Friday, March 9, 2012

Life & Style: Organizational Series, Part 2

We are targeting specific areas of our home for organization all through the month of March, and we'll be sharing it all with you! We have before and after pictures, tips, horror stories and success stories. You can read Part 1 in this series here.

This week, we tackled our linen closet and coat closet. You may have noticed that it seemed many of the items in our under-the-sink areas of our bathrooms were missing - there were items in the before pictures that were not in the after pictures. This week, you'll get to see where they ended up!

Here's the before pictures:

The linen closet
Top shelf of the linen closet
Middle shelf of the linen closet
Bottom shelf of the linen closet
Floor of the linen closet
Top shelf of the coat closet
Coat area of the coat closet
Floor of the coat closet
Horror: What really bothered me about these closets isn't that they were disorganized. In fact, for the most part, it's obvious that everything had a designated space. But we weren't using our space effectively - note all the empty space on the middle shelf in the linen closet. Why do we have one pile of towels only two towels high? That just doesn't make sense! Also, it makes no sense to have our games so high up that it's difficult for me and Jason to reach them. We play games often, as evidenced by Jason's blog series, The Gaming Corner, and having something we use regularly this high up and difficult to get to is just silly.

To get these areas in tip-top shape, we first started with the linen closet. I knew the exact vision I had in mind for all the areas, and this was super helpful when it came to cleaning these areas up. In fact, the linen closet and coat closet took hardly any time at all.

Many of the items on the top shelf of the linen closet went in our to-donate pile. We kept some special pillowcases, a sheet set for our air mattress, extra regular pillowcases, and a crap sheet for crafting. I wanted the middle shelf to be just for towels, and I wanted all the towels, including wash cloths, to be there. On the bottom shelf, this was where I envisioned all of our toiletry stock to be, and I wanted one half of this shelf for feel-good items - candles, Wallflowers, body lotions, etc.

And in the same vein as the under-the-sink area in the bathrooms, I wanted the floor of the linen closet to be very minimal. I wanted to keep just the vacuum and one tall laundry basket that we use frequently on the floor. This month, we're planning to purchase a specific item also to go on the floor of this closet, and I knew that when I was organizing so I wanted to be sure to leave plenty of room for that as well.

For the coat closet, I wanted the games gone (you'll see where they went next week!). The coats in the closet were not horrifically disorganized, but they looked sloppy and we weren't using some of those coats so some went to the to-donate pile. And the bottom of the closet was messy. The green and orange bags are grocery bags. The idea was that we would take these bags back to the car trunk after each grocery shopping trip - clearly, this was not happening (we've since instituted a new way of doing this, and the bags are making it back to the car trunk hours after each grocery trip - it's awesome!). Some shoes on the floor were not being used and had not been used in awhile - these, too, went to the to-donate pile.

Tip!: We utilize a bench in our foyer area for in-transit items (like items we feature in In My Mailbox). For the grocery bags, we are now hanging our bags on the doorknob to the door leading out of our apartment so the next time we go down to the car, we are reminded to take these bags down. If you put an item out of sight, it really will be out of mind. Designate an area in your home for in-transit items, and set aside five minutes a day or one day a week to take care of all of the items that accumulate there.

So without further ado, here's our after pictures!

I'm in love with this picture - look at the beauty of the linen closet!
Top shelf of the linen closet - our linen items are in the laundry basket (GENIUS!) and our steam cleaner is to the side
Middle shelf in the linen closet - all our bath towels, hand towels and wash cloths (and a Sense and Spray)
One side of the bottom shelf in the linen closet - all our candles, Wallflowers, body lotion, etc. We picked up the two green baskets from our local dollar store for $1 total. Love that!
Other side of the bottom shelf in the linen closet - all our extra toiletry items are here. I love how organized the items are and how easy it is to grab another tube of toothpaste or a bottle of shampoo.
Floor of the linen closet - the laundry basket was in use when I took this pic. We haven't yet bought our third item that will go here, but even with those two other items here, the look will be minimal and simple - just what I wanted!
Top shelf of the coat closet - we took my bridal box from the office closet and put it here. This box is so huge, and honestly, I have no clue why I have my bridal gown. I have no plans to wear it again. But I had it packaged away anyway and I guess I'll just store it until I figure out what to do with it! And to the right is our box of light fixtures and other items that came with our apartment that we promptly replaced with our own. When we leave, we'll re-install these fixtures and other items (and take our own with us).
Coat area of the coat closet - two coats are missing from this pic, but you get the general idea of how much better this area looks!
Floor of the coat closet - I have no clue why those two pair of shoes are not in line with the others! I will be fixing that...
Success: I'm a fan of the linen closet! I love it. It's so much more useful and pretty. The coat closet... I don't know if it's possible to get excited about a coat closet. Here's the thing - it's so much better, but I think it could be even better. At this point, it's going to stay the way it is, but possibly later this year, I'll re-think on this closet and see what else I can come up with.

Tip!: My friend and fellow blogger Krista from Krista's Heart shared this awesome tip with me. Put all the linens of one set in a pillowcase for that set. That way, you'll only need to reach for that one pillowcase and all the accompanying linens will be stuffed inside.

Next week, we're tackling our master bedroom closet.

No comments: