Matilda asked yesterday if I would mind talking a little about how my closet is organized and what I store in there. Now here's the part where I'm wishing I had some wonderfully logical answer, an illustration of space management at it's finest. Unfortunately, all I've got is the truth! But for what it's worth, I would be happy to share it here.
First, some basics. Our master bedroom closet is by far the biggest in our house, measuring 6 feet wide, 6 1/2 feet deep, and 8 feet high, from floor to ceiling. As we have no attic or basement, our closet as become our default "clean" storage space. By this I mean that, while we don't mind storing many items out in our shed or garage, there are some things that we just don't want subjected to extreme temperature fluctuations, dust, and bugs.
So now, the tour:
On our immediate left as we step into the closet is a large, sturdy book case (which, at one time, actually held books!), but which is now used for organizational purposes only. The bottom two shelves hold our shoes, one shelf each for me and Darren. The next two shelves up hold odd items that really have no other "home" at this point: our big, fluffy down comforter, assorted throw pillows that the kids love but which don't match their new bedding (now they're just brought out for snuggling), and a decorative shelf that I took down from Dylan's room when we redecorated. (I really love it but haven't yet decided on a suitable new spot for it.) Let's see: the next shelf holds my many Christmas throws and pillows; there was just no way they were going to fit with the rest of our abundant Christmas decorations, so here they are. I don't mind! The very top shelf (which is not shown in this picture--sorry!) holds a large plastic storage container of baby mementos, things from the birth and newborn period of each of our children. We also keep our video camera here. (Now if only I could remember to use it once in a while!)
Moving on: the small four drawer chest beside the bookshelf holds more mementos; each child has their own drawer in which we store birthday cards, baby albums, tokens from special trips, etc. The top drawer is shared by me and Darren for the same types of things.
Across from the small chest of drawers is our file cabinet; since we don't have a designated home office space, important paperwork is stored here (and in a large box on top of the big bookcase). This is one area where I reallllly see room for improvement. I am so bad at managing paperwork...if anyone reading has any great suggestions, I'd love to hear them!
On the same wall, across from the "big" bookcase, is another...bookcase! We can never have too many! This one actually does hold books; they're ones that we like to be able to access easily but don't really want to have out on display with the rest of our "nice" books. Here we have Darren's stamp collection albums, old volumes of Scott Catalogue, and miscellaneous history books. We also have my collection of Calvin & Hobbs and For Better or For Worse comic books, more than a few Chicken Soup for the Soul books, and the remains of my nursing school textbooks, along with a few I've acquired through specialized courses at the hospital. Oh, we also have our old high school yearbooks out on this shelf. Our kids think it's hilarious to see how funny looking Mommy and Daddy used to be!
Now, my favorite part! Darren's clothes hang along the back wall, and stored above them is everything from our wedding: my gown, which was professionally cleaned and boxed following the ceremony, and two large storage containers holding things such as our guest book, sample napkins, extra invitations, and the candles we used to light our unity candle (which is actually displayed in our bedroom). Above my hanging clothes (on the right hand side as you walk in) are the fabric infant items I hope to one day use again: a quilted, portable bed that all three of my kids used, a sling, a Boppy, an over sized diaper bag, and a couple of play mats.
And I think that pretty much concludes the tour! I know it's not perfect, but it's what works for us right now. That's not to say, however, that things won't change again a few months down the road! It seems I'm always devising new ways to better organize, but it's a constant work in progress.