Closet Organizing (Cleaning Out) Made Easy

If you missed my guest post several months ago on A Slob Comes Clean, you might not know that while I like my house to be clean and uncluttered, I don’t feel the same way about the insides of my closets and drawers.

It’s the stuff I SEE that bothers me.  But I do have a few rules about my drawers and closets:

  1. Every drawer or closet has a purpose.
  2. Everything in the drawer or closet must relate to the purpose.
  3. Drawers & closet doors must be able to shut easily.
  4. Nothing must stick out of the drawer or closet.
  5. Nothing must fall out of the drawer or closet when you open it.
  6. If the mess in the drawer or closet starts to irritate me or make me mad, the drawer or closet must be cleaned ASAP.

Unfortunately the closet right outside my bathroom violated several of these rules recently, especially #5 and #6.  But every time I looked at the closet and thought about cleaning it up, I just couldn’t bring myself to do it.

It’s confession time.  I’m not very good at organizing spaces; especially spaces with a lot of odd shaped unrelated items.  In the past, I’ve made my daughter help me.  But she got married and moved out so she’s not available to help me any more.  I was on my own this time and I was paralyzed.  No matter how hard I tried, I couldn’t do it.

So after a few weeks of increased frustration with the out-of-control closet, I had a brilliant idea.  I figured out how I could clean the closet without it costing me a lot of time and stressing me out.  Want to know my brilliant strategy?  This is it:

clean it out a little at a time

Are you disappointed?  I know – it’s not very exciting.  But it worked REALLY, REALLY well.  Every time I opened the closet, I did something to make the closet better; just something little like throwing away a mostly empty bottle of lotion or refolding the towels more efficiently or stacking the toilet paper.  Remember my rusty soap dish?  I don’t know why, but instead of throwing the soap dish away, I put it on the shelf in that closet.  So I threw it away.  I spent less than a minute each time.  And in less than week, the closet was organized and it no longer violated any of my rules.  I was (and am) one happy camper!







What area in your house or office could benefit from this technique?

Nightmare No More! The Closet is Organized!

Organizing spaces does not come easy to me so this week’s closet makeover ( taxed my brain in a major way.  But the makeover is done and I’m fairly pleased with the results.

The rules were that I was not going to purchase anything for the makeover and I didn’t.  Every container in the closet was something I already owned.  Here’s what I did.

Day 1: I made a list of all the different types of things that were in the closet.  Here’s the list:

  • Office Supplies
  • Paper
  • Wrapping paper
  • Planners/Journals
  • Scrap booking supplies
  • Support Group Box
  • Cookbooks
  • Planner supplies
  • Grocery bags
  • Boxes from products we purchased
  • Computer supplies
  • Rubber stamps
  • Art work
  • Photos
  • Books
  • Phone books
  • Sewing supplies
  • Tote bags
  • Legal papers
  • Exercise mat
  • Empty storage containers

Day 2: I pulled all the stuff out of the closet that didn’t need to be there:

  • Support Group Box – the support group doesn’t meet any more so I dismantled the box and filed the papers in my filing cabinet;
  • Grocery Bags – trash;
  • Books – got rid of some and made room for the others on the bookshelf;
  • Sewing supplies – placed with other sewing supplies in another closet;
  • Tote bags – moved to my bedroom closet with all the other bags;
  • Empty storage containers – to the basement storage room for future use.

Days 3 and 4: I went through everything that was left and tossed, gave away and grouped like items.  Then I put it all back and labeled every container.  I think the key to keeping it organized will be the labeling.  I discovered recently that I am a piler and not a filer (see article at  So if I have labeled containers, I will be faithful to only put in the container what is supposed to be in there.  I also made a rule that nothing can be tossed in the closet that doesn’t have a specific place.

And now, the moment you’ve been waiting for – the pictures!

A Nightmare in the Office Closet!

Junk drawers.  Catch-all-closets.  Hot spots.  All words to define locations that are unorganized, messy and filled with odds & ends in no particular order.  I think most people have at least one of these.  I have two – my desk and my office closet.  I try really hard to keep my desk in order and it stays that way briefly but then it’s messy again.  One of these days I’m going to figure out how to keep it neat.  But that’s a project for another day.

Today’s project is my office closet.  I’m going to give it a makeover and I’m going
to let you watch.  At the end of this article are several pictures of how the closet looks now.  In case you think it doesn’t look that bad, trust me, it’s worse than it looks.  It’s a mess with stacks of stuff that have a tendency to fall when I try to get anything out.  Not good!  But I’m going to fix it once and for all.

This week I’m going to give the closet a makeover.  My plan is to organize it using containers I already have.  I would definitely prefer to run to Home Depot or Target and purchase all new matching containers but that would be too easy and too expensive.
So I’m going to organize the closet with what I already have.

Wish me luck and check in on Friday to see the results.