Monday, October 31, 2011

My Dirty Little Secret

...isn't as bad as you might think. My dirty little secret is a bit mundane, but it's still annoying to me. It's our main floor guest bedroom.

After our basement began getting wet in May, we brought some things upstairs and moved others to dry spots in the basement. As the summer went along, I kept stuffing things in the room. It got to the point where I couldn't walk into the room, so I spent a couple hours over the weekend cleaning it up. 

But it'll be getting worse soon because we're getting ready to put the basement back together. Rather than moving things back and forth, we're going to move the small things upstairs. I'll do my best to stack things and maintain a walkway, but it's not going to be pretty.

After dealing with a wet basement the last two years, I have a little advice to share:
  1. After the flood, go through everything. Toss, donate or sell everything that isn't a keeper. 
  2. Move the leftovers to a dry room. If you don't have a dry spot, I recommend renting a storage unit, but keep in mind your time line and the cost. Also, if you can live without it for more than six months, do you really need it?
  3. As the work in your basement is underway, consider where you'll put everything when it's finished. Now is a good time to change the layout or use of the space. Research the furniture and organizing supplies you'll need. If you have room, purchase small items, particularly decorative storage boxes and start reorganizing. It'll make transitioning back to the damaged rooms much easier!
Have you had to deal with damage to a part of your home? Any advice on how to handle it?

Friday, October 28, 2011

Reimagining Rooms

I'm really into people reimagining a traditional or common layout and adjusting it to suit their own needs. This isn't remodeling; it's deciding if a room's intended use is appropriate for you or not.

Let's face it, most homes being built today are pretty generic, and they usually have a standard layout. There's no reason that we have to use a room a specific way because that's how it was built, or for that matter, why decorate a room that you won't use?

(Hello, formal dining rooms, I'm talking to you!)

One great, and probably very recognizable example is Young House Love's use of a dining room as an office and the formal living room as a dining room. An unused formal dining room could also turn into a great and handy playroom.

I really like this idea because it shows how people are breaking away from traditions that dictate how we should use our own things. These people are making the home their own. While I do think of myself as pretty traditional, my home needs to suit my needs, not the needs of the person who designed it!

Have you reimagined a room? What did you do?

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Pantries and More Pantries

I have pantries on my mind right now. My pantry needs a little work to make it more functional. With that need in mind, I searched for some (realistic) pantry inspiration. Below are some great pantries with clever storage tricks.

This is a beautiful pantry; the type of pantry I'd like to hang out in. The bright color is so cheeful and welcoming and I love, love, LOVE the cake pedastal collection she has on display. The drawers at the bottom provide an ingenious place to store the smaller, not as pretty items. (View more amazing pictures of this pantry here.)

A cheerful print on the back echoes the colors of the labels and the calendar on the door. Using tall, square-bottomed storage containers for staples makes the items more visible, makes the most of space and provides stackability.

The rack on the door not only provides a handy-spot for small or frequently used items, but also takes advantage of the dead spot between the door and the shelves.

Hopefully this pantry eye candy has inspired you a little. I definitely have a few ideas for solutions in my pantry. But I have to say, I'm going entirely for function and not for pretty right now.

Do you have any clever pantry storage ideas? I've seen a few others on Pinterest that I might take advantage of.

P.S. I proofed this post several times just to make sure I typed the 'r' in pantry. There may still be a few panties in the post. :)

Monday, October 24, 2011

Why it Pays to Not Get Behind

The title sounds a little scary, but this isn't too scary, I promise. It would be a whole lot scarier if I showed you my to-do list or, worse, my house. As I mentioned last week, the end of September and beginning of October were busy in planned an unplanned ways. Because I spent an unplanned week sick and unable to clean much, my house became more than a little messy. Once I'd gotten out of the hospital, I had two nights after work to pack for vacation. Then, Nick and I got sick last Friday and had to rest most of the weekend.

I was already behind on projects I wanted to finish or start at the end of September, including my hall closet, pantry and Claire's Halloween costume. Now, I'll have to work double time to get caught back up and start some big and necessary projects, all with Christmas right around the corner and presents to buy or make. The obvious conclusion I've made is that if I hadn't been behind when I got sick at the end of September, it wouldn't be quite as bad right now.

So the lesson I've learned is to not procrastinate on cleaning, organizing or other projects I want to do. I need to make the time to finish the things I need to. Tonight I need to do the laundry and sew the top and bottom seam on Claire's poodle skirt for Halloween. I should also be able to trace and cut out the poodle decal. Tomorrow we have a play date and dinner with friends, so I won't be able to get anything extra done. But Wednesday, it's on, again! I'll finish her costume and laundry. Thursday night I'll begin to plan my projects for the upcoming holidays. The weekend will be spent at my parent's house. One good part about that, besides spending time with my parents, is that we're already packed because we planned to visit last weekend before getting too sick!

I hope everyone has a productive week. I'll be back on Wednesday and Friday with more posts.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Amazing Master Closet Inspiration

Today I wanted to share a few jealousy-inducing closets. Not to make you jealous, but to hopefully inspire you to create the master closet of your dreams. While most of us can't afford to have these closets custom-made by an expert, they offer unique storage that could be DIYed.

Here we go...

This wonderful closet has custom slots for shoes, but the best part of that back wall are the slots for boots. Stored together with walls to lean on, the boots keep their shape. Also, the island in the center appears to have a glass top that could reveal jewelry stored below.

Having lots of doors and drawers keeps this closet from looking chaotic. I really like the floor-to-ceiling cabinets. They really make the most of the storage space available. The cheap version would be floor-to-ceiling shelves with baskets to hide the contents. The ottoman also looks like a comfy place to plan outfits and put on your shoes.

Another creative use of an island; this time for shoes. In the background there are also a stack of small drawers. This would be ideal for undergarments. Sorting by type would make finding what you need a breeze.

What features do you find most appealing in inspirational closets? Could you imagine having as many shoes as the women in pictures one and three have? I don't think I could. I hate having things that I don't use. It makes me feel as if I've wasted money.

Monday, October 17, 2011

Start Small; Finish Big

If there's one tip I can pass along that will lead you to organized bliss, it's this: Start small.

Like most people, you probably have a jam-packed schedule and very little time to spare. You probably realize how much you need to get organized, but you don't know where to start. And you just ignore it or shove it in the closet. So, I recommend that you start small.

Just organize one drawer or one shelf a day. Move from room to room as you desire. You won't see major progress, but you'll see some. Best of all, you won't have unfinished projects but a series of finished, organized projects. 

Friday, October 14, 2011

Tip: Use Drop Spots to Stay Organized

Well, after an unplanned hiatus, I'm back. I spent one week at home with pneumonia, followed by two days in the hospital, two days back at work and six days in Mexico for my anniversary trip. I have plenty of great stuff lined up to post, so  you can expect regular posts.

Today I just wanted to share a quick tip on how to maintain your organized home. Maintenance is so important after you've spent hours getting your home organized. To keep it that way, use drop spots throughout your house. A drop spot is a basket or bin to place items that don't belong in that room. When the drop spot gets full, pick it up and take the items to their home. It couldn't be easier to maintain your clean, organized home.