Friday, December 27, 2013

Time to Organize!

I apologize for my absence lately.  Blogging had to take a backburner to finishing the semester and taking the comprehensive exam for my master's degree.  Since finishing that a few weeks ago, I have been working to reorganize some areas of the house.  I started with our guest room closet.  We were having family come for the holidays and it was a disaster!

As you can see, this is our catch-all closet.  It holds extra bags, classwork from my master's program, books, my daughter's keepsakes, and on and on.  I started by taking everything out and sorting it into piles on the floor.

I did get rid of some trash, really old papers, and bags I don't use anymore.  Then I put everything back in a more organized fashion.

Books and papers I need to keep for my master's program are more organized on the bottom shelf.  Waiting for the day I am finished and don't need to keep all of that anymore:)  The top shelf holds portfolios for my hubby and I and some important papers.

The bottom of the closet is where I keep a plastic tub for clothes for my daughter (when I buy them off season or on sale).  It also has a few different bags for donations.  One is where we keep the bag for Salvation Army (once the bag is full I will drop it off) and the other are donations I have since dropped off for a shelter.

The corner shelves are now much better organized as well.  The top shelf contains our pool bag (which we won't need for awhile) and the duffel bags we use when we travel.  The middle shelf is my daughter's keepsake box and our box of documents for taxes.  The bottom shelf holds a box of extra school supplies for my daughter and the bags I use more often (contained inside the Thirty-One bag).

I feel so much better about this closet even if people don't see it too often:)  I don't feel like everything is falling off the shelves anymore, guests could hang clothes if they need to, and I don't have to dig under a pile of bags to find what I need.

We switched my daughter's room and the guest room a few years ago and I haven't done anything with the guest room since.  I bought a new quilt and am working on a side table, some artwork, and other things to make it more inviting.  I will show you all the finished product when I get there:)


Sunday, October 27, 2013

Our Front Entry

My goal was to create this post right after I showed you the new shelves we built for the our front entryway. happened.  My handy hubby created a shelving system for the front entry of our house.  You can find that post here.

I thought I would show you our front entry and how we organize all the stuff that gets dropped when you walk in the door.

To the right of the front door is the shelves that my husband built for me.  Each member of our family has a basket.  Hubby keeps his wallet and other items he grabs when he comes in and out during the day.  My daughter's basket is where she can throw her hat and gloves that otherwise end up on the floor.  I keep my purse on top since I grab it on the way out the door.

To the left of the front door is the bench and coat hooks.  My hubby found the bench on the curb.  He brought it home, repainted it and I have loved having it next to our front door.  In addition, he built our coat hooks with a painted piece of wood (he added trim to the edges so it looks pretty) and hooks from the home improvement store.  We hang coats and school bags here.  My daughter sometimes also lays her bookbag on the bench so she can reach it, but its not on the floor!

The door you see is our hall closet.  It was one of my very first organizing projects on the blog.  I have reorganized this since my first post over a year and a half ago so I will soon show you how it looks now. 

Here is a view of the entry from the living room.  Our entry way opens directly into the living room so I like to keep it clutter free. You can also view the entry from the kitchen table...(you get the point).  We recently repainted our first floor with the wonderful yellow color it is now.  I've been working on green and red accents as I create or buy things for the kitchen, eating area, and living room.  I'd like to repaint the front door at some point to match our new colors.  Hope you have enjoyed our little entryway tour!


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Sunday, September 8, 2013

Organizing our Front Hall

The front door of our house opens directly into our living room.  There is a small patch of tile from the door to the front hall closet but the rest is the living room.  That means that backpacks, shoes, coats, and various other items get dumped there by us all.

I wanted a way to corral all of it, especially the items my daughter throws on the floor such as her hat, mittens, and scarf in the winter.  Not her fault, just nowhere for her to keep them.

I saw an idea on Pinterest that I really liked and thought would work for what I was wanting.  You can find the post here.  Luckily, hubby is very handy and was able to create what I had in mind.

To start I went to Michael's and bought 3 wooden crates.  They sell them unfinished and I made a few trips so I could use my 40% off coupon on each one:)  They ended up being about $9 apiece.  Hubby is so wonderful that he started when I wasn't even home so I didn't have time to snap a picture of the crates before starting.

Then hubby stacked them and secured them together.

He also added trim to the bottom so it sat off the ground a bit and looked more like a shelf.

Then we primed and painted the whole thing green.  I am slowly working on changing my living room and kitchen colors to yellow, green and red.  I also have a green bench in the entryway which I will show you in my next post.

These shelves now sit right next to our front door.  I put our mail tray right on top so that whoever grabs the mail that day can put it on the tray until we sort through it (which I make sure to do before bed every night).

Finally, I added some baskets.  Hubby is already using one for his wallet and other items he grabs on the way out the door.  I plan to have one for myself and one for my daughter for those mittens, hats and other items she will need on her way out the door in the morning.

I'm really excited about using these shelves to control some of our clutter that ends up on the floor or kitchen table because we had nowhere to keep it.  I'm not entirely sure I like the size of these baskets so that may be changed up at a later date if I find others that I like better.


Linking up with:
 Sew Much Crafting
 The Patriotic Pam
Shaken Together

Sunday, August 18, 2013

Reorganization Time!

Besides that fact that it just looks like chaos, this reorganizing project came out of necessity.  With school starting, I needed to get to my Arc puncher and laminator and they were buried in this mess!

Over the summer, this cabinet had become a dumping ground of all the things I thought I might one day decide to use in a "project."  Last summer I organized our laundry room where this cabinet lives.  So it did look pretty at one time.  You can find that post here.

Once you open the cabinet, there are two sides with a shelf on each side.  Here are the inside pictures before I pulled everything out.

