September 18, 2014

Making The Most of an Odd Cabinet

Once again, I'm back this week with another odd small space makeover. Told you, there are a lot of those around here. But I'm up for the challenge. Happily. You guys remember my tee-niny kitchen, right? Oh, you haven't met yet? Meet my kitchen….


Here she is in all her 1960's glory...

Of course, I did paint it before move in. Otherwise, the layout is original my friends...

And maybe even that God awful floor tile?

I've been trying to max the space in here to the nth degree and this cabinet right here was on my hit list…

It's on the right of the fridge. One of those tall, long cabinets…without a good shelving system. The previous owners tried their bed and added a few more shelves. But it wasn't working for this gal…


I had "one of those days" this week. Wasn't in a very hot mood and when that happens, I get my positive attitude change from a quick and easy home improvement project. This cabinet took the brunt of my mood swing that day. ;-)

First it was emptied…

Then I demo'd the shelving…



After cleaning the cabinet, I unscrewed the vertical shelving brackets…

With everything out and cleaned, I assembled a little Elfa system with drawers and then simply placed it inside. For those that are new here, this kitchen is going to be renovated in the next year or so. Therefore, I'm trying not to put too much time and money into this space. And this Elfa shelf can definitely be utilized somewhere else in the house after the renovation. Anyway…here 'tis….

It's 2 Elfa drawer systems with a couple added components on the side...


I also grabbed a solid top for the piece to make use of the space above the drawers...

Here's what happened…

Happy girl!

Adding this drawer unit created so much more space in here. The cabinet was lacking drawers or more shelving to really make it useful. With the drawers, I was able to keep most of the items that were already in this cabinet…and even add a few more things to free up precious space in other areas!…




Mommy likey. A lot.



I added one drawer divider insert to create a "junk drawer" of sorts…

No, not really junk in here. It makes sense and is used. But it was just random little things without a home that made sense. Now it works!

My precious compartment organizers even fit in here!...

And what's on the side?...

A place for everything, my fellow organization lovers. This little cabinet is a joy to open now….

If you have a tall, odd sized cabinet like this in your home, try this Elfa system! This is what I purchased…

It's easy to assemble and creates more space than you know what to do with. Seriously, some of these drawers are pretty much empty. Love that!

Have a great day, friends!


September 16, 2014

Don't Forget To Shop Your House First


Ok, ok. Yes, today I'm talking about this home office of mine. Again. If you've been reading for over a year since the move in, you've seen this space take its overall shapeaaaaaand you've seen me make little changes here and there. I think that's totally normal, for any space. If it doesn't work, by all means - change it up until it does!

This house is a good size, but there are space challenges. Some rooms were big and empty, with the need to be totally planned out. Like the master closet. What was once this


Is now this


And there are awkward little spaces too, like the spot at the bottom of the stairs. After some thinking, I decided to build a few floating shelves. It went from this to this…

To this…

And not that long ago I talked about making the most of your small spaces. I have random tiny spots around the house where I've tried to carve out meaning and organization, like the coffee bar in the kitchen…

Or my cheap solution to my lack of a mudroom…

Or making the most of your under sink space…

Even making the most of a tiny 1960's linen closet…

I could go on and on about the small spaces I'm working on around here…but let's get back to this corner of the home office…

*cringe*

Just looking at that photo. Ugh! Stresses me out. This is the back, far corner of my home office. At some point (read = need more money), this office will be completely built out. I have big, beautiful dreams for this little office loft. In the meantime, however, I have to work with what I have. That means it needs to happen on a budget. How do I make this happen? I shop around my house first. Always.

In a matter of 30 minutes, this awkward corner went from this...

To this…

Better, right? Or is that just me being hopeful? ;-)

Again, this...

To this…

The small black folding table used to be in Aiden's room, before his new desk arrived. With the grace of God this little table fit perfectly between the end of my desk and the corner of the room. I couldn't believe it! I had the additional rolling cart just collecting dust down in the garage…

Seriously, it was almost on its way out to Goodwill. Adding the 3rd rolling cart, I was able to organize more items into drawers and out of sight. I labeled them with washi tape and my label maker…


The folding table gave me a good amount of new surface space too, which is where the printer is now as well as a few other office supplies that I wanted to move off my computer desktop…

Speaking of my desktop, I had these 2 little pretties sitting here for a long time…

While they were helpful, I needed more workspace so I moved one off the desktop altogether and left this one here…

It contains the items I find I use most of the time. The rest didn't need to sit out in the open, so away into drawers everything went.

I also re-arranged the contents of my Martha Wall Manager so that I could put all of my "inbox" items into the first hanging file…

Everything is still at my fingertips, but not taking up desktop space.

It's amazing what a difference that small change made. Just adding the 3rd rolling cart and folding table -- again, that I already owned and were sitting in the garage -- it free'd up so much desktop space…

And then the improvements spread over to my desktop as a result, as well.

And it didn't cost me anything! Friends, before you run out to the store to grab solutions, look around your house first. See if there are items not being utilized to their full potential, or items not being used at all. Don't be afraid to move things around or try something different…remember, you can always move it back to the way it was previously if you aren't happy. No commitment!

What I love about living in this office space and moving things around? I'm getting a better feel for the permanent build-out of the space. I definitely like the wrap around desk idea…gives me so much work surface space. But I clearly need a lot of cabinets with doors. Don't even get me started on the moving boxes full of photos and scrapbooking stuff. Yup, in the garage! One day they will see the sun again.

Have a great day peeps!