closet design (phase one)

First of all, thank you all so much for your feel better wishes. I’m feeling much better today and think that in a few more days I’ll be back to 100%.

Yesterday I had a few bursts of energy and made a surprising amount of progress.

One of the first areas I was keen to complete was the bedroom. Decorating aside, the room is mostly in it’s finished state. Clothes are put away, the shower curtain is up, and the dresser is filled.

Today I’m excited to share the area where I made the most progress: the closet. It is now Phase One complete. (Phase Two involves a drill and Mr. Lively’s handiwork.)

Because I cannot find my camera lenses tucked away in a box somewhere, these photos are all from an iPhone. So please ignore the fuzziness and so forth.

To start, I shall share the closet in it’s raw state.

To be honest, the closet didn’t come with a best friend and her fiance. It was empty. And this is the guest bedroom closet, which is actually a bit bigger than the master closet. But you get the idea, right?

It has nice bars and shelves, but still pretty bare.

Because our bedroom is a bit on the small side (9’9″ x 12″) we can only fit one dresser, one nightstand, and the bed in the room. Which means this 4’x5′ closet has a lot of storaging (yes, I just made that up) to do.

We debated about using the guest room’s closet as my closet or Mr. Lively’s. But it isn’t a super short walk between the rooms. And I don’t like the idea of putting on my pajamas in the guest room, or walking between the guest room and master to get ready for bed.

So we are maxing out the master closet as much as we possibly can.

Mr. Lively elected to have more dresser space so that I could have more of the closet storage. But even with this arrangement in place, I still have my pajamas in the nightstand drawer (I know, so weird), and I had no place for my t-shirts, tanks, and workout gear.

So I decided in my loopy/sick state yesterday to drag a big shelving unit into the closet.

Obviously, this was a fail. But the win here was that I dragged this all the away from the living room around two dozen boxes and managed it all by myself. In my sick state, that was a big win.

Then I tried a smaller shelving unit.

Better… but still blocking my pants and skirts.

At this point I tried it under my shirts and dresses.

It was looking good.

My short dresses are a bit bunched up on top of the shelf. But overall, it’s not so bad.

At this point I tested some baskets for the workout gear storage. Though I am fairly confident I can keep straight piles for the t-shirts and tanks, I don’t have much hope for the workout gear which is pretty much on the floor.

The workout gear looked pretty good in the baskets. But they were much smaller than the shelf size and were getting filled pretty quickly.

Then I remembered these guys…

The white metal bins were $18 from World Market a few years back and have served as cute Jess LC bins.


They are pretty, still allow for easy access, and don’t have any basket-y bits that could end up attached to my workout pants. Plus, they are larger and can hold more than the original baskets.

Other than the bins and shelves, we added a corner laundry basket that Mr. Lively picked out at Target. Since he is in charge of washing the clothes, he got to pick the container.

And there you have it. We have found a way to keep almost all of our clothes in a nightstand, dresser, and smallish walk-in closet.

Next up for this “little closet that could”… accessory storage.

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  1. Anni

    I love those baskets you found! The closet looks great, I could have used your organizational skills in our last apartment (teeny tiny Lakeview walk-up where the bedroom was 9×10 and the closet was only about as big as I am) because you’ve definitely got the art of maximizing space in a pretty way down.

  2. Jess

    Jordan, good to know! I have seen those around, Mr. Lively has them too. I just haven’t been able to justify the expense since I’ve had these for so long. But knowing that they will add more storage… that’s a good reason, right!?! : )

  3. rita

    agree with jordan on those hangers!

    we have a similar situation and we use our second BR closet for the things we don’t wear that often- his suits, my cocktail dresses, non-essential shoes, clothing that is seasonal (bathing suits, wool pants, etc.) it has been the best b/c we still have everything we need on a daily basis in our main closet and it lets us get ready together, which seems weird but if we weren’t sharing closets, we’d have to get ready apart all the time!

  4. Sara

    I’m all about making a closet a HAPPY, calm, and organized place! I re-did mine a few months ago, and my goal was to make it feel like one of my favorite shops. Not only did I want everything to be in it’s place, I wanted it to feel like my clothes and accessories were on display, so getting dressed in the morning would feel like less of a chore and more like I was stepping into one of my favorite shops to pick out a cute outfit! 🙂

    Here is my post on the topic:

  5. Oh I have the same space issues (also storing my pyjamas in my bedside table!) – but it’s all ok and organized in the end!
    PS: I guess we have also divided our roles in the household in the same way, my boyfriend is also the one to take care of washing the clothes. 😉

  6. Sarah Jane

    I also have the small bedroom closet and big spare room closet issue and though it sounds time consuming we keep summer clothes in one and winter clothes in the other and swap them every 6 month s- it forces me to declutter and thrift away clothes I haven’t worn or that are past their best each season which is an added bonus!

  7. Jess

    Sara, what a great before and after! Love it.

    Tamara, I’m glad I’m not the only one with pj’s in my nightstand!

    Sarah Jane, I think we will do something like that too. Once the guest room doesn’t look like a disaster zone. (Like it does now.)

  8. Amanda

    1. I love that clothes hamper! I’ve never seen a corner one like that.

    2. I am so excited to read your posts about setting up, organizing, and decorating your new home! It’s so inspiring!

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