A Recalcitrant Wife and Mother Tells All

Closet Case

It’s been a while since I’ve posted anything about my 52 Weeks projects.

Never fear! I’m still chipping away at my list; I just haven’t had the desire to write about any of it lately. I mean really, who cares about my recipe binder or the fact that I discovered 4 sets of nail clippers in my bathroom drawer and tossed three of them? Nobody. Am I right, or am I right? (Unless I’m wrong, and you really do want to see these things, in which case, comment below and tell me. I’ll show you. You know I have no shame.)

Well, I figured something out about myself last week. Turns out I’m probably just keeping myself busy with easy little projects so I can avoid completing the work I started in my closet last May. Yep. Apparently, I have more issues than Vogue magazine. Sheesh!

So last weekend, instead of wrapping up my own closet project, I tackled Bucket Head’s closet. It’s just easier to make decisions about someone else’s stuff than about my own. Can you dig it?

Perhaps you remember the before picture:

I didn’t realize until too late that I didn’t have more or better “before” pictures showing the top shelf of the closet! Dammit! Oh you should’ve seen it. It was precariously piled two feet high with extra linens and baby keepsakes and hand-me-downs from Bucket Head’s big brother, Nature Boy. He’s a cutie, but that boy grows like a weed.

My two boys are 7 years apart. That’s a lot of various sizes worth of hand-me-downs to manage.

But luckily, Bucket Head loves to try on clothes and was very cooperative with helping me weed out the things that were too small. And he has a very well-defined sense of fashion, so he was able to authoritatively tell me things like “No Mommy. I will never wear that. That’s for babies.” Wow – if only my own closet were this easy to purge!

Okay, enough jibber jabber. Here are the “after” shots:

Whooo-hooo! See that empty light beige space on the ground, front and center?? I had to look it up in the encyclopedia because I didn’t know what it was, but it’s the floor! Who knew?!

That Double Hang Closet Rod is from the Container Store. It’s the perfect size for Bucket Head to reach his own clothes and get himself dressed everyday. I only hang his nicer and out-of-season stuff up top, out of his grubby reach.

In the middle of the upper shelf I have two changes of twin sheets. I keep everyone’s sheets in their own rooms to make sheet changes easier.

More details:

Here’s something we do at our house that works for us: everyone stores their own out-of-season coats in their own closets. We don’t have a family closet anywhere for this, but even if we did, I have to say, it is nice for each person to be responsible for their own coats. It also makes it easy for me to see at a glance who has what or who needs something.

In the upper left corner I have a plastic box with locking clasps for Bucket Head’s keepsakes. It was previously under my bed, but I’m trying to get everything out from under there…Feng Shui, don’t-cha-know. We’ll see how this goes. If the kids get into the keepsake box I might have to kill somebody; and what’s the point of saving precious memories if you murder your offspring? Maybe I’ll switch to an opaque box just to avoid temptation.

In the upper right corner I’ve organized all of Nature Boy’s shoe hand-me-downs by size. I’ve also got our vaporizer up there for cold and flu season.

And now I’m going to fill the space below with my new favorite knock knock joke:

Knock knock!

Who’s there?

I eat mop!

I eat mop who?

{heh heh heh heh} You eat your poo? Gross dude.


Next up, the lower corners:

Here I made enough space to move Bucket Head’s hamper into the closet. I’ve also got one big plastic box easily accessible for Nature Boy’s CURRENT hand-me-downs. No more randomly tossing the newly outgrown things up on the closet shelf!

On top of that is a big yellow rubber bucket for Bucket Head’s shoes and slippers. We have issues with this boy hunting for his shoes every single frickin’ morning. That ends today.

And the lower right hand corner:

Okay, this is my favorite part! See those open stackable plastic blue bins? From top to bottom they hold:

1. undies

2. socks

3. pajamas

4. shorts

This is not a new system for Bucket Head. He doesn’t have a dresser, so I’ve always had this in his closet. It totally works for us. So easy for him to put his own clothes away (one of his favorite chores) and to find the clothes he wants each day. No drawers to open and (not) close. No pinched fingers. I don’t even need to label the bins because it is so obvious what is what. Love this!

In the back are two large plastic storage bins for the next two sizes of clothes that Bucket Head will grow into: 6-8 and 10-12. I have the nicer stuff hanging up above that.

Not only does Bucket Head’s closet function and look so much better now, but I’m feeling pretty good about the donation I’ll be making at Goodwill this week:

  • 7 long sleeve t-shirts
  • 3 short sleeve t-shirts
  • 5 dress shirts
  • 2 sweaters
  • 4 pants
  • 3 shorts
  • 5 coats

Not only could these items help clothe someone on a limited budget, but according to the kickass charity impact calculator my friend Megan posted at Declutter Daily last Friday, my donation will be providing 4.1 hours of financial planning training for someone like Rudy Batilla. Win-win-win!

For more organizing ideas and inspiration, head on over to Org Junkie and see what some of my 52 Weeks buddies are up to this week!


© Copyright 2011, The Bearded Iris.


  1. AlexandraFunFit

    Please come over and do my closet. Which, luckily, isn’t that bad. Except for a few outfits from the 80s. You can have all my shoulder pads.

