Creating an Organized Home Part Two – Bathroom

In part one I explained why I decided to do this series, but for all of you that hasn’t had a chance to read it, here’s a quick recap.

I am always misplacing items and then creating an even bigger mess trying to find said item. It’s a vicious cycle. Clean. Misplace item. Destroy home looking for said item. Repeat. Anyone relate?!? Well if you do, then this series is for you! I have made an effort to get more organized in life, so I am sharing my journey, tips, and tricks of how I am accomplishing this. One room at a time. Part one covered the kitchen. You can get all the details from part one HERE. For part two I am talking bathroom organization.

We recently renovated our master bathroom, so organizing it wasn’t so bad. It was actually fun. But before the renovation (click HERE for that post), we stuffed whatever, where-ever, then when I needed something like a bandaid, hair tie, or curling iron, I would make a huge mess trying to get to said item.

We don’t have a medicine cabinet or much storage space, so I had to get creative with organizing.

My favorite item to help keep our home organized is glass canisters. We literally have like 30 canisters throughout the house and they are all put to good use.

I use the canisters in the bathroom to store: soap, sponges, my makeup brushes, cotton balls, q-tips, & bath bombs.

I also keep all my beauty & skincare samples in a canister. I use to be a BirchBox member which is why I have so many. If you don’t know what BirchBox is, it’s a subscription where they send you several samples of skincare & beauty products each month. I cancelled the subscription, but by that time, I had so many samples that I had to do something with them. So in a glass canister they went.

All of the canisters (minus the one with all the samples) are housed on our open shelves. If you’ve been following a long with me then you’ll know my love for open shelves. They are a great way to stay organized in spaces with limited storage. They are also convenient and keep frequently used items in view.

For my hair ties, curling iron, and hair dryer I use command strips on the inside of the cabinet doors. It makes it super quick and easy to do my hair in the morning without making a bunch of noise. My husband is a chef so he gets to sleep in a little later then I do, so I try to be as quiet as possible. Which never really happens. My hubby says I’m like a bull in a china shop. 😂 Anyway…

I love the idea of the command strips on the inside of the door because they are right there when I open the doors and they aren’t taking up the limited space on the counter.

Side note, I’ve had the same beat up hair dryer since I was a teenager! Seriously that thing is ancient, but it works, and that’s what matters. Moving along…

A great way to keep your makeup organized is by a container with multiple compartments. I bought the one below at the container store for $15 several years ago and it does a great job of keeping my makeup organized. In one compartment I keep all my lip makeup, in another all my face makeup, and in the other all eye makeup. Doing this has made it so much easier then pilfering through a drawer trying to find my mascara.

Because the limited space in here, I keep a majority of our towels in a linen closet that is next to our boys bedrooms. But I do keep a couple in the master bathroom because it never fails that my hubby or me forgets a towel and then when one of us gets out of the shower we are yelling at the other person to bring a towel. So to solve the towel dilemma, I put hooks in the wall to hold the towels. I also use a wire basket that holds the hand towels that sits on the toilet next to my makeup container.

We also have a container that is under the sink where we keep all our medicine, supplements, and first aid supplies. I have canisters to keep all like items together. Hair care items are kept in one and first aid supplies in another.

Tip: keeping like items together in a container will help prevent clutter and save you time when looking for something.

Basically canisters, command strips, and wall hooks are the glue that keeps our bathroom organized.

Well friends that’s it for this post. I hope you enjoyed it. For part three I will be covering how to stay organized at the office/on-the-go. Thank you so much for stopping by.

Until next time. Xo

 

Shop This Post

Creating an Organized Home Part One – Kitchen

I am what you would call organized chaos. I’m crazy organized when it comes to work, but not so much at home. I am always misplacing items and then creating an even bigger mess trying to find said item. It’s a vicious cycle. Clean. Misplace item. Destroy home looking for said item. Repeat. But no more! I have made an effort to get more organized in life, so I am sharing my journey, tips, and tricks of how I am accomplishing this. One room at a time. This my friends, is now a functional and organized kitchen.

I don’t know why I woke up a couple Saturdays ago with the urge to deep clean the kitchen, but I did. Then it lead to organizing the pantry, and every single cabinet in the kitchen. Maybe it was the toaster almost falling on my foot when I opened one of the cabinets, or maybe the food crumbs, or the fact that I realized I had 2.2 million cookie cutters. Yes, 2.2 million. Who needs that many cookie cutters? Wilton has probably produced less cookie cutters than what I found stashed away in the cabinets. Ok, maybe I’m exaggerating. The point is, we had a lot of stuff that we never used or I didn’t even remembered we had. What was worse was the things I needed at some point but could NEVER find. I swear I asked my husband on the daily if he knew where something was. His reply was always, “Well, if you would have put it back where it went you wouldn’t have that problem.” Touché husband. Touché. But honestly he was right! I never knew where ANYTHING was because I would use it, then cram it somewhere. So with that, I am starting this home organization series.

Think of this series like a capsule wardrobe, just with your home instead of your clothes. Same concept and same feeling of accomplishment when you’re done!

The first thing I did was open all the cabinets. They were a mess! I wish I would have taken before pictures, but wasn’t until after I was done that I decided I wanted to blog about it.

Then one-by-one I pulled everything out of each cabinet and piled all like things. That’s how I realized I had 2.2 million cookie cutters.😂

After putting everything in piles I went through each one and put everything I haven’t used or had multiples of in a pile to donate. Let me be clear, I had three sets of mixing bowls. Who needs three sets of mixing bowls besides Martha Stewart?!? So I put the other two sets in the donate pile. I also put items that I hadn’t used in a very long time in the donate pile. I took the approach of,  if I didn’t even remember having it, I donated it.

While I had everything pulled out I vacuumed out the cabinets and drawers and then cleaned the insides with a magic eraser. Those things are magnificent!

Tip: Use toothpicks to reach the crud in the grooves of your cabinets then wipe with a magic eraser. Magic erasers are great for a lot of things, especially keeping white cabinets, white!

After going through all the cabinets I had a little over two bags of items ready to donate…just from our kitchen! And can you believe that half of one was cookie cutters?!? JK, but seriously…

I even cleaned out the cleaning supply cabinet and organized all the cleaning supplies using little white wire caddies I purchased from Home Goods like a year ago. Using the caddies have helped me stay organized and it’s so much easier to pull out a trash bag without knocking everything over now.

Tip: If you have a Tupperware drawer, organize them all by size and shape. If you find containers missing a lid, recycle it. I made sure to only keep the Tupperware that had a matching lid.

Once all the cabinets were situated, I started on the pantry. I found grains, cornmeal, and other items that had been expired for months. Gross right?!? So I went through everything, got rid of the expired food, put the items we had multiples of in order of expiration date, and used clear OXO containers we were gifted from our wedding to use for the cereal and other dry items. Yay for finally using them! Our containers are from Crate & Barrel, but I have found them at Home Goods & TJ Maxx for less.

Tip: Making dry foods more visible has definitely helped with meal preparation and allows me to see how much of something we have left. Like cereal. My boys eat the heck out of cereal, but I never knew we were out until I went to eat some. Thanks boys for keeping mom on her toes.

Side note, I didn’t realize my obsession with paper straws until I organized the kitchen. Because I have so many, I put them in a glass canister to keep them together. I am definitely glad I didn’t throw the canister away when I broke the lid.

I also rearranged everything in the pantry based on my height. Items that were easy to lose track are now at eye level. Also, if I had multiples of something I put the item with the closer expiration date in front to reduce wasted food.

I probably sound crazy, but it’s easy to overlook items when they are not at eye level and are not frequently used. Items such as canned beans. I realized when I organized the pantry we had 8 cans of various canned beans. See! All I can hope is that the family is ok with eating a lot of chili. 😂

After the pantry was situated, I moved on to organizing the items on the counters and open shelves. Recently I added a second set of open shelving in our kitchen, and I couldn’t be happier about the decision. Before the second set of shelves, there was a pot rack shelf that we never once used to hang our pots on. Adding the second set of shelves made the kitchen more functional. They also allow me to keep items that are frequently used, while cooking, closer to the stove.

Items such as everyday-ish spices. Before, I had to walk to the other side of the kitchen. Now I don’t have to. Even though I was focused on the items being functional, I still wanted them to look pretty. I mean, they are in the open. So for my spices I used glass jars (with a clasp seal) from Hobby Lobby.

