Apartment Tour

I realize I’ve been a little MIA lately – but I’ve had a few good reasons for that, which I’ll explain later this week. For now, I think I owe you guys something pretty huge. So, I decided it was about time I posted an apartment tour.

 

I’m so excited about showing you guys this place because Matt and I both love it so much. However, we might be moving in a few months. Our hope is to stay in the same apartment complex, just move to the top floor. In the winter, we struggle with loud, banging pipes in our bedroom wall, which wake us up at all hours of the night. However, I love the way this place looks so much I just had to share, so here it is!

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Ditching the Futon: 5 things to splurge on for your first post-grad apartment

The majority of us are flat out broke the first time we move out of mom and dad’s house. You might be moving for a new job opportunity, to go to grad school or just for your own independence. Whatever the reason, you probably know the feeling of having your car jam-packed with second hand furniture and  hand-me-down household items. It’s great to have family willing to help you out on your new journey into adulthood, but there’s probably some things you’re going to want to buy for yourself once you’re settled and making big-kid money.

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Adding color to your apartment with white walls

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When you’re in your 20’s, apartment living is great. It gives you the freedom to move out of mom and dad’s house, while not committing to a permanent residence. You wanna leave for the summer and travel Asia? No problem – your lease ends in June.

But sometimes, apartment living isn’t always what Carrie Bradshaw made us believe it was going to be. Fancy apartments are expensive and renting comes with a whole set of rules you never knew were possible. You can’t remodel, have pets, change the fixtures or hardware, and you definitely cannot paint. If you can paint, you’re making a huge commitment because if you want to leave when your lease is up, you have to paint it back. Not cool.

So, here are some easy ways you can bring color into your apartment and make your white walls look fabulous.

1. Area rugs

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Area rugs are a must for apartments that have hard wood, but for spaces that are already carpeted, don’t fear using a brightly colored area rug to cover up those worn-in tan carpets. Rug over rug isn’t typical, but it can add so much character to a room if you find one that’s unique. This one from Target brings lots of colors to the pretty party.

2. Removable wall paper

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You can use removable wall paper on your walls of course, but it can do so many more things. Use it as self liner in your bathroom or kitchen. Stick it to the walls of your closet. Decorate a fireplace. Wrap your old furniture in it, or use it on the back of a bookcase so you can take it with you when you move out. It’s the perfect solution to a neutral space. You can find removable wallpaper on Etsy, like the one pictured above by KateZarembaCompany in Washington, DC.

3. Two words: Gallery. Wall.

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I can’t say I’ve participated yet, but I’m so on board with the trendy new gallery wall. It’s a perfect solution to a blank white wall. Look at this one from Style Me Pretty Living. Even though there’s still a lot of white going on, it totally works. The bright pops of pink and gold really catch the eye and the flowers hanging from the deer head add the perfect touch of whimsy and femininity.

4. Colored accent furniture

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Before Matt and I moved to the Capital Region, I went crazy painting old furniture to look new again. I painted larger pieces of furniture, like my dresser, neutral colors to avoid a huge commitment to one color, but some of the smaller pieces I painted with color. I have to say – I was nervous at first, but I love this powder blue table and the pop of happiness it brings to our dark grey couch.

5. Accessorize

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Nothing is as easy as buying some hot pink silk flowers or colored glass jars to liven up a room. You can find really inexpensive home decor items at place like Michaels, T.J. Maxx and even the Christmas Tree Store. They’re all excellent resources for colorful, yet inexpensive, accents.

6. Canvas prints

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You can find a canvas print almost anywhere these days. And they can fill up a whole wall with color with only one nail hole. It’s pretty amazing. This one pictured above is a piece of art we got for only $50 at Kirklands.

Now that you have the tools to change your apartment from a neutral zone to colorful oasis, go forth and live a colorful (and organized!) life. Catch you next time!Signature

Links you need in your life: Lilly for Target, Joanna Gaines’ Twitter account and an organized pantry

So I’ve been thinking about doing a series like this for awhile now. Every week or two weeks, I’m going to post some links to articles that I found and loved. I’ve been wanting to share things form other bloggers that I love for awhile now, and I’ve been having some success sharing them on my Twitter account (follow me @LifeInOrderBlog), so I furred it was about time I got my act together and shared them here on my blog with you.

Before we get into it, if you like what you see here on my blog, don’t forget to subscribe by filling in your e-mail address in the sidebar and following me on Blog Lovin’! If you don’t know what Blog Lovin’ is … you need to look it up now (I mean, after you read this)! So here’s my favorite links of the moment …
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1. My coworker (and bestie) came back to blogging in full force after a long hiatus for her wedding. Her wedding–like everything else she does–was fabulous. She wrote not one, but TWO articles for bridal guide magazine. Read about them both on her blog, Perfection to Detail (she’s clearly one after my own heart).

2. The Lilly for Target look book is up on the Target website and I can already feel the sunshine on my face the and balance on my REDcard skyrocketing.

3. I spent like three days drooling over this pantry from organizing guru Jennifer Jones at iHeartOrganizing. I’m totes jelly to say the least.

4. These Money Saving Tips for Styling Your First Apartment from PopSugar are on point. Especially about mastering the art of spray paint. That’s an important apartment life skill.

5. Here’s a link to Joanna Gaines’ Twitter account from HGTV’s Fixer Upper. Follow her. Love her. Emulate her. It’s what I would do.

I hope you’re as excited about my favorites as I am. I can’t wait to share more with you really soon!Signature

Organize Any Space: A Six Step Process

Today, let’s get back to basics. Spring is coming, I can tell because there is less ice and more puddles (but still a lot of snow – ugh). When spring rolls around we start thinking about all the ways we can clean, re-organize and de-clutter our homes for the coming warm months. So to help you get your spring cleaning on, here’s a tried and true six-step process for organizing any space.

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1. Figure out your budget and due date

It’s important to figure out not only how much money you have to spend on the project, but also the amount of time you have to dedicate to it. If you don’t set a due date, the project might to sit unfinished for days, weeks, months or even years. Set reachable goals for yourself at the onset so that once you reach them, you can use that momentum to organize more spaces!

2. Take everything out

Yup–everything. Every last thing needs to come out of the closet, off of the desk, out of the drawer, the pantry–you name it, it’s gotta go. Take this time to clean the space if it’s accumulated some nastiness (you know what I’m talking about). This will help you see the space clearly in order to put things back where they make the most sense. It also helps speed up the process of grouping, rearranging and squeezing value out of every last inch.

3. Purge

The hardest part, yet most essential part of the organizing process. Think really hard about the things you’re putting back. Do you still have use for them? Have you used the item in the las six months to a year? If not, it’s probably time to get rid of it so you can make more room for things you actually need and use.

4. Sort whatever is left into piles or groups

There is no sure-fire way to process things into groups, because it’s about what makes the most sense in your head and fits your needs. You are the one who has to live in the space everyday, so go with what you feel to be best and most efficient for you. It’s important to not think about how your groups are going to fit into the space just yet. Your primary focus should simply be to sort and pile.

5. Gather your supplies while keeping your budget in mind

Take a look at the groups of things you’ve just made. What resources do you already have that help organize the space? Do you need bins, baskets, boxes, pockets, folders or cups? Go out and get the things you need–but don’t break your budget! There are , stores that carry organizing products at low prices, The Dollar Store, Target and Walmart to name a few. You may even need to get a little crafty and inventive with what you use to organize your space. There are a lot of DIY organizing projects out there just waiting for you to try out!

The key here is to make sure you take measurements of your space before you go purchasing or creating all kinds of things. The last thing you want is to try and put it in the space and realize it doesn’t fit or isn’t right. I’ve learned that heartbreak the hard way.

