Monday, October 14, 2019

3 Doubling up on Under the Sink Storage Space

A few weeks ago we were hosting a guest and I went to my son's bathroom to do some cleaning and prepping. Our guests typically stay in our son's bedroom while visiting because it has an adjoining bathroom that allows for added privacy. I realized that the area under his sink could use a better system, and with a limited timeframe, I came up with a quick solution to maximize the awkward cabinet.

IHeart Organizing Under Bathroom Sink Double Shelving Storage Solution Organization

I will help my kids with their chores from time to time, but for the most part, they take complete ownership of keeping up on their spaces. It is always my goal to give them systems that are easy for them to maintain on their own, but I definitely didn't do that here. Under this bathroom sink was a mish-mash of random baskets and bins with no designation or reasoning...

IHeart Organizing Under Bathroom Sink Double Shelving Storage Solution Organization

After I painted his bathroom walls awhile back, I left the can under his sink for touch-ups. There were also some accessories waiting to be used, toiletries, cleaning supplies, a random towel which he uses as a floor mat, travel items... All thrown in there somewhere. Yikes.

The problem I find with most of these stock bathroom cabinets is the lack of storage that is provided. There is plenty of space inside but not an easy way to make the most of it. And with the sink and plumbing, it can be challenging to find the right stacking drawers or bins to take advantage of all the vertical space.

This cabinet is nearing 20 years old and on our list of items to update in the future, but I still wanted to find a quick, inexpensive fix to get the bathroom storage up to par.

The process I take with every organizing project no matter what the size/scale is as follows:

  • Empty everything out
  • Clean the empty space
  • Sort through all of the belongings
  • Decide what we need in the space vs. what we currently have
  • Put everything back 

So I emptied everything out and was left with some loud liner...

IHeart Organizing Under Bathroom Sink Double Shelving Storage Solution Organization

I replaced it with something more subtle.

IHeart Organizing Under Bathroom Sink Double Shelving Storage Solution Organization

My ultimate goal was to add a second layer of surface area halfway up the cabinet. Our local Home Depot sells white laminate boards, so we purchased a single 3/4" thick, 2' x 4' board.

The one board would be enough for us to cut down to use as a shelf and to also add supports for the shelf below (the bathroom cabinet is a 3' wide cabinet).

Because the cabinet has a trim piece that runs down the front center of the door opening, the new shelf couldn't be left as a single piece that runs the entire inside length, it wouldn't be possible to get it into the cabinet. We decided to cut two separate shelves, one for each side, also notching out the plumbing area.

IHeart Organizing Under Bathroom Sink Double Shelving Storage Solution Organization

For the notch, we measured the amount of space clearance needed for the plumbing and used the lid of a container to trace out the curved area. The nice thing about the laminate board is that pencil washes off quite easily after you make your cuts.

IHeart Organizing Under Bathroom Sink Double Shelving Storage Solution Organization

I originally thought we would just nail ledger boards around beneath the shelves, but because the front and far side have no support on the outside of the cabinet, Bryan decided to just make some legs to hold the shelves instead.

IHeart Organizing Under Bathroom Sink Double Shelving Storage Solution Organization

Above you can get an idea of how we dry fit things before finishing off the edges and air nailing everything in place.

IHeart Organizing Under Bathroom Sink Double Shelving Storage Solution Organization

There is a small seam where the two boards meet in the middle, but we opted not to caulk it in case we want to easily remove the shelf down the road.

IHeart Organizing Under Bathroom Sink Double Shelving Storage Solution Organization

Look at that! Double the storage area!

IHeart Organizing Under Bathroom Sink Double Shelving Storage Solution Organization

To now give my little guy (and guests) some easy organization, I categorized everything into their own pull out drawers and bins.

IHeart Organizing Under Bathroom Sink Double Shelving Storage Solution Organization

These are my absolute favorite drawers for organizing under any sink (bathroom, kitchen, laundry room, etc...), so I grabbed two standard sizes and one wide size.

