This post is definitely more function over form, but sometimes that is the best kind of project. I seriously cannot relax when a space is disorganized. So, you can imagine how I felt, when somehow, my office closet turned into this (brace yourself, this is so humiliating for a neat-freak like me)…
I’m not really sure how it got to this point. A couple of contributing factors included having to move a lot of things from our old self-proclaimed junk closet when it turned into Kate’s closet. I also had just had a baby, so I had piles and piles of photos waiting to be labeled and put into albums. I had a ton of Kate’s weekly fabric in piles without a place to call their home. And I had an overabundance of tissue paper/gift bags that I had received from showers, and wanted to keep to use for the showers of all my many friends who were having babies at that point as well. Oh, and I was redoing the office, so a lot of the stuff was being held in the closet for the time being. It just made for a lot of junk.
But let’s rewind a bit and start from the beginning. This is what it looked like when we first moved in:
I’ve always used this closet as my craft closet. I have a lot of craft supplies (papers, glues, paint, etc). When we first got married, I was actually quite proud of myself for organizing all of it into these little containers. But somewhere between three moves, these plastic drawers were looking a little dilapidated. They were capsizing under the weight of everything they were holding. So when we moved into our house, I decided it was time to invest in something a little sturdier.
So try to see past the junk, to the two white cabinets we bought from IKEA.
I didn’t take any pictures to prove it, but before baby-palooza and office redecorating hit, they actually were looking quite slick in this space. I love the abundance of shallow drawers. The more separate compartments you have, the more organized you can be. It really is a great storage solution for all of my crafts and office supplies.
So finally, enough was enough. After some work, the closet now looks like this:
The real catalyst for improvement was when I started my Etsy shop in March. As the business has grown, I have been able to make an investment in a quality, large-format photo printer (it’s. awesome.). But I knew I definitely did not want to have it in my pretty new office/playroom space, so we had to figure out how to utilize the space we have in the closet to give me a space to print.
It is actually quite serendipitous, because one of our IKEA cabinets is actually the perfect size to snuggly hold the printer. And it has always bothered me that the second cabinet was a bit taller, but now, with the printer sitting there, it actually seems to make sense.
Another problem we were encountering with my Etsy shop, was that I needed more workspace to trim the paper/pack boxes, etc. So Nick came up with the GENIUS idea of adding a board on top of the taller cabinet, and then extending it out in an “L” shape to create a shelf on the adjacent wall. Pure genius! This totally transformed the space from closet, to a small, handy workspace!
I like that there is also a small space in between the cabinet and the wall where I can slide in large paper, my lap desk, and other odds and ends. That was a happy little accident, and is great for tucking things away.
I love my new printer. The quality of its prints have exceeded my expectations (I can now professionally print photos at home…you would not be able to tell a difference, it is that good). It is also awesome to have the capacity to print large format paper up to 13×19. No more trips to Office Depot or Kinkos! However, the only disappointment I have had with this printer is that I bought it specifically because it had wireless capabilities, but it has NEVER worked for us. Every time we try to print wireless, it ends up timing out halfway through the job with a “communication error.” So for a while we were having to move the (very heavy) printer over to the computer and attach it with a USB cord every time we needed to print. I wasn’t sure what to do, because I wasn’t going to let a big, bulky printer junk up my cute office/playroom space! Then one day I got the idea… I could purchase a super-super long USB cord, and whenever I needed to print, I could leave the printer where it was and just string the cord through the room and attach to the printer. No, it is still not the ideal situation, and hopefully one day we will solve the wireless printing issues, but it has been easy enough for now.
So Nick cut part of the clothes bar that we removed when we added more shelves to the closet, and attached two ends to the wall so we can neatly wrap the cord around them when it is not in use.
So speaking of shelves, Nick added three: One on top of the existing shelf that is above the printer, and two to the adjacent wall. They now give me the space to organize all of my Etsy shop packing materials and papers so they are easy to find and use when needed.
I used washi tape that I already had on hand to make little labels for all of my different papers.
See those three containers hanging from the wall? They hold everything that had been sitting in a pile on the floor. I LOVE this system (from IKEA, of course). Everything very neatly folds inside and when I pull the drawer out, I can easily see everything and grab what I need.
It is so handy! Just another great example of how everything in the home just needs its own place. Things only get unruly when you don’t have a spot to put them.
So there you go. The story of how one closet went from this:
Ahhhh…I can breathe again 🙂