Laundry Room Shelving

Other than painting the laundry room a while back it’s one of the rooms we haven’t really done anything with since we moved in. That recently changed and in just a few weeks time it’s become the first room I’ve really felt was finished.

What I wanted to share today was the first step in the make over. Building and installing some usable shelving.

As usual I planned out what I wanted it all to look like as well as how much material I needed. My plan was to  create a shelf to cover the top of both machines as well as a set of drawers to fit in between the two machines.

Laundry Room Shelving 1

To start with we installed some 1×2 cleats on the wall to support the top with.

Laundry Room Shelving 2

Then we cut three different legs, the top and a shelf out of 1/2″ MDF plywood.  We chose MDF because I’m lazy and I didn’t want to have band the edges before painting. After cutting everything to size we just went ahead and primed and painted any visible surfaces.

Laundry Room Shelving 3

After all the pieces were painted we assembled and installed them in the room. The first leg is the full depth of the top shelf as you can see below. We used pocket holes to attach the leg  to the top. Since we only used 1/2″ MDF it tended to split and not grab as well as we had hoped. We also screw the top down into the cleats underneath to hold the top in place.

Laundry Room Shelving 4

In the center we installed another set of legs. These ones were only 24″ deep so that they could be cut out of one sheet of plywood. Since they are shorter it also makes it so that there is space to get the backs of the washer and dryer if we need to. Even with the shorter depth the shelves are still pretty deep. Since the shelves are deep I wanted to install sliding shelves. That way I would be able to easier reach everything on the shelf.

Before we cut and assembled the shelves we installed the drawer slide halves so we could get an accurate measurement to build the shelves to.

Laundry Room Shelving 5

We used wood glue and a nail gun to assemble a box with 6″ sides to keep everything in the shelves when they slide out. Here I was also painting one last coat on another shelf.

Laundry Room Shelving 6

Speaking of the shelf I bought 3 sets of the Ekby Mans brackets in black from Ikea. I knew that I didn’t really want black brackets but the price was right and I like the bubble looking shapes. To change them up I sprayed them with a silver metallic spray paint. By the way if you’re looking for a glittery sliver spray paint this is the one. It was pretty much like spraying crazy thick glitter.

Laundry Room Shelving 7

As far as installing the brackets we were really lucky that we were able to align them all with a stud.

Laundry Room Shelving 8

Here is the shelf installed in the room and I think it helps the room to feel less empty and makes it look more polished and finished.

Laundry Room Shelving 9

Oh and check out those brackets in all their glittery goodness.

Laundry Room Shelving 10

Back to the drawer shelves we were making. Once the shelves were dry Chris installed the other half of the drawer slides on them.

Laundry Room Shelving 11

Then all we had to do was slide the drawers in and fill them up!

In the picture below you can see a piece of unpainted trim next to the washer. After we finished the shelving we thought that it would look a lot better if we had trim to finish off a lot of the raw edges as well as cover some screw holes on the top of the shelf. You’ll be able to see that more in the posts to come.

Laundry Room Shelving 12

Now back to the shelves. They are the perfect size to fit laundry supplies in the top and the kitty food bin in the bottom along with a lot of other stuff. I like that the drawers are easy to get to and I can grab things without pulling out the drawer. Of course if there’s something hidden in the back I can just pull out the drawers and easily reach it. I just love function storage and organization. Don’t you too?

Laundry Room Shelving 13

I’m so glad to finally have some usable storage in this room. It’s starting to look like a custom room instead of just a boring room with a washer and

Now stay tuned. Next up is a custom mirror! Check it our here.

My Monica Closet (or Rooms)

I have a confession to make. Over the past seven months two of our spare room have looked a little bit like Monica’s closet on friends. I’ve been trying to go through some things and organize them a lot better but it’s been slow process, especially since I did a lot of procrastinating.

Before I show you all the fantastic after photos let’s start at the beginning. Do you remember the photo below? No? Well it was just after Thanksgiving when I started getting out all of my decor for Christmas.

