Last week was spring break and with my time off I was inspired / possessed / resolved to organize my apartment. Probably 90% of the time my place looks like a tornado went through. I HATE when it’s messy and cluttered, and a lot of it comes down to me just not being as organized as I could be. So I made a few small, almost-free changes to help pull things together.
Area #1: the remotes
I’m sure no one else ever has the problem of a lost remote, right? (Sidebar: I don’t understand people who organize their remotes by putting them on the TV. Isn’t the purpose of the remote to not have to cross the room to the TV?)
So I plopped a basket next to my couch, and threw the remotes and only the remotes in. Wasn’t sure if I’d actually keep up with putting them back, but a week later I have! A little change that makes it a easier to settle in with some Doctor Who at the end of the day.
And it was free because I already had the basket – a Christmas present from a coworker, filled with tea and shortbread cookies.
Area #2: other keys
I don’t lose my keys. They’re always within six feet of my front door, but they could be under a hat or coat or bag. But in addition to my daily home/car/work keys, I have other keys like my spares, my mailbox key, and my laundry room key. Lotsa keys.
I stuck some of those 3M hooks on the wall next to the doors. Huzzah for an extra 30 seconds of travel time instead of key-hunting time each time I leave the house! My mailbox and laundry keys are now by the BACK door, which is more appropriate since I use that door to go check mail and head to the laundry room. (‘Nother sidebar: why are all the outlets in my home upside-down? Was that the way to do stuff in the 50s?)
Area #3: bathroom sink
My poor lil’ place was built in the 50s and the bathroom has a pedestal sink and NO storage. But there are two built-in soap trays and a narrow spot above the faucet. I don’t use bar soap, but have kept my vintage band-aid tin stuffed and stored in one of the soap slots (it fits perfectly!). Was wondering what I could do with the other.
Grabbed a tomato sauce can from my recycling bin, ripped off the label, and – voila – it fits in the soap tray, but not sticking out enough that I’m likely to knock it out with an errant gesture.
Also took my Jelly Belly tin (I like tins) and gave it a permanent home on the sink back.
The Jelly Belly holds my small jewelry collection – except necklaces, which are hung on the towel rod.
The tomato tin holds hair bands, clips, and bobby pins – which used to migrate EVERYWHERE, not just in my bathroom but whole apartment. And car. And purse. Oh, it also holds a yellow eraser in the shape of a walrus. His name is Wally and was my favorite toy as a kid. It’s fun to see him looking up at me every morning.
Area #4: shoe-herding
Almost as soon as I moved to Boulder I became one of those take-your-shoes-off-when-you-enter-a-home people. Just about everyone does it around here, which I’d heard of but was a new experience. Preferring barefooted-ness anyway, I became a quick convert. So most of my shoes are stored by the door. But they they tend to spread out and wander everywhere in the entry.
Enter the $10 metal bucket from the seasonal aisle at Target. It was advertised for holding frosty beverages, but I though, “No way, that’s my shoe tub!” And – bonus – when I host gatherings I can dump all the shoes in my bedroom and fill the tub with ice to hold frosty beverages. Yay for multi-purposing!
So, there’s a couple baby steps toward being more organized. Just small things, but they’re already helping my life be a bit less stressful and messy.