Each time, it took a DIY to really wrangle it.
The question each time has been, “how to organize a walk-in closet?”
You might think it’s a simple DIY and you are right if you know what closet system to use for organization.
When I dove into this, I started looking at racks, and rails and just storage containers.
Then, I got serious.
I am the queen of my castle and I want a real closet system, one that just screams, ‘Dana’s Department Store!’
Have you ever watched The Princess Diaries?
Once I saw Princess Mia’s closet with drawers and shelves and brilliantly bright, I wanted it.
Shoes, purses, dresses, tanks, jeans, they are all my truest downfall,.
While I don’t ‘collect’ clothing, I do have several wardrobes.
As a travel writer, DIY Gal, and self-proclaimed recipe curator, my wardrobe is always changing to meet the task.
Rather than an organized closet, mine generally appears as though someone has ransacked it.
Help arrived in the form of solid wood built frames and shelves without particle board with formaldehyde. NO TOXINS.
In fact, my DIY Closet system is made right here in the USA.
Organize a Walk-In Closet
Today’s post is sponsored by LUNDIA USA all opinions and images are my own, based on installing and performing a closet makeover with life-changing results.
DIY. Also known as something one does to tackle a problem.
The LUNDIA USA Closet System I am about to share with you rock your fashion world, down to your ankle boots and up to your head.
You’ll organize, clean, toss, and learn that you really own some ugly stuff, lol.
Here’s a preview of what you are about to see! My closet is solid wood built frames and shelves and no trace of particle board or formaldehyde.
In other words, no TOXINS to inhale ever!
As far as installation goes, my new LUNDIA USA Closet System(and hopefully yours soon too!) has been simple to put together and very straight forward.
It’s changed my organizational efforts and met them with even better options.
If you are sick of your ridiculously unorganized, time-sucking, wire-rack, lack of storage closet, you really need a LUNDIA USA Closet System.
Your closet does not have to be HUGE to install one, but it does need to have you really rethinking, “Am I really this messy or is it the closet?”
Ladies, blame the closet, always blame the closet (lol)!
How To Start The Organization Process and Installation of a Walk-In Closet DIY.***WARNING – YOU are about to view a disaster area, and maybe something that resembles YOUR closet. Make a change!
Eyeball your closet.
What do you own the most of?
Clothing, accessories, shoes?
Whatever it is, becomes your starting point for planning a new closet.
How To Organize a Walk-In Closet Process
How did I start my process?
First, I shopped around for closet systems.
Again, I wanted wood, not particle board.
No chemicals that would harm me, my family or cat, once in my home.
Also, I wanted my closet system made in the USA.
Really a hard wish list to match but LUNDIA USA got me!
Last, a closet system that is proven, like installed in places that meant something (industrial strength like Macy’s Shoe Room!)
Here’s my Story and I bet it’s yours if you are reading this!
I am a shoe addict, I decided to embrace it and stop hiding my shoes under clothing piles in my closet.
My wardrobe is personalized for who I am, a travel writer, DIY Gal, and Food Content creator.
When I travel, I need different clothes for all the different places I go to.
DIY projects require my favorite jeans, tops, and boots.
While my cooking wardrobe is all about if I’ll be on camera or not!
So, yes, I have a lot of clothing, but surprisingly (not) not all of it has been worn!
Shirts I bought with the intent of using never used, as they had been hiding under a stash of sweaters from a trip I took in the Fall.
Bathing suits with bikini tops crushed from a recent Aruba trip.
Wadded rolls of clothing that I had compacted for storage sake in the corner’s yet, forgotten about.
Detoxing the Toxicity of a Wire Rack Closet & How To Organize a Walk-In Closet.
Did I mention the clothing still in bags, that I often hide from my husband, and say, “Oh honey I’ve had that for ages lol!”
No, I am not proud of my mess, but if it ain’t broke don’t fix it, right?
When I compare our before and after it was like shopping in a TJ Maxx and then became a Macy’s!
Our current closet system, as you see had wire racks.
They are completely ineffective.
I’ve purchased bins, and roll drawers, shoe racks, but nothing helps.
Clothes are on the floor, on the racks, between the racks.
Worse yet when I fold a sweater and place it on the racks above, those RACK LINES imprint on it!
S-T-O-P the insanity and a little birdie must have granted my wish.
Can You Say, Neighbors?
