Welcome to Kelli's Olympic Nest's tale of how we are creating a home we love through thrifty DIY projects, crafty ideas, and a willingness to get dirty. In between, there's the stories reminding us to also live the life you love. 

Closet Challenge Part 1: design a His & Her closet system to increase storage

Closet Challenge Part 1: design a His & Her closet system to increase storage

The cart before the horse then there was a closet storage plan

Do you share closet space with a partner? Want to double your storage space? Our closet is long and I'm constantly looking for ways to store our clothes in clever ways. This challenge begins with figuring out how to down size and then designing an affordable closet system that works for two people.

Now Hubby would say the closet is fine the way it is. Yeah, he may grumble about the fact he doesn't have a whole lot of closet real estate. Wifey, though, definitely hogs the area and that has become a problem. 

Here's what the closet looked like. Don't even have to label His/Her side for this one.

his side of the closet.jpg
builder grade closet before diy makeover .jpg

You can see the different ways I was trying to solve our storage problem. 

his side of master closet before makeover.jpg

Then there is his pile that was, cough, folded on the wire shelf vs. my pile...

his pile of clothes.jpg
her pile of clothes.jpg

and my giant pile of clothes on hangers to that of his meager one. Hard to believe not to long ago this room was featured as the Guest Bedroom Reveal for the $100 Room Challenge. Yikes!

his her closet diy makeover.jpg

He doesn't see it yet, but I bet this challenge means I am going to release my sentimental hold on this stuff.

If that wasn't enough of a show and tell, how about some shoes? 

what to do with all of your shoes.jpg

No side-by-side because there was no room for his shoes. 

This is embarrassing. But, if I'm going to confess, I also have a pile of work clothes. The only reason they even became "work" clothes is because I decided to paint in them.

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when your paint obsession turns into a pile of clothes to paint in.jpg


Now in defense I do have a winter and summer pile of work clothes. Still, I know when to admit most of them just collect dust; so that too will be a pile that is mostly purged. 

With the closet contents now spread throughout the different rooms, I am ready to begin the process for down sizing. It also led me to do some research. According to the article 7 Steps to declutter your closet, once and for all you only wear 20% of what's in your closet. What!? 

That's a lot of de-cluttering! I may need a support group for this one.


So I continued to do what I do...

The next step was to remove the lovely wire shelf that ran the length of the closet.

It was about this time, Hub's walked into the house. Imagine his face. Yeah, it wasn't encouraging. He shook his head, said I was crazy, and back out the door he went.

So I continued to do what I do--jump right in without testing the water or even what's beneath the surface.

The closet holes got filled and the walls got a fresh coat of white paint. It's all good.

Until it wasn't.

One thing I love about my husband is that he is willing to help me out when he knows I'm in over my head. He let me cut the 2x4s he had hauled up to to the back yard. He quietly watched as I did my thing. Then I asked him to come take a look at my progress.

He looked.

He looked at me.

He slightly shook his head and smiled.

"Why did you lay the 2x4s flush to the wall?" he asked.

"Um, because that made the most sense to me."

"Huh. Well, you know those boards are wet. They're cedar and as they dry, they're gonna stain whatever is up against them." {With raised eyebrows} "Your clothes will get stained and the lumber's gonna stain the carpet."

At this point I'm just staring at him wondering what to do.

And that's when it happens. He knows it. I know it.

I can't do this by myself.

Rather then say, I told you so. He says, "Why don't you sketch what you want, figure out what you need, and we will pick up the supplies next time we're in town."

God, I love this man. 

So I got to work doing what I should have done BEFORE I ripped everything out. I sketched a plan.

Granted it's not to scale and it's far from perfect.

closet remodel pencil sketch.jpg

With a clear vision I am now ready to design a his/her closet system

His & Her Closet Remodel Goals

  1. Design a space that is neat & cohesive

  2. Use space both vertically and horizontally

  3. Create plenty of storage space for bulky clothes and seasonal items

  4. Up-cycle materials that are on hand

  5. De-clutter 40%-60% of closet items

  6. Keep cost below $100

Lesson here:

  • Make a drawing of your vision

  • Figure out what materials you need and what you already have on hand

  • If you're a novice, definitely discuss your vision with someone else so you can adjust the plan

You know, I thought I was making progress with all of these home improvement projects. I mean the master bedroom makeover was a year in the making and the $100 Room Challenge taught me to work in steps. Yet, here I step forward and, what, 25 steps back? 

If you want to continue watching this show, stay tuned for Part II Closet Challenge: DIY closet storage unit and shelves. 

Hey, if you have your own DIY blunder, by all means make me feel better and please comment below.


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Closet Challenge Part II: affordable DIY closet shelving

Closet Challenge Part II: affordable DIY closet shelving

Decorate for spring with this easy dollar store hack

Decorate for spring with this easy dollar store hack