Friday, May 10, 2013

Laundry Room Redo

This year it was time to make a change and take control of my laundry room.

Instead of organizing our laundry, our laundry room stored a lot of food storage.  No room for baskets of clothes.  For our family of 8, this was a problem.  Sorting laundry onto the floor in piles has not worked very well.
I figured out where to relocate food storage items and rearranged shelves a bit.

My awesome husband built this laundry basket dresser from  It is so awesome.

After painting and sealing the "dresser", I added paint chip labels to my laundry basket "drawers" to help create a uniform sorting system-whites, darks, lights, reds (reds, pinks, purples), towels.  We have an extra basket for the times when we have lots of one color or sheets to wash.

 You get the idea.  This way it makes it easier for the kids to sort dirty laundry too.
 In case you were wondering, the "drawers" really slide out.  Very easily in fact.  Love it!

The other awesome part of my laundry room is something my mom did when we were kids, based on the laundry system by Daryl Hoole.  Each person has a basket where their clean clothes are put.  I can tell the kids to empty their baskets after school and put their clothes away.  Sometimes I'll stick a small treat in their basket (like a Hershey Kiss) and they get a little reward for putting their clothes away.  :)  No more piles of clean laundry folded on the couch, or in the bedroom.  Yea!!!!  Talk about liberating.  This makes each family member more involved with the laundry.  I don't have to put the clothes away or risk my piles being tipped over by random couch or bed jumpers that pass through without warning. 
My two year old loves to put his basket of clothes away when older siblings are putting their clothes away.  As kids we had stackable baskets/bins where Mom folded and put our clean laundry.  So awesome, especially for a family with lots of kids.  I decided to use plastic dishpans from Walmart for our baskets.  They cost ~$2.00 each.  Cheaper than the stackable baskets and the kids can carry their clean laundry to their room in their basket, put their stuff away and bring the baskets back to their spot.  I used stacking wire shelves that we were not using to place each basket on (on top of the "dresser"). 

 I could have been fancier with putting names on the baskets, but functionality over cuteness won out (and it was easier).  I just wrote everyone's name with a permanent marker. 
I love my new system.  I've been wanting to implement it for years and finally figured out how to put it in place.  Yes!  Another mission accomplished. 


Monday, May 6, 2013

Happy Mother's Day!

Thanks to all the moms out there who have helped us become who we are.  "Life doesn't come with a manual.  It comes with a Mother,"

Happy Mother's Day!
~The Five Sisters

Thursday, May 2, 2013

Kitchen Table

Eating dinner together as a family is a top priority for us.  Sometimes though, we have to make adjustments to our dining arrangements so the experience of eating together can be more pleasant.    
In the kitchen we had been using my parents' dining table.  It worked okay, but didn't fit quite right with our new kitchen storage bench.  Plus, if the kids leaned on it the right way, it would tip up a bit.  That was kind of weird because it is a solid oak table with pedestal-style legs.  I was ready for a change, and something to match my new bench.  Time to switch things around a bit.

First we had to come up with a design for our table.  We wanted to fill the floor space inside our kitchen storage bench, and we wanted kids to be able to slide around the corners of the table without getting poked by a pointy edge.  The legs were another problem that we went back and forth on.  With the table and bench being banquet style, we didn't want 4 table legs that might get in the way of those sitting next to them.  Pedestal-style legs were another option that we talked about, but we didn't want anything too chunky or ponderous.  One day when we went to the thrift store I saw a table with exactly the right legs for our kitchen table.  The top was junk-laminate covered fiber-board that had seen better days.  The legs were solid wood though and looked in good condition.  The store would sell me the table for $20.  I didn't think it was worth $20.  They let me have it for $15.  Yea!

Sorry I didn't get a picture of the junk table.  Here's a picture of the table we made after my husband stained it.  

 The entire time he was making the table I kept saying, "the table top looks way too wide," "it's too big."  He assured me that for the space we had, the table top was the correct size. 
 It fits our space in the kitchen perfectly.

We borrowed a friend's miter saw to miter the corners.  Since we were doing 45 degree cuts, instead of 90 degree cuts, and added trim to finish the edges, it was easier to use their saw instead of our miter box and hand saw. 

Here's another picture of the legs:
I am so happy with my kitchen table!

How have you solved some of the problems around your house?  We'd love to hear from you.