Today I cleaned and organized the living room closet, also known as the coat closet. This is is also where the vacuum cleaner is stored
I thought I was choosing another "easy" closet to clean, but when it came right down to it, it took me several hours. Why? Because this closet is the dumping ground for all the envelopes of pictures that I have taken over the past several years and I kept looking at them! I can't believe how much everybody in the family has changed!
One good thing about cleaning this closet is that it has given me a head start on organizing the photos, which is also on the "Home To Do List". But, for today's purposes I just gathered up all the packages of pictures, envelopes of school pictures, pictures included in Christmas Cards, etc. and put them in a pretty new striped canvas storage tote that you can see in the "After" photo. Also there is a pretty striped photo storage box that will be a good place to organize some of the photos that have been stuffed in there haphazardly.
I was excited to find FOUR brand new photo albums, three of which were Christmas gifts from the past and one of which I bought and had forgotten about. So I now have my pictures and photo albums in one container. This could be a project to work on while watching T.V. with my hubby.
The main job in organizing this closet was straightening out the photos. Once that was done I removed some odd pieces of clothing that had found their way in there and put them where they needed to be. Some were stored in an extra bedroom closet, such as my son's high school graduation gown from 2005. A couple of things went to my closet. I put a long wool coat with a matching pink scarf in a "donate" box. This coat is about 20 years old, but is SO warm and still looks decent. I hope it will keep someone who really needs it warm this winter. I left only the coats and pull overs that we actually use and put them all on good plastic hangers to make a neater appearance.
I pulled the vacuum cleaner out and used the crevice tool all around the edges of the floor in the closet and vacuumed it. I repurposed a plastic shoe box I had on hand for storing the crevice tool, dusting tool, etc. that go with the vacuum cleaner and placed it on the floor in the corner. I then coiled the hose up neatly and put the whole thing back in.
This closet is located underneath the stairs and in the back of the closet, behind the coat rod, is a door which opens to additional storage space underneath the stairs. Here's a picture of the door.
This area is also on the "Home To Do List". It is filled with photo albums, books, VHS movies, framed pictures, and LOTS of miscellaneous stuff, none of which has any monetary value, but does have lots of sentimental value.
You see the sentimental clutter is the hardest to clean and organize of all! That's why it took me so long to finish this closet. When trying to declutter sentimental clutter, I dwell on each item like my life depends on it. I recently read a Flylady testimonial about a lady who had been taking care of her wedding dress for years. It moved with her every time she moved. It was stored in a box that was like a tomb. She finally gave it to charity, stating that she had plenty of pictures of herself wearing the dress and plenty of memories of it in her head. I probably won't get rid of too much of my sentimental clutter, but hope to organize it and streamline it some. There is valuable storage space in this area that I need to use for other things besides sentimental clutter!
I'm already wondering what I'll do with the VHS movies. I don't have too many, since I never saw the benefit of buying a movie to just watch one time, but we do have some children's movies. Our DVD player is a combination DVD player and VCR so we can still look at them for the time being, but they will be obsolete before its all over. I could donate them, but I don't know if anybody would be interested in owning them.
In working on my "Home To Do List" it looks like I am moving from one area of the house to the next area located nearest to it. So, it looks like I'll be tackling the storage area located in the back of the living room/coat closet. Maybe I'll get that next weekend!
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