The New Me, part 8: My laundry room

The New Me, part 8: My laundry room

Now that I’m almost finished with the office half of my office/laundry room, it was time to tackle the laundry space. I have been admiring a lot of laundry room organization ideas that used cute bins to store all of the detergents and cleaners in the laundry room.

Every time I thought about doing this, it just seemed silly. I store ALL of my cleaners in the laundry room, so I have a lot of bottles of stuff for everything from the bathroom to the carpet to the windows to the laundry. Putting the cleaners in a bin seemed like it would create an extra step in finding what I need at the right moment.

But then I saw these bins at Target that were just the right size, shape and color, and also were sturdy enough to allow me to pull down a bin without everything inside tipping over.

I seriously can’t believe how much I LOVE having my cleaners organized in these colorful bins. It makes that space seem soooo much more organized.

I found this little bowl and basket at Target that match the other accessories in my office. The bowl is for my “laundry tips” — all of the change and other items people leave in their pockets!

I recently started pouring the huge container of laundry detergent into a smaller bottle (which once was a soft soap refill). This has improved my attitude toward laundry significantly because it’s so much easier to pick up and pour. And it doesn’t drip all over the place like the mega laundry detergent container.

Now that my laundry room and office are so clean and organized, I have done a MUCH better job of keeping up on the laundry! I actually look forward to going into that room, which means I’m getting a lot more laundry done!

OK… ready for the before and after?

OK… so tell me… Is anyone else out there in bloggy land getting obsessed with getting organized? I need to know. I really do.

 

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The New Me, part 7: Making progress on my office

The New Me, part 7: Making progress on my office

I made some great progress on my office over the weekend! I spent about four hours on Saturday (LITERALLY!) combing through the IKEA catalog and web site and doing complex mathematical equations to try to figure out what combination of desks and storage solutions would fit into my space. If you have ever tried doing this with ALL of the options available at IKEA, you know it’s not easy!

I could NOT believe that I actually came up with a solution that fit within my space with less than a half of an inch to spare! In case anyone is interested, I went with the Exepdit storage units, the Gallant corner desk and the Alex drawer unit that I can slide out from under the desk.

I also added a few little pops of color to bring some life to the grey.

I still need to take this shower curtain and create window coverings.

This is going to require me to get out the sewing machine, learn how to thread it, and then I will be good to go. I basically just need to sew a few straight lines, and I can handle that!

I also need to get some colorful fabric bins to put in the Expedit units to store some of my stuff. Right now, I just have these storage boxes from IKEA. I’m actually thinking of covering them in colorful paper, but I haven’t decided.

I can’t believe how much calmer and more peaceful it is to go in my office now!

Let’s review the before shots:

And the after:

Ahhh… What a difference, huh?!?

 

 

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The New Me, part 6: Clean sweep

The New Me, part 6: Clean sweep

When I started this journey to organize my home two months ago, I was so overwhelmed I didn’t know where to begin. So, I decided I needed to break it down into small steps.

I created a list of literally every cabinet, drawer and closet in my home. I love to mark things off of My List, but it was too much to have to clean, for example, the entire kitchen. Instead, I numbered every drawer and cabinet and listed them separately so I could mark something off even if I only organized a small space.

If you look at my list now, more than half of the items are highlighted (meaning I’m finished). But that is a little deceiving because my office was one project that was worth about half of the list.

First off, I should say that my office is also the laundry room. Or the laundry room is also my office. The family that built our house opted to create an extra large laundry room, and used part of it for an office. Many years ago, I got very creative in decorating this space. This was the one room in the house where I spent about half of my life since I’m often either doing laundry or working on my computer. So I decided I should really make this room “mine”! Here’s the story:

A very, very long time ago, I was the mother of a little boy with another little boy on the way. I was busy decorating bedrooms in little boy colors. But each time I would go to buy accessories for their bedrooms, I would be drawn to the little girl section of the store. I was convinced I would forever be the lone girl in a home full of boys. So I decided that my office/laundry room should be totally girly.

