Call Me Cluttered

I've been procrastinating all summer. 

I just don't want to clean out my house, but I know I really need to. Seriously, if I have the choice between cleaning out a closet and sweating to death, or lying on my soft bed with the ceiling fan circulating cool air and reading a book on a hot summer afternoon, you know where I'll be. What can I say? I'm weak that way.

But things have gotten out of hand and I really don't even know where to start. It's embarrassing, but I'm posting my mess hoping that anyone who sees the disaster of my bedroom, my bathroom, and my storage closet will give me suggestions and HELP!!! Also note that when we built the house almost 24 years ago, the floor plan did not include storage closets of any kind, except the large one near my kitchen which you'll see at the end of this post. So, the mess you see can't just be thrown in a closet (I wish!) And I was very young and just super excited to have my own house--no more apartment dwelling (Yippee!!)--and I had no clue about where to put outlets, what window brand to choose,  and whether or not I should put carpet in a bathroom (I know, sad), let alone comprehending fully how much storage would be needed for a 5 bedroom, 3 1/2 bath house. We just slapped this really horrid off-white color on the walls, went with floor-to-floor, mud-brown carpet (calling neutral, of course) and moved in. Oh, how I wish I could go back. Heavy sigh.

This is the shelving in the master bedroom, which I love. I actually had it built when I repainted the bedroom several years ago. I got the idea from a Pottery Barn catalog, but they put all this really pretty, fragile, delicate glass stuff on the shelves, which gave it light and airy feeling (which is what attracted me to it in the first place), but was not practical at all. I guess I could put some of the books on shelves downstairs and decorate. Problem. Not enough bookshelves downstairs.

This is the master bath. I've always hated the design. My husband uses the drawers as a dresser, so I can't really stash anything in those. Some of it could certainly go under the sink (when I clean that out), but some of it needs to stay on the counter for the sake of convenience.

What are the storage options? No one ever sees this bathroom, but I'm really sick of staring at all the clutter on the counters. And I'd really like some sense of organization.

And last, but certainly not least, is the storage room near my kitchen. This is the northern view and I have no words for this. Maybe a few: confusion, jumbled, messy, ridiculous. Okay, I have words.

The southern view is even worse. There's just too much stuff and I can't throw it all away. I can put some of it downstairs in the storage rooms I added when we finished the basement, but that doesn't solve the problem of dealing with stuff that I need and use near the kitchen. Oh, and I really like to find what I'm looking for:)

Any ideas you have, any direction you can point me in, any organizational expert you know--please, please, please help me out. I've got some work to do!


  1. I'm going to start with the kitchen storage area... which I think really wants to be a pantry - and appears to be big enough to be a serious walk-in pantry.
    #1 - Container Store is having it's 25% off elfa shelving sale now through Oct 15th. (No, I don't work for elfa or Container store... but it IS my dream job!) I'm planning to redo my office/closet and will make my own purchase soon. We've already designed it, I've just been waiting for the sale.

    #2 not really a two but to keep my comments organized... I say just really blow out your pantry, You have shelving in there but you're not maximizing the space. I say plan to shelve three walls, or at least the two.. the long and short one in an L shape. You'll be amazed a how much more space you'll be able to utilize - and organize. And maybe you'll even be able to bring things from your other spaces to store in there, reducing the clutter all around.

    #3 the nice thing about the elfa system, is you can buy the structure now, (tracks and standards) and a minimal amount of shelving, and then add to it later.

    #4 once you see what elfa can do for your pantry, you'll want to put it in your bedroom closet too - to utilize the space you really have -- which could potentially move most of your husband's things out of the bathroom - and then you'll have space in the bathroom to organize properly.

    #5 Do you have a basement? you may need to go through your books and store some - maybe put them in a rotation cycle so that they don't create clutter, but you still have access to them on a regular basis.

    #6 Are there some things that can move to the garage?

    Overall, I think homes built in that era actually have plenty of storage space ... the problem is they only installed one shelf and one rod in each closet - and that doesn't utilize all the space that is really available.
    You'll be amazed at how much storage space you find once you look at it with a different eye.

    As long as I've been in my condo, I've been frustrated that it always seems messy. It's because I don't have a home for everything that comes in and out of my house. The biggest problem is paperwork. Mail that should be filed right away... so I'm biting the bullet, I'm going to deck out that office, so everything as not just a place, but an easily accessible place...
    I have a closet off of my living room that I turned into my computer office ---I'm decking it out to make the most of it, because I'm tired of making do.
    And it's worth the expense to no longer have to make do.

    I talked my ex-bf into installing elfa in his master closet, and it made a HUGE difference, easier to organize and keep organized, and making the most of the space. We kept making special trips to get up and admire his closet... for months we oohed and ahhed over it!

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  3. That is wonderful advice. I will definitely check out the elfa system. Thanks Tammy!

  4. Yeah, my hubby is good at putting things in front of the area they need to go so they can be put away. But he's retired now and working on "getting organized". I'm so glad. It's easier to stay organized if it's easy to put things away.

  5. That's awesome--your husband getting organized! Mine is too. There is a mess in the garage that has been on the workbench for a good ten years. So not kidding. It was driving him crazy, so he went to work over the weekend cleaning AND organizing. You can imagine my shock. Of course, these things don't happen when the messes are driving ME crazy:)


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