Posts Tagged ‘Organizing’

Tobi TV: Chic Organizing Ideas

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I love it when everything has a place in my house – when it’s neat and tidy without any clutter. But organized doesn’t always mean chic, and many of you want spaces that are organized so they work for you but are also sophisticated and gorgeous.


So on today’s Tobi TV, I’m bringing you my tips for savvy storage solutions that help your space look chic in the process. Let’s take a look:

What do you think of those fun organizing ideas? We’ll review them one more time:

1. Boxes are beautiful, at least the patterned and fabric-covered versions from the big-box organizing stores. Be sure to use these pretty containers to keep the outside looking great even if under the lid it’s mass chaos.

2. Bowls, or at least gorgeous decorative or fine-art versions, make the perfect catch-all. Keep them on tables near where you enter your home to catch your keys, mail, and phone. And place them in those spots that seem to collect everything, like the kitchen counter. They will look pretty when empty but they’re great for corralling all your loose items.

3. Baskets are ideal, whether tucked in a cabinet or shelf, or standing alone on the floor or table. They’re great for holding magazines, toys, even toiletries. There’s almost nothing that a basket can’t control. So use them to keep your clutter to a minimum.

4. Drawers are easy to access and hold a lot of “stuff.” In my design workroom, the drawer fronts are plexi-glass so I can see what’s inside, all organized by color. You could try this trick in a craft-room or, if you are very tidy, in your kitchen. It’s great to hide things away but to still be able to have a peek at what’s inside without even opening the drawer.

I hope you love these tips for making your space more organized, functional, and beautiful, too! Tell me your tidying-up ideas in the comments section below!

Happy Organizing!







For more tips and ideas, be sure to check out my YouTube Channel, featuring every episode of Tobi TV!

Saturday’s Secret Sauce: Cluttered Life, Cluttered Mind

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I just spent a week doing manual labor. Yep, I worked my Spring Break away doing Spring Cleaning and I may be a bit tired but I feel so energized! Thanks to the help of my super-duper packer Amy, we opened EVERY single box of my belongings that is stored while we are renovating our home and I purged about half or more of those items.  Amy then repacked the things that made the cut so they are ready for my move in a few weeks. Plus, they are all organized by which room they will live in at the newly remodeled house.

I then headed back to my condo and I cleaned out and organized all our closets, drawers, and discarded many things I don’t need from our kitchen. We are living with what we thought was the bare minimum in our condo during our renovation. Still, I was able to get rid of many boxes of things we have hardly used while we have been here for the last 7 months.


This sort of organizing isn’t unusual for me. Typically, I clean out and discard more than once a year in smaller ways and at least 1 BIG purge every year or two. It brings me joy. I did a huge week of organizing before we moved out of our last house two years ago and then got rid of a lot when we moved out of our current house back in the fall to start the renovation. But this time, the organizing was different thanks my learning the Kon Mari method designed by Marie Kondo. Last weekend leading up to my planned Spring Break Organizing Extravaganza, I read The Life-changing Magic of Tidying Up and it’s sequel, Spark Joy. I have had these books on my kindle for a while, but I am SO thankful that I made time to read them before I tackled my belongings this week.4

Yes, I am an organized person for sure. I love to have a place for everything and everything in it’s place. I even splurged extra cabinetry in my remodel because I would rather have built-in storage that functions perfectly, than spend that same amount of money or more, on furniture and organizing gadgets that are far less functional when it comes to storing and organizing our belongings.

But now that I used the Kon Mari method (soon to be paired with my dreamy new cabinetry and closets), my yearly purging may get to be a thing of the past! Yes, Marie Kondo says that if you use her concept of only keeping things that truly “Spark Joy” in your life, that you will never again lose control of your home and your things. And you won’t have to waste precious time organizing in the future.


I have to admit, I can already tell a difference in my thinking. I am much more hesitant to buy things that I don’t TRULY love, because I don’t want to have to find a place for them. I also really enjoyed touching everything I own last week, deciding which things to keep, and making plans for storing those items in a place where I can get to them easily. I have confidence that I will actually use everything I kept and not just for special occasions.


Can you imagine this kind of organizing in your life? The interesting thing is that we are creatures of habit and we tend to use and wear the same things over and over. So it’s really sensible to use Marie’s method of getting rid of anything that doesn’t bring you joy. She warns you of the “I might need this one day” way of thinking. And she’s right. Why keep random tools, gadgets, kitchen items or clothing and store them for 2, 6, or even 14 years on the off chance you may need it. She reminds us that if we do, many times we won’t be able to find what we need when we need it anyway, and we would just go buy a replacement. So why not trust getting rid of things now, since we will probably buy what we need later if a need arises. This way of thinking can free us of years of storing things and surrounding ourselves with clutter for not much benefit or more likely, to our detriment. And It’s probably not even a cost savings to have it on hand for a “once every 10 year use”, right?


