Before and After: This Closet Makeover Transforms a Jumbled Shoe Collection into an Aesthetic Masterpiece

published Dec 13, 2022
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Before: a white closet with shoes stacked on the top and side shelves
Credit: Alexandra Dawe

If you’re lucky enough to have a coat closet, you know what a nightmare it can be to not only organize your shoes and coats inside it but also keep them in order. Actually, these two are interrelated, with the ease of maintenance intimately tied to how the closet is set up in the first place. 

When Alexandra Dawe tackled her coat closet, she completely overhauled the way she stored her and her husband’s impressive collection of shoes. By making that change, she created a space where all her items are accessible and implemented a system that can be kept up perpetually. 

Alexandra took on her front hall closet as part of an “organizing and decluttering kick” she’s been on. “I want everything to be neat and tidy, functional but also aesthetically pleasing while I transform every part of my home,” she explains, adding that she feels “so rewarded and excited about a well-transformed space.”

Describing the condition of the front hall closet before she began her project, Alexandra shares that the “front closet was very dysfunctional, we were not utilizing the space properly as we just started throwing our belongings in there without any thought at all. Everything felt disorganized and chaotic.”

To address this situation, Alexandra had a clear vision. “My goal for this project was to have a place for every single item in our front closet. I wanted cohesiveness as far as storage and even hangers. My main priority was figuring out the best way to store our shoes and make the most of the space at the same time.”

Credit: Alexandra Dawe

Here’s how Alexandra made her vision materialize: 

“I started by piling all our coats and shoes in the living room,” she says. “My first order of business was sorting through what was staying and what was going.” Items that weren’t donated but also weren’t in frequent rotation were stored in a large plastic storage bin and stashed in the basement. 

Next, Alexandra assembled the shoe rack and added a runner to put underneath the rack, a brilliant hack for helping corral dirt that falls from the bottoms of shoes. Shoes were then placed on the rack in “his and hers” sections and jackets were hung on new, matching wooden hangers in color order. 

Finally, Alexandra sorted through all the items stored on the top shelf using modular white storage bins. “I like that they are not transparent, so you can’t see what’s in them.”

“It really helped me achieve that clean, simple, and modern look I was going for,” she adds.

Credit: Alexandra Dawe

The hardest part of the project was sorting through everything. “Projects like this are always a little overwhelming when there is so much stuff involved. At first, it looked like our closet blew up.” However, Alexandra also points out, “I do find the process of letting go of things challenging as much as it is rewarding. It’s been really therapeutic for me as I continue to condense and minimize every part of our home.”

Alexandra’s favorite part is the white modular bins that line the top shelf of the closet. “They are perfect for storing and organizing household items like batteries, lightbulbs, tape, and glue, etc. I also really love the labels I bought for them.”

She also really loves the shoe rack she bought. “It took me weeks to find the right one,” she says. “I wanted it to look clean and modern and I wanted it to be metal. I finally found the perfect one. It’s really sturdy and looks great. I think it’s worth noting that it comes with the equipment to stack it as one tall rack or use them as two, side by side. Really great purchase.”

Reflecting on her project, Alexandra says, “I love it all. I am a big fan of cohesiveness. I love the all-white bins, the matching wooden hangers, and I am a big fan of organizing clothes by color. I think it makes the space look really clean and sharp.”

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