Thursday, October 23, 2014
The last assignment around here was a kitchen cupboard; this week’s assignment offers you the chance to spread the Live Simply love to another nearby spot–the utensil drawer.
See, even though the silverware drawer tends to be the most organized area in the whole house (funny, isn’t that?) the chaos still manages to creep its way in; 4 too many sets of take-out chopsticks, stray silverware probably brought home from the neighbors by your 7 year-old, broken chip clips, ripped packets of salt and pepper–you know.
Not to mention the crumbs! My sister and I are always perplexed by how a drawer containing only clean, metal utensils can become so filled with food debris, but either way, it happens.
So here’s what you’re going to do (you are, aren’t you?): Go after your silverware drawer, or your cooking utensil drawer, or hey, both!
Remove the contents.
Clean the drawer itself.
Discard any mis-matched forks or ones with wonky tines, any spoons that have been chewed up by the garbage disposal, any spatulas with little bite marks all over them from sessions of licking-the-bowl gone overly aggressive, ET AL.
If the drawer organizer you’ve been working with isn’t ideal, ditch the duddy one. Measure your drawer and then select the option that will fit best.
(Pssst: more of my favorites here.)
Wednesday, October 22, 2014
There are a plethora of reasons why people’s efforts to get organized ultimately fail. At the root of all of them is what has gone into the organizational systems implemented. What have you invested? That’s the question, and that’s what makes all the difference in whether your efforts stick.
One of the questions people most love to ask me is whether the work I do with my clients sustains over time, or is reversed almost immediately due to clutter relapsing.
On the whole, I will tell you: the work I do with my clients sticks.
When clients hire me they are investing fully, meaning they are investing both financially and in spirit. They are committing themselves to change, and commanding themselves to finally “get it right,” rather than “making do.”
We spend hours dissecting things from the base level up. We talk about all the reasons behind all the decisions. We implement new systems that work ideally for them. We don’t cut corners. We don’t use materials or supplies that are just laying around the house (although we do sometimes, but only when they’re better or comparable to what we could buy). We swap out old containers for new ones, whether the old ones are functional or not.
Why? Because how you feel about an organizational system and an environment makes all the difference in what happens next. If you feel that your set up has been assembled hodge-podge style, that you’ve used elements that aren’t ideal, or ones that you haven’t actively selected, those feelings affect how you treat that space. And that affects how successful you are at maintaining it.
I’m sorry to say that the people whose efforts repeatedly (and much to their frustration and disappointment) eradicate themselves time after time are the ones who don’t invest enough. They don’t invest enough time, they don’t invest the time to go the store or buy that they need to complete the project, they use slopshod materials they’re gathered along the way. There is no order to their system, and thus there will be no order to their order.
Of course the reality is that many (if not most) people are bound by a budget. Yet there is a time and a place for recycling and frugality. And there is a time to say, “I need to invest in myself by investing in this project. I need to make this a priority.”
Maybe you’ll eat a few less dinners out this month. Maybe you won’t take that weekend trip. But you will instead allocate the dollars you have to creating a system that supports you.
If you have gone to the effort of spending countless hours working and thinking about a space, if you have paid a considerable sum of money on the products whose aesthetic fits best with your own, if you feel like the system itself is a treat to yourself, then maintaining that system feels the only natural thing to do.
When you invest, you express priority. And when you invest in your life by investing real time and money into your organization, you make that organization a priority. You attach yourself to it. You care for it because you care about it. Because it has taken a lot to get there.
You may not have an unlimited budget. That’s okay because there are options at every price level. But if you don’t invest anything, you won’t care about that project enough to keep it neat. If you don’t like the way it looks or feels you will have no incentive to support it.
Real talk today, kids. Real talk.Image credits: IKEA, The Everygirl, Camille Styles
Tuesday, October 21, 2014
It’s come to my attention that far too many rooms are sans wastebasket. This realization was due in large part to the fact that my own workspace, as it turns out, is sans wastebasket. So before you go calling hypocrib, I never claimed not to be sourcing on my own behalf.
I obediently collect any shards of desk-trash and carry them over to the nearest bin (which really isn’t all that far away), but one can only make so many trips throughout the day before one realizes the inefficiency of it all. And most other people are far guiltier: in lieu of a proper trash basket, they resort to a ball and throw in the corner method, or, (the really good ones) induct some pathetic plastic shopping bag as the trashcan du jour, leaving the bulging sac to hang on an undeserving doorknob or other.
We can do better. We must.
So…which one are you going to get?
Thoughts? Comments? Complaints? Just kidding, complaints un-welcome. But yeah, sure, technically go right ahead. Byeee.