Family Friendly

Our Renter-Friendly Closet Refresh — By Lisa Linh

It is a dream of mine to have a full walk-in closet and I should clarify that I want my own walk-in closet, not one that I have to share. However, renting an apartment means I have to work with what I have and so I put my dream on hold and worked on finding a solution for our current closet space. For the first 6 months after moving in, we tried organizational hacks and went through several closet purges. We tried to minimize what we had so that it would fit into the closet and even bought a new dresser to gain additional space for both our wardrobes. It seemed that whatever we tried would work for a week, but the fact that our closet was not being utilized to its fullest potential still bothered us. We couldn’t reach the corners of our closets and there just wasn’t enough hanging space. Not to mention that the shelf was bending in the center from previous years of usage.

So we researched around for a few weeks, which then turned into a few months because the idea of a custom closet was ideal yet the build and cost around it were not exactly cheap or renter-friendly. I started to believe that we had to just live with the closet we were given until I stumbled upon Ikea’s closet options. The custom closets I kept seeing online required us to drill into the walls, have someone come install it for us, and were quite pricey. With Ikea’s closet options though, we discovered that the Elvarli units could stand alone without any necessary drilling to the wall.

I wanted something that was going to utilize all the space we had in the closet, and organize it in a way that was visually appealing. The Elvarli unit did just that and the open closet system just made the room look bigger overall. The Elvarli planner gave us options, allowing us to adjust the system as needed according to our own dimensions. I planned the entire unit out in under 30 minutes, placed an order and everything arrived within 2 weeks. I was worried about building it, as we all know how Ikea can be. Surprisingly, this was the easiest Ikea thing we ever built! Took us less than an hour for the entire closet system and honestly, it took us longer taking down the old one because of how poorly nailed in it was. Yes, nailed in, not even screwed. We saved the old shelf and bar in storage and it’ll be a breeze putting it back whenever we move. Since the Elvarli system is a stand-alone, we can just break it down and take it with us when we leave as well.

To further organize and make our closet visually appealing, I grabbed a few large Linus Cube Bins from The Container Store to throw in some of our clothes. To separate my bags on top, I used shelf dividers from The Container Store as well. There are a few options on bins and dividers you can get from them, but I wanted the clear ones to keep the closet looking “open”.

For consistency, we use all black velvet hangers for hanging our clothes. If you’re wondering where all our shoes are, they’re on separate wall shelves in our living room area. You can check out our living room tour here and the blog post reveals of our space here.

While I won’t be getting a walk-in closet anytime soon, I am very happy with what we were able to change our closet into. Renting has its limitations at times, but there is fun in finding creative solutions to work around what you have. Remember: just because you’re renting, doesn’t mean you can’t make it YOUR home!

Disclaimer: Items from The Container Store were gifted. All opinions are of my own and 100% truthful.

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