Let me just start out by saying that I am not the most organized person in the world. I may or may not have a chair in my bedroom piled two feet high with *ahem* clean clothes. My laundry room cabinet countertop may or may not be entirely covered with a bunch of random stuff like craft supplies, unopened mail, and tissue paper! But, occasionally, the organizing bug bites and I throw all of my energy and creativity into a space, tackling it with as much gusto as an Alabama Crimson Tide football player on Iron Bowl Saturday. Especially when said space has been a thorn in my side for eight years and said project involves my favorite things ever; plants and gardening!
Before we go any further, I must tell you about this little room. Well, actually, it's a closet in my garage. An underutilized, messy, chaotic, still-have-boxes-from-when-we-moved-in-eight-years-ago-and-never-unpacked-them, unorganized space.
And I cannot believe I'm about to show you these before photos. It's kind of embarrassing. Well, not kind of. It is embarrassing. Am I the only one with a closet that looks like this? Please tell me I'm not the only one. I know. We can start a club. You can be the President and I'll be the Secretary. We'll call it the Messy Marvin Club and we'll meet quarterly to commiserate our messy closets and cabinets. We'll bemoan the woes of unorganized pantries. And then, we'll have snacks. Lots of good snacks. Of course. You can't have a club without good snacks. And we'll talk about Marie Kondo and the Home Edit and whether our messy closets bring us joy and rainbow color coordinating organization and all the clear bins. And then we'll have more snacks.
Okay. I'm stalling. Here is the before photo.
This space was basically a drop zone for anything from beach supplies to garden gadgets. But, it was so messy and unorganized, we couldn't find anything and didn't really utilize it at all. It's actually a good size closet- about 8 feet long by 5 feet wide. And, bonus, it has a window.
First Things First
The very first thing we had to do was clean this mess out! We purged, threw away, organized, and made sure we had a place for everything and everything in its place, relocated to our garage storage area. I know that sounds so simple, but I think sometimes the hardest part is just getting started. It can be overwhelming.
“It takes as much energy to wish as it does to plan.” Eleanor Roosevelt
I guess I need to tell you the plan first off. I really needed a place to store garden supplies and also a place to start seed for the garden or to keep my cuttings---thus the propagation station idea. Last year, I tried starting trays and trays of seed in my dining room and not one plant lived. Not one. I needed a place where I can utilize heat mats and grow lights in order to start seed ahead of time. This space also needed to double as garden storage and organization. No more disorganized, messy, and haphazard shelves!
Also, my goal was to makeover this closet with as little cost as possible. I'll break that down later in the post.
A Clean Slate
Once we had a clean slate, it was time to get busy. We swept, vacuumed, and cleaned before I got started on priming and painting. I had some Zinsser primer and some white paint left over from previous projects, so there was no cost there. I ended up having to buy just a few painting supplies like paint trays and roller frames. Also, I had gray porch and floor paint leftover painting and stenciling my daughter's floors in her room. You can see that HERE. So, I was able to also paint and freshen up these floors for $0.
Most of what I spent on this closet makeover went to organization supplies; bins and baskets to house seeds, bulbs, propagation and seed starting supplies, and general garden supplies. The wine rack turned garden tool holder and the small hobnail planter to the left of it were only fifty cents each at a local thrift store!
These wood topped bins are from Heritage Living and they are in the Terazzo Collection! I loved that they were stackable and such a pretty wood top. I found these at TJ Maxx. Then, I used small wooden tags and ribbon I already had to mark what was in each one.
Did I keep the cost low as I had planned? Here's how it ended up:
Painting supplies: $5.26
Stackable Terazzo Storage Bins (2 sets of 2) $32.67
White metal basket $14.15
Plant Picture $4.89 (70% off at Hobby Lobby)
Gray Tote Bins (3 of them) $14.72
Total spent on this makeover was only $71.69! That's tax included! Like I said, I used what I had on hand as much as possible, re-purposed items, and only had to buy mostly storage and organization items.
The pretty white metal basket came from TJ Maxx. I loved the depth of it and how sturdy it was! I found the gray totes at Big Lots.
So, there it is! An unorganized mess turned organized and pretty space that will be utilized so, so much more than before! This will help me while gardening this spring. And I've already spent some time in here starting seed and getting some cuttings propagating. It's my happy place!