Thursday, March 31, 2016

Cleaning Out Your Closet

We all need to do it. Go through that towering mess that is our closet and get rid of whatever has been accumulating over the past year. This is something I was taught to do when I was very young. Around the age of 6 or 7 I started going through my closet every spring to figure out what I really wanted to keep and what I could give away. This is a lesson I've tried my very best to keep up with over the years.

Needless to say, I have a pretty decent system for the very best ways to look into your closet, sort through what is there, and decide what isn't necessary anymore. Here are some of my very best tips for cleaning out your closet.

Now let me start off by saying, one of the reasons I am writing this post is because I desperately need to clean out my own closet. Last year I was away for a good portion of spring and for whatever reason I seem to have it in my brain that cleaning out your closet is a spring only activity. Which leads me to tip number one. 

You can clean your closet out during any season of the year.

I know that we tend to clear the clutter during the spring cleaning time period, but honestly you can rummage through your clothes whenever. I tend to enjoy the spring season because that is when I seem to add more to my wardrobe and I need to clean out the things I no longer use to make room for the new. But honestly, I could do this any time of year and should do it more than just once.

Take out all of your die hard, favorite items.

Once you determine what you can't live without, it will be easier to decide if there are items that you can let go. Take out all of your absolute favorites and place them to the side. This will allow you to see what remains more clearly and help you to decipher what is expendable.

Determine if it is a seasonal item that you will wear again the following year.

Along with the previous point, there will be some items that you are not going to use for a larger portion of the year because it is seasonal. Take a minute to figure out if it was a trend that you wanted for that year, or something you will actually wear again next year. If the answer is no, then put it in your bag of give away clothes.

If you haven't put it on your body in a year, get rid of it.

This is probably my number one rule for deciding whether to keep it or give it away. If you have just gone through all four seasons and that item of clothing has not touched your body once, don't even debate about it. Just give it away. There is a reason you haven't wanted to wear it for an entire year so there is no reason to continue to allow that piece to take up precious room in your closet.

I want to take a personal moment for this one point. I know that we all have those clothes that we hold on to because we're planning to lose the weight and then we can fit in them again. I know I go through this struggle each year. But the truth is, even in the times where I have actually lost the weight, by the time I did, those clothes I was holding on to weren't really in style anymore. Or at least I had grown out of that trend or style. Get rid of the things you haven't fit into all year. And when you do lose the weight, reward yourself with some fresh new pieces instead! 

Only keep out the clothes for the season you are in.

This particular tip is more for those of you who have a little extra space. Right now my husband and I have a four bedroom home, with only our Chinese exchange student living with us (no other children). So we have a decent amount of extra space that we can pack up those big bulky winter sweaters and place them in storage until the next year. Doing this will give you so much more space for whatever you are wearing this spring and summer.

Decide where you plan on giving away your clothes.

When I was a kid, we always gave everything away to the Goodwill. But now a days consignment shops are all the rage. Check out some of your local consignment shops and see if any of your gently worn clothes are able to be sold there. Also talk to some of your friends to see if they're interested in possibly swapping. It allows you to get a few new pieces without any extra cost. And of course there is always The Goodwill and the amazing veterans programs that will pick up your clothes straight from your home!

I find cleaning out my closet soothing and stress reducing. Not to mention the fact that it opens my space up for new purchases. It always makes me feel better. Like a weight has been lifted. And that helps me actually stay productive with my days.

So it's confession time. Like I mentioned before, part of the reason I am writing this post is to gain my own accountability for cleaning out my closet. It desperately needs it!! I'm pretty sure it hasn't been done since we purchased our home and that was over 2 years ago. Needless to say, this needs to yesterday. So I'm using you all as my accountability partners. Leave me comments asking if I've cleaned out my closet yet. Or you can head over to my Instagram or Twitter and ask me there. Anything that helps get my butt in gear!

I'd also love to hear if you have any tips for cleaning out your closet!
Love you all lots!!

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Monday, March 28, 2016

Office Space Inspiration

First, let me start this post off by saying, I have some super exciting things coming up in the life of Comfortable Spaces over the next month that I can not wait to roll out to y'all!! Next let me say, I'm not in the position to announce any of it yet, but prepare yourselves because it is going to be awesome!

