Closet & Door Updates: Small Storage Bench for Putting on Boots and Shoes

Welcome to the 458th Metamorphosis Monday!

So what do you think? This door was a struggle! I’ll spare you all the details, but here’s the final finish.

Door Stained to match Judges Paneling, Paneled Walls


This was the “Before” with a cat door that was no longer needed and the other side badly scratched up by a previous home-owners dog.



The new door was installed, and unfortunately cut too short by the installer. So sadly, it had to be replaced again. ~~~Big sigh~~~

Door Cut Too Short


The door now…it’s always tough when you’re trying to match to an existing stain, but I think it looks okay. What do you think?

It’s not really visible in these photos, but it turned out a good bit shinier than the surrounding walls. The painters used a “satin” sealer, not a high gloss sealer, so hopefully it will die down after a bit, at least they say it will. So glad to have this door replacement project complete!

Door Stained to Match Paneled Living Room Walls


A Comfortable Addition for Putting on Boots

Recently, I mentioned needing a bench or chair here in the closet for when I’m putting on boots, especially tall boots. My usual technique has been to flop down on the rug in the middle of the closet, pull the boot part way on, then stand up and while trying to balance (more like dancing and hopping) pull it the rest of the way on. There had to be a better way!

Boot and Shoe Storage


Last week I ordered this bench, it was just the size to fit inside this smallish closet.

Bench with storage, for putting on shoes and boots


Here’s where it ended up in the closet, just to the right as you enter in through the door.

Storage Bench for Small Closet for Putting on Boots


Those are scarves hanging toward the other side of the bench. I could move them to another closet, but they aren’t really in the way since there’s still plenty of room to sit on the bench.

The cushion is very comfortable. It’s quite dense, so it sits great–firm, not mushy, which is just what you need when putting on boots. This bench also turned out to be the perfect height for putting on boots. Was happy to see that since I’m only around 5′ 3″. #shortpeopleproblems

Small Bench for a Small Closet


There’s Always a Glitch. Always!

So since this is one of MY projects we’re talking about, you know there was a glitch! There’s always a glitch! I’d almost be worried if there wasn’t one! 😉

I assembled this entire bench, got to the very last step which is placing the cushion atop the bench, only to discover the cushion is sewn incorrectly. And of course it would be on the very front of the cushion where it’s totally noticeable. The back side of the cushion has a big, long zipper, so there’s no turning it around to hide the sloppy stitching.

I wasn’t about to take this whole thing back apart and box it up again. So I ordered a new bench and it arrived yesterday. Right there on the front porch, I opened the giant shipping box it came in, opened up the box the bench was in, removed the cushion from the box, checked to make sure it was okay (and it was) then put the defective cushion in the box and sealed both boxes back up. I completed the return at Amazon due to a defective cushion, and UPS will be picking it back up today.

Defective, Poorly Sewn Cushion


Here’s the new cushion…much better! It may only be a $60 bench tucked inside a closet that no one sees but me, but I still want it to look nice.

Firm Cushion with Removal Cover for a Small Bench


Here’s how I’m using all the storage bins. Starting on the far left, I’ve stashed away miscellanesous stuff like dust bags for shoes, some Ugg boots cleaning/protecting products, Cadillac Leather Conditoner (good stuff and available here) and a few small, beaded bags. The little cat bag is a Mary Frances bag that I purchased to carry lipstick and other small items inside larger handbags. I don’t use it very often though, the beading makes it quite heavy.

Storage Bin in Bench for Closet


You may remember this sweet Mary Frances bag I shared in a post many years ago. I still love this bag for evenings out when you only need space for a small wallet, lipstick and a phone. It actually holds a lot more than you would think. It’s a bit of a Mary Poppins bag, in that respect.

Mary Frances Handbag


The next bin over is currently storage for various pairs of gloves. I think I’ll move the small beaded bags over to this bin since there’s so much space in here.

Glove Storage Bin


And the final bin, the one closest to where I sit when putting on boots, is currently storing tall socks that work well with taller boots. I ordered these bins for the bench here: Bins.

