Saturday, June 6, 2015

More Spring Organization Projects!

I had so much fun yesterday reading blogs and perusing Pinterest for some new home organization ideas.  While I didn’t find exactly the solutions I needed, I found enough inspiration to come up with some of my own, and before the day was out, I managed to finish two complete organizational projects that made a real difference in my home!

PROBLEM #1:  I have this one cabinet in my kitchen, beside the stove, that has always been just a jumbled mess!  It has so many different kinds of things inside it that we’ve never been able to make rhyme or reason of it…beverage mixes, medicines, seasoning packets, spices, cake decorating stuff, baking supplies like extracts and sugars, aquarium gravel, vitamins and supplements…you name it, it was in there.  Nobody can ever find what they need in there, and I often end up buying repeats of medicines that would then go on to expire in the back of the cupboard.  It’s been a sad state of affairs since 1997 when we moved in here.  Ugh.

SOLUTION #1:  I went out and bought 9 baskets that fit perfectly side by side in that cupboard, 3 per shelf.  I cleaned out all the expired medicines and products, moved out items that already have a home somewhere else (like the cake decorating stuff that belongs in a bin in my pantry), and sorted the items that were left into the baskets.  Then I labeled the end of each basket (I plan to get nicer-looking labels down the road…I just used file folder labels for right now) and slid them into place.  Voila!  This cabinet finally makes sense, and my husband can now go to the right basket when he has a headache or thinks he has a fever and easily find the pain reliever and the thermometer without having to plead with me to wade my way through there in order to find him some relief!  Yay!

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PROBLEM #2:  I have a really small laundry room that has just enough for my washer and dryer and some overhead cabinets for laundry supplies and not much more.  The closet in there is my pantry closet, and there’s a door in between there that gets opened and closed a dozen times a day to let my dogs out back to go potty.  With 5 people in the house, that’s a lot of laundry, and I have to wash one load every single day to keep up with it.  Up until now, I’ve had 6 separate small laundry baskets…one for each person plus one for the towels that belong in the linen closet upstairs.  We’ve done it that way so each person can take their own basket to their room and put their own clothes away.  In theory, they are supposed to do it every day, but not all of us (and you can probably guess which ones) actually do that on schedule.   As a result, I’m forced to unstack those baskets every single day in order to fold and sort laundry and then restack them full of clothes to try to keep them out of the way.  Unfortunately, my little dog has a habit of laying on top of the clean clothes in one of the baskets, and my big dog just plain barrels into them and knocks them over so that I have to re-fold everything in them all over again.  Yikes!  And I’ve always disliked that anyone can see the stack of laundry baskets from the rest of the house since you can see right through the doorway into the laundry room at all times.  Blech!

SOLUTION #2:  After seeing on Pinterest where someone had built a wooden frame with lips in it that allowed them to slide their laundry baskets into it so they were stored vertically, that got me thinking…vertical storage is my only option in my tiny laundry room, but I definitely don’t have space for another piece of furniture to permanently sit in place, particularly since that room is L-shaped.  So my brain started working, and it suddenly dawned on me that perhaps some of those large 3-drawer plastic storage carts would fit beside my washer and dryer sideways if I pushed the appliances really close together.  I have some carts like that in my craft room, so I pulled out one of the drawers just to check the spacing, and sure enough, it would fit!  So I rushed out to Walmart and bought 2 more Sterlite carts like that with the extra wide drawers, and I put the wheels on one and stacked the other one without wheels on top of it.  That gave me 6 drawers to replace my 6 laundry baskets…one per person and one for towels.  My husband is going to clamp them together for me in some way so the top one doesn’t slide off the bottom one.  Then I pushed the appliances together and rolled the drawers sideways against the wall by the back door, which means no one can see them from other parts of the house.  Voila!  Now every time I fold laundry, I just roll them out in front of the back door, open my dryer door beside them, fold clothes, and sort them into the appropriate drawers as I go.  Then when I’m done, I just roll them back into place out of the way.  When each person comes to put their clothes away, all they have to do is take out their drawer and return it when they are finished.  Yay!  I’m going to make some nice labels for the drawers so the younger kids can find their drawer easily.  Perfection!  I was so excited last night that I couldn’t go to sleep until after midnight.  Seriously…it makes this everyday task so much simpler, and it keeps my laundry room looking spiffy at all times.  Hooray!

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I feel so inspired that now I’m looking for other projects I can do the next time I have some time to spare.  I saw something promising on Pinterest about a product called Grout Renew that I want to try on my tiled kitchen floor, and I picked up a used vanity cabinet and sink top for my bathroom for $25 at the Habitat for Humanity thrift store yesterday that I want to re-stain and seal and add to my downstairs bathroom.  So many projects!

What projects do you have going on in your house right now?