Sunday, May 27, 2012

Banishing My Cat from His Hiding Spot (aka Closet Overhaul)

Over the Memorial day weekend, I decided it was time to finish off the painting upstairs and get those paint cans and supplies out of the dining room (finally!) The reason I waited so long was because the last part of the hallway that needed to be painted was my closet. Meaning I needed to take everything out of my closet. And I knew this was a good opportunity to weed through my clothes and install some sort of storage in the back of the closet, so I wanted to have plenty of time to tackle such a project. Well, luckily for me and unluckily for Chris, he got called into work on Saturday. So while my hubby went in to save the day for a team of engineers, I put on my painting clothes and approached this disaster zone with caution:

Guess my closet has gotten a little out of hand in the last few years...
 I had to approach with caution for a couple reasons. First, let's face it. It looks like that blue cloth shelving unit was about to burst at the seams. And all those shoes and scarves and junk on the floor may be some sort of a hazard.

The view from the bedroom.

Inside the closet wasn't much better...
But I also had to approach with caution because of what was lurking inside my closet: Shadow the terrified and jumpy kitty. He has made a home in the back of my closet and goes there to hide from me and Chris. I partially blame him for the mess, but I'll admit I wasn't doing much to counteract it.
Can you spot the kitty?
So after I convinced Shadow to go hide somewhere else, I took everything out of my closet. It was looking pretty colorful in there. We had to tear up the back of it to get into the crawl space behind it two years ago, and I didn't have any yellow paint left to touch it up, so I used leftover bedroom paint and called it a day ... or two years.

The next step was getting a nice clean slate, aka Benjamin Moore's Moonshine. I didn't bother removing the boards from the cabinet that used to exist here because my new storage solution would cover everything up well enough.

Speaking of the new storage solution ...

Can you spot Shadow again?
 My scared kitty came out to check out the shelves that would soon be living in his hideout. Here he is sizing them up.

Next, I hauled the shelves upstairs and tucked them into the closet, which I had measured to make sure they would fit. But when I got them in the hall, I was sure I had screwed up because the shelves looked huge. But sure enough, they fit with room to spare. Guess I have a bigger closet than it appears.

I weeded through my clothes, shoes, purses and scarves and managed to get everything (minus the clothes on hangers) down to this:

Ahh organization!
 And I could still add in an extra shelf on each side if I needed more space for shoes. But I kind of like the idea of limiting the size of my shoe collection, since I usually wear the same pair every day for a whole season anyway. (Have I mentioned I'm not a shoe girl? Never liked 'em).

Next, I sorted through all my hang-up clothes and pulled out a bunch I don't wear much and hung the rest back up.

And it's super easy to get to the shelves because I have lots of extra space on the clothing rod now. See?

Ta da!
All I have left now is to either install doors to really keep Shadow out or to just add a new curtain so it looks pretty. I might be able to get away with the curtain since Shadow no longer has hiding spots and seems uninterested in sleeping up there. Guess I'll just wait and see. If I come home one day to find all my shoes on the floor, then doors are definitely going up. haha

Now that I have these shelves in there, I can't believe I went so long without them. Those 2 cloth bins and the cloth shelves just weren't cutting it. But I guess I didn't know that when I put them in. Some times I guess you just have to live with things until you can identify your own habits, like tossing shoes on the closet floor if they don't have a dedicated spot, stuffing shirts in the cloth shelves because they always looked messy even if I folded them, etc. etc. But this solution definitely feels more organized and dare I say it, more grown up, to me. And once I get a curtain or door, it'll really polish things off.