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From Hoarder to Order

A perfect storm occurred in my rarely used front porch. A craft room in complete upheaval from a semi-recent move, debris from designing, creating and storing favors, invitations, menus etc. from our wedding last year, and unofficially designating this space as a storage unit, since our front door is rarely never used. These three factors along with dozens of projects requiring more immediate attention around our nearly 100 year old bungalow created the perfect storm, the creation of a  20′ x 8′ space that could easily earn me a spot on Hoarders: Buried Alive.

Though it pains me to show any space in this much disarray, in efforts to learn something from this pile of wreckage, it’s a necessary evil. Plus, who doesn’t like a nice, dare a say, dramatic before and after?

With titles{before}

This slideshow highlights the other problem areas.

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Some basic guidelines I follow when reorganizing a space.

  • It’s an ideal undertaking for a day when you’re feeling more pragmatic than sentimental.
  • Keep the following at arms length: donation bag, trash bag, sell bag, and a cardboard box for items that you need, but don’t need in this space (you can sort through this later).
  • When you’re starting to get tired/bored of it, channel the excitement of finding something  you completely forgot you possessed into the energy needed to finish. I rediscovered some awesomely bright cardstock that I’ve been using for fun randomly placed notes for my husband.
  • Keep the future of the space in mind. For this area, it doesn’t make sense to create built-in storage or spend much money on decor. We intend to rip this area apart in a year or so to install a new entryway. So, my goal was to make the space as functional and attractive as possible without spending a cent.
  • Take frequent breaks. Seriously. Take time to sit in the space and think through your process so you’re sure that the space you’re creating will be easy to use, easy to maintain and easy on the eyes.

So, 10…yes, 10 hours later – here is how the space looks now.

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I used this hand-me-down bookcase to store the candles and picture frames I had all over the place. Some exercise equipment is in sight so it’s not out of mind. And, I brightened up the back of the shelf by inserting some beautiful wallpaper that my brother’s girlfriend designed. (The super heavy mirror still needs to be hung on the wall, but you get the idea.)

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The white shelving unit that housed the candles now has an entirely new purpose. Turned on its side and topped with pillows, now I have a bench with storage below. This is where the previously mentioned pile of boxes came in; one for paint, two for ribbons and bows and the rest for scrapbooking material, they fit nicely and flank a pair of bright winter boots.

{Side note: the CB2 boxes under the table contain all the necessary components for the long delayed part 2 of the bubble chandelier}

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The desk is a desk again. Covered in my most frequently used cutting tools and self healing mats paired with a fun calendar and dry erase board for added organization.

Once I had the clutter out, either by selling or donating things I don’t need or finding the appropriate home for the things I do need, I was able to clear off the pew and use one of the Ikea tables that was disassembled and stored in the basement. These $5 tables are amazing. They store easily and are great if you’re having people over and need extra seating or side tables for drinks or hors d’oeuvres.

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{after}

Perfect timing for making this space useful again; it’s a great place to enjoy spring. I love sitting on my pew in the morning, drinking my coffee and watching the neighborhood wake up. Then, relaxing out here in the early evening when my husband gets home, which usually turns into a competition of who can name the make and model of an approaching car first –  I win 3% of the time.

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6 Comments Post a comment
  1. Only 10 hours??? Hats off, my friend, for getting it jammed out so fast. I have a space that looks a lot like your “before” and one month after my initial attempts, I’m still just looking at it. Haha. ~M.

    April 25, 2013
    • One month in design purgatory isn’t so bad! My space was literally in moderately organized piles for six months. As far as I’m concerned, you’ve got five months before you’re out of the grace period. But, when you have it all finished I’d love to see before and afters. 🙂

      April 25, 2013
      • Haha… I said that I “initiated attempts” only a month ago. My office/craft space has been nothing but organized piles since September! Apparently, I’ve exceeded my grace period. =( I’d LOVE to show before and afters if I ever realize what my vision is for that space! ~M.

        April 25, 2013
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    January 12, 2014

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  1. Framed Art Gallery Wall | So pretty is as pretty does.
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