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Getting Organized and Down-sizing

Posted by idie2live (My Page) on
Sun, Dec 27, 09 at 21:48

Back in the spring I had some work done on the house. One of the things I decided to do was build a small pantry (2' wide) and use my present pantry (6' wide)for something else. I found that the more space I had, the more 'stuff' I piled in it. Well, I have been half heartedly getting rid of unneeded and unused items. It is still not empty, but I thought I would show you all my progress.
This is what I had.
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This is how it looks now. All of the Christmas bins will be stored in the storage house. I plan to give the copier to the Salvation Army. Eventually I plan to move the freezer in this space and have shallow shelves beside it.

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And this the new pantry
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I have another storage space in the hallway, that I plan to reorganize also. Progress is being made - slow, but sure.
Loretta


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: Getting Organized and Down-sizing

You're off to a good start, Loretta! This is what we are facing in 2010, only an entire house worth. Our house is rather cluttered, and we want to get it on the market, so a lot of stuff has to go. That, and our next home will be much smaller, possibly only half the size of this one, so the stuff has to go anyway. What's difficult is that we have a lot of antiques; too many to keep them all, and painful decisions will have to be made.

Jay


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RE: Getting Organized and Down-sizing

It looks great Loretta. You are so right, the more space I have, the more I have to stuff.

Jay, giving up antiques will be painful. I feel for you.


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RE: Getting Organized and Down-sizing

wow what a difference idie. I'm gradually doing the same and trying to pare down. It's hard isnt it? but so rewarding when you see how much space you can gain.

Jay that sounds like it's going to be hard but hopefully some of your antiques will find their way into loving homes. good luck with selling your house it sounds like you have a busy time ahead!


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RE: Getting Organized and Down-sizing

OH Loretta,
You have out done yourself!! That is a lot of clearing out. Now I can see how you can give up that space. I wondered when you said you did not use it for storage.

I have been purging for several YEARS and still I have too much stuff. Sigh. you are an inspiration.

Chris


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RE: Getting Organized and Down-sizing

The upside of having a smaller pantry is that I can see whats in it. When I was using the larger space, the shelves were so deep, that I was always searching for something, giving up and then buying it again. I had a lot of food items that had expired several years earlier.
Jay, I can only imagine how you must feel having to part with some well-loved items. I recently got rid of my dining room table, chairs, china cabinet and buffet. It was a hard decision to make, but it was the right decision. Good luck with your purge.


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RE: Getting Organized and Down-sizing

Good for you, Loretta. What a difference you've made. :)


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RE: Getting Organized and Down-sizing

How does it look, you ask?
AWESOME.....INSPIRATIONAL.....

You must also watch the A & E program HOARDERS.
It does make one think and want to get organized.


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RE: Getting Organized and Down-sizing

idie, we are trying to redo my hubby's MA Cape Cod cottage where he and his first wife lived for 43 years. Eventually it will be sold when the market gets out of the doldrums. He has a lot of furniture (not antiques) to eventually get rid of. Dining table, buffet and hutch, armoire, granfather clock, etc. And the kids do not want it. But our AL cottage is a different lifestyle and has no space for the items. We have already faced some separation anxiety issues. Now that he sees I am not trying to erase his past life, and he is liking the changes, he trusts me to make further plans. His attic is clean, his garage is "getting there," his garden shed will eventually become a playhouse with running water.
Overall, now that the house is clearing out, it looks spacious and welcoming. I've taken many cues from watching HGTV programs. But the real impetus to declutter came from HOARDERS program on A & E channel.


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RE: Getting Organized and Down-sizing

did ya'll see me on that show???? lol! I need to do the same thing. I sure don't wanna die and leave all this stuff for my kids to have to deal with!

"I was always searching for something, giving up and then buying it again."

this is me too! it gets very frustrating. some of mine is forgetting. Did i buy x or not? if I did where would i put it? i look everywhere logical, don't find it and rebuy. then i find it 2 wks later in the weirdest place and have no idea why i would have put it there...

your shelves are looking good - great move to put the freezer in there.


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RE: Getting Organized and Down-sizing

Yah I am working on this too. I actually WAS a hoarder. Not in the messy way you see on the Hoarders show. But I did have every cabinet drawer closet and every flat space decorated to the max. At that time my house was spotless. Really it was. Now I have declutterred down to way less than half of what I had and my house is no longer spotless. Heheheh Not sure what gives on this turn of events.

Even today I cleaned up a little bit of hoard crap that I had been putting off since we moved in. After the flood I did not have the desire for all of the stuff around me. I was able to overcome all of this hoarding stuff on my own and I really am done with it and enjoy empty spaces around me. I do understand why I did it to myself and I understand why I do not have the desire for it any longer.

My biggest problem is my old furniture. Only two pieces I own are actually valuable. The rest just stuff. Junk

My goal is to be able to know where every thing is because it is in a logical place. As much as possible all like things together. To be able to open a cupboard or drawer and not have to dig through a pile of stuff to find what I know is there.

I do not have too many ,what I call, hot spots left to deal with. My storage space in the loft in the garage is one and I know I have purged it twice since we moved here 19 months ago. This time I plan on purging to the point I will never feel the need to purge it again. I will know what is there will be used or it is there for a house rotation at a later date. This is the way I have decided to be able to keep what I love but not have to live with tripping over all of it all of the time. Just have a fresh new look once in awhile by rotating what is in the loft back to the house and what is in the house out to the loft. I have it all figured out I just need to get through all of it. It just takes time.

Chris


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RE: Getting Organized and Down-sizing

Sounds like everyone is trying to clean it out and clear it out! Good job! I've been thinking lately about a good way to contain plastic containers and their lids. For years I have had the lids in a drawer and it works well. What do you guys think about putting the containers in a drawer also? If (when) I spruce up my kitchen, I want several cabs with just drawers. Maybe the larger drawers could store plastics all together.


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RE: Getting Organized and Down-sizing

It is frustrating trying to store all of the kitchen stuff. With two cooks in our kitchen, there is a lot of stuff! I plan on having nearly all drawers in our next house. I think a lot more stuff can be stored in the same space.


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RE: Getting Organized and Down-sizing

Drawers are wonderful and some deep ones are good too. go for it!! For here with just the regular depth drawers I keep my plastics in a large dish pan that is just small enough to slide in and out of the lower cabinet. So in a way I have created a drawer for the plastic containers.

BUTTTTTTTTTTT I do not use many of them any more. Some might think this is so totally lazy but it works for us. My DH does not cook. I sometimes work well past the lunch hour and unless I fix him a lunch before I go to work he sits here hungry. So I usually have some left over from dinner. I put it in a small pie plate and he can microwave it for his lunch when I am not home to feed him.

This started me keeping most left overs in pie plates to either microwave or pop in the oven. The beauty of this is they stack so nicely in the fridge.

I think I keep about one dozen plastic containers total. I only save cottage cheese type containers for mixing grout in so I do not have to clean them just toss.

I do not have many cook books either but I do use the few I have. I also keep them in a dish pan under counter and slide it out like a drawer when I need one of my books from it. I used to have dozens of cook books. I am over that too.

Chris


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RE: Getting Organized and Down-sizing

I'm with you, Chris. I use very few plastic dishes now. If I have leftovers, I put them in a (corelle or glass) bowl with saran wrap in the fridge. If the kids want lunches, I wrap them in saran wrap and put them in paper lunch bags. (they are pretty good at recycling appropriately). I do save a few cottage cheese and marg for other uses, but most of those end up going to the recycling center too.

I find as I'm getting older I just really don't like plastic. I think it doesn't clean properly, and I worry about chemicals etc. I am using more and more glass/stainless all the time.

In my 'new' kitchen, almost all the bases will be drawers (yay). I often use smaller boxes in drawers to help organize what's in them.

~Missy


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RE: Getting Organized and Down-sizing

I've been decluttering for a few years now and Im now finally at a point where I can find things and mostly things have a place but Im hoping to wittle it down some more this year.

A few weeks ago I completely rearranged the mudroom which we were using to store things that didnt fit in the rest of the house and it had become a narrow passage with things stored on both sides. I decided to make some hard decisions and get rid of what I could and organise the rest a bit better. It still needs some work but I can actually use it now for cutting out fabric on a table and doing a bit of craft work and I can even get to the back door without squeezing past a bunch of stuff. Ive been amazed how at how useful that little bit of extra space is to have


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If you ask any of my friends, they will say that I'm a kitchen gadget junkie. I have been trying to cure myself, but it is difficult. Disposal containers is also a weakness, lol But when I cook food in bulk I always have give-aways to my next door neighbor and another friend (who don't like cooking). (Those containers never make it back to me). Right now I have about 15 containers in the freezer with cooked veggies and meat that is always ready for a quick meal.

Chris, Inever thought about putting them in a dishpan in the bottom cabinet, smart idea.

trancegemini, so you've got multiple projects going on at the same time, too, huh? I bet it makes you feel good everytime you walk through the mudroom.

flgargoyle, Missy, how great it is that you guys get to fix your kitchens just the way you want! It'll make everything so much more enjoyable. Trailershut.com


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RE: Getting Organized and Down-sizing

I do feel blessed, Loretta to be getting lotsa drawers in my next kitchen. :o)

It's wonderful that you share with your neighbors. I think that once my kids are gone I likely will end up doing more of that. I find I cook lots whether or not they're here for supper, and sometimes end up with lots of leftovers (they usually get eaten the next day - teenage boys don't seem to mind eating 'supper' for 'breakfast' lol). Storing extra in the freezer is also a great idea. I do that sometimes too, but I use margarine containers. I think I'm like you in that collecting the containers themselves can be a weakness. Perhaps that's why in more recent times I have become much more strict in forcing myself to get rid of them as much as possible.

Trance, post some pics of your 'new' mudroom k? I need more de-clutter inspiration. :o)


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loretta I dont think I can stick to one project at a time, Im too unfocussed or something LOL. I've done a couple of small projects for the garden lately while I ignore finishing my bedroom.

prairie I dont know if my ugly old mudroom would inspire anyone hehe but I'll see what I can do about a pic.


