Category Archives: organization ideas and tips

cleaning white moulded chairs with oxiclean

white molded chairs and a storage unit – the story

26th January 2015

A few weeks ago (two days before Christmas, actually) we moved all of our stuff from our storage unit back into our house. It was probably a little earlier than we really should have, as there was still some fairly major reno work going on, but we were desperate to get our snow tires out of the storage unit. Of course we had packed them right at the very back and there was really no way of getting them out without taking every single item in the unit out (this includes beds, dressers, shelving units, and about, oh, a million boxes). When we had moved the stuff into the unit, we had totally not thought about the fact that our reno might creep into winter and we would need those tires. Whoops. All that to say that we got our furniture moved in (hired movers = best decision ever) and got our snow tires on our cars (yay for road safety!).


Oh the boxes. Plus a sneak peak at the kitchen cabinetry! 

It was amazing to see all of our stuff again. I know it’s just “stuff”, but you do develop sentimental attachments to things and it’s a really nice feeling to unpack a box of things you love and haven’t seen in a while. Anyway, one sad thing that happened as we unpacked and re-discovered our stuff, was that several items had yellowed. The corner of our duvet cover (which had been packed in a garbage bag?), some white towels (again, packed in bags), a sofa cover, and.. the worst one of all… my white moulded chairs. As you can imagine, some pretty major panic set in.

I love those chairs. Remember them in our former dining room?


My mum gave me a hand and we tried out several different cleaners, but to no avail. Nothing was taking the yellowing out. It didn’t help that we had no idea what the yellowing is from. Exposure to something in the storage unit? Not a clue.

It’s incredibly hard to photograph the yellowing, but can you see how the chair is yellowed around the top rim on this guy? All of the chairs had different levels of yellowing in different areas.


One of the last things I decided to try was some OxiClean Versatile Stain Remover. I have used OxiClean™ before as a paste to clean grout, and it worked well, but I didn’t really have high hopes as nothing was working on these chairs. My mind was wandering down the path of having to dunk them all in bleach solution or something.

I took the OxiClean™ and mixed it with some warm water, as per the instructions on the box. You need to stir it around and wait a while for the little granules to dissolve.


Once dissolved, I took a sponge and covered my chair in the solution. I let it sit for about half an hour to see if it would do any magic.


I came back to it, washed it down with some water, and lo and behold, it had worked! To my critical eye, there is still a tiny amount of discoloration, but honestly, nobody would probably be able to tell. Here are two chairs side by side, to hopefully show you the difference.

cleaning white moulded chairs with oxiclean

Can you see it? It’s super tricky with the photos, but you can tell that the one on the left (clean one) has a cooler white hue. 

No damage was done to the surface of the chair either, which I had been a bit worried about. The thing about OxiClean™ is that is releases oxygen which targets the stain rather than the fabric/surface.

cleaning white moulded chairs with oxiclean2

Remember how I mentioned I had also used it on grout once upon a time? Well, I was 40 weeks pregnant at the time. Talk about nesting, huh? Maya arrived a few days after this toothbrush-cleaning-grout situation.


I have also used OxiClean Versatile Stain Remover on food/drink stains on clothing and fabrics, and it really does work. Definitely one of those good products to have around for emergency spills (highly likely in our house these days, thanks to a certain active little person and her clumsy mother!).

For more awesome tips on stain-fighting, visit the OxiClean Facebook page.

Do you guys have any best kept cleaning secrets? Ever dealt with stuff that had yellowed or otherwise been damaged while in storage? We have been pretty lucky so far with our stuff. Nothing broken, which is rather amazing! 

