Posts Tagged ‘closet’

For me, September marks the New Year. I no longer have the fun (maybe only in retrospect) of back-to-school shopping for clothes and sheaves of ruled paper for my sons, but still, I never feel more motivated to make meaningful changes than I do in September. This year I have the opportunity to seize on a deep and recurrent desire to really de-clutter my home. And I am on a roll.

I have discovered that taking pictures of stuff I am getting rid of is an excellent reinforcing tool. I initially just took a few pictures with the vague idea of a blog post, but I now plan to continue with both the de-cluttering and the photos.

I encourage everyone to try this: When you need a little motivation to continue with what is, lets face it, a tough chore, you can look back at your folder of pictures of things leaving your living space. You will be astonished and proud of what you have accomplished: Your resolve to continue the process will be strengthened and you will think carefully before bringing new things into your home as well. Once you have completed the process, you can delete the folder of pictures, and thereby rack up another de-cluttering accomplishment. Hopefully, a few of my photos will inspire you to give this a try. Trust me, photos of your own clutter will be even more inspiring.

Here is proof of how serious I am:  The hiking boots in the first picture arrived on a Christmas Eve 25 years ago and concealed an engagement ring in the toe. My love lives on but the boots must go!


I deliver the best stuff to Crossroads Hospice Thrift store


The rest goes to Value Village or Big Brothers. I kept the cat…for now.


This is excess recycling, going to Encorp depot


Newly empty hangers from my closet



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 The boys had a Pro-D this past Friday, so we had the weekend earmarked for the cottage. Once again, the van was full to the brim with lots of odds and ends plus a lovely old desk made for my mom, when a little girl, by my carpenter grandfather. It was a cold day, but it didn’t take long to warm the place up, with the sun shining full on our south-facing windows and the boys feeding the fire. Cottager had pre-cut and painted the components for our built in shelves, but there were a few hiccups in the assembly and install that ended up taking most of the afternoon. Meanwhile, I scooted off to Benjamin Moore for some paint.

I was certain I would choose a sunny yellow, but in the end, it was the cool soothing summer tones of “Tealight” green that called out to me. I expected, by now, I would have a whole-house colour strategy in mind, but the truth is that the white is really growing on me. It is so clean and expansive feeling.

I felt pretty certain, however, that the scarred orange-toned walls inside the closet could only be improved with generous scoops of filler and some green paint.  So that is where I splashed it, leaving the rest of the room white while I think a little further. Behold the photos which show the room as it started out, after moving our bed into the closet, and with the ‘closet repurposing’ now in process.

On Saturday my parents came over for a first look at the new place and were pleasingly enthusiastic about it. We had lunch and played several rounds of Mexican Train (dominos) while Cottager fitted a sheet of drywall into the hole where we had torn a jerrybuilt cupboard out of the wall. As with the previous day’s shelving project, this was not without some unexpected twists, but the result looks promising.

With lots of snow forecast for early Sunday, we took my folk’s advice and caught the last ferry home on Saturday evening. Woke Sunday to no snow, but by midday there was 6 inches, and we were happy to have erred on the side of caution.

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New furniture in placeThe past week was one of the wettest I can remember, and my winter boots had been left at the cottage, so I suffered. On the positive side, it gave me an excuse to get back there sooner than planned, since there is no shortage of dirty weather in the forecast. Cottager and I pushed off at 6 am, leaving the kids in bed. By the time they woke up after 8, we had repaired a flat, had a coffee, caught our ferry with minutes to spare, and arrived safe under our small roof to coax a fire. We brought with us a new sofa and chair – new to us that is – a vilas maple and distressed brown leather sofa and matching chair found on Craigslist and bargained down to a stupifying deal. It really fits well with the other bits and pieces we have dug out of storage to furnish the place while we are whipping it into shape. Comfort and durability is all I really aspire to at this early stage, though I have visions of either navy, white and taupe  or blues, yellows and white further down the road. 

After carting in the new things, we piled the green sofa brought over in our first ‘lift’ one month ago back into the van and drove it to the Sally Ann thrift store, where they were happy to have it.  Then I shortened by half and cleaned the blind in the bathroom, and we mounted a new blind over the kitchen sink. Cottager pulled a crude cupboard – built right into the studs – off the wall and we decided the best way to repair the hole. He also fixed the table, repositioned a lock and changed the fridge and freezer doors to open correctly. And then we started planning the bedroom closet transformation.

The plan is to transform the closet opening into an alcove that has built-in shelves, a window, and, overhead, a fluted translucent resin ceiling through which LED lights will twinkle on demand.  Cottager is sceptical, but here is my reasoning: Total cost for this treatment, with the exception of the window (which falls into the category of ‘Part II’ and will be scheduled for a warm dry summer weekend) will be under $200. If the translucent ceiling is not effective and fun, something more predictable can easily be subbed in. Either way, we save nearly all the finicky drywall repair needed in the current closet, and if the translucent ceiling is a success, we transform an inconveniently small room into a funky and amusing inconveniently small room with high romance potential.  And isn’t that what we all like to think about when we are on our holidays? 

After sweating a kitchen reno in our suburban home, feeling that every one of a million small decisions would either work for or against the over-all look I wanted, it is very freeing to think that I can explore more offbeat ideas at this second home. At some point down the road, we may yet decide that the closet has to come out and the bed has to go up against that wall, but before we undertake that big job, we will try it this way. We have got our plan, and work on the shelving units may start as soon as this weekend.  

Caught the 4:30 ferry for home, tired but happy with our progress.

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