The Office {Organization}

Hello and happy Monday!  You know the snowball effect?  That happened to me recently.  While working on orders, I decided to add labels to magazine files I use as paper storage.

Office Organization Paper Cabinet

Washi tape to the rescue.  Now I know which is card stock and printer paper without pulling the file out.

Office Organization Washi Tape Labels

Those labels set the organization ball in motion, and I knew another office space that needed some help.  The dreaded file drawer.  Organizing like items in files and receipts in large envelopes corralled the mess, but more washi tape (color coded!) labels everything.

Office Organization File Drawer

After that, I moved up a drawer where I keep packing and mailing supplies for orders.

Office Organization Middle Drawer

Above that drawer is basically an office junk drawer.  Some office supplies, some craft supplies, and chargers.  A quick purge and straighten out.

Office Organization Top Drawer

Over to my main drawer where I keep essentials.  Scissors, paint brushes, utility knives, tape, pens, paper clips, chapstick, post its, everything.

Office Organization Main Drawer

An acrylic kitchen utensil caddy keeps large items together, but smaller items just don’t work well.  But a cheap shelf turned drawer divider from the Dollar Tree works.  Now I can separate large and small binder clips, rubber bands, and paper clips from my memory cards, stamps, and flash drive.

Office Organization Shelf Divider

With most of the drawers done, I cleared out the mail slots.

Office Organization Mail Cubbies

A black box holds note cards with addresses, seriously the best address book for us.  Envelopes and our address stamp make mailing easy.  And a cute little elephant bank to corral change.

Office Organization Open Shelf

I keep extra-large envelopes and packing supplies in the white boxes.  Markers, paint brushes, and extra pens are contained yet accessible in the vases on the top shelf.

Office Organization Sharpies

A bouquet of pretty Sharpies in a candle holder on my desk add a pop of color to both my desk and mail.  If only I had the energy to sort through my craft supplies, the boys’ art supplies, and other oddities in the other half of my office.  I’m feeling overwhelmed by the amount of junk I seem to own.  In the office and other areas of the house.

How was your weekend?  Did you tackle a much-needed organizational project?  Or realize you also have an insane amount of stuff?

It Started With a Four Year Old

Last night, V and I had an impromptu wallpaper removal party.  And he sent me the invite.  Over the past few days, V had been slowly working on peeling wallpaper from the small area under my desk.  Once he got that off the wall, he turned his attention to the small area by the breakfast nook window.  Because I’m a good mom hate the wallpaper, I joined him.

Ben thought we were crazy, but didn’t object.  Fortunately, it peeled off easily.  Well, the design part peeled off easily.  The paper split, leaving the glued paper on the walls.  In many places, full sheets of the patterned parts came off quickly.  And in about an hour, we had all the ugly blue paper off the walls in the kitchen and office.


I’m happy to see the kitchen lighter and brighter, but I know it’ll be a complete pain to tear off the glued paper parts.

Lucky for me, I can work on this when I’m in the mood.  Hmmm, how often is one in the mood to remove wallpaper?  I guess we’ll find out.

For now, we’ve got a mock Tuscan look going on.

But I guess the crazy blue wallpaper wasn’t all bad.  Now the crazy things the previous owner did are completely obvious.  Like these five(!) nails randomly above the kitchen window.

And three more above the breakfast nook window, because, you know, everything is better in odd numbers.

My office has a few issues, too.

Like a wall full of pin holes.  Seriously, a little cork would have been better than this:

Gah, I love wallpaper…NOT!  Well, at least I’ve got time to work on it.  Anyone know an easy way to get the paper off without further damaging the walls?  Raise your hand if you want to come over and help.  Ah ha, I see you in the back.  Come on, I’ll feed you and provide the booze after.

Airing Things Out

Montana summer is near, and we love enjoying the warm weather outside.  And we want that warmth to stay outside.  In our first house, keeping it cool wan’t too difficult.  Ben super insulated the walls and we had a functioning geothermal to cool.  Well, the mountain house has neither and we’ve got loads of large windows and southern exposure.  It heats up in here.  Luckily, our nights cool off nicely this time of year. Ben came up with a genius idea to tide us over during these in between months; a whole house fan.

After some discussion and weighing our options, we decided to remove the ugly fluorescent light in my office to make room for the fan.

The electric from the light made install easier.  Removing the light was easy enough, then Ben located the roof rafters using a stud finder.

Typical install involves cutting the rafter to make room for the fan.  Not cool with us.  Something about tearing out part of a structural element seems wrong.  Instead, Ben used the fan template and cut the sheet rock around the beam.

Here’s the big guy now.  The fan, not Ben.  🙂

Ben used 2 by 4s to build a brace around the outside of the opening, then put the fan in place.

I’d love to give you a detailed tutorial of everything he did, but I wasn’t in the attic.  However, I can give you this shot of how it looks from afar when on.

