Derailing my thoughts on a purchase

My apartment is in an old building in Old Town East that was built in 1920. It does not have all of the “luxury” stylings of a brand-new cookie-cutter apartment, but it has a lot of character.

The rooms are large; the ceilings are high; and the closet space is virtually non-existent. The railroad layout only affords three closets: one in the hallway and one in each bedroom. This is one of reasons I had stuff every where. My excuse was a lack of closet space.

My railroad apartment layout
My railroad apartment layout

After getting my office space into a functioning room again, I moved onto my bathroom. You’re probably thinking: what could you possibly have in there?! 

Well, since there is not an accessible closet in the bathroom, I placed a small IKEA shelf (the BILLY Bookcase) in the small place next to the vanity. I had a couple baskets filled with stuff on the shelves, and I had even more things in plastic totes tucked away in the vanity. At any point in time, the shelves were a mess.

I had the idea to move my shelf to my bedroom closet since it was small. Now that my closet was less than half full, I had a lot of room. So rather than buying a hanging organizer, I could use the shelf to hold my remaining jeans and pants.

To declutter my bathroom, I went through the same process of throwing out things that I didn’t use:

  • nearly empty bottles of lotion
  • hair ties (from my longer hair days)
  • random Mary Kay samples (I was a consultant for a year)
  • makeup older than six months

I reduced my brush and comb collection to two of each, and I put all of my nail polish in a tote to take to the SWACO Household Hazardous Waste (HHW) drop-off location. (Yes, nail polish is hazardous waste.) I also added a number of small cosmetics bags (such as the freebies with a Clinique purchase) to a newly forming donation pile.

After I had finished removing items and then moving the shelf to the bedroom closet, I was left with an empty space next to my bathroom vanity. I felt the need to put something there. I figured that something HAD to go there just in case I wanted to put something on it. I didn’t know what that something might be, so it was best to buy another small shelf just in case.

The next day on my lunch break, I found myself at The Container Store at Easton looking for the new shelf. It’s okay if you just gasped. You will be happy to know that I talked myself out of everything. As I wandered around the store, I really liked all of the organizing things that I saw, but I felt I was in no place to begin buying more stuff like this.

After all, I’ve already said that this store was part of an entire industry that caters to people who have stuff, and I was in the process of getting rid of stuff. So I walked out without buying a new something to put next to my vanity. Once the purge is done, I can reassess what I have AND ONLY THEN can I think about organizing.

I got home later in the evening and fastened a couple of 3M Command hooks to the wall (see the Inspiration Station). Then, I hung a small basket from each hook. I had a convenient place for my brushes and a few hair products. Simple, easy, and cost-effective.

As I admired my handiwork, I was extremely pleased; however, I think this newfound felicity was due to the fact I had faced and conquered my first challenge:

I resisted the urge to buy.


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