Tween Wardrobe Makeover

This post is sponsored by Howards Storage World

My beautiful Miss 10 (soon to be 11) is growing so very quickly, she thankfully has her dad’s genes as she is already the same height as me.  I imagine all my kids will tower over me in merely a few years.

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Last year I reorganised the kids wardrobes, they are all functioning fine, except for Miss 10’s.  There were a few reasons her wardrobe was no longer suitable for her.

  1. I try to stand by my ‘perfectly imperfect’ standard, however Miss 10 struggles with keeping her room and drawers tidy and needed a different solution
  2. She is growing up and now wears beautiful long dresses that didn’t fit properly in her wardrobe
  3. The top of her wardrobe was hard for me to reach and keep tidy.  It had become a dumping zone
  4. I wanted to create a little area for her jewellery and skin care


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Before she returns back to school I want her wardrobe to be functional, to store winter items tidily away, to be practical for a growing girl, easy for her to keep it tidy and have an area for her jewels.  The current wardrobe set up was basic, but didn’t suit the changes I had in mind.  My lovely brother-in-law helped me to remove the shelf at the top of the cupboard so I could then design a modular system to fit the wardrobe. Removing the shelf wasn’t too much hard work, then we had to patch up and paint the wall

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I measured up the wardrobe and had a basic idea of how I wanted this area to function.  The team at my local Howards Storage World were really helpful and helped me to design a functional space.  Shelving was suggested for the whole wardrobe, but knowing my Miss 10, it’s hard for her to keep clothing on shelves tidy.  I preferred to have drawers so even if it does get messed up it is still organised within the drawer and much easier for her to find what she needs. I found in her previous wardrobe if she wanted a pair of shorts at the bottom of the pile, a few of the shorts would end up on the ground and then I would be confused if they were clean or dirty.  With the drawers at least the clean items will all stay in the drawer.  I’m not overly fussy on having to have all the items in the drawers neatly folded (it would be preferred), but at least they are organised together.

The beauty of using the Elfa Shelving is once the back panels are in place you can simply swap, change or add in additional shelves and hanging space whenever needed, really you are only limited to your imagination. Plus this system is not just limited to the wardrobe, you could use it in the office or garage too!  Pop in store and one of their friendly staff would be happy to sit with you and design your new organised space.

This is the design I ended with (find more ideas here)

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Now the shell of the wardrobe was in, I could start filling it up, this is the fun part!!

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I am so pleased with how this has turned out, this will be so much easier for her to keep tidy. The spare hanging storage above her lego and barbie is for her school uniforms (which for privacy I have removed from the photo).

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This wardrobe does have doors, I have just removed them for the purpose of taking the photos to show you the full wardrobe space

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At the top of her wardrobe she has her winter quilt set and blanket, along with her winter clothes in two of the toy storage boxes and in the other two boxes she is keeping her treasured items

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In these storage totes I have put her sleep over items such as a pillow cover, make up bag which has a hairbrush, hair ties, soap, sunscreen etc. Another tote stores swimmers and the other has her hairdryer and straightener.  Now that she is in her tween years her skin is changing and she needs to look after it keeping it clean and moisturised.  At the moment she is using products from Avon’s Clearskin range, tidily stored in the 5 compartment organiser.

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I love this little space that she can clean her face, apply moisturiser, store her perfumes and jewellery


Cotton Pad Dispenser keeps the cotton pads tidy and dust free, bling mirror so she can see her face, necklace holder for her jewels and earring screen for her ever growing collection.

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I upgraded her coat hangers from the kids size to adult size, this way none of her clothes should slip off the hangers.

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This hook feature at the end of the shelf will keep all her belts and bags tidy and off the floor

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Her short folded in her drawers, hopefully like this she can just pull up which one she wants and it will stay tidy.  But as I said above, if it does become messy at least it’s confined to a drawer and still looks tidy when the drawer is closed.

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Underwear, singlets, crop tops and socks in the drawers.  I have never paired socks together.  Instead I make sure I buy the kids plain white socks for school, same brand, no colour so they can be easily matched up.  This saves so much time when putting away the washing.

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I am really pleased with how this wardrobe has come together and so far Miss 10 has kept it spotless and she is now remembering to look after her skin with her new little jewels and skin care station.

The total price of this Elfa System was $1,261.

Disclaimer:  This post is sponsored by Howards Storage World, coordinated by Nuffnang and run in accordance with my disclosure policy.

