Simple Makes Me Smile

I have been working on this particular project for a few weeks, doing a little bit each day and trying hard not to give up until it was completely done. This has been quite a large project for me to tackle considering the condition I am in and worse yet, the wreck my closet had become.

Now, before I reveal the extremely embarrassing before picture, I just want to give you a few good excuses as to why it looked so wretched. I am good with excuses, at least that’s what Huz always said.

First and foremost, if you can remember me telling you before, or if I haven’t told you yet, my house is OLD, very old. Over a hundred years old and closet space has always been an issue. It would seem that back in 1908 people didn’t have much of a need for closets, they probably only had the minimum essentials and didn’t require the real estate we people of the 21st century require.

Secondly, I shared my very small closet with Huz, who is a hoarder of sorts. No kidding. The man has well over a hundred shirts (of which he only wears twenty but refused to get rid of any.) I being a girl, who wears professional clothes Monday-Friday obviously needed the closet space also; especially considering that Huz took over the majority of the drawers in our dressers.

And then there was the issue of my shoe and bag collection. I kept most of my shoes in their original boxes and stacked them up at the top of the closet. This didn’t work at all though because the floor was quickly filled with my casual shoes, overnight bags and purses. Quite frankly, the floor was the biggest disaster.

Now that I have tried to prepare you for what you are about to see, I present to you (even though I am thoroughly ashamed) a before picture of my closet…

This is just stressful to look at, is it not? You can say it… It’s a flipping disaster!

Okay, so how did I get this trifling clutter under control?

The biggest and most effective thing I did was purge!


Verb: Rid (someone) of an unwanted feeling, memory, or condition, typically giving a sense of cathartic release.

I started with packing up (almost) all of Huz’s clothes. The articles that weren’t sent to him were packed up and put away, with the exception of some of his dress shirts. I figured I would let a few hang out in my closet, just for old times sake.

After that, I pulled down all of the shoe boxes and lined up the shoes against a wall in my room. I recycled the boxes and admired an empty shelf. Looking at my shoes for a few days made it easy for me to decide which ones I still loved and which ones had seen their glory days.

A week or two or three later, I decided I would get the biggest challenge done. I sat myself in front of the closet and begrudgingly pulled everything out.

It was at that point that I looked at the disaster in my room and immediately labeled myself insane.

No matter, I couldn’t leave it all out like that, so I started to make piles. I added the shoes that I found buried to my one’s still lined up, I made 3 piles of bags, 1 fall/winter, 1 spring/summer and one of overnights.

The next day, I repeated what I did with the first batch of shoes and then applied the same method with the bags. Then with Natalies help, I headed to Target to try to find some type of shoe storage. I wasn’t sure at this point what I was going to do with my bags yet but I figured I’d take baby steps and figure it out along the way.

I found a Closet Made put-it-together shelf and decided it would be good for the shoes. We brought it home and a few days later I assembled it. It was super simple and only took 10 about minutes. Once it was in my closet, I pulled out my measuring tape and was happy to discover that I could fit another one of these units and neatly store ALL of my shoes! The next week we went back to the store and bought another one; also, by that time I had figured out that I could put some bins on my shelf and hide my bags in there. Whoo hoo! I was finally on my way to simple!

After the second shoe storage shelf was put in, I packed my bags into my bins and put them on the shelf. Looking good!

Lastly, when I was feeling up to it, I decided to weed out the clothes that I had no intention of ever wearing again. When I first dropped a ton of  some weight, I gave most of my clothes away to a friend but I held onto a few things, though I’m not sure why. During the final purge I decided to pack them up and move on. I plan on taking them to my favorite consignment shop sometime in the next few weeks to put towards some new used clothes.

Ahh, empty hangers, I have a ton!

Here is a picture of what my closet looks like now that the project is finally complete.

Eventually, I’ll paint the door and utilize it a little bit better and get all matching fancy girl hangers but that will probably be on the 2012 list. I will also remove the rest of Huz’s clothes and buy some more for myself.

I am so happy with the difference and actually look forward to opening my closet door. It may have taken me a few weeks, but it was totally worth the wait!


32 thoughts on “Simple Makes Me Smile

  1. Wow–you did an amazing job with your closet! I have a question for you, though–do you really wear all those shoes? LOL–my girlfriend loves shoes too, and I am always in awe of the number of pairs in her closet. (Maybe I have a deep-seated shoe envy…) I have long, narrow hard-to-fit feet and painful arches/heels, so my shoes these last few years are limited to ones that are comfy. I actually gave away all my dress shoes although I do have a few pairs of dressy sandals that work for most occasions (except in the dead of winter, I guess).
    Anyway, time to stop rambling. Enjoyed your post. Looking forward to reading and seeing more of your life in blog!

    1. Thanks Sylvia! And to answer you question, no, because of my condition right now, I can’t wear any of them, but I am holding on hope that someday I will be able to put on a sexy pair again. Right now it’s sneakers and my sons sandals, not very fun. I have my fingers crossed!

