Plans for Weekend Organizing

Good Morning,

It is a wonder that I am posting this morning as I have a pulled muscle in my neck.  I’m learning not to make sudden movements to one side buuut, it’s still annoying.  How did I do it? I stood in the subway holding my bag awkwardly in the crowd.  So essentially doing nothing. Ahhhh, you know your body is aging when…

But enough of my whining, as we approach the last long weekend of the summer (sniff, sniff), I am gearing up for some organizing.  Maybe it’s that whole back-to-school mentality from when I was a kid, but September just makes me want to get my shizzz together. Which is why this post is part of my series…

tag line copy The first task up? Sorting the clothes in my closet.  As you may recall, last fall/winter I organized my closet so I’m not actually changing the closet itself, but really going through my clothes and determine what I actually wear, what I need, and what actually goes with what. I wear dresses 98% of the time because choosing separates that I like and that go together is daunting for me. If I’m choosing separates by the time I decide, my room and I look like this (minus the cigarette)….

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If any of you have read the September Instyle mag from this month you will have seen that in addition to it having 716 pages of great fall fashion, it has a whole section called “conquer your closet” which gives you step by step instructions on how to do it. What I also learned is that, not shockingly, there are apps for that!  They provide 2 apps and 2 websites where you can document what you have, make shopping lists, etc. I haven’t decided which one I’m going to use, but I’m excited.

Do you have any rules about what you keep or get rid of from your closet after each season?

XO,

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Finding Method in the Madness: Storage Closet Reveal

Good Morning:

This morning I’m back with my organizing series…

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…to reveal the reorganization of my storage closet! Not to be confused with renovating my storage closet (i.e. making it prettier).  This project was meant to be done without spending a lot of money.  I mean, let’s be honest I can find ALOT of things in my place to spend money on, and a storage closet isn’t first on my list. So, I tried my best to use things I already had first and buy only a few things.

The storage closet is 10′ long and almost 10′ tall at it’s highest point.  However, it’s less than 3′ wide and is under the stairs so the ceiling slopes down to the back.  My biggest complaint is that to get ANYTHING out from the back, I had to take out half of the closet contents to access it. The big goal was to be able to walk into the closet.

The before is a 3-layer picture series. The first picture shows the first layer with the rod of hanging clothing and some other stuff…

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA This next photo was taken behind the first layer of clothing, only to find another rack of clothing and some random wreaths…

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA And when you peer past the second rack of clothing (you can no longer walk past this point), you find this…

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Seriously, sometimes when I went in there I felt like I was going to come out in Narnia at the other end.

So, first step was to empty the closet. This gives you a sense of the size.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA And this is what my kitchen and living room looked like when it was emptied.

Stuff copy Apparently, I have a boatload of stuff. A bit of purge happened before I put it all back, but a lot of it stayed.

And in the end it looks like this….

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA Yes, that is FLOOR you see.  I can walk almost to the very back, AND I only have to move a couple of things to get at the items stored back there!

I added some shelving (the only thing I spent money on).  For the one on the right (below) I only purchased the brackets as I already had the shelf itself. And the narrow ones on the left are perfect for small items that used to be housed on the shelving unit in my living room.

New shelves By putting the wreaths near the back on the wall I avoid being poked in the eye by boughs every time I go in.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA And I added some shelving at the back so I could stack stuff, but still be able to get the lower items out without moving as much around on top. OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA But you may be thinking, where did all the clothes go?  Well, some got purged…but the others made their way UP….

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA I moved the rod lengthwise and put it up over head, so that I’m not obstructed by clothes when I walk into the closet. Most of the items are seasonal and I rarely need to get them down, so having to get a step stool to do it isn’t so bad. Plus, I am now using previously wasted space!

And for things I use for more often, I still have a small hanging rack on the wall, and I also have storage for handbags on the back of the door.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA I have to say it was a good feeling to get this space in order and make it more usable. I’m pretty happy with the result.

Have you tackled any re-organizing projects as part of your spring cleaning?

XO,

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Finding Method in the Madness: Seed Storage

Good Morning!

It’s been awhile but I’m back with another installment of…

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I have started my seeds for for garden for this year and now my remaining seeds are a big mess of partly ripped dog-eared seed packages….see exhibit A below:

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I decided that this year I will try to get them better organized before I put them away for next year.  So, l looked into some easy ideas for containing and organizing your seeds with things I might already have around the house.  Here are a few I came across:

I LOVE this one! Although I rarely buy tictacs….but maybe I should start?

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This idea is a very good candidate as I already have a few pill containers around.

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…or maybe I could use this kind of pill container with some pretty labels to cover over the days?

