My first organized closet!

January 11, 2018

Hey all! I am laughing at my post title because it sounds like I've never done this before. I mean in the NEW house. 😂 A quick post for you today about something I've been really excited to tackle. I'm a bit odd -- I LOVE to purge and organize. Purging items from our home makes me feel lighter and breezier (ha!) and organizing things soothes me. Both give me a great feeling of accomplishment. 

I'm not a stickler about it -- things get messed up and it's not always perfect. But knowing exactly where something needs to go is a very good thing. We've lived here about 12 weeks now and I've been looking forward to the day I could actually start organizing. That day has arrived!!

My first goal when we moved in was to just get us functioning. Then it was to empty as many boxes as possible -- I got those done in the first month. Then the holidays hit so I allowed myself to enjoy those and not worry about organizing anything. 

But it was starting to get to all of us -- we couldn't find anything and didn't know where to put stuff when things were put away. So now that (most) of the holiday decor is down and I'm starting to recover from my back issues...the time has come! 

We're lucky to have a bunch of closets in this house -- it's just a matter of figuring out what we want in each one. We have a linen closet near our bedroom that has become my catch all, especially during the holidays. When we moved in I would just throw random stuff in there and it continued when at Christmas. Wrapping paper, gifts, toilet paper, photo boxes, candles, paint supplies, decorative items. You name it, we had it in here:
Monica closet before and after

So this is a photo I took hours before a holiday party we hosted. My husband cleaned our entire house  (I wasn't much help with my back) and at one point he said, "What if people want to look in closets?" And I (in sheer terror) said, "There's no way they'll want to look in closets...right?!" So about two hours before our guests arrived I made a sad attempt to try to make this one better. This was after I took half the crap out.

This is the after -- it was a massive improvement, believe it or not:
Messy closet before

This, my friends, has been my Monica closet. (If you don't know what I'm talking about look up the Friends episode.) ;) 

But now it's just lovely, and I'll take you through my process. First up, I made a list of items we want to have easy access to. They were the following:
  • light bulbs
  • paper towels
  • tissue boxes
  • candles
  • extension cords
  • wrapping paper (and all of the stuff that goes with it)
  • photos
  • cleaning supplies
  • batteries
  • toilet paper
I had a few other things on the list as well, but those were the biggies. (Towels and sheets are stored in our bathroom and closets.) I thought about how to organize items and decided I wanted our closet in the mud room to be more utility focused -- bulbs, cleaning, batteries, etc. This closet I wanted to be easy access to stuff we reach for more often. 

I started by completely emptying the closet. Some items had just been thrown in there -- paint supplies went in the garage:

Organizing after a move

I used to keep these in the house (in a dresser), because our garage was a much longer walk before. Now it's super quick for me to run out to the garage so these will live out there. 

I've told you about the Konmari purge I completed a couple years ago and how it changed our lives. I had an even better perspective on it AFTER we moved. Most people purge when they're packing up, but I didn't get rid of much. (Because I had already gone through the process.)

But when we moved into the house I had a whole new outlook on our stuff after living without it for two months. I got rid of a TON more and haven't missed any of it. But here's the thing...there's still one item that I obviously can't get under control. It's so random...but I couldn't believe how many candles we had:
Konmari method

What in the ever loving?? Where do they all come from? I don't get it. Don't. get. it. Some were in random places in our old house and now I have everything in one spot. We also had them in certain places in our decor and when I packed them up I put them all together. So that's part of it, but still. UGH. 

So. I purged all of that. I'm down to a couple shelves -- most of them are electronic candles I use during the holidays. If I ever find we need more space in here I'll move some of them to down to storage. I have some wax melt things and some oils/plug ins that I organized as well: 
How to organize the linen closet

Those (affiliate) white bins are my all time favorites. I use them everywhere! You can kind of see what's inside but they keep things from getting messy (especially great for toiletries in the bathroom). 

