Monday, September 30, 2013

organized kids bathroom

happy monday everyone! hope you had a great weekend! this weekend i took a little break from all things home improvement (a little. you know i can't sit still around here.) and went to 2 Giants games - such a treat. actually, if you count the game i attended on wednesday night, that would make 3 games in 1 week. but in my opinion, these were a well deserved break from home stresses. ;-) and hello, the season was ending. why not make the most of it, right?!

as usual, i've been focused in on my very long home to-do list. slowly working my way to each and every space that needs attention. one of the projects i tackled last week? the kids shared bathroom. not only is this bathroom shared by 2 kids, it's also the bathroom guests use.

wow, talk about pressure.

when all 3 kids were sharing the bathroom, it seemed as if i was cleaning it 2-3 times a day. i moved our oldest son to the room formerly known as the guest room for that very reason, among others. i'll share a bit more about those changes soon. this new set-up is going to work much better - just 2 little ones sharing 1 bathroom. and these 2 are best buds so the sharing part works well.

after move in and paint, this is where we were. the space is small so it's hard to get good pics...

for storage i had a towel hook hanging over the door...

and this little built-in behind the door...

there wasn't a shelf for holding their toothbrushes or cups...

like in the master bathroom, there is a farm sink in here with no enclosed storage underneath...

these 3 baskets are from my almost 9 year old's nursery changing table. the baskets came with the table and have come in handy over the years. but the color was making me itch. if you know me, you know what i did to change that!...

after letting the kids use the space for a few weeks and allowing the annoyances to get the best of mom, i figured out a plan. i grabbed a few wall hangings from my stockpile...

yes, the spare room (that used to belong to my 9 year old) looks like this right now...

before digging into this bathroom, there had yet to be any wall hangings placed anywhere. and it's going to be a while. still getting a feel for the place and where things should be hung. but when i need something, this is where i *shop* before i buy.

i grabbed a few items for the bathroom from this stockpile and purchased just a few things. for starters i hung the existing toilet paper holder...

a shelf over the toilet...

a few hooks for robes or towels. these are new and from restoration hardware...

this one is from pottery barn and was left behind by the previous owners. i put it behind the door...

an existing hand towel bar near the sink...

above the towel bar, i added a ledge type shelf for holding the kids cups and toothbrushes...

then i tackled those baskets! yup, with a quick spray of paint. love what spray paint can do to change an item you may have considered donating....

from orangey brown to antique white. and for only a few dollars...

in case you're wondering how i hang items around my house, i'll be talking about this in depth very soon. but for something heavy, like a wall shelf, i start by drilling small holes or hammering in a drywall anchor...

then i screw in the anchor...

add the screw...

then hang the item. in the case above, i was prepping the wall for this wall ledge...

for the towel bar below it, i drilled a few holes then screwed the bar holders in place...

we'll talk more about this soon. hanging items around the house can be daunting. i'm right there with you! but with only a few tools and tips, you'll be good! we'll talk, don't worry.

let's get to the point where i show you the newly organized bathroom! over the window...

over the toilet...

those precious robes are hanging within reach...

a new shower curtain - the morgan from pottery barn. i love this curtain because it looks clean and not so "kid-like". remember, guests will be coming in here too!...

hard to get a good shot of the full curtain in a tiny space.

no more toothbrushes huddled up on the sink....

behind the door storage...

baskets hold washcloths...

hand towels...

and a few extra bathroom items we may need in a pinch...

this is why i love spray paint...

did i make a believer out of you yet?

a few things will change in here over time - lighting (vanity and ceiling) and a few more wall hangings. for now i re-hung the mirror and lights that were here previously...

for those interested in the cups and q-tip holder, both are from the container store...

plastic, but look like glass. i'm all about non-breakables in a kids space!

that's the kids shared bathroom - as it stands now. spending a little time in the space reminds me how much a difference it makes when you use vertical space. nothing is sitting on the sink anymore or hanging over the side of the tub or sitting on top of the toilet. everything we need is within reach, but tucked away somewhere or hanging on the wall.

the kids have a huge storage closet outside this bathroom. i'll be tackling that space soon and sharing all the details. since the space is close to the entry/kitchen, i have a feeling i'll be using some of the shelves for kitchen overflow - think paper towels.

have a great day!