Getting out the Boxes

You can sort of tell from this photo that I had a lot of mismatched and unorganized boxes. In a word it was chaos. So, after Christmas was over I was determined to put all my decor away in a much much more organized manner.

Since I didn’t want to waste my time putting everything away the way it was one of our spare rooms just looked like this. . . for months.

Storage Box Organization 2

Eventually I started to organize everything in piles but it didn’t look a whole lot better. To be fair I actually did have a system here. I was trying to determine how many boxes I wanted and what I wanted to put together.

Storage Box Organization 1

Then finally it started looking a little better,

Storage Box Organization 3

I bought a bunch of clear Ikea storage boxes and I made a little progress. Although progress in one room meant I made a mess of another. In the other room I was collecting empty boxes, stuff to recycle and stuff to give away.

Storage Box Organization 4

This room sat like this for a while before we finally took a load to our local dump and recycling center.

Storage Box Organization 6

Back in the other room I was working on filling up all the boxes I got. I even bought wrapping paper to use as filler. Yes I realize I’m starting to edge into totally crazy here.

Storage Box Organization 7

One thing I love about the Samla Ikea boxes is not only that they are clear and stack well but that they fit perfectly inside our closets. The one downside it the lids don’t snap on and the small boxes don’t have any clips you can buy to hold the lids on. Other than that I’m in love.

Storage Box Organization 8

It was amazing how long it took me to even get this far. I think I’m like a lot of people. When I have something I don’t want to do I really put it off. Especially since all of this was in rooms behind closed doors it was so easy to ignore.

Storage Box Organization 5

After multiple trips to Ikea I finally  got a set up I’m pretty happy with. I’m sure you’re going to think that it’s still an overly full closet but I’m pretty proud of all I’ve done.

Storage Box Organization 9

I even went so crazy as to label all the boxes using my silhouette portrait. Now I should be able to easily find what I need and most of all easily get out all the Christmas decor. After all that’s why I started this project.

Storage Box Organization 11

Now look at how empty this room is!

Storage Box Organization 14

Since I still had some empty boxes left over and things to give away I had to stack that all up in the other spare room’s closet. Man it feels like all I did was pull everything out of the closets and then put it all back in. Oh well at least I know that I did something.

Storage Box Organization 13

Now I’ve got another room to use as a guest room that we take put up the air mattress in if we need to.

Storage Box Organization 12

Anyone else doing some crazy organization? Do you feel like you have hardly done anything after it is all said and done too?

Hook and Label Everything: Laundry Edition

Last weekend I started working on some custom shelving for my laundry room. Unfortunately this last week was crazy. It was a lot of appointment going, errand running and several separate trips to Home Depot.  So that meant I didn’t have time to finish my project. I’m pretty close but some other things took priority this week. While the laundry room is still a hot mess I thought I would share a couple of quick little updates that I made a few weeks ago to the laundry room.

The first thing was cutting some cute vinyl labels for my white bins. I have two bins I keep in the laundry room one’s for really dirty outside clothes and the other is for kitchen towels and cleaning rags. I like to keep both separate and I have been wanting to label the bins but I just hadn’t gotten around to it. I purchased the bins last summer at Target and they are actually beverage buckets.

Laundry Room Labels and Hooks 1

I finally decided to use some red vinyl and cut out labels in the Halo Handletter font. It really was amazing how it quickly made the bins look much more expensive and custom.

Laundry Room Labels and Hooks 2

While I was at it I also labeled this bin that I bought at ikea. It wasn’t really necessary but I think it looks really cute.

Laundry Room Labels and Hooks 3

The other somewhat boring update was adding a couple of hooks. I bought these at Ikea as well. One is to hang a towel from by the sink.

Laundry Room Labels and Hooks 4

The other couple I bought I used to hang some cleaning supplies from. It’s actually nice to have these out of the way and and hidden behind the door.

Laundry Room Labels and Hooks 5

Neither of these things were expensive but they were part of just trying to finally finish out this  room.

Anyone else doing some little organization changes lately?

Custom Decor Swatch Book

A little over a month ago I was reading Teal and Lime and I came across a new post about a paint and fabric swatch book. It’s a great solution to keep track of fabric and paint swatches for your home. As you’re out shopping you can compare if what you’re looking at will work with what you already have.

I loved the idea when I first read about it and ever since I have wanted to make one of my own. I knew that it would be a great improvement over the paint chips I had clipped together and shoved in my bag.

On my last trip to Target I finally remembered to pick up a $2 photo album to make one of my own.

Decor Swatch Book 1

Just like Teal and Lime I just couldn’t resist making a new cover for the album. The cover it came with wasn’t bad but I knew I had some paper that could make it even better.

Decor Swatch Book 2

I didn’t want to just start into the swatches so I created a little cover page for the first page.

Decor Swatch Book 3

Then it was on to the swatches. I put in paint swatches of the colors the rooms are painted as well as any of the fabrics I had left over that I could .

Decor Swatch Book 4

For the laundry room I wanted to keep the washer and dryer color in mind so I grabbed a red paint swatch I already had.

Decor Swatch Book 5

Basically each room got a page to begin with. As I add more things I may end up spacing the pages out a bit.

Decor Swatch Book 6

It may not have very many pages so far but I already love it. Not only does it have all my paint swatches but it has fabrics swatches too.

Decor Swatch Book 7

It’s such a simple but useful upgrade! I just want to hold it and look at it all the time.

Does anyone else carry around paint chips with them everywhere they go?

Organizing the Cleaning Supplies

A few weeks back my cousin Kayla asked me what I did to clean my house. My answer was pretty much that I hardly clean unless I have guests coming of course.

As luck would have it, last month I Heart Organizing’s monthly challenge was about cleaning. I didn’t attempt anything too exciting but I did take the chance to look at what supplies I have and think a little about how I wanted to organize them.

The first thing I did pile up all the supplies that I had all over the house.

Cleaning Supplies 1

After that I started to breakdown what cleaners I wanted/used room by room. I decided that I wanted to build up kits that I could keep in each room. That way when I’m ready to clean everything is close at hand.

Master Bathroom:

Cleaning Supplies 2

I’ve been loving the Mrs Meyers cleaners in the geranium scent. I recently picked up the toilet cleaner so I haven’t tried that out yet. The spray bottle was the counter spray which I recently refilled with the all purpose cleaner. As for the clorox wipes I know that they are not the most “green” or “safe” cleaning products but they are inexpensive and I only use them to clean the outside of the toilet cause toilets are just gross yo. I don’t want keep some grimy sponge around or have to constantly wash rags. As for other tools I like to keep a sponge for the tub and shower as well as a magic eraser for the glass shower door. I find it’s easy to use and works pretty well. The last thing is the bucket. I use that to rise the inside of the shower walls and the tub.

Guest Bathroom:

Cleaning Supplies 3

This was actually a new addition. The guest bathroom is rarely used and previously I just brought cleaners upstairs to use. It’s pretty similar to the master bath kit except the only difference is that I put a toilet cleaner which is some I had left over. After I was done organizing I was left with a bottle of Windex which I also put upstairs.

Laundry:

Cleaning Supplies 4

I don’t use any of these too much but they are nice to have on hand. The spray bottle just has a mixture of vinegar and water that I use to spray on clothes that smell extra funky. The rest are pretty self explanatory.

Miscellaneous Supplies:

Cleaning Supplies 5

This set are the things that I use all over the house so I just decided to keep them in the laundry room as well. These include a glass cleaner, surface scrub and the all purpose cleaner I’m using to refill the spray bottles.

Kitchen:

Cleaning Supplies 13

Besides the usual hand, dish soap and dishwasher tablets that I keep under the sink I don’t keep much in the kitchen in the way of cleaning supplies. I do of course keep a bottle of Mrs. Meyers counter spray which is usually on the counter so I remember to use it more often. I also keep the can of pledge which is what I use to clean all the stainless steel appliances in the kitchen. Thus the reason it’s in here.

Everything Else:

Well there was quite a bit left over on the table after that. Most of it rarely, if ever gets used. Some of it is used every once and a while but it’s nice to have when you need. That being said it pretty much all got put into groups which I just put under the laundry room sink.

I don’t even think that febreze works very well. I guess I just get pulled in by the advertisements.

Cleaning Supplies 9

These cleaners I don’t use anymore or I have a replacement for them now, but here they are.

Cleaning Supplies 8

Another one of those if you need it it’s nice to have is carpet cleaners. Not sure why we need 4 different kinds but I guess we do. Especially since we don’t even have a carpet cleaner, maybe one day we will.

Cleaning Supplies 7

This is the last of the rarely used but sometimes nice to have items. I bought the dish soap last year to clean all our windows with. I think we mixed it with water and maybe ammonia and it worked pretty well.

Cleaning Supplies 6

As for storage of some of these items, I put the more frequently used cleaners under the washer. Along with the swiffers which I use to dust with. Yeah I know not very green but I’m a little lazy and if you come over you’ll just be lucky not to have dust everywhere.

Cleaning Supplies 11

So after that overly lengthy post here’s the question: How do you organize you cleaners? Do you like to keep multiples all over the house? Everything in one place? Or do you like to pretend cleaning isn’t necessary until something started growing?

*Here’s the disclaimer if you hadn’t already guessed it:  I’ve never claimed to be a great cleaner or even very good. I try to do what I can and what works for me. So far no one living in my house has died from some unknown disease so I think I’m doing pretty good. I try to take a balanced approach as far as time, money and motivation when it comes to cleaning.

Linens, the Loo and Organizing Oh My!

If you’ve been following iheartorganizing you know that last months organizing challenge was for the bathroom and linen closets. I have actually been working on go through and organizing our bathroom and linen closet a few times over the last year so I don’t have a huge overhaul. Although I thought I would take this chance to pick things up a bit and share my system. So far the system must be going ok since it didn’t take long to clean.

A few months or weeks back I did a little bit bigger clean out. I pulled everything out of drawers and boxes. Then I sorted and most importantly got rid of things I didn’t need and no longer used.

Bathroom Organization 1

Now onto the organization.

In general I’m not hugely fond of having a lot of clutter on the counter. I recently moved a large jewelry tree to the closet because I was tired of how much space it was taking up. Now I just try to keep some of the most used items, my makeup brushes, mirror and favorite perfume on the counter.

Bathroom Organization 2

Although we have a large vanity it still doesn’t have a lot of storage. I wish that  it had more drawers but it only has the three in the center of the vanity. As per usual I have the most space and Chris just gets a section of one of the drawers.

Both the top and middle drawer have antonius organizers from ikea. They aren’t perfect but they fit pretty well and help to coral things a little bit.

Bathroom Organization 4

The second drawer holds all of my most used items, makeup, cleansers, lotions and contact stuff.

Bathroom Organization 7

The last drawer is probably the least organized but it just holds my hair products and tools.

Bathroom Organization 6

We are also lucky enough to have a linen closet in our master bath. Here’s how we keep things together in there. I’ve tried to group like items  in containers to coral them all together.

Bathroom Organization 3

Well it way not have been a fantastic overhaul but it was a good excuse to clean things up a bit in the bathroom and linen closet.

Anyone else take on this months iheartorganizing challenge?

Splashing Some Paint on the Closet Walls

While I already had out the paint and all the paint supplies I decided to take on the two coat closets that we have on the main floor. The first closet is near the front door under the stairs and had an awkwardly placed coat rod in the back.

I started out here by doing a couple of swatches to test out some colors before I started even painting the pantry. The darker blue on the left is Lagoon, Sunken Pool is next to that and Love in a Mist is below. Again they are all from the Martha Stewart paint line. If you read the post about our pantry you already know that I chose Sunken Pool and Love in a Mist. Check that out that post for more info on the paint I used and colors.

Closets 1

Since this closet has a slanted roof I decided to just paint it all with the Sunken Pool. I did one solid coat with a brush, pad and large roller. Than I came back and did a second very light coat with the roller to fill in any missed spots and used a brush to go over the corners the second time.

Closets 2

It’s hard to take photos of such a dark closet as well as a dark corner of our house. I think the color show up much darker than it is in person. In person I would say it’s quite a bit lighter and brighter. You can see another view of the paint in the pantry post.

You can see that we also completely removed the shelf and coat rod from the closet to paint.

Closets 3

The second closet I painted was smaller than the first and that is back near the door to the garage. I hadn’t originally intended to paint this closet but since I had the paint out I thought I why not just do it all at once.

Closets 4

Another view of the smaller closet. The paint does look a little closer to true life in this one.

Closets 5

Another part of my closet make over was moving the shelf in the deeper closet and adding a curtain to hide the less than fantastic storage. I used two different chevron patterns that I found at Joann’s. All I did was serge both pieces together and then hem all the edges. At the top I did a double turned 3 inch hem.

Closets 6

On the bottom I accidentally measured wrong so I only did a double turned 2 inch hem. On the sides I did a double turned 1 inch hem and folded the corners in to create a crisp corner.

Closets 7

I didn’t end up serging the raw edges first mostly because I was too lazy and I figured that this won’t get a lot of wash and wear anyway. Also since I turned the hems twice the raw edges aren’t visible anyway.

Closets 8

We installed the shelf at the front of the closet so that we could hang our motorcycle gear as well as allow me to get behind it to get things out of the closet. I also hung the curtain using a tension rod I bought a long time again and Syrlig curtain clips from Ikea. The curtain clips are great and made sewing and hanging the curtain pretty fast.

Closets 9

You can see the second contrast band of coral colored chevron on the bottom of the curtain. I actually hung the curtain in place and marked were I wanted the hem to land before I cut off the fabric. It’s a little long but I didn’t want it to end up looking uneven or showing a gap below to what was behind.

Closets 10

Behind the curtain I have a bunch of things stored including the vacuum  mop, candles and a lot of electrical cords and connectors. With the curtain pulled back I can easily get to everything that’s behind.

Closets 11

Back to the smaller closet. We put everything back inside and this time it was a lot less crowded on the rod. It’s so nice not having to try and shove the lesser used motorcycle gear out of the way which never fit well since the closet isn’t quite deep enough.

Closets 12

A while back we also hung a couple of hooks on the wall in the closet so I could hang a bag for work and a few of my most used purses in easy reach but out of the way. That way they don’t just sit on the bench in the living room all the time.

Closets 13

Now that’s three small areas painted all bright and pretty. It is so much more fun to open a door and see the teal-y blue instead of the boring beige that had gotten all dirty and scuffed.

Anyone else giving a pop of color to some closets?

*Slowly but surely we are adding more colors to the Wall Color Page. Go check it out for more info and photos.

Pretty Pantry Overhaul

I’ve  rewritten this post a number of times now and I’ve been holding off because I wanted to finish some new container labels . Maybe I should have considered writing this in two parts but I just wanted it all together. That being said, you’ve been warned it’s a long one.

We have a pretty decent sized pantry. Not huge but it could defiantly be considered a walk in style. The major downside with our pantry is that the only shelving it had was 4 deep shelves. It isn’t really a great use of space and it’s pretty hard to organize things like cans that had to be all stacked on top and in front of one another.

Unfortunately I didn’t take a before photo before I started cleaning out the pantry but you can imagine it was pretty much a mess. Here it is mid clean out.

Pantry Shelves 1

The first thing I did was pull everything out of the pantry and empty all the shelves.

Pantry Shelves 2

Since all that stuff had to go somewhere it ended up all over the kitchen.

Pantry Shelves 5

Before I started the reorganization I knew that I wanted to repaint while the pantry was empty. I liked using the Acro Pure paint in the kitchen  so I decided to try it out again. This time I had Sunken Pool from Martha Stewart Paint color matched in an eggshell sheen.