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Marina January 6, 2014 - 7:40 AM

Such a practical makeover 🙂 Love the butterfly earrings holder. We are about to makeover Miss (will be) 8 yr’s room for her birthday next week. I was in a muddle about her wardrobe, but you’ve given me some fabulous ideas 🙂 Thanks 🙂

Claire January 6, 2014 - 8:23 AM

That looks fantastic – do you know if you can install a similar system without removing the top shelf? We are about to build a house and we’re having those top shelves installed. Thanks so much for your ideas!

Trouble_Kat January 6, 2014 - 8:49 AM

You certainly can, you just buy shorter uprights… also be aware that this post is sponsored – there are other similar options available out there!

Katrina January 6, 2014 - 5:14 PM

Yes you don’t have to remove the top shelf, it just means you have to work around the design with the current shelf in mind.

Katrina January 6, 2014 - 5:15 PM

Hi Claire, you can design the whole thing yourself and make it as high as you need. The team instore can help you with the design, I also got some ideas via the Elfa System Catalogue. There are also so many great add ons which would be suitable for your wardrobe, shoe racks, jewellery storage etc.

Emma February 16, 2016 - 12:08 PM

A couple of years ago I got a double hanging rail from Howards. It’s adjustable, it had two hooks and then large eyelets to adjust where you want it. You could also adjust the length of the pole.

Trouble_Kat January 6, 2014 - 8:53 AM

The difference is amazing! I couldn’t afford to change master 4’s cupboard (or mine) yet, so I have put up with the shelving that was already there, and added an extra hanging rod that attaches to the high rod, now his out of season clothes go on the top rod and the in season clothes go on the bottom!
Can’t wait to afford to do a proper set up in my own cupboard!!

Joni Ibarra January 6, 2014 - 12:33 PM

Our daughters are the same age & I have the same dillemma. Thanks for the inspiration!

Katrina January 6, 2014 - 5:12 PM

Hope it helps Joni, my Miss is loving her new space and it’s stayed tidy!!

AlyceB January 6, 2014 - 3:42 PM

What a fabulous new space! I bet you have one very happy tween on your hands!

Jacqui January 6, 2014 - 6:39 PM

Could you give us some idea of how much this system would cost? I’d like to do something similar in my wardrobe!

Karen O'Sullivan January 7, 2014 - 9:55 AM

just from looking at their site I’d allow at least $1000. probably do it much cheaper sourcing items from discount stores etc

Anna January 6, 2014 - 7:13 PM

I would be happy if Miss just 9’s wardrobe looked like your before pic! She “cleaned” her room the other day – the room looked amazing, the wardrobe, not so much lol.

Karen O'Sullivan January 7, 2014 - 9:54 AM

Looks great but did the poor girl really need you to share her undies on the internet.

Justine Saidman January 7, 2014 - 9:59 AM

Personally I’m not an Elfa fan. I did, however, buy some awesome drawer organisers from Ikea which have worked wonders in my incredibly untidy twin girls’ drawers! I used them for separating underwear into socks, undies and then a box for pjs and then the girls also have another one for leggings and other bits and pieces. My girls chose their own colours for these organisers which ensures that they know which is their drawer.

You’re lucky that your daughter is tall! My girls are on the short side so they would never manage to reach a high rail in the cupboard, but I love the way that you have separated things out on different rungs. It makes perfect sense!

Katrina January 7, 2014 - 10:43 AM

Sorting makes it so much easier for them to find things and put them away again when clean, love the sound of your wardrobe, sounds very organised! Yes, my daughter certainly has her fathers gene when it comes to her height, Miss Tween and her twin brother are both the same height as me.

Julia K January 7, 2014 - 11:07 AM

I found SHOES to be a real problem with my girls. I ended up going with the acrylic shoe cubes from Howards. Both my girls have a little alcove in the end of their wardrobes and the shoe cubes fit in neatly. They stack so you can build the shoe cubby tower as tall as you need to accommodate however many shoes they have. They weren’t the cheapest of things to buy, but I considered it an investment in my sanity as I LOATHE seeing shoes lying about. It is SO much easier to keep things organised if everything has a home.

