We hear that kids come with lots of stuff. LOTS and LOTS of stuff.
Ideally, we should have somewhere to put said stuff. Or, most of it anyway.
So, with the goal of having places to put kid stuff in mind, I recently executed a makeover of our two spare closets.
The first closet is the one in my office, which will (hopefully soon) become a child’s room. Here is a before shot:
That’s a few purses/bags, a bridesmaid dress from five years ago, a fireproof safe, water for my iron, my law school graduation gown, an accordion file holding manuals to all sorts of household items, landscape plans, a yarn swift, my old laptop, and other random stuff.
And here’s the closet in our guest room, which includes comforters, pillows, table leaves, a small rocking chair that was mine as a child, and bins of memorabilia:
Neither of the closets were set up to be fully functional in a way that we’ll need them to be, and they were both holding a bunch of stuff that I needed to either get rid of or find real storage space for. So, a couple of weeks ago I emptied both closets, removed the rods and shelves, patched holes, painted the interior of the closets, and visited one of my favorite stores to get some help with designing new, efficient closet spaces.
Here are the results:
Closet #1, fit for a toddler. I must say it was an interesting experience figuring this closet out. The designer asked me simple questions like: How old is your child? Umm, I don’t know. How many clothes does he or she have? Yeah, none? What other things will you need to store in the closet? Sorry, I have no idea. Thankfully the man helping me was very kind and had a 3-year-old daughter, so he was able to help me figure some things out. And he was also very appropriate in not asking me a lot of questions – like I think many would – when I explained we were adopting. I really appreciated that. As much as I don’t mind talking about it, I don’t need to give an entire history of our process to the closet designer, you know?
By the way, what you see in that closet is the sum total of everything we have for a child, except for the rocking chair and an old trunk/chest of mine from my childhood that I’m thinking about cleaning up in some way to make it work in a child’s room again. I’m still not ready to start acquiring things, but it was a little shocking to see just that handful of items and realize that we are going to need a lot more! Otherwise, look at all of that wasted, precious storage space!
And this is closet #2, in our guest room. I wanted this closet to function in two ways: first, to give us some storage space on the top for bulky things like pillows and comforters, and also to have a shelf for my yarn stash (which will need to be relocated (and perhaps, dare I say publicly, minimized?) from my office when the time comes); and second, to provide space for guests to hang and fold clothes and other items. When we empty out my office, my desk will need to go into our guest room, which means we will no longer have space for a dresser. Since I hear grandparents like to visit grandchildren, I wanted to make sure there was space so that someone visiting for several days could unpack and get somewhat settled in. So there’s the hanging rod and also the stacking set of drawer-like bins.
I’m pretty happy with the way both closets worked out. I have a bunch of things I need to donate to charity, and I need to get a few things squared away in other locations in the house, but in the end I think they’ll both work for what we need. And the joy of these particular systems is that if they don’t work, we can totally change them up, move pieces around, and get new pieces if necessary, since the systems are interchangeable.
By the way, I love the tagline this company uses for their systems:
Happiness is an organized closet. I fully agree!