Consequently, now that we got the formalities out of the way in the first blog series in this topic of conversation let’s get right down to business. Don’t be scared I’m not going to ridicule or abuse you in any way but nobody likes wasting time less than I do (although I am often the culprit of such nonsense lol) and what better time than the present to continue getting rid of old habits? I can’t say that I entirely gave you any leeway to rest per say but every school week gets a weekend and I hope you used yours to rest up and enjoy the tiny bit of freedom from clutter and allowed yourself to enjoy your new Living Rooms and Kitchens cause it’s time to tackle the big guns: Bedrooms and Office Spaces!
I say big guns because while those other two rooms may seem like you’re making a huge effort or its impossible to fathom any beauty in the chaos that has become your disorder, it is much easier to wreak havoc on those areas of the home that no one really sees or has access to. I mean I just cleaned my room yesterday and let me tell you, only because I was in the mindset of cleaning, I was talking to myself like I had no idea who the girl was that created such a splendid mess (yes I said splendid because by all means I should have received an Oscar for the scenes that were taking place in this area of my apartment…..first I’d like to thank myself for the color combination of clothes spewed in every corner and the array of mismatched shoes that I couldn’t find for weeks and….oh wait back to my blog!). You see how easy it is to get distracted?
Now Bedrooms can pose problems within themselves! Yes you figure you just need a bed right? After all you should just be laying your sweet head down after a long days work and not trying to sift through or climb over junk and belongings that have cleverly found their way into your resting place. Oh right but we have clothes and shoes and baloney that we need and therefore in turn they need somewhere to live…well I say go out there and live in the living room with the rest of the “stuff” lol, But no need to get hostile and back track so let’s get moving.
- Take Inventory. What do you have and how can you categorize it to fit into a specific place in your room. Clothes are an obvious but figure out if you can rotate your wardrobe seasonally. When I was a kid we had trunks that we put away winter clothes in and vice versa when summer came around. I find that my mother had a method to her madness, although I absolutely hated trying on clothes once the appropriate season rolled around again, this helped in getting rid of clothes that didn’t fit but more importantly clothes I became uninterested in and had long served their purpose. Also when taking inventory count those odds and ends like blankets and comforters and those random things you need but have no idea where to put them (Hey, not everyone has a linen closet so shut the front door on that rebuttal), purses that need storing, shoes that are overflowing, and the things that keep piling up on night stand tables. Figure it out, start with a clean slate.
Now I know the weather here in Chicago is schizophrenic and can’t seem to stay on its meds but no one is wearing bulky heavy sweaters, coats or boots all year long and there is a way to condense! Ladies we have too many clothes (something I need to constantly remind myself of) and we need some assistance in getting rid of them instead of hanging on to them. If we don’t see it for four-six months and are still in love with it bingo it’s a winner and if not then Salvation Army here you go! And all that other clutter too….don’t worry that place takes EVERYTHING!
Think outside the box. Jack doesn’t stay in the box forever because someone like me and you get intrigued but nonetheless at the end of the day everything in its place and that means Jack! So where are the places and the spaces? All over the room, leave nothing to speculation it’s all free reign (and remember we all have different sized rooms – at times due to poor design layout) so we must use our space planning skills to get the most bank out of our buck.
- Reinvent: Here is where we use our closet to build a condensed version of our dream closets! Put some shelves in there to stack shoes, add hooks to hang bags and scarves; utilize the door to organize belts, ties, purses and or hats. As for the shelves get ones with cubbies so that you can use the boxes/basket idea from the living room to hide linens and some of the items I already mentioned. You can also purchase an inexpensive shelving configuration to create a closet that accommodates your specific storage needs. That being said if you have a loft style bed (IKEA sells one) you can create a mini walk in closet underneath to create more space in your room or to simply construct a closet if your room is lacking one. Or better yet just invest in some garment racks to hang clothing if you like the exposed feel of showing off some of your pieces; after all they are a form of decoration! Stop stressing that you have to have all this extra closet space in order to keep things together. My friend said that my mother fits a ten room home into a three bedroom apartment and that’s because she’s smart about making sure that no space is wasted. YOU run the space; don’t let the space you have run you.
- Disguise: That means put a trunk or bench at the end of your bed and store your linens in there. Or better yet turn a book shelf into a window seat and utilize the shelves to store those crazy items like books or important documents! It’s a two for one special ladies and gents, additional lounging and effective cargo space. (I’m completely in love with design hacks. Don’t know what that is, well get on it! These are everyday ideas that revamp your already used items and turn them into unbelievable recreations or just innovative ways to house your belongings! I’ll have to do a post just highlighting some of these hacks so you understand what I mean about not stressing over the finer things in life that you can’t quite afford but are capable of having). In addition grab vintage suit cases to use as side tables or the IKEA Utility Storage Cart ($29.99), or even still a cubicle unit to impact your space by allowing you to have additional nooks and crannies to hide your possessions.
Now the thought of sleeping soundly in your bed doesn’t compare to knowing that when you wake up the next morning or enter your space after a long hard day, a clean room is not another thing to tick off your list of things to get done. For me my bedroom is my haven, my getaway to the simpler things in life like reading a great novel or corresponding with my girlfriends on the phone about the latest gossip or our next outing. That being said with just a few hours of getting things in order you will be one step closer to endless wine filled nights followed by mornings of hot chocolate and that crossword that’s been eating away at you!
