Our New Closet & My Closet Makeover Tips

Our closet was installed yesterday & I feel so much more organized!!!  Until yesterday, we kept some of our clothes down stairs, some in the garage and also split them up between the boys' bedrooms and the loft family room.  (We're really going to miss hopping around the house half-clothed looking for pants!! ;) ;)  Our closet is where the master bathroom used to be and is about ninfeet by five feet:

{Drawers & hanging space on the right side & shoes shelves on the left...  my super-sweet husband was very okay with me using the majority of the closet (the right side/ he's got the back) } 
We swapped the locations of the master bathroom and closet because we moved our master bedroom entry to a different spot.  (Originally you entered the master bedroom from the foyer and also from the back family room, which is now our office.  We've closed off the back family room to become our office & the entry to our bedroom is in the dining room- which sounds so odd but isn't that bad.  We didn't want our bedroom entry to be the first thing you saw when you walked in the house-for privacy issues- and so have closed off that doorway too. ;)   We also swapped the bathroom and closet locations because I was able to get a skylight in the bathroom in its new location for some natural light- which is so key in good bathroom lighting.  (I've been applying makeup TERRIBLY since I've moved here because there's no window in the current bathroom and I keep seeing bad blush lines & such on my face when I get into the car -or worse- spy a mirror at a client's house!!!  
The (elfa) closet was barely in before I started loading it up yesterday evening:

My favorite part are these little valet & jewely drawers:

Here's a pic of the closet now that most of our stuff is in it:
I've lost my other box of shoes in the move.  (Not that I have a ton like most girls do...  My problem lies more with lamps & chairs ;) ;)
We've always had matching wooden hangers, (ours are ikea) which makes a huge difference in how a closet looks & feels.  Since was no real "decorating" to be done in here, the hangers are pretty much it.  Putting our clothes in the closet with the wooden hangers & the bright lighting, made them feel a little nicer somehow... It made me like the things I've slowly started to loathe.  (Why do we do this?!!! )
We hang our pants to free up drawer space:
In addition to the drawers in the closet, we'll have a dresser in our bedroom.  We want the closet to be the area where we can go to grab outfits & real clothes, and the dresser in our bedroom will be where we keep our pjs, underclothes and -most importantly- our "work sweats." ;) ;)
Here's a cool feature we chose for Dave's ties:

It rolls in and out and I love seeing how much Dave likes his gadgets- the tie rack & a valet where he can hang outfits---  He will deny loving them but his face lit up when he saw them so I know the truth ;)
It was so fun to organize my costume jewelry which has finally been freed from its ziploc bags!!

I love how the little wood cover slides from side to side:

We still have more work to do in here (more searching for long-lost items & I need to get baskets for the shelves) but I'm feeling SOOOO close to normal!! 

You probably know all of this anyway, but I thought I'd share a few of my closet makeover tips:  (I've used these tips even when I've had a teensy closet.)

1) Ditch everything you haven't worn in a year.  (And continue to ditch monthly and/or whenever you bring in new clothes or shoes.)

2) Matching hangers.

3) Separate out: his & hers and then- dresses (long and short), pants, tops & jackets, etc.

4) Color code  your wardrobe...  I do the rainbow & then I have a bigger section for white, since I have & wear so much of it.

5) Good lighting...  It's really important that you can see everything you have.

6) ** So important for me- It's nice to have a spot/drawer/whatever for those things that are clean -because you tried them on or wore them for a second- that you don't have time to put back right away. It keeps them from ending up on the chair in your bedroom.

7) A fresh coat of paint on the walls

8) Matching containers for loose items likes belts or scarves or hats or bags... It feels so much better when you use 1 or 2 style of container throughout the closet because then your eye focus on the differences in the clothes and not on the mish-mash of containers.  If you can label them, even better.

9) A mirror close-by or in if possible. (Ours is just outsidde the door because it we don't have room)

10) An at-a-glance-philosphy...  Try to make everything you can (it's not always possible) be visible at a glance so things are easy to find & you can get ready quickly.

I have never had a closet like this before & I'm feeling very spoiled by it.  It's not a huge closet by any means, but it's more than I ever could have imagined.  (To be honest, with my Catholic guilt, I'm DEFINITELY feeling spoiled.)  We were able to get everything on sale during the Container Store's Fall sale & adding the few cool little gadgets in the closet really makes it feel special & I'm so glad we did.  We've always fought for space in our closets before & to have something that we planned out ourselves & that works so perfectly for us feels like such a luxury.  After yesterday, I decided that I think organization might be the biggest luxury for me.  (or one of them ;) ;)  What do you think?

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Hannah said...

I love those jewelry drawers! They are perfect.

Regine said...

What a great use of the space. I really like your placement of all the elements.
It photographs even larger in the pic that has you in it.
If I may ask how large is this space?
This is our next project so I am curious of how much space you had to work with.
I always enjoy your blog!

Lauren said...

Thanks so much Regine! It's about 9 feet by 5 feet :)

Unknown said...

Absolutely organization makes everyone feel so much better! and especially closets. This looks fantastic and love your tips=pinning those now.
Enjoy all your things in one place!
xo Nancy

Lisa said...

Love it! We have the same Elfa system and we are so happy with it! It's amazing how organized we feel and it is nice to be able to find everything!

