Friday, October 28, 2011

Baby Steps

at some point during the whole Kitchen Remodel, i stumbled upon I Heart Organizing. i have been obsessed ever since!  i luv Jen! i think she is the best thing since chip clips!  and i love seeing organization transformations. it appeals, well, to my sense of organization.  i, however, am not exactly what you'd call an organized person! i am an organized-wanna-be!  i aspire to a life of organization.
i have talked for some time & at great length about organizing & revamping our spare bedroom/office. our house is very small, only about 900sq/ft. it's plenty of room for the 4 of us, just not always room enough for the junk we collect. i'm often asked why we don't expand our house; do a upstairs master addition. you know why? the more space you have, the more junk you collect. but i digress.  yes, i've TALKED about getting the office together and, i admit, i haven't taken one step in that direction. but i know why: i'm afraid of all that stuff in there! what if it retaliates against me, and while i'm at home alone? who will save me? the boxers? nay!  so i understand & recognize that it has gotten to a point where it is overwhelming. and sometimes, seeing all the amazing things that Jen does, actually does not help. you don't get a space organized in the time it takes to read one of her posts! i see a nice pantry or office redo on her site & i think "i can do that!"  and i can!  just not in the 3-5 minutes it took me to read the post. so i walk into the office & i'm overwhelmed again!
solution?  you gotta crawl before you walk! training wheels kiddos!  so here are my training wheels: the bathroom closet!

our bathroom is HUGE. i mean HUGE with a capital HUGE! we have a freakin hot tub in our bathroom for cry eye! not a garden tub people, a H-O-T--T-U-B! you know? the kind you'd normally have outside?  and the closet must be huge too right? nope! very small: 40.5"wide x 16" deep. and the door opening itself is only 23.5" wide & sits 26" from the hot tub, so a door is really not practical.  while it is techincally 8ft tall inside, you lose about 2ft of that due to the sloped section at the bottom that is the adjoining wall for our entryway below. in our previous house, i got creative with a closet just like this & used strips of quarter round molding to make a  nice shoe shelf. i'm sure i'll do something similar here, depending on what gets stored there. for now, we'll ignore that bottom part where you see the hose for filling the hot tub.
let's take a look inside shall we?
Shelves 1 & 2 (above): you can see the very attractive electrical panels in grey. who wouldn't want to stare at those beauties in the morning? at the top is a separate panel that has something to do with the fire alarm system & home alarm system. it's all very technical & while i work in IT, i couldn't care less about technology when i get home!  we have my assortment of travel size items in the pink bag at top, my overnight bag next to it, followed by the little grey bag that keeps meds, band aids, etc. for when we travel. below that, a repurposed tool box that holds nail polish, files, cuticle cutters, etc. and then the assortment of tooth goodies!
Shelf 3 & 4 (above): you will notice at this point that my husband elected NOT to extend the shelves past the electrical panels. while i was not keen on that years ago, it is really practical. yes, Nacho, you were right!  so we have the usual supply of contacts, vitamins, lotions, potions, & plain old junk. that pink/purple/teal thing you see is a very old Caboodles case that i repurposed years ago into our First Aid kit (this one does not travel). it actually works great holding Cold/Flu meds, aspirin, etc. so does this qualify for Jen's Free Organizing posts?
Shelf 5 (above):  aka Scary Shelf!  every time i look in this closet, i refuse to look below the 4th shelf. this last one is really what finally kicked me into gear. i mean look at all that!  disgusting! you have the hot tub goodies on the right, and a bin for swim trunks on the left. here's the thing, everything in that bin? none of it belongs to us! it belongs to the kid (and a friend of his or two) that house/dog sits for us when we're gone. have hot tub, will bring trunks! so those will be returning to their rightful owners!  in the middle is good ole TP!  as i mentioned, we have a small house, so buying in bulk, while economical, is simply not a space saver for us! so i have to keep things like TP, soap, etc. to a minimum & that can be hard to do even when you don't shop at bulk stores.
so as we all know, to start any organizing project.......EVERYTHING MUST GO!!!!
well, everything but the electric tooth brushes because i forgot the shelves are attached to their brackets - probably for my own safety - & i just didn't feel like undoing them.  okay, that passed & eventually i had to undo them because i knew i was going to spray paint those panels.  before i started on this, i was really hoping that top panel (security/fire) was not actually in use & i could talk Nacho into doing away with it. he informed me later that yes it was all in use, so it has to stay. since it's up so high, and a bit of a bugger to paint, i simply ignored it &, you'll see, it will be hidden.
My Arsenal!
as i mentioned before, i already have some repurposed storage in here.  and i'll be reusing that clear plastic bin holding those trunks.  but i did need to purchase some additional storage containers. Target to the rescue:
obviously going with a brown/beige theme in keeping with what we already have in the bathroom.  the brown containers came from the bathroom supply section of Target. the beige ones came from their container section & are cloth basket (i hope i don't regret that).  i've used the cloth ones in the kitchen pantry & have been pleased so far.
after taking all the shelving out & wiping it down GROSS!!!!, i went through everything & threw out old, unused items.  i consolidated things like cold meds where a box had 1 pill & there was a new box.  my favorite was when i emptied the clear bin with the trunks
hey, anyone need an extra Vitamin while hot tubbing?  apparently, we are saving that for emergencies. yeah, that got thrown out.  i do have a few Rx meds to take for recycling locally at our pharmacy - REMEMBER NEVER PUT Rx MEDS IN THE GARBAGE OR SEWAGE!!!
i then taped off the breaker switches in both grey electrical panels.  remember, i'm not going to paint the security/fire one up top, just cuz i'm going to "hide" it for now.
Nacho got the biggest kick out of this! the lengths i will go to on some stuff & then others...not so much. so it looked like this when finished:
not bad eh?  and you can see the taller one to the right has been spray painted as well.  i simply did 1 coat of primer & 1 coat of Satin just because that was what i had laying around.  then really, it was just a matter of getting rid of stuff & putting stuff in bins.
And now we have......drum roll.......