*Disclosure: This post was brought to you by OxiClean Versatile Stain remover, however the images and opinions are my own. For more information please visit


the white bedding dilemma

13th November 2014

Are you guys white bedding people? I definitely am. I looove a crisp white bed – white sheets, white pillow cases, white duvet cover. There is something just so crisp and lovely about that – reminds me of a plush hotel room.

white bedding via houzz

Designed by i3 Design Group, via Houzz

From a design perspective, it also makes it really easy to add different colours to change your bed’s look whether it be for a different season or because you are giving your room a makeover. Adding colourful and patterned  throw pillows, shams, and blankets can totally change the look of the bedding while still maintaining that white base.

white bedding via houzz3

Designed by Capital Building, Photographed by Sue Murray, via Houzz

white bedding via houzz44

Cheney Brothers Building & Renovation, Photography by Katie Kaizer, via Houzz

The only downside to white bedding? The yellowing. I can’t be the only one that this happens to, right? I find that our duvet cover takes a while to look yellowed, but it happens quickly to pillow cases. I put various lotions and potions on my face every night, so I wonder if it has to do with that rubbing off on the linens? Either way, that whole “crisp white bed” feeling goes out the window when I’m hopping into bed with sheets that look like a cat peed on them. Not good. Like I’m pretty embarrassed to even post this picture right now. (I pulled off the top 2 shams so that you can see the really yellowed one underneath)


Reeeeeally doesn’t look appetizing, huh? These twin beds at my parents’ place have the blogger favourite IKEA Ofelia Vass duvet covers. And in case you’re wondering, yes, Daniel and I have been sleeping in twin beds since we’ve been crashing with my parents’ during our renovation. Kinda adds to the whole “we feel like teenagers living with our parents again” kind of thing.

It was time to pull that bedding off and do something about it.


Luckily, through a bit of trial and error, I have found a solution for this white bedding problem – Clorox bleach.  Seems obvious, right? Well, I just haven’t been much of a bleach person. Never really used it in my regular laundry.  Didn’t feel the need to. But that white bedding of mine (and white towels too, actually) were seriously transformed when I used some Clorox bleach. Like back to their pure white days, straight out of their packaging. Apparently 1/2 cup of Clorox® Regular-Bleach whitens 2X as much as bargain bleach, and I believe it. It really worked, guys. Here are some more tips on using Clorox bleach to get stains out. DSC_0005The proof? Check out these bright white beauties! Seriously, it was such a treat to hop into my bed last night.


Those particularly bad pillow cases? Totally transformed.


And the other trick to making your bedding feel seriously luxurious? Ironing the sheets. Definitely one of those things that doesn’t make it onto my regular to-do list, but there is something ridiculously lovely about ironed sheets. My relatives in England do this regularly — they actually SEND OUT all of their bedding to get ironed. How amazing is that?

Ironing the sheets might be a rare occurrence in my household, but getting the bedding back to its bright white glory days using Clorox is now a regular event. Do you guys have any cleaning tips or secrets to share? Who does the laundry in your household?

**Disclaimer: This post has been brought to you by Clorox. However, as always, all opinions about this product are totally my own! 



calming the chaos (kind of): storage solutions for baby gear

9th October 2013

One thing that has come along with our new little lady has been a lot of stuff. You know, the baby gear. I don’t even feel like we have tons of gear at this stage, but boy does it ever seem to pile up. And I know it’s only going to get crazier as this kiddo grows and more actively wants to play with things!

In case you didn’t realize it already, I’m not one that likes things to be super un-tidy. I can totally deal with a dirty house (okay not forever… but I can let the chores slide for a good long while), but clutter everywhere? Nope. Really don’t like it. Drives me bonkers. So this whole baby gear stuff is throwing me for a bit of a loop.

Here are the few things I have done so far to try and keep it all under control (sort of).

Maya’s nursery is organized to the brim with clothes, diapers, books, blankets, her baby bathtub, carriers, etc – with a customized closet to fit her things perfectly. As you know, we live in a small two bedroom bungalow (with a basement that’s rented out), so storage space is at a premium.


I use a bin on her dresser to keep diaper changing gear on hand.


We have even used the space under the crib to store some awkwardly-sized items – like playmats with big overhead bars (you can see them poking out in the photo below).


In the living room we have a bassinet on the floor which she has some daytime naps in, and a baby vibrating chair out in the open. I have done my best to give the smaller items specific homes that are out of the way. For example, all of the small soft toys are piled up in a basket that tucks under the coffee table.



We have a small blanket and pillow that stays out on the floor (play time!), but the rest of the squishy tiles and mats live in the cabinet next to the TV. We have dedicated that whole cabinet to baby things, so there is an easy spot to put things away in at the end of the day.


I have even managed a still-empty basket at the bottom of our bookshelf in the living room, ready to store board books and puzzles when we get to that stage.

Bottles and other feeding gear have been sorted into baskets and tucked between the fridge and the upper cabinet – easy to access and slide in and out.



Our kitchen counter has a new bottle dry-rack (it looks like grass – cute!) to hold all of our bottle/pumping supplies. There is one bowl out dedicated to dirty bottle paraphernalia (I don’t always have a free hand to wash everything right away), and another bowl dedicated to bottle warming. Because we had some major breastfeeding challenges, I’m officially a “pumper”, so we always have a lot of bottle stuff on the go. The counters look so cluttered now and I definitely miss the white space.. but there isn’t much I can do about it with our wee little kitchen!


As much as I have tried to give everything a certain place, there are still things that don’t have a dedicated “home”. The stroller lives in our entryway, where the car seat is also often hanging around.


The bathtub usually just sits on the floor in the nursery when it’s not being used. The carrier, although sometimes hung up by the front door, is often just flung around wherever we last took it off. And our second bouncy seat that I use to entertain Maya in the morning while I’m getting ready sits in the corner of our bedroom.


So that’s my attempt at keeping the baby gear under control for now. I know it’s going to just get crazier from here. You win some, you lose some, right? If all of these colourful things keep my little gal happy and entertained, well then I’m thrilled to oblige.

What about you guys? Do you have any baby gear organizational tips? I’m all ears!

garage clean-up

5th September 2013

One of the projects on the “before baby” list that we did manage to check off just before Maya arrived, was a bit of a garage clean up.

It was bad you guys. SO much stuff and no system of organization. We had just continued to shove things in, and it was getting seriously out of control. Here it is, after we had moved out a bunch of furniture (that we sold/moved/got rid of). So this is already looking about 30% better than how it originally looked!



So embarrassing! We dedicated one Saturday afternoon to the garage and got to work.

I have a bunch of old windows and frames for my vintage rentals business, and there was never a good way to store them. My handy husband decided to tackle making a storage box on wheels to use, instead of just leaning them up against the side of the garage. DSC_0475

He used basic lumber, plywood, and casters that you can get from any hardware store.DSC_0476

Clever guy, right? DSC_0478

We also bought some heavy duty storage shelves from the Home Depot for about $40 a pop. We don’t park our car in our garage, so decided to setup some of these in the middle, which is where I could store some of my other inventory. Just don’t look at the workbench/cabinetry part at the back of the garage – that is hubby’s section and is still on the “to organize” list (since he was busy building the storage box that day!).


You’d think I had a thing for mason jars, huh? DSC_0485

Here is the other wall of the garage post tidy-up. We already had those shelves setup, but we did a better job of sliding in bins and other boxes more tightly. I know it doesn’t look perfect, but it’s so much better. Everything is clearly labelled, and so it’s pretty easy to find what we’re looking for now. DSC_0487

And look – I still have empty shelves to fill up! DSC_0489

And a walkway! You had to climb over bins, bikes, and miscellaneous chairs before. DSC_0492

Oh and did I mention that we tackled this project when I was 39 weeks pregnant? I was a hot and swollen mess… but that wasn’t going to stop me! DSC_0495

Have you guys done any garage or other organizing lately? Do you guys have one of those more minimalist, pretty garages that you actually park your car in? If so, Jealous!!


5th August 2013

As my due date approaches (tomorrow! I think the little lady is pretty cozy in there!), I think I fall more deeply into nesting mode. Dan says I’m a “nester by nature” – and I agree – but I think my nesting tendencies have definitely upped a notch or two in recent weeks.

