Thursday, July 9, 2015

16 UHeart Organizing: 7 Steps to an Amazing Cleaning Closet

Although most of you are probably more excited about the fact that it is "Shark Week" this week, it has also been a bit of "Closet Week" around here.  I organized my portion of our closet last week (and oddly enough was even able to inspire my husband who has now emptied his side of the closet out), and have been sharing more specifics of the process.  Keeping in theme with closet week, today's super brilliant contributor, Ursula of Home Made by Carmona, is here sharing a closet she recently cleaned out.  But this is not just any closet, she cleaned out her cleaning closet.  And it is beyond lovely.  Cleaning closets and cabinets can be so helpful in terms of keeping a clean home, but if they are messy, then they won't do a good job inspiring you to keep up with daily chores.  She has definitely gone above and beyond to create the most delightful closet imaginable, and I hope you all love it as much as I do!

Hey there awesome organizers! Ursula here, from Home Made by Carmona, back to share another great project with you.

My favorite projects always incorporate a sprinkle of organization, a smidge of decorating, and loads of DIY projects to make it budget friendly. One thing, however, I do not relish is cleaning... isn't that interesting? To love organizing but hate cleaning? It is a bit of a conundrum for me, which is why today I'm taking on my cleaning closet! After all, what better way to motivate you to accomplish your cleaning work than to organize and beautify... Whatever helps get the job done!

My cleaning closet was not functioning well for me. My girls were tossing things in there without having any rhyme or reason to the madness. It was quickly becoming a disaster... When it wasn't "tidy" (like in the picture below), the cleaners would start piling up on the closet floor, with the brooms and mop thrown on top. Bugs were making homes in there and crumbs could collect from dirty rags... Yes, in the CLEANING closet (seriously ironic). It got bad guys. So bad.

After a few basic organizing techniques, and several DIY's, this closet is working much better for us, and no longer causes me to shudder! As a matter of fact, while taking pictures the girls kept coming in to grab the broom, then the vacuum, and finally I gave up waiting for all my tools to stay in place and took photos while the mop was missing. At least I know they return items without prompting, and know where to put them (yay for tags and labels!).

In order to turn this disaster around, I employed 7 simple projects that made all the difference! Now it is beautiful, effective, and even motivational.


1. Turn a door into usable storage space by attaching shelves

Sometimes finding a custom shelf size is hard to come by, so I made these DIY corbel shelves for under $5 per shelf! Gorgeous, and so easy to make! Just in case you'd like to make your own, I'm sharing the entire how-to here so you can create shelves that makes the most of your door width.


2. Make it beautiful and add a little bit of personality

I'm all about practicality, it's one of the most important things to help me get and stay organized. But making it beautiful is very important! I don't know about you, but I feel all kinds of unhappy and guilty when I leave a beautiful space trashed. There is just something motivational and inspirational about a beautiful space!


3. Add a towel rack (or a few) and then dress it up!

The beauty of installing a towel rack is that you now have a place to hang rags that aren't quite dry. Don't think that is the only use however! You can hang anything from a towel rack when you add the right accessories! So whether you employ a towel rack, or a multi-hanging rack like mine, take the time to "dress" it with a few cheap shower curtain hangers. Just tweak them into a smaller better hanger with pliers. Now you can hang all kinds of miscellaneous items from your rack, items that can't be draped over the bar.


4. Add lots of hooks!

I do add tons of hooks for easy hanging, but not in a haphazard way. Take inventory of all the things you need to store in your cleaning closet, then draw a little diagram of where each item can go. Also be sure to measure the height and width of your cleaning implements before installing hooks... You want everything to fit perfectly, and all the space to be used effectively!


5. Get gorgeous cleaning tools

I love HomeGoods for amazing cleaning implements! They are typically made from natural earthy materials, and hullo, so cute! Of course, you can always add interest to your existing tools and bottles with a little spray paint and sealer (as with my ombre broom handle, and the spray bottles below).


