Hi, my name is Erin and I’m a shoe addict. (This is where you say hi). Worse still, I’m a shoe addict with nowhere to hide my little problem. While we’ve loved the loft life, the single, solitary and relatively small closet it came with put quite the damper on our ability to put things away! So I made it my mission to turn our closet not only into something functional, but something fun to look at! And I’m so excited to announce that the final results are documented in the new issue of Rue Magazine! {If you haven’t seen it yet, go now – it’s gorge!}

Here’s where we started. While I’d managed to find an over-the-door shoe rack to help manage my footwear, a single bar and shelf was doing little to handle everything else. It was clear something had to be done.

Thankfully, I discovered Easy Closets, an online closet design site that let me build a fully custom system that we installed ourselves. Now I get to enjoy double-stacked hanging rods, shelving for my denim, tees and  {more!} shoes, and drawers for workout gear, extra storage and even my own jewelry tray!

Although we’re renting, I also really wanted the loft to feel like a permanent home. The closet provided a great opportunity to pack personality into an area that otherwise would be deemed dead space. We spruced up the drab closet doors with a wall decal. It suddenly turned the wall into our bedroom’s focal point.

The built in closet system also inspired me to do some intentional organization such as color coordinating my shirts, putting prints up front and showcasing my favorite shoes. The closet is now something that makes me smile, instead of cringe!


Here are my top tips for making the most of a small closet:

1. Go Vertical: Maximize as much height as you can.

2. Use Velvet Hangers: Velvet hangers protect your clothes and take up much less space. You’ll be able to hang twice as much!

3. Color Coordinate: By grouping your clothes by color you’ll be able to mix and match pieces more easily and you’re more likely to actually wear more pieces that are in your wardrobe

4. Roll your denim: This idea is a bit nutty, but it works. When you roll and stack your jeans you can see each pair and fit many more on the shelf!

5. Utilize every inch. Tuck shoes below your hanging items. Keep baskets or trays on the floor to hold bags or odds and ends.

If you’ve got a closet that you just can’t seem to tame, head over to Rue’s new issue for even more of my favorite organization tips!

photography by emily johnston anderson

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  1. The black/pink flower pattern behind your clothes doesn’t do anything in terms of space-saving or organizing really – but it sure looks happy and makes things SEEM more orchestrated.

  2. Love seeing this post!! I’m actually not a big fan at all of over the door shoe racks, and I love the way you’ve streamlined everything. Much more accessible and inviting!

  3. GREAT ideas! My closet is a disaster but i find that whenever i color coordinate my clothes I have a better idea of what is where!

  4. NICE. Looks like an amazing shoe collection! I spot a few red soles! And wow, thats a lot of jeans!

  5. Love the idea of putting a decal on the doors. I have a custom closet just installed in my own bedroom and was thinking of sprucing it up with some Anthropologie pulls but this is an even nicer idea!

  6. Thanks so much for the kind comments guys! It was a labor of both love and necessity to make my closet into something that made me smile when I open it each morning- and something that would keep both my husband and I from going crazy!! His side is a replica of mine, minus the flowered wallpaper. That was just for me 🙂

  7. Where did you find the over the door shoe organizer?? I need one like that! I love what you did with your space 🙂

  8. Rose – it’s actually from the Container Store. It’s not the prettiest solution but it’s the only one I’ve found that fits my shoe collection thus far!

  9. It looks like you put shoes on the flat shelving? Do you know what the height space is between the shelf and the shoe shelving? I’m trying to design mine and heels are what I’m worried about. I’m thinking 6.5″ space between shelves?