Besides getting things checked off the to-do list, purging stuff, and organizing baby things, one of my little nesting moments recently was to deal with our coffee/tea situation.

What do I mean by that? I’m talking about this totally un-organized, things-fall-out-when-you-open-the-door cupboard in our kitchen. No rhyme or reason to what went where and tons of almost-empty tea boxes.


I spotted these glass jars at HomeSense for $13 for the pack of 3, and knew they would be perfect for my tea. They have tight seal lids, and were pretty cute with their mason jar look going on.DSC_0518

Organizing always gets worse before it gets better — case in point as I laid out everything from that cupboard.

 I took a lot of the teas out of their boxes and sorted them into groups – chai, herbal (mostly mint and chamomile), and black. For any tea bags that didn’t come in individual packaging (other than the black tea), I put them in a small ziploc with the name of the tea on it before putting them into the jar. That way I wouldn’t just have to rely on the sniff test to know which tea it was.


I’m craving a chocolatey chai right about now…DSC_0531

They fit nicely in the cupboard, and I was able to put some of the larger tea boxes and loose leaf teas beside and behind. No rocket science here or ultra pretty pantry organization with labels and chalkboard paint and all those fancy things, just a simple solution that makes me happy.DSC_0528

The middle shelf now houses all coffee-related stuff (I think I need to get some kind of wire basket to hold all of those), and the tupperware and microwave dishes are up top. DSC_0529

What else do I have to organize around here… no drawer or cupboard is being left untouched!

Do you guys have a scary cupboard or drawer in your kitchen? I know I can’t be the only one. Gotten really fancy with your pantry organization? Any fave tips to share?

basket case

12th June 2013

I have been chipping away at our front entryway for a long time. First there was the chevron ceiling, then the mint mirror, then the thrift store light fixture, and then replacing all the hangers with wooden ones. There are still a few things on the to-do list though.

Here is the prettier angle of the entryway.


And where we left off from the other (not so great) angle. See those mismatched woven baskets? Well, I always was a bit annoyed that they were different sizes (we just shoved them in there when we moved in), and they weren’t tall enough to really be taking advantage of the space. All of our hats, gloves, scarves, etc live there and were always poking out.


When we built the closet in the nursery, I did a bit of basket re-arranging, and brought all of those woven ones into the nursery where they fit perfectly. Then it was time to head out to HomeSense (the Canadian version of HomeGoods) to do a bit of basket shopping. Things always get a little worse before they get better, you know?

I had my measurements with me when I went shopping so I knew exactly what size to get. It didn’t leave me with many options, but I did find these three that I knew would fit perfectly. I would’ve liked to have all three in the beige colour, but wasn’t too bothered by having a lone green. It sort of ties in with the mint mirror down the hallway.DSC_0693

Once I knew they fit, it was time to transfer everything. Woah did it ever make such a difference to have properly sized baskets. I have one with all of my hats and scarves, Dan has one with his hats and scarves, and then the one in the middle has all of our gloves and other miscellaneous stuff.DSC_0695

Such a simple upgrade, but makes a world of difference.DSC_1150


And the last thing left on the list for this area? THE SHOES. Oh man, it isn’t good. We have a crappy shoe shelf that is put in sideways and an old winter shoe mat. Oh, and a bucket on the other side of the hallway (not pictured) that house all of our flip flops. Time to build some custom shelves… DSC_1146

 Do you guys use baskets throughout your house to keep things organized? I don’t know what I would do without them. Do you have a small entryway like we do? Any tips for keeping it neat looking? I struggle with ours as we can’t easily put a door up to hide the jackets thanks to the curved ceiling. I think getting the shoe/boot situation under control will help though. 

magazine madness

3rd June 2013

I don’t know about you guys, but I have a bit of a magazine hoarding problem. I usually recycle the not-so-great ones right away, but then let my faves pile up thinking I’ll crack them open again at some point.

Well, with the recent influx of baby things at our place, I am really wanting to get rid our house of any unnecessary clutter. And these magazines? Well, they were getting unruly (that is just pile #1 of 2).


