From the BlogSubscribe Now

The end of shame (and the beginning of our next project)

{WORD. I had NO IDEA the incredible response the last post would get! I’m blown away. (By the way, I updated that post with the video of us on the radio, if you missed it.) I’m going to do a little series on how we saved money and budgeted, and answer some of the questions I’ve gotten about how we did it, so if you have any questions I can answer for you, let me know! You can comment on the last post or send me an email.}

You know what’s wrong with this world today?

…she says, pushing her false teeth back in place and leaning precariously on her cane…

It’s that people have NO SHAME. None at all.

They will post “before” photos of their closets that look like this for the whole internets to see:
closet before
*Dramatic faint*

Back in MY day, bloggers at least cleaned up their junk before they showed you the photos of the insides of their closet. They certainly didn’t show you THIS.
closet before photos -- middle
And lord knows, if they had to be captured in the photo, they at least changed out of their pink pajama pants.
Back in MY day, “before” photos looked more like this.
clean closet "before" photos
Clean, orderly, respectable. So you could at least get a sense of the space and why they were planning to redo it.

It just got REAL.

I’m sorry for subjecting you to photos of my shoe-and-magazine-strewn closet, with one tiny cleared-out “sidewalk” in the center for entry, but it had to be done. I didn’t clean it up or touch a thing before showing you that photo, because you have to understand: it’s a walk-in closet, yes. It has a decent amount of space, yes. But it is completely not functional.

In other words: I can’t be blamed for the mess. It’s the closet’s fault.

Every time I have to go in my closet, I shake my fist at the sky and curse the messy ground I walk upon. Something HAS to change. Quickly.


Here’s the plan.

1. Fix the function. Add some built-in shelves so I don’t have an ever-collapsing pile of pajama pants stacked higher than I can reach falling on my head. I would not complain about something like this:
Closet storage ideas

2. Terrify my husband. I am the only one who uses this room, so I’m going to go SO unapologetically feminine and girly it’ll make you want to puke glittery eyeshadow on a bed of fragrant roses. It is ON. I’m thinking a feminine wallpaper and some glitzy gold touches.

Basically, if I could pick up this dressing room from my girl Kimberly at Swoonworthy, fly it across the Atlantic and insert it into my bedroom, I would do exactly that.
Dressing room by Swoonworthy blog
I would steal it SO fast, you guys. With not a twinge of guilt. Or shame.

3. Chandy it up. This is all preliminary planning in my brain, which cannot be trusted, so don’t hold me to this. But I THINK I’m going to make a little golden chandelier. I have a rough plan which Andy keeps telling me is over-optimistic/unrealistic.

It will look nothing like this:
de gournay chandelier


But isn’t that amazing? I felt like I needed a photo of a chandelier right there.

4. Organize my life.
I’m not one to over-exaggerate the benefits of a good room redo (yes I am) but I’m almost positive that organizing my closet is going to change my life and transform me into An Organized Person. For example, this is my current jewelry-storage situation. Right now it lives here:
jewelry storage
Although in the interest of full disclosure, a large portion of it also lives here…
jewelry mess
…alongside random candles, candle holders and price tags, naturally. Because I hate putting it away in that hanging thing. The little pockets are too small and I have more jewelry than pockets, so the jewel-splosion extends onto nearby surfaces.

But THINGS are a-CHANGIN’. We’re going to add some kind of jewelry drawer situation, and a little mirror or something, and as a result, my entire world will fall nicely and neatly into a beautiful system of order, organization and harmony.

Anyway, it can’t make things worse.

I haven’t forgotten about the foyer.
Okay, yes I had, for a few minutes when I brought up this project idea to Andy. But I still have some more things I want to do it in there. My preferred method of operation is to start a project, get 75 percent done, then get distracted by the newest shiny object.

Closet = newest shiny object.

But you can’t deny it: something has to be done in there. This is going to be a quick project, because I have already cleaned out the closet and its contents are strewn on 87 percent of the flat surfaces in our house. WE CANNOT LIVE THIS WAY. We’re aiming to have it done in a couple weeks MAX.

Do you ever get distracted by new projects before you’re done with the last? Can you believe people will post photos like this on the internet?! That junk is permanent, yo.

Let's connect


  1. I love that closet and can’t wait to see yours!
    I got as far as putting a chandelier into mine… I should take you inspiration and get to work on mine too 😉

  2. 1. Three cheers for making sure there weren’t any stray underroos in those pics!
    2. THE CHANDELIER. In grad school, I attempted to put that type of chandelier in EVERY room I designed. So I wholeheartedly approve of shiny things.

  3. I love a good closet redo! I think I’m going to take some pointers from you because our walk-in closet that hubby and I share, could use more storage/function!

  4. Inspire me….my closet needs help and storage for jewelry is a big problem for me.

  5. I can SO relate to the every growing, forever falling pile of pj’s! Luckily my husband and I each have our own closet…each are equally messy, but at least it is our own mess. Love your ideas! I’m needing some inspiration! Life to the full! Melissa

  6. i tried to use one of those jewelry pocket hangy things. same problem. Who in the world wants to dig out their earrings from those pockets all the time? it’s not even cute.

    GO FOR IT! make it glittery and put that chandy in there!!!

  7. I feel totally smug because just yesterday I finished sorting my jewelry and putting it all in a wall hung organizer I got for Christmas. Okay, I still haven’t cleaned off the shelf but it’s MOSTLY done so I’m taking full credit.
    The rest of the closet, however, is a work in progress whipping along at a glacial rate. The wall hung jewelry organizer was a giant motivator…

  8. Kelly…I cannot WAIT to see what you are going to do up in therrrr! And I was blown away by your last post…BLOWN AWAY!!! I was reading it from my phone and could not get my comment to take so I wanted to quickly take the time to say CONGRATULATIONS!!!! That is so amazing!!!

  9. I see the tower o’ pajama pants is a universal problem! Can’t wait to see what you end up with, I’m in a closet design phase right now, because why focus on the projects I’m working on when I can daydream about future projects. 🙂

  10. Oh, I am the CHAMPION of getting distracted by a shiny new project. We re-did the floors in our family room almost a year ago. Have we put the new baseboards on yet? Nope! But we did re-do the deck. And then only stained the floor part, and left the railings the old color. (In my defense, winter came and we had no choice with that one.)

  11. It is a scientifically proven fact that organizing your closet changes your DNA!

  12. I would love to redo our closet, but it’s SO FAR DOWN on our to-do list that I can’t even find it. Vicarious living will be going on here! Love your inspiration pics!

  13. mine looks like yours…. what are you saying?

  14. Oh man this is gonna’ be good!! I love the first inspiration photo!! I used to keep all my jewelry in one of those plastic organizer things as well, and then I got a jewelry box and I feel so much fancier now– like my jewelry is actually nice or something (even though 99% of it is costume)! 🙂

  15. I love the ideas for this space! Oh, what I would do for a walk-in closet. 🙂 If you have the room – consider a comfy chair or chaise in there 😉 Turn it into a retreat!

  16. Yay! I love this project. Can’t wait to see it. I would LOVE to do ours but I share it with Hubs and he’d have a fit and his eyes might do a complete 360 roll in his head if I even hinted at a chandy for our closet. In response to your last question…YES. In fact, right now I have plastic on the floor in a hallway, taped trim and 1 coat on the walls with painting supplies blocking passage. But the 2nd coat had to wait while I reorganized our pantry, bathroom vanity, and craft closet. It’s possible I have a little A.D.D. going on here.

    Ikea has a white dresser for the closet that has a glass top so you can see your pretties in the top drawer. I saw it on Pinterest but I must not have saved the pin. Please buy it for me! I think every woman should have that dresser. I want it so badly but not sure it’d work in our space. And I love their wall mount shoe cabinets. Another great investment for me was my wall mount jewelry armoire, it’s pretty, functional and holds a ton of pretties.

  17. So if I was a shoe-o-phob I’d comment on which ones are styling in your closet. Instead I’m just gonna tell you I cleaned out mine and hours later when I was done it didn’t look all that much different. It was not life changing for me – I hope better for you.

