6.29.2012

Peekaboo: Garage Organization

Our garage used to be the place where we threw all of our junk. No one would go in there but us, so we would use it as a hiding place for stuff we didn't want cluttering up the house.

You know what changed that philosophy?


You see, if we had our garage reigned so that we could actually park in there, my car wouldn't have been totaled in a Texas-sized hail storm (which have proved to be at least a yearly experience). 

So when we bought the new car, we knew the garage would have to be cleaned up so we could protect my lovely Silver Bullet from falling ice chunks. Scott's truck is too long to fit into our 1979 garage, so there's no hope for protecting El Silverado! I have no idea why I just gave our cars cheesy nicknames. Let's blame it on the fact that I'm deliriously tired right now. Ok?


The new car sparked "Mission: Clean the Garage, Part I." The husband's summer vacation boredom sparked Part II. Plus, we had two new bikes and nowhere to store them!

Now the garage is looking very organized (compared to how it was before, at least). 

I must give my other half some serious credit for organizing all of his tools, and some of my artsy/crafty junk, into something very functional for us. My dad visited this past weekend and said he was now inspired to clean his own garage. Score one point for the son in law!

First up, the workbench corner. This area was built into the garage when we moved in, complete with warped plywood countertop. The pegboards are critical to the organization of this area– and the whole garage. Thanks to the previous owners for putting up those peg boards! What's that silver thing up top? It's an upright fan that broke off from its base. Now it's perfectly positioned to circulate air in our garage, which you can imagine feels like a miserable sauna during 108+ degree Texas summers.


Directly to the left is a wall with more tools on pegs. Cords, rope, saws, clippers, sanders, tree trimmers, funnel, wires. What more do you need?


Continuing left, you can see how he solved the bike storage dilemma. Isn't it weird how it looks like I posted this photo upside down?


You can see that this is the side of the garage where we don't store the car. What is the rest of the junk you're seeing in this photo? His DeWalt drill (awesome wedding gift), gardening tools, folding workbench, old dining table, bike rack, former dining room chandelier and an abandoned painting. Anything that's destined for Craigslist or a garage sale is housed right here. What can I say– we have junk and we have to put it somewhere!

Even further to the left are the shovels, pitchfork, rakes and other "long" stuff. Once again, the pegs are saving the day. Oh yeah, and that's where the table saw hangs out in its free time.


Directly across the garage is our paint cabinet. If it's related to house paints, it goes into this lovely thrift store cabinet. When is it worth it to waste a cabinet by using it in the garage? When you only pay $20 for it. 


The other side of the garage looks a little junky, but it's more organized than it looks. Scott built the shelves with my dad more than a year ago, and they've been very useful for storing large bins of holiday decorations and all of our sporting goods.  My other half would love for me to take a day to purge some junk from this side, since I refused to let him throw anything away from my art supply boxes that are collecting dust over here. I just haven't gotten around to that yet...



The ladder and indoor cleaning supplies are stored right by the door that leads into the house. The ladder is hanging from a peg that attaches to the ceiling.

Did you spot this random white cabinet full of golf balls a few pictures earlier?


The husband got a little carried away and actually organized his golf balls by "quality."  I think it's hilarious to have a cabinet of sorted golf balls! Who does that?

Speaking of organization, this wire storage unit left behind by the previous owners has been very handy for sorting the little things everyone has in their garage. 


A special drawer for different types of tape...


A section for work gloves...


And of course, a drawer for lightbulbs.


Scott is SO happy that his garage is organized. He's the neat and tidy one in our relationship. Back when we were dating in high school, it would bother him when I would just throw my jacket on the back of a chair or on some other piece of furniture. He'd go pick it up and fold it neatly for me. I thought it was so weird! He's way more relaxed about that stuff now– I guess I've rubbed off on him– but he does get incredible satisfaction from cleaning the garage and having an organized work space. 

Then again, who doesn't love an organized space? It's so calming and relaxing. Even a messy, creative, disorganized brain like mine can appreciate good organization– but that doesn't mean I'm good at it! 

How do you organize your garage? Are you a peg board person? Out of everything in our space, I would say the peg boards are the MVP. 

I'm sorry for posting less frequently this week– I've been in St. Louis all week for my yearly work convention. I'm very exhausted– I can't wait to fly back home tomorrow. Apparently the husband has been busy working on the house while I've been gone, so I can't wait to show you those projects next week! Have a *great* weekend. 

* Spring Summer Cleaning *

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6.26.2012

Useful Stuff: Jewelry Storage

My jewelry cabinet is one of the most useful things in my house.  It always catches the attention of my friends when they come over, so I thought I'd share it on the good ol' blog.



The husband bought me this cabinet for $75 from JCPenney. I can't find the exact same one on the JCP website anymore, but I did find this smaller version.

For you sports fans out there, that is me and Dwight Howard (of the Orlando Magic)!


It's great that I can just hang this cabinet up on my wall, display pictures and hide my jewelry inside. It is SO functional. Where would I put all of my jewelry without it? Yikes, that would be a mess.






 You can't see it in these pictures, but the door has a mirror on the inside that is very handy. Just another useful feature! 

