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How my ‘unwanted’ walk-in wardrobe became my new favourite room
Karen Young, Professional Organiser from iTidy talks about elfa
I’m putting it straight out there – I love change! That includes rejigging and styling my home whenever I’m inspired. You are either like me or know people like me: regularly rearranging the furniture, doing a quick bedroom makeover or changing colour schemes.
So, when we were designing our new home in 2013, I wanted to make the rooms and fittings ‘change friendly’. I chose neutral colours so I could add feature items to create a theme and change at a whim without any huge expense.
The process was fairly smooth, but the builder and I had differing opinions in three main areas:
In our bedroom I wanted built-in robes, not a walk-in robe.
I didn’t want a linen cupboard in the hallway.
I did not want that rack shelving stuff, I just wanted standard melamine shelves.
After some very robust discussions the score was Builder 2, Karen 1.
So, what was that all about? I wanted built-in robes, because I had seen walk-in robes turn into absolute chaos. You know the beautiful master bedrooms where the walk-in robe is crammed with so much stuff it makes you cringe? Too much hanging space, top shelf too high to reach without a ladder and not enough shelves or drawers. Not for me, I was going to be organised in this new home!
I felt much the same about the linen cupboard. After years of struggling to keep my linen cupboard tidy, I was planning a better solution!
And I’d previously found rack shelving highly annoying: stuff would fall through the gaps, things would fall over, and my clothes would have marks on them – no siree, I was not putting up with that again!
The conversation with the builder went something like this:
Me: You can move that wall in the master bedroom to take out the walk-in robe, I don’t want a walk-in robe.
Builder: Karen, you need to think about resale value, everyone wants a walk-in robe these days.
Me: I understand that, but I don’t want one, I want a built-in robe, they are so much easier to keep tidy and organised.
Builder: How about we put your built-in robe on this wall and leave the walk-in robe.
Me: OK (groan).
Builder: Why don’t you want the linen cupboard?
Me: I want to hang art in the hallway, so I have moved the laundry and main bathroom around to create this walk-in linen room.
Builder: OK – we can do that. (Yay – go me!)
Our shelving conversation was too long to share, but I eventually – reluctantly, at the time – gave in to the builder’s recommendation to use Elfa shelving.
Four months later we moved into our beautiful new home – and now seven years later, I’m even happier that I took our builder’s advice.
The walk-in robe (complete with a power point and large window) turned out to be a winner. Most of my clothes were in the built-in robe with just dresses, shoes, handbags, accessories and luggage all neatly arranged in the Elfa shelving.
In 2016 I read The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up by Maree Kondo and went on a mission to KonMari our home. I also did my own version of Courtney Carver’s Project 333 – having 33 items to wear for three months (a season). As we live in Darwin, I mostly wear summer stuff all year. After KonMari and Project 333, the walk-in robe was pretty bare.
A couple of years later, I had a holiday in Bali – a few days solo in Ubud, with spa treatments, meditation and good food. I wanted to hold on to that relaxed and rejuvenated feeling when I got home. So, I decided to turn my walk-in robe into a reading, relaxing, meditation room – my space. Again, the Elfa shelving rose to the challenge, housing candles, oils, books and a speaker for listening to music and guided mediations.
Fast forward to now, when my part-time organising business iTidy has taken off. My old walk-in robe is now my office, with all my stationary, books and storage products for clients in one space – arranged in, you guessed it, the Elfa shelving. I even have a little garden complete with fairy lights on my office wall, attached to the Elfa shelving and easily removed when I want to change it. Just being in there makes me happy.
I’ve found the shelving works for so many purposes because it looks good in any space. It’s white, so you can add anything you like to style the room, and it stays looking good – in fact, after seven years mine looks the same as the day it was installed. It’s well worth the upfront cost to have something that can change as you and your family change.
Speaking of change, I wonder what my ‘unwanted’ walk-in robe will turn into next? Maybe a craft or sewing room (and definitely a nursery when grandbabies come along!).
Here is the plan of my house where we have used Elfa Shelving
Professional Organiser Karen Young from iTidy Organising provides decluttering, organising, tidying and home styling services based on years of experience including using the KonMari Method. iTidy is located in the Darwin area, NT.
My journey to becoming iTidy began in 2003 when I was overwhelmed by the chaos in my home. I would spend hours on the weekends doing housework and organising / tidying things and then by the end of the work week the place would be a mess again. I knew that there had to be a way to get organised and make life easier for myself and my family. I researched, read lots and tried many methods.
I developed a system of routines and organisation that did make life much easier but I still had way too much stuff. Then in 2017 I stumbled across a book titled ‘The life changing magic of tidying up’ by Marie Kondo.
I followed the KonMari process and it was indeed life-changing. It helped transform our house into a permanent tidy and clutter-free home, as well as many other benefits.My ‘day job’ is as an Executive Assistant = helping other people be organised and I love it!