Thursday, January 29, 2015

Master Bedroom: Storage

Today we take a peek at what's stored in our bedroom. It may be more than you keep in your's, but my main goal when organizing is to have things stored in the room where I usually use them. It saves so much time and effort which ultimately, saves so much It's-too-hard-I'll-leave-it-out mess. The logic of this method helps me remember where I put things I rarely use, rather than my old method (stuff it in a random place just because it fits there.)

This jewelry box sits on top of my dresser and holds some sentimental jewelry, safety pins and jewelry I'm thinking of saying good-bye to. I love all the sections, and might have to ponder what else would be handy to have in here that's not jewelry...hmm. 

On the right side of my dresser, I have my trash can and charging cord for my phone. Also a pile of clothes I wanted to add words to. My first attempt was bleach and it took so long, with so little effect, I haven't gotten up the nerve to do any more. So the project stack remains. If I find success, I may show you what method I liked best. 

On the left side there's a square floor basket, which is full of sentimental items that aren't pretty enough to be decorations. Sentimental stuff is one of the big hurdles for people when it comes to minimalism. The question I found most helpful was, "Is this something I actually feel joy seeing again or is it something I think 'should be special' to me?" That freed me from a lot of stuff I was keeping out of obligation to some idea. People are so different, so what's special to each of us is also different. I think I keep a lot of written notes because my love language is Words of Affirmation. We don't have to aim for status quo here either! Living intentionally is about knowing when to break the rules to make life more meaningful.  

During my first sweep through the house, I took photos of items I didn't necessarily care to put my hands on. They're saved electronically (not printed out) and if I want to jog my memory with some childhood items, I can open that folder and see them. However, there are some things I still like being able to hold.

Like Bear-bear. His name gives away how tiny I was when he came into my life. And he was always there. In most of my childhood pictures, you can spot him. I remember conversations I had with him after I went to bed at night. His body still has a curve where my hand fits just right. I also saved items that I think help my kids imagine me as a kid. I remember my mother showing me her keepsakes and it was special. The items below are a couple books I wrote poetry in, a tape of a childhood performance, my sticker collection, photos of Brian and me in grade school, and the most beautifully wrapped gift Brian's ever given me. Yes, I rewrapped the box and kept it...don't judge me. 

Now you're entering the page protector zone that keeps me sane. Special notes, birth announcements, funeral programs...go in a binder. Another binder holds notes/emails/cards that have passed between Brian and I. The third collects samples of the kids' artwork, schoolwork, and rewards/certificates. We don't keep all of any of these categories, but ones I consider worthy are easily slipped into the appropriate binder. Since I do it right away, things naturally stay in chronological order. I've stocked each binder with empty page protectors so they're ready to go. You may have noticed six binders in the basket and that's because there are "volumes" in two of the categories and one is empty, just waiting to become a volume. :)

What I've needed to keep in this category has morphed too. I used to feel I needed a note from a friend to prove they valued me, etc. As I've become a wee bit more mature and confident, I'm finding it easy to let that go. 

our "love story" binder

the kids' art binder

Below you'll see the top drawer of my nightstand. It holds lip balm, a sticky note pad, pens, bookmarks, matches and a lavender sachet. The red book is full of kind comments from my senior art show and the remote is for our Sleep Number bed. 

The second drawer (above) holds my Bible and any other books I'm currently reading. The third drawer (below) has all my stuff for relaxation: a yoga block, lavender candle, eyemask, a head massager and two rice heating bags. I'm not good at taking time for this type of thing, but when I get the occasional headache, it's a doozy and I use ALL these things.

A lot of minimalists with smaller homes use the space under their bed more than I. This stack of old journals and notebooks is here because I'm transferring them to paperless form. It takes a bit of time to go through and I've been working on this off-and-on, for a couple years. My method with journals is to read through the "I went to Wal-mart today," entries and highlight anything worthwhile. Then I sit down and type the excerpts. Once I'm done with a book, I recycle it and if my recycling man is nosy, he has a juicy new read. Yikes.

We also keep an under-bed storage container with extra sheets. What?! You see towels? Well, that's because those towels got the kind of damp stinkiness that only goes away when we shelve them for a couple years before bringing them back into rotation. If anyone has a better idea, I'd love to hear it! The empty space in front usually holds our off-season sheets, but during my photo opp, they were on the bed while our winter sheets got washed. Typically we change sheets on a Sunday when we can wash them and put the same sheets back on the bed. The beauty of that is...NO sheet folding! We have a set of fleece for winter and a set (that were once flannel, but are now threadbare enough to qualify as cotton) for summer. Do they wear out faster? Yes, but again...No sheet folding! It's brilliant. 

Now I know we haven't even touched on clothes, but I'm saving that for another post. You'll get to see Brian's closet and mine, as well as my dresser. 

P.S. Obviously, if you're in a couple, the bedroom may have some, ahem, "other" items. If that's the case and you happen to have children, I recommend a small suitcase or briefcase under the bed. With a lock. It's easier than explaining after they sound out, "Lub-ri-ca-tion."


  1. Under-bed storage is a must! I agree with you about a suitcase. Greets, Storage Earlsfield Ltd.

  2. I wish I was that creative and organized, you are the best Kendra! Thank you for sharing!