Search Results for: expedit in closet

organized closet solutions…

Most of the closets in my home are slowly evolving into something other than a typical closet with a hanging bar and shelf at the top. My home is not very large so organized closet solutions play a big part in making a smaller space work for us. A closet might have a bar across it and a shelf on top but that doesn’t mean you can’t find a solution to make it work better for you! Over the course of five years I have turned some into a storage closet, others a better organized clothes storage closet or still others a cloffice. Empty closets translate to dumping grounds! It works better for me and in the end becomes more useful. Here is what I’ve worked on so far.


boy’s bedroom closet

My two son’s share a bedroom. I needed more floor space in that room and less closet space. I removed the sliding doors and inserted an IKEA Expedit. The closet in that room is so large that I’m able to hang clothes on either side of the IKEA Expedit. The bins act as drawers and hold clothes and toys. As they get older they only get bigger and so do their clothes. Two boys in one room means I need lots of drawers. This system works out great for this shared space. Filling up a closet in a child’s room has also worked for me in that they can’t create a mess in there!

Pre-tween Girls room - traditional - kids - boston - Christina Katos

former closet now a cloffice

My daughter had a large closet with sliding doors in her room as well. I removed the doors and gutted the closet and created a workspace for her with storage and a desk. Her cloffice is the perfect spot for everything from homework to manicures. This also freed up floor space in her room, which is about 10 feet by 10 feet.


broom closet converted to a pantry

When we moved in there was no pantry in the kitchen. There was a broom closet though. With the addition of some shelving I converted it into a mini pantry.


the wrapping paper closet

The guest room in our home has a funny little closet in it. It is about 3 or 4 feet tall so it is not even a legitimate closet. I could never figure out what to do with it until I realized it would make the perfect place to stash all my wrapping paper needs. And the wrapping paper closet was born.

front hall closet

front hall closet

The closet in our front hall was another domain of chaos before one simple purchase calmed it all down. I purged and put things in their place of course and then added a cubby unit and some bins. Weeks later and my closet still looks like the picture above. I swear!

the toy closet

toy closet

The toy closet in our basement was the latest to undergo a makeover. It helped that we had a flood and the toys were 100% purged on their own. Don’t tell my kids I said that.  A simple paint job and some “white, neutral and natural” containers of all materials and sizes brought this closet together.

So that is six closets in my home. I have six left to work on; the linen closet, the kid’s bathroom closet, the large pantry in the basement, the storage closet in the basement, the large walk in closet in the guest room and the master bedroom walk in closet. I have actually begun work on the master bedroom closet and I’m teaming up with Closet Maid to create a new space! Yesterday was demo day. Paint day is next!

Farewell Expedit and a brief personal history…

IKEA made an announcement a couple days ago stating that it would be discontinuing the Expedit and replacing it with the Kallax. The decision shocked many and made four pieces of furniture in my house cry. Yes, I own four Expedits. At one time I even owned five. I can explain.

via IKEA
First of all let me apologize and warn you that some of the pictures you are about to see are from before I was a blogger. The shots are not staged in the least bit. The furniture is in the background and the chubby baby faces are in the foreground. One of my rooms even had red walls. Prepare yourselves.
I first bought an IKEA Expedit about 8 years ago for our previous homes’ office, back when we had a home office. It was the 5 x 5 version in white and held all of our office supplies, books, cookbooks etc. We had tall ceilings so this height was perfect. It stayed neat looking and relatively organized. Again, I apologize for the picture of a picture.
It worked so well in that room that we decided to branch out. We had a play room in our previous home for all the toys, books and craft supplies. I purchased two 4 x 4 units and placed them side by side.  Again, excuse the chubby baby in the forefront. And yes, his cheeks were that yummy. 
I purchased the clear drawers from IKEA so my son and daughter could see the toys they wanted. Plenty of room for books, a hamster cage, paints and play dough. The list is long. I even left two cubbies on the bottom empty so that my son could park his ride-on toys. The room cleaned up so quickly with all the available storage. The two units didn’t go all the way to the ceiling so there was room on tops for some picture frames and accessories. It was perfect. 

