DIY Walk-in Closet Makeover Reveal! {With IKEA Pax Units}


Custom DIY closet reveal with IKEA Kallax and Pax units for tons of storage. 

I transformed my closet full of wire shelving into a perfectly organized space with these inexpensive IKEA options!

My IKEA closet makeover is finally least the hardest parts of it. :) 

I plan to customize this space even more, but it's already undergone a huge transformation and functions SO much better. 

It is absolutely LOVELY to walk into my closet and find just what I'm looking for. This makeover truly has simplified my days. 

Now there's a spot for every little thing. I can find what I need easily...and I can't even tell you how nice it is putting clean clothes away now!

Fixing my problem areas

As you'll see, my closet is a great size...that was never a problem! It's long and had plenty of hanging space...too much really. 

Here are a few before pics to show you how the wire shelving was installed: 
shoes in plastic bins

wire shelf closet makeover

wire shelving closet makeover

There were some specific things I wanted to address in this makeover: 
  • I don't have a TON of hanging clothes and needed much more storage space for folded clothes and shoes. 
    • I added a dresser years ago, and that helped quite a bit. But I wanted dedicated areas for bulkier items like sweatshirts and sweaters.
  • I liked the idea of some kind of "vanity" area where I could keep my jewelry and perfumes. 
  • Better shoe storage. The shoe bins kept them covered on the wire shelving, but it was a pain to dig through those stacks to find what I needed. 
  • Storage for purses and bags -- as you'll see I used to just throw them to the top of the shelf till I needed them next. ;) 
My very first step was to go through ALL of my clothes again so I knew how much storage space was needed. 

I use the Konmari method to declutter and highly recommend it! It helps me decide right away what to keep. 

Storage for bulky clothes 

I shared the first part of this closet makeover with you a few months ago. 

I felt like this corner was such wasted space! That little nook was the perfect spot for my plan: 
long hanging clothes wire shelves

I used two Kallax shelf units from IKEA and stacked them to create this wall of built in storage cubbies
Kallax closet storage hack

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This has functioned SO WELL, I can't even tell you. Why did I wait so long to do this? 

Those pull out bins are perfect for sweatshirts, thick sweaters and off season stuff like Halloween or Christmas clothing. 

I also added some of the Kallax inserts that turn the cubbies into two drawers. These are great for smaller items like socks and sports bras. 

I shared how to remove the wire shelving and more of this easy build in the link above!

I later added glass shelves inside a few of the open cubbies so I could break up the stacks of clothing a bit: 
Kallax cubby closet hack

That way I don't have to adjust the whole pile when I'm pulling a sweater from the bottom! 
Kallax two drawer inserts

I still need to label those canvas bin labels

The drawers inserts were a great investment in this closet redo -- they are perfect for small stuff!

I hung these modern wood hooks on the wall to the right for my hats and jackets I wear most often: 

hats on wood hooks closet

I found the art at HomeGoods, but I think that may be going to back. I want something a little more understated in its place. 

I think it will be a bit much with the wallpaper I plan to hang on the back wall: 
pink accents hers closet

The pink wallpaper I had up was feeling too heavy, so I'll be replacing it. I didn't have much up yet, thankfully!

My new plan is going to be beautiful! In my head anyway. :)

For the left side of the closet with the double hanging rods, I changed my plan a few times. 

Once I lived with the new cubby unit for awhile, I got the organization bug and I knew I wanted to make the entire closet work better.

Choosing a Pax unit layout

I did some research and decide to go with IKEA's Pax system. I had never used these products, but have seen many people create beautifully organized closets with them!

I'll go into more detail about the Pax frames in a later post, but you can pick from many colors and dimensions to fit your closet needs. 

They have options in two heights (79" and 93"), two depths (13" and 22") and three widths (19", 29" and 34").

I chose the 93" height (because we have nine foot ceilings) and the 22" depth (because I wanted to be able to hang my clothes inside). 

For the widths of the units, I had to do some measuring to figure out what configuration would work best. I ended up with one 19" unit, one 29" unit and two 34" units. 

You can play around with the sizes to figure out a layout that works best for you! I have a bit of space left at one end, but I use that for our ironing board, so it worked out well!

The finished closet layout

It wouldn't be right to share the finished closet without showing you the messy before, right??

This side of the closet was by far the annoyed me that I had so much space but wasn't really using it.  

As hard as I tried, the folded clothes on the wire shelves always ended up in a mess: 

replacing wire shelves

messy wire shelves closet redo

I've learned over the years that disorganized spaces make me anxious and moody. It was frustrating to walk in this space every day!

Not how I like to start and end my day. 😊

Thankfully, that mess is no more! After weeks of building and installing the IKEA Pax wardrobes, I have a much better view: 
IKEA Pax closet redo
See how I changed the hallway light to a chandelier

I'm SO thankful to have this beautiful, organized space now!: 

closet redo with Pax units

You can add so many custom touches to the Pax units with their Komplement organizers! I'll go into more detail about those below. 

I set up the closet layout so that the items I reach for most are at the front. I wanted the things I don't wear as often to be at the back and things I need to grab quickly in the front. 

Pull out shoe shelves

Shoe storage was a big problem I wanted to fix: 
pull out shoe shelves IKEA

These Komplement pull out shoe shelves are awesome! You can get up to three pairs of shoes on the top level of each pull out. 

I also like that they are protected a bit, so the shoes I don't wear as much won't get crazy dusty.

When you install these pull outs, figure out how much vertical space you'll need in between shoes. Taller boots and heels will need more clearance when you pull them out. 

Drawers for folded clothes

While working on this closet makeover, I decided that it would be best to start folding more items instead of hanging them. 

I used to hang almost everything -- jeans and t-shirts especially. I did it out of necessity since I didn't have a good spot for folded clothes.

Deciding to keep more in drawers has opened up SO much hanging space and just works better overall.

I've discovered that I see (and therefore wear) more clothes when they are folded and stored with the sides up like this: 
IKEA komplement clothing drawers

The Pax pull out drawers don't have much depth, and I was worried about that at first. But if you store your folded clothing as I'm show here instead of stacking, you're able to fit a TON inside. 

It is SO nice to have drawers with just short sleeved shirts inside, or work out clothes, lounging outfits...whatever.

I can see what I have so. much. better. 

Storing clothes on their sides keeps your drawers more organized -- no digging through piles!

The Komplement drawers are all soft close, so no slamming! You know how much I love a soft close!

Jewelry vanity with mirror 

I wanted a little spot with a mirror that would hold all of my jewelry in one place. I love how this turned out!: 
IKEA Pax closet vanity jewelry

I still use that tie rack as a necklace holder -- love it. 

I found a better solution for earrings -- this acrylic jewelry organizer holds a TON of them:
acrylic earring organizer drawers

And I used a Komplement pull out tray with soft jewelry organizers for the inside: 
IKEA pull out jewelry tray

I keep bulkier jewelry and accessories in those...I love this thing!

Longer clothes and extra storage 

I installed one of the mid-sized Pax units at the back for my longer clothing. 

I don't have a ton of dresses, so those hang on the right and longer cardigans and jackets are on the left of that section: 
IKEA Pax closet ideas

One of the Komplement options is an "L" shaped section you can attach inside the built ins. 

This allows you to use what would be wasted space under shorter clothes: 
IKEA Pax organizers drawers

I LOVE the extra drawers! I use those for all kinds of random stuff -- clothes that don't fit just right, slippers, all kinds of odds and ends. 

I store my purses (large ones are out, smaller ones are in the storage containers) and other random items at the top on the Komplement shelves:
purse storage IKEA closet

I don't need to access those much so they are up and out of the way.

My splurge for this room was this Grace Flower chandelier from Pottery Barn

Grace Flower Pottery Barn chandelier

As you can see, I had to move the light to the middle of the room. Adding the units on the left threw off the center of the ceiling. 

I still need to cover that hole! 😀

I knew as soon as I saw that fixture I knew I wanted to use it in here! I love how feminine it is...the flowers are so pretty. 

Thankfully I got it on sale, and then for awhile it disappeared off of their site so I thought it was discontinued. 

But it's back and they have a gorgeous flush mount version as well. 

This makeover required a ton of work and patience! Of course with all of their items, you have to build the IKEA Pax system before you can install, so that adds some time and effort. 

It's worth it because you're able to create a custom closet for way less than you'd pay elsewhere! 

Because stock is harder to come by lately, you may have to wait for items or change your design to use what is available. 

This took me WAY longer than it normally would just because I had to wait for so many items to come back in stock. 

But it was worth it! I can't even tell you how great it is to have this organized and pretty space! It has changed my days for the better in so many ways! 

Here's another look at the before and after shots of my closet! 

First, the underutilized back corner: 

closet with Hemnes dresser

And now with the wall of cubbies and shelves: 
IKEA Kallax closet hack

The other side of the room was the real pain in my butt before. All that space and wire shelving: 
wire shelves closet makeover

And now, so organized and pretty!: 
organized IKEA closet reveal

My IKEA Pax closet is thisclose to my dream closet...but I'm not quite done with this room yet! 

I have a bunch of ideas in mind to add a custom look to these IKEA Pax units. I'll be adding baseboards, crown molding and trim for one. 

I plan to add a few other small additions to dress it up just a tad as well. 

I will share that process soon! 

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