Small Bathroom Storage – Under the Sink

I haven’t posted in a while because I have been working with a lot of new clients on getting their spaces together! It has been fun but also takes a lot of time! I love it ūüôā¬†Here is a short fun blog post about getting those small under sink storage areas in order – this is great for apartment living and small bathrooms, especially if you share a space with someone else!

 

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A friend recently asked about storage solutions under the sink, and let me tell you it’s never easy. You can see how successful my first attempt was.

 

before

 

Man, well that is embarrassing! Essentially everything had it’s own bin and I didn’t have a lot to declutter but I hated the roll out rack that I had and the baskets but didn’t feel like purchasing new ones until I had an idea that worked for the space. You can tell by how things are splayed out that I really didn’t like the space. When you have a storage solution you like and love all the items you own you take better care of them and have them put back into the same place every time. So let’s get to the juicy stuff.

 

First I took my before photo – motivation to never have that again!!

PUT EVERYTHING OUT TO SEE AND GO THROUGH YOUR ITEMS ONE BY ONE

So when I started this process I went through everything I had, I must have had 5 times this much bathroom stuff and it was a whole bunch of soaps, lotions, relaxation goods, shampoos, body washes, etc. NONE of which I used or was immediately inclined to using. Sure I used some of it a couple of times or had moved on to another product after only using half a bottle but I figured they still had some uses in them. A lot of people think like this, “I use it sometimes.” or “I spent a lot of money on this but I never use it.” or “I am going to start using this.” By the end of it you have a 10 product morning and night routine and tons of shower products, leftover and half used makeup with random hair supplies that you barely see.

 

THE UGLY TRUTH

“I use it sometimes” there is a reason why it is not apart of your everyday routine. Whether it be your ritual already has too many steps, or you have something that serves a similar purpose, or you only use it on special occasions. The ugly truth is, you would use it everyday if you loved it and needed it. REALLY start using it everyday or say goodbye¬†because it is not important enough to you if you don’t use it everyday. Don’t keep clutter you might use.

“I spent a lot of money on this.” Everything in your home is yours. That money is gone. And when you start this process towards the kind of lifestyle you had you have to let go of the monetary value and think of the PERSONAL VALUE.

“I am going to start using this.” Then use it. I say if you can’t use it for 21 days in a row, consistently and without annoyance at the extra time, get rid of it. A beauty routine should be simple and easy. Not everyone can spend hours getting ready, most of my clients need something simple and efficient even though they have a ton of products. The marketing world wants you to think you NEED all of their products. But you don’t! A simple routine can be a great energizer for your day.

“I will use this when this item runs out.” I get it, toothpaste, that’s make sense. But body lotion, body wash, shampoos, luxury items etc. All of those things people hoard like mad. It’s one of the most common clutter habits I run into and almost EVERYONE does it. You bought the item, and then after a while saw another type that you were excited to use. The old one is put away in the cabinet, half used, probably even has some tacky drips coming off the cap. *shivers*. The love you had for that item is gone, I know it seems wasteful but consider this a one time thing that you are doing and it won’t happen again. Get rid of the items you have hidden away for “maybe someday” because chances are when you are done with the one in the shower, you will get another one of that item or you will want something new and fresh for the season. I encourage getting rid of half used items that are waiting to be used later because the excitement you had for that item has faded and it is CURRENTLY not serving a purpose and just taking up space. To truly declutter and not return to clutter again, you need to get rid of the items you are not using or have no current taste for so that you can have an everyday focus only on items you have now that serve a purpose for you now.

GET RID OF THE EXPIRED ITEMS

A lot of times people will have old lotions or shampoos, body wash etc. Just toss it, do you really want to put yellowed lotion on your skin <insert Red Dragon joke> nope.

GET RID OF EXPIRED OR OLD MAKEUP

One word. BACTERIA. *heebie jeebies*

While you have been using that brand new voluminous mascara there is an old friend hanging out in the makeup bin waiting for that emergency day you may need it just waiting to touch those luscious lashes again. Sure it’s been six months but you might need it just in case. Do you lend mascara to friends? No, why? Because you don’t want to spread whatever creepy microscopic wigglies are floating around in their eyeballs on to yours and possibly get infected.

So while you have not been using your old mascara, the same thing is happening in that tiny tube. Germs farm. I do not have mysophobia I just don’t like eye infections. Same thing with other makeup. It has old bacteria, germs and skin cells in it. Makeup has an unspoken shelf life. Check out some tips here.

 

DONATE EXTRA – NON PERISHABLE ITEMS

For some unknown reason – possibly me being lazy my husband never putting them away, I always lose my nail clippers and therefore bought them frequently. Here is what I was looking at for my nail items.

