Next step is to do a few touch-ups, put the doors back on, and put everything away. Touch-ups tonight, doors tomorrow, and next week will be organization central. Thank goodness for summer holidays!!! I'll do a complete before and after once it's all done. Stay tuned!
So remember THIS POST when it was all about our basement storage project from the beginning? Well our basement sat like it was at the end of that post for a LONG time. Part of that was Mat travelling and the rest just not knowing exactly how we wanted it. Well in May we finally came up with a plan and in June we bought the wood. Matt honestly did all of the purchases, building, sanding, priming, and painting in 3 weeks. He worked really fast so there are a few instagram pics along with my DSLR. I just couldn't get down there enough to capture every moment (probably to his relief!).
Where we left off...
The purchases - pine
First off was building the base to level everything out. Toronto houses = uneven everywhere.
Looks like a ladder
I love the pictures where he is deep in thought.
Base is secured, frame is built.
Half shelves done
Closet section secured and shelves for outdoor cushions above
Checking to see the closet doors work - Ikea closet doors made into sliding rollers
Ikea doors checked for size too!
Had to do the junction box and plug you can see too. Better than the dangling one that was there before...
Last check of everything before painting
Painted! 2 coats of Benjamin Moore's White Dove in Semi-gloss latex paint.
All the ledges are for adjustable shelving - none, half, or full shelves anywhere along the bottom
Next step is to do a few touch-ups, put the doors back on, and put everything away. Touch-ups tonight, doors tomorrow, and next week will be organization central. Thank goodness for summer holidays!!! I'll do a complete before and after once it's all done. Stay tuned!
Many people lately have commented "Wow! Do you guys ever just relax?" I know it seems like we never rest and are constantly doing projects, but really, the last time we did anything major was December 2012, when we did the upstairs stair guard and stairs. Matt travelled a lot this past year and I'm not versed well enough in tools to do a reno on my own. Plus we love doing projects together. This was the first Christmas where we didn't have any new home project to "show off" to our family which got us itching to do some projects in the new year.
So, we just finished the stairs on Family Day last Monday, and we decided yesterday (Saturday) to start on the storage, was the second half of the basement project. The first thing we had to do was unpack all the cupboards. We also went through everything and threw out stuff we didn't need, moved a few things to new locations, and found temporary spots for everything else.
The before. Tidy work area from the stair project.
Even all the extra wood is organized!!!
The first cupboard held all our paint, stain, patching and sealing supplies, drop sheets, and then random stuff like bug killers, a few strong cleaners and light bulbs. Here is their new temporary home in the laundry room.
The closet was next up. It contained coats, extra scarves, hats and gloves, old shoes, and golf and snowboard stuff
Since the golf clubs and snowboard were already moved here when we removed the stuff from under the stairs, I just decided to keep everything together. That duffle bag is filled with all the coats. We obviously use this bathtub a lot...hmmm...maybe we should the bathroom as basement project round 3???
Another cupboard had a shelf of extra baking supplies and spices. This is where they live now, haha. I plan on making myself a lovely ombre layer cake with some fancy icing for my birthday over March Break.
All the serving stuff that doesn't fit in the sideboard upstairs was in another cupboard. Here it all is (plus a lot of stuff from under the stairs that was already hanging out here, preventing me from doing Wii Zumba).
Of course there was a shelf filled with different liquors and whisky, plus a whole lot of empties. That conversation went like this: Kat: "I thought I asked you to take those back at Christmas!" Matt: "Yep, and I've been ignoring you since Halloween!" Then he dropped some and made a mess - sweet retribution!!!
Are now back to the Beer Store and a tidy sum in Matt's pocket.
*Sigh* So much stuff.
Our second step to this project was to actually remove the cupboards from the wall and take them apart. This actually only took just over an hour. As long as you have a power drill it makes life easier. By hand would be very annoying, but still possible. We had three big shelving cupboards and one closet system. Who knows what the walls would be like behind them! I was hoping for the original exposed brick!!!
Removing the doors
Hmmmm were they even bolted to the wall? The answer is NO!
A sweet surprise! A note from the owners who did the basement reno. There is more but it's the name of the owners. I won't show the whole message to protect their privacy. I do intend, however, to photograph and frame the note so I don't feel as bad painting over it! No luck with the brick - it was painted white behind.
Looks so empty now!
