Have nothing in your house that you do not know to be useful, or believe to be beautiful. ~William Morris
It seems when January comes around every year, organizing and decluttering seems to be on the mind of many people, especially women. Lets face it, Americans live with a lot of STUFF and sometimes that stuff can weigh our lives down
If you’re somewhat new to The Red Painted Cottage, you might not be aware that Mr. Cottage and I went through a major downsizing a few years ago. We moved from a large, two-story colonial to a condo, losing lots of square footage in the process. We had a large two-day estate sale and making decisions on what to keep and what to get rid of was not always an easy choice.
I know that one of the most popular organizing books on the market right now is The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up by Marie Kondo . I have to be honest and tell you I haven’t read it because I have a slightly older book that to me is awesome. It’s Organizing From The Inside Out by Julie Morgenstern, which is still available for purchase and still has great reviews . When we downsized, I made sure I kept this book, along with a few others.
I’m almost embarrassed to show you the above photo, but this was taken a number of years ago in our previous house. I think I had just a few too many magazines!
I still have a love for a few of my favorite magazines, but now I never let it get much higher than the above photo. I’ve discovered that if you can keep some of your most used items in a basket or container of some sort or even on a tray, it will make everything around it look more organized and less cluttered-looking.
Try picturing all the objects on the tray, just laying around on top of our small chest. I bought this tray at Hobby Lobby on one of their 50% off sales. I like to keep our scissors, pens and pencils within easy reach, so they’re all together in a Longaberger pencil basket on the tray. The covered basket in the tray, holds all of Mr. Cottage’s receipts until he has a chance to file them away. Much better that letting them stack up somewhere else where it will look like one big mess. I also keep my watch, which I can grab on my way out the door, and our flash drives within easy reach.
I made this Farmer’s Market crate (which you can read about here), to contain and hold all our cookbooks, address book and a few other essential items that need to be kept close at hand. It looks so much better now than before.
Even this inexpensive tray I bought from Home Goods, helps to contain the salt and pepper shakers, rather than them just sitting on the counter, making it look more cluttered.
While I’m at it, almost all our drawers have some kind of dividers so we’re not opening up to a messy drawer. This particular one I found at Home Goods and I use it in our small chest in the kitchen to hold chargers, a few cords and measuring tapes.
When we moved and downsized, I lost our beautiful and huge pantry in our other kitchen. Now I only have a few shelves, literally, to hold everything. This is going to be one of my projects to organize in the next week or two. We had a lot of excess small items that kept getting lost in this small space, so I found this small cloth basket from Target to hold those items.
The galvanized tray above, is from The Magnolia Market, which has been shown on Fixer Upper numerous times. Right now, I’m currently keeping it on our coffee table and I have the latest catalogues in it for me to browse through when I find the time. Rather than spreading things out and making it look more cluttered, I keep our large glass hurricane in this tray
This was one of the best investments we made when we bought our condo. Our entry was large enough for either a bench or a console table and we decided to go with the bench. I have #1 and #2 baskets and Mr. Cottage has #3 for our shoes. In our other house, we had a tray near our side door where we kept some of our shoes but it always looked like a pile of shoes…which, of course, it was! The bench, baskets and the shelf above (which is not shown), all came from The Pottery Barn.
Fortunately, our coffee table has a shelf under it, where I keep this basket (Smith and Hawkins from Target), to hold newer magazines and brochures. It’s out of the way, yet close by.
You don’t need to spend much money on your containers. The boxes above were literally covered and created from diaper boxes I got from our daughter-in-law. And I happened to have the fabric just laying around, so I didn’t even have to go out and buy any. You can read how to make these here and here.
I’ve got quite a list of projects I’m going to be working on this year; and in between working on them, I’m going to be doing some decluttering and organizing around our house. I’ll be taking before and after photos and showing them to you as I get things cleaned up around here.
I’m sharing at the following: Wow Us Wednesdays, WAYWOW, Ivy and Elephants, Whimsy Wednesdays, Talk of the Town, Wonderful Wednesday, Talented Tuesday, Work It Wednesday, AKA Design, BWT, Create It Thursday, Inspiration Thursday, Thursday Favorite Things, My Flagstaff Home, The Inspiration Gallery, Share Your Cup, Tatertots and Jello, Share It One More Time, The Sits Girls, Saturday Sparks, I Should Be Mopping The Floor, Finding Silver Pennies, DIY ShowOff, DIY Sunday Showcase, Thoughts From Alice, Something To Talk About, The Scoop, Cozy Little House, A Stroll Thru Life, Busy Monday, Inspire Me Monday, Amaze Me Monday, Show and Share, Lou Lou Girls, Tuesdays At Our Home, Make It Pretty Monday, Project Inspired,