Before and After view of the Manhattan Mini Storage Flashbacks Give Back home organization prize winner's entryway.

Last year customers and fans of Manhattan Mini Storage helped us support NYC by selecting their favorite ad from our archive in our Flashbacks Give Back sweepstakes. In return we gave a cash donation to 5 non-profits that matched each ad’s theme. One lucky voter, professional makeup artist Jessica Ross, also won $2,500 and a free virtual home organization from Horderly. Jess sent us this update about how her space has transformed since she’s claimed her prize.

Winning the Manhattan Mini Storage home organization sweepstakes is definitely the coolest thing that happened to me the whole whack-a-doodle year that was 2020.

Paola, from Horderly, is a home organizational whiz with an eagle eye. In the first two minutes of talking to her, she looked at the pile of crap that was my health and wellness area and immediately spotted via Zoom an unopened package, and suspected correctly that its contents would never get used.  From there we made a plan to put like with like, figure out what can go into storage, and to purge the unnecessary.  

First on my agenda was to remove from the closet all the old laptops and a wedding frame that if it hadn’t been used in ten years of marriage, probably won’t get used now.  (I say remove from closet and not get rid of because in reality these things have not made it past the “to go” box in my living room.)  I couldn’t believe how much prime closet real estate this opened up.  This allowed me to get a few extra things around the house out of site thereby opening up those areas.  Found some medicine balls at the bottom of the closet I had totally forgotten about and moved them to health and wellness so maybe I’ll actually use them.  Here are the hilarious before pics of the closet:

Before view of the Manhattan Mini Storage Flashbacks Give Back home organization prize winner's hall closet.
Close up before view of the Manhattan Mini Storage Flashbacks Give Back home organization prize winner's hall closet.

I put the wardrobe bar back in the closet and hung some of the bags with bungies and carabiners.  Not as pretty as the hooks Paola has suggested, but crazy functional and already in the house.  The bags I don’t use as often went into one duffel.  Now I can get stuff from underneath without an avalanche.  Each item in the closet can be gotten out without disturbing anything else.  Except for the guitar amp way at the bottom.  But that doesn’t actually come out.  My husband just likes knowing he owns one.  Now I don’t have to hold everything back with my foot while slamming the door real quick.

After view of the Manhattan Mini Storage Flashbacks Give Back home organization prize winner's hall closet neatly organized and accessible.

 Here is health and wellness before, taking up way more space than it should.  Not a lot of namaste going on around here:

Before view of the Manhattan Mini Storage Flashbacks Give Back home organization prize winner's health and wellness items.

Here is the new room view of health and wellness.  I had been using a wine box in my closet as a shelf but it wasn’t buying me any room, so I took it out and used it to help organize the health table. I moved the health table over a bit and hid it behind a chair.  I can’t believe what a huge difference it made moving it over two feet.

After view of the Manhattan Mini Storage Flashbacks Give Back home organization prize winner's health and wellness items.

Top view.  As I organized the house and put like with like , the amount of things in this area grew, but I made it more compact.  I was able to hide the mats under the table.  The Bosu is peeking out a bit though:

Close up aerial view of the Manhattan Mini Storage Flashbacks Give Back home organization prize winner's health and wellness items neatly arranged and hidden from view.

Here’s a cluster-f*%k of clothing:

Before view of the Manhattan Mini Storage Flashbacks Give Back home organization prize winner's messy clothes on a shelf in their closet.

Now I have baskets!  In the process I found a few shirts I had been looking for like forever that were wedged in the back.  Only two of the Elfa drawers fit across, so I got a skinnier one from Target to fit in between.  Now I can see everything at once.  It’s awesome.  I don’t exactly have the patience for the filefold.  I call my version the realistic roll:

Close up after view of the Manhattan Mini Storage Flashbacks Give Back home organization prize winner's clothes in baskets on a shelf in her closet.

While I was on this hyperactive roll, I went lazy susan crazy in the kitchen.  I’m 5’3” so now I can see what’s in the back of the top shelf.  I didn’t think to take a before pic so just imagine all these things not on lazy susans.  Here’s the cabinet from my point of view.   As you can see from the stickers I am learning Hebrew.

After view of the Manhattan Mini Storage Flashbacks Give Back home organization prize winner's spice cabinet, using a turntable to help make items accessible.

And the award for most improved area of the house goes to my entryway which was a $h*t-show of bags, broken umbrellas, and things I had been meaning to get rid of.

Before view of the Manhattan Mini Storage Flashbacks Give Back home organization prize winner's entryway with bags and umbrellas.

Found some drawers on Amazon that look good from far away and dressed them up with one of my Gramma’s old scarves that she had given me soon before she passed. Since I’m not a big ascot wearer I thought this would be a nice way to see it all the time.

After view of the Manhattan Mini Storage Flashbacks Give Back home organization prize winner's entryway with neatly stored bags and umbrellas.

So thanks for the swift kick in the tuchus to make me do what I had been wanting to do.   The apartment is still a work in progress.  Stay tuned….

Jess