Pantry, Before & After


Here are some photos of our pantry.  It’s actually a hall closet, but when we moved in, we decided we needed a pantry more than a place to hang coats.  I have organized and reorganized it for almost four years now, but I think we finally have it just right.   Here are the “befores.”  It’s hard to get a good photo in a dark hallway, with not much space to maneuver.  You can click on each photo to enlarge it:

We took some of the surplus items and brought them down to the basement, where we have a rack for extra food storage (that’s a post for another time).

We went through everything and tried to put similar items together.  Yet again.

I also purchased two items to help organize; one of those can organizers that has “steps” so you can see which cans you have; and a small lazy susan.

Here are the “After” photos.  Again, I did the best I could with no natural light in the hallway:

See the cute can organizer?  It slides open so you can make it wider.  The can organizer, and the lazy susan organizer on the shelf below were both purchased at Lowe’s.  The brand sticker on them said “Real Organized.”  Each piece was under $12.

Here is the bottom of the closet.  Yes, that is an old-fashioned, metal candy machine.  It is filled with Gobstoppers.  Rob found it at an antique store, and cleaned it out thoroughly and added the candy to it.  He wants to find a stand for it, but for now it gets stashed away in the pantry for a “once in a while” treat.  I’m not a fan of Gobstoppers, but the boys are.  And yes, that basket holds plastic bags.  Shame on me, I know, I shouldn’t use them.  But I’ve been using them to line small trash cans.

Anyone need to organize their pantry?  Whether it is a closet or a shelf in your kitchen, go through it and see what you can organize, so you can find things more easily.  You don’t need to purchase a lot of fancy containers or organizers; clean out and organize first to see what you need before you go shopping for organizers.

Linking to: House of Hepworths/Frugal and Fabulous Design/My Romantic Home/The Shabby Nest/Tidy Mom/Fingerprints on the Fridge/Finding Fabulous/A Little Knick Knack/Beyond the Picket Fence/Just a Girl/A Little Lovely/Under the Table and Dreaming/Between Naps on the Porch/The Girl Creative Party Blog/It’s so Very Cheri/The Shabby Chic Cottage/A Silly Little Sparrow


Just DO It, Already


This was a nice, quick project that I’ve been meaning to work on for ages now.  I know this isn’t a bad “before”, but it was getting hard to find things in this drawer.  We call it the phone book drawer, but I decided to toss the phone book into recycling.  We never use it anymore; if we need a phone number, we look it up on the internet.

The pink flowered book holds our phone numbers for friends and family.  Yes, I still use a paper phone book for that. 🙂

I sorted through the pens, and bought two small plastic containers to corral everything.  I put scissors in the drawer because I always seem to need them.  I also put a small pencil sharpener in there, since Handy Boy always seems to need one when working on his homework.

I had been meaning to organize this drawer, but I kept forgetting to buy the organizers!

Is there a small project that you have been meaning to do that would make a difference in how you function?  Let’s stop procrastinating and just do it!

Linking to: We’re Organized Wednesday/The Shabby Chic Cottage/A Little Knick Knack/Tidy Mom/Funky Junk Interiors/I Heart Naptime/House of Thrifty Decor/New Nostalgia

Organizing Photos, Before & After


Recently, my crafty friend Danielle said that she needed to organize her photos and scrapbook supplies so she could work on her crafts. I offered to go over to her house recently to help with the organization.

Danielle is very crafty: she makes cards, scrapbooks, and makes cute Christmas ornaments.  This idea that I posted in December about simple ornaments was from Danielle.

Danielle had been ordering photos online, but they were in piles.

She had started to organize the photos, but hadn’t gotten too far.

I will post more “before and after” photos of her scrap room another time, but for now, here’s the photo project.  She gathered all of her photos together, and started going through them.

After I left, she continued working.  She put tabs in between categories and sorted the photos into plastic containers and photo boxes.  Photo boxes can be purchased inexpensively at most department stores.

I am using my label maker to make labels for Danielle’s photo boxes…I ran out of labels (eeek!), but I will get them to her soon.

MUCH better!  Great job, Danielle. Now she can start making cute scrapbook pages again.

A few photo organizing tips:

  • Gather all of your photos into one place.
  • Go through photos and sort them into general piles.  It’s okay to pitch photos that are blurry or too dark.  They are not going to get any less blurry or dark.  I am giving you all permission to throw away crummy photos.  Really.
  • Use index cards or simple pieces of paper to make dividers.  General labels like “Wedding”, “School”, “Christmas” or “Kids” are OK. You may already have photo boxes or containers in the house, but if you have to purchase some they are usually only $4 or $5 apiece.
  • Put your photos into photo boxes with lids, to keep them dust-free and away from light.

Danielle and I love to scrapbook.  However, even if you don’t scrap, it’s nice to have all your photos together so it’s easier to look through them.

For more scrapbook organizing info: see this link for how I used my label maker to organize my scrapbook paper.  Also see this link about the table I use to store my scrapbook supplies.

Anyone need to organize some photos?

