Closet Makeover

3 Materials
4 Days

Everyone can use extra space in a closet, and my sewing room is no exception. It’s a standard 72” long closet, 24” deep. I needed to store a lot of fabric and my sewing room is tiny (7.5’ x 8’).

Though mine is set up for fabric storage, I can see this working in an office or kids’ room equally well. It could even work as a pantry.

Basic floor plan: This is the area above our entry hall, so it is what it is! There’s no space for expansion, and I like that it is not in the general footprint of the house. You have to want to go to the sewing room to even realize it is there. I have two sewing machines and a serger that I use, two other sewing machines that are heirlooms and mostly for display, and other general storage for patterns and other equipment.

What’s wrong with this picture? This began as a serviceable but not very user friendly closet...4’ of rod space with a 10 x 24” shelf unit that was built in, not adjustable, and had dead space in front of it. Originally, I used it for linens for the two bedrooms. Then it got stuffed to overflowing with fabric. I could find nothing! It was time to empty and re-do the space.

Design time: I wanted space for bolts and rolls of fabric, like upholstery, etc. I didn’t want it on the floor, so I built a shelf 15” off the floor, and added a simple chain on cuphooks to keep fabric from tumbling out.

It works! I can see and use upholstery rolls and bolts of fabric, with no problem at all! The chain is brilliantly simple. I can also hang things on it with s-hooks.

Notions storage: I needed space for bits and pieces of trim...zippers, lace, yarn, etc., so I removed and turned around the existing shelves. I love that I didn’t have to buy any lumber. I was able to totally recycle the original shelves. Now, the shelves face into the closet instead of toward the bi-fold doors.

New Tubs: I did buy about 20 new tubs when they went on back to school sale. At $5 per set of 4, they were a deal! They are shallow enough to stack two per shelf with room for other items at the end. Besides tubs, I store my smocking equipment and current projects on the shelves when I need to put them away. Manuals for sewing machines, irons, and other equipment are also located here.

Storage racks: stainless steel racks with casters use every inch of space in the center of the closet. These are 10” x 24” and 5’ tall (the same size as that one shelf I began with). Instead of rolling them in so I see the width, I roll them in with the ends facing the bi-fold doors. Any shelf unit can be rolled out for quick access to fabric on it or beside it. I do still have some tubs on the shelf across the top of the closet, but gradually, they are being eliminated.

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From top to bottom, this is an easy fix for a crowded closet. If you have basic carpentry skills, this is not a hard project. We had to assemble the shelves, and that required two sets of hands.

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