Monthly Archives: February 2012

What’s in a Name?

{Image: Alex Proimos}

Oh, boy. I broke the cardinal rule of blogging: I didn’t buy my own domain name when I started this blog. I know, I know! What was I thinking?

Last month, I decided I wanted to go ahead and buy it at last. WordPress kept reminding me I could do so and because they did, I didn’t think it would be a problem to wait awhile before making the hosting and domain registration commitment. Last month, though, I saw something new. My dashboard no longer told me I could register a .com address. It told me I could register a .net.

Uh-oh.

Somebody just bought the domain. Now that I want to update the blog and do a re-design outside of the constraints of WordPress.com, that actually matters to me. I emailed the owner of the blog domain, offering to pay for it, but I did not get a response.

So now I need to find a new name. Everyone I’ve talked to about this is sad and told me they like Behind Closed Drawers because it has a nice sound, is descriptive, and a fun play on words. I could keep the name if I bought a domain with the name plus “blog” at the end of it. What do you think about that? Is the extra word unwieldy and too long? Should I try to keep my name, or does one of the options below work as well or better?

I would love to have your input on this! I talked to some friends and gave them a long list of options and  they narrowed it down. I’m adding a poll for potential blog names; if you would take a moment to vote, I would be very grateful.

Thank you in advance for your help,

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Filed under Ponderings

Home Tour Tuesday: The Master Bedroom

Ta-da! It’s Tuesday. Every Tuesday, I reveal a new area or room in our home. Since we’ve just moved in, for now I’m just experimenting with what I’d like to do to improve it or decorate it. Eventually, I’ll show off before and afters. (Can’t wait!) But for now, it’s just the “before” and an explanation of what I’d like to see happen in the near future.

Today’s tour is of one of my favorite rooms in the house. I love, love, love the paint color. Our bedroom has a high ceiling, gray-blue walls, and white accents. I’m working on adding artwork, prints, and pictures on the walls, but for now I’ve just been trying to get it organized. I think I’m almost there!

You can see in this picture that the left-hand bookshelf has a white box on it. I put it there so Daniel could have a place to hold all of the wires and electronic bits and pieces that accumulate on “his” bookshelf. It works pretty well! Someday soon I really need to get him a better nightstand solution, but for now the box and the bookshelf do their job.
For my part, my growing accessories collection has been haphazardly strewn across the top of my dresser for awhile, until I realized I could continue “shopping” in my home and reuse something for an organizational purpose. If you look on the left-hand corner of the dresser, you’ll see a white tray. Guess what? That tray is actually a serving tray from Bed, Bath, & Beyond that we got for our wedding. I’ve used it for parties, but usually it is stored above our refrigerator. Not now! Now it is the perfect place to store my bracelets and sunglasses. I’ve also put a white ramekin I rarely use on top of it, to hold loose rings that I don’t wear every day.
Here are few close-ups of the room. I spy my white owl!:
And finally, a couple of shots from inside the bookshelves. Yes, I know the gold-framed picture of us has showed up all around the house:
So that’s our master bedroom! In a couple of weeks I’ll delve into the master bathroom.
p.s. If you’re new, welcome! I invite you to sign up for an email or RSS subscription to receive updates and budget-savvy inspiration on organizing and decorating your home.

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Filed under Bedroom, Budget Decor, DIY, Home Improvement, Home Tour Tuesday, Organizing, Storage

Oh, Hello Friend Shop Swap, Part 1

Back in January, one of my favorite design bloggers–Danni from Oh, Hello Friend–suggested a lovely idea. She invited her readers who had shops to sign up to be matched with another shop and to then exchange a “swap” of products.

I was so excited and I just barely made the 100 shop cut, so when I got an email from her letting me know I had been paired with the lovely Megan from megan E sass, I was thrilled. I didn’t know Megan then and wasn’t familiar with her shop, but like I blogged about a week or so ago, I quickly was charmed by her knitted items.