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

the master home to-do list...and the emotions involved

even those of us that are the most organized folks (a-hem) hit the point of desperation when THE list must be compiled.

what is "the list" you ask?

the master list of home projects i'd like to tackle. this includes...

1. the jobs that need to be completed,
2. the jobs i would like to do,
3. and those big ol' dreams i have!

of course, on my list, playing and winning the lotto is numero uno. not only is there a lot that needs to get done in this 1960's house, i also have big hopes and dreams for the place. there is too much potential for me to not dream big. i've had to reign myself in on a number of occasions because i tend to let the thoughts flood my mind to the point of exhaustion.

allowing myself to think that deeply - it should be illegal, i tell you.

so, it's no big surprise that lately i've been feeling overwhelmed. so overwhelmed that i've stopped dead in my tracks to break down in tears. i'm teetering on the edge, if you will. when i get to this point, i recognize that i'm a girl with hormones raging a few things need to be taken off my plate or simply re-prioritize what's going on at the moment. one of my favorite stress relievers though? writing lists and lists...and more lists!

truth be told, i have a lot resting on my shoulders...

1. motherhood (all day full time job)
2. helping the kids acclimate to a new area/school (which includes new ways of doing things at school and new ways of doing homework)
3. helping myself acclimate to a new area/school
4. daily errands
5. cooking
6. cleaning
7. laundry (another all day full time job)
8. blog obligations
9. managing house projects (projects that have already started and starting the ball rolling on new projects)
10. planning a bridal shower for my niece
11. spending time with extended family

the list goes on. you catch my drift.

out of everything on the above list, the house was the topic getting the best of me. why? because there is SO much to do and i have SO many ideas / dreams and there is only SO much money budgeted for NOW and only SO much money budgeted for later.

then there's the "what should i focus on right this minute?" stuff.

when you purchase a new or old home, you come into it with dreams of what you would like to do. but it isn't until you're living in the house that you realize your thinking was way off. it takes living in the house for a while to get a true assessment of what you can and should get done right away. for example, the kitchen....

yup, still over the moon about that tile!

this space for sure was on the top of the remodel list. it's very small and tight and there is nearly zero cabinet or counter space...

much less walking space! only i can be in the kitchen by myself or we bump into each other or the kids get in the way when i need to open the fridge or oven doors.

but it took less than 24 hours after the kids moved in to realize the kitchen isn't the big topic for now. it's actually the front yard! which believe it or not, will potentially cost more than remodeling a kitchen! why? because it's about 10,000 square feet of open ground (and that's only the front yard. the back yard isn't included in that square footage!)...

the front of the house also took a pretty big hit with all of the trucks coming and going over the last 4+ months. whatever was here has been obliterated by the traffic in and out...

not to mention the trucks that ruined the side yard during the pool renovations. think truck after truck, including cement trucks and various large machines, coming and going from here for 4 months. they tore down the fence in order to create their own entrance and exit point to the yard...

basically, we are living in a perpetual state of camping. imagine the entire perimeter of the house is dirt and clay. but mainly dirt. 3 little people riding bikes, running, swinging and playing. kicking up dirt, walking on dirt, running on dirt and then bringing it into the house. they do that over and over again during the day. we do our best to take off shoes and wash feet before coming inside. but you know kids. they are in and out and it's just too hard to control this part.

i finally broke down and hired a cleaning crew to come once a week. it's my guilty pleasure for myself and isn't costing nearly as much as i worried it may. it's temporary until i get a good feeling / schedule for cleaning by myself and, of course, once all that dirt is covered, life will be much cleaner around here. which in turn means i won't need a cleaning crew once a week.

at least until the kitchen remodel, right?!

back to the front yard. if you're going to do hardscape and landscape, it's better to get it done right from the beginning. there isn't a good temporary fix to this large of an area. so, as you can only imagine, this baby is going to cost a pretty penny. i'll do what i can on my own (a-hem, and help from dad), but with this amount of space and 3 small children, setting pavers on my own won't to be the easiest job. i'll have to outsource some of the work to get it done right and quickly...and to be sure it's accomplished before the rainy season begins. this weekend we had a dose of what the scary potential is for water + dirt. it rained most of the day saturday. let's just say i could easily host some mud wrestling tourney's here at the house. hummm, now that i think about it, ticket sales could make me a fortune. that would help pay for the pavers! right?

i'm kidding.


anyway, as i said, it takes living in a space to realize not only what needs to get done, but when it should get done.

to calm myself, calm my mind, i came up with the following master list of home projects. when i feel overwhelmed, lists calm me down and suddenly make it all seem doable. i also tend to get a little more focused when lists are assembled. of course, the list will change over time. but these are the bones to start with. anytime a change is made i'll be sure to update in here. the spaces are also listed in priority order.

the front yard:

* come up with a hardscape / landscape design
* design for front porch (will also include plans for moving the front door during kitchen remodel)...

