Organizing my Organizing Supplies | From Overwhelmed to Organized: Organizing my Organizing Supplies

Monday, April 14, 2014

Organizing my Organizing Supplies

Do you keep organizing supplies and products so you can use them when you're organizing?  Empty baskets, bins, jars, or other containers that you no longer need in one place in your home that can be used when you organize another?  Or maybe you bought some fantastic organizing containers on sale but haven't actually done anything with them yet? 

Yeah... me too.  I don't buy a lot of things without having a specific plan in mind, but I do pick up some items that I know I use regularly if I see a great deal on them. 

The trouble is, with all the decluttering I've been doing, I'm ending up with a lot of empty containers from other parts of my home too!  Plus, to be more cost effective, I'd been keeping a bunch of empty food containers to use for organizing. 

My organizing supplies needed organizing.

First I needed to purge them.  Then I needed to organize them. 

They were on various shelves and in several corners and hideaways in my house.  I'd often forget what I had or waste time searching in several places to find something I needed. 

My goal was to have everything is in one place so I can easily find what I'm looking for and start using these items up.

I'm sorry I don't have any "before" pictures, but really it was just a bunch of messy areas.  I purged my containers in stages (often in the spur of the moment when I was looking for something and I was annoyed that I couldn't find what I wanted).  Pictures weren't on my mind usually. 

Part of what spurred me on to completing this project was the opportunity to inherit a great little cabinet from my parents as part of their downsizing efforts. 

This little antique was in my grandparents' home for years and then my mom inherited it and now I did.  It's taken on many roles over the years.... a pantry, a desk, and a storage unit for a lot of different things over the years. 

So much storage potential :)
My parents weren't taking this cutie into their new condo and I knew it was the perfect solution for my organizing supplies dilemma. 

It needs a coat of paint, but when we moved it here it was mid-February and freezing cold outside so there was no way I was doing it then.  And we don't have space to store something that big in our garage since we have to park one of our cars in there.  So we brought it right into our basement.  I'll paint it when the weather gets better and I can keep our windows open longer (it's really heavy so we won't be bringing it back up until we move someday!).

I cleaned it up and started figuring out the best way to use the space for the organizing containers I kept after multiple purging sessions.  Here's what I ended up with.

Isn't that a pretty site? :)

I love how much space there is in here!  In the top part I have all my extra mason jars, organized by size and shape.  On the next shelf I have several plastic shoe boxes and various baskets as well as a few canisters.  And on the bottom shelf I have some photo boxes that I bought on sale, a few fabric bins, several magazine holders, and a few tall mason jars.

I love that I can see everything and can easily access anything I need.

I'm not sure what I'm going to use the door racks for yet, but I'm sure I'll find something :)

I used the drawers to contain some of the smaller organizing items.  This drawer has mason jar lids.

And this one has drawer organizers, some small bags/pouches (great for organizing purses or bags), a bit of leftover shelf liner, and some clothes pins that I use for labels sometimes.

I use a lot of plastic shoe boxes when I organize, but I often use them without their lids (like in my pantry).  I don't want to get rid of the lids though because I may need them if I change up where I'm using the containers.  I found a great place to store all these lids... in this deep drawer!

They fit in there perfectly!

In the bottom of the cabinet, I've stored all my baskets, and a few back-of-the-door pocket organizers that I haven't used yet.

I have plans to use most of these items (mostly in our master bedroom and master closet, which both need some organizing love).  The rest are on standby for when I do some spontaneous organizing.

Two advantages of having all my organizing products in this cabinet are that I know what I have (so I don't buy more) and I've got limits on my space now so I will use items up before adding any more. 

Like the stack of photo boxes.  I use them all over the house for organizing, as well as for memory boxes for my kids, and sometimes to wrap gifts in.  So when I see them on sale at Michaels in patterns that I like, I pick them up. I don't mind having a small supply of them on hand so I don't have to buy them at full price when I need them.  But no more than I have space for :)

I love this "new" cabinet!  I was able to fit everything in that I wanted to, and I've already been using up some of these baskets and containers.  I'm sure the contents of this cupboard will change frequently as I continue to organize and reorganize our home, but it's much easier to use up what I already have, rather than buy something new when I'm working on an organizing project.  Saves money and don't need to go out in the middle of a project.  And I have plenty here to keep me going for quite awhile :)

There's even a little pull out shelf that I can use when I'm pulling supplies out or measuring containers for a specific project.

Once I use up more of these organizing supplies in my home, I plan to use this cabinet to organize the products I use when I organize other people's homes.  Right now my work bag and most of my organizing "tools" are in my trunk or in the garage, but I'd like to keep them inside, and this cabinet will be perfect!

As a result of purging my organizing supplies and combining them all in this one place, I've cleared out a shelf in another cupboard, the top surface of a file cabinet in the basement that had become a dumping ground for bins and baskets, a few miscellaneous corners and piles in the rest of my basement and storage room, and a whole 3-shelf bookcase (which I'm Freecycling).  This cabinet takes up more space than the bookcase did, but it's worth it to keep it in the family, and to have all my organizing containers in one place, instead of all over my basement!

If you've been hoarding organizing supplies and products, take some time to take stock of what you have, purge what you don't need (or have space to store), and then organize what you're keeping.  You don't have to buy a piece of furniture to store them in, but having them all in once place will help you use up what you have before you buy more.  Then you can always "shop from your home" before you go out and buy organizing products. 

Do you keep empty organizing containers and products in your home?  Can you purge some of them that you haven't used in a long time?  Do you "shop from home" before buying new products?  How do you organize your organizing supplies?

Happy organizing!

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