How could I do a home organization post without a Friends reference? Everyone knows Monica Geller as being a clean freak, even the saying "Monica Clean" has been dubbed in her honor. But...do you remember the episode when Chandler found Monica's junk closet?! Hilarious because I think deep down, hidden from other's eyes, we all have a closet, space, or drawer fully dedicated to JUNK!
But this post isn't about my hidden junk (far right drawer in the kitchen) it's about how I keep my teeny tiny German apartment organized! Today I'm linking up with Momfessionals so Come On In and see how we keep things neat:
1. My Journal
I received this journal from my mom last Christmas. If you want to know the truth...it was in my Christmas stocking. (Yes, I am 30) I'm pretty certain Santa picked it up in the $1 section at Michaels and I absolutely love it! I have a bird thing and Husband swears we live in an aviary. I love this journal because it is flexible, has a wrap around band, and lined paper. It's perfect for making lists! I love that the cover shows wear, the shiny green binding is fading, and the pages have a slight creak when I turn them.
At the start of the school year, I researched and watched Youtube video comparisons on some of the fancier family planners but couldn't justify the $50+ price tags. Despite the bright colors, personalized covers, and glittery quotes, we do not have any kids and I'm at the same place everyday from 8-5 p.m. It just didn't make any sense for this life stage.
My journal always stays in my purse. I check over it every morning at 7 a.m. and add in new items. It is a place I store running To-Do Lists, quickly jot down new recipes, and where I can start new blog entries when a thought strikes. I use the journal as a book, instead of a day to day planner, and constantly refer back to previous pages and lists.
2. Closet Space
Walk in closets are pretty rare in Germany as most people use wardrobes. When Husband and I first toured our apartment we were pretty much sold when we saw the walk-in closet. We put in some Ikea shelves we got for free from another international couple and decided against a clothing rod. (Our walls are practically stone) You can read the full story here.
Since we keep our clothes on shelves, space is limited. This causes Husband and I to change out our closet seasonally. When it is summer our winter clothes are stored in the basement, and when the weather starts getting colder our clothes are switched again. In fact, we will most likely spend next weekend rotating our clothes since we are now into mid October and our summer clothes are still on the shelves. Even though it is a chore, a little part of me feels like it is Christmas seeing "new" clothes again that I forgot I owned! Bring on the sweaters!
3. Book Shelf
One of the first things I did when we first moved into our apartment was organize this shelf. (full story here) We got this famous Ikea shelf for free from an Irish guy moving to Australia. On the shelf we keep most of our books, travel guides, games and puzzles.
Not too much has changed with the shelf over the past two years. We have added a few new books, beer stein, and travel guides. I change out the top of the shelf with the seasons and holidays. Sometime soon I will share our Halloween decor with you!
When Husband and I first moved into our apartment one of our neighbors was soooooo kind to make sure we knew the rules of how the trash system works in Germany. (sarcasm*) Every single item has a specific place it belongs. In our house we have a bio bin, a recycling bin, a paper bin, a p-fand bin, and of course, a good o'regular trash can. That's 5 different bins! The system took us some getting used to.
Soon I will document how our trash system works and snap some photos of our local recycling center. We visit the recycling center nearly every Saturday morning, and though it took some getting used to, it's a fantastic eco solution to caring for the environment. Our trash can should be the least used between the five bins. (Excuse our bio sack here, looks like something green is growing...I'm going to get Husband right on that!)
5. Spice Shelf
The latest unorganized problem in our house has been our spice cabinet. The shelf is a corner shelf, so it runs deep and spices were constantly getting "lost" in the far back. This photo is taken from on top of a chair. Can you imagine the silly stress of finding cumin from a shelf above your eye level? So impractical!
Husband just moved our top, most used, spices to the drawer right beneath the stove burners. I think this is genius because it cuts out the cross kitchen walk and then hunt to find what we need. The bottles are right at our fingertips during meal prep. I might be crazy enough to buy a basket to contain the bottles but for now this system seems so much better!
As you can see, a little part of me loves organizing! Husband tells me the reason why cleaning takes me so long is because I get distracted organizing. (Even when I was a little girl!) One of my favorite parts of moving is getting everything into the perfect spot and reorganizing our lives. In fact... I see some major Container Store shopping trips when we move back to The States!
Did you catch last Monday's post?
I'm offering custom wreaths just in time for this year's holiday season!
Make Organization Beautiful,