Laundry, dishes and paint
It’s been almost two months of silence here on my little blog. Have no fear, I have been busily working on organizational projects. If you recall from my last post, eons ago, I’m now to the “Man, this project is going to take FOREVER!” stage. The last week of June saw me feverishly working on repainting my desk. It was just a plain, old, ugly and cheapo desk. It needed help.
Not only that, since we are renting, I can’t paint the wall or the uninteresing cream-colored cabinets. So, painting the desk was the only option. I knew this would be a big project, but I don’t think I really had any idea how long it would take. I think I painted every day for an entire week! Fortunately, the weather mostly cooperated and the babes had fun hanging out in the front yard while I painted away.
The first step was to prime the desk. I used Zinsser oil-based primer, which claimed to stick to anything without needing sanding . . . .my kind of primer. The next step was to actually paint. I think I ended up doing 3 coats. Since the primer was white and the paint was dark, the white just kept showing through. So, three coats later, I was finally satisfied. The final step was to apply polyurethane to protect the finish. I managed to get six coats on before running out stamina and time. But, I met my goal of finishing before going on our trip. I wanted the polyurethane to cure for a good long time before putting it into use.
I’m not head over heels about how it turned out, but I do quite like it. I love the purple, the teal is only so-so. But, I was working with whatever mistint colors were available, and it’s much better than before. I think once the other pieces of the desk area get put in place, it’ll all come together . . .at least I hope it will!
ETA: I can’t believe I forgot to give a shoutout to my friend Deb! She had all sorts of great tips for how to re-paint furniture and let me ask her a billion questions! Thanks, Deb!!
Total cost: $36
Total time: 24 hours (not including drying time)
My other project sort of happened by accident . . it wasn’t something that I thought needed organizing. We just returned from a month long trip where we rented a 1000 sq foot two bedroom apartment that was 1.5 times smaller than the house we currently live in. It was a good exercise in figuring out what we do and don’t actually need and in being very efficient in how we used the space. Upon our return, the babes and I went through all of their toys and books and got rid of a box of books and two large trash bags of toys. (Yes, that is me that you see jumping up and down for joy!) I also managed to survive and entire month with no dishwasher. The last time I didn’t have a dishwasher, I thought I was going to lose my mind. It seemed like I was spending all of my time doing dishes. This time around, it seemed to work much better, and I think the reason is twofold: 1) the sink was small, so only a certain amount of dishes would fit 2)I washed dishes as they got dirty, so things didn’t seem to pile up as much. So what’s the take away lesson here? Do the dishes more often. My new plan is to not let the sink get full of dishes and to wash as I go. We’ll see if works out!
The other thing about the apartment was that the washer and dryer were down the hall. Generally when I do laundry, I have two baskets that I fill: one for DH and me, and one for the babes, with each babe getting one corner for their stuff. In my head, it makes it easier for DH when he’s putting things away. (I don’t actually know whether or not it makes a difference.) The hanging clothes get hung up on a rolling rack, organized by person. This wasn’t at all an option while in the apartment. So I ended up folding the clothing in the laundry room, and then carrying the hang-up stuff to the apartment and hanging it there. After about three weeks, I had an epiphany. Hanging the clothing in the apartment and putting it away right away took no more time than hanging it up and putting it on the clothing rack. This may seem totally obvious to all of you, but it just didn’t occur to me. I was quite sure that it would be an inefficient use of time to have to carry each load of laundry upstairs to hang it up rather than staying in one place.
Anyway, so I’ve revamped my laundry system. I’m still hanging things up on the rolling rack. But, instead of folding everything in the laundry room, I take it upstairs and fold it in one of the rooms and then put it away from there. It works like a dandy! Not only do I get to sit down while I’m folding the laundry, I can work with the babes to teach them how to put their laundry away neatly and the laundry gets put away in a timely fashion. (It’s hard for DH to find the time to put away 10 loads of laundry . . . if the babes are away, he’s playing with them, if they are asleep, well, then they are sleeping and their rooms aren’t available for laundry-put-awayage. It usually would take 2-4 days for the laundry to get put away, and I’d end up digging through baskets trying to find things.) This is a win-win for everyone.
Sooo, we are now a week bit more organized and efficient in the homemaking department! Hip hip hooray!