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FIVE NAIL CLIPPERS. Who the heck needs 5 nail clippers? I ONLY HAVE TWO HANDS. And one is busy clipping the other. There is NO reason. So I kept one pair of nail clippers and one of the Toe clippers, because my toe nails have a whole routine just for those indestructible nails. Donated the rest.

I also needed to go through my nail polish again, I kept some colors I liked even though they are not very opaque so I have to paint A LOT of layers when I use them. The drying time drives me crazy and as I decluttered these puppies I thought, “Enough is enough. If they don’t make me happy I will avoid using them or buy something else so I might as well say goodbye.”

 

after-nails

Much Better.

jars

I also bought three of these stackable containers for my wedges and my cotton balls.
They are behind the nail box in the cupboard.

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It is also really important to keep your products organized in their containers, small containers can help!
For instance, I found this lipstick organizer at DAISO and it houses all of my nail colors and accessories beautiful
with room to spare lining the container.

nikki-before

I said goodbye to the beauty routines I never use, like the extra deep cleaning products.
I love the acne soap I use it does wonders with the scrub brush and let’s be honest here, beauty products aren’t regulated.
Seriously, they don’t have to tell you what is in the product nor be honest about it, I don’t like that. I am satisfied with one thing that works.

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The rest of the items were pretty big but I still wanted to contain my extra glass cleaner…napkin so it didn’t unravel in the bin.

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THANK YOU STAPLES. This business card holder is perfect and now I have one in my purse too. Love it.

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It doesn’t take much to keep these items in order, the glasses and contacts have their own bin and the rest of
my skin products are neatly tucked away.

HAIR PRODUCTS

Hair Products are a real struggle for people, they love their many sprays, waxes, foamies and smoothers….¬†I’m not one to talk when I say that most products have crazy bad things in them and for me the less I put in my hair the healthier it will be.¬†Usually my day is just a dab of heat protectant for blow drying and a spritz of spray or I let it dry naturally. Once every two weeks I strip my hair of the chemicals in the shower and shampoo twice a week.¬†I’m one of those rare people that listens to their hairstylists when they say don’t use shampoo in your hair EVERYDAY. Try every 3, your hair will love you for it.

 

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Clips and things can be stored in baggies for easy grabbing and they don’t go all over the bin. Like the dreaded bobbie pins! Ladies, you know what I’m talking about here.

FINALLY

I was trying to come up with a solution for my hair dryer, straightener and curler. I don’t like them laid down or randomly placed, hanging on the door with those wire things didn’t work. I was at a loss, I needed something tall enough to hold it’s own against my hefty hair dryer and deep enough to carry all 3. And then it hit me, a magazine box. No, really I mean it hit me. As I filled my cart with the other bins this box ACTUALLY fell on me attached to what I was pulling off the shelf. It hit me and it came home with me.

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For those who wonder why I don’t store toilet paper in a wire or plastic etc, toilet paper holder to save room under the cabinet: I used to. I did and all I could think about when I saw it sitting out was dust and skin collector. No mas! Under the sink it went out of sight from visitors and most importantly nice and clean for use.

Well, that’s all she wrote folks. A couple essential under cabinet items, like ladies products and toilet paper and we were solid.

Until next time, enjoy your clean ;).

 

 

 

 

 

Decluttered & Tidy Pantry

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You know it, I know it, the pantry is not on the top priority list. But it should be! We use this area almost, if not every, day and it houses one of the three essential human needs (shelter, water and ) FOOD! The home for our food should be shown a lot of respect and care. When we keep it tidy items are easier to find, grab and run back to the pan with. Our kids (husbands) can find their Fruit by the Foot snacks faster and we are not over stocking items we already have.

 

Here are some quick and easy tips for getting the pantry back into shape.

 

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EMPTY OUT YOUR PANTRY & PUT IT ALL ON DISPLAY

ALL OF IT. It’s a serious shocker when you see all those cans and boxes spread out in your kitchen. You will find things you never knew you had, wonder how the toys ended up in there, find empty boxes, the works. It’s OK it happens to all of us, it’s called life.

 

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GET RID OF THE EMPTY BOXES 

I am a supporter of saving boxes but most of these will be squished, ripped, dented or stinky. Toss it. Invest in bins that you can wash. I bought the plastic bins at DAISO and used some Dollar store plastic bins as well. It doesn’t take much more than 15.00 to make a pantry functional. Invest in nicer materials later (or now if you have the cash!!)

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CHECK FOR EXPIRED ITEMS AND TOSS

There is no excuse. I know some people say that they write expiration dates far before items ACTUALLY expire…but no dollar amount is worth the risk of your health. Dump it and spend a couple bucks on a new can of soup or box of macaroni.

