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This is my journey to add beauty and organization to my home, as well as being the best Wife, Mom, Woman & Christian that I can be. Join me, you'll feel better about your own life. LOL!

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Organization Toy Room

I was not expecting this mission for some reason.  I was thinking Fridge would be next.

Here is the shelving unit that we have in the play room.  Before:


The entertainment center before:  (beneath the TV)BDSCF0888

Beside the TV.


I took all the toys and separated them by kind on the floor.  This was the during.  So glad there was no one else here to see it.


Went to Dollar Tree and bought a bunch of totes and broke out the label maker that I bought the other day.




The entertainment center:


Now, if the kids will only maintain it, we’ll be good.

Monday, January 10, 2011

Organization Pt 6

The coat closet was the mission of the day today. We here at the Cronin Casa do not have a closet.  We have a Mudroom.  Not a Pottery Barn mudroom but it has potential.  It doesn’t need organizing so much as a remodel.  And that will be happening this Summer.  You will have to stay tuned. 

It will involve a couple of these, although it will not be involving the 3000 of $$ that it requires.

pottery barn Braden

Image courtesy of Pottery Barn

Something like this:

mud room light

Couple of these:


One of these:

dutch door

Some of this:brown-paint-lg and this white-paint.

And of course:

time &  Muscle-774348 &sweat

But hopefully neither of these.

599px-Give_Blood.svg tears.


But today, I am going to go buy lumber for this!!!!!

king Farmhouse bed

Cause a not very wise man once told me that you should always paint the back of the house first.  (A broken clock is right twice a day ya, know.  A not so wise man can say something worthwhile occasionally.)


Sunday, January 9, 2011

Organization #5

Back to the kitchen today for the next step in 21 days of Organization with A Bowl Full of Lemons.  The Pantry was the given assignment.  Or in lieu of a pantry, any cupboard with food works fine.  Well in my kitchen, I have 4 food cupboards.  The baking cupboard, the supper cupboard, the box cupboard and the everything else cupboard. 

I am the grocery shopper in my house and I get home before my DH so I am also the one who carries them in and puts them away.  So by the time I get home, I have touched everything already 5 times.  Into the cart, onto the register belt, back into the cart, into the car, into the kitchen.  I try to do all my shopping in 1 day to cut back on the times I have to run out to grab something.  Because ya know, I never just grab what I went into the store for.  So that means that I have done my main shopping @ 1 store, hit store number 2 for their sales and the things not carried by store number 1, and then maybe store number 3 for their sales.  So by the time I get home and have to touch every package for the 6th time, I am tired and things get put away slightly haphazardly. (to say the least)

The baking Cupboard:  Just what the title says.  Everything I use for baking.  All my spices, measuring spoons and cups etc.   2 tips I would like to pass along when it comes to kitchen cupboard organization.  Mason jars and Lazy Susan's.  I transfer all of my herbs and spices to 1/2 pint jelly jars.  This way, all the jars are uniform for stacking, I can get a Tspoon into all of them if needed, and they are clear so I can see when I am almost out of something.  I use Qt jars (or old Spaghetti Sauce jars) for Baking cocoa, chocolate chips, pwd milk, cornmeal, etc.  Also if I buy spices in bulk then I keep the excess in the larger jars too.

Here is the baking cupboard before and after:  Yes that is Lard in there.  In my quest to perfect pie crust, my search has led to lard.  And it makes mighty fine pie crust.

2011-01-09 001

The supper cupboard.  All the herbs, pasta, breadcrumbs and other things that are used on a nightly basis to make supper.  Before and after. Another tip.  I have a jar of salt in both the baking cupboard and the supper cupboard.  That way I never have to go looking for it.

2011-01-09 0011

The box Cupboard.  Macaroni and cheese, “Helper” meals, and snacks that I don’t want the kids to eat as fast as they can.  Things that need to go into lunches.  Before and after.

2011-01-09 0012

The everything else cupboard.  This is a waist high cupboard that has 4 shelves that slide out like drawers.  LOVE IT.

Drawer #1 is canned goods that I use for dinner regularly.  Since I am looking down @  these shelves, I use a black Sharpie to write on the top of the cans so I don’t have to pick up 5 to find the one that I am looking for. ~~Just a note here, My mom grew a lot of Oregano and Basil and Parsley and dried it and gave it to me.  So the several large jars of “"herbage” that you are about to see are completely legal.: )





Drawer #2 is excess from drawer #1.  Before:




Drawer Number 3 is the kids Drawer.  Pop tarts, granola bars, peanut butter.  Before:


After.  I took the packages out of the boxes and put them in organizers because then never through out the empty boxes and Frank has Radar for that sort of thing.  Drives him bonkers. I also put the excess hot cocoa mix and coffee there.  Once it was all consolidated, I counted over 60 packets of hot cocoa.  Yikes.  If you receive hot cocoa mix in a jar from me next Christmas, I bet it will taste as good as store bought.  LOL


And the bottom drawer just holds the extra 64oz bottles of juice.  Since there was really no way to re-arrange them I didn’t take a picture.

