Welcome to a new weekly series of ideabooks: DIY projects. Each week, we’ll offer tips to help you with a specific project at home.
This first installment is on an inside job that seems daunting at first, but the payoff is worth it: customizing your bedroom closet.
Everybody has closet woes, but with a little effort, even the most nightmarish storage space can become something magical. While it’s tempting to head out to IKEA and buy every closet organizer in sight, the key to successful closet design is to plan first and buy later. Following a few simple steps will take much of the frustration out of closet-remodeling, so you can focus on the fun stuff – your fantastic new closet.
1. Set some goals.
What would your dream closet look like? First, forget your space constraints and list everything you’d love in a closet. Then prioritize with your lifestyle and your space realities in mind.
2. Inventory. Toss. And be ruthless.
You’ve heard it all before – if you haven’t worn it in a year, give it away. If it’s in bad shape, throw it away. What you keep, organize into neat piles for the next step.
Take a look at all those clothes and accessories you’re keeping and create categories built around what the item is, when you wear it, and how frequently. This will help you figure out what can be stored seasonally and what needs to be most easily accessible vs. what can hide behind some shoes (be honest – it might be gorgeous, but you’re not really wearing that evening gown three times a week.)
4. Measure, measure, measure.
With all your stuff out of the closet, it probably looks a bit different to you, so you can imagine multiple options. Before getting carried away, drag out the tape measure and figure out what you’ve got to work with, dimensions-wise.
5. Research your options: buy, build or repurpose.
Take a look around the internet, and at different retailers with closet customization options, such as IKEA, The Container Store, and California Closets. Consider your own capabilities – can you build it yourself? The DIY Network website (www.diynetwork.com) can help with the details. Or do some shopping right in your own house. An old bookshelf or an underused bureau might be exactly the organizing addition your closet needs.
6. Draw it out.
Grab some graph paper, a sharp pencil and go. With your goals, inventory and space in mind, sketch out concepts until you find one that feels right.
7. Take the plunge!
Whip out the credit cards (or the table saw) and outfit that closet.
Don’t forget this last step. An organized closet is satisfying, but a cute closet is even more fantastic. Paint, wallpaper, art, accessories – don’t be afraid to experiment.
When it’s all over, step back and enjoy the fruits of your labor. Your formerly cramped shoes and sweaters will certainly thank you for it.
Add your own tips in the comments, or take the discussion over to the buzz board – each month, the best design tip or story (related to this or any other home design project) will win a $50 gift card to a one of several home design stores (more details here). June’s contest starts today – so good luck! Can’t wait to read everyone’s stories!