2 Boys Worth Of Stuff Into One Closet

The plan was to be living in a bigger house by now. It was to sell this house, and buy or build something with more space. The plan was for each of the 3 kids to have their own room, their own closet.

The plan gave me a panic attack when I shook myself free of the pregnancy-hormone-induced haze of nesting.

The new (old) plan is to stay. Again. And so the 2 boys are now sharing a room. It’s not a bad setup. Scott built a loft for Kendall (post to come) and Lowell’s crib fits nicely on the other wall. The room is just big enough for the two of them.

The closet? Was not.

At least, not until we tricked it out with a Container Store Elfa system. Here’s how we made it work.


First, let me say I am making it a point to get this up now because the 30% off Elfa sale was extended through March 2nd (this Sunday!), and it was only because of this sale that we could make this happen. This is not a sponsored post. Just telling y’all about something that worked for us with, hopefully, enough time for a few of you to take advantage of the sale.


We took our measurements to our local CS, and I told them who would be using the space, and the ages. What we came up with in the store was slightly different than what we now have, but that’s the beauty of this system. If it doesn’t work for you, it’s super easy to move around.

Here’s what Kendall’s side looks like (5 years old):

1. The 2nd to the top shelf on Kendall’s side is for keepsakes that will get put away in storage eventually, or toys we don’t want him to have immediate access to.

2. The top hanging bar, for now, is for out of season clothes and accessories.

3. This middle shelf is a bookshelf, complete with bookends on either side. We didn’t opt to buy the plastic liner for this shelf, but I’m going to need to go back and get it.

4. Kendall’s jeans and pants fold and lay on the shelf between the two hanging bars.

5. The lowest hanging bar is for all his in-season tops.


Here’s Lowell’s side (7 months old):

6. The top hanging bar on Lowell’s side is for out of season/too big tops, jackets, and accessories.

7. The shelf below that is where I store my wraps and baby carriers. (There is no shelf here on Kendall’s side.)

8. The shelf below that is where Lowell’s pants and overall’s are folded and placed.

9. The lowest hanging bar is for Lowell’s hanging clothes, like rompers and jackets.

10. There is a shelf below this for storage, and the kids’ tent and telescope are stored on the floor beneath that.


This is the middle of the closet, which holds 4 drawers. These are Kendall’s drawers since he no longer has a dresser:

11. The shelf below the bookshelf is for Lowell’s shoes, small accessories (organized in plastic shoeboxes), and extra wipes and such.

12. The top drawer is for socks, underwear, and small accessories. These are also organized in plastic shoeboxes.

13. The second drawer is for pajamas.

14. The third drawer is for t-shirts, athletic shorts and pants.

15. The bottom drawer is for his shoes.

(We have one dresser still in the room where we keep Lowell’s cloth diapers, sleepers, onesies, and blankets. It’s also his changing table.)


This closet has nearly 10 foot high ceilings, so on either side at the very top, we took advantage of the space with extra shelves for things we don’t need to access often. (It takes a step stool to reach them.)

This is also the reason our original plan (which was to have 2 shelves across the top of the closet without that break in the middle) didn’t work out. We found we couldn’t squeeze very much between the top of the closet door and the edges of the shelves. So we had to make that space in the middle and move those two shelves to Lowell’s side of the closet.


Here’s a view from above:

17. As on Kendall’s side, I have an intermediate storage area for stuff Lowell outgrows or stuff he’s going to grow into.

18. The shelf above the bookshelf, for now, is an intermediate area for artwork and other stuff that needs to be filed and stored.

19. Oops. Forgot I already told you all about the bookshelf.


20.  This is that big open space I was referring to from where we removed the middle shelves to make the top top shelf areas more accessible for large items.

It was hard for me to get a good shot of the whole space because the new loft bed is in the way, but hopefully you get the idea. For now, this has been an ideal setup for them. As they both grow, we’ll be able to move pieces around to accommodate bigger clothes.

The key, for us, has been the drawer system and the 4 hanging bar spaces. And the plastic shoeboxes (we bought a box of 30 of them) have really come in handy for micro-organizing.

This whole system, including tax (but not installation) was about $490 with the 30% off sale. And while that’s a little more expensive than a 2nd dresser would have been, it’s a heck of a lot cheaper than a new house.

I wish, wish, wish we had it in the budget to do this for every closet in the house (we did already do Leyna’s closet- will share at some point- and our pantry). It would be a DREAM to do it in the office for all my crafts. Maybe next year.

More specifics:
Closet measurements are 9 feet tall x 6.5 feet wide x 2 feet deep.
We used platinum Elfa ventilated shelving and platinum Elfa mesh drawers, size medium.

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  1. I remember you sharing a pic of your hubs putting this together… Is it realistic for me to be able to do this on my own? I guess a better question would be scale of 1-10 how hard was it to assemble/install??

    • Hi, my name is Lisa and I’m an Elfa addict.

      You can TOTALLY do it yourself, I’ve done all of my Elfa alone. The first step is to hang a horizontal bar along the top of the wall. You see it well in pic 16. You will have to drill holes for wall anchors, put in the wall anchors. The only somewhat tricky part is that you have to put in the center screw while holding the horizontal bar, but I tape mine to the wall to hold it up, so both hands are free.

      Once that bar is securely screwed into the wall, the rest is just easy-peasy, no more tools.

      I first fell in love with Elfa in our small condo. We had two small side-by-side closets ripped out and I looked at several options to fit out the new space, including California Closets & Ikea. Elfa is the most versatile, hands-down. Easy to change as needs change.

      Our laundry closet (outside the bedroom & bathroom) became our baby’s clothes closet when she came along, and it was super simple to switch out with Elfa.

      It was in our master bedroom closet and hall closet. I brought most of my Elfa with us to our new house. It is in my office, where I currently sit typing this, and I just re-arranged our hall closet, moving shelves, raising the bar and adding a pull-out drawer (that I had been using in my office but found it not that useful there.)

      It is so versatile and makes the BEST use of space.

  2. just a nudge for the aforementioned loft bed that your husband built for Kendall (“post to come”) I have 2 boys (almost the same age as yours- 1 turned 6 on Friday, the other is 10 months 🙂 )

    and now that the baby finally is sleeping better, we’re hoping to transition them into the same room. we need loft bed inspiration and photos!

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