I did it! I managed to finish in time! Boy that was more work than I though it would be! The space I chose to organize was my bedroom closet. I also ended up doing a little of my boys' closet as well. The plan for my closet was to go through all our clothes and purge a lot, especially from Hubby's side, he has a lot of clothes! Then I wanted to put some shelves in and baskets to organize things. So we got started by taking everything out and going through all our clothes. Through the years I have learned that less can actually be more, and I've worked on simplifying the things I have, including my wardrobe. If I don't wear it because it's old, wrong size, style not right on me, or whatever, then I get rid of it. This is a big change from how I used to be just a few years ago, I would hold onto every piece of old ratty clothes just in case I might need it in the future. Now I find it so nice to not have so much to keep boxed up, or piling on the shelves, and I also have less laundry.
I actually got rid of about 1/2 of what was in there of mine, including several pair of shoes I never wear, and Hubby was able to part with a small pile. Of course if I'd gone through his things too I would have gotten rid of more, but I figured that would be too controlling and let him do it. In total we stuffed a garbage sack and box with clothes, shoes, ties, belts and other miscellaneous things and offered it up on freecycle. I love that there are people out there that can find a use for the things I don't need anymore, makes me feel much better about getting rid of things.
So after we purged, we put everything back in until I was able to get some shelves. For a few weeks nothing happened, then I realized I was running out of time and decided to get some shelves. Freecycle to the rescue again! I was able to get 3 shelves that I cut in half to fit in my closet, and they didn't cost me a penny. For a few days nothing happened again, until today when I really had to finish lol. My good friend Michelle's husband was able to cut the shelves in half for me and gave me some scrap wood to anchor them to the walls. I could not have finished in time without their help!
I spent many hours today getting my shelves in. I love to build things, but don't really have a whole lot of experience so it was quite a challenge for me. As I got started I realized my closet was not even, the width was shorter on one side, so I had to get my shelves cut again. Hubby came home, took one look, and said "Good luck." Thanks, hun. At least he was able to take the kids away so I could get them done. I finally got them in, though it's not the best build job. And I'm pretty proud of how it worked out.
I also got some baskets from a thrift store and decorated them with cloth to make them look nice. I put my socks, undershirts, and other underclothes in mine on the shelves. I put Hubby's white t-shirts and hats in his baskets, and put his sweaters on a shelf too. I also put up a belt holder on my side so it's easier to get to my belts.
OK, enough talk, time for pictures!
My stuff on the right, Hubby's on the left. Shoes and box of maternity/fat clothes (which got purged then put in storage room) on the floor.
Hubby's clothes still take up at least 3/4 of the closet lol. Had to put some on my side of the closet. Oh yeah, and we do have more clothes than that, I just need to do some laundry :)
Hubby's shelves. Bottom- shoes, then suitcase with temple clothes, then sweaters, then hats and his white t-shirts in the basket. On the top shelf above that he also has a basket with gloves, hats, etc and his pants.
My shelves. Shoes on bottom, then temple clothes bag, then undershirts and socks in baskets, and then underwear in basket. I have sweaters and PJ pants on the very top shelf.
The stuff we purged:
And my boys closet that got done in the process too lol. I bought the blue closet organizer ($2 at thrift store, gotta love it!) for my closet but it didn't look right so I decided that since I had just purged my sons' clothes and the dresser was too big now, that it would work great for there clothes, and it did! We went from overflowing dresser to organized clothes closet.
And now to answer the questions :)
1. What was the hardest part of the challenge for you and were you able to overcome it?
- The hardest part was definitely the shelves. We couldn't afford to buy shelves so I had to find some, and thankfully freecycle came through for me. Then, we didn't have a saw to cut them in half, so we had to rely on my friend's and their neighbor to get that done. And finally, I am not skilled at carpentry so installing them all by myself, with 2 small children trying to help lol, was a big challenge. I practically gave up in frustration at some points, but I kept going and now that I did it I am so proud of myself.
2. Tell us what kind of changes/habits you have put into place in order for your area/room to maintain its new order?
- Well, it hasn't been done long enough to really know the effect it will have, but it already makes me happier having the shelves and baskets in to keep it organized. It looks much better and that itself makes me happy. With my boys' closet I have already noticed how helpful it is to have it organized like it is, it's easier to grab clothes for them to wear, put away clothes, and see what we have. To maintain the order in both closets I will have to continue purging when we get too much.
3. What did you do with the "stuff" you were able to purge out of your newly organized space?
- I offered it on my local freecycle group to see if someone else could use it. Most was still in good condition. And somebody will be coming to get them soon. It makes me happy that somebody else will be able to use them, it is much better than throwing it out and feeling like I wasted it.
4. What was the biggest lesson you learned from this experience?
- Do not procrastinate building projects! It would have been much easier if I'd started the shelves earlier and not had to rush to finish it today. It wasn't as easy as I thought it would be and I could have missed the deadline, so from now on when I'm planning a big project I will not leave it until the last day. That is really hard for me (as you might tell by my avatar lol, I always procrastinate) but I'm going to do better.
5. Now that you have completed the PROCESS, do you think having and keeping your space organized will make a difference in your life?
- Definitely. Just the sense of accomplishment I feel from completing this process helps me feel good about myself. And it releases a lot of stress, because I like things being organized and user-friendly, and now it is. And as a mom, making things stress-free and easy helps out in everyday life lol, I don't have time to be frantically searching for something to wear, or getting annoyed at the shoes that get pulled out of the closet to trip me. Keeping things organized keeps me sane, and makes me a much happier mommy.
A great big thanks to Laura, the Organizing Junkie for hosting this, and to Lara and Marcia for helping her out :) I really enjoyed it and loved seeing everyone else's finished projects.