Tricks of the Trade: Bathroom Organization

My bathroom is, without a doubt, the smallest room in the apartment. Somehow, all three of our walk-in closets are larger than our bathroom. But even with its small size working against us, I’ve manager to pack a whole lot into it without making it feel cluttered or cramped. From a shelving system to hidden storage, keep reading to find out my tips for maximizing storage space in a small bathroom.

The biggest tip I can give is to invest in an over-the-toilet shelving system—I found this one on Target and seriously couldn’t love it any more. With this system in place, here are some more ways to increase storage space:

  • Use vases as storage — I love shopping at flea markets and second-hand stores and often pick up quaint vases when I do. The vases in my bathroom not only serve as decoration, but also double as storage. I put all kinds of things in my vases, from nail clippers and tweezers to floss and travel toothpaste.
  • Place baskets on top of your shelving unit — Without the baskets I’ve placed above our shelf, I would definitely not be able to fit all of my toiletries. The two that we have in our bathroom hold everything from sunscreen and body lotion to cold medicine and advil.
  • Hang a shower caddy — I’m a firm believer that everything in a room should have a spot, which is exactly why I hung two shower caddies over our rack in the shower. I love how this keeps everything up and off the bathtub and into its own designated spot.

Do you have any storage tips for a small bathroom? Let me know in the comments!

Tricks of the Trade: Makeup Organization

I’ve always appreciated the magic of makeup, but recently that appreciation has turned more into an obsession. Every night, I find myself watching makeup tutorials on YouTube, which inevitably have product endorsements in them, which inevitably winds up in me ordering said products and growing my makeup collection. Please tell me I’m not alone in this!

Because my collection has grown these past few months, I’ve been experimenting with different organizational techniques and have finally landed on a system that I’m excited to share.

Of course, if my bathroom were much larger, I’d definitely be stocking up on these clear makeup holders to do the job. But alas, I’m working with a few drawers in my second closet, as well as some vanity space. To maximize this limited space, I invested in some really pretty vases to store my brushes, eyebrow gels, and lip pencils. Some days, I’ll only apply some eyebrow gel and hint of lip color, so I love that these two staples are now super easy to reach.

As for the rest of my makeup products, I found these very practical cubes from IKEA that happen to fit perfectly in my vanity drawers. I use two for my makeup: One for My concealers, highlighters, and beauty blenders, and the other for bronzers, blushes, powders, eyeshadows, and foundations. Because they are quite small, I stack most things with the largest item on the bottom and the smallest on top. When I get ready in the morning, I simply empty out the bins and pull my selections for the day.

How do you organize your makeup? Please share in the comments!

Tricks of the Trade: Pantry Makeover

I’m not going to lie, I’ve really struggled with organizing my pantry over the years. Sure, I’ve got a system in place for what goes where, but I’ve had a hard time finding enough space to store all of my snacks and canned goods. While our pantry is very tall, it’s not practical for me to store essentials all the way up at the top, and I’ve been trying to find a solution for a while.

Just the other weekend, I was in the Container Store and stumbled upon acrylic risers. I wasn’t sure if they were going to work for my project, but I figured I’d give them a try and return them if need be. Thankfully, they worked perfectly and have created much-needed additional shelving in my pantry.

As you can see in the above photo, cans can go under the riser while other items, such as farro and quinoa, can live on top. Hooray for extra storage!

Tricks of the Trade: Folding Sweaters

I’ve written about sweaters in the past, and how you should always opt to fold them. But now I thought I’d dive into how exactly you should go about folding them. Follow along to learn how to fold even the chunkiest of sweaters!

Step 1: Lay your sweater flat, with the front side down.

Step 2: Fold one sleeve and side in toward the middle of the sweater. You don’t want to overdo this fold (as that will make your sweater pile much too tall). Instead, imagine the sweater is divided into thirds and you want to fold in just 1/3 of the way.

Step 3: Fold the rest of the sleeve down toward the side of the sweater. This will also help to prevent an overly bulky fold.

Step 4: Repeat on the second side.

Step 5: Fold the bottom the sweater up to meet the top.

Step 6: Flip it around and voila! I like to then pat the sweater down a bit, as to smooth it.

Now what are you waiting for? Go get to folding those sweaters! I know you can do it.

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.

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.

Tricks of the Trade: Packing

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If you’ve followed my blog for some time, then you know I’ve written a packing tutorial before. But since that was more than two years ago, it felt like the right time for an update!

Whenever I am leaving town–whether for a weekend getaway or a two-week excursion–I always follow the same 4 steps. They’ve never once failed me, and I hope you find them as helpful as I do.

  1. Go shopping: In your closet, that is. Kick off your packing process by looking through your clothes and pulling out what catches your eye.

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2. Lay it all out: Once you’ve selected your favorite items from your closet, go ahead and lay them down on your bed. No need to make this super neat, as you’re just starting to lay the foundation.

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3. Start making piles: In my last post, I advised you to make piles based on type–shirts with shirt, jeans with jeans, etc. Recently however, I’ve been changing my ways and actually setting out my outfits. So instead of creating piles by type, I create piles of actual outfits that I intend to wear on my trip.

I find this to be the most crucial step, as it ensures that you’re only bringing exactly what you intend to wear and don’t wind up 500 miles from home with 10 blouses but no jeans that pair well with them.

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4. Pile it into the suitcase: With your outfits all set out, it should be really easy to see exactly what you’re bringing with you and what can go back into your closet. Simply put, if you have ten extra dresses than days on your trip, you can confidently put those all back in your closet.

When it comes to actually laying things down in the suitcase, I like to revert back to the piles by type strategy. I’ll put jackets with other jackets, jeans with other jeans, and so on and so forth.

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I like to start with the bulkiest items first and gradually layer in my lighter pieces.

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So now that we’re all packed, where should we go? : )