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RE: Getting Organized and Down-sizing

Hahaha trance that is me. My brain will not stick with only one thought. I finally have four days off. Going to get myself into some trouble for sure.

Loretta did you ever decide what you were going to do with your kitchen reno?

Chris


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RE: Getting Organized and Down-sizing

I have pretty much decided on a course of action. But I have several things I want done to the house and yard. First, I AM going to repave my driveway and walkway because after 39 years I am tired of the big pool of water that settles at my side door after it rains.
Second, I want to replace the fence down one side of the yard. Third, I want to raise the floor in my laundry room and move my W/D to the opposite wall. After all that is done, the kitchen is last on my list.

So, I'm now trying to decide when to get started.


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RE: Getting Organized and Down-sizing

WOW Loretta, Your list sounds like mine. Getting rid of that standing water sounds like a good idea. That can be a real pain.

Sounds like all your projects are good ones. Will get done in good time.

Chris.


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RE: Getting Organized and Down-sizing

that is some beautiful progress..you should be very proud of your accomplisment...

i think in this time of less $, people are tending to pare down their pantries..by using things up..at last


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RE: Getting Organized and Down-sizing

prairie here is a pic of my mudroom, this is the AFTER just in case anyone is wondering lol. I didnt take a before pic but I bet you can imagine what it was like from my description.

There wasnt room before to set up this table so it was pushed in the back with its legs off, the chairs were stacked among all the other stuff hehe, it was like a store room in there so I had to get rid of heaps to set up the table and chairs and I can even pull the leafs out on the table for more room to cut out fabric on it. It's been so handy I wish I'd done it sooner.


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RE: Getting Organized and Down-sizing

Trancegemeni, Great room. I love a nice table in the laundry/mudroom for
folding. Lost that with the move to this house. Back to the couch or bed
for folding.

Love all the pretty windows you have. What a great sitting sun room to
be able to work in.

We had a pantry room at our last house and I was able to make good
storage with a shelf up around the top of the whole room down from the
ceiling about 14 inches. I was able to keep the roasters and canning
kettles and extra boxes of canning jars up on that shelf out of the way
and still easy to get to. I considered hiding the shelf with a curtain
but since that room was really just a work room it did not matter. Would
not have been hard to do though.

I bet you will have lots of creative hours to come in your new room.

Chris


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RE: Getting Organized and Down-sizing

Trance, that is a great space. It's way too nice to call it a mud room. I can see me now, sitting out there, fan blowing, with a glass of tea (iced of course).


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RE: Getting Organized and Down-sizing

Trancegenie, that is exactly the kind of sunroom I want in my next house! Thanks for posting your picture.

I was wondering how everyone is doing with their decluttering? I'm not doing as well as I thought I would. I keep getting bogged down by the "keepers" or going through piles of paperwork I want to scan and then throw away the paper. Time consuming stuff.


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RE: Getting Organized and Down-sizing

I quickly went through the book shelf we have in the master closet last night and purged 5 bags of books. One to go to the library and the rest to the used book store. I also found some more craft type things to go to the thrift store. I did some more clean up on my studio just before I trashed it again creating more tiles for the bath room counter.

A really bad spot for me is my tool chest of drawers in the laundry room. It was a switch over deal from one chest to another and I never got the full job done. It was a switch and dump kind of thing. Bad on me. some day but today for what is left I am going to play.

Chris


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RE: Getting Organized and Down-sizing

Oh I meant to say I love your idea of using pie pans for leftover meals, Chris. I have tons of glass pie pans from the days of taking food to the kids in the dorms and I had been thinking of thinning them down. Glad I didn't. What do you cover them with, just a plate? I don't use plastic anymore either, or at least not any more than I can help. I do have to use some in the freezer.


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RE: Getting Organized and Down-sizing

I use saran wrap to cover them in the fridge. But when I microwave I use paper towels. A plate would work well. Good idea. I could even dig through my stash of vintage plates and get them all to match. Good excuse to keep the older plates and I do have plenty of cupboard space for them.

Chris


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RE: Getting Organized and Down-sizing

thanks ladies :)

shades I'm really trying to figure out a way to get some good storage in here. The biggest problem is the room is too narrow and it's a thoroughfare to get to the back steps but that back area where you see the dryer is ideal for storage. For now Ive been wondering how to set up a curtain across there but there's no where on the right to attach a curtain because of the windows. long term I think it could be good to build a big cupboard across there, hmmm

idie Ive never known what to call this room because it's the old enclosed porch so I just call it the mudroom. lol

marti it's funny that I posted this before I saw your post on your sun room and I was thinking of posting the pic over on that thread too. I really dont know if the previous owners did a good thing by installing all this floor to ceiling glass here because this room faces west and that glass really heats this room up in summer. It was so hot in there that we installed the blinds and an awning on the outside to try and shade the windows and recently we installed a roof ventilator with a ceiling vent in here just below it because the heat build up in here is unbelievable. It's the reason we never really used this room for anything. This room would be ideal on our north side (winter sun) but it's bear having it on the west side so I just thought I'd mention that. I even looked into getting the windows tinted but it was big $$$$. Just make sure you pick a good orientation for your sun room or you'll be cursing all that glass hehe


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Oh yes, I would never put it on the west side. Our one bedroom window faces west and it heats up our room. Ideally, it would be on the east side which would have afternoon shade, but that's also the side I would like to have the living room windows so I can gaze out into the backyard.