But before we indulge, lets Segway into the one room of your house that is probably a clutter by default…your office! This should be a no brainer in the tiny minds of those who have no relevant “in home” work to do but we are kidding ourselves. If you have a computer, bills, children, important documents and a job then you clearly could use an office if not already have one piled in boxes or filing cabinets or drawers in the bedroom taking up valuable space for other things like, say more clothes lol! So let’s come to a definitive conclusion as to how to 1. Create an office out of any place in your home and 2. Organize it so that it camouflages’ nicely into the rest of your decor or has a method to the otherwise madness that is undocumented papers and loose ends.
Considering I just moved out of my two bedroom apartment, while there I was fortunate enough to create a headquarters for my endless projects in that second bedroom! That being said it was not easy to maintain a simple standard in keeping things from getting lost or misplaced or seeming cluttered and just a kamikaze of personal artifacts. But have no fear, with minimal task I was able to transform the crazy into the sane, which definitely helps with deadlines and mere progress.Let’s start with the basics and move into the more tedious elements of getting this office space whipped into perfect shape.
- Space Matters. Find the place in your home that will accommodate your legal handlings or creative side. As well if you are not big on either of these things and are looking just for a simple nook to jot down the grocery list or review papers from your children’s school events that’s fine too. Again what amounts to at home work to you may not be the next mans cup of scotch, just decide how big or small you want your commitment to be OR what kind of space you have available to work with. In some instances your space might be a small closet or the space between to book shelves in the living room, it could also be an entire room or a small area of the kitchen, dining room or great room. It all depends on what you need and once you find that out you can decide how to go about making the most out it.
- Make it personal. No matter what you might think your office is where you are probably going to spend most of your difficult at home time. I like to think the kitchen is for comfort, the bedroom is for getaways, the living room is for connecting and well the office is for pondering life’s heavier rudiments. In regards to one of my most dreaded encounters this is somewhere I want to be able to come to without fear or stress of feeling overwhelmed. Not all business has to be gritty and relentless, afterall there is always a silver lining somewhere, isn’t there?
That being said grab a fun chair to use at your desk, it doesn’t have to be the old hunk of metal or unattractive plastic models floating around nowadays (of course an ergonomically correct chair is always the best go but whose listening to that hogwash anyway??). Pair that with the perfect desk. You want to make sure that you pick one with just enough space for you to do the work you are actually seeking to do. Is it just for bills or do you need a sizable surface to hammer down those big creative projects you’re taking on (painting, sewing, scrap booking, events planning, blueprints, etc?)? Add some flare to the space too with artwork, quotes, family photos, hell be spontaneous and throw some color on the walls or chalkboard paint, or fabric or whatever tickles your fancy, create a theme (regal, modern, retro, classic, vintage); just make sure they’re the things that encourage you to press on daily. Motivation and Inspiration are key and without them you can become less likely to finish what you started or even start anything at all.
- Everything in its Place. Now it all gets sorted out. This is where we want to purchase the means necessary to get you into a functioning organization machine. Bookshelves are always a go because they can house binders and baskets and inserts and books, oh my! A filing cabinet or two or three would be my next best guess seeing as keeping paperwork and important documents in easy, ready to handle areas is beneficial (also you can use them as legs to support stretches of wood which create more surface space to work on or use as shelves for other useful items. File boxes go hand and hand with the cabinets and drawer dividers for your desk so that the little things don’t get lost in translation so to speak. Make sure you have jars or containers to sort paper clips, tacks, post-its, pens, and document dividers. The idea here is that nothing is loose as not to cause a mess of fleeting clutter. Utilize the walls as well, from putting up peg boards, bulletin boards, and dry erase boards to cabinets, mail partitions, or shelves. Ha and another thing that is a pet peeve of mine is foolish wires! I mean really I was just talking about this with my sister today when we were hooking up the computer, absolute nonsense and it looks so hideous.
And last but not least…
- Weekly Clean Up. Organize your office today and spend 30 minutes every Friday morning thereafter???), for the duration of your practice, maintaining your office (or whichever day is your rest day…really guys a half hour is not that serious and if you make it out to be more than that then you are ultimately creating a future long term problem for yourself and isn’t that how we got into this organization problem in the first place?). Believe me when I tell you this is a good idea not only because an organized office will reduce your risk of malpractice (mismanagement, negligence, carelessness or disregard), but also because a neat, organized, inviting office suggests that you’re a neat, organized, inviting practitioner and while nobody likes an over achiever, your assistant will be far more appreciative, focused and attentive to your needs. As well, your self will be grateful that you are no longer trying to pull the beautiful hairs from your body because you can’t find that important document or have company coming over and now you have one more thing to clean for goodness sake!
Don’t forget to post pics of your attempts, successes and fails (remember I am just a comment away from helping you back on the band wagon…I’ve been there people I’ve got the war wounds to prove it and I’d be lying if I didn’t’ admit that I’m still there in the thick of it once in a while when I think I’ve gotten it once and for all) it’s a progress thing guys and it requires maintenance over time but when you execute the plan the rest is feasible, the idea is not to judge a book by its cover!Where IS that book I started? Alright I’m off to get whisked away and you’re off to execute the plan right?
Happy Organizing Party People
*Next up: Hallways and Dining Rooms
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