As a male living with a female in a two person, two pet household I'm facing a challenge, likely well known by many. This familiar challenge involves an apparent disparity in closet and clothing storage space between myself and my spouse.

Never mind the fact that our 1880s home was built with only a single original hallway closet, as a theoretic lack of closet space is quite expected. No, my friends, we remedied that little issue through the construction of a large closet wall in our master bedroom.

However, upon completion of said "awesome major closet" project, both the middle and right closet space were commandeered by the Queen of our household. At the time I was told she was exercising her rights to eminent domain over the middle closet. Though I had initially expected the space to be a shared area, it had been seized in its entirety, in the name of homeland security of the shoe and purse storage kind.

When I asked how to fight this decision, I was told, "Sorry kid, nothing you can do, it's just the way it is, and it's best to accept and move on." It was a bitter pill, I assure you.

Relegated to the single closet, many males might feel this to be a sufficient area for storage of their few articles of clothing, but I'm not most males. I have an extensive collection of button down shirts, jeans, pants, sweaters, undershirts, graphic tees, and loud patterned socks that cannot easily be held by a lone double closet. Many might be ashamed of this admission, but I embrace my novelty collection of clothing.

With the closet argument settled through a decidedly one sided debate, my closet storage thoughts turned to the coveted drawer real estate in our single bedroom dresser. Perhaps, if I couldn't have the middle closet, I could take up residence in the majority of the dresser?

And, perhaps, if I held my breath long enough, space kittens shooting rainbow lasers would show up to defend my honor in this storage war. Yeah, quite unlikely.

Would you be surprised if I told you that, with no help from space kittens, and through extensive treaty negotiations and the use of a group of powdered wig arbiters of questionable qualifications, I was permitted to occupy two drawers of our our six drawer dresser?

Would you then continue your surprise if I let you know that the two drawers I was permitted just happened to be the two upper half drawers, each occupying less than half of the space of a single of the other five drawers? No, I didn't think you'd be surprised at all.

I had just one more minor skirmish to fight in the battle of the drawers. Though it might not have been in our master bedroom, a final dresser resides in our guest bedroom. I submitted a request for the required drawers through the proper channels, but was unfortunately denied on the grounds of, you guessed it, national security. What was I going to say? I couldn't find that sort of sound logic.

As a gesture of good faith, the drawer allocation department granted me a single large drawer in this Siberian tundra of clothing storage, so far from the mainland of our bedroom that I'd have a three day ride on a mule just to retrieve a pair of pants.

Fast forward several years from the Closet-Gate and Drawer-Water drama that ensued, and my closet storage situation is in a sad state.

My underwear and sock storage, in the top two half dresser drawers, has far exceeded maximum capacity. We've actually reached a point where the drawers are essentially unable to close. I believe it's out of some lack of desire or laziness on the part of the drawers, my spouse feels I've simply added too many items. This debate rages on.

What I do know is that some socks have gone missing, separated from their pair, and we don't know who or what is to blame. Several of the other socks have organized search parties, posting "Missing" photos among the underwear in the neighboring drawers. It truly breaks my heart to see it.

And the single back dresser, some dozen timezones and a jump across the international dateline away, that drawer has begun to experience the inevitable erosion that often occurs in spousal land disagreements. After traveling a full fortnight to reach the locale, I opened the large drawer only to find a portion had become inhabited by some artwork, household over-the-counter medication, and a band of traveling minstrels.

Though my tales thus far have been of the downtrodden and abused, all of this changed over the last several days, as a long promised bit of clothing storage real estate just jumped up and changed the game.

If you'll recall our tale of dresser refinishing from several months ago, we transformed a donated and dated oak dresser with our sights on turning this piece of furniture into a permanent fixture in our eventual bathroom closet.

Well, it is with great excitement that I'd like to report that the dresser is permanently in the building! I even took my socks on a pre-run of their new friendly confines before securing the dresser top.

After sliding the dresser into its forever home, we affixed the perfectly fitted top with several hidden screws and looked upon this feat of engineering with great anticipation and exceedingly high hopes. 

The dreams of an organized closet for the XY chromosome in our house rested squarely on the broad shoulders of this otherwise diminutive dresser. However, before we'd be able to fit this corner piece of our puzzle of clothing wrangling, there was a significant piece of flare missing from the rather bland innards of the dresser drawers.

What with their wood on wood tones, the rough textures of the drawer bottoms were practically screaming out for something colorful and exciting so loudly that they were keeping us up at night. "Please, please, give us some macaroni, some flare, something to be the peacock of your wardrobe repository! We simply can't compete with the glorious stained oak of your closet, but we feel we must at lease give it the old college try!"

