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Getting Your Act Together

So, in preparation of the upcoming arrival in three weeks or so of about 82 boxes arriving from the states, I am trying to get my act together. For instance, I need to organize my apartment because well… I never thought I’d be living in our vacation flat full-time and now that we are (until we find a larger place), we have to make due with a one bedroom, 600 square foot space with only one bedroom and no office (we both work from home). Which is fine if we didn’t have all those boxes on their way over. For starters, my dining room cabinet is not organized and this needs to be taken care of asap. This first photo is a lie. It’s a glimpse of how beautiful you think my cabinet is until I zoom out and show you the whole thing. So here is the zoomed in view to make you think my cabinet is so lovely…

Getting organized

And here is the zoomed out version to pound in the reality of it: My cabinet is a disaster.

The joys of settling in...

I mean, just look at this thing? A train wreck. The top, above the fairy lights, is not styled, things just tossed up there because I couldn’t stuff them into the cabinet… train. wreck. The top shelf is acceptable though carelessly arranged. The second shelf, well the right half is OKAY but the left half is scary. Then it just gets worse as you go down. Like, by the time you hit the bottom shelf you know that I just threw stuff in and pushed the doors REALLLLLLY hard to shut them tight enough for them to stay closed. Closing the doors is like trying to put on those jeans that fit you 10 years ago. Not happenin’. If this cabinet could, it would lay on the bed and try to pull those doors shut.

But I’m not embarrassed at all because this is a view of what my authentic self is like sometimes. A sometimes very messy china cabinet person. But it’s also a sort of coming out for me because I really need to organize this cabinet before my boxes arrive.  I promise to show you an after. I plan to work on it very soon. :)

So — what is messy in your home right now that you realllly need to work on cleaning out? Now that Fall is here, what home projects do you have in mind? Maybe we can all keep one another get our act together… :)

(images: holly becker for decor8)

Posted by decor8 in uncategorized on October 01, 2009

Your comments...

  1. Katherine commented
    October 1st, 2009 at 3:44pm

    Oh what a difference cropping can make! I’ve thought about outting myself with my tiny art workspace…I can’t find a thing & have strung it out into the dining room & living room just to have room to “work.” But it’s not working…like you, must get into some Fall organization!

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  2. artshopgirl commented
    October 1st, 2009 at 3:50pm

    I think, this is actually quite a lovely mess))) Seriously! It feels comforting somehow…
    My wardrobe is messy, – i.e. summer & winter outfits mixed together, things that I have to fixed are somewhere in between, – so I have a BIG problem in the morning when I oversleep and have 5 minutes to get myself ready… :)
    .-= artshopgirl´s last blog ..building a dream =-.

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  3. Stella commented
    October 1st, 2009 at 3:52pm

    I love your cabinet! In fact, it looks a bit like the various cupboards and cabinets I have around the house. Bits are very nicely arranged, while others evidently show my need to just throw in some things the last seconds before the guests arrive… My intentions are good, but I can only spend so much time arranging whatever is inside the cabinet… The red&white china you have in the upper left shelf, btw? Love. Big love.

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  4. Nancy commented
    October 1st, 2009 at 3:52pm

    Ah, it may be a mess but it has the potential to be beautiful! What’s messy in my home? Weeeeell, what isn’t? Just kidding… I think the main thing I need to work on is my BOOKS. I seriously need to invest in a proper shelf. There’s only so long book can look good stacked before they turn into a wobbling, bad interpretation of jenga.

    Good luck with your china styling! Looking forward to seeing the finished product :)

    Nancy xx
    .-= Nancy´s last blog ..A book recommendation =-.

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  5. Elissa commented
    October 1st, 2009 at 3:54pm

    everything! just kidding, my craft supply cabinet looks much like the lower half of yours only without the little bit of empty shelf to the right. I need to tackle that, my desk and file cabinet. I just recently got the file cabinet and shoved a bunch of stuff into it because I needed to get it off the floor- guests were coming over. Now, two weeks later, i really need to dive in and figure it all out.
    .-= Elissa´s last blog ..Back from Upstate…again =-.

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  6. C commented
    October 1st, 2009 at 3:54pm

    I wish I had 82 boxes to look forward to! I love opening boxes of stuff, not so good with packing them away for storage, therein lies the problem. My never-ending project would be to update my constantly expanding bookshelves, store those collecting dust for those waiting to be read in the cooler months.
    .-= C´s last blog ..Never stop Loving New York =-.

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  7. julia commented
    October 1st, 2009 at 3:59pm

    I think it is refreshing to see your mess! I have areas of my home like that and I know I’m not the only one. So often you only see perfectly styled homes and real life just isn’t like that.

    Good luck getting organized–you’ll feel great after have it done!

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  8. Victoria Klein commented
    October 1st, 2009 at 4:01pm

    I need to sort and organize the closet in my apartment’s spare bedroom. My mum & I both use it to store random things we don’t use, family heirlooms … etc.

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  9. Jane commented
    October 1st, 2009 at 4:12pm

    That cabinet won’t take long to fix! The 82 boxes is another storey. I need to attend to the cupboards in my daughters room where I store her clothes plus my old ones plus my old toys plus craft and art things plus old diaries plus old things I can’t bear to throw out. I feel a bit ill thinking about it. The solution is lots and lots of nice patterned boxes….
    .-= Jane´s last blog ..Melbourne in a Bento Box =-.

