Thursday, January 29, 2015

The Mundane

Well my friends, the no spend month is ending soon. I can’t say I’ll be sad to see it go but it sure does help me refocus when I do this. When I’m not spending on house stuff I can concentrate on bettering what we already have. I’ve decluttered a TON and whenever I felt the urge to go out and walk through a store I just found a new spot to sort through.

I’ve gotten a ton done this month but there’s so much more on my list! When I’m focused on the larger projects I find the smaller ones tedious. But when I’m working on a to do list and not bringing anything new into the house the mundane little things are oddly rewarding.

I’ve put off painting the inside of the built in cabinets in the family room for months – I finally sat down and just did it:

built ins by fireplace

Even though you can’t see much with the doors closed you can tell it’s darker and more uniform in there which I like. For this girl who never even paints the inside of the cabinet doors, this is huge!! ;)

Speaking of painting…a lot of it is happening in the kitchen. I’m still working on the second coat on all the window trim in the bay window:

bay window

I won’t finish the white on the walls till the window seat is done, which will be sooner than I planned!! Whoot! Next time you see this spot the seat should be there. :)

We went through all of the toy bins in the basement and I finished up a few little things down there. We have an AWESOME ottoman with storage that holds our DVD books and other stuff:

ottoman with storage

Problem is the kiddo pushes it around all the time and we never know which way it opens. We have to move around it and pull till we get the right side. This is struggle people.

My solution took five minutes – I found some old belts while going through stuff and since I don’t wear them anymore I used one to make little handles:

old belt as handles

I just screwed them into the ottoman framing and now we know exactly where to open and it’s easier to pull up:using old belts

I was laughing because as I was doing this I knew I had used another belt in a similar way years ago -- but for the life of me could not figure out where I did it. I placed my little DIY tray back on the ottoman and realized it was on that tray. Ha! I’m smart.

When something needs to be hung I tend to leave it leaning for months – it’s one of those little things that I put off. I finally hung a cute sign in the laundry room:

laundry room storage

Love it! I will be installing shelves between the cabinets but until then I went ahead and hung it. Knowing me that could be another year from now. ;)

We’ve had a big mirror leaning in our newly organized closet for at least six months – and it took me all of five minutes to get it hung:

DIY closet storage

On a whim back in late December (I’ve technically been on this no spend gig since mid-December) I decided to hang a bunch of the random photos we’ve had laying around:

gallery wall board and batten

This wall in our loft is HUGE. I have to get a taller ladder to keep going, but it’s not empty for the first time in years!

And finally, as I mentioned I did a lot of purging, but not a lot of organizing just yet. I did switch the contents of a couple dressers around and things make much more sense now. I put all of our linens in the dresser in the dining room turned library – and I have a couple of empty drawers now too!:

linen storage

I’d still like to get some shallow baskets to organize things a little more – baskets may be my first purchase. :)

These no spend months remind me that sometimes it’s the smaller projects that make me feel the most accomplished. It also reminds me that I’m pretty darn lucky to get to do the “mundane” in a house we love – I’m grateful for it. :)

31 comments:

  1. Sarah, I love organizing, de cluttering my house. I love making sure everything has its place. Your home is beautiful, it has a warm and cozy look to it. If you don't mind me asking. Where did you get the mirror in your laundry room at?

    Melissa

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    1. Thank you Melissa! That was from World Market. :)

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  2. Everything looks great. Your no-spend seasons are inspiring and have helped me to look around and see what projects I need to finish up that I already bought the materials for. Also, I love how your orange kitty gets in your pictures. My two cats do the same thing.

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  3. I love the shelf above your washer and dryer. So simple but very cute! (~Lori)

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    1. Thank you! It's so helpful to have there! You can see how I made it here:
      http://thriftydecorchick.blogspot.com/2012/10/diy-laundry-room-storage.html

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  4. I would love to see what you are planning for the shelves between the cabinets in your laundry. I have been trying to come up with an idea for mine! Pretty please don't put it at the bottom of your to do list! Your ideas inspire me!

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    1. Ha! I will try to get on it! :) I'm just planning two chunky shelves between the cabinets. I think it will tie everything together really well.

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  5. I have been cleaning up, decluttering, and generally putting our house back in order this month too. Thank you for the belt loop idea! We have a coffee table in the den with four little ottomans underneath. Fiddling with which way the open was driving us all nuts. Your post was a total "duh" moment...

