Let me start by saying I am by no means a neat freak.
I get frustrated by how much I don't care when my house is messy or when dishes are in the sink. It really doesn't bother me (until I don't have a bowl to put my cereal in - then it bothers me).
I clean when people come over or when Dan finally decides that we should have a cleaning day and then we spend the greater part of a Saturday washing, drying, straightening, etc.
In the back of my mind I always want a better system but sometimes the task is just daunting. I knew my closet was dysfunctional but did I want to spend the time (and money) to make it functional? These past few weeks my answer evolved into a yes.
Like I said in a previous post, my sister was coming so I knew I needed to clean the spare room which had become a catchall for us with random papers, crafts, projects and such. But I couldn't imagine getting that room clean without other areas of the house being impacted. It was a domino effect.
The time had come. I needed to get organized. While I doubt any of what I am going to say is original here's how I got my bedroom closet organized.
1. I ordered some supplies. I know that most organizational articles will tell you not to do this part first. And I agree with them to some degree. I shouldn't go out and buy tons of boxes of various sizes without knowing what exactly I need to store in them. BUT I knew I needed to store things vertically in my closet and I knew that if I didn't have the physical tools to do that I would get frustrated and quit. So I ordered two sets of storage cubes because I knew that even if I didn't use all of them in my closet I would use them somewhere else. When I got them I immediately set them up, cleared out the shelf of my closet and put them in there so that when I sorted the various items I could put them away instantly.
2. I got rid of stuff. This one is old news. You don't need all of the things you have. I certainly didn't need all the clothes I had (or all the clothes I still have). Dan had a bunch of things that he never wore. So I went through the closet and got rid of the things I knew I hadn't worn in the past 6 months/year and things I knew I wouldn't wear ever. I took some to Plato's Closet, took pictures of a few that I knew I could sell on Ebay and gave the rest to Goodwill. I went through my closet, my dresser, and my various baskets. I was brutal and got rid of about 4-5 shopping bags of things. To be fair, I've been doing this step every couple months for about a year now.
3. I divvied up space. He gets his space and I get mine. Since I already have a dresser to myself I gave Dan the hanging divider shelf-thing. I put all his jeans, t-shirts, underwear, etc., in there. I folded all our sweaters and put them in their respective storage cubes. I used the (vertical) space above the cubes for extra items that aren't used day to day.
4. I used the doors. This tip is a no-brainer and I feel like everyone already does this but it's important. I made that shoe organizer a while back and have been putting my flats, sandals, and some heels in that. Dan has a fraction of the shoes that I have and most of them go in the entry way closet. I put my scarfs and our belts on an over the door organizer.
5. I didn't get overwhelmed. It took me a couple of days to get this complete - I didn't do it all in one shot. I am studying for the LSAT so whenever I needed a break from that I would take an hour or so and tackle a task (ex. set up the hanging shelf and put Dan's clothes into it). If I tried to do everything I did (spare room, bedroom, laundry room) in one day I would've pulled my hair out. If you go to bed one night with your closet's contents spilled out into your bedroom then you are in good company. Allow for a few days of mess and chaos - you are creating a better system and that takes time!
Let me know if you have any questions or chime in if you have other helpful ideas!