Friday, January 13, 2012

Clearing the Man Closet. Again.

I shared with you our Man Closet organization here.  This closet is home to tools, electronics, Husband's shoes and laundry, winter coats, and a few other miscellaneous items. Although, given that I’m usually the one who builds/paints/sands/uses the tools, Man Closet may not be so appropriate. Ah well, most of Husband’s stuff is in there so I guess it can keep its original moniker.

As previously stated in the first post about this closet, it can be a catch all for random junk too. I tend to shove stuff in there if we have surprise company, because it is conveniently located downstairs. Who am I kidding? I’ll throw stuff in there with planned company coming over or just because I have no idea where to put a new item. I’ve become much better about finding homes for things, which doesn’t include this closet.

Even with my better organizational practices, this closet still gets messy. Here, see for yourself.

Floor? What floor?

*sigh* Unfortunately, a lot of the stuff that’s on the floor actually BELONGS in this closet. Hard to believe, I know. The Man Closet just never seemed to stay orderly, no matter how often I cleaned it out or how diligent we are about not shoveling random crap in there. I realized my problem with the Man Closet was a lack of proper shelving. You see, the shelving that we had in there was just some cheapo bookshelves I got in college that seemed too useful to get rid of. Notice I said seemed useful.

The problem with these shelves is that they just aren’t deep enough (jlyv) and they don’t hold much. My tool bag was just a smidge to wide and would topple over, making a big mess on the floor. When everything would be scattered on the floor, (with no time to pick it up) I wouldn’t be able to get into the closet to put things away and whatever was in my hand, would be put on the floor instead.

My *ahem* frugal sensibilities never allowed me to buy new shelves. Why would I spend money on new shelves when I have these? I can make these work!

Lies. Lies. Lies. All lies I’ve been telling myself.

I finally had to admit to myself that my cheap shelves just weren’t going to cut it. It was time to buy proper shelving. *head hangs in defeat for about a second before realizing this means she can buy new organizing stuff*

I followed the rules of organizing and cleaned out the closet first. That way, when I spent money on something, I knew it would be the right thing. Just like last time, I emptied everything out of there. I was even more ruthless than before.

Well, almost everything. 
I know it may seem silly to some to reorganize a space again and again but there are some advantages. For example, I knew what was working with the current system and what needed to be changed a little. I also had a better idea of what we really didn’t need to keep because, even with easier access to certain items, we STILL didn’t use them.

Don’t worry, I consult Husband about his stuff too. Husband’s method of helping me declutter a space consists of me sorting through what’s his, putting it in a pile of its own, then holding things in front of him and asking, “Get rid of this? How about this? Do you really need to keep this? You haven’t used it.” And so on until we’ve sorted all of his stuff. Then, I figure out how to organize it all after asking him some questions about what he needs from the space.

It may seem like a lot of work for me (it is!) but it’s the best way to get it done. Husband is more on board to declutter if he doesn’t have to leave the couch. I can’t blame the guy. I declutter constantly and not many people can keep up.

After I had an even better idea of what would be in the space, I made a plan for how everything should be laid out. I took into account what I grab for most and what kind of organizational system would fit in the tiny closet. I also took into account what kind of baskets and whatnot I already had for organizing the small stuff. I was open to buying anything that I might need to organize the space (who doesn’t love buying baskets? No one, that’s who!) but I didn’t want to invest too much moola in this project.

I knew simple metal shelving, like I have in the office closet, would be the most versatile and inexpensive solution. I thought about one of those really super awesome shelving systems that attach to the wall but, we are still planning on moving this year so I want something we can easily take with us. I’m not sure what kind of organizational set ups we’ll need in the next house, but basic shelving works almost anywhere. They’re a safe bet.

These are fabulous but, at $700-$1000, not worth the investment for a condo we’ll move out of in less than a year. Via here.

I measured the space and picked up some more metal shelving from Lowe’s. I love this shelving because it is completely adjustable, inexpensive, easy to assemble, and still pretty sturdy. This shelving is also deeper which is great since one of my biggest issues with my previous shelving was that stuff would tip off the shelves. No more tipping! Yay!

Ty gave it a thorough inspection.

I bought black because it was on sale. I can only fight my cheapness for so long. These shelves are available here, on Lowe's website. No, I am not being compensated for this post. I just like the shelves and these are the cheapest I have found locally.

I put my new shelving in the closet and loaded her up with my newly organized tools and such.

