Introducing Anna: Organization Guru

Last month I shared how things on The Lovely Cupboard would start reflecting some of my real job. That starts today! Meet Anna Calavan. Anna is not only my dear friend, but she works with me as an organization specialist for clients. Give this girl a messy basement or a disheveled office, and she can work magic.

I’m excited to introduce her as the first permanent contributor to this blog. Anna will share inspiring organization projects and tips once a month. If you’re like me and need a little kick in the behind to get going on organization for the new year, this post is for you.

Meet Anna

Hello everyone. I’m so excited to partner with Heather in real life and now in blog life too! My husband and I just purchased our first home this summer. As a lot of you know, the projects begin to pile up quickly. Over the years, we have lived in many tight spaces including a 375-square foot Chicago studio apartment. Currently we are learning how to modernize storage options in our 1950’s home. Needless to say, I am no stranger to creative thinking when it comes to awkward closets, a lack of shelving, and the quirks of a historical home design. Your home should suit your taste, but that form shouldn’t trump function. Having good systems in place is the key to eliminating stressors that inevitably happen when humans live in your home! (Or even just fur babies…)

Organization Love: Labeling

One of my favorite systems that will work universally in any home is labeling. Labeling can help when your mother in law comes to stay and insists upon helping with housework, when a certain someone removes an item and forgets to return it, or even when making your weekly grocery list. Hello, label maker. I love you.

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1. Kitchen: In my own home, I have to make use of open shelving for storing kitchen necessities since I don’t have a pantry. If you buy dry goods in bulk, you can use display canisters for every day use and store the rest in large restocking bins kept elsewhere. I keep my restocking bins in the garage. Before I restock the display glass canisters, I give them a good scrub to keep them looking fresh. Another plus to putting items like flour and sugar on this shelf, is that this eliminates the need for space eating canisters on your counter.

2. Spaces that collect clutter: Entryways, playrooms, garages, and laundry rooms are all places that we tend to drop things. Using labels in these spots ensures that all members of the family can help keep things where they belong. How great is that little key rack and mail slot? I’d never lose my keys if they had a “home” this cute!

3. Office: If you have a home office, you may notice that things tend to pile up faster here than most places.  Paperwork can quickly get out of hand and lead to all sorts of stress. (Ahem…tax time??) Having a specific place for as many things as possible is the best way to make sure that you know exactly where to find what you need fast.

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Label Options

DIY: The Painted Hive has a great tutorial here on creating “magic decals”. I just love the dictionary themed labels and can think of several other cute ways to use them.
Craft stores: Reusable chalk or sticker labels are sold at any craft store these days.
Free printables online: There are so many sizes, styles, and colors of free printable labels available online to download and print. Check out all the options on this site.

Whether you are organizing your pantry, play room, or bathroom cabinets, beautiful labels and packaging can turn organization into an artful display! Are you a label lover already? Where’s your favorite place to label?

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8 Comments Filed Under: Home Decor, Organization

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  • Comments

    1. says

      Hi Anna! Happy to have you here:) And excited about your organization tips. I struggle BIG TIME in that dept. There’s always a stack of crap on my kitchen island. And table. And…yeah, major struggle. One day I’ll get it down! Love labels. Got some chalkboard ones at Target Dollar Spot during the holidays and I’m excited to use them this weekend as I host a “cookbook club” meeting at my house. I’ll have everyone write down what dish they brought so we don’t have to ask 5 million times, “Now what is this??” And I’ll have the label next to the dish so everyone knows exactly what it is. Gotta figure out how to display the labels yet…some sort of placecard holder?? Don’t know yet. But anyway, thanks for the tips! (Hi Heather, still love you too!!)

      • says

        Thanks for the feedback! I love the Dollar Spot at Target! Some of my favorite items have been found there!
        Labeling at the “Cookbook Club” is a great idea! I would go with the placecard holders! There are some super-cute seasonal DIY ones on Pinterest I have been wanting to try out!
        I look forward to contributing to this blog! Hopefully some of the ideas and systems we talk about will help with eliminating the clutter hot spots we all struggle with!

    2. says

      Fantastic tips! Ever since moving into our home 4 months ago we just kind of shoved things in a place without second thought. Time to get organizing!

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