House For Six

31 Day Series

31 Days of Life Simplified, Day 9: A Purged & Organized Closet

Deme Crinion1 Comment
The first space on our purging radar for this 31 Day series was our master closet.  I have no idea why....

...the shame!

...the horror!

My goal for this closet was to simply get it purged of clothes that didn't fit or that I didn't wear and to get it organized....worry about the pretty stuff later.  There were my regular clothes, maternity clothes, and all sizes in between.  Turns out a little editing down and organization can do a world of good in the pretty-up department.

The only things in this closet now are items that will take me through my last trimester or regular clothes that I can still use as layering items (i.e. regular flannel unbuttoned over a maternity tank).  The rest went into storage bins under our bed.

Let's all breath a collective sigh of relief...
The drawers hold shirts, sweaters, pj's, jeans/pants, workout clothes, undergarments, and socks/tights/leggings. Everything else is on a hanger.  I also moved my summer shoes to the top cubbies.  The shoes I wear most days are downstairs in our shoe cabinet.

I found that if I tried to create stacks of clothes on the shelves they just ended up in a heap.  I couldn't tell what was clean or dirty because nothing stayed folded.  Now that all clothes are either on a hanger or in a drawer, I can leave this space open for accessories or who knows what.

This side of the closet was the biggest improvement.  We ditched the catch all shelves and my long dresses can now hang freely and my taller boots have a place to land.

How about a side by side for that one?

I'm using a pant hanger to corral my scarves but would like to change this up eventually.

I still need to address my belts and jewelry, but it's a huge relief to know that I can actually wear everything in this closet.  I like that there's extra space to breath and miraculously, the nervous twitch that used to strike when I walked in here has vanished.  Now, onto that coat closet!

I would love to hear how you keep your closet from turning into chaos!  How do you keep things organized?

*This is part of the 31 Days of Life Simplified series...catch all the posts right here!

Thanks so much for reading! We would love to hang out!
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31 Days of Life Simplified, Day 8: The Coat Closet That Could

Deme Crinion1 Comment
I've got a post coming tomorrow on how we reorganized our master closet.  And as we wrap that one up with a nice "done for now" bow, we're setting our sights on our next victim:  the coat closet

We're lucky to even have a closet in our front entry, but it's a straight up disaster.  It's not small (almost a long/narrow full size) and yet I feel like it's failing. 

Because remember this:

Shameful, I know.  I'm just going to tell myself that every coat closet known to man has this same issue.  It wants to be great and help out it's beloved family, but it's just can't.  It doesn't have the right tools. Or competent homeowners.

But we're going to help our dear closet.  What we really need is space to hang multiple bags, sweaters, and coats....a place for wet shoes to dry....a spot to store some out of season items and make the current ones accessible....a place that doesn't make me cry and where I can see the floor.

As we started thinking about how we can maximize this space, my mind immediately went to this coat closet makeover I've always drooled over by House of Smiths.

Incredible, right?  But after seeing what a bag lady family we've become (bag for piano, bag for soccer, bag for school, bags, bags, I love bags) and the need for a place to set our wet boots during this place that gets real snow that actually sticks to the ground....a bench was a no-go.  We really need any and all wall/floor space.

We're thinking something along these lines would better suit our needs...


Except we plan to keep the upper shelf and just ditch the long closet rod.  Sort of like this beauty from Classy Clutter:

I picked up a couple of boot trays, trim, and hooks - armed and ready to tackle the beast!  I think.  No don't think about it....just do it.  Who's with me?!

*This is part of the 31 Days of Life Simplified series...catch all the posts right here!

Thanks so much for reading! We would love to hang out!
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31 Days of Life Simplified, Day 7: Bringing In Fall

Deme Crinion17 Comments

Every year it's the same story...

This is the year I will really decorate for the holidays.

I will totally style a mantle

I will make some boring object uber fabulous with a gold-leaf technique.

I will make batches and batches of homemade cookies and deliver them to our neighbors in perfectly packaged bundles of happiness.

I will set a beautiful tablescape.

I will get my craft on with the kids.

I. WILL. paint. pumpkins.

And it never happens.  I overwhelm myself with all of my own great ideas that I can hardly set out a pumpkin.  So, in the spirit of this here 31 Days of Life Simplified series, I'm setting the bar reeeeeal low for myself.  No super lofty lists, no elaborate plans...just bring in a bit of fall here and there.

We've got a few ideas for keeping things simple and doable when it's time to pull out the holiday bins...

Love A Few Favorites. 

It might be tempting to stock up boxes of holiday decor, but it can be a pain to store, a pain to sort through, and a pain to put up.  Not to mention expensive.  The real temptation comes at the end of the season when that glorious red 75% off sign goes up.  Be STRONG!

I try to keep our fall decor to one large bin.  That's Halloween and Thanksgiving.  So, if I find the greatest bargain of all pumpkin bargains, then it has to fit in the bin.  If it doesn't, then it goes back or we bid farewell to something from the bin.  And hopefully that bin is filled with mostly timeless items you love to use over and over again.

One year my mom got me these pumpkins from a little shop in the mountains.  

I've never really seen anything like them and I love their quirkiness.  

I look forward to finding a special spot for them each year.  Keepers!
They're also not holiday specific, like Halloween or Thanksgiving, which means I get a whole lot more use out of them as a seasonal item. 

Food Is Cheap and Pretty.

