Monday, 14 October 2013

Frugal Solutions for Closet Organizers that Work

Staying true to frugal principles, we used very little cash and a great deal of recycled material to turn an alcove into the bedroom closet I've always wanted - great lighting, loads of space for hanging clothes, lots of shelving and a shoe rack set 6” above the floor for easy cleaning underneath. Everything organized until it came to belts, scarves, etc. - what to do with them? As it turned out, it wasn't that difficult to come up with simple organizing solutions that work, without having to spend much money.

From L-R: Belt Organizer, Scarf Organizer, No-Sew Padded Hanger

Belts: The first thing I tried to figure out was a way to hang my belts so that it would be easy to choose one without having to root through the whole bunch. I settled on an old wooden coat hanger, spray painted it white, drilled holes spaced 1", 1 1/2" and 2" apart to accommodate different size belts, then inserted plastic covered hooks to end up with enough space to hang 20 belts. The few dress belts that didn’t have buckles, and therefore couldn’t be hung from hooks, were rolled up and put into a plastic see-through box positioned on the closet shelf right above the belt hanger, keeping everything tidy, convenient and in one place. I was lucky to find an older hanger - the one I used is ¾” thick - ones purchased from the dollar store are only ½” thick. They will work, but the holes will need to be spaced no less than 1½” apart to avoid breakage.

Close View - Belt & Scarf Organizers 
Scarves: I had been keeping my scarves in a drawer which was another nuisance. By the time I found the one I wanted, the rest of them were all messed up. It was obvious I needed a better system. I found some colourful spring-loaded clothes-pins in the bottom of my clothes-pin basket that would work beautifully. I next raided the workshop for a piece of white shelving 3" by 20" to which I glued 11 of the clothes-pins. Then I screw-nailed it – using anchors – to the back wall of the closet. (The only reason for the size was that it fit nicely between the shelf supports at the back of the closet.)

No-Sew Padded Hanger: As I was moving clothes into the closet I came across my sweater-coat, which is one of those items that really benefits from a padded hanger. I didn't think it would be that difficult to make one and I was right - it was actually very simple. I also added a touch of my own which I think improved it - most padded hangers are made from a satin-type fabric, but I didn't want the sweater sliding off the hanger, so used a non-slip ribbon that I found in my sewing box. I did make sure to use light coloured material, so that if it got wet, the colour would not bleed through, staining the sweater.

I started by sawing the bar part of the hanger since it wasn't needed. Then:.

1 & 2. A white face cloth was tightly folded around the hanger. Small pieces of tape were used as needed.  5 feet of ribbon, extending past the centre by about 8", was laid out flat.

3.& 4. The facecloth wrapped hanger was placed on  the ribbon and the ribbon brought up and over the end of the cloth and lightly taped down.

5 &.6. Ribbon was brought back down. Starting at the outer edge, the ribbon was tightly wrapped - overlapping - around the facecloth, to the centre.

7 & 8. The two ribbons ends were tied together.  After both sides were done, the ribbons were tied in a bow.

The day I no longer have use for the hanger, I can take it all apart and everything can be reused for other purposes.

Handy Storage Tips:

Purses: Stuffing occasional-use purses with tissue paper, bubble wrap, or similar product not only keeps them in better shape and makes them last longer, but also lets them stand up on the shelf without support, making them more visible. Metal zippers in purses (and everything else) will last longer if the zippers are lightly rubbed with sewing machine oil (or similar product) before storing. Just close the zipper, rub it with the oil, then open and close it a few times to spread the oil around.

Shoes: In the past I’ve tried various methods for storing shoes, including shoe boxes and hanging shoe bags, but was never totally satisfied with either solution. So when we built the closet I knew exactly what I wanted – a rack raised up from the floor and deep enough to hold my shoes, one behind the other toe-to-heel, rather than 2 layers deep of shoes side by side. This way its much easier to choose the shoes I want without having to move others out of the way. When storing shoes and boots, I put a tablespoon of baking soda on a facial tissue, wrap it up tight and insert one of these into each clean shoe or boot before storing. Little details that make a lot of difference.

My final step in organizing the closet was to eliminate. Its amazing how attached you get to certain items, but I was totally ruthless – no room for sentiment here - and moved only those items into the closet that I knew I would wear for sure, everything else went, either to the Thrift Store or the trash. So now I have a closet that totally works – everything visible and wearable. 
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1 comment :

  1. Wow lena that was great! Nailed it!


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Thanks - Lenie