Friday, June 12, 2015

Junk Drawer No More

Everyone has a junk drawer. Even me.

And every time I open it to find something, I can't. And I every time I rummage through, it gets worse. And in the end, I wind up removing it from its track, dumping it's contents out on a table, and after realizing that what I was looking for was in another drawer, I organize it.

Understandably, keeping things neat in the first place saves time and frustration and in at least one case, a broken nail on my way to an event.

So, you ask, if the organizer can't even keep it neat, what chance do I have? Point taken. So let's agree to clean it up right here, right now. What should we tackle first? Let's take care of that...

Office Supply Drawer

  • Clear a work surface.
  • Gather small containers, preferably straight sided, and sandwich sized plastic ziplock bags.
  • Remove drawer from its track.
  • Remove contents onto worktop.
  • Dust or wash out drawer. Make repairs if necessary. Set aside.
  • Sort items into categories using the containers and ziplock bags you collected. Then take it a step farther. Example: large paperclips from small, colored clips from silver.
  • Continue until everything is separated. Do not hesitate to pitch anything broken or not used. Example: pencil stub, rubber bands that are never big enough for your purposes.
  • Put containers and bags into the drawer considering what you use most (place in the front of drawer) and what you use least (place in the back of the drawer). The back of the drawer is also for "back" up supplies. Example: the box of refill staples for the stapler.
  • Slide drawer back on track considering first if it serves its purpose best there. Example: a drawer of office supplies should probably not be in the dining room unless it doubles as your home office.
Done. No grand planning, no expensive systems, no more than 10 minutes.

And with that, my favorite mantra applies:
"The organization of an entire home starts with a single drawer."

Thursday, June 4, 2015

Color Your World

Passionate reds, serene blues, rejuvenating greens, calm beiges, cool grays. Choosing wall color for your room project can be a daunting task. But ultimately, the color you choose must speak to you on an emotional level because more than any other design element, color provides the overall "feel" of a room.

Imagine for a moment an oversized armchair and ottoman. You are sitting down, feet up, book in hand. Now imagine that the upholstery is in charcoal gray. How does that make you feel? Now try it in sea green. Did that change your mood? Finally, what about a deep raspberry red? Which chair made you most comfortable and yet, had nothing at all to do with the content of the cushion?

It's fascinating how color affects our mood. Just consider the idea behind a mood ring. Our feelings (or the body temperature associated with those feelings) change the color of the stone. Choosing color for your room projects works on much the same principle. What color will give you the desired feeling in any given room: I'd like my bedroom to feel peaceful. I'd like my kitchen to feel energizing. I'd like my family room to feel warm.

And those colors do not have to be universal. Green may be calming to one person and energizing to another. The same could be said for most colors depending on the shade and tone, or in the case of wall paint, the finish. In fact, if you're looking to change the feel in any room but still love the color, try it in a different paint finish. A wall painted Navajo White in a flat finish gives off a much different feeling than one in high gloss.

All too often in decorating we get bogged down with rules and "supposed to's", the what's new and what's on trend. Your home is where you live, where you seek both relaxation and rejuvenation. It should be a reflection of you, your tastes, and your lifestyle. Don't be afraid to color your world in a way that puts you at your best.