Thursday, March 6, 2014

Counter This & That

Counter clutter is a serious no-no in my home.  If there is ONE area in this house that MUST stay clean, it's the kitchen/dining room.  They are all one room but it's separated by a peninsula that has our cook top on it.  I've said it before in a couple different posts that I spend a LOT of time in the kitchen area in any given day (cooking, all the kids' school and daycare bags, 'Command Center''s all in this area).  If I'm going to be productive, I have to have a clean and tidy space.  As a matter of fact, before I begin any kind of project (big or small) I have to start with a clean space.  That's probably the OCD in me, but I have to have that peace of mind before getting productive.  Hubs enjoys placing things on the counter or kitchen table to only watch me follow right behind him and put it away...yes, this seriously happens, and he just laughs as he watches me.  I thought I'd give you a glimpse of my kitchen counter:
When I'm not cooking, this is what the counter looks like 100% of the time.
  • There is the little lamp (thanks for that AT!) that I want to do a little DIY project on.  I want to cover the shade with a different fabric by ModPodging it.  I haven't found the right fabric yet and I'm a little scared to do it as well.  
  • The butter has to sit out on the counter - have you ever tried to spread cold butter on anything?  It just tears it up and leaves you with mangled toast.  Both Peanutty and Sweet Pickle are allergic to margarine (strange, but true) so butter all the way in this house!!!  
  • Then there are the three canisters...look familiar? 
    I used these (the medium sizes) for my vast collection of writing utensils.  I have three of the larger sizes to hold our napkins, silverware and our phones/wallets.  They were $4 each from IKEA and they are so versatile.  For example:
    Ta-da!  Two of the smallest variety are keeping my fake grass look sharp and crisp!  These were $1.29 each from IKEA.  You think I'm loco for these?  You're right.  They are inexpensive and SO versatile!!!

    Drat!  My spacing is off...and can't figure out how to fix it.  Anyway, here is a closer look at these.  They are actually plant pots that I use for other things instead!  IKEA has a VERY large version that would be awesome outside - to use for plants this time, so I may have to invest in those someday.  Like I've said, IKEA isn't close to my home so me and a few girlfriends did a turn-and-burn trip to one and I made it count.  I grab a little of this and that from IKEA because I know I'll use them somewhere and they're very inexpensive.  Plus, if you want, you can always spray paint or ModPodge them if you want to change them up.  As for me, I'm digging the crisp and sterile white.  Just keeps things looking sleek and classic. 
    This beauty was another DIY project that I did last summer.  I wanted a raised serving tray but I didn't want to spend the money so...guess what I did?  I...stole yet another idea from Pinterest (at least I'm honest).  All this is, is a terracotta plate (what you'd put under a larger pot) and a small terracotta pot.  I epoxied (heavy duty glue) the two together and spray painted it white.  I use this for a multitude of things, my main purpose was to put cupcakes on it for Sweet Pickles birthday...but now, it's used to put our fruit on it.  Rather than have it sit on the counter, it's on a stylish plate.  Simple, but contained!
Good Gravy!  Now the spacing fixes itself.  I'm not re-vamping this whole post.  Grrr (insert fist raised and shaking).

One thing that I want to accomplish with my blog is to show people how I organize and maybe inspire others to enjoy organizing as much as I do.  I really love shopping at places like The Container Store and IKEA, but we don't have either of these stores where I'm from.  I've online shopped from TCS a couple times and been there twice now (it's like the Mother Ship calling me home).  While there is a plethora of items to choose from at TCS - they are a little pricey, but you can sometimes snag a few good deals.  IKEA is a fantastic place to purchase inexpensive items as well, but I've only been there three times in my life (*Side note: set aside at least 3 hours for a trip to IKEA.  There's no "I've got to buzz into IKEA to grab something" - you will get sucked in to the Swedish business*).

I get frustrated when I read other organizing blogs that have super cute items/ideas in them but they've been purchased at a.) a store that I don't have access to other than online (online shopping is great, but, I like to get my hands on the items before I buy) b.) an expensive store like Pottery Barn or c.) just totally out of my budget.  This is when I get creative.  I think outside the box and figure out something similar to what I like...but do it cheaper.  Yes, I do splurge every now and then but it's very few and far between - and sometimes, it's worth it.  My suggestions for places to shop for organizing items are:
  • Target - sigh, I can't say enough about this place.  It makes me happy.  Period.
  • Walmart - they have quite a bit to choose from and reasonably priced.
  • Dollar Stores (Dollar Tree, Dollar General) - these can be hit or miss, but every time I've been on the prowl for something...they've had it.
  • Michaels - I've gotten some pretty stellar deals from here.  Always seek out the clearance's usually in the back somewhere and you can find some gems!  Sign up for their email alerts - you can get some awesome deals like 25% your entire purchase INCLUDING sale/clearance items!
  • Hobby Lobby - same as  Michaels, you never know what you'll find here - and they usually have a coupon online for 40% off one regular priced item.
  • TJ Maxx - hit or miss...this place gives me severe anxiety.  For real.  It's so disorganized that I have a hard time wrapping my mind around what I'm looking at.   But, sometimes you can find a very good deal!  You just have to be willing to put in the time to roam.
  • Home Goods - I've NEVER been here, BUT I've heard it's much like a TJ Maxx.  I'd love to go to one though!!!
My last photo is of me, my first time going to The Container Store - judge all you want, but it was the best 7 hours of my life!!!  And yes, this time I am was only about 2 hours.  Until next week!

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