Saturday, January 4, 2014

Getting Organized in 2014

 I don't know if everyone that likes to decorate is like me in that they thrive on being very organized. It all started when I was a child. I remember arranging and rearranging my room and closet so it was up to its maximum efficiency.  I had to know where everything was and always put "like" things together. I wasn't one of those "messy" kids. I was a parents dream. Often, it didn't stop in my room but would spread into the rest of the house as well, organizing drawers, cabinets and anything else I could find. The organizing would then lead me to notice that furniture needed to be moved and these pillows would look better in this room, etc. Do you see where I am going with this? If you're like me you do. Organizing leads to decorating and is a major component of it . Basically, I think having a functional room is where all decorating should start.


 Even if you don't enjoy getting organized, it's worth the effort. You will actually save time by not having to look for things. You can have beautiful architecture and beautiful furniture but if your floor is covered with toys, and your tabletops are covered with school projects, your probably not going to appreciate it.

 So, how do you start? It can be overwhelming at first but if you break it up into rooms, it will make it easier. In any room, start by putting like things together. For instance, since I am getting ready to redo my closet, I'll use this as an example. Shoes together, jewelry together, clothes together, scarfs, socks and so on.

 Once you have piles, go to purging. This is the most difficult part of organizing because we all have a little hoarder in us. In a closet, if you haven't worn it in two years, you're probably not going to. Get rid of it! Exceptions ~ clothes that don't fit (but someday they might again) or really expensive designer labels that you can't part with. Here is the solution. Box up things that don't fit for later. You can buy cute storage boxes at The Container Store and put them at the top of the closet where you don't need to get to them every day. This will work for other items as well like that expensive leather skirt or jacket that you know will be coming back into style. For other items, you can donate to an organization like Goodwill or to a friend. For more expensive items that are in good condition, take them to a resale boutique and make some cash to pay for the storage boxes! Don't forget to remove things from your closet that don't need to be there. Sometimes we end up "hiding" things in the closet that should be in another room. The key to organizing is that everything has a place and there is a place for everything.

 Now you have sorted and purged. The next thing to do would be to see where you want to place everything in the room. This is where you need to take an inventory of what kind of containers you have. Do you have a dresser that will fit in the closet or will folded items need to go in the bedroom? Do you have shelving that would work or do you need to add some? Are my shoes going on the floor? Do I have enough room? What happens to dirty clothes or clothes that need mending. Where will they go? These are all questions to ask yourself, then you can make a list of what you need.
Pottery Barn closet Island

 Once you have a list shop in your own house first. I think this is the fun part. You might be surprised at what you have hiding in your own home. Some items that work in a closet: baskets, bowls, trays, boxes. You can go fancy by pulling things out of the china cabinet like crystal and silver that you don't use that often anyway or go rustic by pulling things from outside like galvanized buckets or clay pots, anything that you can put items in will work

 Don't forget when organizing to use vertical space. Especially in a closet, there is wasted space. Use areas that you can't get to easily to store seasonal clothing for instance. If you don't have enough shelving, hang decorative baskets.

                                                    Container Store Closet Elfa System

 Use furniture to organize clutter. I do this a lot in my own home. You will see a lot of trunks. (I have one as my coffee table.) Cabinets with doors are another favorite. I use one in my study to hold paperwork, ink, files, etc. I like armoires or large cabinets to hold TVs because they also hide movies, games and video game accessories.

                                   This coffee table opens up to store blankets and seasonal items.

                 In the study, this cabinet hides paper, envelopes, a laminating machine and so on...

                    This large cabinet in the living room hides the receiver, DVD's and games.

 When you're ready to buy storage accessories, my go-to places are The Container Store, Target, Pottery Barn, Home Goods, World Market and if you're lucky, sometimes Anthropologie sells some of their display pieces. You can even make your own shelves and boxes if you're crafty. Home Depot is another favorite of mine!

From Anthro

                                                                       Old drawers

 So this is usually the part where I get my decorating urge. When I have everything paired down and a plan where everything is going. Doesn't this room NEED to be painted. Nothing freshens up a room like fresh paint! You can skip this step...

 Once you put everything away, I promise that you will feel great knowing how organized you now are. It may take a small effort to keep it that a closet I definitely recommend a hamper to help with this! But in the long run, it will save you so much time and aggravation. So, if one of your goals this year was to get organized, start with one room at a time. Maybe make a goal of one room a month and by the end of the year, you will be completely organized!

 My organizing efforts from last year were the Laundry Room and the Pantry.

 This year it is the closet. Please keep in touch to see it completed and the steps it took me to get there and be sure to let me know which rooms you plan on organizing this year.

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Hi. Thank you for visiting! Please feel free to leave any comments and share if you have a fun and similar project going on. Also, I am happy to answer any questions that you might have regarding tutorials or sources for decorating. I love making new friends who share my love of design, so don't be shy! You can also join me here and on other social networks on the right sidebar of this blog. Have a fabulous Day!