Basement Project. . . Done, Finally!`

I have been working on our storage space in the basement for a long time. . . .I mean, years. We have been in our house for almost 7 years but never utilized the space the way I wanted. I would start organizing and rearranging and then it would again become a collect all. Then I just sort of gave up and just continued to add to the mess and never put anything away. Ridiculous, I know. Finally, however, it got to the point that I couldn’t walk from one side of the room to the other without hurdling over things.
As embarrassing as they are, here are the before pictures:

Notice that I didn’t even shut the cabinet doors. How lazy is that?

The first step of the process was to take all the stuff out of the room. We literally took everything except the large furniture out into the school room. The plan was to have it completed by the end of our Christmas break. . . however, I didn’t get it all finished so we did have school in various places the first week of January. Anyway, I started by arranging the shelves and cabinets where I wanted them and Kevin added a few extra things and moved the heavy stuff. Then I organized the clothes – with 3 girls and 2 nieces (plus a couple of friends who have passed along clothes) we have a lot of clothes of various sizes. I sorted them, thinned out, boxed them and labeled them. Then I organized all of the craft/sewing/art stuff.

We had this tv cabinet from our other house that has been in the basement as storage. There were things it it, but they were literally thrown in and stacked on top of each other. We never used it anywhere else because it is a corner cabinet and there just isn’t a good place in the rest of the house.
Kevin added some shelves and peg board to the cabinet and voila! It is the perfect craft/sewing storage cabinet!!

I should add that there were times when Kevin and I were both working in the basement (or I was working in the basement and Kevin was at work) and the girls were just playing. Daphne wanted to help. . . .with everything! This is what she was doing most of the time:

After a couple of weeks of work, it is done. For the first time in 7 years, there aren’t just areas that are organized. The whole storage room is clean and organized. I love it. Here are the after pictures:

To the left of bookshelves is an art table (ignore the white microwave underneath – that is gone now). The girls love that they can go in there and paint, glue, cut, and create. I love that it doesn’t matter if they make a mess!!

Just a Little Behind

I know I am a little behind my “weekly check-ins”- oops. This summer has been CRAZY!! Fun, but crazy!! We have had multiple birthday parties and lots of play-dates!! And the weather has finally gotten HOT so we are spending as much time in/near water as we can.

We are starting school in just over 3 weeks so I am planning/preparing like crazy – literally every spare minute. Adding Lucy into the mix is making me feel a little overwhelmed! Not adding her – but adding one more. I know we can do it but it may take a little longer to get into a good routine. What does Norah do while I am working one on one with Lucy and vice versa? What will Daphne do while I am working with Norah and Lucy at the same time? Last year, Lucy was a huge help by playing with Daphne while I worked with Norah on things that she needed my undivided attention. Like I said, I know we will figure it out but we may need to work out some kinks.
Oh, and I also have been trying to organize our school stuff in our unfinished part of the basement. A year ago Kevin put up an old countertop at the girls level to make an art table. I thought that it would be so fun to have an art table in the unfinished part so I don’t have to worry about paint getting on anything. We hung some shelves and I began organizing – a year ago. Then the counter became a gathering place for stuff. This is what it looked like when I started (let me warn you – it is BAD):

It is almost done – but we have a large box in the middle of the floor now (another project). I will take after pictures soon, but let me just say that Norah and Lucy have spent several hours back there already!! I am so excited for them to just be able to create!!
Besides all the planning that I am doing, we are trying to take advantage of our last couple of weeks of summer. Lots of fun to be had!!

Almost Embarrassing

I am trying to tackle several organizational projects this summer. The biggest one by far was my laundry room. It was SCARY (and a little embarrassing) – seriously. My mom has said that it was an accident waiting to happen. It was so bad that when our babysitter came over, I would tell her that after she changes Daphne’s cloth diaper to put it outside the laundry room door.

This week I tackled the laundry room. Here are the before pictures:

Notice that there isn’t much of a path for walking. I literally had to step over things (often tripping) to get to the washer and dryer.

Things on the floor just piled up higher and higher!

Things also just piled up on the shelves. Looking for something could be quite catastrophic! Things usually fell to the floor and I usually never ended up finding what I was looking for.
And after pictures:

Now I can actually see what is on the shelves. Novel idea, I know.

I can walk to my washer and dryer without tripping!! I can do laundry without standing on things!!

I don’t think the floor has been this clear since we moved in!!

Hopefully I can keep it clean!!

Decorating Ideas

I have decided to redecorate Daphne’s room. I have some many little projects to get done that I am going to attempt One Project a Month . . . again.

While I really liked what we chose for our baby room at the time, I am ready for a change. I thought we were choosing something neutral – since we didn’t know what we were having and I knew we wouldn’t be changing our baby bedding with each kid. Now after having 3 girls, Daphne’s room looks sort of boyish to me. We chose an “Americana” theme – tan, navy, and red. I love our quilt – my grandma made it for Norah – so it will be going on her bed to sleep with or in her keepsake box for awhile. (I will post before and after pics).

