We've been slowly turning our 4th bedroom from a guest room into a his/hers shared office space. One that can still accommodate guests. Upping the functionality of the closet played a huge role in being able to effectively store all our craft and office supplies without them overflowing into the room.
And since the rest of the room had to appeal to my manly other half, the closet was also the perfect place for me to have a little girly fun. It can all be closed up behind simple curtains made from a white tablecloth.
Here's a two-part before shot of what we were dealing with.....left side:
A bunch o' crap on both. Sure there were some gems buried in there and supplies I wanted to keep, but it really was beyond a hot mess.
Of course, the best way to start any space organization is with a clean slate, so I pulled everything out (including the doors) and did a cut-throat purge. If there were fabrics that wouldn't work in any of the rooms in our house and weren't tapped for a specific project, they went into the 'donate' bag. Supplies I bought for certain projects over a year ago and weren't on my near future radar...into the bag. The result of my obsession with Target's office section clearance rack (i.e. the two dollar binder stock pile and abundance of paper organizers collecting dust)...into the donate bag too.
For the past year or so I've been longing to live more simply in so many areas of our lives. Getting rid of the clutter and not keeping things that I didn't need or have a specific use plan for, felt completely liberating. And left me with a much more reasonable amount of stuff to organize.
Once the purging/tossing/donating/consolidating was done, it was time to give this nook a stellar back drop. This is my creative space and I wanted to be inspired when I opened the doors to all the tools that help me do it. I went with this easy painted gold dot wall treatment and loved the tone it set for all the other elements we would bring in.
The biggest hero to our storage woe's was this 9-cubby bookcase that used to house the kids' toys. The zigzag baskets, white pails, and the white strapping cube bins are all from Land Of Nod.
The black and white plays off of the desk curtains we made from a Nate Berkus duvet.
I've been eying these zigzag baskets for months! They used to be sold only in a three piece set with different sizes. When I saw that Land of Nod is now offering them for sale individually, my order was placed 2 minutes later. And they come in a bunch of happy colors. I used some natural stationary paper to label the baskets: Keepsakes (special items I plan to display or preserve somehow), Greeting Cards, and String/Twine
The round labels were gifts tags that I flipped over, traced with a pink sharpie and labeled with washi tape. All along I had planned to cover the wood clothespins with some sort of fun treatment, but the natural wood was a nod to the natural wood handle on the pails, so I left them in their au natural state.
On top of the bookcase, I have a vase hugging all my shelf liner. The navy document box is from Amazon and holds all of our mailing envelopes. The pink wire basket was a Target dollar bin find and is the perfect size for our laminator.
This small Anthropologie dot bowl holds my washi tape, and the cup corralling my small paint brushes is actually a cup I found in the bathroom section of a home store (I can't remember which one!).
The largest pile begging for organization was by far my fabrics. I wanted to store them in a way that I could easily see what I had (without having to dig through a pile), a good system for grouping them together and a system with easy access. I spotted these 5-rung pant hangers while walking through the laundry aisle and knew they were my answer. The side release makes it super easy to access them.
I organized each hanger by color or theme. From left to right I have...blues, greens, pinks, grey/blacks, kid fabrics, neutrals, and holiday fabrics. Again, I try not to keep a ton of fabrics on hand, but if I do expand my stash, I can easily accommodate with additional hangers.
The best part is that each rung lifts up and pulls out, so I don't have to worry about pulling down all the other fabrics on the hanger when I grab for one. Unlatching the rungs above the one you're after will make it easy peasy to grab your fabric and go.
I keep my sewing machine on the floor below the fabrics, in a charming basket from my Grandmother. My cutting mat (a large, floppy item) slides perfectly out of sight behind the bookcase.
On the other side of the closet, we used a wire wall hanging caddy to organize our printing papers.
On the floor below that, plastic tubs hold additional labels, and our vinyl/laminating supplies. And a couple extra pillow forms.
Onto the top shelf! Another one of those fantastic document boxes holds our larger than average mortgage and home sale documents. The colorful boxes are another Tar-jay find. The pink carries my gift wrapping supplies (scissors, tape, tissue paper, tags, etc) and the smaller box holds some blank cards and paint chips.
I almost donated these two file boxes but realized I could re-purpose them to solve another big paper problem - the kid's schoolwork and art. Each kiddo was assigned a box (I still need one more for Jack) and I used a Martha Stewart label to identify them by their first initial. Whenever the kids bring home work they've done at school or we rotate out artwork to keep on display (and the kids can't bear the thought of parting with it), it goes in their respective box. I know that they won't even remember some of these things, but they take comfort that their treasures are being "saved". Then every couple months or so, I can go through them alone and throw away things I know they won't care to lose...without the hysterics.
On the other side of the top shelf, I have a few random household items from upcoming projects.
And last but not least, we shared our sneaky wrapping paper storage solution earlier this week. Love. It.
The closet is now an organized, happy space that makes me want to just take a deep breath and relax. And then, go make something!
My mom is here visiting for spring break and when she's asked me where she can find some random item or tool, I love being able to tell her exactly where to find it. And she loves that all this stuff is tucked neatly away in the closet and not piled up surrounding her bed in this guest room/office!