start clean in ’14 {master closet}

do you ever feel the need to start fresh at the beginning of a new year?  i always do.  in fact, i tend to go on a sort of “spring cleaning” purge in every new year.  its nice to have a marker, a sort of restart point every year to get reorganized and start anew.

i’m joining up again with P&G and the Home Depot to share with you how i’m going to start clean in ’14!

an obvious place for me to start was in our master closet.  unlike a junk drawer or spare bedroom (not that i have one), my closet is somewhere i go every day, and its messiness affects me by slowing me down each morning!


while sean and i share a decent sized master closet, it has slowly become a mess over the years, and it just hasn’t been functioning as well as it could be.  don’t get me wrong – i’m not complaining about its size or the organizational system – i just knew it could be functioning better.


we are blessed that sean owns a company that specializes in storage solutions, so when we built our home we had a great closet built in.


but even with all these shelves, drawers and baskets, we were still overflowing.  even worse, the space was dirty.  like really dirty.  with all the shoes we have in here, the shelves had lots of dirt and dust. gross.


my side of the closet has become more and more packed and definitely needed some thinning out.  i used to try to color coordinate my hanging clothes, but had given up.  i was just happy if everything as off the floor!


i liked to hang my cardigans on padded hangers, but with the limited space it made it really hard to fit all i needed to.


i like the functionality of having hooks on this one empty wall, but i’ve abused them and hung way too much on the 4 little hooks.  and the pile of sandals in a basket on the floor didn’t do any good for taking care of those shoes.


time to get to work!  sean and i each spent hours sorting through everything in our closet, making piles to keep, toss, donate, dry-clean, and relocate.  ok, sean spent less time than that, but he sorted through all of his things for me!


our first round of sorting went well, but…


as i started really cleaning the space we were able to take out even more!  it felt really good to clear out clothing that we haven’t worn in years!

i listed a bunch of my clothes that were still in good condition on bloggers closet if you’re interested!


the only thing i kept in this mess of hangers were the white tube hangers for sean (i got myself all new hangers).  everything else went in the trash or got donated.


after sorting through everything, it was time to start cleaning.  swiffer dusters are my go-to for most all cleaning projects.  my husband has many airborne allergies, so trapping dust is super important rather than stirring it up in the air like traditional dusters often do.


the swifter dusters do a great job with surface dust, but i needed something a little more heavy duty to really get at the grime.  mr. clean magic erasers are another favorite, but i always follow up the wet magic eraser with a dry bounty paper towel to get the last of the grime and soak up any remaining moisture.


this is our only wall space in the closet, so it has to be functional!  these 4 hooks have been great, but i wanted even more!


i doubled my wall hanging space quickly and inexpensively by adding 4 more hooks.


i quickly filled up the hooks with hats, bags,


and kept the basket of scarves and handkerchiefs since it was working well for me.


because this is a multifunctional space (our laundry room is in here, too), we have our iron, ironing board and vacuum on sean’s side, right next to our sliding laundry baskets.


one of the biggest (and easiest) changes was switching all of sean’s hangers to the white plastic tube hangers.  he and i both had a variety of hangers, so i simplified his and made them all the same.  while wire hangers really are much thinner than even the tube hangers, they got tangled so easily, so they all had to go.

sean is an avid cyclist, so 1/3 of his hanging space is dedicated to his riding clothes.  and since most of it has to air dry, i just hang it up in its place to dry after pulling it out of the washer.

the other half of his upper hanging clothes went for his shirts, sorted by long sleeves then short sleeves.  in the summer we’ll probably switch the short sleeves up to the the front and have the long sleeves in the back.


i also relocated the reusable bag we had previously hanging on the wall hooks to this hanging space above the laundry baskets.  we use this bag for sean’s dry-cleaning items, so when its full, either of us can just grab the bag and drop it at the cleaner’s.


sean’s lower hanging section holds his dress pants, zip up hoodies, and coats, with his shoe shelves running down the middle.


i have a dresser in our master bedroom, but we were able to fit all of sean’s clothes here in the closet, much of it in the drawers here.


with all the editing we did in here, these shelves feel so much more open and easier to access the folded clothes.


while sean’s side of the closet cleaned up and thinned out quite a bit, it didn’t really change all that much.  but my side has changed quite a bit since i adjusted several of the shelves.  it feels so much better in here!


i relocated and edited a lot of my purses and bags.  they previously took up 2 shelves worth of space.  now the large bags are on the top shelf or hanging on my new lower wall hooks.  i added 3 small baskets that hold small travel items (like passport cases and outlet adaptors), winter accessories (like gloves and earmuffs), and smaller bags and clutches.


the biggest change for me was adjusting the shelves.  it was so simple to change, but i had been living with the shelves as we had originally set them as if we couldn’t adjust them at all.  i layed out all of my shoes and categorized them to find out how much space i really needed.  with the new shelf space i got from relocating my bags, i got another shoe shelf!


i had all my boots laying on top of each other on their sides before, but now i found more space to have them standing up!  with the help of some inexpensive pool noodles the boots are all now standing up, retaining their shape.  the noodles cut really easily with a serrated kitchen knife.  silas thought it was hilarious that i was using pool noodles.  and a bit disappointed they weren’t for him!


and because i live in californina and the winter weather can call for boots one day and flip flops the next, i have a shelf full of sandals right above my boots. no longer piled in a basket on the floor –  yay!


