Posted on January 17, 2010
Organization: An Impromptu Tutorial
Being that I’ve made trips to both Canadian Tire and Ikea in the last week in an effort to create some order out of chaos in my apartment, it was interesting that I received an e-mail from a reader two days ago. She wanted to know how I keep my home clean and clutter-free. Want to know a secret? Up until today, it definitely wasn’t clutter-free.
Aside from the bathroom, my 434 square-foot apartment was busting at the seams. I had cereal boxes and mixing bowls stacked on top of my fridge, no drawer wide enough for a cutlery tray, all my spices were balanced on the top edge of my stove and a dogpile of shoes was hangin’ out in the closet.
You know how most kitchens have a junk drawer? I had three. All my cupboards were crammed with pots, pans, packages and plastic containers. Each time I’d quickly shut one, I’d breathe a quick prayer hoping that it wouldn’t pop open and spill its contents.
All that changed today. The truth is, whether you’re a Monica or a hoarder or somewhere in between, when your apartment is this short on space, organization solutions are a must. I’m a minimalist by nature so the process was an easy one for me.
Keep only what you need or use on a very regular basis in your space. If you don’t use it or need it, throw it in storage or get rid of it entirely.
The smaller the space, the greater the waste. Just because a surface is empty doesn’t mean you have to utilize it. Storing items on window ledges, the tops of bookcases or, in my case, the top edge of the stove only lends to making the space look more cluttered.
I’ve learned that there really is a place for every item, but sometimes you have to think outside of the box. And sometimes you need to bring new (furniture) boxes into your space. I completely adore the metal rack I picked up for less than $100. A small investment can make the biggest difference.
I swear the space in my kitchen has doubled. Cooking and baking will be fun again (and even more fun once I buy myself a KitchenAid stand mixer very soon).
A minimalist space doesn’t have to be short on personality. These frames were only a few dollars each at Ikea and allow me to showcase a few of my favourites. I’m also big into colour and fabric. While almost a year later, I still haven’t decided on a piece of art for above my couch, my apartment is still warm and inviting with a few plush throws and cushy pillows.
My foyer closet, while spacious, was a disaster zone. Cookware, shoes, lighbulbs, a candle stash, tools, towels and laundry supplies and whatever else you can imagine were taking over. A hanging ironing board, hanging shoe caddy and proper bins for everything have made a world of difference.
And finally – finally – I have all my CDs and DVDs within reach of my fingertips in the Drona boxes from Ikea. Perfectly enough, their dimensions accommodate both forms of media in large volumes.