Category Archives: organizing

Back in Black

So it seems that I may be a little dresser happy. Dressers are not just to house clothing you know. My first installment was the subway sign media cabinet.

A few months ago I was thrift store shopping with a friend. My purpose was to purchase a dresser (or two) to rehab for more storage in my condo. I came across this lovely vision in pink (for those of you that know me – I am NOT a fan of pink) and I temporarily named her Princess Pepto. Yeah, you can say it – it’s hideous. All of the pepto bismol pink and rose patterned paper. But I had a vision.

PP did not fit in my car so a friend went and picked her up the next day in her mini van (ha! every time I see the word mini van, in my mind I add “not Cooper” and it’s all Kasey’s fault!).

First step was to remove the top of the unit. It was screwed in at all four corners through the top. That was OK as I really want to replace the top with a nice piece of sanded and stained wood or granite (it helps my sister is an interior designer and can source these things for me).

Next step was to removed the contact paper on the inside and outside of the drawers (yes someone actually stuck rose patterened contact paper on wood – the horror). The paper on the inside came up in about five minutes. The paper on the outside took the equivalent of a full day with the help of a bottle of wallpaper remover (and some wine).

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

After I removed the contact paper and wiped it down I got out my trusty palm sander and went to town on her. A friend was over and inspecting my piece and he told me it was actually probably a lower kitchen cabinet and not a dresser. Further proof is the sheet rock attached to the back.

The hardware I chose for this piece had holes spaced slightly closer together than the holes in the existing piece. I plugged the holes with some dowel and wood glue (at the suggestion of the same friend) and procedeed to paint her with two coats of Onyx Black in high gloss by Behr.

The hardware was super easy to put on, even for a novice with a drill like me (not gonna lie, sometimes I am intimidated by power tools). I measured carefully and was able to get all of my hardware put on in about an hour one evening.

I am not calling this project completely finished as I still need a new top and hinges for the door. But for now it’s serviceable and holds all of my sewing and craft items. The third and final installment of my dresser fetish is sitting in my bedroom and I will share with you soon.

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Filed under decorating, nesting, organizing, projects

>Practise the Art of Simplicity

>A post on Unclutterer today caught my eye. The idea that you can practise something as opposed to being 100% good at something all the time.

That is something that I am trying to be better about. I am almost decluttering my house but if I don’t keep up the practise of taking care of the ways that clutter can slip in yo my life I will be back at where I started.

I am practising things like folding my clothing and putting it right away or in the laundry instead of tossing it over something. Admittedly I no longer have anything piled up in my bedroom that I can toss things on. C has a valet that I think invites clutter.

I need to be better about practising (even remembering) eating leftovers in the fridge before they go bad. I have decided that a certain shelf should hold the leftovers and once its full its time to eat that stuff rather than make more stuff.

I am practising cleaning up after meals or projects or just upkeep on chores so I don’t have to dedicate my entire weekend to cleaning the kitchen and bathroom and doing laundry. I would much rather spend a weeknight on something like that and enjoy my weekends.

I am practising keeping a to do list and actually crossing items off. Once projects are done not going back and messing it up again. Getting things clean and keeping them organized are way easier than fighting piles every day. I feel much saner for it.

I am practising putting small amounts of money away every month and extra amounts on credit card balances. This builds up our savings and pays down our debt faster. Soon we will have no credit card debt and a lovely amount in our savings account.

I look around my house and its so nice to see how its coming along and how close we are to being done and just enjoying things.

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Filed under Decluttering, decorating, finances, goals, organizing, personal finance

>Decluttering Continues

>I spent most of the weekend going through more hidden clutter spaces. I cleaned out under our bed and all the bins (six) we have in our hallway shelving unit. The bins are now organized and labeled and some of them are even half empty!

Unfortunately I do have to use under the bed for storage. It’s not good feng shui or what I would prefer but unavoidable for now. I hope to eventually elimate that when I free up more space in the other hidden clutter areas.

At least I know what is under there now and I even found my yoga mat! I have a rolling bin that has all of my craft supplies and tools with the exception of some stamps and stamp pads and 12 x 12 scrapbooking paper. Those were kept in a couple of the bins in the hallway. I will use up the paper on pages for my sister (nephew and niece books) and I still make cards and gift tags. I also have a bin and two photo boxes with all my photos. This is temporary as I want to get them all stored digitally (I have not taken a regular photo in about four years). That will be a project when I get the decluttering done. I am hoping for a digital photo frame for my birthday next month.

I came across some really old stuff this weekend. All the RSVP’s and gift cards (with notes of who gave what) from my wedding six years ago. TONS of photos, some of me when I was little. Stuff from highschool (a Christmas card from my now hubby), kids projects when they were little (we saved a small amount), stuff from a trip to California five years ago for a half started scrapbook, stuff from when I lived in North Carolina ten years ago. I filled a large garbage bag full of items I was keeping that I really never needed to. It feels like I lost ten pounds!

