Closet Makeover: Closet Shelving Hack for Extra Tableware Storage
In this post: Do you have dishes that don’t fit in your cabinets? This closet design makeover offers a creative approach to DIY closet shelving for extra plate storage.⇒
This is not the post you’ve been waiting for.
That one is coming soon. And by ‘that one’ I mean the one where I share my entire dish storage system. (ETA: that link is now live.) It’s probably the question I get asked more than any other. “Where do you store your dishes?”
I used to have a very simple answer to that question, comprising very conventional storage options. A china cabinet in the dining room, our kitchen cabinets, and later on a butler’s pantry. I maintained that system for years and it passed the organization test, in that it was easy to find things, easy to access them and easy to upkeep.
But that was before I indulged my plate addiction…
As it turns out, in recent years the system started to break down. It wasn’t just plates, but stemware, napkins, napkin rings and more. My tabletop decor started to expand beyond the limits of my existing storage space.
So before I could share with you this fabulous and workable system, I had to whip it back into shape. And while I was working on that, I realized, I needed to co-opt some additional space. Oh sure, I’m a believer in editing your things and passing on what you no longer use. But between the things I collected and some china I inherited, even a good purge wasn’t going to solve the problem.
So I started to re-look at the space in my home.
Today I’m sharing organization ideas for a closet makeover to suit your unique needs.
This isn’t the first time I’ve re-adapted a closet to work better for our lifestyle. We’re empty-nesters and we live in a relatively new townhouse, so it’s equipped with an abundance of modern day closet space. That’s a blessing, believe me, I know. Our last home was built in the 1940’s and until we did some renovation, the closet space was nearly non-existent.
But even in a home with an array of closets, they’re not necessarily set up to work optimally for your needs. When we first moved in, we converted a spare closet, at the end of the entry hall, into a butler’s pantry that you can see above, which is next to our dining room.
We have a large double closet for coats at the back entry, and a second double coat closet, shown above with the doors open, that happens to be situated across from the kitchen and the dining room. Mostly it’s been used for a few spare coats and lots of empty hangers for when guests come to visit. It also became a weigh station for things that were on their way somewhere else.
I’d been thinking about renovating the closet to add shelving to at least one side, because the unused space was the perfect spot for the spillover of my extra dishes. I just wasn’t ready to spend $1000 to have a closet company come in and rework the space.
And that’s when I started to think about using a more creative – and affordable – approach to converting the closet into an area that would more appropriately suit my needs. At the top of that list was a place to store the stacks of my various plate sets.
The 8-Cube Organizer was the perfect solution and once I found that piece, the entire set up of the closet began to take shape. I could have fit even two of these units in the closet, but I preferred to leave hanging space for my tablecloths and runners on the left side of the closet for easy access.
What’s perfect about the organizer, unlike many shelving units, is that the depth of the piece is ample enough to accommodate my dinner sized plates. And because I wanted a place to not only keep the plates, but also individual compartments so that I didn’t have to pile multiple sets together, I added the ‘H’ Cube Storage Shelves to some of the square sections to increase the available shelving.
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On the top of my wire hanging shelf I added rectangular water hyacinth baskets. They’re light and pretty and provide additional storage and they happen to fit perfectly with four across the closet. I love that if you need something you can just grab the basket off the shelf.
This is where I’m keeping my napkins and napkin rings organized, but they are also great for storing an array of other items, including extra sets of casual flatware.
One of the obvious advantages of the cube organizer is that you can customize the set-up to fit your demands by adding cube bins as pull out drawers. If, for instance, you don’t have a closet to spare, this would work just as well in an open space. Keep as many shelves open as you like, or fill them all with bins if you prefer a more closed look.
Even though mine is in a closet, I chose the fabric storage bins I loved the most, as I found the tassel pulls to be utterly adorable.
(These are no longer available but there are several great options at the link above and in the resource guide below.)
Like the baskets, the bins offer storage for a broad range of items, and in keeping with the tabletop category this closet is dedicated to organizing, I’m using them to corral candles, both pillars and tapers, as well as candlesticks, votives and small hurricane lamps.
If you have an abundance of one thing and less of another, there’s no reason to keep your closets set up the way a builder thought you should. If you look at your spaces with fresh eyes, you might be surprised at where you can recover an extra bit of storage and use it to accommodate the life you actually live.
And if you don’t need an extra closet and just want ideas for storing your dishes within the more typical places, stay tuned because I promise I will have ‘that post’ coming up soon!
To get the look, click on the items below for direct links to the products. Where actual items were no longer available, I’ve provided similar options. If an item is out of stock but may be restocked, I left it on the list.
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I love this idea. I have the perfect spot for this too.
It’s absolutely beautiful.
Have a great day.
Thank you so much, Rose! Happy organizing!!
I have an extra closet now that the kids are gone so this will be perfect.
Please provide a link for the hangers you use for your tablecloths. Thanks for the wonderful ideas.
My pleasure. Here’s the hangers I use: https://rstyle.me/+1_jSiGm1JeIbhcdv1vjWEA
Lory, I love this idea! My problem is storage for coffee/tea cups and saucers. I have a bit of a china collecting bug and each set of dishes has them. I must have a hundred and we almost never use them. I don’t want to break up sets by selling them so I would love to find safe storage. Thank you! I love your blog.
