Just looking at this picture of what the closet before gives me a headache. It's like a toy store threw up in it. There was just too much junk in there and no room for the boys clothes.
Clearing out all the toys took a lot of work. My hallways were chaotic and messy, all but to create a neat space, sometimes, you first have a greater mess. The first thing I did was remove all the shelves, but the top one on the right side of the closet.
Some light spackle and a coat of paint lead me to this point. Don't mind the black shelf, I was experimenting which didn't turn out the way I expected.
The last step was the hardest. I had to build out the bottom shelf with support. That was a lot of cutting, but worth it. The closet looks like we bought the house like that.
With clothes, it looks like this.
I did add another clothes rod on the bottom underneath the last shelf. I wanted to hang as much of their clothes as possible. I so hate folding and I like seeing everything out. That bottom rod allowed me to hang up all their shorts.
The linen boxes with the taupe trim house their winter clothes. The third shelf is home to all the linens. I had to clear out the linen closet in the hallway for the toys that were in this closet so I needed another place to put their sheets. More on that later. Needless to say, I had more linens than I care to think about.
The bottom shelf is meant for them. I originally planned on having drawers for their socks and underwear, but with the new rod underneath the last shelf, I had no room for that.
I had some storage boxes that had dividers for socks. Underneath was another storage box for their underwear. It was a perfect solution and it kept everything organized.
The only thing I did purchase were these linen lined trays. I thought it was perfect to store their play clothes in. The picture below shows these beautiful robes my sister bought for the kiddos on her trip to Viet Nam, but the tray to the left stores their play shirts. It is so much easier for them to find the right clothes to wear.
I plan on buying 2 more trays for their gi's. I'm tired of seeing their karate outfits all over the place. Having it in one place makes it easier for them.
As far as the strategy for hanging their clothes, its by color. It's been by color since day one and every one of my closets have clothes hanging by color. I just like the way it looks. I can find things much faster. I didn't buy any new hangers because my kids are on the verge of switching over to adult hangers within the year so for now, I am reusing the hangers we have.
I have bins underneath the clothes for their unused hangers. They know to toss their hanger in the bin when they grab a shirt. That way they don't have to sift through the clothes to find an empty hanger when they are hanging up the laundry. Yes, they put away their own clothes. I taught them young and I don't regret it for one moment.
That's the new closet in a nutshell. I'm not quite done. I want to buy some chalkboard labels for all the boxes and I want to hang a mirror in the closet. Once I get those things checked off my list, I can call this project complete. I was able to reuse a lot of the things I already owned in this closet. I already had the linen boxes. I bought those at Target 4 years ago. They still sell them. The boxes with the khaki trim (2nd shelf) is currently 22.49 each. The square box on the third shelf is $14.99 while the rectangle box is 24.99. The socks and underwear boxes are 14.99 each. The rectangle shirt tray is 12.99 while the square tray is 9.99. The red wooden boxes underneath the shirts I bought at Lowe's a few years back for $1.50 (they 75% off).
My total purchases so far for this project are 3 closet rods, 2 rod brackets, and two shirt trays. That's a total cost of 71.93. Buying two additional trays, a mirror, and chalkboard labels will run my grand total to 101.91. I am pretty ecstatic since that is far below the price I had anticipated on spending just for the closet system. In the end, I am super happy that we have a more functional closet for our family now.