8-Week Organizing Challenge // Closets and Cabinets

For some reason our blog posts have been acting a little out of whack -- this post from a couple weeks ago is showing as posted just two days ago. The same thing happened with another post several weeks ago too. Have any other blogspot/blogger users seen this happen?

The actual post on Saturday was about our new entryway coat hook and message board. We are already putting this to good use! What did you end up working on for the entryway and mudroom project?

The next topic in our 8-Week Series is a bit different... it's the more "hidden" spaces in our homes.

To get you started I've got tons of tips and inspiration -- hopefully it will get your organizing wheels turning!

The first spot that comes to mind when I think of closets is our bedroom. My clothes closet is quite inefficient right now. We have one long bar across the center of the closet, leaving little room below the hanging clothes for storage and tons of space above that isn't very useful {especially since I'm barely 5 feet tall}.

vertical storage

In contrast, I love how this closet is designed to use every inch of space by taking advantage of vertical storage. The double clothing rods and stacked drawer/shelf combination are similar to what we have in mind for our bedroom closet.

linen closet // clothing closet

However, you don't have to buy special closet organizers to use vertical space. Both of these photos are taking advantage of the space at the bottom of the closet with large containers. I especially love how they stacked some vintage suitcases at the bottom of the closet on the right. You could fill those with out of season items, bed linens or special occasion shoes and bags.

The hanging shelf in the left-hand photo is holding washcloths, using some of the empty space above the folded towels. They also used the vertical space inside the door by mounting towel rods to it.

All of the stacked clothing on the right-hand side shows just how much more clothes you may be able to store in your closet if they are folded instead of hung. So, it may make sense to convert some of your hanging space in the closet to folded space.

closet with baskets // sock bin

Another smart way to use closet space is bins and baskets -- even for items you fold and stack. For example, in this linen closet hand towels are folded, stacked and then placed in a basket. This keeps the stacks from falling over and then with each load of laundry you aren't straightening the stacks on each shelf. The baskets in this linen closet are basic plastic ones that you could get at the Dollar Store or Target and they keep things like medicine or skincare products all grouped together.

Right now I store all of my socks and underwear in a dresser drawer, but I like the idea of using a bin in the closet for those small items. Then I could use the drawer in my dresser for more of my folded clothing.

craft closet // office closet
 Of course closets don't have to be just for clothing and linens. Maybe you need more craft or office storage? Get rid of the hanging space altogether and use either furniture or shelving to fill your closet. The rolling drawers in the left-hand closet are really smart because you could pull it out into the room when you are actually using that supplies.

hampers // linen cabinet top // linen cabinet bottom

It's always smart to think about the spaces in your home in the way that works for your family as opposed to what that closet is "designed" or how items are sold.

For example,  instead of just buying a typical large clothing hamper to sit in the base of the closet, the homeowner built a cabinet to hold 3 smaller laundry baskets -- and they sort their laundry as they wear the clothes as opposed to after it gets to the laundry room.

In the upper-right photo, they decided to use some of the "wasted space" in their bathroom. A big bathroom is great, but I imagine having all the linens right there on hand is worth losing that little corner. Plus, if they have a linen closet in the hallway, now it may be freed up for other storage!

The wooden cabinet in the bottom right is a great option if you don't have a linen closet. I'm not sure what this piece of furniture was before, but it could easily have been a TV cabinet or a wardrobe. That top shelf is pretty low, so they bought simple wire shelves to create another layer of shelving.

medicine cabinet // bath cabinet

Let's end with a few smaller cabinets. This medicine cabinet is pretty brilliant -- using sheets of metal to magnetize both the door and the back of the cabinet. I bet you could do something similar with cork board and push pins too!

The shelf dividers and door storage in this bath cabinet are a great idea -- with or without the pretty paper. Since towels are "smush"-able; hanging some items on the door is a great option. On the bottom shelf that tray would be handy to pull out when in use and stow away when you need to clear the counters.

I hope you are inspired to tackle a closet or cabinet this week! I've gotten started and am already excited about my progress... can't wait to update you on Thursday!

We'll be on Facebook this week sharing more ideas -- and of course, subscribe to make sure you don't miss any of the Organizing Challenge posts!

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