Girls' Closet Redo

Baby Girl #2 (or The Bean, as I'm calling her, as she doesn't have a name yet) is due to arrive in about 7 weeks, and I've been working hard to prepare for her arrival! Since her and C will be sharing a room, I knew the room needed some major reorganization. So far, I've made great progress, though there are still a few things that need to be addressed. The closet was by far the biggest issue, so I tackled that first.

Here's a "before" shot so you can see what I was working with.
 C insisted on being in the picture, haha. Here's a shot without her cuteness in the way:
 Yikes. Its hard to believe that last August I thought this closet was organized. Of course, it really was, compared to how it started out! I knew this closet needed to hold clothes for 2 kids, though, so it needed some major work. After wracking my brain for a while, I decided on a completely new closet system. I went to Lowe's last Friday and purchased a Homefree system, which had great reviews and seemed super simple to install. I anticipated being able to makeover this closet for around $100.

Well, of course, I spent well over $100 at Lowe's. I used a cool feature on their website to help me figure out which kit to buy, and how much "extra" stuff I'd need. I was pretty shocked at the register when my total was almost $180. But I had a feeling I had purchased too many "extras," and I knew they could easily be returned.

Last Saturday afternoon, me and C completely emptied out the closet. Again. Why am I always amazed at how much STUFF this little space holds?! I should have taken a picture of the room with everything in it, but that was scary.

Luckily, almost half of the clutter in there was immediately able to removed from the house completely. All those Rubbermaid containers and the space bags went out to the shop. Finally!

Once I got everything out of the way, I tackled removing that shelf. Pesky thing! Apparently, everything for mobile homes is way different than things for regular homes. (Our house is a double wide trailer.) I had a time getting that shelf out, and ultimately, my husband had to come inside and do it for me! Most of the problem was with the drill. I just had issues with it. Plus, I  kept having to climb up and down a step ladder to reach everything...not so good when you're heavily pregnant. Anyway, DH got it out in a jiffy, then went back outside to finish mowing the grass.

So I proceeded with the installation of the new closet system. I laid out all the pieces in the box...and immediately felt overwhelmed!
 The instructions were pretty clear, though, so I got right to work. Naturally, it wasn't quite as easy as I thought. Again, I had drill issues. And climbing up and down that dang ladder was killing my hip. I was getting so frustrated. At one point, C ran outside and told her daddy that he HAD to come in and help Mama cause she was struggling! lol

I eventually decided to give up. Maybe if I hadn't been 8 months pregnant this would have been easier for me. But it just wasn't happening.

DH was exhausted that evening from a very busy day, but I was insistent that this closet get installed before C's bedtime. I mean, her clothes were everywhere, and now I had nowhere to put them! He seemed to understand my urgency and frustration, though, and got to work on it. (Its so funny to me how pregnancy makes me get things on my mind and have to get them done RIGHT NOW!!)

The closet system is not quite as simple to install as the instructions make you think. You have to do a ton of measuring and planning in advance. The online tool I had used to help me create the optimal arrangement of shelving was WAY off, even though I used the measurements of the space. I realized after DH had installed the 2 vertical bars that this arrangement that I had come up with online would not be ideal for the space, after all. But at that point, we were both so tired and frustrated that I just let it go. I knew I could make it work.

Here's what we ended up with:
 Technically, I have 3 rods for hanging clothes now. However, the space between the top rod and the middle is not really enough to hang anything, not even newborn clothes. But if we put the middle rod down any further, it would become useless for hanging clothes. As it is now, at least we can use half of the top rod. The bottom shelf and rod are as low as they can possibly go. I wouldn't want them any lower, anyway, or C's clothes will hit the floor. I may eventually go back and make the top shelf and rod a little higher. I'll lose some of the storage space on that shelf, but I think I can live with that.
 I'm sure this space will continue to evolve over time. That is one good thing about this closet system, you can easily move the shelves around to suit your needs.

So here's how it looks now, after everything was put back in:
The top shelf is for stuff that we rarely use or won't use for a while. The middle shelf holds a few bags that we use quite often, and the shopping car cover (which I used a lot with C, so I'm sure it'll get used again soon with The Bean). On that top rod are C's winter/fall clothes that she'll be able to wear again this fall and winter. Most of her cool season clothes are in storage now, but there were a few things I think she'll be able to wear again. (We also have a ton of clothes for those seasons stored in the wardrobe. That is a project to tackle another time, though!)

On the middle rod I've hung newborn stuff. You can see that even though those outfits are tiny, they still take up every bit of that hanging space. Which means it won't be long before that rod won't be useful for the baby's clothes. Which means I'll have to adjust things in here. Looking at these pictures now, I'm thinking maybe get rid of the 2nd shelf altogether, and move the top shelf down a bit. That way, I'd have 2 full rods to use for hanging clothes, and plenty of space up top for storage.

On the right side of the middle shelf I have all C's bottoms: long pants, shorts, and skirts. I originally wanted to have a slide out drawer to hold all that stuff, but we just couldn't make it work in the space. I'd like to have a basket or something, but for now this is working just fine. Its been almost a week, and I haven't had any problems accessing her bottoms every morning when picking out her clothes for the day.

Finally, the bottom rod holds all of C's current clothes. Yes, she definitely has way too many! But this is ALL of her clothes. All of her tops are hung up, except for her PJs.

So far, I'm pretty happy with the system. Its very organized and is easy to use. C loves it, too.

Oh, for right now I've got that hanging shelf hanging on the inside of the closet door:
Its really nice to have that extra storage (its holding all of C's current and next season shoes, her dance clothes, and some baby blankets), but it gets in the way when I open the door. That might be because of my huge belly, though. I will probably eventually replace it with someone more compact that doesn't stick out quite as far, or have DH install it on one of the side walls of the closet.

DH is also going to build a few small shelves for the side walls. He'll have to custom build them, since we only have 8-9" of space to work with depth-wise, but it'll be great to have more storage. I'm really trying hard to make the most of this space!!

Since I moved all C's bottoms to the closet, I freed up one and 1/2 drawers in the dresser. I intend on using one drawer for onesies and bottoms for the baby. This weekend, I plan to tackle the dresser and completely redo it, though. I need more space for diapers once I add the newborn stuff to the mix. So I'll be back soon with an update on that!

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