I think one of the biggest organization suck zones is the closet. It never seems tidy, no matter how many times you re-fold the clothes. Plus, I'm always faced with the question of, regardless of how many clothes are in there, why do I always open the door and still feel like I have nothing to wear?!?
When I started my Project: Organize, my plan was to begin in my home office. Despite it being a very important room in the house, it became partially a dump zone when we moved a couple of years ago. We moved at a crazy time and I just did not have enough time to go through everything properly and organize like I normally would while setting up a new room. And since my office is tucked away out of sight, with a very convenient door to close, it became the place to put those nagging things that you can go through "later" just to get them out of the way.
A lot of the junk is papers and things that built up, waiting for a home that never happened. I know that at this point, much of it is garbage, but I also know there are a few important items mixed in there. Which means, I have to sit down and go through each little thing piece by piece. And considering the piles and piles of these, on top of the archive files, and other things that still need a home (we won't talk about that pile of magazines), my office was a very daunting task. As much as I love my little space, working in there drives me crazy. The room is such a distracting mess that it carries over into my mind and makes it very hard to concentrate and work. It seemed like the logical place to start.
But I quickly realized it would also be the most frustrating and time-consuming place. Even if I was making good progress, it wouldn't look like it for quite a while, and I didn't want to get frustrated so early on. I wanted to feel successful and motivated.
So I decided to start smaller. I started with the front hall closet instead. Coats were jammed in. Hats & gloves were exploding everywhere and never seemed to have a match. Scarves would jump out every time I opened the door - it was a mess.
First, I went through and pulled all the coats we no longer wear and put them in a separate bag to bring to the shelter. Next, I pulled all the kid coats that didn't fit but we wanted to save for hand-me-downs, and packed them away in a bin. This was a good start! I actually saw space in the closet and could already breathe a little better! So I moved on. I took a couple of multi-tiered pant hangers and hung all the scarves on those. Now we could easily see and retrieve each one of them without having to create a tornado to find the one we want.
My "everyday" bags went in a basket on the shelf. Then I created a container for each of us to have for our hats, gloves, and sunglasses. Our dog also got her own basket for her various leashes, poop bags, tennis ball, etc. I put a couple more small bins on the floor - one for my husband's cycling stuff (no more helmet rolling out on me every time I open the door - yay!), and one for my dance shoes and teaching paraphernalia. The umbrellas were tucked on the side, the vacuum took its own corner, there was a spot for my work bag, and still room to spare! I pulled all the extra hangers out, leaving a couple for guest coats, and now suddenly we had room to move things around in there. We could see everything we had and could easily access it all. It was exhilarating!
I actually felt like I accomplished something and I could see the physical outcome of my efforts. I was now even more motivated to see how far I could take this project.
I moved on to my daughter's closet. She recently had a growth spurt, so I pulled the majority of her clothes that no longer fit, rearranged the others, gave her her own shoe rack, and rearranged her dresser while I was at it. She was almost as pleased as I was - this was fun!
I decided to tackle a harder one - our bedroom closet. There are clothes of all different sizes in there (yay baby weight), shoes from various decades, leftover things that we just didn't know where to put them. I started with the shoes. Bought an awesome shoe shelf and got those up off the floor. It already looked a lot better! Next item - tackle my clothes. This has proven to be a bit harder. I have a sentimental side, so some things are just hard for me to toss. I already have two bags of clothes pulled, though, so it's a start.
That's where I had to leave off. The other closets gave me such a dorky little "high" I can't wait to finish this one. I'm excited to get things organized, find out what actually fits me now, and make the closet more "user-friendly" for both of us.
The closet part of this project is going to extend not only to all the closets in the house, but the drawers, cabinets, and everything along those lines. I learned some neat tricks when we had to stage our old house before we moved, so I'm going to add on to that and really get this place in tip-top shape. There are also so many great organizational tools out there now. I have a friend who works for Thirty-One, so I'm planning on having a party once the weather gets a little nicer to not only get some new gadgets for myself, but to help my friends start their own mini organizing projects for Spring cleaning. This has been too fun not to share!
More to come!
I would love to hear feedback from my readers during this project. Have you had a similar experience to my need for more organization? How do you tackle the closet dilemma?
Please comment on these blogs with your experiences as well! I know there are many people out there who have needed to re-evaluate, organize, or make certain changes in their lives and I would love to have a section that can take my personal experiences to a more global level and create a community involved in this mission!