Showing posts with label organization. Show all posts
Showing posts with label organization. Show all posts

Friday, April 11, 2014

Master closet reveal!

Well I’m SO excited to share this with you, finally! As you know, I’ve been working on our master closet for a couple months now. The first step was purging – and while I was working on that I was contacted by the folks at Sherwin-Williams about their National Painting Week campaign. I was totally up for it, but then they told me my color was purple.

Purple wasn’t going to happen in this house – I’m the only girl here (if you don’t count one of the cats). So I was about to decline, but then I thought about it a bit more…and thought maybe I could paint our closet purple. Hmmm...

I initially think of a little girl’s room when I think of that color (my Dad painted my walls a lovely lilac when I was a kid), but the more I thought about it the more I realized it could go quite sophisticated.
So I was on a mission to make purple work. My biggest criteria when picking out the color was that it didn’t scream GIRL. This is my husband’s closet too. So I tried to go with a gray purple instead of a pinky purple, if that makes any sense.

I’m not sure if I’ve shown you this before photo yet – let me assure you that this was after I had cleaned up. Imagine this, but ten times worse, and oh yeah…you couldn’t see the floor:

The first step was to tear out the baseboards and install the cabinets for the new storage system. I shared that update with you here. Yes, I used kitchen cabinets for this project. Just call me the crazy cabinet lady – all I can do is agree with you.

I went with those for a few reasons – they were cheap (at least cheaper than a regular closet system), they were already built (so no assembly required) and they were deep – 24 inches to be exact. But the biggest reason was that they had drawers and doors I could close.

I decided on my colors and the plan started to come together:

I went with Spatial White on the cabinets and Exclusive Plum on the walls. The plum color is actually the Sherwin-Williams color of the year – I’m on trend and didn’t even know it. :)

I went with the ProClassic paint for the cabinets because I’ve had such good luck with it:

I did a semi-gloss finish and it covered great as always. One coat of primer and two coats of Spatial White later and they were done:

The finish is great – I didn’t even use a brush to paint the cabinet doors this time. Just rolled it into the crevices and the paint leveled out wonderfully. I added simple $2 handles to each cabinet when it was dry.

So for the walls I wanted to go with something that would be very forgiving. Over the years I’ve moved the wire shelves all over the place in there so there were a TON of holes. We stopped counting at 100, seriously. And they were the big honkin’ ones from the closet system anchors too.

The Cashmere paint is supposed to cover well and hide imperfections on the wall:
cashmere sherwin williams
My husband was out of town (funny how that always happens) so my sister came over and we knocked the closet out in a few hours:
cutting in
That’s me in my post-Zumba glory, don’t be jealous.

I’ve done this enough now that I’m pretty good at cutting in on the ceiling and around trim, but cutting in horizontally on the baseboards is still tricky. (I have to contort myself just so.) So it was helpful that I removed the base:
After a few more small projects that I’ll go over soon, the room finally came together. I absolutely, positively LOVE it: DIY closet system
I can't even believe it’s the same room. I cannot express to you how much better it functions.

My mess up when measuring for the cabinets actually worked out quite well. Now that middle section is a great little vanity area:
closet storage with cabinets
I raised that middle cabinet off the ground to match the other ones so I ended up with a stool height countertop. That cabinet holds off season shoes and my heels that I rarely wear – so I don’t mind that I’ll have to move the chair to get to them since it will be so infrequent.

How fun is this?:
built in vanity in closet
The plum color is SO beautiful! I'm so excited I got purple now. :) It definitely changes in different light. The vanity area wall looks a little lighter than the other walls.

Here’s one side of the closet ready for paint – see all the holes?:

Let me tell you how fun THAT was, filling all of those!

Here it is again with the paint AND the new light:
Exclusive plum sherwin williams
The new light fixture makes a HUGE difference in here. It's hard to tell in the before pic, but the old fixture just lit up three areas in the room, not the whole room overall.

It’s actually so bright I had to put it on a dimmer:
DIY closet storage
On dark winter mornings it will be nice to have soft light in here. I have another plan for even more light in here, stay tuned for that. :)

I’m so thrilled with this space but the to do list is not done. I still need to build the shelves on each side above the drawers --they’ll give us even more storage. I’m making the tall units even more storage-friendly with some more shelves and pull out drawers. And I hope to replace the wire shelving for our clothes someday too.

