AT HOME MONDAY: Cleaning closets. . .

Cleaning closets is NOT my favorite thing to do.  When we added a master bedroom and closet onto our 1961 cottage/ranch frame house back in 1999, all I could think of was how much more space we would have in our closet.  I mean, we could actually walk in and shut the door behind us!  Walk-in closets were standard for many, but for us it was a luxury 
finally achieved.  

Little did I know that “all that space” would soon become filled just like my small closet had in what was now my daughter’s room.  Just like gas molecules fill the volume of the space they are in, our stuff filled the new closet in no time flat.  Yes, I could still see my clothes and shoes better, and there was actually space to move, and even room for a tall chest of drawers, but all available corners, floors, rods, shelves, and drawers were soon occupied.

I am good at purging occasionally, but hubby does not allow me to touch his things, so the only thing I can do with him is remove outdated or outgrown (wink) clothes.  When I discovered what great storage pieces vintage suitcases could be, I added those to hold old calendars, out-of-season clothing and shoes, and motorcycle and hunting gear.  But with no labels we soon forgot what was in the suitcases!

Today I fixed all that!  I had lots of tags left over from Natalie’s wedding so I decided to utilize those on the suitcase handles as labels.  I’m pleased with the results, although I need to slow down and clean up my edges a bit.  I didn’t think to take photos before I started cleaning, but just imagine half the stuff on the floor from when I yanked down and emptied suitcases to 
use in the wedding.

Hats and motorcycle gear. . .
House deed, etc. plus a hatbox with scarves, etc.
This tall chest of drawers holds my  jewelry, belts, and scarves.

Hats, bags, more jewelry, and my tree stand harness!

I repainted and mod podged this little dresser myself!  A vintage suitcase holding odds and ends
fits perfectly where the middle drawer used to be!
Now.  I wonder how long I can keep 
it this way?  And now I see how mismatched all my hangers are. . .sigh. . .



TEACHER TUESDAY: Mysteries revealed. . .

Remember a few weeks ago when I posted several photos of items to be used in my daughter’s wedding but I told you their uses in the event would not be revealed until after the wedding?  Well, here goes. . .or at least to start. . .

Remember this?  A few old doors and a twin maple headboard which I repainted white.  I decorated the doors and used them as corner accents inside the tent, and as a backdrop for the photo booth outside the tent.

In the next photo, the headboard is propped against the back of a bench my late brother-in-law made for me.  It helped make a wall or sort of boundary for the tent and served as a great place to hang vintage wedding veils, one of which was mine!

Here is a photo behind the vignette.  The headboard also provided a backdrop for open suitcases and a picnic basket.  What better way to keep people from tripping over tent stakes or walking into a pole?

This next photo shows one of the old doors I bought at a roadside junk store for ten bucks.  The window was missing so hubby helped me cover the space with chicken wire.  The wire provided a great surface for clipping some of my sister’s handmade hearts.  I also looped a bedspring lamp I bought from one of my friends, who, incidentally, owns a shop with her sisters called Elsie Mae on Market in Mabank, Texas.  Go “LIKE” them on Facebook!  The doorknob was also missing so I tied some ribbon through it and stuck a floral stem inside.  Easy!

This photo shows an old metal louvered door, probably a closet door I found at a Habitat for Humanity ReStore for less than ten bucks.  That is my old wedding dress hanging next to it.  (Was I really ever that tiny?) I tied an old tarnished silver pitcher onto the doorknob with twine and stuck some silk flowers in it.  I really wish I had put a “Just Married” banner across the corner since this was the background for the cake cutting.
The last door I had–an old screen door–I used as a backdrop for the photo booth outside the tent.  Thanks to my dad for customizing a metal stake and anchoring the door to the ground for me!  I painted a little sign to hang on the corner, and then I made a pointing hand sign which my sister Sharon tied to the door handle.  (No, I didn’t paint the actual hand.  I printed one from Google’s clip art and Mod Podge-d it on!)

The doors added to the vintage feel of the wedding and provided much needed props for the different areas that needed defining.  I will reveal more mysteries, so stay tuned. . .



AT HOME MONDAY. . .organizing those files. . .

Though I pride myself on my organizational skills, it seems my kitchen counter mysteriously and spontaneously accumulates piles and piles of stuff.  Where does it COME from? (I have my suspicions.)   In an effort to corral the endless trail of papers, mail, keys, change, pens, pencils, I placed a pretty tray on the countertop.  Of course, somebody had to then clean out the tray periodically or it became a mountain itself.  And, of course, it did.  Did I really mean to create yet another chore for myself?
I guess I actually thought the piles of paper would magically sort themselves into “keep,” “pay,” and “toss” stacks, but for some reason that never happened.  When the pile of paper threatened to take over my kitchen I finally relented and separated the mess.  Although it didn’t take as long as I had anticipated, I thought there had to be a better way to “git-r-done.”
My file cabinet is in the back of the house in a bedroom often occupied by my grown daughter when she comes home on weekends (that is another decorating issue), making filing even more inconvenient, which of course, gave me an excuse NOT to deal with the paper pile.  But one day a light bulb went off in my head and I realized that I had the solution to filing, at least, right under my nose!
I collect vintage suitcases and train cases, and I just happened to have an empty train case I had recently purchased at Canton’s First Monday Trade Days. (That is another blog post, or two, or three!)  I suddenly realized that file folders would fit into that little train case, and I could set it in my living room–just off the kitchen–as a decorative way to temporarily file papers until they could be 
assimilated into my larger file cabinet!  

The train case:  I love the two-tone leather!  It only set me back $20, too!

Receipts and other papers stop here before being shredded or transferred to the “big” file cabinet at the end of the year.  It is so convenient to file papers when I finish paying bills now!

I haven’t gotten around to typing up nice labels yet, and I would like to get some 
new patterned folders, but for now, this works!  How do you tackle your paper clutter?