The fall harvest is some of my favorite and simply putting your bounty on the counter adds to the "fall is here" party.

I had this vase/pitcher and stacking measuring cups out by our sink for most of spring and summer.

After a trip to the slightly underwhelming orchard, we put out our bazillion miniature sized apples along with some apple cider packets.

I mean really.  It's apple cider.  How can you be mad at anything (even a sink full of dishes) with such goodness waiting to reward you.

Shop The Yard

Last year we hosted Thanksgiving and I found myself a little low on fall decorations for the table.  So, I sent my free mini laborers outside to collect pine cones.  We slapped a little gold craft paint on them, then threw some in glass jars and stuck place cards in the rest.  Free table decor!

These are my every day dishes.  They have a leaf print around the edge which makes them fine for everyday and fantastic for holidays.  I found them at an outlet store and they were marked down on top of that because the leaf print on some of the place settings is slightly off.  I ain't picky and they've been serving us well ever since.
And that "napkin ring" is actually a cheapo stretchy pearl bracelet from Tar-jay.   Nothing but classy up in here.

Combine free stuff from your yard with cheap food items in the way of magical smelling pinon coffee beans and you have an easy, heavenly fall decor project....for like under five bucks. 

These pinon coffee beans have a chocolate undertone and oh my gosh if I don't want to down a pan of brownies every time I pass by this thing.  Candle holder + branches from yard + vanilla candles + coffee beans = something really good.

Embrace The Printable
There is so much talent around the interwebs, but there's a lot of wonderful generosity too.  Some beloved bloggers have been offering free fall downloads for their readers and it's a fun, free, and instant update for around the home.

I love coming and going to this beauty of Autumn Essentials by Jones Design Company on our shoe cabinet.

I have a couple more to print and hang, but even adding this one helped brighten my mood.

Switch Up What You Have

We have a three-prong hook right by our front door that I clear off when we have guests...otherwise it's usually home to my sweater/scarf/bag/shoes/whatever else I dump there.  It sort of updates itself with the seasons as I transition my own closet - no-brainer decorating.  And I really need to clean that mirror...

I'm one of those weirdos that needs to have a blanket when I'm sitting on the couch no matter the time of year.  The A/C and I have an understanding. Just swapping out a light throw for something more cozy and adding a pillow I had from Big Lots gave the living room a bit of a fall update.

I still have a few Halloween decorations to put up, but figure that's 3 long weeks away.  In the meantime we'll just enjoy the fact that it's feeling a little more like fall around here.

And lucky for you, it's a Blog Hop!  Our lovely host Bonnie asked some ladies to share their autumnal hominess..... hop over and pay these ladies a fall visit! 

*This is also part of the 31 Days of Life Simplified series...find all those posts right here!

Thanks so much for stopping by! We would love to hang out!
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31 Days of Life Simplified, Day 6: The Family Calendar

Deme Crinion6 Comments
I've been posting late at night, so technically, I think I'm a day behind on our 31 Days of Life Simplified series.  I'm counting today as Day 6 (even though it's the 7th) and we're talking calendars.  Something that hasn't been so simple for us in the past.

As our kids get older and we get more involved with all their activities, our calendar can easily get out of control.  For a couple years, we used this DIY chalkboard calendar to keep track of all our comings/goings.  

We kept it in the kitchen where it was an easy visual for the coming week....or more often, to tell me what I was supposed to be doing that day.

It was great.  Everything in one spot instead of having to consult a bunch of different notebooks and calendars.  Except when we weren't home.

If something came up on James' work calendar he would have to call me to see if it conflicted with our family's schedule or wait until he got home to check the board and chat.  It also wasn't available when we were trying to schedule an appointment or meeting while away from the house.  I had to do a lot of rescheduling.

We didn't really have a spot for the old calendar in our new kitchen area (not a lot of open wall space), but we thought it might be time for a change anyway.

So, we switched to a shared electronic Google calendar.  James and I can both add events and it automatically updates for both of us.  I can also sync the calendar with my smart phone, but my old school hubby still uses his beloved flip phone. Perhaps one day he'll venture into smart phone waters, but for now at least he has access to the calendar while he's at work or has his laptop.

We have a little pow-pow on Sundays to look at the calendar together and talk through the coming week.  It took us a few weeks to get used to it, but now it's become an easy habit (I speak for myself here).

In addition to the Google calendar, I also have a personal planner/calendar that is the organizer of my brain. I have the large 2014 planner by Sugar Paper pictured below (the one open to the notes page) that I picked up from Target.
 (image via Sugar Paper)

I use this as more of my working calendar.  The two-page monthly calendar is used to schedule out blog posts and the two-page weekly sections are where I keep notes, to-do lists and important family events.  I've tried several planners before and almost gave up on the idea, until the stars aligned and I met "the one".  This just works with the way my brain works.  Which obviously may not be the same for you.
Anything that's a major event or that I need extra reminders not to forget, I pin up on my weekly cork board.
In a highly digital world, I'm still a pen/paper girl at heart.  So far the Google calendar + personal planner seems to be the best combo for me.

What about you?  How do you keep track of you or your family's activities?  Do you keep it all in one central location or have a whole team of tools that help you keep track of it all?  Are electronic all the way or need to write it down?

*You can catch all the posts of the 31 Days of Life Simplified series right here!

Thanks so much for reading! We would love to hang out!
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