Archives For organizing

Kitchen Photographs

October 23, 2013 — 2 Comments

This is my kitchen as of September 2013, enjoy!
Little House Design: Kitchen with black walls and cork floors Little House Design: Kitchen with black walls and cork floors Little House Design: Kitchen with black walls and cork floors Little House Design: Kitchen with black walls and cork floors Little House Design: Kitchen with black walls and cork floors Little House Design: Kitchen with black walls and cork floors Little House Design: Kitchen with black walls and cork floors Little House Design: Kitchen with black walls and cork floors Little House Design: Kitchen with black walls and cork floors Little House Design: Kitchen with black walls and cork floors Little House Design: Kitchen with black walls and cork floors Little House Design: Kitchen with black walls and cork floors Little House Design: Kitchen with black walls and cork floors Little House Design: Kitchen with black walls and cork floors Little House Design: Kitchen with black walls and cork floors Little House Design: Kitchen with black walls and cork floors Little House Design: Kitchen with black walls and cork floors Little House Design: Kitchen with black walls and cork floors

All photos are courtesy of Ashley a. Photography, thanks Ashley!

Living Room Photographs

October 22, 2013 — 5 Comments

This is my living room as of September 2013, enjoy!

Little House Design: Eclectic, vintage style living room Little House Design: Eclectic, vintage style living room Little House Design: Eclectic, vintage style living room Little House Design: Eclectic, vintage style living room Little House Design: Eclectic, vintage style living room Little House Design: Eclectic, vintage style living room Little House Design: Eclectic, vintage style living room Little House Design: Eclectic, vintage style living room Little House Design: Eclectic, vintage style living room Little House Design: Eclectic, vintage style living room Little House Design: Eclectic, vintage style living room Little House Design: Eclectic, vintage style living room

All photos are courtesy of Ashley a. Photography, thanks Ashley!

I have a lot of stuff. I’m no hoarder or anything but I have significantly more than I need (I mean, don’t we all?). The problem isn’t that I can’t get rid of stuff (I’m an excellent purger of things), but instead that I just don’t want to get rid of my things. I have really great things. As a compromise (with myself; is that weird?), I decided I could keep all the things I love as long as they extra stuff fits in a small box in my closet. Yes, I have to rotate my toys decorative items out like a child.

This is embarrassing, but here is my secret stash:

It’s not pretty but on the other side of the wrapping paper is a box full of frames, decorative objects, and other miscellaneous items that I love but don’t have space for it right now.

Recently, I noticed that the shelf above my sink and the open shelving above my stove were getting a little cluttered. All my pretty things were getting a little out of hand so I did a little restyling and streamlining.

BEFORE
AFTER
 BEFORE
 AFTER

Most of this stuff just got shuffled, but if you ever see something where before there was something else, you can pretty much guarantee it is from my secret toy box.

Little known fact, in 2008 when I first heard of Etsy’s existence I opened a shop and sold greeting cards. I know, super random right? It didn’t last long, but I still have like 30 greeting cards that I made and haven’t used. In fact, I have a whole drawer full of greeting cards that I rarely send. So wasteful right? Well, what can you do? The road to wherever is paved with good intentions (or something like that).

I love my little dresser turned nightstand (my semi-failed DIY of it here and here), especially because it has extra storage for the random things I own.

The bottom drawer holds my eclectic stash of greeting cards, a mix of ones I made myself and ones that were purchased.

Do you want to know the most interesting thing about greeting cards? They are completely useless unless sent. Yeah, I know, bummer. But the nice thing is that we live in a world where there are lots of options when you forget your sister’s birthday or your cousin’s graduation.

Take for example The Greeting Card Shop (check out their ad on the top right!), not only can you buy a card, electronically write a message in it, but they will send it directly to the recipient for only the cost of a stamp. Pretty slick right? Obviously, a homemade or hand written card is more personal, but any card is better than no card when your friend three states away has a baby.

Meanwhile, I’m just over here glad I have a little dresser to hold all of my good intentions.

*Full disclosure, this post is sponsored but be cool, I’m my own person. I do and say what I want.

I have stuff. More stuff than a 27 year old should. Moving into my own house greatly increased my amount of possessions, but that isn’t really the stuff I’m talking about. I’m talking about stuff that I don’t use like my two sewing machines and my collection of porcelain dolls from when I was a kid. Yeah, no adult needs 12 porcelain dolls.

As I mentioned in the post ‘I Have One Too Many Rooms of My Own’, I have a second bedroom that I don’t need or use. At one point I created a mood board for the room to be used as a guest room/office, but even as I was making that I was thinking “I will never use this room.” So it’s just been gathering junk for a year, that is until this weekend. There is no room reveal today but hopefully by the end of the week I’ll be able to show you what I did with it and what/who it will be used for (I know your minds are reeling at all the possibilites). Here are some reminder ‘before’ shots. My goal was to go through all of this stuff and either get rid of it or find alternative storage for it.

(Bob loved climbing into the empty half closet.)

So this weekend I cleared out what was essentially functioning as my own personal in-house storage unit. So here is how I decided where all my crap would go.

Step 1: Determine where my main storage areas are. This is a good first step because it helps you know how much you can physically and reasonably store. For this house, my storage spaces are the basement (I have a half-basement that isn’t finished but is perfect for storing bins of crap), hall closet (this house has a deep hall closet which is perfect for storing things I need to access regularly), and my bedroom closet (it’s huge for such an old house and I don’t have that many clothes so there is plenty of extra space in there).

Step 2: Go through what you have and determine the following:
A) are you going to keep it
B) throw it away
C) donate it
D) return it to who it belongs to

Step 3: Do steps B, C, or D. I keep a trash bag with me when I’m going through stuff so that I can throw it away right then. I also make a pile for donating and then immediately take it to my car. I am far more likely to donate it if it’s already in my car (and I actually did go donate my stuff this weekend because I needed to pick something up so it forced me to clear out my donate pile). Same thing with stuff that needs to be returned to others. Keep it in your car and return it as you see people.

Step 4: Hopefully, your ‘keep’ pile isn’t an overwhelming amount of stuff. If you are having problems getting through a pile take a break or revisit your ‘keep’ pile another day. Sometimes it takes a day to resign yourself to the fact that you don’t really need to keep that book report you wrote in 4th grade (even though it’s on Amelia Earhart and she’s awesome). Next step is to further categorize the pile. New categories:
A) Need to access it semi-regularly (party supplies, extra blankets)
B) Annual access (holiday stuff, seasonal clothing)
C) Rare usage (large luggage, camping supplies)
D) I will never need it but I can’t get rid of it (memorabilia, childhood stuff).

Step 5: Determine where in your house these things function best. For me I store all B, C, and D category stuff in my basement. This includes holiday decorations, large luggage, and several tubs of childhood collections/memorabilia.

(If this looks like a serial killer’s lair than you are correct, I mean seriously basements are gross no matter how much you dress them up.)

My ‘A’ category stuff is where it gets tricky. Anyone can stuff crap in a tub, dump it in the basement, and call it a day, but it’s organizing the stuff you need to get to regularly that is trickier.

Since I have a large hall closet I use it to store not only bathroom products but also for items I need to store. The top shelf holds extra blankets and sheets, the middle shelves are normal things like towels, bath products, cleaning supplies, and the very bottom is where I keep my tools and other stuff needed for house projects. Since the bottom and top shelves aren’t as easy to access they are perfect for longer term storage.
Probably the first thing you will notice about these pictures is that they aren’t “pretty.” I didn’t try and style my closet because it’s a closet and I’m more focused on the rest of my house looking good. My theory on storage is that is should be functional first and pretty second. I’m not to the second step yet and I’m okay with that. The storage up above is seasonal clothes and other random stuff that I seem to need occasionally and down below is gift wrapping stuff and a box of home decorations that I rotate year round. It works for me. Any of this stuff can be taken to the basement if I ever need more room in my closet but for now it doesn’t bother me to have it loaded in there.

Often one project leads to another so for me I ended up not only cleaning out the second bedroom but I cleaned the basement, hall closet, and master closet in order to store more stuff there. But now everything is relatively clean and organized so it was worth it.

Is my method insane to you? Everyone seems to have their own method and that’s the way it should be I suppose. Whatever gets it done.

I’m exhausted just reading about all that I did haha. Thanks go to Kim for suggesting this post!

Organizing for Lazy People

December 11, 2012 — 2 Comments
I apologize for my blog being down the past few days… Trust me I was working hard to get it back online! Thanks for coming back!
I have this credenza in my dining room that serves as a sort of faux-buffet. If I had a lot of serveware or party supplies I would put them in there but I don’t, so I use it for craft stuff. It looks decent on the outside (especially for something I got at IKEA’s clearance section for $40).
But it was not so nice on the inside.
My Mission: To organize it enough that stuff doesn’t fall out every time I open the doors. Nothing more, nothing less.

Let me be clear, I’m not trying to attempt this:

Because let’s be honest that looks like it took a lot of work and money.

So, here are my personal steps for organizing stuff to make it look less bad:

1) Take it all out: That’s right, empty that sucker out. Don’t try shuffling things around because it won’t work you have to start with a blank slate.

