Tag Archives: organizing

Comfortable Minimalism

12 May

What is minimalism? Essentially, minimalism is about promoting what you value and the purging of all else. The ideology pertains not only to your physical space, but to the way you choose to spend your time and how you spend your money. It’s really about seeking a lifestyle of authenticity by living more simply.

This month for the Kitsap Sun, I expanded on this idea and outlined some practical tips for making the move toward living minimally in your home. You’ll also find a list of resources to get started with minimalism. I think that it is possible to live more minimally, with only the things you truly love, whilst not forsaking any of your creature comforts.


The air plant rests on top of a special collection of rocks collected on family beach walks. Not only do I love the look of the natural colors and textures, but the memories they invoke make me smile each time I pass by. 


The Freedom of Purging

14 Nov

Clutter begets clutter. That truth couldn’t be more evident than in my basement right now. I’ve worked hard in the past to keep the clutter contained- in storage containers and doing the occasional sorting and donating. But alas, my system has broken down. Now bins are too full to add things to, shelves are bulging and disorganized and new things that need to be stored, are convalescing in piles on the once clear floor space, awaiting a permanent home. In short, my basement is currently a disaster.

As we have been working on re-purposing the office upstairs into our bedroom, more and more homeless items are brought downstairs, with no designated destination. Our basement has plenty of room to accommodate all of our stuff, it just needs a major re-org and a good purge. I’ve been know to utter the words “We could get rid of 60% of our stuff and not even miss it.”

The time has come at last to make good on that notion. With the holidays fast approaching and a baby on the way, we are only going to be amassing more possessions. I’m so ready to clear the decks and say good bye to the things we rarely use, and simply make room. It would be amazing to see an empty bin or a clear spot on a shelf somewhere down there.

The basement serves many purposes other than storage for us. The one “finished” room is my husband’s office and our guest quarters, our laundry is down there, and I use the garage portion as my studio/ workshop and a place for Thomas to do messy art projects. This space is also where we store our lawn mower and yard tools.

It’s already pretty much divided into zones, but I find that sketching out a floor plan, then assessing and attacking things by their zone is the easiest way to get the job done. We’ll be tackling this monumental project over the next couple of weekends. As embarrassing as it is to share these photos, here is a taste of the “before” in my basement. Sad face.

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So, now you can imagine, that even a person who regards herself as organized has organization issues! I can’t even tell you how much I am looking forward to a tidy “after” situation in my basement. A good purge of belongings always feels good. Progress report to come!

Clutter in the Corners

6 Apr

It’s amazing how, especially in a small home, despite my organizing efforts, clutter happens. Clutter begets clutter. I know this, and yet, it curses this house. Clutter’s breeding process goes something like this:

A few months after moving in, I realized I didn’t have a spot to store my decorating magazines after I’d read them. I was too busy to figure out a proper solution, so I stashed them in the corner of my bedroom, next to the closet. Since I have curtains hanging over my closet, I could easily hide the stack, and quickly began to ignore it. Around that same time, I couldn’t decide on the proper place to hang my beloved round mirror. Not wanting it to get banged up in our storage shed, I placed it in the corner with the magazines, until I could figure out where to hang it. Soon after that, I rearranged things in the hall cupboards, and a box of my finer underthings lost it’s home. Just a couple of weeks ago, as I switched out my winter clothes with my spring things, I readied a bag for good will. Two nights ago, I was too hot while I slept, so I pulled the wool blanket off the bed, wadded it up and plopped it on “the pile”. Now it is the crowning jewel to that innocent stack of magazines that began in October.

This morning, I tripped over” the pile” while making my bed. I pulled back the curtain and sort of couldn’t believe how large” the pile” had become. I looked around the room, clutter was now multiplying next to my laundry basket. That pile is a mix of both mine and my husband’s stuff. “Wow”, I thought, “Am I becoming a hoarder?” Yikes.  Today’s challenge is to clear out those corners and come up with a more permanent solution to storing my magazines.

Clutter begets clutter. I guess it’s a lesson I’ll have to learn over and over again. Next time I can’t find a proper place to put something, maybe I’ll consider the recycling bin instead!

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A Cute Paperclip Dish? Really?

29 Feb

A sweet place to hold y our small office supplies, or perhaps a single scoop of gelato?

Yes. Really. If you must have a place to stash your paperclips in plain sight, why not make it be something pretty? I used this little footed milk glass bowl to hold my cute SMASH journal supplies, but you could put it to work corralling pushpins or binder clips. Buy it from my etsy shop for only $9.00! One might also use it as pretty portion-control, for that after dinner scoop of moose tracks ice cream…

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A New Work Station

1 Feb

The last time I wrote about my home office, it was in a state of disgusting disarray. I was struggling with paper clutter, and a lack of organized storage. It was time to face the challenge of hiding things in plain sight, since in a house this small, I don’t have the luxury of putting things behind closed doors!

Today I am happy to report that the new system is working pretty darn well at keeping me organized. Let me share my strategy.

1. I cleared the decks:

  • I removed the desk from the house- it was simply taking up too much space.
  • I went through all of my files and random piles of paper/mail.
  • I put a file cabinet in my son’s closet to house long-term paper storage.

2. I came up with a system to deal with incoming mail and other important documents. Thank you to Better Homes and Gardens January issue for their savvy tips on organizing paper! Now, I have three action files on the wall for sorting, and two binders (one for home and one for my business) for important, frequent referencing.

3. I went shopping! I really didn’t spend much.  I bought the wall file system at IKEA, and purchased two binders and a pack of page protectors at Target. I got my calendar and recycled file folders at Paper Source.

4. I put everything in its place.  Using drawer units from IKEA that I already had, I created spots for all of the little things that I need easy access to, but don’t want to see: pens, paper, address book, note cards, crafting supplies, cameras and cords, and so much more.

Check out the slide show to see the results!

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