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Wednesday, March 9th, 2011

Organization Wednesday: A Fun Bookshelf Video

Becky

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I found this fun video via superstar photostylist Annette Joseph’s site the other day and thought I would share:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cFnuP9niRUg

Thank you Annette!

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Wednesday, September 22nd, 2010

Organization Wednesday: Extra Room in the Fridge

Becky

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Arg, as you can see, this was not the most organized Wednesday and I’m running about 12 hours behind schedule! It was an odyssey of breaking a drafting table thing, buying a new one, setting it up, getting distracted with projects, grocery shopping, and then trying to fit all of the tall stuff in my fridge. Which leads me to today’s topic – squeezing every inch of space out of that puppy.

O.K. seriously, does anyone besides Jeff Lewis have a fridge that is this organized?

Sometimes it’s the little things. Let me say I have an old energy and spatially inefficient fridge and I know I should get a new one but I really want a red or yellow Big Chill Fridge and I’ll never have the money so there you have it. I mean, buying a whole bunch of shoes or going on a trip is just so much more exciting than buying a major appliance. Anyway, whether you’ve got some fancy-dancy duel door Ferrari of a fridge or a rusty old icebox, you’re probably wasting space.

Take a good look at your refrigerator and figure out why everything is so crammed. I’m not saying you have to clean the whole sucker out (though that’s a good project that should take under an hour and give you a huge feeling of satisfaction). We’re just going to do a quick assessment. The other day I longed to be able to put some bevvies in the door, and could not find a spare inch. It was because the door was jam-packed with lord knows what kind of condiments I just assumed I still needed. I had about a millimeter of disgusting sugar free syrup. I had five year old mustard. I had BBQ sauce and fancy Dijon mustard my friend Chrissy asked me to stow for her about two years ago when the tree fell on her kitchen and her fridge was unplugged. Natural disasters aside, I think two years equals abandonment. I had soy sauce that was five years old. I dumped out everything, rinsed out the containers for recycling, and had enough door space to store all my sodas, some Pinot Grigio, the new condiments I actually use and some left over.

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Wednesday, June 16th, 2010

Organization Wednesday: Make Your Closet a Home Boutique

Becky

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Hi Everyone! I am on vacation from organizing this week, so luckily, closet designer to the stars, Lisa Adams of LA Closet Boutique, is here to share some closet inspiration. Personally, I have a bit of an obsession with celebrity closets and I am always clipping images of them from magazines and posting them to my Tumblr blog, so I am so excited to welcome Lisa to Hatch!  Take it away Lisa…

In the last few years, well designed, luxurious closets have become status symbols.  Flip through the pages of home décor or entertainment magazines, and you can easily find features on plush, tricked-out celebrity closets.  If a custom closet is beyond your means, there are some easy and low cost ways of adding the same chic and luxurious touches to your closet. Here are some of my recommendations:

  • ACCENTS: Pick a few plush looking accents from a bargain store or even the flea market or Salvation Army. From pillows and rugs to paintings and lamps, your eye will be drawn to that unique, maybe even antique piece.
  • PAINT: Add a bright color to one wall of your closet to add spunk and high energy, or use cool shades like grays, blues and purples to promote relaxation.
  • HANDLES & KNOBS: Find interesting handles and knobs to bring a touch of style and luxury to your closet.  There are fabulous leather and stainless steel options. Yard sales, flea markets, and even hardware stores can be treasure troves!
  • MIRROR: Add a full-length mirror to the dead space.  It’ll make the room feel bigger and be functional.
  • SEATING: If you have the room, add a sitting area.  The seat could be used for lounging or for putting on your shoes.  A sitting area makes the closet a true living space.
  • LIGHTING: Lighting is very important when choosing your outfit and getting dressed.  Pay attention to the lighting to make sure it is natural and not overpowering. Also, use natural lighting whenever possible, such as windows and skylights. It flatters more and saves on cost.
  • DRAWER LINERS: Lining your drawers either with cedar, lavender or even pretty paper is a beautiful, cheap and a great motivator for keeping things neat and orderly.
  • HANGERS: Don’t skimp on the hangers.  Make them uniform for each type of clothing.  It’s a good investment in the long run because your clothes retain their shape, and don’t snag or become ruined.
  • BOOT TREES:  Invest in boot trees or boot shapers for maintaining their shape and to prevent cracking and creasing.  Your boots can then be displayed like a shoe store, and will have a longer lifespan.
  • STACKABLE SHOE RACKS: Get your shoes off of the floor and organize them with chrome stackable racks.  With a simple expandable two-tiered design, you can store more shoes in a limited space.
  • SLIDING SHELF DIVIDERS: Bookends for your closet, these sliding shelf dividers come in various heights and depths and are perfect to keep rows of sweaters stacked like in a boutique.
  • DOUBLE HANGING RODS: Without having to overhaul your tight closet, these double rods add function to wasted space by providing two layers of hanging space at once.

If this list is too long for you, simply hire Lisa, or visit LAClosetDesign.com and scoop everything up in the one place!