Linking this up to: The Shabby Chic Cottage/Somewhat Simple/Beyond the Picket Fence/Tales from Bloggeritaville/Fingerprints on the Fridge/A Little Knick Knack/Tidy Mom/Chick on a Shoestring Decorating/Frugal & Fabulous Design/We are That Family/Organize and Decorate Everything

More Garage Organization


Rob is still working on organizing in the garage while he works on the shed.  He took a metal shelf from this wall in the garage and moved it to the shed, leaving this wall blank.

Time for more pegboard!  Rob hung up some strapping…

…then hung up a new piece of pegboard.  He made cut-outs for a light switch and an outlet…

…and hung up some more tools and “man stuff”.  Here are pictures of the other pieces of pegboard in the garage.

Pretty nice, huh?  I never thought I’d get excited about organizing in the garage and shed, but I seem to be on an organizing kick right now.

Linking up to: Someday Crafts/House of Hepworths/My Romantic Home/Remodelaholic/It’s a Blog Party/Under the Table and Dreaming/I Heart Naptime/It’s So Very Cheri/The Girl Creative Party Blog/The DIY Showoff/Frugal & Fabulous Design/Tidy Mom

Still to come soon: more work on the shed, some thrifty clothing finds for Handy Boy, and some scrapbook organization in my friend Danielle’s house.

Also: Check out the Link Parties page that I’ve posted.  I’ve discovered some really great home blogs, and they have link parties where other home bloggers post their ideas.  You can find so many great crafty/home/recipe ideas.  Beware though, you might spend too much time checking out the ideas! 😉

Organizing Under my Bathroom Sink


I have a basket under my bathroom sink that holds a lot of “stuff.”  I’ve been meaning to organize it.  I had some smaller baskets in here, but I took them out to use elsewhere.  So this got to be a jumble.

I took the cloth liner out of the basket to wash it because it was pretty grimy.  I bought these small 3″ x 9″ Rubbermaid containers to help me organize the basket.

I tossed some things, and I moved a few things elsewhere.  Isn’t that much better? Ahhhhhh!

I still need to clean out under Handy Man’s sink, but he doesn’t have nearly as much “stuff” as me.

Linking up to:  Sew Much Ado/It’s So Very Cheri/ The Shabby Chic Cottage/ Somewhat Simple/ Everything But the Kitchen Sink/ Remodelaholic/Organize and Decorate Everything/Under the Table and Dreaming/The Crazy Domestic/The Inspired Room

Paint Mistake in the Kitchen

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When we first moved into this house, every room was painted white.  We’re not a fan of white walls, we love color!  I was starting to get really sick of the white walls, and decided to paint the kitchen.  I really labored over which color to use, and finally decided on a sage green that we had used in a bathroom in our previous house.

Big mistake! The color had looked great in the bathroom in our previous home.  But in this house? YUCK!

The same color here turned into a cool minty green.  I hated it!  Halfway through painting, I knew it was a mistake.  However, Rob convinced me to finish and that we just needed to get used to the color.  That’s the last time I listen to him about a color!  Ha!

When we renovated the kitchen further (see more info here), I repainted the kitchen in a light, beige color.  MUCH better!

Don’t be afraid to make a mistake painting a room.  Yes, it takes time and some money to do over, but paint is relatively inexpensive.  We lived with the green color for a while, but it just didn’t work in our kitchen.  The size of the room and the lighting in this room was different, so the color looked different.

Have you ever made a painting mistake?  Did you re-paint, or are you still trying to decide?

Linking up to Between Naps on the Porch/The Girl Creative/Remodelaholic/It’s a Blog Party

Stairway Remodel, Before & After


I recently came across some photos of our stairway renovation.  I can’t believe this was completed in fall of 2007.  It seems like we just did it!

Some of these photos are so embarrassing!  Oh well.   There used to be drywall on the left of the stairs, and a low, odd looking piece of wood trim.  To the right, there was a WALL that we demolished.  Yes, a whole wall.  We pulled that down, to make the two rooms at the front of our house more open.

You can see Handy Man’s legs and feet here, ha ha!

What a mess it was, knocking down that wall.  I guess I didn’t take any photos of that part of the project.  There was drywall dust everywhere!  Then we took a break from renovations and I had to look at this ugly, carpeted staircase for a while.  Yuck!

It’s not that I hate carpet, but this was all dirty and worn out, and we just prefer wood floors and stairs.

Handy man started working on the treads.  I was getting so excited at this point!

I painted the risers with a glossy white paint.

There was a lot of drywall patching and painting to do on this side.

And then…the handrails…Didn’t Handy Man do a great job?  This would have cost a fortune if we hired someone to do it.  Although the materials for this weren’t cheap, at least we didn’t have to add labor costs.

Hey, you can see our Christmas tree in the background in this one!  We finished it in fall 2007, but it wasn’t until December that I realized that I needed to take finished photos.

Linking up with Remodelaholic Friday/Fingerprints on the Fridge/The Shabby Chic Cottage/Funky Junk Interiors/Frugal & Fabulous Design/My Romantic Home.

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