closet makeover time!
Does that closet before photo make you feel completely overwhelmed? Me too. It was CLEARLY time to organize in here, but the project looked zero fun and I didn't know where to start.
After pinning all the closet inspo on pinterest, I felt overwhelmed with both the possibilities AND how much work it was going to take to get to my dream closet.
tip: tackle organization in phases to reduce the overwhelm
So I came up with a plan to tackle this closet in phases vs trying to do it all at once. I decided phase 1 would include workable organization and a touch of decor — something I could tackle in an afternoon.
Then phase 2 will come later and focus on adding more texture, swapping light fixtures, and getting the design elements a step closer to my dream closet goals. Finally phase 3 would be full on custom built ins, which after phase 1 & 2, I'd be able to wait a few years before having to tackle this.
• purge & donate — get rid of the clothes I rarely wear
• install closet system — install a modular closet system that doesn't have to be built-in
• rework storage — add storage baskets, a fun way to store my denim
• add an accent color — bring some dimension into the space through color
• a little decor — rug, faux plant, etc.
The very first phase of organization for me is always the purging phase. I consider this zero fun so my trick for getting myself into it is by putting on some music and setting a timer for 30 min. Then I race against the clock to see how much I can get done.
If you've never tried this before you might be surprised at how much you can get done in just 30 min and then at the end of the 30 min you've totally earned a break.
My organization method is basically to quickly put everything into piles then work through each — I make a keep pile, a donate pile, a trash pile, and a "belongs in another room" pile. Then I toss the trash, bag up donations, move the items that don't go in the space I'm working on, and I'm left sorting & organizing just the things I want in the space.
install closet system
Next, I started assembling some modular closet units from Wayfair. I chose units that were stackable to give me options for rearranging as I need to. I went with 2 stackable shoe shelf units and 2 divided shelf units.
I love these units because they look like built-ins because of the style + trim, even though they aren't fully attached to the wall (just anchored for safety). They were super easy to assemble with just some basic tools — you actually just need a screwdriver and a mallet is also super helpful.
tip: select modular closet units that look built in for an easy or renter-friendly closet makeover
I also selected these units because I think down the road I can hack them into full built-ins by building a base for them, fully attaching them to the wall, and trimming them out.
fill it up!
After the organizational units were in & secured, I worked through my "keep" pile and organized everyting into them. I love the small self options on this divided shelf unit because in order for things to fit nicely, they must be organized — there are no big areas or openings where you can just toss stuff because it won't fit. Hoping these will trick me into keeping everyting looking super nice.
I also used some cute baskets along the top shelf for things I use less frequently like scarves, swimsuits, belts, etc. This was a great way to add texture into the space and break up the boxy feel the rest of the structured shelving has.
add decorative touches
I added a gorgeous rug that fit the space PERFECTLY — plus it's so soft. I also included a floor mirror, faux plant, and a small bench I moved from another room to give the room a cozy feel + add a little bit more functionality with seating + a space to check my outfits before running out.
I painted the top shelf toasty gray to add a little bit of dimension, give some contrast to the baskets, and help the white organizational units look even more crisp + clean. I also grabbed some S hooks and used them to hang my denim on a wooden dowel for a boutique-like feel. You could also hang them on a wall mounted coat rack for a similar aesthetic.
For phase 2, I'm definitely adding wallpaper to the project list because how cute would that left wall look with a fun pattern!?
want more inspo?
Here are some of my top picks for transforming your closet: