I Shouldn’t Have Touched the Front Porch

I knew I shouldn’t have tried to work on the front porch tonight.  My plan of working on it Saturday night hadn’t worked out so I should have left it for next weekend.  Instead, I decided to go ahead and start on it.  I only got a little bit done and now my entire living room is full of porch clutter.

Here’s what the porch looks like now.  The first picture is after I moved everything into my living room.  The second picture is the before pic.  It’s hard to tell that it’s the same corner but you can tell that it is if you look at the red bridle bag hanging by the window.  And yes, those saddles were under all that stuff.  You can see the horn on the western saddle sticking out a little bit. The porch is stacked almost 4 feet high with everything under the sun like that sledding tube, a hose, a cereal holder and lots more.

I think these are some of the most embarrassing pictures that I’ve posted so far. You can really see the hoarding in these pictures.  It’s just piles of STUFF.  Why is there never any organization?  It’s going to take a few more months before this porch really gets cleared out but the more that I get rid of, the easier it gets.

Here’s a few pics of the other corner on that side of the front porch.  You can see the glider chair now!!  There’s still a lot of things on it but at least you can see it.  Before it was completely buried.  If there were shelves or a cabinet or something like that in there, things could finally get organized.

The stuff on the chair is all ready to be gotten rid of. I just can’t get myself to take it to St. Vinny’s or Goodwill.  There’s a lot of brand new stuff in there.  Selling it is a huge hassle too so I think I want to go with the free table method of giving it away.  Unfortunately, it’ll have to wait until the weekend.  It will just have to stay piled up until then.

This is only one side of the front porch and there’s still a lot of stuff that I haven’t cleaned up yet.  The other side is stacked at least 3 or 4 feet high too.  I’ll do a little bit everyday.  I can’t wait to see the end result.  I’m hoping to make some nice improvements by Sunday.

Update:  It’s been a few months and the front porch is still a disaster.  I still haven’t found a way to organize anything and it’s still the catch all place for everything that comes in or out of the house.

Drastic Decluttering Efforts Underway!

I couldn’t take it anymore!  I’ve been working in that “storage room” for weeks and just wasn’t getting anywhere at all.  My normal techniques to get rid of clutter just weren’t working in there.  It’s the really hard stuff to let go of and I wasn’t making progress.

It’s been extra frustrating because that’s the biggest bedroom in the house and there wasn’t a single person who could get in there to enjoy up-!  So today, I decided that was it.  I had to make a drastic decision.  It’s  not exactly the best decision and I’ll probably regret it but I had to do something to change the course of that bedroom.

We’re moving everything from the storage room into my son’s smaller bedroom so he can move into the big room.  I will feel much better knowing that the biggest bedroom in the house is being occupied by a person and not a bunch of STUFF.

We’ve been at it for a little over an hour and we’ve gotten a few big things out, like a box spring and the bunk bed frame.  Then we took a break for dinner.  I’m trying to take pics as I go but it looks pretty darn bad so I don’t want to post them yet but here’s a teaser.

Bunk bed in the clutter

Oh Snap Pockets for Organizing a Desk

Black twill stripe with chalk oh snap pocket

I like the Black Twill Stripe with Chalk one.

I’ve been spending a lot of time trying to think of some new practical solutions for storage in my living room.  Things are much better but there’s still a lot of work to be done.  One of the areas that I will be working on is my desk area.

Right now, I have a small desk that is buried under about a million things.  Eventually, I would like to get a much bigger desk so I’ve been thinking about what will go on it and I found these pockets for the wall behind it.  I found them in a Thirty-One catalog.  You can hang them up separately or snap them together.  They will help get some of the papers off the desk.

I love the lavender ones but they just won’t go with the colors in my living room so I have to go with Black Twill Stripe with Chalk.  They will match everything.  I recently bought a silver curtain rod for the curtains.  I know they had a smaller one to match.  I think it will be perfect for these pockets so I’ll have to pick one or two up the next time I go to the store.

I was thinking of buying 4 of these pockets.  I’ll either buy one of the rods and hang two on it with two snapped on or two of the rods, each holding two of the pockets.  Hopefully this will be a good solution for the notes and other papers that I keep on my desk.

