Tuesday, January 26, 2016

Five Organizing Projects that Flopped

Alright, friends, it's about to get real up in here. Like, real people living real lives with real kids with real busy schedules, kind of real. No pretty, styled pictures today!

Last week, I showed you our top 5 organizing projects that actually worked and stood the test of time. Check out that post if you haven't already and burn the images in your brain, because you'll want to remember them after you see the pictures I'm about to show you. ;)

So, without further adieu, here's five organizing flops from around our house as well as my thoughts on what went wrong and what we're going to do about it. Be sure to check back over the next couple months to see how we remedy the problems!

#1- Under the Kitchen Sink

When we first organized under the sink, we put in a large basket for dish towels, two baskets for napkins and bibs, and a wire shelf for baggies. Not too bad for a cheap storage solution, right? Heh...

What went wrong? The gray basket was too small and is constantly overflowing. It was literally the biggest basket that would fit, so I tried to make it work. But, ultimately, it's too small. The little baskets are the same story. They're too small and hard to access, especially when they're overflowing. The shelf is too long, restricting the gray basket size and slides back and forth causing the baggies to fall everywhere.

What are we going to do about it? For this space, I think stackable storage baskets that actually fit the space is what we need. I'm thinking either of these would do the trick nicely! 

#2- Winter Accessory Storage

I'll be honest, this one surprises me. Back when I was pregnant with Little Girlie, I was overdue and nesting and threw this hanger and Command Hooks onto the back of the coat closet door to store our winter accessories. It wasn't pretty, but it worked other than having to swing the scarves in as you were closing the door. Because it was working pretty well, I finally broke down and bought an official scarf organizer at Ikea thinking now I'd have more room for scarves and wouldn't have to do any maneuvering to get the door shut. Wrong. It's worse now and driving me nuts!

What went wrong? First, I have accumulated too.many.scarves. I need to purge. Second, not all of our gloves have clips to hang them with, so they get shoved into the bottom of the coat closet. I recently reorganized the coat closet and repurposed the hat basket for wrapping paper storage thinking I could store the hats on the scarf holder. Dumb move! The hats fall off all the time. 

What are we going to do about it? We need two designated baskets on the back of the door to toss gloves and hats into as well as some type of storage for my scarves after I pare down my collection. I'm thinking an over the door Elfa rack would be a great way to go! I like this one, minus the jewelry part.

#3- Kids Schoolwork Storage

I love the boxes I bought for Little Man's schoolwork, the bulletin board is great for displaying masterpieces, there's a paper tray for blank paper, and a mounted paper file for finished work. Each piece is useful and well thought out and we love them. 

So, if we love it so much, what in the world went wrong? This one goes to show you that organizational pieces are useless without a good, established organizational process. Instead of putting completed schoolwork into the "Inbox" and adding favorite pieces into the "Pre-K" box, the papers landed on the desktop because many of them were to finish at home or because I was in a hurry and simply didn't take the extra two seconds to put it in the box. Another reason they ended  up on the desktop is because there is a "waiting period" before papers can disappear, if you know what I mean!

The desk organization didn't work because I didn't spend the time to practice the process with Little Man. He creates several drawings a day, so the papers pile up quickly and in just a couple days the desk and paper trays are literally overflowing. Everything is a masterpiece to him, so getting rid of a papers is hard for him. And, he's 5. There's definitely that factor. :)

The left is the "messy" picture. Thankfully, even though the boxes are completely full and I've started a pile on top, it's not terrible looking yet. The right picture is a picture showing the paper tray and file that I rummaged up. I wish I had a real, messy picture for you, but I just recently helped Little Man go through all of his papers. 

What are we going to do about it? I've been working with Little Man, helping him keep up with his desk and remembering where to put things when he's done. The more we practice, the more it will become second nature to him. I've also been working with him, helping him understand why we can't keep every.single.piece.of.paper that enters our home and helping him purge. He threw away a paper from school the other day and I was so proud of him. It was just a paper that he had glued things to, so there was no sentimental value. The fine motor skill practice was accomplished, so there was no reason to keep the paper anymore and he recognized that. Progress! We also cleared the bulletin board and hung up a new slew of masterpieces that he's super proud to display! 

