23 July 2014

The 2014 closet shuffle

Some people rearrange furniture to give their home a breath of fresh air, but I’m rarely one of those people. What I do is rearrange storage. My couch can stay in the same place for half a decade, but I really need a good closet cleanout every year or two. And since it’s been over two years since we moved in, it was time to re-assess what we were keeping in our teensy closets.

Stage one was cleaning out the basement, because it needed it but also because it opened up a whole new storage area that I’d been squandering. With that available, I was able to dig through my closets and figure out what needed to be relocated three stories down (or thrown out entirely). Anything that I was tired of moving out of the way to get to things I actually used was on the chopping block!

So stage two was tackling the coat closet. I’ve spiffed the actual “coat closet” part a time or two, but rarely showed you the other side, the side without coats. There’s a reason for that.


When we first moved in, it seemed to make sense to turn this into a utility closet. You know, to store lightbulbs, tools, brooms, lawn trash bags, that sort of thing. Here’s I learned in the last two years:

1) Lightbulbs do not burn out that often.

2) When you’re not installing hardwood floors or countertops or board and batten, you can really make do with only having a hammer and screwdriver on hand.

3) We have carpet. We do not need to sweep anything.

4) We do not have a lawn. We do not need giant lawn bags.

Most of the items in the closet were equally as useful – in the sense that maybe we used them, occasionally, if at all. Not enough to merit space in the living room closet. That’s what I consider a waste of space, folks. Not to mention a waste of time when I’d drag out a big toolbox to retrieve a single flathead screwdriver!

So. How’s about emptying out that closet?

Yessssssss. Yes! Is there anything more glorious than empty closet shelves?!

Now, I didn’t throw out all that stuff. Where’d it go? Well, part of it went into the basement, as I told you yesterday. But part of it went into these cabinets in the foyer, also emptied out by – you guessed it – dragging stuff to the basement.

Among the things I realized I don’t need close at hand that I had stored in those cabinets: seven spare extension cords, a tree limb hacksaw, and wasp repellant. Um, yeah, that can go in the basement, I think.

Those utility closet items that didn’t end up in the basement made their new home here.

There’s even a bit of space left at the bottom. No worries, I have plans for that later... really, I do. Ha!

And then. Then, I got something I’ve wanted since the day we moved in. I got... A LINEN CLOSET.

Ahhhh!! All my sheets and blankets and towels in a single, well-organized closet!

You guys! For two years, these items have been stored across multiple closets and various dresser drawers. But no more! I know there is all kinds of linen closet eye candy on Pinterest, but this is seriously all I needed to be happy.

It gets even better below. We once stored our suitcases waaaay up in the tippy top of this closet, which meant that every month or two, I had to remove everything from the closet floor (vacuum cleaner, brooms I never used), drag in a kitchen chair, and balance a suitcase over my head to retrieve it from that top shelf. No longer!

And what else is down there? Gift wrap! With ribbons and labels and tape corralled and neatly stored directly above! As soon as I sort through my stationary and cards, that’ll go there too – in a much easier-to-access single place.

Finally! A coat and linen closet I can be proud of, two years later! I know the play-by-play of someone else’s closet storage reorganization isn’t the most scintillating content on the internet. But as I said, a closet reorganization is even more rewarding than trying out a new furniture arrangement.

Go on, try it! Move around that stuff hidden behind closed doors!