Tuesday, January 22, 2019

KonMari-ing our closets

So.  Organization is pretty much on everyone's mind in January, but especially this year with 'Tidying Up' streaming on Netflix.  We watched the first couple episodes, and like many people, it resonated with us in a big way!  Shaun is not one to go through his clothes very often, he had sweaters and jeans in the closet that he hasn't worn in ten years.  That means these clothes were moved to Minnesota and to Illinois without us ever addressing the issue.  He actually got rid of two huge black garbage bags of clothes that didn't "spark joy," but it is much harder for me to get rid of things.  Here's what I was looking at on a daily basis:
Disaster!  There was constantly stuff on the floor, piled on my nightstand, and everywhere else I could throw something.   I realized that the 'bookshelf' solution that worked well for clothing storage in my dressing room years ago was not that effective inside a tiny closet.  Also, please hold while I go cry into my glass of wine and look at photos of my beloved dressing room. 
 I also had this 'bin of shame' that just held a huge pile of stuff that I didn't use often (cough cough *workout clothes*) and was always such an eyesore. 
 Here's a better look at that pile once I removed all the random bags from the floor:
The floor was always like this because things would fall off the bookshelf and I was too lazy to put it back.  Also, slippers.  Such a problem, you damn sippers!
I knew I needed to go through the clothing and KonMari that crap, but I also realized I needed better storage in here.  I decided to go with white mesh Elfa 'dressers' from The Container Store, and it has worked out really well in this small closet!  The best part is that January is their annual Elfa sale, so I got 30% off.  (Spoiler alert, it's still expensive!)
When things are piled on shelves, it usually makes a mess when you try to remove something from the bottom of the stack, so drawers were much better for things like tank tops, t shirts and pants.  Assembling the Elfa stuff wasn't exactly fun, but it was easy enough.  You have to hit the pieces together VERY hard, so be sure to protect your floors really well when putting together.  I opted for the driftwood melamine tops instead of white, clear feet and the clear drawer clips that ensure you can't pull the drawers all the way out onto the floor.  Here is the final product!
This closet is 48 inches wide INSIDE, but the space between the open doors is just 37 inches.  Whatever drawer units I picked had to fit inside that width so I could slide the drawers out without hitting the closet doors.  I ended up choosing the tall (10 runner) narrow (14") frame for the left, and a short (4 runner) wide (22") frame for the right.  Together they are 36 inches wide, perfect for this space. 
Once you pick your frames, you just buy the drawers you want, the top you want, and put it all together.  The units are clipped together in the front and back, so they won't slide around.  I love how much easier it is to get to my things!  I can also push back the teal bin (which holds my bras - ha!) and make enough room for emergency folded clothes that need to be put away if I'm short on time. 
I tried my best to do Marie K's folding technique, but ended up pretty much just rolling everything in the smallest drawers.  I love that everything is one layer deep now, no wondering what I have.  I can also pull the drawer all the way out without it falling, to see the back. 
Some other things I added to increase the functionality are Container Store shelf dividers for the existing wire shelving that came with the house.  I was so happy they fit perfectly!  I need one more for in between the last two stacks of sweaters. 
I also purchased this clear plastic ventilated shelf liner from Container Store, they sell it in 12, 16, and 20 inch depth to fit standard wire shelving.  I had to cut little boxes out to allow the shelf dividers to pass through, but the bonus is that the shelf dividers hold the liner on with no sliding around.  No more snagging my sweaters!
I've had these hooks sitting in my laundry room unused for years, finally got around to installing them in here for jewelry and robe storage.  Thanks, Youngsters! 
I love how these look, and I didn't mess with anchors.  Just drilled a small hole in the drywall and screwed them in.  
A few more little things I added are Elfa hooks behind the hanging clothes to store belts:
 And purses:
I also have a couple handbags on the lower drawer unit top, and it's a great place to store boots and shoes so they aren't on the ground. 
 I also have enough room on the right side to store tall boots, which is nice.
All of my jeans and leggings fit in the short unit, and all my everyday tops and sweaters fit in the closet somewhere.  I got rid of several bags of clothes, so I'm feeling pretty good.  Now, I just need to work on getting rid of my 'overflow' clothes in the other rooms.  That is mostly dressy stuff, and things I am not sure I will ever wear again, but find it hard to get rid of.  I'm especially impressed with Shaun's closet makeover, his side is pretty bare compared to before!
 Our closets are looking so much better. 
What you didn't see, the bed immediately after this project.  Ha! 
A little before and after:
I'm so happy with the functionality of my closet now, I'd highly recommend the Elfa storage line if you are looking for help with closets, cabinets, or any space in your home!  Just to be clear, everything in this post was purchased by me at retail price.  As always, this blog is for fun and I do not accept sponsored posts or free products in exchange for reviews.