So that has been my tour of my “Pantry”.  It is so much more organized and I now know how much food I have.  My next couple grocery trips should be lighter since I found so much food.  LOL

I am afraid that tomorrow might be the fridge.

Saturday, January 8, 2011

Organization Part 4

Today Yesterday is was Day 6 of a 21 day Organization Journey @ A Bowl full of Lemons.  And the assignment given was Dresser Drawers.  Specifically MY dresser drawers.  And the top of my dresser.  I almost called in sick on this one.  My bedroom was such a mess, there was no way I was going to go in there and take pictures of anything.  But I wanted to be able to say that I had done every assignment given.  So I did it. 
2011-01-07 001
There it is in all it’s glory.  We have 2 matching dressers in our room.  A tall skinny one and a long low one.  I do my make up and hair in my room even though this house has 2 bathrooms.  Because the bathroom with the great lighting is about a big as half a postage stamp and has no air circulation.  I have thick wavy hair that has to be blown dry and flat ironed on a daily basis.  With no air moving, I would get done with my hair looking like I needed another shower.  And when you have a Lab who is as big as a Great Dane but thinks that he is a Chihuahua and a 5yo who both think it is their mission in life to make sure that you are never lonely and that bath room just doesn’t work.  The other bathroom is the one that I shower in that one also has les than great ventilation, my bedroom it is. 
Frank & I mostly hang our clothes so for all those dresser drawers, we only keep underthings, sock, pj’s, and sweaters in the summer.  But since it is my room and no once sees it but me, things often just get crammed in the drawers.  I also keep t-shirts that don't fit right to sleep in so I have 2 large drawers of shirts that I never where since I prefer to sleep in tank tops rather than t-shirts.  I also have a drawer that my make up goes in. 
The after:
2011-01-07 0011
I filled a trash bag with all the used Q-tips from the dresser top as well as all the things that come out of my pockets at night that should have gone straight into the garbage.  I threw out tank-tops that I couldn’t answer the door in and filled another garbage bag of t-shirts to donate.  I sorted the sock drawer by my socks, Frank’s socks and thick insulated socks that we share.  I tend to put “leave the house worthy “ clothes in the closet so I created a drawer of around the house and crafting clothes.Tees that already had paint on them and jeans that the knees had given out.
I wiped off the top of my dresser and apparently should have cleaned the mirror as well.  But the most amazing part of this transformation can’t be shown in pictures.  As I took the before shots of the drawers, I was very careful to not get the floor beneath.  There were piles of dirty clothes, the slip cover for the couch?, trash, a duffle bag, laundry baskets and an insane amount of dog hair, dust and debris on the floor.  Once I got the top of my dresser cleaned off, I opened the blinds to have some better light with which to take the pics.  And then I saw the way the rest of my room looked.  Not that I hadn’t seen it before but, I REALLY saw it.  So I spent another hour cleaning up the rest of the room and sweeping it.  SO much better.
Last summer, I blogged about re-doing my room here.  Then I decided that if I was going to spend the time and money, I had to keep it clean for 2 weeks.  Yeah, that was about 6 months ago and I haven’t kept it clean enough. 
But I decided that this will be the year that I will treat myself the way I deserve.  I will have an oasis into which I will retire every evening.  And this is just the beginning.

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Closet Organization

Much needed I might add.  Traci @ Beneath My Heart recently challenged readers to makeover their closets. 
She said “Next Monday, I am going to share with you how I organized THAT closet in my home.  You know the one…every time you open the doors to THAT closet, you say, “This closet is driving me crazy!””
When I read that I knew exactly what closet she was talking about.  My craft closet. {Dun dun dun}  The one that my husband hates to vacuum past as invariably there is some sort of thread or twine or yard peeping underneath the doors to get caught in the beater bar of the vacuum. 
When we moved into this much bigger than the house we were living in house, I dreamily thought that I would use the dining room as my craft room.  I would never have to put the sewing machine or ironing board away.  I would be able to leave uncompleted projects on the desk instead of having to clean them up to eat dinner.  And for a while it was glory.  But since this was a non-vital room, boxes that didn’t need to be unpacked immediately were put in there.  And Frank likes things put away.  To him put away means that he can’t see it.  So if there was something that he wasn’t sure where it went, it got chucked into the craft room. 
And there were the kids.  They were constantly hauling all their toys out to the living room to watch TV.  So I did the motherly thing and gave up my space to create a playroom.  But what to do with all of my crafty things?  I sew, quilt, cross-stitch, hot glue, Mod-Podge, paint and any other method of crafting seen in Blog land.  Lucky for me, this house has ABUNDANT closet space.  In our very loonnnnngg hall, there are 2 closets with bi-fold doors.  One turned into  the linen closet.  The other just had a few random things in it.  I moved them to more appropriate spaces and made my self a crafty home.
Fast forward almost a year.  I have become very busy with copying almost everything that see out there in Blog land.  My kitchen table now doubles as my craft desk.  But I shouldn’t can’t leave craft projects on the table all the time.  Once in a while we should eat together in the same room.  Right??!!  In my efforts to clean up multiple projects at once and rapidly, cramming became involved. And my Craft closet became this:
(Don’t judge these pics.  There is a solid wall across from the closet and the is no Earthly way to get a full frontal shot of the closet. 


