Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Not quite the end of the 31 Day Organizational Challenge

March is over, but my organization is far from over! As you know, I participated in the 31 Day Organizational Challenge with Org Junkie. Here are the Before and After Pictures of the room I chose to tackle...my closet!

At the beginning of the challenge I took pictures of my entire apartment...because let's face it...it was a mess of disorganization. Well, let's just say I bit off more than I could chew...which I kind of knew from the beginning...since I took before pictures of just about every room!

This was a horrible month to do this challenge...for starters I began the challenge a week late. We were then out of town every weekend for the rest of the month...the first weekend we were in Charlotte, the next in Asheville, and then the following in Tampa...then the month was over! Boy did it fly! But my lack of time did not discourage me at all...but it certainly cut into my high expectations. I was able to begin small...and I do NOT plan on stopping here.

I started in furthest corner of my apartment...my closet. Here are the before pictures...

I already had my closet (somewhat) organized with my clothes neatly organized by type...I know many people like to organize by color...but that just doesn't work for my mind! On my side, obviously the longer side, I start with skirts (short, then long), then long sleeves, short sleeves, dressy tank tops, cotton tank tops, sleeveless dresses, spaghetti strap dresses, thick tank dresses, short sleeve dresses, and long sleeve dresses. My sweetie's side has his short sleeves, then long sleeves, then dress shirts.

I also have three sets of drawers - one large set with socks, underwear, and bathing suits - a drawer for each; another large set with running shorts and t-shirts with a drawer for shorts, and a drawer for each of us with our work t-shirts. The third set of drawers is home to Hari's undershirts, socks and boxers.

Last I have three different hanging shelves - one for my shoes, one for Hari's shorts and pants, and one for our linens, winter hats and gloves, and other "closet things" (like a heating pad!)

The worst part was all of my jewelry still in boxes from the move, my flip flops all over the floor, and just the lack of my things being put away. Which led me to...

The make over...

I focused on adding more storage as well as making it pretty - because my closet was NOT pretty (and who doesn't like pretty things?) I purchased a cube shelf from Lowes with three cloth cube drawers. I bought a pink large and pink small bowl from Hobby Lobby for my jewelry. I found a plate rack and plates at the Habitat for Humanity ReStore to add some attractive vertical storage for my toiletries, nail polish and sunglasses. I already had a coat rack as well as a hanging jewelry holder. I hung these two racks to hang and display my necklaces.

Last I cleaned up the floor, put my scarves in one of the cube baskets, wallets and small bags in another, and flip flops in the last - this is not a permanent home for the flip flops as they are still a little messy in there - all of them have to be taken out to get to the ones on the bottom! - Any ideas for this?

My favorite part of this project is all of the pretty flowers I incorporated and the amount of storage I was able to put in such as small area! I also love how I was able to do it on such a resonable budget (under $95!)

Cube shelf - $44.97 from Lowes - my "splurge!"
Floral cube baskets - $6.99 each from Lowes
Pink flower bowls - about $22 (cannot find the receipt!) from Hobby Lobby
Plate rack and plates - $3 for plate rack and $1 per plate all from Habitat ReStore
Coat rack for necklaces - already had!
Necklace organizer - already had!

The Official 31 Day Organizational Challenge Questions:

1. What space did you decide to organize and why?

I tackled my closet. As my first post of the challenge declared...I needed an organizational makeover all over my apartment! I moved out of state in August so even though all boxes (yes, all with the motivation of this challenge...they are now all unpacked!!!) are unpacked...the house is by no means put together and organized yet...but what house is...it's all a work in progress...ugh, as usual I have babbled on without answering the question...

I chose to tackle my closet. I picked my closet because it was the furthest corner of my house. So often we organize what people (guests) see and not what we have to deal with and function with every day. I figured if I organized my closet with the motivation of this challenge the motivation of guests would work for the rest of the apartment! This way I can also work my way out organizing all the way! :)

2. What steps did you take to ensure you completed the space with the 31 day timeline?

This was a VERY tough task...as I said, this was probably the worst timing for me to take this on...but that actually gave me some extra motivation since I had three vacations - including a week long vacation - in there! I had to work on organizing after work and in the small moments I had. I worked in small chunks until the job was done...and accepted that I only had the time I had. I put my ideas in a notebook and made weekly goals for myself.

3. What was the hardest part of the challenge for you and how did you overcome it?

The absolute hardest part of the challenge was time! As a teacher - time is always the hardest thing...so I suppose I was used to this. I started the challenge a week late, I was out of town for a total of 12 of the 23 days (remember, I started 8 days late!) Just about all of the days I was in town for the challenge were work days! Anyway...like I said...time was the hardest part!

I overcame time as a factor by working when I had time. I used my weekly goals to chunk what I needed to get done in the time I had. Each time I saw progress I was motivated to keep going!

4. What did you do with the "stuff" you were able to purge out of your newly organized space?

This project did not require all that much purging. Most of the things in my closet need to be rearranged and to find a home. There were a few clothing items I found that I no longer wore - those were donated to Goodwill. Everything else found a home within my closet - and a few other things in our other closet (don't worry - they belong there!)

5. Tell me one of your proudest moments during this challenge?

The proudest moment I had in this challenge was completing it! Standing back and looking at what I had accomplished felt so great. It felt even better when my fiancé went in the closet and simply said "Wow! Look at this!" It is so pretty and functional - I really don't want to leave my closet now!

6. Explain any organizing "tools" you used to help you create additional space and to establish some limits and boundaries? 

My crate style shelf (and that entire area) has created so much space and didn't take up a lot of room! Vertical storage is great! The shelf creates nine smaller spaces that create boundaries and specific places for specific things. I was able to add three drawers to put "messier" things like scarves, flip flops, and wallets/small bags neatly and together. On top I added the plate rack for more vertical organization that provides distinct areas for small items.

7. What is ONE piece of organizing advice you've learned on this journey that you could encourage someone else with? 

Do I really have to just pick one? Okay...I think one of the best thing I have learned and can share with others is just do it! Pick a room, area, even simply a shelf (start small!) and start! Once you get going you will get momentum and want to keep going. When you see your beautiful (yes, organization is beautiful!) area you will be so motivated to keep going, I promise!

There we have it! I am so excited to have finished this task. I cannot wait to spend April on our bedroom...and maybe even another space...what should it be?


  1. Awesome job! Don't you just love the feeling you get when you walk in there now?
    I love how you used the plate rack in there. I'm always looking for different ways to use things.

    1. It feels GREAT! I would like to have dinner and a glass of wine in there I love it so much! ;) Thanks for checking it out! Did you participate in the challenge?

    2. No, I didn't participate. I was just checking out some of the entries.

  2. First of all, I'm extremely jealous of your closet space (even in the before pictures). I love how you not only made it organized but also added pieces to pretty it up. Great work!

  3. What a great closet. I plan to makeover our master bedroom closet this month! Congrats on the results :)

  4. Katie you did such a good job! I did not know the end results would be this awesome! You have me motivated to organize my whole life lol

  5. Nice job! Congratulations on getting this space organized, and beautiful. Enjoy!

  6. The closet was one space I tackled too! Doesn't it just put a smile on your face every time you walk in now?! I love the cube organizer and I love, love, love the plate rack for holding your perfumes and nail polishes. Genius idea!! I organize my clothes in the same way: short sleeves, long sleeves, button ups, dresses, skirts, pants, etc. Just makes so much more sense for me! Great work!