“If your room looks a bit barren, that’s a good thing.” – The Art of the Visit: Being the Perfect Host, Becoming the Perfect Guest, by Kathy Bertone
Click here for an introduction to the Angels’ Den if you have no idea what it is.
Today I will finish up the tour of the Angels’ Den with a description of how I have organized the remaining storage units in the closet, starting with the cubes on the left (facing) side of the closet.
8. This bin contains various items that were at one time intended as gifts but we unfortunately never got around to giving or that we have somehow acquired and thought would be a good idea as a gift sometime in the future. Right now there is a nice bottle of wine (which we would not have lasted this long if it were a red!), a few tins of tea, a basket that a gift came in, and several other small kitchen items that came as samples with orders that we don’t have a use for. It is nice to have a dedicated place for this kind of stuff so it is out of sight but can be easily accessed. I hope to have a more well thought out stash of gifts on hand ready for occasions some time in the future.
9. The category for bin #9 is loosely “things related to paper”. I have a hole puncher, a paper cutter, and a variety of paper accessories from Levenger that I collected during my hipster era in this bin. I probably could get rid of some things in here, but the things from Levenger are so nice I hate to part with them, and still feel that they could have a use sometime in the future. Either that, or I might end up giving some of this stuff away at some point.
10. This bin contains “keepsakes”. These are things I don’t necessarily have a place to display currently, but don’t want to get rid of due to sentimental value. I think it is good to have a space in the home for these types of items, however, I also believe items of sentimental value should be limited. Not every single thing has to be saved, and letting go of junk can really make you feel more free. What you save and what you let go of is a very personal decision, and doesn’t have to make sense to anyone but you. Julie Morgenstern’s books on organizing, particularly Shed Your Stuff, Change Your Life, really helped me get a grip on the difference between saving the things that have personal meaning versus keeping around meaningless junk.
The final column of cubes are situated just like the first column. I recently reconfigured the layout of the cubes, primarily because I wanted my cube with my scanning categories to be near the printer (cube 1). Another important lesson I learned from Julie Morgenstern in her book Organizing from the Inside Out is to think of the organization of a space as if it were a kindergarten classroom. A kindergarten classroom is situated to make everything as easily accessible as possible for the kids: the dress-up items are in the dress-up area, the books are in the reading area, and their cubbies are at their height level. The room is setup in such a way that it is easy for the kids to put things away when they are done with them.
I used to have the cubes with the paper trays (cubes 1 & 11) lower in the layout, but as I was re-thinking it I thought it made more sense to have the tray for items to scan close to the printer, so it would be that much easier to access. The whole point of this is to improve the chances that I will actually use the system that I set up. I then decided to mirror the left side of the closet to the right for symmetry.
11. The paper trays on the left hand side of the closet simply hold printer paper. I was surprised by how much paper I could fit in these shallows trays, and it’s nice that they don’t have a lid so the paper can be stacked slightly beyond the confines of the sides of the trays. The top tray holds regular printer paper, and the bottom tray holds resume paper and some card stock.
12. I used the modular drawer organizers for the drawers on the left as well. The top drawer contains pens, pencils, and marker pens each in their own small bin, and a larger bin with crayons, colored pencils, and paint pens. I was glad the small bins fit pens, pencils, and markers perfectly so I was able to fit more categories in this small space.
13. The lower drawer on this side has bins for white out, highlighters and dry erase markers, Sharpies, and stapling items.
14. Finally, the bottom corner cube with a door also contains a letter sorter, the same one I used in bin 4. This side contains more specialized printer or craft paper, including photo paper, mailing labels, business card paper, and other types of labels. Even though we don’t use a lot of these office supplies very frequently, we do use them on occasion and already had all of these supplies on hand, just not very well organized. Now, it is not only easier but a more peaceful experience to go looking for something in this closet when the time comes. Well, that was pretty much the whole point I guess!
The last organizational component of the closet I will mention is the top shelf. We already had these baskets in use in another room, but they weren’t really in any major system, so I decided to re-purpose them for this space. I used to have a mishmash of stuff up there, including my storage bag for gift wrap and exercise ball that I mentioned previously. The baskets seemed to really pull together the overall look of the closet, giving it a nice balance between office and home.
15. The first basket from the right contains everything in the house for celebrating birthdays. I even keep a small homemade birthday hat for dogs here that we break out whenever Shenanigans or one of his small friends has a birthday.
16. & 17. The middle two baskets contain our Halloween costumes from this year. We went as Jennifer Parker and Marty McFly from Back to the Future. We decided several years ago one day while watching Back to the Future II that we would have a party on the date they are in the future in that movie (sometime in 2015). That is the only reason I am saving these. I think they probably would make more sense to be out in the garage with the other holiday stuff, so this is more of a temporary solution for where to keep these things for now.
18. Finally, in the very last basket, I have some china that I don’t really know what to do with stored in this Khaki China Storage Set I found on Amazon. I spent a lot of time trying to figure out how to store the china, and was really glad when I found this peaceful looking storage.
I hope you have enjoyed the tour of my favorite room ever as much as I have enjoyed sharing it! If you have a room that you would like to get in order but feel overwhelmed, just consider starting small. This room has been a work in progress for several years, and still there is work to be done. If you continually work at it, one day it will be what you hoped for. It is not impossible to simplify the junk and get organized, it just takes work and time. It is totally possible! Namaste.