Friday, March 16, 2012

Life & Style: Organizational Series, Part 3

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 and Part 2 here.

This week, we tackled our master bedroom closet. Honestly and thankfully, this area wasn't too shabby. Our biggest issues were effectively using our space (which was a problem the previous week as well) and deciding once and for all (at least this time around) which clothes to donate.

I don't know about you all, but this is seriously one of my biggest hurdles. I always think, "But what if this shirt is the perfect item to wear later on for an unforeseen occasion?" This is my downfall. Since the new year, I have been paying attention to which clothes I wear and more importantly, which clothes I never, ever reach for in the mornings. That made things easy this time around.

I recruited Jason for his help in determining which of his clothes should go in the to-donate pile, and his help was crucial in organizing this closet as the top shelf is too high for me to reach, and I knew he would want to organize the middle shelf all on his own.

But before I get too far into that, here's the before pictures:

Part of the closet's top shelf
Other part of the closet's top shelf
Top of dresser
Middle shelf and clothes
Horror: These pictures show just how much we were ineffectively using the space we had. And once I started going through the items in this closet, particularly the clothes and the items on top of the dresser, I was seriously horrified. Last spring, I had organized my cosmetics and put each kind (face powder, eye powder, brushes, etc.) into clear plastic bags. The idea was that throughout the year, as I pulled out each item for use, I would put that item in little bins I would use for cosmetics, and then at the end of the year, whatever I didn't use, I would either sell or donate. At the end of one year, I had used exactly two brushes and one eye powder. And I had a total of about 45 other brushes and powders I had never used. Eek! I quickly pulled out which items I thought I should keep, just in case (about 7 items) and quickly listed the other 38 items on craigslist (I use Bare Escentuals and this is a premier cosmetics line - even opened, I knew I could at least get something for them). I ended up selling 16 items for a total of $15. I was pretty happy with that and donated the rest.

Tip!: If you sell any of your items, use that money to purchase items you need to organize your home. I used the $15 I gained from selling the cosmetics to buy organizational tools for our office area.

More horror: Because we work from home, we wear very basic clothing for most of the week, such as white t-shirts, boxers, sweat pants, hoodies, etc. Most of these items are in the dresser. The clothes hanging up are seldom used, and in going through them, we quickly pulled a lot of the items. At the end of organizing the closet, we had many bags full of clothes, pictured below, to donate to Salvation Army:

The good news is that the closet was quick to organize. We made quick decisions. We wanted big, bulky items on the top shelf. The middle shelf would be just for games and puzzles. And the top of my dresser became much more organized after I threw away some items I didn't like and didn't think I could sell or donate (lotions, etc.). Items that could be donated were put in the to-donate pile.

Here's our after pictures!

Left side of the closet - air mattress and luggage up top, games and puzzles in the middle, and clothes hanging
Right side of the closet - Christmas tree up top, jewelry case, perfume and other odds and ends on dresser, and the dresser
Success: This closet is perfect. The games and puzzles are within easy reach, big items we don't use often are up top, and our clothes are pared down. We've done one of four puzzles we own, and as we were organizing, it came to me that we probably definitely didn't want to complete a puzzle we had completed already. My grandpa loves puzzles and has quite the collection. I called him, and we agreed to trade puzzles. That will give us and him new puzzles to do for no money at all! I love that.

Tip!: Make sure items you use often are within easy reach. Items like a Christmas tree can be put in harder-to-reach areas since you're really only using this box twice a year (to put the tree up and to take the tree down).

Next week, we're tackling our office/second bedroom/crafting space. And I promise that the name of this gives you an accurate idea of how disorganized and all over the place this space is.

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