We have four teeny-tiny closets in our 1,056 sqft house. Luckily, we only have one pack rat in the family (hint: it’s not me). When we were planning to move, I packed up several boxes of books that have been sitting on the floor of a closet.
Last weekend I got a wild hair. I decided to pull those boxes out and put all the books in stacks, forcing us to come up with a game plan.
Unfortunately, this only resulted in there being books on every flat surface of this room for the last week (a.k.a. driving this perfectionist insane!).
One of the biggest problems were all these photo albums, journals and binders. Most of them are too tall to fit in our bookshelf, so where could they go?
I took a little inspiration from my favorite childhood book and decided that all this room needed was a little organization.
I started off by clearing out the top of the closet in that room and making room for all of the too-tall photo albums. I desperately want to find a solution of what to do with all of our printed out pics that we don’t have a digital copy of. At least for now they’re somewhat organized and all in one place!
Next, I went through and pulled out any books that I knew we would never sell in a million years – you know, like Twilight and our Bibles:)
Then I placed the rest of the books in 4 boxes and set them out of the way on our guest bed. We know that a lot of these books are worth something – Ben scanned in one of his undergrad religious books and it was selling for $40! My goal is to eat this elephant one bite at a time and either sell or donate all of these.
The most important thing, was that my get ready room went from this…
to this – whew! Perhaps putting our lives in chaos while tackling this project wasn’t the best idea I’ve ever had.
Speaking of ideas… next month is going to be referred to as No-Spend April here at Staging by M. Ben jokes that the problem areas of our budget are food and me. I’m doing this partly for our budget and partly because of the challenge. I’m hoping my competitive spirit beats out my love of shopping.
Anyone have any advice on the best online places to sell our old books? Should we invest in a good scanner or mail our pics off to be scanned? Who else besides my hubby has had to consider joining BA (Bookaholics Anonymous)?
I stumbled upon a fantastic blog post this morning titled Your Clutter Is Killing Your Creativity by Jeff Goins and can’t stop thinking about it.
As a child, I liked having everything in its place. I set out my outfit for the next day the night before (underwear included). I tried sleeping in my bed straight as a board so that I wouldn’t mess up the sheets. I tried to get my friends to play “tornado” where we’d go around messing up everything in my room quickly followed by “Cinderella” where we’d go back and clean everything up.
Obviously, I value organization (thanks, Dad). I just never thought about clutter and the “mess” in my life inflicting on my creativity. I spent 15 minutes the other day looking for the measuring tape because somebody didn’t put it back where it belongs. How many times has this happened? How many times have I lost my will to create due to frustration from the clutter in my life?
I went through a closet this weekend and gathered a carload of stuff destined for Goodwill. Every time I do this I feel refreshed, empowered, free. Ben tweeted, “Taking stuff to Goodwill today. By stuff I mean last year’s Target purchases.” Ouch. I think sometimes stuff = clutter = no creativity.
What can I do today to battle clutter? I’m going to list our old stove on Craigslist to get it out of our dining room. What are you going to do today?
We found out today that Ben did not get a job in OK that he had applied for. Plan B is to put our house on the market. When it sells, we’ll pack our wagon, head back west and try to find jobs once we get there. As I mentioned in my previous post, I was tired of having our kitchen scattered all over our house.
So today I took a deep breath and started doing what I do best – organize, organize, organize! I began with the “pantry” and tossed expired stuff and grouped like items together (can you tell our grocery store had a close-out sale?).
Next, I took everything out of the rest of the shelves and brought in the 6 boxes of extra stuff that wouldn’t fit. I moved our vitamin stash and Cali’s medicine to the bathroom and filled 2 boxes with stuff to donate to Goodwill.
Oh, and I gave all the shelves a little sponge bath while they were empty. This is what happens when you have open shelving and no exhaust vent – yuck!
I tried to utilize ALL of the space – even awkward cabinet nooks.
It was like a
Big Brother competition giant puzzle deciding what would fit where.
We looked at roll-out drawers for the 2 bottom cabinets, but we couldn’t find exactly what we wanted and they were super pricey.