So with that thought lingering out there, I needed to take my extra clutter loving space (that I refer to as "my room" because it holds all my excess crap) and actually make something out of it. Originally the thought was for it to be a dressing room, and for the most part that is what it has been. But it's time for the space to finally transform into an office so I can get some real work done up there. 

Whenever I begin dreaming up a space I head on over to the dream center...that's right, you guessed it! Pinterest!! I always know in my brain how I want a space to convey it's personality, but Pinterest always gives me a little extra something that adds a bit of special inspiration.

But let's start with the basics. First I need to know what I am looking for in a space. For me it is light colors, soft lines, and a cozy feel. This is the basic pattern I like to use in all of my room decorating. This is how I achieve my comfortable feel and design. 

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Here are some paint choices that I am seriously in love with! Muted, neutral tones are definitely my style. I find that the more relaxed the paint color, the more fun you can have with the decor, without the room starting to feel extremely weighed down.

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Let's talk soft lines for a second. I adore this space created by Bre from Rooms for Rent (I love her design style btw...ya'll need to check her out!). The desk itself has a softness in the rounding of the corners, down to the spindles of the legs. There are round jars on the top of her desk for her flowers and storage, even the fun wood piece closest to the ceiling has a rounded softness to it. Finish that off with the cool linen of her chair and curtains, and you have one beautifully soft office nock. 

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When we are talking cozy, I love to choose furniture that is extra plush and comfortable. The easiest way to then make it super snuggly is to drape a blanket over it. If I'm being honest, I rarely ever work on the computer without a soft blanket wrapped around me. I just love the cozy feel of it!

Moving past the basics of design, I love elements such as unique bookcases, large tables for desks, and the overall farmhouse feel. Here are some of my absolute fav pinspirations when it comes to my office remodel.

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I simply can not wait to begin redesigning my office space! Especially after looking through these amazing design ideas. There are little odds and ends that I loved in each photo and will definitely be incorporating some of those thoughts into my own space. I love how creative decorating can be. There is no greater thrill than having the ability to dream up a space and then bring it to life!

What are some of your favorite design choices? Do you enjoy softer lines or harder edges? The beauty about design is that you can make your space completely your own! I would love to hear about some of your favorite design choices in your home!

Can't get enough of comfy office pics?? Follow me over on Pinterest where I have a board devoted completely to office design!! 

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Friday, March 25, 2016

All Natural Homemade Cleaning Products

Keeping your home organized and sparkly is what this month is all about! It's spring cleaning month and we've already had so much fun discussing great ways to organize your home

Today I wanted to take some time to focus on cleaning. I mean like scrubbing. I am super big into keeping my home clean of any sort of dirt and grime. But cleaning products can get expensive ya'll. There is a part of me that feels like my house isn't clean enough because we don't have the extra budget to purchase all of the crazy products I need.

I know there are lots of us who want that super tidy home without the stretch on our wallets. So I've put together a little compilation of some of my favorite all natural, home made cleaning products. They are all super easy to create and will save your budget a ton along the way!

Let's start first with some of the necessary ingredients you'll need to put together your home made products. It's amazing what you can do with some...

Baking Soda, White Vinegar, Essential Oils, and Water!

Other great ingredients you will need for your products are olive oil, dish soap, and rubbing alcohol. Now let's create!!

Glass Cleaner

1 Cup of Water
1/2 Cup of White Vinegar
1 Cup of Rubbing Alcohol
5 Drops of a Lemon or Citrus Essential Oil
(Mix together in a spray bottle)

Shower Cleaner

For every 1 Cup of Water use 1/4 Cup of White Vinegar
(Mix in a spray bottle to spritz across your shower walls)

All Purpose Cleaner

2/3 Cup of Water
1/3 Cup of Vinegar
2 tsp of Baking Soda
10-15 Drops of Your Fav Essential Oil
(Mix in your spray bottle and shake well)

Wood Dust Spray

2 Cups of Water
1/2 Cup of White Vinegar
3 TBSP of Olive Oil
15 Drops of Your Fav Essential Oil
(Mix together in a spray bottle and shake well. Use a microfiber cloth for best results)

Hardwood Floor Cleaner

1 Gallon of Warm Water 
1/2 Cup White Vinegar
3 Drops of Your Fav Essential Oil
(Mix together in a large bucket & use your mop to clean up)

Granite Cleanser

2 Cups of Water
1/2 Cup of Rubbing Alcohol
4 TBSP of Dish Washing Soap
(You don't want to use vinegar on your granite)

Toilet Bowl Cleaner

1 Cup of White Vinegar
1 Cup of Baking Soda
5 Drops of Lemon or Citrus Essential Oils
(Lemon has natural abilities to clean and freshen the air)

Baking Soda Your Couch & Your Carpet

This one is super easy. Just sprinkle baking soda over your couch or carpet, let sit for a little bit,
and then vacuum it up. The baking soda will pull out any unwanted odors that are lingering in
your furniture or floor.

Making your own cleaning products is super easy and inexpensive. I promise you, it will help keep your home spotless and your wallet full. All natural products also help keep your space clean without any of the chemicals that come in your brand products from the store. So it's super great for kids, pets, and even yourself when you're trying not to breath in those harsh cleaning chemicals.

Let me know if you enjoy using your own all natural cleaning products and if you have any great recipes I would love to know what they are! Throw those babies into the comments below so we can all share each others favorite homemade cleaning recipes.

For some more great ways to stay organized, follow me on Pinterest to pick up those awesome ideas!

If you're interested in more spring cleaning & organizing, you should check out:

Easy Organization & Cleaning Tips

Simple Storage Solutions for Your Living Room

Decorative Organization for Your Kitchen


Sunday, March 20, 2016

Decorative Organization for Your Kitchen

I have loved talking about the great ways to get your home clean and organized for the spring. It seriously gets me super excited. (I do believe I have a little bit of Danny Tanner in me!) I enjoy the clean.

One of my favorite areas to organize in my home is the kitchen. Mainly because there are tons of great ways that you can keep your items in order while still looking super cute along the way. Win, win! I've found so many awesome buys recently that I've been able to use to decorate with, as well as organize my kitchen and I'm loving them all.

Here are some of my absolute favorite ways to use decorative pieces to organize your kitchen!

Stylized Boxes

I am a huge fan of cute boxes. They are an easy way to keep your items organized while adding your own style to your space. This lovely little piece I found recently at Hobby Lobby and fell head over heals. It was exactly what I was looking for when it came to tea organization.

This is my before pic of all the teas that were literally falling out of my cabinet every time I opened the door. 

The thing I love about this box is that the lid is glass. So I was able to set up all my teas in the separate cubby spaces while still seeing them from the top. It's convenient and stylish. Not to mention, it now becomes the perfect accessory to bring out every week when I have the girls over for small group.

Decorative Containers

The next way I like to keep the kitchen organized is through decorative containers. They are an easy way to keep a particular stylistic feel in your home while staying super functional. These glass jars I picked up at Pier 1 Imports last year. They add a bit of a country feel to the space and are where we keep the flour, sugar, and coffee. Basically all the important stuff!

I am in love with the versatility and function of these OXO containers I picked up from Bed, Bath, & Beyond. They are great for keeping pastas, home made trail mix, oatmeal, and any other fun food items in them. They're easy to stack and slide right into our fairly small pantry. It gets rid of all those big bulky boxes and keeps my shelves a lot more clear.

My spices I keep organized in this super handy rack I was given by my cousins for our wedding. It is the perfect way to have every item I need to cook with and it adds a little flavor to my decor as well. (See what I did there...spices, flavor...yeah!)

The Three Tier Tray

Three tier trays are basically my fav at the moment. They're not only gorgeous but they are seriously so functional. We were having a coffee cup overload in our cabinets when I found this beauty to help us out. Now I can display some of my favorite cups and I can change them with the seasons to add even more design elements to the decor. I'm really in love y'all! Oh, and I picked her up from Pier 1 for a serious steal! 

Hanging Items

Another great way to use your kitchen items for style is to hang up your fancy aprons, towels, etc. I love the Command Brand hooks. I picked this one up from Target for a few bucks, placed it on the side of my kitchen cabinets, and hung up my favorite floral apron. Stylish and useful!

