Closet Redo: Almost There - Room for Improvement

Earlier this afternoon I took on the challenge of a closet makeover and I have to say that it was not an easy challenge. It also isn't finished. When I started, I actually could not even walk into my closet, let alone even try to figure out where to start. So, I did what seemed logical: I emptied it.

Well, I didn't just start there. I did spend several days in a planning phase before setting out on my endeavor. I measured the space (it wasn't easy when you can't really get in there). I researched small walk-in closet ideas. I shopped around for solutions. I read several articles on the subject. In the end, I wound up deciding to utilize mostly what I had on hand, only buying a few items that either needed to be replaced or I did not have on hand (i.e., shoe rack and items to be revealed in a later blog). The process has not been easy, and I did not expect it to. But, I was ready for the challenge.

One of the things that really bothered me was the amount of clothing I owned. My weight has fluctuated so much over the last two and half years that amount of clothing I own is ridiculous. Over a year ago, I purged all the clothing that did not fit anymore, and placed them in totes overhead in my garage. Usually I would suggest moving on from owning those items, but the weight gain was supposed to be a temporary setback after a cycling injury that had been overcome, and I was ready to get back into shape. Unfortunately, I was injured a lot worse a month later in a way that would pack on the pounds in a way I never would have believed, increasing my wardrobe again in the process. 

My bed afterward
So, after emptying the closet, I sat staring dumbfounded at my queen-sized bed, that was now heaping with all of my clothing, less what was folded and put away in the dresser and chest of drawers. I was embarrassed by what laid before me, and I didn't even know where to start. In fact, it took me several fits and starts before I even got to the point to where I can actually crawl into bed for the night without having to push a space clear for me to sleep tonight. (No, I didn't have to. The bed is cleared off properly for the night.)

While the process with the shoes was much easier that I blogged about in Closet Redo: The Process - Shoes, this was not exactly the same type of process. What I decided to do was to take the strategy of only keeping out what fit and what I wear now. No prisoners. 

The rejects
When I started, my t-shirt collection was on top of the pile, as it was the last thing I pulled out of the 9 cube shelving unit that was to the left in the closet. I was shocked when I saw what was left. It wasn't much at all. In fact, it was demoralizing. Enough so that I had to stop and re-think the whole thing. I was ready to give up. But, I knew better. I knew that I had to keep going if I was going to succeed at this process.

Once I got started again, I did find a rhythm that allowed me to get the job done in a way that made me want to get as much done as I could do tonight. It made me feel like a winner when I was finally able to say that I was done segmenting everything out to their appropriate places in the closet, so that I could start to map out my next plan of attack.

The back of the closet
As I touched each piece of clothing, it was immediately put either in the closet or on the chair in the corner of the room (the reject pile pictured above). I had already decided that the two parallel shelves would be separated into tops/jackets/sweaters/sweatshirts and skirts/pants. Everything that went on the top could not be too long in length. If it was, it would then be moved to the right side of the closet to the single shelf, with the longest items going towards the back and the rest toward the front. However, that is still up for debate, as I might move all of it toward the back with the rest, as you will see why in the photo below.

The right side of the closet
The nice thing is that a lot of space was opened up in the closet itself. Storage space. The shelves above the hanging clothes are now open to hold items that can be stored and reached easily, without having to fight to step over anything. I'm still working out the details on storage uses for those areas, but this closet is still a work in progress. 

As noted, I had mentioned that the longest pieces were moved to the right and toward the back, while the shorter of the longer pieces were on the right toward the front. As I sit and ponder the photos, I'm thinking that the space might look better if I push those pieces that are up front toward the back and maybe look at other options toward the front. Maybe a mirror in front?

The 9 cube shelving
I also decided to keep the 9 cube shelving in the closet, as it is a very useful storage piece. Especially with the four baskets in the corner cubbies of the unit, as well as the baskets on top. Although, the baskets may be utilized for storing items up on the upper shelves over the clothes, out of the way. That is still up for debate. In the four corners, I have put items such as: belts, swimsuits, scarves, and miscellaneous clothing items that needed to be tucked away. They were perfect for doing this, and allowed a place to easily reach into the closet to grab them when I'm ready to use them. I also have started using the open shelves for storing folded clothing items, such as t-shirts that are not normally hung up on hangers. Although, this might change, as there is still extra room in the dresser drawers. 

A basket hiding purses
I had a larger wicker basket in the closet that originally held loose shoes that I really didn't wear a lot, so when I purged my shoe collection by half, this basket became available. I don't actually have a large purse collection, but it did turn out to be a great way to stow them away until I need them again. Since there are not a lot of them in there, it isn't too heavy to reach up and bring down, or put back up.

I have to say that the whole process has been quite cathartic. I have even started to plan what I'll do with the old shelving units that I had poked back in the closet to help continue cleaning up my office/craft room (a task that keeps getting back burnered). But the one thing I can say, is that it is already making me feel better about opening the closet door and not having to fight to get in there to find what I need anymore. That is what this whole project is about.

But it isn't over just yet. There are still things that still need to happen to finish it out. And that will be in the next blog, which will hopefully be tomorrow sometime.

Oh, and one last thing, I was under full supervision this whole time, but I think they are both ready for it to come to an end now.
My supervisors