"If you hear a voice within you say 'you cannot paint,' by all means paint, and that voice will be silenced." - Vincent Van Gogh

Wednesday, May 4, 2016

Life Hack for Clutter

I've been fighting a losing battle with clutter.

Perhaps it's because I actually like THINGS. I like to decorate and change for the seasons. I like change and freshness. But I also like peace and minimal interiors. It seems the two don't go together.

I live in an older home built in the 1930's. Actually, I live in half of an older home. When we went to purchased a home in our sleepy town in New England the prices were so high that all we could afford was a half a house. We moved 4 people who used to live in a 2200 square foot house into a 1400 square foot home. 

In many of our former homes, I have had a large walk in closet in the bedroom, compared to the 30 inch closet that I presently have. I don't really have much clothing compared to others but between change of seasons with bulky sweaters and boots verses shoes things add up. To complicate matters, my musty basement combined with serious allergies to mold prevent me from being able to store my clothing there (or anything for that matter). Because of this, my one car garage has become my overflow space. Not only don't I have a place for my car, but my garage is my art studio and now the holder of my beautiful, pink, retro bike.

One day I woke up and it hit me…. build a new closet in your bedroom! I had it all planned… walls, studs, storage options. I wanted it done in one day of course, and my husband tried to discourage me. A trip to Home Depot presented us with many options for organization, none of which I really liked. It was then that I saw the shelves which I use in my basement and garage that it hit me. I can build my own closet organizer! I decided that I could take one of the shelves and run it through the center for my longer clothing and set up spaces inside the shelves for shirts and baskets. If you choose to do this yourself look for the shelves that have a support bar running through the center of the shelf lengthwise. It's the perfect bar for your hangers. We purchased 2 boxes for $170 total and went home and put it together in less than an hour. 

I  thought it looked so beautiful that I didn't even want to build a wall in front of it now! I could hang a curtain to hide the contents, but I rather like looking at my shoes and Vera bags from my bed. Besides, now the bare bones of the room are preserved for future homeowners.

The idea worked so well that 2 weeks later we went out and bought a few more units for my youngest daughter in hopes that we could help her organize better and keep the clothing off the floor. Here are the results. Whether or not it works for the clutter, remains to be seen.

Then I caught the bug!!! My older daughter is getting married in a few months, freeing up her bedroom for other things. (Don't get me wrong, I'm going to miss her terribly, but I always chose to look at the bright side of life - more space for me! Formerly it was going to be just a guest room but considering I have guests about once every 5 years, I wondered if there was a better use of the space. So, even before she had a chance to move out, I erected this wonder - as a home office. Here I can work on my digital work and do some writing. She doesn't know that I did this yet - hope she's not reading the blog… sorry honey!

But I'm not done! My living room needed some help too. For years I've been trying to configure my living space to be a place of conversation and not just TV watching. (We don't really watch TV, we watch things on Hulu and Netflix - a savings of $120 a month!) Anyway, one day I realized that if I contained all my clutter in the useless L-shaped corner of the room, it would open up space for an intimate seating area. I love it!

So there you have it. Now I have peace and space while managing my clutter in an inexpensive and efficient way.