Besides the fact that things had kind of gotten thrown inside, my pile of gift bags and other gift items was a hot mess!  Every time I opened the cabinet, they'd all come sliding out.  I needed a better storage solution than a pile on the shelf:)  So, I found a lid rack at Target in the kitchen section.  Its meant to be used for pot lids.

I pulled everything out of the one side of the cabinet and sorted the bags by size.  I moved all the gift bags, ribbons and stuff to the bottom shelf because it is taller to fit the new storage idea.  I put the piles of gift bags into slots.  I used an empty basket I had laying around for the small bags, ribbons, and fillers.

Then I put everything into the bottom section of the cabinet.

I did some weeding out of the extra office supplies before placing them on the top shelf of the cabinet.

I pulled everything out of the other side and sorted through the items.  I got rid of things I wasn't going to use and put items, such as the fabric, away in the containers I had been too lazy to use:)

When I was all finished, I could get to everything inside the cabinet without digging or anything falling out on me.  I was also very happy to be able to use the top of the cabinet for some school projects and to fold laundry again. 

While I had organized this cabinet last fall, you can see how things can get away from you sometimes and just need a little tweaking.

Thursday, July 25, 2013

Easy Summer Salad

Thought I would share with all of you an easy summer salad that I am loving lately.  Our farmer's market has had tomatoes and cucumbers galore the past few weeks.  I bought the small sized tomatoes, I believe they are along the lines of a cherry tomato?  Here is what I did...ready to be blown away?:)

I sliced up some of the tomatoes.  How many is really up to you.  I tried to do about half tomatoes and half cucumbers.  Then I sliced up the cucumber.

I also added kalamata olives that I had in the fridge.  You can buy many different brands near the olives in the grocery store.

Finally, I dressed it with a little olive oil, salt, and pepper.  Go easy on the salt or don't salt until you've tasted it since the kalamata olives are on the saltier side.

Hubby says he doesn't like cucumbers and he has been loving this EASY salad!

Recipe:  ( I use that term lightly:)
Small tomatoes - slice into bite sized pieces
Cucumber - slice into bite sized pieces
Kalamata olives - sliced
Olive oil
Mix together


Linking up with:
 Shaken Together

Sew Much Crafting

Sunday, July 14, 2013

DIY Art Project

I am excited to finally have this project finished and ready to show you.  It wasn't time consuming, but I have had limited time lately to work on anything so it took me awhile to finish up.  I have created an art project to hang on our family room wall.  I am slowly (very:) working on changing the colors in our family room.  It was previously dark red, navy, and dark green as the accent colors.  I found a new rug I loved that was taupe and muted shades of blue and green.  I'm now trying to change up the art work, frames and other accent pieces in the family room as well.

I had seen a Pinterest image that was my inspiration for this project.  This is the picture I originally saw that I wanted to try to recreate (link here).  I knew I had materials that I could use to recreate a similar look.  Before we changed the colors in my daughter's room, her name was hanging on the wall.  I had painted the letters of her name on canvas and hung them on the wall but the colors no longer matched her new bedding.  Here are the canvases I started with.

I painted them with a few coats of white spray paint because I was unsure if the colors would show through once they were covered in fabric, especially the black letters.

Once they were painted, I covered each canvas in fabric.  I found a blue and white pattern and a cream colored fabric, both on clearance at Joann Fabrics that I used.  I laid the canvas face down to figure out the size of fabric I would need to cover the canvas and wrap over the edges.

After cutting the fabric, I used a staple gun to staple the fabric around the edges.

Here is what it looked like from the front after everything was stapled down.

I bought the letters at an arts and crafts store.  I chose the word "Relax" because it fit the number of canvases I had and I thought it was appropriate for our family room where we relax (of course).  I painted each letter green and glued it to the fabric.

I used ribbon I had from a previous project to hang the canvases.  I was very careful to measure each piece to the same size so they would hang evenly.  Each canvas had a picture hanger at the top on the back that I used as my guide as to where to staple the ribbon.

Here is what one of the finished canvases looked like before I hung it.

I am very happy with how this turned out.  Here it is hanging on the wall in the family room.  My handy hubby hung the curtain rod on the wall for me.

A plan is in place for below the new art.  There used to be a chair and this white cube from Pottery Barn (very old).  The cube is going to be used elsewhere in the house and a different piece of furniture will go on this wall.  I need to get a few projects finished before I can move the table here so I'll show the update later.

The cost of this project was minimal for me:
Canvas - free because I already had them
Fabric - under $5 (I bought it awhile ago and don't remember exactly the price)
Ribbon - left over from another project
Wood Letters - about 80 cents each.  Originally 1.49 but I bought them when they were on sale
Craft Paint - 1.00
Curtain Rod - left from when we took down the kitchen curtains (one day I will have different window treatments:)


Linking up with:

 Shaken Together
Scattered Thoughts of a Crafty Mom

Sew Much Crafting

Monday, June 24, 2013

Junk Drawer No More!

Wow, has June flown by!  Between the end of the school year, vacations, and other commitments, things have been crazy.  I'm working on a project for a wall in our family room that I hope to finish and post before too long, but decided to clean up some drawers while the paint was drying today.

These are the drawers in the cabinet in our kitchen.  They catch pretty much everything!

I attempted to organize with some baskets but we had obviously been throwing items in the baskets with little organization.  So, while at Target, I picked up some smaller baskets to create a few more categories.  I dumped everything on the kitchen table, sorted, and threw away as necessary.  Once I was finished, they were so much better!

I hoping they stay a little more organized now that I feel everything has a very specific home.

Linking up with:
 Shaken Together


Sew Much Crafting