Reduce, Reuse, REPURPOSE!

November 11, 2016

Today I'm not referring to your typical DIY re-purpose project where you go to a flea market or on a dumpster diving expedition and turn a pallet into a bed or a cat tree or a new boyfriend.  I want you to think about using something you LOVE (you must love it or why own it to begin with) for a purpose it was not intended for.  Don't get me wrong I love places like the container store and almost everything inside but I wouldn't actually want to live inside it.  Any of you who have worked with me know I have A LOT of personality and I want that to exude from my home at all times!  My personal style is colorful, cozy, a little kitschy and (usually) functional.  I never want to take my space too seriously.  What is your personal Style?  What story do you want your home to tell?  Look around and see if you own any empty vessels, extra stuff or souvenirs collecting dust.  Now ask yourself :Why do I still have this?"  Does is Spark joy? (Thanks KonMarie!)  If it doesn't spark joy then save yourself some time and space and toss it right now.  But if that flower pot from Granny, jewelry box from that girls trip you took last year or out of tune piano truly spark joy and warm fuzzies then lets put it to use! 
   Doesn't this look better than boring                     plastic containers?!

   Doesn't this look better than boring                     plastic containers?!

Now its time to get creative!  If you don't have a green thumb and everything you ever planted in Granny's flower pot died but you can't bare to part with it then what do you do with it?  Hmmm.....Is it small enough to sit on the counter as a fruit bowl? is it teeny tiny and fits on your vanity to hold bobby pins?  Is it so big you keep it by the door for umbrellas?  Maybe it looks great nestled next to the couch and you use it as the central location for all dog toys!  (All pet owners end up with bones and balls of yarn all over the place from time to time but its important to have a Designated Home for these things so clean up goes faster and your not always shuffling stuff around.)  Maybe that jewelry box you got in Bali or Mexico or Paris can now house your business cards, napkin rings or stamps.  Maybe you get crazy one weekend and turn your dinged up piano into a cocktail bar or a  desk or a book shelf.  Google and Pinterest are your friends!  
Having lived in a city my entire adult life I have always needed to be very aware of how much space I am working with.  I recently used this technique to change things up on my desk.  I transferred my office supplies from the little tupperware containers they were in to things I really enjoy.  Now my paper clips, rubber bands, thumb tacks ect. are in fun glass vessels that I already owned and are making the top of my desk add to the aesthetic of my office.  It also freed up space in the drawer I was keeping them in.  Now my office is a tad cuter and everything I've used matches my personality and style, not that of Tupperware Brands Corporation.

check out what  my client Martin repurposed:

I was helping a great couple, Martin and Raina organize their home and when it came to Martin's office it was a pretty typical dude home office.  It was functional (-ish) and had what he needed but it was crowded, messy and was not living up to its potential or Martin's style.  When we were talking through it the space he mentioned that his Marshall Amp didn't even work anymore but he never brought himself to part with it.  I recommended either fixing it immediately or getting rid of it.  (if you don't take it to get fixed within 48 hours you probably never will so either schedule a run to the repair shop or toss it!)  Then as the process went on I suggested looking at it as a piece of furniture and using it as a printer stand.  This way A. His printer was off the floor B. It added to his musician's style/office atmosphere and C. We saved space.  Martin truly took my advice and ran with it.

BEFORE: This isn't Martin's but you get the idea!

AFTER:  This is awesome!  Look at all the additional                     storage he got!  A+ Martin

AFTER: This is awesome!  Look at all the additional                     storage he got!  A+ Martin

Martin is a handy creative guy and took my suggestion further than I ever imagined. When I came back for our next session Martin had taken it upon himself to actually transform this amp into a true printer table.  When I had suggested using the Marshall for his printer I just meant sit the printer on top.  I thought it looked cool in his space, got the printer off the floor and created space by stacking the two.  I was so excited to see what he had done.  He actually took all of the guts out of the amp, created a hinged door and space for his work books, manuals and printer paper.  This is what I'm talking about, people!!!  We also decided it would be wise to hang Martin's guitars in his office.  Before they were resting against his desk, sitting on his office chair, couch, bed or on the floor.  Now they are safely hanging in his office with a Designated Home and they add to the look and feel of his office.
I hope that today's post helps you remember that we don't need to spend hundreds of dollars to live in a Container Store display.  We can surround ourselves with beautiful, sentimental items and turn them into storage.  REDUCE the amount of stuff in your space, REUSE what you already love and Repurpose it!