We then added a third child to the mix and moved into our current home. The three units moved along with us. They held up great in the move and found new places to live in our new home. The 5 x 5 unit was originally going to go in the basement for storage. On moving day we found out that was impossible since it wouldn’t fit down the stairs. I moved on to Plan B and placed it in our playroom. I ended up purchasing a fourth unit and placed them catty corner on one side of the room. They were again filled with all the toys, books and craft supplies. The plastic storage bins had started to crack so I replaced them with bins from Target which fit perfectly.
The two 4 x 4 units were split up. One went into the basement for pantry storage. The other went into the bedroom that my two sons were sharing. Their room had a huge closet which I felt was not being used. I ended up taking off the sliding doors and installing the Expedit inside the closet. Best thing I’ve ever done. There is still room on either side of the closet for each boy. The Expedit itself holds clothing and books. I again used the Target bins as drawers. I don’t see this setup changing any time soon.
So we were happy and organized with our four IKEA Expedits. Then I hit the jackpot which passing a yard sale one day. A 2 x 4 Expedit in white for $5. I paid the man my five dollars, deposited my kids at home and came back with an empty car to pick it up. I was having a problem with the unused storage clutter that my daughters’ closet was becoming. I removed the doors from her closet and installed the Expedit to hold toys as well as her dollhouse on top. I then placed a tension mount curtain rod along the front and added some decorative curtains. It was a great setup as well. I have no pictures so you’ll have to take my word on that. 
Things stayed that way for a while until we finished our basement. We created a laundry room downstairs so all of a sudden I had empty space in my mudroom/laundry room. I now had a dedicated mudroom so the 4 x 4 unit that was downstairs was moved up to the mudroom as soon as the washer and dryer were out of the way. 
I purchased the Knipsa baskets from IKEA for this space. It wasn’t a kids’ space, it was out in the open and I wanted something a little nicer looking. I added some labels to a couple of the baskets since everyone has their own basket for gloves, hats and snow pants. When the warmer months come around these will be switched out for bathing suits. Our dog has her own basket as well. The rest of the baskets hold things like umbrellas, beach towels, and even one drawer for small gifts that haven’t been distributed yet.
During our renovation the playroom became a hallway/guest room. One of the 5 x 5 units that was in the playroom was moved into the garage for storage. Again, sorry for the horrible picture. This is reality. It holds everything from Bounty to hockey skates. Not exactly organized but a storage workhorse.

The 5 x 5 that was left behind had a walk in closet built around it. It is now part of a multipurpose closet in the new guest room with everything from sleeping bags to our Wifi printer.

Once I began work on my daughters’ closet the 2 x 4 unit that was there went to a closet in my sisters’ house. The closet was transformed into a cloffice with the help of some other IKEA pieces. Again we were down to four Expedits.  
For storage, multipurpose rooms and families on a budget it is the best piece of furniture you can buy. Ours have moved from office to playroom to bedroom to basement to garage to mudroom. We’ve had them in every room in the house except the kitchen, living room, dining room and bathroom. 
The Expedit is such a universal piece. Clean lines that blend in with any room and any style. Just do a search for it online and you’ll see the variety of ways people have used it and hacked it as well. 
The Kallax looks similar enough, but it is not the same. 

boys closet tutorial

A while back I wrote about how I took the doors off to the closet in my boys room and put in an IKEA Expedit. I loved how it all looked except for one thing. Everything I had on the top shelf showed, as did the rod that ran across the entire closet. I needed to keep the rod there because I do hang clothes on either side of the Expedit. 
I came up with what I would do, a valance inside the closet, but then ran into my second problem, what fabric to use? It took me a week or two but I finally settled on a great fabric that would match what was already in their room. I put together an easy way to hang the valance hanging from cup hooks and curtain rings with clips. 

