Posts Tagged ‘Organization’
There will definitely be a theme of “the dissertation is done, so Debbie is starting to play ‘catch-up’ with projects” with my upcoming posts. It has been so nice to sew/cook/craft again. Not that I worked on the dissertation/school work ALL of the time, but I found myself feeling so guilty about doing anything else, that instead, I would just sit and do nothing or web-surf looking for new projects that I didn’t have time to do!
A while ago, Jen came across in a catalog this creative way to store stuffed animals. Did she order a couple? Oh no, she said, “I bet Mom could make those a lot cheaper!” (I think they were about $75 in this speciality catalog). I did manage to make one for Little S (who had the stuffed-animals-reaching-the-point-of-room-takeover situation going on!) and she received it for her birthday over a year ago. Both of the girls loved the project and requested I make them for the rest of the “grands” — I bought the fabric, even cut it out, but didn’t get them made until just in time for this Christmas. And, they were a hit!
This “storage solution” would also work great for a dorm room or small apartment (to store extra linens, winter jackets, etc.).
Start out with any bean bag chair pattern.. I used “D” of Simplicity Pattern #5105 (which I can guarantee was purchased during one of JoAnn’s any-pattern-for-$1.99 sales — I do NOT pay full price for patterns!).
Heavy fabric, such as duck or denim (you do not want it to be stretchy!), according to pattern requirements
22″ long zipper (closed at one end)
1/2 yard mesh fabric (like what is used for laundry bags)
Cut out the fabric pieces according to the pattern directions. Begin sewing pieces together, again, according to the pattern directions; however, instead of just a simple seam between two of the pieces, insert the zipper.
For the piece which will be opposite where the zipper has been inserted, cut out some of the heavy fabric and insert a “window” of the mesh fabric. In the “sample” Jen found in the catalog, this window was made of vinyl … so that was how I made the first bean bag — not a good idea! Little S almost immediately zipped herself (we should have known!) into the bag and couldn’t get out. Luckily, a little friend was over playing and we were alerted to her predicament! So, before making anymore, I did a bit of fabric “research” and came up with the mesh idea. If you’re making one of these for an older child or teen, or even a young adult, the “window” isn’t really necessary — mainly just allows for the furry friends to be remembered!
Continue to follow pattern directions to complete the “bean bag chair”, simply using your “modified” panels.
Since these “chairs” are likely to get heavy use (Little S drags hers all over the house so she can sit wherever the action is happening!), I double stitched all seams and top-stitched through the seam allowances which I pressed to one side.
As my girls can attest, I do not have a lot of clutter around the house (and am getting even more “minimalist” the older I get). I collect two things (three, if you count friends!) – cookbooks/recipes and magnets/pins. Both of which are usually purchased during my travels. I enjoy looking at them, but got tired of my refrigerator looking like this (found this picture on some realtor’s website — how your refrigerator should NOT look if you are trying to sell your house!):
So, a couple of years ago I purchased some small sheets of metal at the local “big box” home improvement store and nailed them up on a bare wall out in the garage by the washer/dryer – make sure you have a magnet with you when shopping for the sheet metal … not all metal will hold a magnet (a lesson learned the hard way). Luckily on this last trip I had a work nametag in my purse!
This idea would also work if you have a laundry room with bare walls. I just had to buy another sheet and decided to share this idea to “de-clutter” something you have to look at multiple times every single day (the refrigerator), yet allows you to still keep these memory reminders somewhere where you can enjoy looking at them every single day! Hmmm…I guess when I get every single other home improvement project done around here–after I finish my dissertation–I may think about painting the interior of the garage, the walls are pretty dingy looking! Good thing I have those colorful mementos to look at to take the focus off of the dirty walls! :-)
And, if there are no magnets available at whatever “tacky” tourist trap we’re visiting, I will purchase a pin — and since I don’t wear ball caps, these get repurposed to become “tacks” on the bulletin board in my guest room!
Happy Summer Souvenir Shopping!
This week we had company in town and I didn’t have much time to work on de-cluttering the house. We have been working over the past few weeks painting. We painted the kids’ rooms and then we painted the kitchen. In the kitchen, we now have nice new countertops, scrubbed clean cabinets, and a fresh coat of paint. Then you see this:
This isn’t even as bad as it was before we pulled the fridge out to paint. A bunch of the junk on the fridge fell off and we just piled it on a table until we could clean that up! Now it looks like this:
I will probably clear some more magnets off but, for now, it makes me happy to see some white space on the refrigerator!
