Being a pretty obsessive OCD organizer, (mainly due to a lot of ‘stuff’ in my home which if I don’t control results in chaos within hours), I can happily spend hours sorting, catagorizing and decluttering areas. I find this a really calming thing to do, whereas to others it might seem like hell.
I always thought that this was my own personal madness, as I can get itchy when I see clutter. But I recently read a new book by Jane Stoller called ‘Organizing Your Lifestyle’ that delves deep into the psyche behind organizing, and which explains what the benefits are as a whole to your life. With the clutter controlled, there is more time to actually ENJOY YOUR LIFE! I don’t usually read self-help books, but ‘Organizing Your Lifestyle’ is a really useful hybrid as it offers both practical advice as well as explaining the psychological benefits of organization.
Plus it is a realistic book, as I do not have the patience to look at everything I own and murmur in the latest fashion ‘But do I really love it?’ Of course I love it, I love all of it and am never, ever going to be a minimalist! But I can be a tidy and organized maximalist, and this book has excellent tips on how to evaluate what you have and how to look after it all so you have more quality time on your hands. It also makes you look hard at things so you can let some of them go without regret.
Some of the tips are really useful, I loved the wardrobe section on how to store and look after items. Like most ladies, I own more clothes and shoes than I realistically have cupboard space for. There are great tips on how to look after and store things so they are not creased, crumpled and hence last longer. If you think of the hefty financial outlay that we females spend on clothes, it makes sense to make them last.
Traveling away? The book has great ways to make packing less stressful, and without the dreaded over-packing that I usually do so I end up with a massive suitcase full of clothes I don’t even wear on the trip.
The book breaks down areas of organization, so it can be something you can ease into this is a new process and makes you shake in your boots.
You can follow Jane on Twitter where she has motivational tips to keep the spirit going.
TOP TIPS FOR STORING CHRISTMAS DECOR
As Christmas draws to an end, it is all too easy to take decorations down, shove them into various bags and secrete them in attics, garages, under beds, and even in random places where space can be found, (I am guilty of the last one, for years my faux tree has been stored in an airing cupboard).
This is all very well until 11 months later, when you need to get things out and find them twisted, smashed, crumpled or just gone! Fairy lights are particularly good at getting lost in our house, sometimes not turning up for a couple of years by which time replacements have been bought and then there are strings of them lying around everywhere.
So this year I am have a New Year resolution; packing away Christmas efficiently.
Yesterday I was over at my sisters house. She has been working really hard recently on decorating, de-cluttering and generally removing the ravages of children over the years. She has a sitting room with a newly installed woodburner, (she enlarged the fireplace and taught herself how to lime plaster to help install this, bravo!), and her style is very boho. Lots of indian/ethnic furniture, kilims, fabulous battered leather armchairs and artefacts. The room is skinny with a low ceiling, and not much natural light, so it ends up like a tunnel with dead space at either end.
There are two very long alcoves either side of the fireplace, and one is very underused – in fact it is crying out for something more. So I suggested some sort of storage combination so she can get all of her stuff like LP’s, DVD’s, books etc into one dedicated place. Budget is an issue, and we always like to get creative and avoid shelling out a fortune where possible. So I came up with an idea for an IKEA hack that we will be making this week. Here are some very fuzzy images of the room and alcove, apologies for the quality!
Using an extended KALLAX as a central piece and two Billy bookcases either side, plus wood mouldings to revamp the front areas and to create some grandeur, we should be able to come up with a lovely break-front bookcase that will store a huge amount of things, fingers crossed! As the room has generally dark furniture we are going to use white Ikea units, but paint the backs of the shelves in a dark grey to highlight whatever ends up on the shelves. We will also paint everything else in white once the mouldings are attached.
The KALLAX units comes with great square baskets available made in rattan and palm leaves, so in some shelves clutter can be hidden in these.
So here are the basics we will be buying:
Two skinny Billy Bookcases
One central Kallax unit
One Kallax to add on top of the fiest one for the central section
Mouldings will be detailed with vertical rises like this:
And the top pediment moulding like this:
The base will also have a small skirting added to finish off the piece:
So following my recent post about Paint Storage, which showed pastel paints looking great like the below, I spent the afternoon decanting my own paints into jars.
I made some sweet labels for the lids, and put them into my own mason jars (free download at bottom of post which is editable). I got rid of 4 large bags of old paint tins and was feeling super tidy, if not a little worried that I am developing OCD.
I am realising from the below photos that the colours in my house look like the insides of various babies nappies, all except one vivid aubergine. Hmm, feeling that I need to up the ante on stronger colours now… Hurrah, another reason to redecorate!
Click here for download of paint label