Reader Space: Small Space, Big Function

Closets are some of the smallest spaces in our home, however, if done right, they can hold the most function and power.  Especially when they hold power tools.  And Batteries.

Impressed doesn't even begin to describe my thoughts and feelings about Missy's incredible utility closet.  This super small space packs more punch than an entire room.  It holds everything needed to maintain a home, from cleaning supplies to tools.  Missy blogs over at Lookie What I Did, and I am honored to be showing you all what she did to her itty bitty closet space.

Here is Missy now to share how she made this closet work hard for her, so she wouldn't have to.

What is the main function of the space?

"The main function of this our Utility Closet was to have one place in our home for tools, batteries, tape measures, flashlights, brooms, etc..  I wanted to have a place in our home that everyone knew where to go if they needed something.  I rarely use any tools outside, so having my "tools" in the garage was not practical for us.  I also didn't have a place nearby to store my brooms, mops and sweepers.  I was able to utilize the leftover space on either side of the drawers to place all of them on 3M hooks."

Any superstar tips for keeping it organized?

"LABEL, LABEL, LABEL…Everything in this space has a label on it.  Within the set of labeled drawers from IKEA are these clear and inexpensive trays from the dollar store that can be easily seen and identified.  I think what helps as well, is that the drawers are only 2 1/4" deep and they can't hold a lot of clutter.  I feel like sometimes why drawers get so cluttered is because there is a lot of unused space where things can get lost, but this is not the case with these drawers.  Its in there because there is a space dedicated to it."

What items did you find were essential in organizing the closet and why?

"Since the space is suppose to function as a coat closet, it's not that big.  Before anything went into the closet, I removed the rod that was used to hang coats and by doing this it freed up a lot of space.  For this area to work efficiently, I was going to have to occupy the space vertically and that is where the peg board came in handy.  If you have seen my blog before, you know that I am a sucker for peg board.  It is such a versatile and inexpensive way to organize, whether you are in a garage, craft room or a small closet.  Although I had the cabinet and peg board, I still had the shelves above to use as storage as well.  The shelves hold baskets for vacuum parts, extension cords, etc.  The items would have taken up too much room in the cabinet, but having them on the shelves have really worked out well."

What did you do to go the extra mile and "Make it Pretty"?

"I didn't want the closet to look so industrial, so I decided to paint the peg board white and used some cloth washi tape to add a little decorative touch.  It was the perfect way to add a little colour to the peg board.  When it came time to labeling  I used my Silhouette Cameo and cut out some pretty labels.  The labels really do add a decorative touch to each of the drawers and I carried out the same labels on the baskets."

What items did you DIY to stay on a budget? 

"What was so great about this project is how little i had to spend.  The only items that were purchased for this project were the cabinet and a few of the dollar store trays.  Organizing to me doesn't have to be expensive.  The dollar store is my best friend when it comes time to organize.  The peg board was a scrap piece of peg board from another project I had done and was just sitting in my garage and i simply painted it with some leftover paint.  I knew to "shop my home" first before I went out and purchased anything and that is what I do before I tackle any organizing project.  I look at different items around my house and think to myself, "is that the best use of space for this item" and sometimes its not so I just rearrange….A LOT!"

How has this closet impacted your life for the better?

"This is one of my favorite projects I have done to date and I think it's because I can see how much it has benefited my whole family.  I never knew that my two hours of sorting through every screw and nail {do you know how many different sizes there are out there} would make my life happier.  My parents were recently here from the states for three weeks and it was so nice to have everything available when my Dad needed tools to fix things around the house.  I'm usually searching the entire home or garage for that one item {usually a tape measure} he is needing but not this time.  The other day my son and his friends were playing the Wii and the batteries in the control had gone out and they needed to replace them.  My son told his friend, "Go down in the closet by the front door and get some new batteries"…When I heard him say this, I knew that my hard work had paid off!

Do you have the same happy chills that I do?  This is an organizing obsessed gal's dream closet!

  • This closet was originally installed with a single coat rod, however, once the rod was removed and a little customization was added, it has become an extremely powerful spot in the home.
  • Peg board is a great organizer because it allows you to customize every inch of space.  Items can be easily accessed and found, no digging through drawers to find the items used most.  It also allows you to really maximize your wall space.
  • The strips of fabric washi adds a pretty, feminine touch, so the closet is happy for all that use it.
  • The cart Missy selected offers so many drawers, that she can really divide and conquer.  The drawers are thin enough, there is no need to complicate things with stackable dividers and everything can be seen instantly upon opening.
  • The baskets above hold extra home maintenance items, that are used less often.  And I love that she selected woven options to add a nice natural and warm element to a closet full of tools and cleaning supplies.
  • No amount of space went un-noticed or un-used.  Command hooks allowed her to add storage for all of her mops, sweepers and brooms.
  • So many amazing labels.  Lovely, sweet, amazing labels.  Love how they keep the closet so orderly, and will for years to come.
  • Missy shopped her dollar store for dividers and organizers.  And did she score big or what!?  Spice containers are great for smaller items, individual trays divide batteries, tools and extra hooks.
  • Missy added grippy liner to the bottom of the drawers to ensure that tools don't slide around when the drawers are opened and closed.
  • No more getting flustered when looking for the right screws and nails for a quick project, every last one was sorted and placed within divided containers.
  • Bottom line, this closet holds everything the home needs to function big.  Cleaning supplies and home maintenance items galore all in one amazing place.  Brilliant.

How do you make your closets work hard for you?  Anyone else have a home maintenance closet or cabinet and heart it like crazy?   Or are you off to make one now after seeing this one?  You can find even more details about this crazy cool closet over at Missy's blog here.

ATTENTION!!  Want to be featured in a Reader Space edition?  Have an awesome organizing story to share?  I am looking for projects that have made a positive impact to your life.  Please submit your story and photos here and I would heart to feature them right here, on the blog!!  Photos should be high resolution and unedited.  Please include a description of the project, including any costs, inspiration, and how it has changed your life and routine for the better!  Oh, and no worries my friends, we will NEVER judge "before" pictures because that just wouldn't be nice!  Only love goes on at this blog!

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