KonMari Update, part 2

jewellery box

So, the long-overdue KonMari Update, part 2 is finally here…

I’d originally planned to post this part much sooner, a few days after part 1, but I got a bit sidetracked. You know, real life got in the way: work, frustrating issues with this and that, and so on…

But, we’re here now, so let’s take a look at what I’ve done to tame The Big Mess, a.k.a our small flat…

Everything in its place

My biggest gripe was all the stuff accumulating on top of bookcases, my dressing table, the coffee table, even the dining table. It’s not just that it was impossible to find anything, but all that crap attracted so much dust that I couldn’t keep up with dusting. Or rather, I stopped wanting to keep up with dusting.

Don’t get me wrong: I don’t like dust, and it’s certainly bad for people with allergies. But I hate dusting. Or, rather, I hate that I first had to move a load of stuff out of the way. That made me just want to swipe all that crap off the table and throw it out of the window…

I’m a minimalist at heart, and I began to feel that all that stuff was taking over my flat, and my life. So, I started sorting through my possessions, and got rid off (donated to charity or tossed) whatever I didn’t want to have around anymore.

The problem is, we all have lots of small items that are either useful or dear to us, and need to be stored in a way that they can still be easily accessed when needed yet out of sight.

Take office supplies, for example. We do need scissors, post-it notes, pens etc. every now and then. But do we want all of this stuff gathering dust on the desk every day? Well, I don’t actually have a desk, but you get my point. I wanted all of that stuff out of the way and out of sight, yet accessible when I need it. So, I organised everything in various Muji storage units that fit into this old cabinet.

I’ve had this cabinet for a long time (I bought it on whim when I was having a bit of a Pop Art phase), but I’ve never found it very practical. For starters, it’s tall and narrow, and not deep enough to fit much. And it has shelves instead of drawers. In my opinion, drawers would be so much more useful to store something. However, it turned out the cabinet is just perfect to store various small items, provided that they are kept to a minimum and stored in appropriate containers.

And in case you’re wondering: the photos on top of the cabinet are of me and Professor M…

how to store little items

How to store jewellery

Jewellery, whether fine jewellery or costume jewellery, needs to be stored so that it stays clean, doesn’t get damaged, and is accessible when you need it. Because, let’s face it, out of sight really means out of mind; you’re not likely to wear something that is tucked away somewhere. No, you’ll forget you even have it, until it resurfaces when you move house or declutter…

I keep most of my jewellery in my dresser drawer, in velvet-lined trays (by Muji again). I can see everything I have as soon as I open the drawer, neatly organised in little compartments.

how to store jewelry

And there’s a reason why high-end jewellery boxes have a velvet lining: it keeps the jewellery clean and undamaged. Silver jewellery, in particular, tends to get tarnished if it’s not stored properly.

That’s why I keep my silver jewellery in lined jewellery boxes. The wooden box on the right is a souvenir from Milan. The one on the left is actually a travel case: lightweight and compact, but fits a lot of jewellery.

jewellery box

And my wardrobe remains a work-in-progress…

We have several wardrobes, most of them in the bedroom. But we only have about 1 metre of hanging space. Yes, ONE metre, for two people. Make that two people with loads of clothes that need hanging space: suits, dresses, coats…

The solution: an extra wardrobe (1 metre), in the living room. Yes, that’s what I said: this wardrobe is in the living room. It’s not ideal, but this is a rather small flat (50 m2, one bedroom + open-plan kitchen-living area). It’s actually not as bad as it sounds: the wardrobe has mirrored doors and fits in with the dresser and the bookcases (yes, my dresser is also in the living room… Did I say the bedroom is ridiculously small? We really need a bigger flat…)

So, even though it’s far from the ideal solution, I make it work. Sort of. By limiting the number of clothes I own, and by storing out-of-season clothes in the ridiculously small wardrobe in the bedroom.

But there’s no way I could call this wardrobe functional, or even easy-access. It’s always stuffed to the brim and looks messy, never mind what I do.

And in case you’re wondering: no, that’s not all my shoes you see here. The majority of them are stuffed into a box under the bed or clogging the entrance to the flat.

