I have been trying to hide the fact that I have a “Monica closet”…you know, that closet from the television show, Friends. The one where Monica tries to hid her hoarding habits from Chandler. It is a Friends reference, to the episode where Monica has a closet full of stuff that is completely unorganized, which is very out of character. But it was super funny. Well, sad to say, that I have a Monica closet. Yes, friends, I have a giant closet that is a total disaster. And that closet started to take over our entire basement.

I needed to do something to organize this mess, so I decided to tame the beast that is my basement junk closet!

Junk Closet

Where To Start

The closet was home to everything from baby stuff, holiday boxes, coolers, suitcases, some of my old teaching stuff that I just can’t part with, and all of the random items of childhood goodness of my husband’s that my father-in-law would bring over for us to have!  I really needed to figure out what the purpose of this closet was going to be so that everything else that did not fit, would find a home elsewhere.

Since this space is much easier to get to than our attic, we decided this closet would hold things we needed to be easily accessible.  As I started to sort though all of the items in the closet, I decided to get clear bins to hold special items for each family member.  I wanted these bins to be easily accessible so we could add to them as the kids get older.  I also made bins for my husband and myself.  But more on that later!

how to create storage in a storage space

Grouping Things Into Stackable Bins

Once I got all of the family stuff organized, I moved on to the remaining items in the closet.  All of my teacher stuff should be housed in the attic, along with some big suitcases.  All of the baby stuff was either relocated to the kids bedroom closets, taken out of the closet to use or we donated the things that we are no longer using.  While sad to part with, we just don’t have the space to save a bouncy chair!

Then there were a few items in the closet that we did not need to be accessible, but they didn’t fit in the attic.  They had to stay in the closet, but we could stick them in the back corner and place things in front of them that we needed to have access to.

how to create storage in a storage space

Rounding Up The Gift Wrapping Items

All that remained was my wrapping paper, gift bags and tissue paper.  I decided to take an empty bin and turn it into a gift wrapping station.  Check out how I did it here.

how to create storage in a storage space

how to create storage in a storage space

Finally I was able to put everything back in the closet after I tore apart the basement.  I started with the cooler.  We don’t use it that often, but when we do we want to get it right away.  I was able to stack some items on top of the cooler like a smaller cooler and a golf bag cover.

Stacking Suitcases And Coolers

Then I stacked all of the boxes based on what we use the most.  My daughter and husband’s bins are on the top.  My daughter because I have been putting in all of her baby clothes/shoes/doctor’s notes/etc.  And my husband’s father keeps giving us random items of his from when he was growing up, so I want to make sure that I am ready to put that stuff away as soon as we get it!

how to create storage in a storage space

Lastly, I stacked the roasting over and small suitcases on the shelf.

Junk Closet - Toaster

Now everything is sorted and organized.  I feel so much better knowing that I can find things safely and easily in that closet now.  No more “Monica Closet” in our house!