June 2015 archive

Room By Room vs. Category Organizing

I recently finished reading “The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up” by Marie Kondo. One of the key things in her method for organizing is to focus on organizing and decluttering by category of item, rather than room by room.

She suggests gathering up all of one category of item, for example, books, no matter where the books are normally stored in your home. Then go through the books with an eye to purging and identifying those you will keep. Her argument is that if you go category by category, the rooms will end up organized anyway.

I really like this in theory. I used this method to go through my books and my clothes. However… for me at least, it seems that sometimes room by room is the only way to go.

Some rooms just demand to be focused on, rooms such as my basement, a.k.a., the Subterranean Pit of Doom. (And you have to say it all drawn out and dramatic: Doooooom!)

There are so many different types of things down there, that really, there’s nothing for it but to dive in and start decluttering. I just wish I had a backhoe in the basement.

messy basement photo

And this is just one small corner. Hold me.

Do you have a preference for either room by room or category for organizing?


Working Up Steam

When we moved into our house we were very gung-ho about repairing and painting and refinishing. But we eventually ran out of steam.

I’m trying to work up the energy to paint the upstairs and downstairs hallways. Many months ago, I painted sample colors on the walls, didn’t really like any of them, and so these weird little squares of color, patchy and unpleasant, have been up ever since.

I finally decided that, although it’s thrilling to be able to paint the walls any colors I choose, that I may actually be best served by just finding a nice off-white. I know. Boring.

But goodness knows that my experiments with vivid Barbie pink, bright aqua, and deep mustard yellow were unfortunate at best. I think there’s something to be said for a nice, neutral off-white.

But have you seen how many whites are available? It’s nuts.

Is it cheating if I just decide that, since I like the white I chose for the trim and baseboards, I should just pick a white one or two shades away from the trim color on the paint chip? A safe, not very adventurous choice, but one that’s almost given to work well, right?

Well, that’s my plan. Now to find the steam to make it happen.

On the Level

Several weeks ago, on the Nextdoor forum, a neighbor advertised an original oil painting for sale for only $50. I loved the photo she’d posted, I replied, and that painting was mine!

It’s from an Etsy shop and the artist is named Leonid Afremov. I really like his other works too!

Leonid Afremov oil painting

I brought it home, so excited to hang it in my bedroom, but quickly realized it was too big and too heavy to hang from just a single hook.  Matters were suddenly more complicated, because I was going to have to attach two D rings to the back of the frame, and figure out how to hang it so that it was level.

I know, this shouldn’t be a big deal, but I’ve had way too many experiences hanging things with two hooks, only to have them be just a little bit out of alignment. It’s the visual equivalent for me of fingernails on a chalkboard.

But, I measured twice, even three times. I took my time and carefully made sure the placement of the D hooks on the back of the frame were measured exactly.

They were perfectly aligned. Level. Success!

I made sure the marks on the wall for the picture hooks were measured exactly.

They were perfectly aligned. Level. Success!

I hung up the painting, took a few steps back, and got ready to congratulate myself. And yes, everything was indeed perfectly level.

Unfortunately, my perfectly level painting is placed WAY too low on the wall. Like about six to eight inches too low.

If I were running an art gallery intended to be visited only by second-graders, this painting would be at the perfect height. But…

Back to the measuring board.