Ok, it may be a little early to start blasting Christmas music (at least in my opinion…but if you’re into that kind of thing, go right ahead), but December will be here before you know it and that means it’s time to get your holiday shopping list in order! I was walking around Georgetown yesterday (the wreaths are all up and they’re beautiful, but it’s kind of funny since it’s still in the 50s and 60s out), and I realized how crowded M Street will get once the holiday season kicks into gear. Basically now is the time for sane holiday shopping before things get too cray out there.
After spending way too much time in Francesca’s and Anthropologie, my head was bursting with gift ideas galore (don’t you just love when you spot something that you know would be perfect for someone on your list?). But if you still need some inspiration, I’ve got you covered…
Guys. I am so mad I missed this mirror when it was being sold at Home Depot (of all places!) about three years ago. It’s since been discontinued (so I’m frantically scouring eBay whenever I remember, haha), but how amazing does it look in all of these rooms below? Plus, it only retailed for $35!
I’ve always liked to organize. When I was little, I would move furniture around in my room so often that my parents had to start telling me that I could only do so on Fridays/weekends so that I wouldn’t make a big mess before having to wake up for school the next day. My childhood room was always scarily clean and uncluttered, but that’s how I liked it!
Not much has changed even though I’m now on my third adulthood apartment (eek!). The other day after work, I had the weirdest urge to clean up my closet (it’s a strange size and was getting a bit out of hand) and was able to do so in less than 45 minutes.
My closet is technically a walk-in, but only in the sense that I can walk in and out rather than just reach in to grab things. (Note: the above closet layout is what dreams are made of and is unfortunately not mine). The closets I had in my apartments in Philly and New York were both HUGE, so this has been an adjustment. However, for all of the fun decor and wall art I collect, I’m really not that big of a clothes person and am good at paring down as needed. Having too many outfit choices kind of stresses me out, so I do a pretty good job of making consignment store runs and donation piles throughout the year to keep things from getting too chaotic.
ANYWAY. Here are my 45-minute or less closet cleaning tips…
Pick a clothing type to organize and focus primarily on that. I’ve been digging into my sweater collection more as the weather has gotten cooler, but I wasn’t thrilled with how they were looking in my closet, so that was the focus of this cleanout. I had originally turned storage cubes on their sides (thanks for the idea, Mom!) and stacked them, piling up sweaters and sweatshirts in each cube. For awhile I decided to keep sweaters and sweatshirts in a big bin, but this wasn’t extremely functional, so I went back to the cube system and things already began to look much neater once I had re-folded and stored everything.
Make a quick giveaway pile, even during a small clean-out. My church is holding a large yard sale event in early December, so I knew that if I found any clothes worth donating, I’d be able to get them off of my hands relatively quickly. I frequently sell clothes to consignment stores, but it really is hit or miss when it comes to what they’ll take. I had just made a big consignment run a few weeks back and was sent home with some rejects, so now those items have moved to my donate bag.
Keep supplies at the ready. I like using thin, cloth hangers (the ones that are all the rage at the moment), and I found tons of extras that I had on hand from my move. I tossed them all into a large reusable bag that I now have hanging in my closet, ready for future use.
Be practical. I decided that being November, it was finally safe to stash my portable fan on the top shelf of my closet (rather than letting it sit on the floor). I also filled a large tote bag with extra toilet paper and made it accessible without letting it take up prime real estate. Items that I have at the ready (aka on the floor of the closet) include my Hunter boots (they’re also generally useful for snowy weather) and a step stool (my top shelves are pretty high!). I’ve hung up bags, backpacks, and baseball hats on the hooks that are attached to my closet walls.
Less than an hour later, my closet was good as new and I was ready to move on with my evening! Organization really doesn’t have to be stressful if you go into it with a goal in mind. What tips would you add?
Do you ever work from home? One of my friends does full time, and another negotiated to work from home one day a week. I believe that regardless of your work situation, having a cute office space where you can crank out everything from quick emails to larger projects is a must. Even if you never, ever can imaging doing work work from your apartment, you likely have personal tasks to take care of at home…paying bills, scheduling appointments, and the like. So you may as well carve aside at least a small area to do just that!
I mentioned before that in my apartment I decided to make a little “office” area for myself in what was supposed to be a dining nook. While admittedly I still do most of my work/blogging in my living room or on my bed, it’s nice to have a formal area where I can sit down and just plug away if needed. If you don’t have room for a desk, you can still fill a little box full of office supplies/essentials (such as tape, stationery, stamps, checks, a mini stapler, and a couple of pens and pencils) and access that as needed. But if you do have a little extra room, have fun with it! Stock your home office with cute desk supplies you’d never imagine using at the office or are too pretty to stash in your cubicle (there’s a time and a place for my dog-shaped tape dispenser, and I think that place is at home). Below, shop some of my favorite picks:
Who says this gold marble brush holder has to be used for makeup supplies? It would look equally cute on a desk holding pens and pencils. Likewise, this matching ring dish could double as a place to store paper clips or loose change.
A motivational print or wall hanging that isn’t too cheesy can be hard to find…but I’m pretty sure this one nails it. Thoughts?
Because you’re obviously itching to know the answers to these questions 😉 Leave me a comment with your responses!
Signature emoji: Brunette girl with arms crossed. I even have the cutest print of this hanging up in my living room!
Catchphrase: “Ain’t nobody got time for that.” That being unnecessary commitments, drama, and the like. My mom and sister and I say this to one another all the time!
Biggest weakness: Golden retrievers. Duh.
Food guilty pleasure: If we’re talking about junk food, I’ll admit I’ve been addicted to pickle-flavored chips lately. I know it sounds weird, but they’re so good! Raspberries are also a guilty pleasure just because they can be so expensive and a carton only lasts me one sitting.
Starbucks drink of choice: I’m pretty simple and like a regular coffee with a pump of hazelnut for flavor. I’d order this all the time during my semester in Scotland when I wanted a taste of home!
It’s brunch time. Do you go for sweet or savory? Savory for days. Love a good egg white omelet!
Country or city? I’m a city girl (unless we’re talking about music!)
Favorite song of the moment: I’m going to go with the entire Grease soundtrack. Such good pump-up music and who doesn’t like a fun throwback?
Meow, meow! I’m so overdue for a blog post about the cat cafe in Georgetown, Crumbs and Whiskers! I’ve now been by three times (woah), so I’ve seen it all. If you’re looking for a fun activity to do in DC (or LA, they have a location there as well), I highly recommend it!
My first visit was in August when I took a “cat yoga” class, aka yoga with cats crawling at your feet (and under you during downward dog). The actual yoga was very, very beginner, so it was fun and didn’t require a ton of attention (I was more focused on the furry creatures roaming the room). I did notice one kitty throw up on someone’s mat at the start of class (#nervous #gladitwasntmine) and another clawed at my mat a bit. So this isn’t necessarily a class to which you show up in your Lululemon best (unless you want to get cat hair all over those black leggings!). I thought the whole experience was hilarious and enjoyed squeezing in some kitty cuddles and a quick workout.
I then went back a few weeks later with a friend from out of town, and more recently my mom and I stopped by mid-week (the cafe does require reservations, which cost $15 per person. Food and drink–they serve macarons, and the coffee cups come with adorable sayings–can be ordered once you arrive and is extra). Both times, we had a blast sipping coffee, entertaining the cats with a few different toys, taking tons of pictures, and people watching (I’m pretty sure my friend and I saw a couple on a Tinder date). The cats are all up for adoption and range in personality from super feisty to completely calm and shy. I’ll let the pictures tell the rest of the story!
Walking around my neighborhood and taking pictures of all of the houses decorated for fall. I’ll have to post a photo roundup soon, because the homes in Georgetown know how to make Halloween look classy. No inflatables here, just tons of pretty pumpkins!
Pumpkin-flavored everything (ok, maybe not everything). Call me basic, but I’m a fan. True story: when I was in college, I rarely got off campus and once spent an entire week looking forward to the PSL I would be able to get at the airport Starbucks when I flew home that weekend. I don’t buy PSLs that often anymore (regular coffee with a bit of pumpkin spice creamer will usually do it for me), but I finally tried the iced version the other day and omg, it rocked.
Halloween. I’ll admit that I was one of those kids who went trick-or-treating until I was wayyyy too old, but now I enjoy dressing up and going out to a bar with friends, and I also completely look forward to handing out candy on my front stoop. Here’s to hoping there will be plenty of trick-or-treaters in my new neighborhood!
Seasonal beers. If you like Angry Orchard, you have to try the cinnamon flavor. Sure, it tastes a bit like fireball, but it’s so fall-like and festive that I have to recommend it!
Riding boots. I wear my boots to the ground no matter what the season, but in the fall you can wear boots without worrying about getting them scuffed up from snow and ice (and without worrying about slipping on ice…but maybe that’s just me!).
