A Closet Makeover on a Budget

My Best Friend’s Closet

My BFF and I have been friends since we were 13 years old. I’m not even going to tell you how many years that is (because I like to pretend I’m still a kid and that would destroy the illusion), but this hair sure does have a big mouth…

Me and Tam then

An unspecified amount of years ago (a lot…), my BFF abandoned me to accept a teaching job 350 miles away. Apparently, she felt that, with her 4 year degree in special education, scooping ice cream for a living was beneath her or something. Whatever. I guess she had a point, but still… 350 miles!

We manage to stay close and we talk often, but we’re lucky if we get to see each other once a year. She has three boys (four, if you count her husband) to keep out of trouble (not to mention that career she abandoned me for) and I have this crappy house and my business to take care of. We have lives. But we were totally due for a visit, so I decided to spend the last few days of 2015 with my best friend in Virginia. Yay!

My BFF is my biggest fan. She knew me way before I became Princess Spackle and has always believed in me in absolutely everything I’ve ever tried to accomplish. I know she’s not at all surprised at how amazing I am because she’s a big part of the reason why that is. Always supportive, always positive, she never lets me doubt myself. She’s pretty awesome, actually. We totally have that in common.

So, WTF does any this have to do with my crappy house? Nothing, actually. This post is all about my BFF and her crappy closet. (OK, the first part was all about friendship, but the rest is all about her (formerly…) crappy closet.) It’s a makeover, people! And I think it’s a pretty good one, so… you’re welcome!

Please watch this “before” movie I made. It’s important.

Powerful, right? I could totally be a director…

For years, my best friend has been complaining about her closet and how much it sucks, but it’s hard to help from 350 miles away. It’s a decent size, but it only had one pole around the perimeter with a shelf above. That stupid shelf and pole. (Cheap ass builders…) Needless to say, there was a ton of wasted space…

Closet Before1

Closet Before2

As you’re all aware, one of my many talents is designing closets that don’t suck…

My Fabulous Dressing Room

Remember mine? I realize most people are not able to sacrifice a whole bedroom for a closet (and you all have my deepest sympathy…), but, if you’re stuck with that stupid shelf and pole, your closet can be way better, no matter what size it is. Check out this genius plan I drew up for my BFF’s closet makeover… (Click to enlarge.):

Closet Design Horizontal

Yeah, OK, her closet is pretty big, but you could take just section “C”, for instance, for a small closet and it would be awesome. Two secrets to a good closet design:

  1. Utilize the whole space, from floor to ceiling. Customize your hanging section heights so they take advantage of every bit of vertical space.
  2. Everything that you currently fold in a drawer should be on a shelf. (I don’t mean underwear. If you fold your underwear, you’re a weirdo.) Jeans, t-shirts and sweaters are much easier to store on shelves. You can see everything you own all at once and it’s way easier to pull something from the bottom of the pile without making a mess. (Be honest. You know your drawers look like hell…)

Hey! I just taught you something! That’s so unlike me…

Anyway… We only had three days to do this project. Three days! I don’t get anything done in three days. It takes me a freaking week to do laundry. Luckily, my BFF is way more productive than I am (and she believes in me and all of that crap), so she kept us focused on the job and made sure we got it done in time. (Of course, it was in her best interests to keep me on schedule. My BFF is a bit WTF with the DIY, so leaving the project half done would have sucked.)

With time and budget being key factors, this was a job that didn’t need to be pretty, it just needed to function. We reused as much of the stupid shelf and pole set up as we could and made smart purchases (Don’t worry. I’ll tell you what we bought. Don’t rush me…) so we didn’t have to build the rest from scratch.

You know I don’t do tutorials, so you shouldn’t be surprised that I have no pictures of us mid-project. Whatever. We were busy working! If you have any questions, you can email me and I’ll answer them. I’m cool like that.

OK, as promised, here’s what we bought:

  • Closetmaid stacking storage cubbies (x9): $133.50
  • Rubbermaid Homefree Series 3-6 ft adjustable closet kit: $100.00
  • Laminated shelving, 1×4 lumber, shelf brackets, screws and miscellaneous supplies: $100.00
  • Reusing materials from old crappy shelf and pole set up: $0
  • Bad assness: Priceless

So, for under $350.00, we took this ugly duckling and turned it into a (still kinda ugly, but much smarter) swan. Brains before beauty…

My BFF’s closet is now functioning at optimum capacity. Thanks to her time management skills and my DIY ninja skills, we totally kicked this project’s ass. We even had time left over to load her stuff back in.

After with clothes 1

After with clothes 2

After with clothes 3

Happy Closet

She’s so happy! (And also ridiculously lucky to have me as a friend. Just saying…)

I don’t often do projects for other people, (OK, I never do. Don’t ask me to. Seriously. Not happening.) so it was interesting to learn a couple of things about myself while working on this one:

  1. I am a serious control freak. (OK, well I actually knew that already, but it’s even more confirmed than it was before.) Only I was allowed to use the drill. Obnoxious, right? It wasn’t even my drill…
  2. I love having an assistant, i.e., someone who knows less than I do that I can give all of the crappy jobs to. (My BFF never wants to see a hacksaw again.)

Best Friends Forever

So, there it is. New year, new closet for my sister from another mister. You’re probably wishing you could be my BFF right about now, but there can only be one of those… Hey, you know subscribing is the next best thing! You should totally do that. We can be blog friends forever…

***Time travel links! If you like closets, don’t forget to check out these posts featuring my dressing room and my dressing room update.

*This post contains affiliate links.

Subscribe and I'll love you forever.

Every time you share, an angel gets their wings.


  • Sharon Turner

    Outstanding transformation!! With those extra-length braces protruding under the new shelves, she could hang hats, baseball caps, jewelry, etc. How elegant is a very large closet with wall-to-wall carpeting! I am seriously, seriously jealous … damned fine job!!

    • My Crappy House

      Thanks! Yeah, she’ll put hooks there. I had to make those stupid long to catch a stud. Her studs were 24″ on center (instead of 16″). My crappy house is the same. It made it a bit more challenging (and a little more ugly…)

  • Dyan

    Omg what a transformation of that crappy closet V. Your BFF and my SIL deserved this. Now when are you coming to do mine. Lol. Love ya Dyan

  • Susan Kuehne

    Great Job ladies. I am sooooo jealous of people who have closet space. I have teeny tiny closets. Maybe in my next life.

  • Crystal in Texas

    Great job on the closet transformation … But I would seriously like to know where you got your very attractive glasses?

    • My Crappy House

      Ahh, thank you! Actually, I mentioned my glasses in my December post. I got them online at zennioptical.com. These particular glasses ended up being only $25! For prescription glasses! You can upload a photo of yourself to “try them on” and they have tons of frames to choose from. It’s my new favorite addiction

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *