Are closets ever big enough? The answer is no. This is especially true in my daughter's tiny bedroom closet. With small clothes it shouldn't be a big deal, right? Nope. Small clothes, combined with piles of stuffed animals, lots of shoes and purses, plus the essential assorted princess gowns and crowns makes for one messy closet.
I actually took this "after" photo too late, I had already removed most of the items in her closet. But the floor is accurate!
The key problem was a small closet with one shelf that's too high. The other problem was 18" on the left and right side of the closet that was inaccessible because of the wall. To fix this problem we actually considered removing some of the wall and adding two closet doors instead of one. That would have solved our problem, but the cost was about $750 (using a professional contractor) since we had two bedroom closets that needed this fix.
Ultimately I decided to give it a go with a closet organizer first. This was an inexpensive solution, and one we would need whether we changed the doors or not. By giving it a go with the organizer first, maybe it would meet our needs and we wouldn't need the small construction project.
My husband and I worked together on this project and he started by taking out the old wire shelving and patching the holes. I decided I would paint the closet a bright pink to coordinate with my daughter's pink bedroom. It only took a quart of paint, but because of the dark color it did take several coats.
*Note: Save yourself the hassle and only paint the back wall of the closet. Don't bother with the sides, and certainly not the inside wall which is never seen. I learned this the hard way! It was tight and awkward to paint all sides. Plus, if I had only done the back wall, a quart would have been plenty of paint. I was scraping the bottom of the can at the end! Recently I painted our playroom closet and just did the back wall and it was so much easier since I wasn't dodging wet paint on all sides!
I found a Closetmaid organizer at Home Depot that worked. It was a wire closet kit and it cost about $55. I liked that we could customize it having lower hanging racks and shelves, along with some higher racks for dresses and longer things as she grows. My husband worked with his assistant to install this.
After the shelving was installed, I assembled a couple of simple organizers for shoes and purses to sit on the floor, under the shelving. These can be found inexpensively at Target, Walmart or hardware stores.
Then the fun part, for me anyway. I started organizing all of the things to go back in the closet. Shoes on the bottom shelves, purses and a couple of important items in the cubbies. I purchased a couple of green canvas bins to add to the shelves. These are crucial in a closet or kids room in my opinion, because they house all the "precious" items that I think are junk. All the trinkets from festivals and birthday parties, the random dollar store purchase, the stocking stuffer that never got opened, the Sunday school projects. All those oddities get tossed into those two bins. If I don't see it, I don't care if she keeps it. But no more than two bins worth!
The top green box with the girl on it I purchased at Tuesday Morning about seven years ago. I'd love to have a couple more! I just put mementos we want to keep in that box. And of course, top it off with a set of princess mouse ears! What you can't see on the floor to the right is a basket full of stuffed animals.
Does she keep her closet looking like this? For the most part she does. If it starts to get too disorganized, it only takes a few minutes to clean up since everything has a place. For now this works great for us and was a solution that only cost about $100 for materials (paint, wire shelving, canvas bins and 2 white shelving units).