We had a few rainy days this weekend, so I plunked myself down on the couch, turned on HGTV, and got to those piles. I flipped through each magazine quickly and tore out fave pages. On some of them I wrote what I liked with a sharpie marker (ie. “try this as DIY artwork”, or “love those built ins”), but mostly I just left the tear sheets as-is.DSC_1095

I thought this was going to be a fairly quick project, but dudes, it took a loonnngg time. After a few sessions of TV watching, the pile on the “recycling” side was finally winning.

And as for those tear sheets? Well I had put together some magazines files to hold them. DSC_1099

They are sorted into three main categories: living/dining, kitchen/bath, and other (bedroom/DIY/outdoor). Eventually I could start a few others or put them into plastic sheets in large binders, but for now, these are working out just fine.DSC_1097

They sit along with some others in our basement storage area.


And as for that farm chair that you could barely see any more in the living room? Well, it is happily on display again!


New resolution: no more magazine hoarding from now on.

Do you guys hang on to fave magazines, or are you pretty good about reading + recycling? Have a good system for keeping tear sheets? Do you even still keep tear sheets now that there are things like Pinterest and blogs a-plenty for inspiration?

project nursery: the closet

15th May 2013

I mentioned on Monday that we were on a bit of a roll with the nursery – maybe it’s because I’m officially now into my third trimester (28 weeks!) and feeling a major urge to get the house ready? I’m kind of a “nester” by nature, but I think it has started to kick into overdrive a little bit. Over the weekend I was waking up at 5am because all I could think about is what we need to get done. And it’s so silly, because we live in this comfortable little house and don’t have any major stresses. Yes we still need to get and setup a few keys things (carseat, crib, etc) but really, we could bring baby home tomorrow and all would be just fine. Reminder Gemma: you can chill out.

Anyway, back to that nursery.

Since it’s a small room and is doing double duty with the office, we knew that smart storage was going to be so important. Luckily, the room does have a little closet. It used to hold Dan’s suits and Navy outfits (being in the military = a ridiculous amount of clothes), and some of my more formal dresses. When we did project basement storage a few months ago, all of those items got moved downstairs into a new armoire.


I knew I wanted to paint the closet a fun colour – a nice surprise from the bright white room. I had purchased a can of “oops” (ie. mistint) paint from the Home Depot a while ago in a perfect pink for a mere $9. The colour is a bit deeper than a pastel pink, and has a nice hint of coral.


Two coats later, and here’s how she was looking. Fun, right?


We didn’t want to spend too much dough on any fancy closet systems, but did want to do something custom and built-in. Handy hubby put his thinking cap on and planned out some shelves for the bottom half of the closet where we could line up a bunch of baskets. This would help maximize the amount of storage space, but also leave some room for bulkier things (packs of diapers, etc) on the upper shelf and along the ground.

We had the wood already, but buying basic boards from any big hardware store doesn’t run you much moola. Dan the man cut the wood to size using his circular saw, and cut the 2×1 wood strapping that the shelves sit on using his mitre saw (but you can use a circular saw for this step also). The strapping was either a) screwed into a stud or b) screwed into the drywall using good quality drywall anchors. Shelves were then nailed onto the wood strapping so they don’t move. He had to use some drywall anchors as there were not enough studs in the right spot to screw on the strapping.


Once those shelves were installed I did a quick two coats of the same pink paint on them to keep the whole look cohesive. I haven’t put a coat of polyeurothane on them yet, but I’m thinking I’ll slap at least one on to make sure the paint doesn’t chip. It’s just wall paint, so may not stand up to constantly pulling the baskets in and out.

This is how things are looking at this point. It’s packed full of stuff right now as we finish up the rest of the room. Still need to get a dresser in place, so a lot of those folded clothes and things in baskets will be moving over the dresser. And all the stuff on the top are “things to use in the nursery” that just don’t have a home quite yet.




