Swallowing a frog

The garage is one of those places in most people's homes that is dreaded in terms of cleaning out and reorganizing. But sometimes, before you can really get ahead on a 'to-do' list, you've just got to swallow that frog and clean out the garage. When I added it to The Great Nesting List, I really wasn't sure it would really happen. It would take the stars aligning, I thought, for there to be a cool enough day where both my husband and I had the time and the energy and the desire to tackle it together.

We didn't schedule or plan to do it this past Saturday. If we had, I think we would have dreaded it all week. It just ended up happening. That morning after a leisurely breakfast (peach oatmeal), we just decided to start in, thinking it would only take a couple hours. The kids played in the yard while we worked, and the breeze and cooler temp (for august in SC–high 70's is shocking!) kept us moving. That couple hours stretched into most of the day, but we just kept plugging away, I taking the kids inside for lunch and naptime, and my husband wanting to see it through. We took piles of stuff to the dump which had been laying around since we bought the house, as well as donated a couple things at goodwill. I've never been so glad my husband drives a pickup as when we loaded it up with all those extra broken window screens and wood and such before we left for the dump. Now the garage is one of the most organized parts of the house! It feels so much better coming in and out of it, unloading kids and groceries and such, to have plenty of clear space around the minivan and no piles of leaves and such in the corners for snakes to {theoretically} hide in. Also, when I need to borrow a power tool or something from my husbands toolbox, I can find it!

I've made progress in several other areas though can't quite cross them off the list yet: I'm almost done with one curtain panel's crocheted border, and nearly done with painting the craft studio cabinets. I have about 80% of the kid's art nicely archived. I found some great storage boxes for the most special pieces, and rather than going through the pain of uploaded photos of all the other stuff into the artkive app, as organized as it sounds, I realized the better solution was to use painter's tape to hang all those other pieces all over the large stairwell halls that lead down into the basement, which are a dull, sad brownish color. Nothing like kid's art wallpapering them to pep them up! To the left is a photo of the spot I clip up the art when they bring it home, in the hallway leading out of the garage. I took the photo before I pulled all last year's art down, so now it's all empty and ready to display all this years creations. See the blind over the window at the end of the hall? That's the one I plan to beautify as I mentioned under “miscellaneous” below.

Anyway, as I look over all the rest of the list, I feel as though the worst is well over–the garage is tidy! Frog swallowed.


The Craft Studio:

  1. Have stock base cabinetry installed in our craft studio, and a long counter placed.
  2. Put the shelves I was previously using in craft studio against the wall on the counter, bolt them to wall for kids safety, and then add some trim around the tops to make them look built in. Oh, and also: caulk around things like crazy to finish the built in look.
  3. Add floating shelf above the sink for paintbrushes to live and dry after washing.
  4. Improve on ribbon storage and thread display storage on wall.
  5. Paint cabinets White Dove.
  6. Add labeled bin pulls to all new drawers and cabs.
  7. Organize all arts and craft supplies into cabs and shelves.
  8. Install kids locks on cabinets.
  9. Add “Create” logo on the wall.
  10. Consider how best to use corner spaces and walls for kid use.

The Mudroom:

  1. Change out ugly knobs on cabs for happy yellow ones.
  2. Improve the Mudroom sink: either paint the base or make a skirt for it. (decided not to change it!)
  3. Set up mudroom diaper changing station.
  4. Hang fun wall art, in yellows and greys. This includes kid's handprint art.

Kid's Bathroom:

  1. Paint walls (going with SW “exciting orange”)
  2. Change out lighting over sinks
  3. Install mirrors
  4. Create/obtain wall art
  5. Change out cabinet knobs.

Upstairs Halls:

  1. Paint walls (considering yellow and white horizontal strips if I'm brave!)
  2. Hang turquise frames along walls–consider Alphabet Art of some kind in them?
  3. Hang some inspiring word art in the Laundry Room (Make some myself)

Playroom (soon to be turned into my 2-year-old Son's Room, then in a couple years the Schoolroom):

  1. Paint walls (SW Rainwashed)
  2. Improve AC/heating plan.
  3. Put locks on attic doors (don't want a toddler sneaking into the attic!)
  4. Hang blackout Roman Blinds.
  5. Decide on and hang decorative window panels
  6. Weed out old/broken/annoying toys to donate/discard, and move my Daughter's toys to her room, infant toys to nursery.
  7. Organize toys and books remaining in Son's Room. This might entail new storage, but hopefully not.
  8. Set up the Big Boy Bed.
  9. Put up some Wall Art
  10. Install display bookshelves along one wall for Big Boy's books.
  11. Recover two floor pillows to match the curtain panels.

The Great Room:

  1. Change out sconces on either side of front door.
  2. Change out sconce on on stairwell.
  3. Hang drapes.
  4. New shades for lamps.
  5. Touch up wall paint.

The Keeping Room:

  1. Hang rods.
  2. Make drapes (using target panels and I plan to crochet a fun coral frindge/pom-pom ish border)
  3. Hang egg prints in the Keeping Room.
  4. Create and hang a Nest painting in Keeping Room. (my husband is getting me one for Christmas!!)
  5. Make a sign for over the door to kitchen: “there will be a bright tomorrow, all will be well.”


  1. Set up extra twin bed in nursery (bought two matching ones since the boys will share later!)
  2. Make two matching boy's quilts. Nautical theme. I'm thinking nautical flags?
  3. Research and obtain baby monitor with two cameras that I can view on my phone.
  4. Hang wall art, including oars, life preservers, Large letters for Baby's name. (also need to get new letters for my other kids names on their walls!)

Master Bedroom:

  1. Hang items on walls
  2. Organize items on dresser/declutter
  3. Hang Roman Blinds in Master Bath

Miscellaneous House Organization/Projects:

  1. Reorganize linens and sheets in the Laundry Room
  2. Junk Drawer in the kitchen!!
  3. Organize junky corner cabinet in Kitchen.
  4. Reorganize and secure all medications in house.
  5. Move storage ottoman to basement room.
  6. Measure basement room that Darlene is helping me figure out how to decorate: prepare her a file to send.
  7. Major Freezer Cooking: stock up on a pile of healthy dinners and such for the family when I'm postpartum!!
  8. Hang existing art in Guest Room.
  9. Hang photos in Garage/mudroom hall.
  10. Take down last year's old kid's art, Artkive it (its an app) and file the favorites for safekeeping.
  11. Hang the last items in the Library–decide which diplomas to frame hang.
  12. Finish alterations and sewing pile
  13. Fix old desk chair that's in the garage.
  14. Organize and clean out garage. {Not even sure where to start here!}
  15. Repair a few toys and the dollhouse.
  16. Cover/beautify windowblind over the door to garage.
  17. Make a sign with psalm 121 on it to hang somewhere. I love that psalm.
  18. Do all the Christmas Shopping ahead of time that I can!!
  19. Kid Safety Netting installed along deck rails (This got done thanks to my husband!)
  20. Install a chilproof gate/fence around the workout area in basement to keep kids from getting to weights and stuff.
  21. Touch up paint in downstairs bathroom.
  22. Plan a birthday party for my soon-to-be 5-year-old
  23. Get halloween costumes figured out
  24. Decorate house for fall and buy lighted garlands for Christmas if they go on sale at Hobby Lobby


{ 1 comment… add one }

  • May August 30, 2013, 8:52 PM

    I have always loved the “clothesline” style art hanging, but you take it one step higher for me. The idea of clearing it at the start of a new school year and adding to it as the year progresses is so brilliant. How fun it must be to see the growth at year’s end.


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