Friday, April 10, 2015

7 Spring Clutter-Clearing Hacks: Quick Solutions for Common Work-at-Home Chaos

You're busy - we all are. You want a home of streamlined productivity where everything has a place, but you don't have a lot of time to make it happen all at once. You pile on the projects, but by the end of the day, exhausted, you have a bigger mess than when you started.

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.

Left: My new hallway "mini-store." Right in my entryway but hey, it's a big help. Right: My newly fresh and empty closet, no longer stacked with boxes filled with merchandise!

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!
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  3. travis and i have to leave notes for each other if the dogs have been fed, because they do the same thing! act like they are STARVING when they ate an hour ago. hah

    1. Yep, they're tricksters. As I type this Yuko is rubbing against me begging and begging for food and following my every step. But she ate!

  4. Great hacks Van. I agree with a dedicated space. I'm fortunate that we're in a four bedroom home and I use one of them as my stock room/office/studio. I've made a commitment to my family that I won't have stock throughout the house. It's wonderful to have that space because I can also shut the door on that space which also helps in switching roles from working at home to mummy duties.

    1. I bought a 2 bedroom apartment to use one as an office but my best friend soon moved in after her ex-boyfriend cruelly kicked her out. I love having her here & don't mind the sacrifice, and luckily she doesn't mind that I have to play "merchandise musical chairs" always trying to find a new home to things. A dedicated room/garage/etc is definitely the better set-up for any reseller. It's really tricky without it.

  5. I have a chair (love seat) where I put "has been worn but doesn't need washed) clothes to remind me to wear them a few more times before tossing them in the clothes basket. I don't want to hang them up again but they aren't dirty. This helps keep them off the floor and ensures I wear my clothes as much as possible between washings.

    1. Yep, same with the wearing between washings. I usually hang my clothes back unless they're really nasty from the gym or visibly dirty.

  6. Isolating work stuff was a sure must for us - I was making jewelry in the kitchen, in the bathroom even in the bed and waking up with jump rings stuck to my face.

    1. Haha, that sounds like me. I am not alone! I've woke up with random bits stuck to me from passing out working on stuff. It's gotta be a maker thing, I envy the ones that have dedicated workspaces and actually keep them tidy/work tidily.

  7. Ah! Buying black burners is genius. Mine are so gross, and no matter how much I scrub, they don't look any better. I may have to steal your idea, Van!

    1. Glad it may have helped someone, I felt silly sharing it but dude, I scrubbed until my arms were sore. The old ones were not going to come clean :P

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    That sounds a lot like me. I'm not the only one! I've awoken with pieces clinging to me from passing out while working on something. It has to be a maker thing; I admire those who have dedicated workplaces and really maintain them clean and organised.


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