Showing posts with label declutter. Show all posts
Showing posts with label declutter. Show all posts

DIY rustic phone cabinet


Kitchen update is complete!! (See previous posts here, here, here and here.)

My last project in the kitchen is complete. After several weeks of "in progress" because of my lack of a table saw, I finished my rustic phone cabinet.

This idea was the answer to a clutter problem.

Do you have a spot where stuff always seems to accumulate without a second thought? Ugh. Our microwave is a magnet for clutter and I hate looking at it. With our tiny kitchen layout, every time we need to move the dishwasher to hook it up to the sink, we have to move the phone off and on and off ...

So, I thought, why not build a small cupboard to house the phone, cover the ugly phone jack (see the pic below) and clear up some of the visible clutter?

I had a source for rustic 1x4s, so I figured they would work perfectly as the phone base is right around 4" wide. So when my Dad brought his miter saw to help with a couple of projects, I got several weathered boards, and we went to work.

Very quickly, I realized that said 1x4s were indeed NOT 1" or 4" wide. I should've known this, but wasn't thinking...

My dad did some math and said he would have to rip some boards length wise in order to make the depth of the cabinet wide enough to house the phone. But the table saw is at his house, so it would be a few weeks before I got to work on the cabinet again.

Once I obtained my newly cut pieces, I started putting them together.

I used all of the free items items I could:
3 - 1"x4" fence boards
2 old hinges and screws from this project
reused turquoise knob
1" finish nails and 1" wood screws that I had on hand

I purchased:
1 magnetic hinge kit
4-pack L-shaped brackets
2" screws and 1/2" screws (for attaching brackets)

= about $6-7

 Here is a view from the inside.

- I used the small pieces of wood (extra from the ripping job) to piece together the corners and then two of the longer extras to put the door slats together.
- The left set of L-brackets are screwed into studs and the other two are just screwed into the drywall for a little stabilization. I was going to put them in with plastic anchors, but ran into some sort of duct that made it impossible to screw anything into. (de ga je!)
- The door hinges and magnetic closure are pretty self explanatory. :-)

Aren't the weathered variations so pretty?

I know my dishwasher/microwave combo isn't much to look at, but the pic gives some perspective on the cabinet. Doesn't this little nook look so much cleaner?

I have to admit - even with this "fix" the microwave is still a magnet for stuff, but at least it's not home to those things anymore.

Woot for a finished room!

*free* necklace hanger DIY


I've been working on decluttering again (I feel like I was just doing a big sweep, but the need comes around so quickly!) ... this time, visually. My craft/vanity side of the bedroom is probably the most cluttered area of my house and it has gotten to the point of driving me crazy. Here's a good peek at how it's been for quite awhile. My scarves were getting out of control.

Here's a little snippet of my progress! A DIY necklace hanger made from a leftover piece of pine 1x2 and some picture hangers.

Inspiration came from this post over at Little Green Notebook. (Have you checked out her blog? It's amazing. She's totally a professional interior designer, and has some incredible stuff going on, but she's also down-to-earth with some pretty doable DIYs. Check. her. out.) I even went right out and bought those little mug hangers.

And then I remembered a TON of picture hangers I had from a freebie my mom scored at her local hardware store. Those hangers, along with a free sample of Valspar and a leftover 1x2 ... a free necklace hanger for me!

Mint and gold anyone?!

 I first tried laying them out at about 1/2" apart and then realized that it was too squished. So I marked little dots at 3/4" apart with a measuring tape and started pounding them in.

As you can see, they aren't perfect. At first, I thought it was my less-than-perfect hammer wielding skills combined with the odd nail angle of picture hangers, but then I compared several and realized they aren't even uniformly made. So, I tossed perfection out the door and just did the best I could. I had to use a few bigger ones to fill the space, so each of my pretties would have a hook, and I'm so pleased!

Can it get any better than less clutter and free?! I think not! :-)

Living Simply: Decluttering


One of the first and most basic things I think of when I consider living simply is LESS STUFF.
Getting out from underneath the load of STUFF is simplicity to me. Decluttering. Getting rid. Simplifying. Really, if we only kept the stuff we really need versus what we want, our load would be so much lighter.

My mom is really good at this, so I've grown up and still am living the decluttering way. However...

...stuff accumulates SO fast! 

And, I'll be the first to admit it. Even I still have too much stuff. 

"{We're} consuming in an effort to improve our quality of life...Unconsciously, as a culture, we've internalized the belief that material possessions will fill the spiritual vacuum in our souls."


So the other week my friend, Valerie, challenged her blog readers to join her in getting rid of 100 things in a week. Here's her challenge and updates here and here.

For some reason, this challenge motivated me to not only declutter but to clean and work on projects too! I've been crazy motivated ever since... weird, but cool. (Thanks Val!)

Before this, I'd several things listed on Craigslist - and all but a few have sold and I was able to thrift a few necessary items with the money (mostly things for our girl: shoes, a few puzzles, vintage and gifts.)

The challenge week I made it to 50 things (and made $8 on it at a garage sale!), and just last Tuesday I donated over 50 more items (books, jewelry, some random vintage and our old pots and pans).

(By the way, can I add that I am so proud of my husband who went through his books, organized them on his bookshelves and got rid of 30+? Love it!!)

One of my main motivations now is because I'm a mom. I'm already going to have a hard enough time raising my child in the consumeristic culture we live in, and I don't want to make consuming hoards of stuff and stuff and more stuff a bad habit. I want her to know you can live well without so much stuff!! (Maybe even better than those with tons of stuff.)

Let me say, there is nothing wrong with liking stuff (I do), or wanting stuff (I definitely do) or buying stuff ... it's just all of the stuff adding up without end can't - won't - doesn't satisfy.


(Sidenote: Now, my "picking up projects" posts may seem in direct contradiction to my decluttering, but there are a few differences. First, I am repurposing them (see tomorrow's post) - one of my many ways of living simply. Second, I am only keeping them until they are ready to sell. Really, it's just one way of including others in this repurposing and reusing cycle - I can't reuse everything! But I can beautify things, make a little money along the way, feed my soul, and encourage others in the way of reusing.)

What do you think? How does clutter affect you?