31 Days: Do the Shuffle

Today is the last day of 31 Days of Getting it Done. What did I get done the past 31 days? It certainly wasn’t 31 things, and I didn’t blog for 31 days straight. But I’m not going to be hard on myself, I got some small things done that have been bothering me in a big way. There are still a lot of things on my lengthy to-do list, and I’ll tackle them as time and energy levels permit, but for now I’m happy with what I’ve accomplished. And today, I wanted to show you one last small project I was able to tackle before the end of this titillating and life changing series. (HAR-HAR)

Yup, I’m gonna bore with my cupboard arrangements. The cupboard pictured above is really the only cupboard that can hold our plates, bowls, cups and glasses. It’s not the only cupboard in the kitchen, but seems be the one that is most convenient for these items. So, this time I wasn’t moving everything, just the plastic storage tubs and some additional plates that have spent time shuffling around the kitchen.

The top shelf originally held extra plastic storage tubs and a rice cooker, I decided the rice cooker could find a home elsewhere since it’s not used that often and was taking up valuable real estate. By moving out the rice cooker, I freed up enough space to keep all of my plastics on the top shelf. Which allowed me more space on that second shelf for the shuffled plates and some new additions to my vintage glass collection.

Those green glasses have really gotten a lot of use since I brought them home last weekend. At 1.99 for a set of six, I’d say we’ve gotten our money’s worth. Plus, they look cute next the amber colored glasses don’t ya think?

Here’s the final product of my little dish shuffle.

It does my little OCD heart good to see all glassware and plastic items separated and in their own little homes. It also makes it blatantly obvious the over-abundance of plates and glasses I own. But I can’t get rid of them, what if I invite 500 of my best friends and family over for a dinner party some day?

Oh yeah, and today is Halloween, so happy trick-or-treating to all!

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31 Days: Early Christmas

Two months ago, my sweet mom bought me an early Christmas present, I didn’t take a picture of it in the box or else you’d see it here. My sweet mom gave me a set of flatware, it’s beautiful and shiny and just the right weight. I’m a weirdo and pay attention to the weight of silverware in my hand, I like it be a little weighty, but not so weighty that it falls out of your hand easily.

When I brought my early Christmas present home, I took each piece out and admired it’s shiney beauty, then placed each piece into a large glass vase until I could fix the kitchen drawer that I would be placing my new beauties in. You see, my kitchen still has it’s original cabinets from 1957, with it’s original 4 drawers. Yes, there are only 4 drawers in the entire kitchen, and the top drawer that is typically used for silverware, is narrow and I was always jamming my forks into ledge right above the silverware drawer. Which caused a frustratingly large number of bent forks. A bent fork does not a well set table make.

Anywho, that ledge once held a pull out cutting board, or counter extension or whatever it is you want to call it. Either way, I never used the pull out cutting board because (1) it was nasty and (2) it was super unstable.  Here are the four drawers in my kitchen, you can see where the pull out cutting board once lived.

Also, never mind the nails sticking out of that third drawer. I haven’t pounded them back in so Bubba will get the hint and FINALLY let me go into debt for new cabinets. After four years, I don’t think it’s working.

The other day, as I pulled out yet another bent fork, I decided it was high time I give my shiny new flatware a home.  So, I pulled out my trusty saw, that cuts through old wood like “budda”, and I FINALLY got rid of that annoying little piece of wood that’s been reeking havoc on my forks.

And if I had taken an in process shot of the ledge cutting you would see that here. Instead I’ll show you all of the stuff I pulled out the drawer.

I can’t believe all of that was crammed into that itty bitty drawer, and by the way why in the world do we save those little cracker packs that come with take out salad? It’s not like we don’t have 5 different varieties of crackers in the cupboards. Anywho, after emptying out the drawer and finally cutting through that annoying ledge, it was time to scrub the drawer. Believe me, it needed to be scrubbed, this thing was nasty, and I give the cabinets a good wash down at least once a year.

At one point, I toyed with the idea of painting the old cabinets, so I experimented a little with this drawer. Then I got scared and decided I’d just deal with the old paint a little longer. Maybe I’ll get up the nerve again one day, we’ll just have to wait and see. But back to the dirtiness, see? Even after scrubbing, it was still looking a little less than hygienic, so I decided it was time to just give in and do the old lady thing, contact paper. I hate contact paper, but when you are dealing with old cabinets with splintery wood and chipping paint, and you don’t have the time, patience or gumption to fix the problem, contact paper is an easy solution. And it gave me enough confidence in it’s cleanliness to put my new flatware in it’s new home.

I still need to buy a smallish square container to put in the lower corner, but for now it works. And I get to finally use my Christmas present!!

31 Days: Shoe Hoard

The other day, I finally mustered up enough energy and bravery to organize my shoes. I may have a small footwear addiction…

After lining up all members of my shoe army, I counted 56 pairs present. Honestly, I don’t see how I can deny it now, I do have a footwear addiction. I don’t know how it started, but it’s there, and it’s taking up waaaay too much space in my teeny little house. Since cleaning out the bottom of my closet two years ago, the collection has grown. Most of the shoes I’ve been stumbling over and shuffling around have only been worn a couple of times. Some of them have never been worn, as they were victims of impulse internet buys, ya know the kind that look cute and comfy until they arrive on your door step and you immediately realize those sweet Riding Boots won’t fit over your cankles. The disappointing buys that taunt you every time the closet door opens, and remind you of your imperfections as well as your inability to remember return dates. Yeah, those things, aren’t worth the mental space nor the physical space they demand. So, out went a good 20 pairs of demeaning wedges, painfully narrow boots, deceptively comfy looking flats, and flip flops way past their prime. I plan to list the new and never before worn shoes on eBay to see about getting a little of my money back, but the rest have either gone in the trash or have found a new home amongst the racks of Goodwill.

And the remaining members of my shoe army now reside in these little plastic shoe boxes. How quaint of me to use them for shoes right?

Then I neatly stacked them at the bottom of my dark closet.

After a few days of this system, I have come to the conclusion that it doesn’t work. I will either need to figure out how to build a shoe rack, or try cleaning out the top shelf of the closet (which regrettably has become an abyss) and try them up there, or conjure up a nice spell for a bigger closet that will accommodate my shoe and cardigan hoard (the sweaters are a post all by themselves). Another thinning of the herd may also be required. Of the 56 original pairs I am now down to 36 pairs of shoes that I love, but could possibly be past their prime or just not be the most comfy. What is a girl to do? Because ya know, there aren’t bigger issues in the world.

31 Days Day 12: A Clean House

It has recently dawned on me that before I can get to any of the fun stuff, like organizing or styling my home, I first need to clean my home. What a concept right? But really, it’s a good thing as my good ole friend Martha Stewart would say.

A clean home really does help in clearing the mind so that you can focus on more important things like furniture arrangements or ponder why the 11th Doctor Who doesn’t have eyebrows.

Having a clean space kind of quiets a room, it allows the accessories and other pretties to speak for themselves. That is if there aren’t too many in one space, you definitely don’t want so many pretties that they have to scream for attention above the crowd.

Now, I can’t wait to take care of all the poor accessories and other pretties that are screaming for help in the rest of the house.

31 Days Day 10 :Sorting the Etc.

It would seem that life has been getting in the way of blogging lately, which would explain my absence on days 8 and 9 of this 31 Days of Getting it Done challenge. I’ve been getting things done, they just aren’t exciting things, or bloggy things, think more work things, things that allow me to continue to receive a paycheck. Which honestly, is a little more important than making sure I’ve got a post up everyday. Have I ranted mentioned the time it takes to get these guys (meaning a blog post) up and running? I mean we’re talking a good 2 or 3 hours including photo editing and thinking up a coherent string of words to put a post together. So, do you forgive me for ignoring the blog for a few days?? I really hope so, because I’m ready to jump back into the swing of things, at least until life gets in the way of my fun.

