7th House on the Left

For months and months, I’ve tried to decide what to store in our vintage card catalog (more on that beauty here). With 60 perfect little drawers, it’s the organizer’s dream, but I really had no idea what we could store in it that would suit our needs. It wasn’t until we recently sold our dining room buffet that it dawned on me: this would be the perfect solution for storing and organizing our serving utensils, napkins and other small dining room paraphernalia.

Organizing the Card Catalog / 7thhouseontheleft.com

After taking a quick inventory of our belongings, I decided to designate the top six drawers to silverware, the next two rows to napkins and the next two rows for things like napkin rings and place card holders. The bottom section is designated for backup office supplies – but I’ll get back to that in a minute.

What to Store in a Vintage Card Catalog / 7thhouseontheleft.com

For the top six drawers that would be holding the serving utensils, I wanted the inside of the drawers to have some sort of lining to protect the utensils and prevent scratches. I bought six thick sheets of black felt from AC Moore for 99¢ a piece. I measured the interior of the drawer, marked my cut line using a piece of chalk, cut the felt to size and simply placed it in the drawer. Since the felt fit in the drawers perfectly, I didn’t have to attach the felt to the drawer at all because it stayed in place really well.

What to Store in a Vintage Card Catalog / 7thhouseontheleft.com

Because of the weight of the utensils (these babies are really heavy – in a good way) along with how smoothly the drawers move in and out, the utensils don’t really slide around much when you open and close the drawers – which is a really nice and unexpected feature. As a side note, I’ve learned that the best way to clean felt is with a lint roller. It works really well and makes removing any annoying tiny pieces of lint so easy.

What to Store in a Vintage Card Catalog / 7thhouseontheleft.com

I was head over heels in love with how well the napkins fit in each drawer, as well. Six napkins fit in each drawer, folded exactly how I would normally fold them anyway. I was able to fit my entire napkin collection in two rows of drawers, with a few drawers left empty for future purchases.

What to Store in a Vintage Card Catalog / 7thhouseontheleft.com

Since we don’t have a bajillion pieces of silverware or fifty napkin designs, we’re using the bottom section of drawers for office supply backups like Sharpies, craft brushes, tape, scissors, etc. The cabinet is literally six inches from my office, so it makes perfect sense for us.

Organizing the Card Catalog / 7thhouseontheleft.com

I wrapped up this organizing project by adding labels to each drawer. I decided to keep it casual and go with a regular handwritten label rather than breaking out the label maker or computer.

The inner organization freak inside of me feels so much more at ease now that the card catalog is filled, organized and orderly. Even while it was empty, it was our favorite piece of furniture in the house and now that it’s organized and useful, I don’t know what to do with myself!

Happy snow day, everyone! Well, almost everyone on the East Coast, anyway. As you guys may remember from this post, I’m kind of obsessed with snow days. Though, this snow day has been a little different than my picturesque version because I’ve been working on finishing up a lot of projects for my “regular job” and tying up loose ends on blog-related things that we’ll hopefully be able to share with you soon. I’m hoping to wrap things up at a decent time tonight in order to enjoy a movie with Greg, Bentley and some hot chocolate. Fingers crossed!

Kitchen Junk Drawer Organization / 7thhouseontheleft.com

Anyway, I wanted to pop in really quick and point you guys over to my latest contributor post at iHeart Organizing (check out the post here). I covered the recent transformation of the “junk drawer” in the kitchen. It feels so good to have that under my belt. Even though it was a small project, it makes a big difference for the everyday things like grabbing a Post-It to jot down a note. Some of the comments over there mentioned that the before photo wasn’t bad enough, haha. Rest assured, I have an even worse junk drawer in my bedroom (my “makeup drawer”) and also one in the dresser in the laundry room (the “everything drawer”). I’ll definitely be sure to share those secrets when the time comes.

PS All of you Lee students out there, enjoy this snow day! You won’t have another for the remainder of your college career. I, along with every other Lee alumni out there, can pretty much guarantee that! haha

Is “decluttering” even a word? Spell check is telling me it isn’t but the Internet says it is a word and everything on the Internet is true. Duh ; ) One of my favorite things to do around this time of the year is to declutter – get rid of things we really don’t need anymore in an effort to simplify our lives. Once it’s all said and done, it kind of feels like we have a new house. By getting rid of all the clutter, we can look at things in a new, refreshed light – a perfect way to start off the holiday season and a new year.

7 Tips for Decluttering the House / 7th House on the Left

With decluttering on my mind, I thought it would be fun and motivating to put together a list of seven quick tips that help when decluttering the entire house. Yep, lists are my kind of fun.

01 // This first tip may seem kind of redundant, but being a lover of lists and a slightly obsessive over-organizer, this is the very first thing I do after deciding it’s time for our bi-annual “Operation Declutter”: make a list of every area in the house and cross rooms/closets off as I go. This helps me to organize my thoughts, and it helps me keep my goal in sight. Plus, it feels so, so good to cross something off a to-do list.

02 // If a lack of time gets in the way of conquering the clutter, choose one room (or even just one piece of furniture, like a dresser, if you’re really pressed for time) to tackle each day. By focusing your energy on one small space at a time, you’ll still make good, steady progress… and keep your sanity intact.

03 // Go through everything. For instance, when organizing your closet, make sure you go through every purse compartment, jacket pocket and zipper pouch. You might even come across a rogue $20 bill if you’re lucky!

04 // This is probably my favorite method of getting rid of clutter, especially in our closet. When I’m torn between keeping something and getting rid of it, I ask myself The Golden Question: If I were shopping right now, would I buy this? If the answer is no, it belongs in the yard sale / donation pile.

05 // Speaking of the yard sale pile… As you come across “yard sale stuff”, keep it all in one designated space. If you’re feeling super productive, go ahead and price the item when you add it to the pile. Once you’re done decluttering, you can store everything in a box for your next yard sale. That said, if you know deep down you’re not going to actually have a yard sale anytime soon, go ahead and take it all to the GoodWill. You won’t make any money off of it, but it’s better than having a yard sale box floating around the house or attic for months at a time.

06 // If you’re having trouble getting yourself motivated to start the decluttering process, try setting a timer for 20 minutes and commit to declutter for the entire time. When the timer goes off, set it for five or ten minutes and reward yourself with a glass of iced tea or a change of scenery by taking the dog out for a quick walk. When the timer goes off again, set it for another 20 minutes and get back to work.

07 // Be practical and don’t “cling” to things. Remember the whole point of decluttering the house is to get rid of things that are unneeded, don’t serve a purpose or don’t have sentimental value.  Simplify.