Before we even moved here, Cassie was mentioning how we were going to have issues with the master bedroom closet and I recall her parents warning us about it as well. They actually used two different closets when they lived here, one in the master bedroom and one in the spare, just to fit all of their clothes.
When we updated the bedroom the other day, this was obviously one of the bigger problems that needed tackling. We didn’t want to spend extra money on it, so we had to use what we already had to configure it. As you can see, the way it was arranged at first didn’t leave much room to hang clothes and we hang a lot of them, I more so than Cassie. So, the first move was to remove a few of the wire shelves for hanging room. We had originally planned to move the top shelf down a bit, but realized it would be best left where it was and to remove all of the other shelves.
Once all of the shelves that we didn’t want were removed, I filled all of the holes left by the anchors with drywall mud, and let that dry. While doing so, Cassie came in and we discussed how we wanted it all arranged. One thing we were keeping in mind was that eventually, we want to turn the bi-fold doors into French doors, which means we’re going to have a small divider down the center on the closet. Since the divider is going to mark the center, we wanted to make sure that no half shelf was poking out past that divider.
What we decided was that on her side, the right, there would be just the top shelf to make room for all of her dresses that hang low, and below those, we would throw our shoe cubbies in there for all of her shoes. On my side, the left, we would put another shelf half way down so that I had a top and bottom to hang on. More of my clothes hang than hers anyways, so it made sense that I had more closet space and we reserved most of the dresser for her.
Something else we discussed was the wasted space in the left side of the closet. If you look at the first image, you can see that there’s and angle at the left side of the closet. That angle means extra space at an angle in the closet where wire shelving wouldn’t fit. One thing we did with it was used another one of our shoe cubbies and set it in sideways to hold my shoes. I cut some of the trim out so that it could lay flush against the wall, set into the trim. I couldn’t figure out the right tool to use to cut it out while fastened to the wall, so when I was attempting with a reciprocating saw, I nicked a chunk out of it.
The nice thing about closets is they’re hidden and full of stuff, so I’ll probably forget about it in a week or so.
Once the shoe cubby was set in there, the rest of the space above it was next on the agenda. After some deliberation, we decided to attempt to put some “built-in” shelves back there and it just so happened that we had a lot of particle board shelving that we’d used in our apartment that I could cut down to size and work into that wasted space. The problem here was I had absolutely zero experience with cutting and installing shelving.
But I went ahead with it anyways.
I figured the best way to go about getting the fit right on all boards would be to take the measurements and draw them out on a piece of cardboard and cut that out as a template. This actually proved to be fairly useful, so I was pretty proud of myself for that.
I didn’t care for the shelf to tuck all the way back to the corner, so I just went with a 16” depth, which was the depth of the shelf I was to use. I may run into some issues with things falling off the back in the future, but until I do, I’m not going to worry about it. If it might bother you, it would be as simple as running a board across the back.
Of course, I couldn’t simply just cut some shelving and expect it to float there in midair. I needed some support! Luckily, we had some 1×1 shorts from the construction on Cassie’s parents house that were perfect. They were even painted white!
After some measuring and cutting and marking and leveling and screwing and placing, we had some shiny new shelves! The cuts on the 1×1 weren’t very pretty because I was doing them with a circular saw, but they did what I needed them to do: hold up the shelves! We only ended up putting two of them in, so the template wasn’t put to much use, but it did the trick.
After the side shelves were in, it was time to install the extra wire shelf that was going on my side. To figure out the height, I simply hung one of my shirts on the shelf above and measured based on that. It just so happened that it was going to match up with one of the side shelves, so that worked out nicely.
I had never installed a wire shelf before, but since I’d taken so many of them down in this closet, I figured out the best order to put the pieces together and get it in place.
Once it was in place, we were ready to fill it with clothes! Once I finished with the 40th trip up and down the stairs with all of the clothes, I came to the conclusion that no matter how you configured that closet, it was just too small. We did manage to get a lot in there, but we still ended up using the spare bedroom closet for a few things.
Somewhere down the road when we go through the big renovation we’d like to do, the closet will be revisited, but for now, it’ll do, friends.