Tag Archives: laundry

Coming Soon: Dresser Drawer Divider Hack

So, I went on a laundry rampage over the past few days. I have one load of delicates/handwashables/possible dry-cleanables left but I got it done. This battle has been won (although we all know the war is never over. Eek. I can understand the aristocratic appeal of having a laundress on staff. Any volunteers? I pay in free dinner and crafts.)

While I was at it, I found an item or two I thought I was missing (funny how things disappear into the depths of a dresser drawer) but have yet to find the one pair of pants I wanted to wear.  The hunt is on. Perhaps one of the  few boxes yet to be unpacked in the garage contain the elusive pants in question? Hmmm.

In the meantime, I managed to fit more items into my dresser by utilizing a couple of tricks I uncovered via Pinterest and Google. And the peasants rejoiced! (Fist pump. Yeah.)

First, because Daniel and I share a single dresser and space is at a premium,  I removed all the items from our dresser drawers that we didn’t use on a routine basis. This included out-of-season items like shorts, as well as little-worn belts or articles of clothing. This freed up a significant amount of space. I simply purchased an under-the-bed plastic tub from Target to store those items in for easy access without taking up space.

Then, I filed our folded t-shirts vertically, like cards in a card catalog or recipes in a recipe box (inspired by this drawer organization example via sydoniah as found at Apartment Therapy) instead of stacking them. Brilliant. We can now see them all at a glance and access them more quickly and neatly.

Finally, I stored like items with like in the range most needed. Undergarments and socks went in the upper drawers, as always, while our t-shirts went in the second tier and our workout clothing (shirts, pants, etc.) went in the bottom drawers. Everything else was hung up in our closet. A separate trip to Target procured the additional black plastic hangers we needed to complete the task.

I searched in many stores for drawer dividers to keep our his-and-hers t-shirt “files” neat, as well as other items. Nearly every option I found was $15 or more. Like this one, at Bed, Bath, and Beyond:

Not satisfied (and wanting something even more adjustable/customizable), I recalled having stumbled across a solution for a kitchen drawer divider when browsing the Internet that I thought I could modify for our bedroom dresser drawers, so on a hunch I went to Lowe’s and purchased a $9 large sheet of corrugated white sign plastic, such as is used to make Yard Sale signs. I had to hunt through my browser history to find the link, but when I did I pinned it for future reference. Sometime this week I’ll take a ruler and an X-Acto knife and cut the sheet down to size. I have to figure out how I’ll attach the segments to each other (I’m thinking of hacking the original idea so it is more like this cardboard drawer divider, with notches that interconnect), but I am fully confident that when I’m done I’ll have nice, neat drawers with drawer dividers.

As a final touch, I am either going to use some  wrapping paper, as pinned here, or fabric, as pinned here, to create my own geometric-design drawer liner, as the current liner is pretty dated (I believe from the 70s, to be precise.)

I’m pretty excited to see how it will all turn out. Stay tuned!

p.s. As part of my “organize how it makes sense to you” campaign to simplify my life instead of add unnecessary extra work, I recalled a laid-back approach to the sock drawer that I saw in a book once. Sadly, I can’t remember the book title or author’s name. However, it really liberated me to not feel guilty about hating to pair socks. Daniel does it for me usually because he is wonderful and he loves me and he knows how I despise taking time to pair socks, but with this new solution, he doesn’t have to sacrifice for me. Our sock drawer … is just that. A drawer full of socks. Period. They are all in a single drawer and we take as we can. After all, so many of our socks are just multiples of the exact same style and color. (White.) This may end up being ditched if it adds stress instead of efficiency (in which case, I’ll  let you know), but for now I’m kinda loving it, to quote McDonald’s. And to quote William Wallace: FREEEEEDOOOOOOMMMM!

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Filed under Drawers, Laundry, Organizing, Sorting, Storage

Laundry, Dishes, Paper

These are the three things that are my nemeses. I have won battles, but the war is still going strong.

2012, please bring me systems or solutions, or just plain self-motivation to get them done in a continually ongoing and efficient way. My year of organizational endeavors is almost up, but those three things still mock me from the counter or bed or hamper or office desk every time they pile up and become the Goliath to my David.

I’m claiming the victory as mine!

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Filed under Cleaning, Home, Kitchen, Laundry, Office, Paper

Storage Above the Washer and Dryer

Now that I have a place to fold the laundry, I was inspired to clean out above the washer and dryer to continue the progress.  They are two closet areas that have been bothering me for quite some time now.

When we moved into our house last June, my main focus was to get in, get comfortable, and get in shape. I began running to train for a 5k Daniel and I ran in October. We ran it , then a month later hosted an open house party (useful tip: nothing like a party to whip your lazy cluttered butt into shape and get a house clean!). Then the holidays hit …

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Filed under Dining Room, Laundry, Storage

Laundry Zone, Cont.

There’s only so much you can do on a limited budget, but that forces you to get creative … to think outside the box.

