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Organizing a Room I Have Never Shown You

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I have a room, well actually a space in my house that I have never shared with you before. It is a space that I am thankful to have, but it is not pretty.

In fact, this space is pretty ugly…it is brown and has no windows… YUCK!… not the kind of space I could ever be happy with, but one that I have no plans to change to be “blog-post-worthy” or “Pinterest pretty”.

I wasn’t going to show this space to you, since I figured no one would like it, but when I thought more about that, it became the reason I decided I should show it to you.

Organizing storage in an attic

My never shared with you space is a small walk-in attic on the landing at the top of my foyer steps. It is where I store my seasonal decor and other decorative stuff like fake flowers, throw pillows, vases, frames and decor that I keep to repurpose into something else.

In my previous house I had both a large attic and basement where I stored all kinds of stuff from furniture, seasonal decor, project supplies and more. In previous posts I showed you how I organized each area with neatly stacked clear bins with pretty labels. When we moved, I gave away 50% of it.

In the lake house there is no basement and only this small attic for storage along with a closet in the game room where I store fabric and craft supplies that go beyond what I keep in my studioffice.

Messy and unorganized attic storage area

In this small attic, I still have the labeled clear bins from my previous house, but they have all been reorganized and labeled. I can no longer stack them high to be able to walk right up to them to read the labels and pull one out.

In the 3 years that I have lived in the house, I have kept this attic space pretty much as you see it,  usually a bit more organized, but always thinking in the back of my mind that I “should” rework the whole space to make it blog worthy with pretty photos of perfectly stacked bins that are all color coded for each season with white built-in shelves, a pretty light fixture and new flooring.

But then I asked myself, WHY?

Un-organized attic storage

I know where everything is in here. The space works just fine for my needs, no jaw dropping before and after makeover needed. In our Pinterest perfect world it has become the norm to expect grand all the time.

Well, I am here to tell you…it is OK if it is not grand as long as whatever it is, works for your needs and as Marie Kondo says…brings you joy.

This space brings me joy… joy in that I have a closed-off space to store stuff that is easy to get to. Even though it is small with an awkward to move around in slanted ceiling, it is my place. I call it my very own HomeGoods.

When I am changing the decor in a room for the season or on a whim, I go to my attic HomeGoods to find joy in the fact that I can find something to use or repurpose into something new and decorative.

What the space did need though… was a serious purge!  I couldn’t put my Christmas decorations away until I cleared out some space which made it the perfect time to do a deep purge so I could reorganize the contents.

Stacked box storage in small attic

No BIG After reveal… but I know there has been a big change in this storage space that I made happen by purging and then organizing what was left in a way that makes me happy.

It may still look a mess to your eye, but I know what each stack, bin, basket and box holds. Christmas, Autumn, Summer or Spring decor. Not all have a label on the side, but they do on the top so that if it is not in a clear bin, I know what is in the box without having to open it.

Small attic used as a place for seasonal decor storage

Many of the items won’t fit into a bin or box easily, so I keep them out on the open shelves. It kind of feels like I am shopping at HomeGoods or the thrift store, but I am shopping my attic without the need of any cash.

When I was cleaning things out, I even vacuumed the rug. :-) .

My Easy Organizing a Room Method

My only organizing strategy was to group like items together.  Nothing color-coded or stacked in perfect unison. Your space will of course be different, but grouping like items is the easiest way to get things organized and to keep a room organized.

  • Seasonal decor in labeled clear bins or boxes.
  • Throw pillows and fake flowers in plastic garbage bags.
  • Vases and tabletop items on the shelves.
  • Big and flat items stacked against the wall.
  • Light and odd shaped items beyond the studs. Out of the way, but easily reached.

Frame storage in attic

Everything stored in here has passed my editing criteria of stuff I want to keep. You may recognize some of it from past projects and decor I have created for my home.

So if you are procrastinating about organizing a room, closet or an area in your home because you think it will be too costly or overwhelming to have to make it a Pinterest perfect space, then I am here to tell you that although these spaces look dreamy when we see photos of them online, in books and magazines, it is not reality for all of us.

Simply purging a closet, room or drawer and organizing it in a way that will make sense to you is all that is needed.

The positive results from doing what feels right to you, organizing big or small, or in almost anything you do, will be a total WIN that can bring you joy that is perfect for you… and you alone.

I know each of you has your own method of keeping your house and home organized that is just right for your needs. Take joy in this fact alone, you may not think much of it, but the traits and things we all personally do to our homes with individual flair add up to enlighten others without us even knowing it. We don’t see our own personal way of doing things from their perspective.

It is when we think we need to copy or follow the dictates of some arbitrary source like perfectly styled Pinterest images.

The next time you find yourself doubting the way you do things in your home, turn the tables.  Cherish the way you organize, decorate or live. Realize that others are inspired by you, just as much as you are inspired by them.

Take pride in the fact that you organize your kitchen cabinets in a way that is ultra efficient.  You think it is nothing, that anyone can do it, but your neighbor thinks it is terrific, since no matter how hard she tries she can never get her organization to the same level.

diana Vreeland Quote

Home organizing and storage ideas that are not Pinterest perfect that anyone can do for free.

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46 Comments

  1. Your post is giving me ideas about how to use a small area in our garage and a now-cluttered bedroom closet to store home decor items that are not being used. What a dream to have a walk-in attic space! You have made great use of it.

    1. Hi Regina – Thanks – I do love that the attic is so easily accessible, I have never had that before in any house I have lived in. Always had to pull down a folding staircase that was in a closet or hard to reach area.

      Enjoy getting the area in your garage organized to fit your needs.

  2. Hi Diane,

    I LOVE your blog and enjoy reading about your many DIY’s. It’s so good to see a real life space that reminds me so much of my own attic space; not Pinterest worthy, but functional. I have one suggestion for you. About 20 years ago, in an effort to get down from my scorching south Florida attic in the middle of the summer, I leaned into the bare lightbulb and heard my skin sizzle off. The burn was so severe and took many months to heal. I still have the 2 inch round scar all these years later. I found an inexpensive clip on light cover to make certain that I never have that happen again. While it’s certainly nothing to look at, it can prevent a serious injury. Please think about getting one so you don’t ever have to go through what I did. Keep up the wonderful blog…… your decorating ideas are unparalleled!!!

    1. Hi Kathy – Sorry to hear that you were badly burned and scarred from the exposed lightbulb in your attic. I am glad I decided to post the post since you may have saved me from getting burned :-( Your suggestion is a good one. I will look for a clip-on shade next time I am out shopping.

      1. I purchased the plastic clip on light cover in Home Depot many years ago but don’t know if they are still available in the retail store. I see Amazon’s choice has one identical to mine for $10.59. Hope that helps!

      2. I now use LED bulbs! They don’t get hot like the bulbs of 20 years ago.h

        And I would love to shop your Home Goods attic!

    1. Hi Elaine – I used to have a lot more of it, but over the years my collection has dwindled down. Yesterday I was out shopping with a friend. At one antique mall, there was an entire booth set up with blue and white pottery. It was quite pretty and had me thinking of way to use what I have more.

  3. Now, THIS is a REALLY inspiring article.

    I am a very messy person, but sometimes, in that accidental juxtaposition of objects, ideas, colors, shapes, I get inspiration.

    I like your room after AND before!!

    1. Thanks Helen – Perfect isn’t all it is cracked up to be. I agree with what you said about the… accidental juxtaposition of something can be very inspiring too. :-)

  4. You can find really good ideas for storage like this on posts about garage storage. Nifty tricks and stuff. Bet you could put your husband to work! ;o)