My Monica closet

September 15, 2014

I didn’t used to have one -- it starts so innocently. Oh, people are coming over, I’ll just throw this bag in the closet! Oh, so and so is stopping by? I’ll just throw this thing in the closet. Oh we’re hosting dinner? I’ll just throw ALL THE THINGS in the closet.

The renovation didn’t help – but it brought it to a point where nothing else would fit in there (dangit!) so I had to address it. I mentioned a few weeks ago that I’m in a serious fall nesting mode right now too – all I want to do is clean, decrapify, meal plan, bake, all that goodness. None of it is really happening but the desire is there. ;)

We could still hang coats in the coat closet and we could still shut the door so that’s something, right?:

I knew it was getting bad when things would creep out from under the door and I’d desperately cram them back in with my feet.

Usually the vacuum lives in there but it hasn’t been put away for approximately six months. Apparently lots of people came over in that time. ;)

I’ve been so focused on finishing up stuff in the family room that I have neglected all the CRAP that has been piling up around our house. The other day I seriously couldn’t handle it any longer. Out it all came from the closet:

I’ve told you for years that I’m a bagger. It gives me great joy to throw all the I-have-NO-idea-what-to-do-with-you stuff in a bag. It makes me feel organized when I’m not. And then one day when I can’t take it anymore I clean out the bag. Probably not the best organizational process ever but it’s how I do. I’ve come to embrace it.

But listen, this time I let it go waaaaay to long. So I sat down in front of that pile and started the process of sorting. If I don’t know what to do with it immediately when I touch it, it goes into a deal with you later pile. Of course that’s the biggest one:

The others were toys/kid stuff, recycling, file, put away, donate, decorative stuff to put in the storage room and a teeny tiny pile of stuff for the husband to deal with. Of course his pile has the least amount of stuff in it. Of. course.

Here’s the pile I was left with:

This is the pile that makes my brain hurt when I look at it.

Seriously, what are these??:

They’re trash now, that’s what they are. I used to keep every little gadget, afraid I’d need it later. I don’t anymore.

I made it through most of that last pile pretty easily – it’s when I got to this last bit that I stood there for a good five minutes just staring at all of it:

CORDS. Bleh, you know I hate them. Gah. And the Christmas tree cord was in there too – I might as well just leave it out at this point.

But I got through it. It’s all put away and one cluttered, messy spot is clean! The vacuum is now back in it’s home:

I even wrapped up the cord instead of hanging it from the top of the vacuum – you KNOW I’m feeling accomplished when that happens!

And now things don’t fall out when we open the door!:

I’m serious – I feel like I could conquer the world right now. I almost pulled the cookbooks out and started the meal planning. Almost. First I need to get rid of some more crap.

Spots like this can be daunting – I find that if I make sure I have the time to address it and pile things I can get through it a lot faster. It completely overwhelms me to pull individual items out and then put them away one by one. This was a step in the right direction – now to get that fireplace and the rest of the family room done!! Thanks for all your comments on that by the way!

Do you have a Monica closet? (If you never watched Friends you may not know what that is.) Or a Monica room perhaps? I’ve had those too. ;)

P.S. To see how I use the shoe cubbies for non-shoe storage and what those big hooks are, check out this post.

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  1. Thanks gurrrl! You are the kick in the butt I needed to get cracking on my college student's bedroom closet. Been putting it off. Decrapification is liberation!

  2. I've been clearing certain "junked up" areas too, (Yay for that!), but I've been avoiding my "Monica" closet. I'm thinking it's time to get that taken care of once and for all. Thanks for the motivation to get started!

  3. "None of it is really happening but the desire is there. ;)"

    This. Times ALL THE THINGS and ALL THE ROOMS. Bahahaha!

  4. I totally have a monica room!! and i do the bag system as well! LOL! My monica room started as a the catch all when we moved into our first house last year and also for storing all the wedding stuff. Our wedding was in March and I still haven't tackled that room. It's daunting. My husband wants to use it as a man cave. I'll get to it some time. In the mean time, I'm enjoying being a newlywed and spending time with him on the couch when get home from work instead of working on the third bedroom....

  5. Hahaha! Love the name you called your closet Sarah! We all have one and glad you were able to tackle yours!

  6. Ahhh!!! I have a Monica Room! It always feels good to clear something out and get it organized. I have a habit of stopping in the middle of doing it and making it worse

  7. Apparently I have a Monica garage. It's crammed full with things like an oversize chandelier, a whole ton of miscellaneous things, and uh, 6 library card catalogs that are waiting for a new home. My husband just sighs...

