Spring Cleaning...

Since I made some good progress on a memo I'm working on, I feel that it's an appropriate time to procrastinate.

Hello again, folks. Things have been quite busy, as I've been traveling back and forth and working 7 days a week. Before the barrage of work, I managed to do something that I've been wanting to do for quite some time--reorganizing my closet space. I'm sure that most women who live in an apartment in the city can relate to the closet issues I'm having. As I accumulate more and more clothing, it became harder and harder to find things. And if I can't find them, I end up wearing them less and less, which means the cost-per-wear ratio is not going in the direction I would like. Like they say, out of sight, out of mind--this holds true no matter how much I love those forsaken articles of clothing. Hence, I wanted to find a way to make sure I see the whole collection.

I didn't take a "before" photograph of the whole closet, so I'll have to paint some of the picture in words. I have a fair amount of space in my walk-in closet, which is basically one small room with hanger poles on 3 of the walls and a wooden plank right above it. Unfortunately, it is difficult to access the portion behind the door, which is 1/3 of the closet. Therefore, I store the less frequently worn items (such as outerwear, ski gear, and special occasion tops and dresses) in those spaces. In the more accessible areas, I hang the things that wrinkle easily, and things I wear the most often or need in a hurry, things like hoodies, work tops, and suits.

As for the shelves above the hanging poles, I stored shoes, miscellenous items (such as scarves and socks) in tupperware, towels, and bedding. The latter two categories are stowed away in Sterlite plastic drawers, which are weighed down by books. I chose the drawers because I wanted to reach things easily without having to remove stacks and stacks of whatnot from above. I like to think that I'm using those shelf spaces pretty wisely.

Right below the hanging poles and all that dangling fabric, I had a laundry hamper by the door, then a plastic 3-drawer cart to the left of that, followed 2 suitcases against the wall, and a pile of junk in the dead-center of the closet. The suitcases contain items that are not suitable for the current weather, or just things that I no longer wear but want to hang onto for whatever reason. That usage is fine, but clearly, I was not making the most efficient use of that dead-center space. I can't believe I allowed prime real estate to be populated by junk.

In between the accessible and less-accessible areas, I hung a couple of those wrap-around-the-pole-and-hang-down canvas sweater shelf-thingies, along with a couple of those wrap-around-the-pole-and-hang-down canvas shoe-holders.

One of those said sweater shelf-thingies held jeans and some of my purses, while the other held t-shirts and sweaters that were fairly low maintenance. Unfortunately, the shelf-things sagged with weight over time, and being jam-packed with clothing with little room to expand, a lot of my clothes became buried, wrinkled, and hidden. It became a chore to shove clothes into the shelves, and it was even more difficult to pull things out of them. Alas, I didn't have the time to worry about sorting it out, and much less the money on organizing tools. Those Sterlite drawers came from Big Lots, but they weren't exactly cheap, so I couldn't just go out and get a bunch of them.

Things came to a head about a month or so ago. Since I don't have much time these days and I'm sick of finding presentable clothes for work, I decided that it was time to do a closet overhaul. I knew that I needed to chuck those hanging sweater-holders and get some drawers, which would enable me to store clothes more neatly and reach them more quickly. I also knew that the drawers had to have wheels for mobility, because from time to time I need to reach the suitcases.

Besides being fed up with the situation, it was the perfect time to do an overhaul because Target was having a sale on the plastic drawers that I needed. On top of that, my mom had a coupon for some percentage (or dollars) off for purchases over $25, which was sent out in the mail in an effort to coax customers to a newly-opened Target. I took that coupon and went to that newly-opened Target, and apparently there was a lot of like-minded customers who wanted to reorganize their homes--many of shelves of organizing containers were cleaned out. I ended up snagging a lavendar-colored set of drawers from the children's section for about $25. I also picked up some hangers. A few days later, I snagged a sturdy white 2-drawer cart (on sale, of course) from another Target. When I got home, I happily took down one of the hanging holders and reorganized away--out went the clothes I no longer wore, and the remainder settled into the drawers. I moved the laundry basket to a different location and moved the drawer carts around to find the best fit. The shoes stayed in place.

By the time I was done, my closet felt so much more open. There was a lot more hanging space next to the shoes (that's where the hanging shelves used to be), and I could actually find clothes easily in the drawers. The prime real estate is now taken up by the 2-drawer cart instead of jumk. It wasn't planned, but it was also nice to have color-coordinated drawer carts.

But I wasn't quite done. There was still the issue of the hanging shelf-thingie that held the jeans and bags. The jeans are quite heavy, and a cart would not have been able to hold everything, so I got one of those ubiquitous wire cube organizers. It was a royal pain to assemble the whole thing, and when I was finished, I realized that there isn't enough space for the whole set-up. So I only kept a 3-shelf tower and stuck it into the closet. Fortunately, it worked out very nicely--the wire racks were sturdy enough to hold the jeans, and roomy enough for me to stick my purses into.

For now, I can live with this. There is still much work to be done. Some of the clothes inside the suitcases really need to go, but that can wait a little longer. And then there's the matter of the over-the-door hangers. The one behind the closet door is fine...

...but check out the one behind my bedroom door.

I'll have to wash the scarves and put them away in some tupperware. That's where they used to belong.

I cleaned out a large portion of the closet just in time. In the following weeks (yes, that's plural), I went out and "restocked." More on that next time. The restocking is more fun to talk about anyway.


Muttersome said...

Wow! Everything looks amazing...very organized. If only they sold drawers to help me organize my life...

Lindybug said...

Just wanted to say congratulations and give you a huge pat on the back for such a great job tackling the closet! You have inspired me to do the same (like you, I've been "restocking". Sigh).

Eli said...

wow so clean! if i could only show you the mess that is brewing in my closets!

Sales Rack Raider said...

Thanks, everyone!

Muttersome--I can use one of those drawers, too. Calendars just aren't good enough anymore.

L--thanks! I'm sure you'll do a great job with it, though I don't really think your closet looks as desparate as mine before the overhaul.

Eli--as entropy rules the world, I don't think this state of cleanliness I'm enjoying will last. But I can always hope...

Lisa W. Comeau said...

Congratulations, for the closet. Hope that you will be succeeded very soon. I am loving your closet. The collections are great. Lovely and fashionable cloths . These are looking so wonderful. Appreciate your idea. I will love to see the fashionable non iron dress shirts on your closet.