Get ready.

Don’t laugh out loud.

Don’t leave me any mean comments.

I decided to paint the room not one, not two, not three, but FOUR loud, obnoxious colors. (These photos are after we recently cleared the room and patched the walls.)

 

When I first created this room, I painted some really awful shelves the previous owner had left behind and used them to store all of my crafting supplies. I was really, really into scrapbooking and stamping and had tons of paper, stamps, cutters, etc.

Then, I got really involved in selling Discovery Toys. After seven years in the toy business, I had accumulated tons and tons of toys, catalogs, order forms, etc. etc.

This also became the dropping point for gift wrapping supplies, cards, family photos, computer equipment, and the list goes on. If something didn’t have a home, it pretty much got dropped in my office. Here are a few incredibly embarrassing photos to give you an idea.

Add to all of that an enormous, ugly desk that was a hand-me-down from my husband’s work. (I can’t bring myself to post the photo… maybe later!)

I have spent several weekends cleaning out this room, resulting in about 25 bags of garbage and a dozen boxes of stuff to give away or sell. When it came to the paint color, I needed a clean sweep, as well.

I have never liked grey. I love color and grey in my mind is even worse than white when it comes to lack of color. It’s boring. Drab. And depressing.

But as I looked for office OR laundry inspiration colors, I kept coming back to grey. Apparently, grey is the new neutral. And it just happened to be so radically opposite of bright pink, yellow, green and blue that I felt that’s what I needed for this space.

Right now, the room is still empty. I’m using a folding table for my desk. And I LOVE it!

The grey definitely takes on different tones in different light. It looks pretty GREY in this photo, but at times, it has more of a brown undertone. I also painted the ceiling and the trim white.

I’m planning to bring in some white shelves, a white desk and some curtains and other accents that are colors similar to the “sprinkles” and “persimmon” on this card:

But I’m not quite ready to even put anything in this room yet. I love the emptiness and the new paint smell.

Now, you know I have to make an analogy for EVERYTHING, but I really can’t resist. I have to admit that cleaning out this room was quite an emotional journey for me. After a few long days of sorting and throwing away, I found myself wanting to curl up in a ball.

It was hard to let go of past parts of my life and throw them away or box them up once and for all. The reason this room had gotten so bad is that I just couldn’t go back there and face all of those things, which bring back so many memories!

Once it was all done, I realized that I didn’t miss any of those things. It feels so good to have all of that STUFF wiped away from my life. In the process, I have realized the need to wipe clean some parts inside of me. I needed to let go of some emotional baggage… some holding on to things in the past that were weighing me down. It’s been an awesome experience to do this clean sweep!

And just to take the analogy one step farther and make it even more annoying, I actually LOVE doing laundry now! I can’t wait to get some cute little baskets for my cleaning supplies and get this room put back together. But I love coming in here and just making things CLEAN!

Hey, leave me a comment and let me know you read this. What do you think of the grey? Do you have areas in your home that need a good clean sweep? Tell me about it!

 

 

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The New Me, part 5: My love for Roy G. Biv

The New Me, part 5: My love for Roy G. Biv

Raise your hand if you’ve ever had this experience.

You open up a brand new 64-pack of Crayola crayons. You inhale the smell of fresh colored wax. You gaze at the perfectly formed tips, and the neat new wrappers. Then you dump all of the crayons out on the table and you rearrange them in rainbow order.

It has always perplexed me that a company that specializes in color can’t figure out a way to package their product in Roy G. Biv order. You know: red, orange, yellow, green, blue, indigo, violet.

While my quest to get organized is new, I have always loved to sort things. And there’s nothing I love more than sorting things in the order of the rainbow!

Now that I’m cleaning out drawers and closets, I’m finding more and more opportunities to sort items into Roy G. Biv. It makes me so happy to see a bouquet of Sharpies all sorted by color.

