how to organize your home

Don’t let this post fool you. I am not an organized person. I’m learning, albeit slowly and painfully. I went from a bedroom at my parent’s house to owning a 3 bedroom, 1600 square foot monster. So even talking about organization can have me feeling emo, self-wallowing, and straight up overwhelmed. My office is unusable. Read: It’s my dumping ground when we have visitors or when I don’t know what to do with a future-future project. Like shower curtain rods I have no intention of using until I makeover the bathroom [which I haven't started]. It’s sickening.

So take all of my advice with a grain of salt. But I will tell you that I’m learning what works for us and what doesn’t. So maybe what works for us will work for you. Let’s get started.

Organizing the living room. This is where we spend the majority of our time. For the most part, it works. We have a coffee table that is a trunk and I L.O.V.E it. I keep extra books [the kind you borrowed from your sister two years ago and don’t want her to remember about so you hide it from plain sight], notebooks, and basically whatever floats my boat. When we have children it would be a good place to hide toys I find unbearable. Right now it's a hot mess so I guess I should put that on my new year's resolution list.

Sorry for the grainy/horrible photos. Mr Sunlight was not interested in cooperating.

This is key: if you have a trunk or ottoman that lifts up, use a tray on top. We have a gorgeous wicker tray that my bestie got me for Christmas one year. I included some books and a little pink box inside. Inside of the pink box is where we store our ugly remote. It’s usually not there however, and can be found gallivanting with spare tissues in the couch cushions. I’m sorry. You did nothing to deserve that imagery. I’ll try to recover. Also, the tray usually [err…sometimes] contains our coasters. I don’t get coasters. Maybe if they were cuter I would use them more often. But I digress, the tray is key folks. You just lifty lifty and then you can open your trunk any old time to hide said borrowed book.

Movies. We have ‘em. Something you may not know: we don’t have cable. This usually sends people into a tailspin of gasps and mouth covering.

“You know that commercial with the…”
“But yea… there’s the guy that…”

So is my life. But to make sure you know I’m not a total recluse and that I’m somewhat “with it,” as hipsters say, we watch movies. We have a disgusting movie collection from our college days. We mainly Redbox these days but luckily for me, I can completely forget a movie’s plot within a few months. Why yes, I’ll watch ‘Angels & Demons’ again! What’s going to happen??  So needless to say, over time we had acquired over 200 movies [post-purge]. Obviously, I wouldn't' win at the purge-olympics. I was not about to have all 200 movie case spines staring at me all day. Oh no. So we got CD cases, the multipacks that hold 50. Heaven on earth. We just store them in a cute basket. You can organize them too by type of movie but if you have a 
husband/boyfriend/sexually confused roommate, this may quickly become uncategorized. Live and learn.

Also in the living room/entrance area we have a little table by the front door. We keep a little bowl for our keys which works nicely. I’ve found that if you have a designated dumping ground for these suckers, there’s less frantic searches at five in the morning. But I’m not completely cured.

There’s also a mirror right there so I can be further depressed about the fact that I’m going out looking like a shut-in and so that I can pray harder about not running into anyone I know. The girl at Rite Aid seems afraid of me. She ought to be. I’m not buying medicine, wine, and chocolate at the same time in my pajamas for nothing, lady.

Organizing the kitchen:

Baking pans don’t need to send you into a homicidal rage. Oh they didn’t? Well then…
I’m in love with this little IKEA find. It’s just a separator that allows me to stand my pans up. I had to remove the upper shelf of this cabinet but it wasn’t something I used anyways. Now my little baking pans stand up with pride.

I also use another IKEA goodie to stack my sauté pans. On the door is where I store the lids. Bowls go inside other bowls. I want a lazy susan for this corner cabinet one day too.

One of my favorite spots in the kitchen is right beside the stove. I have my chopping board so I can cut up veggies and dump right into the pan. I have a cute pottery jar [?] to hold all of my wooden spoons, whisks, etc that I use often. If it isn’t pretty, then it’s in the drawer right next to the oven. My knife rack is to the immediate left. This little basket holds my salt, pepper, and olive oil. My basics. Everything is within arms distance. It makes cooking easier and more fun. The trash can slides out right underneath where I'm choppin. Boom.

I’m hoping to move all of my spices to magnetic disks as well in order to open up some drawer space. I have a sickening spice collection that’s migrated to its second drawer. The paprika is taking me over! Just gotta clean up these cute IKEA cuties!

Dealing with mail:
Ugh. I used to get so excited about mail. That’s until I started to get older and birthday cards turned into payments and spam. Boo spam. I do two things that have really helped. The first is that I pay the majority of my bills online. I have apps on my phone. Phone, mortgage, car payments, credit cards… boom. Done. Whats my name?! Automatic less mail in the ... mail.

There are a few bills that I have to pay either the snail mail way or in person. These places usually allow to pay online but for a fee. Like a $3 fee and I refuse to break. You will not get my $3 and sometimes, I won’t even let you have my 42 cent stamp. My father hoarded stamps and has passed that issue charming trait down. So I pay  those few in person while I’m running other errands through town. You don't own me!!

The second thing I do is toss my mail immediately. Unless it’s something I actually want/need to work on, it goes straight to the trash. Do not stop go. Do not collect money unless you can. Trashy trash trash. And lastly, any mail that’s a keeper, I place in a cute shallow wicker bowl. It’s my to deal with later place. There’s something about a tray/basket/box that makes common objects a bit better.

So there you have it. I might be back Wednesday with some more ideas if you’re good. I’m watching. 

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