No, not skeletons in your closets, silly! I'm referring to those areas so terrifically terrible that you fear someone will discover them. Or those places that, despite you best efforts, you never seem to be able to tame. Or maybe it's simply a place once blissfully organized that, over time, has disintrigated into a messy, confusing place that you just can't stand to be.
We all have them, at least once in a while. I find that the winter months are particuliarly hard times to keep my house neat. I blame it on the extra layers we have to wear that never seem to find their way into the closet, on the snow that comes in on our dogs, and on the lack of sunlight to give me the motivation and energy to clean clean clean! I also find there's a bit of a let down between the holiday season and spring cleaning; there's really nothing to prepare for in January and February so it's easy to let things slide a bit. Indeed, I remarked to my husband the other day that the house seemed easier to keep tidy two months ago when every inch of it was "be-decked" and there were two Christmas trees taking up space!
In my home there are a few places in particuliar that drive me nuts, and this week I concocted a plan to tackle them. After all, Nesty is about leading a better life through simplified living; nothing derails simplified living faster than disorder and mess. I'll be sharing my progress with you. Some are my own ideas, while others are inspired by magazines and blog posts. With so many great resources out there, there's really no excuse for not getting it all together!
My first project was the kitchen "junk drawer". I'd been inspired by the latest issue of Real Simple magazine, which included an article called "Streamline Your Supplies." The article detailed what essentials you need in order to organize your medicine cabinet, utensil drawer, tool kit, desk drawer, and cleaning cabinet. I decided to tackle the desk drawer; with my kitchen "junk drawer" standing in a for desk drawer. I realized that, scattered throughout the house, I had all the items I needed for a neat and tidy startionery center except mechanical pencils and stamps (which are on my to-buy list).
Sometimes when you get an idea from a blog or magazine, it's easy to think that you don't have all the nifty stuff they're suggesting. What you have to remember is that they're just that, suggestions. Around your home you probably have equivalents to what they're suggesting. Here's what Real Simple's experts suggested, along with my two cents or substitutions:
- Forever Stamps (In Canada I believe we call them fixed rate stamps; but basically they are stamps that don't lose their value even if rates change)
- Personal Stationery (I don't have personalized stationary, so I used a set of notes and envelopes my mom sent in a care package. You can find adorable note card sets at stationery and office supply shops, as well as department and dollar stores).
- Permanent markers in black and silver for regular and dark papers (check and check!) plus a highlighter (I like pink)
- Correction Tape
- Sticky notes, large and small (I only had large so small go on the list; they're great for leaving notes in cookbooks!)
- Mechanical Pencils
- Titanium Scissors (I have a lot of non-titanium scissors so a pair of those went in the drawer. FYI, apparently titianium scissors stay sharp a really long time)
- Paper clips
- A weighted tape dispenser (a real time saver when wrapping gifts, but you could use a roll of tape if that's what you have. Weighted dispensers are surprisingly economical, however)
- A classic stapler
- A box of your favorite pens (I often buy pens by the box but I have so many pens right now that I really couldn't justify purchasing another box. I do have my own favorite, a Papermate retractable, medium tip, blue ink, rubberized barrel, in pink because for some reason pink pens don't seem to wander off. I wonder why?)
Here is a picture of my lovely new stationery drawer. Thanks, Real Simple!!
I realised as I was editing this picture that my paperclips and tape dispenser are making a run for it. In the interest of proving that I can keep it real, I did not re-take the photo!
Now of course all the "stuff" that was in the junk drawer had to go somewhere! I'll be detailing my progress over the next few weeks. Next week I'll be sharing how I tamed a really bad problem area in my home - my cosmetics drawer. Oh, the horror!!!!
I'll see you on Friday for the Christmas Calmdown!