KATHMANDU, Oct 27: Nepal National Football Team is set to play against 'Friends of Japan' in a charity match at the ANFA Complex on November 19. All Nepal Football Association (ANFA) and Colorbath, a Japanese NGO, are jointly organizing the match to mark ...
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October 27, 2016
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For years I had a hard time figuring out how to simplify all the stuff in my life. Just when I thought I had one corner of my home organized or was able to streamline one area of life, babies or kids or teens or puppies came along, and then jobs or school or projects, or seasons or houses or other situations changed, and everything would fall apart all over again. Ahhh! It was such a crazy cycle of always trying to figure out if there was any possible way to get ahead of the chaos. Usually, though, I just felt buried under it all, which brought even more stress to the situation.
I wanted my home to be my sanctuary, but so much “stuff” was in the way I wasn’t sure where to start. Trying to get organized actually made me feel even more frazzled because at times I was so overwhelmed and easily distracted that I’d sometimes pull everything out into the room and then end up just stuffing it all back where it was. It took me years to figure out where I was going wrong and what habits I needed to develop to change our home.
I’ll be honest, I still have seasons where I experience disorder (moving chaos or kitchen remodeling, anyone?) but the difference now is that I know how to get myself back on the path to simplicity and order without stressing myself out too much.
Seasons (and stress and clutter) will come and go, but the principles, skills and mindsets for a more orderly life we need can get us through all the ups and downs.
Here are 9 ways to get more organized, without getting more stressed!
1. Deal with one situation at a time.
When we are stressed out or disorganized, it’s easy to add additional stress to the situation by trying to tackle every problem at once. Don’t do that. Pick one decluttering task you need to accomplish for your sanity and don’t start something else until you have the first one under control. If you are like me and can’t even decide where to begin because it all feels overwhelming, make a list of the potential tasks to tackle. Then decide which project would alleviate the most stress right away and start there. Or put the potential areas on slips of paper in a hat and choose one at random!
2. Zero in on essentials first.
If you feel behind on every possible task and your entire house feels like a bomb went off every day, here’s something that has helped me to better focus. Divide the to-do list into two lists. On one, list of everything you feel like you need to do in a day or want to do to get better organized. That list is overwhelming, so don’t pull that one out everyday. On the other list, write down only the most essential daily tasks that you need to keep up on or deal with on an ordinary day (dishes, for instance). Make headway on the essentials list everyday and when you finally feel like you have those daily tasks under better control, let yourself move on to the extras (or enlist help to make progress on your secondary list!).
3. Set realistic expectations.
Don’t add additional stress to your life by having unrealistic expectations. Getting organized can take time. On the other hand, it’s not always reasonable to think you have to stay in chaos because you are busy, have kids or have a job. You are more likely to dig your way out of clutter or chaos if you set some goals that will help you to feel motivated to stay on task and make noticeable but reasonable progress.
4. Declutter the excess.
It’s hard to have a super messy home when you don’t have an excessive amount of stuff. So rather than focusing on getting all the stuff organized, focus on getting rid of as much as you possibly can. You should keep only as much stuff as you have the capacity to maintain and enjoy on a regular basis. Anything more is too much and will add stress to your life.
5. Build in margins.
Do an experiment for a week. Stay off of social media, shut down your phone for period of time each day, or cut out an activity or current responsibility you don’t really need to do. See if you feel less stressed and have more time to get organized when you have more margins in your day.
6. Make more room for things you love.
If your house is overstuffed and disorganized, it’s hard to get organized, let alone hard to even enjoy the things you really love. Create more space in your home for the things you love the most. What do you have that brings you the most happiness? What is just taking up space in your closet or home? What could you let go of to create more breathing room around the things you enjoy?
7. Collect experiences, not stuff.
Stuff can bring enjoyment, but it can also add more chaos and stress. Rather than finding delight in purchasing more items, enjoy the experience of creating more memories instead.
8. Don’t overthink.
One of the reasons we stay disorganized is that we overthink clutter. We can’t decide what to do with something, so we set it aside when we should have let it go. Clutter multiplies when we are indecisive. You might find yourself obsessing over the right way or best way to get organized, rather than just getting the task done. You might spend more time thinking about a task or even distracting yourself from doing a task than it would actually take to complete it.
9. Commit to long term success.
You might have hundreds of things you know you need to declutter and dozens of areas you’d like to organize around your home. Yet it helps to focus on a long term goal rather than just your overwhelming list of tasks to be done. Reminding yourself of your end goal can inspire you to keep on pressing forward with all the smaller tasks.
If you are ready to change your habits and transform your home for good, my book Make Room for What You Love is the book for you. You’ll find the encouragement you need and the practical application to make it happen! This isn’t your ordinary organizing book written by someone who was born organized. I understand what it’s like to feel overwhelmed and have solutions that will inspire you to make progress. You’ll come away a new perspective on your home, more efficient habits and the motivation to transform your home and your life.
What stresses you out the most about dealing with clutter?
