Using ALL of the closet space

So remember last week when I said I was going to decrapify all weekend? Well, I did. Most of the weekend anyway. I got two rooms done – the Bub’s bathroom and our guest room.

It’s a little weird that I would start there – probably the two least used rooms in our house. But I started a painting project in the guest room too (I can’t wait to show you – still not done!) so it just kind of tumbled from there you know? One things leads to another?

Well, it led to some major decluttering and a little DIY. I’m SO happy with how it all turned out.

So here’s the thing – bedroom closets stump me. I think they are huge chasms of wasted space. You with me? I just think that unless you have a built in closet system, there’s SO much space that isn’t used well. So for years I’ve been trying to use these spaces better – and until I can put something fancy in there I think this solution helps!

Let’s check out the befores of this closet shall we? It’s not pretty. I warned you.

On the one side I had installed some pull out bins (that used to be in the Bub’s closet) awhile ago, then we had some boxes of photos and a pile of luggage:

pull out bins in closet

You can’t see there but there are always a stack of random pictures on top of those boxes (because I’m usually too lazy to organize them inside the boxes) that come fluttering down every time I move something up there. :) I found a bunch tucked into the suitcases.

And speaking of, that pile of luggage was a little ridiculous:

The placement of all of that was less than brilliant on my part, since it became impossible to pull out them out when we needed them. Duh.

And other side was waaaaay worse. A few weeks ago we had company staying and the Bub and I did a cleaning spree in here and quite literally stuffed things in this side of the closet:

organizing a bedroom closet

On my last trip to IKEA I picked up a few (or seven) feather pillow inserts to use for a future project – and I just dumped them on the guest bed. So they had to go somewhere…of course stuffed into the closet (along with some others) made the most sense:


So I started pulling things out and organizing. The stuff in those pull out bins was mostly travel stuff (a few of the bins were empty) and I got rid of half of it. I disassembled the drawers and will be putting them into our closet next but that’s a whole other post. :)

My hubby used that steam machine a lot before, but now that he doesn't have to dress up for work every day he doesn’t need it nearly as much. So I closed it up and put it our closet for now.

Then because I was planning on rearranging the bed in there, I started pulling stuff out from under there too – I have the bed up on risers so there’s a bunch of space underneath. I keep other pillows and extra foam and stuff like that under there.

By the time everything was pulled out this is what I was dealing with:

Well the lamp shade wasn’t under the bed…but again, one thing led to another. :)

My husband came up the stairs at one point, stood there and said “Whoa.” Exactly. I’m pretty amazing that I had all of that in a closet and under the bed. I think anyway. Or something.

I counted 23 pillows that I found in that room – TWENTY THREE! Old decorative pillows, filler pillows and bed pillows. Twenty…three. I haven’t cleaned out this room in a long time, obviously.

So after the purging it was on to the next phase. I kind of hate that weird space to the sides of the closets – if you’ve got a lot of clothes then obviously that’s prime space, but in a space like this with no clothes it’s wasted.

To use it better I grabbed scrap wood from the garage and made some shelves:

building shelves in closet

I knew I wanted to keep that bin in there so I started right above that and just eyeballed the height of each shelf. This is so easy to do, really! I just used random pieces of wood as the ledge and screwed them into studs (mostly at the corners). Then I cut down pieces of wood for the shelf part and nailed them in to the supports.

You can see the how-to more in detail in my kitchen pantry post here or the wood shelves in the basement bathroom here.

I put some contact paper down to cover the rough wood – it’s easier and faster than paint in my opinion:

DIY shelves in closet

And then started filling them up with blankets!:

using wasted space in a closet

I could never get those blankets to stay up on the wire shelves above, so this is a GREAT solution. (Especially for that huge fluffy blanket!)

The other side looks better too – I only kept enough luggage for the three of us:

storing luggage

That bin in the middle is an old toy box from the Bub’s nursery and I put my extra fabric in there. I put it in that spot so we can still easily access the luggage and shelves. 

Here’s how it all looks, with before and afters!:

organizing a messy closetorganized bedroom closet

organizing a messy closetorganized bedroom closet   

SO much better!! Ack. The great thing is, the fabric in that bin and the photos will all move to the loft when I get those built ins done. Which will be…??? But eventually there will be good spot for all of that too.

And did you see the EMPTY space on the upper shelf?? Totally awesome.

Oh, and the pillows I did keep (I took most to consignment and kept the fillers) I put back under the bed. :)

I’m off to work on my next room…trying to decide if I want to tackle the Bub’s room or not. It’s a little scary. (Shiver.)

No spend August is still going well – I can’t wait to show you what else I’ve been up to! Hope you have a great weekend! The weather continues to be amazing here so we’ll be outside quite a bit! (In between decluttering of course!)

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