Segretto's Organization Challenge

What do you do when you have too much stuff?

Well...most of us usually cleverly hide away things in a drawer or closet 
until it reaches the point of bursting 

We have cute names for these areas like:
the junk drawer 
the drunk drawer
the knick knack...brick a brack... stuff and jumble closet
and the ever popular 
clutter bug room...
known as the the place where everyone seems to 
drop their stuff 
leave it there 
and then run off to another location in the house (usually the kitchen) 
at the speed of sound 

I for one 
cannot live with out a junk drawer or even two
but I'm an organizer at heart 

Most of my favorite houses have been quite small 
so organizing the stuff of life has taken on epic proportions at times,
sort of like fitting the Titanic into a dinghy

I love a challenge 
...especially when it involves baskets, boxes, files and labels

So I agreed to share a little project I'm helping with 
and link to the amazing creativity of some other talented organizers too
thanks to Leslie and her team at Segretto

My project is helping a young twenty something couple create an office organization space 
using a basic Ikea wardrobe

We start with this

 the Ikea Pax wardrobe system 
which retails for around $275

They already owned this and when they moved into a lager apartment with more closet space this became the perfect item to use for a new office/creative organization area

It will contain:
his...hers...and joint files
a printer
all of their office supplies...pens, paper, tape etc
a spot for daily mail
a spot for keys, wallets and cell phones
software and miscellaneous data equipment
crafting supplies
gift wrap and stationary
table linens, candles and a few vases for flowers... 
and since they live in a big city with great shopping
food and fun...
lots of shopping bags

the goal is to have all of the usually untidy and crazy odds and ends 
organized in a single location that works for a busy couple

above is the old wardrobe with
a few new modifications....
2 new drawers
a pull out shelf for the printer 
and multiple additional shelves for storage

 this Ikea wardrobe can be completely customized 

 the wardrobe is fitted with two mirrored exterior doors which also will add a nice visual too their dining area when the doors are closed

as you can see we are just getting started...but just wait

all of the filing system is clear with bight colored folders
in colors of kiwi, orange and blue

the interior of the doors are fitted with magnetic memo boards for snapshots, 
business cards and a quick note to each other

and we purchased these dog magnets because 
they have a new puppy named Bruno..and he's very cute

we are almost done  
but we have a few more items to take care of 

please stop by for my next post 
too see the finished project completed

its awesome..well not quite as awesome as Bruno, but we will try!

In the mean time check out these talented 
and very organized bloggers:

Kristy @ Design Chic
Sandy and Sarah @ L/E journal
Julie & Danni @ TG Interiors

me and my very organized crew




Getting Started

Buying a house generally involves incredible amounts of indecipherable paperwork,
 inspectors crawling around attic spaces mumbling things like "hum, wow, oh man what is that?, 
a few sleepless nights saying to yourself "what are we thinking?" 
and the usual long weekend of cleaning gross looking stuff in corners 
and behind toilets that you wish/hope/pray 
you won't ever have to look at again
Large boxes of "stuff" that you forgot to label magically appear and then multiply as you search in vain for a spot to put them 
and if your like me, you wonder why you have 5!  yes 5..... 50 foot extension cords 
and enough half empty cans of WD 40 to lubricate a battleship
 but the reality is really about just getting started....taking a deep yoga breath and reminding yourself it's all good 
and all you need is a few days to get re-focused

So I planted a pot with geraniums (the lazy gardener stuff which I happen to love)
and then I got started getting started...cause you have to start somewhere right?!

There are very few plants that we want to salvage here, so the first order of business is removing old spent shrubs, double digging, adding amendments and trying to figure out why 
every sprinkler head in the yard is either broken 
or manages to miss the planters and water the rocks.

After two days of digging I still haven't seen an earthworm..... not one!  Even the bluejays seem a little pissed off by the lack of worms.  
The jays are eating overripe berries and squawking like tired hungry children at a theme park so I'm hopeful that we can entice some worms into these planters STAT
Anyway...the sun is out and the thought of getting a blister on my hand sounds pretty darn wonderful after not setting foot in a garden for two months
 The grass is pretty much spent...a victim of bad soil and watering problems.  
Some areas are covered with moss and others are like the bottom of a dry lake bed.  
But I really like so many of the elements in this yard especially the tall hedges and stone terraces
 "the plan" is still in question but I think we want 
a small vegetable garden 
a spot for a pretty water feature
and definitely flowers

If you have water, flowers and trees
you will eventually have the rest of mother nature's friends
birds, worms and insects 
and the occasional skunk 
 I also want to focus the garden plan on the old stone foundation walls,
keeping the plantings simple and the color palate bright

 The white walls of the old stucco 
are the perfect backdrop for roses, bougainvillea and lavenders and some of my favorite low growning little guys like catmint, thyme and lambs ear

  I'm thinking of using long low white walls and garden rooms 
with gates and arches 
to divide the yard into various areas 
with different uses 

 the grass will probably be nonexistent
 but I really do like a little patch of grass 
and so does my dog...when she's not napping!

 We actually traded our huge Honda mower for a manual lawn mower that requires no gas.  
In fact all of the new tools we have purchased are powered by lithium batteries or 
just plain old un-modern sweat and muscles

 Speaking of garden tools...many of mine are rather unconventional and I usually buy them based on my size and how well they will work for a particular job.
I have a few favorites and find a lot of them here...
including the steel edger above made in Holland by a company called Sneeboer
and another really handy tool called a spork

I'm sure I have mentioned the bright tub trugs too (below)
which you can find everywhere now and have a million and one uses
and are an essential item, at least for me, in the garden

 the sun is setting so time to call it quits...just for now!
  thanks so much for stopping by...and please remember:



A New Project in Santa Barbara

 In what should be described as an ongoing effort to have a crazy insane life....
filled with hammering and drywall dust....
we decided to purchase a very interesting old house
 circa 1925

 It sits in the heart of Santa Barbara with a pretty view of the city 
as well as the ocean beyond 

What I loved most when I first saw this house are the early Spanish architectural details
and how the house is perfectly nestled into the setting 
between two huge old cedar trees
 It was renovated somewhat in the mid 1990's 
but there is still quite a bit to be done
We will need to add to the square footage because it is really reeeeely small
but bright and cozy 

 I love the yard and have lots of plans in my head for new beds 
and a nice vegetable garden

and maybe a wonderful fountain? somewhere ?

We have only had just a few weekends to get acquainted with our new little house 
but it has really been fun and I think the house likes us too

 last night we were treated to a beautiful sunset
I hope to share some more photos soon

Have a great week!


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