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Organization

Lani’s Utility Closet Transformation

Full disclosure: My utility closet does not look anywhere near as beautiful as the ones pictured below. However, it is now about 90% useful space and does 100% of what I need it to. And I only used what I already had on hand to do it. That’s pretty awesome, I think.

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My front hall “bonus” closet has haunted me for, well…much since we moved in. (Aside: This is not my front hall closet but a larger, bigger space that almost sold the apartment on its own.) I Elfa’d it within the first year, thinking this would be the magic bullet. It wasn’t. We had a kid. And another. And the strollers multiplied. As you might have guessed by now, it just got worse.

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Every 6 months I would freak out about the dangerous mess the closet had become, and so we would “reorganize.” The way I see it now, there were two fatal flaws with this method. One, we never threw enough crap out to really make a difference. Two, without a serious direction as to how the closet would be used, I had a hard time coming up with an organizational system for it that anyone could stick to. “Storage” is not a great inspiration!

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Two weeks ago, I decided I’d had enough. It was Monday morning, I was upset over some bad news and knew I would not be getting any real work done that morning. I accosted poor Kyle on her way in the door. As I was acting like a crazy person, she had to say yes to my order to drop all real work and help me organize my hall closet for 4 hours. What are coworkers for, right? As the pictures below illustrate, any closet can be turned into a “Mudroom,” my newly found inspiration.

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Now, instead of being embarrassed that someone has accidentally seen the inside of my shameful storage closet, I open the doors myself and introduce them to my beautiful new “Mudroom.” Do you have a space that you could make more useful? Share with us on our Facebook page!

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Lani Inlander is a personal stylist, working with clients who want to feel their best and look put-together every day. You can find her in the Washington, D.C., Maryland, Virginia and New York areas.

You can find Lani Inlander and Real Life Style on Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, Pinterest, and Instagram.

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