February Closet Challenge {Week 3}: Basement Storage Closet

Happy Valentine's Day! What better way to celebrate than with a day of organizing love?  I have successfully conquered two closets in my home! The month is half-way over and that means I have two more closets to go.  The one today was the biggie: our basement storage closet.  Here it is ... and as you can see, it is huge!

And before I share the next picture, I feel the need to give the Internet an explanation.  You see, as I have been organizing the other closets and especially after I did the craft room project, this big closet in my basement has become a glorified dumping ground for things I didn't feel like dealing with until "later."  Well, later came and here, my friends, is my basement closet before.

Sweet merciful crumbs!  I know.  Just look at all the stuff! Humidifier, baskets, pantry items, paper towels, beach bag ... I had a lot of work to do.  I decided to divvy it up into sections.  I'll give the after picture right up front to show you how I turned it all around.

Ahhhh. Much better, no?  Here's the shelf-by-shelf breakdown.

Top Shelves Before

The top shelf holds our holiday stuff: kids' Easter baskets and Halloween candy holders.  The little white basket held a few antique tea cups (which I love).  The second shelf had my tool box, drill and humidifier on the left and paper towels, the cute orange tree I got for a song at the Pottery Barn Outlet, my bin of cleaners and some random groceries on the right.  Messy, Messy, Messy!

Top Shelves After

The top shelf is pretty much the same: I kept the holiday stuff on the left.  I emptied the little white basket and put the extra tea cups back with the lot in the Crate & Barrel box.  Top shelf: done.  The second shelf was also pretty simple.  On the left, I just took everything out and decided this would be my "decor area."  My vases, empty baskets and the orange tree would live here.  Here's a good picture of that side.

The right side of the second shelf was also pretty simple.  I liked keeping the cleaners and paper towels on this shelf.  I just reorganized some of the groceries and decided to put the extra cereal boxes, hot cocoa and the cat's food here too.  I took the plastic off of the paper towels to make it more neat.  Here's a close-up.

Bottom Shelves Before

This is bad.  On the left I had random stuff: the beach bag, oscillating fans, a basket.  The right wasn't much better: baskets & bins haphazardly tossed about, canned goods, cereal boxes, and of course my label maker front and center.  The bottom wasn't that bad. I just needed to make better use of the space.

Bottom Shelves After

Woo hoooooo! Look at them! So much better.  Top left became my tool area.  I went through all the random bins and baskets and put all my hardware and hooks in one plastic bin (and labeled that sucker). My drill and tool box are front and center because I use them often.  I threw the humidifier in a crate and stuck it in the back (that humidifier is mine and only gets use when I am really sick).  And the beach bag is in the corner for now.

On the right is my new pantry area.  My kitchen is too small to hold all the pantry items that I have on hand, so I use this part of the closet to hold it.  I just took three bins that I already had on hand and organized the canned goods: tomatoes, beans and corn on the pink bin to the left; plastic bags & foil in the basket in the middle; fruit, broth and miscellaneous pantry items on the right.  Love!

The bottom shelf was pretty easy. I just brought in a plastic bin that I had and was empty and put the oscillating fans in it and tidied up the shelves.  I label everything.  Even though the bins are clear, I find labels extremely helpful.  And of course, a wee bit over the top.

I feel about 10 pounds lighter after having finished this project.  I have been sneaking down to the basement here and there to just open my closet and marvel at how it looks.  My favorite part is that it cost nothing to organize!  My second favorite part, I donated only a small box of stuff to Purple Heart, which meant the things in there were actually important to keep.

So that is three closets down and one to go.  The only problem: I have hit the limit on closets in my house! All the other closets are in terrific shape.  I think I'll do a quick organization of the garage ... which I guess is technically just one huge closet.  Stay tuned.

See you swoon,


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