Extra Room Organization Series: Angels’ Den Closet Organization Part 1

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Click here for an introduction to the Angels’ Den if you have no idea what it is.

I am wrapping up the series on the Angels’ Den with an in-depth tour of the closet. It is just a standard bedroom closet, so there is not much depth of space beyond what you would need to hang clothes, but the vertical storage has gone a long way in maximizing the amount of stuff that can be stored here in an organized way.

collage - closet open - numbered - logo

Overview

My closet organization currently consists of 12 modular cubes, 2 of which contain 2 drawers each. These are the Foremost Modular 5-in-1 Shelf Cube Storage System, times two. Atop the cube organization is where we have (from right, facing): a firebox which contains the few paper documents we have saved, the printer/scanner, a box containing the modem and router and a mishmash of cords and cables, a system of hard drives, and several media computers.

You will notice on the right-hand side of the closet on the wall there is an outlet for plugs and a cable outlet. This was a really nice feature already built into the house which allows all the cables and wires that might normally be visible in the room to be tucked away in the closet. Finally, the built-in shelf at the top currently holds 4 basket containers.

I decided to break the description of the closet into two posts. Today I will go through the contents and thinking behind the organization of the right-hand side closet cubes (facing), and will wrap up this series with a description of the remaining components of the closet next time.

Modular Closet Cubes

The cubes in my closet in the Angel’s Den are modular, with each square cube being independent of the others. It is really nice to be able to rearrange these as my personal organizational needs change. I actually just rearranged the positioning of a few of them a few weeks ago as I was overhauling the organizing system and functioning of the room.

I am thinking of the right-hand side of the closet loosely as “things to do” and the left-hand side as “things to keep”. This concept may not make sense in every case, but that was the general thinking behind the arrangement. Starting from the top right, the contents of the cubes as they are currently arranged are as follows:

1. Scanning inbox and outbox trays – I have had the idea for this system for a while. I have made a personal commitment to be as paper-free as possible, so having a functioning system to scan incoming papers is important to me. I found these trays at Target for $5 each. I have had these cubes for several years now and have been searching for just the right container to fit in the measured spaces for the cubes with a built in divider (cubes 1 & 11 above). This seems to be the biggest holdup for me in any organizing project, because it is very difficult to find containers that fit just perfectly within an existing space without wasting too much space.

Although these trays could be considered to be wasting the space, I actually like how they look and give the space an open and minimalist look. The top tray I use to temporarily collect items to be scanned and the bottom tray is for items already scanned. This is not a perfect system, but it is more functional than before when I didn’t really have a dedicated space for these in-process items, would end up collecting them in piles, and then eventually would end up having to re-scan things if I couldn’t remember where in the scanning process they were (already scanned or to-be scanned).

The most ideal scenario would be to place an item directly on the scanner when it comes in, but sometimes that is not practical. This way, I know exactly where in the process of being scanned an item is by which tray it is in. The reason I have the second tray is because I temporarily save scanned items to a USB drive (still have to figure out how to have scans sent directly from my printer to my computer wirelessly) and I like to view the scans on my computer before throwing things away or shredding them to make sure they scanned right, and it is not always the right time to do that.

collage - closet 2,3,42. For the drawers, I recently purchased modular drawer organizers at Bed, Bath, & Beyond. We have actually been using similar organizers in the kitchen drawers for several years now, and I recently got the idea to use these in my closet drawers. I will admit that there is some wasted space that you can see in the picture above, so these actually aren’t a perfect fit. I decided to stick with them because they still do a better job of keeping the items categorized in a way that makes sense to me, as opposed to my previous system which was just a very general category of office supplies thrown in separated only by drawer. This way, everything has a place and looks organized and clean when you open the drawer to go looking for a pair of scissors or a tape measure.

3. Beneath the first drawer of office supplies is a drawer for stationary. I had some trouble organizing these items, because I couldn’t fit all envelopes and stationary into one drawer with the drawer organizers. I used two long and wide drawer organizers which actually fit the drawer perfectly and use up the entire space. Since there are only two categories though, I still feel like some space is wasted as you can see some wasted space in the left bin with the white cards. Again, it is better than my old system of just having all stationary and envelopes thrown into the same drawer with no dividers.

4. The bottom cube on the first column of cubes has a front door. I didn’t previously have any organization in the cabinet-style cubes (cubes 4 & 14), and more just used the doors as a way to hide the junk. I was really excited to get the idea to use a letter sorter, which I found at Office Depot. This is the perfect solution for this space. I used to just have all different sizes of envelopes thrown into a drawer, and now I have them arranged by height and type. There was unfortunately not enough categories to separate every single type of envelope I have on hand, so I just arranged them in a way that makes sense to me. In the last category I put my return address labels, stamps, and checkbooks all in one divider. I like to keep my checkbooks with the things for mailing since usually if I write a check it is for a bill that doesn’t provide free online bill pay (which I am down to one per month!).

collage - closet 5,6,7The center 6 cubes contain bins that I found at Target that actually perfectly fit the full-sized cubes. Unfortunately, after only a year or so these bins seem to be coming apart at the seams, especially the more heavily used ones. I love how they look and am also currently using them to maintain organization in the laundry room, which is where I have particularly noticed that they have taken a beating. I wouldn’t necessarily recommend using these for this reason, although I don’t have plans replace them anytime soon, at least not in the Angels’ Den.

The right-hand column of these storage containers contain the following categories of stuff:

5. To-digitize – This bin is packed to the brim. This is the remaining stuff that belongs to me in our house that is not digitized. This includes old cards, pictures, CD’s, and a few video tapes (VHS home videos). I won’t necessarily get rid of everything in here once it is digitized, but will probably select a limited amount of stuff I consider important enough to keep the original of. This isn’t a high priority project for me right now, so I am fine with the bin just sitting there for now until some rainy day.

6. Crocheting stuff – This bin contains yarn, crochet and knitting needles, and a few books on crocheting I have gotten over the years. I find crocheting to be extremely relaxing, almost like its own form of meditation. I haven’t crocheted in a while, but definitely want to get back into this hobby, hopefully someday soon.

7. Holiday decorations (excluding Christmas) – I actually think this stuff probably should be in a bin out in the garage. Currently I don’t have any empty bins in the garage, so I decided to just leave this category of stuff in the Angels’ Den for now until I get into organizing the garage again. My major decorating holiday is Christmas. For everything else, I have saved one or two small items to put out for holidays such as Halloween, Valentine’s Day, and St. Patrick’s Day. It is nice to have it in my room so I don’t have to go out to the garage to get just a small decoration item. The Christmas decorations, on the other hand, are out in bins in the garage.

That’s it for today. Namaste!

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