A Dream Closet Makeover!

I have a lot of clothes. Skirts, blouses, dresses, shorts- I’ve just accumulated a lot over the past few years. As I’ve said before, one of the greatest things about my condo is the ample storage room, including the double closets in the master bedroom. However, they were stocked with builder-grade wire rack & rod combos. One of the closets had double shelves and the other had one higher shelf. Though I dug the concept, I knew that I could design something prettier and more space efficient.

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My original plan was to purchase a closet kit. After doing some online research, I settled on closet kits from the Martha Stewart collection at Home Depot. I designed one closet to have double rods for tops & bottoms:

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I designed the second closet to be an accessories closet with drawers & shoe cubbies, as well as one rod for camis or tees:

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Unfortunately, though the Martha Stewart collected is called “cheap” by many reviewers on Amazon (as in price, not quality), my designs rang in at $208 and $585, respectively. Ouch. Much more than I hoped to spend.

So, I was a little sad for about five minutes until I decided to try to go in a different direction. I was pinspired to try some IKEA hacks. You know I love IKEA and I have seen a lot of hacks of the Expedit system and decided to start from there. I decided that I could center an Expedit in each closet and have rods going out either way. One closet would get drawers for small clothing items (I don’t have a dresser!) and the other would house shoes & handbags.

In case you were wondering, each closet is 60” wide, 18” deep, and has a doorway 7’ high (though the ceiling inside the closet is 9’, like the rest of the ceilings in the condo.)

So, while on Christmas vacation, I traveled to Charlotte to the lovely IKEA! While I picked up a few other little things, my major purchases were as follows:

2x Expedit 5×1 shelves @ $59

3x Expedit drawers @ $25

2x white fabric bins @ $5

5x Rationell Variera pop up shelves @ $8

Once we got back to Charleston a few days later, we also went to Lowe’s where I purchased:

            3/4″ x 16″ x 96″ Board @ $18

           5/8″ x 16″ x 48″  Board @ $12

            6x rods @ $6.50

            Dry Wall Screws @ $5

            ½ inch screws @ $11

            10x 13 ¾” L brackets @ $1.74

So, a total spending of less than $350, including some leftover items like screws that I will use on future projects. It seems like a lot, but compared to over $800 for the closet kit, I was feeling pretty good.

So, it was time to begin. It was Sean’s last week in town and so we both took the day off of work. The first step was to empty the closets:

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Then we removed the existing wire shelving. This turned out to be, like many steps in this project, harder than it looked. After removing the shelves, Sean used wood filler to repair the holes.

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This is the point where we should have painted. I wish I could say that we didn’t think of it, or that we didn’t have any appropriate left over paint or supplies sitting around, but that would be untrue. So- if you are doing a closet- I would recommend painting at this point for a more polished finish.

Next, Sean assembled the Expedit. It was pretty simple to assemble straight from the instructions.

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We slid the Expedit into the center of the closet. Sean then secured it to the wall using the included brackets.

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Next came the closet rods. Sean did the shelves first on one side and the rods first on the other side and found that either way, whatever you did second was more difficult due to your space being blocked by the first thing you screwed in. He drilled holes & added anchors & screwed ½ inch screws straight into the Expedit.

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He secured the shelves with L brackets. The shelves were 15 ¾” deep and the L brackets were 13 ¾” long. He held them up and used a pencil to mark where to drill holes in the wall. He then used the ½” screws to screw the shelves to the brackets.

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We installed double rods & shelves on one closet. This meant 4 rods, 4 short shelves, & 8 brackets. This would allow for hanging tops & bottoms & maximize every vertical inch. On the other closet, we installed just one long shelf  (& 2 brackets) above the Exepdit. These rods were for dresses, with room for boots & my hamper underneath.

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We also installed one of the prior wire shelves above the top solid shelf for additional storage.

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Finally, I got to fill these babies! I managed to fit in everything that was in there before. And, while the Expedits do take up a chunk of the rod hanging space, they allow for so much organization & vertical storage that it is totally worth it!

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I am so happy with these and am so thankful that Sean spent his last free day in Charleston building them! I cannot thank him enough!

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Though they are gorgeous, there are still some things I’d like to fix. First of all, I need to either put the doors back on or hang curtains. Also, I wish it was painted- we will see what I do about that in the future. Finally, I hope to grab a couple of baskets or clear tupperwares to store small items on the upper shelves. Right now I have them stored in tote bags.

But, overall, I am IN LOVE and OBSESSED with my new closets! They are definitely my favorite part of my condo right now!

19 thoughts on “A Dream Closet Makeover!

  1. I too have double closets with wire shelving and have been researching how to get a custom closet at an affordable price. This just might work for me!! Thanks for posting!

  2. can you provide detail on how you attached the rods to the Expedit shelves? We are tackling this project this week and I’m looking for help with that!

    • Hey Samantha! Glad to hear you’re going to try this project! Good luck! Hanging the rods to the shelves was actually pretty easy. I just bought the extendable/collapsible closet rods and treated the Expedit shelves just like a wall. I drilled into the shelf and then screwed it in. The rods have specific instructions about how you need to hang the wall parts first and then get the rod on. The biggest thing to be careful about is making sure you don’t accidentally push the drill bit all the way through the side of the shelf. Just make sure to use a shorter drill bit so you don’t end up with a hole on the inside of the shelf. Good luck and please send us a picture when you’re done!

  3. My husband and I are doing this now, I was interested in the brown drawers with silver knobs on the second closet. Did you divide each section into two shelves? Could you tell me where you got them? Thanks!

  4. Hi. I plan on doing this during the summer and I just wanted to know where did you get the dividers inside the shelf where your shoes are sitting. I’ve been looking all over but can’t find one.

    • They were from Ikea and went with the Expedit, which they no longer make. They might have something similar, I just don’t see anything online. Goodluck.

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