Master Closet DIY

Well I knew this day would come - the day we would have to replace our master closet unit. Our builder installed a very basic shelf and hanging rack that ran the length of our long, yet narrow, master closet. Every time I put something on the shelf I knew it was only a matter of time before it came crashing down, almost like playing Jenga with your clothes. 

So when I got the following picture in a text message from AMH that read "Don't know what happened here", all I could do was laugh...

The entire unit ripped right out of the wall and on the way down damaged the wall in many, many spots. Well we knew what we were doing that weekend, replacing our closet!

I really (really, really) wanted to wait until we could put in a California Closet but there were three things holding me back; I needed this situation fixed right away, I think our closet is too narrow for a large wood unit, and budget. After careful consideration, approximately 20 minutes in a Lowe's aisle, we settled on the Closetmaid Shelf Track with two add-ons; a set of four drawers and a shoe rack. So that was our weekend settled for us, we were installing a new master closet. 

But first we had to slowly pull our clothes through the narrow door opening until we had enough room to push it open. We then moved everything in the closet into our room (it was a great time to clear out clothes we no longer wanted!) and assess the damage. Our Bernese Mountain Dog Colton sure enjoyed hanging out in the bedroom with us all weekend! The walls had to be patched which meant repainting the walls.  

Since there are no windows in our closet we wanted to make the space as bright as possible. We chose a warm white for the walls, Sherwin-Wiliams Snowbound, and installed a track lighting unit. We previously had a single light in there and it was always so dark. This new light has made a world of difference, we can actually see everything now! The Closetmaid unit was fairly easy to install. And I say that since I didn't have any part other than watching but it seemed like the husband didn't have a hard time installing it. One thing that we did change is upgrading the hardware the unit came with. We bought heavy duty butterfly wall plugs to secure the unit to the wall. 

Once you have the basic layout attached to the wall, it's just a matter of adding your selves where you want them. The instructions come with roughly 14 variations of the unit so you really can customize to your needs. We knew we wanted lots of shelf space and to install the drawers to hold small items like socks. 

After installing, and putting all of our clothes away, we knew we needed one more shelf for my side. It was an easy fix. All we did was purchase another length of wire shelf and two brackets and voila! Now I have one long shelf for my sweaters and out of season clothes, two hanging racks for work clothes and dresses, two shelves for my shirts, pants, and pj's, and two racks for shoes. 

The new unit makes it so much easier to get dressed in the morning. Before we had everything piled on top of one another because we only had one long shelf. Now, I have everything nicely organized and grouped. I can see everything I need the second I walk into the closet!

I tried to keep as much off of the floor as possible, a pet peeve of mine from the last closet was stacking our out of season sweaters on the floor. Now all I have is some books, bags, and my jewelry box.  

I am totally in love with the add-on of the drawers and I don't think this closet unit would have been complete without it. We placed them directly in the centre of the unit with my clothes on one side and my husband's on the other. 

We split the drawers and we created a gap in between the shelves so I could have a little space for my boxes and bracelets.  

I love having a shelf so close to the ceiling because it's a great way to store items we don't need access to daily like my purses, baseballs, and other keepsakes (like Disney dolls because we are adults!)

I am happy to report that our closet has stayed tidy and organized since we first installed the unit three weeks ago. It's just so easy now that we have shelves and drawers! The light really made all the difference and I can't believe how much brighter it is!

Another pet peeve of mine in the old closet was the ironing board that was constantly being moved in the closet and the iron being left on the floor. A cheap unit from Wal-Mart fixed that! Now we have a proper place for both on the wall. I have toyed with the idea of putting something up in the opposite wall like art work or some narrow shelves but I think we will stick with the plain white walls for now. We really are enjoying how bright and clean the space looks! 

That was our big master closet DIY. It did take the full weekend to complete but that included patching walls, painting, installing the unit and lighting, and putting everything back, so I think we made good time. 

Breakdown of costs:
Four drawer kit - $99.99
Shoe rack - $32.99
Additional shelf and brackets - approx $30
Ironing unit - $10
Light - $139.99
Paint, brushes, putting - Approx. $100

A little over $600 for a unit we customized to suit our needs. Not too shabby! I hope you have enjoyed this little recap of our master closet DIY. Here's hoping your closet unit doesn't break on you one Friday, but if it does, just laugh and head to your nearest box store. I promise you will be pleased with the outcome! 

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