In our last 2 homes, my closet has been my frenemy. Each time, it took a DIY to really wrangle it.
To tackle my new walk-in closet I am going to use a solid wood closet system rather than asking myself “how to organize a walk-in closet?”, I’ve already figured out the answer!
My new question is not just how to organize a walk-in closet, but where to find a non-toxic, made in the USA system?
FOUND: A Solid Wood Closet System that elevates it from Ow to WOW
Today’s post is sponsored by LUNDIA USA all opinions and images are my own.
I want to organize and makeover my closet, and it’s sinfully disastrous and overstocked.
What you will learn is that it’s about organizing, cleaning, tossing, upcycling, donating, and you might even figure out that you really own some ugly stuff, lol.
My Solid Wood Closet System: DIY Walk-in Closet Makeover
Allow me to set your expectations, so you know what you might be getting into.
- Yes, this will be a simple DIY, but you do need to know where to find a made in the USA, non-toxic, formaldehyde-free solid wood closet system!
- No, this is not about storage containers, shoe boxes, hooks, and racks, it’s way more.
- You won’t find ANY PARTICLE Board in the closet system I sought out.
- There is someone there that can help you design your dream!
- Also, this is a DIY, and as far as I am concerned if you can use a tape measure and a drill you’ve got this! (beginner-level stuff!)
Why I wanted a DIY Closet Makeover and Why we Did It
I am the queen of my castle & I want the best solid wood closet system, one that just screams, ‘Dana’s Department Store!’
In other words, it’s got to go from OW to WOW in a millisecond of a blinking eye!
Such as the case if you ever have seen the movie, ‘The Princess Diaries?‘
Once I saw Princess Mia’s closet with drawers and shelves brilliantly bright, I wanted it.
Shoes, purses, dresses, tanks, jeans, they are all my truest downfall, but also my love!
Let Me Just Come Right Out With It.
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.
Weight changes, travel destinations are all over the place and I never know what function I will be showing up for, therefore, my closet is my life!
In any event, my closet is a trainwreck and erring on the side of ‘OW’ way more than ‘WOW‘!
So, help arrived in the form of a solid wood closet system, that is framing that supports shelves, drawers, and more.
8 Things Missing Closet System When It Arrived
- Formaldehyde resin
- chips bonded with formaldehyde glue
- fake, glued-on wood print
Whatever Shall I do without being exposed to toxins and faux wood?
The answer is simple.
Construct my DIY solid wood closet system as fast as I can, inhale the lovely smell of wood, and load that walk-in closet up, because it’s time to celebrate a winning duo.
Me + Lundia USA! Woot.
Solid Wood smells so good when you close the closet door and open it again.
Overview of Lundia USA Wood Closet System
So here’s what you need to know real fast so I can show you more about my makeover with this solid wood closet system you’ll want!
- Made in the USA
- Lundia USA’s solid wood closet system is constructed of 100% Natural Pine + Hemlock
- It’s ‘environmentally harvested from the Pacific Northwest
- You design your system
- Shipped to your doorstep
- DIY Install that’s simple to do
- No additives, preservatives, or artificial anything is added to the wood.
- Live happily ever after.
The Nightmare BEFORE the DIY Begins
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.
There’s Got To Be An OW before the WOW
My low point, and my big ‘OW’ moment. The current closet system sucks, to be frank.
As previously mentioned my closet is solid wood-built frames and it can hold some serious poundage of clothing!
Packaging of the solid wood closet system
As far as installation goes, my new LUNDIA USA Closet System(and hopefully yours soon too!) has been simple to put together and very straightforward.
Your solid wood closet system arrives via Fed Ex.
You’ll want to open everything, and the first thing you will see is HOW amazingly well each piece was packaged and protected from the insane Fed Exer’s that just plop, toss, drop and go!
The box labels truly make it easy to find what you need for each section of the frames you will be building.
In my world, this system 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, always blame the closet, (lol)!
My story is Your Story. Where do We Start?
