My Harry Potter Closet Under the Stairs

A couple of weeks ago, inspired by sharing my biggest organizational challenge in our About Us section, I decided to start working on our Harry Potter closet.

Yes, friends. This is my shameful secret. A closet packed to the gills. And it even curves around to the right!

My Closet Under the Stairs #organize #closet #declutter #drawers #closet organization #organization #whattheshelf

First things first, we emptied the whole thing out and laid it out on our homeschool classroom floor. I wish I would have thought to take a picture of it. The sprawl was incredible.

Over the next few days, we painstakingly went through every item shoved in that closet. Some got tossed, some got donated and a couple of things were stored in more appropriate areas. The rest? Reorganized! Check it out:

My Closet Under the Stairs #organize #closet #declutter #drawers #closet organization #organization #whattheshelf

Even the little cubby around the corner is organized:

My Closet Under the Stairs #organize #closet #declutter #drawers #closet organization #organization #whattheshelf

But we did need to make just a few purchases to make this space usable. 

Plastic Storage Drawers

These Sterilite 3 Drawer Towers are perfect for storing fabric, yarn and other miscellaneous items. And I love that the top is flat. You gain another whole level of storage. 

Just something to keep in mind: the price on Amazon is cheaper if you buy the two-pack

Sewing Organization

I don’t do as much sewing as I used to. Seems 9 year old boys aren’t as keen on wearing homemade rompers as 1 year olds are. But just because I tend only to sew Halloween costumes, table runners and Cub Scout badges nowadays doesn’t mean all of my supplies disappear. 

Historically, I kept all of my thread spools in one of my sewing baskets. Also historically, I have purchased countless duplicates of colors because that method just doesn’t work. 

I bought this thread organizer and it has been fantastic. You can easily see all of the spools at once. When I set out to sew on a badge Matt received at our end of the year banquet, I had no problem finding the right spool of purple thread in seconds.  

Tote Bag Storage

I have a lot of tote bags. I don’t know where they all come from but there has always been a large quantity lurking around our house. And we frequently vacation in Maine and New Hampshire. If you don’t know, Maine is home to L.L. Bean. As such, Maine and its neighbor, New Hampshire, have a few L.L. Bean Outlets.

Now I mean outlet in the truest form of the word. Those of you aged forty and above will remember when outlets only carried seconds and discontinued items. Remember those deals? And better yet, when items are returned to L.L. Bean, they go right to the outlets. That means lots of their inventory is in perfect condition. It was just unloved by its original purchaser! 

So needless to say, when we walk into an L.L. Bean store in New Hampshire and I see the enormous display of canvas tote bags, I just cannot help myself. And, I’m a bit embarrassed to admit, on the next leg of the trip, I can’t help myself at the L.L. Bean store in Maine either. 

Anyway, I ended up buying 8 totes on last year’s vacation. Yes. Eight. All various sizes and colors. When we came home, I put a few to work. One carries my Cub Scout materials, one I use for the farmer’s market, and a zippered bag has been commissioned to carry car activities and snacks when we go on day trips. But the other 5 were stuffed into that closet along with a multitude of others I have collected over the years. 

Tote bags are generally easy to store. Just grab the biggest one, roll the others up and stick them into the big one! Easy peasy. I did have a few too many to fit in my two biggest bags. They found a home in the top drawer.

We headed back to Maine this summer and will likely return next year. I’d like to say I won’t be buying any more totes on vacations but I know myself too well. At least now I’ll have somewhere to put them!

Closet Lighting

What good would all of this organization be if you can’t see anything? These lights add just the right amount of brightness. And since it’s a four-pack, we were able to spread them out throughout the closet. 

One tip: Many reviewers complain that the velcro that comes with the lights doesn’t stick well. I bypassed this possible issue completely by using Command Picture Hanging Strips. It holds them securely.

I won’t lie. Both Jon and I feel quite accomplished having tackled that project. Not only does everything have a place, there is even extra space! Did you see that small empty bookshelf right in the front? 

Hmm. Maybe I should get some small L.L. Bean bags…


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