Longing for a Clean, Calm Home…

Feel like having a *clean* daydream with me for a minute? lol  Literally?  Imagine your living room…tidy, candle lit and a sweet, calming aroma lingers in the air.  It mingles with the fresh, minty scent of recently cleaned windows (thanks, Method lol), and a cool breeze coming from the opened back door.  The kids are playing, happily on the swing set just outside the kitchen window, and there’s not a single toy in sight.  Ahhhh…bliss.  And total fantasy, right?  We can wake up now…

There’s just one little hiccup in accepting this reality… I kind of believe the statement you are about to read with my whole heart…


This has been my personal belief for our home for several years now. I stand behind it 100% and remind myself of its truth daily. But, ladies, can I get a witness that it is so hard?!?!?!?! When I developed my “One Day to Clean a Dirty House” routine, it was because I was so tired of cleaning one room at a time and NEVER EVER feeling like I was actually getting anywhere! So, I combined my personality “quirks,” with my frustrations and the acceptance that I clean best in those few, panicked hours before company arrives (I’ve always been a “procrastinating perfectionist”), and created a solution. My method gets the job done, but I’m telling you truthfully – It. Is. Work.

So, when Sarah Mae announced that she was looking for applicants to help spread the word about her new book, “Having a Martha Home the Mary Way: 31 Days to a Clean House and a Satisfied Soul,” I applied without an ounce of hesitation. I knew that I needed help. I’m so thankful that Sarah Mae’s team recognized my insane desperation chose me 😉 to receive an advance copy, because I was so eager to read her advice and find some help as soon as possible – not just for my home’s sake, but for my soul and sanity’s sake.  I don’t want to just give my family a decent place to live; I want to create for them a healthy and loving sanctuary.  I need help in doing that in the way I long to do it.

Next week, I will be meeting with an intimate group of friends that are feeling the pull too, and we’re going to be sharing our hearts while the kiddos play and we sip our coffee.  We’re going to dig into this book together.  I couldn’t be more excited about it.  I plan to write about each week, just to fill you in on what the Lord is doing in MY heart and MY home.  I believe that meeting with women that also desire to learn “gentle homemaking,” as Sarah describes it, will only enhance what will already be happening in our hearts and homes, individually.  I’m excited to hear their stories – their ups and downs, tips and tricks…their wisdom or fears.  I’m just excited.  It’s going to be one of the most beautiful and fruitful times of my week this spring.  I just know it.

It’s my hope that you will want to jump on board and take this journey with us.  If you are longing for a fresh breeze to blow through your home, in the form of a renewed mind and spirit when in comes to being a homemaker, I invite you to grab a copy of Sarah’s book and join the conversation on Facebook and Instagram.  You are also invited to message or e-mail us (kloverhouseblog@gmail.com) anytime!  Though we start our discussions this coming week, our 31-Day challenge won’t officially begin until the following week, so there’s plenty of time to grab a copy of the book!

So, back to what I mentioned earlier about “a clean home being a calm home”… Sarah Mae hit the nail on the head in her Intro, when she wrote the following:

mary and martha

Let’s do this, friends.  Let’s take our focus off of the dust, the grime, and the feelings of failure we struggle with as women in charge of families and households.  Let’s instead get down to the heart of the matter and help make that daydream a reality we can actually enjoy.

Before we know it, we will be that much closer to Having a Martha Home the Mary Way.



Disclaimer: This post contains affiliate links to products I both love and use in my home!  Feel free to use them if you’d like.  Our family says “thank you” in advance, for using our links to purchase some pretty awesome products that you may come across while reading!

One Day to Clean a Dirty House

Can you believe it only takes ONE DAY to clean a dirty house – top to bottom – one day.  I promise, because I did it, and you can too!  Come mid-week, you’ll be searching for things to clean, like lint in the laundry room!

Your guests are arriving in two hours, and your house is not-so-tidy. Your adrenaline kicks in and, whoa mama, did you really just “clean” your whole house?! Seriously. That overwhelming mess was no match for your determination, right? That’s me too! I am what you would call a “procrastinating perfectionist.” If I can’t do it ALL, do it WELL, and do it COMPLETELY, then, I CAN’T DO IT. So, whatever I am intimidated by or feel that I don’t have enough time to accomplish…I put off. And that is almost always the housework.