IHeart Organizing Under Bathroom Sink Double Shelving Storage Solution Organization

I prefer to use drawers instead of stacking lidded bins any time I organize because they ease the taking out/putting things back process. That is especially important when kids are involved.

The top two drawers hold my son's personal care items (toothbrush, toothpaste, floss, hair care, deodorant, etc...)

IHeart Organizing Under Bathroom Sink Double Shelving Storage Solution Organization

While the bottom drawer holds smaller sized toiletries for guests or travel, as well as bars of soap and an oil diffuser.

IHeart Organizing Under Bathroom Sink Double Shelving Storage Solution Organization

On the other side, I used two taller bins to wrangle the bulkier items. One has additional personal care items and our son's travel toiletry case. The other has all of the cleaning supplies for the bathroom.

IHeart Organizing Under Bathroom Sink Double Shelving Storage Solution Organization

I love that these inexpensive rolling bins have flexible dividers inside that allows them to be easily categorized while also keeping the contents separate and contained.

The upper shelf is the perfect spot for extra towels, and now they can be stored up and away from everything else in the cabinet.

IHeart Organizing Under Bathroom Sink Double Shelving Storage Solution Organization

I had the same question for my husband that you may have, "Is this setup going to be an issue when we need to change out the faucet?"

Well, a couple of days after we installed the shelves we did just that without any problems. There was enough clearance surrounding the pipes that we didn't have to pull the shelves out, but we could have easily if necessary.

With that, if we could have done one thing differently, we would have considered the location of the water valves a bit more vs. only measuring for the height of the bins when determining the final height for the new shelf.

Because we all heart a transformation before and after, a reminder of the difference this quick makeover gave us:

IHeart Organizing Under Bathroom Sink Double Shelving Storage Solution Organization

The storage bins are definitely a key component in categorizing and helping to keep this area of our son's bathroom organized, but by adding a second layer of storage space we were able to really maximize how the cabinet is used. The bonus is that I have sourced a few under-the-sink-shelves in the past at various retailers, but they tend to be flimsy or not expansive enough. For less than what most of those ready-made shelves cost, we were able to come up with something out of a single board that is custom and substantial. Double the storage, double the organizational win!









Wednesday, September 18, 2019

35 Our Laundry Room Today

First, I want to thank you for all of the great feedback on the sweet and simple nightstand drawer before | after post. I am excited that those smaller projects are just as fun for you as they are for me! I have a few more small scale organizing projects up my sleeves that I can't wait to tackle and share.

Today, I wanted to give you an update on our laundry room!



In my last laundry room update a few years ago, I excitedly shared a peel-and-stick wallpaper that I had just installed. Shortly after that, a funny thing happened. I was so in love with it when I found it, but then I became stuck. I attempted to source finishing touches for the room and it all seemed to compete with the paper. Just because I loved the colors and design of the wallpaper, doesn't mean it was right.

How to Save Peel and Stick Wallpaper

But I waited on it. I lived with it for awhile and really tried to make it work and be sure I wasn't acting impulsively. I felt that guilt we all do when we invest in something and don't want to be wasteful. I refused to remove the paper until I could find a way to save it to reuse or pass on. Peel-and-stick paper usually comes packaged on a glossy paper backing, and after some digging, I found a wide freezer paper that is plastic coated. Turns out the freezer paper is the perfect way to take down the adhesive paper from the wall, roll it up, and save it to be reused in another way. In fact, our laundry room paper has already been repurposed in my niece's bedroom lining a bookcase and we all couldn't be happier about that.

So with that, let's look at where our laundry room is today. It has truly become a room that I look forward to going to and gives me this warm and fuzzy happy feeling.

IHeart Organizing Laundry Room Storage Organization Wallpaper

After some searching, I came across a Farrow and Ball Lotus wallpaper on eBay for a really great price. Two full rolls for $100 less than the typical cost of one single roll. And being that I was only doing one wall, two rolls would be plenty. I pulled the trigger because it just felt so much more in line with my ultimate vision for the room. The last paper was colorful with an extremely busy pattern. I still wanted pattern and color but now knew that a tonal option would probably give me a similar effect without overwhelming me this time. It would still offer visual interest, but wouldn't compete with all of the other elements in the room.

