Tricks of the Trade: Closet Breakdown

 

Ready for a breakdown? I thought so!

As many of you know, I have two closets in my apartment. Though since my second closet is really like a glamorized coat closet, I thought I would focus on my main closet for the purposes of this blog post. You’ll soon see that this main closet is pretty sizable and through my efficient placement and thorough organization, I’ve only made it feel roomier.

When structuring your closet, you want to focus on practicality. For me, I have two long rods so I knew that I wanted to hang dresses, skirts, dress pants, and blouses on them. Though I knew that I would also need more storage. Cue: a dresser tucked beneath my blouses.

While this may seem like an obvious storage trick to many, that’s not always the case. Many of my clients have simply left the space under the hanging items underutilized, which is a miss in my book. The only exception to this is dresses, because these are often long and flowy so I would not recommend keeping any sort of dresser drawers underneath them. A shoe rack, however, could potentially work in that space.

In addition to my two long racks, I also have shelves in my closet. One level of shelves is very accessible—well, by very I mean I can reach everything so long as I stand on my toes—while another level is far too high to reach. Given this, I placed the items that I need at arm’s length on the first level, such as all of my jeans, shorts, and sweatshirts. Then on the upper level, I have more seasonal items like bathing suits, hats, scarves, as well as extra purses.

So now are you ready to tackle your closet? Once you’ve got the layout mastered, you can move onto color coordination. And lucky for you, I’ve got lots of posts about that very topic.

Over The Counter

You may have noticed from my last post about my kitchen that it’s not very big at all. Since we really only have a few feet of countertop to work with, I try to be super selective about what I keep on display vs. what is tucked away in our cabinets. Though even if I had a much larger space, I still think I would stick to this minimalist approach to keep things looking clean, fresh, and, of course, organized.

Oftentimes when I walk into people’s kitchens, I am overwhelmed by how many items they have out on their counters. Sure, items like a cutting board and a coffee maker may be necessary to have out at all times, but others—looking at you, blenders, crock pots, and mixing bowls—can easily be stowed away.

Here’s what I keep on my counters and why.

As I’m sure you’ll notice, I have a lot of white marble on my counters. I intentionally tried to keep my accessories minimal and light, so as to not make the space feel even more crammed and busy. In this white marble, I have a cutting board that doubles as a serving tray, a large holder filled with all of my utensil essentials, and a power towel holder.

I also have a few select cookbooks out on the counter largely for decorative purposes, though they are also very functional. They are nudged within a little cutout in my countertop that would otherwise go unused.

Across the kitchen on my stove, I similarly have only the essentials: dish towels, salt and pepper shakers, and a tea kettle in a fun color. My pans and pot lids, hung just above the stove, are within reach but do not clutter up either my cabinets or my countertops.

Because our kitchen is pretty tiny, we had to get creative with storing things like the microwave, toaster over, and coffee maker. We ended up finding a bar cart that fits perfectly between the end of the counter and the end of the tile floor, and it holds those items, plus a bowl filled with fruit and vegetables.

Last but certainly not least, we’re lucky to have a quaint built-in right above our sink and that’s where we house our dish soap, hand wash, and sponges. I like to hide my sponge within a cute bowl to make the nook feel more styled and pulled together.

DIY: Spice Containers

Without a doubt, spices are kitchen items that can be easily overlooked. You stock up on them as a given recipe calls and then you stow them away. But the problem with this is that you wind up with tons and tons of bottles–some that look too much alike and others that are a completely different shape and size. In other words, you wind up with a mess.

Sound familiar? Read on to find out how to do this super simple DIY that will make a big impact on your overall kitchen organization.

To kick off this DIY, I first took inventory of my spice cabinet. I pulled out all of my spices, threw away the ones I knew I’d never use again, and counted the remaining number. That way, I knew exactly how many bottles I needed to buy. I ended up purchasing these glass spice jars from the Container Store, along with transparent labels.

From there, it was just a matter of transferring from one (not so pretty) bottle to the next.

The final step is to add the label. The pack I linked to above also comes with blank labels so you can add custom labels, should you need to.

Let me know what you think of this simple DIY in the comments below!

Tricks of the Trade: Refrigerator Organization

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Let’s be real, the fridge can get pretty unruly really quickly if you’re not careful about it. Covered tupperware can go unnoticed, jars of tomato sauce can go bad, etc, etc. So how do you keep it clean and orderly? You’ve come to the right place!