Diane said...

Great closet! Will look at the Elfa system when we redo our closets. I'm sure it will make a positive difference in your life -- do not feel guilty! I keep a motivational message in my drawer that says "Entropy is the measure of the disorder of a system. The more the system lacks order, the less energy there is to do work"... so now that your closet is "in order", you should have more energy to do work! Good luck finding your other box of shoes :)

Sheila of A Punch of Color said...

Gorgeous!!! :) Doesn't it feel great! Enjoy it!

Windlost said...

awesome lauren - i've always wanted a newer house with a walk-in closet and something organized! i think it is a dream. even doing something like this must make you feel SOOO much more organized and together. nothing worse than clothing chaos to make you feel like you are losing your mind/identity...!

now you can conquer the world. :D

love it!
xo terri

Anna said...

Hi Lauren: Thanks so much for the tips. The closet looks so beautiful and neat. I am so inspired.


Lemon Macaron said...

Looks great! We are in a closet rut ourselves, and this is totally inspiring. Love your comment about Catholic guilt--I know the feeling well, haha!

Unknown said...

Great! you have a creative mind... I really like what you`ve done... it really look`s good... GOod work!

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Unknown said...

What kind of fluorescent covers did you guys use inside the closet? Because that is amazing, the lighting is clear but not too bright, it gives out a certain effect that I really love when you're dealing with different kinds of lighting.

Danielle said...

Omg, your closet is amazing! Enjoy it :)

Tawna said...

Awesome. My hubby custom built ours, so we're spoiled too as far as spacing/high/low. What I need to invest in is matching hangers (we're always snatching from one to go to another as the clean laundry comes in) and containers. I've only ever had one hat, but I'm about to have 2, so I guess it's time?

kayce hughes said...

Love it! I am glad to see that the wooden necklace made the cut!

Unknown said...

I love you Lauren! I struggle with that same Catholic guilt. ;-)))

The elfa closet system is perfect for people like us that tend to change things from time to time. I've reconfigured mine several times.Your idea of baskets for purses and scarves is a great one! I'm going to run with that. Spotted a great stella and dot necklace we share too.

Congrats on your new organized closet! You deserve it and the Catholic Church thinks so too. xo

Unknown said...

Love it! I am pinning this post because I know I will need to reference it in a few months when I am at the closet organization stage of our remodel. I also appreciate seeing your closet is so functional at 5' wide. My contractor told me we couldn't utilize both sides of the closet unless it was wider but you have proven him wrong. Thanks!

Unknown said...

Now THAT is a closet. Well done!


I'm loving it! Love me a nice organized closet :) Congrats on your beauty!!


Unknown said...

Looks amazing! It's such a great feeling when everything is in its place (said the Virgo in me!). Love seeing the progress.

xo, Lisa

Shelly said...

I laughed at #6 because I do the exact same thing. I call it my PWC bin for "Partially Worn Clothes"

The Buzz Blog @ Diane James Home said...

Soooo envious of your closet - it is wonderful! Did you design it yourself or did you hire a closet designer (if there is even such a thing!)? Thanks for the inspiration, Cynthia

Unknown said...

great blog..i love organizing, i always make sure that it would look good and well organize

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Vero said...

Looks great I'm happy for you. I thought I was the only person that did not have as many shoes I do too shopped things for my house than for me!! Haha

Vero said...

I meant to say that I shop more for the house than for me :)

from Katie- said...

Beautiful Closet! I have lots of reasons not to feel guilty ;)~
~ its good for your business. All of this is showing potential clients you know what you are talking about in all areas of the home ( and office)
~ Good organization helps save time for the more important things
~ And lastly, I've heard it said that you can tell the state of a person's soul by their closet. ( it's important to do the little things, that shows real virtue, because its not easy day after day to keep it in order. Yours looks very good! :)
From one Catholic to another.

Mona Thompson Providence Ltd. said...

Great job!

Anonymous said...

I am currently planning the wardrobe for my new house and this is wonderful inspiration. So lovely! xx

Anna (My Design Ethos)

Anne Boykin said...

Hi Lauren, Your closet is so sweet! I recognized the Container Store's closet system. You're right, it does make a person's clothes look better. Enjoy!

Donna Benedetto said...

Nothing like having an organized closet, it makes life feel in order.
Don't feel guilty you deserve it!
Love the jewelry drawers, I would like to add some of those to my closet, can I ask where you purchased them?

Lauren said...

Hi Donna! We bought the whole system from the container store. I was able to go in there & work with a woman at the store to put things exactly where we needed them! :)

Emily said...

Lauren -

I almost pulled the trigger on the closet redo during the fall sale, but decided to defer... Now you've inspired me and I'm tempted to do it. On that note, anyone who missed the Fall Sale at Container Store - they are running a promo for 30% off Elfa systems until December 19th :)


Unknown said...

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Unknown said...

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Unknown said...

I love the way the shoes, clothes and jewelry pieces arranged in this manner. Inspirational!

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Unknown said...

Gosh I just love you blog! Your photos have so much detail and personality. I also really like your new home. Looks great! Keep posting.

arrielle_p said...

Yay Hope I have a walk-in closet like this too on my Manila condominiums. I love the design of this place. Thanks for sharing this inspiring photos. :)

Thrifty Chick said...

what floors did you put down??