Tag Archives: organizaton

Papercrafting Station

Papercrafting Station

I decided to turn my secretary into a papercrafting station.

secretary IMG_1490

The top section used to look like this filled with various tchotchkes

 

secretary before IMG_1252

while the drawers were filled with random miscellaneous stuff.

secretary drawers before

 

So I emptied everything out

secretary IMG_1261

and replaced the fabric backing with a colorful paper background. I added back the things I like to look at or inspire me.

secretary IMG_1360

 

Like a reminder to “DREAM” big

 

secretary IMG_1429

and “SHOOT FOR THE MOON”.

secretary IMG_1446

A couple of angel ornaments that are never put away

angel ornaments IMG_1426

 

and very important reminders of my triumphs too.

 

secretary IMG_1453

What’s left of a childhood tea set

tea set

and various stamps throughout.

 

secretary IMG_1433

I’m so happy most everything I need is now in one place,

secretary IMG_1441

a place for everything and everything in it’s place.

 

secretary table top

I’m ready to create!

 

This piece has come a long way since it’s painted  beginnings:). Sometimes I get the urge to paint it again and then I remember all the hours I spent stripping it and wimp ou every time. Who knows, never say never.

 

secretary before

 

Sharing this post with

Miss Mustard Seed: Furniture Feature Friday

If I Had a Craft Room?

If I Had a Craft Room?

Are you a Pinterest lover like me? It’s visual presence always takes my breath away. I can get lost in Pinterest land and I never know where I’m going to end up. Here’s my most repinned pin so far.


Can you tell that crafty wall storage is made from a crib rail? Perhaps, like me, it’s repurposed appeal mixed with craft organization makes it a winner. Creative upcycling is a beautiful thing, don’t you think? I like this organized craft space as well. It has a light and airy feel.

DIY and Craft orgainization

 

Craft organization is a big deal to me. I want to be able to grab what I need without pause; otherwise my creative productivity suffers. If I had a craft room, I’d probably never want to leave. A dedicated craft room would be my ultimate dream; however, for right now, it’s just not in the cards. But that’s okay; it just requires me to be even more creative in order to find solution that will work and fit in my home. For now, I am collecting ideas on Pinterest that’s perfect for tight spaces while I reduce my craft stash before making any changes to my existing craft storage.

craft closet - organization in a small space.  love.

Creative spaces always wow me because they are all so beautiful and unique. How’s your creative space? Is your creative space all put together or a work in progress?

The Meaningful Memories of Our Lives

The Meaningful Memories of Our Lives

In my continued quest to scrutinize all my home’s belongings, it is now time to deal with the ephemera of or lives.

ephemera IMG_0332

This, by far, will be the toughest challenge. I have saved a lot of snippets from my children’s lives and have my own memory boxes filled with the remnants of my life too. Letters (who gets those anymore), programs, cards and …….. There’s a lot and way too much to continue storing.

organized ephemera watermarked

The good thing is it is it’s all organized and much of it is labelled or in folders and archival boxes. And then there are the photos.

ephemera memory boxes and photos IMG_0365

Trust me, that’s not all of them, there’s more. I attempted a few albums here and there. however, the majority are in photo boxes rarely viewed. That doesn’t serve me or my family. I can do better.

So I’ve decided to reevaluate, purge, reorganize, digitize and assemble these meaningful remnants of our lives in a way that can be appreciated. I want to create containable stories of our lives that we can peruse instead of having to pull them from boxes in a closet to reminisce.  And so I have been perusing the internet looking for ideas and advice. I encountered this divide between those that save everything and those that save very little or nothing.

