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Sunday, March 31, 2013

31 Day Organizational Challenge: After Pictures

Can you believe that March is over already?!?  That means the end of the 31 Day Organizational Challenge as well.  Let's look at how far we've come...

Here are my previous posts in this series, and some highlights for each week:
Let's review the goals for this space:
  • To get Hannah's crib set up with bedding (which means playing musical beds with our two sons, Jonah and Matthew) - We didn't find a good deal on a new bed for Matthew yet, who is currently in the crib, so I set up the pack and play as a placeholder for Hannah's bed until we find a bed to switch him to.
  • To find a small dresser or shelving system to store Hannah's clothes - I have been trying to decide what sort of system to use for the clothes, and I haven't found the perfect one yet.
  • To find a place to store Jesse's books neatly until he moves into his new office at work (sometime this summer) - The books are all on the bookshelf or in boxes in our storage area.
  • To pare down my craft supplies and maybe move them into the closet (which means moving other things out of the closet) - I got rid of 3 boxes of stuff on Freecycle, recycled and trashed some other things, and moved the rest to the closet.
  • To change my "work space" into a changing area/diaper storage for Hannah - All of the stuff got relocated, and now there's a nice space for diaper changes and storage.
So how does it look now?  Here's the match-up of before and after shots....

Here was the view coming up the stairs before:

and after!
There are still the two gray tubs of my husband's office stuff, but the rest of the clutter is packed away.

The opposite corner before:
and after!
This is where Hannah's crib will go, but for now, the pack and play is standing in.  The sewing table stayed, but I emptied it off, so I can use that space for something if I need to.

The hall closet before:
and after!
The craft shelf and most of my craft supplies were pared down and moved into the closet.

The work station before:
and the changing area after!
Since I didn't find a dresser for Hannah's clothes yet, they are stacked up here for now.  And I still have some craft supplies stored underneath, but I was able to purge a lot of stuff from this area.

So here's my overview of the mess that was before:
and here's a picture from that same angle now!  So much cleaner!
Now that the space is cleared out, I can get to the fun of decorating (because once everything got moved out, I realized how bare the walls are up here).  I won't be adding a ton of stuff, because we are only planning on being in this house for a few more months, but enough to make it a nice little space for Hannah.

I wish I had had a bit more time to finish putting the cute little touches on the room so I could show a completed "after", but I got all of the hard work done, and for that, I am really happy. 

As part of the organizing challenge, there were several questions to answer as well.

1. What space did you decide to organize and why?
I chose to organize our upstairs loft to make room for baby Hannah, who is due in May.

2. What steps did you take to ensure you completed the space within the 31 day timeline?
I set up weekly goals for myself to work on specific parts of the room so I didn't get overwhelmed by the whole thing.

3. What was the hardest part of the challenge for you and how did you overcome it?
The hardest part was finding time to go work on the space by myself.  I did get quite a bit done while my kids were awake, but there's not much for them to do upstairs, so those were very short chunks of time.  I got most of my work on this space done in two larger sessions when my husband was home.

4. What did you do with the “stuff” you were able to purge out of your newly organized space?
Stuff that was meant to be stored was packed away neatly (mainly books and office supplies).  Extra craft supplies were given away on Freecycle, and I have a bin of things that I want to try to sell that was relocated to our bedroom.  I'm giving myself a month to do that, and then those items will be donated.

5. Tell me one of your proudest moments during this challenge?
I think my proudest moment was in week 3 when I got my craft items all relocated to the closet, and the corner for Hannah's crib was finally clear.  Seeing all the empty space was awesome!

6. Explain any organizing “tools” you used to help you create additional space and to establish some limits and boundaries?
We don't have a lot of extra money for this space, and we also will probably only be living here for a few more months, so I didn't want to spend money on organizing systems or things that won't work for somewhere else.  So I was trying to reuse what I already had and make better use of the space.  We will still end up trying to find some sort of dresser for Hannah's clothes, but we made $20 selling the toy boxes that were up there, so I'm hoping I can find something inexpensive on Craigslist or something. 

7. What is ONE piece of organizing advice you've learned on this journey that you could encourage someone else with?
Take a look at your things with a critical eye.  I have a tendency to save craft supplies because they might be useful for projects someday.  If I haven't used something, and I've had it for years, I probably won't miss it.  I made sure to only keep items that I had a specific plan for, or that are part of my stitching supplies that I actually regularly use.  The same idea can apply to other things too.  We had a closet full of sweatshirts, and only actually wore a few of them.  The rest went into our donate pile.


  1. Katy, You've decluttered a lovely space for Hannah! Congratulations on your accomplishments, Jenny

  2. Great Job! How nice that you have this place all set up for your sweet arrival next month.
    Your craft closet is going to work wonderfully for you - enjoy!

    1. Thank you! I hope the craft closet will work well.

  3. Awesome work on your challenge and best wishes on your new arrival!!! It must feel fantastic to get this project done before she gets here!
    ~ Kimberley

    1. Thank you! Yes, I am very glad to have it done. She can come any time now. :)

  4. Wow. You did a lot. I'm sure it will be even better when you get Matthew a bed and the crib can be used for Baby Hannah. I like how you put the Pack & Play in the area as a place-holder. This way you will be reminded of what is going there and you won't be tempted to fill that corner with more stuff.

    You should be very proud of your accomplishments! Good for you!

    1. Thank you! Isn't it crazy how easy it is for stuff to creep back in?

  5. Wow! You did a great job! You have a super sweet place for your new baby girl, and room to craft too. Love it!

  6. Excellent work! I love the before/after of the closet. I'm a crafting horder as well so I appreciate your advice. I parted with quite a bit of my crafting stuff that I've been telling myself for the past 10 years I'll do something with someday, lol.

    1. Thank you! It was hard at first, but looking at some of it, I knew I wouldn't be getting around to it any time soon, and someone else hopefully can use it.

  7. Great job! You have really done a great job with re-purposing this loft area for baby! I would never have thought of using that desk area as a changing table!

    1. Thank you! It's kind of a weird space, so I tried to think of some way to make it useful.

  8. Great work! You've really done a great job clearing and organizing the space. Enjoy decorating for your little girl! That's definitely the ultimate reward for all your hard work!

    1. Thank you! And I will. I'm already in the process of digging through clothes from our two boys to see if we have some that will work for her, and then it's on to pictures and pretty things!