Sunday, September 26, 2010

Closet Chaos

Before treating you to a wonderful post about closets from Amber, I just wanted to let you know that posts from me may be infrequent for awhile.  My wonderful husband is still out of work and it's taking a toll on the family.  I am especially feeling the stress as we consider our options and whether to sell the house.  But as you know, Amber will take very good care of our little 'Jewel Box Home' community and you can expect to hear from her on a weekly basis.  

And now for Amber's insightful and funny post about closets in small houses.  She also has some great tips!

Photo Courtesy of JD Organizer

Is this your closet?  Do you have ample space for perfectly hung apparel and labeled boxes of shoes according to season?  Do you have a folding station in your closet and floor to ceiling mirrors?  Is there a separate cabinet for jewelry and accessories?  Shelves for handbags?  This is not my closet.  My closet is tiny and things fall out of it when you open the door.  I have stacks of handbags and shoes and hats piled on the shelves right up to the ceiling and there are belts hung on a rack that slide off each time I take just one off which means that I normally just go without a belt because I don't want to pick them all up!

Fall weather is quickly upon us and I have been staring with dismay at my sad little closet these past weeks, knowing full well that I need to sort through it as I do each season to weed out summer clothing and replace it with fall and winter wear.  But I don't wanna!!  It is an all day task for me and I just sigh and lean into the door as I close it hoping I can just wear a jacket over short sleeves for the rest of the week.

To get myself motivated to tackle the chore, I have been perusing others' lovely organized storage spaces.   

Photo Courtesy of Better Homes and Gardens

I have decided the key to closet organization must be cleverness.  You can't let the small space beat you!  I think the trick is to have the correct storage solutions on hand.  This hanging shoe rack is an inexpensive way to keep shoes out from under the bed or on the closet floor.  

Photo Courtesy of Better Homes and Gardens

These basic, stick-on utility hooks cost less than $2 for a pack of three and help utilize every square inch of closet space while providing a place for hats or bags to hang without crushing them!

Photo Courtesy of Better Homes and Gardens

Out of season clothing or even just items that can't be hung like sweaters or jackets can be stored in these decorative cardboard boxes and stored underneath hanging clothes or at the bottom of a stack of storage boxes.  You could even store winter boots in these cute containers.

Photo Courtesy of Better Homes and Gardens

My belts may stay hung on this coat rack!  Perfect for scarves too.  I better put this on my list. 
Photo Courtesy of Better Homes and Gardens

My problem often lies with mixing my belongings up with my husbands in our tiny space.  I find that being diplomatic is hard with my jeans are mixed in with his jeans!  My goal this season is to ensure we each have our own space in the closet and no inter-marrying of clothing happens by accident any more!  I love the canvas totes in this closet.  What a perfect way to store purses and bags.  And the shoe cubbies can be used for his hats too!
Photo Courtesy of Better Homes and Gardens

By sliding a jewelry organizer into the cubby, this closet owner ensured that she could accessorize easily.  You could also purchase silverware containers for jewelry use to maximize space as well.
 Photo Courtesy of Better Homes and Gardens

This wall-mounted trouser hanger may be the solution to my jean connundrum.  For less than $10 I can keep our slacks separate and nicely ironed!

I think I'm motivated and passionate about my closet chaos now!  I can do this...I'm ready!!


Saturday, September 11, 2010

Upon Reflection

In memory of September 11th, which also happens to be my birthday, Amber has beautifully captured the true meaning of living in a smaller home through a lovely poem by Florence Bone and a collage of stunning images.  Thank you Amber for the wonderful birthday treat!


"God send me a little home;
To come back to when we roam...

"One picture on each wall,
not many things at all.

"Wooden floors and fluted tiles;
wide windows, a view for miles

"Red firelight and deep chairs;
Small white beds upstairs.
"Great talk in little nooks;
soft colors, rows of books

"God send us a little ground;
Tall trees stand 'round.

"Homely flowers in fertile sod;
Overhead, they stars, O God.

"God bless thee when winds blow;
Our home and all we know."

~Florence Bone

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Home Offices

 Photo Courtesy of Apartment Therapy

I work from home as a graphic artist and website designer, so it is vitally important I have my own space for working.  As anyone who works from home knows, it is easy to be lazy or procrastinate when you are setting your own schedule.  Having a specific area in the house where I know I have to go to work and I can shut the door and get down to business is a necessity.  Finding that area in my small house is easier said than done!

 Photo Courtesy of Apartment Therapy

I've tried many areas.  The bedroom.  A corner of the kitchen.  Now, I have a spot in the mudroom on a long counter that is also used for folding laundry.  I have a little trash can and a tiny filing cabinet and a bulletin board with a million things pinned to it.  A small lamp and baskets and papers crammed in everywhere!  But it works.  I had to carve out my nook and create something from nothing.  Ta-da!  Instant home office.  

 Photo Courtesy of Apartment Therapy

The key to making my little area work as a home office was making it multifunctional.  By using an ottoman with storage I can keep my files handy and prop my feet up at the same time.  I have a side table that holds my lamp and also drawers underneath for extra storage. 

 Photo Courtesy of Apartment Therapy

In my home office I take advantage of my vertical space as well.  Utilizing shelves that hang above my "desk" area I can add more storage.  I also use my bulletin board for notices, inspiration and memos to myself.

 Photo Courtesy of Apartment Therapy

Most important for me in keeping my home office functional and sane, is that I purge weekly!  In a small space I must get rid of whatever I don't use frequently.  I try to go through paperwork and clutter every week so I can keep my work area efficient.

 Photo Courtesy of Better Homes and Gardens

A home office can be in a closet, corner or even portable...moving from room to room as the need warrants.  Using rolling carts, laptops and portable equipment you can carry your work area wherever your fancy strikes!

 Photo Courtesy of Better Homes and Gardens

Constantly looking for inspiration on the web and in magazines helps give me ideas for what makes small spaces function well.  Change is always nice and inspiring, so sometimes my home office gets a total overhaul when I find something that looks fun to mimic!

 Photo Courtesy of Apartment Therapy

Don't forget to make it pretty!  You don't have to showcase cords and dusty electronics just because you are working.  Hide them with cord covers, set up some picture frames, place beautiful objects around to get you motivated!

Wherever your work space is, make it your own!