We have lived in our home two years now, and one of my favorite features of our house is the abundant closet and cabinet space. Great storage space can be both a blessing and a curse. With two small kids, I love having the space to put away toys and not feel overwhelmed with all their things. SO MANY THINGS. However, you tend to acquire more stuff and not eliminate things you no longer use when you have ample space to store things. Out of sight, out of mind.
You may recall the episode from the popular television show Friends, where Monica has a mysterious locked closet that no one, including husband Chandler, has ever seen inside. Once opened, it reveals the the hiding clutter, which is in direct contrast to the anal-retentive organized apartment that Monica usually insists upon.
I am not as obsessed as Monica in my housekeeping, but I do like to keep things tidy as one can with two small children and two dogs. BUT, like Monica, I do have a closet that had gotten way out of hand with its lack of organization. When I couldn’t find a set of napkin rings, and then realized I hadn’t used all of our Halloween decorations this year because I had forgotten about them since I couldn’t seen them, I knew it was time to tackle this project!
I regretfully forgot to take a photo of the “before.” So, here’s photos of the mid-way through. You can see I fit more in this closet than one would think possible!
As I only have an abundance of decorations for Christmas, I love this closet for all of the other holidays. I like being able to keep these things out of the attic so I am not having to climb up there every other month. I do have a few Christmas items in here, but they are things that are more sentimental and breakable and that might meet disaster if hauled (or tossed!) up and down the attic ladder.
I decided to assign a shelf for each of the holidays. As my Easter items tended to be taller, and more breakable, I put them on the top shelf to keep them away from little fingers. Next, I collected all of the Halloween decor on a shelf, and tried to nest items, such as bowls, inside each other to save space. Little items went inside the last bowl, this way, when I pull out the bowls to decorate with, all of the other items are included.
The third shelf down, I assembled frequently used vases, and serving wear that I don’t have room for in my kitchen. Again, a bit higher to deter the kids. Before these items were tucked in random places and involved pulling multiple things out just to get to them. The following shelf has the Fourth of July, St. Patrick’s Day, Valentine’s Day and some left over Easter things that didn’t fit on the top shelf.
A lower shelf holds additional non-breakable serving wear, as well as various seasonal linens. The bottom shelf has some Christmas items. As these are the breakable things, I should have put them on a higher shelf, so after Christmas is over, I will rotate the items on the Valentines/St. Patrick’s etc. shelf down as those items are not breakable or expensive.
On the closet floor I have a bin for gift bags and wrapping paper, as well as some of my faux pumpkins that didn’t fit on a shelf or took up too much valuable shelf space. There is still room for the step stool as well. On the walls of the closet, I used regular small nails to hang some of my larger wreaths and door hangings.
While it still is sort of organized chaos, I love that I can see the items I have at a quick glance. As this was a spur of the moment project, I didn’t have any organizing bins or hooks on hand, so this cost me nothing but time to accomplish! I will probably invest in some type of baskets and wall/door hooks in the future to maximize the space a little more, and to make it look a little more tidy. I really love this over door hanger from the Container Store, which my city just had a location recently open. I like the idea of keeping some of these these things off the floor.
What are your tips and tricks for keeping a closet like this organized? I would love to hear them!
Copyright © 2015-2018 Beth Wylie and Life in the Past Lane. All rights reserved. The opinions included are my own. References to other parties do not imply endorsements by those parties.