As you can see, I made the most of the above-the-fridge cabinet as well!
The excess all went into this empty dresser that has been hanging out in our living room. It really wasn’t a whole lot and I was surprised at how much more space we had than I thought. We just have to hang the shelves above the washer and dryer and our kitchen will all be back together again like the cast of Arrested Development when the movie finally gets made – yay!
So what’s the verdict? I loved everyone’s comments on my last post, but I’m glad that I didn’t have to resort to storing our pots and pans in the stove. Any other diehard AD fans out there?
Don’t you hate when a project is over and you’re left with a big mess? After waiting 7 long years to get a dishwasher installed in our kitchen, you’d think we wouldn’t have anything to complain about. Houston, we have a problem!
Since our kitchen reno, our “kitchen” has actually been scattered all over our house. This bookshelf in our dining room has been housing our laundry shelf, on top of the fridge stuff and overflowing don’t-have-a-new-home dishes.
Here’s the motherload in our master (we aren’t currently sleeping in here due to the hot weather). These are all the dishes that used to be in bottom cabinets where the dishwasher and cabinet of drawers now reside.
Our bottom cabinets have a new layout with that itsy-bitsy-teeny-weeny shelf in the back. Before, we had top shelves and bottom shelves that came all the way to the doors. I have one word for this cabinet arrangement… AWKWARD!
Here’s a close-up of the bottom cabinet situation. I’ve put everything back under the sink that used to be there, but at that point I just stand there biting my nails in frustration. If only my parents had sent me to Hogwarts and I could use an Undetectable Extension Charm to make unlimited cabinet space!
The only thing I can think of is to make more room in the upper cabinets, but will that be enough to fit 6 boxes and a bookshelf full of stuff? Doubt it.
Did I mention that on the spec sheet for our house it said there was a pantry? We have yet to find this imaginary pantry unless it’s hiding in the walls. I’ve never wished that it would magically appear so much before now!
I did buy two 36″ floating shelves to go above the dryer and a 24″ one to go above the washer. I plan on staging the dryer shelves with pots, pans, and bowls and treating them like extra cabinet space. Unfortunately, we used to have a pot rack which housed most of these items, so that doesn’t help with the overflow.
Those extra drawers aren’t seeming like such a brilliant idea nowadays. Has anyone else been confused about the layout of newer cabinets? Who has a Houdini trick up their sleeve when it comes to kitchen organization? I apologize for all the Harry Potter references – I’m on the last book, so bear with me!
Guess who’s back to blogging 3 x’s a week?! I finished my 6 wks of working full-time for a co-worker on maternity leave and feel like I have my life back! A little organization goes a long way at our casa. Also, I’m a sucker for baskets. These two facts led to a bathroom organization overhaul.
If you’re a Curious George and like to snoop through people’s bathrooms like my friend Christi, this is what you would have found underneath our sink. I recently cleared everything off the top of the sink, but it all had to go somewhere! I think that plastic purple box was leftover from college.
A trip to Pier 1 and $10 later, I had this simple woven basket to neatly hold all of our get ready stuff. Really it was Ben’s fault because he uttered the words “I would LOVE for you to go to Pier 1!” so that he could finish up some things at work before I picked him up.
I had been looking for a small basket made out of a similar material as these two Pottery Barn baskets I got for our bathroom closet. It really amazes me just HOW much bathroom stuff we can accumulate. It seems like I go through it a couple of times a year, but those baskets stay full to the brim!
It makes me happy now getting ready in the morning and having a “home” for everything. I doubt if Ben has even noticed. Who else out there has done a mini-organization project? Am I the only one who is drawn to the organizing section in stores like a bug to a light? What’s your favorite basket store?
There are few things I like more than simple makeovers that make a big impact! I mentioned in this post last week that I invested in some wood hangers for our guest room. After our friends had come and gone, I decided to put these hangers to a more permanent use in Ben the hen’s closet.
I have wanted to replace our flimsy plastic hangers for awhile now, but I had no idea how this small change could completely transform a closet! Here’s a before pic to give you a better idea of what I’m talking about.
This pic was taken awhile back and isn’t a close-up, but I didn’t even think to take a before pic until I was halfway through and realized how amazing it looked. I picked up this 30-pack of natural wood suit hangers at Bed Bath & Beyond for $16 ($20 – a 20% off coupon I always use there), but I’ve also seen them reasonably priced at Target and Wal-Mart.
Doesn’t it look like a fancy men’s clothing store rack? I will definitely have hanger envy until I invest in some of these for my own closet! I just can’t get over the WOW factor of what a few hangers can make. It’s polished, organized and practical (no more of those annoying hanger wrinkles to iron out). I know huggable hangers are the newest craze, but I haven’t been too impressed.
Are you all as blown away as I am by this simple closet facelift? Any other hanger reviews out there? Besides rehanging clothes, I’ve been
jumping off the couch every time I hear a delivery truck drive down our street patiently waiting for my new curtain panels to be delivered so I can continue piecing together our newly acquired master bedroom.
Remember that time I shamelessly revealed our junk room? Maybe this pic will help refresh your memory…
Ahhh, THAT junk room – it’s all coming back to you now, isn’t it? Well, last week we received an email from some of our best friends who recently moved to Ireland. They offered us a California King memory foam bed that they left behind for FREE! We said “Heck yeah” which was quickly followed by “Awww crap” because we had no earthly idea where this giant bed could go in our house. There was only one room we knew it could fit in – the junk in our junk room had to go!We started by making one of those one phone call solutions and scheduled a pick up with the VVA (Vietnam Veterans of America). They took a lot of the big pieces we had to clear out – full size bed, dresser, 2 TVs, a giant dry erase board and a blue chair we couldn’t even sell for $5 at a yard sale. Whew, that felt good!
The next step was to fill our car up with stuff that needed to go to Goodwill. The VVA would have probably taken this stuff too, but we were taking baby steps and didn’t have all this together yet. Yes, that is my old school original Nintendo in the blue bag. Remember how you used to have to blow in the games to make them work? This was the result of all our hard labor:
Only one simple bookshelf remained and we were relieved to find out that the bed would in fact fit in that room after taping it off on the floor (we probably should have checked that in the first place). I bet you’re wondering where the rest of our stuff went.
We moved everything that was left from the junk room/master bedroom to the guest bedroom. It made me sick to my stomach that my cute guest bedroom had turned into what looked like a landfill, so I spent 4 hrs. doing some major speedy shovey (as our friends call it) to make it look like this:
All that was left was to go pick up our handsome new bed and introduce him to his new home. After finding a truck to borrow and some muscle (apparently memory foam beds are like moving dead, lifeless bodies), we got ‘er done.
It came with a platform frame and was pretty easy to put together. Ben tackled it in about 20 minutes while I served as the family Social Media Coordinator and took pics and tweeted – it’s a tough job, but somebody’s gotta do it!We couldn’t be more thrilled with the new bed even though we haven’t actually gotten to sleep on it yet – ha! We didn’t have sheets that would fit, but my favorite Target organic sheets have been ordered and are on their way. They happened to be on sale this week too, so I splurged and ordered two sets.
Nobody in our house is more excited about the bed than Cali. She loves having a bed she can easily jump up on and we’re pretty sure she thinks it’s exclusively for her. She obviously gave it her paw stamp of approval.
Today we made our final drop off at the post office and shipped 30 lbs worth of old textbooks to a company called GreenTextbooks.org that either reuses or recycles them for free. It only cost us $14 to ship them as Media Mail and it was worth every penny knowing they won’t end up in a landfill!
I’m a little too giddy about all the decorating possibilities for this room, so stay tuned. And that, my friends, is how we put the bed back in bedroom.
