Today’s a bonus day for the Simplify for Fall Challenge — since I originally left these rooms off my list! — and we’re tackling the family room and entryway!
Our family room is fairly small and doesn’t have a lot of storage, so it’s an easy room for me to clean and organize — although the “media” cabinet is pretty messy at the moment, as you’ll see.
The coat closet, on the other hand, becomes a catch-all for coats, shoes, bags, seasonal items, etc., and although it’s pretty big, it’s fairly skinny, so it can be frustrating to get to the stuff in the back if it’s overly full.
I actually got a jump start on this and cleaned out my coat closet yesterday. This is what it looked like to start:
My goal for the closet was to declutter some of the stuff that’s been shoved in the back just because that’s where it’s always gone and straighten what was left.
To start, I put all of the summer stuff in a grey bin in the back of the closet rather than just tossing it back their haphazardly. I also moved all of our winter stuff to a grey bin and put that under the summer bin so I can just switch those with the seasons without using extra storage somewhere else.
Our girls don’t have a lot of shoes — although with four of them, even a couple of pairs each adds up to a lot — so cleaning up this area was really just a matter of straightening them. And I’m sure by midmorning they’ll be all messed up again!
On the top shelf, we had travel bags, backpacks, totes, etc. We really use most of this (although not all of them, so I did declutter a few), but they don’t all need to be spread out like this, so I nested the tote bags together and moved the travel bags to the back of the closet.
I also cleaned off the shelf, which had gotten cluttered with a variety of random stuff.
The other thing I did that you can’t really see was move all of the wrapping paper to a plastic organizer in the laundry room. It was on the high shelf in the back of the closet originally, and I would get so frustrated every time I needed to get to it. Now, it’s neatly organized — and accessible — in the laundry room.
Sean actually just finished the mantle wall behind the couch (which I love), and the letters on the shelf are just place holders until we decide what we want it to really say. One of our favorite hidden features in the family room is a wooden frame that sits under the couch to prevent toys and other stuff from getting pushed back under the couch. It keeps it all within reach and easy to clean out.
Apparently the girls have been shoving the Wii and Atari remotes back in this cabinet without me realizing it! I have an extra plastic bin from moving the gift wrap, so I’m going to try putting that in there for the remotes instead.
One of the mistakes I made when I was first decluttering was to get rid of all of our DVD and CD cases. At the time, I loved the streamlined look of having those discs in organizers instead of having tons of boxes, but now I wish I’d just gotten rid of the movies as well. We have a lot of movies that the girls no longer watch, but I’m really not sure what to do with them at this point since they no longer have cases.
I’m hoping to spend 15 minutes finishing up this cabinet this afternoon, and then we’ll be done!
What’s your biggest family room or entry way challenge?