The fan sucks warm air from the house and puts it in the attic, which also pulls the louvers up.  The beam across the middle blocks the center louver from moving, so Ben cut it loose from the rest.

When off, the louvers kind of look like a vinyl fence.  Still, it is a far better look than the huge oak encased light of yore.

Even better, when on, the fan does a great job pulling the cold outside air through the open windows.  If we close everything early enough, the house stays cool throughout the day.  What a smart man I have.

Move In Ready

On Friday, I mentioned we moved in to the mountain house, as Ben calls it.  I think a moment like that deserves a celebration of pictures.  So, here’s the mountain house, filled with our crap, I mean furniture.

The entry isn’t huge, but we have a rug and storage bench for putting on shoes.

Our old sectional, which lived in the theater room at the first house, fits in the new living room with plenty of space.

We arranged the furniture to face the television about 2 1/2 feet from the window wall.  I have high hopes for bookshelves on either side of the window and a window seat between.

Small end tables and a bookshelf turned entertainment center work for now.

Ben built that bookshelf for V’s nursery and we’ve had it in the basement for the past few years.  It is the only piece of furniture that can serve this purpose until we get a chance to build a proper entertainment center.  This also means Ben’s kick butt surround sound system is tucked away for the too small shelf.  Once we finish the bathroom, we’ve got this on our to do list.

Okay, enough of my whining.  Here’s our empty dining room.  The stool and lantern are for the deck and the chairs are there as additional seating.

Some day we’ll buy or build a large table to go in here, but that’s not a priority.  Right around the corner is my office.  I’ve got my craft and shop supplies in the lower cabinets and lots of electronics on the desk top, but it’s totally functional.

Jack has deemed this her spot, so I tossed a few towels down to keep her cozy until I can make her a little dog bed.

Then there’s the kitchen.  Oh, the kitchen.  Even though this kitchen is at least twice the size of our other kitchen, we’re quickly learning the main cabinets are poorly laid out.  Not as much storage as it appears to have.

So we’ve been stashing most kitchen stuff in the giant pantries.

That pretty French door fridge above?  I hate it.  Ben packed up all the food from the fridge and freezer at the first house on Friday.  The fridge contents fit without a problem.  However, the two drawer freezer couldn’t hold an entire box of frozen foods.  As I tried to cram everything in, getting more and more frustrated while cursing the LG designer I started crying out of annoyance.  The stress from packing while watching two little boys and unpacking had gotten the best of me.  Luckily, we have space in the utility room for a chest freezer, so Ben bought one yesterday.  Rant over.  Check out the breakfast nook we’re using as the dining room.

That large window is a great place to watch the wild life in the back yard.

Friday night we had five deer visitors, right off the back patio.

It was chilly over the weekend, so Ben built a fire and we roasted marshmallows right in the family room.

Figuring out a layout for this room was tricky.  We have several traffic patterns; one from the stairs, another from the hall, and a third to the sliding door.  This works best, keeping everything centered on the fireplace and windows.  Too bad we don’t have close enough outlets to plug-in the lamps.

I’ve moved my books from the old office into the guest bedroom.  The pile on the bed is my sewing machine and 20 yards of fabric for curtains.

We’re still working on the main bathroom, so we’ll share pictures soon.  Floor tile has been delayed and should be here tomorrow.  The boys’ bedroom layout is very similar to their old room, just a few feet wider.  Here’s V’s side, complete with a dresser due to the lack of organization systems in this house.

E’s side is so bare right now, but he does have a faux Jack to keep him company.

The last bedroom, our bedroom.  We sold our bed to the buyer and we’re using the old guest bed for a while.  Ben hates the headboard covering the window.

I finished painting the closet over the weekend and put our clothes away.  Instead of a pile of clothes, we’ve got a stack of empty bins.  Wahoo!

Ugly master bathroom with an awesome steam shower.  Still ugly despite a few accessories.  I guess putting lipstick on a pig doesn’t make it pretty.

You want to see something that really isn’t pretty (and kind of stresses me out)?  The basement.

It’s funny because we’ve gained square footage over the last house, but we’re desperately lacking built-in storage.  Not to mention we’ve lost two bedrooms (hence the mattresses) and practically two bathrooms.  The main bath is under construction and the basement bath is just gross, leaving us with the master bath.  Eventually we’ll get there, but I think the basement will look like this for a while.

Ben and Handy Sammy hauled over the washer and dryer, too.  The plug for the dryer isn’t the same as the outlet though.

So that’s how we’re living in the new house.  I’ve off to pack up the few remaining things at the old house and then I’ve got some sewing to do.  Mama needs black out curtains in hopes of getting the boys to sleep past 6:30.

What did you do over the weekend?  Do you have a sewing project in your near future?  How about a move?