I have a confession to make.
I am a packrat.
Yes, it’s true. I have a hard time throwing things out. On top of that I’m just not a neat person by nature. I have wildly varied interests and I’m passionate about a lot of things–but keeping things straight isn’t one of them. That always seems to be something better left to another day. That’s how, 3 years after moving in, our big, walk in master bedroom closet looks like this:
Our master bedroom is actually the converted 3rd floor attic of our 1890 village home. The walk in closet is just off of the master bath, tucked up under the eaves. The walls curve down to the floor sort of like being in the hull of an upside down boat. It’s an interesting space–but far from a typical closet configuration.
Walmart offered to help me out and send me some organizational products to turn my closet around. Although I kind of wish the offer had come with a personal organizer as well, I was still thrilled to accept. Over the next few weeks all sorts of interesting boxes trickled in.
In case you live under a rock or had never perused the aisles of your local Walmart, I am here to tell you that Mainstays Canopy, and Better Homes and Garden brands have a lot of great organizational products that are available at Walmart. Not only do they have your standard hangers, bins and shelves. . . but they have some very specific products that address modern problems-like the “what do I do with all these flip flops in 76 colors” problem.
Organizing the closet was a big task, and being somewhat of an over achiever (or as I like to call it “insane”) I decided that if I was going to be in there organizing I really needed to weed out all the items that a) didn’t fit any longer* or b) I just didn’t wear anymore.
I decided that the hangers were a good place to start. One by one I took every single piece of clothing off it’s hanger and hung it on a new one. For Yankee Bill’s dress shirts I used a tip I had read ages ago in an organization book and arranged them by color. Not only does it look cool, but it also makes it easier to find a particular shirt.
This was my first time using the flocked “no slip” style slim hangers. Let me tell you-they really are non slip. Yankee Bill actually isn’t sure he likes them, he said it’s a bit too hard to pull the shirts off unless you remove the hanger from the rod and then replace it (instead of just yanking it off while it’s still on the bar). I kind of like the fact that my more sheer or silky shirts are not falling off into a crumpled pile on the floor underneath the bar anymore.
I am considering using these hangers for the kids rooms. I think that the “no slip” feature would be helpful since they are not very careful about how they place things on the hanger–and their results tend to wind up with items on the floor. However one or two of the hangers did break in shipment–just snapped off one of the arms. I am not worried that they will hold up under regular use, but with the kiddos just grabbing something and pulling really hard-well, let’s just say that under that extra-ordinary abuse I wouldn’t be surprised if they broke some.
Finally the hanging bar was under control, everything hung neatly and the clothing removed tossed into two great big huge piles (donation and “if I go down one size this will fit again”). That took a day and a half (well, not straight-I do have other obligations). I decided to tackle some of the specialty items next, like the scarf organizer.
Over the years I’ve collected a lot of scarves-mostly at thrift stores and such, although a few have been purchased at regular retail stores. I just love the way a scarf can dress up a rather plain outfit with a pop of color. There is just something about a woman who can carry off wearing a scarf with aplomb–it makes you look rather chic and put together. I even did a video about it: Frugal Fashion-Eleven Ways to Wear a Scarf.
Scarves by their very nature are flimsy, floppy things. When you shove them into a box (like I did) you really can’t see what you’ve got. I’m embarrassed to say that when I was going through and pulling out scarves I found several that I had forgotten I own! The scarf organizer put them all out there where I can see them. It is kinda puffy though since I have so many–I may try it in it’s other incarnation as a belt holder.
The next product was kinda cool-the Flip Flop Rack. I hung it from a hook, but it can also be hung from a hanger and it has clips so you can hang it off the back of a door. There are lots of teenagers out there who could use this for that pile of flip flops on the bottom of their closet floor!
We have an old dresser in the closet–Yankee Bill keeps his socks, white t shirts and such in it so he can get dressed in the morning without waking me up (isn’t he sweet?). The top, of course, usually becomes a repository for stuff–big piles of stuff. This Better Homes and Garden wicker hamper came with a bunch of little bins inside. The bins when on top of the hamper, the hamper itself went into the bedroom and the nice plastic hamper I was sent went in front of the dresser where it wouldn’t interfere much.
It was time to get the shoes under control. First off I have those white melamine shoe shelves that I had purchased at Walmart years ago (they still sell the same ones). Of course they only work if you put the shoes ON them. Plus my shoe collection has increased. Not that I have a problem or anything.
I weeded through the shoes-which was emotionally trying. I just had to admit to myself that with my multiply sprained ankles all those super cute high heels and wedges just had to go. It hurt. I did keep the kitten heels and such. Then I placed them neatly on the shelves and added in the really awesome 3 tier rotating shoe rack that Walmart sent:
As you can see in the background of that shot, they also sent me a bunch of pop up bins to organize the shelves. What before was multiple sloppy piles of sweaters, jeans, and sheets became a neat wall of boxes.
Tada-I’m done! Let’s look at the before and afters:
On the right side the wall of neat, matching bins and organized shoes is not only easier on the eyes, it makes it easier for me to find things without an avalanche of stuff!
Ahhhh. Isn’t that better?
*note: Weight gain has left me with an entire wardrobe worth of clothes that didn’t fit. Those were packed into 3 large bins and stored.