Category Archives: Closet

Closet Makeover

Remember when I installed closet shelves a few weeks ago in my craft closet? I had some leftover material and decided to use it to tackle a few more closet shelves in my coat closet. Goodness knows that this space needed a little a lot of organizing attention. Take a look for yourself…
Before the makeover, the closet was a catch-all disaster zone! It was home to a lot of crap and not a lot of coats. (Not a winning combination). Now, it’s home to less crap and more coats (a much better combination)…
Before the makeover, there was a lot of wasted space at the very top of the closet. Using the leftover material, I installed a shelf at the very top of the closet for some extra storage. Now it looks like this…
I keep winter accessories in the black bin and keep the iron and other ironing must-haves in the white bin. The new shelf is now home to some extra paper storage. I still need to paint the ledgers, but for now- I’ll take it!
Before the makeover, I was not utilizing this hanging space nearly as much as I could have. 
Now, the coat closet holds ALL of our coats, which is a major space saver in our bedroom closets. 
I found these $2 hooks at Home Depot and love that they are a simple way to add a little extra storage and give us easy access to scarves or umbrellas or even Matt’s hats.
And possibly the worst part of the closet? The floor. 
Yikes! As a painter’s daughter, I have no choice but to store our extra paint inside during the winter. Apparently paint should NOT freeze (news to me, thanks dad) and keeping it in the garage throughout the winter could cause these buckets of color to do just that, which could ruin the paint (again, I had no clue?!). I like the idea of saving my paint, but I do NOT like the idea of having to store this stuff inside. The solution to this mess?
A hidden shelf. I installed another shelf about 1 foot above the ground. Under the shelf, there are a few gallons of paint. Resting on the shelf is a little more paint and two bins offering even more hidden storage. One box holds all of my extra spray paint and a few tubes of chalk. The other box is home to all of our my aprons. You can tell how much I plan to use them… 
And there you have it, a peek into a far more functional coat closet. Thanks to some leftover shelf material, this coat closet finally got the attention it needed and definitely deserved.
Do you store your paint inside during the winter?! Any creative storage solutions? 
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How to install closet shelves

wood shelf
Power tools, cutting wood, drilling into studs… a DIY project involving any of those tasks completely intimidates me. But, I did all of those things for this project and I lived to tell the tale. Here’s how I installed closet shelves into an awkward, too-small closet nook.
how to hang shelves
I swear it’s not nearly as scary as it sounds. Power tools, ledgers (side note: I had no clue what these were before this adventure), and measuring definitely sound like a not-so rookie level nightmare, but I promise that you CAN do this!
closet before
Prior to this project, I had very limited experience hanging things alone. And prior to this, I also had a closet that was completely wasting space and a whole lot of craft stuff that needed a new home. Lucky for me, I completely disregarded the fact that I was not nearly qualified enough to tackle this project alone and did it anyway. (The things I will do for my beloved craft supplies).
draw line
To kick off my project, I did some measuring and drew lines on the wall where I wanted to hang my shelves. I made them far enough away from each other to stack some boxes, which was a total crap shoot. Other than the boxes that needed to fit on the shelves, the placement of the shelves were completely eye-balled and totally random. I used a level to make sure the lines were straight and also noted the measurements of the back of the wall and the sides of the wall in order to get accurately sized material.
I picked up some long 1×2″ sticks of wood, which can be called ledgers when holding shelves, they are also referred to as closet cleats.  I bought all of my supplies at Home Depot and for rookies like us, Home Depot cuts any of the wood/material you buy there for FREE, so of course I took them up on this. I gave the lumberman my measurements and he cut down my large “sticks” of wood to small, accurately sized ledgers.
I also picked up 2 large boards of melamine. Just like the wood, I gave my measurements to the amazing employee and walked out with pre-cut boards of melamine that were the perfect size to sit atop the ledgers and fit perfectly into the closet.
Melamine Shelf tutorial
Oh, and if you don’t have screws or anchors around the house, make sure you pick up a package of each (Rookie tip: make sure the screws are heavy enough to hold the shelves and long enough to drill through the ledgers AND the wall).
Total in Supplies: about $38 (but if you don’t have screws and anchors on hand, your total may be a little more).
Following the pilot lines and using a level, I positioned the ledgers along the back of the shelves. I used a power drill to drill these nails right in the wall. I was lucky that the back wall had two studs available to drill into. If you aren’t as lucky, make sure you use anchors during this step instead.
level
Three ledgers and six screws later, I had my back ledgers DONE and I was more than a third done with this DIY.
screw vs. anchor
When I started on the side ledgers, I wasn’t as lucky & didn’t have the opportunity to hit studs on both sides of each of the pieces of wood. I had to use some anchors on this side. Using an anchor is a tad more tedious, so if you can find a stud instead…. do that!
steps to hang shelves
After about an hour of more leveling and clueless careful drilling, I was almost DONE!
ledgers
I did have an oops moment when I drilled a little too close to the edge of the ledger and caused it to split. Yikes. Luckily, the ledgers seemed secure even with the oops, so I ignored it and moved on. (Probably not the best policy).
DIY shelf
And the last and most rewarding step of them all…slide in the pre-cut shelves and examine your impressive work.  My shelves seemed pretty sturdy with the shelf just laying on top of the 3 ledgers. However, you could drill a screw from the bottom up into the ledger and the shelf. That might provide some extra stability.
In the perfect world, I would recommend you to paint the ledgers (and maybe even the whole closet), let them dry and theennnnn slide on the shelves and enjoy your hard work. Because it was like -15 degrees that day, I hung these bad boys without painting them first. My plan is to finish up with some paint in the Spring.
finished shelves
Without the paint, the shelves are clearly looking very “unfinished”. However, in a closet where these are completely hidden, I am okay with function over fashion.
the view from above
box of ribbon
jars
organized crafts
twine
craft supplies
In the meantime, these unfinished shelves are home to most of my craft supplies. I love that I know where everything is now and can easily walk into the closet, peruse the shelves and pick out exactly what I need without making a mess of everything else.
closet before and after
No, this organizing DIY does NOT belong in a glamorous organizing magazine (yikes). But YES, this DIY does deserve an award for awkward-small-space-function-on-the-cheap. And as much as I am obsessed with pretty organizing projects, I can appreciate a plain jane one that simply does the job without all of the cute bells and whistles. For less than $40, these shelves help organize my crafts and have given me a brand new confidence to tackle what seems to be daunting DIY!
Still to do:
Paint ledgers
Paint closet
Create a system to STAY organized
Add Wrapping paper storage?
Anyone else tackling DIY projects that seem way scarier than they actually are?! 

