Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Top Organizing Mistakes

(marble cheese plate on radiator)
(candle holders, magnetic spice tins, misc smalls as chic storage in the medicine cabinet)

Here are some of the most common mistakes people make when trying to organize:

  • having no overall plan or idea for the space in question
  • over thinking a decision; make immediate decisions first, when you're unsure of something keep it to the side until the answer reveals itself

  • buying storage products before editing; many times clients need few or no new products to complete a project, either they've edited out enough so their existing storage pieces are now adequate and/or we figure a way to reuse and repurpose existing pieces in a new way
  • buying storage without having a specific purpose for it
  • not taking measurements of the area, closet, and/or shelf you're buying something for

  • not seeing beyond what something is; I ask clients who edit on their own between sessions to keep things on the side they want to get rid of so I can show them new uses for things like using a small plate or dish for soap and sponges in kitchen, using boxes in drawers as dividers...
  • editing blind; having no overall plan gives you no guidelines to help decide whether to keep something or not

Reader's Questions: Handbag Storage

hnxing asks "There's a Rubbermaid Wardrobe Shelving (which I also do not like, but can't take out at the moment) installed in my closet. I have IKEA drawers and hanging organizers for my clothes which is working out nicely. But I end up putting my purses/bags on the shelf which you hang the clothes from. The purses and bags all lean against each other. I usually end up with bags on my head when I try to pull one out to use. Because of the wire shelf, I haven't found a way to make them "stand" up on their own. Any ideas? Thanks!"

You have a couple of options:
  • there are shelf dividers for wire shelving
  • use an open bin either on its side like pictured above, or right side up and pull down when needed
  • hang the bags on hooks inside the closet or on the back of the closet door. just make sure the bags are empty otherwise the weight will damage the handles
  • this is a nice option too
note about real patent leather: you shouldn't lean it against anything since it can absorb color from other materials.

Monday, October 19, 2009

Apartment Progress... Change in Floor Plan

original floor plan

new floor plan

recent shot with new bookcase

Moving twice in a year has drained me financially, so I'm not as far along with my new place as I'd like to be. The upside is thinking and rethinking all of my decisions. I've changed the floor plan:
  • I've decided against the dining table; I don't have dinner guests and when I eat at home it's usually at my desk while working, or watching TV on the computer.
  • I bought another bookcase for a total of three (above) and love the way they look. I like keeping storage on one wall in one large unit instead of spreading it around to keep a space from looking cluttered.
  • The sofa is now going where the dining table was, facing the windows which have a nice view of the backyard, with either two chairs facing the sofa like above, or maybe a chaise. Considering the cost, the sofa will be the last thing I buy.
I've thought of curtaining of the bed but that'll cut light and the view from the windows. I feel like whatever, I live in a studio so you see my bed... There are worse things in life :O)

NOTE: the shot above was taken this evening without the flash so the walls look yellow which they aren't, they're BM Super White.

Monday, October 5, 2009

Living Better With Less... Organizing Products

People tend to overcomplicate getting organized. They think that the more organizing products they have the better the results. I think these 'magic' products are just more stuff, and more stuff is not something most people need.

In many instances, I advise my clients to live with the changes we make for a while to see if adding something will really make a difference. For example, I generally install pull-out drawers for the lower cabinets in kitchens. For may people (especially those who own and/or cook a lot), it's a no brainer. But for those of us who rent and aren't sure how long we're staying, it's not always necessary. I've always had this attitude of only buying what's truly needed to make an improvement but I have to say with the current economic climate, people are much more receptive to it.

For the above client who doesn't have that much now that we've edited, and who's not a huge cook, I didn't think the drawer was an absolute necessity. Would it be nice to have, sure, but necessary to spend the $$ for it? We'll see. She's going to live with this for a week or so and let me know...

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Switch Out Overhead Lighting In A Rental

Most of the overhead lighting that comes with apartments are generally hideous which is why I switch them out whenever possible, usually with some kind of pendant.

I like paper lanterns from Pearl River Mart. They make the largest impact while spending the least amount of money. Get a cord kit that an electrician can cut for a hardwire connection.

The last shot shows you can reposition the light if your junction mount is in the wrong spot.