Follow Me on Pinterest

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Skeletons in our Closets

I had gotten sick of our closets being disheveled; I felt like I was being ambushed every time I opened our pantry door.  We had a few problems to tackle:  
  • The cleaning supplies (mop, broom, vacuum) had been in the Man Cave closet since we moved in and didn't quite fit there anymore (well, actually ever).  I tried to move them to our pantry, but they fell over every time I opened the door.
  • Our collection of plastic and reusable shopping bags made it difficult to close our pantry door.
  • Our tailgating supplies, which stay in the shed in the off-season, needed to be easily accessible for football season.
I started with the pantry, since it was the most offensive of the closets.  Here's how it looked to start.  There's the mop and broom that made an appearance every time the door was open.

The tiny little hooks we installed a few years ago obviously didn't hold all of our reusable grocery bags, and our plastic bags (tan meant reusable, white meant recycle on our next trip to the grocery store) were taking more than their half of the door.

So I moved the bags inside the pantry, using a bigger hook for the reusable bags and reusing the smaller hooks for our new plastic bag organizers.  I'll have a how-to for that brightly-colored organizer on Thursday.

And I stuck the broom (which we use the most in the kitchen and entryway/dining room) on a hook on the pantry door.  Just ignore the grossness of the broom and look at how awesome that hook is.

Here's the newly organized pantry, complete with a reorganized top shelf.

(In order to get that picture, I had to sit on our kitchen counter.  Chewy wondered what in the world I was doing up there.)

Next up was the linen closet, where I wanted to move the rest of our offending cleaning supplies.  

We found a hook system at Lowe's that works on a spring system to hold onto tools or brooms.  (Sorry, I can't find the product on Lowe's website to give you a link, but it's Real Organized brand.)

It was super easy to install-- just five small screws, which I put in one at a time (middle screw first) to make sure it was level.  Here it is in its full glory.

You do have to really work to get a tool into the hooks, particularly because the organizer is made to be able to move those hooks around...

...which could become a problem because the hooks pretty easily slide off the side (which we actually discovered when trying out the organizer on display at Lowe's).  Mr. Great Indoors has promised he'll come up with a solution to keep the hooks from shooting off the horizontal section.  And they do shoot-- because we had to retrieve a few of them at Lowe's about 10 feet away.  Oops.

I also decided I needed to move around a few things within the linen closet, namely the stuff on the top shelf.  That shelf tended to accumulate smaller junk that I then had to get up on a ladder to find, which certainly wasn't useful.  So I repurposed a few baskets from our laundry area to contain some of those smaller things.

I intended to put those baskets back on the top shelf, but it turns out they didn't fit-- so I stuck them on one of the bottom shelves and rearranged a bit.

Back when we recovered our living room couches, Mr. GI suggested that I use the old covers to store our extra comforters and quilts.  Smart!  I just hand wrote on cardstock and attached the label to the zipper with some extra yarn.

Yes, I'm one of those people whose closets are sickeningly organized.  Even before I tackled these projects this past weekend, I already folded all of my towels and sheets by sets.  I know.  I'm Type A.

Another linen closet tip:  I put a note on one set of our sheets to remind me to wash our mattress pad (we have three sets of sheets, so our mattress pad gets washed every three weeks).

The next shelf is our beach towels and crap towels (what we use to clean up spills, etc.).

And at the bottom is our new storage, plus mop bucket and my emergency bag (I'm a member of our local CERT, and they gave me a nifty bag to keep my emergency supplies).  After I took this picture, I figured out that our vacuum (which was still in the Man Cave closet) fit on the left hand side of the closet.  Score!

And last but not least, I took on our coat closet.  This closet gets the most reorganizing, since I usually empty and reorganize it once a season (storing the scarves and gloves during the summer, bringing them back in the winter).  We needed this little space to hold a lot of things:  our tailgate supplies (and make it easy to get them out on a weekly basis), bike stuff, workout equipment, hats, and scarves/gloves.  The tailgate and bike stuff would have been a lot easier to store in an outdoor waterproof closet, but we unfortunately don't have one of those.

I started with the biggest things, namely the coolers, corn hole boards, and picnic basket, and worked my way to the smaller stuff (hats, scarves, etc.).  Miraculously, it all fit.  And nothing commits suicide when you open the closet door.  Like I said... miracle.

On the top shelf is our bike bag (helmets, cycling shoes, etc.) and picnic basket (which holds all our paper supplies for tailgating).  The bag on the picnic basket holds the corn hole bags and feet so those things are easy to take to a tailgate.

In the middle are all our jackets, an organizer that holds the smaller things, and our corn hole boards.

And on the floor are our outdoor chairs and coolers.  The bottom shelf in our closet is our air intake.

I actually ended up moving most of the exercise equipment to the Man Cave (since Mr. GI doesn't have to store cleaning supplies anymore!), so that's one fewer thing we have to stick in this tiny little closet.

Woo hoo to three clean closets!  Someday I'll revamp our coat closet like Real Simple did.  Sooo pretty.

Here's the cost breakdown for this project:
Who has skeletons in their closets?  Thankfully I didn't actually find anything except for a few spiders (including a black widow... uh oh).  Anyone else obsessive compulsive about folding their towels and sheets in sets?  I'm sure I'm not the only one....

P.S.  In case you can't get enough of closet organizing:  Benita from Chez Larsson and I were on the same brain wave this weekend; check out her post here about organizing her laundry supply closet.

1 comment:

  1. I recently reorganized our too-small storage closet that also houses the water heater. Just kept stacking and stacking stuff in there (tools, car stuff, paint supplies, mops/brooms) and one afternoon I took everything out and actually organized it. Justin looked at me like I was crazy but it needed it bad and I felt accomplished afterward. I am right there with you! :)


Comments make my day. Won't you leave one?