How I Maximized Our Storage in a Closet with Sloped Ceilings

posted by Andrea | 08/7/2019

Living in (and renovating) an old farmhouse has been my dream for as long as I can remember… and now that we’ve essentially finished renovating our very own farmhouse, I’m still just as big a fan of these old houses!

A few of the features I LOOOOOVE about our house are the crazy sloped ceilings, unique bump-outs, and weird closets in almost all the rooms in our house! 

Yes, they can be a challenge to work around, yes they can make organizing our things a bit more frustrating, but they add so much character and charm to our house that it’s worth the extra effort (in my opinion)! 

One of the crazy closets in our house is in the boy’s new shared bedroom upstairs. 

The closet itself isn’t overly large, and the sloped ceilings make it nearly impossible to utilize all the space efficiently (not to mention it’s really tricky to get all the way to the back if there are clothes hanging in the front! 

I’ve highlighted the closet space below so you can get a feel for how odd the shape is, and how little usable space there actually inside (especially to hang clothing). 

It’s very difficult to get to the back of this closet (the far left in the picture above) as you really need to crouch down low. And we couldn’t make the opening of the closet any larger because of the sloped ceiling. 

So… I had to get creative in order to maximize this space for both boys’s clothing and several extra things we wanted to store in this space. 

NOTE: I’ve shared a few glimpses into our kids’ recent bedroom “switch-a-roos” on social media over the past few weeks, and I’m SUPER excited to share the “finished” rooms with you soon!

We’re trying to make videos and it’s taking us newbies a while to figure everything out… I’ll hopefully have those posts ready to go for next week! 

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One of the first things we did to make this closet more functional was to remove the closet door.

We actually removed the door soon after we moved into the house because it was a mirrored door, and those have always creeped me out (especially in the middle of the night). 

The picture above is what this closet looked like when we moved in (2011). The picture below is what it looked like when Nora first took over this bedroom in 2013.

This closet didn’t have a curtain for several years, but we recently added one to “hide” the closet, while still allowing very easy access to everything inside.

I’m a HUGE fan of the curtain! 

I should quickly mention that the boys each have one drawer in the white dresser for their pants, shorts, and socks. I use the other 2 drawers for clothing that is too big and to store an extra blanket for each of their beds.

They keep their PJ’s and underwear in the bathroom as that’s where they get ready for bed after their bath/shower. 

Everything else is in the closet.

As you can see by the picture above, we have quite a bit of stuff stored in this closet! 

We keep the kids’ sleeping bag on the top shelf (they play with them fairly regularly so we like to keep them easily accessible — but high enough that they have to ask us before getting them all out.)

The top rod has both boys long sleeve shirts, sweatshirts, and long sleeve church clothes (all things they don’t wear regularly right now). 

I put a set of hooks below the top rod for their robes, belts, and backpacks. These are just play backpacks, not their school backpacks which are stored in the mudroom.

When you peek further inside the closet, you can see another rod I hung width-wise in the closet. This rod has all their spring/summer shirts and church clothing. 

They can both reach this rod, so they are able to pick out their own clothes every morning and get dressed without any help! 

Eventually, I will switch the short sleeve and long sleeve — or have them pick out a long sleeve shirt the night before since they can’t reach the top rod. 

NOTE: I separate the boys clothing based on the hanger color! 🙂

Simon has grey hangers, James has tan hangers. (For the record, Nora has pink and Clara has a darker tan)!

This seems to make it easier for everyone to put clothing away, and easier for them to keep clothes organized within their closet.

These are the kids’ hangers I LOVE, and use exclusively for all kid’s clothing. 

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There is still quite a bit more space behind the lower rod, so we put 2 shelves back there for toys we don’t use as often and for the bin I toss their “too small” clothing into until I’m ready to bring it away. 

This area is easily accessible by simply pushing their short sleeve shirts to the side. 

It was pretty tricky to take pictures of this space (it’s just so awkward!) but so far, I feel that we have really maximized the amount of storage space in this crazy closet with sloped ceilings! 

We are EASILY able to fit both boys’ clothing with plenty of room left over for other things like sleeping bags, extra toys, too-small clothing, back packs, etc. etc. 