I daydream of days when I find somebody’s old mid-century modern castoff sideboard from Grandma’s house tossed aside on the side of the street, waiting for me to take it home. Or I purchase a rare decorative item ready to be spraypainted into new life, that had just been sitting on a shelf in Goodwill and on sale for .99 cents. I get excited when I find a starburst mirror at Target. Obviously, I’m not going to go out and buy a Saarinen dining table tomorrow. Now, if anyone has one they want to give me, I’ll take it! I’ve only been drooling over it in every major design magazine layout I’ve loved for the past ten years.

In the meantime, while we pay off debt and built up our savings, I re-use, recycle, and renew. Take, for instance, the familiar dining room nook:

It’s not where I want it to be yet. That will come later, in time. But for now, there was a basket, a vase, a figurine with great emotional significance given to me by a dear friend of my mother’s, and some matching bowls I made in one of my college pottery classes. I “shopped” from other rooms to find some items that suited this nook. Total cost to us: $0.00. Well … maybe  .45 cents. The flowers were on clearance at Kroger for .99 cents and I split the bouquet into smaller groupings throughout the house.

The basket is dual-purpose. Gotta love that! It not only adds some visual interest, but it also holds the extra kitchen towels that won’t fit in the drawer, and the stain removal pens. The counter top I left empty … ready to use to fold laundry, like the shirts I have on there currently.

We’re getting there! It’s definitely a work in progress.


Filed under Budget Decor, Dining Room

The Laundry Zone

Balancing aesthetics and practicality is always tricky. I realized recently that I was going to need to give up my dining room nook in order to gain room to do our laundry. The laundry took over the dining room, anyway. It was time to face the inevitable … bye-bye shelf I keep meaning to put something decorative on. Helllooo laundry zone.

I had to say goodbye to this mess, as well:

Yes, those are Christmas ornaments you see there, and some packaging, as well. Yes, they’ve been there since just before Christmas, when I wrapped the last minute gifts. And yes, I cringe to be posting this incriminating image, but it is all in the name of transformation and my quest for truly functional organization.

Once again, I looked for the following things as I decluttered:

  • Items to be tossed
  • Items to be transferred to another location
  • Items to be sold or given away
  • Items to be kept

We had a large cookbook collection that I decided to pare down to just the essentials.  The books that we are most likely to use I kept downstairs. Right now they’re on the shelving in the nook, but I might need that shelf while I’m folding, so I’m still thinking about that. We’ll see how things go while we adapt to our new zone.

I threw out our phone books. It was a matter of some debate in the Brame household. It just seems like one of those things you SHOULD have, you know? Let your fingers do the walking, and all that. But it was taking up space and, as Daniel pointed out, we never look in it anyway. We always use Google. So out they went, saving me the trouble of figuring out a logical spot to put them.

Then, I collected the Christmas items and put them in one spot, threw out some junk mail, and rethought my storage of fragile items on the top shelf.

I ended up with this:

I’ll need a place for my pre-wash stain removers, and I’m trying to think of what else would be useful to keep in the new laundry station. Detergent I keep above the washer. Dryer sheets (if any–those darn fragrance allergies) and our small steam cleaner I keep above the dryer. I don’t have room to put an ironing board in between, but that would be ideal.

At any rate, now we have a laundry zone! It might not be so pretty now, but I have big plans for it. The aesthetics will come along soon. Hint: it has something to do with color and pattern and those paint chips I’ve had up.

{Photos: Andrea B of Behind Closed Drawers}

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Filed under Dining Room, Laundry

Eco-Friendly Cleaning Products

So, I organized my under-the-sink area and promised myself I’d not go out and buy any more cleaners after finding all those duplicate kinds of cleaners. What would be the most obvious choice for a follow-up story the next day?

Why, new kitchen cleaners to buy, of course! (I know, right?!)

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Filed under Kitchen, Products, Shopping

Just a Spoonful of Sugar Helps the Medicine Go Down!

It’s not all work and no play. Mary Poppins had it right; have some fun while you’re doing a chore! I think I’ll put my spoonful of sugar in some coffee.

This weekend I’m taking some down time. Yes, last weekend we had a mini-vacation, but as we all know you frequently need a vacation from a vacation. And after a rough week filled with bad weather, being stuck at work for hours, and then going to a movie and being crowded out at the theater last night by Justin Bieber fans of the 10-15 year-old female variety, I’m ready for some do-nothing-at-all time.

Granted, I’m a grown-up. Do-nothing-at-all time will include some “do laundry” time and some “do dishes” time. There’s no rule I can’t jam to some great music while I do so. (Note: my idea of great music? A little Phantom of the Opera, smooth crooners, acoustic versions of classic Christian hymns, or some sweet indie pop. Hello, Feist! Nice to see you, Gomez! Where ya’ been, Sinatra? Good times, Franny Crosby! Don’t be a stranger, Mr. Lloyd-Weber!)

I might even put down the laundry and go to see The Frist. I hear it’s free this weekend! If you live in Nashville, take advantage of this opportunity!

{Photo: Mart1n}

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Filed under Balance, Home, Ponderings