Right before the new year, I was struck with a desperate need to get our little apartment in order. Not that it was wildly out of control, but after all of the seasonal decorations had come through, excess cookie baking, and an abundance of party prep, I had a sense of how dysfunctional our setup was. When we first moved in, I thought I had really organized things according to our needs. Boy, howdy was I wrong. So, as Mr. F got called into work over the break and then resumed his normal schedule, I began the process of tearing the apartment to pieces to get it situated better. After a week and change of work, I at least have everything pretty well sorted. And this is what I've done so far...
The studio took me nearly three days to do, and it's an itty bitty room. It holds all of my art and crafting supplies as well as documents and some other storage. This room was what inspired me to go crazy with the rest of the apartment. I knew if I could pare down what was contained in the studio and give everything a designated home, I could do the rest of our flat.
The key to the studio was boxes and pilfering. I got rid of two garbage bags stuffed to capacity worth of junk that I am ashamed to say I hauled halfway around the world for no good reason. Old documents, sketches, craft supplies, all of it was sifted through with a fine tooth comb. After sifting, it was sorted. I used inexpensive clear boxes from Ikea so that even with the labels, I could see what was inside the box. I also rearranged where everything was located on the shelves for better workspace flow at my desk.
Some of my favorite results from this room are the giant laundry basket (seen at beginning of post) to hold all of my ironing, old peanut butter jars used to contain paper clips and rubber bands, and my sewing notions contained in a darling picnic hamper.
I won't shove any more photos of my bathrooms cupboards at you, mainly because that's awkward....But here's the method to the madness: I tend to buy in bulk when I find things on sale. Shampoo, soap, toothpaste, etc. I'd rather buy it all at once and save the money up front then have to go shopping every time we run out. So, there were a whole lot of "extras" floating around these cupboards just needing a home. Yet again, I predominantly used the clear bins so I could see what was inside.
The kitchen was a two-fold mission. First, contain the laundry/cleaning supply cupboard. (It was scary...) And second, find a better system for our food storage. The desire to have a three to six month supply of food and other notions was the real driving force behind this. I needed to be able to see what we had on hand at all times so that I knew what to make more of or scour the ads for. After some artful rearranging and use of more clear bins, not only do I have more cupboard space for food storage, I have a much better sense of where we are running low.
In the food cupboards I tried to box up whatever I could to create shelving. Like items were grouped together with extra and lesser used foodstuffs being placed further back on the shelves. Thanks to the use of boxes, however, things are much more accessible and visible. For more finicky items, I used baskets I had on hand.
This organizational melee was part of my goal to get the apartment put together this winter, functionally and aesthetically. I discovered how much beauty there can be in neatly stacked boxes and color coated paper. Maybe I suffer from more OCD than my husband teases me about, but it's true. I loved the journey of finding containers I already had on hand and using them for function and form. How a charming basket could help tidy up the mess of unsightly laundry, or a jar could give new life to paper clips. Or how lovely cans of tomatoes looked through the clear glass of a hurricane vase on a shelf. So simple, so rewarding, and so lovely.