Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Organizing Challenge: The Results!

My  newly decluttered master bedroom- Yay!

This past month, I decided to participate in OrgJunkie's 29 Day Organizing Challenge.  This room had been driving me nuts for a while and I figured a little internet accountability would help me dig in and get the job done.  I am proud to say that, not only did I get it done, I finished BEFORE the deadline and I didn't spend a single penny on the project!
Since the initial purge, I've been much more motivated to keep the space neat, putting things in their place right away rather than leaving them "in limbo".  Starting with an uncluttered space naturally lends itself to keeping it uncluttered.  Clutter simply breeds more clutter.  I've decided it's much easier to avoid said clutter when you're aware of this simple fact!

Here are the links to my previous posts associated with this challenge:

So without further ado, here are my before and after pics:

North wall before and after
You'll notice the bedspread has changed.  I always hated that plaid duvet cover so following the "Do you love it?" rule of decluttering, I got rid of it!  The new cover is a blanket that was previously stored in the extra-blanket-basket. 
Yeah, that basket is in the first picture, too.  It's hiding. 
Top of my dresser
My triathlon gear corner
New solutions as shown below: Race medal hanger (made from blank canvas, picture I printed off the internet, paint and small nails), relocated bookshelf to hold training-related reading material and my swim bag, relocated and decorated 2 plastic drawers to hold miscellaneous triathlon gear.  Coat hanger for training jackets, hats, etc was there but is now more easily accessible.

South and west walls, including closet: Changes to the closet were minimal and pretty much just involved purging.
The scary corner ended up being not so scary.  I purged all but one small tote of "skinny clothes" (now located under the bed).  Dave's cowboy hats were stacked in the closet, other hats hung on my homemade hanger.  I managed to find room for the tubs of fabric in a closet in another room.  Dave made shelves for his motorcycle helmets, and did a very good job organizing his stuff when requested.
My side of the closet before and after.  The easiest part of this challenge?  Hanging that mirror back up.  
Dave's side of the closet before and after
Dave's dresser and scary (no longer!) southwest corner
Dave's nightstand
Clutter replaced by laundry hamper.  This hamper was actually folded up and shoved in the corner., not being used.  

New solutions on this side of the room included shelving for Dave's motorcycle helmets (made from old, unused shelving material), and hanging hat storage (kitchen twine, clothespins, and nails).

1. What space did you decide to organize and why? 
I organized the master bedroom.  It had become the dumping ground for things that didn't fit anywhere else, especially when we had company because we could just shut the door.  A bedroom is supposed to be a space to relax.  Looking at the clutter in this room was FAR from relaxing!

2.  What steps did you take to ensure you completed the space within the 29 day timeline?  
I actually wasn't able to  get any time to work on this  space until about a third of the way through the month.  I hit it hard those first couple days, then just kept working on it a little at a time. 

3.  What was the hardest part of the challenge for you and how did you overcome it?
The hardest part was getting rid of some of my childhood "stuff".  I had been keeping some of it just because I thought I should, not because I loved it.  It actually helped that I didn't do any work on the space in the first 10 days.  I was able to take some time to really think it through and make a "mental purge pile" so that when the time came, I was ready to get rid of them. 

4. What did you do with the “stuff” you were able to purge out of your newly organized space?
 5 kitchen-garbage-size bags of clothing - Goodwill  
Assorted jewelry and ties- Ready For Success
Old prom dress shoes- local theatre group
One large bag torn/stained clothing- garbage
Four pairs running shoes - Soles for Souls
One file box "stuff" for garage sale
Pack-n-Play- relocated to space behind couch in living room
Old school desk (previously buried under clothes) - moved to my son's room
2 totes of fabric- found room in another room's closet
Miscellaneous "stuff" - put back in it's place

5.  Tell me one of your proudest moments during this challenge? 
My proudest moment in this challenge was when I finished it without spending a single penny on the project! 

6.  Explain any organizing “tools” you used to help you create additional space and to establish some limits and boundaries? 
With the shoes/clothes, we made them fit the available space.  We already had containers in place for these but were allowing things to overflow the allotted space. 
Another "tool" we used was to repurpose containers from other places in the house if they could be put to better use in the bedroom.  The shelf that now holds my training magazines and books, as well as my swim bag was previously just holding decorative items in the entryway.  The plastic drawers that hold my gear were full of tools in the basement that were just as easily stored in boxes.  
I also used the internet as a tool when looking for ideas for storage solutions.  The one solution I used that I found on the internet was a tutorial for storage for Dave's hats (found here).

7.  What is ONE piece of advice you’d give to someone else to encourage them on their organizational journey?
The easiest way to get overwhelmed is to look at the big picture, whether that be looking at the whole house or just one room.  Breaking it into small, manageable tasks is so much less stressful and makes it a lot easier to take a deep breath and dive in!  Start small and remember, you don't have to organize everything in one day!


  1. I love thre helmet shelf--and the solution for the hats. Ingenious. Congratulations on getting the project done!

  2. "you don't have to organize everything in one day!"
    Great advice!!!

  3. nice work! I especially like the corner shelves for the helmets. Great use of space

  4. Great job! What a huge improvement. And I totally agree that it's easier to keep things organized when things are already have a home.

  5. Thanks, everyone! I am really enjoying this space much more now! Sometimes you just need a good internet kick in the pants...

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