Friday, December 31, 2010

DVD Organization FINALLY Done!

Front of Armoire
Okay, so what started out early Wednesday morning as what I thought would be an easy fix to a storage solution, ended up being quite a project.  I learned two things...  One is that I'm somewhat of  perfectionist and two is that I'm not an artist....  LOL

So the story is that I looked up each and every movie, yes, nearly 300 of them, on Netflix to see what Genre they fall into.  Then I alphabetized the movies within each genre.   Cut the slips to fit behind every disc and filed them into the CD binder.  

DVDs over the cut-up movie covers

The good thing is that my kitchen table is no longer covered in DVDs as the project is completed.  I even was able to get rid of all of these stinking DVD covers... YES I DID!!!  I advertised them "free" on Craig's List and they were gone a few hours later!  Yeah... I have my table back now!  

Just look at all those bad boys spread out on the table.   Honestly I could care less if I ever see another DVD or Blu-Ray for the rest of my life!   Thank goodness for Netflix... That's all I have to say. 

So here's all of the DVD cases empty on the table and the two binders full of movies:

The bad thing is that I thought I could be creative and "fancy up" the CD binder.  After all, I did get a new Silhouette SD for Christmas.  Mistake number one was thinking I was creative and mistake number two was actually trying to make it work.  I downloaded a film strip and printed it off using my Silhouette. I then taped it on to the spine of one of the binders and realized that I needed the other part as a stencil.  The bad news was that part was all ripped to shreds.  SOOOO  I thought I would tape off the entire spine and just paint / stencil it white.  It sounds easy enough.  It was easy enough, but now I know why I never fell victim to the 1990's stenciling of the walls....   I'm horrible at it.  When I pulled that stencil off, there were paint globs everywhere.  It just looked awful.  So thinking that the binder itself is black and I have black craft paint, I'll just cover over the areas that got a little out of control.  Well, all that did was add a little grey into the mess.  So I took a hair dryer to the paint to speed up the drying process..  Is that a fire hazard?  Anyway, I came back out and took a black Sharpie to cover the grey.  The more I do the worse it looks, so I just quit.  It looks like my toddler decorated the spine of the DVD holder....   Well, the good news is that it's on the one that holds his movies, so I guess that works good....  LOL    I'll just have to buy another binder eventually and hide or um burn that one.

So one project is over.  It took way too long, but I'm glad it's done.  The whole reason I did it was to free up room in the armoire to put in VHS movies that are stored in an old entertainment center.  The entertainmet center is stored in what is now the guest room, but will become my son's big-boy room.   He needs to move out of the nursery so we can get it ready for "Baby Sister".   

Anyway, that being said, when I opened the door of the armoire and what was once filled with DVDs is now filled with VHS tapes.  So you really can't tell a difference between the before and after shots.  The good thing is that we don't even have a VCR hooked up so moving the VHS tapes around to watch a movie is not going to be happening.  The DVD's are all on the second shelf!  WOO HOO!!! 
Well, I'm out.  



Does It Really Work?

During this Christmas season, I ran across a blogger that used waxed paper to make capiz shell look-alike garland for her Christmas tree.  That got me to thinking, " what other crafts out there use wax paper?"  okay.. so I'm weird like that, but I googled it. 

I ran across an interesting TIP rather than a craft that after reading, I thought, " I have to try that".  When you open and close our shower curtain, I swear it's loud enough to wake the dead.  The tip said that if you rub your metal shower curtain bar with wax paper, then the metal curtain hooks won't squeak so loudly when you open your shower curtain.

So off I go.... sucker to yet another tip thinking that it's a good idea.   Sure enough, IT WORKS!!!  It is still loud, but not nearly as loud as it was and the roller balls seem to glide rather than squeal.  WOO HOOO

I love Google.....    I was looking for crafts and got a helpful tip instead.  So be it ~ I benefited from it anyway. 

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Saving Money by Organizing

Once again Thrifty Decor Chick came up with an awesome idea for me to steal... I, too, have a toddler and each time we want to watch a movie that's kid-friendly, then we have to pull out a million DVDs to find the G rated ones. Usually we end up watching the same ones over and over to avoid having to pull out all the movies.

We had our movies stored in stacks and stacks in an antique armoire handed down to me. I love the armoire and refuse to part with it. I thought it would make the perfect DVD storage area, but I didn't think about how many DVDs we actually have. There's just no organization to the cabinet and no easy way to find what we're looking for.

I ran across this blog post by Sarah over at Thrifty Decor Chick. She put the DVDs in a CD case to help cut down on the space. So my wheels got to thinking and I decided to steal her idea. I mean her exact idea.

I started out with an armoire full of movies. This picture was taken AFTER I removed the G rated and PG rated movies out it!

After I pulled out all the G and PG rated movies, I started out alphabetizing the DVDs. Then I put the DVD in each sleeve and piled the cases on the table in order. That altogether took me about an hour to do. This morning I got my coffee and pulled out my handy-dandy Friskars cutter that I bought four years ago to hand-make my wedding invitations. I thought I would never use the contraption after the wedding, but honestly, I keep it handy at all times. I LOVE this cutter. It's so useful. Once again, it came in handy this morning to cut the movie covers to size. I cut each one 4 1/2" by 4 1/2" to fit into the sleeve with the DVD. I guess my OCD took over because I had to make sure that as much of the original cover was saved as possible.

I love the fact that once you remove the DVD to watch it, the cover insert shows where the movie belongs. That way you know if you're missing any movies... Which, after this project, I hope will no longer be an issue.

So I went from a 28" stack 7 1/2" wide to a CD binder that takes up less storage space. Here's the difference...

Now, let's put this into dollar and cents. How much did this little organization project cost me? Let's first see what it saved me....
So I called a local storage unit place and had a quote provided for a 5' x 5' area and a 15'x20' area climate controlled. The price ranged from $51 a month to $256 a month. So we can assume an average cost of $153.50 per month for an average square footage amount of 162.5. That's $1.06 a square foot on average for storage.
Have a I put you to sleep yet??? Stay with me....
So, my stack was 28" high and 7 1/2" wide. That means it was taking up roughly 1.46 square feet. Now let's multiply that by $1.06 per month, and I'm figuring on $18.52 storage cost for a year. So for a little more than what I would pay in yearly storage cost for the movies, I have invested in the CD binder. Now hold on, there's still room for another 136 movies!!! WOOT WOOT
So let's go back to the first picture I posted.... See all of those movies still in stacks. Yeah, that's what I still have left to do... Uggg. I can't wait for this project to be over! Wish me luck. It'll be worth it in the long run. Our house is growing by two feet (we're expecting baby #2, but it shrinks with clutter and STUFF more and more each day..... I desperately need this extra space.

Decorating Quizz Outcome

Well, this sorta answers my previous post - I took a quiz at and the results were 67% contemporary and 33% cottage chic. Now what I don't agree with is the fact that contemporary design lovers aren't afraid of color, most of the time bold color. I'm scared to death of color and geometric shapes. Hmm. Interesting, isn't it?? Visually I love the look of the clean and fresh feel, but yet it scares me to death?

The description for cottage chic is me to a T:
" old and new"
"much of the furniture is wood or wood framed"
white, beige, blue, etc. I love these colors and they can even be found in the yucky pine paneled room... LOL
"fabrics are cottons, linens, canvas"

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Design Dilemma

You know, ever since I've been on my own and able to decorate my own apartment or house, I've suffered from design dilemmas. I go through these phases.. One day I absolutely love shabby chic, then the next I love the primitive feel, and now... well, now.... I'm starting into the contemporary phase. So my house is so mish mosh of everything. How in the world do you bring it all together?

This post started because my DH and I took down our Christmas decor and I was left with an empty mantle and shelves. Yeah, I know, that would be a dream to decorator, but to me, who is lost is in a decorating identity dilemma, well, quite frankly it sucks.

I set out today to find two lamps for either side of the mirror above the fireplace. We have two overhanging type desk lamps that faced the light down. It was super bright and would blind you, so we rarely turned them on. I decided that I no longer liked their crescent moon shape and brightness, so off to Home Goods I went.

I love Home Goods. It's such an awesome store. I had my toddler in tow, so I didn't spend time going up and down every aisle. I was on a mission to find two lamps and storage baskets for the built-in shelving on either side of the fireplace. They have a huge selection of baskets, but a very low quantity of each selection. Since I have a total of eight shelves that are roughly 40" wide, I knew that what they had wouldn't work. Let alone that the minimum width was 12" and our shelves are 9". Yeah, just another thing to drive me crazy.

So off to the lamp section I went. They have some of the most gorgeous lamps. I love the crystal lamps with cream drum shades, but not for my living room... Or what about the silver lamp bases... oh they are awesome, but once again, not for my living room. Come on!! I have brown leather sofa & love seat, brown cedar chest, brown and black entertainment center, genuine hardwood floors, and nasty brown (or should I say orange) outdated pine paneling. The beautiful crystal and silver bases just wouldn't work in this house.

Off to World Market where I found absolutely no lamps that I would even consider. The basket area was full of exactly what I wanted, but not in the size (width) that would fit our 9" deep shelves. Uggg.

Next stop was Kirklands Home Furnishings. I got half way through the store when I spotted these two cute little up lights. They were rectangular in shape AND on sale for $19.99 each. SCORE!!! I loved that they were unique of them. They have a canvas insert and the lamp part is a black base with brown rattan just kind of swirled around. I loved them. So I asked if they had the floor lamp version. Of course they are sold out. So I'm anxiously waiting for those to come back into stock so I can prop one on either side of our entertainment center.
Here's a picture of the floor lamp version of the two up lights I got. This picture was taken from This is the floor version that I want to put on either side of the TV.

So when I started Google searching the lamps, they popped up as contemporary organic style. Out of curiosity I had to Google images of contemporary organic design to see if anything jumped out at me.... NOTHING.... I mean yeah, it looks clean and nice, but it also looks cold and heartless. So I'm not sure about this whole style thing.

I'm still on the search for the 9" wide rattan baskets to line my shelves. I found with the open shelving, my toddler gets into everything and so it ends up a mess anyway. Besides that, it just looks throw together instead of thought through. There's no design to it at all. I need to zen it up a little.

So now I need to just find my style.... Are there any helpers out there????

My living room dilemmas to conquer:

* Wall AC unit

* Pine paneling

* Shelving / mantle decor

* Organization of the coat closet

* Matching end tables and coffee table

* New table lamps for the end table