I know you are supposed to do all of your deep cleaning in organization in the Spring, but this year, I’m all in during the Summer. I’ve spent the last week working through various closets in our house and it feels SO GOOD to get our closets cleaned out.
I was super excited when Tidy Living reached out to me to sponsor a post about our experience organizing this Summer. It fit perfectly with our plans to get our hidden clutter under control.
One of the biggest issues in our house has been our closets.
I realized that even having hidden messes stresses me out. Not only does it make it harder to keep countertops and other parts of the home clean, but I also just KNOW that we have all of these hidden messes, and it stresses me out! As a person with underlying depression and anxiety, I have decided to work through all of the external things that can add to things already going on in my head.
Just to give you an example, this is what the kid’s art closet looked like last week. I didn’t stage any of this…I just walked over and took a photo after the kids had been playing all day.
Not usually the type of photo I like to share on the internet, but I wanted you to see a realistic example of the type of clutter we were facing.
The problem with this particular closet is that the red drawers that were supposed to be helping keep things tidy were too flimsy to do any good. The kids constantly have trouble maneuvering them in and out the entire thing had come apart on more than one occasion.
Step one was replacing those useless drawers with something that would actually WORK longterm. I chose this 3-tier black shelf from TidyLiving to replace the drawers. It arrived in a flat box and I was impressed at how easy it was to assemble. I was able to get it up and functioning without any trouble (and I’m not the handiest person).
To go with the shelf I also ordered a fabric rectangle basket to help storing some of the art supplies. The basket shipped flat, but had little metal rods to reinforce the sides so it doesn’t just topple over as soon as you put something in it, like many fabric baskets do. I was impressed with the quality of both items, I can tell they are going to last a LONG time…even with my crazy kids!
Step two was pulling everything out of the closet and throwing away everything we didn’t need.
My kids seem to think that even if a crayon has barely grazed a sheet of paper, we need to preserve the paper forever as an artistic masterpiece. Well, don’t tell my kids but I threw away many a “masterpiece” that they will never remember making and more than a few broken crayons.
Then, I had the kids sit and put together ALL of the puzzles that we own at one time. It took an entire morning but in the end we found that 10+ of our puzzles were missing pieces. Away those puzzles went too.
By this time, we had cleared out enough space to move our gorgeous new shelf into the closet. Up top went the fabric basket and we filled it with coloring books, crayons and art paper. The kids can now easily pull down the basket when they want to draw or color and then return it to it’s proper place when they are done.
Since this is EASY for them to do, and doesn’t fall apart on them like the drawers, they’ve been able to do it all this week, with minimal prompting!
We then put all of their board games on the shelves, so they can easily find what they are looking for. In the past, these were all sort of thrown into the bottom of a closet and they could never find what they needed. Now, they can clearly see all the games and pull them out whenever they want to play!
Off to the side, you can see the puzzles that had all their pieces are in a little cardboard box. I organized them into zip-bags so they can pull ONE puzzle easily and then clean it up just as quickly as they got it out. Much easier for them to handle on their own.
I actually took these “after” shots a full 3 days after I re-organized the kid’s closet. That means they have been able to successfully keep it this clean for THREE DAYS. Absolutely a record in our home when it comes to this problem area.
Giving them the organizational tools that work at their level has been a huge game changer. They needed something sturdy that wouldn’t bend under their inability to exercise a lot of care and control. They also needed to be able to easily see what is available to them, so the shelf works a lot better than drawers because they know where everything is, and where it all goes too.
I’m beyond thrilled at how great our closet turned out, it’s inspired me to do more closets to say goodbye to hidden clutter once and for all!
Two essential tips to help you get rid of hidden clutter:
- Use the fastest methods – Normally, I’m big on reselling everything via consignment stores or listing things online. This time around I decided to do the fastest thing possible. I have boxes of things lying around that I plan to resell “someday”. This month I decided enough is enough. I chose two methods donating and dropping off books to sell at a local shop. I’m not selling online or in any other resale shops this time. I’m only doing the two methods I can get done TODAY. Getting rid of the clutter asap is more important than whatever few bucks I might make selling things.
- Do it after bedtime – If you want to have any hope of throwing things away, do your decluttering after bedtime when the kids can swoop in and try to keep everything. I’ve been able to get rid of so many things that they will literally never remember, because they weren’t there to see it happen. This is a MUST for effective decluttering.
Do you have any tips for effective decluttering? I’d love to hear them! And don’t forget to stop by TidyLiving.com to find all the tools you need to help get your home organized!