Without a doubt, January is one of those months where we all attempt to organize our lives and homes to kick off the new year. But after spending all those hours getting organized, sometimes it’s easier to let all that organization go by the wayside, rather then stick with it. That’s why today I’m holding myself accountable with y’all, to keep myself organized and share before and afters of my office closet organization project with the help of Amy from EcoModern Concierge.
For 2019, I told myself it was time to get organized and stick to it. No more doing a half-baked job of organizing for an hour then giving up. So, at the encouragement of my mom, who saw first-hand how I was essentially drowning in disorganized chaos in the room I spend multiple hours a day in, my office, I reached out to a Houston-area professional organizer, Amy of Eco Modern Concierge. Read more about Amy in this Adored by Alex interview.
We setup a day for Amy to visit my home and see what she could help with. To be honest, there are multiple areas of my home that we are going to tackle in the new year, but my office was, by far, the most pressing. She took some measurements and offered some tips, and later sent me an email with a few different suggestions of items to pick up so we could use them during our scheduled organization session.
Isn’t it ironic that I absolutely love the Container Store, but am personally not super organized? I could spend hours in that store, and have even joked that I’d love to work there on the side, simply for the discount! I’ve always seen their Elfa products but never actually thought I could put them to use… plus they always seem a bit intimidating to me… Anyone else?
But lucky for me, Amy knew exactly what I needed for my office closet and directed me to the exact Elfa pieces I needed to purchase.
Another moment of honesty here, I was so embarrassed to actually start tackling my closet. As you can see from the before photos, I clearly let it get out of control. And honestly the phrase ‘out of control’ feels like an understatement. But let me give you some background.
As a full-time blogger, I receive a ton of product, whether it’s by brands just hoping I’ll try and/or wear their pieces and tag them, for actual negotiated and sponsored posts or projects, and sometimes just because (with no strings attached). Couple receiving all these products (accessories, beauty products, clothes, etc.) with all the pieces I personally purchase for projects or outfit shoots, along with the clothing that I no longer wear on a regular basis, is outdated or no longer fits, and I’ve got a closet exploding with items that need to be given away, sold on consignment, etc.
You might also notice I have quite a few handbags. You can say designer purses are one of my major weaknesses. And, honestly I’m actually one of those few people who change out their purse pretty regularly. Clearly I needed a more seamless purse organization and storage system that would make it not only easier to swap out my purses, but also easy to see what I have.
The remainder of my office closet just became a home for things I didn’t want out in the open. Perhaps you’ve heard of the phrase, “out of sight, out of mind”? That phrase took on a whole new meaning with this closet. Plus, I was also using it to store Christmas ornaments and more. So at Amy’s suggestion, when I took down Christmas earlier this month, I was to find a new spot for my ornaments so I could use my office closet specifically for my business.
The day finally came to get organized with Amy and we jumped right in. First we pulled out everything from the closet. We found new homes for my computer boxes, because honestly I never use them, but it’s one of those things that I can’t part ways from… just in case. We threw out any trash and junk, and made donation piles for things I no longer wanted or needed. So with a fresh slate, we could begin the organization process.
First, Amy got the Elfa system setup on the closet door. Meanwhile I went through all my purses and decided which I wanted to keep and which to part ways with. What I personally loved about Amy, was that she didn’t ‘force me’ to part ways with anything. She understood how I might have sentimental feelings to some of my items, such as my ‘first designer bag’ or a ‘gift from my late grandmother’.
With the rage of Marie Kondo, I was definitely initially a bit weary about the organization process. Because honestly, I wasn’t looking to completely purge. So for me, Eco Modern Concierge was the perfect alternative to all the Marie Kondo madness – getting organized on my own terms, with help from a third party.
Back to the organization… we used a shoe rack to better utilize my floor space and get rid of the ugly and non-functional over the door shoe hanger. And we got my clothes rack a bit more organized. You might be wondering why I didn’t just get rid of all these items to begin with… well, I’m doing a blogger closet sale in mid-February and all these items (and more!) will be featured in it! Stay tuned in the coming week for details!
We then used the Hyacinth storage baskets I already owned (also from the Container Store, and still available), to better organize my purses. Amy worked on this process, color coordinating my pieces as well as grouping together similar sizes – totes, shoulder bags, etc.
Truly, it was a little bit of magic. Before I knew it, the closet was super organized! My purses were color-coded and organized by type. Within the Elfa door system, my clutches and smaller bags were organized. We ended up opting to stuff each of my bags with their original dustbag, to help keep their shape. I used to store each of my bags inside their dustbag, which obviously made it difficult to see which was which.
Truly, simple ideas like stuffing the bag with their dustbag, was something I had never thought of. And albeit it, not rocket science, Amy offered me tips and tricks that helped to simplify.
We used my preexisting wall hooks to hang a few of my larger totes for trips or boat days on one wall and hats on the other.
And viola! After a little more than two hours, I went from a closet looking like a bomb went off, to an overly organized space (there’s no such thing as too much organization in my opinion) that I can actually walk into! Even though my closet door usually remains shut, there’s something about knowing behind that door is a super organized space. I no longer feel an overwhelming anxiety when I walk into my office and definitely feel free of clutter.
We’re not stopping at the closet organization, however! Amy is coming back next week to help me tackle a few remaining areas in my office, so then I can hopefully shoot a much anticipated office reveal. We’ll then move on to our garage (#anxietycentral), where I know she’ll work her magic to help get Rick and I super organized and accessible.
Words can’t really adequately express how it feels to have a completely disorganized space, fully reorganized and functional. Really it’s more of a feeling, the feeling of anxiety and stress that the space brings you, being washed away when it’s complete. And quite honestly, feeling stressed no more makes me want to keep up with the organization! I’m so thrilled to have finally tackled this project. Now on to the next one!