Saturday, January 25, 2014

Zhushing and Reorganizing For Free


This week, Norfolk got some snow (maybe three inches?) and some very cold temperatures.  I grew up in the west suburbs of Chicago, where that kind of snowfall happens from November until March.  In southeast Virginia, though, that is an extreme, and my district gave us two snow days.  I spent one of these snow days deep cleaning our apartment and beginning to work on one of my home resolutions fro 2014: beautiful organization.

I started with the living room.  We have several basic three shelf wire shelves (you can find them at Home Depot or Lowes).  Two of these have a home in our kitchen, where their utilitarian appearance works well.  However, this one didn't really match with the rest of the living room, but it's the perfect size and height for that area. 

I had been thinking of making a basic slipcover for the wire shelf and my day off seemed like a great time to start.  I have a pretty big stockpile of fabric and though that this basic muslin would do well.  To make this simple, no sew slipcover, I draped the fabric over the table, letting one end touch the floor in the back.  I then cut the end that was draped over the front so that the fabric just touched the floor, with no puddling.   Next, I folded the top ends on either side, just as if I was wrapping a present.  I used simple straight pins to hold the fabric in place.

It's a simple, temporary solution that makes that table blend in much better. 

I added several items to the table to organize our "on our way out the door" essentials.  After looking through our place for some items to use for organizing, I found an apothecary jar for Wick's dog treats and bones, a silver tray for gloves and scarves, and an antique tobacco tin for dog baggies.  Right now, I'm storing summer hats on the shelves the slipcover hides, and I figure that when the temperatures shift, I can swap the scarves out for sunglasses.  I pulled some decorating elements, including two photographs and a brass rabbit, to add some pretty to the table as well. 

I'm loving that area of our living room right now.  If I could, I would do something about those awful cable cords, but those are an unfortunate reality of living in an apartment that was built in the 1920s.

Another aspect of living in a historic building that really affects us is the lack of closet space.  Walk in closets just didn't exist in that time.  We have a small closet in each bedroom, a hall closet, and a linen closet.  I use the linen closet to store my jeans, workout clothes, and sweaters, in addition to basic household items.  However, it was a disaster, as you can see below. 

I took some cloth covered bins that I had bought at Target a few years ago to organize a desk space in our old apartment and repurposed them to hold my workout clothes and sweaters.  I also rearranged some of the items, moving my fabric collection to our spare bedroom, putting holiday decorations in the hall closet that we tend to leave shut, and making a separate shelf area for extra towels and laundry.  So far, it has helped with daily life so much to have that space more organized. 

Lastly, I tackled my bedside table.  My bedside table tends to accumulate so much stuff- lotions, books, pens, cups of coffee, contact cases, glasses... I could go on for a while.  I decided to take a giant silver bowl that I had just hanging out in the pantry and use it to hold all of my random items to give the bedside table a more contained look.  I also use this porcelain hand my husband found in a vintage store last summer to organize rings and bracelets and decided to bring it over to my bedside table to free up some space on our dresser.

I hope to keep sharing my efforts to organize our space and life a little more beautifully.  What are some of the things you do to organize?

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