Organizing My Disaster of a Shoe Closet

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Our shoe and coat closet has not been looking very pretty lately. In fact, it’s quite appalling. It’s gotten to the point where I can’t even shut the door to hide the mess; it’s literally spilling right out into the living room.


The current set up just isn’t working for our needs. I have a shoe cubby for my shoes, but my boots don’t fit in there, and I have a hard time finding the shoes I want to wear. Andrew’s shoes are on this little rack that doesn’t fit all of his shoes, plus it’s sort of buried underneath his coats.

So, I picked out this shoe rack from Amazon, hoping it would be the solution to my closet troubles. I have to say, this is not the sturdiest shoe rack. It’s just a couple of plastic pieces that you stick the metal rods into. It is quite wobbly and I had sections coming apart while I was placing our shoes on the rods. It wasn’t a good time. You could easily glue the rods into the sides to make it more sturdy. As a renter, I don’t like to invest too much money into things that we may not have use (or space) for in the next place we live, so this shoe rack is a pretty decent in my book.

The rack claims to fit 30 pairs of shoes. That’s a stretch. Ideally, you’re supposed to fit 3 pairs of shoes on each tier. I wear a size 7 1/2 or 8, and I had a hard time squeezing 3 pairs in. For Andrew’s size 11 shoes, 3 pairs was impossible unless you stacked a pair on top of each other.

I made sure to put all the shoes we wear most often on the rack. What we had left was a ton of my summer sandals and all of Andrew’s dress shoes (that he never wears). I chose to store these shoes in baskets and put them behind the shoe rack. This closet is pretty deep, so I wanted to make sure I was utilizing as much space as possible. I also had a big, heavy basket (full of backpacks and tote bags) that had been up on the shelf, but it was too difficult to go through up that high, so I brought it down next to the shoe rack. I chose to put our winter boots up on the shelf instead, so they look neat and are easy to grab when needed.

Overall, I think that it came out really good. It’s been about a week since I re-did this closet, and so far it’s stayed nice and neat. I love how easy it is now to find the shoes I want to wear. It is soooo nice to open up the closet doors and see an organized space and not the crazy chaos that previously resided there.

What’s your shoe storage situation like? Are you able to keep it nice and neat, or do you find it to be constantly messy? I’d love to hear what works or doesn’t work for you.

Love always,
Kathleen

Organizing My Pantry

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I’m constantly struggling to keep my pantry nice and neat. No matter how many times I rearrange the shelves, it never seems to function well or stay neat for long. Today, I’m going to try out a few new things that will hopefully end my seemingly constant battle with this pantry. But first, let’s take a look at the current state of the pantry…

I know, it looks a little scary.

Now, let’s discuss my issues are with what’s going on in here:

  • The floor space is a big mess of reusable bags
  • The snack section is overflowing
  • It’s hard to keep things in the right section, and also hard to find some things
Extremely messy snack area
So. Many. Trader. Joe’s. Bags.

So, what are we going to do about it? We’re going to take a trip to HomeGoods, of course. HomeGoods is one of my favorite stores, especially for my organization needs. They have a huge selection of baskets, trays, containers, etc.

Storage baskets found at HomeGoods.

I already had a couple of wire baskets and large mason jars that I had found at HomeGoods a long time ago. On this trip, I found a set of three larger storage baskets, a couple of medium sized baskets, as well as a few small canisters. If you’re on the hunt for kitchen storage solutions, don’t just look in the kitchen area. I found the bigger baskets in the closet/laundry section of the store. These baskets were bigger than the first ones I had found, plus they were a little more affordable, which is a big win in my book.

I pretty much knew how I wanted to separate the items in my pantry:

  • Baking Goods
  • Pasta, Rice, Sauce
  • Smoothie Ingredients
  • Weekend Breakfast Goods
  • Cooking Oils and Canned Goods
  • Tea & Cocoa
  • Crackers & Nut Mixes
  • Healthy Snacks
  • Sneaky Sweets

Right off the bat, I knew that I wanted the Baking Goods and Pasta baskets to go on the higher shelf, because these are things that I don’t need to reach for all the time. Usually, if I need to grab something off of that shelf, I’ll need to use a step stool, especially if the item is all the way in the back. By grouping the items together in baskets, I can easily just pull out the whole basket and have everything I need rather than searching for each item I need.

I knew I wanted the third big basket to go on the same shelf, but I wasn’t sure what I’d use it for. At first I had all my smoothie supplies in the basket, but I changed my mind for two reasons; 1. I make smoothies often and wanted easier access to the ingredients and 2. My excessive tea collection definitely needed a bigger basket. So, I ended up putting the tea that I don’t usually go for too often, or that are extras, in this basket.

So one shelf complete, two to go. I chose to use my two wire baskets for the Weekend Breakfast and Cooking Oil/Canned Goods categories. I really like having the cooking oils front and center, because I use them daily. I also opted to place the smoothie goods on this shelf, for the same reason. I used the small canisters to store my peanut protein powder, raw cacao powder, and chia seeds. The peanut protein powder had been in a huge jar that was less than halfway full. By transferring it to the small canister, I cleared up a lot of space. For the cacao and chia seeds, I had two packages of each, so placing them in the canisters not only saved space, but made it look a lot neater.

The last shelf was dedicated to my favorite teas, some healthy snacks, and some sneaky sweets. My fiancé loves his protein bars, so I always like to keep a basket stocked up with his favorites. And we both have a major sweet tooth problem, so we can’t help but have a section dedicated to our sneaky sweet treats.

And finally, I took on the floor space. I consolidated all of our reusable bags into one small section by folding them down neatly and storing them in a bigger bag. I also ended up folding down a brown paper bag to store my foil, parchment paper, and trash bags.

Now, let’s take a look at the before and after:

Overall, I’m really pleased with how this turned out. I think it’s so much more functional than it was before, and will hopefully be a lot easier to maintain.

What are some of the spaces that you struggle to keep organized in your home? What works for you? I would love to hear your thoughts and feedback!

Love Always,
Kathleen