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Thursday, January 19, 2012

30 Small Space Organizing

You may remember the hair-raising before images from when we first bought this house, and you may recall seeing this jolly green nightmare among the bunch.

This is how the guest bedroom looked the first day we moved in. And that’s the bedroom closet to the very far left…

office before


Here’s a closer, and rather frightening look at the inside of this super tiny closet, and how it looked before it got my DIY mitts on it…


Living in a quaint 1200 square foot home can present its challenges, particularly when you work from home. When we moved into this house 3 1/2 years ago, we were downsizing from a much larger home we had been renting for several years. We ended up selling most everything and started over.


I think the area I’ve found most challenging in this home are our petite sized closets. Since our bedrooms are so tiny, we can only fit a small dresser, if at all, so that means keeping clothing and shoes tidy is a must. If it doesn’t fit or we don’t wear it anymore, out it goes to the goodwill or salvation army. Constant discipline and not allowing things to pile up have been particularly helpful.


My most recent challenge was to create a personalized office space to work from on a daily basis. Being that I run my entire business out of my home, I needed an efficient place to work out of that was practical, functional, well lit, and made me feel inspired on a regular basis.


So I took our little guest room closet that once looked like this…


And turned it into this…

A quaint little dream office space where I work and blog from every day!

closet2


Fresh paint, DIY board and batten wall treatment, a single curtain panel gathered to one side and held with a tension rod & old rope, a vintage office chair, stacking plastic pull-out boxes underneath the desk top (made from a sheet of painted plywood), wicker storage boxes the top shelf, a funky metal found and repurposed light up above, fresh roses from the garden, and you have a super inspiring little closet-office space!


Admit it, you sometimes wonder where people blog from, don’t you? I know I do!


It seems I’ve been bitten by the organizing bug these past few weeks. Sock drawers, mystery food items in the fridge, piles of stuff hidden under the beds, collections of old batteries and dinosaur-aged computer parts, it’s all going to the donate, give away or toss pile. Organization just feels good!


So when I heard the news award-winning journalist and lifestyle blogger
Kathryn Bechen just recently published a book called “Small Space Decorating, A Room-by-Room Guide to Maximizing your Space”, I received a copy for myself and dove right in…

SSO


I’ve been a long-time fan of Kathryn’s. She understands first hand the challenges that come with small space living, and in her new book she has created easy going approach to making even the tiniest space not only work, but successfully meet all your needs with ease. Every single space in the home is covered, from foyers, closets and kids rooms, to patio’s and terraces. 


I plan to put Kathryn’s book to good use in many ways. First, I’ve already started organizing our kitchen drawers. Since we don’t really have a pantry, I’ve come up with some fun storage jar solutions I’ll be sharing in a future post.  Also, we’ve been meaning to buckle down on our chaotic, unorganized garage, and Small Space Decorating is just the kick in the pants I needed to rise to the challenge.  Lastly, I’m going to tackle our cluttered fridge. Adam and I are practicing a plant-based diet mostly comprised of veggies and fruits, and since our fridge is circa 1970’s, it’s pretty space deprived in there. It has super dark built-in produce bins that I’m terrified of using, cause let’s face it…who wants to find a three month old head of cabbage that you totally forgot about months ago. My dilemma was timely, because I was super inspired by this recent post Kathryn shared on her blog, using open plastic baskets for holding her produce, making the food more visible yet still organized. I can’t wait to go to the Container Store to make the dark bin-to-basket conversion!


I’ll leave you with one of my favorite quotes from Kathryn’s book that I could especially relate: “I had the mindset that a small home meant a lack of living well. I longed for a beautiful large home and yard one day, and we were willing to work long and hard for it”.  It took a while for me to realize that bigger doesn’t necessarily equate to better. And I think living in a small, quaint home has made our lives all the better for it.


To get a copy of Kathryn’s book, simply click here.



 

 

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30 comments:

  1. I love your blogging/office space. It is wonderful & so tidy & organized! I usually blog in the livingroom on my comfy chair. I have a office space but always end up in my comfy chair with my dogs curled up on my lap. Kathryn's book looks awesome! Thanks for sharing!

    Lisa

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  2. Love the office space, I did that as well in the guest room. Just got done with Laundry Room I think I might take a well deserved brake. I'm Pooped... have a great rest of the week

    ~~Pattie~~

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  3. What a gorgeous little space! You're a friggin genius!

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  4. I love your little space...love the green chair and the clocks, looks so organized and cute! :D

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  5. I love your little space!! When we redo our office, I am going to move my goodies into the closet. <3

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  6. cute office...I think I shall at least clean my closet tomorrow ;-)

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  7. Hi Jen~ love this post and YES I do wonder where people blog from!~So nice to see your lovely space! I've been organizing like crazy lately also..my home, the shop, my yard...well you get the pic. Thanks for sharing Kathryn's book..looks like a must have!!
    xoxokathee

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  8. I love your little office space - it's so cute!

    I blog in my "stitching room", which is the 3rd bedroom in our house - it's been converted to my studio/office, and it's full of pink and white furniture. The closet is filled with Elfa pieces from the Container Store - one of my favorite places to shop :)

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  9. Jennifer, you never cease to amaze me!

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  10. You inspire me, truly. Thank you for your beauty and connection!

    Love Laurie,
    xo

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  11. What a beautiful space you have created! I loooove it!

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  12. So fresh, pretty and inspiring!! You made me feel like organizing, thanks!

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  13. I love your "office"! I too have downsized and trying so hard to make things work. I will have to buy this book! Thanks so much for the "push"!

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  14. u did an awesome job! i would never want to leave.

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  15. Where do you plug everything in?

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  16. That space is just as charming in person!

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  17. Jessica - we have a power strip for all the messy cords!

    oxox
    Jennifer

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  18. What an adorable office! The clocks are adorable! Thanks for sharing the book with us, too, because we live in a small home, also. Great project, Jennifer!

    xoxoxoox,
    Ricki Jill

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  19. Your office niche is adorable!
    I love a good closet transformation.
    I am also loving your board and batten addition to the walls.
    I am a huge fan. Love EVerything you do.
    :)
    A

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  20. Such a wonderful transformation! I love the clocks with the different time zones!

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  21. I also have a smaller cottage home and I would never leave it for a bigger home! Please stop by my blog sometime as I will be featuring several homes that have made small space beautiful! cathywhatisoldisnew.blogspot.com I really want to buy the book!

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  22. Hi Jen,
    You are truly a master of organization. My house is twice the size of your's and it's not a fraction as organized. You never cease to amaze me. After seeing the "before" pics I now know why you keep that dor locked at your house warming party :).
    Nicki

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  23. i have been admiring your home while visiting your site for quite some time. I was surprised to learn that the plank floors are vinyl and wonder if you are still satisfied with this type flooring. i went to Home Depot site and also watched some videos on installation sponsored by Allure.There's a product called Allure Ultra.Is this the product you used? My plan is to do a bathroom floor first if I decide to use Allure and am curious as to whether or not water will penetrat the joints of the planks. Your views on this are appreciated.

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  24. Thanks for the book review Jennifer and I hope my book helps your blog readers!

    Kathryn Bechen, Author of Small Space Organizing

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  25. Your "Blog Closet" is just toooooo cute. I LOVE it!!!

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  26. Jen,
    Love it. So organized and cute. Love the green chair.

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