Whether you are getting ready to move or just getting the house in order, here are a few guidelines that might help.
In my last blog, I told you all I was getting married. But what if I told you I was also in the process of buying a house? You would probably say, "Emily, why are you doing this to yourself? Are you a madwoman?" And I would tell you how we're all a little mad here. So yes, I am coordinating a move while trying to plan a wedding. I'll admit that it is a little stressful. I have endless patience when interacting with people, but I'm incredibly impatient when it comes to waiting. Luckily, this inbetween stage has given me ample time to sort and downsize our belongings, thanks to a few excellent books.
I'll be honest: I am a mild, sentimental pack rat. I have kept every card I have ever been given since I was 12 years old, and I definitely have drawings and school projects that date back even further. I have an incredible amount of books and lots of kitchen gadgets and odd pieces of furniture. But I know that some of it can be weeded out, which is why I'll use Marie Kondo's The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up to guide me through this process. The idea that you should keep things that give you joy and serve a purpose is so simple and obvious, but still so important. Needlessly throwing out items to achieve a minimalist look is not only unsustainable, but it's also just really silly. Find the things you really love and surround yourself with them. If you start there, the rest comes pretty easy.
As someone who is constantly reading and writing, I am always a little shocked when I remember that I am a visual learner. Everything from white board layouts to room decor requires me seeing it either drawn out or in the flesh. So tell me about how I can arrange a closet for maximum efficency all you want, I still need to see it. Enter The Martha Manual. Martha Stewart of House Clean, First of Her Name, the Tidy, Queen of Thanksgiving hosting, and Friend of Snoop Dogg, wrote this book to show us how to do it all. Not only does it include examples of how to clean up your space, but it also gives you a couple of examples on each topic and pictures for inspiration. This book will help you to clear out the clutter, as well as show you how to garden and fix a leaky faucet. This book does it all.
If there is one space I want to have well organized and ready to go in our new place, it's the kitchen. I love to cook and experiment with new recipes and ingredients. Our new kitchen is slightly smaller than what I would like, so I need to make sure every inch of that space is working smart (but let's be real: I would like 800 square feet of kitchen space and I think the only way I'm getting that is if I become a chef). To do that, I need to pare down my kitchen gadgets, and I think The New Essentials Cookbook from America's Test Kitchen has one of the best lists. It tells you which implements are absolutely essential, and suggests which appliances will make life in the kitchen a little easier. To boot, the recipes in this book are very, very tasty. I recommend the Cheesy Stuffed Poblanos, which is always a hit at my house.
Now, go forth and conquer the clutter! I'll just be over here endlessly packing boxes.