 

bye-box

TAKE ITEMS OUT OF BOXES

Boxes take up a ton of room especially when they are half empty. You will have a new way to store them that is functional and will allow for other items to cozy in and take up valuable pantry real estate. Short of ziploc bags or napkins they really don’t need packaging and can look pretty in a jar¬†or can be cleverly hidden in a bin organized with like items.

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PUT LIKE ITEMS TOGETHER

And I mean like items of purpose, not of material. If you put all of your cans together you could be putting your fruit with soup instead of with baking and when you grab the materials to make a pineapple upside down cake you don’t realize that you had a can of pineapple already! A lot of items we buy we purchase with intention. For dinner, lunch or dessert. Put those items together.

 

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ONE STEP STORAGE

I cannot stress enough how important it is not to stack items on top of each other. Humans are simple, we like things to be easily accessible and uncomplicated. Our brains are wired to find the easiest and most efficient route, so when you stack boxes you are less likely to open, pull out or put back the bottom box. Have everything at one level and add a wire rack if you need to use more vertical space. When placing items into bins, stack them vertically and do not pile them on top of each other because I promise 9 out of 10 times you will not dig in to see what is under there.

If you like storing cans outside of bins get a can shelf that has steps so you can see the cans in the back and easily grab them. When all the cans are one behind the other on the same level you will be less likely to see the items in the back at a glance when putting your shopping list together.

LABELS

I like to make it fun like put “lunches” or “dinners” and “snacks” so that when someone looks in for ideas they can browse the box, and I will know when I am cooking and need a rice-a-roni box. I also have labels for “baking” (cake goods and cup cakes, pumpkin pies, etc.), “cooking” (cans for meals and Peruvian dishes I love, bouillon cubes, etc.) “aprons”, “food storage” (all the extra ziplocs and plastic wrap etc. I only have ONE of each extra and they are stacked vertically to take less space in a bin)

 

before-after

That’s all she wrote folks. You can be super creative and find what works for you, modify it to fit your pantry
but this is really a great solution for getting things in order quickly and having a functional finish ;).

Enjoy!

 

 

 

Packing a Diaper Bag

Diaper bags. For some reason this was so intimidating for me coming in as a new mom. The fact that I needed to make a bag for just in case scenarios…when I had no idea what those scenarios could be freaked me out. I thought …diapers. wipes..blankets and bottles right?

Nope. Maybe for miracle babies but let’s be honest poop happens and we need to be prepared when the shit hits the fan(excuse my french I needed the pun). You know what I mean if you’ve seen an overfed baby come home after an hour and give you THAT smile.

Anyway, here’s the rundown.

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All of these items can be purchased on Amazon.com. This is my go to and if you sign up for Prime, shipping is free for two day and you can get great deals if you sign up for their baby registry and subscriptions. I love Amazon and they don’t pay me to brag!

You can always throw extra things in there, I like to take formula for longer trips. Bottles, etc.¬†Also, diaper bags usually come with a changing pad, so I bring that with it constantly.¬†Extra things you may want? Nail clippers, band aids, a pacifier holder, a pacifier clip …aspirin. Hehe.

Let me know what you carry in your diaper bag! Do you have a favorite brand?

 

 

Weekend Room Declutter Part 2 – A Tidy Space

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Ms. B was left in a state of limbo after last weekend’s declutter session. Normally when I work through a space and tidy after I do not like to purchase organizing supplies, a lot of the time people have what they need to organize their space. However, in Ms. B’s case she wanted a new dresser and shoe cabinet for her closet. She needed to freshen the space and get rid of the two smaller organizational pieces in her room that were old and not serving the purpose for which they were intended.

First, we started with finalizing the closet. We built these drawers from Ikea, I believe they are meant for office spaces but I wanted to use them for her shoes less worn and they are great for different shoe sizes (sandals are quite a bit thinner than heels).

 

comparrisonIn typical Ikea Fashion: building these takes two people with coffee or one person with a long movie and wine… leave the bottle.

If you haven’t experienced Ikea furniture drama watch this video:¬†youtube Ryan Reynolds building a crib. Enough said ;).

Here are the drawers in the closet and how we used them.

craft-binThe left drawers are for art supplies, notebooks and paper for printing on the bottom.

shoe-closetThe shoes finally have a respectable home where they don’t clutter the closet visually,
but are easily accessed and off the floor.

FINAL CLOSET PHOTOS

final-closet

Her extra purses are on the right in a basket, folded into neat squares for the fabric bags and kept straight for the harder nicer pieces.

