Keep Calm and Get Organized
I suffer from frequent bouts of Feng Shui. When things get a little disorganized, or if I don’t hear harps play and angels sing when I open a closet or cabinet, it puts a burr in my bliss and makes me feel less Paris, France and more Paris, Texas (yes, it’s a place).
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My grandmother who raised me was a bit of a hoarder. Not the full-on, Discovery Channel, climb over the stacks of LIFE Magazine and taxidermied pets type hoarder. More the buy a lot of useless crap at garage sales, save all the butter tubs and plastic food trays and wash the disposable cups type hoarder. After spending a week at her house following her passing, sorting through bags and boxes of things that were most likely neither needed, used nor even remembered, I made a vow – if I don’t need it, love it or use it, it goes.
Still, life gets busy, cabinets and drawers get cluttered and homeless objects take up residence, and I become a whirligig of agitation until order, and my sense of French-ness, is restored.
Having spent the weekend being a clutter killer, I wanted to share with you some of my favorite organizing tips.
Kitchen cabinet clutter
Use these great wire baskets in the kitchen cabinets for bagged items. Food without a shape, like bags of nuts or snacks, can easily become a jumble. By putting them in wire baskets, they stay corralled and you can see what’s there.
Mason jars are also a great way to neaten up items you may buy in bulk like popcorn and rice.
Use racks and hooks strategically to hang frequently used items, allowing you to get more mileage out of cabinet space.
Round up stray wiring in the office
Bluetooth is amazing but some things still have to be powered up old school, and a big spaghetti-mess of wires can yank the joy right out of an organized room or office space. These little twisty doo-dads are perfect for rounding up the wires, and can be easily re-done if you rearrange things.
All the paperwork
Piled-up paperwork is stressful because after a while you forget what’s in the pile and start worrying that there’s a warrant for your arrest in there. Ok, maybe that’s just me.
All paperwork falls into 3 categories – do/read it, file it, or toss it. Simple. I keep one small basket on my desk for the do/read items I can’t get to right away; otherwise it goes straight into a file or the trash bin.
Pick up real estate wherever you can
My 1920’s French Country home has very little storage space. I attribute that to the presence of the Great Depression coupled with the absence of Costco. And, true to French homes, my kitchen is small but functional.
My solution – think like a New Yorker. If you can’t build out, build up.
Above a doorway is a great out-of-the-way spot for a little extra shelving. This otherwise unused space worked out perfectly to display pieces that are a little bulky for my limited cabinets.
I also surrounded my small upstairs powder room with above-the-door-height shelves, utilizing above eye-level space for extra storage. It’s a perfect place for baskets of party ware, extra serving trays and seldom-used counter top appliances.
Baskets, baskets, baskets
And did I say baskets? Loose anything adds up to clutter. Stick it in a basket and suddenly you’re Martha freaking Stewart.
I use baskets as the framework for everything from my laundry supplies to extra blankets and throws. They turn a problem into a feature.
Baskets are a great organizing tool for closets too. Use them for clutch bags, belts, sweaters, scarves, gloves, and other small items.
These are a sanity saver for all things small. I use these to organize my makeup, my charging cords, my tea drawer, you name it. Where there’s a drawer, there’s an organizer.
If you can’t hide it, zhush it up a bit
Keep dog treats in a canister. Put cotton balls and swabs in an apothecary jar. Transfer mouthwash to a decorative bottle. Put dish soap in a hand soap dispenser. Use a beverage dispenser for laundry soap. Sounds a little Cat In The Hat but it works out great.
I hope I’ve inspired you to have your own fit of Feng Shui. Let me know what you come up with!
Bonjour! Je suis Kelley
Hi, I’m Kelley – thrower of parties, drinker of wine, and lover of all things French. I hope you enjoy my Lessons in Becoming French!