* call landscape companies for quotes
* sprinklers
* new sod in play area
* create a path from garage to side yard gate...

* outdoor storage for outdoor toys
* build a sand box
* build a fort
* build garden boxes and start a garden
* sports area (side of yard near front door)
* outdoor storage for sports equipment
* add lights
* new mailbox at end of driveway
* new deer fence along front perimeter
* mechanical gate at end of driveway - with posts/lights to match hardscape

the back yard:

* re-do swimming pool
* add pool fence
* come up with a hardscape and landscape design
* temporarily fix brick patio (as a band-aid until final hardscape is in)
* firepit
* built-in BBQ
* sprinklers
* lay sod as temporary ground until hardscape / landscape is completed
* patio furniture
* outdoor storage for pool supplies
* outdoor storage for pool toys
* build a shed to contain pool equipment
* add lights
* new fence (talk to neighbors)

here are some dirty shots for you! for real though...brick will soon be formed temporarily around the new pool deck...

eventually a firepit will be back here behind the spa. temporarily there will be grass...

grass will also come up to this concrete edge....

until it meets with the brick near the house...

grass throughout this side of the yard...

this side will eventually be all brick and concrete. this will give us walking space in and out from the swing set side gate and the door to the garage...

this is a soon to be built-in bbq. when i say "soon to be" i mean after i'm holding that winning lottery ticket!...

general home exterior:

* install french drains
* new exterior home paint
* remove or replace strips of wood siding
* new doorbell
* front door peek hole
* paint current front door (temporary color before exterior paint is completed)

the laundry room:

* new washer and dryer
* new cabinets or open shelving
* move sink to garage - is this possible?
* create storage for home cleaning supplies
* move light switch
* better lighting

the laundry room is a BIG challenge for me because the washer and dryer are too big to fit under the current cabinets. in order to make them fit, i removed the feet. doing that helped the set just barely fit under the cabinets but now they rattle (loudly!) when they are running...

another issue is that the doors open the wrong direction....

in that photo above you can see the doors just barely touch the wall too. so it's nearly impossible to switch the wash over to the dryer without just having to drop it on the floor first.

barely any walking space...

 very little cabinet space....

the sink is tucked behind the washer and very hard to get to. i'd love to move this to the garage if possible...

the previous owner hung some hooks for drying but they are directly behind the door, which doesn't make it easy for drying without getting things dirty....

and if you look closely, the light switch for the room is behind the door. not easy to get to!

the garage:

one would think the garage is a man's space...but it's totally my space in the house! and i'm itching to get this area under control so i can get into some seriously fun projects. roll those embarrassing, unorganized photos please....

* paint
* sell items that i don't want / need (i've been placing items out here that don't work in the house and need to be sold)
* go through remaining moving boxes
* go through holiday decor bins (donate items or re-bin everything with labels)
* re-organize shelving into categories (holiday section, interior decor section, kitchen item section, sport section, etc)
* find a space for the kids bikes and ride-on toys
* organize tools
* organize back work space
* build a mudroom - you guys that have been following a while knew this was coming. i think this wall right here...

is the perfect spot for my favorite idea ever....a mudroom that's IN the garage!...

my friend shared that image with me a few months ago. someone in arkansas has this very mudroom in their garage and i think it's genius! and that wall is just screaming to have this very type of system built in out there. right?! yes, i'm going to attempt this one on my own. let's see how that goes - ha!

* move garage door buttons - as in the laundry room, the units used to be behind the door to the garage. not the easiest spot to reach. you can see where they used to be here...

and where they are now...

so much better! now i just need to...