The best way to share with you what happens before, during, and after a solid wood closet system installation is to start from the beginning.
Watch the video.
Yes, it is a bit lengthy but it shares the OW to WOW impact so much better than any photo can!
WARNING – YOU are about to view a disaster area, & it may resemble YOUR closet.
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.
Shopping for a solid wood closet system leaves you with 1 true brand.
How did I start my process?
First, I shopped around for closet systems.
Again, I wanted wood, not particle board.
What I really was seeking was a solid wood closet system that is proven, such as installed in places that already have tested its limits of industrial strength, like Macy’s Shoe Room!
Facts LUNDIA USA is a Proven Brand in the Commercial World Already
Have you been to Macy’s? Shopped at a Starbucks Outlet?
Spent any time in the JCPenney’s stock room?
Love golf? The solid wood closet system has true accolades behind it.
LUNDIA USA frames, drawers, racks, pins, etc are made for the long haul.
In fact, they were originally and are 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.”
Macy’s and I are already besties as I buy a LOT of shoes there, lol!
The fun fact then, my closet was already related to LUNDIA USA before it was installed.
Starbucks Outlet & JCP
Next time you head to the Starbucks Outlet, look at the shelving holding all the inventory for sale.
It is LUNDIA USA. Solid, tough, weight-bearing, sturdy, built to last, and WOOD!
Finally, as for JCP, well those 12-foot stock rooms are graced with their shelves and they hold your clothing before you meet it!
Eyeballing the mess, Understanding the Needs to be Fulfilled
Here is the bottom line that my solid wood closet system must match: I own a multi-faceted wardrobe that is personalized for who I am: a travel writer, DIY Gal, and Food Content creator.
My closet life needs to be organized, and in plain sight to be used.
Locate issues in your current closet: Replace issues with solid wood organizational options
- I am a shoe addict (but I can’t find matching shoes because there are no shelve)
- traveling to so many different locations requires different clothing (but it’s just in piles because there are no drawers)
- DIY projects = are my favorite jeans, tops, and boots. (where is that clothing? no drawers or hanging space)
- Culinary Dana has 2 sets of cooking wardrobes: on camera or not! (well, can’t seem to find anything right now can I?)
- 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. (because wire closet racks suck and fall off the wall!)
- Bathing suits with bikini tops crushed from recent trips as there is nowhere to store them, and at least they are in the closet, right? WRONG!
- Wadded rolls of clothing that I had compacted for storage sake in the corners yet, forgotten about and really don’t need. (I can’t find a corner can you?)
Bye To Wire Rack Hangers They are Ineffective
When I compare our before and after it was like shopping in a TJ Maxx and then becoming a Macy’s!
Our current closet system, as you see had wire racks.
They are completely ineffective.
I’ve purchased bins, roll drawers, and shoe racks, but nothing helps.
Clothes are on the floor, on the racks, and 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.
Initial Makeover Ideas Before Beginning your DIY Closet Makeover.
We ripped that light out and upgraded it to an LED light with no more ORANGE light coloration for me. I term this, ‘department store LED lighting.’
Next, we ripped out the carpet and put in a new floor.
Then, we painted the walls gray.
SPOILER ALERT FOR THE TASK AT HAND >>> BIG OW AHEAD
With every sorted load of clothing and shoes I took out of my walk-in closet I was getting more and more upset.
This is definitely the worst of the OW moments I had.
Remember after this it is all peaches and cream because installing the solid wood closet system is going to create order from the chaos!
Woot. Smile. Keep on moving, we are on our way to a ‘department-store finish’!
Every stinking thing you have in your closet needs to be tossed out of the closet and placed into a huge smoldering pile. Yes, you will cringe.
Choice of Finishes For The Solid Wood Closet System
My color is a gray wash. However, they have many finishes to fit every closet in any home.
- gray wash
- and more.
consider all of THESE things before Organizing: It All Matters
Long Hanging vs. Short Hang
Here’s the deal, if you are tall, then you definitely will want more long hanging spots or if you have more suits or dresses.