Pantry Shelves 3

At first I thought I would just try to paint around the shelves but Chris came to the rescue. He figured out how to remove the shelves from their brackets which was much easier than expected and it made it so much easier to paint. I’m so glad we pulled them out otherwise it it would have been nearly impossible and I would never have been able to get a ladder in there big enough for me to reach the ceiling.

Pantry Shelves 4

I’m pleased to say that just like last time the paint had pretty good coverage. The first coat did a good job and I just had to come back  to touch up corners and do an all over light second coat with the large roller.

Pantry Shelves 6

We went to the paint store late on Friday and unfortunately I was only able to get one of the two colors I wanted to use since there wasn’t enough time for the paint store to do a color match. Since the color I was able to get was the wall color and I’m way to impatient to wait to do things in the best order I ended up painting the ceiling last. My suggestion: just don’t do it. It worked out ok but I ended up making a mess on the wall near the ceiling and having to come back and cut a line with a small brush.

Again I used the Acro Pure this time in Love in a Mist from Martha in an Eggshell  sheen. The Love in a Mist is a really light blue which is more of a white with a blue tinge.

Pantry Shelves 7

It’s hard to tell in the photos especially with the super florescent light that is in the pantry but Sunken Pool seems to be the best match to the “Martha Stewart blue” that’s in most of her kitchen ware. I took this photo for reference after it was all done and you can sort of see how my recipe box matches up to the paint color. So, if you’re looking for a paint color to match the Martha kitchen line here is what I think it is.

Pantry Shelves 23

In between waiting for coats of paint to dry I worked on some new shelves for the pantry to replace a woefully inadequate wire shelf from target. Of course I was in such a hurry to finish I didn’t take many in action photos but it’s a pretty simple set up and tailored to our needs and pantry size.

The bottom is a 1×12 board which is the height of the first shelf already in the pantry. The next set (3 shelves) are made from 1×6 boards. The first of those shelves in the same height as the second shelf already in the pantry and the others are spaced about 9″ apart. The last tier is made of 1×4 boards and the shelves are just over 6 inches. There are also 3 – 1×2 cleats at the top of each tier to help stabilize it against the pantry wall.

I cut all my boards and drilled my kreg holes before I started to assemble which ended up being a mistake since I miscalculated how long the shelves and the cleats needed to be. Chris helped me salvage the wider boards but I ended up having to cut new cleats. I may be an engineer but simple calculations can be almost too much for me.

Pantry Shelves 10

Once we got it all figured out and assembled I filled the visible kreg holes and they we got to sanding it all down.

Pantry Shelves 9

Here’s a better side shot that shows how it went together and what the tiers look like from the side.

In the background Chris is sanding down the flat shelf that I planned on installing above the current highest self for even more storage!

Pantry Shelves 11

Chris wanted to see what it would look like in the pantry before we took the time to paint paint it so here it is. It’s a good thing that we removed the shelves since we would have never been able to get this in the pantry fully assembled with the shelves still in.

Pantry Shelves 8

Once we were sure it was ready to go we got to the painting. I used the left over primer from the garage cabinets which was the kilz 2 primer. I ended up doing 3 coats over two nights since primer dries much faster than normal paint and I was hoping to only have to do one coat of paint on top. I ended up using an off the shelf white interior paint and primer from Behr in a satin sheen. I only did one coat and it worked out pretty well. There are just a few spots that I didn’t get covered perfectly but they aren’t visible with everything put away and I can always go back and touch them up later.

Pantry Shelves 13

After everything was dry we started installing all the new shelving in the pantry. We were lucky to hit two studs with the new shelving unit which we screwed to the wall using basic countersunk screws. Once that was installed we started installing the new top shelf using 1×2 cleats. We weren’t able to hit any studs on the sides so we had to use molly bolts for those but the center is screwed straight to the studs.

Pantry Shelves 16

Here it the pantry with the old shelves installed again. It’s so hard to tell with the lighting but I’m not sure the original shelves were really a pure white but with all the shadows it’s really hard to see the difference. Maybe one day we’ll come back and change up the other shelving with somethings else to match all the new shelving.

