Tuesday, February 8, 2011


I am finally old enough to let you in on a secret...I have never really had my own closet--at least not for 96% of my life. And, now that I am finally getting one I know exactly what I want.

Until I was fifteen I shared a room with one or both of my sisters. Actually, until my older sister went to college  when I was 13, we  had always shared a double bed. My younger sister slept on a daybed in the same room and we all shared a rather boring closet in that small room. When my older sister went off to college, my younger sister moved into the bed with me and the day bed became a couch. We still shared the closet.

When I went off to college in 1974 there were three girls crammed in a tiny dorm room designed for two. Michigan State was overcrowded and so were we. They rebated me something like $60 for the inconvenience, and let me tell you that wasn't much even then. Three teen girls shared a closet that was about 3 feet wide and had two shelves. We had two desks, a set of bunk-beds and a tacky old couch that served as a bed for one of us. We were jammed packed but still thrilled to be on our own.

A year later Bob and I married. We moved into a 10 x 48 mobile home that was so small we had to lay on the bed to open the drawers of the built in dresser. We had a small closet that we shared. I suppose it seemed large after sharing that 3 foot one in college, but I can't remember. We didn't spend much time in that trailer because Bob drove 50 miles [each way] to his job so he could support us and put me through school, and I drove 50 miles a day in the opposite direction to to go college. He had the worst of it because the sun was in his eyes coming and going. I will always be thankful for his dedication. He never complained and he kept his promise to my dad that he would put me through the remaining three years of college.

There was a three year period when I had my own closet, when we moved to a new  house when I was in 10th grade. It was a pretty average closet--4 or 5 feet long, one shelf and bi-fold doors that came un-hooked if you looked  at them sideways. I still remember my wedding dress hanging from the top of that closet  waiting for the big day--but I digress.

Home after home led to varying closets that Bob and I shared. I have had wire racks in closets that hit me in the back every time I tried to walk by them to get to where I needed to be. I had a cedar closet once that was kind of a walk in, but it was so narrow I could never get back to the end of it and even if I did, the light didn't shine there anyway. It was this closet we hid Christmas presents in and it was in this closet that Cris and Dusty, in childhood greed, raced to find hidden presents and ruined Christmas for Chad who didn't understand why Mom and Dad would hide presents in their closet. Chad learned about Santa because of that closet. We didn't find out till about 20 years later, but it still makes me mad.

I have looked at those multi-thousand dollar closet systems at the Container Store that will make you drool, but then really, who wants to spend thousands of dollars so your shoes will have a little drawer of their own? Really kind of a space waster in so many ways and you need a big closet to start with.

But, with the building of our cottage I got my very own closet. The closet of my dreams, you might say. Simple, but practical. So, I am going to share my perfect closet with you.

First, it has NO bi-fold doors. See the two doors, they open up so that there are no dark corners in my closet and they don't come out too far into the room, which is nice.

It has no wire racks, no drawers, no ugly door knobs, and is very space saving. Notice the Polish Pottery handles on my doors. I ordered these special from an importer. I love Polish Pottery.

What I want a closet for is to hold my clothes, shoes and some stuff on a shelf--maybe a bin of socks, or out of season sweaters, etc. Notice the nice smooth rod, not those wire things that only allow 3 hangers in a section. They drive me crazy. Notice the nice wooden shelf that is not wire, so things will not fall through. I painted everything white so it would reflect the light and not have dark corners.  I plan to put some clear tubs up there for any out of season clothes or personal items.

I know that baskets are all the rage in closets--ones that pull out. But really, can you see what is in them? I will use clear totes so I can see exactly what is in each one-no guessing.

Notice the blue pegs on the wall. I have those on both sides. These are perfect for hanging up the clothes I have just taken off but want to wear tomorrow--like jeans, or a sweater, or my nightgown. Also great for hang up my purse so I can find it.

 Bob and I put a whole rail of pegs 12" from the floor. These are my Shaker Shoe Pegs. I can hang 8 pairs of shoes on the pegs without taking any floor space. This closet is in a cottage, after all, so it is only 4 feet long, but it is wonderful to me. My shoes are not hanging in this photo because the pegs were just put up and the glue needed to dry.
  So, there you have it. My low-tech perfect closet. No doors to derail, no wire shelves for things to fall through or to inhibit free hanger movement, great pegs for shoes, clothes and plenty of shelf space to organize whatever I want.

Yes, I am finally old enough to design and appreciate my own closet. Bob's closet is similar, but a bit smaller, no shoe pegs [he thinks I am a bit peg crazy], only one wall with wall pegs and he has a trap door in his that serves as a laundry chute to the laundry room below. Don''t tell him, but I got the better deal.

Take care,


  1. What a nice closet and you deserve it! Enjoy!

  2. This is the saddest story I have ever ready. It makes me cry to think of someone going thru so much of life without a closet. At least the story has a happy ending.

  3. I have enjoyed having you as my closet buddy for 35 years, but I am pretty excited about my closet independence. :) Thanks for making my dreams come true!

  4. VAT free laundry chutes
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