Cleaning out last years filing cabinet and starting fresh for the new year usually means doing an annual office overhaul in our house. We have the best of intentions to keep it neat and tidy, and most people who have been in my office would probably think it is neat and tidy. Those people have obviously never opened the closet to reveal the overflowing amounts of stuff that we have shoved in there to keep the appearance that we are ‘clean’ people. I’m sure most people have a similar space in their house. Maybe it’s a junk drawer in the kitchen, or under the sink in the bathroom (we unfortunately have multiple ‘junk’ spaces in our house and those places are also in need of an overhaul). We all need somewhere to throw that thing that we haven’t yet created a space for, especially when friends or family are making a spontaneous visit and they are just 3 blocks away (please tell me I’m not the only one who does this).
Do note that I had all of those pretty green boxes perfectly organized at one time, but real life took a toll and eventually the labels stopped matching what was inside the boxes, and they became too full to add new items. Once you disregard the organizational system, all hell pretty much breaks loose. As you can see in the before photos, random bags filled with stuff weaseled their way into the closet and then kept inviting their friends. For months, I’ve been relieved to get the closet doors closed, but what kind of life is that? The thought of someone opening the doors to find a piece of paper, to then be trampled by clutter like a cliche scene in a movie, has been an actual fear of mine.
It took a good chunk of 2 days to do this project (keep in mind I have a 2 year old which makes any project multiply in time
and difficulty). What you don’t see in the pictures is that I actually had to take EVERYTHING out of each box and then put it all back together. We had about 4 full bags of recycling and another 3 bags of trash. I was pretty impressed with how much trash I actually fit in there! The toughest part of an organizational project like this is sitting in the middle of the room with junk piled all around you and not knowing where to begin. The second toughest part is getting down to the last few piles of stuff and feeling like you could not possibly create a space for one more thing and maybe you should just throw it all in that ‘other junk space’ for now. Luckily, I resisted that urge and those items either went in the garbage, got sorted into existing boxes, or went into the Craigslist pile.
I was even able to add all of our wrapping supplies into this closet, which were previously out in the garage in one of those tall wrapping bins. The issue with that is all of the tissue paper, gift bags, and rolls of paper were squished into one box and I couldn’t ever find what I needed. I recently saw the idea of stringing a wire a few inches from the wall in a closet to store wrapping paper rolls, and thought I’d give it a try. I really like the idea, but I’m not completely convinced that this will be the final solution for that. However, the rest of the wrapping supplies I organized into one of the large boxes on the floor and I’m very pleased with how it turned out. Inside the box, I separated tissue paper, gift bags, ribbon, tags, crinkle fill, and even gift boxes. I used smaller boxes and shallow bags to keep everything in place. Now I just need to find a use for the old Rubbermaid wrapping bin.