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I also found a tutorial here on D&G garden and craft on how to make new packages using pages from gardening magazines.

Also, if you don’t think you are going to use all your leftover seeds next year, I found a great DIY for seed tape at Home Made Simple . You can add them to cards or gifts, and they would make great shower gifts for the guests or wedding bonbonieres.

I’ll let you know which one I end of up using!

XO,

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Finding Method in the Madness: Closet Reveal

Good Morning,

Today I’m sharing my closet reveal in the latest edition of…

If you recall from my last post in the series, this was my closet before…

And here it is now….

Ahh better, much better. I removed the shelf that was originally at the top of the closet.  It was too high to be useful. I added a small closet organization unit from Home Depot and some shoe racks, and that was it.  Here are some more pictures…

I know this probably looks like most of your closets on a normal day, so it might not look urber organized to you but it is a vast improvement for me.  Nothing fancy or particularly pretty about what I did here but much tidier and that is a big relief for me!

What did I learn in this exercise?

1) My closet is small.  Most organization units wouldn’t fit in this tiny closet.

2) I have too much stuff. A purge is in order for the new year.

3) I need to see what clothes I have or I don’t wear them.  After organizing the closet, I’m wearing stuff I forgot I had because I’m seeing it when I get dressed in the morning!

I’ll be taking a break on the organizing front until the new year, December is a busy month. But I’ll be trying to find Method in my Madness again after the holidays!

XO,

Finding Method in the Madness – Desk Reveal

Hello!

I meant to get this posted yesterday but I my parents arrived on Wednesday evening and I didn’t get a chance to finish it up.  Did I mention my parents were coming for a visit?  Well they are here, and it’s been a fun couple of days already.  Yesterday, my Mom and I went to a taping of the Marilyn Denis Show.  It was their fashion show and it was great.  And we got $250 worth of great stuff as giveaways! Amazing. Anyhoo, more on our visit next week but for now, I’m getting back to my organizing series….

…and my desk reveal!  Remember my original post about my desk? Well, I know the reveal has been a long time coming, and it’s actually been completed for awhile but actually posting it has been slow process. Since it has been sooo long, here is a reminder of the “before”….

And this is it now! (OK, I admit,  RIGHT now it doesn’t look like this, but close)…

The chair was a curbside find that I reupholstered (quite a while ago).  Because I’m renting the the desk and shelf were here when I moved in, instead of painting them, I used white stick-on drawer liner and covered the brown. The curtain and little pot lights are IKEA.

Here are more before shots…..

And more afters….

I added a little bit of art by framing some cool retro images from a old calendar which I bought at one of a kind a few years ago (I can’t remember the name of the place…) in basic IKEA frames.  My pencil cups are vintage jadeite salt and pepper shakers I bought at an antique store.  And I added the rod to hang fabric swatches and hold ribbon….but could be used to hang anything really.

A magnetic whiteboard to show pictures and keepsakes.

And my pretty new Russel & Hazel card holder.  Love that I have somewhere to keep all the lovely cards I get…

And I love this idea I found on pinterest…if you have cords that keep falling behind your desk when you unplug them, rather than buying some fancy cord holder, use a bulldog clip to keep them from doing so…working well so far!

And I bought some organizing bins from Solutions for my drawers.  I think they look much better….

And under my desk I added some plain shelves to help store my printer, shredder, and some of my papers.

And on my whiteboard, I kepp two little saying that I think we all should remind ourselves of everyday.  One is more poetic, one is more to the point and I’m sure you can figure out which is which.

And that is that!  I’m trying my best to keep it as organized as it was when I took the photos and so far I’m not doing too bad.  But it’s definitely more please to sit there now.

Next up, my closet. I am swallowing my pride by posting this before picture, so please don’t judge too harshly….

barf.

Any suggestions for reasonably priced closet organizers?  Clearly I need one.

Have a great day!

XO,

Finding Method in the Madness + Travel News

Good Morning Lovelies,

I have some FUN news…last night I booked tickets to….

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…oh and did I mention that I leave on Tuesday?? Um, 5 days from now.  There are very few perks to being single with no kids at a certain age (um, have you seen my tweets about #onlinedating??), but the ability to take a fun trip with very little forethought is one of them.  Soooo excited just thinking about it (also, every time I DO think about it Tupac’s “California ” enters my head and I can’t get it out.) I have friends who live in LA who have been kind enough to put me up for a few days while I’m there. And then a little road trip to San Francisco & maybe Napa, if I have the time. I hope to do some of this….

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And some of this….

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I’m a terrible surfer, only tried once before, but I’m going to try again while I’m there.  And really, I just want to see as much of the beautiful California Coast as I can.  Fun ahead.  Fo shizzel.

