Sometimes a Smaller Space Isn't So Bad

A year ago, our guest room was downstairs with a great medium sized walk in closet.  It had an odd angle on one side which made organizing it a bit of a challenge.  However, over time and with several graph paper drawings, I planned and installed adjustable shelving (with very minimal help, I might add!).  It’s a project I am really proud of.  I used this space for years to store my extensive craft supplies, photos, seasonal decor and memorabilia boxes from my younger years. I planned out every area to maximize its usefulness and it was a great space! 

Here are a few pictures of the closet, including the funky triangular corner that caused me to have to think a little outside of the box.  

Several years later we played some “musical chairs” with a few spaces in our house.  Part of that included moving the guest room upstairs as well as all my craft supplies to another, MUCH smaller closet.  See, it’s TINY!!!  But I did take advantage of the clean slate to paint it a pretty color!

The biggest surprise to me was that I would come to LOVE this smaller closet!

Do you know why I loved it?  It forced me to go through all my stuff! 

It made me get real with myself about whether I would use the craft supplies I had or figure out if I was keeping them for my “fantasy self”.  You know that person, the one that will accomplish every idea you come up with, every pinned craft project, that’s my fantasy self. :o)  Recognizing this, made it easier to let go of quite a bit of stuff.

Other items fell more into the memorabilia category and I had to ask myself the hard questions about why I was keeping it and was it worth the space.  In situations like this, making lots of decisions can get overwhelming, even for me, since these are items I have personal attachments to.  To help with this, I did it in small chunks of time over several days. I guide others through this process, but it’s easier with someone else’s stuff since I have no attachments to it.  That is a great benefit of having a friend or a professional organizer work with you - objectivity. 

My first closet contained a lot of different types of items.  So, I went through it category by category

First, I reviewed ALL the craft supplies.  I used to do a lot of card making and had loads and loads of stamps and other supplies related to that hobby.  Turns out at this point in my life, I rarely used my stamps and my boys just weren’t interested in my selection.  For my knitting, painting, sewing, and pretty paper supplies, I decided the amount of space I was willing to dedicate to them, found containers that fit the space and only kept what would fit in those containers.

The larger closet was also home to many notebooks from college and massage school which was now decades (how is that possible!) ago.  I said goodbye to all but my Anatomy book.  I even shredded my college report cards!!  Turns out I prefer the false memory of my grades, rather than the reality, lol.  I also went through my favorite books from over the years and passed some onto the boys, kept some and donated the rest.  The keepers are now located in a bin that fits under the guest room bed.

Then I reviewed years of photos and got rid of soo many bad ones.  I separated them by categories and boxed them up in matching photo boxes.  A smaller space and less stuff meant I could splurge on getting matching containers!

I loved the closet system that I used downstairs so much that I used the same style in this closet.  I love having adjustable shelves!  This closet also has a strange angle inside it which made me have to use rather narrow shelves.  It pushed me to think outside of the box again to make that angled wall useful.  I added plastic drawers and a tiered “pantry” shelf to hold paint supplies.

Here’s a few views of the new set up.  I love the way it looks and everything I need is easily accessible!

Do you have a fantasy self? 

What is she holding onto??