{Guest Post} The Year of Organization Part 3

Hope you all had a great weekend!  I cooked and cooked and cooked.  🙂

Let’s just say .. I made an amazing Cinco De Mayo dinner that was out of this world!  Complete with Mango Margaritas and fiesta dance music! 🙂

Back to the topic .. Sally’s guest post part 3.

You can read Part 1 here and Part 2 here.  Today she is talking about her biggest project from her Year of Organization — the Arts & Crafts Closet.  Read below! 🙂

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The last and biggest project that I did during my Year of Organization was our Arts and Crafts closet. This project was the catalyst for all of my other organizing projects and my main reason for contacting Jennifer in the first place.

It took the most time and thought process to make the most of the space.  This closet was initially used to store our miscellaneous kitchen appliances that didn’t fit into our kitchen cabinets.  I was finding that the older the kids got, the more art supplies I acquired, and it really got bad when I found Pinterest!

I was keeping our supplies in the buffet in our dining room, but it was not working well.  So I decided to trade places, and moved the kitchen appliances to the buffet and the arts and crafts supplies to the closet.  {BRILLIANT!}

I don’t have a picture of the closet with the kitchen appliances, but I do have a picture with all of the arts and crafts supplies jammed in before the organization began.

Closet Before

Closet Before

ONE BIG MESS!!  I knew that we needed to find some type of shelving system for the best organization.  So after recruiting my husband (who did all of the hard labor,) we took out the hanging rod and installed some wire shelving.  I laid all of the supplies out and categorized them on direction from Jennifer and this is what we came up with….

Closet After

Closet After

Closet After

Closet After

Arts & Crafts Closet Closeup {It is BEAUTIFUL!}

Most of the storage is from Staples (The Really Useful Box) and I also upcycled some containers (coffee, sour cream, etc) to hold markers, crayons, scissors, etc. for easy access.  We still have a lot of art supplies, but because of the organization we use it much more often because it is easy to get to.  I love that we can also store our board games at the top of the closet so we don’t have to worry about losing pieces.

Does my closet always look perfect and organized? No way! Sometimes little hands find their way in and pick and choose what they want, and sometimes we are in a rush to clean up before mealtimes, but overall it has been a great improvement over where we stored the supplies before.

I believe that organization has been a work in progress for me, some days I do well at sticking with what we have in place, and some days I find piles everywhere for items that need to find a home.  It takes time to maintain organization and it needs to be a priority to work well.

I think it is important to strike a balance for where you are in your life when it comes to organizing. Would I have loved to have decorative fancy boxes and gorgeous paper lined shelves, of course, but not at the point I am in my life with my family’s needs.

This is more of a functional organization rather than aesthetic and I am happy with that.  {What is it I say: function then fancy} 😉 Once my children are grown and in homes of their own, then I will have the time (and patience) to work on making it more aesthetic.

I hope you have enjoyed seeing a few of my organizational projects and my hope is that they inspire you to find the right balance for you and your family’s organizational needs.

Sally Sosler Jamie Ball Photography

Sally Sosler
Jamie Ball Photography

Sally Sosler is a photographer located in Orange County, New York. You can follow her on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/SallySoslerPhotography or at her websitewww.sallysoslerphotography.com.

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I couldn’t agree with Sally more on several points!

  • It won’t always be picture perfect because organizing takes time every day.
  • Having a system in place makes it easier to keep up.
  • It doesn’t have to be gorgeous and fancy.  If you want to take that extra step, then by all means!
  • So long as the items have a home and you know where to find them and store them, then the system works!

Thank you Sally for sharing those projects with us!  What do you think of the transformation?

Clearly, I love it! 😉

Until next time…

love-Jennifer

{Guest Post} The Year Of Organization Part 2

Hope you all are having a great week!  I’ve got a busy rest of the week staring me in the face.

Charlotte Today Show Pure & Simple.jpg

Set your DVR to record the Charlotte Today show tomorrow!  I will be making my second appearance! 🙂  This time on behalf of the Habitat ReStore and all things organizing! 🙂

WCNC 11am-12noon

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Back to the topic at hand, Sally wrote her guest post Part 1 a few months back.  You can read that here.  She sent me Part 2 last week, and I have been dying to share!  There will be a Part 3 so stay tuned! 😉

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Jennifer and I were just reminiscing that we have “known” each other for an entire year now!  And of course that reminded me that I needed to get my butt in gear and send her the follow up post to My Year of Organization as I am sure some of you are waiting to see some before and after pictures!!