Turning an old apartment in an industrial setting that was originally built to serve as a fire station is a challenging task that demands a sensitive balance between past and present. Nestled in a cozy neighborhood of Old Montreal, this stylish loft apartment was transformed by Manon Bélanger by combining its inimitable past and industrial charm with modern aesthetics and comfy décor. The result is a distinctly masculine space that delights you with a wide array of textures ranging from exposed brick walls to stainless steel surfaces and warm wooden tones.
RELATED: Modern Industrial Loft Apartment In Bratislava Showcases Space-Savvy Design
Dubbed Loft Vieux-Montréal, the original apartment was renovated way back in the 70’s and with time, poorly planned additions and restorations turned it into a dark and boring space. Its new owners wanted a refreshing, bright and inviting interior where the original charm of the loft was preserved, enhanced and married with breezy modernity. Lower level of the loft holds the small living area along with the kitchen and dining room that are clad in black, white, brick and wood! A spiral staircase leads to the terrace and also elevates the industrial appeal of the flamboyant loft.
Clever floor-to-ceiling shelving both in the kitchen and the dining room provides ample storage space while stacked firewood adds another layer of intrigue to the interior. Open, metallic bookshelves shape the home library even as a couple of cozy chairs and a cool table complete a home library that maximizes space without compromising on style.
RELATED: Balance And Proportions: Vacant Office Turned Into An Inviting Industrial Loft
Steel is not usually known to rust but that only applies to certain types of steel. There are also cases when rusting is encouraged and appreciated. We’re talking about corten steel, also known as weathering steel. This ally was developed to allow a rust-like appearance to be gained if exposed to the weather for several years in order to form a protective coating. This layer develops and regenerates continuously when exposed to the weather. Corten steel gave us some really amazing building facades which we’ll have a look at right now.
Modal Design built a stunning residence in Los Angeles back in 2010. The building is organized on two levels, the upper section being cantilevered over the ground floor volume. The two sections also have contrasting facade designs. The cantilevered volume is covered in corten panels with perforated patterns meant to give it a fluid and sculptural look.
Corten steel was also used to cover the facade of this family home in Utah. It was a project by Sparano + Mooney. The exterior of the house is covered with hundreds of weathered steel plates and this gives it the appearance of having scales. The rusty color of the facade is ideal in this case because it allows the house to more easily blend in with the landscape.
When asked to update and expand this house in Arkansas, Modus Studio chose to cover the facade in cedar wood and corten steel. The architects also added an extension that features the same modern design as the newly revamped house. The weathered texture and color of the steel panels and the warm hue of the wood form a beautiful duo.
Originally built in 1730, this farmhouse located in Belgium includes an extension that once used to be a barn. Puzzles Architecture designed the extension using weathered steel which is an interesting choice considering the brick facade of the main house and its rustic and old look with a hint of modern. The extension is quite similar in this sense, looking both old and new at the same time.
The K Valley House is a home set pretty much in the middle of nowhere. It stands on a 20 acre site in Thames, New Zealand. The house was built by Herbst Architects and has a very interesting facade designed to allow it to dialogue with the site and surroundings. The clients wanted their new home to be built using weathered materials, with a patina of age and reclaimed wood and corten steel definitely suit the criteria. These in combination with other recycled and reused materials became a part of the design.
Corten steel is not only useful when creating cool building facades that blend in with the landscape. In Almeria, Spain, there’s this tower which was built back in the 13th century as part of a more complex fortress. Now only the tower remains and Castillo Miras Arquitectos were in charge of its restoration. To preserve its history and aged look, they used weathered steel. The material was perfect for the job, allowing the architects to respect the tower’s historical significance and character.
The leisure center located in County Tipperary in Ireland and was originally built in the 1960s. Being a building with a rich and significant history, its design reflected that in various ways and it still does after being renovated by ABK architects. The most important design change made was the addition of a new weathered steel facade. This gives the building a beautiful rust-orange tone which contrasts with the adjacent park.
When building an extension or an annex for an existing structure, architects basically have two options: to make it blend in and match the main building or to make it stand out and contrast with everything else. The latter option was chosen by Rocco Valentini when they renovated a 19th century home and gave it a corten addition. The new section connects two existing volumes and includes a new entry foyer. The glass and weathered steel facade and geometric form contrast with everything else on the site.
A strong contrast also defines the new campus building at Stockholm’s Royal Institute of Technology. The structure was designed by Tham & Videgard Arkitekter and unlike the brick structures that surround it this one has a curved form and a facade covered in weathered steel panels. Large windows perforate the facade and follow the curves, offering the building a modern appearance. It’s the first time in 45 years that the architecture students have their own dedicated building.
The new Sint-Andries city library in Brugge, Belgium also has a corten steel facade. The library was completed in 2015 and occupies an area of 555 square meters. The main goal of the design was to make the library stand out and to allow it to be visible from the adjacent streets. The team at Studio Farris Architects gave it a unique identity by using weathered steel and taking advantage of its aged patina.
With a name as suggestive as Corten House you can easily determine what the materials used on its facade was. The house is located in Sao Paulo, Brazil, near the city’s biggest park. It sits on a long and narrow site and has a design that puts together corten steel, stone, wood and glass, the result being a harmonious and inspiring composition. It was a project by Studio mk27 completed in 2008.
