Saturday, May 30, 2009

My LEAST Favorite Organizing Tools

This shelving system is relatively inexpensive, fairly easy to install, and adjustable to most spaces, BUT my problem is the powder coating; it attracts a lot of dirt which takes forever to clean, it's also slightly tacky (sticky) so hangers don't easily glide back and forth, and too many supports (two in the pic) limits the way you can hang so you can't just push things to the side when you need to. UGH!

Small and Large Tint Stacking Drawers
So many people have these... But not only do I think they're ugly, but the plastic attracts dust and dirt like crazy and at the cost of these things you can buy a small Malm dresser at Ikea or something, anything better!!!!

How Do You Want to Look?

When helping clients go through their wardrobe and they come across a piece they're unsure of, I ask how they feel about it. The response is something like "it's decent so I've keep it". My question is always "Is that how you want to look?" 

Think about it, if you tried on an outfit and asked someone how you looked and they said "decent" would you be happy about that?

Friday, May 29, 2009

Favorite Things From Ikea

industrial style shelving with an unbelievable price of $14.99 each! why not use these shallow shelves in the back or side of a closet for easy extra storage, or line up multiples in a living or dining room as simple chic bookcases.

comes in two sizes, use as a hamper, to hold blankets, magazines, towels, toilet paper...
UPDATE: this has been discontinued :O(

comes in small and large, use them in clothes closet to hold belts, in coat closet to hold totes, umbrellas, scarves, or in an entry to hold jackets.

there is a fold down hook (not shown) and the above valet hook perfect for anywhere in the house.

Even More Favorite Things From The Container Store

their brand of clear plastic boxes are stackable and come in various sizes to be used all over the house. try under the kitchen sink to hold cleaning supplies and various household items like vacuum bags, light bulbs, batteries, extension cords; under the bathroom sink to hold extra toiletries; in clothes closet or under the bed for off-season clothes and shoes; in the coat closet to hold scarves, gloves, extra umbrellas...

they come in three sizes and are a beautiful accent for any closet; use in clothes closet for delicate pieces like special occasion shoes, bags, garments; in coat closet to hold scarves, gloves, hats.

a no-brainer to use in just about all lower cabinets in the kitchen. in various styles, sizes and price points, not to mention super easy to install, you're sure to find something that works for your space.

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Favorite Things From The Container Store

While some of their things can be overpriced, here are a few things that I use over and over and absolutely love:

various sizes are not only perfect in drawers, but on open shelves and in cabinets (bathroom and kitchen) to hold toiletries, small bottles, even jewelry.

simple, elegant and they come in a few sizes so are perfect for anywhere in the house; entry way, bathrooms, dressing areas, kitchen...

perfect for making room in any cabinet in the bathroom or kitchen.

i personally love this style, but the container store has fabulous storage boxes in various colors, sizes, and price points.

in two sizes, I have one in my dressing area to hold things to air out, and to make an outfit. hung at a low level, they are perfect to hold bags and totes.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Apt Progress Slowing Down...

So, right now my progress with the apartment has slowed since I need to sell some things to fund the new things I want. I'm just installing the things I have and repainting the doors with the left over paint from my last apartment. I thought I might not paint, but it looks much better and am so glad I did. You can't really see in the pics but they were an off-white color and are now Super White in gloss. I just updated my flickr page with some more shots of the place... 

Monday, May 25, 2009


For those of you with cats, I just found out about a voluntary recall of select varieties of Nutro® Natural Choice® Complete Care® Dry Cat Foods and Nutro® Max® Cat foods with "Best If Used By Dates" May 12, 2010 and August 22, 2010.

For more info go here:

Saturday, May 23, 2009

The Move... Making Decisions: Home office

You know I like to keep things as simple as possible, and that includes my decision making process. I'm reusing my desk in the alcove but thought I may cut it and/or make it a drop-down to keep the space from feeling cramped. Not sure, I installed it so I can live with it for a while to see how it works in the space. I'm still tinkering with the placement of things (like the printer below) and would rather take my time to figure what will be best for the space instead of making a rushed decision just to have 'it done'.

One thing I have decided is I'm making a large cork board using the remnant of the piece of wood I'm using to make the bed frame. It's going to fit perfectly on the wall behind the computer. Stay tuned...

Friday, May 22, 2009

Shout Out

I wanted to let you know about a new website that will be up and started soon and it's correspondinblog. The website will make renting apartments in nyc easier and the blog has a different topic each day of the week on making life in the city easier and more fun, and Tuesdays are Organize With Laura!

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

I Want This But...

I LOVE the first dining table from cb2 because it reminds me of one of my favorite tables by Jean Prouve (2nd pictured). The problem is it's 48" in diameter and I can really only fit 36", so I'm going to make my own table. Not exactly like these (I don't think I'm that good), but definitely want to use a glass top to keep it from looking too heavy in the space.

I may go shopping for possible bases this weekend and will let you know as soon as I find something I like. 

Living Better With Less... New Clothes

I did this last year but thought I'd share this money saver with you now...

I was sick of my spring/summer wardrobe and eager to go out and buy all new things. Lacking the funds to do so, I went through everything piece by piece, trying on what I hadn't been wearing. It seemed the problem wasn't that I didn't like my clothes it's that I didn't like the way many things fit. So I took it all to the tailor and voila! Much cheaper, quicker, and less stressful than going out and buying all new things.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

I Must Say!

