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 :) 

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

More Artful Boudoir Storage

Last post I wrote about displaying my robes as a way to both store and enjoy them as art.

In my tiny master bedroom, I was needing more storage for my supplements that come in boxes and bottles, greeting cards my hubby and I give each other and keep as memorabilia, Christmas cards I buy on sale and store for the next year, and paper research that's in progress and so needs to lie horizontal as I work through the research progress before it either gets tossed or three-hole punched and put in a binder as reference material.

All that being said, I didn't want plain utilitarian storage, and I wanted something that would stack so I could use the vertical space really well.

As you can see here, mission accomplished with photo boxes and storage boxes from Michael's Crafts.  The wicker basket at the very top, which I like because it has a hinged lid, is from Target.  And the horizontal office project boxes are from  Container Store.  

I found storage boxes with touches of black and neutrals and florals since we have a black headboard and picture frames in our bedroom and a romantic "B&B" style bedroom decor going on already.  (I bought my boxes from my local Michael's store because they have many different patterns to choose from and their online store only has a few.)

 I labeled the boxes too with my Brother P-touch label maker.

And last but not least, my black hat fit perfectly way up at the top!

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

How do you store things artfully in your home?

Kathryn   :)

Friday, July 11, 2014

Artful Boudoir Storage

I think ALL of everyday life should be lived as artfully as possible, and when we open our eyes and really see, artful beauty is everywhere.

You don't have to buy an original Monet or Picasso painting; you can buy pretty robes in lovely fabrics and patterns instead.  :)   (You have to buy sleepwear anyway, so why not choose those that are as pretty as possible?!)

I used to keep my beautiful robes hanging on the back of our bedroom closet door on hooks, but one day I realized I was hiding the artful beauty of them and that I should put them where I could enjoy them more.  So I draped them over the room screen that hides the ugly air purifier in our bedroom.  (I always find ways to camouflage ugly utilitarian home items!)  That m.o. served a dual purpose because I also freed up storage space in our small master bedroom closet that my hubby and I share.

Now when I'm sitting in bed writing from my laptop, I can enjoy the view of the lovely florals on my robes and...

the art of their pretty embellishments and silky-feeling fabrics, and...

I look forward to the luxe feeling of the velvet cuff on my skin at night after I shower.

I challenge you to find even one little way in your home or life today that accomplishes both enjoyment of artful beauty and storage, and please let me know what you did by leaving a comment below.

My favorite sources for pretty and affordable quality robes:


Kohl's Bridal  (Why not feel like you're on your honeymoon every day!)  :)


Nordstrom Rack

May you live artfully...every day, in every way!

Kathryn :) 

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