We installed the new wallpaper about five months ago now and I still get butterflies every time I walk into the room. It feels so much more refined and timeless while still offering something interesting and beautiful. (We followed this wallpaper installation tutorial here.)

After that, things very slowly started to fall into place. And although the rest of the changes we made were not big ones, they were still impactful.

IHeart Organizing Laundry Room Storage Organization Wallpaper

For example, I realized that the open glass doors of the paint cabinet were visually competing with the open glass cabinet doors over the sink. Having multiple door styles in the room really created a weird imbalance, especially because the space is small and windowless. I initially tried to add a frosting to the inside of the glass, which helped, but eventually just primed and painted them so that the cabinet could just sort of fade away and hide the clutter behind the doors (I wouldn't normally do something like that on a nice piece of furniture, but this cabinet was DIY'd by us years ago and serves the purpose of storing all of our paint supplies, so it was a nice fast fix in this instance). There is a lot of white in this space which is good being that there are no windows, but I have been keeping my eyes open at thrift stores and on FB Marketplace for an interesting old cabinet to bring in another layer of character.

When we first DIY'd our built-in wall, we partnered with Home Depot to come up with some custom storage for our laundry room. We have never stopped loving the storage that the entire wall offers; we use it for cleaning supplies, beach gear, seasonal items, sewing supplies, laundry hanging, and now even for feeding our pups. We modified it a while back to add some decorative shiplap backing and laundry baskets, which gave it a fresher look. Five plus years in it had become clear that we could have initially used a better method for making the cabinet doors. The doors we originally constructed were quite heavy, built from MDF, hung with external hinges, and weren't perfectly square. So this summer we built all new doors!

IHeart Organizing Laundry Room Storage Organization Wallpaper

The new doors are infinitely better. They cleaned up the look of our built-in and the panels are now truly inset (I plan to share how we built them soon). We also installed concealed hinges which makes such a wonderful difference. At that same time, the entire unit received a fresh coat of paint, trim, caulk, a new acrylic hanging rod, and a built-in feeding station. Yes, yes, and yes!

IHeart Organizing Laundry Room Storage Organization Wallpaper

Isn't that hanging rod lovely? I have been so inspired by my friends Grace from A Storied Style and Kristin from The Hunted Interior, and their use of acrylic for hanging rods, handles, window hardware, etc.., that I had to find a place to do the same. I found an inexpensive piece of acrylic on Amazon, as well as the mounting hardware. We added three total brackets to be sure the rod could hold the weight of our clothes, and so far so great!

IHeart Organizing Laundry Room Storage Organization Wallpaper

The counter is a piece of butcher block that is extremely solid and ties to the floating shelf above the washer and dryer.

IHeart Organizing Laundry Room Storage Organization Wallpaper

For the pup feeding area, we researched the best eating height for our dogs and installed a pull-out shelf that we cut to insert their bowl inside (we used a basic white laminate shelf paired with these drawer slides). The bowl is just floating in there so it can easily be removed and washed at the nearby sink after feedings.

IHeart Organizing Laundry Room Storage Organization Wallpaper

Originally I wanted to store their food in the drawer below, but pet food really should be stored in its original packaging, or an airtight container that can be easily cleaned between refilling. So now the drawer just holds all of their supplies, which also works out really great! Their food is sealed in a rolling bin in the tall cleaning cabinet.

IHeart Organizing Laundry Room Storage Organization Wallpaper

The wire baskets continue to function really well for our family. We use them when the clothes come out of the dryer to bring the folded/hanging clothes back to our rooms to be put away. The larger woven basket is for linens for delicate wash items.

IHeart Organizing Laundry Room Storage Organization Wallpaper

As we continue around the room, I added a pair of really pretty brass hooks to hold towels and beach/summer gear. I use hand towels all over this room for cleaning the feeding area, drying the bowls after washings, wiping down the washer door, and of course for general hand drying. Multiple hooks are a must!