Sock Storage Bin


I’m very happy with how this inexpensive bench has worked out. I didn’t want to spend a lot since this closet will most likely be ripped out if I ever renovate the master bath, something that definitely needs to be done. If you’re in need of a small bench, you’ll find this one in various colors/finishes here: Storage Bench.

Small Bench for a Small Closet


Since we’re talking closets, thought I’d share some little cedar thingies I added to several of the hangers in this closet. I started to just add them to the shirts/tops that are part wool, but the set came with so many, I ended up adding them to a lot of my flannel shirts and corduroy jacket hangers, too.

Cedar Insect Moth Repellent Rings for Hanger in Closet


This was the set I purchased. It comes with 72 pieces of cedar in a lot of different forms. There are blocks of cedar across the bottom, cedar shavings in the bags, little discs for hangers and little slabs of cedar that you can hang via the the wire hangers that screw into the top.

The set actually came with more than what you see here, I had already placed a lot of the round discs onto hangers before I thought to take a photo. You’ll find this assortment of cedar available here: Cedar Clothes Protectors.

Cedar Moth Insect Repellent for Closet, Hangers, Wool Sweaters & Coats


Removing Pilling From Wool and Cashmere Sweaters

Another item I keep meaning to mention in a post is this amazing little device. It’s a little shaver/comb for removing pills from sweaters. It works great on cashmere and wool sweaters.

The only sweaters I don’t use it on are the light-weight cardigans I’ve purchased from Talbots. It’s too easy to pick those, but it works great on thicker sweaters like cashmere and wool. It has completely renewed all my cashmere sweaters. They practically look like new now with no pills. It’s available here: Cashmere & Wool Comb.


I think I’m done with this closet for now. If you missed the previous post where I shared the start of this mini closet makeover, you’ll find it here: Hacking Shelves for a Mini Closet Update.

Storage Bench for Small Closet for Putting on Boots


Looking forward to all the great Before and Afters for this week’s Met Monday!

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Metamorphosis Monday

Metamorphosis Monday is a party that’s all about Before and Afters. If you are participating in Met Monday, please link up using the “permalink” to your MM post and not your general blog address.

To get your permalink, click on your post name, then just copy and paste the address that shows up in the address bar at the top of your blog, into the “url” box for InLinkz.

In order to link up, you’ll need to include a link in your MM post back to the party so the other participants will have an opportunity to receive visits from your wonderful blog readers.

Please observe these few rules:

Please link up Before and After posts that are home, gardening, decorating, crafting, painting, sewing, cooking, fashion or DIY related.

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  1. Thanks so much for the party!!

  2. Great closet and super organized. I live in a 1920s cottage by the beach. Closets were not important back then…at least not in my neighborhood. Frankly, neither were bathrooms. My master bath is probably smaller than your closet! 😉 And not nearly as organized. Nice job!

    • Who cares about closets when there’s a beach outside! 🙂 Thanks, Kim!

      • Susan, Your cashmere & wool comb recommendation is soo appreciated! I had just spent over an hour with a sweater shaver on my daughter’s “absolutely favorite” wool sweater. Will be using it immediately on my cashmere sweaters. The new door looks perfect from the pic. PS: I had been looking for a small bench to put beside my garage door where we keep shoes to walk in & work shoes. Once again you have come to the rescue. It looks so much neater now!

  3. Your door turned out great, and I like the closet bench. After the garage storage units, porch benches, and patio furniture, you’re a pro at ordering, using the pieces needed, and returning the unopened portions – genius! I have some of those cedar circles – I feel like you’re going to like the shavings best – like lavender sachets, you can squish them for increased release of the natural oil fragrance/deterrent. The discs, it seems, lose their scent, and the only option seems to be a light sanding. #notimeforthat
    Lots of garden work going on here….gettin’ ‘er done!
    Have a great week, and thank you for inviting us in.

    • I think I could hire myself now as an assembly guy. lol
      Interesting! My sister had a cedar closet and I love the way it smelled. Good luck with your garden work, Rita!

