SoBo Mama's Tips & Tricks

{March 3, 2013}   Organizing Spaces: To Containerize or Not to Containerize?

As I clean and declutter, one thing I’m focusing on is the best use of my available space.  When I clean out a drawer, I ask myself, “What is the best use for this drawer?  What needs to be in it?”  Before you can organize a space, I feel you have to give it a purpose.

Take, for example, my repurposed hall closet.  It used to store crafts and games and anything that was in my way.  I emptied it, wiped the shelves down, and decided how I could best utilize that space.  Because of its size and location, I decided to make it a linen/stockpile closet.  Towels, bed linens, and bathroom supplies are now residing in that closet.

After you decide on an area’s purpose, you have to decide how to keep it organized.  I find it easier to do this before I get started, rather than try to fix it down the road.  If you follow my phenomenal friend Jeepnmom‘s blog, she has made incredible progress in her kitchen/dining.  The reason these changes work is because she has a plan.

The Linen/Stockpile closet has bi-fold doors and then shelving (I think it was a coat closet once upon a time).  The shelving is not of the most ideal configuration, but I’m making it work.  For me, it didn’t make sense to designate this shelf for towels and that for sheets. I’m a container girl.  My towels are folded on a shelf, but my rolled washcloths live in a small CD crate next to them.  For my stockpile storage, I had some photo boxes on hand (often 3/$5 at Michael’s or Hobby Lobby) and they work well for deodorants, shaving stuff, lotions, etc.  Shampoos, conditioners, and body washes stand up in plastic sweater boxes from the dollar store.  Another shelf has a four-drawer organizer I’d purchased years ago from AVON, and in it I’m storing batteries.  There are small baskets containing lightbulbs, candles, and other things that I need to keep on hand but not necessarily access on a daily basis.

As with my other spaces, this closet is a work in progress.  And like my other spaces, I use containers to keep things situated and separated.  I’m going to add labels to the fronts so that anyone can find what they need, when they need it.  I’d love even to containerize the towels and bedding at some point.  I plan to add a tension rod to one side of the closet to hang my pants hanger with my table linens.  Even though I’ve containerized this space, I’ve not purchased anything for it.  I’ve used what I already have on hand and I think that’s important.  Why spend money when I have it already?  Sometimes you just have to be creative and make do.

How do you organize your spaces?  Containers or no containers?

~ Katie



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