But for now, we’re enjoying a space that functions a MILLION times better than it used to, and it’s pretty. When this room was a dysfunctional mess I used to dread walking into it every morning. It’s amazing what it does for your day when the closet it organized and stays that way:
closet organization
You can see the necklace organizer that hangs on the wall to the right here. I made that after I took these pics. :)

My husband has thanked me no less than ten times for working on this room -- it really has made a big difference for us. Here's another reminder of the before:

And the same space afterwards, with a some plum paint and storage:
closet system with cabinets
It has truly changed our days, I can’t believe the difference some organization makes! I SO love how it turned out. Kitchen cabinets -- I heart you. I’ll share more details and additional progress soon!

For now, check out the other "purple" bloggers today -- a girl's bedroom at Curbly and a chair redo at Recycle Consign and Design. You can see all of the fabulous projects of various colors at the Sherwin-Williams page --

Have a GREAT weekend! The weather is supposed to be fantastic here!

This post was sponsored by Sherwin-Williams and I was compensated for this post. All opinions and words are my own. 

Friday, April 4, 2014

DIY necklace organizer

Hello all! First of all, thanks so much for all of the lovely comments on our new moody wall in the bedroom! I really appreciate you taking the time to comment, it means a lot!

Our spring break is coming to a close and we were able to get away to NYC for a couple days with the whole family -- it was wonderful. It’s been more than two years since we’ve been there so it was GREAT to get back to the city that we love.

So I’m back with a quick project for the closet! This room has actually been done (well, close to done) for over a month now – I worked my tail off to get it ready when Sherwin-Williams asked if I wanted to be involved in their National Painting Week campaign. How fun, YES I did! So I’ll be sharing the progress in this room next week, along with a bunch of other fantastic bloggers.

But for now I’m offering a sneak peek in the form of a little organizing project for the room. This project actually serves two purposes. One is to organize my necklaces, another is to hide one of the eye sores in the room:

We have two access panels in here, and I’m sure many of you have these in your closet too. I could have cared less about them for years, but now that the room is coming together so well I want to hide them somehow. I have a plan for the other one as well. :)

This one is now hidden and I love how it turned out. I started with scrap wood (yes, I have a lot of this stuff – this is why my garage becomes such a mess!) and some side pieces:

necklace organizer

The outside trim is the same mdf I’ve used in our mud room. This was an extra piece I was going to return, glad I hadn’t done that yet. :)

I put this together just like I did the DIY pet food tray I showed you a few weeks ago – but since I was using it the opposite way I needed to fill in between the trim and the wood on the back:

jewelry organizer jewelry organizer

I sanded it all down and you can see what I mean by the opposite way here:

jewelry organizer

If you would flip this over it would be a tray. I was using the back of it.

Next up – putting some of the many decorative knobs I have to use. I shared how to use these for more than just furniture here. When I wrote that post I realized I had quite a few of the same crystal knobs from a dresser years ago and came up with this idea to put them to use.

I used the double ended screws I showed you in that post and when I tried it out I realized the screw would be a bit too long:

double ended screw

The end of it was going to go into the wall, so I had to figure out a way to make it shorter, without cutting it down. I got a thick dowel rod and cut it down into small pieces, then drilled a hole down the middle:

necklace organizerNot going to lie – it was kind of a pain to do. :)

But it worked!:

necklace organizer

As you can see I painted them the same color as the panel and the walls (at first I painted it a lighter color but I quickly realized I wanted it to melt into the wall).

I measured out where I wanted them, drilled a pilot hole, then installed the pointy end of the double ended screw into the panel.

I knew it would be functional, but I was a little surprised at how much I loved it!:

DIY necklace holder with knobs

This is just for my longer necklaces – I have the shorter ones on a stand alone organizer you’ll see next week.

There’s still so much I’d like to do in this room, but it’s come SO far! I can’t wait to show you everything next Friday! But for now this bit of organization is a little taste of what’s to come:

DIY necklace holder

I’m so excited to share it with you!

I had most of the items for this project, but I did have to get the dowel rod. You could also just screw the knobs into wall – it would work just as well and would cut down on cost a little. And you certainly don’t need to use all the same knobs either – mixing them up would be fun. Remember you can spray paint old knobs in fun colors as well.

You’ll see the final reveal next week when we all share our Sherwin-Williams National Painting Week projects! Have a great weekend!

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

The cabinet no one opens

Dun dun duuuuun.

We have one. The cabinet we rarely open. Or when we do we open it real quick-like, throwing the item inside and shutting the door fast so the rest of the stuff doesn’t fall out. I didn’t always have a cabinet like this – it started in the past six months or so and it just got worse with each month.

Well, it was time to address it. This is when I find blogging to be so funny -- showing the insides of my cabinets for the world to see:

The really messy insides. But sometimes seeing someone else take care of a mess spurs me on to take care of mine, so that’s why I share.

The first thing I needed to do was address the top of the cabinet – it had become our dumping ground for the past couple of weeks. I address piles by making them into smaller piles instead of putting individual items away one at a time.

I ended up with an upstairs pile, a garage pile, a holiday pile (??) and a I-have-no-idea-what-to-do-with-you pile: cleaning up clutter

That one goes to live on the island where other random stuff goes, till I decide to address that whole area. One thing at a time people.

I tackled the actual cabinet last night while I listened to The Bachelor finale (he’s a gem). I moved the alcohol down to the basement and was left with this:

Well, and a few things that I had already put back in. The items in the boxes are going back to the store. Except maybe the herb keeper – does it work? I’m waffling on that one.

I took the extra crock pot down to the basement because we only use it for parties. A couple of the items went to other cabinets – you know…where they belong. :)

The long stuff like the platters are too wide to fit into our dining room/library built ins so I keep them in here. When I stacked them up it felt like it was such a waste of space. They barely took up any vertical space:

So. I had an idea to create a shelf that I could stack them on that would take up less surface space.

I took measurements and went out the garage and cut some scrap wood down:

DIY shelf inside cabinet

The wood is 20 by 16 inches and then I cut some “legs” to four inches tall.

I just screwed the legs on:

Be sure to use a drill bit first before drilling the screws so you don’t split the wood!

I slid it in to the cabinet and it was a perfect fit! The longer platters fit great underneath and it’s sturdy enough to hold the others on top without a problem:

DIY shelf inside cabinet

I was quite pleased with my quick little DIY shelf, especially considering you can buy wire and wood products for just this purpose:

DIY shelf inside cabinet

My scrap wood stash pays off again!

Here’s the cabinet, blissfully purged and organized:

organized kitchen cabinet It took me a few minutes to purge and less than ten to cut the wood down and make the little space saving shelf. Now I’m looking at the other cabinets to see where I can use more. :)

Do you have a cabinet that you open real fast? Or even better – that you can’t close all the way? Uh huh.

Thursday, February 27, 2014

Storage in the closet!

HEY everybody! Man, I’ve been busy. I’ve been working on a master bedroom project and the master closet for the past week or so and it’s all coming together really well. My body is screaming uncle but I’m so excited about the progress. :)

I wanted to give you an update on the closet redo I’m working on! A few weeks ago I shared how I’m planning to rework the back wall in there that’s just begging for some storage and organization. Up till now we’ve had random dressers and a bunch of wire shelves and they just aren’t working.

So I came up with this plan I showed you:

Closet design using kitchen cabinets

Imagine that’s a fancy rendering, OK?

Those black rectangles are supposed to represent the new storage -- using kitchen cabinets of course!:


So getting these cabinets home and upstairs was quite a feat. First of all, did you know cabinets are crazy heavy? Yeah. I’m used to carrying around the uppers for projects and those are bad enough – the bottom ones are monsters.

My sis and I went to Home Depot last week to pick up all the cabs because I can rent a truck to get them home. They found three of the six that we needed but couldn’t find the others, so they offered to deliver them all together the next day. I paid for the delivery but they graciously offered 20 percent off the whole purchase for the delay, which I thought was awesome.

So the next day it’s all delivered and since my husband was out of town my sis came by again…God bless her. We carried each cabinet up the stairs and yes we are BEASTS. The tall pantry cabinets were a little rough. I swear they weighed 200 pounds each. We got the six of them up stairs and then I realized my mistake in measuring – I had two inches less than I thought I did. Two inches is a big deal when the cabinet is 18 inches wide and you only have 16 to work with. GAH.

So…we took the two middle drawer cabinets back down the stairs (cursing a little at this point) and I had to rethink my plan for the middle. I finally came up with something that may work even better:

I ended up with the two drawers on each side, the taller pantries and then in the middle I put a 30 inch upper cabinet. This one holds shoes. :)

The great thing is, this spot was always going to be a vanity-like space but a chair would have been awkward right there. (With the original cabinets coming forward so much.) Now I’ll put the counter there and there will be a great spot for a stool. :) I don’t know if I’ll really use it as a vanity often (and actually sit down), but it will be a good spot to put on socks and stuff like that.

