Conquered Closet: Neat Freestanding Master

Today is the last day of the Conquered Closet series and I hope you've been able to take away some great ideas to help master your own messes. The final installment is coming from the pro's: professional organizers! ( I know I can't be the only one who has longed for some professional help in this area). What better way to wrap it up?

Welcome Molly of Neat Method who is sharing any apartment dwellers dream come true.


The New Year brings new promises, new diets, and if you are a renter in a big city it may mean a new home. In 2011, we at NEAT encountered one of the most interesting challenges in a client's rental space. We were asked to change this boy's bedroom into a completly outfitted master closet for a fashionable Mom.

Our client was renting a house in San Francisco for two years while she and her family built a new home. For someone that was used to a large walk-in closet, she was not satisfied when her rental space only offered her a small reach-in in the Master bedroom (which she quickly told her huband was his space). Instead of widdling down her fabulous wardrobe to next to nothing, she decided to create her own walk-in out of this nine-year-old boy's former room. Here's the catch: the owners of the home would not allow her to put one hole in the wall. That is when NEAT came in!

We arrived at her rental home to find that this boy's room (future walk-in closet) had plenty of awkward angles however, we saw even more potential! The small closet in the room was underutilized and the ceilings were high (win!)

Over the years, we have become well accustomed to all that the Container Store has to offer - particularly their free standing closet system. We hired our spectacular handyman to put it together and badda bing badda boom - on move in day, we had a walk in closet. Although we did not put a hole in the wall, we knew we had our work cut out for us. After all, being organizers (and insanely type-A) requires us to make sure that the once boy's room made an even better closet than her walk-in at her old home.

Below you will see what we ended up with and here's how we did it:

1. Purchased matching hangers - they can be found at the Container Store OR *NEAT's Secret!* they can be found at Costco for a fraction of the price!

2. Arranged all special occasion shoes in storage boxes - with a ceiling that high, we had to utilize the upper shelf. Instead of keeping the shoes in their original boxes, we opted for clear so that our client could see all of her options without opening thirty cardboard shoeboxes to find one pair.

3. Added some canvas bins - women tend to have a million (adorable) scarves and equally as many hats. In order to wrangle these collections, we purchased large canvas bins to store them in. The beauty of the canvas bin, is that even if you don't keep everything perfectly folded, no one will know! Shhhh!


4. Color Code! Every item from the pants to the shoes to the scarves and the tops, EVERYTHING is color coded. You cannot deny how beautiful it looks! Not to mention, it is easy to see if you have been unintentionally purchasing multiples like items. When it comes to color coding, NEAT's rule is that the rainbow method (ROY G BIV) with white at the beginning and black at the end and lightest to darkest within, makes a closet most appealing to shop.

Remember how cluttered the boys closet was? (I swear we are not judging him!) Well, it is now a clutch, and handbag closet - if only we could have this in our own closets! We added her long hanging into the closet as well since it isn't as frequently used and this tiny space became a true hidden gem of the room. The cubed storage shelving was a perfect way to separate the bags by color and style and of course, did not make a mark in the walls.

Our client was out of town during her move so the transformation from start to finish was quite a change and she absolutely LOVED it! The best part about this space is every item that we used can be repurposed at a later home. The Elfa system shelving can be used in a garage for storage, the bins can be used in a front hall closet, and the shoe bins...well she can continue to add to her collection and use them in her closet in the future! We hope this little transformation inspires you to think outside of the box next time you consider repurposing a room!


  1. Mkheffinger10:18 AM

    What a great way to solve a temporary closet situation!  I would love to have NEAT come in and help me with my closets!  I can truly see how their methods would help me to get better use out of what I already own and allow me to make better purchases in the future.  Thanks to Brooklyn Limestone for this series and especially these tips that would work in any storage situation!

  2. I might be a tab bit jealous. How awesome is that?! Great job. Looks fantastic!

  3. I'll definitely be checking out costco for hangers.  Matching hangars can be pricey!  Love the look of the canvas bins also.   Nice job overall.
    Also,  had to laugh at Quinn's question.

  4. What a sensational idea! I was thinking about the closets in our small cottage just this morning. This gives me ideas .....

  5. Where'd they put the nine year old boy??


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