What does a Garden Gnome do when she is not gardening, in the kitchen or doing genealogy? Well the answer might just surprise you so read the entries to find out more. This blog focuses on everything we do to make our house a home. There will be a strong emphasis on home energy efficiency and do-it-yourself (DIY) projects. At the same time there will also be crafts, knitting and crocheting projects along with any other little tips we do to create that down to earth, I want to be here home. Please enjoy your visit :)

Friday, December 4, 2009

Closet Decluttering

We bought this house based on it's unique character and location. This is the first home we've owned that has an abundance of storage! In addition to the generous closets there are custom built-ins and nooks for more storage. Each of the closets have been customized and the linen closet is cedar tongue and groove lined.

We have been decorating one room at a time so this past week we tackled the master bedroom closet as part of the preparation for re-doing our room after the holidays. This will be a DIY project. Our large master bedroom is on the lower level. The ceiling is two levels with the entrance half of the room about a foot higher than the sleeping half of the room. Adjacent to end of the closet (right of picture) there is the door to a large, unfinished storage room about 8' x 8' that will be insulated and finished during the make-over. We are planning on replacing the carpeting with hard flooring. One of our kids will be painting the ceilings and walls that will consist of 3 possibly 4 colours similar to how we used shades of complementary colours to tie the upper rooms together with the entrance and lower level. I'll be using colours complementary to the two Behr swatches I've been working with.

Like the rest of the house there is custom woodwork.
The master bedroom closet spans floor to ceiling with an opening 5'10" W x 6'6.5" H covered with double shutter style folding wood doors. The inside measurements are 7'11" W, 6'6.6" H, 28" D on each end and 31'5" D across the opening. The closet has a light with a 2' fluorescent tube.

We we moved in it was more of a concern getting rooms functional. All of the bedroom closets became semi-organized slowly being organized know they would have to be completely re-organized at some point. One of the bedrooms is being turned into a craft room which is another planned winter DIY project. The other bedroom will be redone as well for a guest room. We plan to remove the carpeting from these rooms as well.

inside master bedroom closetIt is surprising how re-organizing and de-cluttering a closet of any kind can be so disruptive. The work is not difficult at all but everything that was in the closet ends up being spread everywhere as the only way to do this effectively is to completely empty the entire closet. Once the closet was completely empty my husband washed the ceiling and walls with a 1:1 vinegar solution. We removed any scuff marks with a Mr. Clean® Magic Eraser®. We washed the wood shelving and baseboards with Murphy Oil Soap solution.

We used the 3 pile method of toss, donate and keep. This is really quite easy as long as you don't let emotion get in the way. The difficult part is trying on all your clothes to de-clutter all clothes that no longer fit or haven't been worn in the past year. This is time consuming. It's a bit depressing too when you realize it's your body that has changed not the clothes. In my case it was a bit worse because I had to go through over 40 pairs of shoes many in plastic lidded shoe boxes. I will admit to bending the worn in the past year rule when it came to my shoe collection but I did manage to relinquish 8 pairs. In the end 2 large bags of clothes and a bag of hangers were donated, 1 large bag of clothes went to one of our kids and a box of shoes/clothes went to another one of our kids so we cleared out a lot but that included the dressers as well as the closet.

closet shelvesAll of the closets have some type of customized shelving to maximize storage. The closet in the soon to be craft room has some rather impressive customization that I will show in greater detail when we get to that room. The master bedroom closet has 3 wood shelves on each end of the closet to make use of space that would normally be wasted. It is surprising how much extra storage space this adds in the closet.

On my end pictured, I have shoes in plastic shoe boxes neatly stacked 3 wide 6 high (18 pr). The bottom two shelves hold shoes that won't fit in shoe boxes and purses. The top shelf holds my doggie slippers and a couple of additional accessories. My husband uses his shelves for sports wear.

After using the closet for awhile I decided that bins spanning the width of the long top shelf would be quite helpful to keep things organized. I picked up 5 plastic bins at the dollar store. They are a nice taupe colour so will fit in with the colour scheme. There is room for 3 more so I'll pick those up the next shopping trip. I'll post more pictures of the finished results in another post.

Garden Gnome