I have a Tupperware website and this one and sometimes I think of things when I’m at work and scribble the info on a little piece of paper.  It would be nice if I had a place where I could keep those little notes all in one place until I have time to act on them.

Finished Painting

I don’t know why I put it off until after Christmas but I’m finally finished painting my living room.  I spent a couple hours last night and got it done.  Since the unpainted wall was behind a lot of furniture, I don’t think anyone really noticed except for me.

I came home early from work today because we’re having a winter storm and I’ve been sitting here watching movies all day.  The wall I just finished is right behind the TV so I keep looking up at it and admiring how beautiful it looks!

A wall that needs to be painted

The wall I’ve been procrastinating on.  I haven’t felt like finishing it! 


Here’s the finished wall. I finally took the time to do it!

It’s hard to tell what the color really is.  My phone camera doesn’t take very good pictures and it’s pretty dark in here because of the storm.  I can’t remember the name of the paint but I think it’s some mocha color.

I also have a few spots of yellow that need to be finished but I don’t have the sand paper to sand down the spackle.  Once I get that, it should only take a few minutes and all the painting in the living room will be done.


Nice to have company finally

Yay!  I finally was able to invite some people over yesterday!  I made them stay in my living room but they were actually in the house.  Their kids wandered off upstairs with my kids but that didn’t bother me too much.  It’s a cluttered path to get up there but my son’s room is pretty clean so at least they could do something once they got up there.

There’s one thing that I need to finish yet before Christmas.  Okay, there’s lots of things that I still need to finish but this one in particular has to get done.  I need to find the motivation to get it done in the next day or two.  I have to finish painting my living room.  It will look so beautiful once it’s done so I’m not sure what my hold up is.  Well, I have to move some furniture to get to the wall and maybe that’s why it’s taking me so long to get started on it.  There’s only one small area left so I should be able to finish it in less than an hour or two.  I also have a few spots to touch up on the yellow walls but it will make it feel much more put together once all the painting is done.  Maybe I’ll make it my goal to have it done in the next 2 days.



Before Pics of the Entry Way

I’m very excited to finally be posting the before pics of my entry way!  It always amazes me how much we don’t really see when we look at something every day.

It was a functional area for the most part so I didn’t really think much of it.  There were hooks for coats and purses.  They were like 18 years old and out of style but they still held coats and purses perfectly fine.  There were small cubbies for shoes.  A few pairs fit in there but most of the shoes didn’t fit inside and spilled out all over the floor.  This drove me crazy and was the main reason for the transformation.

Next to the shoes there was a bench.  I used to have an Amish one that I loved.  It held lots of hats and gloves but the twins scribbled all over it when they were little and eventually the seat broke.  I replaced it with a cheaper version about a year ago and that one never really worked out.  It didn’t hold many hats and gloves and the seat sagged when you sat on it.  It frustrated me more than anything so I gave it to a friend.

In some of the pictures, you’ll be able to see the carpet that I finally replaced.  Embarrassing!  Why in the world didn’t I replace it 15 years ago?  It’s horrible.

Well, here are the before pics!

before front door1

You can see one of the old hooks in this picture.  They are a nice gold color.  This is the newer bench.  We’re always burying it!


You can see the small shoe cubbies in this pic and the old bench.  As you can see, there’s only half of a seat on the bench. It held a lot though!


This is what the area looked like when it was cleaned up.  Most of the time, there was a lot more stuff that managed to collect in this corner.  Beautiful carpet, right?

After Pics of the Entry Way.. It’s done!

It’s finally done!  (for the most part anyways!)  I love it.  I think it looks great.  I thought it was going to be a little bit too dark but now that I’ve hung a few coats on it, I actually like the dark color because the coats kind of blend in and you don’t see them as much.

The shoe cubbies are much bigger.  We  haven’t put any shoes in there yet because I like looking at the wood but we’ll probably start putting them in there tonight.  Since they’re so big, I’m a little worried that you’re going to be able to see everything in the cubbies and I hope it doesn’t look too messy!

