Shoes, etc.

Because we own more than one pair of shoes each, and because I cannot stand to have them all tossed randomly in some corner or closet, AND, in order to save my sanity, I will immediately need at least two of  these

and one of this.

I already know where I’m going to mount them to the wall. And which shoes will go on which rack. Mostly his, but some of mine too. He has way more shoes than I do…

Edited days later:

Free books

There is a cool recycling/thrift shop company that calls me every few months to say they will be in my area on such and such a date and if I have any clothes or small household items, to put them out on the porch by 8 am on that date.

How easy is that to get rid of stuff? They come to my house and pick it up. I don’t have to lug stuff to the car, drive distances battling traffic to get to the local thrift shop and dump it outside the doors since there is no room inside what with all the other stuff everyone else has dumped there recently.

Just pack it up, mark it with an X, and put it outside your front door.

The only thing is, I’m not sure if they take books, or if they take only a few books at a time. It seems that most of these places take some books. And by some they mean 3. Not 30.

But we are book people. We have lots of books. Most we’re keeping, but a lot are just, you know, done. Read them, liked them, but don’t really feel the need to keep them around. We keep a lot of books around because we re-read some of them, but really, how many books I know I’ll never re-read do I need to keep?

So when we moved the bookcases down into the new basement, we purged. I had about 6, maybe 8 boxes of books we no longer wanted. And they were sitting in the garage or basement or livingroom or wherever else I could place them, where they waited patiently for their doomsday. 

Today I had this nifty idea.

I placed a huge piece of cardboard outside on my front lawn, stuck a small bookshelf on top, and filled it with books from those boxes.

Then I placed a sign in front of it that said

Free books
Leave the shelf please

Our house is on a street which has a lot of foot traffic because a large park is situated steps from it. We get all the neighbourhood, as well as those who drive here to get to the park and beaches, passing our house.

And with the sunny, dry and warm weather finally arriving, I figured, what better way than to get rid of stuff I was planning on donating anyway? Technically I could have done a little garage sale, but really, do I want to haggle over 50 cents with someone about a book I truly don’t want to keep anyway? Let them take the books, let them read.

And they did. Before I unloaded the third box, half the books were already gone, and that at 9 am!

I feel lighter already.


Interior closet organizers

This has kept me sleepless for days now.

All I want is for my new, empty closets in the newly renovated basement to be functional. You know, so I can see at a glance what is in it and take out what I need.

Because if I keep storing everything in bins, labeled or not, I will have wasted precious time and money having these closets built.

Because inevitably, there will be challenges with other members of the family having to commit to the responsibility of keeping the bins organized. One in particulary would probably make somewhat of an effort, but inevitably he will get frustrated with having to move the top bin to get to the bottom bin, spend time searching for a particular item inside the bin, then having to put it all back in the exact position it as in before.  Knowing what I know, he would get frustrated and simply end up going out to buy an identical product. And I do not need duplicate items in this tiny house thank you very much.

The other members of the family can’t read yet, so that poses additional challenges. How do you tell your 3yo to go downstairs, find the middle bin in the small room closet, move the top middle bin without breaking a bone in the process, take out item X, then put the lid back on the middle bin, replace the other bin back on top, close the door and don’t make a mess while you’re down there for god’s sake?

Ain’t going to happen.

So I started looking around. I really like the California Closet ads, but that’s just a tad out of my league.

I started with Ikea. They have good (enough) products, great space-saving ideas, and usually decent prices. But the choices were too many, and it required things like arithmetic and measuring tape, so I went to Canadian Tire (or Home Depot, or Wal-Mart, they’re all the same) and looked at the Rubbermaid options.

I ended up buying the Rubbermaid option. The closet kit for 50 bucks seemed simple and straight forward enough, so I bought it and took it home.

Carried it downstairs.

Savored what my empty closet looked like.

Left it for DH to put up.

It remained in the closet, in the box, for several days. DH doesn’t have time.

So I opened the box myself. The instruction sheet indicated that I needed to drill about a gazillion holes in the wall to accomodate some of the shelving. It was just daunting. I mean, I’m pretty handy, I can DO things, but this was just too time-consuming. I got babies for crying out loud. Finding 10 uninterrupted minutes is a luxury, but this kit would require several hours, if I’m estimating things correctly. And the baggies with the hardware? I’m not an engineer you know. I just want to put some shelving and a clothesrack in there, not reinvent the wheel. Or closet.

So back into the box it went.

Now I’m pouring over Ikea catalogues. Actually, I like some of their options, but the choices there are pretty daunting too.  Pax, Hopen, Stolmen, Komplement and Broder, to name a few of their funky product names. I think I’ve narrowed it down to Broder, but who knows what will happen when I get there.

I will need to buy each piece seperately, since that is the way of Ikea, which is fine, if you have time to do things without incessant interruptions. But the planning part too will take some time. It will require measuring tape, stud-finder gadgets, and some pre-visualizing of the final product. Then, it will require the actual shopping trip where one hopes that all the items one so carefully selected will be in stock.

Perhaps I will volunteer DH to take care of it. Bribe him with “I’m taking the kids for a playdate, go to Ikea and buy yourself a $1 breakfast, then buy me the friggin closet organizers, this is what I want, feel free to install it when you get home, yada…”. We’ll see how that pans out.

But it is kind of exciting. So exciting in fact that I spent the bulk of today organizing various kiddie clothes, making piles of “keep for future”, “donate”, “sell”, “send to nephew” and “keep for friend’s kid”. Now I have 3 empty (EMPTY!) bins, a few bags with clothes I will throw in the car to drop off here and there, and eternal hope for organization.

Maybe I’m kidding myself, but it’s worth a try at least.

Oh, and on that topic, I bought one of those storage-vacuum-bag thingies, that promises to reduce the size of the contents to mere inches. Can’t wait to try that out on all the heavy winter coats!


Why I need bins…

This is only part of the reason.


We spent Christmas eve at my parents’ place and got all this stuff. We had to leave the dog there for an extra day. Poor Rusty. Not that he minds…he loves it there. No babies crying, no kids making strange and loud noises, no toys flying through the air…only peace and quiet with two seniors and a cat.

Maybe I’ll stay behind next time…

Then we went to the other side of the family for Christmas day and got more stuff.

Which is all fine, since none of the stuff was junk. The kids got great toys and nice outfits. Nothing needs returning or exchanging.

But this is adding to my never-ending dilemma on how to store stuff. Because of this:


I will have all kinds of nice new big deep closets when the renovations are done. But until then…bins.

That is my new four-letter word.

But they serve their purpose, those bins. The good quality ones could technically speaking be stored outside on the porch in the middle of a blizzard, should it come to that.  It hasn’t yet but you never know.

But…there is progress…


Taping has begun. Yay.

PS so now I will also need a new mop, more Swiffer stuff, and a case of wine to get me through the next few weeks.


clear ones
coloured ones
large ones
small ones
medium ones
with lids
without lids
with wheels
without wheels
narrow ones
tall ones
short ones
flat ones

I don’t care what they look like or who makes them.

I need them.

Shopping, gifts, Christmas is here…

So I understand that shopping in the middle of the night a few days before Christmas is not exactly the experience one might think it would be.

The husband spoke with a neighbour the other day. She quickly wanted to drop by the local Walmart at 1 am the other night. She must have walked a couple of miles from her car to the entrance because once she saw how long the lineup to the cash registers was, she turned around and left.

The lineup was all the way to the middle of the store where their electronics department was…

* * *

I had ordered a couple of books from a promotional thing a magazine I subscribe to back in the middle of November.

The books have not arrived.

They were supposed to be gifts for hubby and mom.

I tried contacting the magazine last week but no one got back to me.

Today, technically speaking, is a “normal” day, in terms of work/shopping/delivering stuff. Let’s hope the books come today.

* * *

Yesterday I dropped off the tot at his grandparents’ place. Since we don’t have a Christmas tree this year due to all the renovations, they offered to do Christmas eve for us.

I brought along with me a HUGE basket filled with wrapped gifts. Gifts from generous and lovely neighbours and friends.

Once I got to my parents’ place, I saw that their diningroom was covered in wrapped gifts. A LOT of gifts.


I unpack my basket, place all the gifts on top of the other gifts on the table, hang around for a bit, leave the tot there, and take my now empty basket back home. 

At home I immediately trip over a bunch of bags and boxes in the hallway. Hubby was shopping apparently.


It is now Christmas eve morning. My best of the best contractors is working on the basement downstairs. He shows up here at 7 am, with a bag of gifts…more gifts. Even the dog got a wrapped gift.

The basket that was empty yesterday is now half-full of more gifts. People are still dropping by with gifts for the kids. This is amazing! I didn’t even know I knew so many lovely people…

I thank my lucky stars that I took the time yesterday to de-clutter the tot’s room. Many of his toys have been boxed up, or placed in bins and shoved under the bed. Or crib. Or into a corner. Or on top of a shelf.

He will no doubt want to play with all the new toys when he gets home…

* * *

Lori of Montessori for Everyone was kind enough to respond to my plea of help with some organizational tips. I will be following some of her ideas when the basement is complete. I cannot wait for this day to arrive.

* * *

Happy eating, please drink responsibly, and merry Christmas to you!