6. Put it all back in like you’re solving a puzzle

Is there anything better than coming home with new organizing products in tow? I can’t really think of anything that brings me more joy. Use whatever you found, made, invented or bought to put all of your stuff back into your space. When you’re putting things back, think of it like a puzzle. How can you make all these pieces and elements fit together in the best way possible to maximize space? Arrange and rearrange until you get it just right. This step might be the longest part of the process, and is certainly one of the most challenging, but the rewards are worth it.

Organizing takes time, more time than a lot of us are willing to take out of our day (especially the weekend), but taking two hours to organize a space now, can save you a lot of time later. Being organized makes our lives more efficient, even if it only saves us two seconds here, or a minute there, it all adds up to a more productive life overall. Just don’t forget to maintain and put things back where they belong

Spring has almost sprung! Go out there and organize your life, so that when summer rolls around, you’re not digging and searching for something you need and you can spend more time relaxing and enjoying the sunshine–I know I will be! Is anyone else sure excited to turn the clocks ahead this weekend? I can’t wait for extra hours of daylight after work!

I hope you found this six step process helpful and use it for your upcoming organizing projects. Is there anything I left out? How are you organizing your space? Let me know in the comments or tweet me @qqquimby016. See you soon!

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For photos of organized spaces and places, fun organizing finds, and weekly planner updates, follow me on Instagram @LifeInOrder.

Organizing Make-up in a Small Space

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I’ve got to be honest. I wouldn’t really call my current apartment “tiny” by any means. We’ve gotten quite the upgrade since our first 750 square foot shoe box. However, the one thing (the only thing) that was downgrade from our last place is the bathroom. It’s smaller and there is far less storage options in the actual bathroom itself. So, I’ve had to get a little bit creative with how I store my make-up and the process I use for my morning routine.

Here’s what I came up with:

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This little beauty regimen box hangs on the wall in my bathroom where I do my makeup each morning. Although it’s not exactly within arms reach, I keep things corralled in one small acrylic make-up organizer and a glass container (I used to use it for pencils on my desk growing up – I think it was a candle at one point). Having everything on only two containers makes everything easy to get down from this shelf, and easy to put away. If I had everything loose, I would have to reach up a bunch of times to put each item away and that would get annoying. So annoying, in fact, that I probably wouldn’t get much use out of my make-up.

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I love the way my brushes look in this tinted class cup with floral beads that I got from Michaels. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, I love Michaels. It’s a creative organizers playground.

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Behind/next to my brushes I have my Naked 3 palette, it was kind of hard to find a place for, but it fits perfectly vertical behind my brushes and since I don’t use it every single day, I figured it wasn’t a big deal.

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I got this acrylic organizer from Joanne fabrics a few years back when they were harder to find. It was in the dollar area, like the bins that are near the register. But you can find these things everywhere now. I actually saw some larger versions at Target today. Find one that fits your make-up best.

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I keep my toners, lotions, creams, etc. in this little section. If I don’t keep them out where I can see them and grab them quickly, they’ll go unused and ultimately, my skin will suffer. It’s so important when you’re organizing to think about where you can put things that will be easy to access and use. It might not look Pinterest perfect, but organizing first and foremost is about efficiency. If it’s too difficult to see something, grab it, and put it back, then you’re defeating the whole purpose.

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So, you’ve probably been thinking that I don’t have that much make-up and I wish that were true. I actually keep the make-up that I don’t use everyday, back-ups, etc. in the linen closet just outside my bathroom. It hangs on the inside of the door in a jewelry organizer.

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These little pockets are really for organizing jewelry, but I found that it didn’t work well as a jewelry organizer for me. The visual clutter was a little overwhelming and honestly, it still is. The pattern is cute and everything, but it’s a lot to look at everyday. That being said, it perfectly fits on the back of the closet door, maximizes space, and I don’t necessarily have to use these items everyday, so I really can’t complain.

