Thursday, July 26, 2012

Challenge: CD's and DVD's

CDs and DVDs

I have been doing these challenges from Home Storage Solutions, off and on, for a while now.

This was the easiest yet!

Step 1: Gather All Your CDs and DVDs Together From Around Your Home, Car, Etc.

 I didn't bother.

This is here we keep most of them:

A few months ago I'd changed out all these depressing dark brown boxes for the green ones above on the shelf, but they didn't work out. Though they looked great, the boxes were smaller and the lids got in the way.
I also keep a few above the computer.

My kids keep their cds in their own rooms. I just asked them to go through what they had and get rid of anything they didn't want.

Additionally, my son keeps his games in his brand new basement "game room."

Remember when I cleaned out the basement as part of Org Junkie's 29 Day Organizing Challenge back in February? This is how things looked when I finished:

 I was going to use it as a sort of craft room.

This is how it looks today:

Courtesy of a free TV left in someone's driveway, a new $4 dvd player from a neighbourhood garage sale, a couple of chairs from Grandy, and my son's X-box, we now have a boy cave.

Step 2: Declutter Your Music And Video Collections

I asked each child to sort through want they wanted to keep and what they wanted to let go.

Then I went through our stuff.

This was it:

Bonus: I discovered an Easter Egg not found during the Great Hunt.

I listed CSI Miami, season 5 for sale. Hopefully that will sell soon!

Step 3: Organize CDs

I chose to do ours alphabetically.


Step 4: Organizing DVDs

These I did categorically:

Lost and Lord of the Rings
Work Outs and Westerns
CSI Las Vegas, Seasons 1-6,
CSI Las Vegas Seasons 7 --etc.
CSI New York
My daughter's
and Miscellaneous (a Christmas thing, Love Actually, and Sherlock Holmes, the series with Ronald Howard as Holmes)

Step 5: Organize CDs and DVDs For Your Computer

When I did this, I found a few CD's I'd made for the kids from on-line recordings of favourite stories. Story Nory is an excellent source, as is The University of South Florida's Lit 2 Go program. I passed them on to my nephew.

I also found a few cd's for stuff related to the computer which died in January. I've been thinking I'd sell the parts that still worked (like the dvd player, for example).

Everything fits into one box, anyway. I keep it in one of the Expedit cubbies.

Step 6: Consider These CD And DVD Storage Solutions.

I like our boxes!

Step 7: Gather Together Family Videos And DVD Keepsakes.

I don't have a lot of these--perhaps I should have more? I tend to keep everything on a hard drive. Nonetheless, for the first time, I did put together what we had: mostly disks given to us showcasing the kids' pre school, school and Church activities.

And so, there we have it. A lovely, quick little bit of organizing--just to stay on top of things!

I did this little project before we left for vacation.

Linking to Jules' William Morris Project at Pancakes and French Fries.

Saturday, July 21, 2012

Mom's Living Room: Inspiration and The Floor Plan

Note: Sorry to have been incommunicado. We were on holiday. This was supposed to post in my absence, but obviously didn't!

My Mom has a really small budget. Probably ninety percent of her furniture is purchased second hand from places like Value Village and Goodwill. She isn't much of a DIYer, either.

These inspiration shots--all from BHG--seem a long, long way from our reality. So far away, in fact, I had to coax her to look at them and tell me what she liked about them.

She likes this room she told me, because to her, it looks spacious.  She likes the looks of lots of legs--the space beneath the furniture is visible. She also liked the book shelves.

She loved the drama of these bookshelves around the fireplace too.

"I love the lines," she said. I'm not entirely sure what she meant.

This one was easier:

Here, she reacted to all the wood. She loved it.

When she saw this one, she reacted to the light. She loved that, too.

The bay window was a favourite.

She really liked the portieres in this one (above).

With this one, she said she loved the layout. We tried to duplicate it with our floor plan but the room isn't really wide enough. Years ago, she renovated her house and "opened up" the living room to the old dining room. It was badly done. The room is difficult to arrange.

I have a new appreciation for interior designers! It's very difficult to take someone's likes and dislikes and translate them into a room they will love.

Here is the floor plan with pictures of the room. It is a narrow rectangle (about 16' x 11') with lots of openings.

The floor plan:

Yes, there is a lot of open space. My Mom is raising my four and a half year old nephew--so this living room is also a family room/playroom for him.

We will be placing the couch with its back against the large picture window.

There will be an entry way bench opposite that opening above, perpendicular to the couch.