I could go with the no sew method I showed you here, but I decided to take out the sewing machine and challenge myself a little. I measured the opening of the closet, 60 inches, and added 10 inches on either side so the valance would run all the way across the opening and beyond making 80 inches total. I would need to sew two pieces of fabric together since my fabric was only 54 inches wide.
I measured to get the correct height of the piece. I wanted it to hit the top of the Expedit. I actually took a pillowcase to do this and just kept adjusting where it was clipped until I got the right height. No rocket science here! I added a couple extra inches to allow for a seam on the top and bottom.

Once my fabric was cut and pinned I was ready to go. First I sewed the two outside edges of each piece. I then lined up the chevron stripe and pined the two pieces together. After it was all one piece, I rechecked my measurements for the height and sewed the top and bottom. Simple straight lines all around.

Here is my seam below. How’d I do? Not bad for a beginner if I do say so myself!

The sewing was done so I headed upstairs and clipped the curtain rings on. I didn’t measure for this either since it would be hidden within the closet. I screwed the cup hooks in by matching up where the rings were on the valance. 

Nine hooks later and this is what it looked like…

Do you want to see that before again?

It took a lot of measuring and double checking, but I’m so happy to not have to have the random sleeping bag and box of clothing staring me in the face.

Linking at Serenity Now

This closet is getting clothing.

My boys closet got stripped of it doors a while back to make room for the Ikea Expedit I put inside. I haven’t regretted this move one bit. It has freed up the rest of the room to fit in two twin beds as well as plenty of play space. It stays organized and all those bins hold clothes and some toys. The books aren’t organized by size or color, although I did try it once. It stayed that way for about 20 minutes. 
All in all it works great, except for the top. I can’t take the bar down which holds the clothes on either side. Seeing everything stored on the top shelf of the closet does not make me happy. I’d put more “stuff” but then I’d see that too, so I’m limiting my storage capability. I’ve been looking for a way to cover all that up, as well as the perfect fabric to do it with. Here is what I ordered. 

The plan is to make a valance on rings that is mounted on the inside of the closet. The bottom of the valance will hit the top of the Expedit. Curtains across the entire closet was another option. I vetoed that one for a couple reason. First of all I want the boys to be able to get to their clothes, books and toys easily. Second, I want to be able to access the sides of the closets. I have hooks in there where they hang their pajamas, and “previously worn but not yet dirty” clothing. 


The third reason for not putting panels across the entire closet is the fact that over the weekend my boys pulled down the curtains in the dining room. The 3 brackets snapped all at once. What I thought were metal brackets were actually plastic wrapped in foil! Ahhhh, life with boys!
So keep tuned, a new tutorial is coming up!!

the room switch project: the plan

What better way to spend the summer then rearranging bedrooms? Well one at least. My daughter has decided to switch to the guest bedroom which will give her a little privacy and separation from her two younger brothers. The guest bedroom is rarely used so it didn’t make sense to put a hold on an entire room in the off-chance that we might have a guest. Her old bedroom will become the new guest room. If any overnight guest requires a king sized bed she will hand over her room for that guest. That happens once in a blue moon so everyone will be happy. I think the big draw was that she gets the half bathroom to herself. With two younger brother I don’t think I need to go into detail! So in the process of switching one room around a couple other spaces were affected. I’ll take it one room at a time and show you what other rooms got the switcher as well.

