Monday, March 12, 2012

All packed up...and nowhere to go.

Last weekend, I walked into the den to find this...

In case you can't tell, that's Jonathan lying in a suitcase.  We've been looking for replacements for my old ones, and he found this one at Goodwill.  It was only after he got it home, that we realized it was way bigger than anything we already had.  Big enough, I joked, to pack Jonathan in - that's a couple hundred dollars saved every flight we take!  He decided to test it out, and as you can see, he fits!  With room to spare, actually - he's got a full-size pillow and a couple blankets in there as well.  As you can imagine, the suitcase became his hang-out space for the rest of the morning.

Sunday, March 11, 2012


Go ahead and call me a geek, but one of my favorite things to do is organize.  I love transforming a space from total chaos into something neat and orderly.  In the last few months, I've been able to do this in two different areas in our house.  

The first space I worked on is our "pantry."  Before we bought out house, the garage was converted into a third bedroom.  They also carved out a laundry room and another space we call the pantry.  Inside the pantry is a closet that we call the pantry inside the pantry.  Anyway, the larger pantry holds a tons of stuff, including all of our tools.  For the first few years, this space was really disorganized, with toolboxes stacked under recycling boxes, folding chairs sliding down the wall, and all sorts of paper goods spilling everywhere.  I didn't take a picture of this embarrassment, so you'll just have to take my word for it.  I do, however, have a picture of the final result:

We hung peg board with different hooks to hang some of the tools that we wanted easy access to, or the tools that were difficult to store elsewhere.  We also bought a small tool drawer box for things like screwdrivers, wrenches, and the drill.  On the left side of the wall, we hung some shelves on standards, to hold things like paper towels, plates and cups.  It has been really helpful in keeping youth supplies separated from our family's.  I would love to say that eight months later the room still looks like that, but I'd be lying.  But, because the bones of organization are there, I at least know where things or stored.  Even if I do have to wade through the recycling to get to it!

Yesterday the organizing bug bit me again, and I overhauled my craft supplies storage.  I have one corner and most of the closet in our study for my craft table and supplies.  But yesterday, the area had gotten so chaotic, I could barely see my table, much less work on it.  So I rearranged, cleaned out, and added some more storage, so now I can actually use my table again!

I added a cork board to help me keep my lists of things to do and craft ideas organized.  If I can see the list, I'm more likely to get stuff done, right?  I've also hung my cricut cutting mats on the wall to keep them out of the way and flat.

One of my favorite challenges while I'm organizing is to do it without having to spend any money to get it done.  Yesterday I reorganized everything without buying any new shelves of containers.  The shelves below used to hang in our bathroom, but we took them down several months ago, and they've just been sitting in my crafts closet since then.  Now they're up in the closet, holding everything from scissors to blank cards, to finished projects waiting to be posted to etsy.

I was also able to re-purpose a set of wire shelves that have been sitting in the top of a closet since we moved in.  The wire shelves are the kind of thing sold to hang on the back of a pantry or cabinet door, to hold spices, or cans or other small items.  They also happen to be handy for holding glue, punches, and other small containers.  You can see that I've saved a few metal containers from the trash, and I'm using them to hold small items.  You could also wash out and save glass jars, with the added benefit of being able to see the contents.  

By adding the extra shelves, I was able to pull all of my craft supplies into one corner.  Before yesterday, I had most of my things in the closet, but then some were left in a chest of drawers on the opposite side of the room.  Now everything is in one place, and much more accessible during a project.  

We don't have a door on the closet, so a few months ago I hung a set of curtains in the opening.  The curtains hide everything in the closet when I'm not working, and can be pushed off to the side when I do need to get into the closet.  They are a lot more convenient than the door would be here.

Overall, I'm pretty pleased with how things turned out.  I really feel like I've made my space one that I can be that much more productive in.  Of course, I haven't been able to test out this theory yet - I was too tired after all this organizing to even think about starting another project!