Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Spring cleaning and creating my new craft corner! - April 16, 2014

A few weeks ago I had lunch with my friend Denise, who is starting an organization and home-staging business. I brought her sheepishly into my house, which was, as always, a big crazy mess. She looked around and started pointing out things I already owned that could be repurposed. The lightbulbs started going off above my cartoon head. Then she came back and not only took me to Dollar Tree for some inexpensive organization solutions but also sat with me while I pawed through my desk of DOOM. That thing had drawers filled with such delights as many 3.5" floppies, an exploded battery, and pictures of a friend's baby - when said baby just turned 11. Then, happily, a neighbor was doing her own spring cleaning and gave me some things that were perfect to continue to corral my chaos.

This before picture is actually slightly after-before (because I never remember to take my before pictures - I've started saying "Take a Before Picture Today!" about everything. First, it gives you that picture. Second, it forces you to have a starting point for any new project.):

Believe it or not, I'd actually started cleaning up at this point...

Like...see that purple thing on the second shelf from the top? I'd corralled a bunch of toys - mine and the kid's - in there! Really!

That's my husband's laptop...and it was living on a chair he won as an award. The round table held various wedding-related memorabilia - but note that we've been married for ten years. There was a lot of dust on there.
So the first thing to do was to swap out the furniture. Denise noted that I owned a desk and a bookcase that both were wood (vs the white particleboard that you see) that would match the other furniture in the area. "But...move furniture? That's big and scary!" I said. I was wrong.

Bye bye table and chair. The books got neater too...

The new bookcase emptied. (It was living upstairs in our office near...more books, as you can see.)

New bookcase in place! The bottom two shelves are for my cookbooks. The tippy top has my bridal bouquet, the centerpiece from my wedding shower, and the centerpiece from our wedding - finally people can SEE them!
I've had the desk since childhood. It was in our office acting as, well, my office, but it was hard to access and I always felt like I was intruding on my husband (who is a voiceover talent and who often needs to be recording in there).

Old night table (which had been forgotten in a corner, full of junk) now repurposed as part of the craft station. Inside is all my vinyl and then some foam stickers/embellishments and some notepads, all very organized, I promise, but also just...hidden and in their own spaces.

The fabric shoebox was 30 cents from Target. I decorated it with regular permanent vinyl, cut with my Silhouette.

Inside the desk drawers, everything is now corralled and organized.
Little containers section off this drawer to hold glue, scissors, hole punches, tape, that sort of thing.
Dollar Tree containers hold Silhouette supplies and extra things like staples and tape - all labeled!
A repurposed shower caddy from a friend's yard sale - now my postage and packing materials live on it!

Here, right now, is what my craft corner looks like! The wooden drawers on the far left were given to me by my aforementioned neighbor - I bought stain and will be changing it up over the next few days. If you look closely you can see a floating frame on it with a vinyl-cut image of my daughter.

Button-making machines and parts.

Button-making parts, mostly in repurposed food jars/Talenti containers, plus some apothecary jar-type-things. Everything, again, labeled! So nice to be able to find what I need when I need it!

Corralling the paper clutter with metal magazine holders, which were another gift from my neighbor. I put washi tape on each one for fun and then made quick little magnets to use as labels because this is a work in progress - I still need to sort through the paper in each one, but at least now it's organized. Next to those, my scrapbook paper and button-making scraps, plus my Reiki manual.
It is LOVELY to finally have a space that I can call my own with a place for everything and everything in a place. And I may have spent $20 total doing it - everything was either mine to begin with, given to me by someone, recycled, or bought at a place like Dollar Tree or Ikea. I'm still working on this too - still working on my paper clutter, still finding new ways to organize everything. Plus, this is just the start of a full-house cleaning/reorganizing spree!

(Not shown: My fabric scraps, which I use to make buttons/magnets/mirrors, are now all folded and organized and in their own plastic drawer instead of spilling out of random plastic bags. My various types of printer paper are now organized near my printer but not quite ready for their photo to be taken - next time! And my china cabinet now has a new display on its top that includes funky cookbooks and pictures of my daughter.)

That's a lot of pictures but I have more to show you over the next few weeks!

Monday, April 14, 2014

Purex No Sort for Colors Detergent: Stop Sorting Your Laundry! Review & Giveaway - Win a Free Bottle!

I'm a Purex Insider, and recently I was given the chance to try out new Purex No Sort for Colors detergent for free. I was not compensated beyond the free bottle (and the coupons I'm going to give away in a minute) and they can't make me say anything I don't want to say.


The truth is that I rarely sort my laundry into lights and darks anymore. I just don't have the time. But because I don't do that, sometimes dyes do bleed into one another in my washing machine. I just sort of accept that fact as part of my life. And sometimes I leave one or two items of clothing out of my main laundry load because I am afraid that it/they will bleed. That's why I found Purex No Sort for Colors detergent so intriguing.

What I don't like about most specialty detergents is that they are often overly scented. I like to wear scented oils and perfume and I do not like those choices competing with my clothing's smell. But at the same time, I can't lie, I don't mind any of this on my towels and linens - I like those to have a light floral or soapy scent. While I use dye-and-perfume-free detergent for just about everything I wash - my clothes, my husband's clothes, my kid's clothes - if I get a scented detergent sample (or, in this case, if I get to try a whole bottle for free) I'll earmark it for towels and I'll enjoy it. I wish that Purex No Sort for Colors came in a free and clear/no perfume/no dye version - but when I used it on my towels, the scent wasn't too overpowering and I didn't mind it.

What I do like is that Purex No Sort for Colors detergent works to prevent color bleeding. It got my towels clean, and it seemed to work as promised. I won't be worried going forward when, as always, I don't have time for sorting my sheets and towels (and maybe, sometimes, my clothing) and I mix my colors and my whites - I feel comfortable knowing that the dyes won't bleed because the detergent will trap loose dyes to help avoid color bleeding accidents.

Look at all those towels! And none of the dyes bled onto one another AND everything was soft, clean, and nicely scented.

Do you want to win a coupon for a free bottle of Purex No Sort for Colors detergent so you can try it too? Go for it! Two winners. U.S. addresses only. Contest runs April 14, 2014 to April 20, 2014. Good luck!

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