Thanksgiving. Whether it’s a big group or a small family gathering, I love everything about Thanksgiving — the food, festivities, family reunions…bring it on!
Apple cider. It used to gross me out since I don’t like apple juice, but I just picked up the yummiest carton at a farmer’s market the other day and am hooked! Hoping to whip up Katie’s apple cider sangria recipe once I have a new carton on hand!
I’m a fan of Craigslist. A big, big fan. As someone who is super into interior design and wants to redecorate frequently without breaking the bank, Craigslist has answered a lot of my prayers over the past few years (I even scored the adorable abstract painting pictured above!). While some of my friends do use the site (whether to buy, sell, find roommates, etc), a lot of people I know are totally put off by the idea. And for good reason. You have to feel safe and confident about picking up something from a stranger, first of all. And while I’ll certainly encourage you to use good judgment when buying and selling, I’m not going to get into that here. Instead, I’m going to answer a few questions I’ve gotten about my experience using Craigslist and share a few pieces of advice. (If you google this topic, you’ll find tons and tons of posts devoted to Craigslist tips. I’ve read a bunch of these and agree with a ton of the advice I’ve read, but I figure it doesn’t hurt to share my perspective with y’all).
Q: Who is using Craigslist? (Aka, it’s you and a bunch of old, scattered retirees, right?)
A: Most of the people I’ve bought from on Craigslist actually happen to be young women my age! This may have to do with the pieces I’m interested in buying and the style to which I’m drawn, but also when you think about it, a lot of girls in their 20s are moving around geographically, moving in with a significant other, trying to sell off stuff for extra cash…so it kinda makes perfect sense that they’d be prime Craigslist sellers. I honestly could picture myself being friends with several of the people I’ve met through Craigslist (in a 100 percent non-creepy way).
Q: Why would you buy something on Craigslist when you can just order a similar-looking, similarly-priced item online without the hassle?
A: This is a personal preference. For me, I like the feeling of finding a diamond in the rough and snagging something that’s on-trend but still slightly different than something you can acquire in an online shopping cart. That’s also why I like shopping at places like HomeGoods, thrift stores, etc. I like spotting something cool and slightly less common than what you’d see on the floor at Ikea or West Elm.
Q: Isn’t everything on Craigslist old and gross?
A: No! Definitely no! Craigslist is full of pieces from stores like West Elm, Anthropologie, Pottery Barn, you name it. Sure, sometimes items aren’t in great condition after years of use, but you can also find practically-new pieces at steep discounts. Not everything on Craigslist looks like it’s a reject from your great aunt’s yard sale.
Other tips from my experience as a buyer and a seller:
-Be polite and grammatically correct in emails. If you sound like you’ll be difficult to communicate with (literally and figuratively), I’ll be less inclined to keep up a correspondence with you.
-Don’t ghost. Seriously. This sucks in the dating world, but when there’s money involved? Ouch! I recently had a woman call me the day before she planned to pick up an item. She seemed enthusiastic, took the initiative to call and confirm her pickup time after we had been emailing a bit, and we agreed that we’d meet the next day. Fast forward 24 hours later to our scheduled rendezvous and…there was no sign of her. Thankfully, I had countless other people interested in the item and was able to sell it quickly, but I was frustrated that I carved time out of my day to meet her and she was a no-show.
-Be creative. If an item looks less than perfect but you’re a good DIY-er, consider ways in which you can spruce it up. If you’re already getting a good deal, you can invest that extra bit of money into making something simple look great.
Do you agree with these tips? I’d love to hear any that you have to share!
In high school, my friends and I would sit in the hallway and catch up for 10 minutes or so after our buses had arrived but before classes were set to start. I remember there was this one painting we would sit near every day that was one of those pieces of art that makes you go “Huh? I could’ve made that myself.” It was some abstract piece that looked like someone just dragged red paint across a canvas and called it a day. Yet it was stored in a glass box in the hallway along with other artwork that had been deemed “important” enough to show off. What?
Clearly, I didn’t appreciate abstract art at that time, but now the trend has really grown on me. Although I will say that I am a much bigger fan of pieces that incorporate tons of different colors and brushstrokes rather than something that looks like one big glob of paint!
I now have a few abstract pieces hanging up around my apartment, and I’ve been pinning tons of rooms featuring abstract art for further inspiration. Below are some rooms featuring amazing abstract paintings that totally pack a punch. It’s safe to say I’m more than a little obsessed with all of these looks!