Making My Closet Function (on a Budget)

Our closet has been an issue since day one of living together.  Only one side had hanging space and all shelves were filled to capacity with stuff.  Lots and lots of stuff.  I have wanted to re-do this closet since Alex moved in and this summer I finally had the time!

Closet, all done


I started off by measuring the side of the closet that I wanted to re-do and drawing the space.  I wanted to have a small dresser in the closet, some shelves for accessories, and some space to hang long items.  The only difficult part of this was finding a dresser that was narrow enough to fit into the space.  Luckily I stumbled across the ASKVOLL from IKEA in my research.  It was small enough to fit but big enough to hold my under things, lounge wear and active wear.  It was the same depth as the wall so it wouldn’t stick out once in place.

My plans.


This was a pretty simple project.  I needed to buy a closet rod ($15 at the Home Depot) and the ASKVOLL ($120 at IKEA).  Aside from that I planned to cut down one of the existing shelves into 3 pieces and re-use the hardware from the previous shelving.

I was also forced to sort through everything on those shelves and decide what really needed to stay, donating the excess to the thrift shop.  I managed to clear out space in our spare bedroom closet for towels and sheets (what I wouldn’t give for a linen closet!).  As you can see below, emptying these shelves and finding homes for everything was by far the worst part of this project!

This is actually a pretty tidy version of our closet, pre-work. It’s embarrassing.


After sorting through everything it was a simple matter of removing the shelves, having one cut (by a wonderful friend) so that I could re-use it as three smaller shelves, installing the closet rod and the new shelves.  Oh, and putting together IKEA furniture.  Always a joy…

The end result isn’t the closet of my dreams, let’s be honest.

That being said: it functions and it functions well.  It holds all of my clothing easily.  I can get dressed in the morning quickly and have my accessories all within an easy reach.

My accessories shelf (with a few old friends guarding my jewelry box).


The best part?  It only cost $135!

I struggled a bit with buying anything at all for this.  Had I had more time I might have waited to find the dresser used online.  Part of my move towards simplicity is the effort I am making to buy less.  And I’ve bought a number of larger items at IKEA lately.

That being said, I’m not looking for perfection.  I am looking to simplify my life by having less stuff and being more organized.  I’m certain that this IKEA dresser will last me a good long time and I’ll be able to pass along to someone else to use once I’m done with it.

The final great thing about this renovation is that it allowed me to get rid of my large dresser in our bedroom.  I was able to use that space to create a mini-office area for myself which is something I’ve been wanting for a long time!

All in all I’m really happy with how everything turned out.  It’s simple and functional and our bedroom feels so much more organized now.

Do you have the closet of your dreams?  How do you make sure your closet functions?