Aside from report cards and awards, I plan to ask my children what they value and evokes meaningful memories. And I’m sure this report on Mesopotamia won’t make the cut..

ephemera framed archival boxes IMG_0368

I want it to be about them and for them. And if they don’t want to be bothered in the decision making  then I will have to rely on my own discretion. Hopefully,  a memory box, a binder and a photo album should suffice. The rest will be digitized and only a click away from their viewing pleasure if they would like  to take an all inclusive trip down memory lane. art page I get paralyzed by the artwork, though. I just love these chalk prints. Their masterpieces in my mind. I know, I know,  it’s not about me, it’s about them.

art page evan

 

 

I titled this one “boy floating in water”. I framed and hung it up on No 2 Son’s bedroom wall.

 

 

 

He painted it some time ago and has since taken it down and replaced it with this one. That’s a tell tale sign of what’s important, wouldn’t you say?

 

 

 

And it has gone beyond my children and extended it to my nephews and their basketball careers.

ephemera nephews IMG_0371

My sister’s youngest is currently playing for the Boston Celtics.

And then there’s the sand art No. 1 son and I did together.  He was both Batman and Robin for Halloween. Hmmm, the creative wheels just started turning!  These might be  a nice added touch to a scrapbook page!

ephemera sand art  IMG_0415

Once framed and hung, I recently discovered.a poster from elementary school in the recesses of a closet. That handsome guy with the missing teeth is now  23 years old.

ephemera poster  IMG_0339

It’s going to be hard to let go of some things, but it’s time and very necessary. I know it  will be in our best interest  to downsize our family’s memories into treasured keepsakes, manageable and in plane view, for our everyday enjoyment.

Okay so now it’s your turn!  Can you relate to any of this? Do you have a tough time letting go of life’s remnants and ephemera of yesteryear? What are your secrets for both enjoying and containing the memories? Please leave a comment below, I would love to know your thoughts.

 

 

Sharing this post with:

Between Naps on the Porch:Metamorphosis Monday

My Home is Almost Cured!

My Home is Almost Cured!

I haven’t been online too much because I am trying to keep up with my assignments for the Apartment Therapy January Cure; I started it at the same time I vowed to explore minimalism; actually both work hand in hand beautifully and shoving things in a drawer or closet is no longer an option.

So this past weekend, the assignment was to deep clean the living room. It wasn’t too difficult because my living room was already in a good place. To be true to the assignment,however, I did move all the furniture and vacuumed thoroughly including the baseboards. I’m still in the process of doing a family photo collage wall (Assignment 6 Making Your Home Your Own: Prep Artwork for Framing & Display). Haven’t located all the photos just yet and have to paint some of the frames but I’m just glad that I am on my way.
photo collage IMG_0230

I recently did a collage on the other wall after painting, but I’m altering that as well. I guess I have a thing for collage walls; perhaps because they can be rearranged and edited pretty easily.

Assignment #12 was bedroom  and wardrobe cleaning which I blogged about here and almost completed with the exception of my closet. Oh my closet, as tiny as it is, was a disaster. I’ll spare you the before pic. I took everything out and dove in.

 

bedroom closet IMG_0099

As I mentioned in a previous post, I want to try Project 333, limiting your wardrobe to 33 pieces of clothing for 3 months. You can read more about it here. It’s suppose to include shoes, but I didn’t take it that far, although I did downsize my shoes collection and donated 10 pairs and plan to list a couple I never wore on Ebay. The beauty of the Project 333 challenge is you can adjust it to your comfort level. There are no hard and fast rules. You decide what works or doesn’t work for you. So here’s my tiny closet that makes me smile each and every time I open it!

bedroom closet IMG_0138

I now have empty hangers!  And the top shelf  is devoted to most of my out of season clothing stored in those two grey totes.

bedroom closet IMG_0130

 

Assignment # 15, Declutter and Organize Bathroom Cabinets Cleanout,  which includes the linen closet, since there’s just no storage space in our pint size bathroom. Let.s just say it was another disaster that happened over time.

