My ‘Week Off’ Projects

I took the week off work between Christmas and New Years because I’ve been feeling very burnt out and really needed some time off. A full week of NO work and NO online schooling sounded like heaven. My plans were to do some home projects I’ve been putting off, read a book or two, watch a movie or two, and keep up with my Peloton workouts.

We also knocked out a few doctor’s appointments – dentist appointments for me and Jack, and then a dermatologist appointment for me and a pediatrician appointment for Jack. I mean, we are LIVING LIFE over here. But really, when you have time off as a working parent, you need to get as much done as possible!

Week Off Project 1: Organizing the linen closet

Our linen closet is a catch-all for everything from extra items, towels, light bulbs and paper products. As we go through life, it gets more and more messy… until I finally take a couple hours to rip it apart. For my first project of the week, I went through all our medicine and threw out all the expired products and re-arranged everything so that it fit without attacking you when you opened the door. I also used some boxes that I saved from the recycle bin to better organize everything for free. This whole project probably took an hour or so.

Week Off Project 2: Organizing office crafts/art miscellaneous

Here’s another spot in my house that needed some attention. This organizer shelf contains a ton of different art/craft project supplies, extra office supplies, books and candles. I had thrifted some decorative boxes a while ago, so I spent some time sorting through everything, putting it into boxes with like items, and labeling everything. The entire square full of extra notebooks is a good reminder that I don’t need to buy anymore this year.

Week Off Project 3: Take down and rehang my gallery wall

I had a gallery wall in our living room that had been driving me nutty for years. There were too many frames and they often would be knocked off center… so everything just looked crooked to me all the time. I took every single frame down off the wall, filled the nail holes and then picked just a few frames to go back up. I was also planning to repaint the filled holes… until I found that the touch up paint was fully expired – it was clumpy and discolored and totally useless. Luckily the new frames covered most of the filled holes and the others are barely noticeable. So I’ll have to be okay with it until I decide to repaint the entire living room.

You can click through here to see the before, during and after:

Also, I found this photo hanging kit at Home Depot that keeps each photo frame perfectly straight and it’s a life changer! It’s the PicGenie123 kit and they are super easy to install and then keep everything from moving once they are up on the wall. I love, love, love them and will definitely be using these elsewhere in the house!

Week Off Project 4: Organizing the stockroom

Yup, more organizing. This time I attacked our stockroom areas in our laundry room. This is the overflow area for food that won’t fit in our pantry. Once again, as life happens this area gets super messy as we just throw stuff on there when putting the groceries away. I took about 20 minutes and pulled everything off and rearranged everything. Now, I can see exactly what I have and won’t accidentally buy 2 more packs of cookies when I still have 3 on the shelf.

I’m so glad I finally had the time and energy to attack these organizing projects. Not only did it make me feel good to check some projects off my list. But I feel like I get to start 2021 with a clean(er) slate!

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Dining Room Planning: The After

Back in November, I shared that after years of looking I had finally found a dining room table that I liked. I mean, I liked it online… but I wasn’t sure if I’d like it in person. But I had HIGH HOPES (high apple pie in the skyyyyy hopes) that I’d love it. You can read that full post here: Dining Room Planning: The Before.

Well, it’s been a few weeks and I’ve finally received all the different bits and pieces for my new and improved dining room!

As a reminder, here is our previous dining area:

And here is what I ordered:

Sources: GrainWoodFurniture.com, WestElm.com, and Wayfair.com

After the dining table and rug arrived, I had to wait and wait for the chairs to come. And while I was waiting, I thought I might actually want to go ahead and switch out our light too. I mean, we might as well go for the FULL before/after reveal, right?

After so much more clicking, my husband and I decided on the Joshua Rectangular Pendant from Overstock for $97.99.

The light was delivered right after Thanksgiving, so my dad came over and helped me install it. And by helped me, I mean he installed it while I held it in the air and handed him various tools.

With the new light, new table and new rug… I was almost convinced that I should cancel my chairs order. Everything looked so much better and I couldn’t imagine it possibly improving.

Then, on Monday I finally received my West Elm delivery. And OHMYGOSH you guys, our dining area is even more beautiful than I imagined. It is exactly what I was hoping for – a perfectly rugged table that will only get more beautiful over the years, a modern farmhouse kind of light that Joanna Gaines would totally have picked out, a neutral but soft rug that pulls the room together, and the most beautiful and heavy black enameled Windsor chairs that are somehow modern and classic all at once.

When I walk into my kitchen, the new set up just makes me feel so cozy. We have been in this house for almost 9 years now, and I finally feel like our entire first floor is exactly what I want.

So, let’s look at the big reveal!

Here is the before again:


And here is the after from the same angle!

You know I love to use that little before/after swipy thing… so here you go:

Doesn’t it make you want to grab a plate of homemade pancakes and sausage with a cup of coffee and settle in for awhile?!

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Organizing Frenzy: Jack’s Room

Jack’s room has seen many, many changes over the last 8+ years. First, it had a crib set up. Then, we switched that to a toddler bed. Then, a twin bed. And THEN a queen bed. At one point we had a rocking recliner. Then, we had a chair and ottoman in the corner. Finally, we added a desk a couple months ago for online schooling. Basically the only thing that hasn’t moved is his dresser.

So yeah… it’s been quite the work in progress.

Which brings us to updating part of his room. Here is the before:

When we added his desk to the wall, we kept the leather chair and ottoman even though it was obviously too big for the space. I typically shove the ottoman over to the desk so that I have something to sit on when we work on homework each afternoon.

Next to the chair/ottoman is a green nightstand that I thrifted and painted when I was pregnant. The paint is starting to chip, so I was already thinking I needed to either repaint it or replace it.

But what I really wanted was more storage! We currently have an absolute crap-load of LEGOS in what is now the playroom/workout room. However, our plan is to turn that room into a new master bathroom + walk in closet (MY DREAM!!). So, I’ve been slowly but surely purging and purging the toys out of that side of the room. It has actually been relatively easy, since an 8-year-old plays with a lot less STUFF than a toddler does.

I was really looking for something that would let me move the playroom stuff to Jack’s bedroom… without making it into a huge mess.

So, my fingers did a little walking on the Target website and here’s what I bought:

I bought 3 fabric storage bins and 2 baskets, bringing my total cost to: $64. I also added a previously thrifted rug to the space, but everything else was already in his room.

And here is the after:

To be honest, the storage organizer is a bit smaller than I expected. Also, NOT the best quality. It seemed a little flimsy until I secured it to the wall. I would not recommend this for a younger child who would be tempted to climb on it. It does a great job of storing all his stuff though… and it keeps everything looking relatively neat too.

Jack insisted on posing for this photo:

All in all, I’m pretty happy with the room upgrade. Especially for just $64. I’m sure as Jack continues growing, his room will continue to see many more changes.

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