February 13, 2013

Day 2 of 7 Clutter to Clean – Bedroom closet (eek!!!) and dressers – DONE!


If you’re just tuning in – you’ll want to first read my pledge to go from clutter to clean in one week. Then read the results from my first day of cleaning (Monday) when I tackled the hall closets, the pantry and the bathrooms.

Yesterday (Tuesday) I tackled the bedroom closet. It is by far one of the messiest places in the house. It all started two years ago when my daughter was born and we moved her sweet baby cheeks into the room that WAS my craft/office/sewing room. The craft supplies and sewing materials ended up in my closet. I had amazing intentions of organizing them – I did. But between babies and blogging I can almost always find something more pressing than organizing my closet. Sorry, it’s true.

But enough excuses. I’m going to show you a BEFORE photo. And I’m really hoping you’ll still read my blog after you see it. It’s bad. It’s embarrassing – but the good news is – IT’S BEFORE! So it no longer looks like this and I’m hoping it never will again.

If you dare. . .


Still love me? Even just a little? I’m hoping you do, because now that you’ve seen my bedroom closet I consider us besties. Because really, no one else has seen my closet. We’re best friends forever now. 😉 And you should know, now that were friends, that cleaning isn’t my specialty. Just so you know. But cleaning is just what I did yesterday.


The first thing I did was make my bed. I read this in a book when I was like nine years old when I was researching better ways to clean my room (no joke and apparently that research really helped me).  If you plan to clean a room – start by making the bed. Then throw EVERYTHING that needs to be cleaned or organized onto the bed. I emptied my entire closet onto the bed, except for clothes that were on hangers.


Who are we kidding – I needed the space on the floor, too. But I took everything out of the closet. This gave me a clean slate to start with. Vacuum the floors and along the baseboards, wipe down shelves, especially those top ones that can be dusty.


And then I was ruthless. I was heartless. I got rid of anything that:

  • Didn’t fit. It had to zip up and fit me today or it was gone. I’m tired of looking at a closet full of clothes from two babies ago. I hope to someday lose those baby pounds, but when I do, I’ll celebrate by finding a great pair of jeans that fits like a glove at Goodwill. Why have the pressure of clothes that don’t fit? They only clutter up your closet and make it harder to find the clothes that you really wear on a daily basis. Gone!
  • Was torn, dirty or just plain ugly. I have horrible taste in clothes. I’ll be the first to admit it. But the Carhartt overalls that I wore in high school are never going to be cool again – especially with the bleach stain on the bib. And the white shirts that were now speckled with stains (thanks to my babies, no doubt), those went in the garbage. And the sweater that only looks good when I’m standing at a certain angle with support hose while holding my arm a certain way? Gone.
  • Didn’t need. I have used the same purse for 1.5 years. The fact that I have eight very similar black purses taking up space in my closet is maddening. Sure, they are cute. But I’m a women of function and my current purse is working just fine. Gone.

I filled up FIVE big garbage bags with stuff for the thrift shop and one large garbage bag by purging from my closet and my dresser. These bags went straight to the trunk of my car. Adult clothing is a ridiculous thing to try and re-sell, if you ask me. It takes up a huge amount of space at garage sales and it really needs to be a brand name to be worth anything to anyone. My clothes are mostly from Old Navy or other low budget places, so nobody is going to pay me a dime for them. But the nice clothes (not stained or torn) went to the thrift shop yesterday afternoon – the very same day. Outta here! I came home with a tax deductible receipt and a closet filled with clothes that I actually like and that fit me <insert big sigh of relief here>.


The craft stuff. The biggest offender in the entire closet (besides my clothes) was craft supplies and fabric. I love quilting and sewing but haven’t done much of it since I threw everything into our closet two years ago. The fabric. . . was in a big black garbage bag – tucked to the right under my husband’s clothes. I dumped it out onto the bed and went through everything. I got rid of some of it, but mostly it was just a matter of finding a good container for it.


I did it! I organized my fabric and sewing supplies. I found an old plastic tub in the garage and filled it with my fabric. I love that I can see what I have. I put my batting and thicker flannel fabric in the under-the-bed organizers that fit perfectly on the short top shelf. I moved my sewing machines into the closet (one was on a bookshelf downstairs and the other was in the garage). Ahhh. I’m actually inspired to start sewing now. This is sew much fun (not really, it’s exhausting, but I’m very excited).


And remember those sets of sheets I told you about from the hall closet? I stored them inside matching pillow casses and put them in a bin. So much more tidy than the previous method of stuff and tuck. And besides, now I won’t be annoyed by the fitted sheet that NEVER folds flat. 🙂


And check out this nifty and easy way to organize your scarves! Just tie them to a simple hanger and hang up with the rest of your clothes. Of if you want an actual scarf hanger – they actually make those – InterDesign Axis Scarf Holder, Chrome (Amazon).

And drumroll . . . . the final AFTER photo. . . 


Do you hear that? It’s angels singing. I seriously want to move into my closet and sleep. I got rid of a ton of clothes and extra clutter. It took me a good three hours (kid-free). The only expense was the $13 wicker basket on the bottom shelf that I found at Ross. Everything else I had around the house.  It’s amazing how many storage tubs/options you find when you start consolidating and getting rid of stuff. I now have a pile of tubs, bins and boxes building in the hallway, that I can grab from as I move through the house. I feel so liberated. And my husband – who is the clean freak of the house is thrilled that I finally cleaned my side of the closet. Ha! Happy Valentine’s Day honey.

