Wednesday, January 08, 2014

Help! I'm trapped in the closet...

Ok, so when I say trapped I mean it figuratively but I still am feeling a little overwhelmed with cluttered storage spaces lately.  I'm pretty good with keeping open spaces tidy but I'm definitely an "out of sight, out of mind" type of person - once its in the closet, I let it all loose.


You can really see the ghosts of posts past in here: back of door gift wrap organizer, balloons from Agatha's Christening party (that are still semi filled with helium 7 months later!), left over molding from the nursery, vintage camera display boxes that I made and can't bear to part with etc. 

It's gotten so bad that I don't even like opening my beloved craft closet anymore!  Dastardly!  I don't want to throw most of this stuff away because I do/will use a lot of it.  At the same time, if I can't find what I need, its kind of pointless having it in the first place, right?

I know so many of you have gorgeous, perfectly organized closets so I'd love to hear your best organizational tips.  In other words, please share and inspire me to be less of a behind closed doors slob.


26 comments:

  1. The first step to organization is purging! You need less stuff in order to find the stuff you need :)

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    1. Totally agree. I'm usually pretty ruthless when it comes to throwing or giving things away but craft supplies are my Achilles heel :)

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  2. I agree with Casey - first get rid of anything you'll definitely never use (like the half filled helium balloons - I still have one each from the births of both of my children who are now almost 16 and 12 but they are flattened and put in a box with birth cards etc.). Buy clear plastic storage boxes and separate things into categories and for tiny things (ribbons, thread, buttons) put them in ziploc bags and then into one of the plastic boxes. I've done this (actually am still in the process of doing this) and it not only clears the mess but clears the mind too! Good luck :)

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    1. The balloons are not sentimental items - they are giant gold foil letter balloons that spell "agatha" that I plan on using again since they can be easily refilled. I was just assuming that they would deflate in a reasonable amount of time and i could fold and put them away (to be refilled for a future party). I can't believe how long its taking for them to empty!

      I know you can't really see past the mess here but most of those little things are neatly organized...its the big stuff that is piled on top that makes it hard to get through.

      But as you and Casey point out, I think I just have to chuck a lot of it. I hate to waste it but I think it will be worth it.

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    2. I think there are tabs on the bottoms of the balloons where they were filled with helium that you can "unplug" somehow to deflate the balloons…. I've done this before but it's been a long time…

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  4. Girl, I feel you pain 100%! I have been tackling my craft closet too over the past couple of weeks. You can see my progress at:
    http://renovationrehab.blogspot.com/2013/12/im-cleaning-out-my-closet-my-craft.html.
    But for me, its Step #1 - Empty and categorize (keep, donate, trash), Step #2 - Organize the keep pile into smaller categories (paints and brushes, jewelry making, scrapbook, etc.), Step #3 - Put each category into a container and label accordingly, and Step #4 - Organize the containers back in the closet. It takes some time, but is soooo worth it in the end!

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    1. Wow, your closet is sooo gorgeous. You need to come build mine :)

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  5. See, this is why I so totally related to Monica on "Friends"...I bet you did, too!

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  6. Everything looks pretty organized to me....I think you just need to tidy up and it seems too overwhelming to you. But seriously, I have seen far worse closets!

    Could the balloons live at the shore til they deflate? Could you use your display boxes at the shore somehow?

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    1. I wouldn't want to use my shore place as storage but I do have plans for the boxes. You know how it goes though - the best laid plans.

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    2. I do know! :o) Could the balloons be clipped behind the wrapping paper? Could you put the trim to use somehow as a temporary rod to hang them from or drape them over, even if it were somewhere else? (We have an unused shower/bath that comes in mighty handy, but I know some of y'all up North have storage issues in those gorgeous historic homes)

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    3. Our last house was 800 sq feet so with that as my standard, I have a lot of storage space here. But in general, we dont have any real storage space that most people consider normal (no garage, very limited storage in the basement since we use that as living space, etc). In other words, there is no where else for this stuff to go. I have to find a home for it here, or in another open area or throw it out. Not that I'm complaining at all. It just leads to this kind of mess because Im disorganized about it.