Make-up is one of those thing you’ll use everyday. Typically, it’s part of a morning routine, meaning that if you don’t organize it perfectly to meet your needs and habits, it can throw off your whole day. Remember, in addition to it being easy for you to access everyday, it’s also important to be easy to put back when you’re done. It’s not fun to come home to a counter, dresser or vanity with make-up everywhere. Be sure you’re building systems that are orderly and realistic.

I hope this post has helped give you ideas on how to organize your make-up if you’re living in a small apartment. If you have anything to add, leave me a comment below or tweet me @qqquimby016. Don’t forget to subscribe for weekly organizing tips!Signature

How to organize your medicine cabinet

Hey there!

I’m back again with more tips for you to organize your teeny tiny apartment. Today I want to talk about the medicine cabinet. It might seem like a pretty ridiculous place to have to “organize” but I’ve seen some that are pretty neglected.

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The medicine cabinet is the place where you should put everything you’re going to use daily. It’s one of the most accessible places in your bathroom, and I highly recommend that it becomes the place to store everyday items, not just medicine.

Actually, the only medicine I keep in my medicine cabinet is Matt’s daily vitamins and my daily vitamins. Also, the only real “organizer” I use, is this:

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I got this organizer from Joanne’s in the sale section for I think around $3. I use this to corral all of the small stuff that tends to float around or get lost in a medicine cabinet. I keep items such as nail clippers, tweezers, a nail file, eye drops, floss, toothpaste and my contact lens case. I have lots of extra compartments to keep more small items on hand if I need them. This small organizer is kept on the middle shelf of the middle section of my medicine cabinet because it holds items I use twice daily.

This is what the middle section looks like as a whole:

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Again, this is the one place where I keep the items that I use every. Single. Day. They are front and center and easy to put away and get back out. As you can see, I don’t use a lot of bins or organizers, but I do have everything inside the cabinet neatly put back, and I have a specific designated place for everything. I don’t label where things go, but if it would help you to put everything back in it’s place, then I highly recommend putting label tape directly onto the shelf so you know where everything goes.

The most important thing about organizing a space that you’re accessing everyday is to leave breathing room between each item.

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If you’re constantly taking things out and putting them back, you want it to be easy. If it’s cramped and you have to move another item to put something back or you are jamming something into the space, or every time you open the door things are falling out, you will be less likely to put it back. This will cause all types of items to accumulate on your bathroom counter, which creates clutter. Clutter is bad. Do not make your bathroom cluttered. Make sure everything has room to breathe and your life and organizational habits will improve. I promise!

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This is the right side of my medicine cabinet where I keep items that I use less frequently like a lint roller (Lint accumulates EVERYWHERE in my bathroom–it’s where our washer and dryer are. Does anyone else have this problem? Help me!), some wipes, prescription cream, and body spray.

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The right side is mainly for Matt’s things that he accesses less frequently. Also, our vitamins (the only medicine we actually keep in our medicine cabinet) are on the bottom. His and hers (awwwwwwwwwww). Yep and they’re Walmart brand.

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Luckily, all of the different sections of the cabinet are connected, so that frees up some space between the doors for some overlap. I wouldn’t recommend putting everyday items behind the door hinges, because again, you’re going to be less likely to put it back.

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Side Note: If you’re wondering how I can afford Clinique, but I’m taking Walmart brand vitamins and constantly preaching budget-friendly organizing, the truth is, I can’t. All nice things I own I owe to my sister, Michelle, who is a manager at Macy’s. I’ve already told her that she’s never allowed to quit. Ever.

Anyways, I hope I have given you guys some ideas on how you can organize your medicine cabinet and keep it orderly. In really small spaces such as this, you really don’t need bins or organizers, all you need is some breathing room to get stuff in and out.

How do you organize your medicine cabinet? Do you use bins or organizers in yours? Please, please, please leave a comment below and let me know. I love looking at other people’s spaces to get some ideas for myself.

Next week I’m going to show you how I organize my dresser drawers! Talk to you next time.

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