For me, that is a waste and I dedicated only ONE area to this.
Why? 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.
Less long-hanging areas afforded me more double rack spaces.
I am short and my tops are short, so a few
frame sections with double racks were the perfect solution.
Your Solid Wood Closet System is Ready to Be Used
Every day, a few times a day is how many times I make appearances in and out of my closet!
Running from activities or to appointments is the reason why I keep changing clothes.
You’ll need to organize it so you can easily get to what you need.
Once we got the drawers installed and the shelving, I began to purge so I could fit the right things in the closet and get rid of the rest!
Framing options (that’s what the drawers, shelves, and rods sit within are: we looked at the options for 30″, 32″, and 36″ frames.
Using The Right Hangers Will Be Your Happy Place
Invest in hangers.
Make them all the same, and buy dozens of them in bulk.
Hang without worrying if your clothes will stretch, get holes or fall off of hangers.
Remember to toss out every single metal hanger you have. I
n fact, those hangers leave rust on clothing over time.
Pitch the plastic store hangers to both black and clear.
Get rid of those ugly white hangers, they are junk, and they don’t help your clothing.
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 Amazing
Since you are changing everything, learn something new and grab packs of ‘s’ hooks for your clothing too!
Honestly, S hooks are a must!
Do you own shorts and skirts with belt loops? Jeans?
You gain hanging space and it’s so easy to hang on clothing and accessories on these.
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, tanks, and skirts!
The Hanging Bar: What Goes On Here & Why It Matters.
Saying that the solid wood closet system will rock your fashion world is not even saying enough.
The hanging bar positioning matters and I’ll quickly explain why.
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.
Is it difficult to position the hanging bars & shelves in the closet system from LUNDIA USA?
Not at all!
There are metal pins for every shelf and bar holder.
So, you simply fit the shelf into the grooves and put a pin underneath.
The pins are easily removable, and you can change your mind 100 times over. Just push the pin back out.
I did this so many times until I found the height I wanted things at.
It’s fast, easy, and best of all allows for so much versatility in the closet system.
TIP for PINS Used On The Install
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.
Tips: 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.
In order to be able to tilt to the bottom of the groove into an angled position, you’ll need clearance.
Therefore, if a bar or shelf is above it, you won’t be able to do this.
Set everything up, before you load.
Drawers and Installation inside your solid wood closet system + Tips
Build the frame.
Don’t put a single shelf or hanging bar in UNTIL you add the drawers.
I do reference this in our longer video, so if you want to know more watch the video. Plus read below and I detail this a bit more. Read the directions!
We built all the sections and loaded the hanging bars and shelves first.
I began to load them. Nooooooo!
Drawer Install: Further Information
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.
Follow the Plans Before Jumping Ahead
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 added in hanging rods, which I proudly started to load (Mistake…)
Why? 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 do 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.
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.
Therefore, since the frames are next to each other, often, that can impinge the height or something you had planned.
Pins go into holes and the hole you might want, may not work.
So, practice on ONE section, then move throughout the closet.
This is on me, but I wanted to build, load and help.
I just didn’t read the directions as well as Michael had and I took the plunge! UGH!
What Takes the Longest To Install on The Solid Wood Closet System?
We worked on the frame in my closet and built 90% of it TOGETHER over about 6 hours.
Maybe less. We did stop here and there as we were dealing with my son whose arm was dislocated, fractured, relocated, and then had a screw put in it, so playing a nurse in between took away from the project.
You do need a screwdriver or a drill, plus a tape measure and a pencil.
Those will be items you will use nonstop while building frames and placing the frames against the wall.
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 before the other person snags your job! DIY can be fun!
Building Frames that are Part of the Solid Wood Closet System Is Easy
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.
Our blueprints. Michael is truly a master of the 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.
Organizing The Closet System. Change Shelf Positioning On The Fly
While I am building this today, I know I will change it and again, the beauty of this solid wood closet system is the fact it is easy to change.