I even freed up a shelf in the hall closet as the four small bins of crafts supplies and tools I had in there fit in to the rolling bin under the bed. I have a few piles on my dining table that need to get in to their permanent homes and I plan to start tackling the hall closet this week.

What’s left on my decluttering list?

  • Hall closet
  • Rolling cart in laundry center
  • Storage off patio
  • Master closet (need to purge clothing)
  • Hallway bookshelves
  • Pantry

Projects that resulted from decluttering…

  • Photos need to be digitally stored (give originals to my mother or others)
  • Finish up some scrapbook pages started for my sister (nephew & niece books)
  • Find permanent homes for some items
  • Selling/donating craft supplies I no longer need
  • Bucca de Beppo wall (more on that in a later post)
  • Finally get wedding photos framed for parents and other family (did I mention I have been married for six years?)

I am hopefull I can complete the decluttering by the end of June. The other projects will be things I can finish throughout the summer. They have places to live (either temporary or permanent) and I can find everything and that is half the battle.

I actually found a journal I started five years ago and it had a list in it of goals. I am sorry to say that I only had completed 1 of them. How is that for procrastination? Yikes – so embarrasing to admit. I know the reason for it too. The clutter, even when I couldn’t see it, prevents me from getting things done. The clutter and unfinished projects throughout the condo are the reason we did complete that one goal – owning a home. We didn’t have the money to finish the projects to move so we just bought the place we were living in. Ug!

This will also make it easier to finally finish all the little condo projects around the house. We will be able to find all of our tools easily and won’t be tripping over piles of stuff to install baseboard molding etc.

I am gratefull for this blog and the blog community in general. This allows me to be somewhat accountable for things I am trying to accomplish. It’s also a journal and scrapbook, wishlist and keepsake all rolled in to one. This online way of journaling actually made it easier for me to give up scrapbooking! I will still make pages for my sister and others which makes it OK to keep a lot of the stuff I spent good money on. When I do a scrapbook page – I do it. Mucho dinero can get invested in a page. I will post some later on to give you an idea.

For now though, I am on a roll and can’t be stopped!

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Filed under challenge, clutter, completed goals, organizing, projects

>Absolute Necessities

>I have been on a decluttering binge for many years now. I aquire less and less and it seems to me that I am ready to give up more and more.

The past couple of weeks the hubs and I have made more of an effort on finishing our condo projects. We painted the living room and the walls above the wainscoting in the bathroom. We bought more baseboard molding to finish off the living room. A trip to IKEA is in our future for many of these DVD shelfs and this leather couch. When we painted the living room we only put items back in that we needed. That meant a recliner we do use all the time but just really clutters up the room is going away.

I am the first person to look at something and think “how can I reuse this in another way”. I had briefly decided that recliner (it looks like a wing chair) would work great in a corner of the dining room as a reading nook. (Photo below is not the actual chair but close to ours and lighter blue – you get the idea).

This is where I get in to trouble. Suddenly I am all about the reading nook and less about the rest of the dining room that needs finishing. Not to mention the living and bathrooms that have unfinished projects we started working on. All I can picture is lazy afternoons reading in the chair by the garden window, sipping my coffee with a blanket tucked around me. Never mind that in order to have those lazy Saturday afternoons, I need to finish the living, dining, bath and master bedrooms.

Instead, we are selling the chair. Pairing down. Perhaps in the future we will have a reading nook. If so, we will look for the appropriate chair at that time. At least this way I have not gotten distracted from finishing my current projects. Cause the dining table and chairs need to be sanded and painted – so they match. I think that is a little more important than a reading nook (which still requires us getting our old PC unhooked and the shelf it sits on taken down).
I have always been “afraid” of dead space in a room. In the past I have always filled my rooms with probably more than they needed. I always worry if there will be enough seating when I have a party, or Christmas morning when the relatives come over. You know, I have stopped worrying about those things because I am tired of living in clutter just to be prepared for those few days a year where I need to have more than my immediate family in my living room.
I have learned the hard way to start with good basics and build from there. I never had the money for good basics so I bought or inherited the basicas and built on top of them. We are getting back to basics.

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Filed under clutter, Decluttering, decorating, finances, goals, Home Improvements, IKEA, organizing, projects

>Going Back to School – Kinda

>I have been following this gals blog for a while and I decided to sign up for one of her classes. I’m pretty excited. Its all online and starts this coming Tuesday (still time to sign up if you are interested). I just don’t seem to have the best focus lately so I thought a class at a minimal cost would help me to jump start some things.

I have accomplished a few of the goals I set out for myself this month but not as many as I had wanted. I know there is still a week left in the month and I know I am a perfectionist but I did expect to be further along than I am.

In my defense, work has been super busy. In fact, I will probably be doing some work this weekend – tonight even. With the layoffs that happened a couple weeks ago I have ended up being the go to girl for several other employees and I am exhausted. Three nights this week when I intended to work out I have ended up taking nap.

I try really hard to leave everything at work and not work from home. This weekend I just have to do some stuff or I will not get everything done that needs to be done by next Friday which is month end.

Got to go – the bubble bath (and the computer) is calling to me.

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Filed under organizing