Tuesday, May 9, 2017

Before & After: Organized Girl's Bedroom Closet

Just over a year ago, my girlfriend and I began discussing her daughter’s closet situation and came up with some plans for putting in a true storage system. Her little lady was going to transition from a nursery to a big girl bedroom and her closet had become a bit of a catch-all in the process. Being a mom of three boys, it is rare that I have the opportunity to work on a girl space in any form, and I was really excited about the opportunity to put something fun together for her daughter.

Although we had a general idea and plan for the closet, the project stalled and life happened. But as we began coming up with plans for our son’s closet, we decided to revisit this closet as well. I pulled up the initial design and checked in with my friend and her daughter to see if any of their needs had changed. We decided to stick with many of the original plans, making only a few small tweaks. The girl’s bedroom also has a nearby dresser to hold pajamas, undergarments, pants, shorts, etc… so this closet was going to be used specifically for any hanging items, accessories, memorabilia, clothes she has yet to grow into, shoes and bedroom linens.

Here is the closet before (which wasn’t necessarily a true before since it was holding hand-me-downs and items prepping for a thrift sale during the room transition. But it does show the general layout with the existing shelving and closet rod).

I have always advised against settling for a standard and generic closet setup. Most homes are installed with closets about as basic as can be because storage is so personal and closets should be customized to people and their living arrangements. A single shelf and a rail will never fully maximize the height and potential of any closet. Add a dresser, or bookshelves, or a tower and multiple hanging rods. I always encourage folks to get creative and look at how every inch is being utilized. I also always recommend starting out with a blank slate.

In this case, everything was removed and sorted and the walls were given a fresh coat of pretty pink paint. The doors and trim will be white eventually, so the inside of the closet was also trimmed out now to make things easier down the road.

I really love to combine drawers and hanging space in any closet installation. Keeping the drawers down the middle of the opening allows them to open and be accessed without any problems, while adding shelves and rods on either side creates some division for categories. Also, two rows of hanging rods are always better than one.

I decided that it would be really great to show one closet two ways. We had always planned on doing a ClosetMaid closet in this space from the start, so while designing out son’s new closet, I went ahead and put together something similar for my friend. Same amazing system; one designed for a young boy and another put together for a little girl. So. Much. Fun!!

Although ClosetMaid offers an assortment of closet components and systems at a variety of price points, my current favorites come from their SpaceCreation’s line. The quality is amazing, I can’t rave enough about the hardware and soft-close drawers, I swoon over the fact that it comes with decorative trim, and the entire concept is flexible and customizable. It is simple enough to install on our own, and if needs change down the road it is also easy enough to remove a shelf and rod to create long hanging storage or to add a rod in the tower and remove shelves or to swap out the drawer sizes. This is a huge win when installing systems in a space for growing kiddos. Above you can see I was able to use the closet design tool to input the specific closet dimensions and customize our desired setup. I was able to select from towers that range in width from 12" to 30" and the side shelves and rails can easily be cut to size. There are also two drawer sizes to select from and I prefer to utilize a couple of both.

Bryan and I assembled and installed the closet onsite over the course of a weekend day. The tools needed to complete the project were a cordless drill, level, wall anchors, pipe cutter (for the rods) and a saw (for the shelves and trim). We had some wallpaper remnants that I wanted to sprinkle throughout the closet for that extra special touch. In our son’s closet, we wallpapered the walls and left the system all white. For this closet, the walls were painted and I added the decorative paper to the tower backing. Both options worked out really well in giving the closets some character and joining them to the adjoining bedrooms.

We began the project by assembling and installing the center tower, then cut the side shelves and rails to size. The image above doesn’t have any of the decorative molding attached yet, but below you can see the difference it really makes!

The homeowners still haven’t decided on a final plan for the door; they may keep the existing door and paint it or swap it someday for a French door style. I still wanted to give them some versatile storage on the door without spending a lot on something that might not work a few years from now. I found a ClosetMaid organizer on Amazon that covered the entire height of the door, had a variety of baskets in two sizes that could be adjusted as needed, and it was under $40. Oh! And it will work on any of their other interior doors down the road if this one changes.

