Tuesday, April 2, 2013

organized corners

I know I've mentioned that our apartment is (415sf) small.  Generally, we all fit inside of it, but when there's no extra room, there's no wiggle room.  It means, (if we're lucky), everything has a place, but just one place.  If it gets out of place, well, quite a lot else also gets out of place.  So when something really works for us, I really delight in it working.  When something stays organized for awhile, I really appreciate its organization, and work to keep it organized.

I snapped a group of photos of the organized corners of our home during my blogging hiatus, and thought it might be encouraging for me to post them here so I can look at them when things get out of hand again.  Because, of course, they probably will.

organized medicine drawer

An organized medicine drawer.  This works so much better for us than keeping medicines in our medicine cabinet.  I have asthma and have come to require a well-stocked first aid kit; Mark gets frequent headaches.  I was also a Girl Scout and like to be prepared.  We have regular pain relievers, allergy medications, herbal remedies, a plethora of Burt's Bees chapstick (chapped lips are a medical problem), anti-itch gels and sprays, a snakebite kit, etc.  This photo was taken when nothing was expired and you could more or less see everything in the drawer at once.  The drawer is also chest-high, which is the perfect height for either Mark or myself to look in without hunching and theoretically, only adults could get into the drawer.

Clothes hung on *gasp* hangers!

We wash laundry on a regular basis.  We even fold laundry on a regular basis.  Unfortunately, we somehow don't hang up clothing on a regular basis.  Look at this!  No empty hangers and the majority of my clothing hanging in the closet.  Mark's wardrobe at this point of his graduate degree consists primarily of T-shirts, sweaters and a handful of short-sleeved button-up shirts.  He's also a boy, which explains (hopefully?) why the majority of the clothing in this photo is mine.  And yes, that is pretty much our whole closet.

A shoe rack that actually works.

Mark's got two rows of shoes on the rack and I've got two rows of shoes on the rack.  We have some other pairs of shoes not pictured (rain boots, cowboy boots, sandals, Mark's two additional pair of tennis shoes).  I have an unfortunate habit of buying low-quality shoes that don't fit me well, which has led to only a few wears before 'retiring' a pair of shoes to the bottom of the pile in the closet in the past.  I wear a 10.5 in women's shoes, which is a surprisingly difficult shoe size to find.  This shoe rack is a real accomplishment whether it looks like it or not!

the T-shirt drawer.

I have to be fair and confess that any T-shirts I wear also go in this drawer.  But when you have as many T-shirts as the Masdin household does, you absolutely have to fold them this way to get them to fit in your drawer.  Amazingly, there are weeks when we get to washing day and this drawer is empty (maybe those are weeks we didn't finish all our laundry the week before).  But folding T-shirts this way allows them all to fit, and you can see immediately which shirt is which as soon as you open the drawer.  T-shirt Victory!

Oh, the sheets.
So important I had to include two photos of them.

My love for vintage sheets is well documented and not to be taken lightly.  When I am not on top of my collection (for instance, when I'm pulling things off this shelf to mix and match and cut and not re-folding and re-shelving as I go), our household is in a heap of trouble (or sheets).  Which Moses really appreciates, but which is really pretty unhealthy for Mark and me, and our laundry pile.  Sheets tend to end up back in the washing pile if they don't get re-shelved.  Also, if they are not here, and ordered mostly by color, how will I be able to consider using them for sewing projects?  When the shelf looks like this, all is right with the world.

Oh the books!

Lest anyone believes that my household is drowning in the accoutrements of my hobbies alone, let's talk about Mark's books.  I have mentioned, he is a student?  He's also a student who truly strives to complete all his assigned reading (it's a miracle... or an impossibility).  Books are almost never stacked neatly like this.  Honestly, how can they be if they are being read?  This is definitely an organized corner to be proud of.

Eggs, organized neatly.
Spices, labeled neatly.
Spices and grain jars, organized neatly and BEAUTIFUL!

Lastly, let us consider these images from my kitchen.  All. Organized. Neatly.  Not much of our 415sf is devoted to the kitchen.  Every surface (including the floor, and the top of the toaster oven, which is stacked on the microwave, which is stacked on the refrigerator) is prime real estate and home to something.  I cannot express my gratitude and appreciate for this beautiful oak (I think) shelf that my father-in-law Dave built for me.  It fits right up against our refrigerator and is home to four rows of spice jars (all identified with labels printed on waterproof bumper sticker paper and perfectly cut out by a craft circle punch) and another two rows of pint-sized mason jars and another two rows of quart sized mason jars and an extra row of whatever's left.  Mason jars are full of healthy whole grains, nuts, and seeds and closed with plastic caps.  Those jars are labeled with chalkboard vinyl labels my sister cut out for me in perfect circles with her cricut machine.  I label and re-label those bad boys with washable chalkboard marker.  Works like a charm.

We struggled for months with my large spice collection in an organization system which didn't work.  This shelf has been a godsend.  It is so easy to make granola (which deserves its own post) when I can just pull a jar, measure into the bowl, replace the jar, pull the next jar, measure, replace, etc.  And now the spices are also alphabetized, so there's no hunt for the right spice, either.  While my jars do not block light, this shelf moves them around the corner from our stove, essentially protecting them from heat.  And the shelf is only 4" deep!  The footprint is infinitesimal, which is so so important in a space as small as ours.

I know our space won't stay this way, and in fact, I can tell you already it hasn't.  But in the moments when we can get our organizational act together and things are working... well it feels like such a feat, such a major accomplishment.  I hope the memory of that will be enough motivation the next time things are out of whack to put them back to rights again!

No comments:

Post a Comment