 

bedroom closet IMG_0162

You can see why it took me the better part of the day to get the job done and restore order.

linen closet  IMG_0278

And yes, my heart sings once again. I’m in love with the order of it all.

linen closet IMG_0259

For those of you who may not know, square footage is a premium when it comes to New York real estate. I just went to an estate sale this past weekend. The home looked fine from the outside, but the entire inside needs to be gutted and the unfinished basement has some serious water and foundation issues; it was over-the-top moldy. The asking price is $869K. Realistically speaking, it would take at least $250K to fix it up. I know I digressed but I just wanted to explain why the majority of us live in tight spaces, real estate is very expensive. Even the million dollar homes are small and can still need work.

Back to the linen closet , would you believe I found a pair of my earrings stuffed in a bag of toiletries, left over from one of our family travels? They almost got thrown away!

linen closet IMG_0209

Here’s my outbox, a designated spot to put things to be donated tossed or waiting for a new home, looked like after a few of my assignments and decluttering sessions.

out box IMG_0243

I dropped off most of it off over the weekend. And a local animal hospital was as happy to take my old sheets and towels as I was keeping it out of the landfill. Yeah!

Flowers area a part of the weekend assignments so I picked up some from  Trader Joe’s. Their flowers are reasonably priced and I usually separate them and make two arrangements. One for the dining room table

flowers IMG_0296

and one for the bedroom.

flowers IMG_0288

Although this is the last week for the cure, I have a ways to go. The room by room project list I created at the start of the cure will take a while to complete. But in the meantime, everything is looking up! My home is almost cured and I am steps closer to my goal, keeping only what truly matters:)

 

 

Making Progress

Making Progress

Well I am making progress following Apartment Therapy January Cure and my quest to embrace minimalism. Although I am not completing all the assignments as scheduled, I am making a world of difference in my home and retaining only those items that serve me and donating the rest. Speaking of donating, I found a couple of new places like Project Linus, which takes quilting fabric donations and the New York Public Housing Authority which takes furniture and household items for  residents in need. It takes a little effort and a few phone calls to locate the right places; however, it is well worth it. Not only does it  spear the landfill, it also is helpful to people who need help.

Back to the Apartment Therapy January cure, I decided t spend a day restoring my bedroom to it’s former glory. It never got back to normal after painting it.

bedroom IMG_9955

This says it all. Aside from the messy desk, notice the headboard behind the chair. It never got attached to the bed after the bed was moved to the front of the window. How sad. Never rehanged the curtains, mostly because I didn’t want to use the same ones that I had taken down.

bedroom IMG_9966

And the shelves have become overloaded with too much stuff.

bedroom IMG_9968

I belong to a book club and  I donated most of the ones stacked back there.

So, I tidied up the desk and vowed to stop  using it as a dumping ground anymore. Those horizontal surfaces are so inviting and become magnets for anything and everything, don’t they?

bedroom IMG_9978

Attached the headboard to the frame.

bedroom IMG_9986

 

By the way, this headboard used to look like this.

headboard-before_2503 copy

You can see the transformation here

Next, I tackled the shelving and got rid of the excess clutter.

bedroom IMG_9967

So much better now.  Changed the lower fabric containers since they were getting a little too floppy with these sturdy replacements.

bedroom IMG_9999

I didn’t bother to style the shelves in my effort to keep it real. The books, binders and paperwork hidden away in the magazine holders are used regularly.

As  for the drapes, I have amassed a large collection of drapes over the years but,I just wanted something different and my color and design aesthetic is changing AGAIN. I was  a  brown, cream, blue fanatic, however, these days I gravitate more toward all shades of blue, various shades of white and cream for a  more airy and soothing pallet.  And, I am only interested in furniture and  furnishings that are versatile and will work in almost any room. I like to have the ability to mix it up when the creativity juices start flowing..

So I  hung these Ikea sheer curtains I haven’t used for a while.

bedroom IMG_9979

I love them! In the daytime especially because they let all the light in.

bedroom IMG_0003

And now, I have a blank canvas to work with. The board you see leaning on the desk, actually there are two,  will serve as my inspiration boards.  I need to hang them and decide what else to hang on the other walls as well.

