magical bowls

kitchen cupboard

I store produce in two glass-fronted cupboards in my kitchen. Each cupboard holds several bowls on shelves, and to a friend of mine, it looks like the bowls magically replenish themselves every week.

I wish.

This whimsical idea has been entertaining me, though. What if I really did have magical bowls? What if they really did fill themselves with fresh produce whenever I emptied them? How would my life be different if I never again had to shop for groceries?

It’s also got me thinking: How would my life be different if it were full of magical objects and machines that did all my work for me? Clothes closets that magically washed all my dirty clothes? Pet food dishes that magically fed my cats? A car that magically drove me around the city? Computers that magically wrote blog posts for me…?

Do you wish you had magical things?

iPhone 5

Some other photos from my day: My new iPhone 5, above. It’s for work. I bought a case for it on Sunday. I’m quite pleased with myself – the case seems quite durable, which should protect the device when I inevitably drop it.

burnt pot

I burned this pot yesterday morning when I was making my breakfast. I include it mostly as a salve for my friend Andrew, who seems to think that I’m a perfect cook. Note to Andrew: I’m not.

cats eating supper

Some people have been asking me about my cats, after they ate lilies and had an unexpected visit to the emergency vet. They’re fine now. None the worse for wear, thankfully.

Lindt sea salt chocolate

Finally, I am seriously addicted to chocolate these days. I bought a bunch of this Lindt chocolate on the weekend, and I’m plowing through it much too fast. This photo is likely blurry because my hands were so close, they were shaking with frustrated desire…

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See just the #photo365 photos, here.

cloak room

cloak room

I have a large walk-in closet in my front room that I use as a cloak room to store my outdoor shoes, boots, and coats. I love the words “cloak room.” They remind me of elementary school, and long, skinny rooms lined with hooks where we hung our coats, and stored our boots. My first elementary school (from grades kindergarten to three) had hangers and benches in the hallways outside each classroom. My second elementary school (for grades five through eight) was an old building, and had real cloak rooms inside each classroom. Right now when I think of them I remember darkness, and the smell of old wood and gym shoes.

(In this photograph, high up on the shelf on the right-hand side, sleeps a cat in a basket of pashminas. Oh yes.)

I appreciate someplace to hang my hat.

another place where i create

large desk and rocking chairs

Last week I shared some photos of my back room, which I use as a studio for writing, drawing, crafting and sewing. (It also holds my books and my clothes.) As luxurious as it may seem, I actually have four places in my apartment where I can (and do) write – thanks to the portability of my laptop. In this post I’m sharing some photos of my front room, which I set up as a home office when I first moved into my apartment, and where I’m writing this post.

Above you can see what the room looks like from my front door: there’s a large industrial shelving unit that fills the entire wall to the left, a huge desk made from a cedar door placed on three filing cabinets, and several wooden chairs, including two of my collection of rocking chairs, and a vintage stenographer’s chair from the 1940s.

desk with laptop and strawberries

I’m pretty obsessive-compulsive about keeping my work areas spotless and completely clear. (You should see my cubicle at work – a casual observer might not realize that anybody even works there, it’s so bare!) I’m a very visual person, and find it too distracting to have clutter or piles of papers where I’m working. The one exception is when I’m making collages – then I love having an assortment of papers and supplies spread all over the place.

two rocking chairs

Most of all, I love having beautiful views in front of me when I write. I always set up my desk / writing area facing a window, so I can rest my eyes on peaceful vistas. In this case, it’s a huge purple maple that’s growing directly outside my windows.

tree outside window

tour of my clothes closet

closet 1

Have I ever mentioned that I love my closets? I love my closets. I kind of freaked out when I moved into my current apartment, though – because the building is 80-90-100 years old, and the closets are about three feet square. I made myself a commitment, though – I would pare down my wardrobe until it fit into the closets (ideally just one – I have two, but would prefer to use the second for bed linens, quilts and pillow storage). I met that goal, but every now and then I need to do some editing of my wardrobe, because I tend to accumulate clothes. Even though I hardly ever shop for them.

closet 2

So lately I’ve been sorting and evaluating and tossing. Being a former professional organizer, I love this kind of thing. It’s like playing What Not to Wear with myself. Plus, it means I get to spend time organizing and reorganizing my clothes closet. Have I mentioned that I love my closets?