The area where the bench should have been ended up not being a bench.  I’m not really sure why not.  I’m not sure if it was a miscommunication or a miscalculation but it’s okay.  I put backpacks in there and it works kind of nice for that.  Backpacks and boots are the two things that needed a place in this room so I feel like one problem is solved now!

I put a basket up on top of the shoe cubbies to hold all the hats and gloves.  It’s a wicker basket and I think it looks great.  It would have been nice if it had been about an inch or two longer but it fits okay.  Also, on the side of the shoe cubbies, I think I’m going to add a smaller hook or two for purses.  Then they won’t be behind all the coats when you’re looking for them.  I might add one final thing to the coat rack part but I want it to be just right.  If I find what I’m looking for, I’ll let you know!

Here’s the pics!!  I hope you like it!

after front door2

Yay! It’s finally done!

after front door5

Here’s a close up of the wicker basket.  It could have been just a little bigger.

after front door6

We staggered the hooks a little bit so it’s easier to hang things on the two rows.

after front door7

This was supposed to be a bench but it ended up being something else.  It works for backpacks for now but might get changed in the future. 

after front door3

I put the before pics in this other post but in case you didn’t see them, here’s one so you can compare.




Staining Wood Today

staining wood

In my mind, I had thoughts of staining wood for my entry way Saturday and having the whole thing finished by Sunday.   Instead, the only thing that got done was a disaster.

It didn’t go at all the way I planned.  Here was my vision for the weekend:

I would get up and go to work for a few hours.  I have a lot that needs to be done.  Then, I would take my son to the store to get the rest of the wood.  While he cut the wood for the shoe shelves, I would stain the wood for the coat rack.  While he put the coat rack together, I would stain the wood for the shoe shelves.

Instead, this is what happened.

About a half hour after I got to work, my son started calling to find out when I would be home to go to the store and my daughter let me know that we needed to pick her friend up in about an hour after that.  I didn’t get as much work done as I needed to.  Then I picked my daughter’s friend up and after that we went to the store for the rest of the supplies.  staining wood

That part all went okay but things went downhill from there.  I had read the can of stain before I left and it said to sand the wood before putting the stain on.  I also needed sandpaper to get the printing off the wood.  The sandpaper was my first downfall.  I bought the wrong kind and I now know that you have to buy the right kind of sandpaper.  Do not buy coarse sandpaper when you are only trying to get wood ready to be stained.  The sanding matters.  Unfortunately.  By the time I realized this, I had already wrecked 4 pieces of wood – 2 long boards and 2 short boards.  I decided to go ahead and stain the short boards because I really wanted to see the color and I wanted to make sure that I had really wrecked all these pieces.  It looked exactly like I thought it would.  I’m going to use the short pieces the way they are but I will need to fix the long boards before I stain them.  Here’s what they end up looking like when you screw it up:

Staining wood

This is not what I was imagining.

Can you see those scratches?  That’s what the coarse sandpaper did.  The corner where these two short boards are going is sort of dark and they are the boards that will hold the coat hooks so even though it doesn’t look good here, you can’t really see these scratches inside.

The other thing that I did wrong was not applying the stain evenly.  You can see on the edges that there’s a few dark spots and a few lighter spots.  Oops!  I’m still learning!  I’m hoping to get the first coating of stain on the other boards tonight but it’s getting late.  Maybe I’ll only have time to re-sand the two wrecked long boards.

First, I need to finish up about what happened today.  Shortly after I wrecked those boards, one of my kids showed up with a very swollen eye.  Bad cat allergy.  Instead of cutting the wood, we went to urgent care.  While I was taking care of all that, my mom showed up at my house and wanted help making a photo calendar.  I told her if she wanted to come over some time to use my computer she could but I wouldn’t have time before Christmas to help her.  Those kinds of projects always take hours and I’m trying to get my living room done.  Well, 4 hours later, we finally finished it up, that was after my daughter had spent an hour with her before I even got home.  At least it’s done now.

After all that, it was time to find dinner for everyone.  I feel like I didn’t get a thing done today that I wanted to.  I’ll see if I can get any boards done yet tonight or else I’ll try again tomorrow!