6. Label everything for organization purposes

If you haven't learned by now (because I swear Jen is the queen of gorgeous labeling), you should add tags to anything nondescript, and add labels that tell where everything should go. That way there is no second guessing by other members of the family!

I add a label above each shelf with a general description of item types that may go in that shelf... but then I can narrow it down even further by saying what goes where on the shelf by using chalk board paint on the front! Use a chalkboard wet marker to write, it is eraseable when you want to change it.


7. Have a great plan of action to go with your new space

One of the most important items housed in this cleaning closet is the room-by-room cleaning checklists I created. No more "Mooom, am I done cleaning this room yet?". Sigh. These checklists really helped, and I hope they will help you too! You can download them free here and get your home spic and span.

I hope you have gained a few great ideas for how to help put your cleaning closet in order, and with a little bit of effort it can aid our families in "getting their clean on" too! If you would like, here is a full source list for each of the items used in creating my closet. Happy organizing!


"Hi, I'm Ursula and I blog at Home Made by Carmona where there is always a fun DIY project in play. I've got expensive taste and no money, I'm a neat freak who's house didn't get that memo, and I firmly believe organization has the power to improve our homes, habits, and the members that abide there! I'm so thrilled to be here at IHeart Organizing, the blog that first inspired me to start my own blogging journey."


  1. I look at this closet and can only dream of having one like it. Fantastic job!

  2. wow. impressive. I am like Ursula - love organizing, hate cleaning. Sigh... Some good ideas here. I really like the shower hook tip!

  3. You can buy metallic chalk markers??? Awesome! Great ideas!

  4. I also love to organize but dislike cleaning. I'll start cleaning a room (dusting, vacuuming, etc.) but before I know it, I'm organizing drawers, sorting through items to donate, and the like, and then the room doesn't get cleaned. I finally had to schedule Saturdays as my organizing and decluttering day and I schedule different cleaning chores daily.

  5. I really love the checklists. This is quite the closet!

  6. Brilliant! I have pinned a few images.

  7. I love the checklist idea and especially that 'put cleaning tools away' is on the list. That's there for people like me haha! Also love the shower hook tip, that is so much more practical than the hardware 'a' hooks I usually use.

  8. i think i now need to put my washing liquid stuff into pretty jars :-D (which also would make it possible to add nice scents?) lovely clean place btw!

  9. Love this. Simple, yet very effective.

  10. Really inspiring! We have a ton of projects on our to-do list but my coat closet, cleaning closet and master bedroom closet are at the top of our list. Off I go! ;)

  11. Love all of these pictures! What wonderful organizing tips :)

  12. Excellent ideas here! I recently moved into a two-bedroom apartment after separating from my ex-husband, who, in terms of cleaning and organizing, was like a 3 year old and a tornado got together and had a baby. Living with him as an organizing freak was torture for me! So I've been going nuts making sure my new place is always neat, clean, and organized…. and I'm having the time of my life doing it. LOL. Anyway, I just stumbled onto this blog this weekend and I love it. Found some great ideas for closet organizing in here. In my apartment I don't really have a closet devoted to cleaning (just parts of other closets) because closet space is tight here, but I will be using your tips and tricks in this article to arrange the cleaning tools AS WELL AS items in my bedroom clothing closet. I will be reading this blog faithfully now!

  13. Great ideas! I LOVE the room cleaning checklists!! I plan to use them with my husband!! ;) I can't just ask him to please clean up the bedroom/kitchen/living room since we have VERY different definitions of what that entails. What he is very good at is following specific orders (thank you Marine Corps!) and he functions well with a system like this! Can't wait to try it! :)

  14. Great little closet! So handy and functional and plus extremely pretty!!

    Lauren Baxter | LB Designs

  15. A really lovely and inspiring storage area. Setting up a cleaning storage area is definitely on my to-do list. Thank you so much for sharing this!

  16. I love your closet cleaning ideas! I really have to clean mine, it's a completely mess inside it and I can't find anything! Your post inspired me to do it today! Thank you!


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