Hooking It Up!

Remember my love of organization! Well, I’m nowhere near having a black belt in clutter karate, but every now and then I feel the need to clobber one corner of chaos.

Here is the most recent area that needed fixing. My necklaces.

I am a person who needs to have my jewelry out because I forget about it otherwise. But it needs to be pretty at the same time. Here is what it looked like before, and it’s bad. people. I understand if you need to look away.

Scary, right? Like it looks like everything is just tangled together…because it is. I needed a solution STAT.

Well, STAT in my case was seven months. First, I bought the hooks from Urban Outfitters. And then I needed to stare at the boxes for a good three months before taking them out and trying to put on up directly on the wall only to make a hole the size of a quarter and get frustrated and wait another three months until my sweetie tried to put the hooks on a board, but he split the board. Then this project needed to sit again until my parents came out and three weeks past until my Dad was about to leave and I begged him to do this one project, which took him half a day to do after a couple of the hook backs broke.

Phew! I need a drink just thinking about that!

But I love the finished product.

I covered the board some Japanese decorated paper I bought from Paper Source instead of painting it. I like the final outcome quite well. It was worth the wait.


Clutter Karate–The Pantry

Two years ago, I embarked on a slow but steady de-cluttering mission I called Clutter Karate.  Bags–BAGS of stuff left the house over the first six months and although it stalled with my pregnancy fatigue, house move and the overall Peachiness of last year, the passion from that original idea flares up every now and then.

During my glorious and reconstituting holiday break, I decided to practice a few of my de-stashing moves and this time my beloved pantry was the recipient of my roundhouse kicks of organization.

This project has been a long time coming–more than a year, but man, I’m happy with the results. I give you this–my organized pantry.

I know it probably doesn’t look that fancy to many.  But to me, this is a beautiful thing.  With Metro shelving to boot!

I must admit that I kinda like my hodge podge container set. I recently bought the vintage square tins from the Alameda Flea Market which I think look quite charming next to the IKEA containers and next to the Target ones.  To me it feels like an old English cupboard. Or like Nigella’s pantry. But not as well stocked. Yet.

And here is where I go crazy town and pop all of my different cuisines into boxes. We have Italy, Mexico and Asia. I need a box for England…

You learn a lot about your buying habits when you clean out your pantry. Like, “why do I need four cans of McCann’s steel cut groats?”  or “I have six half used bags of rice. And I don’t even make rice that often…”  I went a bit anal, but it feels great. It makes me feel grown up and like a good little housewife–all organized and ready for anything. And not having to buy doubles of stuff.

Oh, but it didn’t stop there… Just you wait…

And the next stop–my foyer. For which I will be making this bit of AWESOMENESS thanks to Bright and Blithe.

Ebay Ecstasy

I know we are in the dog days of summer, but I decided to do some spring cleaning, inspired by my friend Jennifer who is selling almost everything she owns in prep for her move to London. And as I mentioned I am feeling more seventies prep than my normal vintage swing look, so I’m getting rid of some of my favorites including a couple of Manifesto dresses.

I’ve spent a good chunk of the past weekend taking pictures of the pieces. Some of my first photos were…uh… not as well styled as I would like–like this one which had a Weight Watchers Chocolate Mint frozen ice cream cone in the corner.  BTW, that is a very fancy Francesco Biasia bag that I spent a fortune on and am now selling for a pittance!

But then we found the perfect corner, which I think makes me look much cooler and hipper than I am in real life.

Books, vintage cameras and typewriter,  booze and Trechnikoff as background. Much better!  This dress by the way, is one of the Manifesto dresses that I just wore to death back in the day. But it sadly has a broken zipper, which I think means it probably won’t sell, but that’s fine. I kinda want to keep it…

If you are interested check out the other eBay auctions here.

Clutter Karate! Week er…4/5…

Even through the craziness of the past week, my love of the de-cluttering is still unfettered.

What I’m most chuffed about this past week was clearing out a completely forgotten nook in our house–the DVD nook.



Hmmm–do I really need these VHS tapes of Sopranos season 4? Clearly not.

Good bye misc. DVDs. But sorry clutter–you’ll have to get used to “The Muppet Show” DVDs. Some things are above clutter–more like cultural icons. And yes–Fozzie the Bear does count as a cultural icon. At least to me.  And that goes for the “Arrested Development DVDs too.
So for the month of January, I have taken this much stuff out of my house. It has been given to the Salvation Army so others can continue to get use out of these items.


This upcoming week. The bathroom. Good bye prescriptions from 1998!

Clutter Karate–Week 3

Well, I’m humming along with my de-cluttering efforts.

