Organization Ideas

DIY Small Closet Makeover with mDesign Bins

See this DIY small closet makeover using clear mDesign bins for organization. Deeper shelves were installed to maximize space, and labels on the bins make everything easy to find! 

So…there’s a story to tell before we get to the actual small closet makeover that I’m featuring in today’s post. A few months before Christmas, I was whining to my daughter about my ridiculous broom closet, and how I couldn’t deal with the mess anymore. I must have sounded particularly pathetic, because she offered to help me with a closet makeover, and make it my Christmas present! I thought this was a brilliant idea, so of course, I agreed. The first thing we did was decide that the existing shelves weren’t deep enough, and before any organizing could happen, new shelves had to be made. Her handy boyfriend was pulled into the project, and on Christmas Day, lovely and deeper shelves were installed in this inefficient and small closet.

on sutton place back hallway doors

In the image above, you can see how our back hallway is set up. We walk in from the garage, right into our family room. Straight ahead is the back hallway, with the broom closet on the left, and the basement door on the right. 

small closet makeover before organization

Small Closet Makeover Steps

Empty the closet.

The picture above is one of the worst “before” pictures I’ve ever shared…but it’s real life, and this is exactly what it looked like! Since the day we moved in to this house, I have hated this closet. The biggest problem was that the shelves weren’t deep enough. The closet is also extremely narrow. A few years ago I attempted to organize it, and installed the rack on the door. The rack has helped, but even that was unorganized, and the baskets weren’t being used efficiently.

Determine categories for items.

In order to truly optimize this space, I needed to decide what was going to be stored in the closet. I desperately needed storage for paper towels, paper plates & napkins, batteries, tissues, cleaning & sanitizing supplies, and a few other overflow items from the bathroom. By determining in advance what was going in the closet, we were able to better plan the organizational supplies.

The categories we ended up with are:

  • Cleaning (2 bins)
  • bulbs
  • bags
  • kleenex
  • sanitizer
  • batteries
  • first aid
  • dental
  • paper plates
  • napkins

Purchased clear mDesign bins and labels.

Once we decided on the contents, we purchased my favorite mDesign bins that would fit the width and depth of the shelves, along with labels for the bins. I used these bins in both of our upstairs bathrooms, and love the way they function. I had planned to make my own labels, but in the end, I decided to purchase what I needed from a cute Etsy shop. It would have been time-consuming to do my own labels, and I didn’t have any of the supplies. It made more sense, was cheaper, and was much more efficient to just buy them.

Installed deeper shelves & painted.

Elizabeth and her boyfriend arrived two days before Christmas, with all the closet supplies in tow. Darren worked a little bit on Christmas Eve, and then finished everything (including painting) on Christmas Day. Our Christmas was very quiet, with just the four of us, plus my Dad. It was fun working on the closet, and it gave us something to do! 

Restore order.

Once the paint had dried, I gathered the bins, attached the labels, and restored order to this little closet. The adjustable shelves made the job super easy. The mops were relocated to the garage. I drilled a hole at the end of the yardstick, and hung it on a nail, just inside the door. The only dilemma was that the closet was very dark, so we had a hard time seeing the labels, and the contents of the bins. I solved that problem by installing two little touch-activated lights. (The touch-activated lights are battery operated, and are seriously the handiest things ever.)

Sometimes, when you have lived with an inefficient space for a long time, it becomes almost “normal.” That’s the way I felt about this closet. It wasn’t until the shelves were fixed, and the items organized, that I realized how bad it actually was. It’s such a pleasure (and a huge relief) to open that closet door and see order, instead of chaos!

*Affiliate links included. Click HERE for my disclosure statement.

Small Closet Makeover Sources

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