Monday, January 10, 2011

Because I watched One Too Many Episodes of Hoarders

I’m not sure what it was that happened, really. One minute I was going through my life just fine and the next I was suddenly surrounded by TOO! MUCH! STUFF!  Everywhere I turned in this house-every closet, drawer, and cabinet was stuffed full of something and I was beginning to feel claustrophobic. Quite frankly, it was giving me a bad case of the heebie jeebies.
Remember my goals for 2011? Well, not on the list, but ever-present in my mind is the goal to streamline the way I live. To be more about quality and less about quantity. To use what I have. And a big part of that is actually being able to see and get to the things that I do have. And not just buy another pair of yoga pants because the 5 I own are stuffed so tightly into the drawer (among other things) that I’m scared to open it.
So the past few weekends I’ve set a goal for myself: to clean out and organize at least 1 closet and 2 drawers. I thought that I’d have to really bribe myself to get into this and that my fiery passion would be short-lived. Boy was I wrong. I am straight up ADDICTED to cleaning out. No corner of this house is safe.  And I am ending each weekend on such an organizational high that I cannot be stopped. 
All this to say that I’ve been working my way through closets in my house and this weekend was the linen closet’s turn. I have not been through my linen closet since BEFORE I moved into this house after our May 2008 wedding. You hear that? It’s been 3 years since I’ve edited the contents of this storage space that we use every day. That is sad. And a little bit stupid. Why am I keeping old, ratty towels? Why am I letting sets of sheets that I didn’t even know we owned (and certainly never used) keep me from easily storing the sets that we regularly rotate between? WHY? If I knew the answer to that question, I wouldn’t have had this problem:

YIKES. I cannot believe I am sharing this with the internet. I am about one washcloth away from an episode of hoarders. (PS-Sorry for the terrible quality of the picture. Its dark in that hallway and honestly, you probably don't want to see this in HD anyway because your eyeballs might bleed.)
I started by pulling everything of each shelf one at a time. I’d go through, toss anything that was too old and ratty for donation (like old, used washcloths) and separate things that were more gently used into a donate pile. The things I wanted to keep went into piles of likeness. Beach towels together, sheet sets together, blankets, towels, and so on. And then I refolded each and every item into crisp, clean, organized submission.

CopyCat Confession: That red "blanket" you see there is actually a Snuggie. But you didn't hear it from me!
I used a $4 basket I found at the Dollar General to corral the brand new washcloths I got for Christmas. (Yes, I asked for washcloths for Christmas. I am an old lady. I can’t help it.) I use a new one to wash my face before bed every night and having them easily accessible has been awesome. I am also thinking about trying my hand at sewing a new liner for the basket. Wish me luck!

I decided that I would not stack the towels in the front row so high that I couldn’t see what was in the back. I want to be conscience of everything I have so that I rotate among towels equally and don’t wear any of them out too quickly. Also, it looks pretty.

Okay, I lied. I stacked the towels on the right four high. But they are all towels that go in my husband's bathroom so I gave up my big plan for the sake of doing What Makes Sense.

 The sheets were a special challenge. Since we have a king sized bed, the sheets are GINORMOUS and are pretty hard to wrangle for folding. In the spirit of true organization and growth, I searched You Tube for instructional videos on how to fold a fitted sheet. It was very helpful (and a little embarrassing) but in the end, SO WORTH IT:
What? Your bed is not also adorned in flannel snowman print sheets? Well then, you, my friend, are missing out.

The bottom of this closet houses my cleaning products. I want to brainstorm a little on a better way to organize these, but for now, they are neatly arranged and corralled in containers from the Dollar Tree that I already had. If anyone has any suggestions for cute, cheap ways to organize cleaning products, I’m all ears!

Either way, I am in love with the results.I keep opening the closet and staring at it, which is a little weird, but so satisfying:

That light is not a closet light, it is the angels shining down a ray of glory upon the beauty of my folded linens. They are singing and there is harp music every time I open the closet door. True story.

And with the five drawers I cleaned out along side it this weekend, it brought my tally of Bags of Good Riddance up to….12! That’s twelve garbage bags full of stuff out of my house.
I’m breathing a little easier. And my towels have never looked better.

The CopyCat Rundown:
Not a craft you say? Of course this was! Crafts are about creating something beautiful, and that linen closet is about the most beautiful thing I’ve ever seen.
Total Time: About 2 hours from start to finish. Re-folding all those sheets was a doozy!
Total Cost: Free! That’s the great thing about a project like this. It doesn’t cost any money, the results are awesome, and you feel SO GOOD afterwards. It’s a win-win-win!
Would we do this again? I’m blogging with one hand and cleaning out a closet with the other! I kid! I kid! But, yes, we are organizing fools right now! Spring cleaning ‘s got nothing on us!


  1. This post had me laughing at the title, I've been watching the OWN network and Peter Walsh's new show and thinking I need to do some cleaning too! LOL! I have managed to clean my pantry.

  2. Looove it! Thats what I love about blogland its nice to know someone else is staring at her closet redo in complete satisfaction just like me lol! stop by and visit!

  3. I know it! We thought taking care of a house was enough work, now we have to take pics and blog about it! Whew!

  4. A suggestion for your bed linens (I got it from Martha Stewart). Fold your top sheet and fitted sheet as neatly as possible, use one of the pillow cases to that set and put your folded sheets in it, then fold the pillowcase over once and you have a bed linen change all together. Our linens were a mess until about 3 weeks ago when I did this. It is so easy to go get a linen change for your bed when it is organized this way.

  5. its about time i finally found a pic of a small closet just like mine!! all these other sites that have tips on how to organize your closets are all walk-ins!! Keep up the good work and im the guilty party too i watch hoarder religiously!! LOL