Galvanized Tub Storage Bench with Furry Upholstered Lid {Lowe’s Creator Idea}

Galvanized Tub Storage Bench for Kids | Pretty Handy Girl

Galvanized Tub Storage Bench for Kids | Pretty Handy Girl

Every month Lowe’s challenges me to create another unique project to share with you. This month’s challenge was creative storage ideas. Have kids? This is a unique storage solution using a galvanized tub and a furry upholstered lid. It’s the perfect place to store and corral all that kid clutter in your child’s bedroom. The storage tub doubles as a bench and a step stool. Don’t be deterred if you don’t have children, the storage bench could be used for magazine storage and much more!

Grab these materials and tools and follow along with me (and my 13 year old assistant.)

Creating the Galvanized Storage Bench and Lid

Materials for the Galvanized Storage Tub and Lid:

Galvanized Tub Storage Bench for Kids | Pretty Handy Girl

 

Instructions:

Turn the galvanized tub upside down on the plywood. Use the sharpie to mark approximately 1/2 – 1″ out from the edge of the tub. [Read more...]

Mudroom Tour – 2013

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We made some serious progress this past week. Not only did we make a big dent in the “to do” list in the kitchen, but we also finished painting and installing the trim in the mudroom. It’s really nice walking past this little paper flower spring wreath and into a finished room!

Our mudroom is looking so nice that I decided to invite you over for a little tour. [Read more...]

Bonus Room Plans to Convert to an Arts and Craft Room

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Hello, this is Pretty Handy Girl reporting from the sick bay this week. If you follow me on Instagram, you’ve probably seen my trip(s) to the pharmacy and my hopes for those little pink babies: [Read more...]

Laundry Room Reveal using Flow Wall

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TGIF! Our spring break is officially here. Sadly I’m not going to Cancun to party it up like a bunch of MTV teenagers (As if!). But, I am hanging with two guys! My two little guys that is. I’m looking forward to crafting a little bit with them and maybe catch up on some sewing. My boys both like to sew. They also like to build with hammers. That’s my parenting mission at work. I vow to teach them to do everything that I know how to do no matter which gender that talent is associated with.

But, enough about me, what you are really here to see is the laundry room reveal! Before I give you the whole 5′ x 8′ tour, I want to show you how the Flow Wall cabinets and shelving are installed. Because you aren’t going to believe how easy it was. [Read more...]

Demolition Day

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This past weekend I was able to make some serious progress on our laundry room. Yeehaw! Sometimes in order to make a room pretty, you have to make it uglier first. That was certainly the case with this project. If  you are just joining me, a few weeks ago the nice folks at Flow Wall sent me a custom wall system to install in the laundry room. The FlowWall system of storage will look something like this: [Read more...]

10 Top Secret Spots for Hidden Storage

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photo credit: Sean Michael Ragan

It’s time to get your James Bond vibe on. I’m a sucker for hidden storage and using wasted spaces. That’s what inspired me to create this Parentables post on 10 top secret places to hide your valuables, clothes, blankets, coats, CDs, flash drives, jewelry and more!

Watch out, it will turn you into a top secret agent by the end of the slideshow.


 

Guest Post – Building Under the Sink Storage by Pink Toes and Power Tools

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I am very excited to welcome Kristen from Pink Toes and Power Tools today! She’s gonna kill me for this, but this is Kristen:

I am not trying to embarrass her, I just want you to see what a fun gal she is! And not only is she fun, she’s got some serious DIY talent! You should see her daughter’s bed that she made!

Please give Kristen a warm welcome today!

Hello Pretty Handy Girl readers! I am Kristen from Pink Toes and Power Tools and I am honored to be guest posting today here at PHG!

At Pink Toes and Power Tools, you will get DIY instruction and inspiration in home remodeling and decorating, with an emphasis on woodworking. The projects on my blog are all done by me. I’m 5’2″ tall and 115 pounds. In short (pun intended), if I can do it then you can too!”

