I took the following "before" pictures without making any attempts to straighten up. We've had a crazy busy few weeks -- an area-wide Youth Rally, our Leadership Training for Christ convention, my husband and big kids preparing for a big backpacking trip, and what seems like a gazillion extra doctors' appointments in preparation for our move this summer. It doesn't normally look quite this bad.
Our closet has rods on three sides. I have the long hanging section and half of the shelves on the left side of the closet. Apparently, I also took over much of the floor.
I also have the double-rods on the other side of the closet. (I know it seems like I claimed far more than my fair share of closet space. In return, I gave Tim two-thirds of the drawer space in the dresser.)
Here's part the mess I allowed to pile up on top of my two hanging rods:
And the mess on the shelf between the two rods:
Bright and somewhat-early Saturday morning, I took absolutely everything that was mine out of the closet. I posted of the mess a picture on Michele's Facebook wall:
I think it actually got a bit worse than that before it got better. I took hours of sorting and trying on and purging before I could start putting things back.
My first organizing challenge was the pile of running clothes that are too slippery to stay in a neat pile. I ended up with a few plastic drawers that fit perfectly into the built-in shelves. (The little girl in the picture is my IRun4 buddy.)
All my diabetes supplies were already organized so I didn't have much work to do on that shelf. I kept forgetting to put new lancets in my meter case so I started keeping them in a glass jar where I'd have a visual reminder to use them.
I then finished up week 14's arts and crafts assignment by sorting (and labeling) my yarn. The four clear boxes hold knitting/crochet supplies and yarn. The brightly colored tote has been holding various cross-stitch, sewing, and other craft supplies for years. I sorted through the things I don't use anymore and it now all fits inside the tote.
Similarly, I sorted through and purged all my travel organizers, make-up bags, etc. They now all fit into my single toiletry bag. (I know. It's huge. I usually have to carry a ton of diabetes supplies when we travel.) Behind the red toiletry bag is the electronics backpack I use to corral the laptop and all sorts of charging cords when we travel. The black print bag now contains all my purses. I could probably get by with a few less purses, but I'll settle for just keeping them all neatly nested in one large bag.
On the floor is one sealed cardboard box of surprises I've set aside for the kids. (Only one of my kids usually reads my blog and there's nothing in there for you, Addison. Just saying.) The ginormous tote bag is stuffed with all the various tote bags I couldn't part with. I might have a bag lady problem, but I'll live in denial as long as they're neatly put away.
I'm still missing a few dresses on this side of the closet because I need to wash a bit of dust off of the shoulders. (I finally figured out a workable solution to wearing an insulin pump with a dress so I can wear them again.) I couldn't make up my mind about how many coats to keep. It would be easy to get rid of coats seeing as how we live in Arizona, but I suspect I'd change my mind about how many coats I want when we move to Colorado. I ended up keeping all of them.
On the other side of the closet, I labeled boxes for the shoes I don't wear in the summer and put them up on the top shelf.
Since I don't have much drawer space, my area of the closet collects all my t-shirts. They stack more nicely than my running clothes, but they still tend to get out of hand. While sorting things at a church yard sale Friday, I found this basket. I didn't know what I'd use it for when I bought it home, but it works perfectly for my t-shirts. This basket of shirts is my favorite thing about the whole closet reorganization.
After putting back my most-loved hanging clothes, I tucked my exercise gear underneath.
The official "after" shot of this side of the closet:
While talking to a friend about all my closet-cleaning work, she remembered that I had once limited my wardrobe to just 33 items. While I loved doing that for a while, I just stored the excess clothing and didn't get rid of it. Over time more stuff crept from storage back into my regular closet. Maybe someday I'll go back to my capsule wardrobe. For now, though, I'm enjoying having easy access to all my clothes and not tripping over all the things I've let pile up on the floor of the closet.