Small Satisfying Projects

Over the years, I’ve worked on many big organizing jobs and designed and renovated some significant spaces. But sometimes, small, satisfying projects have the most impact – especially a client is super excited about a new closet. Who would have thought that a six-foot closet makeover could change someone’s day-to-day life? Well, you use your bedroom closet every single day. And if your clothes closet is a mess, your day won’t start or end on the right foot – particularly if you can’t find your shoes!

I love working with people who want a perfectly organized space. (However, we know “perfect” only exists in staged pictures we see in magazines and online.) I’m happy that my client and I got it pretty close to perfect. I hope she tells me if it stays organized over the long term, especially since her husband thought the two of us were a little “over-enthusiastic” about folding and stacking his sweaters and placing shoes just so. Remember Carrie’s closet in Sex and the City? Perhaps that’s what started this whole obsession with tidy closets in the first place.

Anyway, back to the before and after. When my clients bought the house, there were two tiny closets side-by-side, each with its own door. Apparently, back in the 1950s-1960s, “Mr. and Mrs. Homeowner” kept their clothing separated and sacrificed closet space to do so. Thankfully, my clients had the good sense to remove the wall between the closets and create one large closet with double doors.

Speaking of the husband, he made a very valiant effort to make his small closet as functional as possible. He added a few shelves in the bottom half of the closet for folded clothes. And he installed an extra hanging rod next to the low shelves. However, the shelves weren’t quite deep enough. So when a few sweaters were stacked on them, they toppled onto the floor. By that point, it became easier to throw the stuff on the floor on top of the shoes since that’s where it ended up anyway. I totally get it. Why bother even trying?

A closet renovation reorganization sounds like a simple job, but once you list everything the client needs to have in a six-foot space, you realize it’s a little tricky. In the end, the design was fairly standard, with shelving in the middle and hanging space on each side. But because the husband is quite tall, we placed the hanging sections higher for him and lowered them for her as she is shorter. We also gave her a shelf on the bottom to tuck her shoes under.

The new closet has the same amount of hanging space as the old one, but it somehow works so much better. And we added a pullout tie and belt rack on the far right. Simply hanging your belts on a nice rack can change your life, I swear! And kudos to my very organized client for all those perfectly matching hangers she bought. When all the hangers are the same, it’s much easier to focus on your clothes. Humour me. Try it and let me know what you think.

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