 

bedroom IMG_9984

 

Also want to purchase some adjustable arm lighting fixtures for each side of the bed. Just haven’t found any that I like just yet.

bedroom IMG_9986

Oh and yes, those temporary vinyl shades need to be replaced; yet another thing that i have procrastinated about all because I keep changing my mind about what type of shade to get. Lastly, although I changed the dust ruffle, I didn’t get around to changing the rest of the linens. I have a collection of shams, blankets, quilts and throws to choose from. As you may have guessed, I have a thing for linens and I have to get in check because they take up way too much space and conflict with my new minimalist mindset. A lot has already been donated. Future purchases will be scrutinized or maybe I will just stay out of the home stores because, quite honestly, I’m a linen addict.

For now, I’m just glad the bedroom is decluttered and ready for the final touches.

bedroom IMG_9979

 

How about you? Any decluttering or changes going on in your home?

Off to a Good Start

Off to a Good Start

I signed  up with Apartment Therapy’s Janurary Cure. It is a step-by-step guide to getting your home on track. As instructed,  I compiled my room by room project list. This weekend,  I took full advantage of being snowed in and decided to start in my boiler room clean out. It was a little overwhelming and I spent all day Saturday and Sunday sorting through fabric, trim, patterns, craft supplies and a host of other household stuff that got thrown in there because it was easier to do so rather then find a proper place elsewhere.  As a result, it became a catch all area that got out of control.

After some very strong internal dialog with myself, I began the process of letting go of the my unused creative stuff I got real with myself and packed it up to be donated to Material for the Arts which provides arts supplies to public schools and non profit organizations with performing arts programs. The rest of the household items will be donated to Savers and The Salvation Army, all to be dropped off ASAP because I want it gone!

So this is what it looks like now.

boiler room IMG_9930

It still has a ways to go, however,  it is the unfinished part of the basement. I’m ecstatic that I can see the floor again. Once the entire space is totally decluttered, Mr. DIY and I have plans to make it into an organized functional workspace.

By the way, if you are not impressed with the  picture above, perhaps you will be after you lay your eyes on the the before pic.
boiler room IMG_9915

Be honest, did it make you gasp? If it did, take a minute to catch your breath. Just wanted to keep it real. I m sure some of you can relate to  trouble zones such as these, whether it’s a junk drawer, catch all space or overcrowded garage. It’s something that just creeps up on you, festers and turns into an out of control beast. Perhaps I’m being a little dramatic but the trouble areas in my home are disturbing to my overall well being. Thankfully, I’m on my way  to turning all that around and enjoying the ride to only having what matters.

Do you have  a trouble spot in you home?

Happy 2014!

Happy 2014!

 

2014

I have a real good feeling that 2014 is going to be a great year for everyone, including you! Although I am always optimistic, this year I am over-the-top optimistic and I’m welcoming the feeling with open arms because it feels good . Every year, I take time to reflect on the past year and think about what I want to focus on in the coming new year.

This year, I decided to focus on separating what really matters from the things that no longer serve me and hampers my creativity. My creative abilities and insight is a huge part of who I am and serves me in my everyday life. Recently, I discovered a collection of podcasts at Untitled Minimalism containing very meaningful discussions about living life to the fullest.  The timing couldn’t have been any more perfect for me. By the way, please don’t let the name  or subject matter deter you; the discussions go way beyond eliminating the excess in our lives. After listening to several of the podcasts, my take away has been a heightened clarity about how meaningless stuff interferes with your life’s true path.

Spending way too much time looking for something I know I have but can’t find because it got lost in an abyss of clutter in our two problem areas, the unfinished part of our basement and the garage doesn’t serve me. Both areas have turned into a chaotic nightmare that is both overwhelming and anxiety inducing. Realizing that when you have a home, even a small one like ours, it enables one to save stuff, too much stuff, for a “maybe one day” that might never happen. What’s the point? It’s my hope and mission to have in my home only what matters.  I intend to spend the year scrutinizing everything, deciding if it has purpose and whether it serves our family. If the answer is no, it got’s to go! Hey that rhymes:) Nothing will be off limits, including my creative supplies; trust me, that’s going to be very hard but I’m ready for the challenge!  I even plan to whittle down my wardrobe even though it is fairly small to begin with. I rather have a few pieces that I wear consistently than hold on to things that rarely see the light of day and may be of use to someone in need.