I’m REALLY excited about the possibilities of all the storage! The taller cabinets are absolutely huge:

They go back two feet. Because it’s so deep I have a plan to install more shelves and the make roll out drawers eventually. When I’m done I think it’s going to be awesome storage. For now I just love that we’ll be able to put everything in there and shut. the. door.

I’m not a great cabinet installer but I did it all myself in one evening and it went pretty smoothly. It’s tricky to get them all level and flush and even but I got close on everything. You just have to make sure the cabinets are attached to each other and the back wall (in studs). These are really sturdy and aren’t going anywhere, which is most important to me.

As you can see by the photos the light is horrible in there. I installed one of those directional light things (three lights that you can point wherever you want) years back and it doesn't work. I knew we needed something that just shines everywhere. I found this at on clearance at Lowe’s the other day and fell in love:

style selections chandelier lowe's

It’s pretty tall so I’m crossing my fingers I can make it work in there. We may just have to duck to walk under it cause I love it so much.

So that’s the progress so far – it’s coming together pretty well! So much left to do and as you can see in the photo above we still need to go through a pile of the hubby’s clothes. :) But we’re already using all the cabinets and they are working great! YES!!

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

The closet, before

So, good things to report today – the sun is shining, the temperature is rising (if only for a few days) and the laundry is DONE! Well, the laundry that was on our closet floor is done. Now I need to do more again, funny how that happens. But for the first time in a long time we can walk through our closet. And “walk through our closet” means “can actually see the floor” – but who needs those details?

I’ve finally gotten my side to an acceptable before picture status. Maybe when I’m all done with this transformation I’ll show you the true befores, but not today. You all know I don’t shy away from showing our messes and real life, but this one was pretty dang bad.

Anyway, hubby has been out of town so we have more work to do over there, but my side is looking decent:

walk in closet

When I shared my plan for this closet last week I mentioned that our closet is big – it’s really big. About 80 square feet. And that’s what makes me even more annoyed with myself that I’ve never addressed this space – it could be such a great room! We are so lucky to have such a big closet.

When we moved in there was one row of wire shelving around the entire room. Shortly after I moved the one off the back wall, had it cut down, then raised up the other two sides and put the extra underneath. Does that makes sense? So what used to be one line of shelf around the room is now two layers on both sides – top for our shirts and bottom for pants/skirts. This has worked pretty well for us, but we have to use a step stool to get to the top shelf.

Here’s a view from the other direction:

walk in closet

This is after a MASSIVE purge – see all those extra hangers? WHOOT. Those will be used for a few of my husband’s clothes that are still on plastic hangers. For about three years now I’ve been transitioning to these felt hangers and I love them.

This is what I got out of my side of the closet -- two lawn trash bags and two smaller bags full:

clothing purge

This doesn’t include all the clothes my sister took. :) I actually still want to get rid of more. I’m on a roll now!

So I learned something about myself during this process. I’ve always said I’m not a big clothing kind of girl – I wear yoga pants or leggings most days. Well, apparently I AM a clothing kind of girl. Totally lied. Totally had a ridiculous amount of clothing. Who knew? I didn’t because it was all LAYING ON THE FLOOR.

We don’t use a dresser in our bedroom for clothes – years ago I thought about it but I knew I’d get annoyed having to go room to room to get different bits of outfits, so we keep it all in here. I have my great grandmother’s old dresser in here that is beautiful and actually quite functional:

I made the inside a bit more functional by hanging shoe holders on the inside and cup hooks to hold my necklaces:

shoe and jewelry organization

The shoe thing is great but this is actually only about two thirds of my shoes, so not enough room. The cup hooks for necklaces looks like a mess but works pretty darn well – they don’t get as tangled up as you’d think. (I keep about four on each hook.)

I use a sliding tackle box inside for other jewelry:

jewelry organization

It’s kind of a mess but it gives you an idea – this doesn’t work as well anymore because I need to purge some of it. I haven’t gone through that in years and there’s just too much in there now.

And there’s nothing of value in there, if any freaky freakersons are looking. :)

The dresser/armoire is OK functionally – but there’s just not enough room for clothes. Hence the wire shelf I hung above it with the clothes teetering off. I just need more places to put folded clothing. I’m SO excited about my plan to add more drawers.

