Duo Ventures

Thursday, May 1, 2014

Organizing: My Brother's Closet

While we were in Wisconsin last fall visiting my family, I decided to take on a little organizing task: my youngest brother's closet.  He's a senior in high school now & will be off to college this fall.  In the event that he attends a local university (AKA: stays at mom & dad's house), I wanted him to have a more organized & functional closet (you'll see what I mean in a second).

His room is pretty tiny - so it's no wonder he spends most of his time in the basement.  As a result, his bedroom had essentially become a storage facility for all his "stuff".  Aside from his clothes, his bedroom & closet had been housing nearly every toy from his childhood.  I would have liked to help him purge, sort, & organize through it all, but I focused on the closet & clothes situation during this trip.

Here's what the closet looked like - as you can see, there was almost no room to hang his clothes:

First, I emptied out the entire closet, organizing his clothing into piles as I went.  Doing an inventory of all his clothing first is an important step because it allowed me to get a rough estimate of how much hanging storage & shelf space we would need to accommodate everything.  Don't forget to take into account clothes that may be in the laundry room (in this case, half of his wardrobe was in the laundry!):

Next, we removed the closet doors to make installation easier.  After I emptied out the closet, I was left with a single shelf & hanging bar - which was not the most functional setup.  With the existing layout, there was simply too much wasted space.  I felt a closet organizer kit would maximize the storage space - so I removed the shelf & the bar to make room for a new system:

Next, I patched up all the holes:

While the joint compound dried, Nader & I ran to Home Depot to look for a closet organizer. 

The kit we ended up getting was the Closetmaid Selectives 16" White Custom Closet Organizer (the shelf width is 16").  We went with this specific organizer because of the shallow shelf depth & adjustable width options.  Devon's closet is not very deep & this kit is only about 14" deep.

This organizer also fits closets anywhere from 4'-9' wide, allowing you to customize it to your closet.  It only came with 3 hanging rods, so we did purchase one extra rod as well.

It took us about 30-40 minutes to assemble the shelf portion:

Next, we began installing the shelf unit.  Before we attached it to the wall, we had to decide where we wanted to place it.  If it was my closet, I would have left the doors off & centered the shelves - but Devon said he preferred to keep the doors on so that their cat stayed out.

This was actually an important detail when it came to installing the shelf unit - if the shelves were positioned directly in the middle of the closet, the doors would have been blocking them.
You can see what I mean from the old closet layout:

Since we planned on putting the doors back up, I off-centered the shelf unit to the left so that he could access the shelves more easily.  Once the shelving portion was done, we started on the rods,
using wall anchors to attach the rods to the walls:

The following day I began adding back all of his clothing, organizing by color & type.  I also bought all new white hangers - they're relatively inexpensive & create so much more visual organization.

Since he had a smaller amount of t-shirts & dress pants, I hung those items on the shorter rods on the left side of the closet.  His button down shirts, polos, & long sleeve shirts went on the longer rods on the right.  I used the shelves to organize all his sweaters, hoodies, & flannels:

So for under $100, I was able to create a much more functional & usable closet space:
Now his closet is storing items that he actually uses on a daily basis.  I wish I could have organized the rest of the room as well...but that's a project for another time.



  1. That is an amazing transformation of your brother’s closet, Mel! It looks a lot more organized, and I guess now it could store more stuff! Anyway, what are your plans about your next project? I hope you post them here when you're done!

    Sharon Scoffins @ Flooring Your Way

    1. Thanks Sharon! Surprisingly, he's kept it looking nice & neat thus far! lol ;)
      Not sure on the next project - possibly some bathroom organization in the works...
      Thanks for reading!

  2. Awesome, love all your organizing posts, it makes me happy!! On "before" pictures, looks like it had 50/50: clothes versus other miscellaneous things in there. Where did it all go cause thats a whole lot of stuff? lol

    1. Thank you so much! Organizing make me happy too - I would love to start an organizing business someday soon! :)

      You're right - there were A LOT of toys & stuff in there too. I had my brother go through & purge some of it, but the truth is that he's a super sentimental guy, and has a hard time getting rid of stuff (even though he doesn't play with the stuff anymore)...so a good portion of it got packed away in plastic bins & stored in their basement for now.