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How To Cheat Your Way To A Killer Closet

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    If you live in a city, you probably have an awkward closet. Either it's shallow, two inches away from your bed, or even worse, non-existent. The latter was my situation. When I moved into my Brooklyn apartment last year, I turned the living room into a bedroom, which meant plenty of wall space, but zero shelves or rods for my clothes. I bought a rolling rack (from IKEA) and an industrial shelving unit (from the street), but it still always looked like I was in the process of moving rather than being a settled adult who lived somewhere.

    There were plenty of challenges creating that status quo: Keeping all my folding items in an open unit wasn't working, and knowing I won't be in the space forever, I didn't want to invest in an expensive, bulky, and wide cabinet to simply shove everything into. And, I had come to accept that after working too many hours of retail in college, I really despise folding clothes. Basically, I needed professional help.

    Then, IKEA's Home Tour Squad came to my rescue. They're a team of five store experts (Elizabeth, Robin, Keith, Jonathan, and Brooke) who have been traveling the country for the last six months remodeling real homes. They kindly listened to my storage woes, and offered to show me how to get organized and take advantage of the space I did have. What they created is a gorgeous, built-out wall closet that hides my boring denim, but shows off my statement kimonos. Facing down your own problem areas? You can add and subtract all the parts they used, no matter your quirky closet conundrum. Yes, storage salvation lies ahead.


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  2. Photographed by Erica Gannett.

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    Before:
    Hello, disaster. I had found the shelving unit on the street and it was missing several screws — a.k.a structurally unsound. My shoes were always a pathetic puddle in front of the pretty hanging items.

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    After:
    The team carefully interviewed me about my daily routines and the items I wanted to display, so the set-up made sense for me specifically. Despite filling the wall with more things, the layout made the room seem larger since we made good use of the tall ceilings.

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    Before:
    As much as I love the idea of a rolling rack, I would alway end up just throwing clothes over the top of it in a rush. The team fixed that by putting the rods up nice and high...

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    After:
    The installation covers a door to the outside hall that I no longer use. And, the height of this rod means I can now see my silk kimonos at eye level!

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    After:
    Now, pants and skirts have a dedicated hanging area, separate from the dresses.