It may not be magazine worthy but it works and it makes me happy. That's what matters!

And that’s all I purchased! I was able to use containers and boxes from my stash to store and organize all of my tools and junk. So, I only spent $28 (because of the sale price) on my Man Closet overhaul and the space is infinitely more useful and organized! Love that!



Everything pretty much stayed the same, as far as how it’s organized. Electronics are separated and stored in the white drawers under the shoe organizer. Tools, cords, and BBQ tools are put away on my new shelf. Husband’s boxes and misc. whatnot are stored in the back of the closet. Yes, I kept one set of the brown shelves because I couldn’t find anything that would fit under the slope of the stairs. Plus, this shelf works just fine for organizing Husband’s boxes for his ebay stuff. Why replace a shelf that works?


Some items we want quick access to, like the back massager after those grueling work days, are hung on hooks on the wall. This way they’re off the floor and easy to grab.



Same goes for Husband's hats and motorcycle helmets. His helmets were originally on some of the shelves but that real estate was way too valuable for rarely used items. Especially for an item that can be hung on a hook so easily.

Even with the deeper shelves and stuff on the wall, we can still fit back here to access everything. It has been weeks since I re-organized the Man Closet and it STILL looks like this. Honest! Tools have been so easy to put back in their proper homes that it has encouraged me to keep it clean. Even Husband, who recently got some more boxes, placed them neatly in the back of the closet, as opposed to just plopping them on the floor at the door (a rhyme!), so I was able to grab my tools with no trouble! It has been wonderful to always see this closet organized and clutter free.



To think, all I needed was a $28 shelf to get me to organized bliss. Why did I fight it so hard? Have you ever done that? Put off organizing an area because you thought it would cost too much? Did it end up being a cheap endeavor instead? 

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Trash Can Makeover

After I installed my new office light feature, my trash can was looking a bit plain.

If I had taken the trash out, how would you have known it was a trash can? *cough cough* And yes, I am working on better blog photos as a 2012 Resolution.

Ok, so that’s a bit of a leap. It was plain before the light feature. I just couldn’t think of another way to start this post. It seemed like a good idea at the time. I picked up this trash can years ago at Target. It was around $6 because I can’t drop a stack of cash on a trash can. I just can’t.

Can we talk about the crazy price of some trash cans for a minute? $150+ for a trash can?!?!? I don’t get it. I was appalled when I first saw a price tag like that for a TRASH CAN. It’s something I dump yucky stuff in. Does anyone own one of these? Are they really that awesome? I promise I’m not judging anyone who buys these, I just don’t. Get. It.  Am I missing something that is just fantastic and worth the money for these?

What was I talking about? O right. Painting my cheapo trash can.

I’ve seen a lot of images floating around the World Wide Web of DIYers using painters tape on canvas to create some cool, modern art. One of my favorites is from Michelle's blog, Ten June.

See her post here.

I immediately realized that these paintings mimic the pattern of the veneer pendants and lanterns on my office light. Since I keep my trash can right in front of my light, it seemed fitting to have it coordinate! The canvas version is easy enough to adapt to anything!


See the similarities?

I took my plain old boring white trash can and taped out a random, criss-cross pattern using blue painters tape. I carefully smoothed out any bubbles or creases in the strips, which happen because of the curve of the can. The trick is to pull the tape taut as you wrap it around the can. I kept going until I had a pattern I liked.

I also stuffed the trash can with paper and taped off the inside edge to keep the inside paint free. No splatters!

Then, I hit it with a few coats of some leftover blue spray paint. It’s the same color I used on my desk lamp, the planters on our patio, and about a million other little things around the house.

*What? No pic of this part? I am a crappy blogger. Sorry to the new people!*

I made the mistake of letting the final coat dry (just for a few minutes) before pulling the tape off. Unfortunately, this pulled some of the paint off and messed up my clean lines. I’ve heard that green frog tape, as opposed to the blue painters tape I used, helps keep this from happening. I bought a roll but have yet to use it. I’ll let you know as soon as I do though!

Boo.


Your best bet is to pull the tape off IMMEDIATELY after you paint your last coat. I’m not kidding when I say it only dried for a few minutes. Like 2 minutes. Ah well it’s just a trash can and I didn’t have to pay for any materials.

Luckily, this side came out well.




I think it fits in quite nicely with my office set up. What about you? Have you tried the painters tape art? Have you had better luck with the frog tape? Do you have a really expensive trash can? I kinda wanna know if people feel they’re worth the cost.