Pantry Shelves 15

Then I started putting everything back in the pantry.

Pantry Shelves 28

Since we added the extra shelving I was able to spread out all my containers so that now I don’t have to move one container to get to another one that is hidden behind it. I even took this opportunity to create some new pretty labels to replace the labels I had handwritten before.

Pantry Shelves 26

I love the way they look now. The labels are just so pretty and professional looking, they still make me smile.

Pantry Shelves 25

Now here’s the new shelving unit in action. I planned it out so that the lower shelves are wide and tall enough for boxes of crackers, pasta, cake mixes and large jars. The higher shelves are intended to hold canned food.

Pantry Shelves 29

It’s so nice to finally see all the cans set out and not shoved in a corner where we can hardly tell how much of each thing we had. With the deep shelf it was so hard to tell what we had and what we needed to get. Now all it takes is a glance and I can see exactly what we have and what I need to pick up on the next grocery shopping trip.

Pantry Shelves 27

Since it’s always fun to compare side by side, here’s the before and after shot. Isn’t it just so pretty?

Pantry Shelves Before and After

I think that it was worth the work to paint and fix up the pantry and I’m so happy with all the new shelving. We didn’t get rid of much that was in the pantry before but it looks so much better and less crowded than before.

Whew, congrats on making it to the end!

Anyone else been working on your pantry or food storage?

If you’re curious about the magnet board on the back of the door check it out here

Garage Cabinets Completed

It really is all those finishing touches on the project that seem to take the longest. For the last week or so Chris has been doing the organizing and last touches so that we can finally call this project done.

Check our Part 1 and Part 2 for the rest of the story.

As a reminder here’s what we started with.

Garge Cabinets 3

When we left of the last time we had hung that upper cabinets and Chris had installed the rest of the doors.

Garage Cabinets 32

The next step was building the work surface. Chris cut 1×3’s down to size and used the kreg to build a frame to act as a base for the work surface.

Garage Cabinets 33

Building this base made it possible to have a larger surface (by pushing the cabinets away from the wall) that could be secured to the wall and to the cabinets below. Chris also screwed a 1×2 cleat to the wall just below the frame for support at the wall.

Garage Cabinets 34

We cut a piece of 3/4″ plywood down to size and attached some 1×2 strips to the sides of the plywood. Then Chris just slide the surface into place.

Garage Cabinets 35

Once it was centered where we wanted it Chris used wood screws to attach the back of the plywood to the cleat and then screwed through the top of the cabinets up through the frame and into the surface.

Garage Cabinets 36

Screwing the surface down also made it possible to square up the otherwise not perfectly flat plywood. All that was left to finish out the surface was the last piece of trim on the front.

Garage Cabinets 37

We knew when we started that we wanted to fill the wall space behind the bench with a pegboard. Chris cut and screwed up 1×2’s to use as support and spacers for hanging the pegboard.

Garage Cabinets 38

While Chris was working on the pegboard I screwed up  a couple of scrap pieces to hold the center of the board out from the wall as well.

Garage Cabinets 39

Then Chris used the jig saw to cut out holes for the electrical outlets on the wall and screwed the pegboard to the frame.

Garage Cabinets 40

Then it was on to all that organizing. Chris took a few nights figuring out what to put where and what shelves and other storage we needed inside the cabinets.

Garage Cabinets 41

Chris and I worked together to figure out the puzzle that was the pegboard. We pulled out tools that we thought we would use the most and then hung then up. We also bought the clear organizer drawers to hold all those little bits and screws that were floating around.

Chris finished out the pegboard with some trim we found in my dad’s garage that he had made. We also found a corner L shaped trim to finish out the holes around the outlets.

You can also see some of the hardware in the picture below. Since we had to make our own doors for some of the cabinets we needed pulls for them. We considered putting matching knobs on the rest of the cabinets but we decided we liked the way it already looked and it wasn’t worth the cost. The pulled are a mock hammered black vintage looking knob. They also happened to be the cheapest knobs we could find at Home Depot for $1.30 each.