Also, I’ve been reading up….blogs that is.  Checking out the Design Sponge LA Design Guide & San Fran City Guide, the SF Favorites from V Mac and Cheese,the Los Angeles Mini Guide from A Cup of Jo, and Emily Henderson’s Where I’m Shopping for places to eat and peruse while I’m in LA and San Fran.

But, you ask, how does this relate to today’s…

Travel planning/organizing, that’s how! Today I’m focusing on organized packing.

I’m an overpacker. I always focus on individual pieces rather than figuring out how I can efficiently make good outfits out of less stuff.  (P.S. I have the same problem with regular shopping – great pieces, few complete outfits) But I found this great resource for packing from A Pair and a Spare

I think I like this because it is visual, and because breaks it down into categories.  Also, I hope it will help me stick to the basics. I mean I need to have room to bring all my design finds back right?

I also found a couple of good packing checklists here and here.  There are also a few good (tho some a bit extreme) tips on packing smart and light here. One great tip in this article? If you are traveling with your partner or close friend, pack 1 full outfit in each others bag.  That way if only one person’s luggage gets lost, the other will always have a change of clothes! Great idea. Doesn’t help me specifically, but so smart!

Do you have any tips for more organized packing?  Or travel in general?

Also, if you have any recommendations for LA and San Francisco, I would loooooove to hear them.

XO,

Finding Method in the Madness – Desk Update ‘n Stuff

Good Morning Lovelies…

We interrupt the regularly scheduled programming for another installment of…

Who am I kidding? I don’t really have “regularly scheduled programming”.  If I was organized enough to have that, I likely wouldn’t be running this series about trying to re-organize my life.

Firstly, I have made some progress on my desk re-org.  There still are some pieces to pull together and some items to sort through, but it’s coming.  Here is a little sneak peek….

One thing that needs organizing are my business cards, between the Blogpodium events and last winters trip to Alt Summit, I have a huge number of business cards. And so many of them are beeeeeeutiful that I don’t want them sitting in a drawer collecting dust. So, I started searching for a card organizer – a pretty rolodex, if you will. Who knew this would be one of the hardest tasks for this desk re-org?

Most of the ones I found looked like this…

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This one from See Jane Work is lovely and simple but discontinued and no longer available.

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Oh….and this pretty find from Pottery Barn…um, ALSO discontinued.

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But it wasn’t ALL bad news….

I found this nice one from Lovely Design… it doesn’t quite go with my new desk “look”, but it gave me hope.

There is this super fun pink Rolodex.  But again, doesn’t quite “go”- it’s a tad  industrial looking.

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And then the clouds parted, and I found this one, THE ONE…from Russell + Hazel.

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Simple, functional and goes with my new desktop decor.  Love it.  Ordered it.

Do you have any creative ways to organize your business cards?

Have a lovely day!

XO,

A New Series: Finding Method in the Madness

Buenos Dias Amigos!

Have you ever noticed that it’s when you  are so busy you can’t see straight that you notice disorganization in your life? When you are busy and something isn’t where it should be or you’ve lost something, it’s a bajillion times more frustrating. Well, that’s how it is for me anyway. And with my insane last 2 weeks of my busy day job, my upholstery client projects, and the Upcycle Challenge, I became acutely aware of everything that was disorganized in my life.  I am a strange anomaly of someone who is not naturally organized but wants organization around them. I crave it even…but don’t practice it.  In my recent busy-ness I promised that as soon as I had some time I would start to get organized.

So, I’m starting a series. It’s called

I’m going to share with you my attempts at organizing parts of my life, for starters,  my space.  I am swallow my pride and will be sharing some disturbing accounts of my disorganization.  I’m ok with self-deprecation! And I think if I put it out there I’m more likely to fix it.  I will not be providing the advice in this series, as I clearly don’t know my ass from my elbow when it comes to this stuff.  But will be relying on others (like bloggers, organization websites, etc.) to help me (and maybe you)!

The first project is my office cubby.  There are lots of things wrong with it but a crazy amount of paper and terrible storage are the big ones….here it is over a year ago….

I’ve since done some work to it and the desk and shelf are now white.  I’ve added a small drawer unit underneath for storage but it’s still a mess….check out the madness….gulp…

So there you have it.  In all it’s embarrassing chaos.

But the good news is I’m going to make it better. I’ve already started. I will keep you updated on the progress and hopefully have others to share some tips along the way.  My closet will be next.  Also a doosey.

If you have some organizing tips to share and would like to be a guest in this series, let me know! I clearly need all the help I can get.

XO,