    • The Bearded Iris

      Great! Thanks! I’ll stuff my bra with them.

  2. Kris the Colts Fan

    Nicely done. I’m trying to organize my office and closets as well. I’m excited because a brand new “Container Store” just opened here a couple of weeks ago. Can’t wait to hit it up!!!

    • The Bearded Iris

      Oh, that store is THE BEST. Easy to get overwhelmed in there though. Make sure you have a specific project in mind when you go there or you’ll drown yourself in baskets.

  3. Dianne

    You are an inspiration! With 5 kids who have closets that rival Bucket Head’s before, and no container store for at least 250 miles, I don’t know where to begin. I think I’ll start by going back to bed!

  4. Anne @ Domesblissity

    The other day, when I was folding laundry, like I do most days, I was thinking that folding laundry is totally overrated. I love that stacked bin idea for the underwear. I wouldn’t even have to fold it. I could just shove it all in there. Really, why do we have to fold underwear? I have visions of my Mother standing over my shoulder saying “no, make it straight”, “no, make that fold in the crutch neater than that”. Her underwear drawers are beautiful! LOL Mine is too. Everyone elses is like a jumble sale! LOL

    Thanks for tip!

    Anne xx

  5. Allysgrandma

    I agree with Diane…..and I’m an empty nester…..

  6. Leighann

    That closet ROCKS!
    I love that open bin for the socks and undies! I am soo going to look into that for when my daughter is old enough to dress herself, that’s genius!

  7. oneshabbychick

    Yay! Isn’t that sh*t the BEST? I LOVE decluttering/organizing!
    BTW here is one fan interested in getting a peek at your recipe binder… ; )

  8. Martianne

    Oh for such a large closet — and such a nicely organized one. great job!!!!

  9. Sarah

    “what’s the point of saving precious memories if you murder your offspring?” You crack me up as usual. I also love the open bin and will keep it in mind a couple years down the road hopefully. What age do they start dressing themselves?

    • The Bearded Iris

      As soon as possible! My little Bucket Head is 4 and 1/2 and he’s been doing it for a while, but he has two older siblings that he’s trying to keep up with, so he has done a lot of things early. I think I remember my older two wanting to dress themselves around the age of three. The hardest part, honestly, is not correcting their outfit choices. They are so damn proud of themselves for putting together their own ensembles, that I never have the heart to tell them how crazy they look.

      Thanks for stopping by again Sarah!

  10. robin

    So…. what happened with the hair????

    • The Bearded Iris

      Hi Robin! Thanks for asking! All is well. I decided to keep it long and just do some highlights around the face to hide my grays. My stylist Kristie is so awesome – she did a great job. Looks really natural and just more shiny and bright. I love it! I’ll post some pics early next week. Have a great weekend!

  11. By Word of Mouth Musings

    Just a couple of days that I don’t make it over here and you go all Martha on me … hello?
    And all that underdog stuff! Then you just took over and practically stole my spot at number 10 and all.
    You know, keeping your house looking like people don’t really live there – now that’s a lesson I can teach you. Try having a house with kids and many animals on the market for like years, and see what that does for your organisational skills and your wine consumption!

    • The Bearded Iris

      Don’t worry, love. I have ONE clean closet and the rest of my house looks like a bomb testing site. In fact, one of the reasons I so lovingly refer to myself as a domestic hostage is because I’m certain we could never ever put this house on the market. The labor it would take is unfathomable to me.

      You can have number ten back… I’m going after the #9 spot now. 😉

  12. Karen

    thanks for the new knock knock joke, my kids will love it.

    this is our current family fave:

    knock knock?
    who’s there?
    i did up.
    i did up who?
    errrr, you did a poo!

    sooo, your joke will fit right in to our dinner time conversation!

    keep up the blog, i love reading it!

    • The Bearded Iris

      Haha! That sounds like my kind of joke! And the kids are so over my “I eat mop” one, so I appreciate the new ammo! Thanks Karen! Hey, got any others?

  13. Mel

    Organizational chills! So jealous!

  14. Mads

    This is seriously the smartest closet system I’ve ever seen. Please let us know if you are still able to see floor in a few weeks. I will be so impressed I might just “eat mop who”.
    Ok, I definitely won’t be doing that, but poo jokes aren’t just for tiny tots.

  15. Kim(aka badgasmom)

    You have mad organization skills, Iris. I.am.jeal.ous. Love those big closets. Our house is older, so the bedroom closets barely fit a keebler elf’s wardrobe. But I love the double hanging bars and the open bins. What a space saver! And, to think, all these years we’ve just been cleaning our kids rooms when a) they have been on a long sleepover (or college) and/or b) when there is a dumpster available in the neighba-hood. AND, of course…Goodwill is an awesome organization.

    Yours admiringly,

    • The Bearded Iris

      Hi Kim! Thank you so much for all the awesome comments. I absolutely LOVE that you have stuck around to read more than one. That makes my potty-mouth smile.

      Oh yes, I do enjoy a good ambush closet cleaning session when the kids are away! It’s really the only way to do it with great success.

      Thanks again for your company! xo – Iris

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