Saturday, February 16, 2013

(Almost) Spring Cleaning

by Katie Barry

I've decided to return to blogging by letting you bear witness to my shame.

While I wouldn't label myself a slob, I've been known to let certain areas of our house get a little out of hand. 

One of the worst examples of this type of housekeeping oversight has been, from the moment we bought this house, our linen closet.  

Dun, dun, dun.

This, our one go-to receptacle for all things related to the bathroom, had come to resemble a scary back aisle in a forgotten Eastern European drug store. In addition to every bottle, jar, canister, box, and bottle that entered our humble abode, we started just shoving in every sort of linen we've every owned (towels? sheets? cloth napkins? random aprons we received for Christmas? leftover curtains? no problem!). We had an extra iron; in it went. We changed around some knickknacks; the undesirables were thrown unceremoniously in the closet. Toolbox/curtain rods/level/random extra screws and nails? Sure! Hall closet seemed an appropriate landing ground. Every time I opened the door, I winced--but never did anything about the impending disaster. Just kept shoving stuff in and ignoring the problem. Until it looked like this:

Witness our shame.


I'm not proud to be showing you this. I'm horrified at what we had 'accomplished'. And one day, I finally had enough. It was time to do something about our dirty little secret. We needed organization, and we needed it STAT.

But here's the thing you might not know about me. I'm cheap. Cheap as hell. And when I started shopping around at fancy places like Target and the local grocery store for bins and baskets and all those other fancy things fancy people use to organize their crap, I realized that it's kind of expensive to make things look nice. Was I going to spend $8.99 per little wicker basket thing, times like ten? To organize a closet that only we see? No, ma'am, I was not. I'm just not that kind of girl. So I thought about how to solve my problem of being incredibly cheap AND incredibly disorganized, and I realized there could be only one solution.

The Dollar Store.

Heck yes, that true-blue destination for the limited-of-funds. That haven of cheap plastic and poorly painted figurines. That mecca of fake flowers and generic holiday candy. They might have just the answer for my two-pronged dilemma!

And sure enough, they did. They had all kinds of baskets and "Rubbermaid" containers, and all for the delectable price of a buck a piece! So I went nuts, spending about $10 and coming home with my treasures. Here is what I managed to accomplish on my ten dollar budget:

An improvement, no?

It might not be the most Martha Stewart-y of closet spaces, but it also didn't cost $200 to straighten up. The little white bins do their job beautifully, and they didn't break the bank. I couldn't be happier with my cheapie results.

You'll be happy to know that I ditched the items that didn't belong here (which took some interesting organizing elsewhere, but that's beside the point.) The closet is now dedicated solely to the things that make sense: toiletries, meds, towels, sheets, and washcloths. Everything has a place, and everything is in its place. Now every time I open the closet door, I smile--and reach for exactly what I need. The miracles of organization!

No (almost) spring cleaning story would be complete without the rejuvenating affects of indoor flowers--a little February pick-me-up we both needed up here in Wisconsin. My lovely partner picked up some $3 daffodils from Trader Joe's and found ways to sneak them all around the house. Now everywhere we turn, we see their little hopeful blooms. Makes a huge difference in every room! I highly recommend.

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