The problem with closets is that you can close the door. The disorder is hidden away, quietly going unnoticed. It’s one part lovely and seven parts procrastination. While counters and tabletops shout for our attention every time we pass through a room, drawers and closets seem to prefer to scare us half to death in our working moments. You go to hunt for a lightbulb and BOO there it is, a hideous jungle of towels and wrapping paper, laughing at us.
I digress. The point is, closets are often a weak spot in the home. The beauty of having a central closet (like the hall or linen closet) organized, though, is that it saves you time and frustration often when you need it most (while looking for a lightbulb, some spare notebook paper for a binder, or the ever evasive gift wrapping supplies). That is why the fifth and final day of 5 Days of Organization tackles the hall closet.
Without further ado, let’s explore the before picture.
I see some off season clothes, a lone Easter basket, linens, food, a mess of towels, a box of cords and cables, pet food, and a treacherously placed ironing board.
It’s not terrible, but we only moved in at the end of March, so we’re on a seriously steep downward slope. Here’s how I tackled it:
Beginning at the top and working my way down, I emptied the closet. As I pulled out items, I placed everything that I felt should stay in the closet on the dining room table. Items that needed relocation were promptly moved to their new homes. Some examples here include the Easter basket (moved to Little Girl’s closet), the backup food (moved to the kitchen), and our box of cords and cables (moved to the armoire that houses most of our electronics).
Then I scanned the dining table and loosely ordered items by their frequency of use (yep, just like in the kitchen). This immediately designated the top shelf of the closet for off season items (warm weather clothes and our summer comforter). I continued by sorting items together. I have heard it suggested that bedsheets be folded and placed inside their coordinating pillowcase for easy storage. This is what you see here in the before picture. I finally opted out of this practice because a) the pillowcase option makes for an oddly shaped lump to store and b) we don’t have many sheet sets to confuse with each other, so it’s not that helpful anyway.
This is how it turned out:
Immediately, my favorite thing is the simple fact that the ironing board is hanging, not waiting to crash to my feet. Using door storage is one of the smartest closet solutions I can offer.
One thing I usually gravitate towards (and may, still, in the future) is using containers to, well, contain like items. The trouble I ran into with this closet project is that most of the items that are currently unboxed are just a little too big for most containers I have. Most items here stacked well, anyway (like the games), so I didn’t worry about it. I’m still considering finding something to hold the kitchen towels, but other than that, I’m pleased with how it turned out.
I corralled home goods (lightbulbs, bug spray, etc) into a little basket. I wasn’t too worried about making this space look beautiful, just beautifully functional. If you’ll notice the blue notebook on the left, you will see a mini project in itself that I’m utterly pleased with. Real Simple mentioned in an organizing issue not terribly long ago the idea of putting all manuals in a binder, so I raided our overly full filing cabinet and placed every warranty and manual in a page protector in the binder. I now have an easy-to-access binder for reference whenever an appliance starts acting quirky. I cannot recommend this enough! It also helps you fight the urge to toss manuals or warranties you may wish you had in the future by giving them a functional place to be stored.
Having our first aid, heating pad, and neck thingy (you know, the pink thing that you can freeze or microwave depending on whether you’d rather have heat or cold on your sore neck) all in one place has already proven itself a good idea. Just being able to access (and easily put away) items like this increase the likelihood that I’ll use them. All of our backup office supplies are in the orange Nike shoe box, next to a bag of gift wrapping materials (our lone tube of wrapping paper is standing up on the right side of the closet). The home decor items include unused frames, an extra lampshade, and a basket of candles. On the floor I have an oversized picnic basket, a space heater, and indoor sports equipment (indoor in that I’ll use my yoga mat or our roller in the living room, whereas a ball I’d use outside).
There she is. All cleaned out and good looking. That concludes the 5 Days of Organization. I’m so glad you tagged along for the process! If you missed any of the projects, check them out here: