Let’s get ORGANIZED!

What do you think of when you think of spring cleaning and organizing? Me, honestly, I kind of think, wouldn’t it be nice to be Cinderella!! Having those birds helping sweep the floors and other critters help with the chores! But in all honesty, the thought can be overwhelming, especially trying to balance a busy life while getting through a giant list of tasks!

What works for me, is focusing my energy where it will count….and hey, it never hurts to put on your favourite music, open the windows, and have a little dance party in between.  Our surroundings have an incredible impact on how we feel, and clutter can make us feel depressed –so spring cleaning and getting your space organized doesn’t just look good, it feels good!

Here are some organizing tips to help you get your space in order:

ENTRANCE WAY/CENTRAL AREA:

  • Have a central area to organize purses, keys, backpacks, mail, your wallet, etc. Always put it there.

BATHROOM:

  • Use plastic containers or a pretty basket to hold all of your bathroom paraphernalia, and place under the counter and bring it out when you need it, this will keep it out of sight when not in use.
  • Shower caddies are essential when organizing the shower space, they help keep the shampoos, conditioners, face scrubs and speciality in-shower treatments from taking over the whole space.
  • Use drawer organizers for makeup, jewellery, ponytail holders, and other loose items.

CLOSET:

  • First things first, if you haven’t worn it in a year, donate it.
    • Use the hanger trick – when placing clothes in your closet for the season put the hangers in “backwards” then when you wear something, place it back the regular way, and at the end of the season, whichever clothes are left “backwards” donate!
    • Here is a link to show you how to: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=da4kM95f9hI
  • Closet Laundry System:
    • Use colour separate baskets and one for dry cleaning – this will not only save you time from sorting, but you will know when you have enough for a full load.
  • Sorting Clothes:
    • Sort by season, and if you only have a small space; only keep the present season in your closet and try using under-bed storage containers for out of season clothing.
    • Put your clothes in categories that work for you. Color, formality, type or office wear are good places to start. (This saves time putting outfits together, and can save money from re-purchasing items you may have forgotten about.)
    • Use a shoe rack. Rotate your shoes like you do with your clothes; why bury all of your cute sandals with winter boots?
  • If you have space, try using hooks and pegboard on any closet wall space to hang purses, jackets, and accessories.

KITCHEN:

My number one rule for organizing the kitchen: Only keep things on the counter you use often.

  • Use a lazy-susan in the back of deep cupboards, so you never forget what is hiding back there!
  • Organize Tupperware in a lower drawer rather than a shelf, that way you can see all the containers, and hopefully be able to find a matching lid! If not, toss those ones!
  • Keep your fridge clean. After grocery shopping, rotate older food into the front so it’s used first.
  • Keep your drawers organized including the junk drawer that we all have; go through it monthly and get rid of any items you are not using.
  • Organize your kitchen cabinets into categories; some ideas:
Item Location
Utensil Drawer near the dishwasher
Pots and Pans near the stove
Kids Plates lower shelf (so they can have access)

 

KID’S ROOMS:

  • Create storage (floating shelves, shelving units, wall planters etc.) to store stuffed animals, dolls, action figures, organize their books or other special items they have.
  • In a small space that doesn’t allow for extra storage, use a captain’s bed. This contains storage underneath which can be used for clothes or any other storage item.
  • Display their school artwork. Instead of having all of those papers in a drawer or container, use poster putty and display his/her favourite on one wall, creating a gallery style.
  • Use a two-compartment hamper so they can organize light clothes from dark clothes; make it fun by adding a hoop over the laundry basket for slam-dunking dirty clothes.

 

 

OTHER WAYS TO ORGANIZE YOUR HOME:

  • Use a plastic caddy to store cleaning supplies in and bring it from room to room.
  • Use a plastic laundry basket for quick pick up and transport of items to their proper homes each evening.
  • Each night before going to bed, spend 15 minutes de-cluttering and putting things back in their place. If you have children, make a game out of it and see who can pick up the most things in the shortest amount of time.
  • Make sure everything in your house has a home, and follow these rules:
    • If you take it out, put it back!
    • If you open it, close it!
    • If you throw it down, pick it up!
    • If you make a mess, clean it up!