I was a seasoned DIYer in sewing and interior painting prior to beginning my blog, but I was a complete newbie in woodworking. Learn along with me as I tackle my first project, a Storage Closet Organizer, which gave me the confidence to build some Leaning Wall Shelves, which eventually led to an entirely new entrance to my home (which is also the laundry room):

With the new year rolling over just recently, I made a resolution to get some organization back into some hidden areas of our home. So today I am going to show you how you can build some under the sink storage, because I was tired of opening the door and looking at this:

I wish I could tell you that I “staged” it to look this bad, but unfortunately that isn’t the case. Some of you may still think that I did and for that I thank you — that means somebody out there believes I’m just not this messy. My husband sure wishes that were so! You can now understand that when I saw this on Pinterest I got pretty excited.

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source: Pregnant…with power tools

Actually I got a LOT excited…dollar store bins! Scrap wood! Cheap and easy DIY—what’s not to love??

So I went off and I built some stuff and now it looks like this:

I love it so much now!

First thing you need to do is go get yourself some bins. This project cost me $4 because all I had to buy were the bins and I got 2 for $1 at Dollar Tree. You also need to know that bins vary in quality and usability for this project. Look for rigid bins with side edges that are uniform with no obstructions like these:

Mine looked decent in the 2 pack

…but revealed their true colors when I separated them.

Oh well, no worries. I decided to make these work because they were the only options at Dollar Tree that were the right size (these are about 6.25×10) . I modified my runners from the inspiration photo by using two for each side. You would want to do that if your bins are wonky like mine, or you want the bin to not tilt forward as you pull it toward you to open it.

I’ll give you the instructions using my dimensions — modify yours to work with your bins and cabinet space or to use up the scraps that you have available.

For the plastic bin tower you need:

3/4″ plywood–2 @ 9.5 x 19.75 (sides)

1/2″ plywood–2 @ 8 9/16 x 9.5 (top and bottom–I pieces together mine with multiple scraps for each)

1/2″ mdf/ply–16 @ 2 x 9.5 (runners)

1/4″ ply–8 9/16 x 20 11/16

8 bins 6.25 x 10

First you attach the runners. I did this one by one using a bin to space them and make sure it didn’t bind at any point. Turns out as I measure them now, they are all almost exactly 1/4″ wide. Glue and nail with 1″ 18 gauge nails or countersink some screws.

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Here I am figuring out how wide to cut the top and bottom. I think these would slide better if I had put them a little closer together, but I didn’t want to risk them binding. Glue and nail/screw on your top and bottom piece. I just put one nail on each corner of the top and bottom at this point (makes it easier to square it up). Put it on its face, square it up, nail on the back, and add some more nails or screws to the top and bottom.

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Done!

The drawers do not slide perfectly–if you want drawers that do, you have got to get rigid bins with a decent lip on the side like I said before. For $4, I am more than thrilled with these.

The other components for this project are super easy but you’ve got to be careful. This whole unit won’t fit in the cabinet wall to wall if it is all attached together. If you are strategic you can get them in there and remove them later.

Add a scrap wood bin with felt on the bottom for easy gliding so you can reach into the back recesses and you are good to go!

It looks like I threw out a lot of stuff, but honestly what I got rid of would have fit in half of one of the plastic drawers. Ok, maybe three-quarters of one if you count half empty boxes and miscellaneous plastic bags.

What do you think of it? Have you got a place for one of these in your home?

Thanks again for having me here Brittany!

{clapping hands}

Thanks for that wonderful tutorial Kristen! If you would like more DIY tutorials and fun, head over to Pink Toes and Power Tools! And tell her I sent you!

Would you like to be a guest on Pretty Handy Girl? Read my open invitation here.

Organizing 101 Giveaway and Creating Calm Amongst Chaos

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As a mother of two boys, my life is CHAOTIC! No matter how hard I try to contain the chaos that surrounds those two, I have come to terms with the fact that there are some things in life that cannot be controlled.

A week ago Tuesday night, while my dear husband was away on business, I had some super chaos thrown my way.

My boys were 5 ft. from me as I was putting away the dishes. They were showing off their “untrained” ninja moves to each other. My youngest proceeded to show his older brother an amazing kick that had so much momentum it swept him off his own two feet and sent him falling backwards. As anyone would do, he put his arm behind him to catch his fall. The results were 5 hours in the ER, a big fat co-pay, and this:

So, while I cannot control my boys’ crazy antics, what I can control is the chaos that exists in my home in closets, in drawers, and even under the kitchen sink!

I took the organizing 101 workshop back in the spring, and it was a great exercise in motivation and follow through for me. Over the course of 7 weeks, I learned  how to tackle small projects first. I learned what tools to use while organizing, what my road blocks are and many more useful tips.

Here is just a sampling of the organizational projects I’ve completed since taking the workshop:

Linen Closet

 

Under the Kitchen Sink

Bathroom vanity

and our Family Command Center

Having a more organized home has allowed me to have a more organized life. Which in turn gives me more patience and time to deal with little surprises, like this:

What about you? Do you want less CHAOS in your home and life? Well, meet your teachers:

Aby & Jay are the geniuses behind simplify1o1.com. Their goal statement says it all:

Our goal is to teach you skills and techniques to get more organized, as well as to provide you with the products and tools that will make getting the job done more fun and efficient. We’ll help you become a more productive, more energized and happier version of yourself. You’ll have more time and more energy to do the things you love (plus, you’ll be able to find everything you use to do those things you love!)

They help people take control of their homes which transfers to better control of their lives. By organizing your home, you can save countless hours a year. By simplifying and organizing your home, you will also save money. Best of all, having a neat and organized home will help you reduce CHAOS!

Aby & Jay are so passionate about spreading their knowledge of organizing and simplifying that they are offering one free spot in the Organizing101 workshop – a $75 dollar value, starting this upcoming week.

What better way to start the school year? Get control, get organized, and simplify your life. Banish the chaos that you CAN control!

Rules for entering the giveaway (up to four chances to win):

A winner will be chosen at random on Sunday, Sept. 25th at midnight EST.

Bonus: simplify 101 is offering the readers of Pretty Handy Girl 15% off enrollment of any of their current workshops. In Organizing 101, you’ll learn a simple approach for de-cluttering your home. Plus, you’ll find out how to organize and store all the things you keep, so they’re easy to use (and put away when you’re finished!) Simplify Your Life with Habits + Routines will take the mystery out of creating new habits and routines, so you can lead the life you want to live. When you have good habits and simple routines in place, your day flows smoothly, because you don’t have to constantly remind yourself to get things done. Get Organized for the Holidays is the ultimate holiday planning workshop. Get simple tips and ideas so you stay energized and joyful all season long!  To take advantage of this offer, enter SAVE15PHG during checkout. This offer is good from 9/21/11 through 9/29/11 and can’t be combined with any other offer. (Get Organized for the Holidays is on early bird discount – 20% off – through Sep. 22!)

If you’d like more tips on organizing your home or office top to bottom, sign up for Simplify 101’s organizing newsletter right here ! You can also follow the blog and get even more daily tips.

Good luck!

Disclaimer: This is a sponsored giveaway post paid for by simplify101. However, in all honesty, I can’t say enough good things about simplify101. I will end by telling you that I thoroughly enjoyed the workshops I have taken so far (Organizing 101 and Organizing with your Kids).

My 7 year old son and I worked together to take his room from this:

to this:

And the best part was that he enjoyed doing it and asked every night if we could work together on organizing his room. We worked in 15 minute segments over several days. You would not believe the things that were stuffed underneath his bed! I can’t even tell you because it was that bad. But, on the bright side, my oldest is learning to live in a less chaotic room. ;-)

 

Introducing Simplify 101 and a Giveaway

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If you’ve been reading this blog for a while, you know how I feel about clutter. If you don’t, let me take you back to my February series of Falling in Love with Your Home. One of the ways I helped you fall in love with your home was to tame the clutter.

Cleaning Out My Closet

If I see clutter, it makes my mind race and it is hard for me to concentrate. When everything is put away and out of sight, I am more relaxed and am more efficient and focused. Being a work-at-home mom of two boys poses an especially hard challenge of maintaining a clutter-free home.

With this in mind, I’m really excited to be partnering with simplify 101 to help you (and me) control clutter.

simplify 101 is run by this fabulous husband and wife team:

They offer online workshops, materials and support for organizing your home, your family and your life! Best of all, you don’t have to hire an expensive personal organizer or be embarrassed to invite the organizer into your home. simplify 101 is just for you in your home on your own schedule. You can get a head start by downloading their free mini guide to creating a command central binder. Simply click on the sponsor link up in my right hand sidebar or on the image below:

I just downloaded this guide, and it is one quick and easy guide to get a handle on all those floating papers that hang out and multiply on our countertops.

Best of all, Aby doesn’t recommend buying a bunch of bins, binders or other organizational storage solutions. She recommends shopping from your home first and foremost. I love that!

Okay, so here is some more good news, when you download the FREE mini guide you get an email with a 50% off code to download “help! I don’t know where to begin! mini guide.”

I have to tell you, the term mini guide is misleading! That sucker was 23 pages of helpful ideas and a 7 day action plan to get a jump on controlling clutter in your home. The guide is normally $7.99, so the discounted price is $3.99. For under $4  you can download two guides to help you get started on your decluttering merry way. What are you waiting for?!

The “help! I don’t know where to begin” guide gave me the kick in the pants to clear off my desk in a few minutes last night and then spend 15 minutes decluttering my kitchen. And I can’t wait to use some of her suggestions and tips to clear out our attic this week. My favorite quote from the guide is:

When you declutter and remove from your home the things you no longer use, need or love—your home immediately looks better!

And it feels better, too. You feel lighter, more empowered, and more in control.

On to the good stuff! A Giveaway!

Aby & Jay are offering one of my readers a free workshop that launches April 28th:

Here is what Aby & Jay have to say about the workshop:

Do you find yourself fighting the same clutter hotspots throughout your home again and again? In simplify 101′s online workshop Quick + Simple Clutter Control, you’ll learn professional organizer Aby Garvey’s clutter control secrets. Using simple, straightforward (and fun!) methods, you’ll learn how to eliminate your clutter hot-spots and begin creating habits that will allow you to keep clutter at bay. In this three-week, two-lesson workshop you will take action, clear clutter, and stay motivated with the encouragement and support of Aby and the simplify 101 online community. Class begins April 28th.

I asked Jay about the time frames for taking the workshops. He told me that once you are given access,  you may download the material at your convenience and keep them in your files forever. There is a start and end date for the workshops, which basically means you have access to the forums, gallery and questions with Aby within that time frame.

Rules for entering the giveaway (up to four chances to win):

  1. Leave a comment on this post telling me you want to win the workshop.
  2. Head over to simplify101.com to check out their shop. Come back and leave a comment letting me know which product you think you’d find the most helpful.
  3. Mention this giveaway on Facebook or Twitter,  then leave a comment letting me know you did.
  4. Sign up to receive the free Mini Guide for creating a command central binder, then leave a comment letting me know you did. (Come on…this is a gimmee! You knew you were going to download the Free Guide anyway, right?!)

A winner will be chosen at random on Sunday, April 17th at midnight EST.

Bonus: simplify 101 is offering my readers 15% off enrollment now through Tuesday, April 19, 2011. To take advantage of this offer, simply enter coupon code PHG15 during checkout. This coupon may not be combined with any other offer.

The cost of the Quick + Simple Clutter workshop with the PHG discount is: $25.50. Don’t you think that is worth more than the two extra storage containers you were thinking about buying. Plus, how fun would it be to share tips, accomplishments, and motivate with other Pretty Handy Girl readers!  You will have access to the forum where Aby and other “classmates” will leave motivational notes, questions and more. I’m thinking about signing up myself to join the fun.

 

 

P.s. Aby has some great information in the articles section of their site (over 40 articles for you to read). It is a free library full of tips and tutorials for organizing your life. I just read: 11 Tips to Conquer Your Child’s Clutter – good stuff y’all. I’m off to create a game plan for Pretty Handsome Son #1′s room. I think a toy bomb went off in there.