I don’t know about you, but clutter makes me crazy. And even if you think things bring you comfort, what if you are wrong? What if the stress, anxiety, and tension in your life could be eliminated by removing the “things” that don’t bring you joy and that clutter your home and your mind. Wouldn’t you be happier if you could always find what you were looking for in your home? Think of how much time and energy you would save.


When I have physical clutter in my life, it equals mental clutter for me. And I don’t like that. I prefer to be sharp and focused so I can be my best every day. And when my home is tidy, I enjoy it and my family so much more. Plus I find myself going the extra mile to do other things that bring me peace and joy, like lighting a candle or bringing home fresh flowers, cooking home-made meals, and sitting down at the table together as a family. This all happens more when my home is beautiful and tidy and clean. It’s important. And it nurtures me. It fills me up.


Honestly, nothing makes me happier than being completely organized and knowing where all my things are for living, entertaining, and traveling. In my mid 20’s I had a time when I let things get a bit out of control for me with my closets. And one day after spending what seemed like an hour but was probably 5-10 minutes looking for the mate to one of my shoes, I swore I would never again get that stressed out just trying to get dressed for work. So I got organized.


But the last 2 years while we were living in our newly purchased home that was dated and in dire need of renovation (but waiting for me to have time in my schedule to take on the project), I was reminded of how stressful and depressing a disorganized and dysfunctional home can be. We had old cabinetry without adjustable shelves that our dishes would hardly fit in. We had a giant garden tub that could fit 10 people, but a tiny master bedroom closet with only room for my husband’s things. I stored all my clothes upstairs but slept downstairs. My daughter’s room had no storage to speak of, so the corners were constantly stacked with toys and stuffed animals and art supplies and clutter. Many days this lack of design and function made me want to SCREAM!

But it also made me aware of and grateful for the peace of mind that a well-designed and organized home can bring. Interior Designers and Organizers are NOT a luxury. They are an investment in quality of life.


And now thanks to Marie Kondo, I have taken my organizing habits to a higher level than ever before. And while I haven’t moved out of our temporary condo living, I am already feeling the pleasure of my hard work. I lay in bed at night dreaming of how much easier it will be to get moved back into our home. I smile at the thought of enjoying all my favorite design books in my new study, all my gadgets and tools in my organized kitchen and easily setting the table to entertain friends in the dining room. And even better, I dream of my new closet (that’s not that big, but is downstairs off my bedroom) being just the perfect size for all my things.


So I believe that being organized is the secret sauce to a well-lived and stress-free life. I agree with Marie Kondo that tidying up is truly life-changing and magical. And I hope you will try it for yourself. I know it will be life-changing for you too.

Happy Spring Cleaning Friends and Happy Easter! xo,

Tobi Signature






New House Diary: Master Closet Inspiration

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New House Diary

It may not look like much now, but the photo below shows what could be my favorite part of my house renovation – my half of the master closet! I have been living with all my clothes upstairs while my husband used the one tiny master closet that existed when we purchased our home. I won’t fit all my things in this new closet space, but it will be so nice to not have to traipse upstairs just to get dressed daily.

Screen Shot 2015-11-02 at 6.33.27 AM

The inspiration for my master bedroom closet can be summed up in one word: ORGANIZATION! I want everything to have a place (or as much as I can squeeze in comfortably) and to maximize every single square inch of the closet. And though I know there just isn’t room for all these details I love, I am working hard to fit many of these ideas in so my closet really works!


Jay Jeffers

Of course I also want everything to look gorgeous, too, like the lovely design above from Jay Jeffers. He created a clean and coordinated closet that’s a place I’d love to just hang out in!

Nate Berkus

Nate Berkus, Architectural Digest

Every detail is perfect in the design above from Nate Berkus, from the hardware to the lighting to the seating. I’m just not sure that’s enough shoe storage for me, though!

Miller and Wright Arch

Miller & Wright

My husband and I will actually each have our own closet in the new master bedroom design, and this closet from Miller & Wright Architects is also stunning in a more masculine way. The built-in dresser is a great addition that we will both have in our closet spaces.

Organzied interiors

Organized Interiors

I do have a lot of shoes, so I sure wish I had room for something along the lines of these shoe drawers. They just might help me find a place for every pair in my closet.

Style STate

Style State

I also love the idea of retractable drawers and pull-out shelves to take advantage of as much space as possible, while keeping everything pressed and organized.

