office closet: the before

Oct 16

i am SOOO excited! finally, i took the first step toward organizing one of my favorite spots in the house….
our office closet!
you’re probably thinking, “the office closet? that is one of your favorite spots in the house?!”.
our lives are hectic with 3 small children, school obligations, kids sports, family activities, my husband’s demanding job…and so on. when my life is in overdrive (which seems to be most of the time these days), i really enjoy getting away and spending quiet time in my own space. sometimes that “quiet time” is a simple moment going to the bathroom with the door closed and no little people following me in. but when i am able to get away for an extended period of time, this is the small space that brings me peace and sanity.
although, considering how much i adore this one little space that is all mine, it is definitely NOT a space that is pretty or organized.
you would never guess that the space behind this door is what brings me so much serenity….

and you would also never guess how terribly disorganized it is!
when you open the door, the first thing you see is this little 4-shelf built in. i will still never understand why the builder didn’t build out the entire space….or even make that 4-shelf built-in more like an 8 shelf built in. there is SO much great vertical space in here to work with! such a waste!
check out all of this vertical space that is NOT being utilized….

like i said, it’s a question that has boggled my mind. but on the other hand, it gives me the opportunity to build it out the way i would like. 🙂
when we moved in 4 years ago, i bought 2 simple black shelves from target and have used those to get by. they have done the job for a while and i’ve stayed organized for the most part. but now disorganization is starting to take over.
why?? take a look down at the end and along the other long wall…
i have a small black folding table in here (also purchased from target) and when it’s cleaned off (a rarity!) it makes for a great little space to work on projects. however, tables like this can also lead to “just another spot to plop things down”. i don’t think it’s anything specific i’m doing wrong…i think it’s a simple issue of not having enough shelving to accommodate all of my projects and supplies.
i know where everything is, but i don’t have a place to put it. so it sits on the floor at the end of the closet…and then it begins to stack vertically from there.
and i also have some items organized in bins under my project table….
what do i do in this closet?…when it’s clean, of course…
*gift wrapping
*school projects with my children
*note card writing
*sort and organize photos to put into our annual photo albums
what is stored in this closet?
*all of our photos
*all of our scrapbooks
*scrapbooking supplies
*all of my children’s school papers, drawings, etc
*all of our empty frames
*office supplies
*gift wrapping, gift bags, ribbon
*cameras and equipment
*work bags
*all kinds of paper products; resume paper, sheet protectors, folders, binders, etc
*shipping supplies and boxes
*notecards and stationary
*computer software boxes and other computer/printer supplies
*gifts purchased for later dates (like the games purchased at target this week)
*and a big space-eater….my stack of inventory for e-Bay (i sell quite a bit on e-Bay and have increased our household income by selling on the site. this year alone i’ve brought in an extra $2,000 by selling on e-Bay…and even more money selling things on craig’s list or at children’s consignment sales. stay tuned – more on this topic soon!)
there is quite a bit being stored in this space. come to think of it, i can’t believe there is room for ME in that room after listing everything above!
anyway, it’s time to get this room whipped into shape so i can really get in there and accomplish bigger projects. today is the last day to take advantage of The Container Store’s Elfa shelving sale. i measured out the closet a few weeks ago and went into our local Container Store to have a design specialist help me. i knew what i wanted, but i love watching them work their magic in their design system. and once they work with you on your space, it’s saved in their system. after i worked with the employee, i went home to confirm a few measurements and if i had room for additional shelves…and then i went back today to make the purchase. the 25% off saved us quite a bit!
as i see it….the better organized i am in there, the more money i can make selling items on e-Bay….
…and the more time i spend in there means i’m getting my photo and scrapbooking projects put together…
….and those gifts i purchased for a future date – those won’t get lost in there either!
this closet organizer is going to be the gift that keeps on giving…to my sanity too. 😉
the system i purchased will look a lot like this…
simple and white and taking up the full space of that big wall. there will be plenty of shelving storage and even more space above to house rubbermaid bins that i want up off the floor.
this project isn’t going to be done for a few weeks, because i’m going to have reinforcements (my dad) here to help with the install. in the meantime, i’ll be sorting and purging items from the closet in prep for the job. stay tuned for the after/reveal!

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