February Closet Challenge {Week 1}: Master Bedroom

Hi! It's me again. Jamie is working on a big project right now, so I'm taking the reins on the blog for a bit. Not to worry: she will be back next week! In the meantime, I have a bunch of projects lined up to share ... yay.

It's a new month and that means new organizational challenges.  In January, I took on small projects throughout my home: the cords under my TV, my secretary desk, my daughter's hair accessories and my greeting card stash.   This February is all about my closets, which is exciting and a little scary.  Up today: my master bedroom closet.  Here is a quick before shot.  I decided to keep it real and photograph it exactly as it appeared on the day I tackled it.

My husband and I share this closet.  Now, anyone who knows me knows that this cannot possibly be my only closet.  It's not: recall that I have two free-standing armoires that I keep the rest of my wardrobe in.  I'm not exactly sure what the women in 1942 were wearing, but these closets are simply unacceptable size-wise for the 2011 me.  But I digress.

The left side of the closet is mine, and this is where I keep my fancy shoes, my shirts and blouses, and my wedding gown preserved in its box way in the back (you can also see our "Elf on the Shelf" kit - shhhh, don't tell the kids).

On the right, my husband keeps all of his clothes: suits, shirts and pants.  The top shelf is for his jeans (or "jeems" as our daughter calls them) and cords, hats, out of season stuff like bathing suits, and shoes.  We have to keep the shoes out of reach of the cat, or he will eat the shoelaces.  Seriously.  [Oh, and yes, that is a Chicago Cubs hat.  My husband picked it up on a trip to Chicago but his loyalty is still, and always, to the Philly teams.]

The first step in the closet overhaul was to take everything out.  I went through my clothes and got a bag together for my niece.  My husband went through his things and got a bag together for Purple Heart.

Then I worked on my side.  This was pretty easy: I just made sure my clothes were all hanging in the color of the rainbow with white first, then ROYGBIV and then black at the end.  I am insane like that.  For the top shelf, I found two plastic bins that we already had and put my paint clothes in one (you know how much I love to paint: gotta have these in easy reach!) and my wraps for events and weddings in another.  I added labels to the sides so I could easily identify the contents.  I put my tote on top with my duffel inside that tote.  Done.

Next for my husband's side.  I had to buy a few organizational items, but lucky for me, they only cost $22.50 total.  I found two small canvas boxes at Wal-Mart (designed to be drawer organizers).  I had store credit so these were free (but retail for $10 each).  They fit perfectly in the little shelves at the bottom of the closet, so I put his shoes in them and placed them in the shelf under his clothes. This way, they're within easy reach but neatly and safely concealed away from the cat (though, as you'll see below, he was onto my trick).  You'll see a small mesh bucket next to the white drawers on the floor: this holds suit covers for when he travels. Before they were just tossed about. I found the basket in the Target Dollar Spot for $2.50. For the shelf, I bought two canvas boxes at Lowes ($10 each).  I like that they have lids and also a clear front.  Jeans and cords are in one; the out of season stuff is in the other.  I kept the hats on the shelf so he can just grab and go.  Done.

Finally, the ties along the big wall.  Before, we had a mishmash of random hooks in the space and it wasn't really functional.   I really wanted to use hooks that I already owned.  I found these red bicycle hooks (designed for garages) that we had in the house, left over from a pack I bought for the basement.  They have a non-slip coating and are really pretty deep, which made them seem perfect for the ties.  I put them up and ...

... did not love it.  I tried.  I tried to convince myself "it's just a closet. they're functional. it's fine." But it was not fine. I would see those hooks and my eyes would begin burning.  They had to go.  So I took them down and went to where I always go: Target.  I found the lovely white bar of hooks for $20.  I think it looks much better and is just as functional. Before I hung it up, I just filled in all the holes with wood putty, sanded and did a quick swipe of white paint over top Yay.  The tote on the floor must stay: it holds our dry cleaning.

One closet done! Out of pocket cost was just over $40, which was more than I wanted to spend but still not totally awful.  How did I do?  Hey, if you need some help organizing, shoot us an email!  You know it is our favorite!

See you swoon,


  1. Nice! I'm glad I'm not the only one who hangs clothing according to color. I just recently re-organized my closet and bought all wooden hangers so everything looks the same. Total bliss!

  2. Yes! It's the only way to find things! I love wooden hangers too. And those new non-slip thin ones are also great!


  3. Love the new blogspace guys - Shanna, you crack me up. I so get you. My clothes are organized by type, then, within that, by color from light to dark - e.g., sleeveless shirts from white to black, short sleeved blouses from white to black, long sleeved dress shirts from white to black, suits, pants, etc. I think the system doesn't matter as long as you can remember it!!! ;-)

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