Monday, July 28, 2014

Toes in the Sand & a Party Plan

I'm taking time off from my blog this week to put my toes in the sand and work on an itsy-bitsy theme party we're having at our petite penthouse this weekend.

My entertaining motto?  Don't EVER let living in a small space prevent you from hosting a great (little) party!

Hope you have a wonderful summer week!

Kathryn :) 

Friday, July 25, 2014

Living Richly in the Moments

"If you surrender completely to the moments as they pass, you live more richly in those moments."
--Anne Morrow Lindbergh

"If  you get simple beauty, and naught else, you get about the best thing God invents."
--Robert Browning

"The aim of life is to live, and to live means to be aware." 
--Henry Miller

"If we wait until we're ready, we'll be waiting for the rest of our lives."
--Lemony Snicket

"Is your problem really your problem, or is your attitude toward your problem the real problem?"
--Joyce Meyer

"A refined simplicity: to be simple is to be great."

"As I unclutter my life, I free myself to answer the callings of my soul."

"Beauty is silent eloquence."
--French Proverb

"Every moment and every event of a man's life plants something in his soul."
--Thomas Merton

"One must put all the happiness one can into each moment."
--Edith Wharton

"I'd be quite happy if I spent from Saturday night until Monday morning alone in my apartment.  That's how I refuel." 
 --Audrey Hepburn

Happy Weekend!

Kathryn :)  
All photos this post taken by Kathryn Bechen.

Monday, July 21, 2014

Beauty Burst Forth

"Tell them...that if eyes were made for seeing, then beauty is its own excuse for being."


Saturday, July 19, 2014

Basket Bedside Organizing for Clutter Control

If only our homes would stay organized without much effort on our part.  I'd be the first one to sign up, friends!  But alas, even the most obsessively organized among us must make some effort at the constant tweaking of our organizing systems, because life evolves.

When I wrote my bestselling Small Space Organizing book, I waxed poetic about the virtues of basket organizing over and over again, because baskets not only work especially well in small spaces, but they look attractive and are easy to find at affordable prices at places like Target, Marshalls, World Market, Goodwill, and garage sales.

I still feel strongly about basket organizing.  (And I laughed when one of my Amazon book reviewers said, "This author is just obsessed with baskets!"  Guilty as charged!)

Cleaning Tip:  When my baskets get dusty, I simply run them through the top rack of my dishwasher on a light wash cycle, or I put them in the shower with me if they are too big for the dishwasher.  :)

My latest basket m.o.:  I have a very narrow space by my side of the bed in our master bedroom due mostly to the fact that we have a king size bed and a small bedroom.  I work on my laptop from bed a good part of the day using a lap desk, so I have cords for my computer--but being highly aesthetically inclined as well as organizationally-obsessed, I don't like ugly cord clutter!  (I'm sure you don't either, if you're the type to read my blog.)

So.... I repurposed a lidded basket I've had for years to hold my bedside cords and "stuff."  I put my CD player in there, and my empty journals, and my computer cord when it's not in use.

I simply put the lid on and slide the basket under my nightstand.  It works almost like an extra drawer since it slides in and out easily.

I also found that as a voracious book reader (who has not gotten around to buying a Kindle yet!), I was stockpiling my books and journals that are reading-in-progress and writing-in-progress projects on top of my nightstand and it was just getting too cluttered.   So I found these long narrow baskets at my local Target to sit right against the wall in the narrow space by my side of the bed.  Much better!

Now when I vacuum beside my bed, I can just pick up the baskets instead of having to pick up all the books individually and arrange them back on the floor again.  And I still have room to get into bed easily enough. And I'm not spilling my tea on books on my nightstand.   Here are some similar long narrow baskets from Target online.

Here's to basket organizing!  How many baskets do you think you have in your home and what's your favorite way to use them?!

Kathryn :) 

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Organizing Scarves & Shawls

Organizing requires ongoing maintenance.   And sometimes things need to be tweaked. Yes indeed-y! Also, based on both personal and past client-organizing work experience, one has to also organize for the particular space.  And every home and office is different, so this requires some creativity!

Last year when we moved into our small penthouse apartment, I organized my shawls and scarves like this.  It worked fine, but I found that the items were more wrinkled than I personally like, and because I iron as little as humanly possible, I took down the plastic pocket organizer recently and had my hubs install two long metal towel bars in my closet instead.  Much better!  I organized them by color so I can see at a quick glance what goes best with my current outfit choice.

Then, because of my Goodwill obsession for shawls, (such great thrifty prices!), I found that I had more shawls than would fit on the towel bars, but I do really wear them all.  (Promise!)   So I stacked two pretty Michael's storage boxes underneath the rods and put my black shawls in there, folded.

Labeled, of course.

This whole shawl m.o. is working dandy now, especially for such a small closet!

I also wear scarves a lot.  To me, they're art that can colorfully camouflage a multitude of ...body sins.  :)

I like this scarf organizer from Container Store because it holds so many scarves in such a small space on my closet rod.  They have other styles to choose from as well.

I'm a repurposing kind of gal, so I also use my shawls in my tablescapes sometimes and then just wash them after the meal.  Last night, I packed a picnic to eat in the park by our apartment, and this floral "tablecloth" is really a Goodwill scarf, and so is the silky faux-leopard shawl tied around our picnic basket.  I thought I might need the leopard one too, but since I didn't it stayed on the basket.  (You never know; I come prepared!)  :)

After our picnic,  I just washed and dried this scarf/tablecloth and hung it back up.  Easy-peasy.

You can find oodles more of my storage tips and tricks in my bestselling book, Small Space Organizing.   

How do you store your scarves and shawls?  And do you repurpose them for anything other than wearing them as clothing accessories?  (Sometimes I'll tie a shawl around a pillow for a little stylish pizazz, too!)

Kathryn :) 

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