Monday, July 9, 2012

Every Tip You'd Ever Need to Get Organized!

I invite you to view another oldish post that I forgot to publish! My organization fit has finally ended. I've organized everything humanly possible in this house! 

My biggest projects were the pantry and my unfinished basement room. I sucked it up and got both of them done! Here's an in progress shot of the pantry...
Just to remind you of what I started with:
 (Can you tell I LOVE Cheerios, oatmeal, and almonds?)

Ok, now that you remember let me show you how I fixed it...
I gutted that pantry! I also bought some clear bins to keep like items together. As I gutted it I stuck things in the bins and threw out ancient things I found:
In case it's too hard to tell the coffee expired in 2001. I tried to make it just to see how it tasted. OH MY WORD... Don't ever make coffee that expired 11 years ago. And don't be brave like me and try to drink it. :)

After gutting was completed I began the rebuilding process. This shot also makes me wait to paint the inside of all of my closets a fun color. I love that my mom suggested I paint the pantry the grey that I used in the other part of the kitchen while it was still empty. It's nice and fresh whenever I open it.

This is the can organizer I bought that stair steps them so you can see what you own. 
I also bought clear containers so that I could see what I owned. After living with them for a bit I can say that this has already saved me money. I love knowing what I own and not overbuying! I use the things on this shelf a little less than everyday. It's more for dinners and actual meals that I make. That's why it's a little higher than eye level. 
At eye level I placed the things that I use the most. This is lunch stuff, snacks, and breakfast. The clear cereal containers are also great for knowing what I own and keeping things fresh. I go through Cheerios like water. Corn flakes aren't really for breakfast though. I use it for recipes mainly. Therefore, they need to stay fresh and a container like this works better than the box. 
I bake a lot, so I need that stuff accessible, but not on a daily basis so this stuff was placed a little lower. Now I have all of my salty stuff and oils in one divider and sweet baking stuff in another. 
I put all of my drink stuff way up high. I don't really drink "pop" as us midwesterners call it. But, I do keep it in the house for random people that come over. My coffee, tea, etc also lives up here. 
On the floor I have dog and cat food and extra stuff...
Here is the pretty finished product! 
Some important things to remember for projects like this are:
- Zone things. All baking stuff, canned goods, breakfast stuff, drinks, etc should be zoned so it's not in multiple places. 
- Place things based on how often they're used. Front and center at eye level is where your most used items should live.
-Use clear containers to force yourself to stay neat and to remind you of what you own!
-Keep heavy things on the the floor. Don't break your shelves or your back putting them up and down!
-Use containers/bins to keep like items (like sugar packets, granola bars, etc) together
And that's it! 

Maybe a pantry isn't your issue. Maybe it's shoes.

That was also my problem! Most people keep them in their clothes closet. I have the luxury of having a bunch of closets for little old me. I use my front hall closet to house my shoes. Recently my life has changed. With the top secret retailer I had to wear dress shoes (usually black heels every day). I had SOOOO many heels! In my "real life" I wear heels, boots, and flats. Then I joined the school. I still had to wear dress shoes, but not just black anymore. Then my collection expanded. Then I joined the new top secret retailer. Now I can wear anything closed toe. I usually wear tennis shoes or ballet flats. All of this shoe change has led to me owning a LOT of shoes! I was using a shoe rack that stored 10 pairs and a laundry basket for everything else. It was NOT working!

One night I got fed up, bought 30 shoe boxes, and gutted the closet and started making piles. You needs shoe zones too! 
I grabbed a trash bag too. I threw in stuff I knew I'd never wear again to be donated. Then I started boxing up stuff that I knew I wouldn't wear often but didn't want to forget I owned (see all of those black heels?).
 Then I started putting things back. All of the boots went into boot boxes too. The shoes I wear very rarely went behind the shoe rack. Everything else went on the shelf.
 My everyday shoes (excuse the horrible lighting. Flash-less was the only way to keep my shoes from bouncing reflective light at the camera!) got loaded onto the shoe rack:
Now they all live happily ever after in my much more functional coat closet!

Maybe under the kitchen sink is your issue. That was ALSO my issue! I have a lot of issues I guess! This is what I was working with. Not the worst. But very shallow and everything behind was wasted. 
This was a quick fix. Everything is zoned here too and I added some drawers. Cleaning products on the left. Trash bags and stuff in the bottom drawer. Dishwashing stuff in the top. Extra bags to the right. The whole thing is a lot more functional and as pretty as under the sink can be! 
Ok, finally my last issue... The basement. 
Ugh the dumb basement was such a mess and I hate showing how bad it'd gotten!

So, I gutted this too and made lots of piles. I also threw things out. Lots of things! I bought two things for down here to help. 

1) This beast of a cart. It's the same one I have in my closet and under my kitchen sink. I stacked two on top of each other, didn't buy a top, and bought wheels. 
I also bought a ball bag. Not that I'm miss athletic! I knew it'd fit wrapping paper perfectly. 
Here is the after. Now my seasonal decorations have a home, as well as all of my paint stuff, tools, and little stuff.
Painting supplies, home repair stuff, and tools:

This heap is still here, but smaller. This is waiting to be garages saled. There's not a lot about it that can be organized. 

So... the place is done! We're all (notice the tail) enjoying the organization!

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