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  10. Sarah commented
    October 1st, 2009 at 4:15pm

    Oh! Holly where to begin!!?? well, the worst area right now is my desk area…a little corner of the living room. It just keeps growing with ‘stuff’ I can’t control…aaahh! I go to school 2 nights a week for interior design so I have fabric bits and pieces, paint chips, books, catalogs etc. Its a nightmare and I have this tiny little cheapo desk – thank goodness I have a laptop! a desktop just will not fit! But I do have a ‘Dwight’ bobblehead from ‘The Office’ TV show which makes me smile…I was just thinking today, ‘I have to clean this up!!!’ because its driving me bonkers.

    Thank you for letting me vent…!

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  11. donkee commented
    October 1st, 2009 at 4:15pm

    Oh wow…listen, that cabinet looks ten times more organized than most things in our apartment.

    Currently, we have 4 mirrors leaning on the foyer wall waiting to be cleaned. They are part of my entryway wall project, but they need a few more mirror friends before they can go on the wall. Actually, I will take the mirror out of one of them and use the frame for another project…

    Kitchen wall…will have 2 empty frames…one will have peapod chalkboard paint, the other dry erase…hopefully this weekend?

    I have to make the cushion for our kitchen banquet…I already have all the materials…have to stop procrastinating…

    Want to paint our dining table. we don’t like it right now, but want to try to salvage it before donating or selling.

    These projects are just off the top of my head. There are plenty more lurking…

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  12. My Owl Barn commented
    October 1st, 2009 at 4:17pm

    I practically live in two countries. I own a house in one and rent in the other. I dread boxes. I have to pack and unpack every 6 months. I wish you good luck with 82 boxes :)
    .-= My Owl Barn´s last blog ..O is for Owl =-.

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  13. Melissa de la Fuente commented
    October 1st, 2009 at 4:26pm

    Oh, so sweet Holly….though, your messy is a lot of folks “together” ;)
    I can’t wait to see how you pull it all together. Yes, I have lots of fall projects in my head and have actually done some of them! ( painted my coffee table, painted a chalkboard cloud in my kitchen, painted my console and started painting my dining room chairs….whew! )
    Then, I would like to make cushions for said chairs, find some mirrors….etc.
    The truth is…I love it so much! Right?
    xo
    Melis
    .-= Melissa de la Fuente´s last blog ..The little things: coppers and creams =-.

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  14. Paola commented
    October 1st, 2009 at 4:35pm

    OH!! my work space, I need organize all.
    I will keep looking for your update and keep mine too!
    .-= Paola´s last blog ..GIVEAWAY, for you! =-.

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  15. Amie commented
    October 1st, 2009 at 4:43pm

    This cabinet still looks lovely despite the mess! Wish I could say that about my foyer. I have working on it for over 2 weeks and still have not finished. But, it’s always soooo rewarding when you finish getting organized. You can step back, admire it, and give yourself a pat on the back , or maybe, another vase of fresh flowers!

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  16. Elle (boltandfrolic) commented
    October 1st, 2009 at 4:58pm

    Thank you for this: “This first photo is a lie. It’s a glimpse of how beautiful you think my cabinet is until I zoom out and show you the whole thing.”

    You think you have a train wreck, huh? I offer compassion, and gratitude that now I don’t feel all alone in my embarrassment over the fact that I have what looks like an indoor yard sale here too and it’s going on in 3 rooms concurrently. No wonder I just want to curl up and take a nap instead : D (Well, to be fair, as soon as the one room is painted, I can populate it with stuff from the office, living room and a few new storage items from IKEA : )

    Mostly, I appreciate the sound idea of giving our authentic selves permission to just be, sans judgement, when the view isn’t so ‘perfect’-looking. May all our projects turn out beautifully!
    .-= Elle (boltandfrolic)´s last blog ..boltandfrolic: SWEET BUNNIES! http://www.nylottery.org/index.php New York Lottery— check out the "Watch Commercials and Media" viewer in the right-hand column! =-.

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  17. Karissa commented
    October 1st, 2009 at 5:13pm

    My entire house is messy right now…… because I just moved! I have boxes everywhere and things half unpacked sprawled out in every room. I hate the unpacking part and would just love to skip right to the decorating part. But unfortunately that is not how it goes. Thanks for making it real and letting me breath of sigh of relief to see someone else in my shoes! :)

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  18. Sarah commented
    October 1st, 2009 at 5:15pm

    Holly, I am about to do what you did, but move the other way, back to New England. Was wondering who you used to move your stuff over as there seem to be a million shipping companies and no idea how to navigate them all……..as for what I need to tidy/work on at the moment..I think that moving my whole life over the Atlantic is enough and don’t know where to start!
    .-= Sarah´s last blog ..THE 28th ANNUAL PERU FAIR =-.

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  19. frauheuberg commented
    October 1st, 2009 at 5:54pm

    Oh … because I do not know where to start … our apartment begin to be too small for us three slowly. I wish I had more space to work … our sideboard in the lounge I had urgently arrange and muck out … you’re right, the autumn is the perfect time to begin …hopefully i find the time for it…go to the fleamarket is a great project to bring the things for sale what you’ve sorted out….we will see…Good intentions are there…:-)

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  20. Sydney commented
    October 1st, 2009 at 6:20pm

    I told my mother about your jeans comment, and we shared a little giggle while trying to imitate the cabinet.

    My gosh, I feel like I have so much mess, in my room, since I still live with my parents for the time being.. it almost feels like your mind is cluttered when you’re living in a cluttered and disorganized space, you know?

    I’m working through it, but my issue in a way is furniture and funds. I have tons of knicknacks, and by the time I have them set out nicely, I then have no room to live! I know for now I need a larger desk, and perhaps a floating shelf above it. That is definite, but since vintage has gotten fashionable again, it’s so hard to find a nice vintage desk that is a reasonable size for my space (not to small or too big). I also need bedside tables, since I only now have a tea tray on top of a stool. Yes, it is quite pretty, but I need the functional aspect of a drawer or a shelf!

    I think that, because I feel disorganized, I feel more entitled to continue on my snobbish ways! Like, it’s a mess, so who cares if I change into my PJs and just leave my clothes in a heap on the floor? I feel so naughty, but not in the good, “Oh, I’m a rebel”, sort of way.

    Once those are done I have some serious painting to do. My room currently has red walls, and fabric instead of wallpaper (Trading Spaces, so many bad ideas)… so it’s a huge undertaking. Getting the fabric down, with a billion nails, having to move everything, and then paint the red over in white (which everyone knows is HARD!)… Oh gosh, and then lampshades.. I need three drum shades!

    I sound like I have a million things to do. I feel like I have a million things to do. So daunting.

    x

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  21. nicoletter commented
    October 1st, 2009 at 6:29pm

    Ha, your cabinet is nothing against my chaotic appartment. Since I’m moving I live in a real disaster and hate it. My livingroom looks like a gigantic toolbox: drill machine, padsaw, cordless screwdriver, screws, nails and so on, everything lie somewhere. And the rest of the appartment doesn’t look better. I haven’t got enough time to arrange the rooms. Beside my freelancing work rarely found time to install things and arrange my appartment. It will take some time.
    .-= nicoletter´s last blog ..Ein Brieftäubchen… a little carrier pigeon… =-.

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  22. Gourmet Candles commented
    October 1st, 2009 at 6:30pm

    We live in a very small house with teen age boys so I get lost pretty easy! I need to have a garage sale this fall and clean out before the Holidays.
    .-= Gourmet Candles´s last blog ..Gourmet Candles Business ~ Debt Free Company =-.

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  23. Emma commented
    October 1st, 2009 at 6:39pm

    Thank you thank you thank you Holly, for posting something so ‘shameful’ as a messy china cabinet. I agree, it shows the true you – now hopefully I won’t feel so pressured to post photos of my messy life, and it’s so true that once you’ve exposed yourself it will motivate you to do something about it! At the moment I REALLY need to delve into the unknowns of boxes under the bed in the spare bedroom and the spare bedroom wardrobe which hides a multitude of sins…
    .-= Emma´s last blog ..{ Have you noticed? } =-.

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  24. belinda commented
    October 1st, 2009 at 7:35pm

    oh holly i’m so glad you posted this because I was going to email you today and tell you that i’m finally mailing you those real living issues today because I only just (and I am so embarassed to admit this) have cleared away the crap in front of my bookshelf where they were stored. and by crap i mean heavy furniture and boxes and appliances that have been there for the past couple of months while we were renovating again. i’ve been living in a quarter of the space of my bedroom and so now that i’ve finally cleared it all away, i found the issues and am off to the post office this afternoon. huge apologies for the delay – hopefully they’ll be worth the wait!
    and i’m so thankful you also have a little mess in your life! even if it is only occasionally! xxxx
    .-= belinda´s last blog ..style spy: my place on flossie =-.

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  25. Sandy commented
    October 1st, 2009 at 8:02pm

    My office, home office, it has school work of mine and my kids, craft supplies, pictures that need to be scrap booked, household bills and paperwork, home business stuff and for some reason an alarming number of my childrens toys have made it through my lovely french doors and into this room as well. *sigh* I’ll get it straightened out one day. ;)

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  26. Petergaye S. Kisielewicz commented
    October 1st, 2009 at 8:08pm

    I love your cab…. your space looks a lot more organized than my office.
    .-= Petergaye S. Kisielewicz´s last blog ..Trip to Jamaica =-.

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  27. Rachel commented
    October 1st, 2009 at 8:11pm

    Hi Holly,

    I can totally relate to this. Our closet is a nightmare too! I need to catch up to our laundry and need to have tons of clothes ironed out so they can be neatly stored in the closet. If you’re asking what’s messy in our house right now, pretty much every room is. But we are moving to another apartment some time this month so things need to be packed and unpacked again. I’m trying to advance on my work so I can have spend time with the chores by the next few weeks. I am still so envious of those lovely work spaces i see. And I want a home with a happy wall. I’m not really a neat freak but I want things to be clean and organized as well. I’m looking forward to seeing the changes in your home:)
    .-= Rachel´s last blog ..Sale Goodies for Moms and Kids =-.

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  28. Bianca commented
    October 1st, 2009 at 8:23pm

    Hey, long time lurker here, but I’ve been reading your site forever! Anyway, this post just inspired me to go pull out all those boxes and bins where I’ve been throwing stuff for the past year (my equivalent of a junk drawer.. only, I have at least 6 of them.) They look tidy on the outside, but I honestly have no clue what’s in them anymore. So thanks for the motivation – doing it now! :-)

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  29. Christina commented
    October 1st, 2009 at 8:55pm

    It itsn’t that bad, really… like you said yourself, the top two shelfs aren’t all that horrible… the middle one… ehh… the bottom two noone will see when the door is closed anyhow.
    You could always try and add some nice pretty paper or fabric or such onto the inside of those doors to hide the middle shelf…. and yes, that is exactly how I solved my glass cabinet dilemma before last years xmas guests arrived… and the paper is still on the doors… and another xmas is on the way… *glances over at the cabinet*

    Btw, I really enjoy reading your blogs. Gotta love Germany. I miss it.

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  30. B commented
    October 1st, 2009 at 9:16pm

    Holly – Thanks for reminding your readers that you’re human just like us. ;) I have a spare room, which should be my master bedroom but I’d rather use it for craftiness and such. And I try to organize it..mmm…quarterly. And it looks fantastic for about two weeks, and then it becomes a giant closet again for things I don’t know where to put.

    So yeah–organization must happen! I’ve lived in my place for three years, so I don’t quite have the excuse of, oh moving to another country. :)
    .-= B´s last blog ..Playing Around with Textures =-.

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  31. Gretchen commented
    October 1st, 2009 at 9:42pm

    Your post reminded me of that episode of Friends where Monica’s secret messy closet is revealed!

    I really appreciate your post- not just for your honest look behind the cupboard doors, but also because you reminded me how important having a deadline can be to motivate a cleaning session!

    My apartment contains a bunch of little messy areas- nothing too bad, but little piles of stuff I don’t know what to do with. My boyfriend and I both were raised in messy/cluttered homes, and in a weird way, a little clutter is comforting! However, we each want to have an organized home, so we get rid of stuff little by little.
    .-= Gretchen´s last blog ..Vampire Weekend =-.

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  32. Carmen (Country Mouse) commented
    October 1st, 2009 at 10:39pm

    I really, really need to organize my sewing studio. Again. It just seems to somehow get totally out of control when I’m so busy sewing up things for the shop. Then my wonderful daughter comes and ms organization gets it all nice and neat again. She’s coming tomorrow! Hurrah!

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  33. Marianne commented
    October 2nd, 2009 at 12:28am

    Crop till you drop! That is what you see on my blog. Not to just to keep people from seeing my clutter, but also for privacy reasons!
    I am glad you are only human too LOL
    At the moment we are emptying out the attic. We’ve already drove to the dump several times and it already looks much better.
    Have a nice weekend!
    .-= Marianne´s last blog ..Lonny Magazine =-.

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  34. Cinnamongirl commented
    October 2nd, 2009 at 12:35am

    I hate my television area at the moment, it just doesn’t look quite right! >_<
    Can television area look nice?
    I'm planning to change some furniture and to buy a bigger wardarobe too…
    .-= Cinnamongirl´s last blog ..Oops I Flickr again. =-.

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  35. Shandos commented
    October 2nd, 2009 at 12:53am

    Boxes, boxes, boxes… My fiancé and myself went travelling around Australia for four months, and stored all of our boxes (somehow) at my parent’s house, mainly in my old bedroom. (Although, we couldn’t use the wardrobe at all as my sister who still lives at home had already used that for her stuff…) So, we’re now back home, but my fiancé is going over to NZ until Christmas for study, and I’m staying at my parents house until he returns and we know where he’ll be working and can rent a new place. So, for now it’s me and a huge number of boxes all in one room, and it is impossible for it to be tidy, let alone styled! Meanwhile, I’m “rationalising” some belongings using eBay.

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  36. Manuela commented
    October 2nd, 2009 at 1:27am

    how funny! My partner and I moves to our apartment in april and there is always so much to do! Our studio is a sort of storage room! But i have to say that when we come here there isn’t anything: we sleeped on the floor on a mattress like in a film… and now we have a bedroom, a kitchen and go on… day by day we put something right!
    .-= Manuela´s last blog ..Ariel =-.

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  37. Van commented
    October 2nd, 2009 at 1:27am

    My closet is a mess and every single drawer is mess. There’s a lot to do… I love it clean and proper, but there’s no way to manage it =)

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  38. mijk commented
    October 2nd, 2009 at 1:38am

    I need closets in our new bedroom I need to check out the staircupbourds My livingroom cupboards are a mess and I need to get all summerstuff out of the wardrobes and rearrange all my shelving in the livingroom!
    .-= mijk´s last blog ..Recharching with cookies =-.

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  39. Heather commented
    October 2nd, 2009 at 1:47am

    My kitchen cupboards are a nightmare. I’ve just been asked to make cookies on air for a segment on the news at Christmas, and though all appears fine and organized on the outside, one open door will shatter that illusion. So, the kitchen is going through some serious sorting and editing. Inside and out!
    .-= Heather´s last blog ..Stiff Competition.. =-.

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  40. ivy style33 commented
    October 2nd, 2009 at 1:47am

    Holly, I like your cabinet a lot and find many beautiful things on your shelves. I l o v e the red and white china and those patterned German books are great! I got inspired to maybe bring a few old English books from my father’s collection that he keeps in his language institute. I ‘ll be visiting them at the end of next week, for 10 days.
    So, to go back to your cabinet, I think only the lower shelves need some organising and sorting out. It ‘ll look even greater at the end, am sure!
    As for me, I ‘m rather order obsessed, which means that not very often are things messy. Actually, I need to loosen up a bit. Still, a part of my closet and the cellar could both use a good sorting out, organising and rearrangement.
    Btw, happy Autumn to you, too and all the best for many lovely years in Germany. And success with learning the language ( probably at a Volkhochshule?)
    .-= ivy style33´s last blog ..What are you reading? =-.

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  41. Katherine commented
    October 2nd, 2009 at 2:03am

    That’s not such a bad mess! Our whole flat needs a good sorting out, I’ve been ill and then cut myself badly this weekend, whilst it’s nice to be excused from chores I really want to get cleaning, oh dear!

    I think the fairy lights are lovely.
    .-= Katherine´s last blog ..Me vs a Magimix blade =-.

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  42. Maaret commented
    October 2nd, 2009 at 3:37am

    My cabinet holding my craft supplies bursts at the seams. It’s inside looks similar to the lower shelfes of your cabinet. :)
    BTW: I really liked your new white dresser and the beautiful carpet in your bedroom. Such great finds!
    .-= Maaret´s last blog ..Rom 123: black and white + a splash of color =-.

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  43. Jacqueline commented
    October 2nd, 2009 at 3:55am

    Silly as it may sound i adore your cabinet and its really not such a big mess. I feel really bad now that i look around my creative little space. lol I really like that paper doll with the bear…so adorable! I am currently trying to organize my little space and making it look pretty. :) Have a lovely merry happy day and love to you!
    .-= Jacqueline´s last blog ..1 is a magic number =-.

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  44. a pretty trip commented
    October 2nd, 2009 at 5:07am

    Holly, I love your cabinet and all your little goodies in it. I love re-organising cupboards and draws, I’m a bit odd like that. I’m not always tidy with everything, but every now and then I put aside 30mins to refold or reorganise a shelf or draw. I love it! It’s how I relax.
    .-= a pretty trip´s last blog ..A weekend full of possibilities =-.

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  45. Jane D commented
    October 2nd, 2009 at 5:47am

    Oh, I completely feel your pain. We moved to the UK last year, and had the same: 3-month with no boxes, then HOLY CARP!! what do I do with all of this stuff in a 600 sq ft flat? We just moved again (to a larger house, thankfully), but several of the rooms still look like they vomited on themselves.

    One of the ways I’ve found to get and stay organised in a small space is Storage within Storage. Even in my “storage furniture”, e.g. wardrobes and cabinets, the shelves contain baskets or boxes of items. That seems to help a lot with the Pile Syndrome….

    That said, I have a million things on my wish list, so whilst you’re unpacking, I promise to paint my kitchen, sew cushions for my chairs, make curtains, etc…..

    Good luck!!

    Jane

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  46. Iva commented
    October 2nd, 2009 at 5:53am

    This is such a fun post because as soon as I saw the first photo I told myself “see, other people don’t have messy cabinets as you do!” :)
    My home is such a disaster right now. I live in the smallest apartment ever and I stared remodeling it and I am just half way through. I have painted the walls in my bedroom but cannot find time to finish the kitchen, I have a new fitted wardrobe installed (without doors yet) and a lot of stuff lying around!
    What I have planned to do is finish painting, make a new headboard, get the cheapest sofa there is, install my new kitchen curtain and I think that’s it :)

    have a great weekend!
    .-= Iva´s last blog ..Happy Friday! =-.

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  47. Katy Cowan commented
    October 2nd, 2009 at 6:06am

    I actually love what you’ve done there. It’s just my taste. Fancy coming over to the UK and helping me out with my home??
    .-= Katy Cowan´s last blog ..Illustrator & Designer Toby Triumph =-.

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  48. juliette commented
    October 2nd, 2009 at 6:46am

    oh gosh, my office! I need to hang the shelves and get the stacks of stuff off the floor and organized!

    I also need to deal with this one wall in our living room that KILLS both of us. I just blogged about that and all it’s shame. ugh. The list is seemingly eternal – I ´have to think of that movie, What About Bob? — Baby steps Bob, baby steps!
    .-= juliette´s last blog ..Something’s up: threads and pom poms =-.

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  49. Chantal commented
    October 2nd, 2009 at 7:55am

    Holly, your “mess” looks divine to me. It looks organized (in it’s own pile) and clean to me. There is a tendency in our household to shove anything and everything in every single nook and cranny until it bursts. We have so many projects we’d love to get done around our home but just can’t seem to find the time with a 4 year old around. To be honest, I jump in and play with my kid rather than organizing my stuff. For now. Life’s too short to worry if my house looks amazing. But you know, when I see your pics on your blog, I so want to hire someone to style my house for me! Thx for all the inspirations H. Once I stop playing Barbie etc with my kid, I’ll be ready to tackle on my own projects! That should be in, oh, 14 more years. haha!

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  50. Kathleen commented
    October 2nd, 2009 at 8:24am

    First, it doesn’t look as bad as you are making it out to be. :) Second, you could buy some pretty paper or fabric to cover the glass part of the doors and keep those shelves from being seen at all! I’m sure with such limited space it would be nice to have a place to hide some things.
    .-= Kathleen´s last blog ..la ciudad oculta =-.

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  51. Kate commented
    October 2nd, 2009 at 8:25am

    It’s odd but I’d love to spend half a day organising that cabinet. I seriously love organising other people’s things. My sister paid me for several years to tidy her room when we were teenagers!

    My own things are more difficult to keep sorted however…right now we have four wardrobes. Two at the old house with bits and pieces in, two in the rental flat while we wait to move. One of these is almost tidy but lets be honest, it’s not full of my clothes. My wardrobe is bursting at the seams. I’ve given up on shutting the door as even when it shuts the cat decides to open it and make a nest for herself (usually on a black jumper) often spilling other contents out behind her. It has lovely little ikea drawer organisy segments which I used religiously for all of three days. It is now chaos and I wear whichever clothes the cat is not sitting on that are near the top of the heap.

    One day it will be beautiful and colour coded…one day…
    .-= Kate´s last blog ..Image of the day =-.

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  52. Sophie @ Century Finds commented
    October 2nd, 2009 at 8:36am

    It’s only a teeny bit messy and it’s packed with some gorgeous things!
    I am having trouble imagining all those boxes in a 1 bedroom apartment. I hope you have storage space somewhere!

    Everybody comments on how clean and tidy my house is. But I have a shameful secret: as work has piled up over the last few months I have taken to picking up any mess and shoving it into the nearest available closet.

    My parents are coming to visit soon and I am hoping my mother will help me do a major clean-out. I imagine it as a girly bonding exercise – I just hope she sees it the same way! :-)
    .-= Sophie @ Century Finds´s last blog ..Teeny Tiny Giveaway 2 – Montreal and Mexico Maps =-.

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  53. Karalee commented
    October 2nd, 2009 at 8:40am

    so many things, where do i start. the desktop in my office that i keep piling masses of paper on. i’m a little frightened to start peeling through them. and the hideous excuse for a basement seriously needs some love.

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  54. Nina commented
    October 2nd, 2009 at 9:16am

    It’s so cool how organized everything is behind the glass part of the cabinet and how disorganized everything down below. But it’s not that bad.

    I have a catch all drawer which helps! I just stick everything in when I find that they seem to not belong anywhere.

    We just moved to a 7 bedroom house (4 bedrooms,2 office and music room) and I clean and organize everything alone! My husband and kids just pretty much, watch me. It’s fun though. I just hope I finish it in this lifetime.
    .-= Nina´s last blog ..Monkey party =-.

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  55. Nina commented
    October 2nd, 2009 at 9:22am

    Where do I get those ‘fairy lights’. They make a space look so ‘magical’! Please, please tell me…Thanks.
    .-= Nina´s last blog ..Monkey party =-.

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  56. Wendy commented
    October 2nd, 2009 at 9:41am

    My closet, it sounds cliche but so true. We moved into a new play on Sept 1 and I had wonderful support from family and they just opened boxes and hung our stuff in the closet with no rhyme or reason and put all our sweaters in the closet. It is a good sized closet but in disarray since I didn’t have the time to fix it the way I liked it, because (1) I could find clothes for work (2) there were more pressing issues like getting curtains up and painting (not necessarily in that order) so that I could unpack more boxes. But now fall is really here and I need to find my warmer weather clothes.

    Next is my craft stuff because well I haven’t had time to unpack and organize the craft stuff, see above :) And then the basement and workshop but I am not sure which will come first the craft stuff or the workshop it is a tough call but I have all fall and winter to deal with it.

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  57. Monica commented
    October 2nd, 2009 at 10:03am

    I love the antique books that we see in the cropped shot. What books are they?

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  58. Marit commented
    October 2nd, 2009 at 10:17am

    The cabinet is so lovely, it even makes your “mess” look good. My list of projects for organization: storage closet, coat closet and bathroom cabinets. It looks like it will be a rainy weekend, so perhaps I can cross a few things off my list.

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  59. Christia commented
    October 2nd, 2009 at 10:21am

    Thank you for your honesty! I know it can be hard “revealing” the (albeit fleeting) disorganization sometimes- and luckily for me, mine hides behind a door that closes and only opens to me- not guests! My project is my closet-turned-desk/work space, which also contains the sad remnants of unpacked boxes after I moved that I still don’t have a home for. I actually turn to blogs such as yours for inspiration as to how to help tidy up that space and where to put the items that have yet to be placed – and I’ve gotten some great ideas- but it’s also even GREATER (is that a proper word?!) to see that you also have some untidy corners and projects that are “in progress.” This gives me even more hope that I will be able to get it together because I know you certainly will!
    .-= Christia´s last blog ..Egg Carton Gift Wrapping =-.

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  60. Katja commented
    October 2nd, 2009 at 10:22am

    Messy or not, the cabinet is super cute! I just wrote about the same thing on my blog today, I really feel like I need to get everything organized this fall. Living in a small home can get a bit chaotic and stressful if you aren’t organized! We have been living here since February but we still have some boxes in the storage room that we just carried in from our previous home’s storage room and had great intentions of going through them all after we were done with the renovations and settled in. Even though worst of the renovation is behind us there’s still so many projects that keep us busy and I guess we just forgot those boxes… :)
    .-= Katja´s last blog ..Syksy =-.

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  61. Cathie commented
    October 2nd, 2009 at 10:42am

    I know how you feel! I just moved apts in the city so everything is in disarray. It’s a much bigger apt so that’s a plus, but now the hard part is organizing everything :P
    .-= Cathie´s last blog ..Yumiko Matsui at Royale Cafe =-.

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  62. Lovely Sunflower commented
    October 2nd, 2009 at 10:49am

    Oh, wasn’t that the cabinet you were going to wallpaper?
    To be very honest, it’s nice to see a bit of the down-to-earth, non-organized Holly although I love your perfectly styled shots.

    My entire flat looks just like that cabinet right now which means I REALLY need to get up and do the laundry, unpack etc. I tend to get a bit chaotic before the holidays (two weeks from today on, yohoo!!!)
    .-= Lovely Sunflower´s last blog ..HomeGoods StyleScope – I’m a Bohemian Casual =-.

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  63. Victoria Bennett Beyer commented
    October 2nd, 2009 at 11:09am

    This post made me laugh :) Not at you, mind you, with you. I have been in my home a year at the end of this month and I am still not completely unpacked. I have lots of moments like that, where if you just look at some tiny area, my home looks great :) But if you account for all the shelves not hung and all the decorative things that are still in boxes…well….sigh. I’ve got a million excuses – I was gone all summer, I had tons of yardwork in my new yard – but I am so ready to have the inside of my house to be done. I will be working hard this winter to get it where I want it to be. Don’t be so hard on yourself. You’ve just moved!
    .-= Victoria Bennett Beyer´s last blog ..Rust-colored Iris =-.

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  64. Jules commented
    October 2nd, 2009 at 11:21am

    If this cabinet could, it would lay on the bed and try to pull those doors shut.

    That made me laugh out loud, which is saying something with the sinus infection I have had all week.

    Gosh, I guess my linen cabinet is bad, but really everything needs to be redone! There are areas of my house that aren’t a mess, but they aren’t styled and haven’t been given proper attention so it’s just as bad as having a mess–does that make sense?

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  65. lealou commented
    October 2nd, 2009 at 11:46am

    We’re on the verge of finishing a few major house renos… today is rad hook-up and closet door day :) But I’ve been chomping at the bit to get my sewing room done! This weekend I will get shelves after which I hope I will get my act together and get the rest of the room done! On another note, our new dresser is in livingroom because we can’t get it up the narrow stairs *sigh*
    .-= lealou´s last blog ..Grey Peony Clutch =-.

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  66. Cheryl commented
    October 2nd, 2009 at 1:09pm

    Photos galore! Major project ahead. After our move in January, I organized memory boxes for all three grown children. Their ‘stuff’ was all over the place, in several boxes, etc. Go me! Then, I took apart every photo album we owned, took photos out of frames, organized those into groups. yea . . . But now I have tons of scanning to do of these older photos and am currently organizing photos in Photoshop with the goal of creating a book via BookSmart, an online group that allows me to create a real book of photos with text. I’d like to give each child his/her own Family Book and not boxes of pictures that may or may not get sorted. would like to create an art-piece. That is a HUGE task! I would much rather organize the pantry!

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  67. Another Kristin commented
    October 2nd, 2009 at 1:52pm

    Holly, you are awesome for pulling back the curtain on your Wizard of Design-like self! It is good to see that your great results come not just from your amazing eye for styling, but also from you really applying yourself.

    The “waterfall” effect had me laughing–so together at the top, so any-which-way at the bottom.

    Thanks for letting us have a peek! Love your sites.

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  68. CopyStrands commented
    October 2nd, 2009 at 2:56pm

    Wow! I can so relate to your situation. We may be moving into our second property too which is much smaller than our spacious home. From 2040 SF to 705 SF. We are currently selling furniture and downsizing to get ready for a potential move. Oddly enough there is something nice about living simply. P.S. my husband and I both work from home too :) Talk about close quarters if we move!
    .-= CopyStrands´s last blog ..Friday Links: Pumpkin Wreath, Card Swap, Photo Video, Lonny Magazine and More =-.

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  69. Tea Party Crasher commented
    October 2nd, 2009 at 3:27pm

    I can definitely relate to this post! I have some bookshelves that look a lot like your dining room cabinet — not to mention my nightstand, a few boxes under the bed and every single closet in my apartment! We shoved things wherever we could when we first moved in and concentrated on decorating the space, but now that the decor has been taken care of, it’s so hard to motivate myself to organize the hidden messy spots. Good luck getting organized before all your boxes arrive!

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  70. Travelingmama commented
    October 2nd, 2009 at 6:18pm

    The response you got on this is just amazing! It just goes to show that once again, your honestly speaks to people! I LOVE both views- this pretty sums up my house right now. With three kids and my husband and I working from home… well, it is not always photo ready! I have been needing to buy furniture for a while, but I hate to stuck with something that might not work in the next house. I am so ready to not be in limbo anymore! Hopefully you guys can find your new place soon and be able to truly settle!
    .-= Travelingmama´s last blog ..Landon turns {one} =-.

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  71. Shell commented
    October 2nd, 2009 at 6:24pm

    I applaud you for being real with the way your life is. i need to do something with my shoes. I know your going to cringe but I have them carelessly thrown about in my closet. I need to have them organized. So that will be my autumn project along with finishing tiling my bedroom floor and painting my kitchen.
    .-= Shell´s last blog ..Magical Movies: The Enchanted Cottage =-.

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  72. Amanda commented
    October 2nd, 2009 at 8:20pm

    Oh Holly, honey, I completely understand! I suspect many if not all of your readers do too. Having just moved cross country, my temporary digs are a disaster area too, though not forever. Thanks for sharing your temporary disorder, it is reassuring to see and always interesting to see inside one another’s home. Good luck with tidying and making room for all of your boxes.
    .-= Amanda´s last blog ..In Life… =-.

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  73. Marilyn from Ohio commented
    October 2nd, 2009 at 9:08pm

    Holly,
    I raced to my daughter’s bedroom to show you what a dumping ground it had become! Will send you a photo in email to make you feel better!
    Marilyn in Ohio
    .-= Marilyn from Ohio´s last blog ..Lacking direction =-.

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  74. Marilyn from Ohio commented
    October 2nd, 2009 at 9:33pm

    OK…So to make Holly feel even better, I have posted a photo of our spare bedroom on my blog for all to see!
    Marilyn
    .-= Marilyn from Ohio´s last blog .."Holy Crap, She’s Up!" the Devil =-.

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  75. Jenn commented
    October 3rd, 2009 at 3:50am

    I love your honesty and can completely relate. My children’s craft closet is a joke — among bins of paint, dried up bottles of Elmer’s glue, and empty egg cartons, one will find random household objects like vacuum bags, lint rollers, and feather dusters. My dresser drawers are also a deep, dark secret.
    .-= Jenn´s last blog ..Jaunt to Long Beach =-.

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  76. jja commented
    October 3rd, 2009 at 7:24am

    My home office desk, and not just now, most of the time :-((. And part of the home office in generally. But our living room and bedroom are all the time very very tidy. So i have my secret and usually just close the door when guests come.

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  77. Celia commented
    October 3rd, 2009 at 7:56pm

    That’s not so bad. Really.

    When I moved into my Montreal apartment, back when I was single, it took me 2 years to unpack all the boxes…AND I HAD THE FLOOR SPACE TOO. Problem was – no storage whatsoever. So off I went to Ikea and bought so many Billy bookcases. However, it still took me 2 yrs to unpack still 8-). It’s called procrastination. GUILTY!

    Now, the entire basement of our house is all mine and it is “relatively” organized, meaning, I know where everything is. It’s my organized mess. Good thing there’s a door ;-)

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  78. Katrina commented
    October 4th, 2009 at 10:53am

    I LOVE this post. Look at all these comments! They’re great. It’s wonderful to see everyone get together with a collective sigh saying “I’m human too!!”

    For me, my bathroom storage desperately needs some re-organization. Some of my artist supplies have been trying to find a ‘place’ for years. I have the same problem as some of you have already mentioned – using the kitchen table as a constant workspace. My dreams are filled with visions of the artist studio/craft room I will have to have someday!

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  79. pixie commented
    October 4th, 2009 at 12:59pm

    I have a TINY studio (200sq ft) with only 1 closet and 3 small cabinets in the kitchen. If you open 1 of those, every pot and pan that I have will tumble out in a loud crash. I’ve tried to stack them nice and neat, since this would allow me to fit more in there AND close the door, but it never works out. I use them, cleam them and then toss them back inside without putting them in any order. It’s a mess!
    .-= pixie´s last blog ..Tigers vs Dawgs – Tigers Win! =-.

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  80. maria1975@msn.com commented
    October 4th, 2009 at 4:57pm

    Gosh, I hate to think about it, but my closets are in need of a major overhaul. If you saw photos of them, you’d feel better about your cabinet :)

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  81. Hilary commented
    October 4th, 2009 at 8:17pm

    Well, I just a did a post last week called getting organize…my art studio/ messy, dusty garage.

    It is the epitome of DIY with found objects for shelves. I had fun taking pics of the cleaning process and making a little video.
    http://www.pinkpianos.com/2009/09/23/studio-rehab-getting-organized/

    Best of luck with the 82 boxes, Holly!
    .-= Hilary´s last blog ..A Touch of Color =-.

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  82. Megan commented
    October 5th, 2009 at 12:20pm

    My entire office looks like the bottom shelf of your cabinet. I hate it! I walk in everday to the computer to get things done and walk out while tripping over things. We moved 6 months ago and it has become the “dumping grounds” for everything. It is my fall project. I do have a 7 month old so is that an excuse? I think not.

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  83. Sweet Life Paper commented
    October 5th, 2009 at 12:56pm

    Wow I can relate! I think everyone has a scary closet! I know I do. Mine is my supply/craft closet. I try to keep it organized, but after a while it just gets messy again. It is nice to have a closet with doors so you can hide your mess like I do. =)

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  84. peggy commented
    October 5th, 2009 at 3:46pm

    Hi Holly! I think the top couple of shelves look very nice! Remember your post recently about styling? I think you’ve got it. It’s supposed to look carefree and not contrived.

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  85. Penny Patten commented
    October 7th, 2009 at 1:05pm

    Well it’s really not that bad, just a little organizing will fix. I just worked to straighten up my art room. It was cramped, well still is, but organized again! I also live in a small house, but right now I’d say we have more to do out side to get ready for winter. We still haven’t picked up all of the “Garden Kid’s”, as I refer to them-and we have to winterize the chicken coop!
    .-= Penny Patten´s last blog ..Aprons and Bags =-.

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