A few weeks ago I had one of those moments you see in cartoons where the character yells so loud and so long that the whole world around him FREEZES.
You know what I’m talking about.
When water shooting out of a fire hydrant freezes in mid shoot…
The person jumping is somehow suspended indefinitely in his jump….
The world just stops and stares at the source of the yell waiting for the OK to return to life.
Well that’s what happened to me. And that’s what started my return to the basics. My youngest sister understood my desperation. I think she saw it in my eyes. She was in town for Mother’s Day weekend and I somehow managed to convince her to help me freeze time and start to sort out the mess that had become my life.
This is where I had the most angst…
My closet needed fixing.
Clothes needed to be burned.
My office needed reorganizing.
A better system for posts needed to be put into place.
I needed to lose baby weight.
And sometimes solving the problems of the world is just easier when you have someone by your side holding your hand, or at the very least telling you how BAD your favorite skirt from 3 years ago will look even if you could fit into it again…simply put, you may not keep it.
The first place we tackled was my bedroom. My problems were..
- Bookcases that stored our books had become a fascination for our 1 and 2 year old. Every morning they would systematically pull EVERY book out. So every day these needed to be picked up and put back. I would have moved them, but had no where else to store them.
- My closet was a disaster. It had become a mix of maternity clothes, post maternity clothes, and clothes I was hoping to fit into again, just a random cluster of nonsense. My biggest problem was not being able to find something to wear, that I liked and that fit me, in a 15 MINUTE WINDOW window. Which is about all I have every morning .
- Too many clothes from the past stored in boxes that I was afraid to toss…what if when I lose the baby lbs I want to wear it again???
This is what left my room for the Goodwill
This is what remained…
My Elfa system from The Container Store was already in place. I had done these when we first moved into the house. But they were overfilled and disorganized. My sister chose to make the 2 pull out drawer shelves on the wall for shoes. Running shoes on top, sandels and flats below. All of my heels rest on pull out shoe shelves. Below are frequently used wedges, slippers, and a multi-use bin filled with flip flops (which are the true “frequently used” shoes).
My sister asked me if I wanted to arrange my closet by color, article of clothing, etc. I prefer to have like items grouped together, i.e. skirts, pants, shirts. And then within that, like styles. So long sleeves blouses, then long sleeve shirts…
After weeding through the shoes that should be tossed, (the overflow was stored in the little armoire in our room), she moved the shoe boxes not worn as often to the top shelf of the closet. This used to be where a billion work sweaters and knit tops for my office job were folded. But I was shown the light (a glaring light actually) that many were not really a style I would go back to….and did I really see myself going back to an office job that called for that same (outdated) style?
Well, no. So they were gone.
The open bin to the left holds clutches and bags not used everyday.
These are Elfa drawers. I love Elfa drawers and try to use similar ones around the house so that I can move them around and combine them together when needed. Left top drawer is bras, going down is socks & tights, workout clothes, pajamas. On the right top, underwear, shapewear, bathing suits (so ironic that bathing suits are under shapewear….SIGH), hats & visors. To the left of the drawers are frequenyly used boots (all others are in boot boxes under my bed until fall).
On the back left and right side of the closet, I have large storage boxes that I bought at Target YEARS ago. This used to be the storage system I used for everything, but then they stopped making some of the boxes. So I’ve slowly been incorporating the Container Store clear storage boxes.
These boxes hold:
- Winter ski clothes
- Maternity clothes (only the ones that would be worn again if anyone was ever pregnant)
- Post prego clothes I plan to try on again in 2 months. (This was her tip as well. Pack them away and bring them out again on a set date.)
- And believe it or not, 1 entire box holds all my favorite jeans from 3 years ago. I refuse to throw this box out until I’m able to fit into each and every pair. If this is something that helps me reach my goal, then so be it.
Basically my sister’s biggest tip was, if you can’t wear it now, don’t put it out. Only clothes that fit AND that you feel good in should be hanging in your closet. I had been holding onto items to have choices just in case, but really didn’t love them as choices. Her advice, if you don’t love them and you don’t feel good in them, you wont wear them. Therefore they just take up space and clutter the closet so you can’t see what your REAL choices are. Get rid of them.
So we did.
I LOVED this trick! So simple, WHY didn’t I think of this. My brother-in-law has A LOT of t-shirts. One might call him a collector. My sister folds his shirts normally, and then in half again, allowing the shirts to fit in a drawer like the photo above. I LOVED this and so did hubs! So much easier to see what’s in the drawer. I actually changed the girls t-shirt drawers to look the same.
This is one of my favorite hangers from the Container Store. Great when you live in small spaces (which I always have). My sisters tip was to always make sure you hang the pants in the rungs in the same direction. Easier to tell what’s there.
This is the armoire in our room. It used to be filled with those shoe boxes now on the top shelf now. As well as my running shoes and bags. Since new space was found in the closet for those items, we moved the books safely behind the doors of the armoire. I can get to them when I need them, but the Littles cannot. (Side note ~ I have used this piece of furniture in our TV room, the babies room, as a closet, and now to store books. A good piece of furniture will have many lives in your home.
This left the book shelves empty for now. Which although they look bare, it is soooo much better than having to pick up books everyday.
I’m good with them simple, bare, and CLEAN.
So we (SHE) solved the majors for this room. Which LITERALLY lifted such a weight of my shoulders. When this room and the hall closet were complete I felt like I could breathe again. Silly I know, but I knew those were my trigger spots.
What are your favorite closet organizing tips and tricks? I would love to her them! Hope our tips help you with your de-cluttering process!
For more closet help, see an earlier post with tips from Beth of Smart Style…
Have a great week!!