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a mini closet makeover…

Oh Joy Alcove Closet Makeover

Oh Joy Alcove Closet Makeover

Storage has always been an on-going issue for me where we live. We have closets, but they aren't huge and therefore I am always stuffing drawers and shelves to the brim or putting things in places where they don't belong. Bob keeps his closet in our bedroom and since we can't fit all our clothes in the same closet, I keep my clothes in the closet in Ruby's room. However, that situation isn't ideal because I can't always access my closet (like when she's sleeping at night).

Oh Joy Alcove Closet Makeover

So for the past couple years, I've turned this tiny alcove in our bedroom into my temporary closet for things I am currently wearing and used the closet in Ruby's room to store off-season items. The location and access has been so much better for me even if it's a smaller version of a full-sized closet. We got a cheapo clothing rack (before photo) that worked okay for a little bit, but eventually the rack fell over in the middle of the night so many times that something needed to change. I knew I could maximize that space more but didn't know exactly how until I met Beth of Bneato, a personal organizer, who made my life so much easier with a simple and beautiful update to my closet. Here's what she did and her tips for maximizing the space in any closet…

Oh Joy Alcove Closet Makeover

1. When reworking a closet, always lookout for negative space. For example, in Joy’s alcove closet, there was a lot of unused space at the top and bottom. When you see negative space, think how you can add shelves and hooks. 

Oh Joy Alcove Closet Makeover

2. In a closet, even if you’re not working with built-ins, you can recreate drawers with a free-standing drawer unit or dresser. They work great nestled underneath short hanging garments like blouses and shorter skirts. The Elfa Closet system from The Container Store is my go-to solution for transforming a closet. It’s a great price point for a make-over without breaking the bank. My favorite features are the pull-out drawers and shoe shelves.

Oh Joy Alcove Closet Makeover

3. Maximize either the pull-out or standing drawers for storing clutches, folded jeans, accessories and sweaters. 

Oh Joy Alcove Closet Makeover

4. I like to see decorative boxes on shelves to stores scarves and other hard-to-wrangle accessories. With Joy’s new closet, she can now store winter gear and clothes not used as often on the top shelf and swap out as needed. 

Oh Joy Alcove Closet Makeover

5. I highly recommend getting a few sets of uniform hangers so they are all the same. It's a quick and easy way to tighten up a closet and make everything look super streamlined and neat. 

6. In addition to sections clothes by type (blouses, dresses, pants, etc.), color-coordinating clothes also makes a closet more visually stunning and a good trick to help you get things back to where they belong quickly. 

7. Instead of storing bags on the new shelves, I opted to hang them on a hook which helps to free up more space in the alcove closet for items that need to be stored flat. 

8. A stool is super helpful for making things easy to get to as well as put away (we all know how we can get lazy and leave things on the floor or bed). If you choose a stool that matches your aesthetic, it will feel more like decor than a utility.

9. Label any closed boxes in a way that makes it easy for you to find those accessories or off-season clothes. Some use polaroids, I used gold sticker letters to label the boxes which you can label with any phrases or descriptions you want.

10. If you have the floor space, it's helpful to keep a place for laundry (like a basket or hamper) so you can have an area to easily toss dirty clothes and get them off to the wash. I like to put a dryer sheet in the laundry hamper, like Caldrea Black Coriander Lime, to refresh the small space and keep it smelling fresh.

A organized closet honestly makes my brain feel less cluttered. It's amazing how easy it was and so worth spending the time to figure out a new and more efficient solution! Thanks to Beth for her guidance and helping me to get a little bit more on track with my organization!

*This post is brought to you in collaboration with Caldrea. All content, ideas, and words are my own. Thanks for supporting the sponsors that allow me to create new and special content like this for Oh Joy.

{Photos by Casey Brodley for Oh Joy}


  1. Great tips (and inspiration)! I’m actually going through my closet at the moment and can’t seem to find a way to make all my shoes fit in without piling them all on top of each other so the pull out drawers seem like they would be perfect for me too.

  2. It’s nice how your winter items fit into 3 small boxes. I live in Canada and need a whole separate closet for winter clothes. 🙂
    I love the large teal basket; where is it from?

  3. This is so gorgeous! I love how beautifully organized everything is, and the details of a nice stool and cute basket as opposed to the more utility looking ones. Thank you for sharing and the inspiration!!

  4. I have been wanting to redo my closet for a while now. These are some great tips! Thanks so much for sharing!
    Allison over at Allison’s Eye

  5. Is this REALLY how many clothes you have, Joy? I am envious that you can look so put together and current all the time with such a small amount. I wish I had your willpower.

  6. This looks like a great solution to my lack of drawer space in my current house. What type of Elfa system is this? Do the Elfa drawers screw into the wall or are they free standing? I’m renting a historic home that can only have small nails in the walls! Thanks so much!!

  7. This is so helpful! I also have my clothes in our little one’s room but we are about to move into our first (bought) condo and need to reorganize it so that I can get dressed in the morning without waking her up. Thanks for sharing the tips!

  8. Thank you so much for this post.I am currently going through my closet.You have given me the courage to purge purge purge.I am the type that hold onto stuff for the wrong reason.Stuff I haven’t worn in forever and probably never will.As I have gotten older I have realized less is more(easier said than done)Now excuse me while I go find a new home for 60% of my clothes.

  9. What type of Elfa system did you use? I am on the website and slightly confused. Also what did you used for the shelving unit on the top. My closet need a major updo.
    Thank you for the inspiration.

  10. Hello Jamie, the type of solution used here is using things like wood screws/drywall anchors. However, Elfa does have a freestanding line that comes in either 2′-3′ increments that can be combined to best fit your space. If you’re looking for just drawers, there is also freestanding drawer units in a variety of heights. Hope this helps!

  11. There are some really great tips in here! Love what you’ve done with the space. I feel like no matter how big a closet is there’s never enough space haha.

  12. Could you please tell me what brand that white bag is from? it seems to be a white leather perforated leather top handle tote, i just adore it and cant seem to find it online!
    thanking you, Jen.


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