26 October 2011

Strike ONE for the 'Homestead Avenger'!

Yes, that's right.  I've given myself a superhero name.  I was so freaked out by the task list I posted yesterday (it sent me into a mini emotional meltdown) that I decided the only way to come out the other side of this list as a winner was to morph into superhero mode.  And good superheroes, as we all know, need good names.  I'm not 100% on the 'Homestead Avenger' (it's no Wolverine or Daredevil or Green Arrow) but it's enough to get me jazzed about some of these projects ... jazzed enough to actually get them done!

The length of yesterday's list galvanized me into action, and I've been working steadily the last couple of nights on straightening up the hallway / storage area in the basement.  It might seem like an unusual place to begin, but I'm of the opinion that life is a trickle-down effect: if I get our storage space whipped into shape, it means I can relocate a lot of items currently taking up much needed real estate on the main level and creating loads of visual (and actual!) chaos.  Without a clean slate in storage, adding more stuff would just be piling junk on junk, and I think we all know how that turns out (have I hinted before at the state of the "wreck" room? this was our experiment in piling-up, and it
hasn't worked out for us).

So even though it landed thirteenth on the list it's number one on my priority list, and I've been chipping away at it since Monday night.  Results are in, and we are 100% satisfied with the work!!  Here's what it looked like before:

Full Disclosure: I had already started cleaning before I remembered to take the
"before" photo, so this is actually an  improvement!

And here's what it looks like now:

ahhhhhhhhh ......

Let's see that again.  Then:

"Storagium Horribilius"

And now:

"Shelvus Beautificus"

Amazing, right?!  We cut our storage items by nearly three-quarters in the initial editing phase: since we now tend to cook from fresh, we delivered a green bin full of pantry items to a local food bank, as well as stocking up the Goodwill in town with books, empty picture frames, casserole dishes, assorted glass and barware and some decorative candle holders.  We also found around 400 plastic cups still in their packaging that will come in most handily at our upcoming Hallowe'en party this Friday.  Most of it, however, was just plain garbage, stuff I can't even imagine why at one point we felt was important enough to keep.  A plastic lid from a Lego building block box?  A broken microwave?  Nine thousand swizzle sticks?  It's all a mystery.

Now the family momentos and photo albums, of which I am currently keeper, are neatly lined up on the shelf, dust-free and protected from any accidental water damage; previously they were on the lowest shelf nearest the floor which, if there's ever a sewer back-up or leak in the house, would be the first to get wet.  Now they're safe and sound, as they should be.

The pantry items we did keep are lined up in ranks like good little canned and boxed soldiers, with all their labels facing outward and in the same direction.  I love it when things are orderly!  Magazines that were crowding our bookshelves upstairs have migrated downstairs (and antique books collecting dust in the basement are now on proud display in the office ~ a very fair swap), and look both organized and attractive.  And best of all, there's still room to add more!  Banner day all around.

A note to the paint color: I'm sure some of you must think I'm crazy, to have such a loud, arguably garish colour on my shelves, and you might be right.  It is bright: like,
super-bright.  The hue is Tropic Tide by Dulux, and to me it looks almost exactly like Tiffany's box blue.

The quintissential blues ..

The thing is, it does make me feel a bit like I'm in the tropics; it's so vibrant and fun and in-your-face that it's hard not to like and feel better about having just walked past it.  It makes the trip to the laundry room a little bit nicer, so that's what counts I think.  It's not for everyone, but it's definitely for me.

Also, we finally got all the light fixtures mounted and functional.

Two of three (I just couldn't get the other one in the shot!)

We purchased these adorable little hallway lights from the Home Depot (I think) to replace some pretty fugly round, marine-type flourescent fixtures, and I couldn't be happier.  We had some challenges with installation, of course.  My math skills being what they are (which is, sad and pathetic) I initially mismeasured the height from the box to the ceiling, which meant that when I brought these babies home and we tried to install them, they wouldn't fit.  Classic me.  I was reluctant to return them and continue the search since it had taken me ages to find anything I was pleased with, so we brainstormed for a full five minutes before it finally hit me: hang them upside down!!

So that's what we did, folks.  Those bad boys are completely reversed, and I think they look super cute ~ I couldn't be happier with the simple, clean-lined, borderline-hotel-chic look they give the hallway.  Score another one for ingenuity on the fly!

Yup, upside-down and rightside-awesome

And for those of you keeping track, here's where we at with the hallway / storage area to-do list:
  • edit ruthlessly
  • paint shelves
  • reorganize
  • complete light fixture installation
  • paint door trim
  • hang artwork
Not a bad start, if I do say so myself!  Hope your week is going as well as mine is :)