Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Kitchen Shelf

We finished the kitchen mantlepiece! What started as 'just a shelf' ended up as painting a whole area in the kitchen. It looks all pretty now though, which means it's good.
I had scheduled this one earlier, but now I'll be posting about it in week 4 of the 52 weeks of Organizing challenge!

The shape of this particular kitchen shelf was bad when we moved in this house. We mostly used it as a stowaway for random things. The people who lived here before us used to cook under the chimney it's a part of, and they didn't have a cooking hood or a similar thing to circulate fresh air. This led to the paint on the shelf being melted and mixed with fat. It was all soft and yucky and it was impossible to clean. Everytime you tried to dust it off, you pulled off paint as well.

This is where the paint was worst. We scoured the shelf and then painted it. Turns out the purple paint on the chimney, that we taped off with painting tape, pulled loose together with the tape. That led to us having to paint the chimney as well. And you guess it - some of the paint on the wall broke loose when removing the painting tape there. One shelf led to a quarter of the kitchen.

Scouring off the paint on the shelf.

It was, however, worth it. The purple, though it's a really pretty amethyst colour, made the kitchen look much smaller. Now it's white and the kitchen feels roomier and most of all, brighter.

The shelf used to hold clutter, now it holds decoration. The empty bottles are now sorted, the cleaner put back where it belongs. The two miniatures to the right were waiting to be paint-stripped, which I sorted as well.
The two hooks that held the towels were dirty as well and very hard to clean. We didn't like them too much so we took them away and replaced them with two pretty new hooks from Ikea.

Front view.
New Hooks

Redoing the shelf was a lot of work but in the end it was absolutely worth it.

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Entertainment Closet Re-Do

This weeks post on OrgJunkie was centered around piles - and piles there were in the 'entertainment closet' that we re-organized! My apologies for posting too late. I was swamped in exams!

It was cluttered with all kinds of things just dumped on top of each other. I made a nice before and after picture - look at the difference!

I tilted the CD-holders so they're a bit more stable now. When I placed everything in neat stacks, there was quite a lot of space left, so I moved some collector's boxes from games to this closet.
I had two large black boxes of which one stood in this closet. They were both filled to the brim with all kinds of stuff and paperwork - two big, semi-contained piles! We cleared them out and threw away a lot and then moved the boxes away as well. It's not very well visible, but they were falling apart and I had already used duct-tape to keep them together a year ago.

We bought new boxes, of which one (which contains the instruction manuals), can be seen at the right. All the boxes are cardboard, and they're from Ikea (the Kassett series). They're pretty cheap and I like their look.
The box with the blue lid contains our miscellaneous cables. We simply sorted them out again and moved a few that we don't use anymore to the second-hand-shop.

The closet holds one new addition I already like a lot - a small basket which holds our many-used adapters. There are quite a bit of baskets in our house that hold various pieces of clutter-that-isn't-really clutter. The second-hand-shop in town is a great source for baskets. They usually have a pretty large amount of them.

I'm very happy with what I did this week. The closet is usually open, as we'd have to take the paper out of the printer each time we'd like to close it. Now it's much easier on the eyes. The big challenge has just started though: keeping it this way!

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Kitchen Troubles

 It's time for week 2 of the 52 Weeks of Organizing!

The mantlepiece in the kitchen I promised last week will have to wait. When we removed the painting tape that protected the wall, it pulled off some pretty large chips of the paint that was on it. Eventually we decided to re-do the wall itself as well. I'm quite content with that.

I managed to reach my other organizing goal for last week though: the Christmas decorations. They're all inside this nice plastic box.

It was a nice afternoon of work to put all decorations away, but it was quite fun. I always love working with Christmas decorations. Can't wait to put up the tree at the end of the year again!

As it would be a very short post if I were to stop here, I decided to show you my gift supplies. I organized them somewhere last month. It was very easy to have everything I needed for the Christmas presents in one place!

I had one drawer left in one of our clothing closets in the bedroom. Before, they were spread out between two closets in the dining room: not handy and I didn't always take the trouble to create something nice.
The two black baskets are from Ikea. The right one holds small boxes and containers for me to use for gifts. The left one holds labels and ribbon. As you may notice, it's still pretty empty: I didn't restock everything yet after Christmas passed.

The box with the blue lid holds the pretty things and sticky ribbon to brighten up the gift paper.

I'm quite glad I took the trouble to place everything in one place. Whenever there's a gift to give, it's so much easier and more fun to make it look pretty. I no longer have to search through all kinds of different boxes and then still be unable to find what I'm looking for!

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Hello, World!

My first post - how exciting! When the new year had just started, I decided to start with the 52 Weeks of Organizing challenge by OrgJunkie. It's a year late, but I really liked the idea of the challenge and as such, took it up anyway!

For the first four weeks, I have already filled in a list with projects. As I wanted to start with something simple, I decided to go for one of our bedroom closets and the desk drawer this week.

Both of these were not too badly cluttered, but I was still annoyed by it. I cleaned off the shelves in the closet one by one, sorting and purging the things I no longer needed. As you can see, there were baskets already in the closet, but most of my things ended up outside them. One or two things were over their expiry date. I gladly tossed those. While I was working, I ended up sorting out the medicine basket as well. No more digging up the paracetamol from under a bunch of empty cartons.

Before and after decluttering.

I unfortunately don't have a picture of the desk drawer before I re-organized it. There was more junk in it and everything was just lying around. I bought the two baskets at a shop called Xenos. It's Dutch and it has a large assortment of various things. To keep the baskets from moving everytime I open the drawer, I placed a bit of blu-tack at the corners. Now, when I need something from the drawer, I know where it is!

That's it for the first week. Coming up for next week: a redo of the mantlepiece in the kitchen.