Since we don't have extra tile, it is lucky that our new cupboards will be a bit deeper than the original ones, and will be build right over top and beyond the edge of tile. It's pretty gross, though!
The next step will decide how exactly we want to organize the new system. Roughly we will have cupboards on the bottom half, similar to the sideboard in the dining room. The top half will be open shelving. The triangle under the stairs will be all shelves. It will all probably be painted white, and we'll use Ikea doors on the bottom half, but build the cupboards ourselves. We want to make sure we will have a long closet on the end for all our extra coats and shoes (as we don't have a main floor closet), and we also have to be able to store our suitcases, golf clubs, snowboard, Matt's guitar, all our Christmas and holiday decorations, and all the random house stuff you've seen spread around my basement!!!
So here is my January Cure project list for 2014. If you want to see my list from 2013, you can see it HERE. There are quite a few from last year that are still on this list! Here are the pictures I took to help me remember instead of writing the list down. These are all unedited - a glimpse at my day to day house - though it is quite clean since we just had family over yesterday for a New Year's Day brunch.
1. An easy one - make the bed. Most of the time Matt makes it because he is last up. But I could make it today...
2. Organize closet drawers - I have to do this a few times a year. A good uncluttering and reorganizing.
3. Organize this one too. Especially the middle area.
4. Reorganize jewelry area.
PS - Yay for hockey tickets!
5. Still have this yellow storage unit...make it purple to match the bedroom!
6. Shoe boxes with pictures to identify each shoe and organize
Guest Bedroom # 1
7. Clothes to Salvation Army/Goodwill
8. Still have this sweater closing up the vent - get vent cover!
9. Put Christmas wrapping stuff away
10. Storage for suitcases
Guest Bedroom # 2
11. Hooks on the back of this door for extra towel storage during the week
12. Art/something for this wall on the left - it's so empty.
13. Organize these drawers - makeup, hair products - all the stuff that doesn't fit in our tiny bathroom
14. Area rug for this room?
15. Caddy for bathroom organization in the shower
16. New bathmat
Upstairs Hallway & Closet
17. Closet organization - annual thing!
18. Gallery wall of family pictures - have wanted to do this since last year
19. New light for the hallway! Geez!
20. Spray paint the black on the light to bronze, silver or gold
21. New entryway shoe organization. Those rocks are so annoying.
22. .Coat storage is not working either!
Let's be honest - I love my dining room.
23. Let's make it a little bit more homey now, slightly less model home.
24. I do not love lamp. Get new one. NOW!
25. Can we do anything about this exposed plug? Make it look less exposed?
26. More energy efficient thermostat - maybe one of the NEST ones?
27. I always feel this corner looks a little lonely/empty. Not sure what to do to fix this.
28. Curtains for this window may fix the one above too?
29. I love this painting Matt did, but I'm not sure it goes with this room anymore.
Where to put it? What to replace it with?
30. Move the carpet back a bit so the little ottoman can fit a bit better in that space.
31. This corner needs something taller?
32. This was organized last year but now we have more DVDs (and with Netflix that seems ridiculous)
33. Just...no. Clean this.
34. Paint this butcher block island. I'm going to do slightly darker wood stained tops, turquoise legs.
35. Something new on the chalkboard
36. Our cookbook collection is expanding. Where to put them?
37. Somehow clean the inside of the dishwasher (beyond the grossness on the door)
38. Clean the oven.
39. Organize this drawer. Tons of ideas for this and all organizing from the blog
iheartorganizing - she's a freaking genius
40. Little ruffly shade for the top of the window? Curtains?
41. Do we keep this or sell it? We hardly use the cappuccino maker even though it is awesome.
PS - there's my turquoise butcher block inspiration - David's Tea (and of course my friend, Tiffany)
42. Something pretty on the wall in this corner, too. A cool recipe blown up maybe.
43. Pictures/gallery wall down the stairs?
These next few are part of a larger project coming up this month!
44. Rip the carpet off the stairs
45. Under the stair storage shelving unit
46. Reinforce the stairs - perhaps a post is needed.
47. New storage units across the whole wall.
48. Take back empties.
49. New coat storage (extend and organize and rebuild).
50. Storage for all this stuff my mom gave me on the left, and general personal stuff on the right.
(PS - Mmmmm if you've never tried White Linen Marinara from Costco, it will change your life. It's down here because we were hosting yesterday and just brought it down here with other stuff. It will be used very soon.
Thanks mom in law!)
51. Find storage for my photography stuff and gym stuff.
52. This one is from the kitchen - the key is that brown box. It contains a very cute Ikea step stool that I am going to stain just like the kitchen butcher block island. Stained wood top, turquoise sides.
53. This is extra seasonal foliage from upstairs. Matt knocked it over while vacuuming. Better solution?
(PS - Matt hung our diplomas in the office - don't they look great?)
54. Hang the pretty map Matt got for Christmas, and my periodic table! GEEEEEEEK!!!!
55. Fix my printer (again). A cartridge leaked and now it won't print. I need it.
Basement Bathroom & Laundry Room
56. Oh my goodness. This bathroom.
This is a bigger project probably, but maybe I can just buy a pretty shower curtain to spruce it up a bit.
57. Tool storage improvements.
58. What to do with this ceiling....?
61. Skirt this laundry tub to hide all our chemicals.
62. Finish the walls - complete filling holes, paint drywall.
Oh my goodness this post took me forever! I remember thinking this last year too! For the most part, it is a bit of cleaning and organizing. The big project is the basement storage (#44-50) - we are starting this weekend! Can't wait to share ideas and updates. This will take longer than a month, but it's a start.
If you want to join in, go HERE and subscribe. If you stumble upon this post, leave me a comment about your plans and a link to your blog. I'd love to see some other January Curer's!!!
One of my unfinished January Cure items was cleaning out and organizing the linen closet, and I got around to it this weekend.
Picture from the January Cure - not that bad...
...compared to what it looked like when we moved in, before Matt built the shelves and before I painted it!
Just a small sample of what came out of that closet (seriously...it was like a clown car...)
Followed by a good clean and vacuum
I found a lot of buttons in my cleaning time...I think I just chucked them in one of the baskets over time.
Left side done
And the right!
A bit closer look at the left side
Very top (not shown) - shoe shine, travel sewing kit, random buttons, etc.
Top of picture - decor stuff - candles, napkin holders, faux lemons, storage jars
2nd shelf - dining table stuff - tableclothes, runners, placemats, napkins, apron
Bottom shelf - toilet paper and kleenex
Below (not shown) - step stool storage
Closer look at the right
Very top (not shown) - extra pillows, blankets, the star fabric from our wedding backdrop
that I want to get made into a quilt...eventually...
Top of picture - bedding sets
2nd shelf - bathroom stuff - extra shower curtain and liner, extra cup/soap dish/soap pump, towels (and the iron)
Bottom shelf - extra cleaning towels (for messy jobs like cleaning floors and bathrooms)
Below (not shown) - where our small suitcases are stored
So here's what I accomplished over the month of January, and my future plans:
2. Cleaned the guest bedroom mirror
3. Organized the guest room drawers
4. Got the ProActiv frequency to the longest time
5. Decided to leave the picture on the floor - I like it!
10. Stepped on the scale (and promptly stepped off)
Did not figure out ways to dry towels better (sticking to over door knobs and frames), find art for the walls, spray paint the lamp base or the chandelier
Cleaned with a new light
Cleaned mirror and organized drawers
11. Organized the shower stuff
12. Replaced the turquoise pouf
82. Ripped out the basement medicine cabinet
83. Ripped out the basement toothbrush holder
Did not replace the shower mat, buy more white towels, or paint the basement bathroom
BONUS: scrubbed the bathroom floors!
Scrubbed bathroom and organized cabinets
Cleaned and some easy demolition
15. Storage solution for the saw horses (threw them out and got metal ones that collapse)
17. Donated the mirror
Did not spray paint the bird cage, put together the light, remove the sweater (why oh why?), patch and sand the walls, figure out the parquet
Got rid of sawhorses, donated much of the clothing, and got rid of the wire hangers
22. Made the bed (repeatedly, haha)
23. Did the laundry (also repeatedly)
25. Dusted the blinds
26-28. Organized the closets
Did not cover the yellow storage ottoman
BONUS: cleaned this room really well, including the mattress
Added some purple decor and cleaned
Also cleaned out every closed and cleaned the mattress with baking soda and fabric softener
32. Touched up the stairs
33. Put away some coats and accessories
34. Organized the shoes
35. Got a welcome mat for the hallway (not a runner, though)
36. Got a new light for the main entryway
Did not organize the upstairs hall closet, put a gallery wall down the stairs, get a new light for the hallway (although planning to use the old hallway light after spray painted silver)
Got a new light and organized some of the storage
Touched up the paint and stain on the stairs
39 & 40. - Used my new tripod and lens
Did not prime and paint the trim or update the sideboard decor
BONUS: cleaned this room really well
Washed all the linens from Christmas and dusted everything
Got some inspiring ideas from my YHL and D*S books (more to come on that!)
41. Took down the overhead light
43. Mounted the speakers to the wall
44. Read some decor magazines (but there are so many more now that I haven't read yet!)
46. Made the gallery wall
Did not figure out how to hide the wires, sand and stain the TV unit, figured out the lonely vase
BONUS: cleaned this room really well
New lighting and cleaned up space with mounted speakers
Need something for that far wall...
Got pictures for the gallery wall
48. Organized the change
49. Re-oiled the cutting boards (Matt is actually doing this as we speak!)
51. Bought milk
54. Cleaned the chalkboard (but didn't figure out something fun)
55. Shoveled the snow (multiple times, unfortunately)
56. Found a place for the cookbooks
57. Threw out the lavender
58. Threw out that orange
Did not organize the kitchen spices (although did rid myself of many of the ones in the basement), regrout tiles, paint the kitchen, figure out the top of the shelves, take down the ceiling fan, pulled out the plugs, fixed the wall bulge, or fix the clock
Florals to brighten up the kitchen
Spic and span kitchen, organized cookbooks, and a meal!
Dinner - Rosemary Chicken Lasagna
64 Dusted the shelf on the stairs
65. Put away laundry
66. Found a shop-vac space
67. Organized the bookshelf
69. Played the piano (Joseph Act 2!)
70. Used my office space
72. Stored the miter saw
73. Organized the wrapping container
74. Organized the storage pile (and threw a lot out)
75. Donated multiple items
76. Took back the empties
77 & 78. Organized the storage cupboards
81. Got rid of the old paint cans
86. Got the stuff out of the dryer
87. Washed the Christmas napkins and runner
88. Washed the stored the drop sheets
89. HHW disposal
90. Got rid of/washed some of the rags
91. Sorted the random wood
92. Dusted the laundry room rafters
93. Organized the tool drawers
94. Stored (but not cleaned) work shoes
95. Stored the towels (although not exactly where I want them yet)
96. Put away Matt's Queen's stuff
98. Covered the AC unit outside
Did not do anything with the chalkboard, get more ink for the printer, learned to golf, go on a picnic, called to service our AC unit
Organized files and bookshelves
An incredible amount of decluttering and organization
Wood gone, and a new home for the shop-vac
Tool area cleaned up and a little bit of love
And # 100 - Loved my home (a lot!) 63 of 100 things? Pretty good! Most of these things I didn't plan to finish in January in the first place, but it was a good list to get organized from. Matt says "ohhh...so that's a C" to which I promptly hit him. So supportive. It was a great month, and can't wait to do more!
Plans for the next few months?
1. Organize the linen closet
2. Paint the kitchen, dining room trim, and basement bathroom
3. Spray paint crazy - chandelier, hallway lights, birdcage
4. Plus some of the easy missed organization from the above list.
Longer term, we are planning to build a storage area underneath the stairs, along with reinforcing the stairs themselves and tearing off the carpet on it.
Day 16 - Clean Bathroom and Go Through Medicine Cabinets
I didn't actually do this until last weekend, but I did do a thorough clean. What I did not do is wear gloves while I scrubbed the floors with quite caustic "scrubbing bubbles" bathroom cleaner. Wow, were they red! Besides the floors, the bathrooms were easy - they are cleaned pretty regularly and I keep the sink and faucets tidy each day anyway. Making the shower glass look all shiny takes a bit more work, but not bad. The basement bathroom needed a good dusting and more detailed clean as it is done less often, and I also did some easy demos too. Specifically I pulled down the ugly medicine cabinet (all our stuff fits in the one upstairs or under the sink anyway) and the toothbrush holder. Now there is a random space on the wall, but I'm okay with that. I'm going to paint that room anyway at some point this year. The pictures aren't incredible...the spaces are small and light is limited, but here is what I took:
Obviously a few days after I cleaned the glass in the shower...
These prints are so fun
Basement bathroom (not so much to look at as of now...)
