February 9, 2018
And just like that, I blink and it’s February. I know I’m not the only one who is still feeling a bit robbed of December and January around here. But I’m taking the approach of February is the new January, who’s with me?! Last post I gave my top five tips on making your house feel more like a home, in hopes to restore a bit of normalcy and comfort to our chaos as of late. Last week I took a bit of my own advise and started to tackle number one on that list, declutter!
Really, this is the time of year I tend to do a major purge anyway. There is something about the tear down of Christmas that makes me want to organize and start fresh. This year has been even more so. After being evacuated durning the Thomas Fire, I remember walking back into the house for the first time and looking at all the things I chose to leave behind. They were mostly things with no sentimental value, things that could easily be replaced, just things. I remember having this same feeling after the passing of my dad, and then again with my grandmother, surrounded by things, overwhelmed with things, upon things, and what to do with these things. Things can be paralyzing.
I confess, I am an emotional cleaner! Whenever I am upset I find myself impulsively decluttering, picking up, organizing, and cleaning. Not sure this is the best time to tackle such things when you are emotional? I’m sure I have gotten rid of a few things in the heat of the moment I regret, but then again I don’t seem to remember any of them so I guess they weren’t that important. But one thing always comes of these purges, besides the decluttered space, at the end of the day my head is much more clear and at ease. My mood does a complete one eighty.
This I understood, but never fully comprehended until I read Marie Kondo’s The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up. So many aha! moments! I may not have completely committed myself to the KonMari Method, I would say I’m about 85% there, but I’m 100% on board with the main philosophy, and it is life changing, and magic! KonMari explains it as “a way of life and a state of mind that encourages cherishing the things that spark joy in people’s lives. Belongings are acknowledged for their service and thanked before being let go of, if they no longer spark joy. People are drawn to this philosophy not only due to its effectiveness, but also because it places great importance on being mindful, introspective, and optimistic.” I so love this approach, and have been following this method for about two or three years now. Like anything, yoga, meditation, eating healthy, it is a practice and needs constant awareness. Be patient with yourself and the process, but just start and see where it takes you. (More on Marie Kondo and the KonMari Method Here)
All that being said, we all still have things. Especially if you live with children! And the struggle to have a place for all the things is real! I’m sharing a few of my favorite ways to contain the clutter so everything has a place and you can find that piece of mind from knowing where things are at the end of the day!
My Decluttering Go To’s:
Baskets, Bins, Industrial Carts
These are the true work horses of the organization biz! I use them in every room in the house. Baskets in my pantry hold dry goods and snacks, in the living room and bedrooms they hold pillows, blankets, magazines, in the kid’s rooms they are filled with toys, and in the bathroom towels and toiletries, even my make up. Oh, and don’t forget our four legged friends and all their toys! Can’t live with out them! These are some of my favorite go to’s.
1. Industrial Mesh Basket, 2. Rattan Basket, 3. Felt Storage Bin, 4. Canvas Industrial Cart
I love me a pretty shelf! They are handy in displaying collections, books, family photos. Remember those things that bring you joy? Here is where they shine! Shelving does not need to cost an arm and a leg. Here in my daughter’s room we used inexpensive wall brackets from Ikea, rope, and some reclaimed barn wood to help wrangle all her collections.
Coffee Tables with Storage
Make that coffee table work for you! They are capable of so much more than holding a few magazines, a remote, and your coffee cup. This is my personal favorite, I have it in my own living room and have recommended it to clients. (Warning: If you have a toddler it has been known to double as a steal drum.)
Storage solutions do not need to be boring plastic tubs! Have fun, get creative! In my son’s room we used some vintage metal bookcases, and an old family tool cabinet that had been hanging in my aunt’s garage for years. Now they house his prized possessions and help to keep order, all while looking really cool! There are so many sources for vintage finds online now, one of my favorites is Chairish. I rounded up a few Chairish finds here.
1. Vintage Metal Lockers, 2. Midcentury Steel Storage Baskets, 3. Vintage Pine Trunk, 4. Industrial Wooden Shelf Unit
Coat Rack and Hooks
Don’t forget the Entry! It’s where we end up dumping everything when we get in the door, right? How quickly this area becomes a disaster! Besides my go to baskets for shoes, and trays for boots, I love my coat rack and hooks. I know exactly where my purse is every time I’m rushing out the door. If you don’t have room for a coat rack a simple hook will do, and they hold so much. Dog leashes, hats, kids back packs… Since the entry is the first thing most people see when they walk in let your personality shine through. A hook maybe utilitarian but you can have fun here too. Here are a few of my favorites.
1. Vintage Brass Longhorn Bull Hook, 2. Vintage Brass Rooster Wall Hook, 3. Vintage Brass Horse Head Wall Hook, 4. Modern White Metal Coat Rack, 5. Wooden Peg Hook With Leather Strap, 6. Swivel Hanging Rack
Finding a spot for everything, and everything in it’s place may be overwhelming, but with time and patients it is something we can teach ourselves to do. When our surroundings truly bring us joy the rest of the world seems to fade away and there is peace in the order around you. Do you have a favorite storage solution? Share in the comments below, I would love to hear from you.