I wrote recently about some of the space-saving, small apartment gear I’ve found for our new digs in Manhattan, and I’m always surprised and — oddly, perhaps — happy to note how strongly these more practical, less fashion-oriented posts resonate with you. Happy because it makes me think of the hundreds of other working women and moms out there who are not only aspiring to dress stylishly, but to run their lives carefully and thoughtfully, with the right gear and solutions to make their own lives easier.
Earlier this year, I took an afternoon to reflect on what I was doing with Magpie. I sat down and wrote a mission statement that took many iterations and multiple conversations with Mr. Magpie, and came up with:
TheFashionMagpie intends to inspire and politely provoke women to live thoughtful, well-curated, stylish lives.
I would add, as an addendum to this, that I aspire to do so by nurturing a community of passionate and smart and caring women — you know, women of substance. I see some of you chatting back and forth in the comments and I love it. I learn so much from so many of you, and source such great tips, too — like these incredible knobs as an alternative to more expensive styles I’d been eyeing from the lovely Jennifer!
At any rate, as an update to these more practically-minded posts, I thought I’d share a couple of epic finds for our new apartment in addition to those I mentioned a week or two ago:
+To save precious drawer space, we placed these on the interior of a few of our cabinets so we could hang our potholders.
+I keep my sponge and gloves in this, which hangs off the cabinet under the sink.
+My mom has one of these for dish soap dispensing. I like it because it makes the countertop look a little less cluttered with random bottles and a lot more intentional. This could be part of the hardware of the kitchen!
+We have a narrow galley kitchen and doing mealprep underneath the cabinetry is a little dimmer than I would like. I found this absolute MVP of a product as a solution. For only $35, we now have under-cabinet lighting that is controlled by a remote and did not require any drilling to accomplish (you use stickers to affix these lights to the under the cabinet area, because…#renting). The lights are a touch on the blue side for our tastes, but they’re certainly not garish or overbright or cloying. They honestly look like we had much more expensive under-cabinet lighting installed! Mr. Magpie was completely shocked at how well they worked. (You can even dim the lights and put on a timer!) The one downside is that, since they’re battery operated, they’re going to require a lot of batteries over time, but I think they’re well worth the price.
+I’ve already mentioned these, but they’ve truly helped us make the most of our cabinets and I’m ecstatic over them. The brand that makes them, Seville Classic, seems to turn out a lot of well-reviewed storage solutions — pretty much all of their products have nearly five star reviews on Amazon and lots of loyal customers. I can vouch for their quality — far sturdier and better made than your usual storage gear. For that reason, I just ordered one of these for our pantry closet.
+Not by Seville Classic, but I’m considering this to slide in alongside our washer/dryer — at only 6″ wide, it seems like the perfect way to store most of our household cleaners, our iron, etc.
+Our movers did a great job — nothing was broken, despite the fact that they not only had to move like 300 pieces (no joke…300) from our home to the truck, and then from that truck to a temporary storage facility, and then from that facility onto smaller trucks (NYC has intense restrictions on truck sizes in Manhattan), and then from those smaller trucks across a street (because there was no loading zone available…), up two (!) different service elevators, and nearly 300 STEPS (!!!!) into our new unit. Poor moving guys. But anyway, the ONE THING that was lost in transit was a bundle of mops, brooms, and cleaning supplies. This led me to recently order a new mop — specifically, this kind, which our new cleaning lady insisted is the only kind worth buying, has very good reviews, and is incidentally on sale right now, and the corresponding bucket. Weird to think that there are 500 people on this planet that take the time to review their mops and buckets, but there ya have it. Now this Magpie has a primo mop solution. HA. (Also, I only have ever used this on our wood floors, like my mother.)
+For other households cleaners, I’m partial to Method — this stuff is great for granite (the only stuff I could find that wouldn’t leave a cloudy surface) and this stuff is amazing for quickly cleaning our wood furniture when I’m not in the mood to pull out Pledge and a cloth and all that jazz.
+We left our ginormous, circa-1972 vacuum cleaner in Chicago. I’m not sure where we even got it — I believe an inheritance from one of our parents? — but it was insanely heavy and it smelled weird. Also, we used it to vacuum pine needles after Christmas and I swear it would re-deposit said pine needles every where it went for months after, even though we’d emptied the tank thousands of times in between. But anyway! Living in a smaller unit has afforded me the opportunity to consider a few other options. My mother in law goes nuts over this model, which is super lightweight and, she says, works like a dream. And my mother-in-law IS Martha Stewart (I would not be surprised to find out that she is actually the mastermind behind the Martha empire, and Martha is just a puppet of hers. She sews drapes, plants gardens, designs exquisite tablescapes, knits, sews, bakes — I MEAN SHE IS MARTHA.) At any rate, my MIL has recommended this vacuum to so many friends that she swears she should earn a commission from it. HA! I’m torn between that one and this one, because the reviews on the latter are EFFUSIVE. What do we think? Prolly going to go with my MIL on this one…
+I ordered one of these to double my hanging storage space for blouses.
Tell me your hacks! What else has helped you make the most of your small apartment?
P.S. More organization hacks.