Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Organizing Magic

book cover - Organizing Magic, by Sandra Felton

Sandra Felton has written a number of books, and she has a way with words. For today I’m going to focus on Organizing Magic, published back in 2006. It’s a book I’m now passing along, but not before sharing these two gems:

Here’s Sandra explaining the problem with being disorganized:
A disorganized life is, at its core, annoying. ... Let the irritation energize you. Let it propel you toward finding a solution that works. ...

Disorganization is a problem of self-neglect. In short, when we’re disorganized, we’re failing to treat ourselves with the love and respect we want others to show us.
And here’s her description of one common problem:
“Oozing” is when things don’t make it back to their designated area. Keys are not hung on their hook by the door. ... A jacket is draped on the back of a kitchen chair. When things ooze out into the open where they don’t belong, the peace of your home is compromised.

Monday, May 19, 2014

Hooks: Organizing Made Easier

hooks that look like corkscrews

Hang up your coat. I have a lot of trouble with this one, so now I use a hook instead of a hanger. — Gretchen Rubin, writing about ten easy, quick tips to keep clutter under control

Back in March, I wrote about interesting hooks over on the Core77 website. But now I have some more to share!

The corkscrew-shaped hook above is the Barrina, designed by Ernest Perera for Amor de Madre. [via Shoebox Dwelling and Remodelista]

wood hooks

We’re into baseball season here in the U.S., so it’s a good time to share these Homerun hooks from Sylvain Willenz.

hooks made from metal pipes

This hook comes from Oilfield Slag, which makes products from reclaimed materials.

hooks that look like a box of cookies

These hooks from Formabilio are designed to look like a box of shortbread cookies with a chocolate or cream glaze. The designer is Andrea Brugnera. [via MoCo Loco]

hook that's also a big clothespin

And finally, here’s The Beak from Vilhelmine Design — a hook that can work as most hooks do (where you toss something over it) but can also grab things in that beak! The Beak is reminiscent of the Pince Alors hooks from Swabdesign, which I’ve mentioned before. [via Design Milk]

Related Post:
Organizing Basics: Hooks Make Maintenance Easier

Saturday, May 10, 2014

In Honor of My Mom: Organizing in Blue for 2014

Seven years ago, my mom died of pancreatic cancer. Her favorite color was blue, so this is my annual tribute to her.

Let’s start out big, with this shelving system from the company named Montana, and sold by twentytwentyone. It comes in 49 colors, including this blue.

blue baskets

These nesting storage baskets from Senegal are both pretty and functional.

blue and green magazine files

These are the Vera Bradley Book Keepers — also good for magazines. They collapse for easy storage when not in use. Update on April 9, 2019: Vera Bradley no longer sells these products.

blue felt basket

This felt storage bin comes from Hook ’n Loop Design.

blue lizard refrigerator magnet

Finally, I really like this blue lizard fridge magnet — enough that I decided to include it even though the photo is a bit blurry. It’s made from wrought iron. Update on April 9, 2019: Sadly, the site that sold this has disappeared.

Related Posts:
In Honor of My Mom (2008)
In Honor of My Mom (2009)
In Honor of My Mom (2010)
In Honor of My Mom (2011)
In Honor of My Mom (2012)
In Honor of My Mom (2013)

Friday, May 9, 2014

Clutterfree with Kids

Book cover: Clutterfree with Kids

Joshua Becker’s Clutterfree with Kids has a lot of fans, including Jacki Hollywood Brown. The book didn’t impress me as much as it did her, but there were parts I definitely liked — mostly within the first 50 pages or so.

The first sentence of Chapter 2 caught my attention: “It is better to own less than to organize more.” Similar statements are found throughout the chapter. For example: “Organization, in and of itself, never addresses the underlying issue that we buy too much stuff.”

So what is minimalism, anyway? Becker explains it this way:
It is a lifestyle where people intentionally seek to live with only the things they really need. ...

At its core, minimalism is the intentional promotion of the things we most value and the removal of everything that distracts us from it. ...

Minimalism is freedom from the passion to possess.
Becker continually stresses that “less is different than none.” He gives this example of living with less:
Rather than a box full of sentimental things stuck in the basement, we display the most important pieces from our past somewhere in our home.
And here's another example of less, not none:
When we first started decluttering our home, we started noticing a troubling trend: duplicates. In fact, we owned duplicates of nearly everything: linens, jackets, tennis shoes, candles, televisions.
And now, he says:
We own only our favorite of every object.
I appreciated that Becker is very clear that everyone’s experience of minimalism will be different.
Minimalism is always going to look different from person to person and family to family. Our passions are different. Our personalities are different. Our presents are different.
So far, the items I've quoted have nothing to do with “kids” — but here's a part that does. Becker has a list of things his children have learned through the family's minimalist lifestyle:
  • They don’t need to buy things to be happy.
  • They don’t need to live life like everyone else.
  • They can live within their means.
  • They ought to think carefully about their purchases.
  • They should gladly share with others.
Not a bad list, for any of us, whether we see ourselves as minimalists or not.