Organizing is an on-going process. Last week project was organizing our bookcase. I have a massive book collection, most of them are still at my parents' home. Meanwhile, Hubby has a huge comic book collection. The thing is, Hubby doesn't really take care of his collection. He is the type who buy a comic book, read it, then never touch it again for years. However, he refuse to part with his precious collection. It is his thing, and I let him indulge in it.
We are happy to day, though, that when we had a flood, two huge boxes of our book collection that we had not touched in years got wet and turned into a heap pile of paper porridge-like mess! It was a disaster, but we're glad to get an excuse to rid of them. And you know what? We didn't miss the books at all!
I wish I had the "before" picture to show you how Hubby organized his bookcase of comic books and novels and business and marketing books. Everything was helter skelter and the books have not been touched for so long they collected dust. On the other hand, my book collection has grown out of proportion that it starts invading his bookcase. I am the type who read and reread books. Therefore my book collection moves a lot and don't have time to sit and collect dust. I asked Hubby if I could re-organize his bookcase and in return I can use the extra space. "By all means, " he said. That man of mine practically let me do anything that I want about home arrangement anyway, but still, I always ask.
I believe in a system where everything is sorted and categorized. It makes life so much easier. Instead of arranging all my books on the shelves, I keep each category in separate boxes like this.
You might think I waste space because you see empty slots between boxes. Let me assure you: I am maximizing space. By using boxes like these, I can stack books in double rows instead of one. I am making most of the vertical space. And it's very easy to access. When I look for mystery novels, I know that I just need to pull out the deep blue box, open the lid, and search through that single box. When I love for my Little House collection series, I know that they are all contained in the blue-yellow-green-striped box. It's so much simpler.
Also, it's easy to leave the system looking neat and organized at all times. If you put your books in rows, when you take one or two books, the row immediately looks less organized. You won't have that problem using these boxes. Also, I like the cheerful colors of patterns of the boxes. Not to mention that they are obviously much easier to clean than having to dust all the books. You just need to wipe the box with a damp cloth, and you're done.
This is how the bookcase look now. On top is Hubby's comic collection. I am still decoupaging more boxes to keep them.
Best of all, the boxes are very very affordable and easy to make. Basically they are just cardboard boxes with lids that came when you purchase paper supplies. I got them for free from the office, because they would have just thrown them away to the trash bin anyway.
Just take a look at these two pretty boxes that I decoupaged last week. I basically just covered the plain boxes with pretty wrapping papers. I like organizing things in containers, but I don't like paying a lot of money to buy containers! If you are like me and love containers, I challenge you to be creative and think of new ways to utilize free containers that you might already have around the house: used tins and cans, cardboard boxes, etc. Being organized is not about going to the store, buy the most expensive, pretties basket, then dump all your things in it. It's about creating a system that works for you.
When I first started decoupaging used boxes, I used to cover all the outside and inside of the boxes, the lids, and wrap them again with transparent plastic. Now I know better, busier, and there is a toddler and a grown up man hassling for my constant attention, so I threw the perfectionism out of the window. If I used better quality wrapping paper, I don't need to laminate with plastic. (I still do for certain types of wrapping papers). Also, I no longer care to work on the base and the insides of the boxes, because you cannot see them anyway. I mean, I have a life, a husband, a toddler, a home and a full-time job to take care of. Some things' gotta give, including being perfectionist. In my single years, I wouldn't have let myself got away with such sloppy craft!
See here? The base and the insides of the boxes are still in their original form.
And this is the original, not so attractive box!
Michael is "helping" with the decoupaging project. I finished four boxes last week.
Meanwhile, my book collection is still growing. A side note, I purge often. Every couple of months I either sell some books to used book store, sell them online, donate them, or give them to friends. This one is the newest one to the collection and I cannot wait to start reading!
I'm linking up to these wonderful Ladies: