Desk Reveal

I haven’t had a desk since Zia peed on my old one in Fall 2015. Not only did I find one that was petite, sleek and modern but it still had enough space for my necessities without giving me so much room that I felt like I should fill it up with useless paper goods and writing utensils from Target. I am sure that I will make more desk adjustments in the future to the drawer but I am content to share its current state.

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{I am still using acrylic dividers. Most of these I bought at the Container Store. I use the back half of the drawer for store and the front half for items I grab almost daily. }

Office Moving

When moving, it seems like the first thing people are willing to part with is their desk. And why not? Unless you work at home full-time it seems like it is easily replaceable or unnecessary. That being said the first place you notice all of the mess is the moment your desk is out of sorts. If you plan to let go and then replenish your office space, here are some reminders for when you redesign.

  1. Get a desk that works for you and is cheap. This probably means Ikea. Get drawers if you need the space or use desktop organizers. Do not spend more on something that is pretty unless you know it will be the only desk you will have for the next five to ten years.

    {I have the desk on the left which is a tad small, so I am upgrading to the one on the right. }

  2. Do not forget about your filing needs. Everyone has something that needs to be filed whether it be taxes, important documents, or photographs from yesteryear. Invest in a filing cabinet or filing box.

    {Left: Galant Drawer unit with wheels, Right: Tote Box}

  3. Buy only what will enhance your workflow and not inhibit it. In undergrad I always bought the cutest accessories for my desk whether or not they we ever used. By the time I graduated I had an empty cork board, a dachshund letter organizer and a gorgeous lamp that took up most of my desk space but all were utterly useless. A workspace is about what you can accomplish there, not about how cute the desk looks while you do it. That being said don’t make it so barren that you are not comfortable in your space.

    {Left: My useless Dachshund letter organizer, Right: A lamp I would use daily}

  4. Buy a comfortable chair. Define comfort as sit in it ‘all day’ and not ’10 minutes’. Be aware that if this chair is in your bedroom make sure it doesn’t take up too much space and that it matches your decor. You might want to invest in wheels vs. a stand alone chair. It is worth spending more on your chair that your desk. Your back will thank you. Screen Shot 2017-03-26 at 11.57.06 AM { I love the sleek look of ribbed office chairs.}

Let It Go: Moving

If you do not own a home assume you will be renting and moving until you do, so do not spend a ton on furniture. You furniture will get banged up, break, or you won’t want to pay for the extra weight during the move.

  1. If it is easy to part with then do that. Let Go is a great app that allows you to sell unwanted items, and there is always craigslist. Here’s my Let Go InventoryScreen Shot 2017-03-26 at 11.06.21 AM
  2. Make a registry with Ikea and the Container Store and add all your want items for your new home there (but don’t share them just yet). After you move in and start getting settled, see if you really need all those items you wanted. Do you prefer the more open space? Did you find something else you needed more? After 10 days of the official move-in date reassess your registry and then share with family and friends (they have the option to have it sent straight to you or can bring it to your housewarming party).
  3. Try to only keep what is absolutely necessary to your lifestyle. When I first moved to New York I wanted to keep everything I had acquired through vintage shopping over the years, but by the first Spring I was already donating trash bags full of “worthless” and “space hogging” items. Keep what brings you joy and what you use often. Everything else can go.
  4. Access the cost of moving against buying new, especially if you are moving across the country. Looking back Philip and I should have sold everything and bought fresh up here in New York. Instead we spent about $4k to get a Pod sent up here with all our furniture, and then $1k more to travel up here with our cats. In reality, we could have spent $1k on new items and not had to hire movers to help bring stuff up the stairs. But now that we are in NY, it will cost us $300 for movers to take all our items across town and do everything for us.

Into the City: Moving Tips

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{Here I am Summer 2016 at my wits end with our move to NYC}

  1. Unless it is a family heirloom, leave your furniture behind (feel free to sell it to help fund your move!). It is cheaper to buy new items from ikea and then replace them later with something you love instead of paying thousands to ship what you already have. Starting fresh is always a glorious feeling.
  2. Save your money! Where P and I live we had to make 80 times the rent each year to rent our apartment directly from the company. We also had to prove this with bank records. If you don’t make that much you need to have a guarantor who does. If you don’t have that, you either need to  1) pay rent upfront or 2) offer a huge security deposit. If these aren’t options, then you will be forced to sublease.
  3. It is worth paying more to live closer to work and school. Unless you have a car or use lift/uber, a 15 minute walk in the summer will quickly turn into an 1 hour long walk in bad weather (rain,snow, etc).
  4. When you do buy new items don’t buy for the place you want, buy assuming you will have to downsize later. P and I bought some brand new items from Ikea and had them shipped to use the day after we moved in. It was a snap getting them all in the new place but then we realized that the dimensions were not quite right and we purchased too many too large items. We should have bought what we needed only after we arrived.
  5. Hire a moving company to unload your items, your back will thank you. Also overestimate the amount of items you have and time it will take to unload it all. You don’t want to have to pay extra for misrepresenting what you have on accident.