As always, I plan to take a creative approach to my first steps to a clutter controlled life. You see, I always fantasize about living in a one room cottage surrounded by nature.

dream cottage
courtesy of tinyhouselistings.com

with and outdoor area that looks like this

outdoor bliss

I will keep these retreats in mind as I scrutinize my belongings. Furniture aside, I will keep only the meaningful items that I would actually take to my fantasy dream cottage. I sure hope you will check back regularly to see how I am progressing. Yes, 2014 is going to be a good year!

What are your plans for the new year? Wishing you a very Happy and Blessed New Year!

A Pretty Neat Bulletin Board

A Pretty Neat Bulletin Board

I decided I needed a bulletin board to help keep my work life organized. Too many dates and “to do’s” are short circuiting the brain these days. I looked in my usual thrift stores for a substancial, maybe even ornate, frame I cousd use and couldn’t find one. The other day I was working in the garage and I found a frame I forgot I had. It’s substantial and just the right size. Score!

The moral of this story; shop your home and garage first. After priming it, I realized I already had a generic bulletin board that Number 2 Son wasn’t really using. Score again! No need to buy a roll of cork and foam board as I had planned.

It fit almost perfectly. A little short on top and bottom so I used some flat molding I had laying around as filler. I secured the bulletin board to the frame using table top fasteners. They worked perfectly since the bulletin board sits up higher than the frame. I used staples to secure the molding to the frame.

Then, I used glossy white spray paint left over from a previous project. And this is how it turned out.

How about the subtle detail? I am so pleased with how well the molding blends in with the frame.

I love it. It’s my new favorite thing that makes me smile. Reuse and upcycle projects using what you already have on hand are the best! And it turned out better than I had anticipated. Yesssss!!!

What do you think?

I am sharing this post with:

 Boogieboard Cottage

 

 

 

Decluttering and Organizing!

Decluttering and Organizing!

Since my last post, I have been on a mission. Decluttering and organizing, I am determined to rid my home of everything that’s not necessary or functional. It’s something about the New Year that gets one into an organizing mode. Holding on to last year’s stuff that has little or no value yet taking up valuable real estate doesn’t work for me. Being careful not to get overzealous, I am taking it slow, task by task, so that I don’t get overwhelmed or discouraged in the process.

I was inspired listening to Peter Walsh in a recent interview. He is an organizing guru who made several appearances on Oprah; however, I remember him as the decluttering expert on TLC’s Clean Sweep some years ago. He has written several organizing books, one of which“Enough Already” has been developed into a show currently running on the new Oprah Winfrey Network. What I like about him is that he examines the underlying causes of acquiring stuff that reac havoc in our homes. He describes himself as a minimalist, which I aspire to be. However, the creative part of me is in direct conflict with a minimalist lifestyle I yearn for. It is so easy to acquire stuff and supplies with future DIY projects in mind. I am convinced, however, that I can reach a happy medium that will allow me to live happily and comfortably within my square footage.

So my first order of business – declaring war on paper. There is just too much in and around my house. Mail (personal and business), files, tear sheets, newspapers, magazines, receipts and on and on. I thought the best place to start is the front door since that is where the problem starts. I want to create a place where everything coming in can be quickly sorted and organized until it can be acted upon. I found this great video from Maxwell Gillingham-Ryan of Apartment Therapy that sums up exactly what I want to accomplish.

I plan to continue on my “use what you have” course to create my very own landing strip. I have something in mind but I thought I would search for other ideas as well.

And how about you? Is organization and decluttering on the top of your “to do” list? Any tips? What works for you?