Thursday, May 24, 2012

My get rich quick idea for Sweden - California Closets

So you want to move to Sweden but don't have a job, or you are an immigrant who has been searching for work for ages, but to no avail. Here is my big tip to you. Start a California Closet type organization building and designing interiors of closets.


Swedes don't know anything about built-in closets. Oh sure, they may know IKEA. But every single apartment I have ever lived in, in Sweden, has had terrible closets.

1) The hanging baskets - I cannot explain how much I hate the stupid useless hanging baskets that seem to be a must in every Swedish apartment. Even my large walk in closet had a special closet full of hanging baskets. These baskets are pointless because they can never bear as much weight as they look like - ie. big drawers can maybe hold 5 sweaters before they start to sag. They also fall off their runners every time you try to open them. Seriously, for ages, The Swede and I spent mornings going 'Oh shit' every time we tried to get dressed. The hanging baskets are awful.

2) The deep and wide shelves - in many closets, above the hanging baskets are these exceedingly deep shelves that are practically too deep to use. You put your clothes in them and never see them again. I need to totally revolve my wardrobe every month or so, otherwise it would be gone.

3) The tiny, light weight hanging pole - There is usually a tiny area where you can hang your clothes. Usually I am more of a folder, but due to lack of smart folding storage, I have become more of a hanger. The problem? There is never enough room. The pole is too short, the hanging drawer space is too big.

But I don't want a bureau, I have a closet that takes up the entire side of my room. There is enough space there, but it is totally worthlessly designed.

We have solved the problem by taking the hanging baskets and placing them in the deep shelves. That way you can pull out the drawer and see what is in the back. We bought a small chest of drawers, that can actually bear weight and doesn't fall apart every time you open it, and put it where the hanging drawers were.

It isn't pretty but it is functional. So seriously, there has to be a huge market for functional and pretty.

I know you are probably wondering why, if this is such a brilliant idea, I haven't taken it on myself.

That is because you don't want me anywhere near your closets. Trust me. I am a terrible designer and organizer. Closet organizer as a career is an absolute worst fit for me. But when I am no longer renting, I might be happy to hire one (if we have any budget left over).


  1. How many apartements would that be? I have lived in a few myself, in Stockholm, and have never had those problems.

  2. I'm on apartment number 6 at the moment - and they range in age from 1960s apartments to 1990s apartments if that helps....

  3. Thanks for the idea! haha :D

    You've definitely identified the major problems most people - in Sweden and beyond - experience with poorly designed closets: under-utilized space, too-deep shelving and flimsy rods or baskets.

    Your DIY fix sounds very smart. You might want to consider some additional accessories to further organize your belongings, such as shelf dividers, hooks and a valet rod.

    Thanks again for the mention! I loved reading your analysis of the closet situation - if we ever expand into Europe, we'll be sure to consider Sweden ;)

    ~ Melissa

  4. We moved into a house in Thailand 4 months ago and I suspect the closets are from Ikea too because they have those horrible baskets too! I had never seen them before.

  5. Oh, I can so relate. I absolutely hate the baskets in my closets too!

  6. So true!! I think that older houses have better solutions in their walk in closets. When we've lived on the countryside in older houses they have great spaces och solid bars for hanging etc, somehow I belive that this has to do with people wearing thicker sweaters, furs etc back then.

  7. I don´t know. I never liked the wire shelves that are found in almost every American closet. They are just as bad as the Swedish wire baskets. I want proper shelves and plenty of space to hang stuff. We tore out all those wire shelves in the American closets and bought good shelves at IKEA in Atlanta.

  8. We solved the problem by buying ridiculously expensive Italian wardrobes from Poliform. But they are worth every single ├Âre, so incredibly beautiful and best quality ever. I would never waste money in crappy ikea, I leave that to patriotic Swedes.