PS. Did you see all of those sweet little clothes? I have been SO lucky with a few friends who each had two baby girls, are done having kiddos, and are now dropping off their stuff as they grow out of it. Going in there and gazing at the outfits has become my new favourite evening activity. Baby girl is going to have so many outfits! Oh, and mama ain’t the only one with snazzy velvet hangers – these baby versions also came from HomeSense.


One closet-related thing we still have on the to-do list (other than organizing it) is to remove the door and hang a curtain to cover it. This is going to buy us a bunch of extra space along the wall for the dresser, as we won’t need to leave room to open and close a door.

Here is where we stand on the nursery to-do list:

-paint room + closet
-install Chasing Paper wallpaper on feature wall
-put together new desk and organize office supplies
-get new office chair (maybe one that could double as ‘nursing’ chair?)
-closet: paint, build shelves, organize with baskets, remove door and hang curtain
-find used dresser and paint it coral (add gold hardware) + put change pad on top
-buy and put together crib
-move in rug
-make and install roman blind
-build and install book shelves on wall
-install shelves above desk
-hang artwork
-add accessories
-add storage for toys and laundry

Slow and steady wins the race! What about you guys? Painted the insides of any closets a super fun colour? Got any great storage tips you want to pass on? Anything else exciting going on? I’m all ears.

velvet crushin’

13th March 2013

With all of the organizing happening lately (like our newly decked out basement storage), plus my influx of new maternity clothing, my closet was in need of a bit of help.

Remember a few months ago when I made the switch from our mis-matched hangers in our front hall closet to all-wood ones? And remember how much better it looked and functioned (and how happy they made me!)?!

Well, it was time to do something about the situation in my closet. They were a mish mash of  plastic/wood/wire and besides not looking great, were taking up extra space.


A few of you mentioned in my wood hanger post that you used velvet hangers for your clothes as they are slim and hold things up really well. Well, I listened, guys! A trip to HomeSense, and I came back with half a dozen packages of these beauties. They were on sale for $9/pack of 18, which I figured was a pretty good price.


And then I set about taking absolutely everything off the original hangers, and hanging it all back up again. This also happened to be a great opportunity to bag up some shirts that are already too small for my growing belly. Who knows when I’ll be able to fit into those again.. so they are going to go off and live at my parents house for a while (thanks mum and dad!).


Ahhh so. much.better. The way they slide around is smooth as butter, and I have about 1/4 more clothes on here now (thanks to some seriously lovely gals who have given me garbage bags full of maternity clothes!) and you wouldn’t even know it. These hangers really do take up way less space.


The closet is small, but it works hard. I have all of my shirts and dresses and some sweaters hung up, have some shelving and drawer units underneath for PJs, socks, belts, slippers, leggings, and bathing suits, and then everything else folded up top or in the shelves that divide the ‘his’ and ‘her’ sides of the closet.



On the shelves up top and along the side are my bulky sweatshirts, all of my sweatpants/workout pants, shorts, lesser worn sweaters, casual/workout tee-shirts, and jeans. Oh to have a big walk-in closet. One day!


The other fun thing about velvet hangers? The fact that they come in just about every colour. I got a mixture of deep purple, hot pink, and greys. So pretty. Oh and it’s true – clothes really doesn’t slip off them – they just sort of stick to the velvet texture.


And hubby’s side of the closet? Well he didn’t get the velvet hanger treatment (poor guy), but I did at least make sure he had all matching white plastic hangers (his request when I asked which were his fave). DSC_0312

Have you guys done a hanger switcharoo? Got any fave types? Are you on the velvet bandwagon? Please don’t gloat and tell me you have a gorgeous walk-in closet. Or okay.. tell me about it and I can daydream and be totally green with jealousy :)

an organized basement nook: the after

11th March 2013

After working away in this little corner of our pad for the last month, we can finally call this spot done-zo. And let me tell you, this nook works harder than any other spot in our place.

Here is what we started with. So much wasted space, so little organization, and just plain uuuugly.