Garage Cabinets 42

Chris worked over the weekend to  organize that garage cabinets which included some organizing of the shed by extension.

Garage Cabinets 43

We don’t have everything set up perfectly and we are already thinking about changes to make but I think we can consider this job done! It will just continue to change as we continue to use the garage more.

Chris even built some storage racks inside the cabinets for bottle and sandpaper. So handy.

Garage Cabinets 44

We have gained so much storage in our garage now. We both love how fancy and professional the cabinets look. The grey paint was a great choice.

Garage Cabinets 45

It’s great that all the things that were out and visibly messy can now be hidden behind closed doors.

Garage Cabinets 48

Taking a few steps back here is what the cabinets look like all together. They fill up the entire wall of the one car garage bay.

Garage Cabinets 46

Garage Cabinets 47

Out of curiosity I kept track of what we spent building the cabinets and organizing the garage.

Breakdown of Costs:
Wood Faced Cabinets ($10 ea.): $120
Glass Faced Cabinets ($15): $30
Wood: $222
Paint: $43
Hardware: $80
Misc: $28
Total: $522

I think that we did pretty good. I figure buying something pre-made would have been almost $2000 and my original estimate of hand built cabinets would have been at least $700 not including many of the things we ended up needing like edge banding, pegboard, trim and knobs. I think that’s a major savings and it’s great to finally have a real workspace and usable storage.

Anyone else been working on their garage or some other other big organization projects?

Makin’ Menus

Yesterday I posted about the new magnet board I made but I didn’t say what my plan was for it. Well I actually made it for my menu cards.

A while back I came across the idea of creating magnetic menu cards. At first I was using them on the side of the fridge. This worked out ok but there were two problems. One is that the cats love to knock them off the fridge and chew on them. The other problem was that I didn’t like looking at the mess they had become on the side of the fridge every time I walked into the kitchen.

Menu Cards 1

Not exactly the most attractive or well organized thing ever.

My initial solution was to paint the inside of the pantry door with magnetic paint . After doing some research I just wasn’t sure that it was worth trying that. Instead I decided to go with a magnet board. Something that would add a pretty decorative touch to the pantry.

Since I was making a new pretty magnet board and after my revamp of my recipe box I had to update my menu cards as well. I debated about how I wanted to make the cards and what colors I wanted to use. I finally landed on a grey on grey chevron pattern with a black border. I figured that the magnet board had enough color that I didn’t want to compete with it.

Menu Cards 2

On each of the cards I wrote down one of my tried and true meals that I make. I transferred each of the meals I had on the cards before as well as any new ones that I have begun adding to the mix. Then I cut a small strip from the roll of magnets I had and they are ready to go.

Menu Cards 3

All I had to do was slap them on my magnet board. Since I could store them all on the board I put the rest in a small container I already had and stuck it to the door with the velcro strips. I don’t love the location and I think I may end up moving it to the wall inside the pantry.

In the past I’ve used my cards in two different ways. One way is to post up whatever meals that I have the ingredients for. Then when I come home and easily see what I can make for dinner and I can pick what I want to make.

Another way I’ve used them is by going through all the cards and set out the meals that I plan on making the next week. That way I can go through the pantry and make sure to pick up what grocery’s I need when we do our weekly trip.

Menu Cards 4

The great thing about the menu cards is that it helps me to vary what I make for dinner. That way I don’t end up feeling like we are always eating the same thing week after week.

Menu Cards 5

Compared to how long it took me to create the magnet board this was a pretty quick project.

If you’re interested in making your own menu cards why not give it a try to see how it goes for you.  Below is a copy of the cards I created. Just save the file to your computer and print them on a 8×11.5 cardstock paper. Then all you need is a few magnets and you’re ready to go.

Grey Menu Card Page

If you’re interested in something with a little color you can also print out one of the other colors I created before I decided on the black and grey.

Green Menu Card Page   Pink Menu Cards   Teal Menu Card Page

Have you been working on any projects to make your kitchen run a little smoother?