Anyway, I have some ideas floating around, but I am looking for more. I don’t want to spend a lot of money and I know some of you are great at redecorating on a budget.

The walls are going to be “barely pink” and I bought a fabric that I love for the windows. What I need are some suggestions for wall decor and such. I want to go with a cottage style look – light colors and light and airy accessories.

Here are some pics of the fabric I bought for the curtains:

Sept. OPAM

This month’s OPAM (one project a month) was my garage sale – and it is OVER!! I really do like having garage sales – even though they are a lot of work. We did a really great job going through stuff so I feel like I got rid of a lot! My sister, mom, and a friend all participated and we ended up making a total of $432! We still seemed to have a lot left over – we took most of it to Goodwill. I am going to take some books to the library and a few clothes to Once Upon a Child.

I am thankful for all the help – Alison, Jenny and Mom! I am exhausted, but glad we did it.

The girls had lots of time with my nephews, Ryan and Will, and Grandpa Steve! They wore each other out – but had a great time!!

Kevin was fabulous about keeping the dishes clean and getting food put away! Thanks Kev!

Next month’s OPAM is Halloween costumes and beginning Christmas shopping.

Homeschool Room – Complete, Almost!

August project (OPAM) is almost complete!! Yea! Here are the before pictures.

And with alot of help from Kevin, here are the after pictures:

My favorite thing here is the magnetic chalkboard that Kevin painted on the wall. The girls are going to LOVE it!! We had some debate about whether this wall should remain tan (it meets up with the stair well, also tan, and NO ONE wanted to paint the stairwell). I think the map really helps to bring in the other colors of the room.

Norah painted the pictures on the wall (I should probably take a close up picture to post) – they are so cute!!

We made the bulletin board that I had mentioned in my post linked above. The dresser had been used as storage in the basement for several years. I had bought it for $10 at a rummage sale before my junior year of college when I lived off campus. I think the blue and the green work great together. The drawers are filled with math manipulatives, language arts supplies, science games/toys, art supplies, etc. I was afraid Lucy would not stay out of them, but really (knock on wood) this hasn’t been an issue. My white cabinet to the left is totally organized – I love it!!

This is the one area that is not quite complete. I bought the little bookshelf and Norah picked out the little green basket. In the basket are the books that go along with our current theme – farm animals right now. The other books will be rotated with books from the 4 boxes in our storage room. Ultimately, my sister-in-law, Denise, is going to paint a mural in this area but she is a busy lady. She owns her own foreign language school and just started her new school year. She is going to come down sometime in October to get started. The rocking chair will go back to the baby room when Lucy moves out. My mom and I are going to make a couple of floor pillows with the same fabric used for the bulletin board. We also may bring the girls’ beanbag chairs down.

That’s that! Now that I feel so much more organized, it is time to start getting ready for my September OPAM – garage sale!!

Decorating HELP!

Now that our basement is officially complete – working bathroom and all – it is time to decorate it. However, I need help!!!! Basically, it is our playroom and homeschool room with a bedroom and bathroom. Our main struggle is color. Right now the walls are dapper tan – exciting, I know!! Having 2 girls, I would love to do pink and brown, but since we have lots of little boy friends who come over to play, I want it to be more unisex.

Here are a few pictures:

This first picture is obviously between the guest room and steps. It’s not huge, so maybe a reading nook or something. (The glider will go back to the baby’s room once we move Lucy into Norah’s room.)

This picture is to the left of the guest room. The door on the right is the bathroom and the door on the left is just a tiny utility closet. I think this would be the best place for our homeschool set up because it is set back a little, sort defining it as a separte space (at this point most of our homeschooling happens on the floor and through play, but Norah is learning to write and the girls draw/color tons of pictures).

This space is to the left of the little white table in previous picture. Right now it is a hodge podge of stuff – kitchen, balls, books, play food, random toys, etc. Notice that ALL the wall s are blank – BORING!

Just a continuation of hodge podge.

This is the guest room – now very big. There is about 2 feet to the left of the bed and 2-3 feet to the right of the bed. Kevin has suggested scooting the bed against one wall and making it the homeschool room – I’m not a huge fan of that idea, but I am open to other suggestions.

Lucy is standing in a small closet that is not being utilized well at all!! Right now it has to plastic drawer things that holds dress up clothes and doll clothes.

Norah and I really like this idea for above the table. I will probably make my own so I can pretty much go with anything. I will probably try go look at fabric in the next day or so.

One more thought – since it is a basement, there are no windows – so dark colors are probably out.

I will take all the suggestions I can get!

I guess this is my first OPAM so I will post pictures when I am finished.