Monday, April 12, 2010

Spring Cleaning - Closet is finished!

I did it! I cleaned out and organized the closet in our dining room/back entryway. For a quick embarrassing refresher, it looked like this:

It took about two days of working during very early mornings and kids’ naptimes, but I ended up packing up three trash bags and one box full of donated items. I donated coats that no longer fit or haven’t been worn in over two years, kids’ Halloween costumes, shoes, snow boots, and some kids’ toys that hadn’t been played with in months. Yes, all of this unused stuff was crammed into this one little closet.

I moved some winter coats to the living room closet where I managed to find some extra hanging storage space. I even found a box of stuff that I brought home from my last day at my law firm nearly three years ago! I finally went through it and donated a ton of picture frames and office-type knick knacks. Not sure why I was holding on to that box of stuff for so long – perhaps as a small way to hold on to my “old life” as a professional working outside of the home? Anyway, out it went. The kids and I made a big trip to Goodwill and it felt so good!

And now for the "after":

In total, I spent about $37 organizing this closet. I purchased some wire storage cubes (set of 6 but I only had room for 5) at Target for $16.99. I removed the wooden bench-type shelf in the bottom of the closet and replaced it with these cubes. I can now hold so much more stuff and it’s more accessible and organized! I store shoes, sidewalk chalk and outdoor games, bike helmets, diaper bag and my purse in these cubes. I even saved a cube “just for me” – sort of like my own little office space – where I am going to keep folders to organize household-related items.

Next to the cubes, I hung a shoe organizer that I’ve had for some time. I now store hats, gloves, and umbrellas in this organizer. It works great and actually takes up very little space! Although this picture is dark (credit to my very dimly lit dining area), here is the repurposed shoe organizer:

I found two white storage containers (with lids!) at Target for $6.99 each. I put my husband’s sporty stuff (biking equipment, tennis balls, etc.) in the white bins and placed on the top shelf with labels so he knows right where to look when he needs something and I hopefully won’t be faced with that same old question every weekend: “Honey, do you know where my ____ is?” I put some miscellaneous kids stuff (Easter baskets, kite string, bubbles, etc.) in a cardboard box I had down in the basement and that went on the top shelf, too. Here are the new, organized, and labeled bins:

While shopping at Target, I fell in LOVE with these organizational envelopes from 3M that stick to hard vertical surfaces. They were pretty and the purpose is to store bills, receipts, etc. But the price tag was nearly $16 for the set I loved and I had a hard time justifying spending that. So, although I’m not at all crafty, I thought: "hmm, I bet I can make something like that." So I purchased three plastic folders with Velcro closures for $.99 each and some 3M double-sided tape for $3.29. I hung up the three folders on the inside of the door. Here is my cheapo-do-it-yourself version:

At the time I took this picture, I hadn’t quite decided what I was going to keep in these folders. I now have them labeled as follows: husband’s mail and work documents, household documents to be filed, and sales flyers and coupons.

I am so pleased with this finished project. It is like a breath of fresh air in this part of the house. I keep finding myself peeking in the closet and smiling. Now my mission is to KEEP this closet organized!

For more ideas on spring cleaning and organization, please visit Life As Mom.


  1. Wow, it looks great! You did an awesome job. :)

  2. That looks great! I really need to get to our hall closet. I love the envelope idea and am defiantly stealing it!

  3. It looks great!

    What section of your Target had those cubes? I tried to find something like that last week at my local one and I couldn't find them.