Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Organization: Cables and Cords

Technology is amazing, we can store thousands of songs in our pocket, can connect with people in many ways, and so much more. The only thing not amazing about technology are the cords and wires that keep them running. They are everywhere and can be an eyesore. So until everything can run and charge wirelessly, we have three options:
            1) We can ignore the cords.
            2) We can clean up the cords and wires.
            3) We can just not use technology and live in the woods.
For this post we are fortunately (or unfortunately if you are pumped about living in the woods) talking about option number 2. We will take our home back from the cords!

Make It & Love It turned a lotion bottle into a cellphone-charging holder. Not only does it look great, but also hides your cellphone charging cord. You can check out their guide here.

If you have a lot of exposed cables from your desk or TV stand, you can use a cable concealer to hide the mess. This is essentially a plastic tube that runs all of your cables through it. It can be stuck to the backside or underneath a desk or placed along a wall to hide the mess of cords. This is also a great way to keep the cords organized.

Bred clips can be used to label yours cords, which is great as some look the same and you don’t want to risk unplugging something you didn’t intend to. You could also tie colored string or around cables to keep things color coordinated.  

Binder clips can be used to prevent cords from falling. A good example of this would be clipping one to the side of your desk and running your laptop charger through the loop. This way when you unplug your laptop the cord won’t fall behind your desk but rather stay in place. 

So there you have it! Some ways to hide those loose cables taking over your home. It can some take some time to untangle everything, but once you get everything organized you won’t have to worry about that in the future. 

Monday, September 22, 2014

Tiny House Style Spotlight

Clean and Simple. Source: onekindesign

Have any of you seen the documentary “Tiny” on Netflix? Neither have I, but I hear it’s good. It got me thinking, although it can seem really luxurious and amazing to have a huge place, why not try and embrace the idea of living minimalistically in a small space?

The idea behind the Tiny House Movement is to downsize the amount of space that we live in. After all, Americans spend ⅓ to ½ their income on their homes. As apartment dwellers, living in a smaller space is already done for you, and the next step is just to cut back on the amount of clutter that you have.

  • The first part of this is to reduce what you own. Go through your clothes, household items, furniture.. How much of it is truly necessary?
  • What you don’t need, either sell or donate! (The extra cash or good deed will feel good)

Now, after you do all that, staying a minimalist can be the hardest part of this whole process.

  • First, organize and categorize the things that you do need to keep.
  • Second, continue the process. The more you think about it, the more you may come to realize that some of the things that you still have are not necessary. If you come across those kinds of things, get rid of them!

Being a minimalist is an ongoing process that you can’t just do once and then forget about. Eventually, you will need to buy something or things will start to accumulate again. When that happens, you just go through this process again! The idea is that you are sort of constantly doing it, so that way you don’t end up with a ton of unnecessary items.

The most important part of this is that when you do go to buy something, it is important to really spend time thinking about the purchase. Do you really need it? How long are you going to use it for? Why do you want it? Is it really worth it?

Another thing you can focus on after having been a minimalist for awhile is the quality of the items that you buy. If you buy fewer things, then you will have more money to spend on higher quality items that will last you longer.

Monday, September 15, 2014

Color Wheel: Teal


As fall is quickly approaching, we bring you back to the early days of summer with deep blue skies and dark green trees with the color teal. Although we can’t prevent summer from ending, we can bring some of those colors into our homes with this weeks color wheel post. 

Teal is the mix of blue and green and can range anywhere from a dark to medium blue or a dark green. The complimentary color of teal is coral, which we did a post about just a few months ago. So if our post encouraged you to add some coral to your home, then this post will compliment your great decision!

Some may be hesitant to bring teal into there homes, as a lot of people use it more as an accent color than a primary, but when done correctly teal can really make a room beautiful. Blue is a calming color and green is associated with good feelings, so the two combined create an equally wholesome feel.

I don’t expect anyone to go crazy with teal and completely redesign your home around it, but adding some color here and there is always nice and can look great.

Friday, September 12, 2014

Do It Yourself Organization


Being organized is always a great feeling. Knowing exactly where something is and having a clean home has no negatives. Unfortunately, getting organized can be difficult for some people, myself included; so below we have come up with a list of ways to help us all get a little more organized!

Get Rid of Clutter:

The best way to get uncluttered is to get rid of what you don’t use. Go through what you have and donate or sell anything that you don’t need anymore.

What To Get Rid Of:

The website had an interesting method for finding what clothes you don’t wear. They suggested turning all of your hangers backwards and then whenever you wear an item, hang it back up the usual way. After about 6 months go back through your closet and see which hangers are still left unturned, these are the clothes you should get ride of!

Have A Home For Everything:

This is a good tactic for keeping things neat and organized. If something has a place, then it can always be put back into its place!

Plastic Tubs:

Plastic tubs are great for organizing. Using plastic tubs in cabinets can make grabbing items from the back easier. Sliding out the tub and grabbing what you need is easier than taking everything in front of it out!

