I don't know what it is about this time of year, but I always get the itch to re-organize, de-clutter, and re-arrange. So, in a vein similar to last week, I've decided to use these quick takes to talk about stuff around the house. I'm no expert, and my house isn't perfect, but I do take pleasure in a creating a comfortable and pleasant space. So, allons-y!
Use the items you use as adornment. It helps keep the clutter down, makes life easier if space is an issue, and saves you money on "decorations." One example of this in my home is keeping the liquor collection on top of the refrigerator. The bottles are beautiful, it saves on cabinet space, and it keeps that surface from gathering clutter.
Spend your money on furniture at the furniture store, not on pictures, lamps, rugs, or other house paraphernalia. They are often way overpriced and, if you aren't careful, your living room may end up looking just a little too show room-y (if you know what I mean).
And related to #2, a house doesn't become a home immediately. Don't try to rush the process with little thought out "improvements" or purchases. I'm an impatient person who rushes around a lot; I didn't realize how much I wasn't seeing until I nursed my first child. Just sitting (not reading, just sitting) was a revelation! Sit in various places in your home and try to notice things. What fills your line of site when you look down the hallway? Does the wall color the next room flow naturally, or is the contrast jarring? Does your furniture set-up seem balanced? Is the wall behind the couch missing something? Is that piece of art being all it can be, or is there too much sun reflecting off of it from the window across the room?
Shop estate sales, yard sales, craigslist, and thrift stores for unique items that won't break the bank. I am constantly tweaking things around the house; making thrifty purchases allows me to feed my compulsion without breaking the bank. They also ensure that I am creating a space that is uniquely me, because the items are chosen with care and are no longer in mass production. Bonus tip: craigslist is always teeming with nursery furniture. If you buy furniture in a white finish, it's very easy to add another dresser or toddler bed to the mix without spending much.
Know that it is okay to shop for some things at the dollar store. For certain organizing needs, this option just can't be beat. I have found durable plastic bins (like the blue and yellow ones below) in great colors there for, wait for it, $1! I also recently discovered shallow rectangular bins that are perfect for storing children's books under the beds/cribs (we have lots of "under -the-bed/crib" space that doesn't accommodate items over a certain size, and if I'm not careful these spaces become disorganized repositories for... random stuff).
Use old items for new purposes. I started to get really good at this once I had kids and I couldn't just run to the store at the drop of a hat. For example, I wanted to reorganize the top of the bedroom armoire, but the kids were sleeping (the only time such projects happen!). So I raided the kitchen and found a lone dollar store plate (I don't even know how it came to be there...) and a thrifted glass. I used the glass to hold my husbands shirt stays, and the plate to bring form to the otherwise somewhat random items.
That's enough from me! If you are itching for some inspiration now, check out Apartment Therapy. I love, love, love this site. Also, to get a feel for what's going on in home decor elsewhere in the world, I really enjoy the pictures on this blog. And, one more thing, please leave me a comment below. I would love to hear your decorating or organizing tips or something you've found helpful in your own "homemaking!"
|Maybe I'll finally re-hang that pic over the stove and center it...|
|Aren't those colorful bins adorable? I use them for socks, mittens, hats, tights, etc.|
|These little trays are perfect for books. The kids can get them out and put them away with ease.|
|An old plate and thrifted glass bring a little order to the armoire.|