Downsizing – Closet Makeover

In our previous home, we had Classy Closet come in and put organizers in our closets.  We have also done this in our two smaller bedrooms and intended to do the same in our master closet as well – and maybe someday we will.  There are so many projects in our fixer-upper and I began researching a more cost effective closet solution.  I took some guidance from Chalene Johnson and used several tips on how she organized her closet.  This woman has so much good information to share so once again I extend my thanks to her willingness to share what’s worked for her so I can make it work for me.  I’ve included the link to her closet blog post and audio so you can get the details from the pro.  HERE 

Storage is prime real estate in our smaller house but we have successfully made the change from each having a closet to sharing a closet. Here were the steps I took.

  1. Research what others have done.
  2. Take notes.
  3.  Purchase the hangers and organizers. (I gulped at buying all new hangers but will say the ones Chalene suggests were well worth the money.)
  4.  Emptied my side of the closet.
  5. Went through want I really wear, made a list of what might need to be replaced
  6. Think about what I could use the wall space for.

My hanging organizer is used for scarves, leggings, and workout clothes.

Once my husband saw my side of the closet, he wanted his area organized as well.  His hanging organizer holds shoes and hats.  The two garment bags hold his suits and my dresses.  Since there was some extra room – I also store rolls of gift paper in them. He ended up adding his own special touches to our closet. (not pictured) 

  1. He painted the closet (yes – everything needed to come out but it was worth it.
  2. He replaced the rods with metal ones.

More room for shoes

The wall space was used to store the iron and ironing board.

For your convenience, here are links to the items I used 

Joy Mangano Hangers – I bought mine from Amazon but they are currently unavailable.  It looks like Target has them online or you can do a search for other sources

Skirt and Pant Hangers

Tie Rack

Hanging Cubbie


Hanging Shoe Rack

Jewelry Organization

Ironing Board


Ironing Board/Iron Wall Holder

We had received a quote of $1500.00 to have a closet organizer built.  I probably spent about $300.00 and doubled our storage capacity.



Cooking with fresh herbs adds so much to a dish but often we don’t use an entire bunch for any given recipe. To get the maximum life from your fresh herbs store in fresh water in refrigerator after washing.  

I enjoy using cilantro in all kinds of dishes –  beans, burritos, on salads, main dishes and even into a smoothie.  Did you know that cilantro and coriander come from the same plant?  Read more about Cilantro


It’s like having a bouquet in your refrigerator.

Looking for some ideas on using fresh cilantro. Here you go:

Cilantro Almond Chicken

Hearty Vegetable Chili

Caribbean Salad

Do you have a special dish you like to use cilantro in?



Quinoa Oatmeal Cookies

These little cookies use cooked, chilled quinoa as one of the ingredients which adds a bit more protein. Bake up a batch of these the next time you have some leftover quinoa.  

Quinoa Oatmeal Cookies

Quinoa Oatmeal Cookies
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  1. 2 cups White Spelt Flour or flour of your choice
  2. 1/2 teaspoon salt
  3. 2 teaspoons cinnamon
  4. 1/4 teaspoon fresh or ground cloves
  5. 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  6. 1 teaspoon baking soda
  7. 1/2 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
  8. 3/4 cup brown sugar
  9. 2 large eggs
  10. 1 cup unsweetened applesauce
  11. 2 tablespoons vanilla extract
  12. 3 1/2 cups old-fashioned oats
  13. 1/2 cup cooked and cooled quinoa
  14. 1 cup milk chocolate chocolate chips
  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside.
  2. In a large bowl, whisk together flour, salt, cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg, and baking soda. Set aside.
  3. Cream together butter and brown sugar until smooth, about 3 minutes. Add in the eggs and vanilla Slowly add the dry ingredients into liquid ingredients and mix until combined. Stir in the oats, quinoa, and chocolate chips.
  4. Spoon about a tablespoon of dough onto a large baking sheet. Bake cookies for 12-14 minutes, or until cookies are just barely set. Remove cookies from baking sheet and cool on a wire cooling rack.
Adapted from Two Peas and Their Pod Blog
Deliciously Inspired
The recipe also calls for nutmeg – this spice is always best when freshly grated.  Treat yourself by buying whole nutmeg and then keep a small grater with it – I guarantee you won’t reach for the ground  anymore.  You can purchase both for around $10.oo and it lasts for a long time.  Here are my suggestions – Whole Nutmeg and Grater 

Green Aprons - 5-18-14 Debbie and Caden

I had a little helper in the kitchen while baking these cookies. I am amazed at moments how quickly time flies. The aprons we are wearing are over 22 years old and my son wore it when he was little. They were handmade by my friend, Dorothy and constructed so well.  that I know they have years of memories still in waiting to be experienced.

May 2014 - Quinoa Cookies - Caden
“Is it cookie eating time yet, Grandma?”

May 2014 - Mason Jar Burlap
I also did a bit of crafting and learned how to make my own burlap ribbon.   I love mason jars because they are so versatile.

Wishing you a Happy Memorial Day!