Category Archives: Decluttering

Subway Sign

Several months ago I saw this post by Mrs. Limestone and I knew I had to recreate this project in my house somewhere. As the months went by I suddenly realized I had the perfect piece. Sitting in the storage closet off the patio was a dresser used to store gardening equipment and small tools. It was missing a drawer but that just made it all the more enticing for what I had in mind.

Over the Labor Day weekend I got the dresser out of the storage unit and emptied the drawers. I sanded it down with a palm sander and got to work painting it in Behr’s Black Suede which looks more like a Charcoal grey but I like it. A lovely friend let me borrow his drill and I was able to put a hole in the back of the dresser for power cord access.

I painted the drawers white and then added sticky vinyl backed letters in two sizes. Originally I had thought about putting stops from London, Paris and Rome but stuck with London to go with the other artwork in my living room.

I did sneak in a silly one – can you find it?

A neighbor came over this evening and helped me get my TV off the wall mounting bracket and on to the base. The top shelf area has my Blue Ray player, Wii, modem, router and a basket for my remotes. All of my DVD’s fit in the three drawers and I have room to grow. This allowed me to eliminated a shelf the DVD’s were previously sitting on.

Being non tech savvy, one thing that helped me was to label all of the cords and where they go before I unplugged them. I added my signature paisley to plump up my couch.

I am imensly pleased with this project. It makes me just a little giddy. Living room almost complete. Would like a rug and need to tile my hearth and bulk up my mantle.

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Filed under completed goals, Condo, crafts, Decluttering, decorating

The Kindle

I have been considering a Kindle for a couple of years now. Just like with my iPod which I wanted for at least two years before I actually purchased one. It took a bit for me to “pull the trigger” on the purchase. If anyone knows me they know I love to read (and watch movies and listen to music). As much as I love the actual physical book, I don’t have a ton of space in my 900 square foot condo. Enter the Kindle.  The perfect way to continue to read books and not take up extra space in my limited abode though I suppose reading in a bath would be a bad idea.

My husband actually “bought” it for me for Christmas but I ordered it from my Amazon account so I would not have any problems when I wanted to download new books (tip from my in-laws). We decided on the Touch for $99 instead of the very popular Fire which is retailing for $199 (an iPad was just out of the question financially – especially since we got my husband a MacBook a few months ago). Although I love the idea of a color screen I honestly am only going to be using this to read books – not books with photos but as Crazy Aunt Purl would say, lit-tra-chure. If I ever get a magazine subscription online then I will consider trading up to a color version but I honestly don’t see that happening any time soon. My husband would be happy with the Touch (hopefully we can transfer it to his account down the road if I get a new one).

Pricing for ebooks is great. Much less than the physical versions. Not only is it space-saving but it’s money-saving as well. I can check out ebooks from my local library with the device. I’m a gal who likes to read stories more than once too. So having a book saved in my device/account that is easy to select is awesome. As our debt get’s paid off we will be able to travel more and nothing says vacation to me like a favorite book (or books) to read on the plane or wherever. So much easier to travel with than a thick stack of books.

Last night I ordered the two year extended warranty and this flip jacket. I think this will be a great carrying case for my Kindle. Once I start commuting by bus to work, having my Kindle (and iPod) all charged and ready to go will be awesome for the commute! This will also help me with my book club plan for 2012 as many titles are available to download through my local library which cost nothing (you should see the stack of actual books I have at home right now). An easy way to read through the entire Stephanie Plum series!

It’s smaller than I thought it would be but the screen is awesome. Very clear and no glare what so ever. Very lightweight. I am totally loving it! I have already downloaded a book from the library which I have been reading.

Speaking of reading. I am halfway through Me Talk Pretty One Day which is amusing. Dare I say I may even get through more than one book this month for book club 2012. Next up, The Secret History of Elizabeth Tudor, Vampire Slayer by Lucy Weston.

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>Cleaning Up

>I know I have been a bad blogger and have started a couple posts that I will get to in the next few days. Got to upload the photos still.

Last night I got home from work and spent several hours (5.5) cleaning my house. I am tired of the stuff stacked around the place that we might get to some day. Frankly, our condo was starting to look like a storage unit. When we had people over, our bedroom was the dumping ground as everything got chucked in to and the door closed.

All this clutter also prevented me from accomplishing things I want to do. Things like, relaxing on the weekend with some knitting or sewing or baking, Enjoying time with the bonus kids. Having enough room to work out. Sitting and watching a movie or reading a book. All without feeling anxious without all the stuff all over the house.

Well – no more!

I cleaned the heck out of my place last night. Anything that did not have a home and was not going to be donated ended up in the dining room. This morning we are going to schlep it all out to our onsite (does not cost extra) storage unit. I would rather have the clutter out there until I can go through it. We do have our storage unit pretty organized and this won’t add too much to it. We just don’t have to live with it on a daily basis.

For those of you out there looking for more ideas on living simply, decluttering and decorating well, check out these posts….

Remodeling This Life is doing a 31 days of simplicity.

Dear Lillie’s decorated her patio for fall in Apple Pie on the Porch. LOVE!

Tightwad has Ten ways to make use of your old magazines.

Rowdy Kittens is talking about Bike commuting with baby.

We started our Halloween decorating last weekend and plan to finish this weekend. Photos to come soon!

Also, some hopefully exciting news. Just putting it out there for positive thoughts. I will find out on Wednesday and will let you all know!

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Filed under Decluttering, link love

>The New Bar

>We have had this dresser for several years that has morphed from being a craft cabinet to a bar and many things in between. We decided it was too big and took up too much real estate in our dining room. Not to mention the amount of clutter it collected. So last weekend, armed with a tape measure, we went in search of a new bar.

I thought I would end up with a smaller dresser that didn’t have cut outs on the side like our old one. I really was not sure what I was picturing but when we saw it we knew immediately. We were at a yard sale and there sat a little shelf no more than a foot deep and the perfect height. I so would have paid ten bucks for it – alas it was not for sale.

After a few more yard sales, our last stop was Cost Plus World Market. What do you know, there sat the exact same shelf. The price was a little steeper being brand new and all but at least it was on sale.

Below is the old bar. As you can tell, I am not a huge fan of dusting. C has a bunch of model cars all over and those little cut out shelves received several of them. This is not the most flattering photo since the top and sides are a mess from moving stuff to the new bar area. It’s totally cleaned out inside though. I have to find homes for a few items and then post it on Craigslist (with a better photo of course) and then we will have as easier time getting around the dining table.

Here is the new bar in all its cleaned and organized perfection. This is where we had our little computer desk before our PC died and we went with a laptop. **Side note. My curtains do not go all the way to the floor which I absolutely hate. The reason for this? A baseboard heater below the garden window with an outlet directly over it in the center of the wall. Try hiding that cord!

I actually like that it is open because we can see exactly what we have. I think I am going to put the four glasses in the middle shelf in our kitchen cabinet for regular drinking and put our four martini glasses down in their place. I am not too thrilled with the stack of stuff on the bottom shelf to the right. There are two cigar boxes that hold bottle stoppers, corkscrews, C’s flasks, etc. There is a tin case that holds coasters, a wooden match box and a leather cigar case.
However, I love that it takes up less of a footprint and moving this little shelf will be so much easier than the old dresser!

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Filed under Decluttering, decorating

>Decluttering – The Aftermath

>So, last month I spent A LOT of time decluttering the things from my life. Our condo is looking and feeling bigger than ever now that we have the items we love and use on a regular basis where we can find them.

I came across this blog post which could not have come at a better time since I am now contemplating all the books on our book shelves. What to keep and what to sell.

I do like the idea of putting everything you don’t use often somewhere to come back to later and sort of wipingthe slate clean. If you need something you can retrieve it. I do think I was pretty ruthless when I went through my closet but I bet there are still items I can pluck from the rods and shelves that I know I could donate and probably not think about again.

My personal email box is so full its not even funny. I have over 400 emails. Tell me, when amd I possibly going to get to all of those? I already have folders that I can file most in and for the rest I can just create a “if I need it” file to go to later. I really should delete some of my folders too. A clean inbox is a wonderful thing.

I have a little time this weekend. I could probably take all the books from one cube of my book shelves and make decisions on them. I know the ones I am not keeping are going to be posted online to sell. I have a lot of hard back books I would like to make some money on so I can put that on the credit card balances.

Sunday it’s a world cup party at my sisters house.

Have a great weekend!

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>Emergency Kits

>I was talking to a co worker today on our daily lunchtime walk and she mentioned she and her husband have a place they have agreed to meet in the event of a disaster. It’s across the state.

That got me thinkingthat my husband and I should have similar plans should a disasterous event occur.

I also thought we should probably have something in our cars and in our home in the event of en emergency.

After Googling “make your own disaster kit” I found several links but I thought this one was a good one. After reading about how bad it is to drink from water stored in a plastic water botle in the car I need to look for alternatives to that but I do think water, ready to eat food (for pets and humans) along with a can opener, a first aid kit, tools, supplies and sanitation needs, important documents and clothing are all important.

A few sites have comprehensive guides for you to follow to get these items together. Especially if you don’t have a lot of time or can’t even get home its a good idea to be prepared. Flylady has a detailed guide on things from decluttering to preparedness for evacuation.

I think one of my goals for the coming months will be to get these kits together. We have first aid kits in the cars and houses but not to this extent.

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Filed under Decluttering, documentation, preparedness

>Lounging

>This weekend I was supposed to clean out the storage room off the patio. C was supposed to help but got a better offer of a car show yesterday and tinkering to make Steampunk Rayguns today. I opened up the patio door determined but just could not bring myself to do it.

Its rare I have the house to myself and I thought it was a perfect weekend to lounge, watch girly movies and drink copious amount of tea.

Technically since I am not getting the patio storage done this weekend it means I won’t make my decluttering goal. As C pointed out yesterday, the patio storage is on the OUTSIDE of the house and therefore does not count to INSIDE decluttering. Since I get to make the rules and we do have some stuff to get done in the yard I am running with that.

I still have my pantry to clear out but it should only take an hour later this afternoon.

The morning has been spent reading through some of the books I am going to post for sale. I have three Shabby Chic books and I never thought I would get rid of. I am not too in to flowers and pink but there are some of her ideals I still agree with.
She doesn’t see a reason for collecting things unless they serve a purpose or make her happy. I am practical minded like that. I don’t collect anything. I have always liked Rachel’s idea of buying missmatched china to use for every day. The only thing they have in common are their colors.

This setting above has four different plates and yet they go together fine by their combination of blue and gold. I especially love that nothing is overly flowery and there looks to be a toile piece tossed in to the mix.

C and I got rid of our every day dishes about a year ago and have been using our formal china we got for our wedding every day. I was concerned at first because its expensive if anything broke. We have been lucky and nothing has. I think if we stick to blues and greens and greys we should be able to get a nice collection together of plates, bowls, cups and saucers. I plan to keep my iced beverage glasses and my silver and crystal stuff as I do use it for every day. Once we have a good collection of china we can sell our more formal stuff.

The second thing she says is furniture should be comfortable as well as functional. I am in total agreement there and still can’t believe we spent $900 for a couch that was decidedly NOT comfortable. Our $30 thrift store find is GREAT! I will post a photo when I get the slip cover made so you can see a before and after.

If you buy things that you like and use them then “Whenever you’d like to get together with a bunch of friends, you can be spontaneous because you will always have a source of decorative items”.

I am at odds with my genuine desire to live minimally but to surround myself with things I love. I think for me living withing a small open floor plan with minimal stuff and repurposing is the way to go. I am rambling now so will sign off.

Hope you had a good weekend!

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Filed under Decluttering, decorating, repurposing