Sunday, October 10, 2010

New Ideas

I've been using this blog mostly to encourage myslef to keep up with housework, and also to complain about my life. I've been recently reading lots of home-renovation/decoration blogs, and although we don't have a house to fix up (oh, how I wish!) we have been doing some major organization this summer, and I want to start to document some of the things that we do to make our lives a little easier, and prettier. Maybe some random crafts too, and of course recipes and other bits and bobs to make myself feel better about housework.

Most of the organization that happened this summer was to move my craft piles into a dresser (a red three-drawer from ikea). we moved the red craft table back into the dining room, which until then had been being used in the way a garage might for most people.

-We bought mark a new desk, because the one he had, while free, was not really useful in most of the senses of the word. new desk was moved to the corner behind the couch, where my crafts had been which means when it gets messy, it is less intrusive into the rest of the room.

-We bought two trunnks at mark's grandad's estate sale. we moved the legos into them, and got rid of the huge bins we had the legos in.

-We went through our closets and filled at least four large boxes with stuff to take to goodwill. We then rearranged our remaining clothes to better fit the space we had, which cleared a lot of stuff out of the hall closet, which is our only real place for storage.

-We also cleaned out a lot of our kitchen stuff and gave them to goodwill which gave us more.

-We went through our DVD collection and sold anything we didn't think we needed anymore. since the majority are mark's, the final say was his, as is the money afterwards. But now we can buy more better movies!

-Did the same thing with books. We still have a box of some of mark's stuff in the closet, but for the most part, everything we have, we want, and is easily accessible at a moment's notice. This freed up more closet space, and also makes things just look a little more organized.

-Got a new record player, (this didn't really make our house more organized, but it is prettier, and works better so it's still an improvement worth noting) So now we're gradually moving our albums from one side of the living room to the other, where the new player sits. Eventually we'll find a good table for it, hopefully with some sort of album storage, but for now it's on the floor. It still looks better than the desk that used ot be in that corner.

-In the search for a table, we found a lovely mid-century modern danish-ish chair. it actually looks exactly like two my parents own. it's lovely and gives us a bit more seating options for when Sterling and Tony come over to play games or watch movies. I'm thinking of reupholstering it, because the cushions, while in good shape, are sort of a grey-brown faux-suede leathery look, which feels nice but sort of icks me out. The color is okay though.

-I went through all my art. It was taking a whole wall in the dining room, and something needed to be done about it. Luckily, most of it was organized still from when we moved here, but there was plenty to recycle. lots of old class sketches on newsprint; projects that I didn't care enough about to do a good job, etc. I also sorted out all the unused canvasses, and pieced of MDF and particle board, and have stored them in the bedroom. these we use for projects, to protect the carpet, etc.

-Mark a has a thing where he keeps the box from anything new he buys. His dad does it too. This clutters up the dining room pretty quickly, but it is a pretty good way to keep all the information on one item together. We got rid of all the boxes hanging around, and put the receipts and warranties, etc. in the box we keep in the bedroom closet. It has all the warranties, instructions, extra screws, etc. from just about every appliance and piece of furniture we've gotten since we've moved in here. It isn't really organized in any way, but it is really helpful anyway.

-We put up thick curtains. they are light blue, so they let light in in the middle of the day, but they keep heat out. We are west facing, with no trees, so during the summer our living room gets super overheated really quickly in the afternoons. The curtains also look a lot nicer than the shades (which we left up). We also bought lightweight white curtains to hang behind them but didn't buy a second rod to hang them on, so we're still figuring that part out.

-We used the small (ikea) shelves that I had used for craft supplies previously to store games and toys. I also keep my sewing machine on top of them, and the iron. We bought some (ikea) baskets that just happen to fit into them pretty easily. This is where we put small games that we play more frequently. board games go on the shelf in the bedroom. Felt food also goes here :)

-We took down the gigantic prints of mark's food photos. I needed to put my thread organizer on the wall, and they really took up the whole thing. Mark gave me free reign over the walls in that room, so I dug out my Mucha prints that mommy and daddy bought me, a painting mark did for my birthday, and the cd album art from Thom Yorke's The Erase. Mark doesn't like Radiohead at all, but really likes the album art on this one, so we now have it on cd and vinyl. 

-We bought a few cheap frames at ikea, and I have one with a picture of my mom reading a book (alfie's feet) to me when I was really little. this one is on the red table. We also framed the skeleton print that Matt gave us, but haven't hung it yet. We have some prints of a church that he gave us, but haven't framed or hung them. Other art to be framed: two Scott C. prints, and a print that we bought this summer as a benefit to help clean up the oil spill. We aren't sure yet where to hang any of this, and need to cut mats first. We bought a bunch of frames at goodwill, and they need to be sanded and painted, and then we can use them for these and other art. We've borrowed the mat cutter from mark's parent's but haven't gotten around to using it yet.

-We've also been rearranging the kitchen. I took down all my tea/coffee paraphernalia and ceramics, and wrapped up anything I don't really use right now, and threw away and goodwilled a lot more. The rest was returned to the cupboard. We bought new really big glasses (at ikea) and some more medium ones as well. The big ones are really great. The ceramics are out of the way in the closet, as well as some other stuff we didn't need out right now, like the third teapot, and most of my demi tasses.

-We have two ikea spice racks on the wall next to our stove, and I filled  up anything that was getting low, and consolidated anything that I could. I washed all the jars that were emptied, and filled them with anything that was in bags. Put it all back in the cupboard in such a way that I can see everything. Much nicer.

-moved all the Nalgenes into the pantry, as well as all the empty canning jars. I put the dish drainer under the sink, since we rarely use it, adn it just gets used as a catch-all. this cleared up room to move appliance over to that side of the sink, so now I've got the kettle and blender there. The huge cutting board also fits perfectly here. Because the tea kettle is now right next to the mugs and tea cups, I put some of the tea onto that counter, and the small tea accessories into a bowl next to it. Most of the tea is still on the floor of the pantry, but there's really too much of it for anywhere else.

That's the basics to get caught up to where I am today. It seems like we did more that that, but I think that throwing out and giving to goodwill really did the most work.

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