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 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.
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.
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.
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.
Do you have any storage tips for small spaces?
HAPPY EASTER, AND ENJOY THE SPRING WEATHER!
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