Friday, April 26, 2013

Organizing small spaces

It's no secret that we live in tiny apartment. It was too small for us before we had a kid. Now we have two.

Photo by Natalie Chiles
We haven't moved because we love how close we live to the beach and love the semi-urban beach town we live in. (It doesn't hurt that the landlords haven't raised the rent since we starting renting in 2005!) 

Because we have limited space we've had to get creative on how we use it. Imagine shelves, lots of shelves. Recently we turned the downstairs walk-in shower into our junk closet in order to utilize the kids' closet for their things.

The closet in the kids' room use to be the dumping ground for all kinds of things. Jeff's tools, extra diapers, the vacuum, light bulbs, a tent, board games...just to name a few. We even took off the door, that opened into the closet, to add more shelving to fit all of our stuff.

Here's what the closet looked like before I cleaned it out and organizing it.

Forgot to mention that this photo was taken after Jeff removed all the non-kid related stuff. There was an additional shelving unit on the other wall.  Packed full!
I took EVERYTHING that was left in the closet, pulled it out, and sorted it into piles: Carson, Leila (no-access), Leila (able to access), kid related stuff that I use, and stuff that didn't belong in the kids' closet.

I decided I wanted this closet to be a functioning space, not just one to hold our stuff, so I moved the shelving to the other wall. This allows us to actually walk into our walk-in closet (which is surprisingly bigger than I originally thought!)

We are using a baby gate to limit access to the closet instead of putting the door back on to give us more space.
  1. As you can see, the back of the closet has a built in ledge that holds some of Leila's toy bins perfectly.
  2. Once the shelf was moved I was able to hang some of Leila's clothes on the actual rod that was made to hold clothes. 
  3. Carson's few outfits are hung on a shower rod that we added across the top of the closet (where Leila's clothes use to be hung. His extra diapers and next sized clothing (washed and ready to wear) are on the top shelf.
  4. This shelf is still out of Leila's reach so I put the portable booster seat, humidifier, bottle parts, and extra empty baskets on this shelf.
  5. We have some toys that are not quite age appropriate for Leila or Carson yet. I don't really care if Leila discovers these, so they are on a lower shelf. Who knows, she may be ready to play Candy Land or do a floor puzzle with my help/
  6. On the bottom shelf I am storing larger toys that Leila doesn't need access to daily. I will be using these future toy rotations. (Read about our toy rotation here and here.)
  7. The built in shelves at the top of the closet (not pictured) hold large baby items, like the pack and play,   that I don't want in the attic (just in case we have an animal or insect family make a home up there).
It makes me smile every time I see this newly organized space! Have you done any Spring cleaning or organizing lately? Come link up with Mama Dish for their Spring Clean Fling or visit the link up to get some ideas for your own Spring cleaning.

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