Sans wood medicine cabinet and toothbrush holder...
Now I need to get rid of that ugly light too!
Looking at these pictures really makes me want to do over this room!
Day 18 - Weekend Chores: Clean the Living Room and Empty the Outbox and Flowers
Well the living room was not that bad, but I did give it a good dusting, cleaning, vacuum, and also went through all the coffee table drawers. I went even further and did the same for the dining room. We also got one new light - the overarching floor lamp from West Elm. We took away the overhead light (planning on spray-painting it silver and putting it up in the hallway upstairs). The only thing we need to do now is put a lower wattage bulb in it - it is VERY bright. Since I sit pretty much underneath it, I feel like I am out in the sun...but without the warmth or tan or fruity drink. *Update - I have now changed this light to a 40W equivalent - much better!*
As for emptying the outbox, we did a run to Value Village with a huge load of clothing, and Matt took all the empties back to the Beer Store. We also took a huge pile for the dump (which also has a paint reuse center), and we gave the hutch in our basement back to Matt's parents to store for Megan (or for us in a future - and larger - house).
What I didn't do? Flowers! I forgot! Ahhh! I'll do it this weekend, I promise!
Broke out the tripod to let some light in
Ohhh J.Crew - was just discussing with a friend this week how beautiful all the stuff is in this latest catalogue, but all the most expensive things are featured! I can't afford to have everything cashmere!!!
Clean dining room too!
Really need to change up this sideboard decor...
Not very often there is this much light in the dining room (only between 11-2 pm usually)
Some details - LOVE print by Jen Ramos, plus some design books from bloggers YHL and D*S
plus a mercury glass owl. Wouldn't be my home without some sort of owl decor.
Vase is from my friend Steph as a housewarming present (from Urban Barn), apple for my teacher side (and I have a green one for the Spring), plus a key my sister in law gave me!
Day 19 - Catch Up & Take A Photo
Yay - catch up! Matt and I worked on the basement this weekend, and I did a bit on Monday as well. We cleared out a lot of the stuff from underneath the stairs. Matt decided he wanted to play his guitar more, so moved it upstairs...so now it's in the guest bedroom. Not being played. He refused to get rid of his electric guitar, while fully admitting that he has not played it since high school. Maybe he'll let my school kids use it? I never thought of that until this second. That's a pretty good idea! (*Update - he's considering it*) I went through all the keepsakes, and paint cupboard, and laundry room stuff, and as I mentioned above, its still a work in progress, but it's better.
First outbox dump - empties to the Beer Store, clothes to Value Village
Second round - to the DUMP!
Third round - all of this pile on the left to Goodwill, plus the big brown headboard and the Ikea light (not pictured)
Yes...this is organized (except the bottom - I really need to fold all these drop cloths)
A lot less clutter!
Print we bought for nothing (a few dollars) at Home Sense but didn't have a place for yet
(Which has since been ruined as Matt tried to clean some of the dents and scratches off of, but it had no finish on it so pretty much just took off the paint...so going to start over - paint it white and stencil the words on myself!)
Day 20 - Hang Your Artwork
Way back in the first week we were supposed to pick some art to get framed. I hung the love print upstairs, and I got pictures for the gallery wall downstairs. Still waiting for a key. My sister in law gave me one, but it's a bit too ornate for the gallery wall (it's the one in the dining room pictures - much better there). There is a set of keys from Pottery Barn that I just bought - one is large and will work perfectly, and the others will be decor or part of the other gallery wall that will eventually go up the stairs (love keys right now!).
Our gallery wall started off as this - on December 23rd, cut out brown paper the exact size of the frames, and played around with the spacing until it was something we liked.
Since we had yet to pick pictures, I filled the frames with wrapping paper and hung a little "NOEL" ornament (actually a wine bottle charm) in the gap at the bottom.
Pictures today - all Black and White pictures from our travels
Clockwise from top left - Rome just before sunset, lego-like Douglas Coupland Orca in Vancouver, sailboat at sunset in Santorini, Empire State from the Top of the Rock in NYC, beach scene in the Bahamas from our honeymoon, and the Eiffel Tower...the Vegas one (haha, my mom was very confused about the fountain for a minute).
Day 21 - Speedy Spruce Up & Surface Clean
Just spend a few hours tidying, dusting, and vacuuming. My house isn't that big, so this was a quick one!
