Sunday, May 30, 2010

rePURPOSING Things: A New Angle on Your Art

This project was not a true rePURPOSING as the art remained art. I just wanted to show you a different way to look at things.

When the new owner of this condo was moving in she faced a blank wall and didn't know what to do with it. But something on the wall the bookcase loomed over the couch. She wanted this spot to showcase her children's nicely framed art but it was the wrong size and aspect ratio. 

Lucky for her that her children were abstract artists. BY simply rotating the paintings 90 degrees and hanging them side by side they balance out the tall bookcase and add a pop of color to her living room.

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Hall Closet De-clutter

Their hall closet is an essential center for this young family's busy life. Two small children and two working parents use it many times a day. It holds their linens, games, toiletries, and lots of fun craft supplies that keep the kids creatively entertained.

Only after we cleared off one shelf for re-organizing did I realize I forgot the "before" photo. The other shelves give you a good idea of the chaos they faced when they opened the doors.

We tackled the most critical shelf first: that cleared-off one that held first aid supplies and toiletries. After tossing the expired or the why-did-I-buy-that-I-never-used-it items, we put like with like. First aid items in one bin, body care in another. A bin with "grab and go" items for a trip to the park - wet wipes, sunblock, etc. - was placed front and center for easy access. Now there is even room to store little used or seasonal items behind the bins.

Then we sorted linens, eliminating tired towels and no longer needed crib sheets and saving three sheet sets per bed (with limited storage I recommend having only two). We tucked them into their pillow cases and stacked it all neatly. Read more about this here. 

The final bit was the two jumbled shelves of craft supplies. Now there is one shelf for the mom's crafts and one for the kids. Each child has their own bin for finished projects and materials are easier to find... and to put away!

Total time: 90 minutes which included moving items to other like-with-like storage areas in the house.

Monday, May 17, 2010

rePURPOSING Things: Refrigerator Doors

This re-sale clothing shop on 4th Street in Long Beach, California, has applied their recycling philosophy not only to their merchandise but also to their decor. This is about the most clever rePURPOSE I have ever seen.   Whatever you may think about the symbolism of using refrigerator doors on  "fitting" rooms, it made me want to try on clothes... AND have a snack!

Monday, May 10, 2010

Closet Clean-out

This client is anticipating downsizing in the next few years so I suggested that she do a little work now to avoid a ton of work later. I began by asking where she stashed things that she hadn't retrieved in the last year.
The hiding place was her guest room closet.

For the time being she felt confident that she did not have excess clothing but that middle shelf above proved she did have excess books and magazines. She didn't even remember what was stored here so we surveyed the shelves and found that her biggest space hog was out-of-date travel guides.

We began by removing and evaluating everything.

We eliminated the majority by packing boxes of books for a library sale, tearing and filing pages from magazines with articles she wanted to keep and filling over half a 96 gallon recycling bin (!) with the rest.

We integrated what was left by shelving the remaining books she wanted to read where she could see them - on an open bookcase in her office. We now had room to get her sewing machine off the floor where it might get kicked. What remained were cleaning supplies specific to that area of the house and some books for overnight guests so we put them back on the shelves. My next step would be to store the linens for the guest bed on the freed-up shelving.

Total time: one hour.

Sunday, May 2, 2010

rePURPOSING Things: Foreign Coins

Don't let the "rePURPOSING THINGS" entry title fool you. This blog is not about crafting things from any old recycled goods. It is about preserving the memories held in collected clutter by transforming it into beautiful, new items .

Here is a good example. Many travelers have a stash of foreign coins - not enough to exchange for US dollars but you can't bring yourself to throw it away because, after all, it is MONEY. And these coins are different from ours - exotic, embossed with other nation's heros and monuments, full of memories from your travels. They are tangible evidence of your travels.

My daughters saved their foreign coins in their jewelry boxes. That gave me an idea. In the spirit of sorting "like with like," I'd make them into something that belonged in a jewelry box. I drilled tiny holes in each one and strung them into fashionable charm bracelets. Their travels are now active memories because when people notice their bracelets they reminisce and trade travel stories. They have been transformed into wearable memories.