The start of autumn came and went, mostly unremarked in our home. Thanksgiving too, and Halloween as well, and you know what is sad? I didn’t even pull out the autumn decor. Not one piece. I told myself it was because I was going to be pretty busy in October with the kitchen and all, but the truth is I just didn’t want to deal with the hassle of pulling it all out. So, I let October pass, and realized, *gasp* Christmas is coming up and I can’t NOT decorate for Christmas. This lead to reorganizing everything under the stairs.
Let’s just start with a before shall we, and I will let it do ALL the talking.
I know, I know, I know! Cringe worthy right? I was pretty sure I knew what all was in there, but not one hundred percent sure. This space had totally fallen victim to the dump and dash epidemic that seems to strike all loosely labeled areas. You know those areas where you know it should serve a purpose, but you’re just not sure what the purpose should be? Or those areas that are just so convenient for dumping things, even though they have a purpose? That’s what this space was.
First step was to empty it all out. Once it was empty I vacuumed it, and checked out the crawl space. Now, we didn’t put anything down there, but there is a bunch of stuff that looks like it all came with the house. I pulled up a couple boxes just to make sure. Then back down they went.
Any who, getting back to the blank slate. Most of what came out of the closet found a home else where in the house. I haven’t really touched that area since last Christmas. Some things made sense to put there when we first moved in, but now that we’ve been here for a while, it didn’t seem practical to keep them there anymore. Like the air bed and pumps. We have enough room in our linen closet upstairs to store those few items, and since we use the Man Cave as a guest room, keeping them in the back of the closet under the stairs really didn’t make sense any more.
After I sorted everything I decided to keep what I put back to a minimum. I don’t want to invest in a bunch of shelves, or materials to build shelves. I wanted to keep it easy to get too, and I wanted to incorporate room to keep the mop, broom and vacuum. Plus I wanted to maintain easy access to the crawl space, just in case we ever decide to use it to store items. Now, it’s so much nicer.
So what went back in?
- Seasonal decorations. One large and one small bin for autumn/Thanksgiving/Halloween decor. One large bin for Valentine’s Day and Easter. (The Valentine’s Day decor is mostly items from our wedding that a friend of my Mom’s made for us) One large bin and assorted smaller boxes and bins for Christmas stuff.
- Children’s books. I have two small boxes of Children’s books stored in the back. They’re books that our teen has outgrown, but Liam’s isn’t old enough to enjoy them yet.
- Cleaning Tools. Broom, Mop, Dustpan and Vacuum. I put a lid from an old tote down to help protect the carpet in case the mop leaks. It hasn’t yet, but you never know. I do want to put up some hooks to hang the broom and mop, and add a small bin for the pads for the mop, but as it stands right now, it’s easy to get too, and right near the kitchen, so I won’t complain.
- Sewing machine. I don’t really sew much, but keeping it accessible in an out of the way place is kind of nice.
What I didn’t do was use the whole closet. It’s an L-shaped closet, and I decided not to use the small offshoot at the back of it. It’s too easy to put stuff there and forget about it. Also, trying to get to anything back there was a pain in the butt, so I eliminated that issue by not using. If we ever do need to, it’s still there.
I don’t like to use the storage areas of our home to store extra items, just for the sake of having them. Everything in the closet gets used throughout the year, so I wanted to keep it functional as well as organized. Not filling it too full serves that purpose. Also, I didn’t want to invest a whole lot of time here. There was enough room to slide things in without the need of getting all fancy pants with the storage system. I did take it one step further than what you see here, and I made up a printable to keep in the HMB. This way, if someone is looking for something, they can check the list of storage areas to see where it might be.
This one just has our three basic storage areas on it, with room to jot down what is in each space.
This one has no labels, so I can add areas as they come up, not that I foresee us adding many more storage areas to the house.
As always, the printables are free to you, for personal use, just click the picture to snag a copy of your own. Not sure if how you want to use them is personal use or not? Just shoot me an email or leave a comment and I’ll be happy to chat with you about it.
It felt so good to get that space straightened and put back together. It didn’t take too long which was really nice, because shortly after doing that I decided to rearrange the family room! I just couldn’t help myself I’ve caught the pre-holidays organizing bug.
What about you? Do you have any storage areas in your home that need a little TLC? Do you have a cupboard under your stairs? If so, how do you use it?