what I do

what I do

Thursday, June 16, 2011

An inconvenient closet


Moving my daughter into her new apartment ended up being a lot more work than we had anticipated. The part that I thought would be challenging (how to get a full size bed and mattress from the store without a truck and up a flight of stairs) turned out to be the easiest part (see here).


But what is usually the easiest (moving the clothes) ended up being the hardest. I came up with an easy system when my oldest daughter started moving each year in college. We would put all her hanging clothes in garment bags and transport them, hangers and all, to the new place and just re-hang them. Super easy. As the years went by (this is my 17th time moving a college student) I got even smarter. Large plastic trash bags with a hole in the center of the bottom (to put over the hangers) work just fine. You hang up the clothes and then pull off the bag. Done.


So that is what we did this time. Except that when we went to hang up the clothes, the hangers didn't fit on the rod. These rods were the largest wooden rods I have ever seen. They were so large in diameter that the hangers we had purchased her first year to give her maximum hanging space did not move at all on them. We tried every kind of hanger even the really large all plastic kind and none worked. I think the wire kind (think Joan Crawford in Mommie Dearest) might have worked but that really wasn't an option.

In addition, the rod was so long that it was impossible to replace easily. I am used to old wooden rods in old apartments. The kind that droop and need to be supported to keep the clothes from pulling the rod down. But this was something I had not expected. In addition, the closet depth was less than adequate. A reach in closet should be 24" minimally. This one was 20".

I stood there thinking. My daughter suggested just folding all of her clothes. A sweet idea but impractical. And then I remembered the garment rack that I use when I organize client's closets. It is a freestanding rod on wheels. Maybe that would work ... maybe I could just put something like that inside the closet. It was a little irritating thinking about spending money on a garment rack for an apartment that should come with a working closet. But it didn't look like we had much of a choice.

On the way to Target to try to find the garment rack, we had to stop by the Goodwill store to donate the clothes that my daughter had grown disenchanted with. And I thought it might be a good idea to look for a dresser. I wasn't convinced that all of my daughter's clothes were going to fit in that closet with or without a garment rack and she did not want to spend any more money. We didn't find a dresser at the Goodwill ... but guess what we did find ... a garment rack! For $20. It was the exact size we needed and had a nice space underneath to put the drawers she had to hold her purses and other extras. How easy was that?

So that took care of one side. On the other side we put her shoe organizers (that velcro on and fit just fine on the large rod).

And filled in the extra space with a few of these Sterilite boxes from Target:

She will need to get a couple more boxes to maximize her space (they only had three) and her coats will have to hang in their coat closet but it looks like she will be able to get most of her clothes put away. What doesn't fit in the closet can be stored on bookshelves in her room. Folded up boutique style.

 Or if we can get the shelf above the rod in the closet stabilized she could add something like this:

Photo by Scogin Mayo for Real Simple 

So, not the ideal closet situation. But it works. After all, she will be moving in a year!


Robbie said...

Ah, the satisfaction of a well organized closet. And to think you found it at Goodwill, now that is being resourceful. Way to go.....

Unknown said...

Wow. What a closet story!
I love the way you worked with things you found and could find. And it works!!

Marianne said...

I think you found the perfect pieces to make the closet work. Job well done!