I have to admit I Etsy-stalked Megan’s favorite items to see what among my stock she might like best. I discovered along the way that Danni had been spot-on with her matching, because, man, if I didn’t want to “favorite” nearly everything I saw on Megan’s list! That gave me courage to select my items to send to her. Megan and I had discussed some favorite colors and things ahead of time and decided that we both wanted to be surprised. No pressure!

My surprise package arrived at Megan’s doorstep yesterday, and I was thrilled to get her excited email last night, letting me know that she loved her surprise. I can’t tell you how hard it has been to keep this a secret until now, but I wanted to show you my little labor of love. Here it is … Megan’s vintage surprise care package (yes, those are patterns, used as filler!):

Ooohh … what have we here? Let’s peak inside, shall we?

Lots and lots of vintage goodies to inspire! I selected some of my favorite vintage photographs, buttons, ephemera, a crocheted lace doily, bias tape (so cute in red with white polka-dots!), multiplication cards, ribbon, a letterpress stamp, wine corks, and a wooden spool.

Here are some close-ups:

Isn’t that couple darling? They are on a boat on the lake, wind in their hair, living life to the fullest, and grinning from ear to ear. I can see she’s wearing lipstick, even on the speed boat. How chic of her! I’ll bet it is bright red and she looked even more fabulous for having windswept hair.

I had so much fun compiling this little package. So much so, I wondered if I shouldn’t start putting together some more for the shop. I wonder if others would enjoy getting little packages of vintage inspiration in the mail?  Any thoughts?

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Room Inspirations: Seaside Resort

{Image: Eustaquio Santimano}

Caribbean Dreams by behindcloseddrawers featuring flip flop shoes

It’s that time of year when I’m longing for a lounge chair, a guilty-pleasure chick lit book, sunglasses, the smell of sunscreen, wind in my hair, sand in my toes, and the brilliant blues of the ocean, undulating nearby. The weather yesterday in the Nashville, TN area just made things worse yesterday by being amazing and gorgeous and tantalizingly warm and sunny. I want summer!
Well, even if I can’t make it be summer, I can do a lot of other things, which is a great segue into today’s Big News! I’m hosting my first-ever guest post series in two weeks and the theme is You CAN Do It!
Several of my blogging friends have graciously agreed to share some of their expertise with you on topics ranging from getting healthy to choosing a rockin’ playlist. I can’t wait to share what they have to offer, but, in the meantime, I am excited to share the news.
Have a great weekend, and I’ll see you Monday!
p.s. My good blogger friends aren’t the only amazingly talented and knowledgeable folks out there. Do you want to inspire others so that they can do something that might scare them, intimidate them, or confuse them? Let me know! Email behindcloseddrawers@gmail.com and tell me what you can do–and what others can do, too. I’d love to hear from you, and I might include your idea or story in the series.

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Filed under Room Inspirations

Athletic Gear Storage in the Coat Closet

When I began cleaning and organizing our third bedroom/storage room, I ran into the problem of where to put all of our athletic gear. Since I keep my Creative Salvage stock in the closet of that bedroom, the gear couldn’t go there. Since I store boxes to ship my Creative Salvage items in our attic, the gear couldn’t go there. Since our garage can’t hold much more storage without becoming unusable for its main purpose (riding mower parking), the gear couldn’t go there. Since we are protecting our master bedroom closet to keep it for clothing and shoes and extra comforter storage only, the gear couldn’t go there.

So I put it in the only remaining closet I had available: our coat closet. At first I balked at this idea. After all, I liked being able to keep board games there, along with our coats. It seemed like a good idea, because it is close to our living room and therefore accessible at a moment’s notice. However, the athletic gear won out, and the few board games were designated to another storage area.

In the future, I plan to dress this closet up a bit and put matching organizers in it, including a storage shelf to go on the closet floor to add more storage and keep things off the floor itself. Until then, this is what I came up with:

… and ta-da! …

There was only one blooper I came across while in the middle of the process; our medicine ball wouldn’t fit, no matter how hard I tried to squeeze it in. *sigh* I’ll have to figure out where else to put it. Right now, it’s keeping Grandpa Mo (our ancient riding lawn mower) company.

(Hello, Grandpa Mo)

Where do you keep all your athletic gear? I’d love to hear other ideas!

Sorry I’ve been posting later than usual, lately. It’s been a crazy week! I hope you come back tomorrow, when I’m making an announcement about a new guest blog series that will begin soon!

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Filed under Cleaning, Closet, Containers, Organizing, Sorting, Storage

Celebrating Small Victories

{Image: Camdiluv}

After taking my shower this morning, I was getting ready for the day and I looked at the floor next to my shower and I couldn’t take it any longer. I’ve noticed it for a couple of days now and had ignored it to get on with my day, but this morning I felt a compulsion to wipe the floor and side of the tub down to get rid of the dust that had accumulated and gotten damp.

I had a compulsion. To clean.

I’m not sure how to explain how huge this is for me. I’ve been working for most of my adult life to get myself to have those compulsions. My childhood little messy girl had stayed with me for far too long.

I’ve said before that this journey to home organization is a lot like weight loss. It is tough, requires accountability and self-discipline, and there is some shame in admitting you have a problem. Well, in this case it is definitely like weight loss in a positive way, because while it takes awhile, eventually you start getting used to eating healthier. You start reaching for the whole grain pasta or the wheat bread over the white bread. Walking or working out becomes a habit instead of a chore. It does happen, and when it happens you wake up one day and realize you’re actually looking forward to your trip to the gym. Then you step on the scale, and you discover you’ve lost two pounds.

That’s what this is like.

Slowly, over the past year, I’ve been reaching for that sponge to wipe down the tub, or the broom to sweep the floor. I’ve tackled dishes before they became a mountain. I’ve purged the refrigerator before adding the new groceries to it. I’ve made regular trips to our local thrift shops to donate items I realize I don’t use. I’ve even kept the laundry to a dull roar recently. The funny thing is, I didn’t even notice it happening. It just happened. I’m not perfect–far, far from it–but I’m on my way, and that is a great place to be!

New to this blog? Here’s a quick overview of my organizational journey so far. If you like what you read, why not subscribe via RSS?

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Filed under Cleaning, Life, Ponderings

Home Tour Tuesday: The Kitchen, Part 2

I think one of the most uncomfortable things about blogging is opening up your life for anyone and everyone to see. It’s kind of the point of having a personal blog, but at the same time there are certain things that you just keep under wraps. Like, say if this lady had a blog where she wrote about having an organized home, she probably wouldn’t want to take pictures of her kitchen cabinets and drawers that were in chaos, right?

Right?

Yikes!

This blog post is probably all the things you shouldn’t post in a home organization blog. First, the photos aren’t my best. (Sorry, iPhone, you just didn’t cut it this time.) Second, all these shots begin to look a lot like the other ones after awhile. Third, well, I’m not Martha Stewart and while my cabinets and drawers are organized enough for daily use, they’re hardly drool-worthy.

Yet.

In the meantime, here they are. In the spirit of “keeping it real,” I’m holding nothing back.

For additional home tour posts, check out my home tour page. To subscribe via RSS, click here.

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Filed under Drawers, Home Tour Tuesday, Kitchen

Making Storage From Nothing

There are day, months, and sometimes even years when a “tight budget” means not a cent to spare for any purpose other than food, shelter, gas, and bills. Storage containers cost quite a bit, even in small quantities. Not many budget-friendly (and attractive) solutions fall under the completely free category.

This one does.

I call it Use-What-You-Have-Organizing, a.k.a. Making Storage From Nothing.

I’ve been working on cleaning and organizing our third bedroom/my crafting and shop storage room. During the process, I came across a number of CDs (don’t judge. I’m old school that way. I like to keep the cases.) I needed CD storage to get them off the floor.

In the past, I stored them in a bottom cubby of our Expedit bookcase. Now, however, more of our books occupy that bookcase, so there is no longer room. I needed to find a place to keep the CDs all in one space. Then I realized I had some open-top elongated boxes that were just about the right height. I also had leftover kraft wrapping paper and paper doilies, plus a couple of rolls of washi tape from Japan.

That’s when the lightbulb went off, and my three boxes went from this:

to this:

here’s how I did it:

  1. I eyeballed cutting the size of the wrapping paper to fit across the front side of the boxes. I just placed it against the paper and cut around it, leaving enough length to wrap from the bottom up and around the box lip.
  2. I used packaging tape to tape it down in place.
  3. I cut the paper doilies in half, taped them to the inside of the top lip and folded and creased them over the top, then cut off the edges that overlapped.
  4. I taped the doily down with a small piece of washi tape on each side.
  5. I filled in each box with Tetris-like arrangements of my CDs.

I gotta say, for a set of storage containers that cost, as my wonderful friend Joy says, “free dollars,” they ain’t too shabby.

In fact, I rather like looking at them up on top of the bookcase.

Linked up at:

Toys in the Dryer | Five Days … 5 Ways | Sugar & Spice | A Bowl Full of Lemons | Tip Junkie

 

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Filed under Budget Decor, DIY, Media, Organizing, Storage

Room Inspirations: Red Car

{Top Image: Zenera via Flickr; Bottom Image: Room design via Polyvore}

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Filed under Art

What’s Holding You Back?

{Image: Laura Chifiriuc}

Is it outside work? Is it exhaustion? Confusion? Frustration? Fear?

It can be overcome. I promise.

Room by room, closet by closet, cupboard by cupboard, drawer by drawer, you CAN get organized. Even more importantly, once you find an organizational structure that works for you, it will begin to be self-sustaining, provided you continue to follow it. Each time, it will require less effort, as things begin to have a place and you remember to put them in it. There will be fewer battles, freeing up your energy and mind to focus on the remaining trouble spots in your home and life.

Just like losing weight, the more you lose and maintain a weight loss, the fewer pounds (or, in our case, organizational trouble spots) you have to worry about.

But you have to be willing to let go first.

I’m a fan of the reality show The Biggest Loser. In it, contestants work with personal trainers and nutritionists to lose excess weight and become stronger and healthier individuals. Inevitably, some–if not all–of the contestants discover that the process is a difficult one. Their trainers talk to them and try to find out what from their past or present is keeping them from giving their all. Sometimes, they don’t feel worthy. Other times, they retain scars from past relationships or cling to excuses. Little by little, the layers of emotional baggage are discarded, even as the weight is, until a newer and stronger person emerges. By the end of the show, they have the skills and knowledge required to maintain their new lifestyle. While the last 10 or 20 pounds are difficult for them to release they are not encumbered by the rest of the excessive weight that had been on their bodies and they are at their peak physical condition. They have the knowledge required to continue being healthy and have built upon weeks of success.

But first, they had to shed not only their weight but also their self-imposed barriers.

It’s the same way with creating a restful, orderly environment for yourself and your family in your home. There will be some early victories. There will also be increased resistance from within yourself and outside forces as you continue to grow. It can get discouraging when you don’t see faster results. Stick with it.

So what is your barrier?

Mine is pure and simple laziness as well as a lot of pursuits that fascinate me more than cleaning my home (or working out to lose weight, for that matter.) I have to admit, sometimes I’m afraid I’ll give up and just call it a lost cause. If I fail, it’s going to be embarrassing.

I’m also afraid of not just failure … but success as well. What happens when I’ve got a completely organized home? Will I keep it that way? Will I relapse? Will family and friends who have read this blog be disappointed in me if I get lazy and start to slack off? What if I don’t want to be organized 24/7?

Oh, it doesn’t stop.

The bottom line is: keep on going. Don’t give up. Just like the contestants on The Biggest Loser discover every season, good things come to those who put themselves out there, do their homework, and just keep pushing, no matter what. Acknowledge what is holding you back; confront it; accept it … and move on. You can do it. I can do it. I’m counting on it.

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Filed under Balance, Life, Ponderings