Trouble is – I have this motto. It’s this nagging motto, that I actually want to live by, but can’t seem to consistently, because of my little character flaw mentioned above.

A Clean Home is a Calm Home.

And I believe it 100%. Or at least, I feel like it’s calmer. Maybe because I am calmer, and there’s a trickle down effect happening with the children, and my hubby catches it…it’s glorious. Calmness is glorious.

But what happened?! How did I end up here, in utter desperation?

Well…  We held our daughter’s birthday party here at our house in early May. Like every other time we have company coming, my hubby and I busted our tail-feathers the night before and morning of to get the house in respectable order. Mail piles were stashed, not dealt with, laundry stacks were straightened, not put away, surfaces were cleared and dusted, and the floors were tended to, BUT…the house was not clean and the calm that came after the exhausting hustle would be gone within the first hour of the following day.

That’s what kiddos do, right? Destroy a”tidy” house in just minutes.

The laundry is put off a little longer; the vicious cycle continues.

Forget getting down to the nitty-gritty levels of clean, because you’re just looking to maintain a little sanity and have your home not resemble a warzone come 9PM nightly.

I try following cleaning schedules like Clean Mama’s (she’s my favorite by the way), but on vacuuming day, I was like, “But I would have to CLEAN the mess off of the floors to vacuum…” Wahhh!  I would end up frustrated and overwhelmed. It affected me, my kids, my husband. I couldn’t keep my head above water.

I even had the kids sit down and watch an episode of Hoarders with me during our usual Sesame Street time-slot in hopes it would give them a proverbial kick in the rear. It didn’t. Three and five year olds apparently don’t care if Miss Mess lives in squalor. They can’t see how it relates to toys constantly underfoot.  Then, the straw came that broke the camel’s back in form of a bug…a carpet beetle.  Ewwww!

I loathe bugs. I keep watch for them. They don’t stand a chance in this house. I had seen a little beetle like this before. I googled him, after I flushed him good-bye of course, and I read that they are common in homes and show up in the springtime. And what do they eat? Organic matter. Ick. I didn’t want any parts of it. So, how do you keep them at bay? Vacuuming. Yes. The chore I most often neglected, because I could never get down to the bare bones of cleaning before bedtime, and no one would dare touch the vacuum while the three blondies were snoozing.

That’s when it hit me. The idea that I could clean, really clean my entire home in just ONE day. It works, friends. My husband has asked me what I have been doing differently to keep our home clean. It’s that clean, folks. It looks clean, it feels clean, it even smells clean. I love it!

When I shared my process (that works perfectly for this adrenaline-loving, procrastinating perfectionist), he said, “You know what you did, right?” Me, I responded with a blank stare… “You created a project plan.” And then he joked that I needed a GANTT chart, and I had no clue as to what that is, but I took it as a compliment, because, seeing that he’s a Director of PM, it must have meant I was doing something right.

All it took was a list, an estimation of my time, and a challenge – a challenge to beat that list and the estimations.  The desire to beat the times that I had listed is what gave me that rush of adrenaline I needed.  That same feeling of, “Come on; let’s do this!” that you get twenty minutes before the doorbell is due to ring.  And you know what? It worked. Every time I tested it. As you’ll see in the attached video, this was my process:

  • Grab a sheet of paper
  • List each room in your home
  • List each task to complete in each room in order to consider it “clean”
  • Attach an estimated timeframe to each task
  • Mark you starting and finishing times as you go
  • Enjoy your clean home!

A few tips:

1 – Notice, I don’t always get to finish a room in one fell swoop, so if I spend one hour in a space or ten minutes, I mark my list accordingly.  It may take three or six “visits” to that particular room, but it will eventually be completed.  I want to stay true to my chart and make sure my times are accurate, so I stay on task for those minutes or hours and focus on the space that I am in.

2 – Clean the rooms/things that make sense.  Don’t try to clean bathrooms while your kids are in the kitchen eating lunch.  You know that they are going to need you anyway.  Why make yourself extra crazy?  Allocate meal prep time and eating times to coincide with doing the dishes, wiping down the appliances, cleaning out the refrigerator, clearing a mail pile…  I chose to clean the playroom in the morning while the kids were in there playing.  I told them each to grab one thing, I put in Tinker Bell and the Legend of the NeverBeast on their mini tv, and I went to work knowing that they were going to be entertained.  Because I was in the room with them, they were on-task, playing nicely, and we were able to have conversation easily while I worked.  I was able to clean everything with the exception of my fabric stash.  I wasn’t too concerned with that, and it wasn’t a goal on my list anyway.  I tended to it later, after they were in bed.

