Decluttering the big hall cupboard

This is a guest post by Fiona, from the blog My Paperless PHD.

We moved into this house nearly four years ago. One of the things I loved was this massive storage cupboard in the main hallway (in addition to a separate linen cupboard!) I shouldn’t be surprised at what happened really. I am a hoarder, and it wasn’t long (under 2 years, in fact) before it was filled to brimming with stuff, from craft items to envelopes and a kids’ present box. There are also a couple of boxes of breakables and keepsakes not yet unpacked from our move here.

I have been telling my Wonderful Husband (WH) that I will clean it out and organise it soon (and I have hoarded stuff for organising too, like 13 magazine boxes to organize my food magazines, which were stacked at the back of this cupboard and no longer accessible). So I had been ‘planning’ this for a while. In addition to the cupboard, my back room with it’s spare bed had become a no go zone (piles of stuff on and around the bed), and when one of my sisters needed the spare bed at her place I relished this opportunity to finally clear out the back room and then be able to unpack and sort the cupboard.

The back room took an hour (yes only an hour, after months of procrastination) to clear out and once the bed was gone and the floor vacuumed I began to unpack and declutter the cupboard. Here is a before photo (I had started to clear off the far left hand shelf before I thought to take a picture…but you get the idea)

 You can see I prefer a stacking system 🙂

 My aims were to:

  • Get rid of rubbish and recycling
  • Sort what could go back into the cupboard and what could go on E-Bay or find new homes
  • File away LT’s (Little Tacker) pictures and craft from kindy and home projects
  • Have easy access to my cooking magazines and craft things
  • To organize my Christmas decorations, (they were in plastic supermarket bags and crammed in anywhere). I wanted plastic suitcase type containers as these would fit in the bottom of the cupboard easily
  • To make a list of the types and sizes of containers I needed to take shopping with me
  • To do this task once and properly!

I did this slowly over 2-3 weeks, each time I got a new container I packed and decluttered and stowed back into the cupboard again. A trip to Vinnies (why I need 3 spare doonas is beyond me) many novelty mugs later and the EBay box, here is my organised cupboard…

The above photo (taken yesterday, approx 2 months after finishing this clean out) shows:

  • The Christmas decorations in the suitcase type containers,
  • A special box that holds suspension files for those statements, warranties, receipts and other things that usually clutter my kitchen bench,
  • Kiddy craft things are where LT can reach them,
  • Games sorted for quick access,
  • My craft things are in separate boxes,
  • Food magazines are easy to see and access, and are organized by publication year. (It is making it so much easier to find the recipes I have used in my meal planner.)

Oh, the EBay box ended up at Vinnies too, I realized I had had it for over a month and I just didn’t have the time to take photos etc, so I packed it up with the doonas and took the lot.   And that back room, well that is now my craft room, with a new sewing cabinet! My birthday present and reward  🙂


About Guest Blogger

I am a wife, mother and teacher. I work part time and study part time too. I am about to begin a PhD and my blog centres around organising my home and life using ICT resources in a ‘financially neutral’ way, oh, and using less paper!

Find our guest: Blog


This post was written by a guest contributor. If you are interested in ‘being my guest’ please visit Be my Guest page for more details.

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Shae August 7, 2011 - 1:05 AM

What a lovely post. So motivating I love the reward idea. Well deserved!

Jas August 7, 2011 - 6:33 AM

i am loving this site Katrina……getting me so motivated with my decluttering and organising….i have a hallway closet to get to soon too…thanks for your tips Fiona. Where did you find the suitcase storage containers? love them!!!!

T T August 8, 2011 - 6:28 AM

I love plastic containers just need a better way of labeling them so I can find what I’m stacked and packed away. Great job.

astonmel August 11, 2011 - 4:25 AM

Oh how I miss my big hall cupboard! I must admit, it is a breeding ground for hoarding, but properly arranged… it looks great, good job! I now have just one linen/hall/everything that doesn’t have a home cupboard. 🙁

Maria Rider February 6, 2012 - 7:09 AM

have just read this post,lucky for me i have a head cold and can now catch up on all the blogs you miss having 5 kids! Im more than a little envious about the storage let me tell you! i have a 5 bedroom home with NO storage,its ridiculous! any how ie decided to sort the christmas decs and would love to know where you have purchased the suitcase storage containers from ? thanks in advance!

Maggie March 13, 2012 - 4:06 PM

Wow, love the pictures. You’ve come a long way! keep up the good work I will be watching your progress.

Katrina March 13, 2012 - 8:20 PM

It looks fantastic, she did a wonderful job!

Judy March 1, 2016 - 1:58 PM

Katrina, great job. I noticed a pile of phone books on the shelf. Using the internet to look up telephone numbers, there really is no need for them.The recycling bin for those guys.

Katrina - The Organised Housewife March 2, 2016 - 7:12 AM

Hi Judy, this is Fiona’s hall cupboard, she was kind enough to share the process with us. But I do agree, I don’t use phone books either these days, so much easier to google the numbers.


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