Monday, January 21, 2013

Before & Afters 2013

Everybody likes "before and after" pictures. Not everybody likes doing the work which leads to the "after" part of that. I do. I think I like putting off cleaning and sorting just so it can get REALLY bad so that the after just looks all that much better.

For 2013, my only "resolution" is to clean a major or minor hidey hole, junk drawer, room, closet, any space at all, every day until it's done. Of course, you know that will never happen. Once I "finish", it's back around again to where I started and over and over and over until I die or move and make some new messy spaces.

"Cleaning the house while children are growing is like shoveling snow while it is snowing!" is a very true adage.

I figured I'd put my latest project in split screen pics here on my blog to make it easier to look at. I've been posting on that faceplace up until now but I feel like I'm cluttering up people's walls so this way, I can blog AND post pictures and peeps can come and look or pass.

My laundry room was painted a muddy brown color. I thought it was "rich" and "deep" when I first painted it. That was in 2002. It's been 11 years since I've painted that room??? Unbelievable, how time passes like that. I've painted every room in the house at least twice since then. It's about time the laundry room got some attention. It is passed through to get from the major meeting place in our house (the garage) to the guest/main bathroom (ew, THAT place needs next project, I think). It's pretty embarrassing to have people see the swatches of sawgrass green paint I briefly considered about 5 years ago on either side of the bathroom door, carved names from some naughty pencil, and lots of scratches and gouges from moving stuff and, one time, propping the broken door of the dryer shut against the wall with a 2x4. Yeah, living the classy life here at the Nielsen house! I never decorated the walls, beyond a painting of a dress in a corner of a small bedroom that my sister, Anna, painted in high school. I think I put it there because it was a picture of clothing and it's a laundry room.

That's just sad.

I didn't have much imagination for that room because IT'S A LAUNDRY ROOM! My doom! My nemesis! Laundry consumes this household and the machines constantly break down. I'd rather be at the dentist than in my laundry room. I'd rather prepare for major surgery than be in my laundry room...I think you get the idea.

I decided to change that and at least put it on my list of cabinets I need to straighten and purge. Here are the cabinets (three in a row, right above the dryer and washer) and the closet (opposite the dryer and washer):

cleaning products cabinet 1

laundry products and cord storage cabinet 2

paint cans for house cabinet 3

closet, all cleaned up and with space to spare: suitcase and duffel bags, bread machine, and bag of pieces of my wedding dress leftover from making christening gown with it

That all really needed to get done. It's hard to tell from my phone pictures here, but I got rid of a large garbage bag of GARBAGE and I added to the goodwill pile. I now have about 4 boxes/baskets of stuff to bring to goodwill but I've mostly just put a LOT of things where they actually belong throughout the house and garage and that's helped to ease the pressure from this cluttered space. Here's a before and after of the room. 

To be fair, I didn't take the after picture with the five loads of laundry that built up while I was cleaning and painting...but I did clear the floor of all of the clutter and now, that white storage container is next to the washer and there's even room for the carboy of apple wine I'm making, the vacuum cleaner and the steam mop over there where the utility sink used to be!

I was tired of the window being so open and exposed but I hate how dusty curtains are and how much light they block. I solved that problem by putting a teeny screw up there by the window lock and just hanging this mirror that I had over by the garage door before (it was behind the service door when the door was open so you couldn't use the mirror without risking getting knocked out every time someone wanted in! It's not an attractive view anyway but it's sort of creepy at night, as it's only a few feet to ground level and someone who wanted to be a peep could get a good show if I didn't feel like going into the bathroom to change while I was doing laundry. Hubba hubba bowchickawahwow.

You see how I utilized the doilies I found in my upstairs bathroom closet sort from the other day? They were so bright and cheerful. I'm pretty sure they were never actually used in a kitchen or anything. I think they were crocheted and then put away in someones "hope chest". I wish I could know who actually made them. For now, I'll just choose to imagine it was my great grandma or one of my great aunts. I found them in the farmhouse or had gotten them from when my Aunt Valencia died. Either way, they were from my dad's side of the family and they always make me smile.

Following is a picture of the top of the dryer before and after. I hate having things stored on the dryer. It makes the room look so cluttered and most things on there become dust collectors. Truthfully, I'll probably put my paper bag of recycle things on there but THAT'S IT! Behind the dryer and washer, I put some letter boards that I got from my aunt from the School Sisters. She's a "SSND" and goes to the mother house and gets old school supplies from the retired school nuns for me. She brings me a HUGE load of stuff at the beginning of the school year and there are always treasures there. This time, I got about 5 sets of these classroom letters. They are all very old and one set is so pretty, I'm pretty sure I'm going to frame them and put them on display throughout the house. This set was just whimsical and cute. It's probably from the later fifties or early sixties. I thought it would be fun to spell out "wash" and "dry" and the colors matched. They might get wrecked but I don't mind. I'd rather have something on display for a short while and enjoy it, than store it perfectly for years and never even see it.

 The "wash" word is right below the cabinet in the left hand picture, just to give an idea of where things are located. It's a very small space but I can fit quite a few laundry baskets on the floor. Ask me how I know that...go on...I dare ya.

This picture was hanging for YEARS in my parent's kitchen. I always loved it there and would have them hang it there again if I had my way. Mom brought it over a couple of years ago and I almost gave it back to her. It seemed odd to keep it at my house when it was so iconic in their kitchen. Mom showed me the back of the picture which reads: "Oct. 1972 to Laura Maria (my maiden name) from her great great aunt Harriet Larsen (her married name)"
So I found out that the picture was a gift for me when I was born. I love it. I'm glad I got it. It actually matches that room now and fits in perfectly with the old timey letters and doilies. I'm not one for an antique themed decor but when it is simple and sweet and makes me smile, it works for me. 

The lower right pic was taken with my back to that window, the door is the bathroom door and to the right of that is the door to the kitchen. Opposite the bathroom door is the door to the garage so it's a tight little space there and was a stinker to paint. Especially with kids running in and out of all of those doors all day and the baby in one of my arms while I was painting!
I'll leave this post with the bigger shots of the major before and after. I hope YOU are inspired to clean out a junk drawer, sort a bin of clothes, or otherwise de-hoard your home. My goal in all of this is to make room for PEOPLE, make space for GROWING, have room for PLAYING AND LEARNING, have time and adequate materials and space for COOKING and the proper space and materials for CLEANING and making our home healthy and happy in 2013!