As I told my mom when she and my dad were visiting this past week (yay!), I love organized chaos. And if I may say, I'm not too bad at it. What I'm really good at, I'm trying to say, is hiding clutter. I don't know when this started-- maybe when I went to college and had my own space-- but I clearly remember visiting my parents and helping out by doing the dishes... and hiding all the counter clutter in the cabinets. I'm pretty sure my mom felt like saying, "Thanks... but no thanks."
When I lived by myself, I could just shove stuff in my closets-- I had the room, even in a one-bedroom apartment. But when I got engaged and I had to start planning how to fit TWO people in my one-bedroom apartment, I had to get creative.
I couldn't just put things on shelves, and I couldn't just shove things in the closet. But I had lots of paper work and supplies, and a husband who likes to make piles (seriously... he had a literal pile on his parents' counter top). I didn't want a typical file cabinet (though I AM into the cool industrial look)... so here's what I found works like a charm: dedicated baskets.
I have one of those fantastic IKEA bookshelves that connects to a table to make a desk. It has sixteen cubbies that I had previously been using for knick-knacks and paddy-whacks. Now, it holds eight pull-out baskets, three boxes, and five magazine holders. Each basket/box holds specific items. You won't find the card supplies in the financial box. Neither will you find the technology equipment in the mail supplies basket. And of course, one of the baskets is a simple "catch-all" or "what do I do with this" basket that is invaluable. In bigger living spaces, sometimes it's known as a junk drawer. This allows me to store TONS of well, crap, without having to rifle through unrelated material, or wonder where it could be.
Hband also had bathroom supplies scattered all over his former vanity. That wasn't going to fly, mostly because I already had used up all my vanity's space with MY bathroom supplies. So Hband installed some cheap but efficient and kind of cute shelves, and then I went to HomeGoods (OMG. I love this store. It's like Marshall's but just for home stuff. Baskets are the cheapest I've ever found!) and picked up two baskets of the same size. My daily-use stuff went in the bottom one, and Hband's daily-use stuff went in the top one. It's so much easier to toss supplies in a basket and toss the basket on a shelf than to stare at junk on a vanity and weep.
Finally, I found myself with far too many seasonal items. Don't ask me to get rid of my fake leaves or Christmas cookie cutters. I simply won't consider it. Because my closets are literally stacked to the ceiling, I had to get creative-- I found my way over to HomeGoods again and picked up two big, lidded boxes. They remind me of giant picnic boxes. In them, I deposited my seasonal goodies. And there you go. Hidden chaos behind cute wicker boxes. Though I've been told they look like faces. Ew.
No one would ever know my dark secrets, if I hadn't told you here. Don't judge me. But do try your hand at organized chaos.