Moving to a new apartment, especially when you're combining households for the first time, is a great opportunity and motivation to tidy! Emily and Scott are both fairly minimalist in every way but one: books! They had a lot, and only one bookshelf. The bookshelf was overflowing and looked as uncomfortable as if it had eaten too much for Thanksgiving! (Like that fall flavored analogy?! It's the second day of Fall!)
Go through everything as a couple
It's not totally necessary, but when partners tidy together successfully, they share a sense of accomplishment and get to see firsthand the sacrifices that they make for one another. This is one of the times that having a tidy coach like us (!) can make a big difference, because it keeps everyone on track and on their best behavior :)
To answer his question, yes, people buy books. But they don't pay a great deal for used books, so it's up to you whether you want to spend your time and energy trying to sell them. My recommendation, short of having collectibles or signed copies, is to put the books in the apartment lobby with a "Free Books" sign. Then take the remainders to a donation spot. This will save you having to lug ALL of the books.
Tips for Discarding Books
Here are a few easy discards:
Consider Each Shelf a Display Case
As their tidy coach, I reconstructed the newly decluttered bookshelf with display in mind. I separated their collections so each shelf is now grouped by category of book: Scott's books are on one shelf with his memorabilia, and since Emily had more books, I grouped them by topic. Political books, plays, and biographies are grouped accordingly. I also left breathing room on each shelf for memorabilia and photos.
Use Books as Bookends
To create variety and more easily separate topics, I used stacked books as bookends. This can also be done as a temporary measure until you have bookends you like, so there is no need to buy something as a quick fix.
Remove Dust Covers When Possible
When Emily saw her Renoir book displayed, she said:
"Oh! Did we have another Renoir book?"
Nope, I just removed the dust jacket!
"That book has been under there the whole time?!"
Often books have a beautiful hardcover. See what you think! The only book I have ever regretted removing the dustcover was a white, cloth art book. That book DOES collect dust. But most books are fine without the cover and are much more attractive.
This kind of stand-up display is a good solution for lightweight books that are wider than the bookshelf.
In the end, there was plenty of room for the books AND memorabilia AND space to grow their collection. A win all around!
Tell us about your books!
Are books your particular bugaboo? Do they feel like old friends or finger-wagging teachers? Which are the ones that are most difficult to part with?
Comment below on our open comment section, or talk to us on our Facebook page, or on Instagram (tag @TidyFairyLA)!
Stars are just like us! They too need decluttering! ;)
You may know Sean as Kirk on the popular television series Gilmore Girls, or from the recent Marvel blockbusters Guardians of the Galaxy Parts 1 and 2! Sean has an adorable craftsman style house in Los Angeles, but one of its bugaboos is clothing storage! He has a walk in closet, but it was being used for other things. His built in wardrobe had gotten a little out of hand, so he called us in to help him declutter and spruce up the sitch.
Sean was totally game for our special brand of decluttering, which involves taking out EVERY. SINGLE. BIT. and going through it! This part ended up being really fun with Sean, because he has seriously awesome stuff. Vintage jackets and shirts and hilarious tees, as well as a stylish shoe collection. It was tough to decide what to keep!
After decluttering 5 garbage bags full of clothing, shoes, and miscellaneous, Sean's wardrobe and dresser drawers were ready to go! The decluttering process also included a wardrobe of outerwear in the living room, which turned up space for shoes that were not worn as often. As always, decluttering in general turns up space we didn't expect!
Now Sean has a closet he can be excited to use!
Pro tip: Folding items vertically meant there was more room inside the drawers!
If you love Sean and want to see more of him, follow him on Instagram @thejudgegunn
Do you have a built in closet? Do you find it tough to keep decluttered? Let us know about your decluttering bugaboos on Instagram @tidyfairyla or follow our page on Facebook for scintillating conversation on tidying ;)
That's all she wrote!
Those who know me even marginally well (and plenty of strangers!) know that I have two cats whose welfare is never far from my mind. One of them is perfect, the other is spoiled rotten, but both of them are my angels and I'm always looking for ways to enrich their lives. As indoor only cats, they got a major upgrade when last year I moved into an apartment with a balcony I could enclose!
My goal was also to make it a space that I would be excited to use. Previous to enclosing it, I had to close the door against them in order to use the balcony. This made me feel like 1) I was not home and 2) I was not relaxed. They cried at the door constantly, and the space felt small and lonely. I ended up just filling it with stuff, never improving it, and never using it. Now that it is enclosed, I can leave the door open during the day and it has become an extension of my apartment! This is a huge win for a small space in the city!
There are a lot of designs on the internet for cat enclosures, but none that I really felt like sitting in. They all looked like cages! In designing this catio I took inspiration from aviaries, train station depots, Parisian balconies and just plain pretty, magical spaces. Below is a video walk through and also a more in-depth discussion of how it's put together. Anything like this takes a lot of imagination working with the space you have, and even more patience, but surprisingly little carpentry skill. I hope you enjoy seeing it!
The final space has a chair for me and a basket and floor scratcher for them! They also love just sitting on the rug. All the plants are non-toxic.
Watch a tour!
How. How? How!
I built most of the catio using two framed lattices, green garden wire, UV resistant cable ties, and various hardware for attaching everything to supports. There are also two support wires at the top along either side made of galvanized wire and turnbuckles that form the foundation for the little roof.
First, I bought two pre-framed lattices from Home Depot. Since they were too wide to put end to end, I allowed them to overlap a little in the middle. I attached them to the existing wooden fence. I made up for the gap behind the second one with a matching 1x1 piece of redwood that I had them cut to the right height. I used the extra piece from that post to attach to the original green post across from it that was not quite tall enough. They're not even but they're close enough. I bought cute little toppers to screw into the tops of both posts!
To build the walls, I stretched the green garden wire around the whole thing. I attached it to the black security rail with black cable ties, and to the wood post and the lattice with screw hooks, and then used cable ties to secure the wire to the screw hooks. In the places where I needed the cable ties to attach to the side of the house, I used little pieces of plastic hardware that are made for doing that with cable ties. I didn't know these things existed! This means cable ties can do ANYTHING.
To attach the curved top of the catio, I first strung two thin pieces of galvanized wire between two turn buckles on either side to act as the foundation. On the side with the lattice, the turnbuckles are attached to screw hooks to the lattice itself. On the side with the post, I attached one turnbuckle to the post, and one turnbuckle to the apartment wall.
Finally I attached the garden wire from wire to wire using cable ties. The garden wire comes in a roll, so it already has a curve to it. First, I attached it thinking that was going to be enough, but then I realized it would need to be reinforced. I got thin pieces of white vinyl (I think they're for flooring? not sure) and pushed them into place and attached them with cable ties also.
That's pretty much it! The shade pieces I made also. The larger one is nicer and I made it by stapling a piece of canvas drop cloth to a matching piece of redwood and screwing it into the lattice on one side. On the other side I used a cable tie to gather it and another cable tie to attach it to the support wire.
The smaller one I used a piece of linen and used cable ties to attach both ends to the support wires. That piece is mostly to shade a certain set of plants and I'll probably take it down in the winter.
That's all she wrote!
Today's post is the very first of our "House Hacks" videos, where we demonstrate little ways to make your house tidier that don't take much time!
This technique is the VERY FIRST thing I did on my tidying journey, after reading Marie Kondo's "The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up." While I am not quite as precise as she is with the folding, inserting clothes into the drawers vertically has CHANGED MY LIFE. (She isn't kidding around with that title.) I like to call them my "serial killer" drawers because anyone who doesn't know the method would think I spent hours perfecting them. These drawers look beautiful and stay neat from laundry day to laundry day!
Have you tried this method? How did it go? Leave a comment here on the blog or on our Facebook page at TidyFairy!
Home stretch! This is the last week of our "6 Bags in 6 Weeks" Spring Cleaning Challenge! If you missed the other posts, check them out for tips on decluttering Clothing, Books, Kitchen, Toiletries, and Paper + Miscellaneous!
Below is a sentimental items checklist and my vlog, so you can see all my very own sentimental items as we talk about the categories!
Here is a handy-dandy checklist for your decluttering mission!
Who doesn't love a printable? Here's a PDF version for printing :))
What are your most difficult items to tidy in this category? Photos? Items from a collection? Comment below or post your challenges to our Facebook or Instagram pages for tips and tricks!
YOU'RE ALMOST THERE! WooHoo!! Now get ready to conquer...basically everything left in your house (aside from sentimental items, of course). Let's say goodbye to the odds and ends that keep us feeling out of sorts at home!
Spring cleaning for toiletries can be one of the grossest and most satisfying categories! All those expired and unused lotions and potions - buh-bye! It truly feels like magic and is the simplest category to tidy (in my opinion.) Check out my vlog below and I'll lead you through it!
Here's a checklist!
Download a PDF version here :))
Marlane Deanne here! This week's category is my favorite category because you get to re-introduce yourself to my favorite kinds of friends: Books!
Watch this short video to learn all about it!
Here is a checklist to make sure you don't miss anything!
Download the printable checklist!
Download our free printable (who doesn't love printables?!) and don't forget to post pictures of your bags and boxes at our TidyFairy Facebook page, or tell us about it in the comments below! We will also be touching on this category all week on our Instagram @tidyfairyla :))
April is upon us, and the spring cleaning challenge is here! This week we challenge you to discard 1 bag (of any size...or box!) of clothes! You can do this!
As you declutter, take it slow. Really consider only one item of clothing at a time. Give it your full decision making attention. Remember that taking breaks is okay. Remember that you have lots of clothes and you will not run out. And keep your personal reason for doing this tidy in focus! Do you want to do less laundry? Do you want to free up more storage space in your drawers? Do you want to make room for new items you plan to acquire? Are you unable to actually see what you do have? Do you want to only have items that make you feel great? Do you just want your closet to look prettier? WHATEVER IT IS, let that personal reason motivate you as you begin this decluttering journey.
The thing you are hunting for in your closet this week is joy. Use your clothes to hone your sense of what you really love. Find that one item of clothing that you just KNOW you're going to keep because you LOVE it. Take it out, touch it, admire it. THAT is the feeling we want you to feel about all of the things that you have.
Don't worry about organization until you have fully decluttered all of your clothes. THEN take stock of your space, and put your beloved items on display!
Alright, let's do this, friends!! PLEASE share your progress with us on social media! Post pictures to our Facebook page, and on Instagram use the hashtags #6in6 and #WHATSINTHEBAG to show off your progress! I'd also super love to see that one favorite piece that you own; the one that showed you joy!
In solidarity, I also did a closet tidy. Here's the (dodgy...I swear I'm learning) video proof. Don't forget to snag the free printable Week One checklist at the bottom of the page! Enjoy!
Download the printable checklist!
It's March, almost April, which in Los Angeles means it's starting to get hot punctuated by a few cold days - just so we know who is boss. This also means it's time for SPRING CLEANING and we're here to help you show your closets who is boss!
Our goal is to have you tidy 6 bags in 6 weeks - that's one bag a week! The bags can be large or small - if you're feeling a 40 gallon Hefty bag? Go for it! But a grocery size paper bag works too! Anything to get you thinking the way we think - about things as CATEGORIES - and get you thinking about what you LOVE - and what you don't! We will follow along on the blog, week by week and check out our instagram @ TidyFairyLa for more inspiration!
Show us your bags! Post them to our Facebook page or mention us on Instagram with the hashtag #WHATSINTHEBAG and/or #6IN6! If you want to get a jump start on it, here is a downloadable PDF with a handy dandy checklist so you don't forget a thing!