Thursday, July 2, 2015

Wait-No-More Challenge: Breakfast Nook Edition

Hey, Friends! Hope you all are doing well and have some fun plans for this weekend! We are planning to use the long weekend to tackle a big project. I'll post some sneak peeks on Instagram. Wish us luck! I say "we" loosely considering I have shingles and am laid up on the couch. So "we" is more like "he". ;) Thankful for my awesome hubby! Now, onto some organizing fun!

The next space I tackled for the Wait-No-More Organizing Challenge is the breakfast nook. Let me tell you, this space has driven me bananas since we moved into this house 3 years ago. We come in and out of the house through this room, so for three years, it has been covered in shoes, mail, papers, tools, and other miscellaneous junk. Makes me crazy!

I don't have a before picture because I've been reorganizing it in phases. But, just imagine a paperwork and shoe mess and you'll have an accurate before picture. Ha! Here is what it looked like a couple years ago after we bought a new table, in case you are wondering about the layout. Obviously, I moved the papers for the picture. #trickytricky
I actually completed the first phase of reorganization in May by tackling the shoe mess. The shoe cabinet has been amazing at keeping the floors clutter free! The basket on top has been a great landing spot for things like keys, sunglasses, and sunscreen that used to clutter up the kitchen countertop. You can read more about the shoe organization here.
For the Wait-No-More Challenge, I decided to finish organizing the space. The main remaining trouble spots were my pile of papers, planner, and mail pile on the counter, the soaps near the sink, and the mail sorter on the side of the kitchen cabinet. It was way too much clutter!

First, I tackled my pile of papers that need attention and my planner. They have never really had a designated spot, so have ended up on the corner of the countertop. I was afraid if I put it in our big mail sorter, it would be out of sight, out of mind for me. The bins are really deep and little papers get hidden easily. I need lots of reminders, so I wanted to walk by and see what I needed to do.

I decided to purchase a small mail sorter for my urgent papers and my planner. The compartments are shallow enough that nothing is hidden. This way, I can see what needs to be done at a glance, but it looks way neater than a pile on the counter!
I found the mail sorter at TJ Maxx for only $6.99! Score! Home Goods has the same ones, so between the two stores, there are lots of color options. This blue/green one goes perfectly in my kitchen!

The next trouble spot was the big mail sorter. The previous owners graciously left it behind when they moved, which I'm thankful for. It goes perfectly in the kitchen! It had accumulated a lot of papers, though, so I sorted through everything and got it all back in order.
The bottom slot is for mail and the next one up is for Jeremy's paperwork. The third bin contains three folders for me-- one for school paperwork, one for coupons, and one for my important papers. The top bin is where I keep my stationary.

The last trouble area was the kitchen counter near the sink. I have been buying and replacing pretty soap pumps since we moved in! They all break so easily! And I really hated our scrub brush either sitting on the counter or buried under the dishes in the sink.

My friend Cary has a pretty tray near her sink that she keeps her dish soaps on. I've always thought it looked really nice, so decided to copy her. I haven't even told her, yet. Ha! (Thanks for the idea, Cary!)

I found this pretty turquoise tray at World Market to corral the soaps and found the white dish at Target to set my brush in. My dish soap and brush just happened to match. Happy accident! Doesn't it look so tidy?! By the way, Jeremy gave me the automatic soap dispenser for Christmas and it is awesome! No more raw meat or egg on the soap pump!
Now when I walk in the door, I no longer see a pile of shoes and papers all over the counter. I couldn't be more thrilled! I mean, HELLO clutter free counter! Love!
Happy 4th! 

Linking up with Jen at IHeart Organizing!

Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Wait-No-More Challenge: Linen Closet Edition

So, I'll let you in on a little secret... I have a Monica closet. No wait, that's a fib. I have multiple Monica closets.
I really try to keep clutter around the house to a minimum and really try to organize. But our closets are tiny and I've struggled to figure out organizational systems that work. 

I reorganized our linen closet right before Little Girlie was born, but after a year of complete chaos and travel, we started just shoving stuff in there. The problem was, my original organizational system was not working. The baskets were too small or just non existent, so putting things back just didn't happen. In a hurry, we'd just find a spot and plop stuff down. Ugg.

Are you ready to see what a linen closet that has been neglected for a year and a half looks like? I'm super embarrassed to even show you, but hey, keeping it real around here.
Oh yes. It's a beauty right?! This was my face every time I opened it...and every time I look at that picture!
I couldn't take it any more and instead of waiting until I had time (which is laughable when you have a baby that has a serious mommy attachment), I headed upstairs after dinner while Jeremy played with the kids and went to town. I emptied everything out, purged, shopped the house for unused containers, and put it all back in. It took a while and it isn't overly pretty, but I worked with what I had and it didn't cost me a dime. 
So much better, right?!?! I can breathe again! 

Here's a glimpse into how I organized everything... 

Before, there was one basket of rags that was overflowing in the bottom of the closet. I split the rags up into two bins--one for small rags and floor mops and one for large rags. No more digging to get to the size rag I need! 
The first aid basket was the worst basket. It was too small and every time we went in search of a Band-Aid, we had to tear apart the basket looking for one. I split the first aid supplies into two baskets. One basket is for medicines and such and one is just for Band-Aids, Neosporin/Cleaners, and the thermometer. I slid the Band-Aid basket and a small basket filled with our travel sized items and travel cosmetic bags into a large bin.
I also tweaked my candle storage method. I store the candles in a large plastic bin with a lid so the entire closet doesn't smell like a crazy mix of candle fragrances. I have learned over the years to not let the candles touch or the colors will bleed from one candle to another. I strategically place rags between the candles to prevent color bleed. While those strategies were working, the votives were still a mess since they're so small and fall all over the place. I plopped the votives into leftover Easter egg crates and voila! Organized candle votives!
The cosmetics, cleaners, linens, beach towels, and a couple large decorative/kitchen items that I don't want in the attic were placed on the shelves for easy access. 
Isn't this SO much better?! We've lived with it for a little bit now and it's just as neat as the first day. Yay! It feels so good to be getting our house back in order!

See which projects I'm tackling next here

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Wait-No-More Organizing Challenge: Plans

Do you follow Jen at IHeart Organizing? If not, you really should! She is one of the very first bloggers I followed and her site is pure gold! This month, she is hosting a Wait-No-More Organizing Challenge where she is challenging herself and her readers to tackle one organizing trouble spot per week. She's rocking the challenge so far!

I can really relate to her struggle with her home organization spiraling out of control during an unusual season of life. Her unusual season is a (totally fabulous) kitchen reno. Our unusual season actually started last year when we had a baby, then six weeks later Jeremy's dad passed away. The rest of the year was a blur of traveling and visitors and grief and exhaustion mixed with the joy and adjustments of having another sweet baby in our home. With all of the commotion, I let our organizational systems go and was just trying to keep my head above water and the toilets clean. Psst, I failed at that, too. ;)

Anyway, I'm taking advantage of the challenge and am tackling the top four trouble spots in our home. Here's what I'm planning...
Anyone else have trouble spots lurking around your home? 

Monday, June 15, 2015

Hang it Proud

Popping in to show you a quick little project I completed last week in the playroom! If you're keeping track, I only have one more project left from my playroom plans list to complete, then I'm calling it done. Except, I just added another project to the list... Ha! Tell me I'm not the only one that does that?!

Anyway, I've had my eye on some art display frames at Target for literally two years. At $15 a piece, they were just enough money to discourage me from purchasing them. But, after two years of contemplating, I finally bought them! Just in the nick of time, too, considering they are discontinuing the white frames and moving to black frames. I couldn't find them online, but they are still in stores near me.
Want to see what's so cool about them that I finally just had to get them? They open up so you can easily switch out the artwork! Perfection for mom of a little one who loves to color and gets multiple new masterpieces a day! And, they are matted for a 9x12 piece of paper, which is the size of a standard piece of construction paper. Woot!
My only complaint is that the "glass" is actually plexiglass. I would have preferred glass. But, because they are plexiglass, they are extremely lightweight, allowing me to hang them with Command Strips. I was super thankful for that, because hanging pictures in a row is hard to get just right. The Command Strips allowed me to move them around a bit! #silverlining
Hope you all are having a great Monday!


Linking up with Savvy Southern Style and many other awesome bloggers!

Wednesday, June 10, 2015

Styled Bookshelf Inspiration

As you may have noticed, we've been working hard to finish the last of the playroom projects. My next focus has been getting the bookshelf organized and looking pretty.

Here's a refresher of how the bookshelf is looking from my playroom plans post. We've added a new chair since this picture, but the rest is still mostly the same.
We recently hung book ledges, but we still have a bunch of books left on the bookshelf. I am a teacher, after all! Ha! :) I've been scouring Pinterest for ideas on how to style a bookshelf that actually has...wait for it...books. Ha! There's so many beautifully styled bookshelves out there, but if you look closely, a lot of them only have a couple books. Our house is way too small to use up a perfectly good bookshelf exclusively for cutesy things, so I need to find a way to style the shelves while have them pack a bunch of book storage.

Here's some inspiration I've gathered! **Please remember to pin from the original sources.**


I love how John and Sherry did the show house built-ins! The pops of color against the white looks so fresh and fun!


I like how the books are stacked in alternating directions and the layered on accessories here!


Kelly has a great guide to styling bookshelves that actually contain books! I love how she created groups of books by color!


I love how clean and airy Melissa's shelves look, while still packing a punch of color!

via BHG

I love the idea of storing some books out on the shelf and some tucked away in baskets. It breaks it up a bit and makes it look less cluttered. 

Hope these inspired you as much as they did me! 

Thursday, June 4, 2015

Dining Room Organization

Hope you all are having a great week so far! Ours has been busy, busy!

I'm stopping in to show you my latest organization project...the dining room cabinet!
If you're a long time reader, you may remember when we purchased a teal cabinet for our dining room. We bought it for food storage, because our kitchen lacks a pantry. It's been working really hard for us for over two years!

But, we have added another family member since then, so the cabinet has become stuffed to the brim with each of our snacks and breakfast items. It was so full that every time you opened it, food came falling out of the cabinet. Ready to see how bad it was? #glassdoorsdontlie
I was constantly reorganizing it and the kids were constantly going behind me and pulling things out. It was a disaster! 

I shopped our house for some baskets to corral all the food into. I came up with four baskets that have served many purposes over the years, starting out as baby toy storage for Little Man, to bookshelf organizers, to end table baskets, to closet storage. I was thrilled to find that they were the perfect size for the teal cabinet--and free! 

I relocated the baking items to another place in the kitchen, then loaded up the baskets with our snacks and breakfast foods. Easy! Well, except for the part where I kept having to chase off Little Girlie who was constantly pointing and yelling "Eat! Ish!" (aka Goldfish). Ha! 
I also picked up the sea glass vase and utensil caddy at Home Goods yesterday. The plates, straws, and napkins were all taking up valuable space in the kitchen cabinets, so the caddy really helped make some room while keeping the items accessible. And cute. Because it needs to be cute, right?! The vase totally had me at hello. Combine sea glass and rope and I'm sold, every time! ;)
I love how the baskets, the wooden caddy handle, and the rope all play off of each other! 
Doesn't it look SO much better?! I love it! 


Linking up to Savvy Southern Style and many other awesome blogs!

Monday, June 1, 2015

Trash to Treasure Chair Makeover

I'm so excited to share today's post with you! I've teamed up with a group of bloggers for a monthly challenge series! Each month, we'll complete a different challenge and share our results with you. This month's challenge was to revamp something we thrifted at a yard sale or thrift store. Fun, right?!
Check out all of the awesome projects! 

Erin at Meadow Lake Road- Upcycled Metal Paper Organizer 

 Stacey at Addison Meadows Lane- Salvaged Wooden Silverware Caddy

Leslie at Oh, the Fun!- Customized Curtains

Jenny at Refresh Living- Vintage Sewing Chair


Here's my trash to treasure project!
I was on the hunt for a chair for our playroom desk. Little Man loves to color at the desk and has been borrowing the breakfast nook chair for months. Time to get him his own chair! :)

I came up empty handed after stopping in at Goodwill, but struck gold at the first yard sale I went to! I found this little beauty with a $20 price tag and haggled it down to $10. It's a sturdy chair in good condition. The only blemish was some broken strands on the rush seat. It was previously painted dark green and had a rough, primitive vibe going on. It actually pained me a bit to paint over it since it was in good condition, but it really clashed with our playroom.
I felt like the tall, pointy chair back was a bit too primitive for a playroom, so Jeremy cut a couple inches off the top and rounded the tops with his sander.

I painted the chair with Sherwin Williams All Surface Enamel Paint in Surfer lightened to 75% strength. I am really happy with the paint! It is very thick and goes on with a lot of brush strokes, so I was worried it would look horrible. But, it leveled out nicely and dried smooth! The best part? I simply did two coats--no priming or polyurethane needed!
Images via Sherwin Williams

After I painted the chair, I prepped the rush seat for upholstery. The seat was not removable, so I had to get creative and figure out a way to recover it. I flipped the chair upside down and screwed skinny, thin pieces of wood around the perimeter of the seat bottom to give the upholstery staples something to go into. I started with paint sticks, but after one split, I switched to wood shims.

Finally, I placed my upholstery foam, covered and stapled the seat in a layer of batting, then finished with my fabric. To keep the extra fabric from hanging down and being visible, I hot glued the excess to the bottom of the rush seat. Problem solved! Sorry I don't have pictures of this part! I'm really kicking myself! Hubby was sick, so I was doing this by myself, trying to get done before the kids woke up from their naps. #excuses ;)
I love this fabric that I found at a nearby fabric outlet! It's an outdoor fabric, so it's extra durable.

Here's the finished chair in the playroom!
I'm loving the chair in the room, although that red desk top is really making me twitch! I've been planning on replacing it with a white desktop, but have gotten several comments from people loving the red which has me second guessing. What do you think? Leave me a comment with your vote- go white or leave it red!

Little Man is so excited to have his own chair! He keeps telling me, "You did a great job on my chair, Mommy!" and "I love my new chair, Mommy!" So sweet!
Now we are one step closer to being finished in the playroom! Hooray!

Don't forget to check out the other awesome projects from this month's challenge! They are all amazing!


Linking up to Savvy Southern Style and many other awesome blogs!