Simple tips to help organize those crazy multi purpose closets

When our home was first being built, my husband and I visited the site multiple times a week to check on the progress.  We were walking through one day during the framing phase and noticed what looked like a closet where we weren’t expecting one.  This was really exciting for us because you can never have enough closets!
After we moved in, we couldn’t decide what to put in this closet.  Over time though, it’s become a multi-purpose storage area.  Kind of like a junk drawer, but on a much larger scale.  (See how I organized ours HERE!)  It’s got crock pots (yes, multiple), an ice cream maker, rice maker and pressure cooker, as well as the kids playdough, coloring books, crayons/markers/pencils, educational workbooks and so on.  There is a ton of stuff in this closet!  As you can imagine, things can get a lot little disorganized.

Simple tips to help organize those crazy multi purpose closets

I opened it the other day to pull something out and had to move five things just to get what I wanted.  I decided I’d had enough.  I started pulling everything out of the closet and pretty soon my counter was full.  It gave me a chance to declutter, group similar items together and see what didn’t belong and needed to be moved.  Once that part was done, I determined that I needed more storage bins.

Bins are a great way to keep things looking organized and they aren’t very expensive.  I already had a couple of plastic ones and a couple of pink canvas ones I found at Target a few years ago.  Before I left to the store, I took a few pictures of the things that needed to go in bins so I could have a visual when I was there looking at the different sizes.  I also measured the height, length and depth of the shelves so I knew what size of bin to look for.  I spent about $10 on four more bins of various sizes at Walmart.

Simple tips to help organize those crazy multi purpose closets

When I got home, I moved the bigger items, like the small kitchen appliances, onto shelves since those obviously weren’t going in bins.  Then I used the bins I bought to organize the other things: kids craft supplies, small electronics, etc.  Before I started putting the rest away, I thought about what I had and the shelves I had and what made the most sense for me and my family.

Simple tips to help organize those crazy multi purpose closets

For example, I put the playdough, coloring books and kids games on the bottom shelf so that my kids could reach them easily.  However, I didn’t want them to be able to get into the crayons/markers/pencils, glue and scissors without my help so I put those on a higher shelf.  (This closet also has one of those childproof doorknobs so they need my help to get into the closet in the first place.)

Simple tips to help organize those crazy multi purpose closets

Simple tips to help organize those crazy multi purpose closets

Simple tips to help organize those crazy multi purpose closets

It was a little bit of a puzzle trying to get everything to fit without looking crammed.  Again, the bins helped with this.  When I was done, I took a step back and gave myself a pat on the back.  Multi-purpose closets aren’t easy to organize, but I think I did a pretty good job.

Simple tips to help organize those crazy multi purpose closets

Here are a few tips for organizing a multi-purpose closet:

  • Use bins!  This will make organizing so much easier because you are able to pull out one bin, find what you want and put it back in the closet.  In addition, it helps you keep only the things you want stored in the closet, in the closet.  If it doesn’t fit in one of your bins, get rid of it, or find somewhere else to store it.  (Obviously not everything can go in a bin, but you see my point.)
  • Think about who is using the closet.  For us, we have small children who need to have access to certain things and other things we don’t want to them to be able to get to.  Take this into account when placing your belongings.
  • Ask yourself this question: Does {fill-in-the-blank} belong in this closet or does it need to go somewhere else?

So there you have it!  I hope seeing what I did in our closet will inspire you in organizing your own!

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