2) Put like with like. Separate everything into piles. For this project my piles were: fabric, stickers, ribbon, paint, and I also had one pile which I English-ly called ‘bits and bobs’ because you are going to have a pile of random stuff that just doesn’t fit in a pile.
3) Once everything is in a pile you can decide what containers will fit what stuff. Be creative! You don’t have to go out and buy matching storage containers. Here are some of the uncommon things I used to help me get organized:
Zippered mattress pouch

Shoe boxes

This used to hold bullion cubes, but you could use any of the food tubs that you are done using. Think parmesan cheese, margarine, or spices. They all come in nice plastic (or even glass) containers that after you take the sticker off and wash the container they are perfectly reusable.

4) Label it, but don’t feel like it has to be fancy. I have this funny old Label Buddy from about 10 years ago (yes, I was the 17 year old that asked for a label maker). It does these little punched labels that are silly, but they serve their purpose. The white label stickers you can print or write on work just as well.

That’s it! You gotta love the fast version of organizing  The long version involves deciding whether you need to keep all this crap but for this project my mission was simple.
Not a major improvement but when you set your goal low it’s easy to be happy with the outcome!

Books, Books Everywhere!

August 22, 2012 — 10 Comments

I love to read. When I was a kid my punishment for doing anything wrong was getting my book taken away. This love for reading has only grown with age… and by default so has my book collection. I’ve used libraries since I was a kid, but I have also purchased a lot of books (new and used). When I was 13 I asked for bookshelves. I was so happy when I got huge dark wood bookshelves.

That is them in the background of this picture. They were built in my childhood room at my parent’s house and they are too big to fit through the doorway so unfortunately I haven’t been able to move them to any of my other homes. For the past few years I have used really crappy bookcases from all sorts of places like Target, Walmart, and free ones from relatives. Inevitably they break and I am left without shelves again. In my current home I have one bookcase.

This black bookcase is from the ‘As Is’ section at IKEA and was only $120. The shelf next to it also from ‘As Is’ and only cost $30. It won’t stay there forever, it is more of a place holder until I get more bookshelves. I love the black bookcase because it has glass doors. In the past all my bookcases have been open, as in no doors, meaning they were a big ol’ dust party. I hate dust. Hate. It. So this glassed in bookcase is blowing my mind because there is no dust anywhere near the books. It’s amazing. But as much as I love the glassed in bookcase this particular book case is too small for that wall and too dark in that room. I’ll probably move it sometime in the future, but for now it is my only bookcase and it’ll just have to do. I also have three large plastic bins in my second bedroom that are full of books and have yet to be unpacked. The take home lesson: I need more bookshelves.

This is my dream bookcase. I mean, how beautiful is that? It is a Billy bookcase from IKEA. This particular combination (it is 6.5′ wide x 7.5′ tall) is $564.97. I am saving my pennies so that this pretty baby can make it’s way to my dining room wall that needs so much love.

My dining room is insanely big. Okay ‘insanely’ might be extreme, but for the size of my house it is oddly large. My whole house is only 994 square feet so a roughly 260 square foot dining room is pretty big. I have a 6.5′ dining table and a small side bar but otherwise the room is completely empty. It has been my plan all along to add a bookshelf along the west wall. I could have bought several different ‘good enough’ bookcase but no more of those for me… I’m waiting for the real deal. So while I wait I will dream in books with you. Here is some eye candy and my tips for controlling and displaying books in your home. 1) Go big or go home.

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(Source) If you love books and you have a lot of them, flaunt them. Make a big, bold statement. Showcase them as art. Color coordinating them is a fun and easy way to make your books really stand out. 2) Pare down your books. Be ruthless. Will you read it again? Does it look good? Do you really need it? I sell the books I no longer want to Half Price Books. I want to live in this next picture.

(Source) But this probably will never happen so I have to be realistic. For me that means that I don’t need to keep #1-357 of The Babysitter’s Club books even though they were my favorite. What I should keep are books that I love and re-read and books that look good.

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(Source) Though very different these two pictures are great examples of perfectly styled bookshelves. A few beautiful books and a couple of well placed objects will help you forget all about the ugly and unused books you sacrificed. 3) Consider going the unconventional route.

(Source) Go vertical, in a corner, on diagonal shelves and BOOM. You just blew everybody’s mind.

(Source) I love these deep heavy duty shelves lined all the way up a wall. Because they are floating off the floor they become an architectural element in the room.

(Source) Incorporate books into unexpected places like this coffee table.

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(Source) These last two items are so cool. They are like shelves made of books. It’s like a pun on your wall! —————————————————————————————-Books are such a big part of who I am that I want them to be a part of my home as well. And as someone famous and dramatic (it was Cicero) once said, “A home without books is a body without soul.” So you should get some books in your house stat, oh and try and make them look good too.