Even though the cabinets go past the opening of the door the space is still accessible and the drawers open all the way so Ms. B will be able to get to their contents. on top are boots and taller shoes, one’s that she especially loves to see and wear. While the shelf under her favorite hanging items has her record player and keepsake box.

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We hung a hamper on the door so that she can keep clothes off the floor and the door still closes nicely into the closet. She can easily grab the hamper off the hook and throw it into the laundry. Love it. Her purse sits on a beautiful owl hook by the closet and everyday when she enters her room she can hang it up instead of tossing it wherever it lands and searching for it later. The purse has an official home!

DRESSER WALL ORGANIZATION

Ms. B loves her records collection and needed a special place not hidden for them. I suggested using a picture ledge to fan out and display her favorite records that were visually appealing and the favorites she chose to keep but were less than artistic were still on the ledge behind the rest. Here is what we ended up with!

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Hello, Adele. Hello.

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Fanning out the lovelies.

PAUSE FOR A MOMENT

green-decor
I have an obsession with this floating leafy…diamond, geometric…gold thing.
I want need it. At least two. In EVERY room.

MOVING ON

Next we needed a place for her jewelry. She had an old jewelry organizer/frame she was OK with but didn’t love and all the necklaces were too many for the 5 or 6 hooks it had. You had to grab a hand full of necklaces just to find one!

I noticed she had some Ikea towel rods lying around and always fancied the idea of hanging necklaces and things on them. I had seen it a while ago and thought this was the perfect opportunity. The rods add class but keep her hipster style with her lovely necklaces and headbands as art on the wall.

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Of course I made her do the dirty work after I leveled them out.

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I mean look at that precision!

jewel-done
We hung the jewelry and a new painting on the wall. And Voila! Beautiful.

The last of her jewelry needed a home, basically the earrings, studs and a watch that didn’t quite fit on the bar visually.

Enter Nikki shopping mode. I LOVE re-purposing and shopping people’s homes for items to use in other spaces. I saw this stack of mason jar measuring cups (world market) and asked her if she used them as decorative measuring cups rarely are. I find most people like to use their plain metal or plastic measuring cups instead of the decorative for functionality and ease of cleaning.

mason-and-candle

So cute, I love having a space on dressers that is decorative. Click to find out how to make this AWESOME TILE TRAY.

A NOTE ABOUT PLANTS

Plants in a room are very refreshing and literally add life to your space. If you can keep them alive then they are great decor, but once they start to wilt or die throw them out immediately because having dying plants in your space is subconsciously depressing and very negative. That’s why I love succulents they live so well in any environment and can survive long bouts of dehydration. It’s not on purpose, life happens and I kill plants.

Lastly, Candles. Oh man. Love candles. Especially with cute little labels that say, “Hi Nikki. I am expensive and you can’t afford me.”
Just a little jealous. ūüôā

jewelry-table

Cute.

THE DRESSER

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My favorite piece for last!

She had a dresser before… Everything was just kind of in there and didn’t have a home. Also, it was older so she couldn’t put her clothes in the drawers as they would start to smell…like old dresser. It was a beautiful teal color, vintage style and tall and skinny.
The drawers were a little awkward in size. In the end, she gladly parted with her old dresser trading for this fabulous IKEA beauty which felt a little more chic feminine per her inspiration.

makeup-before

Goodbye old makeup / hair drawer

HELLO NEW TIDY MAKEUP AND HAIR DRAWERS!

makeup-drawer-fix

Her makeup fit great in to this plastic container that had a lid we removed for easy access to work as a drawer divider.

We have lotions and skin products on the left, powders and brushes on top. Nails, lips and mini hair pieces in the dividers below. Out side the box are her fancy-pants perfumes and special jewelry she likes to keep tucked away.

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Her hair supplies are in this drawer as well as her makeup go-bag.

dresser-drawers

We folded her clothes nice and neat into some inexpensive fabric containers from Ikea.

These are great for keeping together folded items like socks, underwear and bras. Everything should be folded and placed vertically for easy access. When you have fold items stacked horizontally the can get disheveled or ignored when you grab from the middle or are unwilling to dig to the bottom of a stack. Items are easily forgotten when stuffed under other clothes. The way KonMari folds can be found by clicking this link. The way she folds keeps them from flopping over in your drawer and keeps them from becoming wrinkled as well. ANYTHING CAN BE FOLDED!

Here are the final shots of her space. It is functional, fun, and brings her joy.

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She loves every item in her room and can now easily find anything she needs and has less stress
when working or getting ready to head out. I think my job here is done ūüôā On to the next Miscellaneous category in her home!

Mischief managed.