Are you looking for some jewelry storage ideas? How about these cute and functional (ok, some more cute than functional) jewelry boxes? 


jewelry storage



clockwise from top left:
• Southern Enterprises White 48" High Wall Curio / Jewelry Mirror Vm5062
• Acrylic Deluxe Jewel Box - 7-Drawer Jewelry Chest With Necklace Keeper (Clear) (11 7/8"H x 10 3/4"W x 5 7/8"D) 
•  Pottery Barn Hadley Jewelry Cabinet
• West Elm Glass Shadow Boxes
• Dalton Home Collection Over The Door Jewelry Armoire, Black
• Pottery Barn Glass Cloche Jewelry Storage

How cool is that acrylic cabinet? And I really love the jewelry cloches! From a functionality standpoint, that over-the-door cabinet has to rank pretty high on the list. I adore those monogrammed glass boxes from West Elm– wouldn't they make a great gift?

If you want an some extra earring storage, this is an easy DIY project:


Do you have any great jewelry storage ideas? I'd love to hear them! My necklaces are getting bigger and bigger, and my cabinet seems to be getting smaller and smaller...

* Bejeweled *

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6.25.2012

DIY Flower Pot Fountain, Take Two

A couple weeks ago when my parents were visiting, my dad mentioned that he really liked our flower pot fountain and was going to make one for himself. It's pretty hard to find gifts that my dad likes, so I immediately filed that away as the perfect Father's Day present.  Last week we picked out some pots and whipped up another flower pot fountain, just slightly different from our original version. (Interestingly, that first fountain happens to be the most popular post on this blog by a long shot, thanks to Pinterest!)



For the design of this fountain, we were inspired by this pin.  The husband made the trek to Garden Ridge while I was working to search for the perfect pots. (You've got to love teacher-husbands on summer break!)

He had the image of the inspiration fountain and then sent me this photo as his best imitation:


I thought that would work just fine and gave him the thumbs up to purchase the pots. The bigger one was $25 and the smaller one was $8. If you need pots, Garden Ridge has a HUGE selection. 

He also purchased a Smartpond Countainer Fountain Kit (70 gph pump) from Lowe's for $20.  

This is what you need to get started: two flower pots (one slightly smaller than the other), a plastic flower pot (to go inside), a plastic tube, a fountain pump, a power drill and silicone.  

*Special thanks to the husband for stopping down on his project to take pictures for me while I slaved away at the office– something he hates doing!


The first step is to enlarge the hole in the bottom of the biggest pot using your spade drill bit. You need the hole to be large enough to accommodate the pump cord and plug.


Once you have the cord all the way through, you seal it with the silicone and let it dry completely. 




The next step is to flip the plastic pot upside down and drill holes in it so that water will flow through it. This cheap pot will serve as the base for the upper flower pot. You also need a hole big enough to allow the clear plastic tube to pass through.


* Pretty holes not necessary. Ha!

This cheap pot gets placed on top of the pump, and the tube is fed through the cheap pot and up into the upper flower pot (through the hole in the bottom).

 
We didn't have to glue the upper pot to keep it at this angle. We decided not to so that the angle of the pot can continually be adjusted if needed. The heavy rocks inside give it stability and keep it in place. 

The space between the clear tube and the top flower pot also needs to be sealed with silicone. Allow all of that to dry completely before going to the next step. 


The next part is a piece of cake– fill it with rocks! Scott went back to our rock resource, Custom Stone, to pick up some Colorado River Rock. Custom Stone is used to selling large quantities of stone for landscaping projects, so they just laughed when Scott asked for this small amount and let him have it for free. Hooray for free rocks!

The next step is to cut the clear cord and fill the pot with water so it can circulate. Plug in the pump and turn it on. Then enjoy your hard work and put your feet up. Soak up the peaceful sound of running water in your backyard!

  video




For another version of the DIY Flower Pot Fountain, check out the original fountain that we LOVE having in our backyard.


Yep, you NEED a fountain in your backyard. Go ahead, indulge!

*  Soft, Bubbling Water = Instant Relaxation *





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6.22.2012

Cutest Bike Basket.

Pardon this short interruption from the home decor posts, but I am on a bit of a bike kick right now. We've been riding so much ever since we got the new bikes.

How cute is my new vintage style bike basket?!




Of course I don't think $40 is cheap, but I shopped it around and couldn't find it for less anywhere! Apparently Nantucket has this market covered, and $40 is the standard price. I did consider a DIY version (random basket zip-tied to bike?) but I decided to just use my birthday money to buy myself this adorable basket. 

It's very good quality and I feel like I got a good value for the money, which is what matters at the end of the day. Plus I just love the unique shape of the basket!

I attempted to make a go of it with the seat that came with my Schwinn, but my bum just wasn't having it. I bought this Schwinn Ultra Comfort Bike Seat at Target, and it was a total game changer! If you're not comfortable, you won't ride very often. That defeats the point of having the bike. Get the squishy seat. Your bum will thank you, I promise. 


That's right, I like an extra wide saddle. So sue me! :)

I didn't really buy into the husband's claims that riding bikes would be an excellent workout, but now I'm a believer. It's a fun way to burn some calories, and it saves money on gas if you do things like we did and use your bike to pick up pizza or groceries. Plus it's good for the environment! 

Perhaps the best part? I can see the difference in my body– specifically my legs. Hello, leg muscles. Nice to see you again! (They've pretty much been on hiatus since I hung up my volleyball kneepads after college.)


* Delivery, anyone? *
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