Monday, July 27, 2015

Super Summer #5: Rearranging and Repurposing at Home

Hello friends! Welcome back to my Super Summer series!

Since I've got some extra time before school starts again, we've been doing a bit of shuffling stuff around in this house. Why?
  • We decided to move out of our rented storage unit to save money. The younger two boys weren't putting their closets to good use, so we moved lots of the bins and boxes into them and others into our storage room. I should mention that after our tenth child was born years ago, we converted our garage into a huge bedroom (now used by those two boys), along with a storage room / laundry area.
  • Our dog had soiled the two boys' carpet in the same place a few times and we couldn't get the odor out. So their dad removed the carpet, painted the concrete, and brought in two area rugs. During that process, he also removed some of the furniture that wasn't being used.
  • My fifth daughter is leaving for college in two weeks, so she's moving out of her bedroom, and her teenage sister will move into it. I've been in there helping her pack clothes, books, and papers. Some of it will go in the storage room.
  • I am trying to de-junk the whole house and put more efficient and effective systems into place.
Do you want to see a few pictures of how I've rearranged and repurposed what we already have? I'm hoping this might spark some ideas of what you could do at your house.

One of my sons wasn't using this cart with 10 drawers that a neighbor had given us a few years ago. It sat in the dining room until I decided to use it for filing. It sits next to my desk in my bedroom. It is much easier for me to pull out a shallow drawer to find papers than to unwedge a file folder from a big stuffed drawer or rack. I read years ago that this kind of horizontal filing is often better for fluid/random/non-linear thinkers like me. At first, I labeled the drawers with dry erase markers until I could finalize what I wanted where.

Once I figured that out, I wiped off the marker and attached labels: cosmetics (OK, so those aren't papers to file, but it keeps them handy), money, home school, public school, Mom's health, kids' health, home, events, Mom, and miscellaneous.

On to another room...

Here is the storage & laundry area a couple of weeks ago. Notice the overflowing hampers on the right. There were even more behind the box - probably 8 total! Each hamper had a jumble of dirty clothes from a bunch of different kids, and no one wanted to go digging to see what was theirs, so they had sat there for a long time taking up room. I dumped them all on the floor and sorted into hampers by clothing owner. Then I washed and dried load after load until they were almost all gone. I also banished the excess hampers. The new rule is that you don't bring your clothes to the laundry room until you are ready to put them in the washer. I don't want that many clothes accumulating ever again! I also gave the whole area a much needed sweeping. Imagine the dust bunnies!

I moved this hutch with shelves to where the hampers had been. The hutch had been on top of a son's dresser collecting junk. It was already in the laundry area until we could figure out what to do with it next, so I just scooted it over and filled it with paper goods and cleaning supplies that we buy in bulk at Sam's Club. This clears up other space in the storage room for my daughter to stash some of her stuff. I'll try to keep empty laundry baskets tucked under the bottom shelf, ready for taking clothes out of the dryer.

While I was at it, I cleared all of the junk off of the top of the dryer and wiped everything down. Then I put a plastic bin there to hold the detergent and spray cleaner, and another small plastic container to hold the dryer sheets. I'm planning to repaint the old cupboards above the washer and dryer. Then I'm going to print, frame, and hang photos from our North Carolina vacation to brighten up the room.

This had been a small dresser in the storage room next to the younger boys' room. We used it for storing some of the papers goods that I moved to the hutch. The drawers were breaking, so I took them out. I removed the full cardboard box from the top of it, and put it inside the shell of the dresser. There was another cardboard box on top filled with home school high school text books that I never intend to use again. I pulled it out of there to get ready to sell or give away. Little by little! The two bins that are now on top are for me to put clean clothes belonging to those two boys. They can pick them up on their way into their bedroom. 

This is the "new" floor in the boys' bedroom. I am thankful that their dad spent a few days pulling up the carpet, removing the tacks, and then cleaning, patching, priming, and painting the concrete.

The moving boxes and bins are piling up outside my daughter's bedroom! She's off to UF for her junior year soon, our first to go to school outside of the Orlando area!

My daughter, a sculpture major, is taking most of her art work with her. I am borrowing her whimsical bust of Marie Antoinette (on top of a cake) until she leaves. She's done some amazing fresco paintings that I am going to miss seeing!
That's all for now!

What can you do at your house?

Here's a little more inspiration for organizing from Fiona at Slow Cup of Tea: What is the Purpose of Our Home?

Grace and peace,
Virginia Knowles

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