The Catch-All Storage Closet ~ Day #10

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)…


Organizing a Storage Room 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.

Store Room-photo 2

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:


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.

Store Room-photo 3


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.

Store Room-photo 4


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.

Store Room-photo 5


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.

Store Room-photo 6


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.

Store Room-photo 7


These jars were still useful and pretty, they just needed to be dusted and a new set of lights. Done.

Store Room-photo 8


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.

Store Room-photo 9

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!

Storage Room Closet Before & After

Deana 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.




Linking up:

Yellow Bliss Road

A Bowl Full of Lemons

Filed under: Before and After, Closets, Guest Bloggers


10 Responses to The Catch-All Storage Closet ~ Day #10

  1. 1
    Susan says

    I agree that it’s nice to clean up your closets and junk rooms but all of those bins and shelves are expensive…even those big baggies you recommend are horribly expensive (and you get a box of 4-6 of them in total.)

    I’d like to see a closet reorg or junk-room reorg with only items, boxes or bins that you already have on hand in your house (so not spending any extra money to organize.)

    • 1.1
      Deana Ward | Your Happy Stuff says

      I hear you Susan, it can seem expensive up front. I invested about $75 into my bins when I purchased them last year. But I knew I would use them year after year, which will save me money in the long run by protecting my things against damage. The shelving was already in the room. So I agree with you, it’s a matter of getting creative and working with what you have – which is totally unique per individual. I also re-use those baggies (swapping out seasonal things and blankets, etc). I’ve only purchased two boxes in two years and haven’t run out. I find I don’t use them very often, but when I do they’re super handy. There are a million ways to calm a room…you’re right, you just have to find what works for you:) Best of luck!

  2. 2
    Tessa says

    Deana, I just wanted to say I will clean up your mess
    Anytime just don’t send me to the dentist! LOL! As for the totes
    I have been using them for almost 20 years! Love them for everything
    You want to protect ! I too have what I refers to as my Dungeon a place
    To store our stuff! Even my #2 son who is living in an appt is borrowing
    Part of the Dungeon! Have a blessed day Tessa~~~

    • 2.1
      Deana Ward | Your Happy Stuff says

      Haha! Thanks for your fun comment Tessa! So many people feel such guilt about their Dungeons…but I think it’s totally okay. Busy women need to take shortcuts when they can (high five!). I hope your day is filled with light and love as well:)

  3. 3
    TootsNYC says

    You’re absolutely right about not stacking the bins, and putting them on shelves instead.

    the one suggestion I’d make is that a person should try to space those shelves as closely as possible, so that no one is tempted to set something into the empty space on top of them (filling up the “headroom”).

    (It’s my personal belief that every single storage shelf set I’ve ever seen should be sold with an extra shelf so you can space them more closely–even if the resulting extra space is much shorter than the others. Often, when you buy a new one, there is paperwork that will let you buy that extra shelf. I’ve been known to add the shelf with ClosetMaid shelves and cable ties!)

    • 4.1
      Deana Ward | Your Happy Stuff says

      I wouldn’t claim that I know how to sew. I just know how to run a sewing machine, haha! Literally, if you can learn how to use a machine to stitch a seam, you’ll be off to the races! Or make a plate of brownies and bribe a kind friend who loves to sew. You guys can eat the brownies and chat while she sews the pillow…sounds like a fun deal to me! So happy for your comment! Have a great day Mary:)

  4. 5
    Lance @ Akro-Bins says

    The before and after pics look like one of those impossible to believe weight loss commercials, great work! I especially love how you’re using the containers and shelves to organize and clean, while still holding onto most of the stuff. A simple shelving unit that helps you get clutter off the ground can go a looooong way!

    • 5.1
      Deana Ward | Your Happy Stuff says

      Haha! Cleaning up this room felt like unbelievable weight loss:) One thing that always amazes me about projects like this…I – like most – tend to put them off because they seem like an enormous big deal. But once I get the ball rolling, it always goes quicker than I imagined. Thanks so much for your thoughtful comment. Enjoy the rest of your day!


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