Category Archives: Plants

Organizing A Dump Zone After Moving

MovingInDumpZoneThe boxes that once held our home have been slashed and broken down to flat, lifeless, 2D objects yet the items they once held are still making a big impact in our life. Our goal was to unload all the boxes – no problem (except the two boxes that still sit in the office; those are a problem). All the  boxes are empty and the bonus? everything is piling up in the kitchen on a shelf that came with the house. I’m pretty sure that all of it is piled up here because it’s on it’s way downstairs, but someone didn’t have the enthusiasm to actually take it downstairs.

For some reason, and I blame it on living in tiny apartments until now, we will avoid any task that involves up going upstairs or downstairs. The laundry is downstairs and our bedroom is upstairs. We may have bought a few more laundry baskets to try and do laundry less and our room may be the only place in the house where we haven’t done any actual moving-in.

I recently read The Happiness Project by Gretchen Rubin  where she made a ‘rule’ to do anything that doesn’t take more than a minute to do. For us, that means taking the laundry downstairs, putting our shoes in the closet, hanging our jackets instead of throwing them over the couch, and filling up the Brita pitcher with water before we put it back in the fridge. All these little things, when left undone, can create a bit of chaos so we started using the one minute roll as well. Everywhere except the shelf in the kitchen! Time for a new goal : Organize the kitchen dump zone, where everything that doesn’t have a designated home (or belongs in the basement) lands.

MessyClutterBothThe shelf in the kitchen came from the basement and belongs to the home’s owner and since we were desperate for counter space we brought it up to tie us over.  It had collected the fruit bowl, dinner plates that don’t fit in the cupboard, a box of lightbulbs, a tool box and drill, and a lovely hydrangea that is waiting to be planted.

First thing I did was take the dreaded descent into the basement. I gathered all the tools and lightbulbs and general ‘garage stuff’and took it downstairs where it belongs. I then vowed to implement the ‘one minute rule’ to make sure that this tool pile-up didn’t happen again.

And just like that, I had my shelf back.

ShelfStage1It was a breath of fresh air. And then it was a very long exhale as I realized that the shelf seemed unwarranted, and that I needed to make it useful. I had been wanting to move the coffee machine and accessories off of our counter to make more space, so I decided to make a coffee station on the shelf.


Now we’re talking. I liked that I was able to bring all of the coffee supplies together and free up some space on the kitchen counters. Was I in love with it? No, but it was much better than where it started  so I decided to move onto the built-in hutch.


At least the hutch wasn’t full of tools. There were a few things that gathered that didn’t belong: two spice racks from Ikea, vases, a flashlight, and doggy-doo-doo bags. So as I did with the shelf, I took everything away that didn’t belong.


The plates that used to be on the shelf fit nicely on the hutch but looked a little out of place, so I added the rest of our collection. I added the vintage radio for a splash of color and my ‘deer’ friend for a bit of decor. The jar on the bottom is the most important as it is home to a variety of dog treats and we all know that a happy dog is a happy home.

HutchDetailI bought the cracker jars at Wal-mart and found the labels at World Market. The style of labels on the right were pre-printed  and the jar on the left is a chalkboard label. Did I mention that World Market is quickly becoming my favorite store?




I was happy with my progress thus far. I had a nice organized hutch and a coffee station shelf. Buuuuuuuuuut, I didn’t really love the shelf.

So, I brought in it’s replacement:

HutchandShelfFinalThe Ikea shoe cabinet. This cabinet is amazing! The drawers pull towards you and you can slide in your shoes. We haven’t really found a great place for it in our house where we can actually use it as a shoe cabinet, so I was happy to bring it in and replace the shelf. It seemed to fit perfectly; both the white color and the size.


My sister-in-law came over and came up with the brilliant idea to put wine bottles in the cabinets.


Now that I was content with that corner of the kitchen, I only had one corner left: the butcher block.


I quickly tidied up the butcher block corner of the kitchen by hanging the knife magnet and adding a picture.


The cook books found a home on the bottom shelf of the kitchen cart.



And Archer found a home right in front of my camera.



The entire dump-zone organization wasn’t as awful as I imagined it to be. It really consisted of taking everything that didn’t belong in the kitchen away and then re-situating what did belong until I liked what I saw.


There is a list accumulating with projects that I want to complete in the kitchen including paint and add curtains.

I’ll keep you posted on any other updates!


Moving Into a New Space

ANewSpaceOver three weeks ago, we were blessed with a vacation to Hawaii and upon our return to Seattle, we were blessed with a new home. The very idea of moving into a bigger place made returning from paradise seem a little less painful.

Three weeks went by and only today did I have the enthusiasm to actually decorate.

Our first goal was to get everything into the house and wrap up with our last apartment. We finished that last wednesday.

Our second goal involved us demanding the boxes cease and desist.  We have 2 boxes left. They are in G1’s office and the truth is, they most likely aren’t disappearing anytime soon. I can only do so much in a room that I rarely use. It makes more sense for the roommaster to address the boxes full of cords.

Our last goal: moving in. This included making the space our home. For the last few days I had been in a slump and was quite unmotivated to work on moving in. I can’t believe I’m about to pseudo-complain about this, but we had so much space. As G1’s brother put it, we had “put in our time  living in cubby holes” and were finally able to graduate to a real house. All of our last few homes had required that we downsize and usually our walls were lined with our belongings, and our closets stuffed to the brim. Looking at our belongings placed so far apart and even in different rooms, was quire discouraging. Where do we start!?

I started in our main living area as we had already made it a habit of hanging out here.


This is what it’s like when you move. Nothing is pretty and for some reason, the way it worked in your last place suddenly seems so wrong!

I knew the curtains would break up the white monotony and add a little bit of flavor to our room. Our plants had always been roommates, sharing one shelf, so naturally, I left them stay together. In our last apartment, we had the above shelf sitting directly in front of a window with the most direct sunlight and it was holding every plant in our house. Since this shelf (still) crammed full of plants wasn’t crammed into a corner, it seemed unnecessary and sparse.  A smaller shelf made sense brining all the items closer together and into a cohesive arrangement.

P1040643The black-void-of-a-speaker didn’t really have any other living arrangements lined up, so it snuggled right into the bottom shelf. By replacing the large, sparse shelf with a smaller compact shelf, the corner felt cozier.


My favorite books found prime real estate in the living room and made all the other books (who live in the hutch in the spare bedroom) incredibly jealous.  Among my treasured books, I chose to include a small tin of cards, two lanterns, a photo from our wedding, and three plants. It’s starting to feel like home!


It’s becoming clear to me why I was in a post-move funk.

And onto the window. I knew I wanted to hang the curtains near the ceiling to draw the eye up and create an illusion of a taller ceiling. I used the curtains and the hardware that we had purchased at Ikea for our last apartment. You can see the post here.

I placed the hardware as close to the ceiling as possible by literally fastening it to the ceiling. BINGO!

This hardware from Ikea is amazing! It allows your to attached it to either the ceiling or the wall and adjust the height of the rod. I highly recommend these.


From the windows to the …..ceiling?


I strapped the curtains on and adjusted them to barely skim the ceiling and used sewings pins to pin their length to barely skim the floor. I decided not to sew the curtains for now – I am always changing my minds and it’s much easier to take out pins than to rip a seam.



Floor to ceiling curtains – check!


Neat and tidy shelf – check!



Finally having  a place where your design ideas can be put to use – check!



Well, we moved into one corner of our new place and it really does feel like home. And after accomplishing this one corner, I feel enthusiastic about the rest of the house.

Curtains: JANETTE

Curtain Hardware: BETYDLIG

Curtain Rod: RACKA