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Getting organized – for real this time

Image via Infarrantly Creative

I’m not typically one to make New Year’s resolutions, mostly because I don’t love the notion that we should “change ourselves” solely because a new year has begun, and I truly despise the saying “new year, new me.” I like the current me! I think there are always aspects of our lives that we can improve upon, but I believe it should come from a desire to be better because we want to be better, not because society proclaims the new year is a time to change yourself.

For example, I really want to try Soul Cycle. I’ve always been fearful of workout classes because I feel like people are looking at me and judging me if I do it wrong (which may be true, but what does it matter?). It can be hard to take that first step in doing something you aren’t comfortable with, but I’ve found that once the first step is taken, following through becomes much easier. I’m going to my first Soul Cycle class next week (and the founders of Soul Cycle will be at the conference I am attending this weekend!) not because it’s a new year, but because a colleague of mine has encouraged me to do so and I finally feel ready to give it a try. See what I mean? Positive influences in our lives should be the reason we branch out and try new things, not societal “norms.”

I am trying to make organization—home, office, everything—habitual. I am not going to cross it off a list once I organize my closet. It’s much more than that. I spent a lot of time over the summer organizing certain spaces in our home in Dallas, and I was extremely proud of the result. But then, life got busy, and I would just throw stuff everywhere, completely negating all of the hard work (and honestly, money) I spent on organization. I want my life to be so organized that I can’t mess it up. This, my friends, is not a resolution, but a desire to de-clutter my life so I have one less thing to stress me out.

When we moved to SF and were faced with organizing more stuff than we had space for, I was overwhelmed, and now that we’re a bit more settled, it’s time to crack down and make this happen. I’ve been scouring the Internet for tips and tricks and have spent endless hours at The Container Store trying to find the most affordable yet aesthetically-pleasing solutions to my organizational anguishes. So, I have come up with some advice for all of you (and for myself, as well) that will hopefully kick-start a habitual organizational change in your life – for good. And, I have a really fun giveaway for you; details are at the bottom of this post!

Use wall space and corners

If you live in a city like New York or San Francisco (as I do), you know that space is limited and precious. We are so lucky, though, to have significant space in our bathroom, so instead of trying to shove everything into our cabinets (which would mean we’d never be able to get anything out of them), we purchased a five-level shelf from The Container Store (ours is sold out, but here’s a similar one) that houses magazines, sample makeup products, toiletries for guests, toilet paper and towels. Not only is this efficient, but it looks really nice. So, if you have some extra wall space, use it! You can always place your shelving in corners, too, so you can make use of every inch of wall space possible.

Use levels on small counter space

The actual counter space in our bathroom is super small. We had two sinks in Dallas, and now we have one, so we’ve had to get creative with how we use our space (and so I don’t monopolize the bathroom). I love the look I’ve created with this candle holder from Crate and Barrel (mine is sold out but I love this one!) to store my makeup brushes, and this setup makes it feel like we have a bit more space on the counter. I also love bathroom organization pieces like this from Montgomery Ward so you can keep your daily essentials in one place.

Invest in a good planner

In addition to home organization, life organization is crucial, as well. I tried my hand at using my phone for keeping track of everything going on in my life, but that just did not cut it. From work, to personal stuff, to blog meetings and planning, my phone actually created more stress for me. Simply put, I’m an old soul and a paper lover, so I will always use a paper planner. Some of my favorites are Erin Condren and May Designs. I love May Designs' customization options, and the planners are small enough to carry around in your purse. Bonus: they’re based in Texas! (P.S. you can check out the whole outfit in the photo below here).

Photo by L. Bishop Photography

Don’t let any space go to waste

Do you have a square section of empty space on the floor of your closet? Use it! Instead of stacking stuff on the floor, grab some stackable storage bins from The Container Store to organize clutter in your closet. I have two of these stacked on the floor on my side of the closet. One is home to my stationery, extra notebooks and bulk envelopes. The other is my craft storage bin. These are lifesavers because otherwise, my stuff would be all over the apartment (read: nowhere to be found). Wicker baskets are great ideas if you have shelves in your closet, but for floor storage, I like stackable bins.

Create a theme for shelf space

When I was organizing our bookshelves, bar cart and coffee cart, I made sure every shelf had a theme. Not only is this aesthetically pleasing, but it helps you remember where everything is, as well. For example, on our bar cart, we have a liquor shelf (but let’s be real, it’s mostly whiskey), a wine shelf and a “décor” shelf (or a junk shelf as my husband calls it; I beg to differ). Some people like to organize by glasses, then alcohol, so on and so forth, but I like organizing this way so the glasses are already with their respective drink.

Hang some floating shelves

If you’re like me, then you have more books than shelf space and more trinkets than you know what to do with. I am terrible (or great?) about finding the cutest pieces of small home décor, and then I get home and have nowhere to style them. Floating shelves are the perfect solution for things like that, and they look extremely chic, in my opinion. I love these, these and these – and this could be a fun DIY project!

Image via The Everygirl

Speaking of chic, I’ve teamed up with my friend and fellow blogger, Mattie Claire of Fit is Chic to give one lucky winner $50 to the stores we’re hitting up to make these goals of ours a reality (so $100 total!). Head to Fit is Chic to learn more about Mattie’s goals, and then head to Instagram to enter the giveaway!

I've known Mattie since our Kappa Delta days at Texas Tech. When I transferred to Tech, she was VP Membership and in charge of Recruitment, and I remember she made me feel so welcomed right from the start. Joining a new chapter can be seriously intimidating, but Mattie made sure I had everything I needed, knew everything I needed to know, and she was just an overall positive force in my transition to Tech and Tech KD. I am so excited to be attending Create + Cultivate Dallas with Mattie this weekend, and I know all of you will fall in love with Mattie and her blog (if you haven't already), so make sure you head there next to check out her goals!

Photo via Fit is Chic & Kristin Kay Photography

What are some of your personal and professional goals? Do you have any organization tips to add to my list? I’m always looking for more!


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