Friday, June 14, 2013

Organizational Nirvana

So I've been in Minneapolis the last couple of days on a trip for work. Had two days worth of meetings and manager bonding time and I literally walked right by The Container Store on our way to dinner and bowling at Pinstripes next door. I was oh-so-tempted to abandon work and go nuts with organization nirvana. 

Speaking of organizational nirvana, it's time to loop you into a project I worked on for the last couple of weekends when I wasn't busy staring at the gray splotches on my wall and listening to them talk to me... "pick me," "no, pick me!"  

But I digress. I left you behind on the train that was headed towards organizational nirvana (I figure if I say it enough, you will believe it's an actual honest-to-goodness-state-of-being).  I'll be nice and start with the "after." 


So now for the story. For those of you who dislike long-winded chatterboxes (guilty), feel free to scroll down to some yummy before & afters.  So for the 6, 7 years I've been living in this house, Peyton and I have been trekking up and down the stairs every morning to get towels for our morning showers. Why, you ask? Because we're crazy. (Actually, I'm pretty sure she would point the finger at me, since Momma had to get out the paint brush for this one...) 

Basically, when we moved in this house, the closet was dingy and dirty and just needed a total paint job to make it habitable for nice fluffy towels that actually touched our skin. So, I just shoved stuff into it and years went by. Fast-forward seven years and this is where we were--trekking downstairs to get towels every morning and this: 

Finally, I decided that it was time to tackle the closet and get it cleaned up. I emptied it out and hauled out all the shelves and pulled out what I had left of the white paint I used on my doors and trim.  The shelves were fairly easy-- when I pulled them out, I labelled the back of one edge so I would know which shelf they needed to go back to (each "shelf" had two sections that slid together to make one shelf, so I needed to make sure they would match up when I returned them to the closet.)

Then I hauled them downstairs, laid them all down and put a coat of primer and 3 coats of white paint on them. I should note, two coats would have been fine. But that tan couch you see to the side of the picture? Yeah, that had to move out right after I started this project. I've been trying to get rid of it for years and my parents found someone willing to adopt the couch on the one weekend I was working on this project. So, I had to move all the shelves over and they got scratched up since they weren't yet fully dry. So, that led to 3 coats of paint needed.  

The most exciting part was when I started painting the inside of the closet. So you can get a true idea of how grungy it was when I started (and why I didn't want clean, body-touchable towels resting in this place...): 

See? Grungy. Ew!  So after I primed and painted and let it dry for a week (maybe two...) I put the shelves back in and turned back to my trusty buddy, the faux grass-cloth shelf paper.  That led me to this: 

Then I gave some serious thought (that lasted all of five minutes) to what I wanted this linen closet to do for me. I decided: 
  1. Store the fluffy soft towels right next to the bathroom so when Peyton and I shower we don't have to trek downstairs every. morning. (Most important.)
  2. Provide a central location for the hamper for our dirty clothes so Peyton can stop trekking (we sound like hikers, don't we?) in and out of my bedroom and dumping clothes half in the hamper and half on my floor (I am perfectly skilled at making my room messy without her lovely assistance...)
  3. Store cleaning supplies and miscellaneous light bulbs, batteries and whatnot (yes, whatnot is an actual thing).
  4. Store First-Aid kit so the seventy boxes of band-aids scattered throughout my house are consolidated into the blob, err--one central location. 
  5. Store additional sets of sheets (purchase required). Over the years we seem to have retained the odd miscellaneous mismatched sheets for random sized beds. Most perplexing. 
So with that decided, I first hauled out the basket we have been using for our hamper and was able to fit it in at the bottom of the closet with the removal of one shelf. I then found random baskets around the house and dumped their contents out in order to make this linen closet look pretty (whereas other locations in the house are now not pretty-but the road to organizational nirvana is definitely messy. True Story.). So, I stocked it up and here is where we are today: 

Just for good measure, let me throw in a Before & After: 

So even though I made do with what is currently available in my house, I have been online browsing the Container Store for some fun organizational containers. Such as this: 

Oskar Box

 And this...
Rugby Stripe Bin

But that's for another day. For today, that's one day I don't have to go downstairs just to take a shower upstairs. What a novel idea. 

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