  8. I am a bagger too, but lately it's turned into putting random things in a laundry basket and then hiding it in my closet. Oops?

  9. I have multiple Monica closets/spaces! I can't wait until May when it's garage sale time. DH and DD better protect their stuff with their life or it is gone! Gone I tell you! I cannot stand all the stuff we have anymore!

  10. Good job! I hate that part where you stare at a pile of stuff wondering what to do with it. Stumps me every time. A place for everything doesn't always apply!

  11. Looks great! I love that feeling! My craft room has turned into a Monica room because we're getting a different room ready for a baby in a few months. But it's driving me up the wall to see everything just crammed in a room with no organizational methods! I'm by no means a master of organization, but I can't stand piles and piles of stuff without a place! I'm hoping baby's room is finished enough in the next couple weeks to move things into her room and out of the temporary Monica room! Fingers crossed that your work will inspire some good organizing moods in the very near future!

  12. Come do mine next!!!

  13. Is the bottom hook also a curtain tie back?

  14. Lol, I have a Monica life. Ha! Ok mostly a Monica room in my craft room. I have a scrap retreat and the thought of it freaks me out because is have to go into my Monica room and put something together for the retreat...maybe I'll just start over instead. Sigh.

  15. LOVE the results -- doesn't it feel great?! Quick question: I noticed the hooks on your closet doors. Are your doors solid wood or hollow....and if they're hollow, how did you attach the hooks?

  16. Oh my, I thought I was the only one with a shameful little secret! I have a closet full of coats and bags. I have a bag full of bags. I'm going to have to deal soon, because my little bin of hats and gloves is buried underneath bags! Thanks for this timely post!

  17. I think I have a Monica ROOM! Thanks for the kick in the rear to get it organized and cleaned out!
    Have a great week.
    House on the Way

  18. Sadly, I have a Monica storage closet & basement! Already started on the basement!

  19. I had a Monica basement until putting our house on the market forced me to clear it out. Now that we are temporarily living in our camper, I have a Monica suv. Yeah, she's my hero. :D

  20. How about a Monica house? Because I have a Monica house. We moved this summer and our new house has no hall closet. I didn't realize how much I depended on that stuffable space until it was gone. Can you imagine? Nowhere to put the bags!!! Now it's all just on the floor in the living room. Shoot me now.

  21. Picture 1 is definitely my closet! :) Pat

  22. OMG I am totally a bagger too!! I think the fall weather is putting me into the organizing mood too! The cupboard under my kitchen sink was a train-wreck with empty bottles of cleaner, full bottles of cleaner, and plenty of other crap. Sooooo I tackled that last night and this has inspired me to tackle my closet now :-)

  23. I had to laugh at the vacuum comment. My vacuum hasn't been put away in a while either. Doesn't fit anymore. I'll just call it functional art.

  24. Well at least many of us can say we're not alone, we're baggers, oh dear. I'm a boxer too if one is available. I recently "organized" all my glassware, candle holders, cloches and whatever in the heck the rest of it is I think I can't live without. First it lived in our front hallway in boxes all organized then it moved by front door. I was working up to asking hubs if I could put it all in his little travel trailer we never use any more. Well at least the hallway is empty now. Now I need to take all the "stuff' shoved in the sewing room, (heaven forbid I need to sew something), so bad can't even walk into the room. It's a very small room anyway, most of you bloggers closets are lots bigger than that room, but it's all I've got for sewing so have to tackle it. Just threw things in there when we started painting living room in early summer. Uh, yeah I know it's almost Fall, what can I say? Half afraid to pile stuff in hallway or heaven knows when stuff will be moved out of hallway. Vicious circle. Think I need to go escape to a thrift store, what do you think? Monica closet? Why not? lol
    Ok now that I've made excuses, you have inspired me to at least think about cleaning out my sewing room. See what you started? Happy week

  25. Thanks for the breakdown of your process. I've always felt guilty about my deal-with-it-later piles, now I feel better! It's nice to see that someone with your organized, lovely home has a similar process. I can't deal with those questionables one at a time either - I collect the pile in a specified area until my energy builds to the required frustration level. Then I swoop in and work madly until it's gone. After the fact, it does feel like a magnanimous victory. :)

  26. Throughout this whole blog, I thought you were referring to Monica Lewinski! I kept thinking, was she known for her crammed closet? Thanks for the clarification at the end.

  27. Just reading this and looking at the pics makes me want to go home and clean mine out too... I think this is a sign that it's time.


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