Organization. One of the most searched words on my Pinterest page. I may be strange but I LOVE looking at photos of before and afters of different spaces that were re-organzied and cleaned. I have always loved organizing and rearranging. When I was young I would draw out a little blueprint of my room and sketch where I wanted my furniture to be. I was like 7 pushing, pulling and heaving my bedroom furniture set around every other month. Since the home we rent in now is very limited of how I can set up our living room furniture I usually just leave that alone but am actually dying to move it all around! Any who, since I cannot move a lot of my furniture around I move everything else around. A lot. Kitchen cupboards, closets, my craft room and bookshelves are constantly being rearranged. And really it is not just because I am bored with how it looks it’s because I always am finding a better more functional use of the space. The products we use, our daily routines.. they are forever changing so I think so should our home!
I told my boyfriend I was going to actually RELAX this past Saturday and for me relaxing means tackling one of our many awkward kitchen cabinets. Taking everything out, cleaning the shelves and finding a better way to put it all back. Plus I always feel a huge relief when I can purge some stuff we really don’t use. Seeing the finished product is so rewarding for me ! Anyone else??
So here is my embarrassing BEFORE photos… Yes I did have everything labeled but it was completely dysfunctional. It stressed me out every time I had to go into this closet. Everything was overflowing and looked cluttered. It took me awhile to figure out why this system just was not working for me. Then I decided to go through each basket and see what was in them ! Some of these bins/baskets were filled with junk a year ago and I had never even looked in there since! The main problem was that I just had too much stuff. I had expired meds and vitamins and hair products I have not used in two years.
The second problem with this space is that the bins I was using to organize my products were much too small. We are lucky to have a decent closet with deep/tall shelves in this rental and I wasn’t utilizing that space ! I mean, ew. This is bad, right?
This is one of TWO bags that were filled with garbage! yikes!
I also had no idea how many bottles of lotion I owned. It was absolutely ridiculous. Again, some were so old I actually had moved out to colorado from Illinois with them! (SOO embarrassing)
Some of them with barely any product left and lots that were brand new given to me as gifts. My skin can be very sensitive so I am limited to which lotions I can even use. Some Bath and Body works lotions I am allergic to and I had FIVE unused bottles just sitting there! I also had an insane amount of makeup bags that I never use. I kept my favorites and added the rest to this basket. Instead of throwing this basket out I decided to give it to a friend that will actually use them!
I have gotten so much better with purging my things over the past few years but beauty products are most definitely my weakness! I was in complete DENIAL that I had a problem until I dumped everything I had out and realized there was no way I was using even half. (And this is just in the linen closet, I have yet to tackle my makeup drawer in the bathroom!) Every time I bought or received a beauty product and didn’t like it, I would feel so incredibly guilty of the thought of tossing it that I just held onto it. I kept telling myself that I would use it someday or that when friends and family come out to visit and stay with us, they would use them. But in reality most people bring their own products to use anyways and I was just wasting valuable space holding onto this junk!
Here I am during the process…I realized that two most-used baskets (the hand towels/wash cloths and the toilet paper were at the top shelf… not too smart haha So I moved them down to a lower shelf
I also had a few items that were unopened such as hotel shampoo and deodorant you get when you are in the hospital. I threw those in a plastic bag and made a “blessing bag” for someone less fortunate than myself.
After purging and cleaning my first step was to get a few new baskets that better filled the space and I ended up finding some perfect ones from Target! The best part: they were on sale ! WIN!
You can find the white plastic bins here
I got two 20 quart clear plastic bins from Walmart. These were only $3.83 each! Not too shabby. I had decided to go with these bins because I wanted them to have a lid since they are on the top shelf. I put our travel size items and my makeup bags in one and all our first aid products in the second. I put these two at the top shelf because they are the least used.
I already had these clear plastic shoe boxes from the Dollar Tree and they work perfectly for our meds! The lids snap closed nicely and I love how you can stack them too.
The wicker baskets I already had and found those at the Goodwill. (BEST place to get baskets!) I used one for “extras” which has soap,extra razors, feminine products, face wipes etc. We buy some beauty products from Costco so those all go in this basket as well.
The two brown baskets on the bottom shelf are from Target as well and had bought those a few years ago. One holds our hand towels and washcloths and the other toilet paper. (We also buy TP in bulk from Costco so the big thing of them is in our laundry/storage room and I just carry them up to fill the basket as-needed).
I did have all our bath towels and cleaning products and the bottom of the closet and again – just not functional at all ! I picked up a clear hanging show organizer from Walmart for under $10 and put my cleaning products, rags, sponges and batteries in it ! It cleared up so much space getting those items off the bottom shelf! Plus it is way easier to see everything I have now.
I needed new labels but couldn’t find the type I was looking for so I just made some for now that I used double-sided tape to apply. I got the template from Clean Mamma and uploaded to PicMonkey where I just typed in my different categories. The double-sided tape will only last a little while so they are temporary until I find the perfect labels!
Here are “After” photos of the whole closet :
I like to keep that white tub from the Dollar Tree in here because that’s what I use to soak my feet with. Every mama needs some pampering !
It may not be completely “Pinterest perfect” but it works for us ! And the total cost of this project was only around $26.
***Check back soon for my post about budget-friendly bathroom under-sink and drawer organization tips!