First of all, I cannot say enough about Elfa products for maximizing space. Because of Elfa, I can hold on to a lot more clothing without feeling like it is jammed in so tight I can't find what I need! It is definitely an investment to have a custom closet system installed, but - trust me - WORTH EVERY PENNY. Here is a picture of my closet pre-Elfa:
I really have nothing nice to say about this arrangement. My closet is a decent size, but the layout was terrible. There were four fixed bars and four fixed shelves. There was absolutely nowhere for long hanging clothes. Even short dresses (which comprise most of my wardrobe) were too long to hang from the highest clothing bar. On the right side, I had all of my hanging items packed together on two clothing bars. On the left, I used shelving systems to create space for folded clothes and shoes. All of these shelves and bins were transplants from an old closet, where they worked just fine...but here, they were not working to maximize the space. Look at how much wall space you can see! Definitely a sign of under-utilized closet real estate. I lived like this for less than a month before deciding to remove the built-ins and start over with Elfa. Best closet decision ever. Here's what the closet looked like with nothing in it:
I knocked out the shelves myself and painted the walls gray. I let the Elfa installation guys handle the major demolition (removing the bars and fixed shelf-holders). They were happy to apply touch-up paint after demolition too, so I suggest having extra paint on-hand if you get an Elfa system installed. Here's my closet after the Elfa installation:
It is pretty unbelieveable how much more an Elfa closet can hold! I love that we were able to utilize the previously useless back wall (which is actually the longest in the closet). I have plenty of room for long hanging items, as well as TONS of shelves that extend all the way up to the ceiling. The shelves on the left wall are adjustable, giving me plenty of flexibility for storing folded items and shoes. This system has worked great for me since I had my Elfa closet installed last June. Totally worth the investment!
However, even organizers let things get a little messy sometimes. Here's a picture of the state of my closet earlier this week, and an embarrassing discovery for someone who claims to take a strong anti-clutter stance.....FOUR PAIRS of the exact same running shoes...seriously??
With some extra time off of work, I decided it was time to go through my closet and purge a bit, as well as restore order to the different areas (folded clothes, hanging clothes, shoes, scarves, etc.) As we move into spring, I knew I could shift some of my winter gear to harder-to-reach shelves and move the bathing suits back to front and center. Here's what my closet looks like now. Ahhh...I love the feeling of everything in it's place!