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Category Archives: how i organize series
Today I’m delighted to bring to you a new How I Organize post! Shop owner and lifestyle blogger Monika Hibbs (who just became a mom to a sweet baby boy!), gives us a look at how she beautifully organizes her jewelry and collection of perfumes:
I like to have most of my everyday jewelry in place, ready for me to quickly pick up and go! Having all those jewels organized on my side table along side my perfume is perfect! The silver tray is from The Cross Design, one of my favorite home décor stores in Yale Town, Vancouver. The Stag Head jewelry holder, which holds my bracelets is from Front & Company in Vancouver.
For pieces that I only take out for special occasions I like to have them all wrapped up in the boxes they came in. I laugh, because my husband thinks I’m a horder- whereas I like the organization of each piece in it’s place! Takes up a little bit more room, but those boxes are just too nice to throw away!
headshot photo by Melissa Skoda, all others by Ellen Ho of Hong Photography
A new ‘How I Organize‘ post! Today participating is my amiga Irene of Designstiles, whose home I posted about yesterday. She shares with us how she beautifully organizes her sideboard:My sideboard is really a dresser I bought at the thrift store and repurposed. I like to organize each drawer by category. In the top middle drawer I keep misc tablesetting items – party hats, confetti, paper plates, cute gift bags, fun candles. On the top left drawer I keep candles and candlestick holders. In the four larger bottom drawers I store napkins and placemats in one, tablecloths in the drawer next to the napkins. Plates (like these) and chargers at the bottom and stemware to the right of that. I usually keep all my stemware wrapped but in this case, I unwrapped some of them to display. These gold elephant highball glasses are my favorite. I used to intermix all my tablesetting things until it got out of hand. Assigning each drawer to a different tablesetting item has made it so much easier for me to remember what I have. No more thinking I lost stuff. -Irene
I have been in love with French armoires for as long as I can remember. When I saw one on Craigslist, I knew my time had come. It still needs a little TLC and I haven’t decided if I’ll keep the wood or paint it white. I love when I open the doors to my armoire, I can see everything at a glance- no more opening and closing drawers to find that one piece!
I’ll be honest, it is not always easy neatly folding all my pieces, rather than shoving them in a drawer. But, everything is at my fingertips! I can actually remember what all I have. Socks, t-shirts, undies, and flats are piled in baskets. My belts are in an apothecary jar and my scarves are in a clear basket- even your armoire needs a pop of color! I display my statement necklaces on a mirrored tray to stay inspired when picking out my outfits. The rest of my accessories are housed in a chest of mini drawers and my favorites are in a vintage blue candy jar. Vintage candy jars are one of my favorite ways to store favorite accessories- where practical meets pretty! I stack my jeans, pants, and sweaters. They are easy to remove from the stack without the whole pile tumbling down. Like colors are paired together…can you tell I’m in love with pink and red pants?
I have to admit – I’ve always been the walk-in-and-throw-everything-on-the-floor type. My poor purses used to find themselves discarded on the floor on a daily basis. But when I became the proud owner of a chew-happy puppy with a penchant for raiding my bags, I knew it was time to find a better solution.
We rent a home without many built-in hanging solutions, so we utilize these over-the-door racks in several rooms. This particular one used to hold towels in our guest bathroom, but now it hangs in my office and is the home for my most-used handbags. (As you can probably tell – I have a bit of thing for black, gold and sequins.) The office is close to the front door, so it’s a quick, convenient spot to unload my purse before I head in to greet my puppy. Plus, I love that my favorite bags are on display instead of hidden in a closet!
With an increasing collection of makeup brushes and makeup itself, I found myself frantically searching for a specific makeup brush every morning while trying to get ready for work. With no rhyme or reason, I would just toss my brushes in a drawer and leave them to get smashed by the million other makeup items I would throw on top of them.
I got the idea from Sephora to use clear jars filled with a weighted object to display and keep my brushes organized. While having a hard time trying to find beanbag fill, I opted for a $1.00 bag of white beans to use instead. I filled each glass container halfway full of the beans and stuck my brushes straight in the beans to stand them up. I designated one jar for eye brushes and one jar for face brushes. It was a cheap and easy alternative to easily find a brush, keep them clean and keep them organized. Another suggestion is to use coffee beans as a filler; your brushes will have an extra special scent and might give you an early morning boost while doing your makeup!
Today we have Myrna of For the Love of Black, participating in the ‘How I Organize’ series. She gives us a peek inside her home to share with us her fabulous desk area:I’ve never really needed a desk area before, but since I’ve started my blog, I was finding I needed an area that was all mine, and of course it has to be beautiful so that it inspires me. So I find if I surround myself with things like my artwork, a scented candle, and beautifully organized desk supplies, I get the job done easier and it’s much more pleasant.
A few things I’ve found to help keep me organized are for everything to have its place and that goes for around the rest of my home as well. On my desk I like to have paperclips ready to grab in a pretty little bowl, definitely a little notebook for those random thoughts going on in my head all the time, a great pen for notes, a pencil for sketching, my iPad, and a good light. I also must have a clock as I’m a stickler for being on time. And fresh flowers never hurt!!
Another thing I find is a must is to keep all wires from computers, lamps, and phone chargers out of sight if you can. Too much clutter looks disorganized. Ikea has some great cable management boxes and reels. Organizing as you go helps things from piling up and keeps your mind free from clutter too. I have a little black urn style container with a lid for receipts and little notes I don’t want scattered all over my desk. For me, this is how I work best!!
This week’s guest participating in the ‘How I Organize’ series is the lovely Shauna of Satori Design for Living who takes a holistic approach to design and organization in helping others beautifully transform their homes. She gives us a peek inside her kitchen and shares with us how she organizes her spices:
I have always loved using spices in cooking, but it usually meant searching through a basket of miss-matched packages, jars and tins to find the one I was looking for. Quite often I’d end up buying multiples of the same spice because it was buried at the bottom of a disorganized mess. I also never kept track of how long I had a particular spice and knew that in order to get the most flavor, whole spices should only be kept for three years and ground spices for just a year. (When a spice is ground, it releases the oils responsible for its flavor and aroma. As the oils dissipate, the spice becomes less pungent.)
To start with, I took stock of all the spices I had and weeded out the ones I never really use. I then bought small jars from the Dollar Store to transfer the spices into. It’s always much better to keep items the same to prevent an area from looking cluttered. I used small jars for most of the spices and larger ones for spices we use in greater quantities. I then found labels from the Martha Stewart line at Staples, printed the spice names using the computer and affixed them to the jars. Next, I applied a clear protective film over the labels to keep them looking new. On the bottom of the jar I affixed a small label and wrote the month and year the spice was put into the jar.
Currently I keep the spices on simple white trays on a shelf in my pantry closest to the stove. I store them alphabetically, with spices used more often at the front. This new system looks visually appealing and makes finding spices a breeze. I like the fact that I’m doing something good for the environment by purchasing small packets of spices (that can be recycled) to refill the jars. I also feel confident that dishes will be flavorful because of the freshness of the spices I use.
This week’s guest participating in the ‘How I Organize’ series is graphic designer Jocelyn of The Stylish Type, who makes and sells pretty decor prints on Etsy and frequently shares her uber stylish outfits on her blog. She gives us a peek inside her home and shares with us her beautifully organized closet:
My closet is small and far from the walk-in-closet I would one day like to own. For this reason, I have to be creative with how I organized it and take advantage of every square foot of space I’ve got. That’s where closet storage solutions come in handy. I’m all about using extra hanging rods, shelves, bins, special hangers, and anything else you can get your hands on to make your closet functional. One of my biggest pet peeves is having a huge mess and not being able to see what I own. Accessibility is also important so I organize by type and then color.
My new Real Simple solutions hangers that I purchased at Bed Bath and Beyond are the best for maximizing hanging space. They are ultra-slim and have a built in hook feature that can be used to stack clothing or hang accessories like scarves and belts. Utilizing these babies to their full potential could ultimately give me double the closet space. A belt loop hanger is also a good investment to keep belts organized and visible.
I own a lot of coats for those chilly San Francisco days so I used an extra closet rod to take advantage of the lost space under my tops and skirts. I purchased some stackable shelves to double my shoe storage and used clear bins to store hats, scarves, and clutches. For those narrow spaces where traditional shelves won’t fit, I used an ordinary locker shelf to gain a little extra space. A basket on the floor is also a good place to store extra blankets or miscellaneous belongings.
*Use command hooks on the walls to hang hats or necklaces. They are easily to use and don’t require hammering into the wall.
*If you have a door that opens towards you, use the back and hang a shoe organizer. It’s the perfect place to store flats and flip-flops.
This month’s first guest participating in the How I Organize series is Jean of Flower Hill Design Company, whose design aesthetic I love. She gives us a peek inside her home and shares with us her beautifully organized entry:
My design dilemma was that I had an entryway closet that blocked my front door from my living room space. It was small, cramped, dark and not functional. Living a busy life style, I needed organization that allowed me to keep the daily essentials within reach, without having a space that looked cluttered and unorganized.
My solution was to remove the old entryway closet, opening the front door to the living room and allowing more light to fill the space. I designed a built-in closet in another area of the home that not only had space for in season coats and shoes, but incorporated cubbies to hold the day to day essentials that were ready to “grab and go”. Items include my handbag, keys, and accessories like sunglasses or lipgloss. It also needed to provide storage for transient things like my son’s school papers that need to be referred to in the short term, incoming mail, a place to store my laptop when not in use, and some basic office supplies (i.e. a pen for a quick note, tape, notepad, etc…). I painted a mural on the interior of the closet. By treating the closet design like another area of my home (not just a storage space) it keeps me motivated to keeps things looking pretty.
There is a hanging rod for in season coats. Beneath the hanging rod there are two shelves which is ample storage for our in season shoes. An upper shelf holds baskets for hats, gloves, and scarves. The cubbies hold my handbag, accessories, laptop, and basic files to hold paperwork that needs to be referred to but is not quite necessary to be filed away in the office filing cabinet. An urn holds pens for quick notes (either notes to the teacher or a grocery shopping list). Simple DIY storage boxes made from shirt boxes hold some basic office supplies like tape and a stapler.
Everything has it’s place. The cubbies make everyday essentials easy to find. It makes a busy lifestyle and constantly being on the go so much easier. Having a designated space for everyday essentials keep my countertops clutter free.
My nightstand is small, meaning that I have to keep it really streamlined. I do most of my reading and note-taking in my bed, so for me its important to keep pens, highlighters and sticky notes on hand. Since I always sleep with my hair tied back, my nightstand also has hair ties or a clip. There is nothing worse than being on the verge of sleep, only to realize that you have to get up to get a hair elastic! I also apply hand moisturizer and chapstick right before I go to sleep, so having those two things within arms reach is a must.
I like to keep a cup of water next to my bed as well. For a long time this meant that I would end up with a collection of cups on my nightstand and none in the kitchen. I finally solved that problem by purchasing a special cup meant only for my bedside. I don’t bring cups from the kitchen upstairs because I know that cup is there, and I since I only use it for water (and it’s only me using it) I feel fine about simply washing it in the bathroom sink with soap and water.
I keep a small stack of books by my bedside, but make sure that they are only the ones I am currently reading. If it’s completed or neglected, then back to the shelf it goes!