From that tiny under-stair area, I filled 2 rooms with piles of stuff. This closet has served as homeschool and game storage, in addition to acting as storage for items that others might store in a garage or basement, which we don't have.
Of course, there were downsides, like uncovering my old nemesis, the photos that still need to be organized and put into books. And there were rabbit trails to follow, like researching what old financial paperwork needed to be saved, and which could be thrown out. I still have a box to organize, but I was able to throw out a bigger boxful. I found help with household records organization here.
It was also kind of a pain that to unload into the next room, I had to navigate around a door that opened across the hall and doorway. Oh, well... I just hadn't planned ahead for this project!
This is where I started:
Besides being able to navigate the closet, in general, my priority was to get the things we want to use most, in accessible locations.
I extracted the photos that were in books, or at least into pages, from the loose ones, and put them where we can reach and enjoy them out in the living area.
I'd been frustrated that with as many games as we own, the family never plays any. Well, it sure would've been difficult, since they were in the back of the closet before. Now they're in the front-most shelf.
The next shelf holds Prince CuddleBunny's wooden trains, Lincoln Log, and Wedgit sets. These were piled on top of each other and behind many other things. Now so accessible, I hope to see much more construction projects happening... And I'd bet siblings will want to join in, remembering past fun times with those toys. Also, this shelf holds our video camera, some drawers holding office supplies, and extension cords.
Art supplies are now collected in one location, and reachable. Not particularly pretty, but a big improvement.
In the back and around the corner are the disorganized photos, construction materials, old toys, and old art projects.... Things we want to keep, but don't need to access often.
The Before and After next to each other:
Thanks again to Simple Mom who hosted Project Simplify 2012, and encouraged me to tend to 4 cluttery spots in our house. Of course, it served to highlight more areas that could use such attention, so I hope I can keep up some weekly discipline and cut some of my frustration with drawers and cabinets that have become way too full.
Everyone's Week 4 decluttering projects can be found here. Enjoy!