April 3, 2014

My New Closet: Small Space. Kind of a Big Deal.

At long last, we're starting to move into the 2nd level / attic living space of our addition. 
The attached garage below has been a treat this winter.  Aside from having a place to house all the snow pants & boots, to hop into a comfortable room-temp car without having to go out in -20° or colder weather is an ultimate amenity.

All that we have left to do upstairs is waiting for oak lumber, whcih is just out of the kiln & will be home soon.  (Closet doors, a small bathroom cabinet, and window trim.)
For now, our closets are officially ready to move into.

In designing the layout of our master bedroom, we decided to make use of eve space for our closets.  
I attempted all kinds of research into best use for non-traditional closet space like this, searching my heart out on Pinterest, to no avail.  So, out came the graph paper & good erasable pencil, and I came up with what I think is the best possible use for our closet space.  

"Simplicity means the achievement of maximum effect with minimum means." - Einstein

Here's my new closet: 

•  Mitch's is matching, opposite mine.  They each measure 5.5' deep by 5' wide. 
Though it looks small, I'll actually have more useful space than before.
By running closet rod on one side as well as the back, I've got almost 10' of hanging rod - more than I had in my standard closet.   And I can reach everything!
I already moved Mitch into his.  We were able to reach my goal of doing away with a dresser for him.  (After many years trying to defy it, I've accepted that he's never going to start closing dresser drawers.)  All of his clothing, from long johns to wool socks (we have lots of those in northern MN) fit on the shelving.  With plenty of room to spare.

•  Mitch insisted on wiring lights into our closets.   I didn't think we needed them, but I can see now that it'll be nice.  I won't have to be woken by a bright light when he gets up extremely early in the morning.  

•  We happened to have some aromatic cedar logs that he ran through the sawmill to use as closet flooring.  It smells fantastic.

•  I treated myself to new hangers - they're slim (space saving) and actually pretty dreamy.  Less likely to leave hanger marks & clothes don't slide around on them.  

We've had the same closets for over 15 years, accumulating & hiding stuff. 
I've started cleaning them out over the past couple of days.  This is kind of a big deal!   
I'm trying to be very mindful about what moves into our new space, which has led me to pare down.
One thing that's going is my wedding dress.  If I felt attached to it at some point before, that feeling is now gone.  I gave it fair consideration, and after hanging in our closets for going on 17 years, it's packed to go.
I think my leather biker jacket is next.  It's a pretty sweet jacket - maybe someone can use it.   I'm just not a biker.
I've yet to reach the top shelf.  I've honestly never been able to reach the top shelf, and so what goes there has always stayed there, who knows what I've yet to unearth in this process!

My next house update will be more exciting.  But I have to say - the clean slate of new closets to move into is pretty darn exciting!

Do you hang your pants / jeans on hangers? 


  1. Congratulations. It is great to have an impetus for siting out . Love the cedar floor and I bet the moths won't like it much, a great bonus.
    My good pants are on hangers, gardening and farm pants folded on shelves.
    Have great fun moving in and the light in the closet is really a necessity on grey days as one gets older.

  2. A closet, no matter how small, is a luxury. You have planned this one well. All pants/jeans are hung here as we have no dressers. Some of the non-creaseable type may find a spot on a shelf with sweaters.

  3. What a great use of space! I love the varied colors in your wood floor!

  4. looking good. i guess we are both working hard on our homes. you have a bigger project with the addition. and yes i hang my pants and jeans on hangers. i use huggable huggers.

  5. Nothing better than well designed closets. We did that when we moved here. Our walk in closet is really a walk through since Dan's study is on the other side. Sort of like going into his cave! I have some cupboards in there that still have nothing in them and will likely stay that way.

    Who will get your old bedroom?

    1. Lilly will move into our old bedroom. her current room has been the most affected by the adding on process - she now has a door to the garage in her room and traffic coming through! That will become a home office as soon as we're done moving everyone.
      Our kitchen table has been covered in blueprints, material sample sheets, estimating books & more this past month while it's the busy estimating / planning phase in anticipation of the building season. I'm thrilled that next tax prep season & bidding boom will have a PLACE set aside for it, away from five kids eating, playing, & doing homework! :)

  6. That looks like a wonderful use of the space. And yes, I hang my pants on hangars in the closet, by the waistband.

  7. I'm envious of your big closet! I know what you mean about things stored on the top shelves that you can't reach. I really need to clean mine out. I do hang my pants and jeans on hangers.

  8. That looks like a pretty sweet setup! I love the cedar floors! Cedar smells so yummy! I have tried to hang my jeans & I just don't like taking the time to hang them. So they end up in a pile on the floor or in a drawer.

  9. Yes, I hang my pants folded on a hanger. Your closet looks great, am sure you are going to enjoy it.

  10. they look awesome! and you tucked them into the eaves to use that space as well as possible. good for you!

  11. Love the wood flooring! Beautiful! It's nice to have the opportunity to clean out and start fresh and new. I haven't cleaned my closet in years.....I really should, but it's more fun to go hiking and skiing outside on the weekends. :)

  12. Dress pants for work go on a hanger, but jeans are on a closet shelf. Nothing like a fresh, clean closet! I need to clean mine out over spring break. Yuk! Yours looks great!

  13. Looks like a wonderful new space. Its always such a wonderful feeling to have a clean and new space.


  14. The floor fragrance is wafting its way into my head . . . PERFECT!
    Such fun it will be to put your new closet and room together . . .

  15. Forgot . . . I use hangers . . .

  16. The new closets sound as if they are an excellent use of space that might otherwise be used. The cedar floors are a great touch.

  17. Cedar logs and lightning! Sounds overwhelmingly perfect! A wonderful new close.But why is the oak lumber in the kiln? Fro drying?

    1. Yes - the fresh cut lumber goes to a big kiln to slowly dry. (Too fast & it can twist up wonky.) Wood shrinks as it dries, so it has to be dried in order to be sound & straight. If were to put fresh cut wood down as flooring, it would shrink and have huge gaps. (Here in MN we have very dry winters - even kiln-dried lumber shrinks & expands with the seasons.)
      Some wood doesn't have to be kiln dried, if it can dry in stacks with spacers to give room for air to circulate - it takes a long time though (many months.)
      Mitch has a gadget that checks the moisture content of the wood.
      It's interesting, I'm always learning something new about it all!
      We don't have our own kiln - but he's mentioned possibly converting a building into one.

  18. We redid our pantry and Master Bedroom closets after 18 years in our house. I got rid of so much (hidden) stuff. I love how organized everything is. I got new hangers, too. I love your cedar floors! I hang my dress pants and jeans but fold my yoga/workout pants.

  19. Love your new closet space! I've been slowly going through my closet and trying to purge items that never seem to get worn. Haven't found many treasures that I'd forgotten about, but I did find a $20 bill in one of my drawers. (I don't have a dresser, but use plastic drawers in the closet.) A closet cleaning bonus! I also hang my dress pants and jeans and fold workout wear.

  20. Beautiful closet! I fold my jeans :)