To fully appreciate the beauty of this forest house designed by Yiacouvakis Hamelin architectes you should wait for the autumn foliage. That’s when the house’s corten steel facade dialogues with the fallen leaves and the fall colors that surround it. The house is located in Quebec, Canada and is composed of three volumes linked by glass passageways.
So far we’ve seen corten steel used on small buildings and it looked interesting and eye-catching. So let’s see how it applies to a larger structure such as the Broadcasting Place, a 23-storey structure in Leeds, UK. The building was designed by Feilden Clegg Bradley Studios in 2009. The exterior design was inspired by the city’s geological and sculptural heritage, hence the sharp angular elements and the corten steel that forms a rain-screen facade.
The city of Tianjin in China has its own spectacular corten steel landmark. It’s the Vanke Triple V Gallery built by Ministry of Design. The structure’s dramatic form turned it into an icon. The design has a strong sculptural character and the building is organized into three main volumes connected under a corten facade. The facade responds to the weather conditions gaining patina over time.
The Diego Portales building from Chile has a long and complicated history. In 2006 a fire destroyed the eastern sector and at that moment the local government decide to organize an international architecture competition. The winning proposal came from Cristian Fernandez Arquitectos and Lateral Arquitectura & Diseno. Their immediate concern was to create a good relationship between the building and its surroundings and this inspired them to choose weathered steel as the main material for the new facade.
A lot of residential projects also use corten in their designs as a means to connect to the surroundings and to blend in. One such project is the residence designed by DMOA Architecten in Belgium. Completed in 2013, the house has a very interesting facade defined by weathered steel panels that mark the property and glow in the evening sun in a truly wonderful way.
A similar project is the one completed by x Architekten in Linz, Austria back in 2007. The project started with an old building that dated back to the 1920s. It proved to be valuable mostly because of its beautiful surroundings. However, the clients wanted to revitalize it and to also add a bit more space. The design of the building was also adapted to suit a modern environment and to better correlate with the surroundings.
Once an old and dilapidated building on the Dovecote Studio campus, this structure was renovated and completely transformed by Haworth Tompkins. The studio turned the old ruins into a shell for the new structure. They also gave the new building a corten steel cover to better blend in and match the bricks. It’s a really cool and stylish solution.
The Fukura Port in Japan has a very interesting building. It was designed by Endo Shuhei and its role is to control the floodgates. It had to be able to withstand a tsunami and to serve as a refuge if needed its shape definitely helps. The choice of corten steel for the facade is an excellent one from both a practical and aesthetic point of view.
The latest chapter of this building’s story starts when its current owner acquired the land and the structures present on it. He planned to completely restructure and redesign the land in the future but until that happened one of the old rustic structures became his office. Instead of a complete renovation, the architects at Möhn+Bouman decided to simply cover up the old structure with a corten steel mesh screen.
Although corten steel is not exactly a new invention, it has seen a rise in popularity in the past few years, being used in a variety of projects. One of them was the Wyckoff Exchange building in Brooklyn, New York. The structure serves as a venue for music concerts and other events. Its exterior was covered in corten steel by Andre Kikoski Architect and it looks really cool and funky, perfect for this type of space.
Private residences also started to include corten steel in their designs and to make the most of its unique qualities. The Clearview Residence designed by Altius Architecture in Ontario, Canada. One of the major goals that the architects had in mind was integrating the building into its surroundings and making the most of the site. For that, they found inspiration in the immediate surroundings and chose a palette of materials that reflects the landscape and seasonal changes.
There’s also a lovely corten house in Park City, Utah. It was a project by ParkCity Design + Build. It called the Summit Haus and it’s one of the most sustainable and energy-efficient homes in the area. Its corten facade establishes a rough and unpolished look which contrasts with the cozy and inviting interior. The contrast is unexpected and pleasant.
Speaking of contrasts, an interesting combo is featured by the Anderson Pavilion developed by Miller Design in Modesto, California. The facade of the building is a mixture of contrasting materials, corten steel being one of them. A large and solid perforated steel door offers access, linking the interior spaces and the surroundings. Similarly, the garage door has the same characteristics.
When Minervini Vandermark Architecture decided to design and build this building in Hoboken, New Jersey, their goal was to expand their studio while also contributing to the revitalization of the neighborhood. The architects also wanted the new building to seamlessly blend in with the rest of the existing structures so they didn’t make it too imposing or futuristic, choosing a corten facade instead.
All the projects presented here used rust as a shield, taking advantage of the unique attributes that corten steel displays. Although it may not seem like a revolutionary material, it actually offers multiple advantages, allowing architects to explore new ideas and concepts and to come up with new ways of integrating buildings into their surroundings and making them sustainable and low-maintenance. Corten steel doesn’t need to be painted and sealed because it takes care of itself by gaining a beautiful rusty patina over time as it’s exposed to the weather. This allows it to form a shield, a thin shell that regenerates over time and which can withstand harsh weather and even make the most of it. This makes corten facades ideal for holiday homes, large structures and even modern landmarks.
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