Friday, February 19, 2016

Getting Organized: (The Lonely) Hall Closet

My hallway closet has been a problem since the day we moved in. We needed a place to put about 2350987209487 things, but this tiny closet could only fit about 4. What takes the highest priority? I don't know - this is our first house. I'm literally clueless and winging this. So I tried to be logical - linens (sheets, towels, towels, towels) because there is no other hall closet (and no space in the bathroom), cleaning supplies for the bathroom (see prior), first aid and all other ailment supplies because they should be local, and the brooms/mops/swiffers because again, no other hall closet. It all made sense when we did it. Until after a year we realized that every time the door opened we braced ourselves for falling objects and tipping brooms. Then we got married ---- add more towels, linens, etc. Dear Mama, we have a problem.

The only way I could fix this closet was with purging and diverting.  Sheets, towels, face cloths, and kitchen towels that didn't meet a basic quality standard were either pitched or sent to the basement for rags. Out of season holiday themed anything went to the attic. And a few creative solutions for storage went a long way.

Sheets went (aha!) up to the bedroom in a nice new rolling covered basket. Because really, there is no need for sheets on the first floor where we have no bedrooms.

Most cleaning stuff went under the kitchen sink - ONLY bathroom specific cleaning supplies stayed in the closet.Under the kitchen sink we added these two collapsable shelves to double surface space. Kitchen and dish towels also we in the kitchen (go figure!).

The broom and swiffer went to the cellar stairwell on hooks. I have a steam mop so I pitched the old school mop (aint nobody got time for that).

This is what my closet looks like now. Only the essentials. AND IT FEELS SO GOOD.

I'm still thinking about what I could put on the top shelf... there's so much space up there (it goes up to the ceiling!). Also, disclosure: this is real life, so I'm not going to apologize for the not-perfectly-folded-and-color-organized towels. 

This closet clean-out was a blast. I was able to solve multiple problems by tackling this mess. It all just works better now. Also, I get a little buzzed when I shop for baskets. I could have named this post 'If you have a basket fetish and you want a fix'. This closet allowed me to go to Homegoods about 6 times for baskets.... just to find the right ones and maybe a few more. Guilty. Don't care.

I hope you feel inspired - if so, check out my last post where I organized my dining room closet!

Thanks for stopping by!
Bridget XOXO

Tuesday, February 9, 2016

Getting Organized: Dining Room Closet

Of all of my organizing endeavors so far this year, my dining room closet is my favorite so far. 

My house is a small Cape with four bedrooms. That sounds more lofty than it is. The upstairs is split in half into two bedrooms each with a small closet. My downstairs is split in half also- one half is the open kitchen and living room and the other half is the other two bedrooms. BUT. Those bedrooms are not used as bedrooms. One is used as our dining room and the other is the office/craft room. 

There is very little storage in my house. We utilize our unfinished basement to the best of our ability and we stuff the closets in the rest of our house. Alas, after two years, stuffing isn't really cutting it. We just got married and have an acute influx of stuff from our wedding. It's time to purge, tidy and re-think our storage options.

My dining room closet has not been utilized to it's potential. I apologize for not taking before pictures, but I'll try to describe it. Boxes of stuff piled on the floor :: one small shelf with a few dishes on them :: random stuff we never use on the top closet shelf :: extra and off-season coats hung up :: lots of new boxes of things and decor strewn around the dining room and cluttering the table rendering it useless. Get the idea? Dining room turned dumping ground. Sad.

So we did what most cheap 20-somethings do when they need furniture but don't want to commit to anything crazy. We went to Ikea. We got a couple of OMAR shelving units for about $50 and went to town. Mind you, we did not have a plan in mind at all, we were just winging it. But it came out great.


We unloaded the boxes in the living room and got rid of some stuff we hadn't touched in years. We moved the jackets out (they don't belong in the dining room anyways) and we hung tablecloths and runners up instead. Since we don't have a sideboard yet, we placed placemats, serveware and dinnerware together so we can set the table in a snap. Basically, we added surface area to hold the stuff we needed to put away. When I put it that way it seems so logical and obvious, but it still took me two years to do it. It's not always rainbows and butterflies to tackle a closet (or in this case room) full of junk. Amiright? But I'm so glad I did it. 

Do one closet at a time. Or one corner. Or one room. It feels so good when it's done. Then reward yourself - maybe with a party in you new clean room. Or do what I did: I sat in my reclaimed room and drank a bottle of wine.  Whatever makes you happy!

Thanks for stopping by!
Xoxo, Bridget