When I left you last, I showed you some sweet non-entry way ideas from Pinterest. Quite inspiring actually, I had planned on mounting a few baskets to the wall like in this photo:

Thanks to my teeny house, the vintage locker baskets I had planned to use wouldn’t fit anywhere in my pseudo entry way. I tried them on either side of the door, but in each space they just seemed to stick out too much. And with my abundant gracefullness, (HAR-HAR) I feared many bumps and scrapes on my hurried exit out the door on work day mornings. So, it was a no-go, instead I realized the only way I would be able to even think about making changes to any area in my home would be to actually clean it. What a concept right? A clean house really is a happier house. I started my little cleaning frenzy in the areas by the front door. Here’s what I started out with:

It’s a cluttered mess right? A bit shameful, but I am only sharing it because it doesn’t look like this anymore, I’ve got my pride people. Also, notice the “etc.” sign? Yeah, that pretty much sums up my home. Actually, I have two “etc” signs…

A top my ugly wall heater resides my secondary “etc.”. Speaks volumes doesn’t it?

Anywho, after some shuffling, throwing, dusting, and a little bit of mild cursing, I had some nice piles.

A pile for magazines, catalogs, movies and hard back books. I really have no idea how any of those things got thrown underneath this little table, but there they were. And also, a flying pig, maybe he made an appearance because I was finally going through our “etc.”

I didn’t realize what a magazine hoarder I had become, all of these are Better Homes and Gardens. Wonder what that says about me.

After all the dusting, shuffling, and mild cursing, I ended up with a much cleaner and less cluttered space to put my keys and sun glasses.

I replaced the random magazines, movies, and books with a basket that now houses the yarn for my current TV watching crochet project.

Ahh…much better.

 

And I got it all done while my faithful companion kept a close eye on me a top her perch.

The joys of sorting through the etc, not exactly my idea of a good time, but the outcome is oh so rewarding.

31 Days Day 7: Cleaning Schedule

I thought Sunday would be the perfect day to post a cleaning schedule. Of course, I’m not this organized nor  this talented to have come up with this myself, so feel free to click the picture to be taken to the original source.

Via Discover Create Live

And if all else fails:

Happy cleaning everyone!

31 Days Day 6: Procrastination

Happy Saturday all! I trust you are all having a smashing good time this weekend. As you are reading this I am working on a few projects to share with you this coming week. Maybe you won’t be subjected to my fake autumn-ness outside again, there’s nothing that says fall is in the air like fake flowers.

So, on this 6th day of 31 Days of Getting it Done, I thought it might be fun to  look at some pretty pictures from Pinterest.  You know, because that’ll really help in hacking away at that long to do list! Maybe I should have named this series 31 Days of Procrastination.

Anywho, on with the eye candy. I’ve been thinking about organized entry ways lately, particularly entry ways that really aren’t entryways, but more of a door and then suddenly the living room. At least, that’s how it is at my house, when you walk in through the front door you step directly into my living room. Which means that all those things you carry into the house with you, get plopped down right by the door. Keys, purses, shoes, wallets, anything and everything that is part of “leaving the house” gets thrown on the floor or the end table near the door. So, it’s become apparent I need to do something to wrangle all that clutter. Thanks to Pinterest, I have a few ideas to work from. Hopefully, you’ll get to see the outcome, you know I’m not the greatest finisher of these types of thing

Both of these came from Martha Stewart, if you are curious about the original context, click on the image to be taken to the original link. I liked the use of both baskets and hooks, especially the baskets that are mounted to the wall. I’ve got a couple of vintage locker baskets that would be perfect for something like this.

Via Modern Parents Messy Kids

The bars with huge “S” hooks looks like it might be an easy fix to a messy problem. I especially like the cork board on the wall, and that mail sorter thing-a-ma-gig.

Via I Heart Organizing

Speaking mail sorting things, I liked what was done in this little entryway, in particular those cute little rainboots. If only it rained enough here to constitute purchasing my own little rain boots, but alas, in the desert there is no need for such boots. Wonder if anyone makes cute sand boots??

And with that deep thought, I leave you to enjoy your Saturday!

