All Boxed Up

All Boxed Up |

My life is in boxes. Inside a big box.

All of my stuff has been wrapped up, boxed up, taped up and crammed into a storage unit. It’s better than the alternative, though.

I moved out of my rental house because of a mold issue that made me sick. Even though my life is in boxes, I’m doing okay. And, don’t worry, I’m not actually living in a box. My twin sister has let me make her home my home for the time being.

But as a homebody who loves home decorating, home cooking and just hanging out at home, the boxed up lifestyle wasn’t easy at first.

All Boxed Up |

Feeling boxed in
It’s no secret that I love home decorating. I’m not really sure what to do with myself when I’m not jumping from one DIY project to the next. I need to be painting something, gluing something or cutting something.

My fingers are itching to rearrange furniture, revamp bookshelves and hang up art. I want to make messes. Try out crafts. And make pretty things.

It’s a little bit harder since I don’t have a home of my own. Although, I’m sure my sister would say she has plenty of home projects to give me!

All Boxed Up |

Getting out of the box
It’s funny how things have come full circle.

When I moved to Kansas City five years ago, I found a small apartment in the River Market, an eclectic community near downtown that’s close to restaurants, bars and—my favorite—the City Market farmers market. I moved further south to a rental house a couple of years later. Now I’m back in the River Market living in a townhouse with my sister.

Moving back to the River Market wasn’t the plan. But Kansas City is really blossoming right now; it’s seeing a kind of renaissance, especially in the River Market area, and I’m excited to be right in the heart of it.

For example, the KC Streetcar just opened with 10 stops connecting the River Market, downtown, midtown and their adjoining neighborhoods. It’s an incredibly progressive step toward not only modernizing the city, but also creating more connections for people and businesses. Already, the streetcar has opened up the downtown area and revived interest in the businesses and neighborhoods along the way.

I’ve tried a handful of new restaurants and attended dozens of events since the streetcar opened that I wouldn’t have otherwise. (As you can probably tell, I’m just a little excited about it. And it helps that I live near a stop.)

All Boxed Up |

Finding my own box
When I started writing this post, I was in the middle of packing. I was also house hunting with a vengeance. All I wanted was to find my dream house—right now—and not have to move in with my sister.

Low housing inventory and a sellers’ market squashed those dreams for the moment.

Even so, I’m comfortable where I’m at. Both mentally and physically. I can’t control everything despite trying and maybe this is where I’m supposed to be right now.

Besides a little frustration every now and then when I start looking for my Mod Podge® only to remember that it’s in the storage unit packed in who-knows-what box, I’m embracing the “now.”

(But I still can’t wait to unpack those boxes.)

All Boxed Up |

Cheers to not being in control and just embracing what comes.

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St. Patrick’s Day Decorating 2016

St. Patrick's Day Decorating 2016 |

Are you looking for some St. Patrick’s Day home decorating inspiration? It takes just a few green accents to give your home some St. Patrick’s Day flair.

I focused on adding some St. Patrick’s Day spirit to my entertainment center area. As the focal point of my living room, I wanted to give the bookcases and dresser some green without going overboard on the holiday-themed décor. I added in just enough green to make it fun.

Take a look at how I decorated for St. Patrick’s Day and you’ll see how some bright pops of green can help you celebrate St. Patty’s Day, welcome spring and bring a happy mood to your home.

St. Patrick's Day Decorating 2016 | redleafstyle.comSt. Patrick's Day Decorating 2016 |

How I decorated for St. Patty’s Day:
– Hung up a $3 “St. Pats Day” felt banner from the $1 spot at Target
– Added some green plants, books and bowls to my bookcases
– Spray-painted mason jars gold and added chalkboard signs (tutorial coming soon!)
– Added a green wine bottle and a gold wine bottle (that I spray-painted) to the décor
– Mixed in a $4 bouquet of daisies from Trader Joe’s

St. Patrick's Day Decorating 2016 |

While I’m not usually big on decorating for holidays that come and go so fast, I had some fun this year decorating for St. Patty’s Day, and I realized it’s nice to have an excuse to switch up your décor once in a while.

Here’s how I created a St. Patrick’s Day effect in no time.

St. Patrick's Day Decorating 2016 |

Decorate with green
I’m not reinventing the wheel here with the idea of decorating with green for St. Patty’s Day. But I do want to note that you don’t have to purchase new décor in order to decorate your home with green for St. Patrick’s Day.

Shop your house for whatever green items you have. Grab that green vase. Those books with green covers. And don’t forget the greenery. When you corral all of those green items in one spot—a bookcase, a shelf or a table—then you instantly transform that space into a St. Patrick’s Day theme.

St. Patrick's Day Decorating 2016 |

Add in touches of gold
Gold complements green and goes hand-in-hand with St. Patrick’s Day.

If you don’t have any gold items in your home, get ready to grab your can of spray paint. I spray-painted mason jars and wine bottles gold. (Tutorial coming soon!) I really love the look of mason jars spray-painted gold. Especially if they have etchings on them, such as the “Ball” logo. The etchings really pop when they’re spray-painted a color.

I don’t usually think of myself as a gold kind of girl, but I’m loving the color lately. Gold is pretty trendy right now, and you can never go wrong with adding metallics to your décor. They add texture.

