Home office/craft room – part 3

Hi team. I got derailed somehow and haven’t been here for a few weeks! I’m thrilled to say that my organisation of the home office has really improved the way things operate. Today I needed to send 10 small canvasses to the UK. I didn’t want them to get damaged so I went to my box of postage supplies and found exactly what I needed. I wrapped it all up, cardboard-surrounded and large plastic envelope to hand, and took it to the Post Office. 

It was so simple! No scrambling to find something to protect the canvasses. No time and money wasted on buying an envelope I didn’t need, because I already had one. And I knew exactly where to get the packing tape. Easy peasy and no stress at all.

That is exactly the whole reason I’ve spent hours on setting the office up.

And now, my desk: 

  
The three large coloured boxes across the top are filing boxes. 

The left and right ones are my son’s memory boxes. Inside those are their baby books, and things like photos, birthday cards from special friends/family (the rest are recycled), some treasured pictures and paintings, etc. It is a great system to keep all those loose bits.

In the middle box, are drop files containing my and hubby’s bank, tax, insurance etc, details. I used to keep this sort of thing in a binder, but it got too much for just a binder. Especially the house renovation file which contained lots of A3 sized plans. It saves the files from getting tatty.

On the next shelf below is a white binder titled Home Management Binder. It does what it says on the cover, lol. I use this binder to keep me and the house on track. If you would like to see an up-close post about it, let me know in the comments below this blog post.

I love the whiteboard and used to use it a lot but now I have my Home Management Binder. So I chose to hang these lovely affirmations I printed, from Dawn Breslin.

  
On the wee shelf below are my ‘little bits’. These are paper clips, bulldog clips, push pins, etc. I don’t have any drawers in this desk (its only downfall), so instead I recycled cherry tomato containers from the supermarket. I blu-tacked them to the desk so they don’t slide around, while I am rummaging. 

I’m so pleased with the effort I put in to get it like this. It’s working really well for me, and the family. I hesitated about labelling the drawers but I’m really glad I did. When asked, “Mum where is X?” I can happily say to hubby or the kids, “Go into the office and look at the drawers. It’s in one of them.” I don’t have to go and get what they have looked for and inevitably couldn’t find. 

That’s the whole room. Thank you for your non-judgy support with this. 

WG

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Home office/craft room – part 2

I’ve got a long project to-do list in the last two weeks before school returns and I go back to work. Yesterday I took you through part 1, which was quite detailed and photo heavy. Today’s won’t be nearly so long!
This room is just MINE. In a house full of boys, I’ve got a chill out space for just me. No Star Wars or superhero merchandise in sight! When I’m in here, I’m working on hobbies, or planning, or journaling, or YouTubing, or meditating…I feel better already, just knowing I have a space for me!
I’m pretty frugal and love repurposing things that otherwise get thrown away. One of my passions is ‘less waste’ in this throwaway world. So you will likely see some things that may raise your eyebrows!
This is my little bookshelf and the focus of this post. 

  
At the very top are boxes we got from IKEA in London, many moons ago. We used these boxes to keep our CDs in. They fit two rows, side by side perfectly, which was great, because we had approximately 700 CDs! Nowadays, we have transferred most of our music to our iTunes account and only have 1 box of our absolute favourite CDs remaining (in the box, just above the jigsaw puzzles. 

I either lost the little label inserts or chucked them, so made ones to fit from blue card stock and my label maker. You can see the top boxes don’t have labels. That’s because they are empty! It’s super important to have room to grow in your home office, otherwise you will end up cluttered and in a mess again.

The artwork is from my eldest, from about 5 years ago. I absolutely adore it! 

Ok, so on the bookshelf are file stands…I don’t actually know what they are called, do you? Anyway, inside those are my scrap booking paper, stencils, etc. I have only made one scrapbook but I’ve kept all the stuff because I feel like I will do another one, one day. I think they need to have something in between them, and I think a small plant would look good…I’m open to suggestions!

On the next shelf below are the blue and orange patterned boxes. In the left one I have more scrap booking stuff, like ink pads and letter stamp blocks. The box on the right is empty.

The third shelf down holds two more IKEA boxes. The left one is our remaining CDs box. The right one is labelled ‘Storage’ and holds things I might use, like a pretty glass jar and more wicker baskets etc.