Day 22 - Shop for the Get-Together Goodies
So I'm a bit behind on the get together, although I have rough plan ideas for a few weeks from now with some friends (*Update - date of Feb 23rd for Brunch is set*), and I thought that this time would be best spent just getting groceries at all, haha.
Day 23 - Relax, You're Done!!!
Yay!!!!!!! Although all the projects I was supposed to finish I didn't...but I did a lot! Recap of the January Cure in the next post!
Yes, I did skip Day 16. It was to clean the bathrooms and I haven't done that yet. Oops!
Day 14 - Get Papers & Files in Order
So happy to have already done this last week during my media fast! They weren't bad - I keep pretty good order of them, but just a few old files could be thrown out and reorganized. I asked Matt when he built the bookshelf in the basement way back when 2 years ago to make sure there was filing space, and he did! Such a good decision!
Would love to label them properly and make them all pretty, but that's not exactly a priority right now!
Day 15 - Exercise a Little Cord Control
So this meant if you have random appliances not in use or cords lying around...do something about it. I have this problem...but no solution as of yet. Most of it is only temporary anyway.
Black plug at the bottom for the TV unit. Don't really know how to hide this one!
I want to get a little iPhone charger for the bedroom so it doesn't look like this!
Matt and I frequently have this going on in the living room if using our laptops for fun (like blogging) instead of work, which is when they would be in the basement. Unsightly, but not an issue when guests are over.
Day 17 - Looking at Living Room Lighting
The weekend coming up is focusing on the living room, so I guess this is leading up to that. This assignment was more about looking at your lighting and seeing what was good/bad about it. You are supposed to have a specific task-focused light, a general light, and ambient, soft light. Right now I have a table lamp and a floor lamp. I did have one another that was ripped so it is in our basement in the outbox awaiting its fate. I have yet to replace the corner where that light was, and now it is very dim. I plan on replacing it ASAP with an arching light. I also want to replace the lights I do have, as they have beige shades that cast a weird yellow light over the room, making my gray paint show it's green undertones, which I would prefer to keep hidden. So lighting will be changed soon.
Dark corner desperately in need of this light below (or similar):
West Elm Overarching Floor Lamp with a white linen shade
Other lights - the overhead is rarely used because of the shadow it casts on the ceiling, but I will change the bulb to a translucent one to fix that. When it's dimmed it looks prettier and softer than this.
The table lamp will be changed to something like this:
West Elm Abacus Table Lamp in Mercury Glass
This weekend will be all about cleaning the living room (which really just needs a good dust, but I'll also do the dining room while I'm at it and hopefully the bathrooms too. I'll also have to fit in the National Wedding Show with Hope at the Exhibition, dinner out Saturday (to celebrate 7 years together), and perhaps lunch at Mill Street with my brother on Sunday (we want to throw my dad's retirement celebration there in April). Wish me luck!
Day 9 - Create a Landing Strip and Use It
This translates to "create any entryway space" - and luckily I already had this! I needed to have a doormat, coat hooks, and a "landing strip" (no wonder this was the most searched post on Apartment Therapy this week) - which is a place to put keys and other things. One think I did add to my entryway was a light...sort of. I found a light, and Matt put it up, but now I want to spray it brass (it's black), and lengthen it a bit (just have to do a bit of rewiring first). But for now, it's done. It's from Home Sense (big surprise). What I'm missing is some sort of runner or indoor door mat. It looks so bare in the winter!
Doormat - Penguins!!! (West Elm)
Entryway last Spring - much prettier with a runner, but not at all practical as you can see footprints immediately.
Entryway now - definitely needs some colour - I need a good "rug-like" runner in a fun colour!
There's the new light - needs a brass finish and a prettier bulb, but it needs to be translucent, because the clear ones make ceiling shadows, which I greatly dislike (as our living room one does!)
Day 10 - Work on Your Goal Project
So my goal project was to tidy and reorganize all the basement storage. I didn't do much for this...I had a ton of marking to do, I swear! I did tidy up laundry and some random school stuff in the space, though, does that count? Okay...failed this day.
Yep...still looks like this...perhaps worse than at the beginning of the month...
Day 11 - Try a Media Fast
From the time you get home from work until the time you go to bed, don't use your computer, internet, phone, etc. I lasted 4 hours. During this time I did some more work on the basement office area. Not very exciting, but more difficult than you think. I did take some of the pictures for this post, though...but I don't count that as "media" so much.