* clean wall and re-paint where openers used to hang
* clean garage door openers - wow are those dirty!
* epoxy floor
* streamline garage shelving
* organized wall hanging for bikes
* remove various garage items now being used
* find a spot for lawn equipment (a new outdoor shed?)

the hallway bathroom:

this bathroom was being used by all 3 kids PLUS any guests that stopped by. you can imagine how well that was going (eeeeek!). it is now being used by the 2 younger ones (7 and 3) because we moved the older guy (8) to the guest room. more on this later this week, but it was another one of those things where we had to live in the space to realize it wasn't going to work. in any event, this bathroom needs some serious love! and you'll see these changes soon!

* new toilet
* shower curtain
* add shelving
* organize built-in shelves
* paint baskets
* new bath towels
* add hooks for hanging towels and robes
* add storage over toilet for supplies
* replace lighting over sink
* add ceiling light
* toilet paper holder (nope, not one in there currently)

the family room / playroom:

* sort and purge more toys (this is absolutely top of the list!)
* add built-in for tv and added storage for this wall. everything is on order now!...

* area rug to warm up the space (will share soon!)...

* small area rug for under small table and chairs
* organize wii equipment and games
* remove green shelving that holds games and arts & crafts (find a better location)
* new slipcovers for both couches
* replace recessed lights with LED lights

the office:

i know, i know - you're reminding me that i just did the office, right? haha! well, little known secret hiding away along the back office wall...

yup, i just spilled the ugly beans. soooo, what exactly is this you ask? well, naturally it's what doesn't fit in the office space. haha! ok, kidding. but seriously, this includes random office supplies, a small amount of my photo catalog (everything else is in the garage - along with all things scrapbooking), kids school artwork, random supplies that need to be behind closed doors or in baskets, things the kids need for homework, etc. i'm devising a plan and already have the most incredible wall hanging in that i am creating myself. i'm anxious to get the garage organized just so i can create the wall hanging. this space is in desperate need of some organization love and it's on the way wall. hang in there!

* create wall hanging (secret!)
* locate perfect storage solution to hold everything i need / shown above
* build gift wrap station (also a secret i have in mind)
* more wall hanging organization

the (temporary) kitchen:

* fix wolf range or purchase a new one (oven isn't working)
* fix dishwasher or purchase a new one (it's not drying)
* new kitchen faucet
* build trash / recycling cans (yup, doing myself!)
* organize pantry, drawers, cabinets

the (remodeled) kitchen:

* locate architect
* can we knock down the fireplace wall in order to create one big kitchen space?...

* yes, that is a razorback hat up there...and proud of it!

* design new kitchen
* design new front entrance (i'd like to move the front door and make it a double, as well)
* what to do with screened in porch? become interior space or stay exterior but knock down the walls?
* new french doors or other doors leading out to backyard / patio / pool
* new flooring
* lighting
* decide on counters and every other new item we need for kitchen space (this will take a while for this lady so it's a good thing we are putting this off a while)

the master bedroom:

* hang tv on the wall
* move bedding from dresser to master closet

the master bathroom:

* purchase and hang vanity mirrors
* purchase and assemble storage solutions (hers and his - sharing soon!)
* hooks for towels and robes
* shelving for toilet room
* new toilet paper holder
* new sinks
* replace vanity lighting
* ceiling lighting
* window covering
* replace shower head and fixture
* why low water pressure in shower?

the master closet:

* build-out closet
* add full length mirror

the guest room / spare room:

* add elfa closet
* carpeting
* ceiling light
* layout / plan for the space

8 year old's room:

* new hardwoods (when rest of house is completed this space is included)
* shower curtain
* bath towels
* bathroom storage
* re-do shower tile
* re-do flooring
* replace vanity lights
* ceiling light
* hook for towels
* elfa closet system

7 year old's room:

* carpeting
* elfa closet system
* wall hangings
* ceiling light

3 year old's room:

* carpeting
* elfa closet system
* ceiling light
* wall hangings
* accent wall

general home interior stuff:

* paint interior
* new outlets throughout
* new light switches throughout
* new electric panel
* ceiling lights
* wall hangings throughout
* door knobs throughout (none currently)
* set up home services, like pest control...

if you're head isn't spinning after reading that, don't worry - mine is spinning enough for the entire blogosphere! again, this is list is fluid and when things are updated or changed...or completed!...i'll be making note of it and updating the list for you guys. 

do you have a master home to-do list? make one today and feel better about yourself! 

(i linked up with a bowl full of lemons)