Wednesday, February 1, 2012

What makes my life easier

John Paul and I have lived in three homes together, and each one has had its own personality and layout.  We've kept some of the same pieces of furniture (my beloved Heywood Wakefield dresser, school desk nightstand, our bar cabinet), but the way we arrange our stuff behind the scenes has drastically changed at each place.  John Paul does not like outer clutter, whereas I like a little bit of stuff showing to keep our home from looking sterile.  We've compromised by having little things like umbrellas out in the open, but put most of our stuff behind doors.  Literally.
Our broom, mop, aprons, and Mia's leashes are hanging on this little device from Container Store on the door that hides our washer and dryer.  There are four hooks and 4 spaces where you can just jam a handle in there and it stays in place.  So much nicer than just throwing it into our hall closet, which is currently holding...
... all of our gloves, hats and scarves!  My mom turned me on to the idea of using an over-the-door shoe holder for winter essentials, and this has truly been a lifesaver in the morning.  Rather than rifle through my box of stuff, I can see what matches my outfit and quickly pull it out for the day.  This is from The Container Store and was all of $25.  Great, great purchase.
I bought an iron this weekend!  Although I hate to iron, it's kind of a must for JP, as he wears lots of suits and button-downs.  To save space, we bought this over-the-door kit for $11 for the board and iron, and it's awesome.  Cheap, easy to put together, and slim (less than 7 inches deep with everyone on it).
If you live someplace where it gets cold in the winter, you probably live in fuzzy-ish sweaters.  They're superwarm and cozy, but pill like crazy!  I bought a handy little comb with a rough sandpapery material on the end that pulls all of those little fuzzies off the sweater and helps it look like new.  It cost about $6 from my dry cleaners, and I've used it for months.
Trays like this black leather one help clutter look purposeful.  Currently, this tray is being put to use holding all of our clear liquors, wine (dark liquors should be kept out of the light!  Apparently liqueurs like Bailey's and Disaronno are okay.  Whew.), and bar accessories.  The corkboard is JP's concession to my need to informally display art like a homemade postcard from Haley and screenprint from my Anthropologie days.
I had a hard time getting a picture of this, but it's also really helpful to keep my tablecloths on hangers in my closet; they don't get wrinkled, and I don't have to fold them to perfectly fit our narrow shelves.  Try it!
What are your tips for keeping life somewhat organized and sane?

P.S. I'm realizing now that I'm coming off like a Container Store spokesperson.  I just happen to buy a lot of stuff from their stores.


  1. 1) Deciding to put our bedroom downstairs off the kitchen (instead of a den) - has been great. Yes, it's a bit small and closet space is limited, but it is SO convenient. It was Brent's idea and a good one. 2) Plastic baskets (Target) for everything from yogurt in the refridge, to hair products in the bathroom cabinet, to "sweet condiments" in the pantry - they are life savers. 3) And of course my shoe holders on the backs of the doors - I have two!

  2. I think one of the best ways to keep clutter to a minimum is to throw, throw, throw! (Well, not literally, I take all my things to My Sisters's Place - a store which supports abused women children) Since being unemployed it seems I am always cleaning out drawers and closets. Now that I am getting ready to remodel my kitchen I'm sure I will come up with several boxes of dishes and/or appliances I no longer use. I keep my tablecloths hanging as well and now that I have gotten rid of all used prom and bridesmaid dresses I have so much more closet space. Looking forward to seeing you soon.
    aunt nesi
    PS> The drink stirrers on your bar sure do look familiar!