January 14, 2014

Apartment Therapy - January Cure

I've lived in my little place by the lake for almost five years.  In that time, I haven't really done much decorating.  I mean, I tried to make the place look nice of course -- matching dark wood furniture, a neutral couch, little things here and there -- but I really didn't have (or buy) any knick knacks or things to go on the walls.

Then my BF moved in.  He's an artist and brought all these framed drawings and paintings and hung them on every wall.  Over the last year he's been here, I've been feeling the itch to do something more with this (really) small space and make it feel more like a home than just a rental.  Especially now that there are two people (and a cat and a dog) in just under 600 square feet.

I got super inspired about 6 weeks ago when I discovered the Apartment Therapy website.  Hellooo?  Whyyyy did I not know about this site sooner??  I suppose I wasn't really looking for it, but I'm super stoked I found it and now I'm pretty much a daily reader.

I got this small space improving idea from Apartment Therapy:

Can you see us in the tv? Haha.
In love with these owl prints my blog friend Momo sent me. I FINALLY got them framed and hung!

We painted two walls in the apartment a fab shade of gray over Christmas break.  I love it so much!  Our art looks amazing against the dark walls.  When I'm able to upgrade that old living room TV it will be perfect!

Another thing I've been doing is de-cluttering, especially in the drawers.  There is such limited space in the apartment, that having clutter anywhere is just not good.  That said, it still manages to accumulate.  I cleaned out my nightstand drawers - couldn't believe how much old crap was in there! I managed to toss or recycle most of it and some (like my nice graphing calculators left over from college days) I'll save for the garage sale I plan on having as soon as early spring arrives.  I did the same with my closet and dresser drawers, though I could probably make another pass at the closet...sometimes it's hard to let go!  

At the end of 2013 I signed up for Apartment Therapy's January Cure.  It's a whole month of assignments and tips to get organized, get clean, and most of all, to have a space that's totally YOU and that makes you feel at ease.  They send an email each day with tasks and motivation and...it's quite awesome.  This past weekend's assignment was to tackle the clutter in the kitchen.  My kitchen is (of course) very small and I don't have tons of glasses or dishes or "stuff" in the upper cabinets so those are clutter-free, but I do did have one kitchen nemesis...

My one under-counter cabinet was crammed full!  Look how unorganized my plastic containers are, ugh.  And don't even get me started on the lid drawer...

Big mess.  I can never find the lid I need!  And wait till you see all the junk that was UNDER the lids...

Oh! THERE'S my 1/4 teaspoon measuring spoon!  Been looking for that.  And yes I saved Jack in the Box and Del Taco sauces.  And some chopsticks...because I'll totally use those again...rriiiiiiight.  Why do I have so many twist-ties??  Is that a toothbrush? Ugh.

Anyway, first task was to get all the stuff out of the lower cabinet and wipe it down. Then I put all the big stuff back in, crock pot, blender, etc., in a better arrangement so that the stuff I use regularly was more easily accessible.  And I totally forgot I had that pink George Foreman grill!

Then it was time to tackle the plastic ware.  I piled everything up...

Then I made sure every bottom had a lid...
What a random assortment of stuff...I'm pretty sure I didn't buy any of these.  If you gave me a container of something, I'm sorry I never gave it back to you!
Then I made an attempt to stack all the bottoms in a sort of cohesive manner...now to just keep them this way!

I couldn't think of another way to store my lids except for in that one drawer, so I cleaned out the other junk, wiped out the drawer, and put the lids back in.  In the couple of days since I did this, the right container and the right lid have been mega easy to find so...success!

On another sort of clutter note -- what do you guys think of having magnets/stuff on the fridge?
I'm kind of proud of my bib collection from various races I've done the last few years, but I'm not sure this is the best way to display them.  I plan on collecting more so...not sure what to do with those.

Then I have my favorite comics...ones I cut out of the actual newspaper, yes.

I think they are so hilarious!  Especially the first one, since I used to (many, many years ago) live in a roach apartment.  I could probably make your skin crawl with one of my roach encounter stories, but I will spare you for now.  Anyway, I thought of maybe getting teeny frames from the dollar store or something and putting these on the wall in the kitchen. I am a nerd, I know.

Then I've got a jury summons (don't want to forget about that!) and some various Groupon things I need to use.  I suppose it's not cluttery-like to have a few things stuck on the fridge, but I kind of feel like mine is a little too busy.  What say you, dear internet friends?

Happy Tuesday!

xo :)

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  1. Looks like you're on the right track! I love the art hanging around your apartment, especially the owls. Totally fabulous. What kind of races do you participate in? I've only been a part of the Color Run last year, and that was already tough! lol

    May from La Vie En May

    1. Hi May! My bibs are all from 5K running races, except for one 5 miler I did a couple years ago. The color run does look like fun, but can you wash all of that dye out of your clothes/shoes?? I can't see ruining some nice running shoes just for one race! :)

  2. Apartment looks great, I do love a good clear out and sort out, great therapy!
    Owl prints are fab, I want them! Haha...
    I reckon you should frame your 'bibs' too, such a great achievement. I know what you mean about the fridge becoming cluttered, mine is overloaded with fridge magnets! Haha... : )

    1. Yeah, I do think about framing the bibs, maybe 4 per large frame or something...I'll have to look around the craft stores and see what I can find!

  3. We are in the process of buying a home and I can't WAIT to declutter. I seriously HATE tupperware and need to do exactly what you did, mine is thrown in every cabinet and it drives me nuts!

    1. Hahaha, yes I felt super good after I organized all that stuff!

  4. Hi there Monica, first of all Happy New Year! Hope you had a great holiday. You have been missed around here :) Let me just say you have a really beautiful place that allows you to recreate and decorate as you like. I love decorating and you are definitely doing wonderfully so far. Great job! Now you got me hooked on Apartment therapy. Beautiful site indeed :)