I have never been big on labels, especially since I am always changing things up, so I opted for a cleaner look. However, I still need to know what spice is which. I’m sure pumpkin spice chili wouldn’t be a big hit. So I used a chalkboard marker and wrote the spice on the bottom on each jar.

Then when I want to change out the spice, or use the container for something else, I can easily rub the label off.

Can you see the residue of the marker on the palm of my hand?!? I am OCD about everything and had to rewrite the label 1.2 billion times before I thought it was acceptable. Even though nobody but me knows it’s there. Well, and you now.

For the cookie cutters I kept, I decided to put them in glass canisters below the larger open shelves. To stay organized, I separated them by type/season. On the left I have all my pie cutters, the middle, summer & spring cookie cutters, and on the end, Christmas and Thanksgiving cookie cutters. Now, I don’t have to dump all the cookie cutters on the counter and pilfer through them all to find  certain holiday/seasonal ones. Also, they are now close to the rest of the baking items I frequently use. Convenient and functional!

Organizing the kitchen was a huge task. It took almost a day to get everything situated, but it was well worth it!

The point of all this for me was to only keep items with a true purpose in our home, not just things for the sake of having things. It’s definitely an adjustment for me, but now I know where things are because they aren’t covered or crammed into spaces with things we didn’t need/use. The kitchen has stayed organized for over two weeks now, and I haven’t had to ask my husband once where anything in the kitchen is. I can’t say that for other rooms..but soon enough.

Next up in the series I’ll be tackling bathroom organization. Stay tuned!

P.S. Some of my favorite items to keep me organized are linked below.

Well friends, that’s it for part 1 of this series. I know these ideas are not revolutionary, but they have definitely kept me organized in the kitchen and I hope my tips can do the same for you. Until next time. Xo

Shop This Post

Our Summer Soiree 2017

Our second annual summer party was a success! This year we did a tropical theme with flamingo sugar cookies, lots of pineapples, and a balloon garland, that was insanely simple to make!

We still haven’t purchased outdoor furniture, so we went with the good ol’ pallet table this year…again. The pallets we used this year are actually the same pallets we used last year. I just gave them a good cleaning and they were good to go.

Plus I like the rustic vibe the pallets give. The craziest part is we spent less than $25 on all the decor. That covered the balloons & flowers. Everything else we already had. Pretty and budget friendly.

I do want to give a shout out to my hubby for letting me do my thing and helping along the way. He always just goes with the flow when it comes to my party planning. Bless his heart. Instead of getting all wordy, ill let the pictures do the talking.

The decor

I didn’t want to spend a lot of money on decor, so I opted for a balloon garland and fresh flowers. Flowers are an inexpensive way to spruce up a table.

The balloon garland was so easy and it really made the drink station pop! I made this quick how-to video to show you how to make your own! Side note, I started a YouTube channel to start posting my DIY videos! Yay! I would love for you to follow along with me. I just started it, so my channel is not looking the best, but I am super excited to create how-to video’s. My channel is HERE. You can also subscribe from the balloon garland video link above.

The tablescape

I used scrapbook paper and cut out tropical leaves to add a pop of color to the place settings. Aren’t they cute?!?

I planned on doing so much more, but baby K got sick the day before the party and mommin’ took priority. As it should. The table decor was minimal, but I think the guests were more focused on the food anyway.

The drink

I made a berry beer punch. It was super simple and the guests loved it. For that extra touch I made raspberry ice cubes and topped the drinks with a cherry, slice of lime, and mint, then served with a gold paper straw. Easy peasy. I found this simple and delicious recipe on Pinterest HERE.

The food

Both years we have served beet & goat cheese salad with raspberry vinaigrette that my hubby makes from scratch. It’s always a big hit and usually the first to be devoured. I honestly don’t know which one of us came up with the recipe, but it’s one of our favorites! Beets have always been one of my favorite vegetables. I even converted my hubby. He use to tell me that they tasted like dirt. 😂 But after years of serving them with dinner he gave in. The recipe for this crowd pleaser is at the bottom of this post.

We also served an assortment of cheese, of course. Cheese is my kryptonite. I could literally eat it on anything. Can’t most of us?!? The cheese we served included: Brie, Dutch Gouda, Aged Gouda, & Pesto Gouda. Do you see a theme?!? Give me ALL the Gouda!

I fancied the Brie up and added fig butter from Trader Joe’s, blueberries, and honey. Can you say yum! I am pretty sure I ate half of the wedge. I just couldn’t help myself.

The dessert

I made flamingo, ice cream cones, & watermelon sugar cookies.

And of course I made pie. Blueberry pie to be exact.

Well friends, that’s it for this post! I hope this inspired you in some way. Make sure to check out the balloon garland video to learn how easy it is to make. The recipe for the beet & goat cheese salad is directly below.

Until next time. XO

 

Shop This Post

 

Beet & Goat Cheese Salad with Raspberry Vinaigrette Recipe

Salad ingredients:

4 – 6 fresh beets

4 oz block of goat cheese

1 1/2 cups of pecan halves

Spring mix

Rosemary (fresh or dry)

Olive oil

Step 1: Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.

Step 2: Wash the fresh beets, then cut both ends off each one.

Tip: You do not need to remove the skin. Once the beets are done the skin will easily slide off.

Step 3: On a lipped baking sheet, place the beets two inches apart.

Step 4: Drizzle olive oil over each beet evenly, then coat each beet with fresh or dry rosemary.

Step 5: Bake the beets for 45 minutes to 1 hour. Until soft.

Step 6: Let the beets cool completely then slide the skin off the beets.

Tip: Beet juice will stain your hands. I recommend wearing gloves.

Step 7: Slice the beets and then set aside.

Step 8: Prepping the salad. Put the spring mix on the bottom of the dish, then crumble the goat cheese on top of the spring mix. I just used my hands. 😊

Step 9: Place the beet slices evenly on the salad, then pour the dressing over the salad.

Step 10: Top the salad with the pecan halves and serve immediately

 

Raspberry vinaigrette ingredients:

1 pint of raspberries

1/5 cup of champagne vinegar

1 1/2 cups of olive oil

1 tbsp of dijon mustard

1/4 cup of granulated sugar

Step 1: Using a blender combine all the ingredients EXCEPT FOR THE OLIVE OIL, blend on high until smooth.

Step 2: Turn the blender to medium speed and slowly pour the olive oil into the blender until all combined.

Step 3: Once all the olive oil has been added blend on high for 5-10 seconds.

Step 4: Refrigerate or pour over the salad and serve immediately!

 

 

 

 

Master Bathroom Makeover

This makeover had been a long time coming. It wasn’t ugly. It just wasn’t our style, and definitely didn’t match the rest of the house. Below are some before pictures to show you what we were working with. Do you see a theme?!? Brown everywhere!! The walls, the cabinet, the vanity top, & even the floor.

The wall color reminded me of baby K’s poo. 😂 That’s when I knew it was time.

I actually starting painting the walls in the master bathroom about 6 months ago. I initially painted the walls Argos Gray from Sherwin Williams. Then I decided I didn’t want gray because most of the walls in our house are gray and it just didn’t feel right. Then I started painting over the gray with the leftover white paint from the laundry room makeover. You can see that makeover HERE. But the paint didn’t cover very well, and it was stark white, too white. So I decided I wanted a warmer white. I know, crazy right?!? Even I was questioning my sanity.

See what I mean?!? I went home decor crazy for just a minute. 😂

I ended up going with Snowbound White from Sherwin Williams. I LOVE it!! It was exactly what I wanted. I’m glad it only took me painting the walls two times with two  different colors to figure it out. 😏

After painting the walls, I bought the round mirror. I wasn’t 100% sure on the styling at this time, but I was 100% sure on the mirror. I knew I wanted that mirror, so I used that as my inspiration.

It took me a very long time to figure out how I wanted to style the bathroom. I initially wanted marble countertops and all white everything. But then I realized we aren’t rich and couldn’t afford marble countertops. Then I wanted to cover the walls in honeycomb tile, but after tiling the laundry room I decided, no.