I’m even starting to enjoy (Gasp! Did I say “ENJOY?!?”) putting away laundry now that I have purged tons of my clothes and sorted what is left into their own version of Roy G. Biv.

I don’t actually own any clothing on the ROY end of the spectrum, so my clothing order starts at G. Actually, about half of my clothes aren’t even in the rainbow range, but fall into the dark land of black, brown and grey. Yes, I have probably spent way too much time trying to figure out the correct color order for this clothing dilemma, but I’ve finally settled on something that works for me: black, grey, brown, green, blue, indigo, violet. Ahhh… It’s so good to see them all lined up in order. 🙂

Yes, you can say I’m a little obsessed with Roy G. Biv. How about you?

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The New Me, part 4: cute stuff!

The New Me, part 4: cute stuff!

OK, so when I started my quest to be organized back in early December, I had no idea it had the potential to become one, big, never-ending craft project! In fact, I always dreaded any type of housework because it took me away from the “creative” projects that I enjoy so much.

In the last couple of months, I’ve become a little obsessed with an organizational blog called, iheartorganizing. This woman has so many creative ideas for how to make organization cute that it’s crazy! Here are just a couple of ideas that caught my interest and gave me inspiration to add some craftiness to my organization.

The first was a project involving “Washi tape.” Honestly, I had not heard of Washi tape before, or “decorative paper tape” as it’s called at Target. When I saw it, I just had to have some, even though I had no clue what I would do with it.

I decided to use it to help me tackle my paper organization problem. I was really tired of looking at all of our incoming paper piled up in this basket.

This system was working OK. I could rummage through the basket and find the bills and then just ignore all of the other papers that had piled up there over the last few months. However, I also was going crazy to find a place for my kids to drop all of their school work when they got home and emptied their backpacks. I had tried several solutions, but always ended up with papers strewn all over the dining room table, the living room floor or the kitchen.

I ended up creating three incoming paper baskets, and used the decoratative paper tape to make these cute labels. One basket is for bills and stuff that needs to be filed. One is for coupons or info about incoming events… stuff that’s not urgent, but I want to save it for a short time. The third basket is where the kids can dump their incoming school work until I have a chance to look at it.

I am loving this new system and I no longer have to pick up random math papers and pizza coupons from all over the house. They are neatly organized in their respective baskets.

My mind also was opened to the idea of using cute paper to line the inside of drawers or for other DIY projects. This thought would have never occurred to me before because most of my drawers were so messy that I wanted to close them as quickly as possible! Now that my drawers are getting organized, it’s fun to get a colorful surprise when I open them!

 

I used lots of cute paper as part of this project to regain control of this area in our dining room we had used for home schooling.

Even though it’s been eight months since we finished home schooling, I just hadn’t gathered up the nerve to face all of those old school books and assignments. We really did have clean cabinets when we started the school year, but by the time we ended, things were a jumbled mess.

Honestly, my reluctance to clean up this mess was as much emotional as it was the physical task of sorting through everything.

But I did it! Now, I have some great storage for craft projects, homework supplies and educational games to keep the girls busy when I’m in the kitchen. I’m sure I will come up with another use for these great cabinets at some point, but for now, this is working! The kids are already used to going to these cabinets to do their school work, and it continues to be a good spot to store pens, pencils, erasers, rulers, paper and all of the other essentials they need to do homework.

 

I found some super cute wrapping paper on sale at Home Goods. As soon as I saw it, I got so excited because the paper is TEXTURED! Awesome patterns and texture in a roll of paper! Yes… I did buy six rolls!! (And those are old toilet paper rolls covered in shelf liner to keep the rolls from unrolling.)

I have been using the pretty paper to line my drawers…

make my own drawer dividers…

and even cover cereal boxes to create my own “magazine box” style storage.

I also covered some cans to create some extra storage for our piles of colored pencils and crayons.

 

Cute, crafty AND organized. Can you believe it??

So, tell me… have you found any cute ways to organize your stuff? I would love to hear about it!

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:)