Link Roundup 4/24/15

Not only was it my birthday week, but I found out my sister is ready to have her baby at any time now! I’m so excited for another niece I can hardly stand it. While I was crossing my fingers for her to be born on my birthday, Stacey’s due date isn’t until May 11th, so I’m hoping for a healthy birth for mom and baby.

This week I’ve also had the honor and privilege of being accepted into the Her Campus Blogger Network, which is why I have that cool new banner in the sidebar. I’ve already met a lot of great bloggers who I’m learning a lot from. I can only see Life in Order improving from my experience within the network.

Also, the cupcakes pictured below were made and decorated by my BFF, Dana. Props to her for her amazing baking skills, and props to me for choosing a best friend who brings me baked goods.

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1. Ximena Ramirez’s Washington Heights, New York City Home Tour via The Everygirl – This small apartment packs a big punch when it comes to being uniquely and eclectically decorated.

2. Better Homes and Garden’s Top 25 Real Life Bedrooms – I would love to see more big names showcasing real life living spaces – even though most of these do still look perfect!

3. This week, Cupcakes and Cashmere showed us her organized bookshelf in her weekly Five Things post. Like everything else she does, she nailed it.

4. Guest Bloggers Bridget and Casey from the DIY Playbook show us how to organize keys with a little bit of flair on iHeartOrganizing.

5. I found a new blog that I love (and so should you). She’s a fellow Her Campus Blogger Network gal, and I sure do love her stuff. Especially this post about planner essentials. She’s Erica from Girl, Organized.

Hope you guys had a great week and have fun plans for the weekend ahead. It’s been a little cold up here for the past couple of days, so maybe that means I’ll be staying in and working on organizing new spaces of my apartment to share. Hmmmm …

Check back on Sunday for a post about working out in the morning and if you’d like updates whenever I make a new post, enter your e-mail address in the subscription bar to the right! Also, don’t forget to follow me on Instagram and Twitter. Catch you next time!Signature

Adding color to your apartment with white walls

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When you’re in your 20’s, apartment living is great. It gives you the freedom to move out of mom and dad’s house, while not committing to a permanent residence. You wanna leave for the summer and travel Asia? No problem – your lease ends in June.

But sometimes, apartment living isn’t always what Carrie Bradshaw made us believe it was going to be. Fancy apartments are expensive and renting comes with a whole set of rules you never knew were possible. You can’t remodel, have pets, change the fixtures or hardware, and you definitely cannot paint. If you can paint, you’re making a huge commitment because if you want to leave when your lease is up, you have to paint it back. Not cool.

So, here are some easy ways you can bring color into your apartment and make your white walls look fabulous.

1. Area rugs

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Area rugs are a must for apartments that have hard wood, but for spaces that are already carpeted, don’t fear using a brightly colored area rug to cover up those worn-in tan carpets. Rug over rug isn’t typical, but it can add so much character to a room if you find one that’s unique. This one from Target brings lots of colors to the pretty party.

2. Removable wall paper

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You can use removable wall paper on your walls of course, but it can do so many more things. Use it as self liner in your bathroom or kitchen. Stick it to the walls of your closet. Decorate a fireplace. Wrap your old furniture in it, or use it on the back of a bookcase so you can take it with you when you move out. It’s the perfect solution to a neutral space. You can find removable wallpaper on Etsy, like the one pictured above by KateZarembaCompany in Washington, DC.

3. Two words: Gallery. Wall.

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I can’t say I’ve participated yet, but I’m so on board with the trendy new gallery wall. It’s a perfect solution to a blank white wall. Look at this one from Style Me Pretty Living. Even though there’s still a lot of white going on, it totally works. The bright pops of pink and gold really catch the eye and the flowers hanging from the deer head add the perfect touch of whimsy and femininity.

4. Colored accent furniture

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Before Matt and I moved to the Capital Region, I went crazy painting old furniture to look new again. I painted larger pieces of furniture, like my dresser, neutral colors to avoid a huge commitment to one color, but some of the smaller pieces I painted with color. I have to say – I was nervous at first, but I love this powder blue table and the pop of happiness it brings to our dark grey couch.

5. Accessorize

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Nothing is as easy as buying some hot pink silk flowers or colored glass jars to liven up a room. You can find really inexpensive home decor items at place like Michaels, T.J. Maxx and even the Christmas Tree Store. They’re all excellent resources for colorful, yet inexpensive, accents.

6. Canvas prints

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You can find a canvas print almost anywhere these days. And they can fill up a whole wall with color with only one nail hole. It’s pretty amazing. This one pictured above is a piece of art we got for only $50 at Kirklands.

Now that you have the tools to change your apartment from a neutral zone to colorful oasis, go forth and live a colorful (and organized!) life. Catch you next time!Signature

Why You Can’t get Organized: The 5 Most Common Organizing Mistakes

Have you ever organized your whole apartment just for it to fall apart within a week? Maybe you’ve tried to organize a space in your place but it just didn’t end up looking quite right or working like you had hoped. If so, you’re probably making one of the most common organizing mistakes without even knowing it. Here’s the top five reasons you can’t get organized.

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1. You strive for perfection over function.