closet 3

(I think part of what I love so much about them is the aesthetic appeal of all my favorite colours in one place. Plus the beautiful objects that I own, like wooden hangers. And baskets. (Scroll down to the last photo to see the latter.) Also, I love white walls. My closets have white walls.)

closet 4

closet 5

I organize my clothes by colour, obviously. Also by type. (My four pairs of pants are at the far left, above, and my four skirts and four dresses are at the far right (top photo). And no, there’s no special reason for four each of all those things. It’s just coincidence.)

closet 6

My tops and jackets take up most of the room in the middle.

closet 7

Below are some of my shoes (I also keep several pairs in my cloakroom near my front door), a basket of my flip flops, and a basket where I store any unused wooden hangers. When I take a piece of clothing out of the closet, its hanger goes in the basket until the item of clothing returns to the closet. I don’t know why, but I hate empty hangers hanging on the rod.

closet 8

closet 9

closet 10

I also have some hooks for hanging necklaces and bags.

closet 11

These baskets hold extra blankets and quilts (I have a decent vintage quilt collection), my iron (which I never use except when I’m constructing clothing), and some lint removers. This is what my closet looks like all the time, by the way. Sometimes there’s a bunch more cat hair on the floor, but that’s about it.

closet 12

pantry

pantry

Yesterday I spent some time going through my iPhone photos and uploading them to my computer. I also did a few photo shoots, including this set of photos of my pantry. I’ll be publishing them soon on my lifestyle blog, Kitchen Sink Wisdom.

pepper mill and glass measuring cup

jar of white chalk

coloured chalk

canning jar lids

canning jar lids

canning jars in pantry

canning jars in pantry

canning jars holding dried goods

canning jars holding dried goods

canning jars holding dried goods

Nellie's oxygen bleach

natural cleaning supplies

natural cleaning supplies

hook

apron and bottle brushes

profile of a professional organizer

Michelle Lynne Goodfellow 2008

I was at a party last weekend, and as inevitably happens, someone asked me how I got into professional organizing.

(Well, first they were like, Really??? You do that??? Cool… you don’t want to see my house…)

My best friend introduces me to people as the most organized person she knows. Another friend asked me to manage his move (without, unfortunately, telling any of the other helping friends about it; the general consensus afterwards was that I was “bossy”). Any job I’ve ever had, I’ve spent all my downtime re-organizing everything in my immediate environment. I love to clean. I love to file. The books on my bookshelves are organized alphabetically by subject or by author. There are several subcategories of each. We organizers are a breed unto ourselves, as I’ve been finding this weekend at my first professional organizing convention.

My boyfriend calls me “Monk-elle.” After the television character. Early in our relationship, I was helping him set up an auditorium with chairs for a recital he was giving (he’s a classically trained tenor – we met through our then-mutual singing teacher). After all the chairs were pulled out from under the stage, and arranged by his “roadies” (long-suffering friends who had volunteered to help him with the business end of the recital), here was his new girlfriend, walking up and down the rows, crouching to eye the position of each chair in relationship with the others, making tiny adjustments to the position of rows which, to the untrained eye, looked perfectly straight already… Monk.

I had never seen Monk, and I didn’t find my boyfriend’s laughter amusing. (I think all his friends were laughing by that point, too.) He later showed me some episodes from his complete Monk boxed sets. I was offended. (But I really like the show.)

I still insist to this day that I am not a Monk – I mean, I do not compulsively touch lampposts; I don’t need an antibacterial hand-wipe every time I shake hands. But I kind of prefer it when everything is straight… (I’ve been known to stop a conversation to adjust a picture frame on a wall across the room) …and I can go into a frenzy of activity every time I get a stain on my clothing, not satisfied until I know it’s out. (Or maybe that’s just my Home Ec background, but that’s another story…)

I told a friend who knows me well that my boyfriend thought I was Monk. The friend says I am. I give up.

I’m trying to be more flexible, though. I only sweep the hardwood floor of my bachelor apartment once per day.

Okay, maybe twice.

Well, three times, if it really needs it…

~

This post was originally published on my professional organizing blog, An Organized Existence.