Our totally fabulous (not) neighbors a few doors up, broke ground (not for a pool so who knows what for) and when the excavator dug, my racks came tumbling off the wall.
It wasn’t just mine, the lady across the street had exactly the same thing happen.
All I can do is thank them for their kind gesture.
Remember, we had different lighting before (junk) and that is why the picture is ‘orange’!
Truly, it was the kick in the butt I needed to do something about this toxic wire rack walk-in closet that does NOTHING except create chaos.
We ripped out the carpet and put in a new floor.
Painted the walls gray and added what I term ‘department store LED lighting.’
All-In is how we roll!
SPOILER ALERT >>> You gotta Do This To Get Done
Every stinking thing you have in that closet, toss it into a huge smoldering pile that makes you want to cringe.
LUNDIA USA Closet Systems to Organize a Walk-In Closet.
Have you been to Macy’s?
Shopped at a Starbucks Outlet?
Spent any time in the JCPenney’s stock room?
LUNDIA USA closet systems are all of the following and more:
Free of particleboard.
Made In The USA.
Easy to Put Together.
Made for the long haul as it is was originally and still is used for heavy-duty commercial use in your favorite stores and hotels.
Macy’s has “Approximately 5 Million Shoes are currently stored on Lundia shelving in over 600 Macy’s stores throughout the USA.”
See Macy’s and me are already besties as I buy a LOT of shoes there, lol!
My closet was already related to LUNDIA USA before it was installed.
Next time you head to the Starbucks Outlet, look at the shelving holding all the ‘stuff’.
Yep, it’s LUNDIA USA.
Solid, tough, weight-bearing, sturdy, built to last, and WOOD!
As for JCP, well those 12-foot stock rooms are graced with their shelves and they hold your clothing before you meet it!
My color is a gray wash.
How Do You Use Your Walk-In Closet?
I am in and out of my closet a lot.
Between carting kids around to sports, or running errands or working, I am always changing.
Sometimes I grab stuff from a hanger like I yank and pull.
Ouch, I know that hurt to hear.
Other times, I just chuck a shoe set in or grab a sweater from the top shelf.
Mindless grabs without any consideration to the ability of the closet hardware to withstand my tugs, shoves, tosses, and a huge load of stacking weight.
I mean why should I have to worry?
With LUNDIA USA I don’t!
Sturdy, built for life, and that’s how I roll.
I’ll tell you NOW, you won’t find a better DIY Product with more durability and clean wood, made in the USA.
All of those reasons are why I will put my voice behind it and why WE chose this system.
Purge so You Can Stock Your Walk-In Closet.
As we looked at the options for 30″, 32″ and 36″ frames, I began sorting my disorganized department stores.
I considered everything I owned, then I reconsidered it, by purging.
Donate – Recycle- Giveaway- Sell
Truly, I believe in providing clothing to Goodwill, and St. Vincent DePaul society.
Additionally, if it is new, on-trend, I sell.
Last, when it is used, beyond its best threads, I toss.
So, naturally, I did a lot of all of the above.
Shoes, that were not in fashion, were donated to a project that our church works with, “Soles4Souls.”
Considerations for Organizing your Walk-In Closet
Then I took stock of everything I owned and considered where it was arranged in my closet and where it should be.
Oh did I mention that I have to give up some space for Michael?
I mean, he lives here too, and generally, I have been less than kind about sharing a closet with him.
While he owns far less than I, he still needs to house his stuff, LOL.
Yes, I am kidding with all of this, but not kidding about the fact that I don’t like to share space in my closet.
Unload all your dressers and drawers, dump, and overhaul.
Go big and rearrange, I did and I am telling you it’s the best way to do this.
Your new LUNDIA USA walk-in closet organization system can hold a lot more than you imagined.
Long Hanging and Short Hanging Considerations for A Walk-In Closet
Here’s the deal, if you are tall, then you definitely will want more long hanging spots.
To me, that is a waste and I dedicated only ONE area to this.
Dresses, depending on what they are made of can stretch if hung improperly, therefore, proper hanging or folding was accomplished with drawers and shelves.
I’ve always folded my jeans, and now suddenly being able to hang them, translated to folded in 1/2 over a hanger.
Michael is happy just to have his stuff out of a corner or shoved in our armoire (really he had no dedicated space), so his are folded.
It’s not that we did not have space in the closet, it was about the wire racks lack of empathy towards clothing.
Yes I know that racks are inanimate, I am just making a point.
