Boxed Up

Antique boxes from Tibet featuring hand painted tigers

Hand painted antique storage chests from Greentea Design

My partner is King of Clutter.  It can be so disheartening because while I don’t like a mess, the stuff can be hard to battle as it piles up and up and up.  But I am happy to say that I think I have finally won the heart and mind of the king vis-a-vis this crap,  and together we waged war against it, tackling the clutter pile by pile.  Several trips to Goodwill later, many hours at the shredder, this place is looking fresh!

Here’s how we did it:

The Closets

organized closet via Simplified BeeSuper organized closet via Simplified Bee

boxes in a closetImage via BHG

Clothes ClosetImage via I Heart Organizing

We started by cleaning out the closets which seems counter-intuitive.  But it’s a step I can’t recommend highly enough if you’re like us and stuff your closets with the stuff you rarely use.  We set a stale-date for the closet discoveries:  if it hasn’t been used (and in many cases even thought about) in a year, can we really make a case for keeping it?  So this is how we started the giveaway pile: toys, books, CDs, furniture, clothes, kitchen gadgets.

The next step was to get on with organizing the closets, which included putting up extra shelving so to best maximize space.

While this closet purging created waaaaay more chaos in the already chaotic apartment, it was necessary.  Not only do we have more storage space in the closets, it got us in the right Get-Rid-Of-It frame of mind, which is how you want the stage set. No namby-pamby sentimentality about that TTC transfer from that “special day”.

The Do-We-Need-It? Box

The next step, which we return to in a couple of weeks, was to go through the kitchen drawers, the “miscellaneous” drawers, the counter and renegade surface piles.  We filed what needed to filed, returned home the articles that had a designated space.  The rest we boxed and will return to in 4-6 weeks.  If in that time we don’t go in the box for it, then it gets tossed. Whatever we do use gets a permanent home.

Organizing The Rest With Pretty Boxes

It turns out that boxes are my best friend! (Or at least in the inanimate category.) Lidded ones and decorative ones especially.  They are beautiful and functional and hide the crazy so perfectly.  Greentea Design has the most amazing collection of antique storage boxes from all over Asia.  I’ve got one that sits prettily in a display nook, hiding of all things, tools, lightbulbs, tape and batteries (hey it’s out of reach of tiny curious hands, but still easy to access).

Here are some others in the showroom right now:

Tibetan fur chest

Tibetan chest adorned with fur

Antique Tibetan Box

Handpainted antique storage box

Tibetan Skin ChestChest from Tibet adorned with leather

We stocked up on boxes of various sizes from IKEA, office supply places, etc.  There seems to be no better time to find this stuff then during this Back-to-School season. Many of the things that were sitting out now have permanent homes in these boxes that are stored neatly on top of our bookcases, in closets, and the loveliest of them in plain sight.

It’s been a lot of work, but well worth it.  Home should be relaxing, the place to recharge, and your environment needs to reflect this.  And finally ours does.

How do you control clutter?

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