St. Patrick's Day Decorating 2016 | redleafstyle.comSt. Patrick's Day Decorating 2016 |

Use what you have
You don’t need to buy new décor for St. Patrick’s Day if you don’t want to. Use what you have on hand. Drape burlap fabric over your mantel. Create a table centerpiece with cut-out paper shamrocks. Make a wreath for your door using green fabric scraps. It’s easy!

St. Patrick's Day Decorating 2016 |

My St. Patrick’s Day decorating is simple and won’t take hours to take down. What do you think of it?

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Top 7 Tips to Get Organized After the Holidays

Top 7 Tips to Get Organized After the Holidays |

Post-holiday cleaning is the new spring cleaning.

You’re already taking down holiday decorations, rearranging your kitchen or closet to make room for new items, and cleaning up after guests leave. What better time to organize your home?

These seven post-holiday home organization tips cover areas most of us struggle with after the holiday craziness.

So, shake off that cookie and pie coma and get organizing. I’ve done every one of these tips, so I know that the struggle is real. Taking down my holiday decorations took me four hours. Four hours. But I promise that the spacious and streamlined home you’ll have afterwards is worth it.

Top 7 Tips to Get Organized After the Holidays |

1. Take down your holiday décor
Time to undecorate! The rule of thumb is to keep your holiday décor up until the first of the year, but mine has already been down for days.

It’s so refreshing to put away all of your holiday decorations and take down your Christmas tree. You get your space back and a chance to start fresh. I feel like I have so much more room to breathe now that all of the stockings, trees and knickknacks have vanished.

Just don’t be tempted to shove all of your decorations all willy nilly. If you take the time to organize your ornaments and put decorations away neatly, you’ll thank yourself next year.

2. Make room for your gifts
Resist the urge to stuff all of those gifts you received into drawers, closets or onto shelves. Take some time to go through your possessions and purge what you don’t need. You’ll make more room for your new items and won’t add unnecessary clutter.

Right now I’m really into an organization method coined by Marie Kondo, author of “The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing”. Her theory says to discard anything and everything that doesn’t “spark joy.”

It might sound strange to think about socks sparking joy, for example. But I know you have favorite socks. Do you always reach for the fuzzy pairs that you love? Then, why are you keeping those itchy, grey ones banished to the back of the drawer? Get rid of them and move on.

3. Repurpose holiday cards
Are those holiday cards you received muddling your refrigerator door? Maybe they’re stacked in a messy pile on the kitchen table?

If you’re like me, you can’t cope with the guilt of throwing them away. So, you procrastinate deciding what to do with them and they sit in a pile on the coffee table well into February.

Stop that! Last year I finally came up with a solution to the card conundrum by starting a Christmas card scrapbook. Now, I can save my Christmas cards in a meaningful way. They’re not just stored in a box or tossed in a drawer.

You could also save the cards to cut up into gift tags or to decorate presents next year.

Top 7 Tips to Get Organized After the Holidays | redleafstyle.comTop 7 Tips to Get Organized After the Holidays |

4. Get a planner
One habit from school that I haven’t—and probably won’t ever—cut is keeping a planner.

I like the feel of a physical planner. If you prefer digital, then go for it. To me, there’s just something about writing down dates, planning the year and flipping through the pages of a tangible planner that appeals to me.

Start the New Year off right by getting organized. Transcribe all birthdays, anniversaries and other dates you want to remember into your new planner. Don’t get lazy halfway through. Jot down everything you can now.

You’ll feel more prepped and organized for the coming year.

5. Recycle magazines
It’s so so so hard for me to get rid of the holiday issues of my favorite magazines. What if I need the ideas for next year?

But I usually feel worse when the clutter starts to take over. First, they sit in a pile on my coffee table. That bothers me, so I relocate the pile to my desk. After all, I can’t keep them on the coffee table all year, right? Then, the pile on the desk starts to bother me. Why don’t I just get rid of this pile of magazines that’s driving me crazy?

If you want to remember an idea or two, rip out those specific pages and start an idea journal. Paste the pages and some notes into the journal. It’s a much more effective way to organize your ideas.

Top 7 Tips to Get Organized After the Holidays |

6. Don’t procrastinate those to-dos
It’s hard to get your home organized when too many items are in limbo. Write thank you notes, return or exchange unwanted gifts and put away (or use) all of your new gifts right away. Don’t procrastinate.

The longer you wait, the longer you’ll have receipts piled up waiting to return gifts or the longer that jar of homemade cocoa will take up space on the kitchen counter waiting to be used. If you procrastinate too long, you may never get to those tasks at all.

And that’s when unnecessary clutter takes over.

7. Clean out your refrigerator
Maybe you have a fridge filled with random leftovers? Or, maybe you’re afraid to open your fridge after being out of town?

Either way, cleaning out your fridge sets the right tone for getting excited about cooking and eating right in the New Year.

I recently got into organizing my fridge. I added a couple of trays to corral items. Now, all of my drinks sit neatly on one tray. I even requested a butter dish for Christmas, so I could organize my butter. (Exciting, I know.) But it really helped.

If you’re not into going that far, at least give the shelves and drawers a good scrub, and toss out anything expired or that you’re never going to eat.

It’s also nice to organize items into rows with the tallest items in the back. It sounds a bit OCD, but I feel so organized when I open my fridge door and see everything neatly arranged. It sure beats digging through piles of Tupperware to find the soy sauce.

Top 7 Tips to Get Organized After the Holidays |

Start the New Year off feeling organized and stress-free.

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