My Closet

Recently, a reader asked to see what my closet to help her imagine what a small wardrobe actually looks like. And I thought, “well that’s a darn good idea,” so here it is.

This past summer we did a major update and had wood floors installed throughout our upper level. We took advantage of having to move all of our furniture and clothing out for the project and changed up our space a bit. Before, my husband and I split space in our closet and also shared a dresser in our bedroom. The closet is off the back of the master bathroom, so getting dressed involved a few trips back and forth to get items from both the closet and dresser.

To simplify things, we bought my husband a PAX unit from IKEA to replace the dresser and I took over the entire closet. Here are some old, old pictures of the closet from my pre-capsule wardrobe days.

Master Bedroom: Before and After

My Husband’s New Closet

We spent time at IKEA (had to get a babysitter for that trip) to plan exactly what components would make the closet work best for his needs. I have to admit I’m a little jealous 🙂

My Closet

My closet isn’t nearly as ‘pretty’, but I love having everything consolidated in one spot. The closet is a narrow walk in L-shape space. The lighting isn’t great and there is no natural light in the space, but I can easily see everything I have in there.

There are some items in my closet that I didn’t include in my Winter Capsule. There are things that I don’t wear regularly, but that I like to put on every so often to mix things up. I also have a few items that I’m not sure I truly love, so I’m keeping them at arm’s reach to see if I want to wear them or if it’s time to pass them along.

note: I didn’t ‘stage’ these photos for the post, just walked in and snapped a few photos as-is. As much as I’d like to go in and get it all straightened up and perfect-looking, I wanted to share a more authentic view. This is what my closet looks like every single day.

The shelving unit at the end is also from IKEA. I searched for a long time to find something that would make the most of that space and eventually stumbled upon this, which is a perfect fit. I also knew I wanted a mix of drawers and open shelves in the closet, so finding something that included both was a huge win.

The drawers have my socks and undergarments, pajamas and tees, workout gear, and the bottom drawer is rarely worn cold weather layers (long johns and fleece leggings) and special occasion jewelry. The two baskets on the top hold swimsuits and t-shirts from my school or teams.

The shelves house my pants, sweaters, basic tees/tanks, and my casual/lounge wear.

I have a long clothing rod where I hang dresses, tops, and a few bottoms.

I used to have a second clothing rod below the current one where I hung my secondary wardrobe – a bit of a clothing purgatory. When we updated, I decided to leave that space open for dresses and shoe organization.

I could easily fit more in my closet and during fall I did, but it started to feel cluttered, so I packed up more off-season and unworn items for winter.

And finally, two varieties of cubbies for my shoes and boots. I use the top of my shoe cabinet for jewelry.

Keeping Count

The newest addition to my closet is this clipboard and a list of the items from my capsule. I decided to track how often I wear each item by marking a tally each day after getting dressed. There is an Apple app called Stylebook that will do this for you, but I…1) don’t have an iphone and 2) decided to just keep it simple. I think this will give me even more insight into my wardrobe and make some end-of-season purging even easier.

There are some upgrades I’d like to make to my closet, like a mirror and better lighting. I’d also like to install a shelf above my clothing rod for off-season items. Those are currently in a bin on an upper shelf of my son’s closet. But for now, it’s functional and organized, which is all I truly need.  I should also learn to fold and stack a little nicer 😉 Truly though, I wanted to share a real look at my closet and how my wardrobe looks and feels in that space.

Tell me more about your closet space. Is it large or small? Organized? Crowded? 

More about Paige


    1. I don’t have an iPhone, so I use the Your closet app. Entering all my clothes was a bit of a time investment, but I love the real-time info on cost per wear, least work clothes, etc. If you want to take the plunge I recommend it!

      1. Amanda,
        I am definitely going to check that out because I love the idea of the cost per wear calculation. Thanks for telling me about it!

    1. I have a nice, large closet with almost too much storage space. I’m considering how to use the space to incorporate more design elements so it it won’t feel so empty when I finally do my closet clean out. Also, a lot of space makes it too easy to hang on to so many ‘just in case’ items that I don’t wear and need to pass along. Thanks for the inspiration!

      1. Emily,
        I love the idea of adding more design elements. I’ve seen some gorgeous closets on Pinterest and would love to do some updates to mine. A nice mirror, maybe a few framed photos or quotes? Even a cute little IKEA plant or something would make it more welcoming. And, like you said, it would help avoid that feeling like you have tons of space and can add/hold even more. Do you have any design ideas you’re thinking of adding? I’d love to hear!

