In one of my favorite episodes of Friends, Chandler discovers Monica’s secret junk closet where she hides everything that doesn’t fit into her many organized categories. Like Monica, I too have a junk closet and know the feeling of shame that comes along with it. The situation was...well, it was more than a little disturbing.
This is supposed to be my coat closet. Instead, it was the nine square feet of space where my random stuff went to die. Every time someone opened the door to hang their coat, I felt compelled to start shouting, "Don't hate! Don't judge me! You don't know my life!" And when I wasn't going all Maury Show on them, I was hanging my head in shame because I'm a messy bleeping bleeper. But no more. I emptied that baby out!
And I moved the mess to my living room instead...
But have no fear, there was definitely a plan. A good plan. A plan that involved these two shelving units I picked up after work on Friday. They cost $34.99 and $12.99 respectively, but with the $55 gift card that was my Menards Christmas bonus, the price was F-R-E-E! And what is better than free? That's right. Nuthin'.
I was pleasantly surprised by how easy they were to assemble. In about ten minutes flat I had a closet that looked a little something like this:
The next problem was that all my stuff was pretty much loose, so I purchased these two office organizers from Staples (they are from the Martha Stewart collection) in order to wrangle smaller things like my Post-It collection, computer cords, etc.
Then I used these magazine organizers (also from the Martha Stewart collection at Staples) to keep my design books and catalogs all in one place instead of randomly floating about. This step alone was practically life changing.
One of the green canvas bins that were originally in my closet didn't need much of a makeover since its duty as winter wear and umbrella containing has worked pretty well for me these past three years.
The other green bin, which used to hold a bunch of extension cords I never knew I owned, was emptied out, and it now holds all my scrapbook paper and other art supplies.
The scariest (and heaviest) box of all was the one containing every single term paper and page of notes I've written in my now three and a half years of college.
This box used to be a great resource when I was a biology major because I was constantly having to consult my old notes, but those days of my life are over. So I took it upon myself to finally recycle everything that is no longer relevant to my life, and I made some interesting discoveries along the way. For example, I once wrote a report titled "Competition Reactions of 2,3-Dimetyl-1,3-Butadiene and 1,3-Cyclohexadiene with Maleic Anhydride," and I think at one point in time I knew what that meant. I also found this stack of flashcards I made for my biological mechanisms final exam. Just looking at it puts me in a cold sweat.
And if someone could explain why I kept these dead pine needles from my independent biology lab project, I'd love the answer. I really question my thinking about this one. I definitely don't remember ever saying to myself, "Oh, these are super important! I better save these in case we experience a pine needle shortage in the future!"
I ended up purging so much that my box now looks like a completely different box, but I did keep some of my reports and papers for their entertainment value. My sociology papers were the best. I especially loved that I had to analyze my hometown on two different occasions, and both papers started off with "Valparaiso, Indiana, is a quiet, small town with more corn than people." Hilarious.
Major purge and three long nights of organizing later, my closet had finally come together:
I fit everything and more in there, and I still had room to sit on the floor. Ah. May. ZING!
I know what you're thinking. Isn't this a coat closet? Where are the coats? Well, here they are. And they're hanging on their new wood hangers and everything. I feel so fancy.
To save you from scrolling back and forth, I present to you once again the before:
And the unbelievable after:
I'm officially in love. Finally my office supplies and marshmallow gun can live in peace, no longer fighting one another for coat closet real estate. I've only just finished this project last night, and I estimate that I've opened the door 3,239 times this morning just to stand there and admire my work. Call me crazy, but my newly organized coat closet makes my pulse race. It's my strange obsession. I should end this now.