Project Simplify - closets, counters, and drawers

Well, this week I needed a bit of extra time to get everything organized the way I wanted, and I am by no means done.  In fact, I could have picked 6 other places to work on as well, but they didn't make the list this week! 

Last week, I had wanted to make my front entryway into a pantry/closet.  Well, it was already a closet, and it did hold the few bulk things that we had.  It also becomes a storage space for garbage.  I was able to clean up the entire entryway and now Matt and I know where we are going to add some more shelves, and hopefully enclose the space this spring/summer.

I realized after I cleaned this space that we needed to get a better system for our shoes which are currently in the pink bin and where I am standing to take pictures and the bags for our trips to the store and farmers' market.  We have our seasonal shoes in the bin, and then whatever we are wearing currently out.  I would love to get some type of shoe rack.  Also, maybe making a few extra stops to the redemption center would probably be a good idea :-)  To be fair, I had moved all of the bottles from our basement to the entryway so my husband could take them back.

There, that is much better :-)  Although, I now know that I need to go back to Sam's club, because we are running out of food for the month :-)  Much the same as after I cleaned my fridge out!

The next spot that I wanted to concentrate on is the junk drawer in my kitchen.  Everyone has one.  I swear I organize that thing once per month, but certain people really do consider it a junk drawer, and treat it accordingly.  It doesn't help that the babes have started opening it up to take out the flashlight, or the bag of balloons...which is now way in the back of the drawer.  

Have I ever mentioned that we don't have closets in our house.  Well, that isn't completely accurate.  We have the closet that is in the kids' room, and we have the closet that is in my craft room...although it is more of a bar hanging from the ceiling.  It used to have a front to it, but darn if people in the 1880's had a need to put a hanger in their closet, because that closet was not deep enough for a actually didn't even have the bar, instead 5 hooks in the back of the closet...awesome.  And we have one other closet in our house, also not deep enough for a hanger, so it is currently empty.  I think I might see if Matt can put shelves in it, and then maybe I can use it as a linen closet.  Anyways!  I digress!

Because we don't have a closet, we have made the upstairs entryway into a walk-in closet.  It works out pretty well, since we aren't renting out the studio apartment anymore.  Instead we have made it into an awesome master bedroom.  That entryway is just big enough for all of our bedroom furniture and a lovely metal hanging rack!  And it has a door, so I tend to just throw stuff in there and shut the door.  Honestly, Matt is supposed to be responsible for putting his clothes away, that doesn't happen, so I shut the door.  It is to save my own sanity.  "Heather, why don't you put the clothes away?"  Thanks for asking!  Matt works in our bedroom, so by the time he gets out of work I no longer have energy to do laundry, and I put it in the entryway, threaten to throw away all of Matt's clothes, and then shut the door :-)

Oh, and those rails for a bed?  Well, that would be the other reason I don't do the laundry at night.  Our kids sleep in the room with us, and if I can get them asleep and then go downstairs for some quiet time, I do :-)  Eventually we will move them to their bedroom.  But, as of now, they are in our room.  Emma has a nice little bed set up in the corner of our room close to our bathroom (which is nice in the middle of the night), and Jack is sleeping in the bed with us.  See that luggage too?  Yeah, well that actually does fit in the third closet I mentioned above, so it will be living there from now on, hopefully under the make believe shelves.

That pile of clothes, that is the clean laundry, not including all the stuff I pulled out of the drawers.  I have gone through all of my clothes, Emma and Jack's clothes.  The only one left is Matt.  I separated out all of his clothes today, and put the few things that I think he needs to keep away, and the stuff I knew needed to be thrown away in the garbage.  Now there are several organized piles in our bedroom that he needs to make a decision on.  And if he thinks all 20 button up shirts are going to join the 4 that are hanging on that metal rack...he has another thing coming!

Ahhhh!  So much better!  Yes, I still have a lot of skirts...I could probably pare those down a bit further, but some I wear when I am gardening, some are for church, and some are for wearing around the house in the summer.  I'm not sure a lot of people wear skirts while gardening, but it seems to work for me, so I am going with it!

Other questions you may have about this space...what are the boxes on the top shelf - those are winter scarves/gloves/hats etc.  The two bins, one holds our winter clothes, ie long underwear, sweaters, snow pants, and the other holds the baby clothes that I am holding onto.  The garbage bags, aren't they supposed to go in the trash - nope, those are all of my cloth diapers.  We are on our way out of the diaper days (Jack asked to pee on the potty when he woke up this morning, and then actually did!), and I have pre-fold sizes from newborn through much larger than our children will ever be.  Last question!  What the heck is that huge TV doing in your closet?!  Well, we got a new TV after the bulb went on this one.  Why buy a new bulb when you can buy a brand. new. internet tv.  Well, that was our thinking last winter anyways :-)  And we just like to hold onto electronics...I'm not entirely sure why.  You should see our speaker collection.

How are you all doing with your spring cleaning?  I am still going strong.  I haven't decided what my hot spot for next week is going to be.  But, I do hope to continue bringing you my new and improved spaces over the next weeks while I continue to clean!

Don't forget to enter to win this great new book on minimalism, 3-2-1 Stop, stop running and start living.

Linking up at the Spring Into Organization Link Party!


  1. The upstairs entry/closet looks amazing! That must feel great.

  2. I agree with Kate, that area looks fabulous!

  3. My my, we must live in similar age houses. We have 1 tiny closet in my son's bedroom that is only good for shelves, and one skinny skinny closet in my room which has shelves because there is no room for a hanger. That's the whole house. There used to be one other closet, but we had to take it out to make our bathroom wider because 1. a pipe burst in the wall between the bathroom and the closet, and 2. the bathroom was so narrow (just wide enough for a toilet really) that when you were using the toilet, you would hit your head on the sink getting up. I have stopped doing "spring cleaning". Our goal is to constantly pick an area throughout the year and just TRY to keep on top of it all.
    PS...I garden in skirts all the time!

  4. I'm once again thankful for my house full of ginormous closets! :) But you did a great job with your "closets" -- the upstairs area looks especially awesome.

  5. Oh, nice! :-) I love the look of bare floor in the "after" pictures. It makes me feel calm and peaceful. I'm not sure I would like to see your speaker collection though... it sounds a lot like the pile of junk my husband had to sell at a yard sale before we got married and moved in together! Not only did he have a radio that didn't work, but also 8 speakers and a "thingy" that you plug other electronics into! It was all from the early 80s and super dusty. *bleck*

    It looks like you got a lot done this week, even as busy as your room is! Awesome. :-D

  6. The floor looks so pretty in your entry room/closet and so does the dark wood furniture.

  7. We have a small house that supposedly has two closets. One houses the water heater so there is about 5 inches of space in which to hang things, and the other is a typical 1920s, 1930s closet. Slightly better than 1880s, but not by much. You've done a great job with your closets and pantry space!

  8. I love the before and after pictures. It really gives you a sense of accomplishment doesn't it? I hope to get the same accomplished in our house before the summer gets here.

  9. The last one takes the cake! Even I can breathe easier now ;)

    1. It was quite a disaster! I think the fact that it is such a large space, and there is a door, it becomes a catchall for...well...everything :-) The biggest problem I had was where to put my luggage, and now that I know it can fit in my teeny little upstairs closet, all seems right with the world :-) Thanks for visiting!


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