Sunday, January 26, 2014

Organized Linen Closet

Hi All,

I'd like to share a space that was formerly cramped.  A space that formerly made me go crazy every time I opened its door.  That space is the "Linen Closet".

Yes, that's quite a sight to behold isn't?

Approximately 30 minutes later it looked like this:

I wanted to label everything but didn't have any fancy labels for closets so I used what I had: clothes pins.  I dressed them up with washi tape cut to size and used my label maker.

Ahh, so much better.  So the process went like this: 

1.Take everything out, and vacuum the floor.
3.Fold neatly and put everything back.

Let's take a closer look.

I bought one of those vacuum bags from the Dollar Tree and it worked like a charm.  I separate my twin top sheets from the fitted sheets 'cause lets face it, with little kids you tend to change the fitted sheets more often and there's no need to keep the sets together.  I also don't put a top sheet on the little ones beds because they usually end up in a tangled heap at the bottom of the bed anyway. Having no top sheet to contend with makes it easier to make their bed and therefore encourages them to make their own bed.

Well that's it.  One more look:


Monday, January 13, 2014

Kitchen Bench Pillow

Hi All,

I'd like to share with you the pillow I made for our kitchen bench.  I wanted it to be wipeable so I used a heavy duty decorative table cloth.  You can buy this from Fabricland on the bolt by the meter. I've used this material before to make my own high chair covers.  I find it a little difficult to work with especially if you're top stitching on the front of the fabric.  It's very slippery but you just have to try your best.

First step is to measure.  The good thing about this fabric is they have lines on the back similar to what you might find on wrapping paper, making it a breeze to cut.  My measuring consists of placing the cushions I'm going to use and eyeballing it.  Yup, keeping it real profession up in here.

You could use stuffing, or a couple old pillows for the filling.  I used some chair pads that we weren't using.

Do it this way.
Don't do it this way.  Bad idea.
I added some tabs under to keep the pillow attached to the bench.  I cut one long piece about 3" x 22". Fold it in half lengthwise with wrong sides facing each other.  I tried sewing it good sides facing each other intending to turn it out but I realized that would be a huge pain and probably not doable without ripping it.

Then press the seam to one side in the middle with you're finger.

Once that's done, measure where you want to velcro to go by trying it on the bench first.  Pin the velcro and sew.

Leaving the strips on your bench, place your fabric on top.  Don't center it unless you want the seam on top!  Place it so the seam will be on the side.  The next part was done by feel.  Feel where the velcro tabbed strip is and pin in place.  I outlined where it was in pencil, so that I knew where to sew.

Sew the strips on.  This part was a pain.

Then you sew the whole thing, good sides facing each other.  Leave a large enough gap on one side to turn and put in your filling.  I sewed boxed corners also. When you turn it be very careful not to man-handle it.  It will rip (speaking from experience).

Put in your pillows and hot glue the opening.  I tried top-stitching it closed but that turned out to be a huge mess.

I hope the instructions were clear enough.

A view from underneath so you can see the velcro in action.

There you have it.  A nice, easy to clean bench pillow.  Great for messy adults kids. :)



UPDATE (April 10, 2014):  The plastic table cloth material did not stand up to the wear-and-tear and ripped in so many places.  Please see the updated post here.

Friday, January 3, 2014

Organized Kids Bedroom

Hi All,

I hope you're having a great start to the new year.  This post is for those who are striving for a more organized home this 2014.  Judging by flyers and stores I'd say a lot of people are.

We live in a 3 bedroom, 1500 sq ft. house with five children.  Sometimes things seem a little cramped but I try not to complain since there are so many in this world who live in a one room shack.  When I hear of others complaining of their 2000 sq ft house being to small for a family of four I think of how spoiled we really are.

Anyways, right now we have four kids in one room and one in another.  In this one room, which we will focus on, is able to fit two bunks beds.

I hung a cork board in their room to hold inspiring quotes, pictures of friends and their morning and night routines.  I'm planning on revamping this board when my son moves into his own room and the little one moves in here making it an all girls room, but for now, this is what it is.  They each get a hook to hang their pj's in the morning, and the clothes they pick out the night before on.  Can you spot that beautiful green bin?  Well that is for any items that don't belong in the room, that migrate in.  I just pop it in there and when I'm ready at the end of the day, or week I take the bin and deliver the items to their home.

 The end of the bunk holds their library books out of the shoe rack that I turned into a book sling.  You can find the original post and tutorial here.

I managed to fit two dressers into the room.  One is hidden in the closet. 

The other is a four drawer Malm dresser from Ikea.  I love Ikea.  I used to pile the clothes in their drawers but it wasn't effective.  When your clothes are piled, you can't really see what's underneath and if you pull something out from under, you end up messing your pile.  Just a hot mess.  Instead I double fold the clothes and pile upright (does that make sense?).  I do this is my dresser too!  This way you can see all your clothes at once and when you pull something out they all stay neat. 

I like to use dividers for all the little items.  I've used cardboard boxes, shoe boxes and even make my own out of cardboard but I went to Ikea (did I mention I love Ikea?) and bought these little bins.  

I have a NO TOY rule in the kids rooms.  They are allowed a few stuffies and books, but that's it.  Bedrooms are for reading, getting dressed, quiettime and sleeping, nothing else.  This way I control the amount of stuff in their room.  There is usually nothing under their beds and very little elsewhere.  We have routines for picking up clothes and rotating through books.  Vacuuming is a breeze when there is little to get in the way.


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