Wednesday, January 22, 2014

The Monica Closet

Remember that episode of Friend's where it is revealed that super neat-freak, Monica, had a secret closet full of junk (aka The Monica Closet)?

We all have them, even the best of us.  It's that spot in your home where you put everything that you don't know what to do with.  It might be a drawer, a cabinet, or, for me, an entire room: our basement office.

To say it was a mess is a huge understatement.  A couple months ago, I showed you a few pictures of this space, but, truthfully, it was a lot worse than even those images captured.  It was bad.  Really, really bad.

We refinished our basement just over a year ago and at that time it was spic-and-span.  Over the past 15-months, however, things began to slowly spiral downhill. As the kids got older, we began piling the outgrown clothes and toys in the walk-in closet in our office.  

Soon, the walk-in closet was full and the piles moved into the main room.  

Next thing you know, the room is littered with toys, paperwork, baby clothes, old pieces of furniture, and cd's; we literally had to carve out a path just to get from the door to the closet.

Cleaning out this room certainly did not happen over night.  So far, I am on month three of sorting, purging, selling and organizing.  

Back in October, we finally decided we were ready to part with all of our baby gear.  I took an inventory of the larger and more valuable items we had sitting around in our basement and began posting them for sale on Craigslist.  Two weeks later, I had made over $900 in sales!  Want to know what I sold?
  • two cribs
  • two high chairs
  • two baby gates
  • two infant car seats
  • a dresser
  • a coat rack
  • a shoe bench
  • a pack-n-play
  • a rocking chair
  • a diaper champ
  • a step stool
  • a barstool
  • a nursing stool
  • a toddler bed
  • and...a baby carrier

Craigslist items waiting to be sold.

Yikes!  All of that (and more!) was hiding in our office!  With the larger items out of the way, I began sorting through the boxes and boxes (and boxes) of baby clothes and toys.  A few things I kept, some items I donated, and the majority of items I tagged for a consignment sale.

Organizing clothes for the consignment sale.

Things were finally starting to clear up.  I could see (some) of the floor.  I could walk from the door to the closet without fear of spraining an ankle.  But there was still a long way to go.  The one Sunday afternoon a couple of weekends ago, I rolled up my sleeves and dove into the remaining mess with one goal in mind: get. 'er. done.

Trash bags were filled with garbage and old cardboard boxes housed items for donation.  We decided to sell our guest bed (again, Craigslist!) since we only have guests once or twice a year and it was taking up half the room.  We also did a bit of rearranging by moving the love seat from our family room into the office and re-positioning my craft cabinets onto the wall next to the door.

If you look carefully, you can see those darn CD's taunting me from the corner of the room:

The walk-in closet is currently storing all of the items we have tagged for next month's consignment sale, as well as some games and office supplies that will eventually move into our office and rec room once we have completed those spaces.

I am so happy with the progress we have made.  I didn't realize how much all that clutter was weighing me down.  

With the room clean and organized, I now have a better sense of the space and can envision how we want our office to look.  We have big plans for a u-shaped built-in desk under the window, colorful accessories, a wrapping station, a Silhouette station, and lots of labeled bins and baskets for all of our craft and office supplies.

In the grand scheme of things, most of these projects are later on down the road, but for now at least we have a clutter-free space to work and craft.