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  6. Is that an Ikea Hemnes dresser in blue I spy in your loft? Did you buy the blue stain or paint it? We're looking at that dresser in blue/navy for our nursery. I'm looking for a navy dresser to go with our walnut crib that doesn't break the bank!

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    1. and of course with a little more digging on your blog I found the loft post I was looking for :)
      I think I'm sold on the navy blue dresser with walnut crib!

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    2. Yes it is a great dresser -- it's HUGE so make sure you take measurements. :)

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  7. I love the storage ottoman. Where did you get it?

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  8. Each time I see a post that shows the new fireplace and cabinets, I like that dark gray paint. It's such a sophisticated color, but still warm and homey. You've given me the idea of painting my bathroom vanity with the same color. Hopefully it will work well with the charcoal gray granite counter.

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  9. Although these duties may seem mundane I love when I'm this resourceful and productive! The idea of not spending on the house for a month would be something I need to implement and seems like it would allow you to see what's really needed versus wanted in the house. Do you find that things you thought you wanted are not longer necessary after the no spending time?

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    1. Good question! I would say if I hadn't taken the time to sort through the house I would have purchased things that we really don't need. I feel like it does save me money in that I didn't just go out and buy something to fill a spot -- I used what we had and if not I now know better what will work there, if that makes sense?

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  10. I love that your orange cat is involved in so many of your projects. My orange kitty is always helping me too!

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  11. Your laundry room is lovely! For a girl that doesn't like cords...you should cut a small hole in the shelf and stick the lamp cord down the back. Just a thought. Love your blog! Thanks for sharing!!

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  12. I love your laundry room! I love that you didn't choose to get front loaders like everyone else! I chose not too as well { we got the Cabrio platinums } & love them! I'm also in love with your fireplace & the cute little guys peeking out!! Happy Weekend!!!

    Paige.Rose

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  13. I absolutely love your blog (it's my favorite) and have been following you for several years. Never commented, but please know that I'm reading your blog with every update. You inspire me so much, and we decided to have a "no buy" January after reading your post about it. We have five kids, so it was tough. But today is the last day, and although I'm happy to see it end, I'm thankful for the experience and will continue to do this periodically. We only spent about $150 out of the account this month (besides bills and food)! The best part is seeing the kids appreciate what they have and learning the importance of revisiting things you have versus throwing away and buying new all the time. Thanks for being such an inspiration! I would love to see more of your new laundry room!

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    1. Awesome, I love that Mickey!! Thanks for sharing.

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  14. I LOVE the laundry room sign/mirror in your laundry room. I am in the process of finishing a laundry room project and would love to know where you found that. Do you share your sources?

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  15. I am in love with the laundry sign...where did you find it or is it a diy?
    Have a great day :)

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  16. Hi Sarah! This post is wonderful! Reminds me of the Saturday I started out early in the morning working on a list of 25 "mundane" things to finish in and outside the house. I wore myself out and finished the list by eleven pm. But WOW what a feeling of accomplishment!

    BTW, I love the lamp in the laundry room!

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  17. I thought I may be the only one who would leave something undone for a year & then be amazed when it takes 5 minutes (or less) to finally accomplish it. & it was a relief to read about you not remembering where you used a belt before when the item was that close. Your blog continues to inspire me with the beautiful decorating/organizing photos/ideas.

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  18. Hi, I have been reading your blog for a long time but never commented before, I just wanted to say how much your diy projects inspire me to work on my own home at a fraction of the cost. I love seeing your living space come together so wonderfully and you have inspired me to work on our kitchen this new year. Thank you for producing such a wonderful blog.

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  19. Those little tabs for the ottoman - so clever!

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  20. You really motivate me to do some more organizing around the house & less spending! & I love your laundry room, by the way ;)

    xoxo, SS

    www.TheSouthernStylista.blogspot.com

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  21. Sometimes mundane is good. I'm working on purging in our home too. I find I can easily get bogged down by things that need to get done. I tackled an area in our home that I always avoid when decluttering. It was under the stairs. I have a fabric collection in rubbermaid totes. I like to sew, but haven't had much time as of late. We've lugged those totes through 3 moves and with the potential of another move on the horizon, I knew that I didn't want to move them again. I allowed myself 1 rubbermaid full. It's pretty darn full and I think that I'll need to go through it again. But it's funny how freeing it was to go through it. Now I just have heaps and bags of stuff to dispose of. We live 25 minutes from town so its' just stacked in the basement. It will feel so good when it's all gone.

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