How to utilize the dead space in a closet
Hey there! Now that the garage is all decluttered and organized, I’ve been focusing more on the changes in our mud/laundry room again.
I shared my plan for adding a ton more storage and other changes to make this room work even better for us a couple weeks ago. I’m so excited about these changes! They’ve already made a BIG difference in here.
I’ve moved things around a bunch — including moving some things from the garage that just work better inside. I’ll show you all of that soon! This week I’ve been focusing on the closet we have in here:
My dream was always to have a big closet in our mud room! When I saw how big this laundry/mud combo was going to be, I knew we’d have plenty of room for a closet. My favorite part is the OUTLET I had put inside. Game changer.
Anyway, when we moved in a few years ago I just started chucking things in there as we got settled:
A few months after moving in I went through it all and got it organized…much better:
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I made this a spot for all kinds of things! Laundry items like the ironing boards, cleaning supplies, all the brooms and vacuums, and even gift wrap items like wrapping and bags. You can see the whole organized mud room closet here.
Now that I’ve been moving things around, I went through this closet again. It was still looking really good, but I knew I wanted to move the cleaning supplies into the upper cabinets instead. I also got rid of a few things we don’t use anymore. Like that SpotBot carpet cleaner — it was my BFF for years, but now we have so little carpet we just haven’t used it. (And for any animal messes we have now, this cleaner is AMAZING!)
I knew I could make better use of the space in this closet! That dead space at the ends of closets like this has always bugged me. Unless you are filling it with clothes, it’s usually an awkward spot that can be utilized MUCH better.
YEARS ago I realized I could add some shelves to that spot to make it work better for us. This is a great project if you’re a beginner at do-it-yourself projects! There’s not a lot to them, especially when they don’t have to be perfectly finished like in other rooms. I’ve shared how to make these floating shelves many times over the years. (See how I added them in our bathroom at that link!)
You just need to secure your supports (a 1×2 is perfect) into studs or anchors on the back wall and sides, then nail a board into those. Before I started in here I removed the door trim on the inside of the closet so I could bring the front of the shelves right up to the edge:
This little tape trick is awesome when you’re caulking on a painted wall! Tape it off first and then caulk — remove the tape before the tape dries and you’ll have a perfect line and no mess on your wall.
I was going to leave these pretty basic, but then I realized they’d look so much better with some trim on the front. So I added that. I planned to leave them unpainted…but then I realized how good they would look in white. And this super simple project turned into two day process. 😂
After the first coat of paint, the underside of that top shelf was bugging me. Of course it was:
I ended up cutting a piece of luan to fit underneath to hide the supports.
I also cut down the door trim (that I had taken down) and put it back up in between each shelf. And then filled holes. Caulked everything. And finally did one more coat of paint. This is how you turn a 90 minute project into one that never ends.
But it was worth it! They look really good:
I didn’t add bottoms to the other shelves since we can’t see that part. These shelves are about nine inches by 24 and add a TON of storage! If you aren’t using the ends of your closets I highly recommend this little project.
Remember how I organized so many garden tools and garage stuff by hanging it all on the wall? I did that here too! I hung everything I could:
Those Command broom holders are the bomb. We had one and I picked up a couple more. For everything else I used hooks we had.
I almost did another set of shelves on the right as well, but I needed a spot for a dryer rack and step stool I wanted to hang. It’s SO nice and cleared out!
Oh, and I added some battery-operated motion sensor lights I found at HomeGoods the other day. I hung them around the inside door trim. I kick myself that I didn’t have lights added to our closets! So far this light strip is working really well. (These motion sensor strip lights look to be the same thing.)
I can’t wait to show you the last part of this little closet makeover — I’ll show you that next week!
Here’s where we started in here a few years ago:
I’ll be back next week with more!
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