Wednesday, August 5, 2009

The Trial and Tribulations of a New Closet

I once came across an article somewhere that said if a person's home is a true reflection of their character, then a person's closets are a look into the inner workings of their soul. A little deep for Dr. office waiting room reading, but as someone who spends a lot of time thinking about their home it caught my attention. If my home is beautiful but my closet is a jumbled confusion, does that mean I'm really just walking through life with a mask on. Or is the closet supposed to be the place you shove everything in, shut the door and forget about.

A big believer in the 'eye on the prize' life motto, this spread from Domino (April 07 if my notes are correct), is what I aspire to. The mirrored doors, the color coded sweaters, the neatly lined rows of shoes--ahh, heaven. What would this kind of closet say about a person? During a recent move, I flagged this spread in the Idea Files, determined to do a small scale version. And so began my month long trial and tribulation of a new closet.

I recently moved into a house in which all the closets had been redone with a very popular line of customizable closet organizers. In my eager to decorate anticipation, this seemed like a great selling point. Until unpacking day came and I quickly realized that my closet had been designed with child sized proportions. The configuration was all wrong, my clothes dragged on the ground, it was a jumbled mess.

I took all the pieces apart, laid them on the floor and did my best to reconfigure to my needs. I made trips to the store, google researched best layouts, bought more pieces that I later discovered were not compatible with my 'older version' pieces. Each day ended more frustratingly worse than the next with me giving up and throwing all the clothes back in a big pile on the floor.

I know that many, many people are devotees of my closet organizer system. I know this because during the weeks I've been complaining about my useless closet, you have been telling me. Even during late-night, frazzled phone calls, people touted the greatness of this system. I will take your word for it that they are extraordinary, when you buy the system customized for yourself. But all I wanted to do was hang my dresses up and not have them drag on the floor, is that too much to ask. I think not. Why can't I happily skip through (ok, in front of) my closet, a la Celerie Kemble (below).

Last night was a do or die standoff between me and my so-called closet. I was not stopping until my hangers were in. One more trip to the store (for parts that ended up not working), two mini-meltdowns, and one saving grace of a roommate later, we jerry-rigged together a system that is functional. I'll have to make it stunningly beautiful later, but after a month of clothing on the floor, this is beautiful to me.

So beautiful in fact, we celebrated with a cocktail. Cheers to the new closet!


  1. you can do great hangers.

  2. Good for you! I was inspired by an re-do in Real Simple a couple of years ago (I miss that regular feature!) to update my closet, and it was one of the best home decisions ever. To that end, I bought a hanging canvas organizer for T-shirts and randomness and coordinating hangers--just like the ones you have! Then I hung up shirts by color and sleeve length and then pants by material--cotton, wool, denim. My closet is extremely small, but these changes made such a difference. Yours is looking great!

  3. I share your pain. I have had many, many of the same issues complete with the problem of not being able to find a stud where you need it (my ongoing joke with my husband) and having to use molly bolts WHICH NEVER HOLD UP OVER TIME! This time, I gave in to what I know works: metro shelves. Study, easily changed and I got wheels tall enough to sweep under the thing as well as good storage space. No, it does not look like a magazine spread. But the simple (and to my cook's eye) elegant chrome, STURDY, moveable system works for me. I toast your new closet and the end of the middle of the floor pile up.

  4. I need a drink just reading this! Perhaps you would like to come over and tackle mine? But, goodness, have a lot of room for those new fall fashions....

  5. You have more shoes then my sister does. I didn't think that was possible.

    -Zane of ontario honey