  4. Nice job on the closet…..bench was a good choice. The door
    Spooks nice. What project is next?

    • Thanks, Mary! I think I’ll wait until after Christmas to start anything new. I do have a new tree to assemble, so that will keep me busy for a bit.

  5. I love your organizational skills, your suggested ideas and the beauty of the outcome. I have trouble “staying on task.” Wish I had someone like you to get me straightened out. Ha

    • Thanks, Joy! I know it’s hard sometimes. Usually what keeps me going is envisioning how it’s going to look & function when it’s done. If I can keep that vision in my head, that really helps…that and I think I’m just hardheaded. lol

  6. Gee, Susan, that bench fits so well it looks like you had it built in! It’s a perfect addition to your closet. Like Scarlett O’Hara once said, “I’m pea green with envy”(over the size of your closet)! You’ve really inspired me to get to my closet and at least start purging and making it organized now that we’re into a new season. Thanks for sharing.

    • Thanks, Rosie! That photo is a bit deceiving. I don’t have the bench pushed all the way into the corner, so there’s about 4-5 more inches at that other end of the bench. It is a pretty good fit, though. One thing I’ve noticed, having it so organized is making me keep it that way. It’s a lot easier to do that when you have a place for everything.

  7. Thanks for the link-up Susan. I recently added some cedar in our closets too… But I installed some planks. A little more involved, but really makes the whole closet smell wonderful. Liz

  8. Jane Franks says

    Hi Susan! I think the door looks great. I admire your perseverance. Also the closet bench is terrific. What a great fit. You must have measured carefully! That cushion would have bothered me, too. Well done on replacing and returning the old one! What a great idea to just switch out the cushion and send back the new bench with the old cushion! That’s a great tip to remember! Thanks! Jane xo

  9. The door turned out quite nice. I know shinier than walls would bother me too, but it looks good in the photo. Such a perfect fit with that bench. The beaded cat bag is so cute; it needs to be displayed somehow. On a closet wall in a shadowbox type of frame? I have a battery powered “shaver” for sweaters. Have you used those? Is the comb better?

    • I have one of those, too…but I find it doesn’t work as well on some of my sweaters. So I use a combination of both. With the battery operated one, I have to pressed down on the sweater pretty firmly to get it to work. With the little comb, you just rake it over the sweater. I was shocked how well it worked the first time I used it.

  10. The door is beautiful! When you look back at the old one with the cat door…oh my what we do for our pets! Wondering if the cushion looked the same if you flipped it top to bottom or is the bottom not the same material? On line shopping has become my thing. I just returned something FedEx by dropping the package off at a pickup point. Checked out the cedar closet accessories and ordered them…seemed like a good deal for $13. Wondering if you’ll like giving up that closet if and when you do remodel. You’ve made it into something really handy for shoes and what goes with them!

    • lol I know! It wasn’t as painful having the cat door installed as it might of been since the other side had been damaged pretty badly by the previous owner’s dog. It feels good, though to get that replaced and get rid of the old door.
      Hope you like them, Kathleen! I really like how much variety came in that box, great for all the places we like to store sweaters and such.
      I know, I bet I’ll miss it, but I really want to enlarge the bath as much as I can. The master bath is really small in this house. I have a larger closet space on the other end of the master bedroom where a previous homeowner cut an opening into the next door bedroom and turned that into a dressing area/closet space. It could be better organized/designed though…yet another project! lol

      • Yes! If you incorporate what you’ve done here into the other space you’ll be staying awhile after you put your boots on just admiring the organization!! LOL Always good to have a project going! I’ll let you know about the cedar.

  11. The door looks great! Your closet looks great too. Just goes to show you can get a custom look for not a lot of money. I am looking forward to your Christmas Tree too. I always get a Frasier Fur tree, I love the shape, smell and space for ornaments!

    • Thanks, Charlotte! I need to paint the walls in there, that hasn’t been done since the home was built, I’m sure. But hate to take the time to do it when it will all get ripped out when I renovate the bath.

  12. perfecto on the door and if you ever do the master bath redo … you could always put the bench in the basement by the door or even by the back door by the garage.