Whether it’s the clothing bar positioning, the valet rack, shoe shelves heights, etc.
It’s just a matter of moving pins on shelves that make this fabulous.
The next day I spent a few hours (since we both work) adding shelves to the Shoe Addicts Rack (as I call it).
It is my feature wall where I have all my shoes (plus I put some more atop the entire closet.
As I worked, I changed the height of the shelves a lot and I changed my mind too!
So, all I did was take a pin in and out and replace the shelves.
Michael was super surprised when he came home to a fully accessorized shoe feature wall.
Make sure to watch my video to see me building the shoe wall (it’s in the longer video).
In there I demo how to move pins and place shelves.
Feature Shoe Wall in my LUNDIA USA Solid Wood Closet System.
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!
At one point in time, I had so many clear shoe boxes it was out of control, but now I have contained the mess!
What was super nice is that our system left enough clearance from the top shelf to the ceiling that I could fit those boxes up there!
Inside those clear boxes, I placed all of my formal shoes, glitzy and strappy heals inside those containers with easy-to-read labels.
Why? They are the most infrequently used shoes and they get dust on them, so this makes that situation stop!
My point: there are a lot of storage and versatility options within this closet organization system, right?
Accessories Matter To Your Organization Level
Coat Purchase Coat Valets, Tie Racks, and Belt Racks.
Just when you thought it couldn’t get any better it increases in intensity.
Coat valets, tie racks, and belt racks are here to really organize you beyond your wildest dreams.
It’s insanely like setting up a department store! ♥♥♥
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 its 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!
Yes, they are an optional accessory and one I could no longer live without. YOLO!
Tie Rack And Belt Rack
Oh for the love of organizing I am in 7th heaven! I could live in this closet and be so happy!
Having all my belts on a rack makes it possible to style.
Before, I considered myself lucky with a ‘bonus’ if I could find a belt to put on my outfit!
Now, it’s a standard go-to piece of wardrobe accessory.
All of Michaels’s ties are organized and I LOVE this! ♥♥♥ I actually organized Michael’s ties by season, so he can find them.
However, I used a tie valet for jewelry too, so I can see what I have, fast.
Drawers – Don’t Skip Out On Purchasing These
Way back, 20 minutes ago when you started reading this, I referenced the movie, “Princess Diaries” if you remember. Well, drawers are what made her closet stand out aside from all the stuff in her closet.
Don’t skip out on adding drawers to your solid wood closet system or you are missing out!
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.
Meaning those loosely crocheted beach 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.
Organizing Open Space is Even MORE important
There’s a lot of space on the shelves and I went to stack and didn’t like the process or the look.
But, I found the best of the best in solutions.
While it is not something that LUNDIA USA sells, it does make it possible to really stash, stock, and stay organized inside the newly made-over closet!
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.
The containers have handles and I’ve placed labels on each.
These containers are catch-alls, and easily allow clothes to either be ‘tossed’ or folded. Just what I needed to further organize and maintain a unified look in my solid wood closet system.
My The BEFORE the Install 1 More Time
I’m still finishing my closet.
It is possible, though I will neither confirm nor deny that 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 them 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 the Installation of this fabulous Solid Wood Closet System
What matters most is that I would undeniably do another DIY closet makeover using this non-toxic solid wood closet system in another room.
I don’t say that about every DIY project I walk away from.
The shipped material was flawless and when it comes to quality this is beyond fantastic.
Crafted with care in the good old USA and the solid wood closet system works with my lifestyle and makes my clothing organized and accessible.
Don’t Overthink Your Own Closet Makeover.
Go from OW to WOW in days.
Visit the LUNDIA USA website, choose the color your like and take your measurements.
Order. Make a difference in your closet space.
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 the overhaul, and then install this fabulous #1 LUNDIA USA solid wood closet system. Elevate your closet from OW to WOW!
Get ready to enjoy the best decision you’ll make for a DIY project! It does not get better than this! ~ DANA XO —
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.