  18. I’m always distracted hence why finishing a project/room never seems to happen around here. Can I just say that organizing a closet sounds like a ton of fun to me? I can’t wait to see what you do. My jewelry is in a pathetic state as well.

  19. I can’t WAIT to see what you do here! My heart loves a good closet <3 <3 <3

  20. This is totally me..distracted in every way and need seem to complete a project or room. Hence the reason every room in my home still is missing some piece to make it complete!!!

    I share the horror with your closet situation. Mine is really bad too but their are very few solutions to make it function better. At least your space is large enough to transform.

    Excited to see what you do!!!

  21. Oooooh I can already tell this is going to be GOOD! We desperately need built-ins in our closet too, so I can’t wait to see what you guys come up with!! Pink and glitter it up girl! XO

  22. “Do you ever get distracted by new projects before you’re done with the last?”

    You mean there are people out there who do just one project at a time and actually finish them!?

    …I mean, no. No, not ever. >.> I always finish things…

  23. Candy Hutchins says:

    here’s my personal dressing room…unabashedly feminine:

  24. can’t wait to see what you come up with.. i’m a few steps behind you, but did find lots of inspiration on pinterest 🙂

  25. You broke into my house, took a picture of my closet, AND stole my pajamas. Sheesh.

    My closet is on “the list”. Inspire me!

  26. Woohoo – closet organization will be life-changing! You’ll probably find all sorts of fun clothes and accessories that you forgot you had too! I can TOTALLY relate to starting a project and getting 75% finished, then getting distracted by a new (and for that moment), more exciting project! Why is finishing so hard sometimes!?! My husband is always the one to remind me of the in-progress projects I have just as I am starting the new one too. All of the projects get done eventually (well most of them), but I’ve decided finishing in a timely fashion is just not my strength. I’ve accepted it. I’m glad to know there’s someone else out there like me 🙂 – thanks Kelly!

  27. My goal for this year is to organize too. I want to make my whole house function and look more beautiful! I’ve started on my basement but my closet is on the list too!

  28. We have been married 7 years. For 6 of those, through various housing situations, my husband has been using a closet in another room for his clothes storage. For
    Several reasons, he has now moved his clothes in with mine (made possible by making a place for coats elsewhere and both of us taking rarely worn items to another closet-like suits and a fancy dress) and boy oh boy do we need to create some function in there! If only we weren’t stalled out on our bathroom at 90% done, or already bought the stuff to create a coat hanging place but haven’t done it, or oh yeah! both been working on my Christmas present cutting table! That will go in my half painted craft room! It’s a disease, I tell ya!

  29. I am also distracted by shiny new objects. So much so that I have my half bathroom face-lift ALL planned out, (but nothing actually accomplished) and I’ve already mentally moved on to redecorating the master bedroom (actually just decorating , because it’s a haphazard mess of acquired furniture, plastic drawer “dressers”, and I just can’t take it anymore.) I totally get it.

  30. SUPER excited to see this. My closet is about the same size (with the added “benefit” of the stupid HVAC and plumbing bump-outs taking up precious clothing space) and I desperately need organization.

    I did have the same exact (down to the candles and price tags) jewelry situation, and a friend gave me her jewelry armoire. Changed. My. Life. It’s so organized and now I actually wear stuff!
    There’s a cheapie if you’re interested!

  31. PS: I whittled my Pajama collection down to about 4 sets of attractive, matching PJs. #1.) Way less laundry (and I am not ashamed to wear them for days in a row) #2.) A friend gave me the incredible advice: “There’s nothing wrong with being in your PJs all day if you look cute!” I’d put those pink ones in the keep pile. 🙂

  32. I got so frustrated with out closet this weekend that I decided that it had to come to an end to. I actually posted about it yesterday and am giving myself this whole week to fix and make it better and I am going to do the reveal on Saturday….great minds think alike!!! Its the week of closet cleaning and glamorizing!!!! I cannot wait to see yours too (: I am sure it will look amazing!!!!

  33. It’s going to be awesome. The walk-in in our new house is all mine and I’ve been thinking the same thing – no reason NOT to go all glittery and girly. Can’t wait to see what you do with this!

