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Thursday, January 30, 2014

Organizing The Home And Must Have Organizing Items

I do not know the artist of this but how true!
Or it means you have a cleaning lady!
  I have been working on deep cleaning the condo but that is not an easy task! Things got out of control after we had to move everything around for the painting in the bedroom and live in limbo for over a month. Then things just got in the way because: my husband went to get surgery delaying the projects even more, the holidays came, I did 12-14 hour shift baking/cleaning for Christmas, planning of an 85th birthday and now it is time to do a deep clean! There are a lot of Honey-Do-Lists that I need to be done that have been waiting for my husband, we need to reorganize, de-clutter and there are things that need desperately be replaced! But besides cleaning I have to figure out better ways to organize items so I have been looking at what I already have, what has not been working and what needs to be purchased.

 One of the main things on the honey-do-list was the bed! That got done finally on Sunday morning after I made him breakfast and he had his coffee. We had to take apart the bed in order to paint the bedroom and get it out of the way. He was able to put together the bed but the slats under the bed just were not screwed back in and it was a mess. They kept shifting for a month and it was a pain. So the bed was fix but not before I released the dust bunnies into the wild (the trash) and I did a nice full dusting of the bed. Now the bed is ready for the show off of the new pillow case and the duvet covers.

West Elm's feather gray and white stripe duvet and standard pillow.
Euro Sham in feather gray and white stripe
Euro sham in sol stripe in golden gate.
The ultimate duvet and sheet set from west Elm.
 I ordered new pillow cases and a new duvet cover and I organized the items to show off for the blog on Sunday. However, I realized that for the last 5.5 years three pairs of fitted sheets that have been shoved in industrial washers and are hopeless! So I need to add fitted sheets and flat sheets to the list of things I need to buy. I am a pillow case nut! I have a lot of options and perhaps that is why they do not wear out as much. Pillow cases are a cheap way to get some monogram items in, and they can change up the feel of a room for very little money.
My new duvet cover and pillow cases.
My new linens with view of my bedside table
Pictures from my wedding day, A personalized Kindle Cover done
by some one Etsy and Monogramed Acrylic glasses.
My new water pitcher unfortunately my personalized Mark and Graham Acrylic tray I ordered arrived with the glasses EXCEPT they did not spell my last name correctly! They left off the T and then the trays went on back order!
 I just wanted so badly to be "Lady Fancy"-- to be continued I guess!
Mark & Graham Acrylic Glasses

  After five years, I got my husband on Sunday to finally put up the utility gripper! I can hang up all of the brooms/etc on the inside of the closet door. Before we just had the sad skinny metal hook that the former residents put up and it just made the Utility/storage closet cluttered. The Utility Gripper works well and it helps create space in the Utility closet. I also want him to put in the Utility/storage closet a 6 peg ash rack from Crate and Barrel's Clean Slate Line. I lost a lot of the shelves in order to be able to place the vacuum in the closet. I still have some usable space going to waste so I decided to put up a peg rack. After my husband puts up the peg rack I will have some space under the shelves to hang my dust pan, his portable first aid kit and the other utility items. I also bought the beautiful red dust pan that is featured in two out of three pictures below. My dust pan I think was stolen from my mother in law and we have another junky one that I got at stop and shop. The red dust pan actually will inspire me to clean more or at least show it off at dinner parties. "La-dee-dah! look at me I have a beautiful red dust pan!" I also got it at 15% off in the fall with the two piece bucket and storage caddy which is helpful to store cleaning supplies when not in use. 

Utility Griper mine is in white
Utility Griper so you can see the how it is used and red dust pan/etc. 

6-peg ash rack and red dust pan 
Casabella two piece bucket and storage caddy.
  I don't like plastic bags but my husband refuses to use reusable grocery bags so the bags pill up. I however use reusable grocery bags and totes when I can. It wouldn't be a problem if I was okay with just throwing them all out but that is such a waste! On the Honey-Do-list is to put in the utility closet a Simple Human plastic bag holder that I got in the fall. I originally got it for the kitchen but the area was too small for the plastic bag holder to fit. I hope that after it is installed the clutter of the out-of-control-plastic-bags will be quelled. It will go in the Utility closet on one of the corner walls. When it gets full I will give them to my mother in law who loves them because she has three dogs. At our condo they provide doggie bags so we are not in need of them. If I like the holder I might purchase another one just for doggie bags since my husband does bring in extras into the condo.

Simple Human's plastic bag holder.

  I ordered via eBay four Swivel Store-Spice rack which is perfect for my small spaces. I actually already have three in the kitchen but I ordered them for medication, first aid kit and those small travel sized toiletries. The paper tape I am not so excited about but it is good until I can get something better. I got a really good buy on them! I got four for $27.98 (or $6.99 each) with free shipping because they were out of their boxes and the store displays. Since I am using them outside of the cardboard box I was more than happy to save! The retail price is $19.99 each so I saved $51.98 by buying on eBay. That is my golden rule make a list of must haves and then check around for the best price. Most often the best price is on eBay! But not always the best deal is on eBay, so you have to be a savvy consumer and do your research!

Swivel-Store Spice Rack
My organized shelf with the 4 Swivel store-Spice Racks in my storage/utility
 closet. This allowed room for my dog's medications
Action shot of the Swivel Store-Spice rack.
  I have two drawers in the 25 year old bathroom vanity. But the drawers are just gross, one knob is broken and you forget where your items are because they are out of sight. We use to have an out dated medicine cabinet that was in the condo but we got rid of it because it was dangerous and never replaced it. The previous owners actually loosened up the medicine cabinet so that when we came in it would fall on us and they put razor blades in it. Unfortunately, my mother in law and grandmother in law were helping my husband clean before I moved in and it was my grandmother in law who almost got hurt! The previous owners were not nice people and they also never upgraded nor did they clean the place while they lived here. They were upset about the sale of the condo so they decided to misbehave! They stole the custom curtain rod, they ripped out cabinets that were supposed to stay and they put razor blades behind the medicine cabinet!

  The bathroom and the hallway is our next project to tackle.  Since we are taking down the towel bar with the make-shift "medicine cabinet" shelf it was important to get easy to get to storage. I tried multiple shoe boxes but they are bulking and do not look good.  My husband kept buying multiples of items we already had and then we could not see what we needed to purchase.

 While organizing my toiletries, first aid items and medications I realized what I need to purchase,what I do not need and what items were out of date. I also had no room before to put my dog's medications on the shelf and it was getting to be a pain to have it in the kitchen. Now I have room for my toiletries, my utility items and my medications. More importantly I can get to the items so much quicker and easier.

 While I was cleaning and organizing I notice that my husband was trying to put his camping pots/pans and etc on the shelves but that is not something I want to see every day. So I ordered some Mesh bags for his camping pots/pans so that whatever weather he is in the debris does not have to come back with him. Then he can put it in his closet for the occasional hike/camping trip. I also got him something to keep his utensils in. This is so that his utensils will not fall through the mesh bags/causing it to rip and also it allow them to stay cleaner on a hiking/camping adventure. I also got new laundry bags since a couple ones that I tried did not work out and we have been mostly using one as the workhorse.
BSN Heavy-Duty Mesh Equipment Bag (Blue)

Coghlans Waterproof Vinyl Pouch, 10.5-Inch

Trademark Home Heavy Duty Jumbo Sized Nylon Laundry Bag, Black

 I have laundry baskets that are really nice so that I can keep the colors separate. I found the cutest ones from CB2. The hamper is very sturdy, it can fold flat and it is fun so I don't mind it being left out. I got just black laundry bags so that the cute hamper will not get ruined. Also my husband would not want to be caught dead with cute laundry bags so I just do solid color laundry bags! I cannot wait until we can ditch the condo and move into a house so I can do my own laundry the right way! But until then all that is white will be gray but at least it never turned pink! No but seriously I want to have laundry in the condo but we cannot. We did laundry at the communal one once and it cost us $35. The clothing came out smelling worse than when it went in! Then I use to do the laundry at my in laws but that was not a long term thing. So now my husband does it. So yeah it is done the guy way... 

Washing Machine Hamper
 One of the best purchases that I made in this condo is a slim Polder's Chrome mini step stool. Since we do not have a lot of space we use the most of our upper storage. The step stool is our most important utility item so that we can easily reach all of our upper storage items. It is perfect because when I was making the kitchen I designed one of the cubbies to fit a step stool but I could not find a perfect step stool that would fit in that designed area. Now when I am done with the step stool it fit right in the area between the wall and the cabinets perfectly. Now the step stool does not have to be part of the condo's decor!

Polder's Chrome mini step stool

Polder's Chrome mini step stool closed.

  For my recycling I have a great item the stacking recycle bins that I original got from The Container Store. I am happy that is now carried by Crate and Barrel because The Container Store has a very expensive shipping cost. I think The Container Store charges 10% or higher per purchase while Crate and Barrel most items qualify for the $4.95 flat shipping rate or sometimes is free shipping. Crate and Barrel in this case is the better deal. I just wish there were containers stores that were closer then I would not have to ship the items that I get! 
Stacking recycle bins in large and small.

  I also got four great storage bags for the bedroom which are fun but they help organize and hide the clutter. I got three with the saying "Great Big Bag of Stuff" and one that says "Random Crap" from Burke Decor for about $2.50 but they are no longer available there for that price. They are available for $7.00 each now and on another site ASOS for $9.50. They are laminated paper or something like that but they do well for just storage on a shelf. For $2.50 it was worth trying them out and if they rip they owe me nothing! They would be great for linen and bedding when not in use because they are pretty big they are 22.4 inches x 20 inches. The first one of these bags I put my christmas Ornaments and Christmas decorations in it. The second one I put the fake Christmas tree in. The third one I put in two different types of cupcake carriers (that I do not use often) and other travel containers. I still have one bag that I have not filled but I am sure by the time I am done organizing it will be full! 
Big Bag of Stuff!
Random Crap
  There are a couple of items that I would like to get for the organization. The problem with looking through all the clean slate items at Crate and Barrel is that they are utility items but ones that you wouldn't mine showing off. Here are a couple of items that I would like to get if budgeting allows and if they go on sale. There are also a couple at The Container Store that are not found at Crate and Barrel. These items are some of those items that you did not even know that you needed but now you kind of need. Some of the items are not expensive but they do add up! 

My got to have it list!: 

A pair of boot shapers with hangers. Tempted by the pink but for the long run I should get the white.
These do not have a hangers but they are also good for lower boots.
I cannot decide if I want a pop of color or go with the gray.  This is to go under my night stand.
I wish that they made this so that it would fit on my new shelves!
So cute! Maybe I will get them for my living room  bookshelf?
I hate cleaning out my fridge but after I do this might be a better way to keep clean!

Where was this when I wanted to make my own First Aid Kit?

Not sure what I am going to use this for but I like it. Maybe for cleaning rags, etc.
A handsome lint brush.
This must be the whole obsession with  Downton Abbey. Nice feather duster though!
I have got to keep clean all the new curtains that we have installed! 
For the kitchen. When you cook with garlic or other stinky food  you wash this stainless steel bar as if you are washing with a  bar of soap. Magically your hands smell cleaner or actually it is chemistry that does it. 
Stainless steel cleaner mitt that only needs water added.
To get rid of stains to be used with the below brush.
This is to be used with the soap above for laundry.
To remove all those annoying pills from your sweater!