    Decorate on girl.

  13. You had me at bench…however…now, it’s “pill puller!!” Luv the storage!! franki

  14. Wow…LOTS of good stuff here today! I have kept a bench in my closet for about 10 years now, although I generally dress in my dressing room where all my shoes are. The one in the closet has worked out great during my numerous shoulders when I couldn’t stand for very long. Benches are a godsend! Sorry you had a glitch in the system, but you were smart to resolve it the way you did!!! I so agree that it needs to be right even if you are the only one who will see it. You PAID for it, so it needs to be right! As for the door, it looks fantastic!!! I wasn’t able to tell a difference at all, and that’s something I’m real skittish about. I’d say they did a good job. Enjoy!

  15. Susan
    The bench fits perfectly, looks as though it was built in.
    Great storage!

  16. I am taking notes, Susan. You deserve the most organized award!

  17. Oh Susan, WOW! You’ve done it again! That $60 closet bench looks like you had it custom made just for that spot – looks expensive and amazing!

    Your new door is lovely – matches perfectly and looks as if it was always the door there. : – )

    You have amazing clothes and boots and such, my dear. You were it well.

    Have a fabulous week!

  18. Great bench addition to your closet (closet envy here). Thanks for your Before and After party, I actually had a post to match !

  19. Wow Susan,
    that bench seems to have been made to fit to the exact millimeter in your closet, but how did they know? 🙂 I love how tidy, clear and “time-saving” your closet is but then I know you have never had a “Monica Geller” closet, have you? lol
    Glad for you the door looks great again and I love, love, love that Mary Poppins/Mary Frances bag! So beautiful and feminine! ♥
    ~Hugs to you~

  20. Susan, I think the stain on the door is a great match. It looks like it was always there. Great idea for the little bench, and great idea to order another one to replace the defective cushion. Thanks for hosting.

  21. I have that same bag Susan! I used to collect unique bags and hung them in our master bedroom. That was another lifetime ago, but I still love them and think they’re little works of art.

    The bench looks like it was custom made for your closet, and the door looks perfect. All’s well that ends well :).

  22. If you are bugged by the finish on the door you could use some very fine steel wool on it…do a tiny test sample on the back side. closet bench is perfect.

  23. Great job Susan, both on the door and the bench seat! I hope you realize what blessing you are (at least to me) as you have just given me another idea (the ‘closet’ cedar) for my Daughter’s Xmas stocking/sack as after fourty years of filling one, needless to say I am running out of ideas as I normally pick a theme and go with it. So, thank you so much. Warm hugs -Brenda-
    P.S.: As I also have the tradition of anyone who joins us at our Xmas Dinner table gets ‘a gift from the elves’; all the ladies will be getting one of the purse dividers that you so highly recommended. As for the men; I am still working on that one. Any ideas? SMILES!

  24. Your closet and your new door look great! I recently did a mini closet makeover, and it has definitely inspired me to keep it neat and organized. If something comes in, something must go out. 😀 Thanks for the party this morning!

  25. Cyndi Raines says

    Door looks great, glad you insisted on getting the correct length. Love the bench and the no mistake cushion, will remember the”switch-er-roo” trick for future issues. I ordered those 3 canvas cubbies and I love them, great price too. I’m mentally gearing up for my closet update after the holidays. Thanks Susan!

  26. Thank you, Susan. I needed a sweater comb and you did the work for me. I can always count on you! Great stocking stuffer for my daughters too.

  27. I always enjoy reading about your MMs! I also liked seeing the Mary Francis bags, they are so neat!

    Thanks for hosting!


  28. I love the closet upgrade! The space seems much bigger and way more useful now. Thanks for sharing the ideas!

  29. Susan, Your door looks wonderful. Your closet is nothing short of glorious!! In my dreams, I have a closet like yours! So beautifully done. Although I’ve been keeping up with you on Instagram it has been forever since I’ve had a chance to link up something of mine with you, so I am super grateful for you and your party. And, Over-the-moon to be here with you. I hope you are enjoying a wonderful week!
    Hugs and gratitude,

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