  34. Don’t feel guilty about leaving the foyer til later. I do my best work on something when there’s another project I’m *supposed* to be doing. I need to vacuum the floors? (An hour later) Okay, look–I did all the dishes, dusted my office, cleaned the guinea pig’s cage, and organized all of hubby’s clothes despite his wishes!

  35. (And if it makes you feel any better, the project I am currently putting off is putting pictures in our picture frames. We have about 40 frames around the house that are picture-less and have been for the last year and a half since we got married. They’re all hung on the walls…just no pics in them.)

  36. I can’t wait for this! My closet could use a dose of girly glam and some serious organization! That chandelier is gorgeous!!

  37. Damn that closet!!! It needs to be punished, and you’re just the person to do it! Lol
    I can’t wait to see all the neat stuff you put in there to organize with, I’m watching this one really close cause I have one of those closets too, and want to “correct” it. (haha, from the movie the Shining) Post more often please! It’s been really boring lately! 😀

  38. Help! While you are working on closets, what do you do with all the suitcases? They take up so much room.

    • We actually keep our suitcases in my son’s closet. It’s kind of like an attic-type situation in the corner of his room. They all nest inside each other so they don’t take up too much space.

  39. I absolutely love Kimberly’s style. (And of course, the chandelier photo is simply gorgeous.) My closet is a tall, cavelike tunnel. I feel as though I need to keep a rescue dog on stand-by every time I go in.

  40. Hahaha!! If you are coming to steal my dressing room, I’m putting a lock on the door dammit! Oh okay, we can take tea and cupcakes in there and make a day of it, I’ll let you pack it up and send you on your way with it across the Atlantic cuz I’m nice like that 😉

    I can not WAIT to see your girlie closet makeover! And I’m the same – bathroom is like 80% done and I’m like OOOH THE GUESTROOM/OFFICE SOOO SHINY!!

    Thanks for the shout out baby!! xxx

  41. Thanks for being REAL! I love the before shots, pink pajama bottoms included. As for your question “Do you ever get distracted by new projects before you’re done with the last?” ALL THE TIME. And being in a new home has made it worse. That’s why my husband and I promised each other that we would work on existing projects only in January. Except I think we have been totally side-lined with Project Diet! Can’t wait to see what you do. I finally have a closet to myself again and I have a huge desire to paint it a dark plum color.

    • Okay, I am totally inspired by your idea to take a month and only work on existing projects. That’s actually SUPER brilliant! Maybe we should make it a blog-wide challenge for a month where we (me and you and anyone else who wants to) has to *finish* things. I love that!

  42. Love the fact that you posted the before as is – and that it looks so much like mine 🙂 looking forward to seeing your chandelier DIY!

  43. haha, I die! My closet looks the same way. I love the “shameful” before photos. It makes me feel more human to know that other people are human too. I’m excited to see how you tackle this!

  44. You just have NO shame, huh 😉 I am so excited for this project.

    We cleaned out our closet about 2 or 3 months ago and got all organized and stuff and you know what? It has stayed organized. Feel free to gasp. I am so happy.

    Can’t wait to hear the plans!

  45. “puke glittery eyeshadow on a bed of fragrant roses…” You crack me up.

    And, yes, I totally have shiny new project syndrome. That’s definitely why I got my basement mere hours away from being completely cleaned and then started quilting like mad while dreaming about purging some bookshelves upstairs. Why finish the basement when there are so many other adventures to be had 🙂

  46. Girl, we are kindred closet twins! 🙂 I can’t wait to see what you do with this, it will be fabulous I know! What would make my closet perfect is a clothes and jewelry picker upper that put it all back in place when I was done with it. HA!

  47. I would be happy to have a light in the closet that works. The strand of Christmas lights that I plug in when I truly *need* some real light in the closet is good…well, sort of. It helps me find matching shoes. My son tells me it’s not the switch, but that he can’t fix the light and I need to call someone else. Great. I need to clean out the closet so “someone” has room to fix the light issue, but I can’t see in the closet well enough to clean. *Sigh* Maybe this summer when there is more natural light in the room.
    Anyway, love your pictures, love your ideas! You have so much energy….