3 – Consider doing this on a Monday (if you stay at home).  Mondays kind of stink for me anyway, and so I’d rather devote one day to hard work, so the kids and I can enjoy the rest of the week.  Knocking this out in one day also allows you the opportunity to do the nitty-gritty stuff over the course of the rest of the week.  For example, I was walking around yesterday morning actually looking for things to clean.  I cleaned the stair banister (which honestly hadn’t been really cleaned since we moved in almost TWO YEARS AGO!)  It was gross.  That’s a perfect example of something that looks clean, but really isn’t.  Those things are often overlooked and neglected because we are trying to stay on top of the obvious areas.  Today, I plan on tackling the shoes piled next to the front door.  I don’t recommend stretching this out over more than 2 or 3 days, though, and here’s why:  KIDS.  Small children will destroy those spaces you’ve conquered faster than you can blink.  My girls knew that “today, Mom means business,” and they kept themselves a little more in-check.  When I’ve tried to clean at a prolonged pace, it has backfired every time.  My estimations told me that I could have a clean house from top to bottom in 7 hours, and by golly, that’s exactly what I needed.

4 – Follow a schedule throughout the rest of the week that involves LIGHT cleaning.  Like I said, I love Clean Mama’s.  I now have a routine of Five Habits that Kickstart a Good Day (post coming soon), and plan on devoting just 10 minutes of every hour to tidying up.  That’s what I call, 10 Minutes to Better.  

I am proof that this method is effective.  It’s great exercise too! Lol!  Think about it…it’s honestly like going to work for ONE day a week!  I know our job as mama is the toughest, most-involved and time-consuming job in existence, but you can do this!  

I used to buy into the, “The kids come first, forsaking all housework” stuff, but let’s be real here.  When your house stinks, your day kind of does too.  You feel overwhelmed.  You feel defeated.  You even feel like a failure.  

You’re not!  You’re not any of those.  Take it from me.  I considered selling things off to afford a cleaning service, because I felt so out-of-control.  

I thought I needed outside help with four small kids, but I did this, and we’re on top of it now.  I like my home now!  Even with the unfinished-project to-list staring at me, I.Love.My.Home.  You can love yours too!  And in just one 7-hour workday, I was given back the chance to enjoy what really matters…

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facing reality: time to tackle the toys

I don’t know about you, but everyday is a struggle around here when it comes to the mess. Mess of laundry… dishes… clutter… TOYS. With kids 5, 3.5, and 21 months, toys have to be the worst by far, and, while I am trying desperately to teach my girls to clean up after themselves, it feels more like a daily battle than a healthy process. Most of the time, we end up in yelling, tears, and threats. 

“If you don’t pick up those (600) dolls, they are going… in the trash… to another child who doesn’t have any toys… on top of the refrigerator… in the basement…!!!” 

“You have 15 minutes to clean this room, and whatever is left on the floor is going away for a week!” 

And the list goes on. Crazy enough…we actually follow through with our threats, and they STILL don’t care!  They have “Clean Up Toys” on their chore charts. Guess which space is NEVER filled with a magnet? That one.

It seems simple enough, and I feel as though I have tried everything. I talked with them about it.  I have shown them how to do it and where everything belongs.  I have cleaned with them on a consistent basis.  I have tried to keep things simple and organized in the playroom.  {You can see a post about the playroom here.} 

The only thing I haven’t done, which I would like to do in the near future, is label each bin with pictures, like Abby, of Just a Girl and Her Blog, has done. {See that post here.}  A great and talented friend of mine can easily make them. {You can visit her Facebook page here.} I simply haven’t yet, b/c I can’t seem to commit to locations, contents, and some bins have endured more than others and need replaced. {We have these ones from Ikea.}

Here are a few snap shots of the “Battle Zone” and what it typically looks like through the day:

At first, I thought, “If I could just properly organize it all, it won’t be so bad, and it will stay where it needs to stay.  The girls will learn that everything has a place, and they’ll actually put it there!”

Reality was – I was always cleaning up myself and stashing things that were either too messy or dangerous in the few high places that we have in there.  It wasn’t how I had intended for an organized play/work space to function.

