Posts Tagged ‘home decorating’

“Redoing” a Kitchen Without Spending Anything

Sunday, May 31st, 2009

Sorry for the lack of posting the past couple of weeks–being in France visiting with family made it tricky to fit everything in.   However, we are now home and I am back to blogging!

Spending almost a month with my in-laws and away from home allowed me to reflect a bit on how we manage our household.  When I see a system or product or idea that works for someone else, I am always trying to figure out if it can work for us as well.

In this case, it was a kitchen makeover.  Now, our kitchen was cluttered, but not over the top.  But the junk drawer started to have problems closing and I often felt like I was searching for things in the middle of a meal.

In contrast, my mother-in-law has the most organized kitchen I have ever seen, but without being OCD about it.  Everything has its place, which makes for cleaner countertops and a more relaxed state of being.

So, after we got home and unpacked the suitcases, my husband and I spent our Saturday putting our kitchen in order.  It took us the better part of the morning, but it was a free makeover!  Here’s what we did:

  • Putting like with like. We had drinking glasses in 4 different cabinets.  Instead, we rearranged the organization so we are down to 2 cabinets on 2 different shelves.  And those college-years shot glasses were stored away instead of cluttering up the wine glasses. We also washed a bunch of glasses because being in cabinets and not being used can make them icky.
  • Tossing stuff previously we couldn’t part with. Like the old pasta pot from my husband’s first apartment with a broken handle and a leak when the water went past the handle level.  And the old Brita filter water pot that hadn’t been used in years.  Tupperware lids that had no mates.  All of these things take space.  Of course, whatever we could throw in the recycling bin, we did.
  • Re-purposing kitchen items.Our fridge/freezer with ice maker also came with a plastic dish for holding extra ice cubes.  Instead of continuing as a empty space taker in the cabinet, it is now holding rubber gloves and dishwashing soap under the sink.  Ditto for Tupperware bottoms with missing lids; they are now holding sippy cups and lids.
  • Ditching the dish rack. This was harder for me than my husband.  But in the end, we tossed it.  Instead, we place hand-washed dishes on a large dish towel, which makes us put them away faster.  And when we are finished, the dish towel either hangs out to dry or goes in the washer.  No more grody water lingering at the bottom of the dish rack.  And a whole lot more counter space!

When I look at our kitchen now, it is almost the kitchen of someone who just moved in.  I quite like the “new” feel–without spending anything but a few hours doing it!

Copyright 2008-2009 Kristin Delfau, author of Turbo-Mom's Guide to Saving Money Without Wasting Time a womens' personal finance book, and Aji Publishing.

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Innovative decorating without spending money

Monday, October 27th, 2008

In these rough economic times, much of our extraneous spending goes out the window as we concentrate on getting food on the table, keeping the heat on, and the roof paid for.  Usually home decorating (or re-decorating!) is one of the first things to go.

 But what if you still want to revamp a room or two but you don’t have the budget?  Try the following resource: Use What You Have Decorating by Lauri Ward (her website is www.redecorate.com).  It is an excellent way to learn how to go around your house and reuse furniture from different rooms to make an entirely different look–without spending any extra cash!  For me, it gave me a different way to look at furniture–and saved us from buying items we didn’t ultimately need.

For those of you who have an eye for style and are looking for a new line of work, you can also learn how to become a “Use What You Have” design consultant.  Part of the course also teaches you “staging”, which is a technique used by real estate agents to make a home more appealing and hopefully a quicker sell.

Have a great week and happy shopping around your house!

Copyright 2008-2009 Kristin Delfau, author of Turbo-Mom's Guide to Saving Money Without Wasting Time a womens' personal finance book, and Aji Publishing.

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