  48. This looks all too familiar! I have the same issues. I have no jewelry storage and no boot storage and those aren’t going anywhere anytime soon. I am excited to see what you do with your space. We are actually going to knock out a wall (insert, scary night-sweats here). Maybe I should show you my closet and you wouldn’t feel so bad 😉 xo K

  49. OHMYGRANOLA….I followed a link to your blog from Meg Duerksen (whatever), and I’m SO glad I did. You had me at “that junk is permanent, yo”!!!! So glad to find a “shiny-things-rock” sister in Christ…God Bless you, and that closet redo!

  50. Lookin’ GOOD there in that closet!! 🙂

    I can’t wait to see what you do so I can get some closet envy…and maybe some inspiration to tweak ours!

  51. I LOVE the uber feminine thing! DO IT!

  52. I love your inspiration! I would LOVE to do something fun and girly with our walk-in too, now to convince the husband!

  53. That was EXACTLY my closet a few months back. In one day I transformed it to awesomeness with an EasyCloset track system and a huge builders bathroom mirror from Home Depot ($40 3’x5′!). My only unfinished tasks to that awesome remake is to frame out the mirror and change out the mushroom light. Feel free to email me for pics because that was literally exactly the size/state/builders wire shelves of my closet.

  54. Ooooooo…..I can’t wait to see the girly makeover! 😀

  55. Kind of a random question- but what is the square footage of your closet?


  56. Hi Kelly!
    I love your blog and you gave me much inspiration to make a diyer.
    I wish you and your beautiful family the best and I hope that life keeps smiling for you!
    I’m very excited to see the changes 🙂 that closet really needs some organization, and girlyness 🙂
    Since I love children, the room of your house that got me the most was your daughter’s 🙂 So I wanted to ask you have you made any changes to it since she has grown up, and to your son room too?

    your follower from Portugal,

  57. Cindy Briggs says:

    Are you kidding? Of course we (I) get distracted by other projects beef of finishing. Lol. I call them “bubbles”. You know like speech bubbles in the comic strips. Some are bigger and louder than others and God knows they multiply somewhere in the recesses of my imagination! As projects and to-dos are being completed my husband always asks if we are popping bubbles. Silly man.

  58. I always drool over Kimberly’s closet too. May your end result be as lively as hers! And you might want to get some therapy for your pajama pant addiction. Ha!

  59. You had me ROFLMAO with this post! Hilarious and so very true. BTW, I deliberately put a chandelier in my sewing room. Why shouldn’t it be pretty too! 🙂 My closet is an eave in the hallway right outside of my attic bedroom. My choice of rooms, for sure, because I wanted the ensuite shower, but dang, I could use a proper closet. Or less clothes. No, no. I’m sure I want the closet. Thanks for the laughs!

  60. Love your humor!!! I can so relate to a walk in closet that really isn’t. I have promised myself, Lord willing, our closet will be reorganized by March (not sure which year).

  61. Need. Chandelier. For. My. Wardrobe.

  62. Need. Chandelier. For. My. Wardrobe. OMG why did it never occur to me that THIS is what’s lacking in mine? I have a $40 acrylic drops chandelier in my home office, should have got 2! *plans trip to lighting store* Mine was a “batten fix” so I could install it myself without the expense of an electrician to wire anything. I have two hanging pocket jewellery organisers and they work because one is small pockets, just for earrings (from Target) & one is larger pockets so necklaces & sets can go together. They are “in your face” hanging next to the dresser where my mirror & perfumes & clock are so it’s less effort than digging in a drawer or jewellery box, for me. But of course I still need more than 2, lol.

  63. I love you. I think you’re my long lost self. 75% done with a project=me. I seriously thought I was the only one.

    Puke glittery eye shadow? Dream.come.true.


  1. […] reading the comments on the last post, it sounds like you guys all have problems with closet disorganization. Seriously guys. You need to […]

  2. […] REWIND. This is what it looked like before, when I set aside my pride, put a picture of me in my pajama pants on the interwebs and JUNK GOT REAL. […]

Speak Your Mind


Back to top          Privacy Policy          Copyright © 2013 View Along the Way. All rights reserved.          Contact Me