Tuesday, April 2, 2013

31 Day Organization Challenge- Closet

This is the 3rd and final post for Org Junkie's 31 Day Organization Challenge. For this post I will be focusing on the walk in closet of our Master Suite. You may remember in my original post about this challenge how I couldn't even comment about the closet. It upset me way too much! It was beyond out of control and so it was what I spent the longest amount of time trying to fix. I think you will be blown away by the results! On to Laura's questions!

1. What space did you decide to organize and why?
I organized my Master Suite (bedroom, bathroom, walk-in closet). This post focuses on the closet. I chose this space because it was in desperate need! I dreaded walking into the closet each morning to find clothes. Trying to spend any amount of time in there was enough to bring on a migraine. You couldn't go in without tripping over something or stepping on something. I kept the blinds closed all the time, even though we are on the 2nd floor, because I didn't want to think that anyone might have the slightest chance to see inside. It was depressing and overwhelming!

2. What steps did you take to ensure you completed the space within the 31 day timeline?
I chose to dedicate the last 2 weeks of the challenge to this space. It needed the most work and I knew it would take the most time. I worked on one section at a time for however long that took before I moved on. I used Eli's naptime to work on it most days because I knew that would give me a 2 hour window to dedicate. Micah usually played in his room during this time or he might watch a movie.

3. What was the hardest part of the challenge for you and how did you overcome it?
The challenge was the amount of stuff! There was an overwhelming amount of stuff! I had boxes and baskets filled to the brim with papers and things that needed to be sorted through. I spent a good chunk of time sitting in the closet sorting things into piles (garbage, recycle, shred, donate, relocate). When I emptied a box I would get all the piles taken care of and then I would be done for that time period, or if Eli was still sleeping I'd press on.

4. What did you do with the “stuff” you were able to purge out of your newly organized space?
The garbage can got a huge lawn bag full of garbage, the recycle can got another, the shredder saw a lot of paper. Goodwill got a drop off of two bags, a book donation box got a visit also. A container is ready to go to Dress for Success in downtown Cincinnati, and another box is getting prepared for the Urban League downtown (Steven is still going through clothes). Some things got moved to other places (sleeping bag in the camping trailer,  books to bookshelves)

5. Tell me one of your proudest moments during this challenge?
When Steven walked into the closet as we were entering the 2nd week and said "Where did everything do?" He was pretty pleased to say the least! He told everyone that he talked to about what I was doing. That made me feel great and made all the work feel very worthwhile!

6. Explain any organizing “tools” you used to help you create additional space and to establish some limits and boundaries?
I used the file cabinet in there to it's fullest. In the beginning the filing cabinet wasn't being utilized, it was just there taking up space. We used banker boxes, hanging file folders, and some new bins we bought at Ikea. We also have shelf extenders that help give us more space and Steven also has a tie organizer. We both have shoe racks to hold shoes (all but my boots, which don't fit and my tennis shoes). I told Steven when he runs out of room on the tie organizer, no more ties unless he gets rid of some. We got rid of a few and he now has room for 8 new ties. :-) No new shoes for me until I get rid of some because there is no room on my rack. :-)

7. What is ONE piece of organizing advice you’ve learned on this journey that you could encourage someone else with?
If you don't have room, don't get anything new. And if you want something new you need to get rid of something to make room for it. Shoving things in a space where there is no room to contain will quickly result in chaos!

And now, on to the pictures!! None of you have seen any of the after pictures yet so I'm super excited to show them to you!

