Friday, August 26, 2011

Organziation Part Two: Party Time!

Yesterday I told you all about our game room and the massive amounts of "extras" we have hiding in our closet.  Today, I'm going to talk about what we have hiding in our living room an kitchen cabinets.  We have an old TV stand that we converted into a dining hutch type thing in our living room- and I should clarify that when I say we converted it, we just moved the TV items to the game room or lamp, and filled it with stemware, liquor, and dinner party items (or as we call them, our Crate and Barrel stuff). 

We also have a cabinet in our kitchen where we keep things like pitchers, extra decor items, paper plates and napkins, and things like screwdrivers, nails, our hammer, etc. 

Last, we have this floor lamp that I loved when we moved in, but suddenly began to hate within the last year.  It used to hold blankets in addition to the Playstation and Apple TV, but since we sold our bulky coffee table that had lots of storage, we moved some items around and it now looks like this:
And really last, but certainly not least, we have a shredder that always lived in the game room because we keep our other files in there, but it's not functional at all when it's back there.  Tim brought it into the living room about a month ago when clearing out our pile of junk mail, and ever since, it's been sitting our our living room table.  Which isn't pretty.  At all.  And since it doesn't fit in the shelf of our entry table, we wanted to find another spot for it near the door where it could still be hidden. 

So, remembering that we have all these other storage areas within the same region of our house, I decided that the best idea would be to just haul everything out and rearrange it all.  I had an idea that the best place would be to put the shredder on a drawer in the TV hutch so we could easily roll it out while sitting at the table, but first I needed to clear room for it.  I also wanted to clear enough room in the hutch so that I could eliminate the lamp.

So, the first thing to do, obviously, was to take a saw to the lamp and cut out the lightbulb and cord, right?  Especially while Tim wasn't home!  Sounded like a brilliant idea to me, so off I went and ended up with half the old lamp, now made into a two shelf unit that was a more appropriate size to the hutch, and a new light kit! 
We've been in some desperate need for more light on this half of the room, so I immediately duct taped the light to the ceiling because that makes total sense (read more about that project here)
Then I dragged all the stuff out of the kitchen cabinet to see if I might want to move any of the hutch items into the kitchen.  I also dragged the stuff out of the hutch to see if I still wanted it all.

We were left with this:

Lots for goodwill, lots to keep.  The first thing I did was grab stuff I was wiling to donate, and throw them aside.  Then I organized everything into categories: everyday items, home improvement items, decorative items, party things, stuff that doesn't belong in these cabinets, and a radio. 

Now the cabinet is much more organized.  The funny thing is, while I paired down a lot of stuff from the kitchen cabinet, keeping things laid out nicely took up a lot more room.  The top half has decorative items, and a space for a radio Tim uses occasionally, and the bottom has our home improvement tools and party supplies- pitchers and paper plates and napkins.

The hutch is looking pretty fancy as well.  We donated a lot of our extra plates and that has pretty much opened a bunch of room on it's own:

We even cleaned up the ottoman tray:
Nice and clean!
Now if I can just figure out a way to keep this mess contained, I'd be golden:
Do they make pretty tables that are small and have room for a laptop and cords to be hidden underneath?

To hear about the rest of the lamp elimination and shredder process, stay tuned!

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