Index Update: Book Journal

Last month I revealed that I was going through all my books and writing my memories of them within a book journal (you can read the post here). Since then not only have I catalogued over 60 books but I also customized my index.

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The paper base is made up of pieces of a replica of a 1908 Sears Catalogue. The letters are stickers I had from a planner set from 2011. Black Acrylic makes up the black rectangles  and I used Metallic Silver Sharpie to write in the numbers.

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Before I seal the index with full-page cold press lamination, I will fill in the back sections of the notebook. I have 10 blank square pages to fill, which is where I am considering putting short stories. I also will need to fill in the perforated To-Do pages where I am currently in the works making my Top Ten lists (Top Ten Young Adult Novels, Top Ten Novels of all Time, and Top Ten Dramas of all Time). You will also see that I went nerdy and wrote in textbooks I thought would be useful later down the road i.e. parenting.

Winter Storm Stella & Spring Cleaning

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{Some Stella Artois to celebrate the snow day}

Stella was a bit of a disappointment since it did not reach two feet of snow within New York City, but everything was still pretty much cancelled. Schools closed, above-ground train tracks were closed, and only mean bosses made their employees take taxis to work.

I stayed inside and ironically began spring cleaning (what else have I been doing the past two months?). I went through my winter capsule closet and purged items that I did not get much use  out of: some black tank tops, many cardigans, and duplicates of black blazers. Then I stored it all. Unfortunately at the moment my storage system consists of black trash bags piled in the corner, but this summer I am planning to buy some storage containers from the Container Store (divided between these or these) to help me with my off-season storage options. But the good news is that my entire winter collection, sans shoes, fits into a single black medium sized trash bag. Score! Now to make the other seasons match that amount!

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I realize that Spring does not officially begin until this upcoming Monday, but I just couldn’t wait to dive into my spring collection. I am still keeping out all my black for work, but I will only be wearing white, light grey, camel, and pastels in the months to come.

Book Detox

A downsize-needed area that I have been avoiding on purpose has been my overflowing book collection. I have been collecting these books since I was a child. Some were gifts, some mind blowing, and others an integral part of my education. It pains me to have to part with any of my old friends, but moving books is not only expensive but painful to both your back and storage. I decided to only keep those with extreme sentimental value to myself, and donate or sell the remainder.

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In an attempt to save my memories, I opted to create a Book Journal  and have an entry for each book I was parting with. In the future if I have the money and unlimited amounts of space, my plans will be to buy the books back in hardcover.

I bought Moleskins’s Square Pro Series Workbook, and used the format of Moleskine’s Book Passion Journal for guidance.

Unlike the official Moleskine Book Journal which only gave me six pages to fill in for each letter (156 books total), I was able to create a journal that allows me to write about 4 books per page for 6 pages (624 books total).

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My first couple journaled books:

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Jewelry Organization Redux

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After going through all my clothes and accessories earlier in January, I realized that I  did not need to wait to go through my costume jewelry and hair accessories. I am very aware of what I do and do not wear in these categories and I like to display all my items at once. To give my jewelry a fresh look (and to cut back on dust collection) I ditched the green desk organizer and opted to have  hanging organizer similar to those used to display jewelry at Free People. The glass box was a freebie found on the street, the base cardboard, and the fabric plain flour sack dish cloth. I spruced of the rest of the table with some greenery. You can find my former organization here.

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Inside the box: All of my hair accessories arranged in acrylic organizers.

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Apartment Reveal: Guest Room 1.0

P and I had our roommate move out in November, so we decided to redefine our space a little bit. We took over the master bedroom for ourselves (our roommate’s former room), turned our room into the guest room, and then made plans to turn the remaining bedroom into an office space for the both of us. Though we do have plans to downsize into an even smaller space this summer (no more roommates for us!) we decided to spread out our possessions in order to see what else we could potentially part with.

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{Almost everything thing in this room is Ikea}

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{P and I have plans to hang my father’s guitars over the bed}img_2882

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