Unable to deny these drawers at least an attempt at their rightful place as my calvary of couture, I began searching for that perfect drawer liner that would scream out "I'm not in the least bit concerned with an outward show of masculinity!" In fact, I'm so secure in my manhood, I might even consider a drawer liner of Care Bears, and My Little Pony. Sadly, this hasty selection of a drawer liner based on classic cartoon characters would only make me appear to be a Brony, which is sort of really creepy, and would undermine my ability to show my gender security.

Instead, after extensive internal debate (the only debates I tend to win at roughly 50% in our household) I chose this lovely plaid with a calming "ocean" scent...that actually smelled a bit more like perfume spritzed on some plaid paper. Weird, I know.

I carefully fitted the terribly cute drawer liners, which happened to be about one half inch short of the full drawer width, into the base of each drawer. In my whirlwind of emotion I brainstormed several different ways to ensure a near perfect fit of drawer liners. I considered creating a template from multiple sheets of paper, I thought of using a quick tape border layout and cardboard, and I even considered carefully tracing out each line from the bottoms of the drawers.

That's when I realized all I really needed to do was to put each liner in, crease it in the back, and then use a razor knife to cut along the seam. How can I even over analyze how to go about trimming my super cute ocean scented plaid drawer liners? I think I might have a problem.

Through perseverance and methodical repetition of my finely tuned and expertly honed process, I was able to successfully fit each of my five drawers with the pastel primping they so desperately required.

The loading of my dresser was more ceremonial and circumstance than a quick transfer of clothes. Each item placed in the drawers was done so with a deliberate purpose that allowed the shirts, socks, and underwear to truly grasp the magnitude of the situation they were experiencing. At least it appeared Mel completely understood!

We had to lay several of the outdated clothing articles to rest in our "to be donated" pile. Each received a brief moment of silence from the small collection of Nationals and Indians jerseys in the closet. A special pause was paid to my two Cleveland Browns jerseys, each with a player's name and number that are no longer with the team.

After all was said and done, my previously overstuffed closet with a veritable mountain of misfit clothes littering the floor, was sorted, thinned, categorized, and ready to be be tucked away in their new home. Their new home that was completely ready with excellent drawer liners.

I even found an unopened package of awesome socks just waiting for the day the new drawers were ready. Well, socks, today is the day. Your time has come.

The best news, my most commonly accessed morning clothing items (we're talking briefs, undershirts, and socks) are all neatly tucked away in the bathroom closet. This will allow me, as an earlier riser than my lovely spouse and canine companion, to find my necessary clothing implements in a well lit area away from their deadly bleary-eyed stares. All of my selection will occur while they remain soundly asleep in the darkened bedroom, away from the noise and turmoil typically associated with riffling through clanky drawers of an antique dresser in search of "those purple, magenta, and yellow socks in the camouflage pattern that will go perfectly with my outfit today!" Oh the drama.

I know it's only a matter of time until my bathroom dresser drawers begin to feel the pinch of an unexpected land grab from one of the members of our household. And whether it's the ouster of my neatly folded workout shirts in exchange for a brilliantly colored collection of scarves, or the jettison of my socks in order to accommodate Lulu's vast collection of toys, I will appreciate every moment of this expanded bit of clothing storage to the fullest.

I mean, it's not everyday that a guy can be giddy about a little extra storage for his clothes. But when you've been waiting for it for years, have refinished the dresser where they'll live, and have even gone to great lengths to use salvaged lengths of painted pine flooring for that perfectly rustic yet polished look, you can usually get a moment of two or joy without requiring the sometimes prerequisite sideways glance.

How would you react to an extra dresser of storage? Is it "no big deal" in your world of ample space? Or do you have the same issue with limited clothes storage and a partner that constantly Bogarting your territory? 

Comments 25


8/22/2014 at 6:53 PM

Wow, you just made me realize how few clothes I have, lol!! Of course I work at home and I'm in Texas so it's mainly shorts and tanks. You have a lot of clothes my friendAlt smile


HAH! It's a mix of never getting rid of old clothes, and always seeing new stuff I like. It's a bit of a sickness, especially with socks.

8/22/2014 at 9:36 PM

This post made me laugh out loud! My husband and I battled over a small walk-in closet when we moved into our house. I did end up with 2 of the 3 walls and I mapped out organizers to fit my clothing perfectly. But I must ask--Do you really have that many pairs of jeans?! I think you have more than meAlt smile


Yeah, that many jeans. It's pretty ridiculous. I just went through a bunch of them that I'll be donating. All very boot cut, and not the slim/tapered look is in. I <3 jeans.

