The following is a guest post from regular contributor, Deana at Your Happy Stuff.
Hey there lovely Organizing Junkie readers! I’m so glad that Laura is hosting a whole month of “closet calming” inspiration, motivation, and guidance. You will see in a moment, that I NEEDED it!
Originally, when I was brainstorming what I would write about this month, I thought I would share a couple of the good closets in my home. The ones that would impress you with their simplicity and neatness.
But no…today I’m tackling a big yucky “we-all-have-one-and-dump-stuff-in-it” closet.
(If you are squeamish, I encourage you to turn back now, because what I’m about to show you IS NOT pretty.)
Today I’m untangling…(cue the ominous overture)…
THE DREADED STORAGE CLOSET
I know…horrible right?
This is the room/closet that enables me to enjoy a (mostly) tidy home everywhere else. It’s my thankless work horse. My dumping ground.
Outgrown/out-of-season clothes, extra furniture, suitcases, Halloween costumes, past financials, sentimental mementos, toys I’m saving for grandkids one day… They all end up here sooner or later.
Oh, and it’s our catbox room (eesh).
The store room is the busy woman’s unglamorous helper. And while I wish my store room didn’t end up like this from time to time…the truth is – even with a pretty good organizing system -it does. I have come to terms with un-bombing this room about once a year.
But there are some essentials that – because I set them up once – make it easier for me to untangle this room each time. (Don’t get me wrong, it’s still a big job. I’m pretty sure I’d rather get a filling drilled than clean this room. But it only takes a couple hours and I’m always so glad when it’s done!)
My Store Room Essentials:
USE CRITTER & WATER-SAFE BINS TO CONTAIN CATEGORIES
Those colorful plastic containers were my splurge LAST year when I calmed this room. I have a bin for all the different categories of stuff I store in here. Because this room sometimes floods a bit when we get a heavy rain (hence the gnarly concrete floor), I need plastic storage to keep things safe and dry (good lids that click tightly closed are a terrific investment to critter-proof things as well). As I worked on this room last Saturday, I opened each bin and removed anything that wasn’t useful or needed anymore – which included outgrown snow pants, old toys, worn-out school supplies from previous years, etc.
CLEAR THE FLOOR
It’s important to be able to walk around freely in a store room so you can easily find what you need at a moment’s notice. You know when it first snows and you scramble to find the mittens? This year, I’m good to go.
TRY NOT TO STACK THINGS
When bins are stacked on top of one another without shelving, it is super hard to access the contents inside. It doesn’t matter if it looks nice…if you can’t easily get into the bins to put things away, you won’t. Bins need shelves.
MAKE DECISIONS ABOUT THINGS YOU’VE BEEN AVOIDING
The desk got moved in here because we didn’t want to make a decision about it when we moved it out of our son’s bedroom. I could easily have parted with it because we don’t need it. BUT my husband has sentimental attachment to it because it belonged to his dad. I used some of my communication techniques for situations such as this and a peaceful compromise was reached.
KEEP THESE BIG HONKIN BAGGIES ON HAND
Oh my gosh…I LOVE these things! They are perfect for transitioning seasonal things out of closets for individual family members, wrangling categories of toys you want to donate, packing away extra blankets and bedding, and so much more. I keep a bin of giant baggies at the ready.
IF IT’S USABLE & YOU LOVE IT, USE IT (OR GET RID OF IT)
These jars were still useful and pretty, they just needed to be dusted and a new set of lights. Done.
SHRINK MEMORIES & DISPLAY THEM
I had been saving a couple T-shirts of my kids’ because they are loaded with memories. I used up some scrap fabric I found in one of the storage bins as stuffing and quickly turned the old shirts into simple throw pillows. The funny memories are no longer buried in a bin.
Whew! It’s done! Do you have a storage closet that you dread? I hope I inspired you to clean it up. Sure you’ll have to again, down the road (because nothing stays organized forever…except maybe museums – and I’m even sceptical of that). But if you use some of my tips above, maybe it will become easier to tackle each time. Good luck! You can do it!
Deana Ward of Your Happy Stuff loves helping overwhelmed women simplify and calm their lives. As a breakthrough life coach and creator of the 4-week rut buster, Happiness Hotwire, she helps her clients decide how they want to live and gives them simple steps and accountability to make it happen. Be sure to get your FREE gift and weekly tips from Deana over at Your Happy Stuff. You can also find her on Facebook and Pinterest.