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RE: Getting Organized and sunroom

what about putting it the south side marti? It would great for drying your clothes in the winter or are you going to be drying clothes in there year round?


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RE: Getting Organized and Down-sizing

Trance,

When we were in the restore store yesterday they had a folding screen that might work for you. Was made of what looked like wood louvered closet doors. You might be able to find a stud in that wall next to the door to attach one side.With a stout hinge. Then it would give you slightly hidden storage space and yet easy to get to. Would not totally block the window either.

Also I have been known to hang a curtain from the ceiling. They make curtain rods that have a screw go all the way over the rod in the bracket to hold it in place. OR you might be able to attach a closet pole bracket from the ceiling on a rafter. Hard to tell how high your ceiling is. The wood closet pole screws into the bracket. You might have to use tab top curtains. Even eye bolts with cotter keys to keep a metal rod from sliding out.

I am partial to the hinged door/screen out from the wall. I might even do something like this in my sewing room. IF I need the storage space.

Chris


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RE: Getting Organized and Down-sizing

Trance, long term you may also think about drywalling over the wall behind and beside the washer. Then you could put cabinets up to the ceiling and have a way to close it off with curtains or whatever.
Also, I don't know how old you are, but if you can stand the wait, you can plant a nice, fast-growing shade tree for some relief.

is the exit door right accross from the back door or is it on the narrow wall?


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RE: Getting Organized and Down-sizing

Trance, you did a great job on your mudroom! It's a great idea to have a table out there. It's too bad it's so hot, though. Is there any way you can put up a tarp or canvas awning outside? My sister has a big retractable awning over her deck and it makes a tremendous difference in the heat level on the deck and in her LR.

I like the idea of putting a bifold door (or screen) there, or a curtain. Could you attach a curtain rod to the ceiling?

It's funny how 'backwards' we are. Here, our winter sun is South - well, now that I mention that, our summer sun is mostly South too lol.


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RE: Getting Organized and Down-sizing

thanks for all the ideas shades, idie and prairie :) It's so great that youre trying to help me with this.

as far as the heat, the roof ventilator we've just installed has helped in there because the heat would just build and get trapped and stay in there all night but at least now it has way to vent out again through the roof. I think it will be nice in there when the weather is a bit cooler.

loretta there are two very small mature trees just outside this room (one on each corner of the long glass wall) and they shade the two end glass panes but the 3 centre ones get a lot of sun and I just havent had any luck planting shrubs or climbers in the middle because everything I've tried there just limps along and then dies a crispy mess. It's really frustrating because it's just this really intense hot spot. part of the problem is our house is on the side of a slope so the back of our house where this room is, is sort of perched up high and really exposed to the weather. It's about a metre/3ft above our backyard and the house behind us is much lower so our floor level is about the same height as their gutters and there's just nothing between us and the afternoon sun (except some large shrubs I planted along the back fence) but theyre still too short but they were all I could fit there. I've dreamed of doing all sorts of things like buying the house behind us just so I could plant a heap of tall trees back there heheh.

Prairie I wish we had some $$$ to spend on this. some of my neighbours have big metal roller shutters on their west windows and they keep them closed all summer and they're supposed to be good for deflecting the heat. what is your sisters awning made out of? can you describe it? it sounds great but probably out of our budget right now with so many other things that need doing. :(

here is a better pic of the area I want to use for storage

you couldnt see it in the last pic but there's a clothesline attached just above the window and a sloped ceiling but after reading all your ideas there has be a way to attach a curtain rod. I love the idea of the louvre doors but I dont know if there would be room to attach to the brick wall on the left there because I hang my ironing board up there on that little bit of wall next to the doors? what do you think? Im trying to picture what the doors would look like open and where they would sit folded up.

loretta the doors you see in the first pic lead into my kitchen/living room area and just behind where I was standing to take the pic is the exit door to the back yard (behind me to the right), it's at the other end of the long glass wall, and opposite that, at the other end of the long brick wall (behind me to the left) is my laundry door so there's a short thoroughfare laundry to back door, and a long one from one end of the room to the other to get outside.


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RE: Getting Organized and Down-sizing

Trance, I was thinking something like this. You could attach one end to the wall. I would think it never closes. From the closer picture I see it could not hook to the right side wall and would have to be by your ironing board so you did not block your clothes line. Most of the screens shown are free standing and can easily be slid around as needed.

There is a silver film you can buy to help block sun from coming in windows as heat control. I do not think it is very expensive. A REALLY inexpensive way to do it is to buy a couple of the survival blankets. and stitch a casing at the top and hang in the window with tension rod. I plan on doing that here this summer on the front windows.They weigh almost nothing so a small tension rod will work for them.

http://www.armynavyshop.com/Merchant2/merchant.mvc?Screen=PROD&Product_Code=rc1032&Category_Code=military-blankets&Store_Code=army-navy-shop

Here is a link that might be useful: Folding screen


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RE: Getting Organized and Down-sizing

Mmmmmmmm! A curtain might be your best bet to hide storage. Inexpensive, pretty and removeable.