Starting off this is what the guest bedroom looked like…

tween girl bedroom
tween girl bedroom
tween girl bedroom

It is bright and roomy with painted wood on three of the walls and a ledge going around most of the room. The hand drawn picture frames that I put up will be coming down and most probably painted over.

tween girl bedroom

Then there is the closet. It is huge. It even has an IKEA Expedit inside it. And yes, we built the closet around the Expedit. This will hold all her clothes with the purchase of some drawer bins at Target. Some of the cubbies will be for her items and some will be for the household storage since this is one of the larger storage closets in our home. This will keep her room a bit neater (I hope!) since a lot of her storage is behind this door. Weekly closet checks are planned! We will add a closet rod on the left side for all her hanging items as well.

tween girl bedroom

We removed the large bookcase and put it in the boys shared bedroom. The bed was then placed against the wall where the bookcase was. A temporary desk was placed under the window until her new desk comes in. This is the only item of furniture we purchased. No dresser since the clothes will be in the closet. I’d like to get a small table next to her bed but we haven’t found it yet. New bedding and pillows to come…

tween girls bedroom

tween girls bedroom

tween girls bedroom

The piano is being moved to the basement tomorrow which will leave room for the new desk. I’m not sure if we will leave the area under the window open or have some seating there. She wants a Beach Chic look with this color palette which we found on Design Seeds (great color inspiration by the way!)…


via design seeds

I’m not repainting the white walls, just one accent wall that was never painted in the first place. The bedding will be new but simple. Right now it is a chaotic mess of stuffed animals and favorite pillows. The three pillow you see on the right do fit with the color pallete though. tween girls bedroom

tween girls bedroom

So next is emptying out the closet. I have my work cut out for me.

house tour {the guest room}

My guest room has undergone a couple evolutions since we bought this home. When we first moved in it was a much larger room that we used as a playroom. We did a lot since then, but here is how it looked when I first laid my eyes on it…
The heating was converted to baseboard heat, the dark wood paneling was painted a warm white and Allure TrafficMaster vinyl plank flooring was laid over the existing tile. For three years it served as our playroom. 
Fast forward three years and it was worked on some more. This time walls were put up, a large walk in closet was created, a door was added and it became a guest room. It is actually more than that since it now houses the piano and some of my husbands books. He really likes books. 
It is a tiny room to handle all of this. We wanted a comfortable place for out of town guests to stay. The IKEA Hemnes daybed is a twin bed that opens up to a king. There is enough storage underneath to hold all the sheets and blankets for either option. 
The walk in closet was created out of a need for storage and a need to not see the support column in the middle of the room. When this room was a playroom we had two large Expedits caddy corner to each other. I had the contractor build the closet around one of the Expedits. It never moved during the whole process. It is now the storage place for everything from sleeping bags to hand me down clothes. It is still a work in progress…

We had considered turning the guest room into an office at first. I’m glad we held back since we have used it quite a bit for guests. They don’t feel like they are getting in our way and I feel like we have a cozy space that is ready at a moment’s notice. 

my shoe solution

The Ikea Expedit is the workhorse in my mudroom. I filled most of the cubbies with baskets but my one remaining problem was the explosion of footwear all over the mudroom floor. My kids had a habit of taking their shoes off right when they got in the door and then leaving them in that spot. I left the bottom row of cubbies on the Expedit empty since that was where everyone’s shoes would now be going. Below is a picture of what I thought it would look like on a daily basis…

Nice and neat. Organized and uncluttered. Then reality struck…

My husbands’ shoes and coats go in a closet that is in the mudroom. The cubbies are for me and the three kids. If the shoes actually made it off the floor into the cubbies that is what it looked like. Everyone had a designated cubby but they ended up throwing the shoes wherever they fit. I might have been a little guilty of that too.
I wanted something to hold the shoes for each person but I wasn’t planning on an IKEA run anytime soon. During a trip to Homegoods I spotted these rattan wastebaskets in the bathroom section. They would fit my cubbies and hopefully keep everyone’s shoes under control. We have a closet that holds most of our shoes but these baskets are for the daily pairs. 

After adding my own touch to the baskets everyone got their own. Just to give you an idea of how many shoes they hold, four pairs for a four year old, size 11 shoe and three pairs for a 7 year old, size 4 shoe. For my 10 year old daughters size 10 (women’s!) shoes they hold two pairs and my tiny size 6.5 shoe basket fit two pairs. Yes, my shoes are the same size as my 7 year old son’s. 
Would you ever guess that in the picture below are 12 pairs of shoes?

