1.14.2014

Operation {Re}Organization: What's Working and What's Not


If you've been following the blog for awhile, you may remember that last year, one of my major goals was to get a few "problem" areas in our apartment organized. I took on a new area of the house almost monthly, and the hard work really paid off! As I've been thinking about new ways to get organized this year (isn't just about everyone thinking about that right now? ha!), and what I want to work on, I've also been reflecting a bit about what I did last year that worked, and what might need some tweaking.

Before we get going, I want to say one thing: once a space is organized, that doesn't necessarily mean it's done forever and that the system will always work perfectly. For example, perhaps you purged and organized your pantry. You put a system in place, gave everything a home, gave yourself a big pat on the back for a job well done, and then came to realize a short while later that, oh shoot, this isn't working. You know what? That's ok. Seriously ok. I consider myself to be a pretty organized person, and my systems fail too. I still have clutter, even when I spent what feels like a year going through most every space in our apartment.

But guess what, my friends, all that work is not, I repeat, IS NOT worthless. Organization is a continual process. It takes time and effort, and I hope that some of my projects have inspired/will inspire you to get (back) on that organization horse. Writing these words is going to help keep me accountable as well. I've got some project ideas up my sleeve, but before I start again, let's take a look back at three of last year's major problem areas that I detailed in this post...

Problem area #1: Front Hall Closet


Overall Grade: A-

This closet has come a long way, baby! It serves all of it's (many) purposes well, including storing coats, athletic gear, tools, paint, utility-related items, wrapping paper, vacuum and dog supplies. It pretty much looks just like this photo does now after living with it for nearly eight months.

My only complaint is that the wrapping paper can be a little tricky to get to with all the coats in place. Thankfully, I don't have to get it out very often, but when I do, it's a little annoying to shove the coats to the side and pull a roll down.

To read more about this space, take a look at the inspiration, the before, and the after.

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Overall Grade: C-

Alas, the "pantry" area (we have a small cabinet in the kitchen and one small piece of free-standing furniture we use as pantry storage) has really gone downhill. It's not a total fail, but not everything fits anymore, and the use of space doesn't totally make sense anymore in the kitchen cabinet area. I think I'm going to clean out and start over there. I'm brainstorming some alternatives, so I'll let you know what I come up with soon.

On the bright side, the storage system in the free-standing piece of furniture has worked really well. It holds all the extra/overstocked and baking-related items still looks very much like this photo below:


To read more about the pantry organization, check out these posts: before (and a little progress)after, and DIY pantry labels

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Problem area #3: Bathroom


Overall Grade: B+

The bathroom is certainly a success story. I'm proud to say that the over-the-toilet storage has worked really well as it looks above, and that I've only made a few very minor changes since tackling that project back in March. 

The place that could use a little bit of work is the storage under the sink. It's nothing major, but I think it's time to clean out the clear storage bins and baskets, take inventory, and figure out what we need to stock up on. I hate it when we suddenly run out of shampoo or some other item, and I have to buy it full price! I'd much rather shop the sales, use coupons, and store the items in the bins for later, but in order to fully utilize that kind of system, I need to know what I have! Plans are in the works to make that a reality...

To read more about the bathroom organization project, check out these posts: introduction, before, and after.


So that's where I am today on some of the major organizing projects from the past year. I need a little kick in the pants to get going, so I figured sharing a little bit on the current state of these projects would help! A little bit at a time...

What are you hoping to organize this year? Any help or tips I can give to kickstart the process?

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