So let’s dive into 3 of the main projects I worked on in my Year of Organization.

1st Project: Linen Closet

First, I took a look at my linen closet and found it was certainly not being used to its fullest potential.

Linen Closet Before | Pure & SImpleAll of my bed linens and towels were crammed into the top few shelves and the bottom was a mish mash of toiletries.  I hardly knew what we had and was always over buying on my trips to the store because I didn’t have a good system of keeping track.

First, I pulled out everything and started with a clean slate.  I decided to start folding my towels in a way that gave me more space and better access.  I know it seems tedious, but it really did make a difference and has enabled me to keep it neat and orderly.  Then I went out to my local dollar store and purchased some white containers.  I purchased the drawer at the bottom from Target.  (I love those drawers because you can get multiple units and stack them.)  Although these bins are not cute and decorative, they do the job for me.  They are easy to keep clean and you can see everything that you put in them.

I went a little overboard and labeled the bins as well, to keep tabs on what items we were running out of and what we had a good stock of.  Now before I head to the store, I open the closet and take a quick scan to see what is low.  If you walked into my house at anytime, the closet still looks exactly like this (give or take a few towels that are in the wash).  It has shown me that taking the couple of hours to sit down and figure out a good system can withstand the test of time.

Linen Closet After | Pure & Simple

2nd Project:  Master Bedroom Closet

Next, I tackled my Master Bedroom Closet.  In our house, we don’t have the amazing luxury of a walk in, so I had to work to utilize the space I have in the best way.

Master Bedroom Closet Before 2 Master Bedroom Closet Before

I had some MAJOR work to do in there!! It was a mess as you can see.

I was just piling up the sweaters on the top shelf.  I had hanging dividers on the left side, but most of the clothes in them were from when I worked in an office job 4 years ago, so they were not even being touched.  The box in the front held my leftover pregnancy/post-pregnancy/nursing clothes that didn’t need a permanent space in my closet.

So I did what Jennifer suggests and took out everything.  I did a first sort through my clothes and made three piles. Keep, donate and sell.  Items that I found that were not being used currently and that were seasonal were moved down to our cedar closet for better storage.  I then went through the clothes a second time and made sure that every article of clothing that I put back in my closet fit me perfectly, I was not going to make any excuses as to why I needed to keep them. (INSERT- Proud Jennifer!

Once I had all my clothes sorted, I started to work on the best way to put them back into the closet.  I decided to use some Bed, Bath & Beyond linen bins to put on the top shelf.  They can hold more clothes and make them easier to get at when I am deciding on what to wear.  I decided to fold my clothes and place them in the bin top down so that I could maximize the space.  I know exactly what is in this bin because the front is labeled Long Sleeve and then when I pull it down I can see every shirt.   When I am finished, I just put it back up in the closet.

Organized Bin of Clothes

I also repurposed a wire shelf unit that was moved from the arts & crafts closed to the left side of the closet and put some additional linen bins for accessories, skirts and capris and labeled them as such.  I like this better than the hanging dividers because I had cut out a lot of my skirts, so I needed to dedicate much less space in my closet for it.  I then moved all of my jeans, which I wear on a daily basis, to the left side of my closet on hangers.

Wire Shelving & Linen Bins

Master Bedroom Closet After 2 Master Bedroom Closet After It felt good to have this space organized, but I must admit it is much harder to keep up with then the linen closet.  Mostly, because I am in it every single day taking out clothes and adding laundry, etc.  But overall, I have made an effort to put the clothing in the correct place and keep any misc. items from building up in front of the closet door.

Part 3 will be published next week where she talks about the 3rd project (Arts & Crafts Closet)! 🙂

Sally Sosler Jamie Ball Photography

Sally Sosler
Jamie Ball Photography

Sally Sosler is a photographer located in Orange County, New York. You can follow her on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/SallySoslerPhotography or at her websitewww.sallysoslerphotography.com.

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Side note from the organizer:  staying organized is definitely work.  It doesn’t just magically stay organized.  It is easier to keep up than it is to catch up.

I think of it like losing weight the old fashioned way.  Exercise & eating right.

You lose the weight, look good, and feel good.  Then life happens.  You get busy.  You start to skip the gym.  Fast food becomes more common than it should for dinner.  The weight comes back on.

It takes consistent effort to keep the weight off … and the clutter piles eliminated.  Safe to say, it is worth it’s weight in gold though! 🙂

What are your questions for Sally?  Ask them below in the comments! 🙂

Until next time…

love-Jennifer