What have you been organizing this week?
It is the end of the school year (only two more weeks to go…YAY!) and we have been in and out of town all month so decluttering hasn’t gone as well as I had hoped. I have checked off a few things but I am hoping that once summer is here things will calm down a bit. We have a few trips planned, but I am hoping to have time to continue my decluttering journey and also to craft!! You will probably see more kid’s crafts as I will be trying to find lots of things to entertain my 4 and 6 year old!
This week I tackled a project I had been dreading…two of the three hall closets. This closet contains a number of craft items that as you can see are just thrown in the closet with no organization at all. I broke my foot at Christmas in the midst of a million craft projects and as we put stuff away I just threw them in to the closet.
I couldn’t even find something in there if I tried! I organized all the craft stuff, threw away trash, and put some items to be sold in a garage sale. I am still trying to decide if Christmas Cookie Monster gets to stay…my kids love him. Maybe he can move to Grandma’s house to live with the other singing Christmas toys!
Next, I tackled the second hall closet that I have really been dreading. We affectionately call this closet the crap closet. Some people have a junk drawer but we have a crap closet.
As I was cleaning out the closet, I found that the majority of the junk in the closet were holiday items that we missed while putting them away each holiday. You know when you clean up Christmas you always find that one decoration that didn’t make it into the boxes before they got put in the attic? Well, we should have been calling this closet the Closet of Lost Decorations because that was mostly what was in it! That and trash.
With all this free closet space, my next major project (oh and it will be a major one) is to clean Craft Central out of our bedroom and put it in the closet.
What are you organizing this week? Stop by Org Junkie to see what everyone is organizing!
Even though the last time I posted a Clutter-oholics post was three long weeks ago, I promise I have been doing some organizing. The projects took a little longer than I had thought they would and I just didn’t have the energy to post! The first thing I did was clean out three email accounts. No pictures for that one!
The second thing we did was clean up the kitchen to get new counter tops installed. We just went with a high end laminate because we didn’t want to spend the money on a solid surface. We are very happy with the counter tops!
Now we just need to rip down the old border and paint when we get around to it!
The third thing we worked on were the children’s rooms…cue the horror music now. I give you Big S’s before picture:
I know, I know…the clutter issue runs in the family. And the after picture (ignore the lego pieces…he was playing after cleaning!):
And I give you Little S’s room (look away fast!):
The only thing left is to make the beds! The plan is to paint their rooms as well…we will see if we get around to it. What have you been cleaning up lately?
Stop by OrgJunkie to see other people’s messes…it will make me feel better! :-)
Last week my husband suggested that we tackle the office/craft room/let’s-just-put-it-in-there room. We actually made a good bit of progress, but I was sick with strep throat and the baby was sick with a string of the Measles AND an ear infection…so it didn’t get finished. But, because I promised myself that I was going to do this thing (and do it right) I made it a point to complete something on my list.
It’s that thing that everyone has, everyone hates, everyone cringes at when they realize it’s time to do something about it.
The kitchen ‘junk drawer’. (Doom doom DOOM!!!)
Granted, it’s probably one of the smallest projects on my list, but it still took me over an hour to really clean it out, organize its contents, and put away the junk that didn’t belong in the drawer. Here’s my ‘before’:
Pretty junky, yes?
Sadly, there were no craft projects associated with this clean-up. There were, however, various piles of items that were to go to various rooms of the house: the office, the craft room, my bathroom, the garage, and even my MOM’S house.
What is it about organizing your junk drawer that makes you feel refreshed?
Hopefully next week won’t bring more sickies our way and I’ll be able to tackle a real project. For now, I think I’ll go hunt for a rubber band…because I finally know where they are!
This week was a bit of a struggle because of some sickies running through the house. Thankfully, we’re on the mend and the light at the end of the tunnel…well, let’s just say that someone finally changed the light bulb. This week I cleaned up and organized the laundry room. Originally I had only wanted to organize the top shelf of the laundry room, but after some thought I decided that it needed more than that. This ‘room’ is really a closet and it has caused me a bit of grief every since we got married and I moved in.
