Organize a Little Closet

Here’s another great organizational article from Life Hacker.

How to Organize a Lot of Clothing in Very Little Closet Space

Home Repairs That Are Worth It

Check out this list of ways to quickly brighten up your home, especially if you’re considering trying to sell your house soon.  But these are also great tips for getting your place company ready, for all those big holiday parties you’re going to host!  Most are fairly inexpensive, quick things you can do to make your house look nicer.  Not everything requires back-breaking or bank-breaking work!

It helps to minimize stress by deciding which things are worth spending the time and money on, so that you’re not so overwhelmed.  Because there are probably a lot of things you’d LIKE to do to improve your house.  I know there are in mine.  And while this short article is focuses mostly on repairs, I would stress again how much of an improvement eliminating clutter can make.  You don’t have to get rid of things you love!  Just get rid of the things you don’t love and use.  And anything that only gets used rarely doesn’t deserve a prominent place in your house; it should be packed out of the way until you need it.

The only thing I might add is this:  For some inexplicable reason, realtors have a tendency to tell people to repaint all of their rooms in light, neutral colors.  (Perhaps this is a regional thing?)  I would disagree.  While you may want to entirely repaint a room that is a really wild color (or particularly battered) before trying to sell, for the most part you can get away with patching and touching up in the color that’s already there.  For one thing, bright white and sometimes even off-white can be overwhelmingly harsh, particularly if it is in every room.  For another thing, it’s probably a senseless expense since chances are the buyer will want to repaint in their own color scheme within a year or so anyway.  True, your sense of decor may not be the same as theirs, but if a paint color is enough to block the sale of your home, you’re not likely to please that potential buyer anyway.

Good luck sprucing up!

http://www.daveramsey.com/blog/year-end-home-repairs-that-pay-off?ectid=elp.facebook.post.12-5-2013

Random Acts of Kindness

As I wrote in the Keys to Happiness, helping others is a fantastic way to improve your own outlook while making the world a better place.  I am so impressed with this organization, Random Acts, and everything they’re doing and encouraging others to do.  It was founded by actor Misha Collins, who is also one of the more entertaining celebrities to follow on twitter.  But I have always loved seeing celebrities using their fame and fortune to help others and have a positive impact on the world around them.  The best thing about this organization is that it encourages us “regular people” to make an impact as well, even if we don’t have the same resources available to us.  Every little bit helps, right?

Are there any similar organizations that have really impressed you?  Are there celebrities who you admire not only for their work, but for the work they do in their “off” hours?

DIY Project: Converting Mini-Blinds to Roman Shades

I have lived in this house for 14 years, and have wanted to do something with the window treatments in the living room for that entire time.  Time, money, and simply not being able to decide what I wanted to do have kept me from doing something.  Story of my life.  😀  The windows currently have cheap vinyl mini-blinds that have taken a beating over the years (one got quite enthusiastically chewed on by a kitten who liked to sit on the back of the recliner in front of that window).  There’s no extra decoration of any kind.

Those of you who know me know I have a tendency to pick big, challenging projects and then take a long time to finish them, because I also tend to have a little too much on my plate.  But this idea for a simple conversion from mini-blinds to Roman shades seemed liked something I could certainly tackle in a relatively short period of time.

Even though I can sew, and I have made window treatments before, I like that this idea doesn’t require any sewing at all.  I haven’t bought the fabric yet, though, so I’ll have to see if I’ll need to finish the raw edges.  I suspect that I will put a small hem all the way around, even if it’s not required, just so they’ll last longer.  And since you remove most of the slats anyway, I can pitch the chewed ones.  😀

I also want to build a wooden cornice with a built-in shelf.  I prefer stained wood to painted, but since the window trim is painted, I’ll probably paint the cornice to match.  I want to use these small shelves to put Rob’s Coke collection on display (it’s currently squashed together on the mantle downstairs) as well as his Star Wars micro-machines collection (currently packed away in a box).

We have six windows total, two singles and two doubles.  Even if I get moderately priced fabric (although I’m hoping for a real deal), it will save a LOT of money doing it myself.  Besides, then I get EXACTLY what I want!

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This is the double window behind our sectional sofa. You can see it’s pretty plain.

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Here’s the kitten-chewed blind.

I’m planning on doing something similar to this for the shelves

 

My last big project was refinishing a recliner.  Very rewarding, but very challenging and time-consuming.  I’m expecting this project to be much less of both.  I’m looking forward to making the living room more inviting!