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RE: Getting Organized and Down-sizing

Trance, what about those bamboo shades installed on the outside of the window to keep the sun off the window? I've been looking for one of those to install on the facia outside my bedroom window that faces west. The only thing is that you'd have to go outside to roll it up and let it down. They have them at Big Lots in the spring usually.


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RE: Getting Organized and Down-sizing

Bamboo shades would likely help for sure. I was thinking of a canvas shade - anything that you can build/create that would shade those windows should help you immensely, Trance. Even if you looked in your local kijiji (or other site for used stuff) for an awning, or even an old tent that you could take apart and hang up on some sort of frame.

This is the type of shade my sister has (hers isn't as pretty, but it functions very well)


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RE: Getting Organized and Down-sizing

For our front porch I made shade cloth curtains and they really helped. Last summer I made white curtains and they were not as cooling as the shade cloth was. They were easy to sew. You can get it on Ebay.

Chris


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RE: Getting Organized and Down-sizing

Thanks for the all suggestions. I love that awning missy, that would be perfect for shading the windows without blocking the view to the backyard.

I love all these ideas. I'll try to get a curtain up across the storage area for now. I love the screen idea it would be great attached somewhere so you could just pull it back but I think a free standing one might just get in the way when I need to move it back.

shades thanks for the great ideas. I've suggested to DH in the past we could make some shade cloth curtains across the outside but he wouldnt agree to it. He likes the big open view to the outside even though he doesnt spend any time in this room or even plans to :^/


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RE: Getting Organized and Down-sizing

Oh Trance That is the Beauty of shade cloth. You can see through it. Blocks very little of the view and yet is so cooling. And neighbors or some one on the outside can barely see in.

Chris


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I love the look of old-fashioned striped awnings on a cottage! I think it's an idea who's time might be coming back. Put 'em up to keep the summer sun out; take 'em down for the winter. I'll have to add that idea to my new home plans.


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RE: Getting Organized and Down-sizing

Trancegemini, I love your space!
What a great light-filled space.

One thing you might consider doing, down at the far end where the washing machine is located, is set up the wire closet type shelfing, which can have the washer in the middle, with the 6' support posts on either side of it, to make the wire shelves span the entire width of the room.

The wire shelves would not detract from the light. You could use those shelves with some pretty baskets on them, and since the door/passage way is right there, put a few hooks for hanging coats, have a rack for the boots or whatever. Does this go outside to your main family entry, where you park the car, etc? Then it could be the central place to leave your car keys or hang your purse when you come home. Have a place for the inside wood basket, unless you have other provisions.

It looks like the room is about 7' wide or so, about the same as my back porch.

Have you thought about putting some wheels on your table? With two of them as locking wheels, you'll be able to scoot it around to fit your needs at the time, then lock it in place.

Good grief, I read this whole thread and I think I am a clone of a couple of you ladies!!! I could have written some of the comments myself, and had to check.....

But taking a turn here, I bought online a 100' roll of 90 shade cloth, from Home Depot. Our front bedroom faces west and north, the two exterior walls both have pairs of double hung windows single paned. For now, I am about to make some top down roman shades.

Here is how I began testing the shadecloth to see about privacy. This north wall is not critical for 100% privacy, since it is behind our 7' backyard privacy fence. The shadecloth is simply stapled for now. I will "get around" to putting the thermasuede lining behind it when I grasp the instructions for making the TOP DOWN ROMAN SHADES.
Image and video hosting by TinyPic

Image and video hosting by TinyPic

I looked into TerrellDesigns.com and the lady knows her stuff, so I am using thermosuede lining instead of blackout cloth. It allows some light transmission but keeps the interior private. The two windows facing due west need the shadecloth and the thermosuede as well, to cut the heat in the full heat of our hot south Alabama summers.

Someone else mentioned ceiling mount curtains. A medical supply store should sell the ceiling track for hospital curtain/privacy dividers. If you put the top portion as small pull chain above the fabric, you can adjust chain length across a shed style roof, keeping the curtain level where you need the screening and allowing air circulation above it.

In this bedroom of ours, my hubby agreed to mount a kind of crown molding at the top, making it out of 1x4" wood, around the whole room, so I can mount ceiling height wall to wall sueded curtains with the big eyes, on the two walls with windows. I already have the 4 pairs which I found at Tuesday Morning store. The rods/poles will have a middle brace between the windows so each pair can be pulled back toward the wall and expose the windows between with the roman shades half lowered to give LOTS of light....which I work hard to keep our home filled with light. After we replace or rebuild the old windows, I had wanted to get plantation shutters but this roman shade and curtain combo may change my mind. Currently we sleep in this room, but I do not like being next to the street. We will turn this 12x12' room into our study with all the book cases and two desks and the router/printer/laptops and a couple of reading chairs. Hubby likes to read and listen to music when he is not turning our house into a bomb shelter. :)


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thanks moccasin, I've talked to DH again about putting up shadecloth outside our west facing enclosed porch but he's dead against it :/

DH things he can weld up some funky bracket to put a curtain up there hmmm, hmmm, hehe, so I think the curtain will work out. I really like the idea of adjustable shelving and I thinks that's what the area needs. I kicked an old treadle sewing machine out of the bedroom and it ended up in the LR but I managed to drag it out to the mudroom yesterday along with an exercise ball that was stuffed in my fireplace hehe, everything is still ending up out here when it doesnt fit in the rest of the house. I'll probably sell or find a home for the treadle eventually.

