelf (the bottom is smooth and easily moves around on my carpet) and I also didn’t have the additional height the casters added to spare.

The Kassett boxes are fantastic. They are made of a very thick and sturdy cardboard. I have four other boxes in my living room filled with various electronics, books, cds, etc. They look cleaner than if you were to use plain paper boxes, but if they are destroyed by everyday use they are cheaply and easily replaced.

One thing I still have to buy is a container to hold my purses. But for now, they are just gently shoved into one of the shelf’s cubes. I think I am going back to Ikea to buy another Expedit shelf to use in my hall closet after seeing this article in Real Simple magazine. The challenges in the article are exactly what I am dealing with in my hall closet. But, one closet at a time is the best I can do!

I put most of my shoes on the top shelf in boxes, but I put the casual, everyday shoes that I wear several times a week for running errands or running to work. Don’t worry; the ugly Nike sandals are my “Laundry” shoes. I only wear them to run downstairs to the laundry room. Never outside.

I even found enough room to shove my laundry hamper in the corner…and the solitary roll of gift-wrapping paper that I own.

I created a tiny little dressing corner with a mirror on the other side of one of my dressers.I might add a cute little chandelier-type light to this area…you know, just for fun.

Another part of my cleaning that I didn’t really talk about, since this really isn’t a clothing blog, is weeding out clothes. I went through and removed the clothes that I haven’t worn in the last year, as well as pieces that are torn or just not wearable anymore. I think that is an important part of any organization project. Pack rats are generally not organized people!

You need to step back and take a businesslike approach to your closet. Just because something gives you the warm fuzzies doesn’t mean you need to give it prime real estate in your wardrobe. However, I will admit that the white dress shoved into the corner hasn’t seen the light of day in years. But it was my initiation dress when I joined my sorority, and it holds lots of special memories for me. One day, I hope to pass it on to a future sorority sister when she pledges. But that is the only item in my closet like that. And I will eventually put it in a garment bag and store it properly.

And what did I spend?

Expedit (white) 5×1 shelf: $59.99

Three sets of 4 shoe boxes: $29.97 ($9.99 each)

One set of 2 white boxes: $9.99

Curtain rod: $14.99

Curtains: 14.99

–Total: $129.93–

Bottom line for closet organization? Take stock of what you have, gather ideas for organization, make a budget, and take your time. It took me two months to do this, and the end result was worth it. Except it isn’t the end. I need baskets…a rug….a chandelier…oh man.

To be continued…

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