Friday, May 22, 2015

The Un-Pretty Way To Organize a Storage Room

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Warning- This is not one of those picture perfect organization projects where all of the storage containers match and everything looks like it should be in a magazine.  What this is is an un-pretty way to organize a storage room.  Because for us, this is real life.  And we don’t have the budget to go out and purchase matchy matchy stuff for a storage room that no one will ever see but us.  What this post is is an effective way to get a large storage room organized.  So if you need to tame the chaos in a storage room of your own, but like us do not have the time or the budget to make it pretty, this is the post for you!


We have a fairly large storage room that is in the back of our garage.  And honestly, if it did not exist, we probably would not have bought this house.  Because this house does not have a lot of storage or large closets.  So this is it for us!  The only problem with this room is that when we moved in, we were forced (by the people who purchased our old house) to move in a really big hurry, and everything just got shoved into this room in complete chaos.  Not what I pictured in my mind at all.  In my mind, I cleaned this room while it was still empty, and then everything would be placed into this room in a thoughtful, organized manner.  That didn’t happen. 

Fast forward 2 1/2 years later, and this room was unbearable.  And I swear I took a before picture, and for the life of me I cannot find it.  But just imagine mass chaos and everything just dumped everywhere to the point where you could barely walk in there, and that is what it looked like.  Well, with LC’s new job, we needed to be able to fit a large storage closet somewhere into our house, and it had to be in this storage room.  So, that lit a fire under our butt’s to get this room cleaned out.The collage below is  the beginning of this process.  We moved my car out of the garage, and proceeded to completely empty this room.

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After we emptied the room, I cleaned the room by cleaning the shelf along the back wall, clearing out all cobwebs, and sweeping the floor with a broom.  The next thing we did was to place various shelves that we already had in this room, and some that were in the garage, back into the room, and then I cleaned the shelves. 

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When we moved into this house, there was a coat closet right outside of our kitchen.  But there was no pantry in the kitchen.  We made the decision to use that coat closet as a pantry, and we have never regretted it.  You can read about how I organized that pantry here.  Anyway, that left us without a coat closet, so this portable closet was our solution for a coat closet.  Like I said this room is at the back of our garage, so it works just perfectly, because that is where we go in and come out of the house.  And we can even keep hats, gloves and scarves in the bottom.  I usually get the hats, scarves, and gloves out during the winter months and store them in baskets in a bench that is in our downstairs hallway, which is the hallway we walk into from the garage.  But during summer, I bag it all up and place it in the bottom of this closet.  You can see above the closet is where I decided to house all of our gallon sized paint cans. 

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I had an extra over the door shoe organizer that was not in use, so I hung it on the back of this door to hold my spray paint collection.  It works perfectly, and makes more space on our shelves.

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Next, we started to bring everything back into the room.  But as we did this, we also purged and got rid of a lot.  We had a large black trash bag full of stuff to throw away, and we took one car load of stuff to Goodwill.  As you can see we placed all of the shelving we had right next to each other on the back wall.  The white metal shelves hold all of our painting supplies. 

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This blue laundry basket was broken on one side, so I use it to hold painting supplies.  since I never had to pick it up from this spot, it works just fine. 

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The black metal shelf holds various things, some photographs in boxes, some Rubbermaid boxes that hold the children’s special artwork from when they were little, and my great grandma’s china.  I don’t have anywhere to display it in this house, but someday I hope to be able to have it out. 

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The blue plastic shelves hold more paint, stain, sandpaper, and various other smaller items that we use for DIY projects.

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On the left side of the room, most of these boxes hold things that belong to LC.  This is where he keeps all of his “stuff”.  You can also see that we hung some hooks on the walls to hold things that were taking up space on the floor, like this artist’s easel and the bow and crutches.  The box in the back left corner contains our scarecrow, obviously, but underneath of that is all of our wood scraps that were taking up valuable floor space.  We just put this box on the floor and propped all of the wood scraps up, and they take up so much less space that way!

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The back right corner shelf holds all of my boot boxes.  In the winter I take them out of the boxes and store them under my bed in under bed boxes.  But in the summer, I put them all down here to make room under my bed for summer sandals.  And this is also where we keep all of our outdoor seasonal d├ęcor. 

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By purging and re-organizing this room, we were able to make room on the left wall to house a large storage cabinet for LC (which has not come in yet).  Across from this spot, and to the left of the coat closet it just blank wall space.  We needed to be able to open the cabinet once it is in place, so we kept that spot open. 

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And this is the view from the back of the room.  I had some old throw rugs that I placed in front of the closet to make it a little more comfy in that spot, and we keep extra water right inside of the door (LC insists).  We also hung some hooks on the wall right inside the door that were not there before.  And from those hooks we hung some of Mr. 15 Year Old’s hunting gear. 

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And that is basically it!  And even though it is not pretty, it is so much better!  Everything has a place and we can actually find everything!  We were able to get this entire job done in one day, in the freezing cold.  And can I just tell you how good it felt to mark this one off the list?  We plan on doing the same thing in our garage over the summer.  It is also in desperate need of some major attention and organization. 

If you have a large storage room that is in need of a major cleaning and reorganizing, my advice to you is to just put it on your schedule and get it done!  Start by emptying the room and laying everything out where you can see it.  And then only place things that you need to keep back into the room.  Purge as much as you can.  I promise you will feel like a huge weight is off your shoulders when it is all finished!  Go for it!


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