We do use this room to come into the house. the garage is set back further than the house so you come out of the garage and into the backyard so we always come in through this room. I've set up a keyholder just inside those french doors in the first pic and oh my, what a dream to be able to find your keys! Then I hang my handbag on a hook near it that's for the curtain tiebacks so it's always there ready when I go out.

I wanted to put up a peg board for things like caps/hats and coats in this room but it's so hard because there's just no wall space where I need it. At the moment I have a coat stand just near the back door but I thought a peg board like this one would be good and take up less room.


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RE: Getting Organized and size

oops, forget to say yep it's just under 7' wide (about 6'8" and it's about 22' long but I have to keep a lot of it clear as a thoroughfare.


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RE: Getting Organized and Down-sizing

Trance, just a question:

Can you relocate the entry door from yard to the spot opposite the door from porch to kitchen? It would surely make your porch a totally usable room. I don't know how the path from parking spots to the back entry to porch is set up, but it could work. That way, the far end of your 22' room would be available as a private storage area. Even if you move the outside door only HALF way down the wall, it would give you the storage across the full 6'8" area.

I think a couple of used porch posts at either side of your room, down by the washing machine, could be used for supporting a curtain.

Also, I was looking at the West Elm catalog, and they have a cable system 20' long to attach to wall or ceiling and they have some curtain rods too, which are very very long.
The rings have clips on the bottom and you could make flat panels of the shade cloth as many as you like, and these clips/rings would hold them up. I bought shade cloth originally to save our veggie garden, but when it came, I thought to myself, this is too nice to waste for veggies. So now I plan to use it making roman shades for our room with a western exposure--the front bedroom, living room and the sun porch where the parrots live.

BTW, I think the Threaded Gold paint from Behr would be super in this room. To make it scrubbable, get it in the enamel latex, maybe semi gloss, but satin would work too.

Note: If your entry from yard to porch is at the far end of the porch away from the washing machine, that is where the mudroom function should be located. Put a lot of sticky back carpet squares down or maybe a row of the large stickyback vinyl tiles like we are using in our porch for now. However, it just makes perfect sense to move this door up by the washer where they come in, take off their wet and dirty things, and drop them by the washer so you don't have to search and destroy! What would be involved in taking out a window in this area and turning it into a door? Seems like the header might already be strong enough to support a doorway, but then I'm no contractor.


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RE: Getting Organized and Down-sizing

What a great idea to move the door out of the traffic pattern. But I seem to recall that your house is on a sloped lot.


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RE: Getting Organized and Down-sizing

Idie, ideas have a way of sounding GREAT, until reality sets in. Hehehehehehe.

And Trance, I was not suggesting to put the shade cloth on the outside unless you have an arbor frame and then it can be draped over it in light swags, allowing room for the wind to get through without ripping it off.

In reading about the roman shades, if they are in an area of intense sunlight, they will soon fade and then dry rot, unless you have a fabric like Thermosuede for a liner. It is treated fabric and resists UV deterioration. I ordered mine to line the west-facing windows inside my bedroom and living room, and found it at TerrellDesigns.com ...they did not have it at Joann Fabrics or Hancocks, nor AAA Foam and Fabric, a local discount fabric store near Mobile.

However, I think the 20' long cable mounting system from West Elm would work just fine with your 22' long porch, and the unlined lengths of the shade cloth held up by the ring clips. You would not want them to be hanging in pleats or draped or full, just a plain width you could push aside as you wished. Go online and take a look at the West Elm curtain rods and hanging options.

Come to think of it, the shade cloth must have a UV inhibitor in it. Is that what you think, Idietolive?


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RE: Getting Organized and Down-sizing

We have had some shade cloth we have used for about 10 years. We take it down in the winter. It has faded some but it has had hard use. Full outside sun. The last house we had it would drop the temp in our living room about 10 degrees. Somewhere I had pictures of how I hung it. Basically it was just hooked on the Christmas light hooks along the edge of the house and then I have these silly rebar trees I made that are about 10 foot tall and I wired it up to the top of them. so the shade cloth made a ceiling and did not hang in front of the windows but made a wonderful shaded area and shaded the living room windows from above.

Tomorrow I will see if I can find the pictures. I know they are on one of my computers.The rebar trees are now in front of our house here and I am hoping the honeysuckle vines will grow up them to make some porch shade.