Consider how you live now, what works what is ridiculous, and how you will upgrade.
Things You Need Beyond The Closet Organization System or Maybe You Don’t
So, building the LUNDIA Closet system I’ve found out is not the challenging part.
Instead, it’s loading it.
You all know me and I suffer from OCD.
Well, restocking a closet has been a pleasure but, I’m in total overdrive from the organization part.
Again, unload every drawer in your room and be prepared to reorganize, donate, sell, and toss.
It’s a project but the end result is organization and that is priceless.
Lundia USA’s closet system has changed my life for the better and it will change yours when you install it too!
The Right Hangers Will Be Your Happy Place
Toss out every single metal hanger you have.
Those hangers leave rust on clothing over time.
Pitch the plastic store hangers both black and clear.
Get rid of those ugly white hangers, they are junk, and they don’t help your clothing.
They allow you to hang your favorite shirts with the seams in the right place.
Better yet, your favorite long sweaters can be folded up and hung at the same time without ripping or putting holes in the material.
Some sleeveless shirts can be doubled up if you can find matching colors (if you do that, I do).
S hooks are a must!
Do you own shorts and skirts with belt loops? Jeans?
You are missing out on a simple trick for hanging space and ease.
Don’t rift through a drawer looking for your stuff, hang it instead on these ‘S’ hooks.
I suggest either a 3/4″ or a 1″ those are more universal.
Also, make sure that one of the ends is covered so it does not SNAG your clothing.
Currently, I own each and use them for shorts, and tanks and skirts!
Hanging Bar Discussion For Organizing Your Walk-In Closet
There are 3 positions on the hanging bar.
With shirts and pants, you will use the first hole, closest to the front.
This allows your hanger to clear the wall.
In fact, I used the first holding position for ALL my hanging needs.
How Do You Position the Hanging Bars and Shelves?
There are metal pins for every shelf and bar holder.
So, you simply fit the shelf into the grooves, and the put a pin underneath.
The pins are easily removable, and you can change your mind 100 times over.
Just push the pin back out.
TIP for PINS >> If you can’t get the pin in on one side, go on the opposite side of the frame and push it there.
Why might you need that tip?
If you hang your Coat Valet, Tie Valet, Hanging Bar, or Belt Valet, those might already be where you have pins.
However, you might want to hang something above or below, and therefore you need to get a PIN in to securely lock it into place.
The tip above will help!
Tips for Shelf Placement and Clothing Bars
Before you load those shelves and fill those hanging bars, think about everything.
If a hanging bar is close to a shelf, remember the shelf needs room to fit into the grooves in the back, in order to get into position.
You need to be able to angle these in.
The same holds true with the rod placement and valets.
You need to be able to tilt the bottom of the groove into an angled position and if something is above it, you won’t be able to do this.
Set everything up, before you load.
I learned the hard way:(
Tips for Drawers and Installation on your Closet
Build the frame.
Don’t put a single shelf or hanging bar in UNTIL you add the drawers.
We built all the sections and loaded the hanging bars and shelves first.
I began to load them.
To get the drawers in you need to be able to fit them into the grooved tracks and NOTHING can be in the way.
Not a hanging rod from the neighboring frame, not a shelf, not a coat valet, NOTHING!
My advice is to build the frame and immediately build the shelves.
Don’t be tempted to load anything or be set on shelf heights until the drawers are in.
Also, you don’t need to put a shelf on the bottom of the frame.
The drawer on the bottom does not require it.
I have lost a shelf as it was installed beneath the drawers and I can tell you Michael is not taking it back out.
Leave the Most Time For the Drawer Installation.
We worked on the frame in my closet and built 90% of it TOGETHER over about 6 hours.
You do need a screwdriver or a drill.
It’s not hard at all, I would definitely say it’s easier if there are 2 of you putting it together, but ONE person COULD do this.
One holds while the other fastens, drills, whatever you want to call it!
Once we built a frame, we slid it into position and did not FASTEN it to the wall, until we were sure of ALL placements.
We followed our drawings which LUNDIA USA makes for you.
Michael is truly a master of building (we do own a successful construction firm) but you don’t need to be a Michael to build this.
I was fastening the frames as well, and it’s not hard.
My Plan and It’s A Work In Progress – Organizing a Walk-In Closet
The next day I spent a few hours (since we both work) adding shelves to the Shoe Addicts Rack (as I call it).