Sort things by Function:

Having this mentality can help you keep things together in a way that makes sense to you. With this, you know where to put new items and where to find older things.

Think About Wasted Space:

What space do you have that could creatively be used to store things? Think about under your bed, couch, etc. Under bed drawers, like this example from Martha Stewart’s website, is a great way to store things under your bed while staying organized!
If you have a lack of storage space in your bathroom and have a towel rack that’s not in use, hang a basket from the towel rack! Simply DIY 2 has a great tutorial on how you can get more storage in your bathroom while still looking nice!
Another great place to store items is on the inside of a closet or cabinet door. Using shoe organizers you can hang cleaning supplies, rolled up towels, makeup, and of course shoes! 

Staying Organized:

Ultimately being organized is something that takes time and effort, but undoubtedly pays off. A big part of being organized is staying in the mindset. Making list, using calendars and reminders, and staying positive will help you be organized in both your home and life!

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

DIY Walls without Painting

Decorating your apartment can be really fun, but you don't want to totally mess up your walls with nails and paint. Here are our suggestions for ways to spice up your walls without ruining them!

Photo from A Beautiful Mess

  • Washi Tape: I love this stuff. It's a lot like masking tape, but with a smoother texture. I don't know that I would necessarily do a whole wall of that stuff due to cost, but they can be really fun to tape up posters or spell out something.

Photo from Designsponge

  • Tapestry: Now, none of us are living in castles around here, but a tapestry doesn't have to be wildly expensive and fancy. You can buy them off of Urban Outfitters and a number of other places, but if you want a more DIY tapestry, just get out a sheet and paint it however you want!
Photo from ChasingPaper

  • Wall stickers/faux wallpaper: This option is way too cool. I am a huge proponent for blank walls, but I am completely in love with the all the different crazy patterns. This stuff would look so cool for a big accent wall, and it's completely removable!
Photo From Mother Magazine

  • Hang pictures: Now, one of the easiest ways to spice up empty wall space is to hang pictures. Whether it's your own artwork or just some photos, there are tons of cool ways to display photos. As for the removable part, try out Command Strips. Those things are every apartment dweller's dream come true.

  • Get Creative: The best thing you can do is to really think outside the box. What do you love? Put it on display! Antique stores always have cool things that can really make a space feel more unique whether it's a sweet vintage poster or even some quirky thingamabob. The key is to really get creative and experiment. Here are a few more suggestions for ways you can bring some life to your walls.
    • Antique stores: old doors, old windows can make really cool wall art
    • Paint swatches as wall art
    • The wall is your pinboard: tape up magazine cut out and whatever else inspires you
    • Hanging christmas lights

Thursday, September 4, 2014

Back to School Series: Snacks for Class

Getting back to the swing of things can be a bit of a struggle. And for college students, finding a way to  fit in meals throughout the day can be a huge pain. If you're anything like me, it's a lot of coffee and whatever I can grab from the on-campus cafes (which--although quite delicious--is far from fulfilling or healthy). Whether you just need something you can throw in your bag and eat quickly or something you can enjoy in-between classes, check out my list of suggestions below!

  • Fruit (I would suggest things like apples, pears, and bananas. Simple. Not too messy, and relatively easy to toss in your bag and run.)
  • String Cheese
  • Mini Muffins (make your own or get some from the store!)
  • Trail Mix or Dried Fruit
  • Granola Bars
  • Roasted Chick Peas (Not quite as complicated as you might think. Check out this recipe!)

  • Cheese and Crackers (This one never occurs to me, but it's a relatively easy to make snack that can fuel you for a long time. Just make sure not to forget it in your bag for too long!)
  • Yogurt
  • Veggies and Hummus
  • Mason Jar Meals (Mason Jars are the best, especially when you are a hungry college student. You can make a salad in them, a yogurt parfait, the possibilities are practically endless!)
  • Quinoa (This one can seem a bit more intimidating, but you can eat it hot or cold and put practically any spice or extra things with it and it will still taste good!)
  • Banana Dog (This was my old standard the year I had back to back lectures over the lunch hour. Really simple; just take a tortilla, spread peanut butter over it, and then toss a banana in the middle! Then you wrap the whole thing up and, vwah-lah, you have a Banana Dog. Add some Nutella to the mix if you want a treat!)
  • Sandwich (When all else fails, you can always make a sandwich!)

  • A Hot Drink (Try some tea, coffee, or hot chocolate! If you have to stay up late, it will help if you stay hydrated, and it's just nice to drink something toasty warm.)
  • Popcorn (This one is very simple. If you want a spicier version, try tossing it with melted butter and Sriracha)
  • Veggies (add some hummus, eat it plain, or try roasting them in the oven for about ten minutes with olive oil, salt, and pepper over them)
  • Cereal (Find one that you like and eat it dry!)