Ceramic Bowls

We are big fruit people in our house. We go through tons of it weekly. So having this ceramic fruit bowl is perfect to hold all of our delicious fruity goodness. I actually have several ceramic bowls that have been passed down to me over time and are all over my home. They add a touch of elegance to the different spaces and each are so unique. It's sort of like using art for storage!

Fancy Shopping Bags

I think the last way I really keep my kitchen organized is by using my favorite new Thirty-One bag to bring in all of my groceries. I've been talking a bit about meal planning here lately and this bad boy was yet another game changer in my weekly shopping process. It is super helpful and allows me to carry in so many of my grocery bags into the house at one time. Lifesaver here!

That really is about it for all of my favorite decorative ways to stay organized in your kitchen. I truly hope they were helpful for you all! While we like to clear out the unwanted junk in our homes during the spring, I think it's also nice to really show off the stuff we do love. It's an easy way to place your personality out there as you keep your home neat and tidy.

Oh, by the way! Happy Spring my friends! I can not believe it is actually here but it is and now we can throw our confetti in the air and celebrate because new life is right around the corner. As we watch the blossoms begin to bloom (anyone see them yet?? crazy!!) let's remember that it's a time for us to get rid of the junk and start fresh. Who else is as excited as me!!? Love y'all! 

Your turn!

What are some of your favorite ways to stay organized in your kitchen? 

For more fun pics (because you know we all have them) head on over to my Instagram and follow along my crazy pic journey! 

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Thursday, March 10, 2016

Simple Storage Solutions for Your Living Room

Hello friends! Welcome back! This whole month we are talking about great ways to keep your home clean and organized as we head into the spring cleaning season. I love having my home picked up and put together and I love showing people great ways to get that same look for themselves.

I know that for the most part, there are a fair amount of items I want within reach in our living room. I also know that to keep our living room organized, there are a few essential storage solutions that assist in that effort regularly. Each of them have a specific functionality that bring organization as well as style to the room.

The very first area that I wanted to focus on in our living room was the entryway. We do not have a traditional foyer so as you walk into our home, it is immediately opened up to the living room. However, there is a very easy way to create a foyer feel, complete with organized spaces. All you need is a little creativity and furniture placement. 

The first thing I did was place the back of our sofa toward the door. This helps distinguish between the living room space and the entryway. 

Next, we were given this long bench which we faced into this space, placing it opposite the couch. This provides the perfect seating area for people to take their shoes on and off. This look became complete with these amazing wicker baskets I grabbed at Target. They fit beautifully under the bench and we use them to organize and contain all of our continually worn shoes.

Moving on to some of my favorite magazines! I am a magazine junkie (especially when it comes to home design reads). I love to have them around my living room because they give me some amazing inspiration while I am working on my blog. So to keep them neatly tucked into their very own space, I like using this gorgeous wicker handle basket that I've literally had for ages. If you're looking for one like it, I know they have an amazing selection at Pier 1.

Altogether that completes our entryway space. This allows everything to be easily accessible while staying neatly tucked away and clutter free.

My next favorite piece of organizational furniture in the living room is this great six square shelf unit I picked up at Target. I truly love this thing. It is super sturdy and really is the perfect size for the space. Remember, picking the correct size furniture is half the battle.

I like to keep some of my old records here with the player on top. Using the same matching wicker baskets that I purchased at Target, I am able to stow away electrical cords for charging, some of the current books I'm reading, my powersheets from Lara Casey, and a few other odds and ends that I use daily. I love these baskets (can ya tell??). 

Earlier this week I went over exactly how I refinished our new TV stand. If you missed that post, you should definitely check it out! I promised a look see into our cabinet area and here it is.

This space is perfect for keeping all of our DVDs and TV series. I use an array of baskets and bins to keep this area highly functional and I love them all!

I picked up this beauty from the Thirty-One brand and it is the perfect size for keeping all of my DVDs in order. (Little tip, I place all of my DVDs in alphabetical order. I know it can seem a bit OCD, but I always know exactly how to find what I am looking for.) The two end bins I picked up from Bed, Bath, & Beyond and they seriously hold so much! 

Oh, and that cute little wicker octagon basket, I picked up from Thirty-One as well. They're simply perfect for holding things like the remotes to all these crazy electronics so I never lose anything.