Ah, I’ll have to work on that one next. Hope to find you some good ideas!!
Lory, Thank you for posting this! I have asked other bloggers to share their storage tips, but usually to no avail. This could NOT be more timely for me as we are preparing to move into a new-for-us home in three weeks. Since I retired, I have also indulged a bit in a ‘plate’ love affair. This unit looks perfect, especially with the little ‘H’ units that break up the vertical height to minimize stacking of un-like plates! Thank you, thank you! Can’t wait for the follow-up post. Donna
I’m so glad you found it helpful!! Good luck with your move!!
So beautiful Lory!
You knocked it out the park! I love these cubes, awesome job sweetheart. ????
Thanks, friend!! This was such a fun project!
Amazing transformation of your closet space!
I use the cube storage from Target for my Guest Room
closet organization of purses and shoes!
Appears . . .many of us . . . in The Land of Blog
are reorganizing our storage areas is this New Year!
Thank you for always inspiring!
Yes!! I just love organizing! And this is the perfect time of year for it… 🙂
Love the organization idea! Thanks for starting the New year off on a positive note!!!
You are most welcome!!
Now this is a post for me! When I have a party I have to spend a lot of time digging out the dishes I want to use. I have a closet just for my china and some crystal, but it is a hot mess. You have boosted my desire to reorganize this closet and take a good look at what I need to keep and what I should sell. Who am I kidding! I’m keeping it all…I love every piece!
So glad this resonated with you!! I say go for it! As long as it’s all organized, go ahead and keep it… 🙂
Lory, those storage bins with the tassels are so pretty! I will definitely have to get some of those! Thank you for sharing. Hope 2020 is off to a magnificent start for you! Toodles, Kathryn @TheDedicatedHouse
Right back to you my friend!!
This could be the answer to my prayers! Thanks for the great – and beautiful – ideas! ?
Love, love what you did with your closet for storing your china and accessories. So clean and efficient looking. You have given me several ideas for my house. Thanks for sharing.
My pleasure, Sue. Thank you for your lovely comment!
Just a quick note to tell you that you should not stack your plates any higher than 6. I get this from the famous DR. Laura. DR. Laura says it causes damage to your dishes. I would hate for you to lose any of your collection! They are so gorgeous! I love your style.
Thanks for the tip and the kind words, but there’s no way I could only stack 6. Btw, who is DR. Laura? In other news, I have lost some of my collection, but that’s because I fell down the stairs carrying them when I used to store them in the attic… 😉 That’s what opened me up to collecting and mixing my china! A blessing in disguise!
Those H shelves are a clever idea for adding a shelf. No need to mess with those plastic shelf supports that often break off and require holes at various intervals. This looks great. Thanks for the ideas.
Thanks!! And yes, I agree this is a much easier solution.
You ask “how is this possible?” Well in my house the answer is short and not so sweet. I’d have to throw my husband out! Lol. The closet is gorgeous and I envy your space and of course that butlers pantry! I do manage to keep four sets of dinnerware but they can’t reside in one place. But we can dream…
Happy holidays, Lory.
I never had it that way before either… 😉 Maybe some day for you, too! (But don’t throw the hubby out!)
Thank you! I don’t know why I didn’t think of this! I have a closet set-up just like this. Its right off the kitchen and dining room. I have china and crystal on the upper shelves of my cupboards, and being only 5ft. tall it’s a pain getting it down.
My next project!
Perfect! I’m so glad you were inspired!!
Best idea I’ve seen in a long time. Thank you the timing is perfect! Not hard to guess what I am doing today…..
Haha! Enjoy!! And thanks… 🙂
Sometimes you just need a nudge to look at spaces with a fresh eye for new or better usage. Closets are often overlooked but what you have done is a very good idea!
Lory, that closet is a thing of beauty. Like all of your decor, it’s so ecstatically pleasing to the eye.
If someone is worried about stacking plates and damage, you can put felt between them.
So glad you appreciate it!
I love this idea. Well organized and beautiful. I love seeing all of your organization ideas. Blessings to you.
Thanks so much!
I also live in a townhouse and in my spare bedroom, I designated the 2 door clothes closet to be my “knick knack” closet. I took out the closet made system after a couple years and put in some metal storage shelves. It just made more sense to store my vases, pictures, flowers, candles and decorating items in a closet where I can see it all and organize it.
I like that you hang your tablecloths. I do the same with my curtain panels and shower curtains. I keep them in long garment bags and hang them behind the door in spare bedroom. It does make ironing them a lot easier. Your closet makeover is very inspiring.
Sounds like a great idea!! As soon as my kids empty their closets, I’ll be doing a lot more of that… 😉
Is the lavender in the dough bowl at top of closet real or artificial? If artificial, can you give me a link to purchase, as it looks so real. Lavender is my most favorite flower.
I enjoy your blog so very much. Than you for sharing each of your days with us.
Hi Belinda! The lavender is indeed artificial, but it was bought locally, so I don’t have a link. I use dried lavender a lot, as well, which is great because you have the added benefit of the lovely scent. Thank you so much for your kind words about the blog, as well!!
I LOVE this idea! I am going to transform some of my closets to be more functional. Thank you for the post and great ideas.
You are most welcome! I’m so glad you were able to get ideas from the post… 🙂