I just wanted to take a moment to say thank you to everyone reading this and for all the comments :)

The Move.... Making Decisions: New Bookcases

Taking apart my bookcase for the move, like with everything else, I saw how filthy it got from being in my last place, especially since it was so close to the window (which btw I never even opened). I wasn't too excited to use it in this new space but took it with me anyway. I mentioned that the bed frame I have doesn't fit this new space, so I'm selling the bed and am going to make a platform bed using the old bookcase. I am hoping to get this done by next week so I'll let you know how it goes. 

So this leaves me with no bookcase and while there were many I've seen that I love, like this one from Ikea and this one from Muji I need to keep budget in mind and this is an easy thing to save money on. Then I found the above Ikea Hyllis shelving units for $15.00 each!! I love the industrial look, and the size is perfect 11"D x 23"W.  

Monday, May 18, 2009

I May Be a Bit Slow

I just realized that if you click on any of the pics in the post, they blow up really nicely for those who'd like a closer look :)

Just A Reminder

Bolded text has a link.... click away!!

The Move.... Making Decisions: Bathroom

(last pic: the shelves in my previous apt)

The back wall was begging for shelves and lucky enough the indent is 8", the exact depth of the white shelves I already have and have used in all three apts. I have one 24" long, and two 48" that I cut in half. I didn't get enough of Ikea's Ekby Stidis brackets (no longer online) so I'm waiting to install the last one for a total of five shelves.

I painted the back wall Benjamin Moore Whitestone which I'm going to repaint. It looks pretty, but I wasn't going for pretty. I'm thinking a darker more olive-grey color...

Quick Hello From My New Place

This was taken a few days ago with the help of my mirror globe. The alcove is in the back to the left.

Friday, May 15, 2009

The Move.... Making Decisions: Dressing Area

The alcove as a dressing/office/exercise area.

The obvious choice for the alcove would be to use it as a bedroom, but since I'm not going to get a wardrobe or an armoire for my clothes (too $$$), and the existing closet makes more sense as a coat closet, the choice was when you come in you either see my bed or my clothes, I chose to see the bed.

Everything with the exception of the top shelf are all things I already had; the shelving unit on the bottom was in the living room of my first apartment and in the bathroom at my previous apartment. I put the large standing mirror and the carpet tiles (as an area rug, not wall to wall) in and will eventually install my desk which may to be cut down and/or made into a drop-leaf table to keep the room from getting cramped.

The Move.... Planning Stages

This floor plan is what I've been thinking all along with some minor adjustments. Many people make the mistake of trying to plan the whole thing at once, which is really hard, so they stress about it. I like to work organically; making the easy decisions first by letting the space tell me what to do, and leaving anything not obvious to the end. For instance, my litter box doesn't fit in this bathroom so I don't know where it's going to go, but instead of harping on it I am planning out other things and eventually I will figure it out.

Since there are new pieces I would like to get; dining table and chairs, sofa, lounge chair, desk chair, window treatments... I want to make sure I am extra careful on how much I spend doing everything, including the little things (which really add up). To do this I am reusing as much as possible and selling off the rest. Here are some things that aren't working for this space:

  • Malm Bedframe: doesn't fit indent of back wall
  • White Elfa Ventilated Shelving: don't like with new closet plan and is too narrow for coat closet
  • Metal Frame Cork Board (plus another matching frame): am making new cork board which I'll talk about later...
  • Dixon Mirror Ball Light: while I LOVE it, I'd rather sell and use the money towards new sofa
  • Long Art Piece: I've had for about eight years, didn't fit in other space and would like to pass it along to someone who will really appreciate it...

Another Note About Packing

While packing I found out how filthy the apartment really was. Not only because of the BQE outside but my landlord was doing construction on the floor above me before I left and didn't think to plastic off the area, and even though I have those plastic strips along the bottom of my door (which I put in the first week I lived there), that contractor dust was everywhere!! 

Not wanting any of that dirt coming into my new place, I washed just about everything I owned; all my dishes, decorative pieces, furniture, and almost all my clothes which are mostly hand wash and dry clean only. But considering the changing season, I would have have a lot of cleaned anyway (but not this much, I should have gotten a security deposit from her, not the other way around!). So before the move I took my coats, clothes, and the silk curtains to the cleaners which helped lighted my moving day by about 5 large shopping bags. 

But even for those who don't live in an obviously dirty place, just living somewhere for a while, you don't realize how dirty you things can get from just sitting there, especially things that aren't being moved around a lot like curtains. I remember I did the same thing when I moved the first time from the place I lived for almost eight years.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

The Move.... First Few Days

                                                     (floor plan of new apartment, approx 325 sqft)

So sorry I've been gone so long but I'm back online so let's get to it! The next few posts will be about my move but they will be beneficial for anyone trying to make the most out of their space. 

The first thing I did before the move was get rid of anything I didn't love and use. When I found this place I immediately started thinking of how I could use what I already owned in this new space but since I couldn't get dimensions to double check what would fit (the place was renovated before I moved in and the guys were still finishing up to the day I moved in), I took it all with the hope of reusing as much as possible. Otherwise I would have sold or donated anything I knew for sure I wouldn't be using here.

My things are sorted into categories and placed where they'll eventually go, keeping all decorative pieces to the side. I'm using some storage ideas from the last place like using the hooks on the inside door to hold a small garbage bag, and storing my vacuum under the sink. Knowing I was going to use the existing closet as a coat closet, I've hung my clothes on the two portable garment racks I have for work while I plan out my new dressing area.

Next stage... Planning!

Monday, May 4, 2009

I Haven't Forgotten About You!

I have been without internet for over a week due to construction at my old place, but am now happily in my new place and will be up and running VERY soon so please stayed tuned for all new posts!! Thanks :)