Since my under the sink challenge didn’t take very long, I decided that today was the day for the closet.    As soon as I put Miss G on the bus, I brewed a cup of coffee, turned the radio up loud and started unloading the closet.  This is a good sized closet, but I truly had no idea how much stuff I had shoved in there and how long this was going to take.  I am so glad that today happened to be a day that Frank has a FD meeting and wasn’t home for dinner @ the normal time.
To illustrate my point, here are a couple during shots.
Decorating Ideas
I found decorations from Valentines, Easter, Halloween and Christmas.
I found lots of these:DSCF0678 

A box of these:DSCF0684  (they are gift card tins that I bought on clearance to decorate ala  A Girl and a Glue Gun.  Christmas gifts for next year are already taking shape)
Even a basket of these:DSCF0701 I can’t even remember what they are/were for.  LOL  But Miss G saw them and thinks that they should be adorning things aplenty.
I moved these decorations DSCF0699down to the basement where are empty rooms of space to store my holiday decorations. (Which means that I can make as much as I want, Right??!!)
I threw out this.DSCF0703 Just the bags, not the puppy.  He was my only company during this ordeal.  Not that he could get anywhere near me.  There were times that I couldn’t see him as I sat in front of the closet.  My darling husband is going to have kittens when he sees the amount of trash that I put out.
So all this build up, do you want to see the results??
Here we go…I am once again able to hang my rotary ruler and mat as they deserve.  Every spool of thread that I found I put tape on so that it won’t unwind all by itself.  I skewered every spool of ribbon I found on my tension rod after I put a rubber band around said spool to prevent unwinding.  With it stored this way, I can slide the rubber band to the side, unwind what I need and cut it off. 

All of my general crafty stuff lives on this shelf.  White string and twine now live in recycled jars.  The lids need to be spray painted and holes punched in them to thread the string/twine through.The silver can that needs to be twinefied holds glue sticks.
All my paint now has a home of it’s own.  I know that there are several more tubes and cans of this loveliness in my house somewhere.  And there is plenty of room here to store it now.
Cross stitch books and boxes of floss.  Those boxes are next on my organization list.  They are all in # order but I have a bunch  more that need to go in so that means that they will all have to come out, the new ones added to the lineup and then re-stashed. 
And Finally all my sewing stuff is grouped together.  The feet and attachments to my Grandma’s 1950ish Singer.  All the little buttons and hardware for creating.  Bobbins and spools of thread where they should be.
Ahhh, all is well in my crafting world again.  Almost!!  Tomorrow I am getting my hands on a label machine and am going nuts.  And I think that I am going to put some sort of sign in the closet to remind me to keep it looking like this and how long it took me to clean.  Some witty phrase to order in vinyl. 
Any Ideas??

beneath my heart

Organization Pt 3

Day #5 of A Bowl Full of Lemons 21 day Organization Challenge.  Once again the are that was chosen was an area in which I need a lot of help.The cabinets under the sink.  In this house there is infinite storage.  There is NO!!! reason for my disorganization.  After living in the last house which was so dinky I realize how blessed I am.  And I am going to start using the blessing.
My Undersink Area consists of 3 Cabinets.

Here is the ugly before:


The narrow cabinet on the right is my “cleaning ingredients” cabinet.  I make my own multipurpose cleaner and laundry soap.The cheap dishsoap for making bubbles is also in there.  So those things are in there as well as stuff that I don’t use any more but keep just in case.  Such as floor cleaner.  We have a steam mop now so we don’t use it.  Pledge.  I switched to Method cleaners so I don’t use the pledge.  I only have a couple of this type of thing so I don’t consider it a hoarding situation yet.  Smile 
Took everything out and wiped the cabinets down and removed empty bottles and boxes and sorted what needed to go where.  I had a DUH! moment and moved the dishwasher tab thingy’s to the left hand side so that I can get to them when the dishwasher is open. 

Here is the after:


Since I was already sitting on the floor, I took care of this nastiness. 
Since this cupboard is right below the sink and the dishwasher door come down right in front of it there are obviously splatters on it.  Little Method Sweet Almond wood cleaner took care of it, lickety split.
I think that on my next errand day, I will invest in the door racks and some contact paper to pretty up up a little.  I also plan to get a basket to keep my rags in.  I would also like to figure out how the make the false drawer fronts those tip out things for cleaning utensils and scrubbies.
Just for fun, these are the things that I took out and moved elsewhere.  Mostly to the garbage and tool box. The canisters were a failed attempt at homemade dishwasher soap.  Gonna clean them out and re-purpose them else where.

Honestly, I think that we need a 365 days of organization.  My house would be clean.  Can tomorrow be the kitchen table???

Linking here: