Here we are in the Ides of March and I’m done with my project!
This was the first time I set out to makeover a complete room all at once and the first time I tried to work within a budget. Overall, I’m very pleased with the outcome. Although it wasn’t exactly as perfect as I had it pictured in my head (is it ever?), it is a vast improvement on what it was and a good starting point for improvements to be made in the future. Budget-wise? I failed. I don’t have time to tally up the damage tonight, but I think it was somewhere between $150 and $200. I’m planning to add it up and post all the nitty-gritty details tomorrow. Today is just for appreciating the pleasant space that is my craft and play room. I hope you get a few ideas for any trouble spots that may be lurking in your home. Honestly, if I can do this, anyone can.
Here are the “afters”:
I spent almost the whole first week just focusing on this closet. Everything came out and then got sorted, labeled, and put back in. EVERYTHING has a label on it. I used the over-the-door shoe holders I already had along with some covered boxes, baskets and Ziploc food storage containers. The clothespin labels are just like the ones from our clothes closet.
These are photos from Hubby and my trip to Barcelona. They were sitting in a box so I decided to showcase them in this frame I had something else in before. I’ve been to that city several times and I’m always so inspired by the mosaics and architecture and lively atmosphere. I found out I was pregnant with Boo-Boo on the day we got back so this trip was especially special.
Remember the mirror that reflected a blank wall? Now it reflects the windows and craft table. That light switch caused a spacing problem so I decided to hang it as a diamond instead of a straight square. (Thanks for making that happen, Hubby!)
I really wanted an area for Boo-Boo to be able to reach his toys and be able to pick and choose what he wanted. The four baskets have toys arranged by type. Once a week I rotate things out to keep it interesting. The books are also rotated. The toys not in use are in the second closet (along with out-of-season clothes) and the books are in the wall shelving. Those shelves, if you’ve never seen them before, are just brackets with large books on top. I’ve seen it done where they actually drill a hole in the book to make it the shelf, but I wasn’t about to puncture any of my precious books! (Props to Hubby for making these happen, too.)
Finally, my craft table is meant to be a bright and open workspace. I have a few supplies displayed in the curios above and a note board (made from ½ yard of fabric and an old poster frame) to post reminders and clip inspiration pieces. The box on the table is to keep the supplies I’m using for an ongoing project. I usually take several days to finish up and instead of leaving everything spread out I can store it in there quickly. There are more book shelves over here and a small couch for relaxing. In case we play too hard!
I came across this blog post about closet dividers on Pinterest a few months ago. I loved the idea, but the way our closet bars are designed there wouldn’t be space for a large, CD-sized marker.
Recently, I’ve become more frustrated by our disorganized closets. Digging through to see what is clean, what matches, and *oops* what still fits while wrangling my energetic baby isn’t always quick and easy. And I like things to be quick and easy.
BEFORE: Hard-to-Find Clothes
After staring at my closet railing for an idea as to what would fit, I realized that a clothespin would work beautifully. Using small pieces of scrapbook paper, I wrote the days of the week, covered each with a protective piece of clear packing tape, and hot glued it onto a clothespin.
Now when I’m hanging up clean clothes I just organize them by outfit (usually two per day for Boo-Boo) and hang them by the day. If I know that one day will be the really cold, for example, I can save the warmest outfit for then. This way, I’m not stuck saying “All his sweaters are dirty!” fifteen minutes before we need to leave the house.
AFTER: Quick and Easy
I decided to make a set for myself too.
Thank you for reading my special weeklong series about cleaning my house. Having a schedule doesn’t mean I stick to it every day, but it does help me keep track of daily priorities. It helps me pay attention to even the smallest parts of my house. The smallest of all the areas is the entryway, but it tends to be the most messy. I’ve tried to organize everything so that this cluttered catch-all is contained.
Saturday is entryway day.
Because of the shape of my house, it’s impossible to get a proper snap of the whole space. I tried. From the ‘before’ it’s obvious that I had food stored in my front closet. I don’t have a pantry so I thought I could make this work, but it did not. Once I re-arranged some things in my kitchen, I had more room to store coats, shoes and bags in this closet. The metal over-the-door hooks were previously turned to the outside of the door, but that was a cluttery mess. I turned it to the inside because there’s room now and I allow myself to keep one purse, umbrellas, a small bag with gloves inside, and hats on it. On the side wall of the closet is a shoe storage bag. This is where shoes we don’t usually wear stay. The frequently-used shoes stay on the outer shoe rack. One day I dream of having a bench with shoe storage underneath. It isn’t going to happen right now. The vacuum also hides in here along with my grocery store bags and a couple of Hubby’s presentation posters. On that top shelf is usually his soccer bag. He started keeping all his soccer paraphernalia inside and that’s helped to cut down on the shoes.
On the wall we have a clock, key rack and I recently added a desk mail sorter. That will hold any urgent paper reminders or outgoing mail. I put an old round table underneath. I generally dislike round tables because of their awkward shape. This one was Hubby’s from before we got married. It’s covered with two fabric scraps. An easy way to cover a round table without making a round table cloth is just layering two rectangular cloths on top. Below is a hiding place for items that need to go somewhere like books to be returned or cans of oil to be added to the car or a gift to be given. Those kind of things would previously wait around on the stairs or floor and drive me nuts– or simply be forgotten because they weren’t in my face. Two wire baskets sit on top of the round table for incoming mail and Hubby’s things. I suppose it’s because they don’t have a purse, but men always seem to have a lot of little things–wallet, sunglasses, ID badge, kufis–to keep track of.
This space is better now- there is a place for everything I need coming and going- but I do have some plans to make it even more welcoming. Keep reading to see.
AFTER: Welcoming Entryway
Friday is the spare bedroom day. This is the room that used to be our master bedroom. Now it’s a big open space for Boo-Boo to play in and I have a large table for sewing and crafting. There are two closets. One stores out-of-season clothes and a few boxes. This was the other one a few months ago:
Needless to say, I wasn’t able to find anything I needed. Due to somewhat limited storage, this closet must hold my crafting supplies, the tool box, gift wrap, fabric, keepsake boxes with photos, beading supplies and any other random thing I think I may use to make something. I like keeping everything in the closet because I can close the door and not see it anymore. It also helps keep the baby from eating my scrapbook paper and paint pens.
I bought two fabric shoe holders on clearance for about $2 a piece. If you have never checked them out before, JoAnn’s has great seasonal clearance. One of the holders I put on the door as it was meant to be. The other is cut into two and thumbtacked onto the back wall. Most of my small fabric pieces fit in there along with a few other odds and ends like Mod Podge, paint chips, and feathers. The other items are stored in a plastic, three-drawer shelf and various plastic boxes and baskets. I would love to have all the containers match and sitting on a shelf so it’s easier to get to, but right now this is as good as it can get.
Now I can find all my supplies for all my crazy ideas.