Laundry Room/Pantry Progress!

My husband started building these custom cabinets for the empty space in our laundry room to serve as pantry space quite a while back. Unfortunately, thanks to a really slow in-store delivery of the slide rails for the pull out drawers (and no phone call once his order had arrived!), the project got delayed for quite a while. The pantry cabinets are not finished yet, but functional is major progress! We no longer have food stacked up in corners throughout the living room, which is very exciting! Besides painting the pantry cabinets, he also plans to make doors for the pantry cabinets that will coordinate with the look of our kitchen cabinets. Eventually, when we get around to replacing our big bulky heater unit with something that can go in the attic, the box around the heater will also turn into more storage (which I am really excited about). Just like with our kitchen, there are a lot of finishing details that need to be finished (mostly trim work and outlet covers), but those details will come later once we are less stressed about everything being so disorganized and dysfunctional for so long.

I am very happy to have an organized laundry space again. We got this fold down table at Ikea to serve as a space for me to fold laundry. I love that the table folds down to save space when it is not in use.

All of my laundry supplies are organized on a shelf that was actually salvaged from elsewhere in the house! I have a basket for dirty rags, one for clothespins, one for miscellaneous laundry and shoe care supplies, and all of my laundry care supplies in a vintage fruit crate from our wedding. 🙂

Below: the slide out pantry drawers he built, some extra shelves above the almost-wasted area thanks to the strange location of the electrical panel, and my lost socks clothesline. I keep the socks that are missing their pair pinned to the clothesline until we confirm via a deep cleaning of the house that the mate is indeed missing. The missing socks usually turn up somewhere before then (I think one of the pets likes to use dirty socks as a toy).

You can see better below how we utilized the space in front of the electrical panel that otherwise would have gone to waste. It makes a perfect little nook for our vacuum, vacuum accessories, and the ironing board. Also, I have a perfect spot for my cleaning caddy, with all of the cleaning supplies I use on a regular basis.

Close up of one of the pull out drawers, with all of my baking supplies grouped together. I organized the pull out shelves with the heavier items since the rails will support up to 100 pounds. One drawer has all of the vegetables and fruit that I canned myself from our garden, another has regular canned goods, one has all of my baking supplies, and the last one has other cooking supplies like oils and vinegars.

In the pantry cabinet on the left, the space was smaller so he just installed shelves there. I found some plastic bins that fit these shelves well to organize the remaining food items.

In the plastic bins, I have the food separated into small baking supplies, cereal and breakfast supplies, dinner sides and pasta, snacks, and spices. We are both so happy that we finally have an organized pantry! It makes it so much easier to find everything we are looking for.

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Entry Room Makeover

There are certain things that drive me nuts…one of the big ones is being disorganized.  We have spent the past couple of months on a constant hunt for keys, hats, flashlights, my purse, important papers, etc.  I decided that I had reached my breaking point with living in chaos, and we needed to start to have a little bit of organization around here.

I was going to wait until my husband finished the kitchen before I tackled the entry room, but that project is taking much longer than we originally expected.  I noticed that he mostly just bangs things into the trim when he is coming in with large tools, sheet rock, etc., so I will just paint the trim at a later date.  I worked on organizing this room a little at a time, in between editing pictures from a wedding we recently shot (sneak preview here).  You can see the before pictures of the entry room here.

Our entry room used to be the original porch on the house, and since the whole house was made handicap accessible, the floor in the entry room is sloped.  The chair is not crooked; it is the floor. 🙂

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I redesigned the little entry table that we made at our old house (seen here).  I had layers of paint on it before, and wanted to get rid of some of the teal and bring out more of the layer of white underneath, so I sanded it again and added a burlap curtain to create some concealed storage.

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I recently made some silver tray chalkboards (tutorial coming soon!) to hang as a message center.  The current message is my little reminder for us to pray and ask God to fill our home with peace, love and joy.  This is important and helpful during stressful times – like when you are in the middle of a major kitchen remodel. 🙂

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Things we use regularly: hiking backpack, my coupon organizer, and a ready picnic basket. 🙂  I also set up our dirty work shoes on a vintage cafeteria tray that I found at a thrift store, with some rocks underneath to catch any dirt.

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We live in a neighborhood full of very large, two story (or more) homes.  More than one person in the neighborhood has pointed out to us that we have one of the smallest homes in the whole neighborhood.  We don’t take that as an insult; we take it as a compliment.  To us, that means our home is more full of love, just like in Little House on the Prairie.

When we were engaged, I went through a list of questions with my husband-to-be to try to make sure that we had the same priorities in terms of finding our dream house.  I asked him if he would rather have:  the littlest house in a good neighborhood or the biggest house in a lesser neighborhood, a big house with tons of space inside but very little yard or a tiny house and a big lot.  Luckily we both agreed on the little house, big lot ideas. 🙂  I made this little embroidery to proudly display our love of our little home.

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When we had our home inspection, the inspector noted that the light fixture in the entry way had problems with flickering, so one of the first things my husband did after we moved in was replace it with this new light fixture.  The new fixture is beautiful, but the flickering still continues.  I have not replaced the cover on the light switches so that he will remember that it still needs some electrical repair. 🙂

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We were starting to have trouble keeping track of our mail.  I came up with a good solution and have it sorted into 5 categories:  bills, Chris, Alicia, repurpose, and recycle.  The pile of repurpose paper will later be turned into newspaper logs for our fire pit movie nights (tutorial here).  The recycle pile is full of paper that cannot be used for the logs:  shiny, coated ads, envelopes with plastic windows, etc.

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The clock on the wall used to be in my bathroom at our old house, and I had previously painted it aqua.  An aqua clock on a different shade of aqua wall looked pretty horrible, so I repainted the record yellow, and then re-glued the lace back onto the record.  At our old house, we had a built-in cabinet in the hallway that was perfect for miscellaneous utility items that we need to keep on hand (previous post here).  Since we don’t have that at our new home, I picked up this little white cabinet to take its place.

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A closer look at my homemade record clock, a vintage working thermometer that I love, and a fun take on an antique electricity sign.

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Vintage mirror I got for free in college, little storage box for extra keys that we don’t use every day, a little “clothesline” for important papers like invitations, and a kite that we made together for a photoshoot prop.

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A place for spare change (formerly an Anthropologie candle), an estate sale tray for my husband’s daily pocket dump, chalk for the message boards, and a basket for sunglasses and other miscellaneous items.

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Keys, notepads, stamps, pens, more chalk, and other useful items all easily accessible.

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This thrift store hat rack is very useful.  Now we don’t waste time looking for hats and my purse when we leave the house. 🙂

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A peek inside my little utility cabinet organization.  Whenever my husband gives me jewelry as a gift, I save the little cardboard boxes to organize small items.  I am very lucky to have such a generous husband. 🙂

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A special vintage basket full of pet supplies:  leashes, brushes, and even doggy hiking boots.

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The cats know that the bottom basket is full of their toys, and they know that they just need to push aside the burlap curtain to access them.  I have even been able to train them to (sometimes) put their toys back in the basket when they are finished playing with them. 🙂

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I made little signs to organize our mail.  Shown here, repurpose & recycle.

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“Reusable Paper Towels” Drawer

This is my “reusable paper towels” drawer. 🙂  Our current house is so old that there is no spot for a dishwasher, so we have to wash all of our dishes by hand.  With limited counter space, I usually have to end up drying at least some of the dishes by hand since there is only so much space on the little dish drying rack.  To cut down on the amount of paper towels we go through, I organized this drawer with a towels for a couple of different purposes.  There are some nice fluffy towels for drying dishes, and then some smaller ones specifically for cleaning.  When I am cleaning the furniture, the kitchen counter, or the bathroom, I use one of the smaller towels instead of using paper towels.  When I am finished using one, I have a small basket in the laundry room where they all get placed until I am ready to wash towels.  I pre-soak the cleaning towels before I wash them, and it has turned out to be a pretty good system!

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