You might be wondering, why closets? Well, I decided to do a post about downsizing our closets separate from other sections of the house because most of the time, they don’t contain anything relevant to the area they are in. For example, we have a closet in the dining room / kitchen area that usually has a bunch of seasonal things inside of it, plus tons of shoes piled up, some food, some jackets, some blankets and pillows – just things that didn’t quite go together. The entire closet was just so disorganized, and I knew we would be able to get rid of at least a few items in there to continue in our downsizing journey.
First things first when you start to clean and reorganize – empty the entire thing! I was actually pretty surprised to find certain things in our first closet, including some stuff that didn’t even belong to me. So I started by laying everything out on the floor in the dining room and go through each box, bin, and bag, one at a time.
One thing I knew I would have to get rid of were all my old shoes. Honestly, I had just shoved them all in there because I was hoping to sell or give some of them away and it was easier to get to them than digging through at bag in the garage. But at this point in time, I think it was clear that I had to donate them. I went through all of them again to make sure I knew which ones I was keeping and which ones I would give away, and I actually ended up adding to the “Give Away” pile! All I kept were my new sandals, my black flats, a pair of fancy heels gifted to me by my mom, my winter boots, my running shoes, and my leather boots.
Next up, I went through our winter gloves, mittens, and hats to see how we could pare down. We definitely had way too many – two pairs of mittens or gloves and two toques each would be perfect (so that we always have one that’s dry). Max ended up with three toques, and one pair of mittens, and I kept one toque and three pair of mittens. And they all fit perfectly in the bin I had chosen for our winter gear.
But what to do with all the random food that had been stored in there? That was my biggest predicament. We do a lot of stockpiling, so we didn’t exactly have an empty cupboard to fit it in. I looked through all the “closet food” first to see if it was even any good, and found that there was an old bag of rotten potatoes – garbage – and three spaghetti squashes that have been in there for over two years – also garbage. I was able to put our good potatoes in a milk crate to the side of the closet, and make a nice spot for onions, sweets potatoes, and butternut squash on a shelf. They’re being held in a super cute basket I found at the Dollarama for only $3 – definitely worth it, and it saves a lot of space. Plus, I can even label it!
We have three shelves in the dining room closet, plus the top shelf above the jacket bar, and so far I’ve filled half the top shelf with shoes, half a shelf with the food basket, and another half of a shelf with winter gear. The reason I haven’t been taking up all the space is because it’s officially past the freezing point outside now, which means we can no longer store our cans and bottles of pop, juice, and alcohol in the garage. So after 5-6 trips to the garage, we finally got all the beverages into the house and on the floor in front of the dining room closet. Fortunately, both of the men in the house work for Pepsi so we were able to get some of their old can and bottle organizers – and they fit perfectly in the closet on top of my drawer organizer. I started filling the closet with all sorts of cans and bottles, all neatly aligned in their rows, and it ended up looking fantastic!
As for the organizer itself, we decided to give it a good scrub and store cat toys, board games, and some extra things like ziplock bags and toilet paper (we don’t have much storage in the bathroom).
The only thing that was left to organize in this particular closet were some loose plastic bags and Max’s work stuff. I was able to fit all the plastic bags in a green bin – also from Dollarama – and organize Max’s clipboard, work gloves, lunch box and water jug on the top shelf of the closet.
But it wasn’t over yet! We have another closet in the office where we basically store anything and everything – uh oh.
I have to admit I was glad that Max had already done most of the cleaning in the office and its closet, but we still had to find spots for stuff, not to mention get rid of anything that isn’t worth keeping.
I actually found an entire box of random papers. I threw them all away except my University certificates – what the heck where they doing in there?! I also finally went through all of my yarn and threw out all those random little pieces I had been saving for no reason. I organized all the skeins by colour and size so that I could find them a bit easier when it came time to use them for my next project.
Max took the time to reorganize all his hunting gear, and this made a huge difference in the closet. We also tackled the entire top shelf – the worst part – and were finally able to reduce the amount of stuff that was stored there. It now only contains my sewing kit, two small bins of yarn, and a shoebox. Max also stores all his bagpipe outfit in there, while I have all my gift wrap in a garment bag hung up.
After all the decluttering and downsizing was all done for the day, I knew it was time to start an inventory list. So I created a free printable for any of you who would like to join us in our downsizing journey – just click on the link below to download a PDF version for yourself!
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