This year, I was smart enough (and home enough) to know that if I didn't do a little bit of prepping, our craft closet was going to explode. My kids are crazy nuts for artsy-craftsy projects right now, and I knew that they would find plenty of projects under the tree this year. Over the past year I've done everything in my power to keep a small area of a "bonus" closet that we have in the hallway available for craft projects. But, similar to my laundry room, it tends to accumulate junk over time.
I've worked on this closet several times since starting this blog- which just goes to show you that organizing is an ongoing process that needs periodic love and care to keep it functional.
This time I followed my 4 step Clean, Smart, Simple Style process- and here's the documentation.
(If you've just randomly landed on this page, check out the 4 steps to a closet that you love)
I forgot to take a picture immediately before starting- but for reference- here is the closet that I am talking about. This closet initially started out as almost entirely devoted to pots and pans with some craft stuff stashed up high (left picture), and then after a bit of rearranging earlier this year I condensed the pots and pans a bit so that I could move some of the craft supplies to the lower portion of the closet (right picture). The problem was that our arts and crafts collection kept growing...so just imagine a much more cluttered version of this closet for the starting place of my latest project.
The main thing that I did during this step was to re-evaluate my use of space. The "before" pictures show that I was using the bottom shelf, and some empty bottom space in a closet- but I also still had half of a higher shelf set aside for paint. Last year when I decided to combine my arts and crafts with my pots and pans- it made sense to keep some of the stuff out of reach of my kids- but by now I am encouraging my 5yr old to get herself set up with projects instead of always counting on me for help. So once again, I moved around some of the pots and pans, to get ALL of the craft related items on the two shelves closest to the bottom of the closet
To get everything back into the closet in the most organized way, I needed to do some major condensing. I unboxed and combined all 75 of the craft kits that we got for Christmas. Just as an example, here's the contents of a playdoh kit on top of the kit. The contents take up about 1/4 of the space that the store box takes up.
I have a clear box from last Christmas that holds all of our clay/playdoh tools- and it easily holds the contents of probably at least 5 "kits."
...and these cute shirt boxes.
And back into the closet they went!
If we had plans to make this place our permanent residence, I'd probably paint the inside of this closet and add another shelf- but for now it is working great as a fairly unglamorous arts and crafts/pots and pans storage closet (with a terribly crooked bottom shelf that I never noticed until I took this picture).
The purple boxes make me smile whenever I open it- which is a million times a day- and act as a great motivator to keep everything where it actually belongs.