Chris


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RE: Getting Organized and Down-sizing

Trance, I just realized that your porch is about the same size as the one in my hubby's house up in MA. It has windows (actually sliding glass doors) on three sides. I put down the sticky back carpet tiles just wide enough to serve as a passage way from the back up to the front entry to the masterbedroom. Hubby uses the outside covered area to place his saw and equipment in bad weather, and then walks through the porch to get back inside. What is not shown in this photo is the doorway to the bedroom, and a small swivel upholstered rocker and ottoman, where he likes to sit and read, watch the sunset, and check out the neighbors on their daily walks. The color of this room is a pale color, called Behr LILTING LAUGHTER. The floor/ceiling sheers hung on wires with clips do not insulate, but they keep the cold air from bleeding through, and the sun from getting to hot in the summer. If the hot season were longer up north, I'd think about some shade cloth bottom up roman shades. I'm sold on roman shades!!!

Image and video hosting by TinyPic

I did a little artsy thing with this shot, using Virtual Painter software.
Image and video hosting by TinyPic


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RE: Getting Organized and Down-sizing

moccasin I'd never thought of using shade cloth to make blinds and I cant wait to see how yours turn out. The blue blinds Ive put up in mine are blockout blinds but they're only about 12 months old so I dont know how well they'll last but shade cloth blinds could be a project down the track.

Idie is right about my sloping block and there is a 3 ft drop outside this roomto the back yard. the exit door is on the side closest to the garage and there is another door opposite it to the laundry so unless I close off the french doors I cant get rid of the throroughfare but doing that would be a pain having to backtrack round to the laundry door to get outside.

I just love these rooms you've created, the one at your DH's house is so so beautiful. you've convinced me now that a yellowy or buttery colour is the way to go here, I think it will really change the look of my room and give it more of a sunroom feel instead of looking so utility room. i love those carpet squares too that looks so good and I would do that in a heartbeat except my young dog rolls around in here after playing with the hose in summer so that could be a problem :) what do you all think of tiles in here? the concrete floor is really practical but it's just not pretty at all so Ive always wanted to cover it up with something.

moccasin, thank you SO MUCH for posting these photos, I've never even imagined this room could look like much but Im feeling really inspired now by what you've done


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RE: Getting Organized and Down-sizing

Trance,

I just remembered we had a room like yours too only there was a pantry on one end instead of windows. But it was a through type room and narrow. I made it into a sitting room sun room sort of. Since the cats and dogs liked it so well I did not get fancy with cushions. I loved this room for coffee in the mornings as the door coming in faced east.

Picture taken from the door coming in. On the right you can just barely see a shelf. There is a lace curtain on it. door into house is just past the bench on the left. That bit of carpet was from a discount furniture store and it was really inexpensive and very washable.

Chris

Here is a link that might be useful: Sun room


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RE: Getting Organized and Down-sizing

OMG Chris, that is one huge house! How large was it?

Trance, if the floor is level, then tiles would work great. Easy cleanup also. You could also use peel and stixk or those vinyl planks. I've always wanted to try them.


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RE: Getting Organized and Down-sizing

Loretta. It REALLY was a huge house. The largest we ever lived in at 1856 SQ FT. Took me two days to clean it. I could not get it all done in one day. We moved from this house to a 1200 SQ FT and I was totally freaking out. So glad I had already started a big time purge. Had been at it for several years and as you could see I still had WAY too much stuff. I bet I do not have half what I used to have and even today more is going away and more and more. I am determined to get rid of all I do not use and enjoy the space. Just enjoy the space. I still have a ways to go but feeling very good with the progress I have made.

Chris


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RE: Getting Organized and Down-sizing

oh such a pretty room shades. I love that soft green colour on the walls and Ive noticed both you and moccasin have used plants in your rooms. I should do that too.

shades I know what you mean about just enjoying space, it is so nice to just have it and I think it's one of the best rewards you get for paring down and getting rid of things.


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RE: Getting Organized and Down-sizing

I thought I would show a final shot of how I changed the former pantry closet.

Before
Photobucket

During
Photobucket

Now, I even have room for my folding table and vaccum inside the closet.
Photobucket Photobucket


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RE: Getting Organized and Down-sizing2

I didn't want to hi-jack Melle's or Marti's thread, so I thought I would add another organizing pic.
As part of my cleanup, I got rid of comforters (closet space hogs), curtains, area rugs! You name it, if I had not used it for a while I got rid of it!

This is a pic of my linen closet now. I wish I had taken a 'before' with it packed to the gills! It's amazing how hard it was to let go of sheets that had not been used for years. Typically, I used the same set until I get tired of it, and it goes into the closet never to be used by me again.
So now I have just a few sets (8, I think), about 20 towels and about 30 wash cloths.
Photobucket

I recently had all of the doors in the hallway changed out except the linen closet, because it is an odd size and it would have cost me $125 for the door to be made and $123 for shipping! I think not!
So I put some trim on it to make it resemble (sorta) the new door. New door is on the right.
Photobucket
Loretta


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RE: Getting Organized and Down-sizing

Loretta you are such an inspiration. I am really wanting to clear this stuff out of here. Today I had to go out into my loft to get something. But it was great. I knew where it was and was able to go right to it. Felt good I did not have to dig through many boxes to find what I need.