2 major changes on my hanging sections were editing/thinning out and changing out all my hangers.


i have a lot to hang in a smallish space, and having uniform hangers makes it all look so much better!


i also organized by cardigans and tops, then by color.


my sweater/sweatshirt shelves became more functional by adjusting the shelf and sorting by sweatshirts on top and sweaters on bottom.


the long hanging space holds my dresses, coats and some of sean’s pants.  in the summer i make more space by moving the coats to a hanging section in our garage.


this basket used to hold all my sandals and flip flops, but now holds my slippers and a couple pairs of infrequently used shoes.


even our top shelf got a good cleaning!  i grabbed a couple unused buckets to hold our travel pillows and travel laundry bags/luggage straps – things we only access a couple times a year.


sean travels a few times a month, sometimes weekly, so we keep a small duffel bag or 2 in our closet at all times.  next to those bags we have some of my larger purses and overnight bags.


this closet also works as supply storage, so our paper towels, napkins and tissue boxes are filling up our top shelf.


this iron holder is so nice (from ikea)!  it can hold a hot iron and keeps the cord contained when not in use.


on the opposite wall of the closet is our laundry space.  i actually love having our laundry in our master closet.  this space also functions as a pass through from our bathroom on the left to our playroom on the right.


after our laundry room renovation, the only adjustment i’ve made is adding a swiffer duster into the locker basket for regular shelf dusting in the closet, and a roll of bounty paper towels for wiping up the inevitable laundry detergent drips from the countertop.

 do you want to start clean in ’14?  have you already started?  what areas in your home need the most attention?  i’m starting with the rooms that we use most, the ones i’m dreading most, and then will slowly work my way to the easier jobs.


are you looking for more ideas to start clean in ’14?  check out these bright ideas (here’s mine!) from 6 other bloggers!

 {this post was sponsored by the Home Depot and P&G, but all opinions are my own.}


  1. 1

    Wow! What a transformation. That looks amazing! You make me want to go through everything I own and just deep clean like crazy! Keep up the good work!



    (I just launched my fashion blog and currently have a giveaway offering $250 worth of credits for a Facebook campaign/advertisement that can be used towards your blog or business!)

  2. 2

    Wow you did a great job and your closet is huge. I did my closet cleaning in december.

  3. 3

    Thanks for the inspiration! : )

  4. 4

    It looks amazing! I need to take the time and really sort through and organize our closet.

  5. 5

    Wow what a difference! You have such a great closet space and just these little fixes make a big difference :)

  6. 6

    I love your closet and love uniform hangers. that can make or break a closet!

  7. 7

    what perfect timing. Our master closet is a huge mess…..although ours doesn’t have as much space as yours I am stealing some ideas from your redo…… First a big purge and then cleaning and reorganizing. I want to paint ours also…’s pretty ugly. Thanks for sharing!

  8. 8

    I love the pool noodle idea, definitely need to do that. You did a really great job purging stuff, I know how hard it can be… something I need to do as well.

  9. 9

    just spent sososo long looking through your beautiful home tour! All the little details of your home are just lovely. It’s awesome that you got to renovate your house with so many vintage details/furnishings that you found yourself! Your family is beautiful and I am so inspired by you, lady! No idea how you can run your shop, blog, family, and home-school!

    Oh, I also looove closet tours. Yours is dreamy!

    perfectly Priya

  10. 10

    Yourr way of explaining the whole thing in this pieche of writing is truly
    nice, every one be able to eaily understand it,
    Thnks a lot.

  11. 11

    I love this…both spaces are truly inspirations for me. Even tho we have entirely different spaces how can one not get ideas from this?

  12. 12

    Your closet looks so great and organized! It feels really nice when everything has a place!

    Stop by my blog if you get time! I’m new to the blog world and could use some followers and traffic! Thanks!!

  13. 13

    Holy freakin’ organization! This post is really like good porn. Love all the baskets you use.

    xo Ashley

  14. 14

    I don’t usually comment but I had to… We’re moving in February so I’m doing major purging/cleaning too! It feels SOOOO good to get rid of stuff that has just taken up space for a few years. You have a much bigger closet but to let you know how crazy my clothing situation was… I got rid of 7 trash bags full of clothes, purses and shoes! They actually went to my younger sister and her friends so hopefully someone else gets some use out of them. :) Looks great!

  15. 15

    wow! looks so amazing and organized!

  16. 16

    love the idea of the pool noodles for holding up boots!!

  17. 17

    You have amazing closet! My apartment is really small and I have only a small wardrobe to put there all of my clothes and shoes. Hope that I will find a bigger apartment with a closet!

  18. 18

    Can you come home to clean up and organize my closet? I am in love with yours! Mine, on the other hand looks awful! Shoes, bags and clothes everywhere! I think that it is high time to clean this place.

  19. 19

    Fantastic web site. Plenty of useful info here. I’m sending it to some friends ans also sharing in delicious. And of course, thanks for your sweat!

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