DIY Closet for Baby

A few weeks ago, we finished overhauling a closet for the nursery.

I really wish that I had taken before photos to show you what a disaster it used to be. I knew at the time that we should photograph the mayhem, but I think I blacked it out or something because I hated it so much. The closet in the nursery is a huge half reach-in half walk-in closet. Half of it is used for general storage (like linens, Christmas decorations, Shaun's golf clubs and more) and our wrapping paper station. That left us with half of a closet to use for baby girl.

When we started this project, I felt incredibly daunted by how to maximize the space and to also give our baby girl a truly awesome closet, filled with plenty of storage and function. It took a few missteps, some wasted funds and admittedly a few tears from this crazy pregnant lady, but I'm so so happy with how it all turned out. I think it's actually my favorite space in the whole apartment.

True story.

We started by cleaning out the entire space and measuring exactly the space that we wanted to use. For against the wall, we used the Closetmaid system from Home Depot. It was as simple as hanging two long tracks on beams and then cutting the shelves to size (which the lovely people at Home Depot will do for you if you give them the measurements). We bought the appropriate brackets, clothing bars and endcaps for the jagged, cut edges. Before we knew it, we had a gorgeous closet set up.

This apartment blessed us with 14ft ceilings, and so the closet shelving actually extends all the way to the ceiling - a place that only Shaun can get to on a 6ft ladder. We used this higher shelves for things we won't need right away or seldom used items.

One of the most important things to me for this closet was to have plenty of hanging space. Since the closet is so tall, we were able to install 2 rows of hanging bars for all of her little clothes, with lots of space to spare. I picked up baby slimline hangers from Target, which also maximized the space.

We chose to hang the shelves with plenty of space in between so that I could still use this shelf for storage, in addition to hanging clothes above it. We received the gorgeous hat box from my Aunt Laurie at our baby shower and I just had to display it (not to mention it's perfect for wrangling lots of little odds and ends). On the right, I wanted to display her gorgeous baby blankets, including an incredible quilt made by my good friend Kristen, gorgeously soft stroller blankets from my Aunt Vicky and my mom, and a beautiful handmade afgan from my cousin Gabe.

And below that lies more hanging space. On the floor, I placed 2 large fabric storage bins from Target and filled them with about 3,500 baby wipes, which will hopefully last us through the first week ;) And just so you know, this only shows a small sampling of her clothes...seriously this little girl already has a better wardrobe than me...I have 2 dressers filled with onesies, pants, sweaters and more.


On the door side, I couldn't resist the amazing Container Store elfa system that I had already installed for our DIY gift wrap station. We ended up using a track from Home Depot (the one I ordered from Container Store actually arrived damaged) and just adding the baskets from CS. They fit perfectly, adding a ton more storage and function to otherwise unused space.

I filled the door side with lots more odds and ends. On top, I placed all of the extra creams, wipes and washes. I have a stash of these in her changing table and have back-ups on hand here. Underneath those, I added all of her extra crib sheets and mattress pads. I've been told by many a Mom that we'll need a bunch and thanks to my own Mom for supplying all of these amazing pieces. Since she won't be in her crib for a little while, I'm holding off on washing them just yet.

I used an entire deep basket for her little bibs. Seriously, so so cute.

And below that, a space for her little hats and burp cloths (I have more of these in her changing table dresser too!). I filled in the bottom baskets with extra diapers (which are also stashed all over the room) and some white frames that I plan to hang up on the walls this weekend.

So there you have it. A pretty awesome baby closet for my little sweet pea, no? I wish I had a cost breakdown for you, but we ended up spending some extra $$ on shelving that didn't quite work and we ended up throwing away. In the end, the Closetmaid system was very affordable, while the Container Store pieces are a bit more...but it's all worth every penny for good storage and organization!

We've got the closet and all her goodies ready...we just need her to get here already!

So what do you think?

Have you ever DIY'ed your own closet?

How do you maximize storage in limited spaces?