        1. Paige,
          I got a lot of closet decor ideas from Pinterest as well! I’m in desperate need of a less-harsh overhead light, a fun & funky mirror and some faux greenery for freshness. I love the thought small scale ‘style board’ and displaying a few fun photos and souvenirs from my travels. I don’t have a blog, but once I get it done, I’ll put some photos on Instagram and tag you. Thanks! Emily

          1. Yes, please do let me know when you’ve posted photos – I’d love to see! And also, thank you for the reminder that I could do some simple decor additions to warm up the space and make it even more enjoyable.

            I think that will be a great winter project and I’ll share some updates here when I do them 🙂

    1. Wow Paige! Thank you SOOOO much for sharing this! I am blown away by how spare, serene and fantastic your closet looks. Your pieces are so beautifully curated, and I cannot tell you what an inspiration it is to see just how calm and organized a closet can be. It relaxes me just to look at it. No wonder you look so great every day.
      And BOY does it make me realize I have a lot of work to do! 🙂 Bit by bit, though, I’m getting there. I donated several bags of clothes this vacation, and am going to try to sell some of the nicer things that I don’t wear.
      Thanks for your continued marvelous example.

      1. Holly,
        That is great that you managed to get some purging done over break! I definitely prefer this thinned out version of my wardrobe even if it means I pack up seasonal items I could easily fit in my closet. I find that the more I have the more the ‘I have nothing to wear in a closet full of clothes’ feeling hits.
        Keep plugging away…it is so worth it, but it definitely is a process!!
        Have an awesome week,

    1. Your closet looks great, and I LOVE that you didn’t stage it. Definitely more authentic that way. You have done such an amazing job honing that space. Also, love the clipboard! I am doing mine via spreadsheet. 😉

      1. Andrea,
        Thanks, friend! It can be hard to share when there are so many gorgeous, pin-worthy closets out there, but I hope it’s helpful to see a real closet and what a capsule actually ‘looks’ like.
        Have a great week!

    1. Thanks for sharing your closet in its organic state! I definitely didn’t realize how much I miss the walk-in from our last rental; though sharing a tiny closet with my partner definitely helps keep our wardrobes in check (I just wish it weren’t *so* compact).

      1. Krystal,
        Do you have a closet that is basically like a door? My old apartment had just a single door closet and that was so hard to organize and keep orderly. I love having our walk in closet, but it often seems silly that our master bedroom is so huge and the closet is such a tight fit for 2 people. I’m so glad we invested in a separate closet for my husband – it is so much easier now.

        I hope your week has been off to a good start,

    1. Thanks for sharing the real-life version of your space here. I love the before-and-after shots as well.

      I have been using Stylebook this past year. I have found it and the cost-per-wear calculations so incredibly useful, especially with my commitment to purchase ethically made (and therefore often more expensive) clothes. I’ve decided to consider CPW for my clothing purchases this year. My baseline goal is that all my everyday clothing reaches at least $5 CPW over the course of its lifetime. Ideally, CPW will be much lower than this, but this is the marker I’m using right now in deciding what to purchase. I divide the price by 5 to see how many times I need to wear the piece and decide if it’s actually feasible.

      Will that $330 sweater hold up to 66 wears? Hmm, maybe not. Think more about making this purchase… Will I wear those $180 jeans at least 36 times? Definitely, add to cart!

      1. Stephanie,
        I cannot even tell you how much I love your idea of setting a cost per wear baseline goal!! I have used cost per wear to help me get more used to adding more investment pieces to my wardrobe, but I have never thought of this way to help me decide if the investment is worth it! I am definitely going to adjust my mindset for future purchases. Thank you so much for sharing you experience with the app and your thought process behind that knowledge.

        Have a great week,

        1. So glad you find it helpful!
          Investing in quality leather ankle boots was much easier once I realized that I’d definitely wear them enough to justify. Of course, knowing this number also prevents me from buying another pair for a looooong time.

    1. Oh I love both of your closets! Your husband’s closet is like the ones in Italy and it’s a great way to organize!

      1. Thank you, Shelbi! I love his space too. Those IKEA units are so cool for picking and choosing what YOU need in a closet. Kinda jealous 🙂

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