We had a really old bookcase in the basement.  It was left in the garage by the previous owners.  They had used it to house paint cans, oily stuff, etc.  It was a mess.  We cleaned it up as well as we could and moved it into the basement for the storage of shoes and random things.  Hubby wants to finish the basement in the near future, so we talked about trashing it.  I saw a glimmer of hope for it, though, and begged him to let me keep it.  He wasn’t fully on-board, but we sanded and painted it.  He reinforced some of the weaker spots along the bottom (since it’s basically 30-year-old plywood), and he moved it into the playroom for me.  

Here are a few shots of that:

This was never my original plan for this space {you can find that here in this post}, but money, time, and necessity kind of forced my hand.  Eventually, I’m sure that this room will evolve yet again, but for now, this was my only solution.  I picked up a few little bins at the Dollar Store and packed it up while the kids slept.  I was even able to create an “Eden-friendly” zone.  The girls loved it and were so delighted by it the following morning.

They’ve done a decent job of keeping things on the shelf, but it still looks like a tornado ripped through there for the majority of the day, and I am still going in every night to clean up and reorganize.  It’s just not working as well as I had hoped.

So, long story short, I have had it. It seems like I’m not alone either. I have read at least three posts in the past month from other bloggers regarding how toys have bogged them down, and not just them…their kids too! Their common solution: Get rid of it. Period.

My husband and I have talked about that option for years now. We even intended to carry out the:  “For every toy that comes in, one goes out” rule.  Honestly, it never happened consistently.  We simply have too much. The kids have too much. We know it, but yet we haven’t done anything about it. 

Here is why I believe that is happening:

1) Love.  You want your kids to have it all. You love them, and you are grateful for the ability to provide them with things that make them happy, make them smile, and honestly, the high you get when gifting them with something new and longed-for is hard to give up.

2) Guilt.  You know how much something cost. Either you or your friends or your family members dropped a pretty penny on x,y,z, and you see dollar signs when you consider donating it or throwing it away. You avoid it altogether, b/c, in a sense, you feel your hands are tied and you’re just stuck with the item until it breaks or your babes outgrow it. This is why we currently own 4 of those Disney riding/push toys that play delightfully obnoxious music.

3) Sentiment.  Grandpa and Grandma So-n-So bought that. And that. And that. And those too. As a matter of fact, they probably bought 85% of the stuff your children own. It’s hard when you attach a piece of someone you love to an object, isn’t it? “We can’t donate that book…Auntie wrote her a letter in it.” “We can’t throw away that doll. Yes, I know, its arm fell off two years ago, but Grammy brought it over for her 2nd birthday.” You feelin’ me?

4) Laziness / Procrastination. Guilty! It takes time, effort, and some serious willpower to clean out your kids’ toys. Most of the time, I don’t know where to start, I don’t want to complete it halfway, or I’m too tired to explain, rationalize and argue a toy out of the house. “But Mooommmm…I played with that yesterday!!!” (Yesterday being 32 months ago.)

5) Denial. “My kids don’t have that much, really. I mean two bins of baby dolls aren’t excessive. All of the play food fits well in that tub. Yes, a six year old could take a nap in it easily too, but that’s beside the point.”  The truth is: There.Is.Too.Much.

This morning, I read this post, “Fewer Things. More Peace.” by one of my favorite bloggers, Sarah Mae (she was a guest writer for another blog: BecomingMinimalist).  And like I had mentioned previously, it hit me that I have been reading a lot of these kinds of posts lately.  Many of us are feeling overwhelmed by the mess that seems to naturally overtake our homes.  I finally came to the firm decision that it’s time to take action.  I don’t know if we’ll get down to 20 toys, but I am certain that we can trim a great deal if we just set our minds to it and press through.  I may even start setting a timer once a week, taking the girls into the playroom or their bedrooms and saying, “Ok, we’re going to spend just ten minutes looking for five things that we don’t need anymore and that would make another child smile.”  Something like that…

A bonus find… Sarah Mae’s book, 31 Days to Clean – Having a Martha House the Mary Way is just $0.99 today!  I have read the Foreword and Intro and I am already excited to dig deeper into the book.  It just makes so much sense – to create a warm, inviting space, but I just need some practical direction from a fellow mom who’s “been there.”  You can find it by clicking the Amazon link below (aff. link). 