We are still getting used to this system so my kids do need to be reminded that their shoes go in the baskets. They are getting pretty good at it now so the only reminders I’m doing are to put the filled baskets into their cubby space. I’ll take that over a shoe explosion any day.

help your kids stay organized with fun drawer labels…

Having two boys who are seven and four share a bedroom can be a good thing and a bad thing. I shared a bedroom with my older brother when we were little. Our room had bunk beds and we switched beds every time the sheets were changed. Whoever had the top bunk for the week was the King or Queen and the other was the servant. I have great memories of sitting on the top bunk and pointing to my clothes and toys on the floor and ordering him to pick them up. The best part was that he actually listened! Then one week later the roles were reversed and no one felt bossed around. We learned to get along, work together and share. I swear that is the reason we have never, ever, ever had an argument to this day! I want the same type of relationship for my boys who are three years apart. 

So that is the good part of two young children sharing a bedroom. The bad part of it is that on a typical day their room looks like all their toys and clothing were strategically spread throughout the room to make the biggest mess possible. Clothes come out and don’t land next to or under their bins. They are flung across the room and hang from the bookcase. Finding the right shirt has become an Olympic sport  with the winner being the one who threw his shirt the farthest and highest. The toys are easy and quick to put away since they have a rolling toy bin under one of the beds. The clothing is not so easy. They like to pick their own shirts which is fine with me. On certain days they know that I’ll tell them what to wear, but on a day to day basis I let them choose for themselves. They have a four drawer dresser with two drawers per boy. One holds socks and underwear, the other holds nicer pants and tops. These drawers stay relatively untouched since I lay out those items in the morning. 

The IKEA Expedit piece in the closet is a whole different story. There are 10 bins which we use as drawers for clothing. Each boy has five bins. Pajamas, short sleeve shirts, long sleeve shirts, pants and seasonal. At this time of year the seasonal drawer is full of bathing suits. During the winter time it is full of sweaters and fleeces. They know which side of the IKEA piece their bins are located on but as far as what is in each bin they are flying blind. I decided to make things a little easier for them and for me. By labeling the bins they aren’t pulling out clothes from random bins trying to find a shirt. They can go straight to the shirt bin to not only find a shirt but hopefully put it back as well.

I used chalkboard decals from Kidecals. Are you looking for labels for camp, school or daycare? Maybe one of your children has allergies and you need some allergy alerts. Gift labels, chalkboard labels, organizational labels, Kidecals has them all in unique and customizable options. My favorite has to be the doorbell stickers and the keycals. Yes, you read that right, decals for your keyboard! Go take a look!

Since my seven year old is in the beginning reading phase and my four year old is not I decided chalkboard labels would be fun for now. I can write what is in the bin for the reader as well as draw a picture for the non-reader. When everyone is reading or the items in the drawers change I can just wipe off what was previously written and start over. I’m hoping this system helps them both stay neater. I’m fine with the Olympic games as long as the athletes clean up after themselves!

Wayfair DIY Blogger Challenge

I was recently asked to participate in the Wayfair DIY Blogger Challenge. Wayfair has teamed up with Hometalk to create this challenge with a couple simple instructions. Pick one of three items, a mirror, a lampshade or a bookshelf and give it a complete makeover using one of three themes. The three themes were Geometric Pattern, Incorporating Rope, or Black and White. I decided to work with the Furinno pine bookshelf and somehow incorporate rope. The timing couldn’t have been more perfect since I was in the market for a bookcase for the bedroom my two boys share.

In my head I saw the bookshelf with a white wash stain (which would allow the wood grain to show through) and wrapped in sisal rope. I wanted something that would fit in with the rest of the eclectic decor in my sons’ bedroom. Giving it a white wash would allow the piece to stand out a bit against the blue walls in the bedroom. The sisal rope gives the whole look a slightly masculine feel. Not to mention the fact that it will be sitting underneath a wall mounted fisherman sconce.
The first step was putting the bookshelf together. The instructions said it would take 30 minutes. I was done in about 20. I then filled in all the holes on top of the screws with wood filler. I didn’t want to see the screws as in the before picture. I let the wood filler dry and then sanded down the areas I had filled in.