You know me though, I can’t leave well enough alone. I generally prefer to add a liner to any wire basket or shelf to ensure nothing falls through or sits crooked. My favorite solution for doing this is to find foam board from a dollar store and cut it to size. I then wrap it with shelf liner or pretty paper and tuck it in the baskets or on the shelves.

Again, details really do make a difference and go a long way with these types of projects.

My girlfriend had the homework of sorting and purging and leaving me with everything that she wanted to go back into the closet.

Ready to see how it all came together?

This little girl absolutely loves to dance and twirl and dress up and try on socks and shoes and play with her princess dolls and stuffed animals, yet she equally loves to keep up with her big brother and play outside and get messy with arts and crafts. I really wanted her closet to reflect all of those things and to fill her with excitement and joy every time she opens the door.

There were quite a few things that I did very similarly to our son’s closet because they worked out so well for us. First, slim hangers! Always! They save space and they glide like butter on the shiny steel closet rods.

Secondly, sock organizers! I love these not just for socks, but for organizing anything small in these types of drawers. This little girl looooves bright and playful socks and will wear a couple of different pairs per day, so we decided to add a specific drawer to highlight those for her. But this drawer can also hold tights, hair accessories, scarves, etc…

Another item that I duplicated in each closet were the tall, adjustable acrylic drawer organizers. These organizers are designed to fit the ClosetMaid drawers specifically, and they worked great in our son’s closet to hold his rolled shorts. In this closet we opted to use them for darling little lady shoes!

Something that doesn’t cost a thing but also worked for both setups, is folding clothes so they stand and file. This method makes it much easier to open a drawer and find just what you are looking for, and it is also quite easy to put things away (vs. stacking into piles).

We added something a little different to the final drawer in the form of a tiered jewelry organizer! I had the hardest time photographing all of the wonderful interior dividers and earring/ring grooves, but it will be really great as she grows older and moves from costume jewelry to acquiring special pieces.

Something that may seem obvious, yet I see closets without all of the time, is adding shelves above each clothing rod. It offers a place to add some boxes, bins or baskets, or line up some extra accessories or shoes. We made sure that there would be plenty of space for changes in clothing length, and the bins can easily move to other shelves or areas of the closet as needed.

 A stack of labeled boxes holds completed art projects and special mementos.

And on the opposite shelf I added a basket dedicated to all of her dance class attire.

I found some coordinating decorative boxes from HomeGoods that ended up working well for holding clothing that is out of rotation.

A small stool tucks below the hanging items so that her daughter can easily reach anything on the shelves and rods. And the drawer pulls can double as a place to hang her adorable little outfit for the day.

My sweet tooth is hurting.

The door organizer doubles as storage for accessories like sunglasses, headbands, clutches, hair clips and dress shoes. Some of her favorite books and toys are sprinkled throughout as well.

I always love organizing and a good before and after project, but this project was especially near and dear to my heart for a few reasons. It was really wonderful to work on a project outside of our home, not only making a little girl’s bedroom more functional but also knowing how excited she will be when she looks inside of her closet every day. Secondly, I love everything about having boys but I am a girly girl and really enjoyed the opportunity to organize with flowers and pink. Lastly, everything added here should be really easy for this little girl to maintain. There was plenty of extra room on the very top shelf for bulky bedding and linens and another shelf for favorite quilts and blankets. When my girlfriend spots clothing on clearance or at a thrift sale, she can purchase clothing up a size or two and tuck it away until her daughter grows taller. Everything is easy for everyone to see and access with a great mix of open and concealed storage. The door organizer is affixed to the door so it doesn’t shift at all when opening and closing, and the small stool gives her daughter some height to reach her favorite things. A little pretty paper and gold hardware thrown in and you have the recipe for a closet that will grow right along with a very sweet and special young lady.


A huge Thank You to ClosetMaid for partnering with me on this post and to my very dear friends for allowing me to makeover a space in their home.
from IHeart Organizing http://www.iheartorganizing.com/2017/05/before-after-organized-girls-bedroom.html

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