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Tuesday, June 8th, 2010

Organization Tuesday: The Mini-Bar

Becky

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This weekend I was finally able to sample The Standard Hotel in Chelsea. While I am usually very good at resisting the temptations of the mini-bar, this one was too well-stocked and organized to resist. Anything my heart desired was in there. While I was able to resist the Smartwater, Absolut, and all the recipes for delicious cocktails. I gave in for apple juice and chocolate chip cookies. What am I, five years old? Bravo Standard – this was too fabulous.

In other news, as I continue on my organizing journey, I found a rolling rattan chest of drawers in the back of a deep coat closet. One of the drawers was weighed down by all of my soundtrack CDs that I didn’t have room for in my case logic binders. Today I’ll be tackling the alphabetizing and inserting. I know with all of the iPod technology out there these days I probably don’t even need the actual CDs anymore, but getting rid of my jewel cases was traumatic enough. Seeing as how I still have a stack of albums and no turntable, I don’t think I’ll be getting rid of the CDs for at least another decade, though during my last move I did part with all of my cassette tapes. I hope some lucky dog out there is enjoying my Echo and the Bunnymen and my Scritti Politti music.

P.S. That Office Space soundtrack is awesome. I still picture them destroying the printer with a baseball bat whenever I hear the Geto Boys.

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Thursday, May 27th, 2010

Organization Tuesday, Oops, Thursday…

Becky

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PROGRESS REPORT:

I’ve just completed week three (of six) of the organizing workshop. As you can see, my organization efforts are still running behind! I think I was waiting for my space to be perfect before sharing it. Then I realized that I’d be waiting a really long time, put off blog posts, and leave you all with nothing new to read when you stop by for weeks on end. Apparently, waiting until it’s perfect is a paralyzing organizing roadblock for me. I have accomplished sorting various junk drawers and even clearing out a mega-sized drawer to hide my paper and cardboard recycling – the basket full of it out in the open was starting to make me not want to recycle any more! It’s crazy how happy this has made me. The feeling of accomplishment that comes with these little projects is wonderful.

I am finding that having organization on the brain is leading to other projects and simple fixes that I had been ignoring for a long time. For instance, my beloved Dyson vacuum had lost all of its sucking mojo. I finally did some hardcore taking-apart of the appliance and found there was a pen stuck in there and all kinds of things were stuck around it, blocking all of the air. I finally had my beloved but filthy with construction dust and pollen screened-in porch powerwashed, removed all of the furniture for a scrub-down, washed all of my pillow covers and got a new rug for out there. I found a bored friend to hang the shelves my office had been crying out for, so without further ado:

BEFORE (EWWWW! I could not get ANY work done in here because it was so distractingly gross and ugly):

You may recognize my map wall. It had seen better days; the sun had faded the once-lovely blue to a depressing gray. Yuck. Actually, it had been replaced by my horrible D.I.Y. disaster inspiration board, but that thing has bitten the dust as well. I cannot seem to find a good inspiration board solution. I need to go re-read my post comments because I know you all gave me some great suggestions.

IN PROGRESS:

What I have left to do:

1) Find the perfect labels for those pails so I’ll know which one to pull down. They contain all of my drafting supplies which were formerly in that little chest of drawers in the BEFORE picture. The chest was great for my station in grad school, but it had just become clunky junky in my current office. I think it would be a cute nightstand in a future dream beach house I don’t own, so I’m storing it in the attic for now. Oh, those are paint tins from Home Depot, I think they cost about $1 each. They come in a bunch of different sizes and they are great for hiding a multitude of sins.

2) Sort whatever the heck is in this tin.

3) I feel like this is sort of wasted space, but I don’t want to fill it just because I have it. Look it how gross it got in the BEFORE shot. For now, I’m going to enjoy the empty space it adds to my flow. Hopefully this wastebasket is not in my feng shui financial corner or something (wasn’t that in Bridget Jones’ Diary? She was basically letting her finances get tossed out with the garbage, according to a feng shui article in one of her glossies. I have much bigger issues to deal with before I can even think about adding feng shui complications!).

4) I just threw extra office supplies on this shelf. I need to get it looking nicer or it’s going to bug me. That Staples box of envelopes is too ugly to be out. These are the kinds of details that bug me.

I have to give another shoutout to my Organizing 101 Workshop. It’s part practical organizing, part figuring out the psychology of why my house gets to a certain point of disarray, like why I shop too much, why my clutter builds up, etc.! There’s also a great forum of people going through the same thing to chat and commiserate with – it is really motivating and it’s well worth the $75 price tag.

When I’m all done, I’m going to do something crazy. I’m probably going to have to take it all down because I HATE that ten year old Restoration Hardware soft green, and I’d like to wallpaper. However, by the time I’m done, I should have a system, and I’ll take pictures so I will know where to put everything back up, right? Another one of my roadblocks is finding out my pain in the butt limits – I ordered some samples, picked one, tried to get two different people in the know to refer a good wallpaper hanger, they didn’t know any, and I stopped trying! However, I have been in touch with a great painter. Perhaps I should just stick with him and keep things simple. Sorry, if any of you are still actually reading this, I think I’m working through my own personal organization/project completion limitations through this blog and boring you with it! Hmmm, what color, what color…hmmm, time to distract myself with June’s Coastal Living, Elle Decor, and Southern Living, all of which are sitting right in front of me at the moment, then make a field trip to Benjamin Moore…

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