On the last shelf are my jigsaw puzzles, which I got into last winter and likely will do again this winter. The big blue box holds gift bags and tissue paper.

Wrapping paper has always been a pain in the arse storage wise for me, so I took the largest gift bag I had, put the rolls of wrapping paper in it and hung it on the back of the office door.

  

  
That’s it for part 2. If you have any suggestions on bringing some life to the book shelf, I would love to hear them! Better still, share your own decluttering or organisation tips/posts!

Part 3 will focus on my desk organisation. See you then 😃

WG

Home office/craft room set up – part 1

I’ve got a long project to-do list in the last two weeks before school returns and I go back to work. Yesterday, despite feeling a little blue (another post to write), I got my focus on and finally sorted out my home office/craft room/mum space. I’m delighted with the result. I’m looking forward to it remaining this way for the year!

This room is mine. In a house full of boys, I’ve got a space for just me. No Star Wars or superhero merchandise in sight! When I’m in here, I’m working on hobbies, or planning, or journaling, or YouTubing, or meditating…I feel better already, just knowing I have a space for me!

I’m pretty frugal and love repurposing things that otherwise get thrown away. One of my passions is ‘less waste’ in this throwaway world. So you will likely see some things that may raise your eyebrows!

This is the view from the doorway and the focus of this post. 

  

Starting on the left you will see the tall white unit. We purchased this when we lived in London. It was built to go in the bathroom, but I put it in our entranceway as a place for the phone and keys, etc. Here I am using it as my art “station”. As yet the drawer is empty. The first shelf is for my colouring book (I only have one keeping to my less waste ethos), colouring pens and pencils. On the second shelf is a cane basket, which I also bought in the UK, as a caddy for nappies, baby wipes, creams etc. It’s extremely sturdy and is housing my acrylic pants, brushes etc. If you think about it, you can find a new use for things!

  

Next up is the drawers, which came from my parents’ house. Eventually I want to paint them white, but until then I am using it as is. Across the top are two paper trays. These are for my current house decorating project, which is the toilet (or powder room for my US readers). The tray on the left holds the bathroom focused magazines I’ve purchased. The tray on the right holds bathroom product brochures, paint swatches, project ideas, etc. The wicker basket in the middle is a ‘dump’ basket. This is a spot where I can quickly throw small miscellaneous items that don’t have a home or purpose yet. 

  
The top drawer houses a mishmash of things. I’ve used shoeboxes and their lids for drawer containers and dividers. I really don’t see the need for covering these in pretty paper, nor the need in buying containers or dividers when I can use something I already have, for free.

At the front on the left is a wad of blank cards, made by the kids, with their envelopes and a book of stamps so we can send these to the UK family whenever there is a birthday. This is a life-changer for me. Until now, I haven’t had a ‘home’ for this so when a birthday comes up, there was always a rummage through miscellaneous drawers and cupboards for cards and then a dash to the Post Office to buy the stamp. Inevitably, the card has often arrived late. This way is going to be so much better! And yes, I’ve labelled the top drawer, as you can see in the photo below.

  
The second drawer down is pretty empty and contains miscellaneous items. On the left is to do with my old life coaching business stuff. Then there’s a small sewing kit and on the right are blank canvasses for our wall art project (another post to come).

  
The bottom drawer on the left is where I keep my weekly chore pads (for the kids), shopping list pads, A4 printer paper, and photo paper. In the middle is a shoebox containing our external hard drive, my old mobile phone and charger and USB memory sticks. To the right, I have a ton of blank notebooks and plain white envelopes (which get mainly used up by sending money with the kids to school).

That’s it for part 1. If you are looking to do the same, or already have, please comment and share your ideas/inspiration!

WG

Double bedroom makeover (sort of)

So for the past two weeks, when most folks are focused on Christmas, I chose this busy time of year to turn the house upside down. Literally. Ok, well, maybe not the whole house, but definitely 3 bedrooms. Let me explain…

The spare bedroom (as it was):

  
Our spare bedroom is the second largest out of four. And as you can see, we weren’t expecting guests any time soon. While working during the school term, running two sports-mad boys to their sports, AND deciding to decluttering other rooms,  I neglected and abused this room.

In the meantime, our boys were currently in bunk beds sharing a smaller room. They wanted to continue sharing but neither of them particularly enjoyed the top bunk any longer. And I sure as hell despise changing the sheets of a top bunk! The two beds are King Single (larger than a normal single) and were too big for the smaller room.

So my husband and I dismantled all the furniture and swapped the two rooms over. Sounds easy as. It’s a lot of hard work because of course I spring clean as I go!

This is the boys’ old room:

  
And this is the boys’ new room (with new bedding):

  
There’s a few more things I would like to do in here, like paint the walls and add some cool shelving and bedside lights but for now, this is it.

And this is the new spare bedroom for guests (new bedding, cushions and curtains):

  

I am also planning on painting this room too, but again time and budget was all used up!

The bedrooms are the very first thing you see when you walk through the door. And I hated them! For weeks and weeks, especially recently, I couldn’t stand walking into the house because they had become such a negative energy.
Now I love these rooms and am ready for unexpected guests over the holiday season. The kids are happier too. They have a home for all their ‘stuff’ – yes, boys have ‘stuff’, just like girls!

In the coming weeks, I will post about some free/cheap storage solutions I’ve created. And I will also reveal my wardrobe makeover aaannnd show you my new craft room (so excited about that one!)

Whatever you are doing over the holiday break, have a happy and safe one!

WG

Christmas Decorations are up

Oh, how I love Christmas! I’m not sure what it is, but I start grinning from ear to ear once the decorations are up! If you’re more bah humbug, this post is not for you!

  
The kids decorated the tree this year. It was extremely difficult for me (perfectionist, bauble OCD) to not re-do any of it, or to comment while they were doing it. I’ve seen the new way of decorating like-colour with like-colour I’d love to give it a go one year, but I dare not rain on their parade. And really, they did a fantastic job!

  
Our front porch is modest and I like to keep it fairly simple and clutter free. We used to just have the wreath, so this year I have added the garland for more interest. I’m also on the lookout for a small festive picture or sign, suitable for outdoors, to hang on the left, inward-facing wall. I’m pretty fussy, and I know what I want when I see it, so nothing may happen immediately. I’ve also decided I would like a red or grey mat. And I noticed the porch needs repainting (argh!), so I might go a darker grey than it currently is. Hey! I just noticed how bad the concrete pad looks. It needs sealing and painting (double argh!!).

  
My table centrepiece. It’s basic and I’d like to add some bits of greenery to this. I’ve seen a tonne of pins on Pinterest with festive hurricane lamps but I just haven’t had the time yet to create anything more with mine! Maybe by next year?!

I have a confession to make. While out shopping today, Ipicked up some pretty cool accessories for two of the three bedrooms we are  going to redecorate in 2016. I have such a clear vision for the rooms, I already know what accessories to get! More about that another time though.

Have you got your decorations up yet? 

Til next time,

WG

Decluttering – Bathroom

Ok, so we (my husband and two boys) live in a fairly small house with one bathroom…yes, only one! It’s tough being the only female in the house, however I do have long term plans up my sleeve that will save my sanity!

Until such a time (when we financially recover from the major reno of our lounge, kitchen, dining room and laundry!) I spent a couple of hours today decluttering, cleaning and reorganising my bathroom cabinet. If you look at the photo you will see I am surviving with just one drawer. Actually, just half a drawer because ‘the boys’ are sharing the left half. Everything – makeup, hair stuff and lotions – has to be purchased carefully because this is all the space I have…for now.

This is slightly embarrassing, but here is the vanity before… 

 
I know, I know, I know!! How could I let it get to that state?? Busy-working-sports-playing-mum just doesn’t cut it these days because that describes most of us! What can I say? I preferred binge-watching The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills at night instead of cleaning. Ugh.

So here is the after… 

 
And I see a ton of these sorts of before and after photos with specially purchased containers, baskets, boxes etc. I bought nothing! I used up what I had around the house. Does it all match? Not really. Is it how I want it? Again, not really. Is it an improvement from before? YES! And that is all I need to make me happy.

Progress, not perfection.

Letting go.

WG