Sunday, July 28, 2013

I have SOO been looking forward to the summer.  Incredibly so.  I have found that with homeschooling, there is time pretty much for only basic upkeep of my house (and life, actually).  Deep cleaning of anything, like the powder room walls, the stove hood, or my baseboards is on hold for 10 months out of the year.

I knew the summer would streak by me in a hurry however, so I attempted to be even more organized about my organizing by making lists.  James and I went away for 2 nights for our anniversary last month and while at St. Jacobs, I picked up a very attractive spiral bound book (I have a slight addiction to spiral bound books) which I decided would guide my summer of organizing. (Heh.  Just realized that four years ago I planned a summer that I called "Summer of Fun". So I'm getting boring in my old age).

We got off to a fairly good start in that the week after our anniversary trip, James took a week of holidays and we declared a stay-cation.  Equally helpful was that on the Thursday, our childrens minister extraordinaire offered to take ALL FOUR of my children to the Toronto Zoo for the day.  OFFERED!!  So we tackled my lists.

My first big project was the basement.  We had a flood back in April and saw 10 inches of water deluge our basement.  It was a rather stressful time.

Fortunately, because it was an appliance failure (the sump pump) which should not have been failing after only a bit more than a year doing its' job, the insurance company came to our rescue.

It's taken since then to have it cleaned up (thank you ServiceMaster), have the ruined insulation replaced, submit the massive spreadsheet of lost items to the insurance company, including current replacement value and rough age of each item (hours of work) wait for the cheque to arrive, and then go buy the things we wanted to replace.
I bought a new carpet and moved our living room carpet down to the basement, and picked up a couple pieces of furniture from Kijiji and the SA.  We could have bought new, but I just couldn't bear to buy brand new furniture for it to go downstairs for my kids to destroy.
James installed many more lights so now the space is bright and cheerful.  It was a very satisfying accomplishment our first week of the summer.

My next tackle was my pantry.

It didn't actually even have that third shelf on top.  When we moved in, James installed the shelves, because we had had to let the finish carpenters go.  He got two shelves up and the brackets for the third and then we realized that we didn't have a third shelf.  I took this picture at the start of my makeover just after I went to Turkstra lumber and picked up the boards.



The large cannisters are from our newly opened Target.  The labels I made in Publisher and James helped me colour them turquoise.  These were all inspired by the Martha Stewart cork board I got from Staples which you will see later.  The large Masons I had on hand, from my previous pantry organizing attempt at our old house.

After polling Facebook friends, I decided that Jysk was the best place to buy baskets.  $7.99 each.  The tags were Martha Stewart from Staples.

The tall bottles are from Ikea.  I've found that they don't pour very well, so I'll be on the lookout for oil pouring spouts.

The Martha Stewart cork board with my newly created schedules.  Before this I had hand drawn charts stuck with tape on the side wall.

Making use of all wall space, I had James put up some nails to store my wine cask candle holder.

Facing the candleholder are the leaves to our table.  Pulling double duty are some attractive curtain tie-backs instead of utility hooks.

This was up before, hook caddy from Ikea.  Now dresssed up with some of the leftover ribbon I hot glued to the shelf edges.

I love that I now have dedicated spots for kleenex and paper towel storage.  So easy now to see when I'm low!

Step stool from Ikea, $14.99.  Now that I have a third shelf to reach, essential.

I mused upon a typical country-style potato/onion bin, but they were a little pricey everywhere I looked.  Instead I went with the coordinating style from Jysk, $29.99.

My linens basket was there previously, my stab at organization before this.

This step organizer was also here before, I bought it years ago for our linen closet.

The one thing I can't seem to makeover is this recycle bin.  I'd like a nice basket, but one this large would be very pricey, plus you really don't want to put recycle stuff in a non-washable basket. :-S  The bag organizer was on the back of the door before, but it made opening the door fully annoying, so I moved it.

Another wall space usage, my tray that I stained and toll painted years ago.

A plate stand for my serving plates.  Home Hardware, can't remember how much.

Now my extra place settings are up off the floor, which makes me happy!

A few finishing touches using the leftover ribbon.

I'm SO pleased with my pantry.  I sometimes come stand in the doorway and just stare at it. :-D

Next in line is my kitchen.  Not as much to do here, but I'm doing some smaller jobs that I've put off for ages.  (or at least since last year when we moved in).

I've wanted a spice organizer that goes in a drawer, but allows the bottles to sit up on an angle.  Couldn't find it anywhere!  Finally did at, of all places, Home Hardware in my little Caledonia.  I don't have a before picture, but imagine a large drawer with a myriad of small white baskets lying this way and that, a hodgepodge of glass white-topped bottles that I labelled about 10 years ago with plain white labels, and a number of refill spice bags that didn't really fit into the baskets, trying to do so.  A light dusting of cinnamon and oregano was over all, courtesy of my children helping themselves.

Now I have this: 

Getting organized is a great feeling! (hope it lasts!)


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