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Woman's Closet Makeover

I'm a custom closet designer. Why would I have a messy closet? Well, I used to let untidiness go unchecked in my closet. But not anymore.


Before you judge me, know that a messy-looking closet can still be organized. And it was. I could find anything quickly and put things away easily. But why did I let the messiness become the norm for awhile?


If you would like more insight into who I am, you should know that I try to be resourceful, financially conservative, and pragmatic. When we moved into this house nearly 3 years ago, I was met with a 54" reach-in closet containing 1 rod and 1 shelf and 2 hooks. That was NOT going to hold all my clothes. Since I like to repurpose things I already own, I pieced together some tiered shelving, brought with me from my old apartment, in an attempt to give myself more storage. That worked for, like, 3 minutes. (You can see in the first 2 black/white photos below.)


Then I upgraded to the elfa system from The Container Store. You should know by now, if you've been following this business the past 7 years, that I love the elfa system. It is super practical, flexible, adjustable, and sometimes beautiful. It is in half of our household closets - I've loved selling it to happy customers for 5+ years. Yet, in this instance, it wasn't really shining, like I needed it to.


You can see in the 2 right photos below that parts of my piles of clothes were dripping down beyond the shelves - sleeves, straps, ties, hoods - visible under its shelves. While it's totally functional, it always looked unkempt...not the look I was going for in my Home Show Room. There are other closets where elfa looks fabulous, but not in this one...not in the one I look in every single day.

So I made the decision to upgrade - again. This time I designed the closet and ordered through Chicago Closets & Cabinetry, one of my other business affiliates of 3 years. I am so pleased with how it turned out! I love the clean look of the solid melamine shelves (custom-cut to fit perfectly). I chose a warm & neutral "Morning Mist" finish that complemented our greige bedroom walls. Since I assisted during the installation, I was able to put the rods and shelves at exactly the height I wanted and can also change them in the future.

Katie pup and Laura in front of new closet
Katie pup and Laura in front of new closet.
Katie pup appreciates the openness of the closet
Katie pup appreciates the openness of the closet.
Similar types and colors of clothing stored neatly together.
Similar types and colors of clothing stored neatly together.

Because it was important to me to have tidy piles of clothes, I ordered 6 acrylic shelf dividers (like these) that clip perfectly onto the shelves between each pile.

Tidy piles of clothes with acrylic dividers in between.
Tidy piles of clothes with acrylic dividers in between.
Tidy piles of clothes and clear shoe bins.
Tidy piles of clothes and clear shoe bins.
Husband Erik loves his elfa closet system on the left.
Husband Erik loves his elfa closet system on the left.
Matching hangers give a cohesive look.
Matching hangers give a cohesive look.

These days I'm wearing the same 2 pairs of shoes/boots. But during normal times I would wear a variety of shoes for a variety of occasions. To ensure that my shoes stay protected and dust-free during their "off season," I placed them in clear shoe bins (similar to these) from The Container Store.

Clear shoe bins protect seasonal and special occasion shoes.
Clear shoe bins protect seasonal shoes.

Plus, you'll notice from the Before photos that I used to have bypass sliding doors on the closet. Not anymore! Now that I have a gorgeous closet, I've taken the doors off to maximize accessibility and visibility (for me or any Show Room visitors). It has made life so much easier!


If you're in the Elm Grove area and want to visit my Home Show Room (or the Virtual Tour is popular these days), send me a message! Or, if you're in the Milwaukee/Chicago/Madison area and want to upgrade YOUR closet (or mudroom, home office, laundry room, play room, basement, garage, etc), start the design process here! I'd love to partner with you in making your life better through custom organizational systems.

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