Operation Fix that Shiz: Organizing My Home – Update

I really want to talk about some of the things I did to organize my home, but first I need to give a shout out to my favourite YouTube organizing gurus, because I stole most of these ideas, in one form or another, from them.

Malitose79/Organizedclutterbug – by far my favourite YouTuber. She’s so cute and she has tips everyone can use. Her enthusiasm is contagious. Love love love her. Check out her website, http://clutterbug.me, too.

Doitonadime – tons of great ideas, especially if, like me, you’re not interested in buying expensive junk to organize the junk you already heave.

Thegreenapplehome – I love thegreenapplehome because she uses what she already has to organize her house (or she finds inexpensive alternatives), and she posts recipes, too.

Homeorganizing – Alejandra is so organized, it actually hurts me a little to watch her videos. SO ORGANIZED!!

I won’t list every little thing I did around my house, but here are a few tips (again, heavily inspired by the nice ladies above), that I’m really loving.

My apologies ahead of time for the terrible photos – I’m not much of a photographer to begin with, but my camera died and I had to use my iPhone 3G (awful, awful!).

 

Tip #1 – Use 3M hooks (Organizedclutterbug shows a lot of 3M love)

This is the door to my scary, unfinished basement/laundry room:

door2

Chase and I keep a pair of flip flops in front of this door at all times because we use the laundry daily and shoes are a must to venture into the basement. The problem is, this door is in my narrow hallway, smack-dab in the middle of my house, and the kids are always taking off with our dirty shoes (not to mention the fact that having flip flops randomly hanging out in the middle of your house isn’t very visually appealing). SO, I just took a 3M hook, tacked it onto the door, found a tote bag and threw the shoes inside. It’s not pretty, but it’s functional and I consider it a good fix.

 

Tip #2 – Over the door shoe organizers make for great extra storage (original idea from Alejandra and I think Doitonadime, too)

My tiny bathroom cupboard was literally overflowing with bottles and beauty products, and I had already purged through it three times in the past 6 months or so. I wasn’t willing to part with any of my remaining “back-ups”, but there were so many bottles, it was impossible to contain them all. I attached a shoe organizer to the inside of my closet door and now my bottles and hair tools are neat, organized, and tucked away, and my more personal items fit nicely in the cabinet.

closet

The organizer was so wonderful, I went out and bought another shoe organizer for my yarn and sewing tools, which freed up some space for Chase’s “Man Drawers”. I am loving this organizer in particular because I can see everything I have and it’s easy to grab and go.

yarn

 

Tip #3 – Find a place for EVERYTHING. And then label it. 

I talked about creating some “Man Drawers” to house Chasetown, and after shuffling some of my craft stuff around (in addition to the shoe/yarn organizer above), I was able to open up two bins for my hubby’s stuff. And it is AWESOME.

man_drawer

 

Tip #4 – Corral your crap in baskets (I think everyone does this, but it’s my favourite tip because I use it in every room of my house) 

baskets

We have a whole host of vitamins, antacids, and pain killers (Tylenol, Advil) that creep out of the bathroom and onto the shelves in my kitchen. I decided to stop fighting it and dump them into a basket instead. Problem solved. I also needed a place to store baby bottles so they made their way into another basket.

 

Anyway, there you have it. Use the space you have (even if that space includes the back of your doors), find a home for everything, and if certain items pile up in one spot no matter what you do, accept that they’re piling up there for a reason and find a way to make it work. Also, baskets! When in doubt, throw your mess into a basket.

 

Spice Jars or Physical Manifestation of My Neurosis? You Decide.

Baby Food Jar Spice Rack

Soooo I thought turning empty baby food jars into spice containers was an original idea until I googled it. Not so much. BUT, to my knowledge, I am the only person who  laminated her jar labels with packing tape before using her label maker to name the spices, so there’s that. This step makes it much easier to change the name of the jars without having to make whole new labels.  I don’t know if it’s pure genius, or just another way my commitment phobia and OCD manifest themselves, but let’s go with genius. Genius!

I realize that a tutorial isn’t necessary for this project – make label, stick it on jar – but just in case you’re interested, here’s how I did it.

Materials You Will Need

Empty, Clean Baby Food Jars
Acrylic Paint
White Craft Glue
Scrapbook Paper
Plain Ol’ Paper Paper
Packing Tape
Label Maker

Step 1: Paint your lids

I channeled my inner Neil Buchanan (Art Attack) and mixed some PVA (white) glue into some acrylic paint to get it to stick to the lid (maybe a little less than half and half – more paint than glue). It took about four coats of paint, and I topped that with some straight-up glue to make the final product shiny.

Disclaimer: Storing your food in something that’s coated with PVA glue is probably not the healthiest of options, but I wanted to use materials I had on hand. Also, I like to live dangerously. If you’re not a super bad-A like myself, maybe consider researching some other alternatives. Granted, the paint is on the OUTSIDE of the lid (no need to paint the inside), but if you get some kind of weird glue poisoning, please do not sue me. You have been warned; glue and food do not mix!

Step 2: Cut your label

Cut a strip of scrapbook paper to make your main label. My strip was about 3.5cm tall by 22cm wide.


Step 1

Step 3: Cut a decorative border

I used a pencil to trace a border about 1.5cm tall, and then I cut along one of the edges with my fancy pants decorative scissors. I am sure there are scrapbooking tools that would make much neater work of this step, or you could free-hand a fancy edge.

Step 2

Step 4: Outline your decorative border

I used a ruler and a black permanent marker to make an outline around my border because I didn’t feel it “popped” enough without it.

