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


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!

Found: Lost Pictures of New York Blizzard

This is a cute video. I love all the pictures- how beautiful!

Who Needs TV When You Have Ted Videos

I really love viewing these amazing videos on Ted. They are so inspirational, little nugget of wisdom, and often makes me look at the world with awe.  It’s great to find so many different opinions and thoughts all in one place.

*This weekend I learned a very valuable lesson. Hubby and I will not be shopping together…never ever?  Probably… definitely not anytime soon. By the time we came back home I was convinced that shopping was “evil” and a “punshiment” for all mankind.

3 Idiots

I have another movie recommendation- a Hindi movie called 3 Idiots. YouTube has a great HD version with English Subtitles. Enjoy.

Link (s) of the Week.

I couldn’t sleep a few nights ago..somedays I find staying up to be such an exhilarating experience especially if I find good things to read. This is one of the articles I really liked and felt it resonated a lot with how I felt in college.

“Students recognize that it would be impossible to delve deeply into their school subjects, even if they wanted to. Time does not permit it. They must follow the schedule set by the school curriculum. Moreover, many of them have become convinced that they must also engage in a certain number of formal extracurricular activities, to prove that they are the “well rounded” individuals that top colleges are seeking. Anyone who really allowed himself or herself to pursue a love of one subject would fail all the others. To succeed, students must acquire just the limited information and shallow understanding that is needed to perform well on the tests; anything beyond that is wasted time. All of the top students learn that lesson.”

When you really really can’t sleep and don’t feel like reading- like Halloween eve here in NYC where it was time for all the adults to party and keep all their neighbors up (having very loud conversations and purposely playing with their car alarms)- well, movies for such an occasion come in handy. Found the Hindi movie Taare Zameen Par. I heard a lot of things when I was in college from a few friends and always wanted to see it. I was so happy to see it online. It was such a cute movie almost made me want to be a teacher.

I like these songs- here and here.

I had a hard time sleeping last night…

I had a hard time sleeping last night- got into bed at 9:30 but didn’t fall asleep until after midnight. I had a chance to catch up on all my online reading though.

On Saturday night, We, along with hubby’s coworker, wife, and daughter, went to a Indian party/dance. It was pretty fun. Felt good to meet new folks in the city and dance a bit.

If you are bored- some funny things here: