Thursday, March 1, 2012

Den Re-org


I can’t believe that I’m actually posting this ONLINE… but… I am participating in “I’m an Organizing Junkie"’s 29 day organization challenge. I thought that this would motivate me to get a few problem areas in the house purged, sorted and organized. It worked! I still have some spots that “need work” but now I am on a roll.


ready for visitors

The following are questions to be answered about the space:

1. What space did you decide to organize and why?

I choose our den which doubles as an extra spare bedroom. We have company coming this summer so I need to have the sleeping accommodations ready again. Also, I would like a space that I can retreat to and with the desk and sofa-bed cleared off I will have a place to work or read.

This room is right around the corner from our entrance so it tends to collect a lot of things. It is also where we drop off guests coats – I want to be able to have people in there without feeling embarrassed!

2. What steps did you take to ensure you completed the space within the 29 day timeline?

I started with some other rooms to make places for the stuff to go. This has always been a drop zone, often for things we use regularly but had no place to store them. By making space elsewhere it was easier for me to keep on track once I started on this room.

3. What was the hardest part of the challenge for you and how did you overcome it?

My greatest challenge was not feeling overwhelmed and wanting to quit. I found if I looked at the whole picture it would seem like too much and I would stall. However, by focusing on one small area at a time I was able to move forward. (thanks for that advice!)

My other great challenge was the ripple effect or scope creep. Many areas of my house got touched by this re-org and there were times that the whole house looked like a hurricane had passed through. Keeping my focus during those times was difficult. It also meant that the task was huge. I worked on the workshop, the storage area, the linen closet, the spare bedroom, master bedroom closet… you get the picture!

4. What did you do with the “stuff” you were able to purge out of your newly organized space?

Some of the “stuff” was actually purged (although not nearly enough), while other items were moved to shelves in the basement. The basement will be the last space to be gone through, but we need to complete some construction before it can be done. We are building a craft room in the basement so when we are finished many items like fabrics, crafting supplies etc will reside there. Some things were moved now, while other things remain until the craft room is done.

5. Tell me one of your proudest moments during this challenge?

Getting the workshop done. I’ve been wanting to get to this area for years. Once it was done I could move on to other areas. It was like a wheel had been un-chocked!

6. Explain any organizing “tools” you used to help you create additional space and to establish some limits and boundaries?

I already had shelves for the tiny closet – it was somewhat organized. I used empty salad containers. They fit the shelves perfectly and were free! I had some other plastic organizers from Costco. There are actually empty bins!

I also had a tall plastic set of drawers. These held small pieces of fabric. I just had to go through the drawers and organize them again.

The desk had some candles and other odds and ends. They were all moved to other places in the house (all the candles are together elsewhere – see what I mean about scope creep!). The desk is now empty.

7. What is ONE piece of advice you’d give to someone else to encourage them on their organizational journey?

Take it one step at a time. Sit down and think about one small area and what can be done with it. Focus on that one area and get it done – then move on to the next. If that means stuff that belongs in another room gets piled there then fine – deal with it later.

Before Photos (please don’t judge too harshly!)


aside from the laundry, most of this stuff are things we take off the camper for the winter – we were storing it here, but now we’ve made space for it in the basement

20120226_dining-room_003 20120226_dining-room_004

After photos:

20120228_dining-room_002 20120228_dining-room_005

Now that I have bared all, I have to be honest… the laundry rack will be coming back in the room for the winter. We use it all the time and it just isn’t worth it to keep it in the basement and our laundry room has just enough room for the washer and dryer and not much else. We rarely use this room and I think convenience is more important than optics. In the summer it will move outside, and obviously if we have overnight guests it will be moved elsewhere. Where do other people keep their drying racks?