Awww….can you not see into the laundry room? That’s because I have to hang things on the door frame for them to dry…which my husband HATES. Okay…here you go…now for a real look…
You can see how ‘organized’ that top shelf is…the method of choice being to throw stuff up there and pray it doesn’t fall back down. The bottles of detergent and bleach on the floor? Sigh…yet another thing the baby finds fascinating. The top of the dryer, as hard as I might try, always ends up being the ‘catch all’ for various junk. And the bulletin board? It is ugly as well as junked up.
I started with the top shelf. I got rid of a lot of things, moved out things I rarely needed (the box of light bulbs, for example), and organized what I did need. Again, we buy paper products in bulk, so I like having them stacked together. After that top shelf was cleaned up, I decided I wanted another shelf. It just so happened that we had a scrap piece of shelving left over from another project so I installed that on the right side of the room. I moved the bleach bottles, Oxy-clean, fabric softeners, and ‘soaking buckets’ on the shelf. This cleaned up the stuff on the floor as well as the top of the dryer. I put the large bottles of laundry detergent on the center shelf directly above the washing machine.
I recovered my cork board with a piece of cheery fabric. My clothespins (that I use quite frequently) were normally kept in an old popcorn box that was always misplaced. Using the same fabric, I used a clothes hanger (kiddie sized) and make a snappy new clothespin holder.
I’m pretty pleased with the end product. There’s nothing on the floor (except for the laundry basket), the top of the dryer is clean (except for my ‘lonely-sock basket’), and I don’t have to hang clothes in the door way. The hubs is pretty stinkin’ pleased, too. So please, that he’s now promised to shorten the dryer vent duct so the dryer will scoot further back into the room and actually line up with the washing machine. And that’s what I call a win.
He’s now asking what the next project will be. Hmmmm…..
This week I had an AHA! moment. The first week I joined the 52 Week Challenge, I completed three items on my list. None of the items were small either. All three were time consuming and desperately needed cleaned. Last week, I assumed that life got the best of me and I only had time to declutter one item on my list. This week? Same thing. Only one item. BUT…
I was able to maintain all four other areas. The rest of my house? Not so much, but those four areas that I labored over are still clean. I realized that this task is supposed to take 52 weeks because you can’t clean it all in a few weeks and continue to maintain what you have already cleaned and decluttered. My hope is to make sure that if I have decluttered it, it stays that way.
So what did I tackle this week? The entry way wall opposite of the coat and shoe rack (which is still clean as you will see!)…
I chose this area for several reasons. The most important was that we are getting new countertops delivered on Sunday and I don’t want a delivery man falling over my little vacuum cord. I also decided I should probably unpack that suitcase since we have been home from our weekend trip for a week now. I bought this shelf unit and the boxes at IKEA as a solve to the “I don’t have a craft room” problem. Each box is very organized and labeled but, as you can see, when we bought the shelf addition we had extra space and I hadn’t put the boxes together. We just started stacking stuff and then it just got worse and worse. The boxes just sat stacked and not put together for months…maybe even over a year. That green box sitting on top of the shelf? That is a Christmas decoration that didn’t make it into the box when we packed up Christmas. Still sitting there. Three and a half months later.
I started by putting together the boxes, organizing the junk that had somehow found a home in the little nooks and on top of the unit. I unpacked, moved the water to the kitchen and put the vacuum away. Then I went through what we call the gift card basket.
Anytime someone gets a gift card, it goes in this basket (along with other important stuff that I don’t want to lose but don’t want to take the time to put away…like my daughter’s passport…from a trip last February…like 2010). The problem is that it hasn’t been cleaned out in…I don’t know…forever and we don’t even know what we have. I got that cleaned out, went through the giftcards, called about balances if they were unmarked and put them back in the basket.
Now, this is what you see when you walk in my front door.
I placed a charger on top of the shelf to catch keys, watches, sunglasses, MP3 players, etc. So far, it has helped with the clutter on other flat surfaces as well!
What did you declutter this week?
