Saturday, May 7, 2011

The Closet Battle

My children share a room and it usually runs smoothly......usually. They are great about sharing their space as well as thinks like the tv, desk and certain in-common items. The problem almost always happens with the closet.

They each get one-half of the closet and it is divided vertically for their use. It is a basic, tiny closet with no fancy organizers. One shelf and one clothes bar along with a clear pocket shoe back hanging inside the door is all the design style it has. I have no idea why it all goes awry. All I know is it is the one thing these two kids never fight over and one day, I open the door to hang up clean clothes and am met with a fairly large mess. It isn't outrageous----just enough to give the parental organizer a case of hives. Here is how I tamed the tiny beast in less than 45 minutes (probably closer to 30).

Most of what is on the top shelf--left side for the little one, right side for the older--was in pretty good working order. It mostly holds one baby box each.  I cannot scrapbook to save my life but I kept every important baby item in these mid-sized clear boxes. Fitting perfectly within the space allotted, they are water resistant and easily brought out now and then for the kids to look through. There are a few awkardly sized toys up there and their 'special' blankets (the ones used for road trips and Christmas). All I needed to do was quickly refold the blankets and tighten up the boxes.

The clothing rod was next. The clothing is divided by style: coats, pants/shorts, and tops. The coats got put in the Next Size Box just in case they fit next year. I quickly skimmed over the pants and eliminated the ones that were too small. In my older son's case, any classic pieces in excellent condition are saved for his younger brother in the Next Size Box. While I'm doing all this, I removed clothes still on the hanger because it is easier to transport and move around as I work. I progressed in this manner until all the clothes were sorted and ended up with much more space and an idea of what each will be needing for the summer.

I sat down with the unneeded clothes. After checking for damage, they were folded neatly and priced with yard sale stickers. I packed them in a box and put them with the rest of the yard sale stuff. The empty hangers when on the second bars on the little one's side. It's the kind you hang from long rods with coat hanger ends from the original bar. Easy installation, easy removal.

Next came the floor. This is where the true chaos really existed. These toys were all mangled in some kind of spaghetti noodle disaster and it was really rubbing me the wrong way. One the little one's side, there are two clear boxes for toys too big or awkward for the shelves in the room as well as one he uses to frequently rotate toys. There is also a few other things tucked neatly on his side. It is very user friendly for younger kids. My oldest, however, just tosses things willy nilly. Those odd but tall things (light sabers, etc) were corralled in a tall trash can type container.

Finally, I attacked the shoe back. I tossed out expired sunscreen and corralled up 'like with like'. Obviously the taller one gets the top half, and the shorter one the bottom half.

It took less than 45 minutes and best of all, I did not have to take everything out of the closet to do it. The clutter is gone, the closet is in order and because they can find everthing they are less likely to ask me to come do it for them.

It is incredibly easy for the clutter to become chaotic. The real key is finding a way that works for you. Your method will never top clutter from happening, but it will enable you to get back on track with minimal effort and time. This is a task I do often with all closets in my home. Even on the worst occasions, it never takes but a few minutes to put everything in order. Think of it as an investment in time saved for better use in the near future.

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