What better way to celebrate the first day of spring than by diving right into some spring cleaning? Actually, there are probably lots of better ways (planting flowers, drinking a mojito or three, taking a walk in the sunshine while listening to the birds sing…) But I live in Oregon, and Oregon doesn’t care if it’s the first day of spring, it’s goanna be dreary and rain if it wants to. Thus, the spring cleaning shall commence. I’m starting out with my walk-in closet because it is the biggest mess in the house. Every year, around the holidays I allow my closet to become a pit of despair because I get so busy that I just can’t deal.
Starting in November, my closet becomes a revolving disaster area because I put it at the very end of my priority list. It is a vicious cycle brought on by holiday travel and the cacophony of chaos that is November thru January. Family is visiting for Thanksgiving…throw all the clothes from the floor of my bedroom into the closet. Packing up for a visit with family out of town…leave the freshly cleaned laundry in piles in my closet then throw all the dirty clothes when I arrive home on the floor in my bedroom. Friends coming over for a Holiday Party…throw all the clothes from the floor of my bedroom into my closet on top of the clothes that I threw in there last time…and the cycle continues like this until the New Year.
WARNING: Graphic content ahead! Proceed at your own risk! (especially if, like me, you can’t stand to see chaos and messiness and disorder, but seem to have no trouble creating it.) The good news is, the after pictures are highly satisfying, so hang in there.
Alright people, it’s about to get real up in here. Deep breaths Brenna. Deep breaths.
As you can see in these before images, it was bad! There was all sorts of random crap in here. The oscillating fan we use during the summertime, piles of clean laundry, piles of dirty laundry, unpacked luggage, a bag of vitamins for crying out loud. Insanity I tell you!
My basic process for anytime I tackle organizing a mess like this is piles, piles, piles, piles. I create piles everywhere to sort all the items into categories. This allows me to gradually make space for myself to work and lets me see just how much stuff I have, which encourages me to donate what I don’t need. Once I have all my piles, I then tackle them one at a time to put things back where they belong. Slowly but surely everything returns to its happy little home. I think of it as organized chaos. It definitely feels hectic during the process…the piles extend into the bedroom and sometimes feels like they are taking over, but it’s so worth it in the end as you will see in the following photos.
Here is another part of my closet that I organized that isn’t actually in the closet. I have a dresser in the master bedroom that my husband and I share (he also has his own small closet in the master bedroom…so he does actually have some clothes, they just aren’t in the walk in closet…and only consist of like 10 items unlike my “collection”). We each have several drawers in the dresser and I keep t-shirts in one of them. I have tried storing them just folded and stacked, but that always turns into a hot mess as I riffle through them to find the one I want.
So I came up with a new strategy where I fold them in half and then in half again. Then I can fit them upright kinda like files in a file cabinet. This way I can see each one and easily grab it without creating chaos for the other shirts left behind. I also organize them by color and type cause it’s pretty and makes me happy.
One more tip I should mention. Don’t be afraid to re-organize what you’ve already organized a few weeks or months later. Sometimes I will go through several cycles of organizing till I find what truly works the best for me. That is the most important part of organizing anything…you need to find the system that works best for you or else you won’t keep up with it!
So there it is! I am so happy to have an organized space again. Let’s hope I can keep it this way. That is one of the most tricky parts of organizing. When you get busy and life happens, you can start to fall into the laziness of just throwing things helter-skelter instead of actually putting them away. You just have to make it a habit and try to stick with it until it becomes second nature. Take your own advice Brenna!!!!!
Thanks for taking a peek into my closet with me. What are some of your favorite tips or tricks for organizing your closet? Let me know in the comments section.
Next spring cleaning project, the kids shared closet and dresser. Wish me luck and stay tuned!