AJ (athletic, graceful AJ, and still no match) kept tripping over my work-related boxes and piles, especially during late night bathroom visits. I'm clumsy, but never stumbled. Years of reselling have given me the Mundane-Superhero-Power of perfect box-mess navigation. I was like Wall-E, rolling over mountains of trash with resigned ease. But luckily, everything's back in order now. Admiring my again clear home, I was inspired to share the little hacks that are helping me keep things under semi-control.
A lot of these seem reductive and common-sense, I hesitated to share them. But sometimes it's the little things you didn't think of that end up being a big help later on.
1 / Laundry Basket Clothing Storage
Sometimes, something has to give. I came to terms with it and keep a few large laundry baskets at the bottom of my closet. I toss clean clothes in these when I have no time to hang them. It's temporary, and they do eventually get hung, but it keeps everything tidy in the meantime.
2 / Hanging Clothes
Just a little energy saver, really. When I do laundry I hang the harder-to-dry and delicate items on this older-than-me IKEA drying rack I rescued from my mom's garage. Sometimes I wash the day's outfit with me in the shower and hang it on the rack for extra energy/time savings. (Works for me because I wear a lot of light/thin clothes.)
3 / Stations
When I notice I'm doing something daily I make a dedicated "station" for it. I have a smoothie and a tea station, a caddy for blankets on the couch, a bookshelf acting as a shoe rack by front door, etc.
4 / Black Burner Plates
The silliest of all! My kitchen is high-traffic. Three busy 20-somethings share my space. We come and go. We're active. We cook nearly all of our meals at home and we eat. A LOT. No matter how much I scrubbed the former silver burners were horribly blackened. I used a WalMart gift card to get black ones and it makes the whole kitchen look better maintained.
5 / Isolating Work Mess
My merchandise has been in many different places, it's own room at an ex's house, boxes in the closet, kitchen cabinets, etc. I isolated my merchandise mess to me entryway. It's odd, but it's helpful to have it accessible in one space and out of my "living" areas. (Bonus, local buyers can come browse my tiny hallway "shop" too.)
6 / Becoming Big-Bag Lady
I switch from bag to bag and would lose little essentials along the way. "Enough, I give! I shall become big-bag lady, keeper of all candies, hoarder of cats!" I mentally declared. And now I know where all things are. It's a good bag to transition from home to: school, grocery store, teaching gig, outdoors fun times, thrifting/flea market, and more because it has ample room for food (gotta eat on the run), books, towels, work-out gear, etc. And the bright anime mermaid on it makes me happy.
7 / Spaces of Solace
My bedroom is massive. It has a connecting bathroom, tall ceiling, a huge window and it's minimally furnished. It's inspiration for what the rest of my apartment will be one day. It's my empty, beautiful breath of fresh air. Every space should have one while we work through the chaos!
/ / / / /
My home ain't perfect or exactly where I want it yet, but I enjoy the process of making it the ideal home. While I'm diminishing one business and getting used to biz/school/gym/gigs --- things are chaotic, yes, but these little things have helped me as I inch closer to my desired space. It is, after all, temporary. And living life and exploring between the work is more important that spending all of the days off to make your space immaculate. Take it a step at a time.
The Yuko-chan always acts like she's starving to death and gained weight from being fed by my roomies, who thought she didn't eat. Had to make a sign. She's not happy about it.
I also wanted to share honest behind-the-scenes. Behind many a carefully curated photo in a blog is...a disaster! Nobody can do it all, but I'm proud of myself for inching closer to living to my full potential. Even if it trashed my pad in the meantime!
I'd love to hear any clutter-banishing tricks you've picked up in the comments!