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pin-it party and a call to ‘clean house’ (totally on-board here!)

welcome, my saturday friends!  thanks for stopping by!  here you will find some amazing things week after week…recipes, crafts, diys, advice, and (my favorite) heart-to-hearts from other seriously remarkable women that are out there trying to make a difference in the lives of others!  love it.  love it all!  so, thank you!

our featured pin from last week’s party:
5 things to get rid of today from whitney of beauty in the mess.  
whitney, you are so right!  i have had this urge over the last few months to just purge, purge, purge.  it’s not nesting either!  honestly.  it’s just a simple desire to simplify!  simplify the closets, the cupboards, the countertops, the floors, the walls, the shelves, the basement…everything!  look out family, b/c mama wants to get rid of all of your stuff!  lol  maybe not all, but a lot of it!  whitney’s list is exactly where i aim to focus.  check it out and stay awhile while you’re over there; she has so many great things to say and share with you!

participating in the party is so easy!
here’s what to do:

1. follow the co-hosts on pinterest (links below)

paula from beauty through imperfection

becky from your modern family

gabrielle from MamaGab

me! kristi from klover house

2. pin our “pin-it party” picture. (one of these)

3. add as many of your great pins as you want!  remember to get your pins from pinterest & not from your blog page. it will make it easier to re-pin a pin instead of a post.

4. hop around and re-pin other pins from this page- lets share the love!

5. adding your link gives us permission to use an image from the pin (or post connected to the pin) to feature on next week’s pin-it party. because of this we ask that you only link up images from your own site, and images that you have taken, created or have legal rights to.

thanks!!!! REMEMBER: when it asks for your NAME, you can put your PIN NAME or your BLOG NAME. essentially, it’s your pin’s title.

***PLEASE NOTE*** if the post that your pin leads to contains any offensive or derogatory wording (e.g. profanity), i will not be able to feature your pin, no matter how great the article or how terrific the idea. the use of those terms simply doesn’t align with my personal convictions, and what we, at klover house, aim to promote. thank you in advance for understanding!

join the klover house family on facebook, pinterest, and twitter!

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more projects in the playroom!

a little project completion in the playroom…

first up…my ‘mom’ work space:

i spent some time working on my functional collage. the ikea arstid wall lamp’s cord is hidden perfectly behind the useful thirty-one wall organizer, which, by the way, is a great place for keeping all of my homeschool items and personal items in place (like my planner, pens, etc.) my sewing machine can also sit here, making the organizer a great place for our ‘eden gray‘ sketches and patterns to be stashed while a project is underway.

my eden’s ‘e’ from anthro has found a home here. not sure if it will eventually move into eden’s bedroom, b/c the kids’ rooms are still a long way from finished, but if it does stay here, i think it’s perfect for representing our business.  plus, it’s so aesthetically pleasing to this mommy.

my favorite watercolor painting. i love this little tree painting and have had it since my single days.

i made a little magnetic board (covered with the teal adhesive paper that you’ll see in a moment). it’ll fit perfectly either above the printer or to the left of the light, where i hang our ‘letter of the week’.  it’s not up yet, b/c i have to figure out how i want to mount it.

on to our little watercolors purchased from the shop trafalgar’s square:

i adore these. this shop is such a gem. i love how quirky, dainty, and lovely kit chase’s work is. i had ava pick her own (since she was three and opinionated at the time), and then, i had the hubs chose one each for our little isla and newborn eden. of course miss ava picked a little blondie holding her ‘lovey’ and balloons.  two of ava’s favorite things!  it was fitting that the mister chose the penguin princess for isla, b/c it’s unique and unexpected, just like her and her style. the cute elephant with the bubbles is perfect for eden, because she is cute, bubbly, and fluffy like a little bubble! haha

i liked the bare insert of these large ikea frames. the rawness kind of reminds me of burlap. i like that element in the space. the pictures didn’t want to stay put in them though, so i knew i needed to add something behind them. double-sided tape wasn’t strong enough and i didn’t want to ruin the art with any other adhesives.  i stumbled upon this fabric paper at our marshall’s and loved the colors, patterns, and price! there is such a nice blend of color in this space. i love that we are using everything from primary colors to black and white to pastels. it all seems to be working well together thus far, and this paper definitely felt right for me.