Only place I can be media-free (please ignore my phone - I swear I was only taking sunset pictures!)
Day 12 - Declutter Books and Media
I have a lot of books...novels exist in the bedroom, magazines and decor books in the living/dining room, school and other books in the basement, and even some on a random shelf in the basement. Luckily I purged a lot of my books in the summer, so I really had a lot less work than some others might. I did, however, organize all my school books. I didn't really toss any, but I didn't like the way they were displayed on the shelf behind my desk in the office. I took everything off, cleaned off the shelf, and decided what I wanted to change. There's still a lot to do - I want to find covers for my random photo albums from high school and university (before everything was completely digital), and I want to add some fabric to the back to have some fun in that bookcase. Hey, as I always say, "it's progress!"
Great book purge of Summer 2012
Just one book location in the house - on a shelf going down to the basement - LOVE the secret books!
School shelf before (a lot of books on the middle shelf you can't see because they are doubled up behind)
School shelf after - again, still a lot to do (albums on top covered so they look the same), change the back wall to a patterned paper/fabric to make it brighter, and some more decor pieces).
Day 13 - Weekend Chores - Flowers and Bedroom
Last weekend was the kitchen, this weekend was the bedrooms. I focused mainly on the master, but I did organize some things in the guest bedroom too. I will leave all that to a separate post because it is picture heavy and more detailed. But here are the weekend flowers:
Mini gerberas in yellow and orange-red!
(Matt picked these out for me)
- Day 14 - organize your files (done already - did it on the media fast day!)
- Day 15 - cord control (organize chargers and other wiring)
- Day 16 - bathrooms (ugh - a big one on a weekday!)
- Day 17 - lighting (may need a West Elm trip!)
Day 3 Recap - Weekend Chores and Buy Flowers
Uhhhh....yeah. I was supposed to hardcore clean every floor. I did vacuum and swiffer wetjet every floor, but I did not scrub. I bought hardwood cleaner this past weekend though, and I'm going to tackle each room as I go through the cure this month. I know there is a day for bathrooms and bedrooms for sure. Matt bought me some flowers, though!
Pretty and feels like Spring (let's just skip Winter!)
Day 4 - Get a Fresh Perspective
This pretty much means pick a room or spot in your house that seems to be problematic, sit where you can clearly see that area and think (for 10 minutes) about the issues - could be clutter, flow, etc.), and think about how you want it to be, and ways to perhaps get it that way.
I chose my kitchen, because honestly I am pretty happy with most spots in my house that we've done. So I sat by the chalkboard on the floor in the kitchen and looked around. Honestly it is an issue of size and layout. The only way to fix this is maybe tearing down the wall between the kitchen and living room, so we could do a bigger counter and a breakfast bar, but would sacrifice an entire wall of cabinetry. The other way would be actually extending our house back, but that would require huge structural changes (expensive) and a permit (which we may be rejected for). So I've been going back and forth between updating the counters and cabinet doors, or completely changing the layout, getting new appliances, floors, etc. Obviously is cost was no issue I would go with the latter, but in the end I didn't really have any concrete answer. So yeah...fresh perspective fail.
Kitchen as you walk in from the living room.
View from the back door of the kitchen.
Day 5: Pick a Project from the List to Complete this Month
So I first wanted to complete the little gallery wall in my living room, but then Day 6 is frame something, so I changed it organizing the basement shelving. So that's my big plan - organize, toss, clean, even pour all those 1/4 filled paint cans into mason jars and even figure out a tool cork-board. Remember these pictures from my Day 1?
Under the stairs storage
Random kitchen extras
Winter stuff and extras
Ohhh the paint cupboard.
The tool area of the laundry room...
Day 6: Choose a Piece of Artwork to Frame
So I twisted this - I have the frames already from the gallery wall, but no pictures, so this week I picked pictures and got them printed. On the weekend I framed them. Turns out later in the month I am supposed to hang it, so really I got two days done in one - yay! I haven't taken photos of them yet (except for one instagram one), so I'll post them later this week.
Here with Christmas wrapping paper for the holiday
Day 7: Get Your Get-Together Together
I'm supposed to have an end-of-cure celebration near the beginning of February. I have not figured this one out at all - who to have, what to serve, when exactly to have it, etc. Fail. I will think about it more this week I promise!
