around the house, home organization

$170 Reach-In Closet Makeover

$170 Reach-In Closet MakeoverMy closest was driving me crazy. I already have a dresser, but I was definitely in need of more drawers. I had a second dresser, an old one, just kind of shoved in the closet to give myself more storage. It was clunky, and took up way too much room compared to the amount of clothes it could fit. I also had the problem of a bad shoe storage solution, and I was keeping my leggings piled up in one of those cube bins. Oh, and did I mention our closet situation is kind of awkward because it’s technically two closets side by side instead of one big space?

I wanted a few simple solutions for under $200. Well, it was either that, or I was going to splurge on a bottle of Joseph Phelps Insignia. As delicious as that would have been, I opted for the closet.

So I set out on Pinterest. I got a lot of really good ideas. Has anyone noticed that most of these closet makeover pictures have, like, 5 pieces of clothing hanging up? Of course it’s going to look good, you only have 5 shirts! Even though I was laughing at some of the photos on Pinterest, I did end up with a lot of really good ideas. (See my Pinterest board of closet ideas here.)

After wandering around Ikea with my very patient wife for what seemed like an eternity, I ended up with two drawer systems, a hanging organizer, and a shoe bench. I decided on the shoe bench because I have so many ballet flats, I needed something without slats for them to fall though (if you’ve ever looked for shoe racks you’ll notice a lot of them look like this, which is not conducive to a stash of ballet flats.)

Ikea Purchases

Total = $169.96 (before tax)

Brackets for securing the Algot to the wall are included, but you’ll need to get any additional hardware (screws, etc.) separately.

Shopping Tips

  • Don’t forget to take measurements before you go. Remember to account for depth and any constraints from doors.
  • Measure the length of dresses and a sample of other items from hanger to the bottom of the item. This came in handy when I was determining how well the shoe bench would work.
  • Count your shoes, or at least have a decent idea of how many you have.
  • Take a tape measure with you. Ikea has those paper ones, but it’s just easier to bring a legit one.
  • Bring some blank paper and a pencil to sketch ideas while shopping and make sure they look like they’ll work.
  • If you’re the type of person who sometimes thinks of amazing plans that don’t work out so well, bring someone along to give you a reality check. (Thanks to my wife on this one! Pretty sure she saved me from a few stupid ideas.)


The Mackapar shoe bench took exactly one hour to assemble. Tip for steps 18-19: Make sure the pieces in step 18 are all the way flush with the board before moving on to step 19. I put all of the shelves on the left side for my flats. The right side is now a good space for Uggs.

The Algot was a lot quicker to assemble. I don’t remember exactly how long, but maybe 15 minutes.

I sandwiched the hanging organizer between the drawers and the wall. I could see myself getting easily annoyed with it if it was just free floating in the middle – too wiggly.

I moved the Closet Maid clothes hanger shelf on the right side closet up a few inches. This was way harder than I thought it would be. I broke 3 drywall anchors in a couple of places. Thankfully my wife is really good at home improvement stuff and came to my rescue. She drilled all of the holes and had the anchors installed in about the time it would take me to do one. So then I had a lot of holes to patch afterward.


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