Hi. My name is Brittney, and I am the world's biggest procrastinator... Evidenced by the fact that after nine months, I can finally say that we are officially unpacked. Granted, there were two moves in that time frame, but I shamelessly developed the tendency to get lazy and tired of unpacking so I shoved boxes into the confines of out-of-sight-out-of-mind closets until they were stuffed to oblivion and I could not find or do anything without making a complete mess. It completely knocked my creativity out of wack and nothing ever felt really, truly clean which peeves me.
I spent the majority of my free time for a few weeks recently organizing. It was bad, dear people. BAD. I couldn't even take before pictures. I know I should have, but it was that embarrassing.
We do not have a lot of storage space in our 2 bedroom, basement-less home, so ridding myself of unpacked boxes posed a lot of challenges for me While all of the closets in my house (thank God we have several!) have been redeemed, I am only going to show you our master closet since that one turned out the most pretty on top of being functional. (Functional & Pretty I love it when those two words can go in the same sentence, don't you?)
(Hope you don't mind the mobile photos.)
This closet not only contains our clothing and shoes, it also holds...
:: my sewing/crafting equipment and supplies (unfortunately, there is no place to set that up; I just have to bring it all out to the dining room when I have my creative urges) which includes sewing machines, fabric, patterns, ribbon, yarn, buttons, notions, scrapbook paper, paint, etc., etc., etc.
:: currently unused decor items and candles
:: photo albums
:: keepsake memorabilia (including my wedding dress)
:: Andy's old banjo (which he never mastered) and trumpet (which he did master)
:: a currently unused end table that goes with our living room set
:: my jewelry and perfume
I do not like interrupting projects to go to the store and buy organizing supplies. Keeping my budget at zero helps a person get a little creative, like using a box to stack the husband's shoes. Tacky? Eeeeyeah, but it works. And really, who sees in my closet anyway? Oh yeah... that would be you right now.
I kind of like my little jewelry set up. I have most of my bejeweled accessories sorted into compartments inside the pretty box. (the large black object is actually a box that holds our wedding album, in case you were being that nosy and wondering what the heck? Is that where they keep their skeleton?)
This little wooden shelf thingamabomboogeydoodlebug I picked up at Goodwill once upon a longish time ago. I have always planned on painting it and doing something cute with it, and still probably will. It is behaving and being very functional right now, and I love displaying my favorite earrings on it...
...and favorite perfumes!
This organizing project took several days due to the fact that I had to sort through the items stored in this closet, under our bed and in the extra-large bathroom linen closet and combine them all (and I'm happy to report that under the bed is now free of debris).
My Five-Step Organizing Technique
1. First and foremost, get your head in the game. Repeat this mantra over and over until it gets in your blood stream: Less is more, less is more... A place for everything and everything in its place... Less is more........ LESS, LESS, LESS is MORE, MORE, MORE.....
2. Completely empty the area you are focusing on first (in this case for me, the master closet). Decide what will go in this spot. Wipe down all surfaces with an all-purpose cleaner and sweep or vacuum.
Do not try to tackle multiple closets at once, even if you have to condense and combine items from other areas as well. You do not want to overwhelm yourself.....too much. Keep it simple.
3. Have a get rid of pile. Make it huge. You can sell, you can donate, you can throw away. If you don't need it, why keep it? If it can't juggle, what's the point? (okay, maybe I wasn't serious on that point, you may end up throwing out everything but the pet monkey and you will probably start to miss your husband and kids. It's just not worth it.)
LESS IS MORE! Less is more space, less is more clean, less is more fun.
Less is next to clean which is next to godliness.
A tip--to keep these areas looking clean and un-cluttered, try not to store items directly on the floor. Put them in a bin, set them on a rack, place them in a box tipped on its side, hang them on a nail....
5. Finally, place items, one by one, into their designated place. Again, ask yourself, do I want it? do I need it? do I use it? is it worth the space it is taking? An exception to the rule is, do not ask those questions to yourself when handling your husband's items. Ever. He will not appreciate that. However, you can pull out things that he has not seemed to want/wear/use and then ask him about each item. He will likely be horrified, but you may be able to purge a few centimeters of valuable space. Do not get mad at him, because when mama ain't happy ain't nobody happy, and that ain't a happy way to live.
I would also like to note that if you are finding any of your spaces (individually or as a whole) crowded, stuffed and sloppy, you probably need to re-think your category. Can you get rid of any of it? Can you rearrange it? Can it go somewhere else?
When it's all done, add a touch of pretty and go pour yourself a cup of coffee and revel in your utter amazing-ness. You just did that. The other closets and spaces can wait until tomorrow (says the self-diagnosed world's biggest procrastinator). You deserve a break.