The chairs will have their backs against this wall (below). Our floor plan shows the chairs right up against the wall. I'd like to move them out and put some white billy bookcases up against the wall just like the first inspiration photo above. It will depend on how far back into the adjoining room we can put the piano/keyboard.

Here is the old dining room, now the office/library, behind the plastic. See those bookcases forming a half wall? That's where we're putting the keyboard we've had on loan from her for the last dozen years. My nephew starts lessons next year and my kids are done.

My Mom wants to place her portable fireplace/heater on this short little wall behind the lamp. It's an awkard spot.

Against this bit of wall, we want to put her new 42" Television screen and a bookcase unit. She and I both love the look of this HEMNES unit from Ikea:

So, that's our plan. It will take us some time to pull it together.

Friday, July 6, 2012

Mom's Living Room Makeover: Week One

A few years ago, my mom mentioned she wanted to replace her carpet. She has the same wall to wall pink broadloam in every room--and I mean, every room including the stairs and the second story bedrooms, but, fortunately, not including the kitchen and bathrooms.

Last year, she mentioned it again.

Last month, when she said something about it, we decided that we would rip up the carpet in the living room, at least. I'd paint the sub floor if that was all we had.

We found hardwood! We think it might be Maple.

The living room is quite small, really, and awkward. (Floor plan to follow). The wall facing us in the photo is about seven and a half feet long. The front door is to the right, the door to the hallway is to the left and the open area all the way to the left is the library/office.

It's rough. It is stained. My mother has had many dogs over the years and they stained the floor right through the carpet pad (the underlay).

We were lucky with the carpet: the installers hadn't been too crazy and there weren't a million staples in the floor, thank goodness. Unfortunately, though we ripped back too far and have these two problem areas.

This is between the living room and the hallway. (Please pardon my foot.)

This is between the living room and the library office. There used to be a full wall here which was taken down. I guess since they were laying down carpet, the builders figured the 2x4 was "good enough?"

My hubby was over every night after work sanding away.

We got to a point where all the glue was off the floor and it was even. After testing a couple of different stains (Mom's decided on Golden Oak), she got a hold of the sander and started--and now she won't let go!

This quarter took her about 2 1/2 hours, she said.

I'd hoped to have the stain on the floors by now, but hey.

Left to do:
(based loosely on MG-R's Apartment Therapy)

Find some inspiration images.
Decide on colour scheme and "feel" for the room.
Create a budget and a buying plan.

Measure furniture and create a floor plan.
Create a shopping and DIY list.
Are we re-painting?
Purchase, paint and install baseboards.

Decide on pieces to be used for television/bookcase combo.
Spray paint new curtain rod. find finials to fit.
Make drop cloth drapes. Trim?

Recover chairs and couch.
Purchase pillow forms and make covers.

Figure out where lamps are going. (Make lighting plan).
Shop the house for lamps, purchase shades, if necessary

Find and purchase affordable 8x10 rug.
Find and purchase small armchair.
Find and purchase coffee table.

Collect frames, artwork, photos and mirrors. Decide where they are going on the walls. Install.


Wednesday, July 4, 2012

At Mom's Place

I've been over at her place every single day for a week and a bit.
We're "declutterring" on a massive scale.

How massive? Here's an example: the cleaning supplies. Over the past week, as we came across them, we piled them onto a big black shelving unit. (It's in the upper left hand corner of the photo below.)

Today, I put them all on her kitchen table to sort through.

It took all day.

I don't have any more pictures: I don't want to embarrass her. Let me just say we started last week by clearing some paths so we could take things to the front porch (donations) or out the back (garbage) -- and we're just grabbing the low hanging fruit.

Take a look around the room you are reading this in. Multiply by five and twenty. Now think of every room in your house. Multiply again.

As you can imagine, it's stressful, mentally difficult and physically exhausting for both of us--and I'm terrified that the minute we have an empty spot, she will see it as a spot to be filled up.

We've been talking a bit about limits, boundaries and how to say No to herself when she wants something. Yesterday, she wanted a dresser. ("The drawers were just the right size for sweaters," she told me. "They were so deep!")  Today, a new bathroom vanity. ("It's an $800 dollar vanity on sale for $300!)

We talked it through.

I am hoping that as she moves through her cleared out hallways and entry ways, as her eyes make out each object on a flat surface and she sees empty spaces around her, she will feel their peaceful effect. I'm hoping that that feeling will be so wonderful it will help her change her hoarding habits.

It's a lot to ask of a feeling, really.

It may be working. She's always delighted --and relieved-- to have the stuff gone at the end of each day. And I'm going back again tomorrow.

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