Closet before and after with bonus rainbow hallway action!

Guest post by Lenna

I don’t do spring cleaning; I’m more of a winter cleaning-type person. Last winter, I re-organized my husband’s closet, and moved many of the storage systems I had in my closet over to his. Surely I could make do without them, right? Wrong. A year later, and my closet had reached epic fail mode.

It was hard to get into because of the sliding mirrored doors, and my organization was out of control! In frustration, I had resorted to just throwing things in, hanging hangers on the sides of hangers, or sometimes just not hanging things at all. I knew I had reached rock bottom when I had taken to wearing jeans and a hoody to work… every day! Time to make some changes.

I saw a banner for Easy Closets here on Offbeat Home once, and found they have this cool design tool, where you can put in your closet measurements and door types and then play with the layouts. I kept going back to it, trying to decide if I wanted to spend money on new closet fittings, but we rent and our walls are made of concrete. Pretty sure I didn’t want to be drilling any more holes in the wall.

I finally decided on a layout:

And figured I could go low-budget IKEA solution route, especially considering I already had a shoe organizer. But one thing was for sure, since I already have 2 feet of space hidden by solid wall, there was no way I was going to keep those pesky mirrored doors on there.

So one quiet night, I headed out to IKEA. I got one of the GORM shelving units, along with some of the clip on baskets. Built the shelf, then went to work unscrewing the hardware that held those closet doors in place! Then went through the long-overdue process of trying on every piece of clothing and weeding things out. I used to be so good at doing this on a regular basis, but closet catastrophe was bringing out the hidden hoarder in me, and I hated it.

Even with sanding, the shelf was a little rough (it was made for pantry use, after all), so I took some shelf liner I had leftover from the kitchen and used push tacks to secure.

FinishingI just knew the kitties would be trying to hop in from the side to snuggle up behind the cozy wall of folded sweaters, so I used leftover panels from the wire cube shelves I use in the bedroom, and secured them as gates using push pins and twist-ties.

Kitty-proofingAND VOILA! No more troublesome mirrored doors, no more hanger overflow, and no more straining to reach the top shelf thanks to another IKEA buy!

With the open concept, my pre-existing flea market rugs now see the light of day, and the step stool not only helps me get taller, but also doubles as kitty sitting space and shirt folding table, all while looking funky in its polka dot glory.

Closet: After!Now, I can find all my clothes again…and wear them! And I cleaned out so many things, I ended up not only donating a bunch of stuff to the charity thrift store, but also found enough things in good condition to trade at the local buy/sell clothing shop to break even on my closet organizing expenditures.

After taking these photos, I had a “baskets!” moment, and added some over-the-door hooks to the top of each arm of the shelf unit so I could hang already-worn things that need to air out, or to-wear things I’ve prepped the night before. Previously, I would hang things over the back of my desk chair (in our two bedroom apartment, the master bedroom is our office, and where my closet is), and that was a terrible habit because it would severely impede my ability to work comfortably when I was too busy or lazy to put the clothes away proper.


Yep, stole the rainbow hallway idea…because it’s fantastic, and fit with the rest of the apartment.

Hallway Before

Hallway before, mid-closet-clean-out. The two mats we had were uninteresting ones from Costco, never stayed put, and were a type of weave that the kitties had easily made threadbare.

And hallway after, in all its rainbow awesomeness:
Hallway: After!
Hallway: After!

Comments on Closet before and after with bonus rainbow hallway action!

  1. This is awesome! It’s really cool seeing another person do the rainbow hallway thing (mine was the post you linked to). The narrow stripes look great.

    I’m totally jealous of your closet – I need to do something similar soon. There’s so much clothing that gets lost in the depths right now.

    • I figured the narrow stripes would add some length to my short-ish hallway 🙂 It’s one of each colour of the “Parallel Reality” pattern. Basically I started looking right after your post, and bought them a few days later, haha. So thanks for the inspiration!!

    • OMG I’m so looking forward to the new year when I can re-arrange my bedroom, which can’t be done until we get our garage lounge area a bit more settled in. I’m sorely tempted to even leave the randomly-clingy bras lying around when I take the before pictures. I’ll probably blog about it, but it’s not design-blog-worthy, totally more off-beat worthy.

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