The Sulimas family wants to convert their cluttered attic into a gathering place.
- More from Mission: Organization
Filed under: Closet Organization, Room Design, Attics, Bonus Rooms, Decluttering, Organization, Storage
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Jean Sulima not only works in retail, but she also brings a lot of it home with her.
The unused purchases of this confirmed shopaholic have taken over the entire attic space of the 300-year-old home she shares with her husband, Jim, and teenage children Jena and Phil. In fact, she is the only one in the family who stores items in this room.
A large walk-in closet, guest room and sitting room are filled with uncounted bags of clothing, gifts, crafts and unfinished projects.
She would like to reclaim the guest room for guests and turn the sitting room into a sanctuary where she can relax and work on craft projects.
Professional organizer Crystal Sabalaske steps with solutions. Her first step is to purge the rooms of unused or unneeded things. When sorting clothes, Sabalaske recommends donating any items that have not been worn in a year, that aren’t comfy, don't fit, don't look good, are torn or stained.
Things are put into one of four piles: keep, sell, donate, or don’t know. For the "keep" pile, a sub-category of "store elsewhere" is created to save time running things to other parts of the house and losing focus. Sabalaske also recommends taking everything out of closets and bags so you can see what you have before you start to sort it. "It gets messier before it starts to get better," she warns.
Sabalaske's rule for shopping: Whenever you buy something new, remove an older item from the closet to make room for it.
Once all the sorting was complete, the transformations began. The busy purple and blue walls and ceilings were eliminated, bookshelves are placed against the wall with the low-sloped ceiling in the sitting room (where the bed used to be) to create a pocket of storage space behind them, and the closet had a full overhaul.
With all the bags gone and stored, there finally is space in the guest room for guests and their bags. Light walls and organized storage make the room feel much larger.
The closet in the guest bedroom is now full of labeled boxes and clear containers. Fewer closet rods and rolling storing make it easier to move around. There's even a diagram of the closet that provides a key to the storage system.
Storage behind the bookcases in the sitting room helped clean up the space. Moving the bed to another wall created room for a desk and sitting area.
Risers were placed underneath all the beds to create hidden storage for infrequently used items.
Products from The Container Store:
legal storage boxes
photo storage boxes
drawer in/out stops
Product from Smart Furniture:
maple-finish book shelf
Products from Pier 1:
Cape Charles armchair
Cape Charles ottoman
Medici adjustable desk lamp
velvet beaded pillows in Sage and Gold
Product from Lillian Vernon:
storage cubes Stacks and Stacks:
deluxe 5-tier skirt open-end slack clothes hanger
Slimline hanger sets for women's clothing
Space Bag clothing bags
notched clothes hangers
floor light, swing arm
bed riser-bed elevators
Product from Rubbermaid:
clear boxes with lids
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