Saturday 1st November 2014
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Getting it (nominally) together

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The other day at a family gathering, my cousin Kate requested a post on ways to get organized. What is funny about this is that Kate is immaculate, and lives in a spotless duplex with closets (and, I would imagine, drawers and cabinets, but I have never been so forward as to check) that are a stupefying cross between perfectly luxurious and militarily precise. I, on the other hand,  exist on an organizational frequency so far removed from  Kate’s that one would be hard pressed to locate them on the same dial. The notion that I could have something to teach her, or really anyone over the age of 18, is risible. And yet there are a few items that have come through for me. And one I am absolutely dying for: this classic Vitra Uten.Silo unit like we had in my house when I was a kid. I am quite sure I did not understand its genius then—but I can practically bring myself to full swoon just imagining how much order it could create in my universe now.

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There is no perfect solution for storing jewelry: anything truly efficient isn’t particularly attractive, and just tossing things about is a surefire recipe for unmated earrings and dreadlocked chains. A few years back, I found my solution by going all splurgy on a bunch of John Derian trays. Necklaces are placed on the longer, rectangular ones, bracelets, in smaller square ones, and so on. You’ve got to stay on top of things, but it works out nice. And is pretty, pretty.

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Some people are capable of transferring their entire lives on to digital files, but this shall never be the case for me; my world was too intertwined with the printed word for too long. In addition to decades worth of my own clippings, I’ve got a whole mess of old fanzines (remember those?), almost every issue of Sassy there ever was, and every issue of Lucky I ever edited—which comes out to 118, if my calculations are correct. Add to that mix photographs, tax returns, cards, letters and notes of the sort I just can’t bring myself  to part with, and that’s a whole lot of paper just dying to turn itself into a mess. It all gets stored in Bigso Boxes: these are good for smaller bunches of stuff—they’re 11 x 8 and you can get them in this great almost-Hermes orange.

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For the heavier-duty loads, I get these mini-trunks, which you put together yourself—it couldn’t be simpler—and which have handles, something that comes in very handy indeed. I’ve got a bunch of them stacked on top of each other and they look, if not fancy, then at least much fancier than they are.

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Why drive yourself nuts wondering which drawer you put your spatula in when you can just toss it into the sturdy little Le Creuset utensil crock on your counter where it’ll never be out of sight?

 

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Posted on February 6th, 2013 7 Comments

7 Responses

  1. Maggie says:

    You know I have seen that top organizing thingy in several magazines the past few years and it always struck me that nobody ever comments on the fact that it costs FOUR HUNDRED SIXTY FIVE DOLLARS! Spelled out for emphasis. Numerals won’t do. For knickknack containment? Really? I can’t even.

  2. Stakra says:

    Love the John Derian trays and would purchase the Vitro Uten.Silo in a heartbeat if were not for the cost. What I have been dying to ask you for is a post on your 5,10,20?, wardrobe essentials. Any chance we could get you to do a post on the workhorses of your wardrobe? I am sure it has evolved over the years as your life has, and would make for an entertaining (and insightful) read.

  3. Cynthia says:

    After years of trying out different jewelry storage ideas, I’ve been very happy with Bisley cabinets, which come in various sizes and combinations of drawers. You can get all types of insert trays, too, small deeper ones for earrings or large shallow for necklaces…

    The Container Store has them in a bunch of pretty colors.

  4. AmyM says:

    I recently moved and added a counter top utensil holder out of necessity due to lack of drawer space, and it’s a life-changer. So much easier than digging through a cluttered drawer.

  5. pambamboo says:

    I’m a jeweler and it took me forever to find a jewelry storage solution. I wanted jewelry to be separated but also covered to prevent tarnishing. And here is the solution: silver tins with clear lids! Then I cleared a shallow drawer and put those babies in there and presto! I can find my jewelry.

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