I was never an organized person in a sense of having things around me neatly folded, ironed and put away. I always liked when I didn’t have a mess around but putting a pail of papers on a shelf and a flower on top was enough for me at that point. However, it changed when we moved to a new house. Suddenly, we had tons of boxes that I labeled before but while unpacking I happened to think “hmm, and what’s in my random stuff box?” Most of the unpacking was on me because my husband works every day, even though I have a small child in the house at all times… Most of it was still on me. And I realized how much stuff we had! How many unnecessary things that I should have gotten rid of a long time ago. Then it came, the moment of taking things out of the boxes and putting them away. I realized I had no idea what I was doing and that I had to start thinking of what we store in here. I’m not really talking about minimalism but more about just being aware of what I’m doing.
And now here are are, six months after moving in and I finished remodeling our closet just now. Man, that’s been a long time of working on the house!
So when I was struggling with cleaning and organizing everything, Jane Stoller magically appeared! She’s an author of a book called “Organizing For Your Lifestyle: Adaptable Inspirations from Socks to Suitcases”. In the first part of the book she says that studies show that the less organized we are the more stressed we are! And that makes perfect sense, doesn’t it? Like how can you not be anxious if you keep seeing all those dishes all over your kitchen and you keep washing it all but it seems like it never ends and the only thing that ends is your free time… So I read the book and took a lot of the tips into my heart, and I want to share some of them with you in today’s post.
The biggest thing I wanted to do in our new house was our walk-in closet. I wanted remodeled it. Nothing big or special, no. Me and my husband repainted the walls from this mustardy kind of color that you have in most of the houses you buy to a light grey and suddenly the whole room seemed bigger which I love. I didn’t want any ready-to-buy closet sets because they take a lot of room and I like to have plenty of space. We bought shelves and rails in Home Depot, and put them on the walls on both sides, one side is mine and the other one Nathan’s. I also got white boxes from Amazon that you can see below and put my thirts, jeans and other stuff in them. What else I need to get is a label maker to label each one so I’ll know what’s in each one of them and I’ll also have a jewelry holder on the right side by the boxes where you can see some free space. I also got a simple book shelf from Target for my shoes but now I know I’ll need one more and an organizer with drawers from Ikea for bags and smaller things like belts, etc. The last thing is that before I had velvet hangers but I decided to replace them with white wooden ones and I like them much more, they also look much better!
Getting all the supplies cost around $200.
The other thing I wasn’t sure about was what to fold and what to hang. I really didn’t want to have all my clothes hanging because it always took too much time for me to find anything and organizing hangers each time I did laundry was too much for me, as I really have things to do over here. So I read in the book that it’s a good idea to hang things like blouses, jackets, blazers and dresses but you can easily fold sweaters, t-shirts or jeans. Before I had all my jeans hanging and it definitely took too much space so I already folded them. I also put my special occasion dresses in a case and on the side of my closet.
And what I’ve been doing for a while now is that I keep inspecting my closet and getting rid of stuff I don’t wear regularly. Also, when I go shopping I always try to sell or donate at least one clothing item before I buy something new, preferably more than one unless I just need something new for some special reason. And it works perfectly because my closet doesn’t get overloaded anymore and I actually wear all the clothes I have… which didn’t happen before.
Our bathroom will be repainted too and we’re planning on getting a new shower but we need to stop with projects for a while and finally just REST.
After I changed my lifestyle I don’t have as much stuff in the bathroom as before. I use just a few cosmetics and I don’t need that much space anymore. I think it’s important to keep track on what you have, on checking the date it’s best to use them before (remember that you skin absorbs!) and, what’s more important in my opinion, checking the ingredient lists to know what you actually use. So yeah, after I did all that I ended up having literally several things that I use regularly. You have no idea how many unnecessary products your bathroom keeps.
What I also started to do is having back ups for later. Instead of one pack of toiler paper I buy two. Instead of one hand wash I buy two… or three if they’re on sale. This way I never run out of anything which happened before. What’s even better, I have a subscription for my daily used cosmetics so they send them to me every month. I love it and I love their products, I’ll tell you more about them when I write a post about my personal care products.
I also finally organized our linen closet which is not in the bathroom but it’s kind of the same thing. I put things together in matching sets and folded them nicely. I threw away sheets and pillow cases we never used and made a separate space for guest linens. It’s all because I could never ever find a matching set if I wanted to because we had so many things in this closet! It’s all simpler now. The only thing I need to change is to get bigger baskets because the ones you see below don’t provide enough space for me.
Kitchen should be the first thing in this post I guess because it’s a part of the house that everyone sees when they come in. There’s no way to be in our house and not see the kitchen so I really want it to be neat. I learned to wipe the counters at least once a day (or more if necessary) because then nothing gets sticky and hard to wash. At night, before I go to bed, I put all the things away and turn on the dishwasher so that in the morning I go in a clean kitchen and the only thing to do is unloading the dishwasher. Also, I always prepare my water (water and some fruits in the jar) before I go to bed so I can just grab it in the morning.
I put all the nuts and seeds we have in glass jars. I’ve been trying to cut off amount of plastic we use so organizing nuts like this was the first thing to do. I also put stickers on each jar to know exactly what’s where and I think it all looks nice too. I organized plastic bags, straws, cups and other supplies like this in a similar way.
If you know how we eat (mostly fruits, all raw and fresh) you can imagine how our kitchen and pantry look like. It’s all in fruits! I like having fresh fruits all over the place because it all feels so… fresh and healthy. I don’t know how to explain but I love it. And if you want to increase amount of fruits you eat put a tray with them somewhere where they’ll be easily accessible. As the book says, you’re more likely to grab and eat an apple that’s right in front of you than a chocolate bar that’s in a cabinet.
And our coat closet is our cleaning supplies closet as we have two coat closets and we really don’t need both… you know, we live in Georgia so we rarely wear coats.
When April grows out of her clothes I usually sell them or give them away because I don’t see a point of keeping all of them. I kept a few of my favorite outfits from when she was a newborn but other than that I don’t like keeping too much. I used to do that before and I still have stuff in Poland that I don’t even remember… So I decided to keep only the ones that she wears now or that she will wear later. It’s important to remember that babies grow very fast so I don’t buy too many things on one size at once, I prefer to buy more later when I know I need new items instead of having too many.
I keep her onsies, sleepers, pants and shorts in the drawers and dresses, shirts and tops hanging in the closet.
I took the risk and bought a real plant to put in our living room. It looks much better now and feels much cozier as well. I love it and I hope this one won’t die… Unfortunately, I’m not lucky if it comes to keeping plants alive. I also created a photo gallery with a few pictures of all of us above the couch. I always wanted to have such a family oriented (if it makes sense) and warm living room.
Of course, we need room for April’s toys as well!
We didn’t want to have too much furniture in here because we like having a lot of space. We got rid of end tables, at least for now, and got two glass door cabinets from Ikea. I decided to put some small baskets inside of it for April’s small toys that are easy to lose and forget. There’s also room for a blanket in case someone gets cold! I still haven’t figured out what to put on top of them to have it all looking good but not too crowdy in the whole room. You know, I might be good at organizing but I’m not good at decorating. At least for now, until I bump into a decorating book ;).
If you were looking for ideas how to organize your life I hope I provided you some! Tips I included in this post are the ones that really helped me and that I won’t let go. As silly as it sounds, if things around me are in right places I feel better. And it’s not about your clothes and bathroom stuff only, it’s also about your time, energy and amount of work you put in things. It’s all connected more than you think!
I’ll see you next time,
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