This updated space is an extra special DIY because I just went with things I loved instead of scrolling through Pinterest. Sometimes Pinterest can be overwhelming and sway your thinking. Am I right?!? So I went on a Pinterest strike while figuring out what I wanted. All I can say is thank god for Amazon! Instead of Pinterest, I looked up random items like “brass light fixture” and just scrolled until I found one I wanted. I basically did this with everything. Most of the items are actually from Amazon and at a fraction of the price from what you would pay at a big box store. 🙌🏼

While I was waiting for all the items from Amazon to come in, I put up the wall decor & of course added greenery. I used the same shelving brackets from our laundry room makeover HERE. They are so sturdy, but look clean and modern. Exactly what I wanted.

You can buy the brackets HERE. If you buy these brackets make sure you read the dimensions carefully! There were several bad reviews because the width of the shelf the brackets hold is misleading. I purchased the 8″ brackets, which translates to 7.25 or 7 1/4 inches wide for the actual shelf. The brackets are the sizes as advertised, but the shelf itself needs to be .75 inches smaller in width for the shelf to fit. Meaning, if you buy the 10 inch brackets you’ll want to buy a piece of wood 9.25 inches wide not 10″. Other than that, they are perfect!

I bought the wall hooks from Target in brass originally, but they were more gold when I got them home, so I spray painted them matte black with paint I already had on hand.

The next thing I tackled was the cabinet. Initially I wanted a mid-century dresser that I planned on turning into a vanity. My friend had even found one for me! But on the day I was going to pick it up from the seller, she text me and told me it had been water damaged from the last rain fall. Boo! I was disappointed. Then I went to plan B and decided to paint the cabinet.

I used matte black chalkboard paint from Lowe’s then did a top coat with Annie Sloan soft wax for protection.

I bought the hardware from Amazon. They were crazy inexpensive! I bought a 10 pack of the t-bar drawer pulls, and a 5 pack of the t-bar knobs all for $25! Bonus, I plan to use the leftover t-bar pulls for the shelf doors in the loft. Two birds, one stone!

After I painted the cabinet, I focused on the floor. I went back and forth about the floor for over a week. One day I wanted to do a stencil, then the next day I wanted to rip it out and put new down, but I ended up painting it a solid color. I used Rust-oleum chalk paint in Charcoal. I was hesitant at first with the cabinet painted black, but I actually really like it. I think the runner gives it enough contrast.

I read a lot of tutorials about painting the floor. I had never painted a floor before so I needed all the help I could get! I used my sweet friend April’s tutorial HERE to guide me through the process and it worked like a charm! Plus I love her floor and basically everything she does. ❤️

After the floors were dry, it was time to put in the light fixture. Isn’t she a beaut?!?

I have always been afraid of messing with electrical, so I usually have my amazing FIL do them when he comes to visit. However, he told me it would be a couple weeks until he got the chance to come over, and I am super impatient and didn’t want to wait that long. So I put my big girl pants on and decided I would conquer my fear.

Still afraid I was going to electrocute myself, I shut the power off to the entire upstairs. 😂 I didn’t think about our wifi that resides upstairs until my oldest son yelled, “Mom, the tv stopped working!” Oops! 😬

After I was 100% sure that all the switches were flipped off, hooking the light up was a breeze. Definitely a lot easier than I thought and took me less than 30 minutes to get it done. My favorite thing about the light fixture, is the simplicity of it and the fact it shows the vintage light bulbs. 😍

After the light fixture was in, it was time to take out the vanity. I searched everywhere for a single wood plank that was big enough for the countertop, but couldn’t find one in our price range. So I ended up buying 3 oak planks to make the countertop.

When I asked the older gentleman associate at Lowe’s for assistance with the wood selection, he told me to go with oak instead of pine or poplar because oak is a hardwood and the other two options are softwood. To be honest, I didn’t know that there was a difference. I just knew the other options were less expensive. But after the associate told me that the oak would be better with water exposure over time, I went with the oak as he suggested.