I also did the blankets and rugs in our closet and it is so nice not to have an avalanche on me each time I need one thing.

You have done such a nice job of organizing within your space. That is my new motto. I want to organize within the space I have.

You deserve your little sitting room gal. Take a break.

Chris


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RE: Getting Organized and Down-sizing

great job Loretta! what a difference it makes to open up a cupboard and be able to see what you have in there. You've reminded me I havent done much decluttering lately so it might be time to go through a few cupboards again for another look at things


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RE: Getting Organized and Down-sizing

Idie and Shades, and everyone else....
Has anyone tried those bags you connect to your vacuum cleaner to suck out the air? They are supposed to shrink the contents down dramatically. So far I have not tried them.

It seems to me they would be great for the bulky comforters and heavy winter covers that hog closet space. I have a down comforter up in Massachusetts that I adore, but it takes up a whole shelf in a small closet. When I first got married and we were there until February, I went crazy getting warm covers for the bed!! Down here in Alabama, a flannel sheet and a polartec blankey is quite enough even on the coldest nights....unless the power goes off.

Additional storage for bed linens in accessible but out of the way places? I'm going for the platform storage bed next, in queen size.


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RE: Getting Organized and Down-sizing

I have not tried them either. We have kitties and I am afraid one claw into one and well just imagine 4 comforters turned loose. Hehehehe

I do use those plastic bags curtains and blankets come in to store some of my things in.The onew with zippers on them to keep them closed. Helps to keep like things together. I like to change out my curtains winter to summer and store the long winter curtains in a blanket bag. I have some doilies in smaller curtain bags. They stack nicely and do not slip around. Keeps things clean too.

Chris


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RE: Getting Organized and Down-sizing

Loretta, great job on your linen closet! I echo Chris and say 'you are an inspiration!'
You did a great job on the 'imitation molding' on the door. :o)
~ Missy


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RE: Getting Organized and Down-sizing

Loretta, You are really good with the trim! The door looks great. I told my dd about your beadboard wallpaper and trim on the cabinets and she is keeping that in mind for her reno. I'll be asking more questions if she does it.


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RE: Getting Organized and Down-sizing

Thanks Missy and Marti, that is the same trim that I was determined to miter and put on the kitchen cabinets until some kind, SMART soul talked me out of it!
I had so much stuff in the linen closet that never got used (I have a weakness for green towels).

ML, I'm glad you brought up the space bags. I bought a large one this week and put 4 pillows and my coverlet in it to try it. I put it under my bed - and forgot to check on it. I just did after reading your post. Well, it had leaked and started to expand! I had to force it from under the bed. I found out that it leaked because I had not put the cap on it! Duh! take 2: I'll leave it on the closet floor a couple of days to see if I did it right. It sucked the 4 pillows and coverlet to about 3".


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RE: Getting Organized and Down-sizing

WOW Loretta. The space bag worked that well? I might have to consider these bags. Maybe just use them in the hall closet where kitties can not get to.

Chris


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RE: Getting Organized and Down-sizing

OMG, so you call those things SPACE BAGS? I can imagine putting four fluffy pillows and a comforter in a squeezed bag under the bed, or in a platform bed drawer, and have it LEAK!!!!

Good grief, I can picture what you'd have to do to remove the contents after they expand.

And did you use the vacuum cleaner hose to suck out the air, Loretta?

I think of something and it turns out you've just done it the week before....you install a tiny ceiling fan, and it is the same one I bought too.....are we on the same wave length or WHAT!! Pretty soon, you'll be able to finish my sentences no problem, and I'll be asking you for advice on persuading my DH to do things the way I wish WHEN I wish.
I am decidedly "strong willed" as it has been noted, and not always tactful or gently persuasive. My approach is to push someone until they push back, hence I know that somebody is there. Otherwise it is like pushing through a cloud looking for a presence--until you touch something firm, you don't know if anyone is home!


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RE: Getting Organized and Down-sizing

ML and Chris, you both write such expressive posts! I imagine you both must have larger than life personalities, lol. I just love to read whatever you guys write!
Back to the bags.
From this
Photobucket

to this
Photobucket


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RE: Getting Organized and Down-sizing

That's amazing. What did they look like when you took them out of the bags? I always imagined they would have deep, permanent wrinkles.


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RE: Getting Organized and Down-sizing

I second that IS AMAZING!! This is causing me to rethink bedding storage. I have such a thing about changing my bedding to get a new to me look every few months. I think I am going to give this a try.

What really intrigues me is they stand up sort of. I have a pretty useless shelf in the hall closet. Very tall space above it but to put in a second shelf then it would be hard to get things in and out. These flat bags would be prefect stood up on that shelf. The computer carry cases and a large travel bag with all the other smaller travel bags inside it is all that is on that shelf. They could go some where else.

OK I am in the process of grouting my canisters so back to it. Had to stop for lunch. Round two coming up. Then pictures later maybe.

Thanks for the pictures Loretta.

Chris


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RE: Getting Organized and Down-sizing

I've got a shelf just like that Chris!


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