And most importantly…Don’t leave things ’till later. Procrastination is the number one cause of clutter and mess.

I hope you enjoy the tips I shared, and please feel free to leave what works best for organizing your own home!

Lots of Love,

Katie

 

 

REFERENCES – IMAGES:

Figure 1: Front Entrance; Retrieved from: (http://observatoriosancalixto.com/entry-organizer-bench-decor/)

Figure 2: Bathroom – Vanity; Retrieved from: (http://www.ebizbydesign.com/10035/ideas/catchy-ideas-bathroom-cabinet-organizers-organize-bathroom-cabinets-cabinet-organize-bathroom-cabinets/)

Figure 3: Bathroom – Drawers; Retrieved from: (https://thesummeryumbrella.com/dollar-store-bathroom-drawer-organization/)

Figure 4: Bathroom – Cabby; Retrieved from: (https://www.signaturehardware.com/teak-shower-caddy-with-removable-soap-dish.html)

Figure 5: Kitchen – Lazy Susan; Retrieved from: (http://whilehome.com/blog/a-simple-but-remarkable-house-from-fabre-demarien/)

Figure 6: Kitchen – Tupperware; Retrieved from: (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t8d3g_hlj7I)

Figure 7: Kids Room – Storage; Retrieved from: (http://www.buscadores.info/kids-room-storage-solutions/kids-room-kids-room-storage-ideas-item-for-decor-kids-room-kids-room-storage-solutions/)

Figure 7: Kids Room – Artwork; Retrieved from: (https://www.pinterest.ca/pin/264727284324548778/?lp=true)

My Outside Space – Before and After:

Jason and I currently live in a condo, and our outdoor living space is a small concrete patio. By incorporating the tips that I provided in my previous blog post titled “Creating the Perfect Outdoor Space” which outlined how dimension, natural elements, comfort, ambience, and personal touches combined can create your perfect outdoor space; we have created a space that provides us with a sanctuary feel to escape the busy city life.

In my outside patio area, I incorporated dimension by creating a sitting area and adding vertical height differences with the planter stand as well as the flowerpot shelving unit.

Keeping with a nature feel for my outside space, I included various plants, a hollowed-out tree stump, which will be used as a planter, a mini fire feature, and I kept the color scheme all natural (white, grey, black).

The shelving unit currently holds some potted plants, various accent pieces, and the bottom shelf is left available for a little herb garden which we will complete when the weather is suitable for planting.

As our patio is small, it will not be used as an entertainment space, but more so as a space for Jason and I to enjoy our morning coffee, eat an occasional meal, and enjoy a glass (or two) of wine. Jason is in LOVE with this bistro set, and there was no changing his mind on having this in the space so everything had to work around that. I added the rug and included a throw to create a feeling of warmth and comfort, and with the combination of the natural elements, the asymmetrical balance creates unity and harmony throughout.

To create a sense of ambience in my space, I have included battery operated candles, as well as a lantern, and a mini fire feature. With the addition of a cozy throw and a rug, it to provided warmth to the space; while the furniture placement and natural elements create an overall sense of tranquillity.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Jason and I have created a shadow box craft, which includes rocks and twigs that we have collected from various hikes and places we have visited. This adds a personal touch to the space, while keeping with the au natural theme.

By following simple steps of incorporating elements of dimension, natural environment, comfort, ambience and personal touches, I reached the goal of creating an outside space that works for us.

 

I hope you all enjoyed the post and I would love to hear what you enjoy most about your outside space!

Lots of Love,

Katie

 

Creating the Perfect Outdoor Space!

With summer on the horizon, you should be thinking about getting your outdoor spaces ready for the fun times that are certain to be shared. Who doesn’t enjoy spending time on your patio? Whether it’s staring your morning outside with a cup of coffee and a book, enjoying a dinner party with friends, or enjoying a sunny brunch outside – mimosas anyone (if you have space)?? So, I wanted to share some tips on How to Create the Perfect Outdoor Space.

Figure 1: Outdoor Patio Space

Figure 2: Dimension

The first thing you want to look at is creating DIMENSION:

By creating dimension to your space, it not only provides a visually appealing element which draws your eye to various aspects, it also allows the space to have character without looking flat or boring while making the space feel whole.

 

Dimension can be added by different colours, textures, height variations etc. For example, a single chair does not have a lot of dimensions, however, with the addition of a different colour pillow or a throw, it adds dimension to the chair, creating more interest.

 

Figure 3: Natural Elements

Next, keep your space feeling NATURAL:

This will keep your space fresh, and provide a feeling of happiness. Incorporate natural elements through wood finishes, planters, flowers (this can be a full garden scale to low maintenance plants). If you have space, try adding a small water or fire feature, this not only adds to the natural environment you are creating but can provide a sense of relaxation while listening to the crackling fire or a water feature.

 

 

Now, take the time to think about what will make the space most COMFORTABLE for you.

First, consider what you’d primarily like to use your outdoor space for. Being comfortable in a space is a top priority for most, and this is created based on personal preference. You may want to think about adding a sunshade, cushions on your furniture, a cozy rug, or adding a privacy wall.

Examples:

  • Entertainment Space:
    • If you plan on doing a lot of entertaining, table-height chairs will be a must, and in a smaller sized space, consider using folding chairs, as the can be easily stored when not in use.
  • Relaxation Space:
    • If the space will be primarily for relaxation, try creating a reading nook or lounge area, I recommend using thick, weather resistant pillows, that not only look great but are super comfortable. This will be the perfect spot for an afternoon nap or reading the newspaper.

Figure 4: Comfort

 

CREATING AMBIENCE is next.

Figure 5: Ambience

You can transform your space in the later hours of the day, by incorporating different types of lighting, as this adds to the overall ambience of the space. Use candles, lanterns, or string lights to create a relaxing environment for those perfect summer nights.

Other examples to help create ambience:

  • Include soft textures such as a cozy blanket, pillows, or a rug, this creates a sense of tranquillity and warmth, especially when paired with comfortable pieces of furniture.
  • Grouping furniture pieces can add warmth to a space.
  • Earth tone colour choices give a space a sense of relaxation and calmness.

The next step to further understand how to create ambience in a space is to become aware of your surroundings. It is important to recognize how a space works best for you and what you find comfortable. As each person is different, a relaxing space may have a very different outcome for each individual.

 

Through DIMENSION, NATURAL ELEMENTS, COMFORT, and AMBIENCE, you almost have your perfect outside space created. But, to really make your space extra special, it is all about the SMALL PERSONAL TOUCHES.

 

Figure 6: Personal Touches

 

 

 

 

 

 

A key ingredient in decorating an outdoor space is that it reflects your personal style. Add special personal touches such as your favourite wind chimes, vases, a homemade sculpture or art piece – these elements make your space complete.

 

Step back, review your space, and decide what personal touches you would like to add!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

And just like that, you have your outdoor patio space created!

Stay tuned, I will have my next blog post on SUNDAY, APRIL 15, 2018 to show the before and after of my outdoor patio space, and how I created it following the tips listed above.

If you have any questions or comments, I would love to hear from you!

Lots of Love,

Katie

 

 

References: Images

Figure 1: Outdoor Patio Space: (Rose Barraza & Sara Tardiff, EDesign, August 2017) Retrieved from: https://www.elledecor.com/design-decorate/trends/g9142414/small-patio-ideas/?slide=12

Figure 2: Dimension: Retrieved from: (https://www.pinterest.ca/pin/337981147017277233/, ND)

Figure 3: Natural Elements: Retrieved from: (http://www.kitchentoday.net/small-patio-design-ideas/, ND)

Figure 4: Comfort: Retrieved from: (https://www.pinterest.ca/kristywicks1/exteriors-outdoor-spaces/?lp=true, ND)

Figure 5: Ambience: Retrieved from: (https://www.pinterest.ca/pin/ASH9E9q-cARoMy1IPUfEfizi6p1XgscP6CN00MIx5yd0k5Gb_yN32h0/, ND)

Figure 6: Personal Touches: Retrieved from: (https://www.pinterest.ca/pin/AWDQaZgpV9l4YEW759MeoyQ4btrA5Qmi-8GAebY_jAWAuhenL-9CRlM/, ND)

Creating a Table Setting on a Budget

One thing I love, especially while celebrating a holiday, is having a beautiful table setting. But before all the fun, some planning needs to begin, I always find it best to start with choosing a colour and/or theme to use, and then go from there. Sometimes, this can be incorporated into the centrepiece, the tablecloth, a napkin, or even a serving platter, which can then set the mood.

Let’s start the planning of creating a table setting on a budget:

 The table covering:

  • This is a place to get creative if it inspires and complements the colour palette.
  • You can use a bed sheet or coverings, or any extra material which you can add a hem.

 Choose the type of China you want to use:

  • White china makes any food look good because it will not conflict with food colours
  • Pattern pieces can add colour and texture to your table, which provides a sense of warmth, and you can always mix-and-match similar pieces to create a more dynamic feel.

Have extra bowls on hand

  • They always come in handy, whether serving a side soup or salad, use as condiment holders, side serving dishes, chip bowls etc.

Large wine glasses and large glass mugs are a must for an informal dining experience

  • Anything can be served in them, and you do not have to worry about having different types of glasses for each serving drink.

How to add colour to the table:

  • Napkins: you can place two napkins in different colours or patterns in one ring. To cut on costs, you can purchase a white set of cloth napkins, and then find a heavier paper napkin to add the pop of colour.
  • Flowers: You can never go wrong with fresh flowers, but avoid using flowers too big for the setting, you want to be able to see and communicate with your guests and not have to talk over flowers.
  • Place seat holders: Having pre-arranged seating, can seem formal, but, by adding these, it gives you the opportunity to add more colour, or add an elegant touch to an informal setting.

Now that you have decided on all the elements you want to incorporate in your table setting, it is time to put them all together. At this point, you may want to add a little something extra or remove some items if the setting seems cluttered. This should be fun, and use your eye for design to make sure you have created your vision.

My Latest Table Setting:

As we have just celebrated Easter Sunday, I wanted to share the table setting I used for the holiday.

My table setting budget was $60 – now, let’s get to work:

First, my colour scheme was incorporated by side paper plates (yes, I said paper plates), they were used to add colour to the table. These are heavy-duty paper plates from Winners, costing $4.50 for 12. This is a cheaper alternative to purchasing side plates, and these were used to serve dessert.

Keeping with the colour theme, my table placeholders were made from the eggs that Jason and I decorated together. When completing projects like this, use it as a time to get creative, try painting a design, or using lace. The eggs we decorated were sitting in egg cups purchased from Winners ($8.99).

NOTE: A great place to purchase egg decorating materials is Michaels (check for a 50% off coupon), the Dollar Store, Walmart or any arts and crafts store. 

I purchased jewellery from Ardennes ($5), and have many left over for future projects, this not only added an elegant touch to the eggs but created a statement, additionally spending $10 for extra egg decorating materials from the Dollar Store and Shoppers.

When working with a budget, my first stop is always Winners to find a great centrepiece. This is honestly my favourite store, and you can find great deals, and something unique. But thankfully for me, this year Jason purchased a beautiful flower arrangement.

When using flowers for a centrepiece, especially when it is for a one-time event, always check the clearance section as this can have flowers marked down, up to 50% off. This gives you the opportunity to mix and match some of your favourites!!

I purchased a light blue table runner (Winners: $19.99), and white napkins (Winners: $9.99) with silver napkin rings, which I covered in a rose gold beaded ribbon (Dollar store: $1.50) to tie all the colours together.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Using from my home:

  • Charger Plates – silver in colour (can be purchased from any home accessory store, starting at $1.99)
  • Dinner Plates – white in colour
  • Wine Glasses – silver steamed
  • Drinking Glasses
  • Cutlery – silver in colour

With a grand total of $59.97, I stayed within Budget, and my Easter Table Setting was completed!!

Keep in mind, after the holidays, Easter materials will be significantly marked down, this is a great time to purchase items for next year’s table setting, to save even more!

I hope I have provided you with some tips that you can continue to carry forward for your next table setting!

Please leave any questions in the comment section below, as well, share pictures of your beautifully decorated table settings!

Katie xo