my little corner of the world

jackie miller : : graphic design + whatnot

New year, new closet

Confession.

I love tall boots. LOVE them. I have treated myself to a new pair every birthday for the last few years. Which isn’t a problem, except for storage… I ruined my first pair by ignoring them throughout the spring and summer only to discover the cracking leather when I pulled them out come September. Since then, I have tried everything to store my boot collection safely including stuffing them with newspapers and pool noodles. One summer, I even wrapped them all and laid them horizontally in my headboard storage unit until it was time to bust them out again in the fall. But I was always looking for a more convenient and permanent storage solution as I am not organized enough to be a seasonal closet switcher.

My mother is, hands down, the most organized person I know. As in, she makes labels for clear containers that hold cotton balls and qtips… I am no where near that level (but who is??) so when she, with her super human powers of organization, discovered these boot organizers at Marshall’s, I was excited! Finally a solution I could (kind of) tuck away and still be able to access my boots all year long. One fact that I didn’t mention is that my mother is not a wearer of tall boots and she bought the organizers in the summer with nothing around to test out the function. These organizers must have been made for children’s boots!

They are way too short to store my tall boots for any amount of time as tops of the boots get crumbled up instantly against the organizer. I honestly have one pair of mid-height boots that work beautifully with the stand, but otherwise…tragically useless.

Not giving up yet…

I tried to do what I could to add height to the stand so I could use the organizer. My best attempt was pieces of cardboard taped in stacks and then attached to the stand, which did work… until I finally moved it into the only space I had available in the closet and realized the extra height put the boot soles right up against my few hanging clothes, crumpling up the bottom of my shirts, not to mention possible dirt on the material from the boots. Sigh.

Small wonders…

I was wandering through IKEA one day and happened upon these amazing little hanger clips called ENUDDEN. To quote the website… ‘you can also use the clip to hang up your boots so they will stay looking good longer.’ And at $2.49 for a 2 pack, perfection. Order some for yourself here. Game changer! (Update… it looks like IKEA has discontinued these little gems… But I am sure there is something out there that you can substitute… or MacGyver your own version.)

I rushed home to rescue my boots from their precarious storage solution of the boot organizer. I actually don’t have many clothes hanging  as I prefer to have them folded. I have a ladder shelf unit that angles back wedged into the closet and thought that I could hang in the boots in front it and just move them out of the way when I needed to access the stuff on the shelves. That worked for like a hot second before I got annoyed with it. To be honest, I  installed an adjustable closet rod when I moved in and I just think the clips weren’t the right size to stay on the rod when sliding them out of the way because they kept falling off when you tried to slide them.

Still not giving up…thinking vertically!

I spent a good amount of time in my tiny closet, still determined to make the boot clips work. I even contemplated putting another rod into the closet just for boots and realized that wasn’t physically possible without losing valuable shelf storage space. But then I started thinking vertically. I have an awkward corner that I put some hooks on to hold purses and stuff on the wall, but generally speaking, was very under utilized space. (if I had hanging stuff going clear across the closet rod, this weird space would cease to exist… it’s only there because of the shelves.)

But now, how to get the boots to hang vertically? I tried to use the existing hooks and that was ok until the wall filled up (pretty quickly). But then it dawned on me… if I hung a length of chain from the top hook, I could actually layer as many pairs of boots (7 pairs and counting) as I needed to because they would kind of stair-step their way into that awkward wasted space! Yes… quick trip to the Home Depot and here’s the results… flexible, year-round, clean, out of the way, boot storage! And did I mention cheap??!! And rental friendly? (the last thing you want is to drop a bunch of cash on a solution that can’t move with you…) Awesome all around!

While typing this, I have realized that this would be a great way to store a lot of awkward things in awkward spaces… like pots and pans, purses, scarves, anything that has a hole in it and can hang with ENUDDEN hooks or even S hooks… Hmm, might have to take a look at the kitchen when I get home…