Friday, January 31, 2014

More organizing - bathroom edition

So, my husband has this disorder. He is constantly buying multiples of items we have because he cannot seem to actually check if we have it before going to the store. So this is how we end up with 3 bottles of garlic powder, 5 canisters of hair product, and 12 bars of soap.

In my attempt to make this house more streamlined, especially once I go back to work, I needed to fix at least one of these areas. So I focused on the bathroom closet.

See the thing is I was storing all our "extras" in the tupperware bin on the top shelf. But my husband is apparently incapable of looking there to see if he has anything.  Additionally we have lots of large bottles that don't quite fit into a neat container. Rubbing alcohol, mouthwash, that sort of thing.

So I've moved it to the door.

The rest of the closet could use a good cleaning out and reorganization. I'm not sure exactly what's in that black bag there, for example, and there has to be a better way to store my hair dryer and curling iron. Still, this is an improvement. And hopefully will reduce the number of bottles of hair mousse.

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Pantry organization

There's nothing truly magical about organizing a pantry. Not really. It just takes some thought to figure out what you use, how you use it and then having the right organizing accessories on hand.

Take, for example, our pantry.
This is before I really evaluated it. You can see some past attempts at organizing with the canvas baskets but, really, nothing major was done. Now, granted, we don't keep an overstocked pantry, but we do use it for bulk storage of paper goods, dog food and some cooking supplies that don't fit in other cupboards. It also was home to our picnic backpack and wine tote, which was kept on the top shelf.

So, upon evaluation, I made two major changes. One: the picnic backpack and wine tote went into basement storage with the rest of our outdoor summer gear. Two: I reorganized the bulk storage by placing things we use infrequently (like plastic silverware) on the very bottom. Then I just picked up some additional organizing supplies from The Container Store - an extendable can shelf so we have clear view of what canned goods we have, two white buckets for storing snack foods, bags of specialty rice, etc. and voila.

Nothing magical about the execution but there is something magical about the result.

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

New Laundry Room

The downside of a garden blog when you live in a northern clime is that you spend 6 months out of the year unable to garden. So, with the winter months heavy on us, we switch our focus to indoors.

When we first moved into this house, we were more than satisfied with the second floor laundry storage situation. We had two spare bedroom closets of storage on the same floor and the two shelves were more than adequate for holding detergent and such.

So H and his mother just added a fresh coat of paint and put in the ironing board holder on the side. A few months ago I added the screw on the wall to hold the dryer's drying rack.

But then we had G, so that removed that entire closet - no problem. We had the second bedroom. Then C arrived this past November and suddenly we were short storage. We also needed a better solution for air drying clothes. So I decided to get rid of the rinky-dink shelves and maximize the space in that closet.

7 weeks post-partum. With an infant not fond of napping. Small hitch.

I started by removing the old shelves, obviously. Turned out when H and his mom painted they didn't do the same, so the paint had sealed the uprights to the wall. A few knocks with a hammer and they came out. But obviously that has to be painted.

Next I went to install the top tracks and realized I'd picked up the wrong hardware, so I needed to install into studs. And the screws in the hardware kit I had picked up did not want to screw in the whole way. Fortunately I had the wood screws from C's Elfa install and those worked fine.

I'd gotten all that done and one track up during C's surprising naps. But he wasn't having it after that. So...

Like a Boss.

With C settled in the Ergo, I finished drilling in the second track, put in the uprights, installed the shelves and:

Not bad! This adds an entire 3000+ square inches of storage space, plus 20" of hanging. I did discover, putting items back on the shelves that they are serious when they say you need uprights 2' apart. So I have to go back and get one more to put in that 3' gap. And then patch/paint.

Next up will be trying to clean out the basement work area. It's a disaster.


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