House Nuisance

In my Home Goals for 2012 I mentioned a quote that has been floating around the blogosphere for a while now:

Have nothing your house that you do not know to be useful, or believe to be beautiful.” William Morris

In keeping with this thought, I’ve been trying to tackle those areas in my home that have been of particular stress inducing, hair pulling, wanna-give-away-all-of-my-earthly-possessions-and live in a yert nuisance.

One of those many nuisances has been our mini-linen closet in the hall. You see, we have this weird half closet that houses bath and bed linens. The other half, the top half, of this closet opens into the bathroom by the sink, this is where we store toiletries. That’s another story for another day, I’m taking baby steps, and believe me when I tell you the bathroom closet is not a baby step, it’s a giant I’m a big girl look how I can organize my home with one hand tied behind my back while juggling two rabid squirrels with the other type of step. (Yes, I got tired of hyphenating.)

Anywho, here’s where I’m at with our bed and bath linens:

 

Do you have any frustratingly cluttered areas in your home, or is your entire home frustratingly cluttered?  Hair pullin-let’s-just-buy-a-new-house-because-this-one-is-dirty sort of cluttered, not that I know what that would feel like.

Thou Shalt Not Covet Thy Neighbors Faucet

Our kitchen faucet is leaking, it’s been leaking for a good year and a half. It’s annoying, but I’ve put off fixing it because I want a new faucet. However my wine tastes and beer budget keep getting in the way of me finding that perfect faucet. So, on the back burner it goes.

The other night though, as I was shopping for that perfect faucet, it dawned on me that I have no idea how many holes our sink has. If you aren’t aware, you need to know how many holes your sink can accomodate. For instance, if you were to buy a faucet that required 4 holes, but your sink only has space for 3, well I guess you’ll be having to let go of that perfect faucet and exchange it for one that fits the spaces on your sink. But, if you were to buy a 3 hole faucet but have 4 holes, you can always cover the 4th hole that won’t be used.

With the thought of having to return a much searched for faucet that may not fit, I took a deep a breath and dove under the sink.

In my attempt to get under the sink, I realized I couldn’t. Not because of limited space, but because of all the junk! And even if it weren’t for all of the junk, I’m not sure I’d want down there anyways, it’s kind of scary, and dark, and smelly. And I’m not really sure what that fuzzy stuff is growing on the cabinet floor.

Everything had to come out, so I could investigate:

And when I say everything, I mean everything:

Don’t ask me why I need 3 Febreezes, I just do. If you lived in my house, with two stinky dogs and a man that occasionally has a certain odor, you would totally understand. Not that I don’t have my stinky’s every once in a while. But being the only one in the house that seems to be able to smell anything, air freshener is a must.

After taking all of my household cleaners and hoard of air fresheners out from under the sink it was time to scrub. I thought that scrubbing the offending area would take care of that old musty smell that is always permiating from that area. Wrong. After removing all my not-used-enough cleaners and hoard of air fresheners, and scrubbing I found this:

Water damage from a previous leak. I don’t know when the leak happened, or if it even happened while I’ve been living in this house, but there definitely was a leak at one time or another. And it definitely caused some damage. And a nice smell. If you can’t imagine, picture moldy wood, mixed in with the smell of rotten broccoli. Yuck-O!

Yeah, I watch Holmes Inspection, I know how scary moldy places can be. But I don’t have a crew of brawny Canadians to come out and fix the issue. Instead, I scrubbed, tried to ignore the smell and how disgusting the whole mess actually is. And put things back.

They aren’t put  back in a very organized manner, but it was 11 pm on a work night. I got tired. And made a pact with myself to either keep praying the new cabinet fairy’s come during the night and wave their little fairy wands and give me a new kitchen, or paint the ones I have until I have enough beans saved to pay for new, non-smelly, non-scary cabinets.

Ah yes, the joys of living in an old house with mostly original fixtures. Since buying the Yellow Casa back in 2008, I’ve had a wish list of upgrades I’d like to make to my little castle. If your curious, here’s what I’ve planned on doing, and some of what I have accomplished:

1. New Windows. YAY! We accomplished this little upgrade September of 2009, exactly one year after I purchased our little abode. What a difference windows that actually close can make.

2. New hard surface flooring throughout entire house. Carpet+2 dogs+2 humans with dirty shoes=really nasty flooring. We’ve tried shampooing, and spot cleaning, but it’s just not taking away the nasties. Plus, the carpet is starting to get that flat look.

3. Central Heating and Air. We currently use one wall heater in the front of the house and space heaters in the bathroom and bedrooms. It’s cold! And in the summer we use a swamp cooler. That works pretty well in the dryer part of the summer, but come the desert monsoon season, it gets pretty sticky.

4. Kitchen Cabinets, the origianl 1957 cabinets just aren’t working as well as they did in say, 1957.

5. Install a secondary bathroom. One bathroom works pretty well when it’s just me and Bubba, but when we have company a second bathroom would be nice. There’s a space in our garage that could work as a two piece bath. Now all I need is the plumbing run to that little corner. Oh, and walls, and tile, and a toilet and sink. Maybe that one isn’t exactly an easy fix.

6. Privacy wall in backyard. This one got done in May 2011, you can read all about that here.

7. Vent in bathroom. We got this installed in May of 2010, that made a huge difference in the way our bathroom felt. No more scary sticky things growing on the walls! (scary sticky things seem to be the bane of my existence, I encounter them at every turn!) You can read about that little project in this post of yore.

There are so many other things that I would like to do to make this little casa even sweeter, but I’m trying to focus on the important issues. The pressing things that need to be done, the necessary over the aesthetic.

Which brings me back the point of this post, the sink has 4 holes. Maybe I can get that faucet I’ve been coveting afterall. Is it normal to covet a faucet?

Happy Friday Everyone!

Home Goals for 2012

I had planned on participating in a linky party that the Nester hosted, two weeks ago.  Obviously, I missed the party, but I liked the concept. So, even though I missed the deadline I still wanted to talk about the topic that Nester brought up. You see, Nester prompted this question, who are you trying to please this year? Of course this was in regards to the home, and could be discussed in other areas of life. But here, today, I wanted to talk about my home goals for 2012. I’m posting them, so that I can remember them and reference them, these goals are not specific they are more general in nature. I have found that making specific goals is just too constricting. Maybe it’s the free spirit in me that avoids structure, much like I avoid a well structured sentence. Anywho, here are my general home goals for 2012:

Home Goals for 2012

1. Have nothing in my home that is not beautiful or useful.

That means:

A. If it ain’t useful get rid of it. If it ain’t pretty let someone else have it.

B. Find a place for the things that have been deemed both beautiful and useful.

This goes along with the popular William Morris qoute:

“Have nothing in your homes that you do not know to be useful and believe to be beautiful.”

2. Be realistic when it comes to DIY and other home projects.

That means:

A. Remember that I am only one woman with limited time, budget, and often times energy.  I must remember there is a difference between slapping paint on the walls and rewiring the kitchen.

B. Sometimes that mysterious fuzzy green thing that threatens me every time I open the fridge takes precedence over rearranging the living room.

3. Be content with the home I have.

That means:

A. If we were able to buy a bigger and better home it would still need expensive repairs and updates. It would also get dirty and cluttered just like our current home. Sometimes, bigger does not mean better, it just means a bigger space to make bigger messes.

B. Our home is perfect the way it is, because it is ours. It is the home I share with my beloved Bubba, our dogs, and anyone else who is willing to brush dog fur off their jeans after a visit.

4. Make our home comfortable for us.

That means:

A. My design choices do not need to meet the standards of top interior designers. These choices only need to make myself and my family feel happy and welcome in our home.

B. Upgrades made to our home should make us comfortable,physically, fiscally, and mentally.

There you have it, my 2012 home manifesto. We’ll see how well I remember these goals and apply them throughout the year. I’ll be sure to keep you posted.

Have you set h0me goals for yourself? Looking ahead in the coming year to any changes?