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2 thoughts on “How to install closet shelves

  1. April Blake

    This made me have a total OH YEAH! moment! I have a linen closet with terrible function but never thought about re-attaching new shelves at a better height! Thanks for this, definitely pinning it for a day off project!

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2 thoughts on “How to install closet shelves

  1. April Blake

    This made me have a total OH YEAH! moment! I have a linen closet with terrible function but never thought about re-attaching new shelves at a better height! Thanks for this, definitely pinning it for a day off project!

    Reply

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World’s Worst Closet: Update

Narrow-Closet

You guys remember our self-proclaimed “World’s Worst Closet” back from my new apartment tour, right?

World's worst closet

It was too narrow to hang a long closet rack to hang coats (as you see in most every closet). Instead, it had two small shelves so you could smash in a few coats on each side.

Well, today I’m going to give you an update on how we made that teeny, tiny, narrow space work to fit all most of our coats and shoes.

World's worst closet update
We didn’t do anything revolutionary. Instead, we made a few small tweaks and a few small purchases so we could make this space work for us.
Front hall coat closet
The first thing we did was move up those two small shelves so we would have much more space on the bottom of the closet.  We simply unscrewed them and drilled them up a few inches higher. This allowed us room to hang up our coats and fit in 2 dozen pairs of shoes.
Shoe rack
We were a bit perplexed as to how we could organize a good chunk of our shoe collection, without it turning into a big heap on the floor of the closet. Many shoe organizers were way too wide for this narrow space.
Luckily, we found these shoe racks from The Container Store.  We simply took one shoe rack and divided it in half, so we could have two smaller racks right next to one another. Not only were these racks narrow enough for the closet, but we were also able to customize the number of shelves. We took out some of the bottom shelves so we could fit tall boots and larger shoes down below.
The container store shoe rack
It doesn’t hold both of our shoe collections, but it’s still incredibly functional and keeps our master bedroom closets free from too many shoes.
Coats hanging in closet
The wire shelves not only hold our coats, but also have a tad more storage up top.
Wicker basket
There is room for a wicker basket on each side. Those babies hold all kinds of winter gear like gloves, mittens, scarves, and hats. All of which have come in handy this winter season in freezing cold Chicago!
Front closet and bookshelf
So there you have it! A somewhat boring post about what’s going on behind our closed closet door. I know many of you had some great suggestions for me when I originally posed our “world’s worst closet” problem, and I used many of those ideas while we came up with this solution.
Thanks for being so helpful my fellow rookies. We’ll see you back here on Thursday for one of our regularly scheduled DIY craft projects.
Casey DIY Playbook
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3 thoughts on “World’s Worst Closet: Update