it was so easy to work with. just cut it to size, peel the backing off and stick. voila! those alphabet stickers were a random michael’s find about two years ago. i thought they worked well color-wise and when you’re teaching little ones, it helps to have the alphabet everywhere and anywhere, right?! 🙂

so what do you think? i’d love your feedback and further suggestions for the space. and if you have a play space to share, please link it up in the comments! 🙂

shared on remodelaholic.com

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progress in the playroom

most people when they move into a house probably get super excited over a certain space. for me, it’s been the girls’ playroom. for some reason, i have been spending most of my ‘house planning/organizing’ time on this room.

it’s not a large room by any means. it’s a great size – don’t get me wrong, but it’s a modest, square room at the front of our house. most people with a home similar in layout may be using this room as a second living room, a sitting room, office, etc. we have found that, with three little ones, a playroom was the best fit for the space.

i started out with this plan (remember this previous post?):

but, it felt like a little box, and the girls almost never played in it. so i had to go back to the drawing board. i decided to break up my wall of storage. even though the expedit bookcases (oh how i love ikea) fit perfectly lined up on the long wall, the wall of black drew my eyes down, which reminded me of the mess on the floor. i never had the opportunity to visually appreciate all of the other great treasures in the room…

like our beloved button rug (also from ikea)

or this incredible dhurrie runner from pottery barn (that an extremely generous friend so graciously gave to us to use in this space)

or my little ikea laptop desk/office nook (i found my little chair at ikea too btw, and it’s the perfect fit!), complete with inspirational wall art discovered at tj maxx…

or our quaint, little play kitchen…

our ikea tables (the first being ‘avey baby’s artsy tea table’ from this post and the second was handed down from a good friend and we use it for crafting/homeschool)

with ava’s birthday in december, followed by christmas, the room was just over-run with new toys and lacked any function.  it was almost never played in looked a little like this most days:

i found inspiration while perusing my ikea magazine for the seventy-fifth time (about 90% of this space is from ikea, if you haven’t noticed already) and spotted this sweet gem:

to my delight, when i checked it out online, i saw that it was on sale!  so, i cleared it with the mister, high-tailed it over to our local ikea and brought this baby home (in the minivan with three car seats and not a centimeter to spare!).  it’s perfect for our space, and floating it in the center proved to be just what i needed in order to create the flow and functionality that i so desperately longed for in the space.  

the kids and i haven’t left this room for more than ten minutes all day!  i now have a workspace that keeps me within arms- and ears-reach at all times, the girls have a movie-watching retreat (hubby is going to appreciate his tv being freed up for football games), and we have a bright and cheery school space now (thanks to the front windows).  it’s awesome.  

i can’t wait to put the finishing touches on it and reveal it in its entirety.  the wall coloring that i’m planning on using is serena and lily’s ‘rain’.  it’s so calming and light; it’s just what we need in a room like this.  it will balance the bright, bold, playful colors and toys so nicely.  not to mention, it’s the perfect companion for the ebony chalkboard wall.

i wanted this room to encompass both my personal style (‘scandi-chic’) and the girly-playfulness that would speak directly to my girls.  i think we’re on the right track!  it no longer feels like a box.  it’s like a house within a house!  using the concept of centers (thanks to my teaching experience), we now have a space that the girls and i can comfortably operate within.  everything has a place that makes a little more sense.  

here’s the new layout:

a few more pictures for your viewing pleasure…

on the radar (short- and long-term):

  • paint (serena and lily’s ‘rain’)
  • curtains (i have a fun idea in mind for them, also thanks to ikea)
  • complete the ‘eric carle’ number chair rail project (for the chalkboard wall)
  • purchase tall shelves/bookcases to sit on top of the smaller expedit bookcases flanking the chalkboard wall (taking advantage of the vertical space available for craft supplies, books, framed art/pictures, trinkets, etc.  looking into the billy bookcase from ikea.)
  • slipcover (possibly something plush and feminine that i will make myself, to balance the modern items in the room)
  • paint the school table and chairs
  • organize my desk area (sewing/homeschool supplies)
  • create a family photo gallery wall (including extended family)
  • hang wall art previously purchased from trafalgar’s square
  • create a space for displaying the girls’ artwork
so what do you think of our progress so far???  i’d love your feedback or suggestions!

shared on remodelaholic.com.

 photo a9de1fdb-52d3-4604-a79d-ba7ee6db5adb_zps8f990315.jpg

lil’ love for the laundry room

my little love. the laundry room.

when we decided to build our townhouse five years ago, i had one request:


do i hate stairs? no.

am i afraid of the dark? nope.

