Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Death of a Plant, a Plate, and (thankfully) a Month

I am quite thrilled to say good-bye to January.  
Not that I imagine the -40 temps will disappear, but it is at least a small step toward not being frozen.

I am not even that sad to say good-bye to these ferns.  They had a good run.  And I was quite sick of picking up their leaves.  Even better, the new, fake versions are quite lovely and promise to be much cleaner.

Alive Looking

Alive Looking
I am sad, however, to say good-bye to this guy.

He took a tumble and I did love him which is why he sits in a bowl on my counter top now.
I can't toss him yet.  
Quick, someone search "broken plate DIY" on Pinterest.

So to cheer myself up, I am going to bring back

Things I Do Not Love

for the month of February.
I saw my first victim in a store today...

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Closet Organizing Tip #6

Did last week's tips inspire you to organize your closet over the weekend?

Well, I got to work on mine and realized I forgot to tell you something.

Let's have a look at my before and after.



 Now maybe you're thinking they look pretty similar.  And they do.  But there is one big difference that is a game changer for maintaining a tidy space.

The secret?


So often we think we need to fill every last bit of space in order for it to be used efficiently.  But organized spaces stay organized much more easily when they have some breathing room.  It's okay to leave space on shelves.  It's okay if you could actually fit a few more items onto the rack.  Don't you hate it when you try to hang your clothes and you have to hold everything back to stuff the clean laundry in?

These few inches left at the top of each shelf make all the difference 
when you're putting your clothes away.


 It only took a small amount of purging to open up my closet enough to have some breathing room.

Purge Pile
We'll talk more about this concept in future projects but for now, happy organizing!

Thursday, January 23, 2014

Organizing Closets

 Recently a client asked me to help her get her home organized.

When you have a few areas to work on, often a closet is a great first step.  Closets are nice, contained spaces with a clear function.  Usually it's a job you can tackle in a few hours and often it gives you maximum "wow" factor when you're done.  

Let's take a look at a few closets we worked on, and then I'll list some closet organizing tips.

Here is the front entrance closet.


The back door with mud room and laundry.



The 4 year old's bedroom.


And of course I forgot to take before shots of the master bedroom walk in,  
but have a look at the end results.

Tips for tackling a closet:
1.  Purge ~ I promise you no matter how much you think you use everything in there, you will find items that don't fit, are worn out, or you never use.  Starting out with the least amount of stuff possible is your best strategy.  Remember, if you are a keeper, ask a friend to come over and help you make non-emotional decisions.

2.  Sort like items ~ It sounds really picky to put all your t-shirts together, long sleeve dress shirts separate from short sleeved, etc..  But it serves a dual purpose.  First, every time you wear something and then do laundry, you can easily pop your stuff right back on the exact empty hanger it came off of, which prevents your closet from becoming messy again.  Second, when you have all your t-shirts separate from your dresses for example, you will find a whole section of space beneath the shorter items that you can utilize for other storage.

3.  Refold ~ Again, it sounds all picky and Martha Stewart like (which may or may not be a good thing I guess), but if you fold things like jeans to fit your shelves well, then you can optimize the number of piles you have and you will have an easier time keeping the piles from falling over.

4.  Use bins ~ If you can group things like purses or shoes or mitts into storage containers, you will have a much easier time keeping your space tidy.

5.  Height ~ use the spots that are the most unreachable for items you will rarely use.  If you keep stuff out of reach that you use regularly, you will very likely not put things back properly.

It's nearly the weekend...a great time to grab an hour or two to whip one of your closets into shape! 

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Updating Chalkboards

The New Year is a great time to update your chalkboards or anywhere you keep little messages.  
Sometimes I wonder though if my family even notices.

But this time Sofi commented that she'd just memorized the last saying before I changed it again.

From Jesus Calling by Sarah Young

And a few days later Cate signed her name like this:

I think they do notice!  

Thursday, January 16, 2014

Fun Finds From Michael's

Are you a Michael's shopper?  

I find it to be a handy store although their coupon policies drive me crazy.  

The other day I saw so many sweet finds in the dollar bins!  
(Except it is actually their $1.50 bins which is another pet peeve.)

Check it out.

Super cute twine and paper straws.

Chalkboard labels which I had to order online back when I wanted them! bee bag ever.

Faux metal squares which could be used in all sorts of projects!

And all for a dollar...fifty.
Be inspired!

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Quick Pillow Project

Here's a quick project to bust the winter blues.
My crocheted pillow covers from last year did not work in the new living room so I popped them off to save for a different occasion and sewed up 2 new covers.  
All you need to do is take a big ol' rectangle of fabric, fold it right sides in, sew up 2 1/2 sides leaving a hole large enough to squish pillow through, turn it right side out again, pop pillow in and then use the super invisible stitch to sew it up.  I don't know what that stitch is called but if you don't know how to do it, you should google it and learn.  It is the most useful sewing skill I know. 
(Not that I know many, but still...)

Dino thinks it looks more masculine in here than it did for Christmas.
Which he feels is a good thing.

Happy Sewing!  

Thursday, January 9, 2014

Sneak Peek

I was going to continue on with the small projects theme, but I'm so excited about a bigger project I've been working on I thought I'd give you a sneak peek.

Mike and Darla asked me for a new plan for their dining room.
I gave them this.

And then I got a wee bit carried away and created a whole living room plan as well.
It was just so much fun!

It turns out they liked both looks so furniture will start arriving shortly!  
I'll post live shots as soon as everything is in place.

In the meantime I will return next week with some more attainable January projects.

Congratulations guys!!

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Love/Hate Month

January is full of mixed feelings for me.  
I love the sudden need to organize every space in my house; the exhilarating desire to create new looks and rearrange everything.

But I hate the feeling of overwhelmedness at where to start.  
(My computer says that is not a word.  Hmf.)

(Oh - PS - I also hate that it is -40 or colder every single solitary day.)

Maybe I am the only person out there who can't decide which project to tackle first, but just in case I'm not, here's my advice.  
Start with something super easy and totally doable.

Today I moved my coffee maker.  Sounds like a really easy project right?  And guess was!  But it will make a big difference in how my kitchen runs.

As you can see in the before shot, the Keurig was right in the kitchen doorway, so any guest trying to make their own cup would completely block the door.  Same obviously if I was making a few cups at a time and guests were trying to come and go.


So now there are some harmless plates in that spot.


And the Keurig?  
Across the room where there is lots of space.


I left lots of counter space so I can just pop cream, sugar and spoons out when friends come by.
No need to rearrange or move anything.

The feeling of accomplishment goes a long, long way in fighting the feeling of being overwhelmed.
So, start small.