So I've been hearing all about my parents house recently. They've been all a bustle cleaning the house, and redoing/finishing a lot of the interior, especially now that they've gotten the foundation repaired. I had the pleasure of visiting the other day whilst I was in Stilly for an eye doctor appointment, and the house is lovely!
Unfortunately for me, the currently house-less, this has inspired a need to 'nest'. I want to make my home happy and comfy! Now that I'm grown up, I've had a sudden hankering for furniture that 'matches' and things that 'look nice'... It's very bizarre to suddenly go from not caring in the slightest about whether your furniture matched to being excited when you buy a new TV stand. Kind of like the sudden switch from wanting action figures and lego's for Christmas to being excited for socks and new pillows. The problem with renting is that there is very little in the way of alterations I can do to the place. I can't really paint, can't put up new trim, change the carpet, none of that. So I was a little depressed coming home, as there's just not a whole lot I can do to spiff this place up.
Undaunted, I decided to do a bout of Spring Cleaning anyhow, especially because my parents brought down a lovely bookcase and dresser they were getting rid of. I gotta say, I'm pretty pleased with the results! First up was our small hall closet- I had previously been using it as a bit of a catch all for my extra kitchen bits, and all my cleaning supplies, plus the toolboxes. It was a pit, so I pulled all the cleaning stuff out of there and made it into a kitchen overflow closet solely.
Now my teapot, kettle, large serving platters, dutch oven, and whatnots can all be safe and sound (And out of the way!) in their own little space! But what did I do with all the cleaning supplies you ask? Two words: 'Shoe Pockets.'
I've seen this tons of times on the internet, using an over-the-door shoe storage thingy to keep all your cleaning bottles and things out of the way tucked behind the door. I finally broke down and gave it a try, and it works so well that I bought a second set of 'shoe pockets' to keep all the extra shampoo bottles and other bathroom things in our Master Bath!
After that was the bedroom. With getting another chest of drawers in there, it really gave me some more options for storage, and an excellent excuse to go through all the stuff in the closet and better organize it all! One side of the closet has a box of my plushies, and another with all of our old video game systems and Ipod players in it, neatly stacked. And the other is....
Finally empty enough to put my laundry baskets in! No more storing them against the wall towards the foot of the bed! I cleaned out so much stuff from here. Please ignore the finger prints on my mirrors, I'm getting posters to put on the mirrors soon! Old pillows I had kept 'just in case'. Several plushies I just don't need anymore. Lots of old clothes that were either thrown out, or moved into the new dresser. I even found a trash bag from our last apartment in which I tossed some last minute odds and ends that didn't make it into boxes, including two old pairs of shoes, a CFL light bulb, a box of earplugs shoved down in one of the shoes, and half a roll of trash bags. For some reason I'd never emptied it out? Beyond me.
After the bedroom, I tackled the Office closet, which has been heaped full of stuff since we moved in. Unfortunately it's still heaped full of stuff, but in a more organized fashion. It's all things that we hardly ever use, like Matt's extra computer bits, or my newly added boxes of fabric, so it doesn't much matter that it's full.
Even better, I fixed the broken shelf in my bookcase that sits next to this closet, letting me reorganize the books a little! So nice to know that the shelf won't fall through at the back anymore!
After that I moved on into the living room, which by now had a huge pile of 'stuff to toss' in the middle of it. I'd already decided the new bookcase would go into the dining room, as there was simply no other place to put it. So in it went, and after a very frustrating battle with the shelves, I got it all set up.
After scootching the clock over a bit, and hanging up a few puzzle underneath it, I filled the top couple shelves with my cookbook collection, our Dungeons and Dragons books, coloring books, and my puzzles, which freed up the plastic box the puzzles were in for use for some stuff in the office closet! It really looks nice and homey over there now, a little game space.
By this time, I had quite the heap of stuff in the middle of the living room floor. Amidst the pile was a cork/dry erase combo board that had been stuck in the closet since we moved in over a year ago now. While both a cork board and a dry erase board can be quite handy, I really didn't have any use for both of those combined into a great big board. I wish-washed over tossing it for a while, then decided to see if I could break it in half and salvage the two seperate bits- and I did! No, I literally broke it by setting it against the side of the couch and leaning against the top until it ripped in half. Probably not the safest way, but it was pretty flimsy.
I've wanted a dry erase board for inside my spice cabinet for ages now, to jot down quick notes while I'm in the middle of cooking, or to make note of when I use up a spice or need to buy more of somethings. The dry erase half of the monster board fit perfectly here and hangs up just fine with some double-sided tape! A thumbtack and some ribbon hold a marker for it handy and it worked like a charm!
The cork board however, presented problems. Being in a frame when it was part of the monster board, the edges weren't finished at all. I was worried it'd flake all apart if I just hung it up, and it frankly looked kind of ugly as a piece of unfinished cork. I decided I'd need to cover it with something to make it look nice to use it.
I found this little bit of fabric in Walmart's fabric department today, and thought it was super cute! A little mod-podge and a bristol board back to cover the fabric edges and it turned out quite nice! Especially since I had no idea what I was doing. I double-sided taped it up to one of the cabinets in my kitchen, where I tend to put recipe notes on sticky's up a lot. It adds a bit of fun color to our drab, white walled kitchen and is useful to boot!
Last, but not least of my spring cleaning bender, I finally got an over-the-door hanging rack for my ironing board and iron. I don't tend to use them a lot, and didn't really have much of a place to put them... The boards been hiding behind the office door, waiting to fall on you if you bump the door into it too hard, and the iron's been chilling wherever it finds a resting point. Nice to have them all together and out of the way! I love these over-the-door storage solutions. Great way to use up that little bit of space you can't do much else with!
I've still got more to do. I'm in the process of acquiring posters for the mirrored closet doors at the least, and I really want to get some more general art pieces to break up the white walls. Of course, there's still some minor things to tidy up as well. What I've done so far though... it's really made the place seem nicer. Not to mention ridding ourselves of some junk to boot! I still can't wait till we have a house of our own, but in the meantime, I think I can make this little apartment a home.