was i trying to be complicated, considering we were the first of this type of model to say,
“find a place for it. make it work.”? not really.

truth be told…


i don’t like basements b/c spiders like basement. end of story. it’s a wrap.


so believe you me when i say, i was totally content for these five years with my main-floor laundry, even looking like that:

i know…sad. sad, sad, little room. right off of the kitchen to boot, so every visitor got a glimpse of this sad, little, forgotten room.

but, it was okay and tolerable, b/c it was not in the basement with spiders.

then, it came time to sell our house.
(and guess what…the house we’re moving into has an unfinished basement laundry! gasp! i KNOW! i will overcome. for the next ten years, until we can move it upstairs, the Lord will help me deal.)

anyway, we decided it was time to sell, and, although i didn’t mind my drab little after-thought of a room, i knew it wasn’t going to ‘WOW’ any buyers.

on a tight timeframe, and even tighter budget, here is how we transformed our little space from this to that…

first, hubby mounted these two white ikea cabinets on the wall – one in each corner. it was simple and very affordable. b/c we chose the fancier doors, the cabinets cost me $80 (a basic, plain front was much less). still not bad for cabinets.

then, hubs painted.
(b/c i looked like this)

my gut was saying, “go with benjamin moore’s ‘revere pewter’,” but when we looked at the sample in the store, we panicked, fearing it’d be too dark. that said, we went with bm’s ‘november rain’, and it is sooo pale. i regret not going darker, but, oh well.
live and learn, people.

we added a tension rod between the two cabinets for drying, and i picked up those fabulous, slimline hangers at our tj maxx. they’re perfect for this space, b/c they grip whatever i hang to dry, and they look pretty when they’re empty too.
win; win.

the cabinets, though narrow, are over a foot deep, so i have plenty of space for storage.
here’s a glimpse of what they can hold…


each bottom shelf holds all of my cleaners and detergents.

the upper two hold odds and ends, such as lunch bags, plastic utensils (in the ziploc bag), and miscellaneous items (frother, spice grinder, and a box of little spreader knives that i like to use as hostess gifts; just add a bag of cheese ball/dip mix and a bow!)

on the left, i keep…
more cleaners and a baggie of all of our appliance manuals, directions, etc fits perfectly in the slim space that was left over at the top.

the baskets used to be in our bedroom, but i relocated them to the laundry room, b/c they were the perfect fit; they were free, and they hold all of my seasonal linens neatly!

everything has a place in this perfect, little space.

the opposing wall holds our double pantry, so i conveniently have all of this storage space in one place.

i found this little rug on joss and main one day for only $20! talk about a frugal find. hubby gave me a section of foam padding that he had left over from a project, so i cut it to size and placed it beneath the rug. it’s the perfect cushion for my aching legs and feet while i stand there to sort or fold.

finally, we affixed a broom/mop holder to the wall and added an ironing board caddy to the backside of the pantry door.

the look is what i love. hubby was most pleased with the price tag. we were able to complete this space with less than $200.00.

here’s a breakdown of where the money went…

cabinets: ikea $80
rug: joss & main $20
paint: ace hardware $38
wastebasket: target $7
tension rod: lowe’s $5
broom/mop holder: lowe’s $18
over-the-door ironing board caddy: walmart $13
storage baskets: free

total: $181.00

now, it’s inviting and efficient! a little too inviting…i can’t help myself but to want to wash clothes everyday! now if only i was as motivated to fold them…

**sharing today on remodelaholic**

storage for the little feet…

just a quick little ditty about some little feet that live in my home
& their mountain of little shoes…

considering we do not have a mudroom & prefer to have the girls’ shoes on
before getting down to the foyer, we like to keep their shoes & coats
handy in our coat closet on the main floor.

that said, i used to have random baskets/bins in miscellaneous places,
but as i was contemplating what to do with an old cd/dvd tower
that i found at pier 1 over a decade ago…
the idea struck me!

coat closet shoe storage!

perfect for those little feet & their itty bitty shoes!

oh & you know all of those little hangers you end up throwing out b/c they only work on little pants & skirts? perfect for hanging your scarves! 🙂

keep your eyes open & think outside of the box…you may not yet realize the potential that lies hidden in the random objects going unused in your home!

here’s isla modeling that adorable little hat btw!
that was a clearance bin find at the children’s place last year.
too cute & too cheap to pass up!