Design and Conquer

photo 1_edited cWhen my closet-designing consultant casually mentioned that I had twenty-eight pairs of shoes, boots, and slippers, I was embarrassed.  I didn’t point out that I had another five pairs in another room. She, however, was unfazed. “Oh, that’s normal,” she said.  “Most people have between thirty and forty pairs of shoes, and I have seen one closet with sixty.” Well, that’s ok then. Nice to know I’m normal.

She and I were sitting on my couch and trying to come up with a plan to reinvent the two closets in my apartment to try to make better use of the space.  At present, both closets are the old style with a simple rod across the space with a shelf on top. They also have spaces in the “wings” where clothes go to die. The special-occasion dresses hide out there in the dark recesses until they no longer fit. Eventually they get taken to the thrift store, but their first stop is the wings of the closet.

The consultant and I had discussed my closet needs, looked at the current contents of both closets, measured and measured again. We were at the ruminating and decision-making phase of the process, and she was entering data into her laptop software at lightning speed. So, she was just sort of thinking out loud when she told me how many shoes I had. She needed to know because the number affected how many shoe shelves to incorporate into the finished design.

For a while the work looked quite technical, but then she showed me the finished design in 3D and I was fascinated.  Suddenly I could literally and figuratively see what she meant. She had included spaces for short things, medium things, long things, shoes, and even for boxes of miscellany.

Then, once I was sold on this fabulous design, we started talking about doors.  Doors, it turns out, are the closet designer’s equivalent of options in cars and store warranties for electronics. They double the bill. You can have standard doors, bi-fold doors, sliding doors on multiple tracks, and all manner of inserted windows and mirrors.  In short, far more options than my mind was capable of contemplating, and all far more expensive than my budget had anticipated.

Thankfully, my lovely designing woman understood my hesitance and pointed out that I didn’t actually have to buy doors from her company. I could get them from a hardware store and have a handyman install them for a third of the cost.  What a sweetheart.  I was happy to concur that I wanted her closet interiors, but that she could leave the doors to me.

Now I have to empty out my closets in order to prepare them for all this work. So, I have a new problem. Where am I going to put all my clothes and twenty-eight pairs of shoes in the mean time? I may be a hoarder, but I am an organized hoarder. The idea of just dumping everything in a heap on my bed just won’t do. Maybe I should put everything into boxes in the garage. That would be a good idea if I were not already filling up those shelves with boxes of memorabilia.

I should find a woman who designs garages. Most garages are designed by people who think they are for storing cars and power tools. Pshah!  We all know that they are actually for garden rakes, snow shovels, and Christmas decorations. Now mine is also for boxes of children’s drawings and stories. It could be for clothes and shoes, too, right?  We will have to leave the car outside, though. Organization is all about prioritizing.


  1. I was closer to 60 pairs of shoes/boots before I moved this last time. I think I’m down around 40 now but I can’t swear it’s that low. I don’t really sweat it. I am trying to actively not bring more in the house until I wear a few pair out!

    Interesting information about the doors!

    I have a slew of those large plastic boxes that I’ve kept through several moves. They hold up fairly well and serve as extra storage when they’re not moving my stuff from one place to another. They also look nice and organized in the garage. 😀

  2. Love this! Brings up memories from moving in here and quickly realizing there was no storage space. Our kids got together and paid for a closet organizer for us. The woman did both bedroom closets and our laundry room. What a blessing that has been. I also am so glad for the roll out drawers we got in kitchen and both bathroom vanities.

    And just to skew the statistics, I have 3 pairs of shoes and 1 pair of slippers.

    My husband hangs his shirts by colors and I don’t have enough to even do that. Now I know why he wanted this place as soon as he saw the walk-in closet. Hee hee

    Sent from my iPhone


  3. You’re going to love your new closet! I remember doing a thing like that to my closet and I just kept going in there again and again to look at it. I’m in the process of taking everything out and putting back only what fits and what I’ll actually wear. I have lots of room now. I’m not sure why it’s easier for me to do this with shirts and pants than it is to do with shoes though.

    1. It seems to be a never-ending story. I declutter and sort, but still have more than enough. I have managed to reduce my purse collection quite considerably,but shoes…. Well, you know….

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