As my pregnancy reached the second trimester, I finally began to feel like myself again. Gaining some much needed energy to begin tackling getting our home ready for baby number two. I now know from experience that the first couple of months once our baby is born are pretty much consumed with all things baby. By preparing our home for those long months ahead, I feel that it will help with my peace of mind knowing that our home is in cleaned and organized. Who am I kidding, I'm still trying to keep myself busy as I can't fully begin work on decorating the nursery until construction in enclosing our lanai is completed! (More information on our lanai enclosure coming!)
So I've been keeping myself busy, organizing 6 out of the 8 closets in our home in just under a month. And I even tackled our pantry which if you followed my stories on Instagram (@housebythepreserve) you know it was no easy feat! With all the closet organizing that I've been doing, I've gotten quite good at tackling the space quickly and efficiently.
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Seven simple steps to organizing your closet:
I was able to tackle so many closets in one month because I took the time to plan what and how I wanted to accomplish. For every closet, I made a list of HOW I wanted to use the space and WHAT I was going to store in there. For example, our small coat closet I had previously used fabric hanging storage shelves that I used to store my seasonal home decor a long with our vacuum and floor steamer. The closet has quickly become a dumping ground and there was no rime or reason to anything that was being stored in there. I knew I wanted to keep our coats in there but also needed a space to store our beach towels. Our linen closet isn't very big and I knew that I wouldn't be able to fit all of our towels in the linen closet, so I came up with the idea to use a double hang closet rod and use the bottom to hang all our beach towels. This way they are accessible and ready to go as we are walking out the door. Don't forget to plan if you want to paint the walls or add wall paper as well. It's best to have your materials ready so that you can finish the space quickly and efficiently!
GO SHOPPING…AND KEEP YOUR RECEIPTS
This may the most fun part for some, going shopping for your organizational supplies. Whatever you feel you need to accomplish your organizational goals, it's time to get it now. I like to hit up stores like the Dollar Tree, Walmart, and Target, for organizational bins, labels, anything that will help me KEEP my stuff organized. Be sure to keep your receipts in case you need to return anything that you don’t end up using!
Want to save some money? I like to collect all my spare organizational items before I start on the closet so that I can use what I already have, saving me time and money!
EMPTY OUT EVERYTHING
This step may hurt a little and you may be tempted to skip it, but trust me, it will make your life a whole lot easier to see everything out of the closet. Not only does this force you to really look through everything and decide if you want to keep, purge, or relocate, but also lets you know that you've store the item in the correct place. I had recently been telling my husband for what felt like weeks that we needed to buy a new water filter for our refrigerator. He kept telling me that he thought he had bought a pack of three filters last time he replaced it and I kept telling him that I hadn't seen the filters anywhere. A few weeks later while I'm tackling our pantry come out two brand new water filters. Yep, had NO idea they were in there. Trust me, make life easier on yourself and just empty that closet out. It will allow you take stock of what you have and what you need.
CLEAN & DRESS UP WALLS
Now that you've completely emptied your closet, it's time to CLEAN! How often is your closet completely empty that you get to give it a good cleaning? Not very, so might as well take advantage and clean. Wipe those surfaces down, dust, patch up holes, paint, etc. However you want to dress up your closet and you hopefully identified in the planning step, it's time to put your plan into action. Paint those walls, install a pretty wall paper, whatever is going to help inspire you to keep the space clean and organized. For most of my closets, I barely spent a dime which is why the planning phase was so important for me. I was able to utilize organizational items from other areas as I improved others, making use of the items I already had on hand.
Now that your closet is empty and clean, it's time to start going through the items. Be sure to make 6 piles: keep, donate, sell, giveaway to family and/or friends, relocate, trash. Here is where you have to be ruthless and strong in order to decide what should go back into the closet. Over the years and moving to a smaller home with limited storage space has forced me to be super selective in deciding what gets to stay. When deciding on clothes, if it fits well and I like it, it goes back in my closet. If I haven't worn the items in months of years or no longer fits well, I decide on donating, selling, giving it away to family or friends. If it's damaged, it goes in the trash. I try to follow the below rules so that I only truly keep what I love:
If it doesn't fit, donate, sell, giveaway, or trash it.
If you don't like it, donate, sell, giveaway, or trash it.
If you no longer want/need it, donate, sell, giveaway, or trash it.
If it doesn’t work, dispose of it.
If it doesn't belong, relocate it.
Now that you have paired down your items to what you truly want to keep, it's time to start bringing them back into the closet. Thinking on how you use the space, organize items in a way that's going to work best for you and your family. For example, when planning my organizational strategy for our coat closet, I decided that I would use a double hanging rod that we already owned to make use of the space below the wire shelving. Right now, I have our coats on the top and the beach towels on the bottom. Once spring and summer roll around, I plan on moving the coats to the bottom and our beach towels to the tops as they will be getting a lot more use.
Now that everything that you want to store in the closet is back in, it's time to label your bins and shelves. Labeling will be your best friend is you want to make sure your closet STAYS organized. I've found that by going a little overboard with labeling not only does it help other people in your home to know where things go, but also helps with guests should they want to help themselves to towels or sheets. I especially like labeling in the pantry. You don't know how many times I've organized it to have it only last a week or so. Take the time to label so that there are no excuses as to why it can't stay organized.
I hope this post has inspired you to tackle your own closets. You don't have to tackle all of the them in a month like I did! Start with a small closet, tackle one closet a month, whatever encourages and helps you create a home you love!
Leaving you with some AFTER shots of my newly organized and clean closets: