Making a House (Small NYC Apartment) a Home (Comfy Small NYC Apartment)

“The ability to simplify means to eliminate the unnecessary so that the necessary may speak.” Hans Hoffman

It is such a challenge to make a house a home. To really make it a place that you are most comfortable with takes a lot of effort and time. For a few weeks now, I have been observing our lifestyle in the apartment.  Since we have a small place organization is a key.  Some days I walk in and mentally take note of our actions so we can find furniture to meet our needs. So far its been a terrific change!

For example, the hallway right when we get into the apartment was cluttered with so many things but not one thing made our life easier. First, we had a very small shoe rack that barely fit all of our pairs of shoes and then two long narrow bookshelves that kept some of our things but looked very disorganized and couldn’t fit what we needed by the door.

We got rid of everything on our hallway and started fresh.  The furniture I didn’t want sat outside our apartment for about a hour before others carried it off.  That is the New York way.  I observed that we needed a coat rack to hang our jackets and a place to hold our umbrellas. So we ordered a coat rack that had both of these functions. Then our long table came in handy to drop whatever we brought in with us- underneath the table was enough space to put our shoes.

It feels so good to come home now- we are seeing more focus in us because our environment works for us rather than against us. Hubby and I were able to work on what we needed (ex. resume) for hours this weekend and be comfortable.

Life is simplified when there is one center; one reason, one motivation, one direction and purpose. Jean Fleming

It surprises me how long I go before uncluttering the things in our lives. If something is not useful to us- I have decided that it will be donated and trashed. I have to bring in new things in order to have new experiences.

I have been doing lots of searches on “how to be organized”, “how to have uncluttered environment”…on and on…whenever I can’t sleep. I don’t know why but I seem to find solace on doing these type of searches when I can’t sleep- it makes me happy when I find a new advice and helps me sleep better.

On Oprah I found a simple article 12 Ways to Uncluttered Your Life in which I like the first three points:

1. Everything you own should have value, either because it’s functional or beautiful or you just love it. Remember the question of what you’d grab if your house were on fire; that’s your baseline for determining an object’s worth.

2. Every item needs a place where it “lives.” Setting things down on the coffee table or kitchen counter creates piles and confusion. My clients mock me when I say, “Where do your keys live? They live in a bowl or on a hook by the front door”—but you never lose anything when you put it where it lives.

3. Focus on one thing at a time. Multitasking is supposed to help you get more things done quickly, but when you try to do 19 things at once, everything ends up incomplete. You’re trying to simplify your life, so simplify your approach to getting organized. Now let’s get started.

They are simple to remember and easy to implement (sometimes).

There are also other great articles at Zen Habits


Nature & Decorating

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I move into the big city and only now do I want to feel nature in my surroundings. These leaf frames are hung above our bed almost making our room seem like there is a headboard..which is very cool. I was looking for a large picture to take up all this wall space above our head but didn’t want anything super too heavy either. Nothing like a heavy frame falling on us as we sleep. So I was thrilled to find these beautiful pictures. They are very light in weight and I feel so calm looking at them. When I first came across them at Bed Bath & Beyond they were sitting beneath a big pile of other discarded pictures.

How lucky I am!

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I picked up some roses the other day as I was walking back to the apartment. The color was just sticking out compared to all the other roses so I brought these home and watched on YouTube how to take care of roses.


Driving to My Cousin’s Place…

I am back from Toronto. Its funny how life is going so fast. As I drove into my cousin’s street I was reminded of all the summers I drove there when I was younger to visit families, attend weddings, and just simply to have fun. It was then with my parents, brother, and sister. Our van packed full of things from the states to Canada for our 18 hour drive and then even more things as we drove back home.

It felt strange driving toward my cousin’s house with my Hubby next to me…
Next it’ll be a few kids in the back seat…
…their spouses
and then the grand kids…

Now back in NYC- I have ordered this for our hallway.

I wanted a nice long table right when I get into the apartment….to drop off keys, cellphone, groceries…

Super excited for it to arrive.


Long Week!

Very long week but I am hoping some exciting news comes out of all this activity for myself and Hubby! I seriously thought Thursday was Tuesday this week so you can imagine how in awe I am that its the weekend!

I just wanted to share with you this picture that got me very excited. I love all the creative ideas that are out there on personalizing your home. If you can’t personalize and share beautiful memories in your own home then where?

We did an impromptu trip to Jersey this morning. I woke up, made some tea, and sat at my desk when Hubby says “Hear me out…we might need to go to Jersey.”

So we went- so glad for books since I love catching up on all my books on the hour trip. Speaking of books- I read this article on New York Times “E-Readers Catch Younger Eyes and Go in Backpacks” where they are seeing an increase in e-reader among younger folks. But that wasn’t a surprising thing.

This was:

“Eryn Garcia, their mother, said the family used the local library — already stocked with more than 3,000 e-books — to download titles free, sparing her the usual chore of “lugging around 40 pounds of books.”

What? Free e-books at the local library? WOW!


Shelves


*Picture-not my apartment*

In our apartment we have a lot of shelves- everywhere there are shelves… plenty of them that some are not used to their potential.  All of them are from Ikea.

Only problem with these shelves is that they are not very organized or beautiful.  There are just things on them without it being pleasing to the eye. I was excited to find Ikea Shelves that inspires me to make my shelves look BETTER.

*I tried to include pictures here but I am unable to save any of the pictures. Here are just a few: shelves1,shelves2,shelves3,shelves4,shelves5,

These are just a few and I could keep going with all my favorites..but I’ll stop. So fun to browse.


Inspirations…

I absolutely love these two looks– adding pictures up on the wall with simple frames truly adds a lot of warmth to a home.

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I am inspired to turn our hallway into a nice place to display all of our pictures and little inspirational messages.

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Side Table Arrangement

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I am sharing with you some pictures I took of my new arrangement by my bedside. It has such beautiful colors that for me when I look at it – I feel so calm, which is exactly what I wanted!

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When I read this post on Positively Present I enjoyed her suggestion on taking daily pictures of an item in our lives. I know that by taking a picture it truly does put me in the moment.

However, I do often forget to take my time to carefully view these pictures- perhaps even putting it on a slow sideshow. I know I lose a lot when I am hitting the next arrow so fast I lose focus on the picture.

Take your time with each picture, enjoy the colors, appreciate the angle the photographer took the picture in…be present.

Merry Christmas!