  1. DIY Playbook

    Emily…what a small world! My fiancé and I only lived there for about a year, but we absolutely loved it. It was such a wonderful and beautiful place.
    I’m not sure the exact name of the shop, but it is in the downtown area on the west side of the square. I think it is right next door to that diner?? It’s just a little antique/resale shop and they have a lot of cool treasures in there.

    I hope you can find one! I’m so happy to know we have a Wausau reader!

    Reply
  2. Alysia @ Slim Sanity

    I’m from Waupaca, which is less than an hour I think away form Wausau 🙂

    Yes, totally stalking your blog today. Needing to catch up 🙂

    Reply

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3 thoughts on “World’s Worst Closet: Update

  1. DIY Playbook

    Emily…what a small world! My fiancé and I only lived there for about a year, but we absolutely loved it. It was such a wonderful and beautiful place.
    I’m not sure the exact name of the shop, but it is in the downtown area on the west side of the square. I think it is right next door to that diner?? It’s just a little antique/resale shop and they have a lot of cool treasures in there.

    I hope you can find one! I’m so happy to know we have a Wausau reader!

    Reply
  2. Alysia @ Slim Sanity

    I’m from Waupaca, which is less than an hour I think away form Wausau 🙂

    Yes, totally stalking your blog today. Needing to catch up 🙂

    Reply

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Daily Outfit Prep

Like many ladies, I often find myself staring at my closet brimming with clothes thinking, “I have nothing to wear!” 
I stand in my closet while brushing my teeth, and gaze at the hangers thinking that I will somehow miraculously come up with a fabulous outfit for the day. In reality, I waste too much time and throw something together at the last minute before heading out the door. 
But, I’ve found that my mornings are much better if I spend a few minutes prepping my clothes, accessories, and shoes the night before. 
Do I sound like a 5-year-old that has to lay her school clothes out at night? Perhaps…but it works for me, and it just might work for you!
Plus, I get to cross “organize something” off of my Summer Bucket List. (It’s kinda like organizing right??)
Closet hook for clothes world market wall hook
I originally had a nail hanging in my closet (yes, a hideous nail) that I would sometimes hang clothes on. But, it was definitely time for an upgrade. 
Enter…World Market.
World Market Hook
World Market is one of my fave shopping spots, and they always have a unique collection of knobs and hooks.  When I saw this guy was 3 hooks in 1, I was SOLD! 
Goodbye nail…hello white, sparkly hooks!
I’ve found that the best way to stick to the routine is to pick out my clothes the second I get home from work. Typically I’ll change into workout clothes or something comfy, then I’ll check the weather and get everything set for the next day. 
No more mismatched outfits for me people. 
I’ve found that my mornings have gone from hectic & hurried…to breezy & blissful (okay, okay…maybe not blissful until after my first cup of coffee!)
So what about you ladies…anyone prep their outfits the night or week before? How do you get put together & looking fab every morning? 
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4 thoughts on “Daily Outfit Prep

  1. Dana @ Conscious Kitchen Blog

    I love this idea! Getting ready in the morning is always so much easier when I have an outfit… not that that happens often. This is a great way to make sure I’m actually making the most of what’s in my closet and to keep mornings (a little less) stress free! Thanks for sharing.

    Reply
  2. DIY Playbook

    Dana you’re so right about “shopping” your own closet! For some silly reason the hook totally helps me with this and I’ll wear way more of what I actually own.

    Reply

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4 thoughts on “Daily Outfit Prep

  1. Dana @ Conscious Kitchen Blog

    I love this idea! Getting ready in the morning is always so much easier when I have an outfit… not that that happens often. This is a great way to make sure I’m actually making the most of what’s in my closet and to keep mornings (a little less) stress free! Thanks for sharing.

    Reply
  2. DIY Playbook

    Dana you’re so right about “shopping” your own closet! For some silly reason the hook totally helps me with this and I’ll wear way more of what I actually own.

    Reply

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