IHeart Organizing Laundry Room Storage Organization Wallpaper

The art above the hooks is a print from Juniper print shop; the colors are so great and it reminds me of many scenic drives that we have taken over the years.

IHeart Organizing Laundry Room Storage Organization Wallpaper

The room is all white so that the wallpaper can be the star. But the back of the door was begging for something, so it received a coat of Benjamin Moore's Newburg Green. It is a stunner of a color and I want to use it again and again. I also added an over-the-door organizer for the iron and ironing board. We still need to change all of the hinges to black throughout the entire lower level.

IHeart Organizing Laundry Room Storage Organization Wallpaper

Our washer and dryer are Maytag and they have been workhorses for us for over ten years now. As a family of five, we do laundry every single day so we couldn't be happier about the amount of use we have gotten out them so far. We lowered our hookups and built them in a few years ago and it was one of the best things we could have done. The folding counter has been such a game-changer to my laundry routine; I absolutely love all of the space there is to spread out and fold piles of towels or to layout my sweaters to air dry. Being that the units are now built-in, I am a little nervous for the day the washer/dryer goes out and we have to upgrade. I will be sure to share what that process looks like should that happen down the road (no jinxing it!).

IHeart Organizing Laundry Room Storage Organization Wallpaper

The counter we selected is holding up great, no bowing or wear and tear from the daily use. Of course, I would have loved to have installed solid surface counters, but these were so much more budget-friendly and serve us perfectly well.

IHeart Organizing Laundry Room Storage Organization Wallpaper

Laundry detergent and whitener are stored in lidded glass canisters...

IHeart Organizing Laundry Room Storage Organization Wallpaper

While the smaller essentials such as dryer balls, delicate wash, stain remover, and a lint brush, are all stored in a handy wire basket.

IHeart Organizing Laundry Room Storage Organization Wallpaper

I continue to be a superfan of the deep stainless sink; it has been used for dish washings, mop bucket fillings, stain soakings, and paint supply cleanings. It cleans up so nicely and is everything I could ask for.

IHeart Organizing Laundry Room Storage Organization Wallpaper

As far as the faucet goes, although there is a pull-down nozzle, there is very little spraying power so that will probably get swapped out at some point. The faucet itself is of high quality and a really beautiful option.

Sidenote: Aren't those flowers absolutely beautiful? They are the prettiest colors and I clipped them straight from our yard. #staysummerforever 

IHeart Organizing Laundry Room Storage Organization Wallpaper

I shared the organization of the sink cabinet here, and how we installed a decorative toe kick here. That decorative toe kick still makes my heart race; little details are so important.

IHeart Organizing Laundry Room Storage Organization Wallpaper

The cabinet above the sink holds all of our frequently used home maintenance items; lightbulbs, extra paper products, sewing boxes, puppy linens, stain remover, etc...

IHeart Organizing Laundry Room Storage Organization Wallpaper

Last but not least, how sweet is that little wooden rail of hooks? That is another DIY and I will share that tutorial soon as well. It was incredibly easy and inexpensive and it turned out to be one of my favorite accessories in the entire space.

Bit by bit, one project at a time, our laundry room has evolved and changed so much over the years. This room is used multiple times per day so it is nice to have it fully functioning and feeling more complete. Chores are definitely more enjoyable when you are feeling good in your surroundings!





Laundry Room Wall/Built-In Color: Benjamin Moore Simply White
Laundry Room Door: Benjamin Moore Newburg Green

Wednesday, August 7, 2019

40 Before & After: An Organized Nightstand Drawer

We all have that one drawer. The one that becomes a dumping ground with an endless pit of random items. It happens to the best of us!

Most of the drawers around our home are set up in a way that they self maintain, but there are a couple that demand attention more often; our junk drawer in our kitchen, and apparently, my nightstand drawer both top that list.



I clean out the junk drawer every month or so, because even with dividers, random items that don't have an instant home, end up in that very popular drawer. Being in such a high traffic area that we all utilize, I am pretty good about tackling it frequently to keep some semblance of order.