It’s full, but it does NOT feel too crowded or cramped. We can easily see and access everything in the closet without much effort at all. 

I’m certain we will continue to morph and tweak this closet as our needs change — however, for now, it works so well for the boys, and I’m thrilled with how well we’re utilizing this abnormal storage space!

Do you have any crazy closets in your house? 

If so, how do you maximize the space? 

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Filed under: OrganizingHomeClothesKids StuffStorageOur Farmhouse

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12 comments

  1. Margaret

    08/07/2019

    My house, built in 1920, has ONE (count it, ONE) closet. I assume whoever slept in the front bedroom used a wardrobe, unless the whole family shared one small-ish closet. The ceiling is about 4×4, but half the floor space is raised to waist height to allow for the basement stairs underneath. The hatch that gives access to the attic is above this part, so it can’t be blocked by anything permanent. Because of the stairs, the door is off-center, with only about 10 inches on the right wall. There is a high wire shelf on this wall, and another facing the door,with hanging space.
    I’ve been here 15 years, and feel like I’ve only got the closet sorted out in the last couple of weeks. I did a massive purge a few years ago, and there’s nothing in the closet I don’t use, but it was a hodge-podge of improvised storage–a bookcase on the ledge with boxes of underwear and socks, hanging organizers for sweaters and t-shirts, clothes hanging from the right side so they needed to be ducked under, the floor filled with hampers (I sort my clothes when I take them off, which saves me a ton of time).
    I spent a lot of time looking for ideas on-line, and finally decided that, since I can’t afford the $$$$ for a fancy closet “system”, my best option was to ditch the hanging organizers and the large bookcase on the ledge, and look for a dresser that would fit the narrow side, hang the scrubs above it, hang my dress clothes flat against the right wall, bring in smaller bookshelf for my sweaters, and used the saved ledge space for 2 of the hampers and a trash can. I scored a dresser that just fit for $35 at my favorite thrift shop, and put the 3D jigsaw puzzle together.
    I’m sure that’s far more than anyone wants to know, but it has made the space much more usable, and it looks much bigger than it did a couple of weeks ago.
    The closet also contains my sewing machine, ironing board, winter coat (in the summer), and wetsuit.
    Everything fits in the closet, and everything is easy to reach, and to put back after it;s washed. For those of you with weird closets, there is a solution. Just keep thinking–and don’t wait 15 years.

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    Andrea Reply:

    sorry for the lack of response — your comment got caught in my spam folder!
    Anyway, thank you so much for your detailed response — who builds a house with only ONE closet? That’s just craziness!

    Sounds like you have come up with a very good solution for your situation — and frugal too! Good for you!

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  2. JJ

    08/07/2019

    It looks great!!! The hidden storage for smaller clothing is fantastic!!!

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    Andrea Reply:

    I’m always a fan of hidden storage (as long as I can remember what’s hidden!)

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  3. Alicia

    08/07/2019

    This gives me some great ideas! We are getting ready to move into a 40 year old farm house which oddly has the same closet problems in the bedrooms !

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    Andrea Reply:

    oh wow — so you found a house! yay!
    Good luck with the move (and getting everything organized!)

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    Alicia Reply:

    Thank you! We move next week! The hard part is getting settled and organized before the baby’s here in 4 weeks!

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    Andrea Reply:

    yes, I can imagine that might be stressful! However, you can just practice “nesting” to the extreme — everything in place before baby!

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  4. Michelle

    08/07/2019

    It’s amazing what the right configuration and organization in an awkward space can do!

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    Andrea Reply:

    yes!! I fully agree!
    There are times when I don’t even purge anything, but am still able to make significantly MORE space just by simply organizing in a better, more efficient way!

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  5. Mary

    08/07/2019

    We have a triangular corner closet in our main bedroom. Our home is over 120 years old and was quite a storage problem when I hadn’t pared down. We recently had our closet redone with a sliding barn door and a new rod and shelf setup. The corner is awkward so we use it for long hanging dresses, pants and coats. Once I got rid of excess clothes our storage worked perfectly.

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    Andrea Reply:

    sounds like a perfect solution for your home! Good for you!

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