Pinterest is the best thing to ever happen to the decorating and organizing world, but it’s also the worst. You’re number one source of inspiration can also be the thing that’s keeping you from getting organized. Instead of trying to make a space look like a pin on your Pinterest board, focus on making it work for your needs. The real reason to get organized is to live a more efficient life. Without proper function, a space isn’t really perfect, after all.

2. You organize a space to fit a bin or basket.

Beware the myth of “the bin.” A cute bin, basket or tray, doesn’t necessarily mean you’re getting organized. Many times, people buy organizing products without an intended use for them and then try to plan an entire space around a bin that’s too big, too small or just doesn’t work at all. Don’t force organizing products on your spaces–you may find you don’t need a product at all, so be sure you’re planning out your systems before purchasing products.

3. You don’t maintain.

An organizing system won’t work for you if you don’t work for it. It’s so important to be sure you’re taking responsibility of maintaining and nurturing the system you put in place, or it could all fall apart. That’s not to say that you can’t reorganize a system that’s not working for you anymore. Just like a bad relationship, you’ve got to know when to try harder, and when to try something new.

4. You think “tidying up” is the same as being organizing.

Throwing your mail in a pile on the edge of the desk, tossing clothes inside a dresser drawer or clearing off the dining room table doesn’t mean you’re getting organized. Clutter is still clutter even when you can’t see it. Take the time to put things back the right way so you know exactly where they are when you need them again. No exceptions.

5. You don’t focus on one-step organizing systems.

This is the biggest organizing mistake in the book. The key to effective organizing systems is making all of your essentials easy to put away and even easier to put back. If you have to move your blow dryer out of the way to put your hairbrush back and then move your blowdryer back again, you’re probably going to leave your brush on the bathroom counter time and time again. Make sure that when you’re setting up a system for an item you use daily, or even weekly, that it takes only one step to grab it, and one step to put it back.

If you’re struggling to get organized, you may want to consider some of the above mistakes before tackling your next organizing project. For organizing tips and tricks delivered to your inbox, please subscribe to my blog by entering your e-mail address into the right sidebar of this site, follow me on blog lovin’ or follow me on Instagram (@lifeinorder) or on Twitter (@LifeInOrderBlog).

Organizing Make-up in a Small Space

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I’ve got to be honest. I wouldn’t really call my current apartment “tiny” by any means. We’ve gotten quite the upgrade since our first 750 square foot shoe box. However, the one thing (the only thing) that was downgrade from our last place is the bathroom. It’s smaller and there is far less storage options in the actual bathroom itself. So, I’ve had to get a little bit creative with how I store my make-up and the process I use for my morning routine.

Here’s what I came up with:

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This little beauty regimen box hangs on the wall in my bathroom where I do my makeup each morning. Although it’s not exactly within arms reach, I keep things corralled in one small acrylic make-up organizer and a glass container (I used to use it for pencils on my desk growing up – I think it was a candle at one point). Having everything on only two containers makes everything easy to get down from this shelf, and easy to put away. If I had everything loose, I would have to reach up a bunch of times to put each item away and that would get annoying. So annoying, in fact, that I probably wouldn’t get much use out of my make-up.

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I love the way my brushes look in this tinted class cup with floral beads that I got from Michaels. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, I love Michaels. It’s a creative organizers playground.

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Behind/next to my brushes I have my Naked 3 palette, it was kind of hard to find a place for, but it fits perfectly vertical behind my brushes and since I don’t use it every single day, I figured it wasn’t a big deal.

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I got this acrylic organizer from Joanne fabrics a few years back when they were harder to find. It was in the dollar area, like the bins that are near the register. But you can find these things everywhere now. I actually saw some larger versions at Target today. Find one that fits your make-up best.

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I keep my toners, lotions, creams, etc. in this little section. If I don’t keep them out where I can see them and grab them quickly, they’ll go unused and ultimately, my skin will suffer. It’s so important when you’re organizing to think about where you can put things that will be easy to access and use. It might not look Pinterest perfect, but organizing first and foremost is about efficiency. If it’s too difficult to see something, grab it, and put it back, then you’re defeating the whole purpose.

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So, you’ve probably been thinking that I don’t have that much make-up and I wish that were true. I actually keep the make-up that I don’t use everyday, back-ups, etc. in the linen closet just outside my bathroom. It hangs on the inside of the door in a jewelry organizer.

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These little pockets are really for organizing jewelry, but I found that it didn’t work well as a jewelry organizer for me. The visual clutter was a little overwhelming and honestly, it still is. The pattern is cute and everything, but it’s a lot to look at everyday. That being said, it perfectly fits on the back of the closet door, maximizes space, and I don’t necessarily have to use these items everyday, so I really can’t complain.

Make-up is one of those thing you’ll use everyday. Typically, it’s part of a morning routine, meaning that if you don’t organize it perfectly to meet your needs and habits, it can throw off your whole day. Remember, in addition to it being easy for you to access everyday, it’s also important to be easy to put back when you’re done. It’s not fun to come home to a counter, dresser or vanity with make-up everywhere. Be sure you’re building systems that are orderly and realistic.

I hope this post has helped give you ideas on how to organize your make-up if you’re living in a small apartment. If you have anything to add, leave me a comment below or tweet me @qqquimby016. Don’t forget to subscribe for weekly organizing tips!Signature