As I said, it’s still far from perfect. And we really need more space. I call myself a minimalist, but I’ll never be minimalist enough to fit all of my clothes in the storage units we have in this flat. Besides, Professor M doesn’t even understand the concept of minimalism…

Anyway… There is some progress: the small set of drawers in the wardrobe fits some of the smaller items that easily clutter shelves and storage areas near the entrance: gloves, folding umbrellas etc.

I also bought an umbrella stand for the bigger (and more practical, in my opinion) umbrellas by the door. I love it: it makes the entrance area look a bit tidier.

wardrobe

how to store umbrellas

umbrella stand

And the challenges?

Well, you know how stuff seems to attract more stuff? Never mind how much you declutter, there seems to be a never-ending supply: as soon as you get rid of something, you find more stuff, as if it had been hiding somewhere.

For example, our small flat was a breeding ground for suitcases. Wherever you looked, there were suitcases in all shapes and sizes; they were breeding like rabbits…

No, I have never counted how many suitcases we have. I don’t dare, to be honest. I just wanted them out of the flat, one way or another. And thankfully, now that Professor M has been here for longer, we’ve been able to deal with this problem, too. Well, sort of: the suitcases are out of the flat, hidden in the small (but stuffed-to-the-brim) basement storage we have in the building… But you know what they say: out of sight, out of mind. I’ll take that, for now.

luggage

Do you have any storage tips for small spaces?

HAPPY EASTER, AND ENJOY THE SPRING WEATHER!

Happy Easter

Tiina

Linking up with:

Elegantly Dressed and StylishHigh Latitude StyleA Labour of LifeCurly Crafty Mom, Doused in Pink,  Not Dressed As LambLiving on Cloud NineElegance and Mommyhood, Nancy’s Fashion StyleShelbee on the EdgeA Pocketful of Polka Dots Style SplashAway from the BlueMummabstylish Mutton Years Style and I, Independent Fashion Bloggers

18 Comments

  1. mireilleftm
    9 April 2020 / 4:54 pm

    I love those muji storage units and the umbrella holder is great addition to that corner. There are certain areas in our home that I am always in need of organizing, one of them being the children’s art supplies. I need to find a easy way for kids to access them while keeping them organized.
    http://www.chezmireillefashiontravelmom.com

    • q
      10 April 2020 / 9:38 am

      I store children’s art supplies in bigger plastic boxes. At the moment we have three boxes: One is for unopened packages and one for used (like remaining pieces of art papers or opened bags of pearls etc) and the third is for colouring books. Then there are couple of smaller boxes for pens, crayons and water colours. My girls are not good at all to organise and clean after their art sessions, but mostly this works well. And I don’t care if they mix the usage of boxes, as long as everything is in the boxes 🙂 -q

    • Tiina
      Author
      11 April 2020 / 10:19 am

      Storage units are good if you need to store lots of small items. Or some sort of dividers in drawers. Anything that helps to make the stuff you’re storing both easily accessible and easy to see.

  2. 10 April 2020 / 6:37 pm

    I’m a huge fan of drawers, so love those Muji units. And totally agree about how stuff grows over any possible surface, tables or shelves. I hate this so much, as I also hate dusting.
    I’m considering more storage solutions for my closets, which means more drawers. I’ve been using boxes but they don’t provide an easy access and waste precious space.
    Your jewelery boxes look really fabulous and love the umbrella stand, as it keeps things tidy and doesn’t look massive.
    Fighting the clutter is a neverending task!.
    besos

    • Tiina
      Author
      11 April 2020 / 10:24 am

      I would prefer drawers for clothes, too: it’s easier to store t-shirts or cardigans that way. Boxes are the worst: you have to first take the box out, rummage through it to find what you’re looking for, and then put it back. But they’re good for storing out-of-season items (I store my cashmere sweaters in plastic boxes: they shut properly and keep the contents safe from moths).
      oh yes, fighting clutter never ends! But hopefully we’re getting better at it.

  3. 10 April 2020 / 9:10 pm

    I think you are doing very well. Now I need some photos of the whole room, so I can see the mirrored doors of the wardrobe. We have employed an architect when we moved to this house who specializes in solutions for small places. He is brilliant. Mind you, it costs a bit to have everything custom-made.
    So far you make me ashamed that I am not doing better as we have 110 square metres which is a lot more and I still manage to clutter everything. I am inspired, I am going to do what you have done.
    Greetje

    • Tiina
      Author
      11 April 2020 / 10:30 am

      Oh, I’d love to have someone design storage solutions for me! And the decor, too. Maybe when, or if I ever get my dream flat. Or even something closer to my dream flat… I’ve been thinking of moving out of this place for ever (or so it seems), so I’m absolutely refusing to do any sort of renovation here.
      I think the only thing that really helps against clutter is to have less stuff. I’m open to that: I can actually live with a lot less. And I’m starting to think that it’s madness to pay for more space (= a bigger flat) just to store stuff I don’t even need.

      • 14 April 2020 / 4:08 pm

        We once joined our neighbours in building another floor on our houses. Then after a fortnight we were thinking about the use of the space and we could only think of storage for tools and clothes. So we backed out. It is a bit expensive to pay €75000 euro (at least) on storage for that haha.

      • 24 April 2020 / 11:10 am

        We once started the procedure of having another floor put on top of the existing two. Then we thought about what we’d do with the space and couldn’t think of anything else than storage space for tools, clothes and shoes…. We didn’t continue with the extra floor.

        • Tiina
          Author
          24 April 2020 / 12:21 pm

          That would have been very expensive storage 😉

  4. 11 April 2020 / 3:04 pm

    Tiina, you did such a great job maximizing your minimal space. I have way too much stuff and like you said, it does seem to attract more stuff. Add two young kids to the mix and I may die in a pile of clutter and stuff! We are planning an out of state move in about 5-7 years at which point I will be forced to declutter (I wonder how much more stuff will accumulate in that time). But until then, there is so much stuff that the idea of attempting to go through it all is much too overwhelming for me. But I do love what you did and I will remember it when it is time for me to do the same! Thanks for sharing and linking up.

    Shelbee
    http://www.shelbeeontheedge.com

    • Tiina
      Author
      15 April 2020 / 3:48 pm

      Thanks! I dream of a tidy, minimal space where I wouldn’t feel constrained by clutter. It’s a long way off, still, but maybe one day.
      I have a major decluttering session every 5 or 10 years, yet I was surprised how much I had managed to accumulate since the last time I did that. So, better get started with that decluttering sooner rather than later, a little bit at a time, because doing it all at one go is just impossible.

  5. Anne
    12 April 2020 / 12:10 am

    I store my clothes in the living room too, and I’m quite satisfied with that solution. I would never store clothes in the bedroom, for two reasons. First, I never get dressed in the bedroom, so it would not be practical to store clothes there. Second, the bedroom is cold, so my clothes would be as well. I store them in a pretty linen closet that goes nicely in the living room – and it has a lock, so my children cannot pull out all of my neatly folded clothes and spread them all over the floor. I really feel very clever. I do.

    • Tiina
      Author
      15 April 2020 / 3:50 pm

      That sounds very practical. And I definitely think it makes sense to store clothes where you get dressed. I have clothes in both the living room and the bedroom, and I keep going back and forth. Fortunately, it’s just a few steps (small flat)…

  6. 14 April 2020 / 4:46 pm

    Muji fan here too – I love that website. Our house is tiny as well and my only solution would be to live next door to yourself – honestly I would like a storage unit NEXT to my house so my house is tidy and immaculate and all the accumulated “stuff” is in storage… I find other peoples “stuff” particularly irksome – as you have to hold on to it despite the fact they dont necessarily want the responsibility of looking after it but if it is important enough to keep – then you cannot throw it out and are stuck with it. My husband promised we would move when he got his new job down in London,, that was 6 months before lockdown and I am not too hopeful of movement in my lifetime – he deals in geological time so I think in thousands of years something might almost happen, maybe….

    • Tiina
      Author
      15 April 2020 / 4:06 pm

      Oh, I love the ‘tidy and immaculate house’ idea! But I would never dare have an extra storage unit (this would be my husband’s favourite solution, though). I think it would just create a black hole that keeps attracting more and more stuff that nobody will ever look at again.
      And I totally get your point about other people’s stuff. I think everyone should be responsible for their own unwanted stuff instead of outsourcing the problem to someone else.

  7. mummabstylish
    15 April 2020 / 5:56 pm

    Thanks for sharing on the #linkup – great choices Tiina. x Jacqui

    • Tiina
      Author
      17 April 2020 / 12:52 pm

      Thanks, Jacqui!

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