A How-To Organizational Guide for The Tidy-Impaired (Like Me)
“Let’s Get Organized” Series – Installment 5
Hello and welcome back to my “Let’s Get Organized” series! Here’s a quick recap for anyone who is just now joining us:
Beginning in the kitchen, I researched the top food items that are considered necessary to have a fully-stocked pantry. In week 2, I tackled a big (now former!) problem area for the Peterson brood: moving out of the “Accumulation Nation” by controlling and eliminating paper clutter. Week 3 covered ways to neatly display your children’s artwork. Last week’s installment addressed a topic that has been on the top of my list for years now – organizing kitchen shelving.
Not to say that my kitchen is in perfect shape now (again, this series could go on for years!), but I thought we’d switch it up a bit this week and move into a different area of the home: the bedroom.
I don’t know about y’all, but the master bedroom in my house is the LAST place that I spend time on cleaning. After all, we don’t have friends traipsing in and out of our bedroom (we are not that kind of couple, thank you very much), so it gets pushed farther and farther down on the priority list. Before I committed to include this in my series, this is what I wanted to do to my closet:
If you’ve read my previous installments, you may recall that I insist on handling each task in “bite-sized” pieces. Anything more than this and I’d be likely to throw my hands up in the air (and wave them around like I just don’t care). I’m not taking on a new assignment to quit before I’m through! So in the spirit of diving into my bite-sized new undertaking, I want to focus on the master bedroom closet.
Now because I’m all about keeping it real folks, I must continue my method of full disclosure so you know exactly what we’re working with here. Consider this a virtual tour of our closet:
My Closet Goals
My closet goals are simple and straightforward:
- I want to be able to walk from the front to the back of the closet without stepping over random shoes, dirty clothes, plastic Easter eggs (why are these blasted things everywhere?!?) and miscellaneous knick-knacks.
- I want to be able to immediately locate the clothing item I am looking for. (More on this next week.)
Without further ado…
- Purge clothing. Mama always said to get rid of anything I hadn’t worn in a year. Why did I ever stop doing that? Devil on my shoulder (snarly voice): “Heyyyy there, Buttercup. You see that business suit that you bought in 1996? Who CARES if it’s out of style! You spent some serious cash on that thing! Better keep it – just in case (hehe).” Devil, kiss it. Quick tip: Turn all hangers backwards once a year at the same time. As you use an item, put it back facing forward. At that same time next year, donate all clothes that are still hung backwards.
- Inventory space hogs. Determine what’s taking up the most space AND how often you use it. Our hogs:
- My iron and ironing board.
- Satchels stacked up in the corner. Nice to have for “luggage overflow,” but definitely non-essential on a daily basis. These can be relegated to the attic.
- Framed pictures, currently not in use (one tends to have an excess of these when 2 “more mature” adults who have been living independently for years combine homes). Time to get honest. These may just have to journey to a charitable organization for resale.
- An extremely large black box – I’m thinking it’s an amp (?!?). Why is it here? Why did I stop noticing it?
- Lots of heavyweight blankets. HELLO, we live in the Carolinas, not Minnesota. A few warm blankets should suffice. All others should be donated to those in need through a reputable charity.
- Assess and utilize empty floor space. Once we have a clear picture of what’s left, we can see where the unused space is. Hey, I just got a glimpse of what’s under the satchels! SPACE! Here are a few ideas of the types of storage that could work for your closet floors. Each of these affiliate links will take you right to Amazon. (If you like them, you can use these links and buy my sweet tots a Happy Meal. No extra cost to you…whatta deal! ;-))
- Devise a plan for your shoes. I already have hanging shoe storage for myself, but frankly, I’m not a fan. The variety that I have with the pockets is a little too floppy and poorly constructed. And there’s not nearly enough space for my husband’s shoes. I’m thinking of giving this organizer a whirl:
- Separate and store off-season clothes. Is there any reason why I must flip past my short-sleeved shirts to locate a suitable winter top? Nope. And when the temps creep up into the 90s (or 100s, God help us), why on earth leave our sweaters to the mercy of those vile moths? I found these two items that look promising. The vacuum storage bags are definitely worth looking into. They are priced reasonably at $10.99, and the 908 reviews (96% of which are 4 and 5 stars) are pretty compelling. The cedar storage shown below ($14.99) is also going to be super critical for us, given how it pained my husband and me to see the vengeance that the moths took out on his Special Fancy Sweater.
- Sort through items on upper shelves. Am I the only gal who often fails to look UP? Raising 4-year-old twins, my focus (literally and figuratively) is DOWN. Thus, I forget that there is this whole big world that exists above 5 feet and 8 inches off the ground. For the sake of you, lovely readers, I will choose not to hash through my multitudes of motley mementos on the aforementioned shelves. Let’s just pretend that there are not dance recital programs, diaries and scrapbooks dating back to the Reagan era, shall we? The goal here is to just have – what is supposed to go into a closet again? Oh yeah – CLOTHES. Sooooooo, once I pour through the trials and tribulations of a 10 year old me again, I’ll tuck these items into a nice big box and put them in a safe place – not taking up valuable closet real estate. Assuming that I still need that space for the clothes that I have left, I’ll get hubby to put in something like this ($24):
- Maximize door space. Let’s say that you are a shoe girl (unlike me) and you have a plethora of footwear that just cannot possibly all fit in your 27-pair organizer. OR you have belts, gloves, scarves and other accessories that need a home. Here’s one solution for $14.99:
- Hang up your handbags. Buy S hooks. They are way less expensive than the crummy purse organizer that I bought last year and help your bags not get squashed and/or forgotten in the depths of your closet. There’s an option that will set you back $8.89 for a set of 20. Don’t have 20 purses to hang? The possibilities are endless, from bathrobes to laundry bags and more.
- Store your ironing board and accessories. I have chosen to use that valuable door space to store my iron and ironing board. Instead of buying the prettier stainless steel version of this hanger, I’ve opted for the less expensive white one, which is currently $23.67. (I’m into functionality, not looks for the items that no one will see.)
Now that we have all of our tools in place, we simply have to put it all together! Be sure to stop by next week for part 2 of our closet organization journey!
Readers, have any of you had great success with overhauling your closet catastrophes? What did you do to whip your closet into shape?