Tuesday, January 16, 2018

Hanging shelves in the kitchen

Hey hey! My late owl-ness has kicked in HARD on these shorter days. Goodness, I cannot get my mojo going till evening everyday, hence these posts getting later and later. It drives me crazy and it's worse than ever lately. 

I've been organizing like crazy when I get into gear lately! The bug has bitten me and I've gone through a bunch of stuff. I finished up the mud room closet, the area under the kitchen sink and now I'm working on getting my closet under control. I'll share those areas with you soon, but for today I wanted to show you the shelves I hung in our kitchen awhile back. 

We had a spot that called for an upper cabinet in our plans, and when I was looking for a place to add shelves (because I love them in a kitchen), I knew that was perfect. It's right by our fridge and I had the cabinet removed and a sconce added on the wall. The wall was bare for a couple months but I finally got these up!

I knew I wasn't going to be able to get both brackets into a stud (if you're going to put any kind of weight on shelves you need to make sure they're in a stud or you use a really good anchor). I found these at the hardware store -- they hold up to 100 pounds. I knew my shelves wouldn't be close to that even with dishes, but I usually over compensate with something like this:
Regular anchors are either screwed or inserted into the wall and when you add the screw they open up a bit on the other side of the drywall to hold them in place. Toggle anchors have a mechanism that actually flips open and then braces against the back of the wall. So they are your best bet for anything really heavy. I used similar anchors (made for exterior) when I hung our window boxes on the old house years ago. They stayed put forever!

These are particularly great because they are self-drilling. No need to use a bit to start the hole off like usual: 

They were SO easy to get in the wall. That pointy end makes it quick and simple. I used my drill:

I got frustrated though, because when I added the screw, it just kept turning and wouldn't tighten. Whether you're in a stud or an anchor -- your screw will get to a point where it will get tight and stop turning. That's when you know it's secure. These just kept turning. 

I finally read the instructions and realized you have to keep turning for the toggle to open up in the back. It takes a few seconds but eventually they will tighten up. Just a little heads up for any of you that use them. :)

Someday I'd like to add thicker shelves, but for now I just used inexpensive wood. It's just thick enough that the little detail at the end of the brackets overlaps nicely: 

I found these shelves at the Crates and Pallets booth at the Haven Conference last year. They generously offered to send some my way when I needed them. I love that they're simple and a little more industrial than what I used in our last kitchen. As I've said a few times, I'm craving a simpler look in this house and loving it! And I think all rooms need a touch of black so I knew that would work even with the other metal tones. (They come in a variety of sizes, I used the 12 inch.)

You don't have to match all your metals -- spaces are a whole lot more interesting when you don't!:

I just used what we have to fill the shelves -- our everyday dishes are here and the top shelf is more for display: 

I haven't even begun to organize the kitchen cabinets, so what we keep on there may change with time. (As usual, I will add a list of sources at the bottom of the post!)

I'll share a proper tour of the kitchen soon! Still some little tweaks I'd like to make first. But getting these up and the island counter stained and sealed has finished this space off beautifully: 

I stained these in the same color as the island!

Our accent lighting in this room is my favorite -- I love to have the cabinets lights on or just the sconce above the shelves:

I firmly believe open shelves will stand the test of time -- and I find them to be very functional. Even if you don't use them everyday, they are still a pretty way to break up a lot of cabinets in your kitchen. I love them!:

Have you incorporated shelves into your home? I had them in our kitchen and basement kitchenette in the last house and will do the same in this one too. I'm on the lookout for the perfect thick wood for these shelves to chunk them up a bit -- I would love to find something old to use. 

For now I'm thrilled to have even more pretty storage in the kitchen! If you have any questions, let me know! 

Some affiliate links included for your convenience!:
Brackets: Crates and Pallet
Anchors: Most hardware stores, I found mine here
Large glass jars: Walmart or Target
Island pendants: We got these through the builder but these seem to be identical
Brass sconce: Again, not our source but you can find it here!
Island stools: Target
Large cutting board: IKEA

Thursday, January 11, 2018

My first organized closet!

Hey all! I am laughing at my post title because it sounds like I've never done this before. I mean in the NEW house. 😂 A quick post for you today about something I've been really excited to tackle. I'm a bit odd -- I LOVE to purge and organize. Purging items from our home makes me feel lighter and breezier (ha!) and organizing things soothes me. Both give me a great feeling of accomplishment. 

I'm not a stickler about it -- things get messed up and it's not always perfect. But knowing exactly where something needs to go is a very good thing. We've lived here about 12 weeks now and I've been looking forward to the day I could actually start organizing. That day has arrived!!

My first goal when we moved in was to just get us functioning. Then it was to empty as many boxes as possible -- I got those done in the first month. Then the holidays hit so I allowed myself to enjoy those and not worry about organizing anything. 

But it was starting to get to all of us -- we couldn't find anything and didn't know where to put stuff when things were put away. So now that (most) of the holiday decor is down and I'm starting to recover from my back issues...the time has come! 

We're lucky to have a bunch of closets in this house -- it's just a matter of figuring out what we want in each one. We have a linen closet near our bedroom that has become my catch all, especially during the holidays. When we moved in I would just throw random stuff in there and it continued when at Christmas. Wrapping paper, gifts, toilet paper, photo boxes, candles, paint supplies, decorative items. You name it, we had it in here:
Monica closet before and after

So this is a photo I took hours before a holiday party we hosted. My husband cleaned our entire house  (I wasn't much help with my back) and at one point he said, "What if people want to look in closets?" And I (in sheer terror) said, "There's no way they'll want to look in closets...right?!" So about two hours before our guests arrived I made a sad attempt to try to make this one better. This was after I took half the crap out.

This is the after -- it was a massive improvement, believe it or not:
Messy closet before

This, my friends, has been my Monica closet. (If you don't know what I'm talking about look up the Friends episode.) ;) 

But now it's just lovely, and I'll take you through my process. First up, I made a list of items we want to have easy access to. They were the following:
  • light bulbs
  • paper towels
  • tissue boxes
  • candles
  • extension cords
  • wrapping paper (and all of the stuff that goes with it)
  • photos
  • cleaning supplies
  • batteries
  • toilet paper
I had a few other things on the list as well, but those were the biggies. (Towels and sheets are stored in our bathroom and closets.) I thought about how to organize items and decided I wanted our closet in the mud room to be more utility focused -- bulbs, cleaning, batteries, etc. This closet I wanted to be easy access to stuff we reach for more often. 

I started by completely emptying the closet. Some items had just been thrown in there -- paint supplies went in the garage:

Organizing after a move

I used to keep these in the house (in a dresser), because our garage was a much longer walk before. Now it's super quick for me to run out to the garage so these will live out there. 

I've told you about the Konmari purge I completed a couple years ago and how it changed our lives. I had an even better perspective on it AFTER we moved. Most people purge when they're packing up, but I didn't get rid of much. (Because I had already gone through the process.)

But when we moved into the house I had a whole new outlook on our stuff after living without it for two months. I got rid of a TON more and haven't missed any of it. But here's the thing...there's still one item that I obviously can't get under control. It's so random...but I couldn't believe how many candles we had:
Konmari method

What in the ever loving?? Where do they all come from? I don't get it. Don't. get. it. Some were in random places in our old house and now I have everything in one spot. We also had them in certain places in our decor and when I packed them up I put them all together. So that's part of it, but still. UGH. 

So. I purged all of that. I'm down to a couple shelves -- most of them are electronic candles I use during the holidays. If I ever find we need more space in here I'll move some of them to down to storage. I have some wax melt things and some oils/plug ins that I organized as well: 
How to organize the linen closet

Those (affiliate) white bins are my all time favorites. I use them everywhere! You can kind of see what's inside but they keep things from getting messy (especially great for toiletries in the bathroom). 

I kept our photo boxes in here just until I compete the built ins in my office. (You can find them here -- I've had them for years and they've held up well.) They'll move in there later, but for now I like them here. At the very least I'm reminded every time I open the door that I want to get them organized better:
Organized storage closet

We have a lot of extras right now -- we don't usually have quite so many paper towel and tissues. I've said it a million times!! You spend more money when you're not organized. We always used to buy more than we needed before I organized our house. I'm still using the just moved in excuse for now. ;) 

I know having these supplies so easily accessible will keep that under control. But listen...isn't it pretty?? I mean look at it:
Organized linen closet

I've had all of the storage items for years except the small round fabric bins. I grabbed a few of those at the Target dollar spot a couple weeks ago. Very cute. 

There you go -- the first organizing post in the new year/new house! It only took me three months to get going! Our Monica closet it clean and organized and feels like a breath of fresh air when we open it. NOW onto the mud room closet -- I'm even more excited about that one. #nerd

Have you been purging and organizing? I recommend going through your items before organizing what you have left. But it's such a good feeling right? Do you enjoy it like I do?

P.S. No one looked the closet. ;) 

Some affiliate links included for your convenience!