Materials for vanity countertop:

Wood:

3 – 7 x 61.5 x .75

1 – 5 x 61.5 x .75 (backsplash)

Tools & Materials:

Tape measure

Pencil

Dremel

Sander with 220 grit sandpaper

Electric drill

Wood glue

2 clamps

Liquid Nails

Kreg Jig

1 1/4 inch Kreg screws

1.5 inch hole saw (faucet holes)

2 3/4 inch hole saw (vessel sink holes)

Wood conditioner

Early American Minwax wood finish

One coat polyurethane

3 foam brushes

Damp cloth

All the materials to make the vanity cost me around $130. Not the least expensive, but a lot less than buying one. 😬 The wood by itself was around $88. The additional cost was for tool accessories to make the holes for the faucets and sinks. I had everything else.

The first thing I did was mark where I wanted the faucets and sinks to go using a tape measure & pencil.

THIS WAS KEY as I did not want to put screws (using the Kreg Jig) where I would need to drill the holes for the faucets and sinks.

Once I had everything measured I used the Kreg Jig to make holes in the wood to connect the three pieces. I might of gotten over zealous, but I wanted to make sure they were secured to each other. My goal was to make the three pieces look like one piece.

Next I used wood gorilla glue and glued the sides together.

After I applied all the glue, I used two clamps to hold them together until I had put all the screws in. Because the wood was only .75 inches thick, I used a 1 1/4 inch fine thread Kreg screw. I would recommend using fine thread over coarse thread screws if you go with hardwood. I used a damp towel to wipe off any visible glue and then let it dry overnight.

Next I used the electric sander (220 grit) to smooth the surface. One of the boards was a little raised on one side so I used my handy dandy Dremel with the sander attachment to level everything. Worked like a charm! After I was done leveling the wood, I went back over it with the sander, then wiped it clean before I started the painting process.

First, I applied 2 coats of wood conditioner.

Usually I don’t go to this extreme while staining. Actually, I never have used wood conditioner until now, but with the chance of excessive exposure to water I didn’t take any shortcuts.

I let the wood conditioner dry for about 8 hours then stained it with Early American wood finish from Minwax.

I applied one thin coat, let the stain sit for about 1 minute, then wiped it off using a damp towel. If you want a darker look, let the stain sit for a few minutes before wiping it down. I let the stain dry overnight then applied the polyurethane the next morning.

Minus the sanding and Dremel steps, I did the same process for the backsplash piece.

Once the polyurethane was dry it was time to drill the holes for the faucets and sinks.

I had to use two different saw hole sizes. For the faucets I used a 1.5 inch saw hole and for the sinks I used a 2 3/4 inch saw hole.

After the holes were drilled, I used liquid nails to secure the wood to the cabinet and the backslash to the countertop, then put the sinks and faucets in.

I went back and forth about the color of the faucets. At first I wanted black, but with the floor and cabinet both black/charcoal I opted for the brass. I bought two faucets for $49 each through Amazon. That is a steal if you have shopped for faucets at big box stores. They were between $100 – $200 at other places I looked. In the end I am so happy I went with brass faucets. I LOVE THEM and the quality is amazing!

After the faucets and sinks were in place, my hubby hooked the water up. Good thing, because I assembled the faucets incorrectly. 😬 The vessel sinks are also from Amazon and the popup drains were included. Both sinks together cost $98 total! Also a steal! Amazon might be the best of EVER.

After the water was hooked up we were in business!

I had never been so happy to see streaming water from a faucet!

Funny story, when my hubby was having me check if the hoses were hooked up right (hot on left, cold on right), I turned the faucet on full blast and the water shot out all over him. 😂 He turned the water pressure down after that and so that doesn’t happen again, but his face was priceless! 😂😂

Total this project cost roughly $700 for everything. I’m talking decor, fixtures, tools, everything. It may sound like a lot, but it was far less expensive then what we would have paid to have a contractor do it. 😊

I still plan on changing the shower head, but for now, I am over the moon with how this space came together.

Well friends, that’s it for this post. I hope you found it inspiring and helpful if you are thinking about doing a bathroom makeover. Just know, it takes time.  Lot of time. This was 6+ months in the making. Obviously we didn’t buy everything at once. I would pick up an item here and there as our budget would allow. So if you are in the middle of a project that seems like it is taking forever, be patient with yourself and enjoy the adventure of building a space you love.

If you have any questions please leave a comment or message me on Instagram. My handle is @acarriedaffairdesigns I would love to know what you think about this makeover!

Until next time. Happy DIY’ing! Xo

Shop This Post