Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Organizing, Part 1

A good friend of mine who shall remain nameless recently asked for some organizational advice. It seems her office is in need of a makeover. I think this is a pretty common problem. I know that my office tends to be a catch-all for all the mail, books, receipts, catalogs and random stuff we don't know what to do with. However, the first step in organizing is designating a spot for everything, even if that spot is called "random stuff I don't know what to do with".

At the risk of sounding like Martha Stewart, I've always loved the saying "a place for everything and everything in it's place". One of my biggest peeves is not being able to find something when I need it. I guess more specifically, I can't stand it when people don't put things back where they belong, whether in my home, or at work. At almost every job I've had (except my last job, in which case I worked alone and didn't have this problem) I've had to label my stuff, threaten my co-workers AND hide my office supplies. If you've ever worked with me, you'll remember that all my pens were labeled "Touch and Die" scissors and calculator were velcroed to the underside of my desk and I protected my stapler very much like Milton did in Office Space.

At any rate, organizing is my "thing". I find great comfort and satisfaction in putting stuff in order, whether it's the pantry, the bathroom closet, or my office. In order to be successful, you have to have the right tools (baskets, containers, folders, shelves) and be diligent about putting things away. I still have a hard time with my mail and filing. I detest filing. It can pile up so quickly and then I get really overwhelmed having to deal with such a huge mound of papers.

Another tip is to only keep things in your home which you believe to be beautiful or useful. That means getting rid of those knickknacks, coffee mugs that have broken handles, stacks of newspapers you've been saving in case the world comes to an end, clothes you paid a lot of money for but will never wear or fit into, books that you've read and probably won't read again...the list goes on and on. It's hard to part with your "stuff" but I bet you won't even miss it once it's gone. And you'll feel like a huge weight has been lifted off your shoulders once all the junk is out of your life.

If you must keep those knickknacks, at least group them together to make it somewhat cohesive. A collection of anything can look really beautiful when it's done properly. For me, the most appealing look is minimalism. I like to have things hidden and out of the way. I only keep the basic items out on my kitchen counter: a coffee maker, a bowl of fruit, a jar of cooking utensils, and my KitchenAid mixer--my only decorative item as it's only been used twice in it's 5 years with me. Everything else has a home behind closed doors. When I walk into my home, I like to feel relaxed and I can't do that when I'm tripping over stuff, not to mention trying to cook dinner amidst a kitchen that is overflowing with debris.

In my bathroom, I only keep what I use on a daily basis in my drawers. It's easy for that area of the house to get messy because things just collect in the bathroom--makeup you don't use anymore, hair appliances, bottles of half used shampoo, spare change, buttons, wrappers...

Another thing to remember: just because there is ROOM in there, doesn't mean it needs to be filled to capacity...which is different than maximizing the full potential of space, which I'll have to get into in my "Organizing, Part 2".

My office: the 2nd most used space in our house, besides the kitchen

A not-so-secret love affair with my label maker

No wire hangers in my closet!!

I spent my last month of pregnancy organizing our huge file cabinet :)

Monday, November 9, 2009

MEme: Shopping Spree

Want your own shopping spree? Go to MommyBrain & Supahmommy to find out how!

1. Because a girl's wardrobe would not be complete without this adorable little thing.

2. I'm not a big fan of jewelry, but I loooove a beautiful watch and this one would definitely make the list.

3. I think my home needs this chandelier. How fun is that?? Only $4,800!! Nothing my phake Visa can't handle!

4. I've been dreaming about these 800 thread count, Egyptian cotton sheets...if I had these, I'd never get out of bed!!!

5. A vacation in Fiji...I don't swim or snorkel, but I'd do it if I were here!

Friday, November 6, 2009

Snuggle Fort

It was a dark and rainy Friday night...and I was bored. And what happens when I get bored? I start looking for things to do, or fix. Tonight, Big O had the pleasure of being the recipient of my ennui-inspired fun:

I found an old tension rod and stuck it between the wall and O's crib. I draped and pinned a curtain over the rod and used a mattress topper as the base. Add a couple of pillows, stuffed animals, blankets, and a nightlight, and ...voilĂ !! instant fort! O loved it!! We snuggled in there, read stories, and snuggled some more. Scott thought it was so cool, he said we needed to make it a permanent fixture in O's room! So, now it is. I'm still looking for ways to pimp it out though. Maybe add some glow-in-the-dark stars to the wall. I'm secretly obsessed with it...I want to move in to the fort and make it my own hideaway.