Getting Organized: Functional Must-Haves for Any Space

One of my favorite parts of the new year, and colder winter months is getting the inside of my home organized, decluttered and fresh for the year! Once the warm weather rolls around, I don’t want to be stuck in my house organizing a closet. Last January, I tackled my office closet and the year before that our tiny kitchen pantry — and I’m happy to report, both spaces are still clean, organized and most importantly super functional. As I tackle each of these different and unique spaces, there are a few must-have and go-to pieces that are functional and work in a plethora of spaces, especially when creating your own organizational solutions.

Left: Office Closet // Right: Budget Bathroom Makeover

Let’s Talk Shelving Solutions. Ok, so my absolute favorite piece and go-to for a closet space is a cube organizer shelf – these range in a variety of options, but are relatively affordable and provide a variety of storage from clothes, to shoes, to craft supplies! I typically get the 11″ cube, but if you’re wanting something a bit more sturdy with more fabric storage box options, the 13″ cube organizer shelf is the next best thing. These are available at Targets (linked), Lowe’s and even Home Depot, just to name a few. Plus they are great for horizontal or vertical spaces!

I am also all for creating your own shelves to create room to organize for your unique space, especially when it comes to closets. We live in a 100+ year-old home, so our closets are odd shaped and each one is a little different, so you have to get creative and go semi-custom, but don’t let the word custom scare you off or think you have to spend lots of $$$$! A super easy way to create a shelf that also looks nice is, laminate shelf boards (pick your depth, length as needed) paired with a simple L shelf bracket – this is a super affordable option to add custom shelves to a closet. You can get a fancier looking shelf bracket depending on the look like these gold brackets; just remember to check for weight limits, and try to drill into a stud whenever possible! I also have spray painted the simple L shelf brackets, gold (screw heads too) for a higher end look at a much lower price.

Shop Shelving Solutions: Blue Hawk Laminate Shelf, 6 Cube Organizer Shelf, 8 Cube Organizer Shelf, Gold Brackets, L Shelf Bracket

My Favorite Storage Containers. Now that we have our spaces and nooks created, the next best part is all the boxes and baskets to store our goodies. Baskets and storage bins are great for a variety of spaces and contain the goods to a space within your space, allowing ease of use and function. My go-to basket, is the Y-Weave bins from Target — they come in a variety of neutral colors and sizes for all of the things! I use these in my bathroom, hall linen closet and even our kitchen pantry, they’re also affordable and sturdy.

Plastic clear storage bins (without lids) are also a go-to favorite, although a little more expensive these are a clean look and again work in any space. I’m currently working on my accessories closet in our master bedroom and definitely splurged on clear storage solutions! Fabric bins are another great way to give a higher-end look to store craft supplies, scarfs, clothes or toys.

Shop Storage Containers: Y-Weave Medium Basket, 13″ Fabric Cute Storage, Clear Rectangular Organizer, Clear Organizer Bin

Once you have the pieces and parts to help get you organized, it’s also important to sort, purge and consolidate the contents of the space you’re organizing — often times this may need to come first to see what you’re working with, the types of things you need to store and how much you have of everything! Don’t be afraid to find or reuse containers around your house if you can’t afford (or don’t want too) buy all new baskets or matching pieces, it’s 100% ok to work your way to a matching and perfectly organized space.

What spaces are you tackling to get organized to start your year off?

Before & After: Office Closet Organization

Are you ready for a swoon worthy before and after?! As I mentioned in my last latest obsessions post, I’ve been gearing up for another fun before and after and getting my office closet organized, as it was in a dire state.  This space is one of the most utilized closets in the house, besides our clothes closets. As it’s my go-to closet for craft supplies, scrapbooking essentials, seasonal decor and other office items – so it’s used a lot, and needed more shelving!
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The Issue. I would have to unload multiple containers to get the one I needed, it was a pain in the butt and NOT functional. We also had a filing cabinet that was conveniently stored, as it was a bit of an eye sore, but also took up a lot of space and left for awkward openings for the rest of the storage containers.

In general, there was just an overall lack of shelving — B had previously installed a white shelf at the top which helped immensely at the time, but just wasn’t enough.  I also had a few larger tubs that took up a lot of space and held a lot of things, with this being a smaller, crammed closet – these larger tubs didn’t help. Check out the before pictures…

The Solution. I needed more shelves! I knew I could add in a few shelves in the nook area to the left, but didn’t want to close off complete access to those. One solution was to add in long shelves the entire length all the way down, but felt that would still cause for some unpacking to access other things.

I needed the nook shelves to be accessible, while still having full storage across the entire space of the closet. I looked at a few different nicer storage and shelving units, but the sizes weren’t quite right or were too tall with the existing shelf already in place. So I opted for my trust cube storage, but looking for a larger 8-cube piece from Target and then some other white shelves from Lowe’s that would allow for customization and cutting. I got a 48″ white laminate shelf that I cut for my larger shelf, and a 23.8″ white laminate shelf that I cut in two for the nook area and utilized these shelf brackets to hold in place.

The final solution was also downsizing in a lot of the storage containers and also getting rid of that big, bulky filing cabinet – it had to go!

Final Organizing. The filing cabinet was easy to nix and opened up so much space — but I did still need some storage solutions that were function to hold on to some files. I found these fabric gray filing boxes and bought two of them to see how far that would get us in the consolidation process! They worked out perfect and were just what we needed, and they look great in the space.

I also moved some of the larger tubs that contained seasonal decor, down into our basement with the rest of my decorations so they’re all in one space. From there downsized my craft supplies into smaller boxes and containers and labeled them.  This has been much over due, and will be so helpful with crafting and putting away!
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This space was instantly transformed with this new storage which ultimately allowed me to customize for my needs, for this space. I spent about $125 on the new shelves, supplies and fabric boxes and I just love how it turned out! Eventually I’d love to get all matching storage containers and boxes — but I used old boxes and baskets that I had since the all matching wasn’t in the budget and I had a lot of containers that weren’t being fully utilized.

Questions? Thoughts? Leave a comment below!

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