  2. Looks great! What a great feeling!! My closets need an overhaul as well.

    Today’s the actual day my ex takes out his stuff – they’re bringing a u-haul and I’m going to let him know that anything he leaves behind is mine to do with as I see fit including throwing it out.

    I’m expecting a whole lot of new space to work with and I’m so excited about it!!

    1. Whoo-hooo! Space is a wonderful thing! I’m glad he’s finally getting it out today and I hope for his sake he gets it all. Clutter is so overwhelming and it feels so good to get rid of it all 🙂

  3. Great post ginger. I had a similar one quite a few weeks ago when I did the same exercise.Mine I don’t think had such an overhaul and I cant blame it on a husband… but I did spend a solid day at it and create about 4bags of purged items. Which, I confess, are still at the end of my bed but will be with me and being flogged at a car boot on sunday 🙂 finally. Anyway lovely to read more about you.

    1. Holly, I remember your post as clear as a bell, that is what got me started on mine, I think the next day. Yup, it took that long, haha but I got it done 🙂 that’s what matters, and it feels good that even feeling this awful I’m doing something good for myself. You inspired me to forge ahead, so thank you very much 🙂

    1. Thanks Sawsan!
      I had 2 search engines land on me yesterday.. They were looking for you! I thought that was pretty cool and you’d like to know. They searched “Sawsan the food doctor” You are becoming famous, sweetpea!

  4. Can you please come to my house next. I am the keeper of everybody’s everything. Everyroom has closets just waiting for you…

    1. I would love to come visit, but if I had to do closets it would take me a year! I know you have way bigger closets than me and way more! I’m know they aren’t even a half of messy as mine was, your house is always looks beautiful, organized and perfect!

  5. The “after” photo looks so great! I’m inspired to get some cute storage bins/baskets/etc for my new closets! I also love the shoe rack. I like how they’re “cubbies” instead of the annoying shoe racks I always have. Well done on this project! (Wanna come do my closets, next?)

    1. Thanks Cary! Moving into a new space is always so much fun. If you have an Ikea near you they always have great bins and baskets for way better prices then Target. I’d love to come do your closets (they are empty right) lol I plan on baking up a storm here, get your sweet tooth ready 🙂

  6. This is awesome! That’s one of the things nobody warns you about before you move into an old, charming (or not so charming) house: No closet space. We’ve looked at several brand new houses over the past couple of years (not to buy, just to be nosy), and some of them have very small closets in all the bedrooms but the master. Strange throwback.

    1. That is strange and will probably create a lot of headaches for the families who live there. Unless they are minimalists, but I’m not sure there are too many of them around. Checking out houses for the sake of being nosey sounds like a lot of fun! I think I might have to do that! I’ll pack a picnic lunch to eat in the well decorated kitchen, pretend to soak in the tub.. Sounds like a fun way to spend a few hours haha!

    1. I agree sentimental things are hard to get rid of, I just hold onto a handful of really special items. Getting rid of stuff feels great, I’ve always been a strong believer of throw it out. Sometimes it’s overwhelming and baby steps work for me in that situation. Good luck with purging, it always makes me feel so much better 🙂

  7. oh i can totally relate to the whole old house no closet (ahem, wardrobe) problem. my house was built in 1904, and apparently it was in those cruicial 4 years wherre they decided that even a little cuboard space is needed. we do not have a single built in closet (wardrobe) in the entire house.

    and my chest of draws got broken and burnt for firewood with out anyone telling me (seriously) so I have a rather… explosive clothes situation.

    anyway, you did a great job sorting it all out. it looks really lovely and organised now!

    1. Woah! I thought I had it bad! No closets at all surely has me beat! I’m sorry to hear about your dresser, I hope you can figure some storage out soon and inexpensively. Do you have Ikea’s near you? They have some lovely wardrobes here that can be customized and won’t cost you an arm and a leg. Gotta love these old houses, aye! Let me know when you figure something out, I would love to hear about it, as I know it will be a great challenge that will be very rewarding in the end!

  8. That looks fantastic! I love the black and white and the text together 🙂 You are making great progress, even if you feel it is slow coming. You should be proud of yourself!

    1. Haha, I had a lot of fun making that one, it was a bit tricky to make the text stand out so I had to work on it for a while. I do like a challenge though! Thanks for your support, it is slow and frustrating but the end result makes me happy and right now I’m on a pursuit of happiness! Glad to see you back, I missed you this week 🙂

  9. You are an amazing daughter! I am jealous that you are the writer that I always wanted to be, but jealous in a good way. I love you honey! Mom

    1. I love you too, Mom 🙂 It’s never to late to start writing, I don’t know what is stopping you! The next time I come down I can help you set up a blog, it’s not hard to do and I know you would get as much happiness from it as I do! I also know that you would be a wonderful writer, you just have to try it out! We could be blogging buddies! No pressure, I just hope you will think about it! Love you!

  10. What a transformation! If I’m not careful I’ll end up with my whole house looking like your old closet. Best I get to work. I spend all my time cooking!

  11. I am so impressed on what you did in that small closet! Makes me feel embarrassed to complain about my much larger two closets!! Okay, I’m inspired now and jotting this on my to do list….possibly for 2012 🙂

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