Maximizing Small Storage Spaces
Like the rest of the world in recent weeks, I fell into the #KonMari trap and decided it was time to organize all our closets and storage spaces in the house. We have, over the years, collected lots of things, and with 2 girls, it's only about to get worse.
Our home doesn't have many storage spaces, so what we did have was extremely cluttered and crowded. I knew that the space could be better utilized, but it was all a matter of making it happen. So when my "nesting" instincts were slightly delayed, I figured there was no time like the present to part ways with things we didn't need, and organize our storage spaces.
And let me just say - labels will be your best friend during this process. Labeling where things go will be the easiest way to keep things organized.
Our coat closet was a "catch all" for everything that didn't have a real home - hats, scarves, brooms, Swiffer, sidewalk chalk, snow salt, beach toys... the list goes on. It was a disaster, and I pretty much had to say a prayer every time I opened the door that something wouldn't fall on my head.
So like the 21st Century Mom that I am, I took to Amazon Prime and ordered a few organizational necessities. After scouring Pinterest for a few hours, I knew I needed soft-sided bins for seasonal items and an over-the-door organizer.
Here are a few things I did to make this space work for us:
Matching hangers - I never realized how much this helps maximize hanging space in a closet. When the hangers are all the same size, the coats hang much nicer and evenly spaced. No large bulky hangers or small child hangers that get caught on bigger ones.
Organize Coats/Jackets - I have the coats organized by who wears them. The child jackets on one side, my coats in the middle, and Hubby's larger coats on the other side. This helps everyone find their own jackets a lot easier without having to dig around.
Seasonal Items in Separate Bins - I used the cloth bins on the top shelf to sort out seasonal items. One has summer hats, outside toys, and things we only use during the warmer months. The other bin has winter hats, scarves, and cold-weather necessities.
Over-the-door organizer - This organizer has 4 compartments, and coincidentally, we have 4 family members. So I will rotate what goes in the bins, but right now, it has the daily gloves, hats, and things that we regularly grab before walking out the door. In the summer, I'll switch them out for sunglasses, sunscreen, and ball caps! I labeled each bin so it was clear whose things were in container.
A bag of bags - I think every adult has one of these, whether they admit it or not! We love reusable bags, but without a home, they wreak havoc on the floor of our closet. Now, all the bags are contained in a larger bag (for now!)
Now, everything has a home and what we didn't use, or what was broken, misplaced, and didn't fit is out of the closet and either in a bag for donation or we threw it out.
This was a a big under-taking, but I think the end result made it well worth it. Taking everything out and taking inventory of what we have was the push I needed to discard the old, old, old towels and things we didn't need or use anymore, making room for the things we do use.
When I married Brian, he had the biggest collection of bath towels and most of them were 10 years old - meaning they were falling apart. I have slowly been "retiring" the very disreputable towels, but there were many that I didn't catch. I couldn't part with all the towels because, frankly, old towels are great rags for cleaning and home projects. But instead of taking up space in the closet, they live in the basement now.
(Check out the before and after!)
Soft Sided Bins - Once again, these saved the day for smaller items like extra bathroom toiletries and washcloths/hand towels. Just cleaning these smaller items up off the shelves makes the closet look neater and more organized.
Label - I hit up the Target Dollar Spot and found the greatest sticker labels to use for our closet bins. It was 6 labels for $1, and I couldn't pass up the pretty pastel colors. I used a Sharpie Pen to write on the label before taking the backing off in case the pen bled through - I didn't want the sharpie on the bins.
Depending on the size of your closet, you could have storage baskets or stackable containers on the floor for bulkier items like blankets. We don't have a ton of space, so I folded all the blankets uniformly and stacked them neatly. The rest of the floor space was used for extra toilet paper, our iron, and steamer (things in boxes to keep junk off the floor).
There is still a ton that needs to be Kondo'd out of the house, but with these budget friendly organization tactics, I won't be too intimidated by the process.
Have you been de-cluttering everything that doesn't bring joy?! I'd love to hear about it!