Tiny Closet Space Transformation

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

It’s been ages since I’ve shared Live Simply client work around here and this one–this one is deserving.

To describe my client’s space as “small” would be a grotesque understatement of facts. This mini house she inhabits apparently used to belong to the local church, which provided it to the pastor gratis. Suffice it to say that apparently spiritual leadership and the necessity for square footage do not go hand in hand. But the home has a unique charm nonetheless.

The closet, on the other hand, was not cute. For one person it was insulting. For two, which became the number of inhabitants relying upon it when my client’s boyfriend moved in with her, the closet was not working. We’re talking total storage nightmare the kind that keeps you up for weeks.  

So she called me in and I saw it and I was all, “OHHHHHHH. YEAH. This is rawl bad. Rawl, ral bad. Okay, we’re going to change your life now.” 

This tiny closet space gets a complete transformation! Tips to steal here for maximizing space in all small closets.

Is that the stupidest?

A true closet design fail is what it was. The hanging rod was about a foot in, blocking any and all access to the “wealth of space” behind it; lighting: wretched; shelf space: abominable.  

This tiny closet space gets a complete transformation! Tips to steal here for maximizing space in all small closets.

This tiny closet space gets a complete transformation! Tips to steal here for maximizing space in all small closets.

Closet cruelty. Happens every day.

I seriously had to tussle with those hanging garments in order to even catch a glimpse of what was happening behind. It was like a game of Red Rover but without the kids and without the chanting. 

I always hated that game. 

This tiny closet space gets a complete transformation! Tips to steal here for maximizing space in all small closets.

I couldn’t blame my client one bit for what had developed. Not one bit. Could you?

This tiny closet space gets a complete transformation! Tips to steal here for maximizing space in all small closets.

It was terribly, terribly evident that we would need to remove whatever existing closet elements there were and start from scratch. But figuring out the optimal set up was a puzzle to say the least.

If we did a system along the longer wall she’d lose the benefit of the depth the closet provided. If we added storage along the back and side wall she would hardly have been able to squeeze in. Etc.

It felt clear to me that we should maximize the depth of the closet by making the back wall our main storage situation. But I didn’t want the longer side walls to go to waste either. Back wall pimped out + hanging rack along one side wall would have been ideal, and was entirely implausible. Garments hung sideways would stick out way too far into the space, making getting to the storage at the back of the closet a difficult task. Which would defeat the purpose. 

I collaborated with an Elfa designer at The Container Store, meaning the two of us stood there and plotted and discussed and scratched our heads together. 

And then all of a sudden it came to me: valet hooks. 

Valet hooks hung along one side wall would provide viable and significant hanging space, but unlike a hanging rod would not obstruct the standing room.

Ding ding ding!!!

These particular valet hooks also fold up when not in use and while I seriously doubt they’ll be unused, I figured why not give them the option. 

 voila:

This tiny closet space gets a complete transformation! Tips to steal here for maximizing space in all small closets.

This tiny closet space gets a complete transformation! Tips to steal here for maximizing space in all small closets. This tiny closet space gets a complete transformation! Tips to steal here for maximizing space in all small closets.

This tiny closet space gets a complete transformation! Tips to steal here for maximizing space in all small closets. This tiny closet space gets a complete transformation! Tips to steal here for maximizing space in all small closets. This tiny closet space gets a complete transformation! Tips to steal here for maximizing space in all small closets.

This tiny closet space gets a complete transformation! Tips to steal here for maximizing space in all small closets.

 

 

I’ve still got a bit of work left to do, but suffice it to say this closet got a major upgrade. 

 

15 thoughts on “Tiny Closet Space Transformation

  1. bosorganization

    Beautiful work, dramatically documented! I hope you share the link with your Container Store collaborator, it’ll make their day.

    Reply
  2. Linda

    Nice work. Too bad my closet is even smaller. I think it’s about the same width but doesn’t have the depth. True 1940’s ranch house. Minimal closets.

    Reply
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  4. Janet LeRoux

    I didn’t notice the closet dimensions. Can you tell me what they are? I think my closet is similar size but not as deep. This looks like a walk-in compared to mine.

    Reply
  5. Denise

    You just helped me solve a big problem I’m having in a small closet I’m about to re-do for our last baby. Because you need to use the 16inch shelves from Elfa to get a good hanging distance from the wall, we lost the ability to put shelving on a 24 inch wall that we had in the closet (it’s only 32 inches deep, so we end up only having about 7-8 inches leftover after installing the shelves along the longest wall). Upside is that install will be easier on one wall versus two, but I’ve been trying to brainstorm ideas on how to add storage to that smaller wall. I was thinking regular hooks (like the ones you put on the back of bathroom doors), but I love this idea because it can be used for more than one item. It’s slowly becoming a baby room and full length things (like a dress or a bathrobe) won’t fit with how we designed things to hang. The room will still serve as a guest room when family visits (we’ll be keeping a twin mattress set in the garage when not needed), which means I need to be able to have a space for adult clothing items to keep people from having to live out of a suitcase all while not sacrificing space for the baby’s things. I don’t put anything but socks (and since this one is our first girl, we’ll also have hair things galore, I’m sure) in drawers because their clothes are so small, I forget what we already own and end up forgetting to put them in special occasion outfits because I don’t find them until after the event or holiday. Making EVERYTHING hang in such a small closet and still allow for adult clothing seemed nearly impossible, but having these will be awesome. When family isn’t here, I can use the gap for storing a hamper or something and just relocate it during visits and get more functionality out of the closet. Thank you!!! 🙂

    Reply
  6. Vanessa

    What is the organizer on the small wall called? (That has the 5 shelves) Or in other words could you possibly attach a link to it? Thanks!

    Reply
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