Tag Archives: home improvement

More clearing out

We finally got rid of 5 doors that I had posted on Craigslist 10 days ago. Four were actually one item, 2 pairs of sliding closet doors that we removed from the boys’ rooms. They made the closets very difficult to access, and our long term plan is to replace them with bi-folds. But the boys are fine with no doors for the time being. A young couple picked them up Saturday afternoon. The wife told me that their son had just smashed a mirror door on a closet and they were looking for a replacement.

The other door was a narrow (24″) passage door from our master bedroom closet. The closet is a small walk-in, and when the door was open, it covered half of one side of the hanging clothing space. We just decided to remove it and forgo a door completely. At some point, we’ll remove the hinges and re-do the door frame trim, but it’s just fine for the time being. A guy who is renovating his house picked it up, saying that is was perfect for his master bathroom.

The frustrating thing about these transactions was the number of people who emailed to express interest, and then when I replied with my phone number, never called or emailed back. These were free items. I just needed them out of my house. I tried to donate them to Habitat for Humanity‘s ReStore, but they were completely overstocked with doors, so I decided to just offer them for free on Craigslist. At least half a dozen people expressed interest in each of these two items, and with one exception, nothing ever transpired. The two people who actually took the items contacted me on Saturday, promised to pick up the items that day, and followed through.

Anyway, they’re out of the house. Now I’m trying to sell a Queen size mattress, box foundation, and metal frame. I hope that these will go this week, and then I have sold wood bunk beds to sell.

Front Hall Closet Makeover

As I have mentioned before, we don’t have a lot of storage space in this house so every bit has to count.

Our front hall closet will the be repository of every winter boot, glove, scarf, coat, slipper, etc used by the four of us, so it needed to be well-organized.

Here are the “Before” pictures. Note the jumble of miscellaneous stuff on the upper shelf.


And the floor was crowded with shoes that haven’t been worn recently, brooms and mops, a gym bag, etc.


After: I started by moving the brooms to a basement closet where I installed hooks to hold them all. I purchased four clear plastic bins and labeled them with their new owners’ names.


The hanging shoe rack will be limited to slippers or other indoor shoes, and dog walking apparatus (leashes, bags, and paper towels for cleaning his feet after a walk).


The shoe cleaning stuff (that was in the cardboard box on the top shelf) is now in it’s own bin on the floor at the back of the closet. The rest of the closet floor will be **strictly limited** to outdoor shoes.


[Hard-assed mother anecdote: Alex tends to leave his shoes directly in front of the door upon entering, rather than taking the, oh, 6 seconds to put them in the closet. On at least two occasions in the summer, after warning him about this, he “lost the privilege” of using said shoes for 24 hours. He had to run in his “back-up” running shoes, poor boy. I may need to resort to this again as the effect seems to be wearing off.]

The Great Carpet Clear-out Weekend is over!

Our backs and hands ache, but all the vile carpet is GONE. We did the entire second floor (three bedrooms and the hall) plus four (half) flights of stairs.

We stacked it on the back porch….


…and marvelled at just how much trash it really was!


Sunday afternoon, I logged on to 1-800-Got-Junk and scheduled a pickup for Monday morning. My new best friends arrived right on time (after calling 30 minutes in advance), loaded it all up, scanned my Visa card, and it’s as if the carpet was never there!

I have a few nails and staples to pull out of a couple of stairs, but we’re pretty much all ready for the installers of the NEW carpet on Friday.


My aching hands.

We are replacing the carpet throughout the second floor of our house and on two sets of stairs. It is bright yellow, stained, and just unpleasant any way you look at it. We elected to do the removal of the old carpet ourselves to save a little cash.

When we organized our closet last weekend, we removed the carpet from the floor in there. Z is out of town this week so I decided to have a go at some more carpet removal myself to take advantage of the trash removal cycle in our city. (I can put out carpet scraps tonight, but then not again for 2 weeks.)

I worked on the bottom half flight of stairs (from main floor to basement) and got all that off. Also, I did a couple of steps on the second half flight, but it was much more difficult as the carpet is wrapped around the edges of the steps and they used about a million nails/staples per step. I also did a small portion of the carpet outside our closet, in a sort of mini hallway.

The work requires a pair of heavy duty pliers, a utility knife, and a screwdriver to work on the carpet. The pliers to pull the carpet up from the floor, the knife to cut the carpet into sections for disposal, the screwdriver to pry up staples, and then a smaller pair or pliers to remove said staples. And then the ick factor….a plaster spatula to scrape up bits of underpad that had stuck to the floor due to, um, some kind of wetness. Finally, I used a small crowbar to pry up the tack strips around the edge of the space.

I awoke to aching hands that sting when I wash them. So no carpet removal for me today.

Our new closet

Z and I redid our closet yesterday and it’s great! It’s a small walk-in, about 5′ by 6′, and we installed shelving on all three sides (not including the side with the door.)

We started with a very basic closet. Zs side had two hanging bars.

My side had one bar, but at two heights.

I used the ClosetMaid Shelf Track system. I started with their flexible and helpful online closet design application, the Visual Storage Planner. It lets you enter the dimensions of your space and design your closet using their parts. You can see both elevation and interactive 3D views of the closet to make sure that you like the design. Then you can print out a parts list to take to the store.

Home Depot will cut the shelving for you, and because we had the detailed parts list, we were able to have our cuts made at the store, which saved a lot of time.

The demo of the existing closet was a pain, because there were layers of paint over wood shelving pieces (click on photos to get full horror!).

We had to do a lot of spackling to fill holes and ripped drywall paper, and then we primed everything

We decided not to put a finish coat of paint on the walls because we were running out of time and our clothes were all over the place. It’s nice a bright white though, and looks just fine.

With the new shelving, we should be able to get most of the stuff off these open storage units in our bedroom.


The shelving used to be in our garage in Atlanta(!) but they’re headed for my basement room that I’m organizing this month.

30 Days to Bliss


Laura over at I’m An Organizing Junkie is having another 30 Day Organizational Challenge with some great prizes! My current household project is perfect for this challenge: the basement storage room!

This room was the repository of all the boxes and stuff from our move that didn’t have an obvious home. When we first moved in, the room was stuffed, wall to wall, and floor to ceiling. I have made quite a bit of progress, but there is still lots to go.

Eventually, I’d like this space to be a sewing/craft room that would be used for guests as well. Here are my “before” pictures:

View from the entry:


The main part of the room:


Looking back at the entry (hidden, to the left of the closet):


The picture quality is not great because the room is not well lit, and it’s difficult to get a good camera angle. It’s small, maybe 10×10, with a low ceiling. I will be schlepping a lot of stuff to Goodwill, and selling some things on Craigslist to make this happen!

I have some Ikea IVAR open shelving that is currently in my master bedroom that will be perfect for this space. This weekend, we are installing wire shelving in our MB closet and we’re hoping that most of the stuff on the open shelving will find a place in the closet.

Ah, the domino effect of home dec.