You don’t have to spend a fortune on baskets. You can use boxes! Stop by a liquor store or grocery store and get some old boxes, wrap them in brown paper bags or buy a roll of pretty wrapping paper and make your own boxes.

Final note – You can comment, as long as you’re nice or constructive. There is nothing like going through your stuff and taking photographs of it to make you feel vulnerable. For me personally, I’m feeling embarrassed by the sheer excess of stuff.  The fact that we might have 3 or 4 pairs of shoes or jeans for one person, while some have none is difficult to swallow. I think the process of decluttering has given me an appreciation, and awareness, of just how much “stuff” we have collected – and has encouraged me to get rid of more. I really believe there is a BURDEN in the excess. Everything that I’m getting rid of is going to a good home – whether it’s a local nonprofit, thrift shop, a friend’s house or a consignment sale.

So what do you think about all this – is it helpful? I’d love suggestions for storage or helpful organization tips.

How do you keep your bedroom closet cleaned? If you don’t have a craft space – where do you store your craft supplies? Check back tomorrow for an update on my kitchen!


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  1. Jennifer P. says:

    Oh my gosh, you are sooo funny, I did hear the angels sing! Way to go!! you have been inspiring me to tackle some areas of my house that have become a catch-all, but thats what I do, stack and stack and stack. Thanks for all of your hard work!

  2. Robyn Reynolds says:

    Love it! Love your ideas!! I’m always trying to clean a drawer or cupboard or something!! I keep a “give away” bag hanging on the closet door handle in our spare room. I toss things in it all the time. And I like donating to the Children’s Hospital Thrift Store instead of Goodwill. Can’t wait for the next post!!

  3. I may have missed this somewhere in other comments or another post, but how are you accounting for what you take to charities? That’s what gets me caught up every time I want to do a closet purge. I think I have to have some kind of itemized list of what I take to “get tax credit” for it – when really I know the best “credit” is going to be the space I open up in my house!! But I was curious if you are keeping track of what you’re donating or just writing down as “a bag of women’s clothing”? I’m 3 kids richer and almost 30lbs lighter than when a majority of my clothes were purchased, so I really need to do an overhaul on my closet AND sadly, my wardrobe! But I’m definitely going to be taking into consideration the “burden of excess” like you talked about when that time comes.
    I’m getting inspired by your before/after photos! Keep up the good work!!

  4. Juli Schmidt says:

    Wow: Am I the only one saying “my, what a big closet you have?” I would love to have that much in my whole house! But great job on the purge and organize. No matter how much space we have, we always seem to want to fill it up to excess. Great job!

  5. Heather, I’m so impressed. We have been in a reconstruction phase for three years now. Every room needs pegged and re-organized. You have just motivated me!!!! Thank you so much!

  6. WAY TO GO! It looks great and you have given great tips I will use. My husband and I started to clean our closet on Tuesday and O.M.goodness – we still have a long way to go. I am thinking we need a different shelving system and we need to go through our belongings and purge more. I love the sheet/pillow case idea. How or where do you store your extra blankets and how many sets of sheets do you have for each bed in your house? Do you store your children’s sheet sets in their room or yours? I am trying to figure out how to par my blanket/sheets down. Thank you for sharing!!!

  7. I’m so proud of you!! I announced at the beginning of the year that I was going to organize and even took a picture of the junk drawer. So far – nada. I’m overwhelmed. But you are an inspiration. Thanks!!

  8. Love the idea for the benches in the closet. Thank you for the inspiration to declutter everything 🙂

  9. This is great!! Thanks for being vulnerable. Even though I’m constantly getting rid of stuff, I still feel I could be way more ruthless with my cleaning. I’m inspired!

  10. Wonderful job, again. After reading your post last night I went and cleaned my dresser out and my closet- 3 large bags of stuff gotten rid of and after living here for 3 years I had my hubby put up the mirror to our dresser. Tonight I am gonna tackle the rest of my bedroom. You are a great insperation. Thanks so much for sharing all your ideas with us.

  11. Awesome job! You’ve inspired me to finish unpacking my house (from our move 2 months ago)and de-clutter. LOL

  12. I LOVE this! I don’t think you should be embarrassed at all! You’d be surprised at how many homes have clutter in closets and cabinets and garages.

    I resolve to do the same this year. We have lived in this house for 19 years (where did the time go?)

    We have a 3 car garage. Just 2 weeks ago, I did a big cleanup. Our youngest daughter had a LOT of stuff “stored” out there. And so did I.

    Long story short, we ended up bringing 2 truckloads of furniture, baby items, toys, clothes, etc to Goodwill one day and 2 carloads of “stuff” the next. So liberating!!

    This week I did under the kitchen sink, the downstairs bathroom sink and my fridge. Our bedroom closet will take at LEAST a whole day!!!! It tends to be where things get tossed. And it is a huge walk-in closet.

    Like you, I’m a clean person but am going above and beyond and deep cleaning/ getting rid of excess.

    So I’m thrilled to follow your journey at the same time I’m on mine.

    Happy cleaning to both of us!!! 🙂

  13. Congrats!!! It’s looks great, I need to do the same and I know how hard it is to declutter; seriously it scares me just thinking of the day I will need have to do it (obviously I’m not ready)

  14. Good job I need to do this too. This is my inspiration. Thank you.

  15. Love the idea for the scarves..I was tempted to shop online for something. I have mine just draped over the hanger, but the way you tied them to the hanger is awesome and looks so much better, thanks!!!

  16. Sylver Hinton says:

    I love the idea of putting sheet sets in their matching pillow cases. That would make it so much easier to find the entire set :). You did a fabulous job.

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