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Summer in CoMo is the season of ending leases. People murmur of their friend’s roommates frat brother who’s giving away all his stuff for free before moving to Colorado and the drive on East Campus is a colorful one, dotted with the bright cushions of couches abandoned. Really, it’s a time of starting anew.
My new lease starts today and I already know what my goals for my next place are: Clean and organized.
As for the former… well that really just depends on if I can keep up the motivation for things like mopping and vacuuming (my sworn enemies). The latter, however, should be totally attainable, especially in this time of rampant DIYing.
Hi, my name is Kelsey and I am a shoe addict. OK so that’s ridiculous, but it doesn’t change the unnecessary amount of shoes I own. As of now, I just have cheap shoe racks lining the baseboards of my room and it’s pretty terrible. Shoes everywhere. But the idea for my new apartment?
Tension rods. You know: Some people use them for shower curtains, they slide to get bigger or smaller to fit between two walls? Yeah, those — put those in your closet and voila, you can make your own adjustable shoe rack.
The beauty of this? Multiple levels. You can put them as high up as you want, so place your sneakers on the floor, then move up a level for nice shoes, and up one more for dress shoes. Nobody has three levels of shoes, you say?
Four words: dry erase board calendar. If carrying around an agenda just isn’t your style, a dry erase calendar by your desk or in your kitchen might help. And there’s a wonderful DIY aspect to it, because all you really need is glass and a dry erase marker.
Go to a second-hand store and get a large frame. Get patterned paper with boxes or lines or some other division where each section can represent a day. Get some markers. Put it all together and ta-dah, you have your very own dry erase calendar that fits your home’s decor.
Another quick life tip? Filing. If you’re drowning in a sea of paper madness, keeping it organized really will help.
A lot of this depends on circumstances that are specific to your own home, but in both the kitchen and the bathroom, there are generally items left out that don’t belong in cabinets or drawers. My recommendation?
Baskets and multi-tier stands (such as those for cupcakes or fingerfoods).
The former keeps similar items together. In my own bathroom, I have a basket with all my numerous hair-styling tools — hair dryer, curling iron, straightener and all the gel, mousse and spray your heart could desire.
The latter keeps things that have no better place up and out of the way. These could be soaps, razors, makeup brushes or kitchen things like spices, toothpicks or whatever gadgets you please.
Repurposing as organization
There are countless ways to take something you have around the house (or something that can be bought cheap) and make it into an organizational tool.
Example? Say you don’t have enough cabinet space for your beverageware collection. My mind was blown when I saw a photo of the head of a rake that had sturdy, wide teeth nailed to a wall with wine glasses held upside down in every other gap.
Another one? Take shower curtain rings and put them on a hanger and you have an excellent in-closet scarf holder.
Crates are great (for organization)
Or baskets/tubs/whatever floats your neat and tidy boat. They can be chosen for their decorative qualities for open display in living rooms, bedrooms, etc. or you can stay basic and use them for under the bed organizing. Fully utilizing space is crucial to any organizational plan, after all. And the better they stack, the more success you will have with them.
In this apartment, I’ve stuck to the idea that nobody sees under the bed, so if I just give things a good shove in there, it’s organized, right?
Wrong. So, so very wrong. Because when I need something that I put under the bed a few shoves back, it’s a cluttered mess finding it again. If I put related things in shoe boxes, containers, whatever the option may be, though, I could put them neatly to the side until I found the right one, then simply replace them. Easy.
What to do now?
Well, I am going to leave you with the final note that I am a huge fan of to-do lists and checklists, especially in the chaos of moving when things are easily forgotten.
Now you need to stop procrastinating and start packing. And so do I.
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