I took a break from doing drawers and headed outside of my bedroom to deal with my overstuffed bar.

I have a problem with collecting too many glasses. Perhaps because my bar looks like this.

Er… Yeah… I’m really just being hospitable. Really, I don’t have a drinking problem…Seriously!

Anyway, I’m not willing to part with my sweet collection of vintage state glasses or my collection of vintage pink elephant glasses. And, yeah, I’m keeping the murano glass cocktail set too.

And I couldn’t part with my beloved little shot glasses that my were my grandmother’s. And I adore the Sandwich glasses goblets and don’t even get me started on how much I use my majollica goblets. I tell you–they make the wine taste even better! Or the green little glasses that belonged to my Great Aunt Lil…

But I’ll part with these too big martini glasses and misc. wine glasses that don’t have a match. And although it’s kinda tough, these sweet little juice glasses are going too. It doesn’t make sense to hold on to glasses I haven’t used in four years or so, right? Hopefully someone else can use them and enjoy them as much as I did at one time.

If anyone in the Bay Area wants them, just ping me and they are yours!

OH, and I did do quite a bit of filing. Like probably two years worth. Seriously.

I swear, I do have a more intriguing life than to blog about this, but getting rid of clutter is so wonderfully cathartic and a huge undertaking for me–even if it is just one day at a time. I can’t tell you how much better I feel every time I deal with all of this. Every week I make more room –even just by removing these two dozen glasses helps–and get more stuff out of my house that I don’t use so I can breathe deeper.

Clutter Karate–Week 2

Well, I’m still plugging away on cleaning out the drawers.

Last Sunday I started with the goal to clean out four drawers, (since social engagements kept me out too late to come home and start cleaning). But two drawers in and I was completely overwhelmed. My brother told me that it’s best to do it no more than for short bursts–15 minutes at a time. And it’s true.

However, not only did I clean out those drawers I found things and properly righted them. Often times things aren’t finished. How many times have we started projects, taken things out and left the remnants on the dresser, the table, the floor?  Or crammed them into the wrong drawer because someone was coming over?

It is damningly too easy to put a broken necklace in a drawer and forget about it. Which is what I did. But that Sunday, I had Eric fix it.

And I found in one of the drawers I was cleaning out this darling lady bug bell for my bicycle. That I bought 2 years ago. But that Sunday I finally put it on my bike.

I know. I know. These things so so insignificant. So small. But with every drawer, I feel that I am helping make room in my world and my goals and to help make life more livable on a day to day basis. After all, it is the little things in life that can bring you the most joy.  My sweetie and I have two goals to do by the end of the year and one of them is buy a house. I don’t want the clutter to follow me to the new house. So getting through everything now is essential.

Stay tuned for next week, which will all be about FILING! Whoo hoo!

Hello 2008! A Drawer A Day–Karate Chop on Clutter

Well, there is always something so inspirational about the first day of the year. The rehaul of eating and drinking habits are evergreen items on my list. But I really want to deal with my clutter demons. Sometimes clutter is just so overwhelming that you much chip away at it one step, one day at a time.

I wouldn’t say I’m horrible with clutter, but well, things do pile up. And one of the top ways to stop that is getting rid of the items that cause the clutter. I don’t want people to come into my house and see clutter–but instead the charming items that I treasure. Not the pile of books or clothes in the corner of the room.  My friend Penelope always used to say–“Every thing has its place. Every place has its thing.” And it is quite true. Now how do I start?

One drawer at a time.  I remember one week, my darling friend Dana decided to clean out one drawer at a time in her bedroom. Why not take it to the next step. Do one until there aren’t any  more drawers.

Yes, you see where I’m going with this one. In fact I’m going to start my own little organization revolution–one drawer at a time. No more than 15 minutes a day. And I’m not going to just move stuff from one drawer to the next closest drawer. I’m going to put things away–give them a place.  I am taking the pledge. A Drawer A Day! 

Starting today.  And I’m starting with this ultimate repisotory for crap! Yes, the bedside table top drawer.

Which started looking like this:

And in less than 10 minutes turned into this:

Wow. Just 10 minutes and already I feel better. More sane. Like I’m truly moving forward. Which is always good. And yes, things were thrown out and put in their proper place.  Why do I have seven pens in this drawer and not a scrap of paper? And what is with the 30 odd pony tail holders?

Truly humbling stuff.

I think this blog would be rather lame if I started just shooting photos of my drawers. Wouldn’t that be ghastly? So, I’ll just save that for Mondays. Start the week out with a bang–looking at the accomplishements of the past week to egg me on to continue it for the next week.

Wish me luck and feel free to join me on my Karate Chop on Clutter!


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