A Mini Make-over

You might recall a couple of months ago I did a big(ish) cull of the stuff in our house and wrote an update about that a couple of weeks ago.  At that point I still had quite a few things had stored in the study ready for the op-shop.  Well I finally got around to taking it all there, five bags full of clothes, toys, kitchen items and so on.  I also found an op shop willing to take the big box of soft toys (I think there were about 30 in there) I had been struggling to get rid of.  The only things left are a couple of small bags of baby clothes destined for friends and a small stash of books and CDs to take to another op shop.

It felt great to do the final clear out and as I did that I also found the motivation to do a couple of other things.  Firstly, I sorted through all the things in the bathroom cupboards, tossing the bottles and jars of stuff I don’t and won’t ever use.  The space vacated from all this stuff meant that I could put all my towels, bathmats, face washers and hand towels in one place.  All the medicines and first aid things were gathered and stored on the top shelf and the everyday toiletries and equipment like my hair dryer are now easily accessible under the sink.  And I’ve ticked off one more thing from the to-do list – the laundry is up next.

Mr Good got the organising bug too and has been rewiring the network cables and so on (I say ‘and so on’ because I really have no clue about these things) ready to swap the spare room and study around.  Also in this plan was a network and aerial point in the family room so we could put a small TV out there.  I had resisted a TV in this room worried that the kids would watch too much TV, but to be honest if they’re going to watch it they’re going to watch it no matter where the set is.  And this way we only have to heat the back room during the day.  So far it hasn’t made any difference to the amount of TV watching.

The idea was to get a second hand Ikea bookshelf to lay on its side (as in the photo I posted in here), put the TV on the top and keep the craft supplies and duplo in the baskets.  I looked and looked and looked for months (almost a year actually), but could find the right bookshelf despite theyir popularity – which is probably a good thing, people don’t seem to be getting rid of these.  In the end we had to buy it new.  It’s all set up now with a small stack of kids books, the TV, a kids fruit bowl easily accessible for them, a speaker for our music during the day and the baskets neatly housing all the things I couldn’t quite get my head around effective storage and reducing the clutter in the family room!

photo 2

This has also meant that the girls craft table is clear so they can actually use it – apparently it’s very good for posture for kids to work at an appropriately sized table and chair .  The piano has been cleared off with the music books in the old duplo tub underneath and the dolls house just squeezing into the space between the piano and the laundry door.

A musician in the making perhaps?

A musician in the making perhaps?

And of course, because the bookshelf came in a great big cardboard box, the girls have had all sorts of fun doing some outside craft – sunny, but COLD!

And artists of course

And artists of course

photo 1

I have another idea in mind for the next mini make-over, I wonder if I’ll get a chance to do that anytime soon?  I shall keep you updated, in the meantime, check out Ren Likes Red for more toy storage ideas.  Have you had any home decorating triumphs lately?  I’d love to see or hear about them so please leave me a comment….. and then I will potentially steal your genius ideas!

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9 Responses to A Mini Make-over

  1. I haven’t had a triumph (yet) but we have finally decided to pay the price for having quality shelves in built for the tv etc. I have an art deco cabinet that needs work and a 1950s whatnot shelf currently and while they have charm they don’t match. The Deco cabinet is badly in need of repair, so I think it would look a lot less cluttered and clunky with in built shelves. Will take awhile to get it going but at least the decision has been made. Your place looks great!

    • Barbara Good says:

      Oh getting shelving just the way you want it is so GOOD! Thankfully Mr Good is pretty handy with a hammer and saw, so I just point him in the direction with my ridiculously detailed plans and let him at it. Mind you it never quite happens on my time scale. And I have so many, many projects in my head.

  2. renlikesred says:

    Looks great! I’m a big fan of the storage boxes in the cube shelves. I actually took the (glass) cupboard doors off and shelves out of my low line tv unit/stand and put storage boxes in instead. Just so much easier for the little ones to pull in and out (and empty and fill.) love their own little fruit bowl too. I ended up moving my kids ‘place space’ and table and chairs in front of the tv cos I just found they were happier to sit there and draw or play Lego, do a puzzle etc… With the option of a bit of ABC4kids in the back ground. I’m ok with that. It’s not all day but handy when I need to “put them somewhere’ out of my hair! 😉

    • renlikesred says:

      Play space, that is.

    • Barbara Good says:

      Yes, definitely agree about the storage boxes and the kids have never done so much unsupervised craft than in the last two days. I’m actually finding that having the TV where I can hear it in the kitchen or at the computer or in the laundry (let’s face it that’s my life at the moment) I’m much more aware of how much they are watching. And they tend to drift off to craft or other play and I switch it off without them noticing.

  3. skud says:

    Looking good! I haven’t done much lately except for some rearrangement of stuff in my kitchen and pantry. I often have friends round to cook and my organisation system only made sense to myself, so I rearranged things and put labels on the cupboards so it was clearer to other people. For instance, it’s better to have “baking trays” in one place and “pots and pans” in another than having “stuff I use regularly” in one place and “rarely used” in another — other people don’t know and can’t guess what goes where if it’s based on how often it’s used!

    I bought a bunch of coffee mugs at the big op shop nearby, and then as I was leaving I noticed three more on the “free” table out front, so now I have enough mugs even for when a large crowd comes around. Then I had to rearrange cupboards to make room for them. So my tea-and-stuff cupboard is now much better.

    The one thing I really want to get hold of are a couple of small bookshelves (like about 1m x 1m, 3 shelves high, that sort of size). I want to put one in the loo (which is quite wide and has a space on one side where it would fit nicely) so I can put toilet paper etc there, as well as reading material. I do like having reading material in the loo 🙂 The other one I want to put in my pantry, where there’s currently an awkward narrow counter/cupboard thing with wasted vertical space above it. I’ve got all kinds of containers of flour and sugar and things piled on that counter, but there really need to be shelves.

    Other things on the wishlist: one of these kitchen island thingies from Ikea — I already have one in the back porch and use it for raising seedlings etc, but a second one would be awesome. And I’d quite like a little table/hall stand to go near the front door. I’m keeping an eye on Gumtree and in the op shops and stuff, so we’ll see what comes of that.

    • Barbara Good says:

      The work block for the kitchen looks very handy. I’ve got a few things on my watch out for at op shops list (a hallstand or umbrella stand, and end table and eventually a small lounge suit for the family room – but that ones not until the girls have grown out of playing on the floor so much).

      We’ve done some room rearranging too, it’s always good to get things working more efficiently.

      PS Good to hear from you!!

  4. Jenny Pearson says:

    Hi Barbara, isn’t it great when you do a declutter and everything seems to flow/work just sooo much better. I regularly remove things from cupboards and have a bit of a look and see what needs a new home, what needs to be made more accessible and what needs to be rearranged to make everything fit better, so to speak. All our rooms work fine as they are at the moment, but I am always open to ideas – and I have read that when you declutter your physical space, it declutters your brain, so you can think and function more clearly – not sure if this is true!!! Having worked regularly in an Op Shop for many years, just seeing the amount of “stuff” we receive on a weekly frightens you off ever getting carried away in your own house – although there are some things that you cannot resist, like books and good quality kitchen/cooking implements – I don’t keep the books, they are always paid for and returned when I have finished, and everything else comes into the house on a one in/one out basis no exception!!! I visited our mutual friend yesterday and received a truly lovely gift of some nice pickles – will put them to the test next week when I cook some lovely corned beef to use them with – thank you for you kindness.

    • Barbara Good says:

      Jenny, you’re more than welcome regarding the pickles. I hope you both enjoy them. I too am planning a corned beef for next week – I have a great recipe for corned beef pies with the left overs…. if we don’t just enjoy them in sandwiches before I get to the pies. I agree with buying quality kitchen gear and books to then pass on (especially when you buy them from the Op Shop and then take them back!) though at the moment most of my reading material comes from the library. Miss Five and I have been reading one of your op shop finds recently, she was very excited to find one of the characters had the same name as her…. not a common occurrence!

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