Katrina January 7, 2014 - 11:39 AM

Your right Julia, everything needs to have a home, it’s the key to keeping it all tidy. I keep all our shoes in the garage in a shelving system, here is a post I shared quite a while ago

1ofthzoo January 7, 2014 - 3:57 PM

Wow that is so funny, we just went to Bunnings to do the same thing with our ten year old’s room, so project is underway. a great tip to save on painting if you don’t want to repaint is to use the decals – ebay has some great finds to brighten up the walls. And Jacqui, its not very expensive, depending on how many draws/shelves you put in, you are only looking on average $150.00 to $200.00. Bunnings has some great tips, and even some graph paper to draw a sketch model up to fit your desired layout. Great fun!

Amanda January 23, 2014 - 10:52 PM

I love the way you have folded the shorts, that way she can see them all without destroying the pile! Going to use this tip for Master 7!!! Out of interest, did you remove the top wire shelf (as pictured in the top 2 pics of new design)? Just wondered what its purpose was? Or is it needed for the structural integrity of the system?

Tisia Sims July 30, 2014 - 6:52 AM

I’m going to be getting my 8 year old granddaughter soon. Thank you for the suggestions.

Katrina July 30, 2014 - 12:59 PM

Happy it has been able to help you Tisia 🙂

Lime & Mortar July 30, 2014 - 7:11 AM

What a lucky daughter. You’ve made a fantastic tween wardrobe

jjoanne July 30, 2014 - 1:40 PM

Beautiful work. I saw on alejandra costello’s Page that she lays the plastic IKEA shelf protector on the shelf where you have her jewellery etc to make it more stable and things don’t fall through. I thought that was a great idea.

Katrina July 30, 2014 - 3:34 PM

That is a great idea, I do have the plastic matting over the area with the jewellery which makes it a solid type shelf, elfa make a version that fits perfectly 🙂 Might have to go look at alejandra’s page 🙂

Alex July 30, 2014 - 1:56 PM

Hey Guys ?
I know this post is sponsored by Howards (as much as I love them!) But if you go to Store & Order (formerly Store) they have their own ‘home brand’ which works with all the Elfa range. You can use that for all the basics, then if there are any specific drawers (e.g. pant rails) the Elfa slots right in ?

Alex July 30, 2014 - 1:59 PM

Sorry, just to follow up, that’s exactly what I’ve done, with an 1900mm wide space, after putting in all of the drawers (8) shelves (6) pant rails and hanging rails, it ended up costing about $1,500-$2,500 (I did it all in stages, and I splurged a little on the birch finish for the drawers as it’s an open space!)

Katrina July 30, 2014 - 3:32 PM

The birch would be a really lovely finish Alex!

Ellie May 8, 2015 - 7:58 PM

Hi! Just wondering where you got the shelving in the before pic!
Looking for something similar for my wardrobe and have struck out!

Thank youu

Katrina - The Organised Housewife May 11, 2015 - 8:38 AM

Hi Ellie, I got everything from Howards Storage World. The were fantastic and we are so very happy with how it all turned out.

Heather August 18, 2015 - 6:42 AM

Where do I find the drawers and accessories? I love this idea my daughter’s room is small and this would be perfect.

Katrina - The Organised Housewife August 18, 2015 - 8:22 AM

Hi Heather, all the links to each product is in the post, but you can find most of this at Howards Storage World.

Donna February 16, 2016 - 1:59 PM

May I suggest the very narrow felt hangers you can purchase from BigW (I also got some from Roni’s!). They make a substantial difference to the number of items you can fit in the wardrobe, as well as the fact that silky things never slip off!

Donna February 16, 2016 - 1:59 PM

May I suggest the very narrow felt hangers you can purchase from BigW (I also got some from Roni’s!). They make a substantial difference to the number of items you can fit in the wardrobe, as well as the fact that silky things never slip off!

Gesina September 23, 2016 - 11:07 AM

Your wardrobe looks lovely. I recently did my daughter’s wardrobe. 2 girl’s 1 wardrobe. Very small budget we used clear plastic containers and put labels on the front to help girls find their clothes. Its not perfect but much tidier.

Ruth February 14, 2017 - 2:40 PM

Hi. I realise this is an old post but you wouldn’t have any photos of the wardrobe with the doors on? We have quite small wardrobes sliding doors but when the door is open you can only access 1/2 the wardrobe. I’d just like to see some photos of wardrobes with doors on to see what the space inside looks like & how it is accessed.

Sarah April 6, 2019 - 1:39 PM

Hello, I realise this is a while ago now, but cld u please say how deep the 2 lots of drawers r in this set.
Thank you

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