A Room-by-Room Makeover for an Organized Home
Before: Chaotic Bedroom Closet
Mom’s bedroom closet had runneth over, with important items stashed on an inaccessible top shelf.
After: A Grid That Fits
Chip swapped Sladjana’s wire shelving for a better-fitting wooden unit and used bamboo and paper-covered boxes as “drawers” for tees, workout pants, and pieces that don’t fold well. Double-hung rods allow room for shoes below; slim hangers also maximize space.
To buy: ClosetMaid Selectives 25-inch starter kit, $99 to $108; and 48-inch top shelf, $15: homedepot.com. Box Box paper-covered boxes (top, middle, and bottom shelves) in small, $56 for seven: dwr.com.; and in large, $56 for five: dwr.com. Bamboo storage boxes, $30 each, greatusefulstuff.com.
After: A Place for Purses
Bags should sit, not hang—hanging can leave straps misshapen. File purses neatly in a low-front bin that makes it quick to find favorites.
To buy: Bamboo sweater bin, $40, greatusefulstuff.com.
After: Let There Be Light
An easy-to-install illuminated rod is the answer for closets with no electricity. Motion activated, it lights up dark corners and turns off on its own after a few minutes.
To buy: 22-inch LED closet rod, $48, boutique.laclosetdesign.com. Signature Slim shirt hangers with bars, $18 for 10, clos-ettetoo.com.
See another bedroom closet makeover.
Before: Messy Playroom
An unplayable playroom for Jake, three, and Ryan, seven months, had no seating and was overrun with toys.
After: Picking Favorites
“This should be a play space, not a storage space,” says Chip. He advises parents to devote real estate to the top-10 large playthings and move less popular items into a closet, rotating as needed. The floor is clear, and chalkboard walls are accessible for kid graffiti.
To buy: St. Lucia Skies 781 chalkboard paint, $22 a quart, benjaminmoore.com for stores. Indigo Paddle Stripe cotton dhurrie, $395, serenaandlily.com. Young House Love Metal Strap drum pendant, $99, shadesoflight.com for info. The Elwood table, $299, landofnod.com.; Little Felix chairs, $69 each, landofnod.com.; and Magnificent Metal letters, $34 each, landofnod.com. Madison bookcase (against left wall), $89, waybasics.com. Cubeicals fabric drawers, $7.50 each, closetmaid.com.
After: Design That Works and Plays
After: Stepped-Up Storage
Turning two shelving units (Expedit, $60 each, ikea.com) on their sides, Chip created storage space the kids can access that doubles as a bench. The cubbies are perfect garages for chunky trucks, while the custom cushions hide stains. (Look closely at the upholstery—it’s a Lego pattern.) As the boys get older, the shelving units can go back to being vertical to make room for desks, and the decal wallpaper (Doodle, $148 for two rolls, wallcandyarts.com) can be removed with no damage. A smaller patterned rug (easy to shake clean outside) replaced a large plain one. Interlocking Brick Wall fabric by Lisa Linkovich, $27 a yard, spoonflower.com.
See more ideas for an organized playroom.
Before: Overstuffed Linen Closet
The leaning tower of linens constantly threatened to topple.
After: Purge, Paint, Prop
Coach Cordelli says to first make sense of the contents of your linen closet: “If your kitchen is halfway across the house, don’t store tea towels here.” At the Brunos’, beach towels were moved to a basket near the back door for use by the pool, while ratty rags went to the garage for greasy hands or into the trash.
“The closet floor is where items get tossed and then lost,” says Chip. But fill that spot with a rolling bin and it stays debris-free and functional. The Brunos use their cart for paper goods and diapers, but it could just as easily function as a hamper for dirty clothes or a home for cleaning products.
To buy: No.122 small truck, $100, steelecanvas.com for info. Cairo bath towel, $54, wash cloth, $18, and guest towel, $23; Serena bedding, $72 to $109: matouk.com. Every Day printed percale bedding, $16 to $68, garnethill.com.
After: Invisible Dividers
White semigloss waterbased paint provides a clean slate for fresh linens. Clear acrylic shelf dividers ($54 for four, clos-ettetoo.com) maintain steady stacks and separate items by room.
After: Welcome Basket
A supply of just-in-case items for overnight guests, including a scented candle and an alarm clock, makes Grandma feel appreciated when she comes to babysit.
See more closet organizing ideas.
Before: Overloaded Garage
And the garage—Joe’s zone—was a kooky, chaotic catchall.
After: Up, Up, and Away
The fact that it holds random objects is what makes a garage so useful, so you don’t have to ditch everything. But you should aim to get everything off the floor. A fresh coat of paint (blue, because Joe is a Yankees and Giants fan) and a functional floor plan make the space inviting. Chip gave the pegboard a face-lift and created a pseudo area rug from plastic floor tiles to designate a work zone.
To buy: Aura Interior Paint in Bayberry Blue 790, $68 a gallon, benjaminmoore.com. Perfection floor tiles, $80 for eight, hayneedle.com.
After: Rack ’Em Up
After: Home Hardware Store
After: Ready to Roll
A garden cart isn’t just for hauling fertilizer to the flower bed; you can use one to store and transport outdoor cushions as well. Tricam steel utility wagon, $130, hayneedle.com. Gles boxes (green), $1 each, ikea.com. Watertight 41.2-quart tote (clear), $15, containerstore.com.
Avoid the roly-poly obstacle course by mounting basketballs and soccer balls on a sliver of wall space. Ball Claws, $13 each, containerstore.com.
Before restocking the metal shelves the Brunos had inherited from the previous homeowner, Chip treated them with Kilz ($21 a gallon, lowes.com), a latex primer that can help reduce the formation of rust and mildew.
See more garage makeovers.