Making a Mountain Out of a Molehill.

Or, making a super-useful closet out of a really crappy one.

So I have a thing for closets. I think they’re pretty awesome, as you know.

Remember when I turned Ella’s closet into the sweetest little reading nook ever?

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 Yah… that was awesome.

Living in a 70 year old house that has barely any storage has seriously made me appreciate the wonder of organized space. This old house doesn’t have fancy things like walk-ins or built-ins or even sliding door closets. Each bedroom has a single door with a knob that opens into a small closet that stores about HALF of what it needs to. We make it work, especially in the kids’ rooms where pretty much everything can be folded and stored in dressers, but in the master it’s pretty tough, and don’t get me STARTED on the front hall…

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It’s just not okay. We are a family of five… two parents, three kids, AND two dogs and a cat. This closet is totally unacceptable and I absolutely hate it. How on earth am I supposed to make this work?!

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The previous owners tried to maximize the space, they really did. There is a mishmash of DIY plywood shelves and a strange kind of bench that is neither strong enough nor placed properly to actually sit on. It’s dark, dirty, and ridiculous…

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It’s also going to be the biggest job I’ve ever taken on by myself, but I’m determined to tackle it. I recently pulled up some weird flooring the previous owners had installed, which has left me with a two-toned wood floor and nails sticking up everywhere.  Yay.

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So now I have to fix that too. I want to keep it simple and inexpensive like always, and I’ve been scouring Pinterest for ideas. I just want clean, organized storage for coats, shoes and school bags, along with a space to keep hats, mitts and all the other “stuff” that needs a spot of its own. I love some of these ideas:

Clean, bright, colourful and a place for EVERYTHING – perfect!

Amazing use of a corner space… this would allow room for hanging coats as well as storing shoes and accessories,
but I definitely can’t handle this myself, so it’s a no-go.

This one is just me being a dreamer… I’d LOVE to turn the front closet into a storage space for all of the toys and games that junk up the house, but it’s just too valuable of a spot to give up. Maybe if we lived in a warmer climate and didn’t have 824 boots and coats to store half the time!

I’ve seen a lot of beautiful, functional spaces, but many of them are far beyond my skill set or they are meant for bedroom closets and don’t really take into account the shoe storage or that fact that long coats will need to be hung up. I’m think I’m just going to have to take ideas from a few different photos and come up with my own plan. I really love the first photo of the green and white closet, although it’s not a corner so I’m not sure how well it would translate over here.

What I do know is that this has to go…

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I think I’m just about brave enough to take this project on. The big part will be taking a crow bar to the existing mess that’s in there, and then I can patch up the holes and give the interior a fresh coat of paint. I’m sure that alone will be an awesome change! I’m also thinking of painting the door… I love this look:


And I just happen to have a quart of that exact colour (Mermaid Net by Behr) sitting in my craft cupboard… so stay tuned, I’m going to start working on this one tomorrow!



  1. Amy says

    I hear ya, MB!! My teensy, built-in-the-60s house is exactly the same!!! I hate our closets – especially the front hall. My first order of business is to GET RID of a bunch of stuff though. That will help a lot!! And seriously, you should start a professional organizer business. I’d hire you! :)

  2. says

    Our first house had a front door closet, a closet immediately down the 5 stairs to the (ground level) basement and then a closet in the living room. As well, we had a linen closet and all three bedrooms had the sliding door closets. This house has one closet by the front door and one linen closet. I lost TWO closets when we moved. And all of the closets (except linen) don’t have rods, we have to hang the hangers in backwards and hook them onto this weird trim-looking thing. Buuuuuuuuuuuut we’re in Heart Lake so I try not to complain too much about the house itself.

  3. Mei says

    We don’t have an old house, but main floor storage is at a premium! We turned our front closet into half pantry and half cubbies for backpacks and school stuff, and have big pax wardrobes for coats, ikea shoe cabinets for front hall storage and shoes…can’t wait to see what you do. I’m sure it’ll be great. Ps, I sent you an email a few days ago….check your spam :)

  4. Bri says

    Draw a floor plan of your closet and play with configurations. I live not far from you city and know what you mean with the need for coats and boots. Im wondering of your coat bar could hang btwn the back and front walls instead of across like normal closets. That would give you the whole one side for storage. And the floor for the winter boots.
    Good luck.

    • says

      Thanks Bri! I’ve been doing that today… trying to make the most of the square footage right up to the ceiling.
      The coat bar does currently run between the back and front walls, but I’m not sure if it will remain like that or not. At the very least I will likely raise it and put hooks for the kids below – god knows they don’t use the hangars. Lol.

  5. Paige @ Lux Per Diem says

    Old houses never have enough storage or bathrooms! My 1920 bungalow doesn’t even have a hall or coat closet :(

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