March was a crazy month. I almost did not get my month 3 organizing in but managed to pull it off in the last few weeks. As you may know, I am working my way through the book “One year to an Organized Life” by Regina Leeds. I’m using it to assist me in achieve my goal of organizing my tiny but happy home. January I tackled the kitchen. February, it was the garage. This month was another big one, the bedroom. It was not the sleeping area that threw me for a loop. It was the dreaded closet.
If you are lucky enough to have a spacious walk-in closet, I envy you. As I have said before, my house is small that goes for the closet space as well. My bedroom closet is about 6×6 and I share it with my husband. We pretty much split it down the middle but his half usually encroaches on mine. Not only does it house our clothes, it also holds his work gear, suitcases, stockpiled school supplies, some holiday decorations, sleeping bags, an iron board, (shoved into a corner) old high school yearbooks and miscellaneous letters. Yes, we have fit all this into our super small closet…and it has been driving me nuts!
For the longest time I could not find anything. Getting dressed for work was a nightmare. If you touched anything, a cascade of clothing would fall down upon you. Since our closet was so small the piles seeped out into our bedroom, with socks in a corner, t-shirts piled on the dresser, and shoes left all over the house. (Frequently found under the couch after a 2-hour search.) So tackling the closet made the garage look like a cake walk!
As with the previous chapters, the author first takes us on an emotional journey of the contents of the space.
So the first item on the bedroom closet agenda was a good purge. I followed the book suggestion of working section by section as to not get overwhelmed. Slowly, I saw the walls of my closet emerge. I also came to the realization that I needed more storage. I also realized that a lot of the space was made up of stuff owned by my husband. To my surprise it was not me but my husband that had a hard time parting with items. Most were not items of sentimental value either, just old shirts and uniforms from ages past. But some were pieces of his 20-year-old self. From a time in our life before we were married, before kids, before we had a closet that was stuffed with memories.
So after a redesign of our space, I purchased some new, inexpensive IKEA pieces to house important papers, scrapbooks and more clothing. Once these items were built and installed, that freed up a lot of space in the closet and also cleared off the floor and dresser.
Since I could actually see the walls in my closet, I noticed how dingy they looked. Since I had left over wall paint from painting the bedroom I decided to paint the closet. I know for some people it might seem like a waste of time to paint a space no one else see’s but it brightened up the whole area.
There were also a bunch of achievement plaques that my husband had from work. They were large and bulky and were put in the closet until we found a place to put them. However, there they sat in a box shoved behind the hamper. It occurred to me a lot of my husband’s life outside of the family had been shoved inside the closet. I neglected to give him a space that showed off who he was. I mean, the bedroom was ours but it had been filled with and old computer, miscellaneous papers and other items. There was nowhere that was really his space.
So after painting and purging the closest, I created a display wall of his achievements. I used patches from his old uniforms and put them in a shadow box. Not only did this free up more space, since we no longer had to hold onto the whole uniform, it also preserved the memory of the item.
I set up the display wall on his side of the closet where he gets ready for work every day. Then I selected several of the most important achievement plaques to place alongside the shadow box. I know these items were still stuck in the closet, but I felt this was actually the ideal place for him to see them on a daily basis. I hope this display wall helped him recognize what a great job he does for the community and how proud we are of him.
Reorganizing the bedroom made me realize that although it is small, it is a space shared by me and my husband and should reflect our life together. We begin and end each day together in this room and it should provide us both with comfort and tranquility in the evenings and energy and life to start the day.
Here are some of the products that I purchased to organize my bedroom (Affiliated links below)