Step 3

Step 5: Stick your border to your label

No need to go crazy here – I just used 2 tiny pieces of two-sided tape to tack it down so it wouldn’t shift around during the “laminiating” process (see next step). Trim any excess.

Step 4

Step 6: Ghetto laminate your label with packing tape

Oooh yeah. Ghetto laminating is where it’s at. Just put a layer of packing tape over the entire label, front and back, and trim the excess. It helps to leave a teeny tiny border of clear tape around the label.

Step 7: Name your spice jar

Add a label from your label maker to your jar.

Step 8: Tape your label to the jar and fill with spices.

Admire your work.

BONUS: Upcycle an empty clementine box into an actual spice rack for your jars

Because I am CRAZY, I also painted an old clementine box and slapped a label onto the front. Instant spice rack!

Rack

Operation Fix That Shiz: Organizing My Home

I really want to unload all of the reasons I am hating mat leave (and life in general) right now, but I’m not going to do that for fear of revealing what a big fat whiney head I am. Instead, let’s talk about what I’m going to do to fix the stuff I am not loving so much, one issue at a time, in a little segment I’m going to call “Operation Fix That Shiz”.

Issue #1: I can’t seem to keep my house clean and the resulting chaos makes me want to kill myself1.

My goal, therefore, is to find a place for everything and put everything in its place over the upcoming week, and then I’m going to keep everything in the home I’ve found for it even if it kills me. I think seeing my drawers/shelves/closets all pretty and organized will motivate me to keep my house clean for at least a week. I have a bunch of projects underway, and a few more in mind. Like, I’ve already moved my extra soaps, shampoos and lotions from my tiny bathroom to an over-the-door organizer in my closet and now I’m going to tidy up what’s left under the vanity.

Also on my list: creating a “man space” for Chase. I’ve been throwing all of the random items (drills, tool boxes, car manuals, fishing gear, concert swag) he leaves lying around the house under the desk in Sprout’s room and calling that gigantic pile of stuff “Chasetown” (Remember “towns”, Cointrin and Linz?! It’s like that, only slightly less passive aggressive.). I hate Chasetown. I’d like to burn Chasetown to the ground and do a dance on the ashes. HOWEVER, that’s a little unfair of me because, to be honest, Chase has nowhere on the main floor to put his stuff. I have an entire desk, chest of drawers, and shelf space filled with stationary and craft supplies and that poor man has the scary basement and the trunk of his car. I’m going to rejig some areas of our home and get rid of Chasetown for good. Huzzah!

Once I’ve organized the house, I’m going to implement a daily schedule/routine so I am not a) overwhelmed all the time, and b) tempted to sell my children to the gypsies. From there, sleep training. And from there… well, the list goes on and on. One thing at a time. I’ll let you know how it goes.

1Not really. But it does make me want to hide in bed and cry.

Kitchen Organization: Making Room for Kiddie Dishes

Sooo… I have a problem. Several problems.

1. I have a small kitchen, with very limited cupboard space.

2. My kids keep accumulating dishes and sippy cups.

3. Those dishes and sippy cups are taking over my entire kitchen.

Also, I have random items taking up valuable real estate on my teeny tiny counter.

coffee_press

Today, I finally did something about my cupboard situation because I was sick of knocking over my precariously piled plastic tableware every time I wanted an “adult” bowl or plate.

cupboard_closeup

I had to do a bit of a kitchen shuffle, but it was well worth it, and I am happy to say that the whole project cost me exactly $0. Go me!

Because I’m a total nerd for home organization blogs, I thought I’d share some “before and after” pics with you.

The dish cupboard

The mess that inspired it all. I realize my “after” shot doesn’t look a whole lot neater – ideally, I’d like to pretty up the shelves by purchasing matching dishes, organizing my glasses, and clearing out the clutter on the top shelf, but that wasn’t in the cards today.

Cupboard_Collage

The new kiddie drawer

Drawer_Collage2

Ummm… Yeah. That WAS my tupperware drawer (read: my shameful secret and  Liberté container graveyard). It had been organized SEVERAL times over the past few months, but it was always a disaster within a few days. Now? It’s my favourite spot in the kitchen. I like that the sippy cups and plastic dishes (which always looked junky in my cupboards) are tucked away out of sight. I also love love love that they are in a place that is easily accessible for the kidlettes.

The basket I used to corral the snack dishes and Sprout’s dinnerware used to hold snacks in my fridge before I replaced it with a plastic one about a month ago. To be honest, it was still in my fridge this morning, not holding anything, just chilling out in there, looking all sad-like. I was happy to find a new spot for it.

The new tupperware basket

Basket_Collage2

A peek inside the big tupperware container:

basket_inside

My radiator in the kitchen is covered by a giant shelf with cubbyholes on either end. This basket, originally full of appliances, bibs, and napkins, was in the cubbyhole by my kitchen table. I took the junk out of the basket and put it directly on the shelf, and moved the basket to the opposite end.

Can I tell you that I am in love with my new tupperware organization? Finally that big, plastic container has a home that ISN’T my countertop.  And, as an added bonus, my food processor found a home on the opposite shelf, too.

Catfood_Collage

The tea cupboard

Aaah! Finally, the sippy cups are out of the tea cupboard and I have room for the homeless coffee press. Hallelujah!

Tea_Collage

Aaaanyway, there you have it! If you’re annoyed with something in your home, and the system you have in place isn’t working for you, I highly recommend re-thinking one or more of your spaces. It might take a little bit of rejigging, but you’d be surprised at how much you can get done in an hour, and at how much better you’ll feel when it’s done.