I kept our photo boxes in here just until I compete the built ins in my office. (You can find them here -- I've had them for years and they've held up well.) They'll move in there later, but for now I like them here. At the very least I'm reminded every time I open the door that I want to get them organized better:
Organized storage closet

We have a lot of extras right now -- we don't usually have quite so many paper towel and tissues. I've said it a million times!! You spend more money when you're not organized. We always used to buy more than we needed before I organized our house. I'm still using the just moved in excuse for now. ;) 

I know having these supplies so easily accessible will keep that under control. But listen...isn't it pretty?? I mean look at it:
Organized linen closet

I've had all of the storage items for years except the small round fabric bins. I grabbed a few of those at the Target dollar spot a couple weeks ago. Very cute. 

There you go -- the first organizing post in the new year/new house! It only took me three months to get going! Our Monica closet it clean and organized and feels like a breath of fresh air when we open it. NOW onto the mud room closet -- I'm even more excited about that one. #nerd

Have you been purging and organizing? I recommend going through your items before organizing what you have left. But it's such a good feeling right? Do you enjoy it like I do?

P.S. No one looked the closet. ;) 

Some affiliate links included for your convenience!
Email subscription form header
Your email:*
Please enter all required fields Click to hide
Correct invalid entries Click to hide


  1. Oh wow, the transformation is amazing. It's wonderful what a little declutter and cleaning up can do!

    Charmaine Ng | Architecture & Lifestyle Blog

  2. Your closet is bee-u-tee-ful! I understand....I absolutely love to purge and orgainize! I am a preschool teacher and love to organize there too, I love finding places that can be used. We have a small room for the potty in our classroom. The width being 36” wide approx. Right above the potty, I added a shelf and store items not used every day in fabulous white boxes from ikea!

  3. Yes, I love to purge and organize, so I feel your glee ;) Your closet looks beautiful, all neat and organized. I think I'll find a closet today and make it beautiful.

  4. oh my that looks so gorgeous! i want our walk in closet to look like that but alas it won't because we only have 4 closets in the entire space. so beautiful!

  5. I am fortunate to have a small house with plenty of closet space. I still purge and organize. My closets are neat and there are those in my family who poke fun at me for having organized closets that are "behind closed doors" and that no one sees. Eyes roll when I tell them that I see them, so it's important. I love neat and tidy closets, cabinets and drawers. It's funny that I'm not nearly so strict otherwise. We all have our quirks ....

  6. My husband deployed Monday.... my plan is to tackle at least one closet each week.. and my craft (crap) room. I’ve been throwing myself a bit of a pity party this week and mostly been on the couch... your post has motivated me to get off my bootay and get some things done. I’m also having the house repainted (no way could I tackle that with a two story living room and open stairwell) while he’s gone, so having everything organized will help when the painters need to move things. Thanks for loving organized spaces... I truly do too!

  7. When we moved into our home, I did have a house guest that hardly greeted me before taking a tour of my house, including looking in every closet. No words.

  8. It is so awesome to have you a couple months ahead of me in the moved-to-a-new-house process! Your posts have been extremely relevant lately. Good to know the Sterilite bins last - I got a few from the dollar store because we are BROKE after reno hell, but sense they may not last forever. I thought your emergency clean up was the "after" - can't say I've ever had a closet look as neat as your final version, partly because we tend to store things in unmatched boxes.

    I also have konmari'ed a ton the year prior to the move and didn't purge much while packing. But we've been living so happily with the bare essentials for oh about two months now, that I kind of don't want to clutter my life with that stuff in the garage boxes. Some of it I just don't have the storage available yet (neither my built in bookshelves nor my pantry have more than one shelf yet) but I am sure I'm going to discard quite a bit when I eventually get around to unpacking. Did your husband have Stuff? Mine was horrified at all his junk as he threw it all into boxes at the last minute and seems to be set on selling or donating half of it.

  9. Perfectly organized. Love the transformation Sarah. Awesomely cluttered and organized the cupboard so well as it can be accessible to reach things more easier now. Looking forward for more posts on organizing from you. Good work. Keep doing ;)

    Varsha @ Villas in OMR |HummingGardens

  10. Thank you for sharing your closet. I really enjoyed it and am now inspired to do some organizing of my own.

  11. I purge in January. Every year. I can't control it. In January, everything is donated and thrown out. The children fear for their safety. It's like my spring cleaning instinct is 4 months off. But, it's what I do, and I love it.


If you have a specific question I will do my best to answer you back here!

You can find our paint colors and links to items at the "Our Home" tab at the top of my site.

THANKS so much for reading!