Why would anyone want or need to reorganize an already organized room? Some people would argue that having to organize something one time is bad enough let alone having to do it, not twice, but three times! Who would do such a thing…THIS GIRL DID! Yes, that’s right. I reorganized three already organized rooms in my house last week. You can see How to Organize An Already Organized Room and Part Two: How to Organize An Already Organized Room here.
This is how it all went down. I recently left the teaching profession to start blogging full time. With every teacher comes a truck load of materials and supplies that they have collected over the years. Us teachers (yes, I am still calling myself one) tend to hold onto EVERYTHING. You don’t realize how bad the problem is until you have to switch classrooms/schools or in my case, leave teaching altogether. It’s during this time, as you are packing popsicle sticks you’ve had since 2006, that you realize how ridiculous your hoarding behaviors have become. The sad part is that even after throwing things out and giving things away I still left school with four totes worth of materials I just couldn’t live without.
The final day of work came, school ended and I arrived home with my four totes. I plopped them in my garage determined to empty them and put them away as soon as I got an opportunity. I walked by those totes every day just sitting there. Days, weeks, and months passed by and I was still walking by those totes! It finally got to the point that Patrick loaded them up in our storage closet because he was tired of looking at them. Once the summer ended I knew my procrastinating had to stop. I ventured into the storage closet and pulled out the dreaded totes.
My plan was to unload my things and put them in my Ma’am Cave. The Ma’am Cave is my craft room which is just a female version to a Man Cave. The Ma’am Cave was already organized and beautiful because I tackled it when we first moved into our home last year. I thought it would just be easy to add my school things into this room. I brought my totes into the house and started unloading them. I placed them in piles on the Ma’am Cave floor and began to “do my thing”. The more items I pulled out of the totes, the more I realized there was no way in the world that I was going to fit everything into this space. It was at that point that I had to reevaluate my game plan and prepare myself for a multi-room organizing project.
Looking through my cabinets in the Ma’am Cave, I decided that it would be best to relocate my photos, photo albums, and keepsakes out into the garage. I already had some of these items out there and it made more sense to have them all together, right? By removing these items from the room, I was now able to successfully add my supplies into the Ma’am Cave. Done? Nope.
So what happened when I moved those additional items from the Ma’am Cave to the garage? I ran out of space in the garage and had to reorganize my husband’s Man Cave and storage closet to fit everything in. Again, all of these spaces were already organized when we moved in so I was doing this all for the second time. At this point I was honestly thinking, “Tiffany! Why did you do this to yourself!” But it had to be done…
Part Three: How to Organize An Already Organized Room starts now.
One note before I get into my final transformation of this series. Organizing and cleaning your garage and storage area during the summer…in Florida… when it is 100 degrees outside…in an area with no ventilation…is not the ideal environment to organize in. I was sweating in places I didn’t even know produced sweat. TMI I know, but it needed to be said. If I have inspired you to want to organize your own garage after reading my posts, take my advice and wait until the weather cools down a bit. Your sweat glands will thank you 🙂
Moving on to the Man Cave/Storage Closet transformation. Like I had a Ma’am Cave in our previous home, Patrick had his own Man Cave. This was an area for him to display all his Miami Dolphins memorabilia and all his other “man things”. When we moved into this house his Man Cave got moved into the garage area. Our garage was technically marketed as being a 3 car garage when it was for sale. The layout of the third parking space can not accommodate an actual car though….FALSE ADVERTISING! Lucky for Patrick, in more ways than one, he has a motorcycle that would fit into the space perfectly and the Man Cave found its new home.
The biggest project to tackle in the Man Cave was Patrick’s metal storage cabinet. We purchased it from Lowes along with the work bench. The inside of the storage cabinet, although already organized, needed to be reorganized to fit in the overflow items from the garage and the storage closet. Like I did with all my other organizing projects, I placed all my things on the floor in piles of corresponding items. For example: pile of electrical items, painting supplies, grilling supplies, etc.
Picture of items on floor
Once I was able to see everything I had grouped into piles, I was then able to wrap my brain around how I was going to fit them back into the storage cabinet. A big portion of the items I brought home from school when I left were containers I had used in my classroom. I didn’t want them to go to waste. Plus, I didn’t care how visually appealing the inside of a storage cabinet looked as long as it was organized. I put all the items I could into containers and started loaded them back up in the storage cabinet.
The work bench area is used more for displaying memorabilia than actually doing handywork. Not to say that Patrick isn’t handy, but lets just say it isn’t one of his favorite things to do. Above the work bench, our carpenter/friend built a shelf so Patrick can display some of his Miami Dolphins collection. To the left of the work bench, on the wall, we also had a helmet rack added to neatly hold the motorcycle helmets. Again, this work bench was purchased, along with the storage cabinet, from Lowes.
On the right side of the storage cabinet I set up an area for sporting equipment and outdoor games. I used a file crate purchased from Walmart to hold all of Zach’s balls. He purged a ton of his old toys and balls so I was able to fit what was left in that small file crate. All of our tailgating chairs are lined up in the corner with our cornhole and giant-size Jenga and Kerplunk. Zach’s skateboards have a home here as well. Done.
And that brings us to the final piece of this puzzle, the storage closet. This room is behind the Man Cave and was just an added bonus when we purchased our home. If we didn’t have this storage closet we would’ve probably needed to utilize space in the garage instead for the items we placed in here. That’s what we had to do in all our previous homes. The shelving units you see in this storage closet (purchased from Lowes), can just be lined up against a wall in your garage. We just lucked out that we have a room to “hide” these items in instead 🙂
90% of the totes on the shelving units are all my holiday decorations. Each holiday has its own designated tote (some have more than 1) that is labeled with these fancy little labels I made myself on a website called Canva. Canva.com is free and easy to use! Check it out but be careful because it can be addicting.
Not to scare you but I did pull down every single holiday tote and checked all the items inside them. I hadn’t done that in a while and I knew there were some decorations that just needed to be tossed due to weather damaged or just not fitting with my decor anymore.
In addition to holiday items, our card tables/chairs, snack tables and cleaning supplies are also in this storage closet neatly tucked away.
And with that, this 3 day/3 room organization project comes to an end. I can not express to you how accomplished I feel now that this is all completed. Was it hard work? Yes. Did I want to quit at times? Yes. But I persevered and I am so glad I did! My hope is that I have motivated you to organize, or reorganize, one of your own rooms in your house. You can do it! I know you can.
Don’t forget to read How to Organize An Already Organized Room and Part Two: How to Organize An Already Organized Room of this series.