This allowed me to learn how to add pins and use those grooved tracks to add shelves and valets and hanging rods into.
While Michael and I were like ships passing in the night, I managed a time to assemble shelving in the shoe addict frame.
Yeah for me.
It was easy.
You might see above, I have enlisted the help of clear plastic shoe boxes.
I have used them, but actually diminished my original amount and stored almost everything on the shoe addict’s rack!
However, I have left all of my formal shoes, glitzy and strappy heals inside those containers with easy-to-read labels.
But the point is there are a lot of storage and versatility options within this closet organization system, right?
Oops! Excitement Made Me Do It (or so I claim!)
Don’t Move Full Steam Ahead, Instead, FRAME all and Follow the Plans.
So easy, in fact, that a few days later, when I had a few hours, I surprised Michael and had added in hanging rods, which I proudly started to load (Mistake…)
The bar I added was in my first frame, and the drawers were not in yet.
Drawers and Installation
The drawers come mostly assembled.
You have to get them into the grooved tracks and add the front panel.
Which, has the handles ALREADY installed. Easy Peasy!
While I might make the drawers sound bad, trust me, they are not.
Watch the video, it’s not hard, but you have to pay attention to what you are doing. (video coming shortly)
Unlike the other parts, like framing, this is a bit more detailed. but the drawers are lovely!
I, unfortunately, had blocked Michael’s ability to get the top drawer in the groove because I had hung a hanging bar on the frame next to it.
Since the frames are joined and share segments, I had to unhang ALL the clothing and move the rod.
Which also meant a different clearance from the bottom shelf to the bar.
Each part of the system builds on the frame.
Since the frames are next to each other, often, that can impinge the height or something you had planned.
Pins go into the holes and the hole you might want, may not work.
So, practice on ONE section, then move throughout the closet.
VALETS for Coats, Ties, and Belts.
How did I ever live without these before I will never know?
When I want to plan an outfit for myself, I pull out my Coat Valet and put my suit or outfit on it.
There it is in all it’s glory, waiting.
Michael has the same.
This way, I can just coordinate his clothing and he just has to get home and we can go out, fast!
Having all my belts on a rack makes it possible to style.
Before, I considered myself lucky with a ‘bonus’ of a belt to an outfit.
Now, it’s a standard go-to piece of wardrobe accessory.
Ties are organized and I LOVE this! ♥♥♥
I actually organized Michael’s tie by season, so he can find them.
However, I used a tie valet for jewelry, so I can see what I have, fast.
Drawers – Don’t Skip Out On Purchasing These
At first, I thought I would put my sweaters in these drawers, but I nixed that plan.
Instead, I’ve got my camisoles with the bra cups built-in by color in my drawers.
Then, I used the larger drawers for my bathing suit collections.
I mean, as a travel writing gal, I do the resort thing a lot (if we ever get back to that …).
For Michael’s DRAWER (yes, poor guy, only one), I’ve stocked with extra socks and tees.
Sweaters on a whole did not make it into the drawers but I did stock the one with ‘snaggable’ sweaters.
These are those sweaters that look crocheted and have cami’s under them.
I own a few, so I used a drawer for that purpose.
Shelves, Stacking Tips
If you don’t have too much, stacking works, but I prefer containers.
I shopped a lot to find containers that fit the feel of my closet.
I’ve dedicated containers to sparkle sweaters, leggings, workout clothing, sports bras, long sleeves, etc.
Stacking looked messy with too much so that is why I chose to go with storage containers.
However, I spent 2 weeks looking for the right containers that fit the appearance I wanted.
I’m still finishing my closet.
I’ve reset it 3x so far.
As I live with it each day, I find more and more clothing items to move around, since I want it to be functional.
Change is not hard, it’s simply a matter of changing where the pins are on the shelves or rods.
I am completely, insanely in love with my closet.
In fact, I want to do a much smaller closet in a different room with all things LUNDIA USA.
After living with ratty wire racks, contractor-grade, and no storage except plastic totes, I’ve upgraded to the Princess Level (ok, Queen Level!)
If you can wield a screwdriver or a drill, you got this!
No, I’m not kidding.
Do overhaul your closet.
Make sure to paint it.
Remove all the baseboards.
Then, get ready for the best decision you’ll make for a DIY project: installing a LUNDIA USA Closet.
It does not get better than this! ~ DANA XO — Video coming soon with Final Before and After images. Stay tuned.