I can now say from experience that a truly organized closet can be life-changing. And it’s been a must to help wrap my brain around getting the kids back to school.
Several months ago when The Home Depot Canada asked if I might like to reorganize my family’s closets, I thought it would be a great purging exercise. Little did I know that it would be so personally satisfying and set us on what I know will be a much less harried path for the school year ahead.
Although our master bedroom walk-in closet went from inefficient to dreamy, along the way I learned that you don’t have to spend big bucks to get a really serious makeover that will have you going into the closet – and maybe never coming out.
So, whether you can only afford a little time and money or you’ve been saving for the last six months to go all out, allow me to walk you through three options for your closet facelift:
Option 1: Rubbermaid Closet Helper
- Budget: low
- Time investment: an hour or two
- DIY handy-factor: novice
Option 2: Martha Stewart Living
- Budget: mid-range
- Time investment: about a day, depending on the size of your closet
- DIY handy-factor: intermediate
- 4 ft – 8 ft Deluxe Starter Closet ($179)
- 8 inch Deluxe Drawer x 3 ($59.99 ea.)
- 24 inch Shelves (2-pack) x 2 ($24.99 ea.)
- A sliding basket that’s obviously been discontinued; the closest thing is this canvas hamper ($49.99)
- Sliding Wardrobe Rod ($16.99)
- One eight-foot-long sheet of generic white MDF, which we cut back to 14-inch depth to create shelves above each rod ($8.98)
- Two eight-foot-long pieces of generic white trim to create a “ledge” for the shelves ($3.98 ea.)
WHY I LOVE IT: With either white or dark brown melamine shelving, the Martha Stewart Living closet configurations offer a lot of choice for someone who can wield a hammer and drill with a bit of finesse. Since there are corner pieces available, you could easily use this system in walk-in closets. The pieces are very good quality considering their wallet-friendly prices, and there are smart options – like the sliding rod we installed, which we’ll use to stay on top of next-day school outfits – to make organization a snap. It was great to be able to use the pieces we needed and add to the system to make it look even more “built in.” Don’t be afraid to split up sets and think beyond what came in the box.
Option 3: ClosetMaid Impressions (new to The Home Depot!)
- Budget: high
- Time investment: at least two days (more if you’ve got a big space – ours took about three days)
- DIY handy-factor: advanced (you’re probably going to need to need a circular saw, and I suspect you should really only use one of those if you really know how…if you like your fingers, that is)
- Deluxe Closet Kit ($199)
- Deluxe Drawer Kit x 4 ($64.98 ea.)
- Narrow Closet Kit x 4 ($179 ea.)
- Narrow Drawer Kit x 4 ($49.98 ea.)
- Top Shelf Kit x 6 ($29.98)
- Corner Shelf Kit x 2 ($34.98 ea.)
- Corner Rounder Bar ($12.98)
- Alternate hardware for drawers (each drawer kit does come with hardware, and it’s not bad but wasn’t to our taste) – Amerock 96mm Centre Hole Brushed Dull Chrome Finish Sleek Pull x 8 ($6.99 ea.)
WHY I LOVE IT: Want to gut your entire closet and start fresh? So did we. And even though I would have preferred white shelving, as soon as this closet was framed, I got all goose-pimply. While the ClosetMaid Impressions line is The Home Depot’s priciest option, it’s still a more economical choice than a custom closet install from a bespoke closet company or cabinetmaker. It’s wood veneer (with the exception of drawer fronts, which are all wood) that looks darn good once all the finished pieces are put together – especially if you put your own finishing touches on it like we did with different hardware for the drawers and a new light fixture to show it all off. One word of warning: if you have a large closet, you may have to visit a few different Home Depots to find all of the pieces you need (it’s a new line and it seems to be a popular one with certain pieces sold out left and right). But it’ll be worth the effort.
And although the finished product is ultra-dreamy and has made me fall in love with my bedroom all over again, perhaps the best part about going with the ClosetMaid Impressions line is the access to ClosetMaid‘s design technology. You can either do an online DIY closet design or – get this – someone from the ClosetMaid design team will actually work with your closet’s measurements to design the most efficient use of space – for free. You simply fax or email a rough sketch of your closet and in return you’ll get a black and white rendering of an ideal closet configuration with a list of what to buy to make it happen. Don’t like that configuration or want to change a little something here or there? No prob – the designer will work with you to create something that will make you sing “Hallelujah” as you walk through your closet doors. Actually, mine sing to me. In Opera. Weird.
In addition to the phenomenal PR team at The Home Depot Canada, I have to give a special shout out to Milette Doors because this amazing closet simply couldn’t have existed with our old closet doors that, strangely, swung in and eliminated all kinds of usable space. Milette has a nearly infinite number of interior door designs available at The Home Depot, and having doors custom-made was the answer to our closet prayers. Brian, a local contractor who I actually met in the drywall section of my local Home Depot, came up with a brilliant idea of using four narrow panel doors (sans hinges) to create a faux centre pocket door – and as you can see, the result was well worth the investment in custom doors.
All said and done, removing our old doors to make way for these beauties from Milette gave us about six extra linear feet of closet space (times eight feet to the ceiling on both sides). And considering that Big B and I have enough clothes about which we should feel shameful, I can hardly believe that we can’t even fill up all of the nooks we now have.
You know what that means… time to go shopping!