As part of my own happiness project, I have decided to declutter and organize a few areas around our house. I managed to organize the bookshelf, and it’s now much more lovely and welcoming. Starting with something visually prominent was a good idea because organizing a closet is significantly less rewarding. Still, organizing a closet has some feel goods to it too!
Our hall closet was a hodgepodge of games, crafts, and stored miscellaneous objects—including light bulbs. Don’t ask why we had light bulbs in this closet. It makes no sense to me. Because the closet has no door, it’s impossible to avoid the onslaught of CLUTTER every time we walk by it. Sharing these photos is moderately embarrassing given how neat we generally are with the rest of the house.
To begin with, I tried to condense the multitude of kiddo-related crafting materials into the organizers we had purchased for just this purpose. When our first foster kiddo came to live with us, I knew we’d need something to organize all the papers and foams and beads my friends gave to us so we could do art-related projects together. I fell a little behind getting it all organized (it’s like I had a kiddo or something), so it was nice to finally sort and organize the materials. I also moved those light bulbs to the laundry area, and I finally, finally got rid of the vacuum attachments that I have never used since I got the vacuum almost ten years ago.
We have several board games; we love our board game nights with friends, and we sometimes choose to play some solid two-player games by ourselves too. When organizing the board games, I grouped them by games we play all the time (easily accessible), games generally more appropriate for kiddos (lower shelf), and games we don’t play much (highest shelf).
My sewing accoutrements I had been organizing piecemeal for the weeks leading up to the grand organizing extravaganza. I organized my sewing basket, though, I have to confess: the basket was originally my husband’s sewing basket. I consulted him about a few things in the basket, and his response was that he didn’t care about anything in the basket and I had sole discretion. Huzzah! I combined my own sewing box with his nicer basket. Now, it’s nice and neat, and I know where (and what) everything is inside it.
When we got married, I sold my sewing machine to keep his nicer one (yes, we each had sewing machines). Then my mother got us a much, much nicer sewing machine that I could quilt on. We still have no need to keep a second sewing machine, so it was easy to part with his. We gave it to his mother, who had expressed interest in having it. Now, we no longer have two sewing machines in our hall closet, and my mother-in-law is happy. Woo!
The last thing I decide to do was to make a shrine of the things I loved, following the advice of Gretchen Rubin in her books on happiness. In this closet, I had stashed some objects I very much cherished that see little regular use: My Seder plate, matzah plate, Miriam Cup, and Elijah cup. I only use these once a year when I host a Passover Seder at home, which I haven’t done the last two years for various reasons. (That’s changing this year!) These objects are meaningful to me, and they’ve spent most of their lives in boxes in various closets. No more! I arranged the cups on top of the bookshelf with my other religious pieces (Shabbat candlesticks, Kiddush cup, and moose menorah), and I spent $12 for some racks to display the plates. I recycled their bulky boxes. Now, I can enjoy them all the time, and I cleared up some more space in the closet.
All in all, I consider this happiness-project organizational challenge a success.