big boy room closet plan

I am so ready to call J’s big boy room done, especially since he’s already taken ownership of it.  But, there are still a few items left on my to-do list.  Specifically, the closet, the toy shelf, and hanging some things on the walls.  Here is where I left it last week — with its new accent wall of racing stripes.  Aaaaaahhhhhhh :)Big Boy Stripes All Done

Since then, I’ve been knee-deep in J’s big boy closet.  First, I had to empty it of all my old maternity clothes, our steamer, and a million other items my friend Tanya (an amazing stylist here in Atlanta) told me to give away (over a year ago!) that are still here.  Oops.

Big Boy Closet All Junked Up With My Old Clothes

I spent a whole day last weekend making a giveaway pile from most of the things Tanya earmarked for giveaway.  I may have “rescued” a few items she had set aside, but for the most part, everything she flagged for finding a new home, has made its way…

Big Boy Closet Donation Pile

I still couldn’t bring myself to give away my old maternity clothes just yet.  With J, I was pregnant over the winter, so my old maternity clothes were mostly corduroy and sweaters, so I haven’t needed any of those so far this time around.  But there’s a good chance the weather will turn cold a little bit before this baby finally arrives, so I’m going to hold onto those things for now.  But, I know I will have to get Tanya to come over a few months after this kiddo is born and help me weed through my closet again to give away lots of things I continue to hold onto and shouldn’t.Big Boy Closet Halfway Cleaned

So, I moved out that steamer and all of the other clothes that I’m keeping, or at least keeping for now.  And once I got the whole closet emptied out, I was really tempted to just start moving over everything from J’s nursery closet (and dresser) that he’s still wearing to just get ‘er done and check this closet task off my list.  But I stopped myself.  Since we’re not using a dresser in this room for space reasons – as well as our-toddler-likes-his-clothes-way-too-much reasons (read: he likes to pull everything out of his dresser drawers and play with his clothes all the time — and sometimes this involves wearing every.single.shirt. he can find all at once – kind of like the Friends episode when Joey puts on all of Chandler’s clothes), I have to make more efficient use of his closet space to incorporate room for the little things that would normally could go in the dresser.  So I need an actual plan for the closet configuration.

Big Boy Closet Empty

And drawing up that plan is killing me.

I’ll give you the lay of the land closet: the closet is 6 feet wide and 2 feet deep and has those pesky bi-fold doors.  Between a foot of wing wall (I learned that term yesterday when I was talking to the folks at The Container Store for ideas) and another 4 inches of space taken up by the bi-fold doors on each side when they’re all the way open, there is only 40 inches of space in the middle where I can really use drawers.  O, and the foot of space on the back wall above the top of the door is also fun to try to access.

Here’s what is looks like, without the existing structure inside.  And yeah, my depiction of the bi-fold doors looks like fangs, so I’m not going to include that on the options pics.  They just have a dotted line to show you what is behind those folded doors.  The one below that shows how much of the closet is hidden from the front by the walls on both sides and above the door.

Big Boy Room Closet Map Empty

O, and just for fun, here’s a picture of the closet (well, part of it – not sure why I didn’t bother opening the other door before taking the picture…), when we bought the house back in 2003.  It only had a wooden hanging rod and a shelf above it.  Early on, I may have hung so many things in there that the wooden rod bent (a lot) and forced us to install something to hold more clothes…

Big Boy Closet, circa 2003

But back to the task at hand.  The current configuration has a 12 inch tower of cubbies in the center and two different rows of hanging bars on each side of the tower.  In theory this was a good idea.  But, when the bars are full, it is really hard to see the 16 inches hidden behind the wall/folded doors on each side…

So, I needed a solution for better utilizing those 16-inches behind the wall/doors as well as where to store the little stuff.  O, and to account for J’s clothes being much smaller than the size the hanger bars were originally set for.  (Fun fact: adult hangers are 17.5″ wide, but kid hangers are only 11.75″ wide.)  So there is so much wasted space behind the hangers and above the bottom hanging bar (since his clothes are way shorter).

Enter my planning.  Michael said this was overkill, so feel free to avert your eyes if this is painful for you.

Here is what it looks like with what is in there now.

Big Boy Room Closet Map As-Is

The first option involves moving the hanging bars to run from the front to the back on the ends and using a row of drawers and shelves in the center.  The hanging bars only fit front to back behind the doors with kids’ hangers, though, so this option won’t work forever but it would make it most functional for now.  (The drawers I’m looking at using are the mesh ones from the Ikea Algot system.)

Big Boy Room Closet Plan with Hanging Bars on Ends

The second option would involve moving the existing tower to one end and adding another tower on the other end with the hanging bars connecting them.  I would hang the top bar lower to add an additional shelf above the bar since kids’ clothes are so short, but eventually that shelf would go away when we have to move that bar up higher.

Big Boy Room Closet Map Two Towers With Hanging Between

The third option would be to leave the structure as-is but to add some additional shelves at the bottom to give more storage for things like pajamas and t-shirts than won’t need to hang but may not fit that well in the small 11″ cloth cube bins.

Big Boy Room Closet Plan with Added Shelved on Bottom

Then, of course, there is always to option to leave it as-is and just make it work by hanging everything but pajamas, socks, and PullUps/underwear and to just use those little 11″ cloth cube bins for those things…

Still not sure where we’re going to end up on this one, but I’m ready to make it happen.  It’s a debate between function, cost, and effort around here.

Do you like the hanging bars turned sideways on the sides?  Or moving the towers to both ends?  Or adding extra shelves at the bottom?  Or do you think I should just leave the closet as it is and get his clothes moved already?

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