My last living room storage solution is this super fun galvanized container. I found this at a yard sale for $5 and it has been one of my favorite ever. We use it for so much. But when it is just chilling at the house, it's main purpose is blanket holder. I find nothing more fun than snuggling up with a cozy blanket so I always have plenty on hand.

Ok, so I had to end this post with my babe! How sweet is her little face!! She was all like, "Mommmm, I don't want my picture taken." I seriously just love her so much! 

There are definitely fun ways you can keep your home spruced up and clutter free while still keeping those essential items within arms reach. I hope these storage solutions give you some inspiration to help organize your space. 

Your Turn!

What are your favorite simple storage solutions??

I would love to see how you keep your home clutter free! Head on over to Instagram and tag me in some of your favorite storage solutions! And if you want even more ideas, I have a great board on Pinterest that you can follow! Love you lots!


Tuesday, March 8, 2016

Refinished DIY Television Stand

Hey friends! This month we are talking all about how we can get our spaces clean and organized for the spring! I absolutely love the beauty of spring. The fresh flowers beginning to bud, the days without jackets starting, and the very best, opening up the windows to let the delicious air filter through the house. I just love every piece!

Getting my home ready for spring means preparing for the upcoming gatherings, the BBQs, the long nights out on the porch, and of course planting season! Spring makes me productive, and nothing makes you more productive than an organized space.

One of the ways I like to stay organized and allow my home to continue looking pristine is by purchasing furniture that fits the space well. There is nothing worse than seeing a huge bulky piece of furniture squeezed into a teeny area filled with junk. If you have a petite space, then you need to accommodate it appropriately. 

For us, we have radiators and windows on every wall in our home, so we've needed to get creative with our furniture choices. We honestly spent the better part of two years searching for the perfect TV stand and came up with nothing. After an endless trek, we stumbled upon a beauty in the Habitat for Humanity Restore Store and picked it up for only $40! 

Here is how we rehabbed her to fit in with our decor and space so that she could become the perfect storage unit for our DVDs and other items!

When we found this beauty, she was painted with thick black paint. It seriously took us forever to sand it all down and we went through countless amounts of sand paper. But several layers later, we were able to get most of it off. 

For this we mainly swapped between a sanding block and sheets, both with a 60 grit. When purchasing the right sandpaper, you just want something with a thicker texture to be able to get through those leftover paint layers.

After all of the tiring sanding was complete, I realized I kinda liked the black base and should have left more of it. But it was too little too late at that point. So I left a lot more of the black on the doors and the base.

Next came removing all of the hardware. Make sure if you are doing this to place all of the screws in a safe place so you don't lose them.

The paint I picked out was an Annie Sloan brand chalk paint called "Paris Grey." I truly am in love with this color and want to use it on more furniture pieces in the future. It's beautiful!

When I am painting, I like to use more of a dry brush technique. I place very little paint on the edge of the brush (even dabbing some off if need be) and then dragging it across the piece as I go. This gives the look a more streaky feel with a shabby chic vibe. And if you want a thicker look, you can always layer it till you reach your desired appearance.

Make sure that when you are painting that you are always following the grain of the wood so it doesn't end up with a hap hazard design. 

Here was the TV stand fully painted. With the doors off of the stand I was able to paint them on their own as well. The chalk paint dries fairly fast so finishing both sides of the doors was pretty easy.

Once the painting was completed, I used a 100 grade sandpaper to soften the edges of everything. Again in purchasing your sandpaper, the finer texture is what you are looking for here. This adds to the shabby chic feel and for the doors, it brought out that background black color. Once the sanding was finished, I rubbed in the Annie Sloan wax to seal everything up.

And the TV stand was complete! As you can see, the space is small, off to a corner and a bit wonky in its area. This piece was such a perfect fit for the space and I'm super happy we took the time to rehab it and bring it back to life!

I am in love with how this TV stand came out! It's completely my style, color pallet, and it is the perfect size for the space. I also really love how great the cabinets are for the storage of our DVDs and the TV appliances. Everything fits so well!

Don't forget to come back later this week when we will be going over all the great ways to organize your living room. I'll also be giving you a little tour of this stand and how I keep everything coordinated within it. You're not gonna wanna miss it!

I hope that you enjoyed the tutorial today and if you have an opportunity to design your own DIY television stand, I would love to see it on Instagram! Just tag me in the comments!

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