Thursday, January 10, 2013

OO- Tips & Tricks: Mail, Shoes, Coats, & Art Supplies

Do you know what mail, shoes, coats and art supplies add up to?
Throw in an enormous matching game, a few other games, a vacuum, Laura's random box, Scott's random box, and a coupon box, and you get our hall closet.

Most of our disorganized disaster areas show their ugliest faces during hectic times. Christmas always leaves piles all over the house, clutter in every corner, and shoes thrown in every direction That is why January is such a good time Organization Overhaul (OO). Our house and all of its organization systems are at their worst by the time everyone is singing Auld Lange Syne (or mumbling along and pretending they know the words).

In this post, I am going to go over the methods we use to keep our mail fairly organized, our shoes tidy and my art supplies from exploding out of their container.

You may not to take my advice once I show you the before photos. But I'm going to give it anyway!

This photo was taken during the middle of what I will call Holiday-Hectic! So, please excuse how unbelievably unorganized it is.

As you might guess, this closet is in the foyer of our house. It easily becomes the collect-all of the whole house. It is supposed to be the home to most of our shoes, my art supplies, our boxes of random things, our coupon box, the vacuum, and a box full of things that need to go to other people. On this crazy pre-Christmas day, it was apparently home to about 400 various other things.

It was time to reclaim this once-tidy, thought-out space. So, I emptied the contents of it into the foyer and got to sorting!

I used the same methods that I used when cleaning out my master bedroom closet. I also stuck to my normal routine of comfy clothes, lots of music, and I waited until I was feeling energized

Here is how it turned out:

Would you like some side by side comparisons? I hope so because I've got them!

anyone recognize that jacket? I don't know why it gets such a front and center spot. It is at least 10 years old and hasn't been worn in probably 3 years. Right now it is lookin' a bit like a Hugh Heffner smoking jacket. 

I have only added one shelf to this closet- the one with Cora's tiny little shoes on it. There is plenty more that could be done to maximize its storage potential, but our house is filled with lots of great storage. So, one shelf will do just fine!

I also organized my paint box. I wish I had a good before photo because that thing was a disaster area. You can see a glimpse of the mess poking out in the photos below.

So Tidy!

I try to plan all of my storage areas in a way that keeps my most used items accessible.

I added a few pocket wall files inside the closet to hold mail, receipts, and other important things that always end up floating around the house unless they have a specific home.
Sorry... I went a little overboard with my buddy, Microsoft Paint. And, you can't really even see what is going on. But those sneaky little folders are there and I love them. One file holds all of our medical receipts for the year. So, when tax time rolls around I don't have to start dumping out drawers and boxes trying to find the missing receipt. Another file holds receipts for business expenses and documents associated with that. The top file is so special that its one and only task is to hold Scott's gym headphones.

You may be wondering why the only jacket you can see in our coat closet belongs to Hugh Heffner. That is a good thing to wonder! The reason is because there is another little hidey spot with coat hooks where we hang our regularly used coats. We get to take a nice peak at that spot when I address the madness that is my garage.

I will also go over more mail sorting tips in my post about everyday junk.

There you have it, folks. I really am letting you all up in my organizing business. 
I just did a little scroll through this post. And, SHEEEEESH that was some clutter. I hope that nasty fella never rears his ugly head in my closet again!


  1. seriously...when you are done there, please come to my house! Everything looks great! Thanks for all the organizational tips!

    1. you are very welcome! It looks like they are going to go well passed January. So, look forward to them forever!

  2. I agree with Mary; it looks great! My orgo tip is don't have much stuff; then you don't have to organize it.

  3. Good tip Kelly!
    The hall closet looks fantastic. I was just thinking that a truly organized person would keep their closets organized all the time and not need to keep cleaning them out. That is my problem - I tidy up drawers and cupboards but it does not take long before they are messier than ever. What would be the solution to that problem....not be lazy and put things back properly!!
    I remember that black coat, i think it was the imfamous one you wore when we went bowling and you ran down the bowling alley looking like a big bat!

    1. I think you're right. The solutions are: everything has a home and always make the area neater then it was when you found it.