Tuesday, August 22, 2017

Closet Project

This is the tale of two closets.
One of the only improvements we made in our last house in Florida,
was installing closet systems.
It's unbelievable how much more you can fit in the same space
by installing these.
It's one of the first tasks we completed here in our new home.

C's closet is a bit deeper than a standard sized closet,
but he had a ton of stuff to fit in there.
We got to work on his closet right away.

We found the closet system we've used before at a big box store.

A drill and a screwdriver are all that are needed to put this together.

We assembled the drawers first.
They are sold separately,
as the closet can be customized to fit your needs.

The drawers glide smoothly
thanks to the provided hardware.

We used two towers in C's closet,
one tall unit in the center,
and another that we divided into two pieces on each side.
The directions are fairly straight-forward
and it doesn't take much time to put it all together.

The bottom part of the center tower was placed first.
We added 4 drawers so that C could fit most of his clothes in it.
He doesn't have any dress clothes, or many things that need to be hung,
so the majority of his clothing fits right in these drawers.

Here it is while he was sifting through his items
to figure out what he wanted to keep
and what he could do without.
Many things remained in boxes
while he went through this process.

We decided to use 1 rod on the left for the few things he needs to hang,
and added the hardware for a rod on the right,
in case he should need it in the future.
For now though, 
open shelving works best for him.
He has a large fire alarm collection,
as well as many electronic components that he can easily access.

It may not be the conventional closet,
but it works for him.
That's one of the things we love about these systems,
you can configure them to suit you needs.
Along with paring down many of the things he had
(he's selling a lot of things on Craig's List),
he organized his leftover items in bins,
labeling each one for easy identification.
That's my boy!

Here's the closet in my room after we painted.
It's a unique shape,
but we had no trouble working around the obstacle in place.

The doors were removed to give me more space in the room.
This is the smallest room in the house,
and I decided to make a curtain for the closet to save space
(I'll show that when it is completed).

The middle tower is the foundation of our build.
It is two pieces that are stacked on top of each other
to form one tall piece.

Here it is with the second section added on top.

 A second, smaller tower was added to one side
to efficiently use the space that was left.
The towers can be fitted with doors or drawers,
or simply left as open shelving.
I only needed a few drawers to house my everyday clothing.

We chose to use two towers next to each other,
since we had to work around the A/C filter box (on the lower left),
with one rod across for hanging items.
All of my dressier shirts, dresses and pants can easily fit here.

These angled pieces are secured to the side of the cabinet
as well as to the back wall.
This ensures that the piece will stay put.

The closet contains:
1.  hanging clothes
2.  sewing machine and sewing toolbox
3.  clean feed sacks ready for sewing
4.  completed daisy totes
5.  folded clothes (shorts, shirts, pjs and unmentionables)
6.  shoes
7.  scrap feed sack pieces (for other projects)
8. supply box
9.  fabric scraps
10.  upper storage shelf

You may notice there is still more space underneath the bottom shelves,
but I prefer to keep things off the floor,
so it will not be used for storage.

It's so fabulous to be able to fit not only all of my clothing in this standard-sized closet,
but also all of my crafting items.
There is still room on the top shelves for more storage that is not being used right now.
(Maybe that'll be a great place to hide Christmas presents!)
This closet might not work as well for someone who has a large wardrobe,
but since we've decided to simplify and keep only what we truly love,
it does the job just fine.

This job took us a couple of hours and cost around $350,
which is much less than what it would cost using an installer.
The system that we use gives us about 3 times the storage space
in the same sized closet.

It's well worth the time and expense if you plan to stay in your house a while.
Another project we can cross off of our list!

New House posts:
The New Homestead
Moving Toward Bliss
Organized Downsizing 
A Fresh Look 
Under the Spell of IKEA


Friday, August 18, 2017

Garden Friday

Welcome back to Garden Friday.
It's been just beginning to feel like summer here,
with temperatures topping out in the low 90's on occasion. 
Before we know it,
we'll be greeting fall's breath of cooler air.

 I noticed this rose blooming,
just as I was taking pictures for this post.
I'm not a rose person,
and the plants that grace the front of the house
will most likely be given away,
as I don't really have the desire to learn about them.
Someone will appreciate them far more than me.

The veggie garden is slowly expanding.
Some sowing was made this week
of beets and kale.
I also reseeded broccoli and eggplant in 6-packs,
because the seedlings had been eaten by something
(most likely worms).
A second planting of buttercrunch and red salad bowl lettuce 
was also done this week,
as I hope to continue to have salads well into the fall. 
The crops on the deck are still holding their own,
and a second planting will ensure that the lettuce keeps on coming!

 Four varieties of tomatoes are doing well in the 5-gallon buckets.
This is a Cherokee purple,
and there are also a roma, brandywine and Arkansas traveler growing.

The jalapeno seedling I got from a vendor at the Mooresville farmers' market
is doing well. 
The warmer temperatures are moving them right along.

The Slenderette variety of string beans
came up in 4 days and seem happy to be here.
These string beans are so tender, they practically melt in your mouth.
I'll be planting more of these every 2 weeks.

Some of the snap peas have made it,
while some have died off,
most likely due to the heat.
I'll keep sowing them all through the fall.
I'm determined to get some of these in my salad.

Check out my birthday gift!
I am so thrilled that Big K actually listened to what I wanted!

This giant coneflower was on my wishlist.
It's a bird feeder and a work of art! 
Even if we can't use it to feed the birds
(we're dealing with a small army of squirrels),
it makes me happy just seeing it out there.

Totally unrelated to garden friday,
look at this mocha cake that was made for me.
One of the vendors at the Mooresville farmers' market
makes incredible breads, cookies and pies.
I special-ordered it from him
and he didn't disappoint.
Wish I could've shared a piece with you!

Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Birthday Wishes

It's my birthday.
The list of things for which I am grateful is about a mile long.

Just a sampling:
a family who accepts and supports me
a new home that we are making our own
time to spend doing things I love
veggies growing in the garden
always having more to learn
a lifetime of memories
local peaches with fresh strawberries 
and a dash of coconut sugar

May your day be filled with blessings and good news!

Tuesday, August 15, 2017

Under the Spell of IKEA

Our new home was bought from a German couple.
It was evident how streamlined their furnishings were in the space.
We liked the look and came to find out
that many of their pieces were from IKEA.
Having no experience with the company,
we didn't give it much thought after touring the house.
But we have now come to the realization
that those folks knew what they were doing.

We have fallen under the spell of IKEA

These two wardrobe pieces were actually left by the sellers.
They were moving back to Germany,
and I suppose felt they didn't need them,
so they asked us if we wanted them.
One is housing most of Big K's clothes,

while the other is now keeping his large Lego kits organized.
We have all downsized our clothing
and placed winter items up in the attic,
so we found we didn't need this extra storage for our wardrobes.
He is working on adding to this unit,
so that all of his Lego sets will fit here.

This cabinet was one of the items we purchased from the sellers.
It was in the living room,
but we found it took up valuable space,
so it's been placed in my room.
Storage is something coveted,
and this unit adds a ton of it.

These two bookcases were in the living room
and we purchased them with the house. 
We felt that they took up too much space in the foyer,
so we repurposed them in C's room.

This smaller bookcase fits beautifully in C's room
and keeps his Lego builds nicely displayed.

The larger unit is able to be used for books 
and his extensive Lego magazine collection.

Once we were living with these IKEA items for a while,
we caught the Swedish bug.
The massive IKEA store is in Charlotte,
less than an hour's drive from our location.
 The overstuffed chair and ottoman were purchased first.
This has quickly become my chosen spot for reading
or playing my favored game, Hay Day. 


The ottoman pad lifts up for extra storage.
It'll be a great place for extra blankets or pillows.

Next, we went back to pick up the matching sofa
which wouldn't fit in our Element on the first shopping trip.
Sister met us there so that she could take some of the boxes
in her truck, and we could squeeze the remaining in Ginger (our Element).

IKEA is famous for its furniture kits.
They come in large boxes,
and need to be assembled by the buyer.
Fortunately, I live with Mr. "I-can-put-anything-together",
so it was a piece of cake for him to get the sofa assembled in no time.

The hardest part was stuffing the pillows into the slip covers.

 Eh voila!
We chose the sofa with the side chaise,
which, incidentally,
can be moved to either side (or the middle),
when you feel like you need a change.
So far, everyone loves that chaise.
Even C, who had sensory issues with our furniture in the past,
enjoys lounging on this sofa.

The other main item I'd been wanting to swap out were our dishes.
We bought dishes when we first got married,
some 18 years ago.
Keeping in mind that we are simplifying in this smaller home,
I wanted plain, white dishware.
That's exactly what we got at IKEA.
Now, I can purchase just a few accent pieces
if I really feel that I want to jazz it up a bit.
But, for the most part,
I'm quite content with things just the way they are.
That IKEA, it's a magical thing.

New House posts:
The New Homestead
Moving Toward Bliss
Organized Downsizing
A Fresh Look
Closet Project