Friday, January 23, 2015

Little bathroom updates

Hey there and happy Friday! Today I’m sharing a few smaller projects I’ve finished up lately. I almost didn’t share them because they aren’t anything earth shattering and the photos are even that great cause the SUN WON’T COME OUT but then I realized it’s not always the big projects that make you feel happy about your home. Actually, it’s usually quite the opposite – I feel accomplished and happy when I get little things knocked off the list.

All of these are in our master bathroom, which isn’t anything fancy. It’s big and has really tall ceilings though, which we love. Someday it will get a full makeover but it’s never been up there on my list. I always laugh because I have spent most of the 11 years in our home working on spaces that don’t bring as much value as far as resale. Our two main bathrooms have barely been touched and I haven’t done a whole lot in our kitchen over the years (but that is changing this year!).

But anyway, I’ve had quite a few little projects on my to do list in our master bath for a while now and I got most of them knocked off. I had one extra shelf and two sets of brackets that I didn’t use over the basement kitchenette so I thought about where we could use the extra bit of storage:

IKEA shelves with bracket

The placement isn’t my favorite, I’ll be honest – but with our sinks right there it was the only option without bonking our heads each time. AND the crazy-A cat can’t get up there. At least he hasn’t tried yet. I had those pretty glass containers on the vanity and because we keep Q-tips in one and he is OBSESSED with them, he would knock it off every. single. day.

So…it’s not perfect but it’s functional and I’m just happy I can keep my Q-tips nearby. It’s the little things my friends.

I shared these on Instagram the other day because they are SO dang pretty. I ordered these simple glass votive holders from CB2 months ago and they finally arrived earlier this month. They were only $2 each – and I thought they’d be pretty spread out on a wall. I couldn’t decide where I wanted them to stay permanently so I just put them up in the master for now:

small glass hanging votive holders

They really are beautiful! I don’t know if they’ll stay here forever but I love them!

I have an old vintage wood bowl that was just sitting in the storage room. I brought it out and filled it with my random bath bombs and Epsom salts:

vintage wood bowl

I used to keep all of it in big glass containers but I just wanted a simpler look. It’s much easier to access it all now too. :)

If you’ve been around for a loooooong time you may remember my DIY shower curtain. Well about two years ago the tension rod fell and broke -- rehanging it has been on the long list since. I actually purchased the new tension rod a year or so ago and it’s been sitting in the closet. As always, I am SUPER on top of things!: easy shower curtain

It’s literally a few yards of terry cloth from the fabric store hung up on a tension rod with curtain clips. Simplest shower curtain EVER. It’s hard to find a curtain long enough (if you want it to hit the floor) so this is a great solution. And it hides our really ugly shower so that’s a big bonus. :)

The project that took the longest was the linen closet – it actually stays fairly organized but it needs some “fluffing” once a year:

organized linen closet

With time things get tossed in the wrong bins and stuffed in places. I don’t know WHO would ever do that, but it happens.

I sat on the floor for about an hour and went through everything and resorted – and got rid of another set of towels. :)

I have to mention my favorite part of the closet. The organization part is pretty cool but these little stick up lights are the bomb: stick up light in closet

That’s an old pic, things look a bit different now.

I am pretty sure you can get these at Target now – I can’t remember where I got mine. Amazon has them too, $10 for two. One of the things I wish I would have done when we built our house is add lights in the closets – it seriously is one of those things that drives me bonkers because I can’t see anything inside. I have a few of these and they work great.

Like I said – little projects that I’ve had on my list for quite some time. And all either make the room function much better or make it look a little better. It feels so good to cross things off the list, yes?

Have a wonderful weekend everybody!!


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Thursday, January 22, 2015

Five things we have too many of

Yeah, yeah, I can hear my elementary English teacher yelling now -- don’t end a sentence in a preposition. But I have limited space here people!

Last week we talked about clutter busters – some of the ways I corral things that tend to mess up the place. This week I’m talking about five of the things I think we have way too many of – and when I say we I mean me and maybe you.

The older I get the less I can stand extra stuff in our house and the easier it is for me to let go of things. It’s still a struggle, don’t get me wrong. But I have less patience for crap we don’t use.

As I continue to move my way around our house this new year, I have noticed a few things we tend to hoard and I finally took a good hard look at whether or not we need so many of them.

I have a feeling many of you have multiples upon multiples of the same. First up, the sheets.