When the top isn’t covered in piles of stuff you can actually see my pretty trays with perfumes. And Shout. :)

perfume on trays

This is another thing I should purge – I have no idea HOW I got so much perfume. I wear it maybe once a week. Obviously still lots to do in here!

Both trays were Goodwill finds years ago – the one on the left is one of my all time favorite finds ever. It’s so beautiful. I can’t wait to display it a bit better when this room is changed up!

So there’s the before – one of the rooms in our house I’ve never showed you. It was the bane of my existence till a couple weeks ago. Just having it clean has made it SO much better, but I have big plans! I’ll share my progress soon!

Monday, February 10, 2014

The master closet plan

Hello my friends! How was your weekend? My girlfriends and I went away for a very quick trip to Chicago – we were there and back in about 36 hours but did a TON. Mostly shopping, eating and drinking margaritas but we did a little sight seeing too. :) I hadn’t been to the Sears Tower (I know, Willis Tower, whatever) since I was a kid so I wanted to check it out.

We all almost puked when we stepped out on the skydeck. I had to pull a couple of the girls out there with me. But we got a little more comfortable with time and then even sat down:

Willis Tower skydeck

Sitting was horrible because you knew you couldn’t leap for safety if something happened. You know, just in case? Whoa.

It was quiet up there since visibility wasn’t great (looking out – it was fine going down as you’ll see) so we goofed off for a good hour and took some interesting shots. I thought sitting was bad, laying down was even worse:

Oh my goodness, we had a BLAST. It was such a fun weekend. These are three of my closest friends in the world, love them:

Alright, onto my next big project. The closet (dun dun DUUUUUUN). It is about TIME. You know how someone says, Oh my house is such a mess, or my closet or my room, whatever? And you see it and you’re like, THIS is a mess? You don’t know mess. Yeah, so when I say our closet was a disaster I truly, deeply mean disaster. I will not be sharing before before pictures if that tells you anything.

It is the only spot in our house that is always out of control. I feel like I’ve gotten a decent hold on the rest of the house -- the closet is another story. It was OK the first year or two we lived here but something happened along the way and I don’t know what it was. I know the biggest issue is we’ve never had a good system in there. Our closet is HUGE so we don’t keep our clothes in a dresser in our room, just in there. But we have a cheap Goodwill dresser that’s falling apart and wire shelving – that’s pretty much it to hold folded items and it doesn’t work. AND we’ve been really bad about purging clothes so that didn’t help at all. Too many clothes and no organization = a disaster.

SO…I’ve been trying to figure out a new system that wouldn’t cost thousands of dollars. I’m determined to make the back wall way more functional for us. (Again, it’s not quite ready for decent before shots just yet so bear with me.) I would love a closet system and honestly we could probably do it if we planned for it, but I really want to do this myself and try to do it spending a little less money.

The other night I was laying in bed and an idea came to me – finally. And you’ll never guess what it involves. Or maybe you will. :)

Kitchen cabinets of course!:

unfinsihed base cabinets

I know, I have a problem, I own it. I use them a lot. But I kept thinking about what I wanted and I don’t want open storage like many closet systems have. (The drawers cost so much more.) I want to be able to throw things in a drawer or cabinet and shut. the. door.

So the cabinet idea may just work. I measured the width of the room and six pieces will fit perfectly. I’m also including a couple of these:

unfinished pantry cabinet

It’s a pantry but it will be awesome (closed) shelving for shoes and clothes.

I don’t have Photoshop but I threw something together in my photo program to show you my vision:

Closet design

Originally I wanted the taller cabinets against the walls, but we have an access panel we need to be able to get to, so instead I moved them in a bit. It actually worked because my plan is to put some exposed shelving between those and the wall. I figure I can use it for purses or shoes or whatever.

The middle section will be a vanity-type area. I doubt I’ll put a chair there because of the drawers, but we’ll see. At the very least I plan to hang a mirror and display my jewelry and perfume, stuff like that.

I cannot even tell you how excited I am do this! Now that I have a vision I’m chomping at the bit to get going, hence all the laundry and purging. I’m about halfway done with that part and then I’ll get moving on installing these.

So do you see my vision? Am I the crazy cabinet lady? Maybe. I WANT ALL THE CABINETS. But I think this will work and it will be a fraction of the cost of a closet system.

It won’t be this:

Ballard Designs Sarah closet

(Ballard Designs)

But it will be great, I think so anyway.

Now, I’m off to fold more clothes. :) Do you have a closet system that works? Do tell.