Fresh American Style

Fresh American Style

I will definitely be using some fantastic jewelry boxes and holders like those above to keep my jewelry in good shape and easy to view.

So what do you think about the inspiration ideas for our master closets? Let me know in the comments section below! I can’t wait to show you the finished space. My life is going to be so much easier and organized really soon and I couldn’t be happier about it!








Tobi TV: The Butler’s Pantry

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Tobi-TV-logo-600x332We can’t all live a life that affords us the luxury of having a butler, but a luxury you CAN afford is a butler’s pantry. Historically, a butler’s pantry is where a butler made quick meals and sandwiches, cleaned silver, and sometimes even slept.

Screen Shot 2015-04-30 at 6.34.27 PM

Nowadays, even in homes without a butler, butler’s pantries are usually located in transitional spaces between kitchens and dining rooms, and are used as staging areas for serving meals. They usually have countertops, perhaps an additional sink, and storage for tableware, serving platters, table linens, candles, wine, and other things you’ll need to entertain in your dining room.

A butler’s pantry doesn’t have to be huge or take up a lot of space. You can even add this lovely luxury to a corner of your kitchen. Here are my tips for making a butler’s pantry work for you!

Let’s recap those great tips for a butler’s pantry:

1. Make your butler’s pantry pop with colored cabinets like a fun teal or with brass shelving to really shine!

2. Even a small butler’s pantry will look larger with a mirrored back.

3. Marble countertops and great hardware really bring in the luxury for an expensive looking butler’s pantry.

I hope these tips served you well! Let me know in the comments below how you’d serve up this fabulous space in your home!







New House Diary: Perfect Pantries

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New House Diary

Yesterday, you helped me decide between adding a free-standing pantry or customized pantry cupboards to help me organize the kitchen in my new house. And whether built into the cupboards or stand-alone, there are many ways to get your kitchen organized and have all your food and kitchen necessities close at hand.


 (Home Made)

Then there’s the fabulousness of a butler’s pantry. Butler’s Pantries are dreamy, aren’t they? The difference between a kitchen pantry and a butler’s pantry is all about entertaining. While a kitchen pantry offers storage for canned goods, small appliances, and dry goods, a butler’s pantry is all about platters and linens and silver.


(Keystone Projects)

Usually, these small rooms will include special storage for platters, china, crystal, and barware. There might be drawers for linens and more formal silver or stainless. I do plan to entertain a lot in the house, just as I did in my previous home, so I have a lot of dishes and linens to store. c2ae0ba36c7308473f69a34a00842098

(Steven Gambrel Design)

As I said yesterday, I do love to organize, and I like to be ready at a moment’s notice if we have drop-in guests, a last-minute dinner party, or even those family-packed holidays! A butler’s pantry and a kitchen pantry would be the perfect dynamic duo to keep my cooking and entertaining organized and ready to go! So what have I decided? Well here’s where the “But” comes in. I would love both a pantry and a butler’s pantry, BUT I just can’t afford the square footage dedicated to these rooms. I really need it for my new Master Closet. the current Master Closet is only 5×6. Eek! Talk about SCARY on this Halloween Eve. 🙂 f997746088644ec7c3dd93051a08d436

(Coats Homes)

So I’m going for cupboards. But I will have 2 storage/pantry cupboards that are full height on either side of my refrigerator in the kitchen for all my food with pull-outs and organizing features. And then in the breakfast room. I am creating a wall of cabinetry that looks like a china hutch that will act more like a butlers pantry to store platters and more. And it will have my wine refrigerator too. A Thermador Wine Column to be exact. breakfast TV

(Lauren DeLoach via Traditional Home)

And although 90% of you said NO! to a TV in the breakfast room. My family and I have decided that a TV is right for us in that space so we can listen to the morning news there when we want. I am so comfortable with the quality time I spend with my daughter and I don’t worry that a TV here will take away from our family time. In fact, she and I eat breakfast most mornings cuddled in my bed (instead of in the breakfast room) watching GMA and talking about what’s going on in the world. Lots of life lessons can be taught over one discussion of the news! And for the breakfast room, my husband watches TV there in the evening after work while going through the mail, and I do too, sometimes while cooking dinner. So we think it’s the perfect scenario for us.


(Kenzer Furniture via Houzz)

What do you think about these pantry and TV ideas? Do you have a butler’s pantry in your home? Let me know in the comments below! As we head into the holiday season, isn’t it fun to plan these perfect places for those holiday dinners and parties? Thank you SO much for all your comments so far on my home renovation. It is REALLY interesting and helpful to hear what you all think!

Until next time!