We cleared out the space, painted the turquoise wall, invested in our IKEA Algot system and Aneboda wardrobe, some storage bins, and got to installing and organizing….


And now? Organization overboard. Booyah. Every single thing has its place. And probably a label to go along with it.


There are a few main zones of the nook. First off is the paint zone. We had this spot which was perfect for narrow shelves, so we took advantage and fit them exactly for small pots and spray cans. Hopefully at some point we’ll use up more of those gallons on the ground, and then can decant leftovers into smaller mason jars and move them up along with the others.



To the left of the paints are the drawer section of our Algot system. I really liked the idea of drawers, so I’m glad we designed it in such a way that we could squeeze them in. I’ve got pillow cases and small rugs in the top drawer, throw blankets in the second, and sheets and duvet covers in the third. Even though it appears tight in the photos, there is plenty of room to pull open the drawers and get at what’s in them without banging into the wardrobe behind you.


Then we move over to the actual shelving part. The meat and potatoes of this whole operation. I tried to use as many coordinating bins as possible – both so keep it looking streamlined and to maximize the space, as they are designed to work with these shelves. Some things just didn’t fit into the bins though. We stacked our weekend bags/backpacks in one area, fit our picnic basket and board games on the top shelf, and kept some of our magazine files in rotation.



All of our paperwork had been in magazine files up in our office (which will be no longer, with baby sprout coming along!), so we re-organized them into file boxes. It is nice to have them all in 3 boxes now and it’s good to go through files every now and again to purge paperwork that is old. A certain someone (*cough* hubby *cough*) likes to keep cell phone bills and receipts from the 90’s. They could practically be considered antiques at this point. Oh, and see that empty bin? Yep, still space to grow, baby.


The magazine files that stayed were for a few select items that we add to very frequently. In this row there are ones for my design tear sheets (I rip things out of magazines or newspapers all of the time and go back to them for inspiration), stationary, and my stuff related to the blog.


The shelves didn’t quite reach all the way to the other wall due to a bulkhead, but luckily, this worked out perfectly. We needed a little spot to put our vacuum (see it tucked away on the ground there?), our brooms/mops (which we installed a wall mount for), and wrapping papers.


I needed a bucket of some sort to corral my wrapping papers and other long tube-y things, so this hamper from HomeSense did the trick. It cost $16 and adds a little bit of pretty to the space.


And finally, along that last wall, is our new wardrobe. It’s actually pretty attractive, and it’s nice to have a break from all of the open storage.


The wardrobe is packed with functionality – we hung up suits, out of season coats, and a few of my dresses, and then still had plenty of space for shoes. Dan has a bunch of his boots and shoes along the bottom (the guy has SO many clothes since he’s a reservist in the military), and I fit a bunch of my shoes into clear shoe boxes and put them up top. My shoes had all been living under our bed, so it’s nice to get them into a proper spot where I can easily see them again. Once winter is officially over (c’mon, spring!!) , I’ll move my winter boots down here and move up my summery shoes.


After passing by the storage area, you get to the door to our basement apartment (those closet doors on the left lead to our shared laundry). I’m so happy to get all of this organized and looking better now. It’s SO much nicer for our tenant who has to walk by it every day!

As for the budget breakdown, this wasn’t a super cheap project, but it was well worth it. Plus, all of these things are move-able, so if we ever want/need to re-locate anything, we can! Nothing permanent here.

-IKEA Algot system (this was for all of the brackets, shelves, drawers, and clear storage bins): $300
-IKEA Aneboda wardrobe: $100
-Round bin from HomeSense for wallpaper: $16
-Wall mounted broom holder from HomeSense: $12
-3 File bins with some hanging files and labels from Staples: $100

Grand total: $528

For more info, check out the other posts associated with this project: the beforeclearing out, installing the Algot system, getting organized and making labels.

Phew! Glad to get that one out of the way. Our office is feeling incredibly empty now… time to start thinking nursery!  We are going to be finding out the sex baby sprout pretty soon… anyone have a guess?!