Organization seems to be in the air - most of the blogs I follow are filled with dramatic before-and-after tales of clutter to clean. As I mentioned in an earlier post, New Year's Day is always a happy and productive day for me because I don't celebrate New Year's Eve...I'm asleep ridiculously early so the next day I actually have energy. (Note: I learned that you feel much less lame if you compare your early-to-bed habits to your two-year-old nephew, who only stays up a little later than I do. :)
So this January 1 I was determined to get rid of some of the clutter in my life. I don't have the time or energy to tackle big projects like the garage - those who work with me will understand my short-term goals since January 9 is The Day My Free Time Ends. This weekend I pledged to be able to see the floors and find things in my guest room and hallway.
I forgot to take "before" pictures of these areas - I'm pretty sure I subconsciously never wanted anyone to see them. They weren't hoarder-type cluttered, but they had become the official collecting place for all homeless items...it was an ever-growing pile of paint cans, craft supplies, small tools and those countless other things I might need "someday."
I've collected many great organization ideas on Pinterest but for this project I didn't even need them - I just threw a lot of things away and used the storage space I have now.
Least Interesting: The Cabinets
I'd tried organizing these before but got discouraged since I started with unreasonable goals (*ahem Martha Stewart*). Over time, this area had shifted into chaos. I started by listing all the things I could think of that needed a place to live in my house, then used the super cool graphing notepad my parents gave me for Christmas (oh yes, I am a PARTY PERSON you can tell) to map out what went where.
Things still aren't perfect but they're much better! And I even have an empty shelf that you won't appreciate unless you're as obsessed with Gretchen Rubin's The Happiness Project as I am. I think I've read it three or four times now.
Note: for truly inspiring closet progress, check out all the success stories at the Show Me Your Closet! party at http://thriftydecorchick.blogspot.com/2012/02/show-us-your-closets.html.
More Interesting: The Guest Room
Again, without "before" pictures this won't mean much to you...so this part is mostly just for my parents, who have had to tap dance around clutter in order to enjoy their time in the guest room. Now there's room for your clothes in the closet, the suitcases are neatly awaiting anything you may need to store in them, and I threw in AMAZING old cigar boxes (thank you, Amy Love!) to add to the travel theme. (Side note: the Hemingway one reminded me - have any of you read The Paris Wife? I'm not going to finish it because I don't want to read the sad part of their lives...but I really enjoyed the first half.)
Most Useful to ME: The Office
Here's proof that small changes make a big difference. I didn't expand my office space or even change it that much...I just organized it. I cleaned out the huge U-Haul moving box that had been full of office odds and ends and kept only what I needed - a huge box of pens went to my office at work, and if anyone needs office supplies you should head to our local Goodwill because I'm donating a bunch of them!
I dug out some metal mesh organizers I bought at the Dollar Tree months ago, and bought one $7 set of small plastic drawers...and voila! I now have a designated space for small things like paper clips and post-its, and I used nails to hang the metal paper organizer into the side of my IKEA bookshelf. (I made sure to nail it into the permanent shelf, so the others can still be changed to any height I may need in the future.
So there you have it - official documentation of my new room to breathe.