You’ll see I have many “soft” things on this list. I’m not sure why that is. :) So up till a few years ago we had easily four to five sets of sheets for our bed. I’m not sure why I always felt the need to have so many. When we take one set off to wash…we put another on. Not three. Yeah, I could see having a few different sets if you like to change up the look of your room. And yes, there’s always the need for an extra set for those times in the middle of the night when someone is sick. But we do have a washer and dryer – in a matter of a couple hours we’ve got a clean set again.

I’ve already purged our sheets down to three sets -- winter flannel, a more decorative one and our favorite, super soft set. That’s all we need! I did go through it all again and get rid of about eight extra pillow cases – not sure why we had so many?

All of our sheets fit into one bin:

organizing sheet sets

We have one extra set for the guest bed and the Bub has three sets as well. Honestly we don’t even need the three but considering I’ve whittled down this much already I’m pretty proud. ;)

Here’s another biggie around our house – the cups.

Let’s throw mugs in there too, right? What the heck is it about glasses and plastic cups and mugs? They multiply in our house. It doesn’t happen with plates or even bowls – just things we drink out of. It’s because so often a cup turns into a souvenir for us. All those plastic cups that I think I need to remind me of a great trip. I do not need the cup to remember seeing Wicked on Broadway. :)

Or that cactus glass you got for “free” with the margarita and then you went back and got another one so you could have a set? Yeah. Been there.

I pulled every glass and mug out of the cabinet and then purged. This is what we’re left with:

organizing kitchen cabinets

I think that’ll be plenty for the three people in this house. :) And ten mugs for two people who don’t even drink coffee? Yeah, we’re good. Those mugs though – they’re always so cute right? Especially ones with an initial – those really get me.

Next up – blankets. I have a thing with magazines and mugs and blankets. Actually, throw blankets, for real. I swear to you, I think in the back of my head I’m always preparing for the next blizzard. I picture us huddled in the bed together, shivering, with my extra 25 blankets piled on top of us, keeping us alive. Thank GOD for my blankets!!

I mean, seriously. It’s not entirely reasonable but the just-in-case part of my mind makes me keep all the blankets. But I got rid of a few, because we don’t have storage space for 25 of them. If you do I’m tempted to tell you to just keep your blankets to KEEP YOUR FAMILY ALIVE.

I cleared out some and now we have some extra space on my DIY closet shelves:

using extra space in closet

You know…for extras. ;)

Am I alone on the blanket thing?

My fourth thing you I have too many of – gloves and hats and scarves. You’re probably tired of seeing this closet lately but it’s how we organize it all:

organized coat closet

For the kids, yes, numerous hats and pairs of gloves are worth it. But for us, how many do we really need? At one point I had like ten pairs of gloves and I wore two of them, EVER. Now I keep one heavy duty pair for working outside, one pretty/cute pair and one extra set just to have. My husband has the same. I do give myself a pass on scarves cause I’m a girl. :)

By the way, many of you have asked about the tie backs screwed into the door – we have hollow core doors and they hold up just fine. I’ve had them up for years and they hold the weight of bags and backpacks every day, but our son doesn’t bring home any heavy school books just yet. (I don’t use anchors to hang them but that would help!)

My final one is another softie – the towels. So here’s the thing – all my adult life I’ve had many, many sets of towels. But I read something awhile back that really stuck with me and I’ve purged even more since.

We don’t wash our towels every few days and I’ve always felt kind of bad about that – but when you think about how often we wash our sheets, the ones we sleep on at the end of the day, sometimes at our dirtiest, and compare that to how often we’re “supposed” to wash our towels, that we use at our cleanest every day…it doesn’t jive.

I know, towels need to be washed and they can get yucky smelling from not drying out well but if you hang them there’s no reason why you can’t use them a bit longer. And if you’re only using one set at a time…why so many sets? You know what I’m saying?

We’re down to four sets of towels for us, four towels in the Bub’s bathroom and two towels in the basement bathroom:

organizing linen closet

Honestly, four sets is more than enough for my husband and me. I can still let a few sets sit in the laundry for weeks (not that I would ever do that…) and still have a clean pair of towels to use.

Seriously, what is it about the soft stuff? And of course those are the things that take up the most space!

I went through all five of these for a quick purge this week and it took me about 30 minutes. I piled up a bunch of cups and mugs:

too many cups

And a whole pile of blankets and pillow cases and towels and scarves:

decluttering tips And the house feels lighter, yet again!

By the way, if anyone is interested in that airplane sheet set, send me an email. I got a few sets years ago for the Bub’s room knowing they may discontinue them. (They are a full sized set.) These have been taken, thanks! :)

Are there any other items you would add to this list? Do you have too many of these as well? Do you keep extras of all the soft things like me?