Friday, October 2, 2015

10 Tips to Organizing a Catch-All Space

I have a closet next to my hall coat closet that has been a bit of a nuisance space since I moved in. It isn't terribly large, but a whole lot of stuff can fit inside. Stuff that clutters the shelves making it impossible to find what is inside. Every so often, I will straighten the shelves, but there is no method to the madness. I was tired of this valuable closet space being wasted because of a lack of organization.

I am sharing some tips that were helpful as I worked to make this non-useful space useful.

1. Plan Your Project
The first thing I needed to do was figure out what I wanted to use this closet for. In its messy state, it held kitchen appliances, tools, cleaning supplies, candles and candle holders, vases, dog food, light bulbs, etc. Because of the variety of things inside, it became my go-to spot when I couldn't find something. When something wasn't inside, I knew it must be really lost. :)

Because of the location, this closet was a good spot for my vacuum and steam mop, but there was no room because of the shelves. I also needed a good spot for extra paper towels. I listed out the things I wanted in the closet.

2. Stay Calm
These kinds of organizing projects can be daunting. I oftentimes think it is easier to live with the mess than tackling the job. I want a happy, organized home and not dread opening up the closet door. I can do this...and so can you!!

3. Empty the Space
The easiest way to organize a space is to clean everything out. Trying to organize around all the stuff is difficult. Seeing the empty space gives you a chance to see the potential.

4. Don't Get Overwhelmed
See all the stuff piling on the floor and tables? You may start to wonder where it all came from. It is okay. It always looks worse before it gets better. Take a deep breath and keep going!

5. Purge, purge, purge
In the past year or so, I have discovered the freedom of purging. If you don't use it or need it, get rid of it! Someone else might need that thing you had to have, but have never actually used.

6. Make Piles
Set aside the things that need new homes. Don't worry about putting them away yet. Keep focused on the task at hand.

Keep the items that will stay in the closet together. It will make it easier to put them back in.

7. Clean
Because of the empty space, you can clean it. Wipe down shelves, cover them with shelf liners if needed. You don't want to the backdrop of your organized space to be dirty. True confession...I was going to paint the inside of the closet, but it just didn't happen. Another project for another day.

8. Organize Your Space
There is no right or wrong way to do this. You will be using this space, so put items where it makes sense for you. You may need to tweak it after living with it for a few days.

After I cleaned everything out, I found out that I had more space than I thought. Some of the things I was going to move could actually stay where they were.

9. Find Permanent Homes for the Rest
A place for everything and everything in its place. Find permanent places for those leftover items. My pile went to several spots, including a cabinet in my garage, my craft room closet and my spare bedroom closet.

10. Do A Happy Dance!
As my 2-year-old niece says, "I did it!" It is such a great feeling when the project is done and looks great! Keep up with the organization and don't let it become out of hand. It may change as your needs change.

Good luck! Let me know what organizing projects you have on your list!


  1. Love this! I'm feeling inspired to get organizing :)

    1. That is great, Naomi! This was one of those projects that I questioned why I waited so long to organize it.