      Oh but that is clever to hang the molding from something - maybe I can put up very high using some command hooks. Thanks!

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  7. *pffft* This looks loads better than what I've seen! ;)
    But honestly, if the leftover molding stuff wasn't too pricy, start by throwing it away as a starter.

    Follow the royal Peach!

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  8. No one has a perfectly organized closet unless they just shoveled it out.

    Honestly, I find that, because the contents of the closet is changing constantly, the closet organization needs to change all the time. The best thing to do is find an afternoon, put on music or a podcast and pull everything out so that you can see it clearly and organize it when you put it back in.

    I'm a big fan of bins and boxes to keep like-items together.

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  9. I LITERALLY hired an organizer to help me deal with my closets and cabinets. It's been LIFE CHANGING!

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    1. The problem for me is that I can get it organized once - its the keeping it up that is the problem. So unless that organizer lives with me, Im outta luck :)

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  10. It's really not too bad, maybe you need bigger boxes to help organize the smaller ones? Group similar items together in larger boxes for easy finding later. I just did this a few days ago so maybe this will help. :)

    http://blog.confessionsofanewoldhomeowner.com/2014/01/cleaning-organizing-101.html

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  11. My best advice is a bit backwards from what the standard advice is.
    I find that I am more successful when I go through and find everything that I KNOW that I use regularly first, and go through the rest to purge.
    Find everything that comes up in a large number of your crafts. Take all of that out and set it aside.
    Now, you're left with the rest of the stuff. Take all of that out of the closet (because you want to empty it first before putting it back, so that it goes in organized) and evaluate everything that was left.
    These are the things that you had better have a darn good reason to hold on to. And make sure that "it's expensive" or "I MIGHT use it ONE DAY" aren't on your list of reasons.
    Another trick I use to make myself feel better about getting rid of things is to either sell them, donate them to charity, or give them away as gifts. For example, if that large wicker basket is something you find you need to get rid of but don't want to - Make a gift basket out of it! Hope that helps :-)

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  12. Nope. My closets are a freaking train wreck. Let me know when you figure out the magical solution.

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  13. I'm in the same boat! I always try to keep my closets organized and they always end up a mess. My biggest recommendation is to start by purging things you don't need.

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  14. We live in a tiny house so being organized is basically survival around here. And I'm not naturally an organized person if that makes you feel any better. I was raised by a super-clean neatnik mother who also has trouble being organized and who does the same thing - throws everything, packrat-style, into closets to forget they ever existed. My best advice is to buy baskets of various shapes and sizes and assign a category to each one. This is how I organize the dry goods, olive oil, canned goods in my pantry. And I bought clear plastic rectangular containers for my kids' art supplies. I can see all the stuff that's in there so it's very much grab n' go. Does that help? Also, try and reserve a rainy day every now and then to reorganize (sigh). It's a boring job, but it'll make you feel better when you look at all your pretty baskets.

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  15. Craft supplies are tricky as they have potential for some future as-yet-unknown creativity. This article has helped me this past week - especially with deciding what to keep and what to say 'goodbye' to: http://mnmlist.com/the-true-cost-of-stuff/

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  16. I have no answers, but I just want to let you know this post makes me feel so much better. Your house is always immaculate, you have amazing style, and you host the most amazing parties. It's nice to know I'm not that only one with a clean house and a closet that gives me anxiety! I too am an, "out-of-sight, out-of-mind" person, so I'm hoping to be inspired by whatever you figure out! Good luck! BTW- I haven't done it, but I did pin this as inspiration.http://iheartorganizing.blogspot.com/2013/12/diy-gift-wrap-organization-station.html Do you have room for a large armoire or IKEA cabinet in the man-cave where you could off-load some of the items from the closet? This is another great one for office type items (if you are storing those in there)http://www.ilivedonwisterialane.com/search/label/organization

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    1. Ha - I don't usually show my messes because no one wants to see ugly stuff. Its only because I want to hear everyones clutter solutions did I dare to show the underbelly of my housekeeping :)

      My gift wrap is actually totally under control thanks to my own gift wrap organization (admittedly not nearly as gorgeous as the one i heart organizing created). Its the rest of my junk that is the problem :)

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