As for the boxes, I need to break my habit of dumping his papers on his desk and sort them as they come in. Basically, I need to buckle down and use the storage correctly! :) Anyone else get storage solutions and then not use them correctly? Anyone? Crickets?!

#4- Playroom Closet Shelves

Oh boy, this one is bad... Remember our gorgeous closet? Well, the three middle shelves don't look like that anymore, that's for sure. Whomp whomp. 

What went wrong? In a nutshell, it's totally my fault. We moved the printer to the office and I stole the baskets for my dining room cabinet, so suddenly I had shelves of random stuff and no storage bins to contain it all. This closet holds a bunch of random things which makes is so hard to organize. Party supplies, craft supplies, stationary, a file system, coloring books, kids toys, art supplies, camera accessories, electronic cords and accessories, board games, holiday decor... you name it, this is the closet it lives in. Now take that list of stuff and try to organize it using reusable shopping bags you have on hand and this is what you get. A hot mess. Honestly, though, we didn't have the money at the time for new baskets, so we didn't buy baskets. Then, we forgot to add baskets to the budget priority list and this mess is a result. I guess it was out of sight, out of mind?

What are we going to do about it? Get bins! I'm thinking of the same bins that I mentioned for under the sink because they are stackable and the contents are easily accessible without taking the entire bin out. Thankfully, the rest of the closet still looks great, so a few bins and we should be back in order!

#5- Breakfast Nook Basket 

After we installed our favorite shoe cabinet, we popped a cute basket on top for things like keys and sunglasses that we access as we walk in or out the door. However, looking at the bottom picture, you'll notice that keys and sunglasses aren't anywhere to be found in the heaping mess! This one may seem insignificant, but you'd be surprised how much a messy basket can make the entire breakfast nook look cluttered! 

What went wrong? The basket quickly became a place to toss receipts or notes. Then, because our garage is detached, it became the holding spot for tools or hardware/supplies as they came in or were ready to leave the house. At that point, it was messy already, so it further devolved into a spot to put things for Jeremy to sort. It spiraled out of control quickly and hasn't been neat since. 

What are we going to do about it? There's a couple things that need to happen to fix this problem. First, just like I have folders in my mail sorter slots for receipts and coupons, I need to make folders for Jeremy's mail slots, too, so that all of his papers have a clear home. Second, we need to stop making this a holding spot for things that belong in the garage! We have a bin for tools in the playroom cabinet, so we need to start adding project supplies from the garage to that bin while we're working on something instead of letting them pile up in the basket. 

There you have it! My Top 5 Organizing Flops! Do you have any organizing flops around your house? Spill the beans, I'd love to hear about them!

Don't forget to check back on Thursday to see how I framed our DIY Lettered Wood Sign!


  1. I know this feeling all too well! I've organized the drawers by my desk more times than I can count, but they just are too deep and too big for it to really work. So I've tried and tried, and I still end up just throwing things in there, because "there's room" and it is all in piles!
    Sometimes the best idea for organizing isn't always the best in practice - like your by the door basket. We do not have one of those, and I applaud anyone who tries anything like that. We have our to-take-out-of-the-house things in various places around the house, but it works for us, and we don't lose anything, so I'm not going to tempt fate and mix it up! Also doesn't help that we only have one set of keys for our vehicle, so they absolutely need to be in a place that we will not forget about!

  2. I think most of my organizing projects are flops... The most important part, the one I ignore, is that to be organized you have to get rid of stuff! My file cabinet for all of the papers is a hot mess for sure. I can't even open the bottom drawer.

  3. Thanks for showing us your flops! The last one really got to me. A catch all that catches all... I have one of those too including the tools that don't belong there but are so easily accessable.

  4. Thank you for sharing your "flops", it's refreshing to see real life every once and while. Thanks for sharing at Create • Share • Inspire. We hope to see you back tonight. xo


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