Managing paper clutter

Managing paper clutter

School has now started back for both my oldest daughter AND me. If you glance around our kitchen and living room right now, it’s evident we’ve gone back to school. How? The piles of paper.

Paper, paper everywhere and none of it spendable. In all seriousness, the paper piles were getting on my nerves and I knew I had to get rid of them.

1. Start with your existing paper piles

The first step to managing those paper piles is to sort through them.

Go through those papers and get rid of any that aren’t needed, and put away what you need to keep. We utilize several folders in our house: one for school papers, one for bills, and one for work related items. Anything else is shredded or thrown away.

2. File your bills

We have two places in which we file bills: one for bills to pay and one for bills that have been paid. We keep our paid bill stubs in a binder for a year and then we shred them.

3. Go paperless, when possible

Manage other paper clutter by stopping it at the source. Switch to paperless billing when possible, and remove yourself from junk mailing lists.

4. Dispose of junk as soon as possible

Don’t keep unwanted junk paper around…just shred or throw away that unwanted paper as soon as it shows up.

How do you handle paper clutter?

Have a wonderful weekend.

Creating rustic bathroom shelves from plumbing pipes

Creating rustic bathroom shelves from plumbing pipes

make industrial farmhouse shelves

Our bathrooms in our home are very spacious, but they’re also very boring. They are both very plain and builder-grade. We’ve recently begun to look at them to see how we might add some character without spending a lot of money on them.

organized &shelfbathshowerjust for youbathroom vanity

We do eventually plan to replace the tubs, tub surround, and flooring, but that will be a costly renovation, and it just isn’t in the budget right now. Instead, we are comparison shopping and trying to decide just what we want when the time comes.

At the present time, though, we can add just a little farmhouse character to our baths without breaking our checkbook.

We have decided to add some sort of rustic shelving, swap out that builder grade mirror for a more farmhouse-styled one, maybe paint or re-stain the vanity, and upgrade that cheap light fixture, but until we do that, we’ve opted to add some rustic shelving. These are the shelves you’ve seen on Fixer Upper, and all over Pinterest. And they’re the perfect project for adding a little industrial farmhouse to your home.

Adding rustic shelving is super easy, and not that expensive. Here’s what you’ll need to get started to make two plumbing pipe shelves.

2X10 pine board

4 3/4 in galvanized pipe nipples

4 3/4 in floor flanges

4 3/4 in pipe caps

your choice wood stain (I used Minwax Walnut)

black spray paint

microfiber cloth

sandpaper/orbital sander

I didn’t take step by step pics of the prep work, because it’s monotonous and self-explanatory. First, measure the area where you want your shelves to hang. Once you know your needed dimensions, you can cut your board to the appropriate lengths. Remember to measure twice and cut once! Next, use sandpaper, or an orbital sander to sand your boards smooth. Afterward, wipe the sawdust from your boards with a microfiber cloth.Then, apply the wood stain using a rag or brush. Allow each coat to dry at least 24 hours. Using your black spray paint, paint the galvanized pipe parts black. Allow 24 hours to dry.  For best results, use a spray paint with a primer included.

 

After your boards have dried, measure the area once more you want to hang your shelves. Use a level to make sure your boards are level, and mark the wall where you’ll screw the floor flanges. I highly recommend hanging your shelves on a stud to make them more sturdy, but if you can’t, then you’ll need to use dry wall anchors.

floorflange

 

After you’ve screwed the flanges to the wall, then you can assemble the pipe nipples and caps.

shelf pipe

Repeat this step for each side of your shelves. Then, you simply lay your shelf boards attop the pipes, and you’re done!

2 pipe shelves

Yes, you can totally see where I filledi n the giant holes left behind by the towel bar. They were huge and required lots and lots of spackle.

But, here’s the (mostly) finished product.

organized & (1)

I love how these shelves add so much rustic charm and character to our bathroom…plus, they add some much needed storage. Our vanity in this bathroom is rather small and there isn’t much counter space.

Have you made any rustic pipe shelves lately? If so, I’d love for you to show me!

Have a wonderful week.

 

Organizing a cleaning closet

We have an old TV cabinet in our laundry room, which we have repurposed as a cleaning supply cabinet.

Here’s our dog modeling the cabinet. Haha

Our cleaning supply cabinet used to be neat and clean and organized…but then it looked like this.

I decided to make better use of the space, but I was also tired of having laundry baskets sitting on my dryer.

I ended up grouping my cleaning supplies together by purpose. I used some boxes I had lying around and I also made space for my laundry room.

I am not yet finished. I want to build some wood shelves but lumber is crazy expensive and I’m still figuring out exactly what I want to do.

I also want some matching bins. This is what I have in mind:

Source
Source

Stay tuned!

“Spring” cleaning: a newly organized shed

Due to my work schedule, I don’t get to deep clean as often as I want. Don’t get me wrong, I keep a clean house, but I don’t have tons of time to do some of the deep cleaning tasks that require a little more elbow grease.

Most people do spring cleaning, however, I do winter break cleaning and summer cleaning…because I’m a teacher and that’s when I have the most time.

Certain areas of my home have been in need of a good clean out and organizing. My shed, where I keep home decorations and home improvement supplies, (we don’t have an attic), had gotten pretty out of hand.

OK, it got really out of hand. So out of hand I was waiting on some squatters to walk out. I am ashamed of myself for letting it get this bad.

I tackled my ridiculously messy she-shed the best way I knew how: by dragging everything out of it and cleaning out the shed.

This isn’t even close to everything.

I did just that, and almost immediately a large cloud developed and I was sure a downpour was coming. Thankfully, the rain waited until I’d finished.

I want two of these, but I have other things I need to buy more. So I’m adding them to my list.

I had three shelves in the garage from where I recently replaced the girls’ bookshelves, so I repurposed them in the shed.

I still need a better way to store my totes though.

My shed is certainly not complete, but it’s definitely a 1000 times better than it was! Stay tuned- this project is definitely still in the making.

What projects are you currently working on?

What’s that smell? Sneaky ideas for freshening the air

Life on a farm stinks sometimes. It’s just a fact of life. While a number of nasty smells can pop up at any given moment, there are some easy and sneaky ways to handle them.

1. DIY room spray

Get an empty spray bottle and line the bottom of it (up to a third of the way full) with Gain fireworks or Downy Unstoppables. Then, add water until the bottle is full. What results is a homemade Febreeze that’s way cheaper than the real deal.

2. Wax melt car air freshener

Get a simple glass jar and a candle tart in your favorite scent. Pop these things into your console or your doors. We have three in our van.

I hope you enjoyed these quick and easy cheats for getting rid of bad smells! Have a wonderful day!