Before & After: Miscellaneous Cabinet

We all have a cabinet or two with stuff we don’t want to deal with. These are the “homeless” items, usually shoved away in a space that rarely see the light of day. It’s especially hard when your storage space is limited and the miscellaneous items all end up in there together. Things that may have been useful at one point get lost in the mix and often forgotten. This is what happened with a cabinet in this Before & After. My client had a sense of what was inside, but the thought of going through it was anxiety producing.

As always we started out by removing everything from the cabinet. It helps to start sorting them into categories as you see fit. What we found in this cabinet were boxed cards, tape, envelopes, checkbooks, tax documents and other paper, stuffed cat toys and a Scrabble game, some photo slides, and a couple random items. And since the majority of the items fall under the office/paper supply category, it made sense to use this space for this purpose.

BEFORE: Miscellaneous Cabinet


What took the most time was looking through every piece of paper and decide if it needs to be kept, shred, or recycled. The kept paper went into a file folder (which my client already had) and then clearly labeled. The greeting cards were sorted by occasion. The only things we removed were the stuffed animal toys to be kept in another closet that had towels for her cats.

Keep items made from the same material together. Paper with paper, fabric with fabric, electronics with electronics. This will not only make it easier to organize, it will speed up the time when you are looking for something.


After my client finished deciding what she wanted to keep, the rest were put back. The paper and files on the left, cards in the middle, the photo slides that don’t need as much access went in the back. The checkbooks, tapes, and envelopes were placed in the front. In 3 hours, all the item became visible and the cabinet turned into a functional storage space.



Often clients are surprised they have more of something than they realized. In this case, it was the number of greeting cards she owned. Since the images and sentiments on the cards do spark joy for her, we kept most of them. And now that they are easier to get to, she can start sending the cards and reduce her collection.

Hope you enjoyed this transformation. Are you ready to turn one of your cluttered cabinets into a functional one that sparks joy?

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