Saturday, April 20, 2013
This photo was taken in 2003 in Salzburg, Austria, at the Hellbrunn Castle. I was 21 and on my way to a semester of study in France. There was a party going on inside, which I was not dressed for. Upon realizing this I did a 180 and headed back down the steps, only to slip and land hard on my butt, having forgotten everything was slick with rain.
Those topiaries are so darn cute.
Saturday, April 13, 2013
Wednesday, April 3, 2013
Back with another edition of Operation Declutter!
I met with up my client the other day to tackle another area of her house after having made a number of kitchen updates: the front closet.
We all know what happens with front closets. The average front closet contains everything it should...plus about 10x more stuff that shouldn't be there.
And every front closet (mine included) inexplicably seems to have at least one thing that falls out of it when you open the door.
While I'm not any particular feng shui disciple, I do still believe in the concept of released blocked energy in our homes, which shows up when an area is filled with more stuff than we need, to the point that it creates frustrations for us.
This front closet was by no means an extreme. But we still wanted to make it more streamlined.
I don't have a 100% Before picture, but here is the Before picture after we first replaced a miscellaneous assortment of plastic hangers and dry cleaner hangers with wooden ones. The wooden hangers alone lend a niceness to the space and certainly support heavy winter coats better than thin hangers.
Then there were a number of items that we removed: the thick, rather unwieldy kraft paper being kept for someday wrapping gifts, a white plastic hanging gift wrap organizer, unused Rollerblades, etc. We tossed and donated as appropriate.
We also removed some shelving from the left and right sides of the closet that were hard to access and didn't serve their mitten-holding purpose very well. We'll be reusing these in a different part of the house later.
Then we tackled the floor area. There were actually twice as many shoes as shown here. We filled a box with shoes that were either totally worn out or just not worn anymore. Again, we tossed/donated as appropriate.
Then we took a heavy and virtually unfoldable pair of men's snow pants and put them on a wooden hanger, and put them to the far left of all of the coats since they are the least likely to be used, especially now that it's April. (Though this is Minnesota, so you never know; Lord help our sanity if it snows again.)
Then, for the shoes we put a 3-tier Target Threshold shoe organizer in place to hold the remaining shoes that made the cut. We put boots at the top since they are the most-accessed right now, and sandals toward the bottom. We left room on the sides for a very big pair of boots that didn't fit well on the shoe rack, and left room for a broom and umbrella on the right side, both of which can now be easily accessed without digging through things.
On the top shelf we put two new Ikea storage bins. One we filled with mittens and hats, the other with outdoor items like bug spray that can be grabbed easily.
What a makeover! And a satisfying release of blocked energy that will make it much easier for my client and her family to find what they truly need and use so they can get out the door more quickly and not be bogged down by the unnecessary.
Of course, sustainability is key. But by creating a place for everything, it not only removes the need to make a decision every time you put something away, it also makes you think twice before throwing in other things that don't belong.
As well, the nice wooden hangers and shoe rack are very small and inexpensive upgrades, but subtle reminders that you deserve nice things and that you deserve spaces in your home that make your life simpler and easier. Spoken like a true organizer, I know. But it's for real!