I’ve noticed lately that when I tell people that I am a home stager, one of the first things they say is, “Oh, I bet you have an amazing house!” I usually respond by saying that I do love our home, but that it is a work in progress. Nobody has a perfect house and that’s why I’ve decided to share with you one of our deepest, darkest secrets. Ladies and gentlemen… our junk room!Ouch, that stung a little like pulling off a band-aid. In our defense, it is especially cluttered because we moved a bookshelf and filing cabinet out of there this week and the contents that used to be in them are everywhere. Hubby got office space for his private practice and needed those pieces. The sad thing is that
we Ben cleans this room out about once every 6 months, but it still gets this bad.Another cause of the clutter is my creativity. You heard that right – all the projects I’ve been blogging about often have “leftovers” such as these book dust jackets from this project. There are also a couple of floor lamps, pictures and lots of pillows that I moved out of other rooms and then didn’t have a home.I wish we could say that we don’t use this room, but hubby’s closet is in here and it’s the closest thing we have to an office. Some other items of interest are the giant white erase board, multiple chairs we don’t use, and a box TV that no longer works since we got rid of cable. Oh, and there’s a twin bed buried under the pile of (fill in the blank) in the corner.
It’s tough to step away from a project when it’s your own stuff, but the stager in me would first ask, “What is the purpose of this room?” I would then say to myself, “Self, I want this to be a guest bedroom/project room.” Ideally the only furniture in there would be the twin bed, filing cabinet (repurposed as a nightstand), a reading chair, and a small bookshelf.
So where do we begin? As the African Proverb goes, you must eat an elephant one bite at a time. I’m hoping to gain some insight from this book I keep raving about and go from there. There will be sweat and whining, there will be multiple trips to Goodwill and craigslist drop-offs, but the end result will be a purposeful space we will love!
My hubby may have cringed when he saw me snapping pics of our clutter for the blog. Maybe airing our dirty laundry is just the motivation we need, so stay tuned! Confession time – what cluttered room in your house sucks the energy out of you? Anyone have a foolproof plan of tackling a space like this? What is your favorite room in your home and why?
My hubby probably groaned when reading the title of my post today, assuming I would be reviewing Twilight (since he thinks they are the only books I read over and over). My fabulous friend Mandy (the one who challenged me to write my Five Things That Inspire Me post) has been reading a book called Organized Simplicity by Tsh Oxenreider. After seeing how it inspired her to organize her linen closet, I decided that I must check it out.I know I’m probably breaking all the book review rules because I’m only halfway through the book. However, in my defense, it is broken into two distinct parts. Part 1 is about Living Simply in the Real World and Part 2 is Ten Days to a Simpler, More Organized Home. I am both impressed and inspired already! The author has a down-to-earth way of writing and you can tell that she lives like this, she doesn’t just write about it. Her, her husband and 3 children live overseas and they both work from home on a modest budget, so I immediately felt
jealousy respect for her.
Part 1 explains her philosophy of how we got to where we are today. She zones in on those overworked, over-busy, addicted to TV American habits of ours. Then she proceeds to paint a beautiful picture of how it could be different from that. She doesn’t shy away from touchy topics like how we spend our time and money and what that says about who we are.
Recently, Ben and I have been making several changes in our everyday lives to live more simply. We went on a 1-wk TV fast, are trying to improve our diet, and are being intentional about spending our free time creating rather than consuming (hence this blog). I will say that it’s tough trying to be a home stager and trying NOT to be a consumer. One of my favorite parts of staging though is using my creativity to reuse and repurpose things rather than buying new. As I was reading this I kept thinking, “Yeah, yeah, exactly!” in my head.One of my favorite ideas in Part 1 is making A Family Purpose Statement. I was excited about doing this on a coffee date with Ben last night, but the TV won once again with all its shiny bells and whistles like Glee and Parenthood (ironic, isn’t it?). We’re expecting a snow day tomorrow, so this mission statement is top priority! There are a list of questions that you can pick and choose from as well as some examples of other family’s statements to help you piece this life changing mantra together.
Some very big life changes are just over the horizon for us, so I can’t think of a more perfect time to simplify our lives. Stay tuned to see if we can win the battle over the boob tube (as my grandma calls it) and for my review of Part 2. Has anyone else read this gem and have their own review? What other organizational books or magazines have inspired you (I heart Real Simple magazine)? Do you think it’s cute or dorky that my blog post title rhymes?
Book image found here, and girl in arch found here.