Stop by OrgJunkie to see other people’s messes…it will make me feel better! :-)
My Clutter-oholics Anonymous ‘Challenge’ is off to a great start. Since posting my list I have been so excited about organizing and cleaning out that I actually had a bit of a hard time deciding what to start on first. Until…
That’s the big boy (he’s ONE!) telling me in his own special way that the bottom of the pantry needs to be cleaned out. One of his favorite toys right now is the yard stick. He’s in love with swinging it around, dragging it around the kitchen, and ‘fencing’ with the dog (poor Sebastian). We stayed home from work to celebrate his birthday and after seeing him drag stuff out of the pantry, I decided that this would be my first Clutter-oholics-Anonymous task. (If you notice, this was also the first item on the list. The kid’s a genius!)
So…first I pulled everything out, vacuumed, and took some wet rags and wiped down the whole floor. Once everything was pulled out, I realized what a hazard that pantry had become. I found old plastic bottles (the two-ounce size that formula comes in…meant to recycle them, but we don’t have a No. 5 recycling center anywhere), wood chips for the smoker (mmmm….yummm…..), a bag of failed Christmas ornaments, and various bowls and food items. The plastic bottles went in the garbage along with the Christmas ornaments. I’d been trying to come up with a craft idea for the bottles, but after months of brainstorming (and my son throwing them all over the kitchen) I gave up and tossed them. The Christmas ornaments? These were a failed attempt to make handmade ornaments for a craft group I used to attend. This was also the same time I gave up on Martha Stewart craft projects. Martha, honey, your projects are beautiful. But…we need to work on your instructions. After trying to make these stupid things THREE TIMES in a row, I cried like a baby and gave up. When I found them in the pantry (a whole year later), I had a body shiver and threw them in the garbage.
We buy a lot of our ‘staples’ in bulk. What doesn’t fit on the shelves, I keep on the floor. Extra batteries are now in an old formula cannister (it’ll get cute paper covering later), and wood chips are in their own cannister, too. I hung the grilling utensils on the walls inside the pantry as well as three of the five yard sticks. I didn’t want to cut out too much of the baby’s fun found in the pantry.
I also made a new grocery bag holder. It’s not as big as the previous one, but it’s new and fresh. So…the bottom of the pantry is done. Whew…
Next is the utility room/wash room. This one’s going to be a lot more involved…and will probably involve me using a cordless drill. I can’t wait.
Stop by Organizing Junkie for the roundup!
Week Two of the 52 Weeks Challenge (Week 10 if you actually started at the beginning of the year!) was a bit of a challenge for me. I was on a roll last week, checking off three items from my 52 Weeks List, and I thought that I would do at least two or three things this week. Nope. Reality check…life, kids, dinner, laundry, and maintaining last week’s items took up an awful lot of time! Even though I only completed one small area, I really learned a lot.
I decided to work on the bookshelf area in our living room. If you look across the living room, it is the first thing that you see when you walk through the front door. We don’t pay much attention to the bookshelf. It is used on a weekly, if not daily basis. It is probably the one area in my house that doesn’t collect a layer of dust on it because books are moved around, taken off the shelf, added to the shelf, etc. I don’t even notice the bookshelf and what it looks like.
Then, I took a picture of it and looked at on the camera screen. AAACCKK!! Is this what people see when they first walk into my house?!?!?!
O. M. G.
Yikes! The cardboard box was put there to catch books as I went through them, but pretty much everything else is exactly what it typically looks like. I went through each shelf, took everything off of it and then sorted it into piles (keep, give away, sell, return to rightful owner). It took days to go through these two bookshelves…ridiculous. What is even more ridiculous is that now that it is done, I have 1.5 shelves of books I haven’t read yet. No need for a library trip right now. I can’t believe all those unread books were hiding on the shelf. I have three bags of books to return or give to three different people and an entire box to take to a used bookstore.
And I laughed out loud when I found this little buried gem!
Now the bookshelf looks like this:
Now that the whole area is cleaned up, I can see what books I have to read and what little things sit on the shelf. There are several little trinkets that we have purchased during our travels that were displayed before but you couldn’t see them through the mess. I am still not sure what I am going to place on the top of the bookshelf, but now I have room to display things that are important to me like this:
This is a copy of the Southern Living blog post when I was named Southern Living Mama Blogger of the Week for my family travel blog. One of my best friends printed off the post, framed it and gave it to me as a gift the day I found out. It has not been displayed because there was nowhere to put it but it is very special to me because it was such an honor!
For more organizing madness, stop by Organizing Junkie for the roundup!
Who knows what we will organize next!!!