Thursday, November 21, 2013

Closet Dreams

I don't know about you, but I begin each and every day of my life by doing the exact same thing.

I get dressed.

Now I think it's safe to say that we all like to get our mornings off to a nice, smooth start, and as an extreme night owl, I need as much motivation and positive energy as possible.

Translation: Most days, I just want to crawl back into bed. Mobilizing myself to get dressed every morning is my Mount Everest and I have no Sherpas to drag me along.

I'm so much happier if I can pull myself together in a calm and soothing environment. Beauty and order bump up my energy level and fill me with much-needed optimism. 

So it's important to me to have an attractive, well-organized dressing area. 

Welcome to my closet. I'm lucky enough to have a generously sized walk-in. The whole room was emptied and repainted last year, from ceiling to floor, and all the shelves were refinished. It's been twelve months exactly since I put everything back with a certain sense of order.

But these days, my closet is looking just cluttery and dishelved enough that I start each morning feeling discombobulated and slightly annoyed. Let me show you what I mean.

^ These upper shelves belong to my husband. His organizational style is a cross between a museum archive and a fossil dig. Which is a nice way of saying that he likes to keep things forever and figures that if he stacks all his stuff in straight piles, it's fine. Please note his collection of stuffed frogs, a series of decade-old homemade Valentines, a few random family photos, and t-shirts dating back to the Carter administration. 

^ These lower shelves belong to me and reflect my kooky, inefficient wardrobe. I have six slips from my pre-kid corporate days, running pants circa 1985, five pairs of worn-out ski socks, and roughly 100 paint-splattered t-shirts. These are not real clothes. 

The empty bin on the lower right shelf is for yoga pants, an item that I wear daily, of which I own exactly one ancient pair.

I'll admit it. I have clothing issues. 

^ This little alcove, tucked to the right of the main closet space, is where I hang most of my everyday wardrobe. This area is a bit more functional and pretty than the last, but I still have way too many things that don't fit, and the storage boxes overhead are crammed together and hard to access.

^ In my last work-over of this space, I tucked a few favorite possessions here and there, and I love to see them every morning. They make this closet feel more like a lovely room that I'm using, rather than a closet into which I pitch stuff.

^ Back to the main area of the closet, and on your left, you'll see two hanging rods that run the full length of the wall.

The top tier holds my collection of sweatshirts and sports apparel, a handful of out-of-season goodies, and a huge collection of my favorite old suits and business blouses. 

Purchased in the eighties.

That have not fit me since the eighties.

Arg. I know that's ridiculous. I need a clothing intervention.

On the lower rod hangs my husband's entire wardrobe which runs the gamut from custom-made suits to old flannel shirts with rips in all the elbows. 

He needs a clothing intervention too.

And up top, on that shelf above the clothes, stands a row of plastic storage bins, one for each member of the family. Inside, you'll find hospital ID bracelets, first locks of hair, baptismal certificates, favorite toddler outfits, and the like. All good stuff. But those plastic bins? Their powder blue lids and clear sides add nothing to the aesthetic value of my space.

^ And speaking of things that lack aesthetic value, check out the light fixture. Granted, this trifecta of track lighting was a big step up from the dim overhead fixture that the builder installed, but I am so over these cans and their harsh search-light effect.

* * * * *

So enough is enough. Project Closet Rehab is on, and here is my work plan.

1. Purge our wardrobes of worn out and unwearable clothes. Be ruthless. 

2. Buy new clothes to fill in the ridiculous gaps. Note to self: owning two pairs of yoga paints is not excessive.

3. Keep the cloth-covered organizers; rearrange them so they aren't so crowded. Ditch the plastic.

4. Bring the entire closet from good to great by incorporating more of a room-like decor. I'll keep these elements from the existing closet:

Good and sturdy organizers in a highly useful size. The color - which in real life is a fresh spring green - will set the tone for the makeover.
These sweet flowered organizers are from the Liberty of London for Target designer collaboration back in 2010. I still love them.
My second-born bought this IKEA hanging storage unit for use in her college dorm; since she has been out of school, it no longer fits in her closet and she handed it off to me. What it lacks in ease of use it makes up for in quirky charm and I definitely want to keep it around.

5. Up the style factor with:
a. a new lighting fixture
b. a fabric-covered feature wall
c. a mirror
d. a dressing table-esque space for jewelry, fragrances, etc.
e. rugs
f. new boxes for the family memories collections
g. a small dresser to hold some of the less attractive stuff
h. a collection of family photos - especially our parents and childhood shots with our siblings
i. a chair
Here are some of my favorite inspiration photos:


And here are some of the items on my wish list:

colorful chandelier

IKEA fabric for feature wall

DIY IKEA Rast dresser

Mirror for dressing table area.

Don't worry, Thanksgiving and Christmas...I won't forget about you. But my mind is swirling with closet dreams and I can't wait to get started!

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