Shelves 1, 2, & 3 better organized.  i  know that hideous single light up top has to go & it will - it will be replaced by LED strips on the inside of the door.  my pink bag of travel toiletries is temporarily hiding the security/fire panel somewhat.  i plan to come back & better disguise that with a stretched canvas DIY painting. it will be a nice little unexpected item when you look up there.  that will mean pairing down more stuff on that shelf, but i'm up to it now.  and actually, on Shelf 2, that box on the right? empty! just leaving it for decor for now! it also helps to hide the top part of the generator panel that you see most of on Shelf 3.  speaking of Shelf 3, vitamins all collected in 1 bin (with tag showing). did i ever mention what a commitment-phobic i am?  yeah, just in case i decide the bins weren't for me, i could always return them. i won't!  moving on....
Shelves 4 & 5 now how much nicer is that! Boo-Yah! all the lotion/shampoo refills & smell goodies collected in 1 fabric bin.  i think i will be getting another Small bathroom bin to replace that little wooden one. it's holding our "immediate" medical stuff like band aids, gauze, ointment, etc. so no more searching through the Caboodle when you have a cut, it will be right in the open, immediately accessible!  the bin in the middle is the liquid medical stuff (alcohol, peroxide, Witch Hazel, etc.).  and of course, Caboodle with the runny, stuffy, coughy goodies!
And finally, Scary Shelf! tamed at last! at least until Nacho needs the hot tub supplies, then it will all go to crap!  i probably should just remove the saline solution from the box cuz it does kinda clutter things up all half open. oh well, post-production discoveries.  and it's all finished off by another recycled item that just happens to fit in with the bathroom color scheme
that's an old sheer that i got from Pier1 EONS ago!  i think they still make it but i have not seen it in that color in a long time. it's a perfect brown tone that works with the rest of the room. ahh destiny!  and that is an antique leaded glass pane that Nacho built a frame for me some time ago. i have this weird mix of modern & antique stuff in my house. i had hoped to put hooks on it & hang it behind the bathroom door you see here so we could have towels right there at the hot tub.  unfortunately, it's too wide to hang horizontal & i'm not sure vertical will look so good, but i'm still mulling that one over!
so there you have it! baby steps to working on bigger projects in the house! next up, under the kitchen & bathroom cabinets & cleaning out all the clutter that accumulates there!  and eventually.....that office is mine!


337 said...

nicely done...I have an elec panel in a closet that needs to be painted, wanna come over and mask it off for me?

and of course nacho was right about not putting shelves over the elec panel, he's smart like that.

nacho, small unmarked bills.

Anonymous said...

When we were at the Rex-Plex, I built that hinged mirror over the electrical panel...probably a total code violation, but super stealthy! That panel looks pretty high off the ground though, not sure Nacho would be able to reach it...

Moser said...

Oh, that last one was me, Moser!

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