Now it was time to paint. I’ve done a white wash treatment before on my barn door and love that it is white with lots of texture from the wood. I had used Minwax White wash pickling and decided to go this route again since I had some stain left over from that project. It goes on very easily with a foam brush. Three coats later and I was done.

The grain shows through without being a solid white. I kept comparing the stained piece to an unstained section until I got the color I was looking for. 
I let the piece then dry overnight. Not being patient on that step just means the occasional fingerprint on your freshly stained piece! Then it was time for the sisal rope. I wanted to wrap the top and outer edges of the bookshelf. Wrapping any more might have been overkill and might also interfere with whatever books, etc. are placed there. The next couple of steps are best explained with a visual…

Easy, right? Let me explain. Stapling the sisal rope to the inside of the section I was working on gave each portion a very secure beginning. I could then wrap and pull the sisal so it was tight.  I secured the end with a hot glue gun so that I could hide the end piece. I pulled on the rope while the glue was drying and then trimmed it with an exacto knife. Using an exacto knife over scissors meant I could get a closer and cleaner cut.

Once all the sisal rope was wrapped and secured in place I did some cosmetic work. Sisal is hairy. I decided to trim it a little to remove the pieces that stuck out. This step is not necessary for everyone but it is for my household. This bookshelf will be going in the bedroom of two boys, ages 6 and 4. I can picture walking into their bedroom and seeing pieces of sisal everywhere. Or worse, shredded rope and bits of glue! This is what it looked like before the trim…

Once I was done it looked much cleaner and less of a temptation…

 Nine sections of wrapping and glueing later and I had this…

Now for the fun part. I placed it in my boys’ room, filled it with some books (which gave me more storage for clothing in their IKEA Expedit) and accessorized! Not too much though, the bookshelf feels like an accessory in and of itself!

One of my favorite aspects of the new bookshelf is the view from the hallway Who knew some coats of stain and $8.00 worth of sisal rope could make such a difference!

Disclosure: This challenge was sponsored by Wayfair and Hometalk. I was given a bookshelf and a $25 Visa gift card to complete this challenge. All opinions are 100% my own.

The walls are up!

Framing happened yesterday. There are now walls and if you use your imagination you can see the rooms. Shall we take a tour?
First up we have the door looking into the laundry room. The configuration changed from the original plans. The sink, washing machine and dryer will still be along one wall, but there won’t be space for the Expedit in there so I’ll be using another cabinet I already have for storage. The laundry will be kept in a rolling sorter that can move around and won’t take up too much valuable space. I’ll put open shelving above the washer and dryer.

This section is the kids corner. There is a closet on the right which will have shelving for all the toys. The Expedit isn’t going to stay there. It will probably end up in the garage or utility room. Still working on that one. 

This section of the room will have a wall of two closets. The post you see in the middle divides the two. One will be a basement pantry since our kitchen pantry is tiny. The other will be M.I.N.E! All mine! Sewing maching, wrapping paper, miscellanous decorating odds and ends. Whatever my little heart desires. I’m sure I’ll share some of it but for now let’s just pretend I won’t.

This wall will house our built in cabinets and wall mounted tv. This will be a big feature wall. The built ins are actually going to be a couple of pieces from the IKEA Hemnes line. They are made out of wood not pressboard so they can be made to look built in. I’m keeping my fingers crossed on that one!

Below is the view from the stairs. The laundry room and kids corner are to your right, the family room section to your left. The double doors will lead into the utility room and storage room. The door to the bulkhead is all the way to the left, at the back of the house.

So there you have the latest. We are getting down to details and fine measurements now. I’m going to share with you tomorrow some of the decisions we made to cut costs and still have a finished look. Stay tuned!