Who wants to come eat and my pretty new dining room table?
Day 8: Weekend Chores, Cook a Meal & Buy Flowers
Specifically, the kitchen - inside and out of everything!
I went hardcore on this one - took everything out of each cupboard, cleaned it from top to bottom, tossed some stuff, threw some stuff in the outbox, and then organized it back onto the shelves. This went for kitchenware, food, under the sink (it was gross), and even the fridge and freezer. Plus I pulled out the oven and cleaned behind it (more gross), and even scrubbed the floor (our tiles are actually just gray...not gray and black. Who knew?)
Updated the little storage cupboard (formerly housed dish towels and napkins).
Chalk jars from Anthropologie (thanks Hope - now I want wide ones for tea and coffee!)
Took my last weekend flowers and added them to the kitchen decor
This all somehow fit in a tiny corner cabinet.
Oh, and the red silicon bakeware is in the outbox - does anyone want it before it is donated?
It works really well, especially when you want muffins without wrappers - I just stick to my metal when baking - just out of routine. There's a bundt, 6 cupcakes, a 12x8 pan, and a cookie sheet.
Behind the oven...before...(so gross)
After - MUCH better!
Freezer before - actually not that bad but yes, those are paintbrushes in the side part at the top...
You can never have too much edamame. You just can't.
After - I don't know why we have so many pizzas...I don't eat them very often.
Oh and that container is duck fat. It's like semi-liquid gold.
Mmm fresh bread.
So although cleaning is not a crazy transformation and so many pretty pictures post, it feels nice that things are so squeaky clean!
Once my kitchen was clean, I messed it up making this - Rosemary Chicken Lasagna. I got the recipe via Pinterest from Feasting at Home. It was delicious - I've also eaten it twice this week at school for lunch. Yum. Also felt nice to make dinner for Matt for a change! Going to do this much more often!
This weekend's flowers - I picked up two bunches of yellow and red mixed tulips at St. Lawrence Market
(also where we got a lot of the fresh ingredients for the lasagna!)
Here they are today - turned out a nice peachy colour
What? Am I a photographer? Haha...just for a moment.
Day 9 - (Monday) Create a landing strip (yeah....I had to look that one up too. It means organize your foyer).
Day 10 - (Today) Work on your goal project (so I need to stop blogging and start tidying the basement...*sigh*)
Day 2: The Outbox
Pretty much make a space in your home that you can throw things into. Things you aren't sure what you want to do with. They have to stay there for the week and then after that they can stay there, find a place in the house, or be donated/tossed. I only had to put one thing in there, but really I had a pile going already. Not everything in the picture below is going - a lot of the stuff is keepsakes - wedding stuff, my skates my dad just gave back to me that I don't even know if they fit, the Ikea table we only use at Christmas, etc. But it is definitely a space that needs to be sorted, and things given away or where a better home needs to be found.
Donate: Brown headboard, Ikea light, some of the wicker baskets
Added into Outbox: old Christmas ornaments - giant blue balls from Ikea (haha)
Day 3: Weekend Chores
a) Buy Flowers
b) Vacuum Carpets
c) Clean Floors*
*Stock up on green cleaning products for the month!
None of these things have been done yet, but hopefully tonight or tomorrow! I love having flowers in the house, though - definitely going to do this more often.
Flowers Matt got me last spring after the play was done!
Day 1 Update - Completed:
10. Stepped on the scale...it was not pretty.
22. Made the bed (all the past few days)
23. Did the laundry (3 loads)
32. Matt touched up the stairs
48. Put the money in the car
51. Matt bought milk
55. Matt shoveled the snow
57. & 58. Lavender and de-zested orange are gone.
65. Put away last week's laundry
70. Used my desk (A LOT) this weekend
86. Figured out the orange light - it was whites. I put it away.
98. No, it is not covered. Matt is on it.
13 tasks completed - sweet! Although I do have the make the bed every day...and now there is new laundry drying, and I'm sure we'll run out of milk soon, and it will definitely snow again...so really those are pretty pathetic completed tasks, but I am felling productive nonetheless!
New Things Added to the List:
101. Clean toothbrush and holder - it is gross.
102. Figure out why TV in basement is not getting cable...there must be some button...
103. Make Marta's wedding album (she wanted to add that in...yeah that's not going to happen for a while...)
Again, I'm doing this through Apartment Therapy's January Cure.