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I like to have a system when it comes to my fridge, not only for where each food group belongs, but also for when I go through its contents with a fine-tooth comb. I typically do all of my grocery shopping for the week on Sundays, and when I get home I like to take a moment to go through the fridge. I’ll quickly check expiration dates, throw out anything that looks browned, and wipe down the bottoms. That way, I’m putting all of my fresh food away into a clean space.

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Much like how I organize my pantry, I use each shelf in my fridge for a different food group. It looks a little something like this:

  • Top shelf: All of my breakfast foods, such as fresh berries, bread, eggs, and yogurt.
  • Middle shelf: Dinner foods and beverages. This week, I made a big batch of soup so that’s taking up the bulk of this shelf currently. On other days, you might find roasted chicken or even some lasagna.
  • Bottom shelf: Since the bottom shelf is hung so low, I usually put all of my smaller lunch items here. I like to meal prep my lunches, so once I do, I divvy them into tupperware and slide them on this shelf.
  • Bottom drawers: We have two drawers in our fridge, so I use one of them for fresh produce and the other one for cheeses and deli meats.
  • Side shelves: You can see a glimpse into my shelves in the first picture. My strategy here is pretty simple: I sort from largest to smallest to create an aesthetically-pleasing array of sauces and jars.

Staying on Top of It All

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Sometimes staying on top of all of my chores can feel like a full-time job (and please tell me I’m not alone in that feeling!). Between dry cleaning, grocery shopping, and housekeeping, it’s no wonder why people have personal assistants to help them out with daily to-do’s.

And while I would certainly not be opposed to having a personal assistant, I’ve recently taken to a new system that has been working out really well for me and wanted to share it with all of you.

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Enter: this “All Out Of” notepad. I’ve never really been one for pre-formatted notes, as I like to have full creative freedom to write out exactly what I need to do and when. But there’s something about this pad that is just too great to deny. For starters, it’s magnetic so it lives perfectly on my refrigerator door. Second, it has just about everything you could ever think of, so you’ll never run to the store and forget an item again. Amazing, right?

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I particularly love that this pad gives me an at-a-glance view into all of my errands. Once it starts to fill up, I know that it’s time for a drug store haul, and of course, I know exactly what to buy.

Tricks of the Trade: Travel Itinerary

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Every time I travel, I make a super detailed travel itinerary that serves as my bible throughout the whole trip. From flight information to restaurant reservations and everything in between, my travel itinerary is the only document I have to carry with me when I travel.

Over the years, I’ve gotten pretty good at banging these itineraries out–so good that my friends request them even if they have no travel plans–and have developed somewhat of a strategy. So, like I always do, I thought I’d share my tips and tricks with you!

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I like to divide my travel itinerary by day (ex: Tuesday, March 28th) and then subdivide by time of day (ex: morning, afternoon, evening). That way, I can distinguish between something to see in the morning v. the evening. Plus, it’s a great way to make sure I don’t overbook myself for any one time of the day.

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From there, I go about filling in the different portions of the day. I like to do a ton of research before I go anywhere. Depending on the scale of the trip (international or national), I’ll read travel books, scope travel blogs, and even stalk my favorite influencers’ Instagram feeds. All of these sources help me figure out the key places to visit, delicious restaurants to eat at, and other notable things I shouldn’t miss out on.

Then it really comes down to scheduling. As I mentioned, you don’t want to overbook yourself with breakfast plans on one end of town, lunch on the other, and finally dinner plans back where you had breakfast. That would be crazy! Instead, I try to stick to one or two neighborhoods per day and ensure that they’re somewhat close by. I’ll also do extensive research on the best modes of transit around the city to figure out how exactly to reach my destinations.

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Hope this inspires you to get organized before your next big trip!

My New Morning Routine

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I’m super excited to report that I have a new morning routine that has seriously changed my life. Ok, that might be a bit dramatic but let me explain.

A few weeks ago, I bought these wall hooks from Anthropologie because I thought they were too pretty to pass on. When I first purchased them, I knew that I would find a use for them but it wasn’t immediately clear just what that use was. I thought about hanging them in the bathroom to hold towels, or maybe even in the kitchen to hold oven mitts. Eventually, I landed on my closet and could not be more pleased with that decision.

I have always loved to plan my outfits in advance, but don’t love that then you just have a pile of clothes in your closet waiting for you. Luckily, these hooks have saved the day. Now, I can set out my outfit in advance but hang all of the items right onto the hooks. I hang everything from my jeans to my bra to my jewelry right on the hook, so when it comes time to get dressed, it’s all right there waiting for me.
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So far, I am absolutely loving my new routine and would highly recommend it!