Despite the fact that my house is nearly 3,000 sq. ft., the master bedroom closet is miniscule. Even with my wife and I dividing it down the middle, if feels like it can only fit one of us. I’ve started to change this, and I have more ideas on how to make the room feel large and luxurious.
Edit your wardrobe
I’m guilty of having too many t-shirts in my closet, even despite paring down during our move between states last year. Many of them are “I might need a shirt that can get dirty” and “I don’t wear this on a regular basis.” The problem is, I only rarely need a shirt that can get dirty to the point of not being able to just throw it in the wash. That’s where the 20/20 rule comes into play. As The Minimalists put it, “Anything we get rid of that we truly need, we can replace for less than $20 in less than 20 minutes from our current location.” Simple, elegant, and it will free up a lot of space in the closet.
Baskets and Bins
When we moved into the house last December, we basically threw our clothes into the closet without any mind for organization. It was a “get the clothes in the closet, deal with the rest later” situation, and it hasn’t improved much in the 10 months since. I recently bought a basket and sliding bins, and as you can seen in the photo above, we have two regular bins. My wife co-opted the basket as a de facto hamper, but I’ve used the bins to great effect. I now store my jeans, loungewear and some winter clothes in the bins, saving desperately needed space – which will be all the greater once I put the last tip into practice.
Closet on display
There are cubbies built in at the center of the closet, seen above. I would love to display important items on the shelves to add an elegant touch. For me, it’s a collection of what has been termed “fashionable hats.” Instead of ball caps, my collection includes a trilby, Greek captain’s hat from my parents’ recent trip, a bowler hat, and two newsboy caps. Given that I haven’t had any space in my closet, they are sitting in a box in the garage. While the internet has done its best to ruin the reputation of fedoras and trilby hats, I still want to proudly display mine alongside my suits.
The same cubbies I just mentioned are a detriment, however, in that they came with the house. I may need to build my own cubbies and hangers, and get rid of what we currently have, in order to be more efficient with the space. While I could invest in pre-made closet shelving, possibly from a certain Swedish furniture company, their nearest location is a few hundred miles away. Hardware stores with wood and nails are just down the street.
Drawers for the small things
There’s a small area where I keep my winter shirts right now, but I ultimately want to pull the wooden bar down and replace the hanging shirts with drawers as another DIY project. I’m one of the few people at work that wears a tie everyday, and I currently have my ties hanging from two clothes hangers. It’s not ideal. My wife’s ever-growing scarf collection also needs a place to live, as do my pocket squares and rarely used cufflinks.
I have some vacuum storage bags left over from moving that have been sitting in my garage. I recently organized my garage (it was more important to get the cars in the garage than my clothes in the closet), so I now have room to store some of the bigger clothing items in a vacuum-sealed bag. My summer shorts and most of my t-shirts will soon be useless in the unyielding cold of an Idaho winter, so why should they take up space in my closet for a few months?
I have recently become a gun owner, and I don’t own a safe. With my wife and I looking to start a family, I need somewhere to lock up our firearms where tiny hands won’t pry. The closet seems a safe bet. Unfortunately for me, gun safes tend to be expensive. Fortunately, metal lockers are not, and I can still lock them. It’s a short-term solution, to be sure, as I will definitely want a real gun safe by the time any future children learn how to wield tools to pry the locker up, but a locker in the closet should serve its purpose until then. Plus, the locker can also be used to further clothing storage when I no longer need to keep guns in it.
My wife is tall. I am not. I have very little hope of reaching anything at the top shelf of the closet, while my wife can barely reach it. For my last improvement, I would love to have some sort of ladder to reach the top shelf. It doesn’t need to be rolling, but I want access to that space so I can store more clothes. There’s a few hoodies up there right now, but it’s underutilized.
Even with the few changes on the list I’ve made so far, the closet feels much, much bigger. I have more room to store things, rather than just throwing them around, and it will only feel roomier with more improvements and sorting.