Carol g
8/22/2014 at 9:38 PM

Ha! I always forget you're an Tribe fan!


Love them! Always have, always will (sometimes regrettably). I was keeping my fingers crossed for the wildcard for them, but it's not looking good. At least the Nats are doing really well.

8/22/2014 at 10:58 PM

Your socks are awesome. Can you give my husband some style tips? He refuses to wear a collared shirt except to weddings and even then not always. We had the battle over closets as well. It was especially bad because i owned the house before he moved in so i had already filled the closets!


I'm only a recent adoptee of the collared shirt. For the longest time I didn't like them but it was because I was getting them in the wrong size. Once I started getting them two and sometimes three sizes smaller, and I started rolling the sleeves a few times, I felt better and starting shopping for them.

8/23/2014 at 7:50 AM

My metro friend would turn green with envy at your awesome sock collection, bravo good sir.


Hah, thanks! I have to hold myself back from buying more.

8/23/2014 at 1:16 PM

I have only my clothes to house but totally understand your dresser joy. And really envy all of your closet space. My apartment somehow has even less space than you have been allotted.


Now that we have all of this space, I always wonder how we made due with so much less in the past.

8/23/2014 at 5:51 PM

lol! I am sure there is a support group out there somewhere for you probably meet in a closet somewhere...assuming that your respective wives have left you enough room to have your meetings in said closet! That dresser fits that little nook perfectly and looks so good with the new flooring!


Hah! Gives new meaning to being in the closet. A support group for men whose closets are simply too small.

You're right about the dresser. It's not coming out of that closet any time soon.

8/25/2014 at 3:03 PM

You need those itty-bitty velvet hangers. They are lighter and slimmer, allowing more clothes to jam into your closet (albeit, less attractive than wood hangers - I had to jump that hurdle too).

Because they are lighter, your closet is less likely to implode under its own weight. Win-win!


There's something about wood hangers I just prefer, I don't know why. I'll haver to ponder this change for some time. Maybe let Wendy go first, she still uses the green college style hangers.

The bar we put in when we built the closet is heavy duty thick wall tubing, and the closet itself is all oak, so very strong. I was planning ahead, that's for sure.

Franki Parde
8/26/2014 at 5:32 PM

I use the "itty-bitty" velvet hangers now...what a difference...glad to see a metal's all about the slide!! franki


Absolutely, it's the closet "feel" I prefer.

8/26/2014 at 11:06 PM

I had the same issue with my husband and we finally opted last year for room-wide closet with a huge sliding door. We made in on measure in France (we live there)and just tailored to our needs. Well guess what, we've got 5 times more room than before but I still find socks sometimes under the bed or right by the closet..; )

8/27/2014 at 2:10 PM

Your post made me laugh out loud at work! (I think it was the 'missing posters' from your underware drawer.)

When W moved into my tiny first house (yes, a house smaller and with fewer closets than The Bungalow, if you can believe it), we had a serious negoitation over closet and drawer space. It helps a LOT that I do not have the 'shoe issues' that many women have. Two pair for the office, one pair for formal, one pair dressy boots, one pair work boots, one pair trainers, one old trainers for garden/paint.

Ofelia from México City
8/27/2014 at 11:37 PM

Tha battle for closet space is hard, sometimes, like this case, makes us laugh! Im a single woman right now and I need 2 closets and 1 dresser for my clothes... And at my mother's house I keep another dresser too.

9/6/2014 at 9:37 AM

Love hearing the (hilariously written) male side of the closet wars. Due to NS my husband doesn't get any closet space in our bedroom and is banished to the smaller bedroom closet down the hall- so consider yourself lucky. PS Love the variety of socks!

9/10/2014 at 4:53 AM

This is one of the funniest things I've read in a long time! I'm in the opposite situation. My clothes are constantly waging war to avoid losing territory to my husband's wardrobe. If he had his way, my things would be down two flights of stairs in the basement. He isn't one for a full on frontal attack either. Like your Siberia storage area, his apparel uses a sneak attack in while we are sleeping or at work. I seriously think he owns 150 pairs of socks. You would think I'd only have to do laundry three times a year but you would be so wrong. I say keep fighting the good fight!

9/19/2014 at 9:07 PM

This put a major smile on my face!Alt smile Thanks for sharing.

12/3/2014 at 9:43 AM

You are extremely organized! I feel embarrassed! My closet is a completely mess!

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