Before: the bane of my existence!
After: sorry it's so dark! That window makes it hard to photograph into! But you can see it's a drastic difference!!
My side of the closet right inside the door. Piles of shoes, weights (not even mine!!) and a box of light fixtures we've had for years and never installed and a box with Steven's shot glass collection.
My side after. Piles gone! Moved the laundry basket into the laundry room to get it out of view.
By the shoe rack before.
Shoe rack after.
See...no more room! No more shoes :-(  Or just buy another rack! lol
My boots and tennis shoes (minus the ones I was wearing when I took the pictures!) Love me some boots!
Top shelf on my side before. That Luvs box had every journal I've ever written in since I was 11. The box on top is my daughter's Baptism dress. The pink box is my wedding dress. In front is my purse, shoes and the guest book from our wedding.
This bankers box has held memorabilia of mine for probably 20 years! It's been through I can't remember how many moves. I did go through it and try to thin it out to the lid would at least close! You can see my purses next to it.
Same shot after: The big black bin on top holds my purses. Bankers box is gone. The smaller black boxes hold scarves and belts.
On the other side of the bin holding my purses is my sweaters.
My jewelry box. I realized it didn't show up in any of the before pictures but not too much happened here! I removed a tray on top that had jewelry I was no longer wearing. My mom went through it. Then we are going to give it to my mother in law to sell on Ebay if she so desires. The bag next to the box is full of PSR stuff that my husband needs to go through. He's the CRE of our program (coordinator) so he needs to make the call about this stuff, not me!
Top of the filing cabinet before. It was two layers deep up there!
A better look at the top with a look at Steven's shelf on that side.
The top of the filing cabinet after, with view of the shelf. Steven and I each have a bankers box filled with memorabilia we wanted to keep from our childhoods, etc. In front of each box are our degrees from NKU. Gotta show them off somewhere! ;-)
On the shelf next to the wall, Steven's baseball cards. Anyone who has a husband who collects (or collected) baseball cards knows you don't touch them. You don't even suggest getting rid of them. You just make it work! lol In the container is memorabilia from trips that haven't made it into scrapbooks yet or wouldn't fit in scrapbooks (like Steven's plate from Maine with lighthouses.)
In the clear drawer is real estate paperwork. This a drawer that I need to go through with both my mom and Steven. I don't feel like I can get rid of stuff without us all going through it together. The brown box is Steven's shot glass collection. I'm hoping this can be displayed again somewhere soon. He has some really cool ones! The Banker box on top holds cards. Yes, cards. I have almost every card I've ever been given in my (almost) 31 years! I also keep all my children's cards and Steven has a lot of his. I'm having trouble getting rid of them, but I know I don't need to keep them. If anyone has any great ideas I'd really appreciate it!!
Floor in front of the filing cabinet before: boxes, bins, baskets full of crap!
The top drawer of the filing cabinet after. Before this held hanging file folders that weren't being used. Now each member of the family has a file to hold pertinent information (birth certificates, etc.) In the back are files for taxes, manuals, warranties, etc.
Left side 2nd drawer after: music books and sheet music (in the blue binder)
Right side 2nd drawer after: every journal and scrapbook I've kept since I was a tween. The journals were in the Luvs box in the before picture. I can't get rid of them. They're too funny!
3rd drawer after: photo albums and photos in frames. Also a few canvas portraits.
4th drawer after: more photos.
Next the filing cabinet on Steven's side before.
Next to the filing cabinet after. The box of binders is genealogy stuff. I don't have a better place for it right now.

View of the floor on Steven's side before.
A close up of a pile of crap!! Can I tell you how many clothes I found in there that I was wondering where they had gone to?? Annoying!!
Floor on Steven's side after! Much, much better!!!
Steven's shelf before.
Another view of the shelf before.
Shelf after view 1.
Shelf after view 2.
The mess of ties before.
Ties after with belts on a hanger next to them.
So that's it! I am LOVING my closet right now. I'll be anxious to see how long we can keep it looking this good. Hopefully it will last! Once again, thanks to Laura at Org Junkie for hosting such a great challenge. Apparently all I needed was a little was some motivation to light my fire! I'm already making a list of what to tackle next!!


Susan said...

Yet another fabulous job! I've enjoyed looking at your pictures. Amazing work on 3 spaces.

The Fischer Family said...

Thank you again Susan! It was hard to tackle all 3 spaces, but I figure if I was going to do 1 I might as well go all the way :-)

Anonymous said...

Boy you did a lot of cleaning and organizing in multiple spaces this month! Congrats on the results!

The Fischer Family said...

Thanks Jenny!

Anonymous said...

I think you own more in your closet than our entire family has in our house! LOL. Just kidding. Great job.