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What To Do When You Don't Have A Closet

After we moved into our first pre-WWI home, I was complaining to my new neighbor…an old ad man…about the ridiculously tiny closets. “Ah,” he said, thoughtfully nodding his head, “That’s the blessing of an old house.” And I thought, this guy has been in advertising way too long, also, he’s lost his mind. But then after a while of living it, I got it. He was right. The obvious lack of closet space IS a gift. It forces you to only keep what you use, and use just enough. It encourages you to choose quality over quantity. And it inspires you to be creative with what you have.

So now, this new somewhat-older house makes that aforementioned old tiny-bit-younger house seem like a complete closetpalooza.

Because this house has seriously zero closets. For real this time. H’s closet is a cabinet. J’s “closet” is in the bathroom. My closet…the biggest one…basically looks like this on the left.

That’s it, y’all. So we all have extra creative solutions for our stuff.

I recently moved my shoes, t-shirts, sweaters, socks, underwear, etc. into the guest room office. Onto unused bookshelves…because I have more bookshelves than I have sense. I packed away the books (Because if it’s not used at least every six months, it’s out. And excess books are unfortunately out.)

Now my closet was on display. This was awesome. Also, not that awesome.

So when I was at Home Depot, looking into other organization and storage solutions, I told my new pal Stephanie (random person who helped me…she was so freaking smart) about my bookshelf wall closet, and she gave me an idea.

She asked why I didn’t just cover it with a curtain or something. I said, I’d thought of that, but I figured it would be more expensive than it would be worth…and I’d have to get a custom rod made that wrapped around and etc, and also, and in the end, too hard.

Stephanie said, “Why don’t you just make a rod with PVC pipe.”

Stephanie is brilliant. And the whole rod cost less than $25. IngredientsPVC pipe, 2 PVC elbows, a PVC cutter, 2 fitting pieces, 2 flanges, 3 J-hooks. Here’s how it happened.

  • My closet is now one wall of the guest bedroom/office. 1 of 10
    My closet is now one wall of the guest bedroom/office.
    And it works. Only, I don't know, you don't really want to have shoes at eye level. Especially as a guest in someone's home.
  • Bookshelf as Closet 2 of 10
    Bookshelf as Closet
    It was worth a shot. I needed a closet. I have an excess of bookcases. I put them together and piled them with shoes
  • To make it even better, my new pal Stephanie at Home Depot had an idea. 3 of 10
    To make it even better, my new pal Stephanie at Home Depot had an idea.
    She said, why not create a curtain. Using PVC pipe. Brilliant.
  • She explained to me how to do it. 4 of 10
    She explained to me how to do it.
    And it worked really well.
  • Actually James made it happen. 5 of 10
    Actually James made it happen.
    Of course the smart engineer who lives in this house made some adaptations and made it work. He added three support J-hooks in the middle of the shelves for extra support.
  • This is what it looks like now. 6 of 10
    This is what it looks like now.
    The open version.
  • And with the curtains closed… 7 of 10
    And with the curtains closed...
    Isn't it unobtrusive?
  • The eye-level shoes aren’t so bad with the curtain option 8 of 10
    The eye-level shoes aren't so bad with the curtain option
    And most importantly, I can find them.
  • I even made a little walk-up office for myself. 9 of 10
    I even made a little walk-up office for myself.
  • Success. 10 of 10
    My new wall closet makes me so happy.

I’m super happy with the result.

Also, remember how I was getting all the balls out of the house. Well, that obviously lasted for all of about five minutes.

A big thanks to The Home Depot for sponsoring this campaign! Click here to see more of the discussion.

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