Disclaimer: simplify101 is a paid sponsor of PrettyHandyGirl.com. Despite that fact, my opinion of their company, guides and workshops is truly my own. I have not taken any of the workshops (yet), but am impressed with the mini guides that I downloaded and the free articles on their site. In fact, I approached them about partnering with Pretty Handy Girl. That is how much I believe in their business.

Love Your Home, Not The Stuff! Taming the Clutter

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Okay, we’ve all seen an episode of Hoarders by now. The guy that hasn’t seen the carpet in his home in 5 years or the woman who saves everything! We see those extreme examples of clutter and can’t imagine how they can live like that.

But, the question is, do you see clutter in your own home? I can tell you that I have clutter. Not, OMG call Hoarders type clutter, but small piles of it. A few extra knick knacks, some papers that need to be filed or those horrid happy meal toys! They start out in corners, bookshelves, flat surfaces. Sometimes they stay like that, they are there but not “bite you on the nose” noticeable most of the time. And sometimes they multiply and become little families of clutter. Even the smallest bits of clutter are noticed by your eyes, and your brain processes it. This is what I call visual clutter.

In college, I used to have to clean my entire room before I could start on my illustration assignments. I do the same thing in our garage (which is cluttered now) before I can start on a new project.

I NEED the visual calmness of a clean room so I could be more creative and more productive.

This week, I want you to pick one room. Preferably the room you spend the most time in. Is it your kitchen or your home office? Whatever it is, this is the room that will make you happy when you are done. It is the room that will allow you to “Fall in Love with Your Home.”

Materials:
Four Boxes (or laundry bins)
Large Trash Bag
Different Colored Sheets of Paper
Thick Marker
Cleaning rags
Windex or general cleaners

Begin by gathering your four boxes.Label each one with these labels: KEEP, DONATE or SELL, RECYCLE, TRASH. I like to use a different color for each label so I don’t accidentally toss something in the wrong bin.

  • KEEP = Things that don’t belong in that rom or to be stored away somewhere else
  • DONATE or SELL = Goodwill, Thrift store or FreeCycle.org donation. Or sell via yardsale, Craig’s List, eBay or other sales venue.
  • RECYCLE = paper, glass, cans, and other curbside recycling. Also, dry-cleaner hangers, plastic bags, or other items that can be re-used. I.e. Old cloths or linens that can be cut up for cleaning rags.
  • TRASH = Anything worthless in value. I like to line the trash bin with a big plastic bag to make it easier to empty.

Start in one area of the room (I like to start furthest from the door or work clockwise from the door.) This will be the first zone you are going to work in. Begin by taking any and all the items from that zone (unless the item has a place to be stored in that room. In that case, put it away.)

Once the zone is clear, clean off all the surfaces.

Now either put the items away that are staying (preferably out of sight) or place it in one of the four bins.

If you find yourself stuck ask yourself these questions:

  1. Have I used or worn it in the last 6 mos? 1 year?
  2. “Will this item help me create the home I want” – Peter Walsh
  3. Is this item irreplaceable?

If the answer to any of those questions is “No”, then say adieu to it now!

If you find yourself stuck. Try the 1 year box idea. Create another box and put anything you are undecided about inside. Seal it up and write a date 1 year from today on it. Next year when you find that box in storage, get rid of it. Don’t even open it. If you didn’t miss the items inside then you don’t need them. Just donate it.

Continue until you have cleared your zone.

Assess the “KEEP” items and decide which ones can go back in that zone. Be sure to store them out of sight. Don’t allow them to become visual clutter in your room.

I’m going to stop here, because I have some important pieces of furniture for storing items at my reach, but not in my visual line of sight.

First is my Craig’s List pie safe:

This $65 special is not very big.
Approximately 36″ wide by 60″ tall.
But, it stores everything but the kitchen sink!

Top Shelf:

  • school papers
  • school work
  • kids artwork
  • Workbooks
  • Coloring Books
  • Favorite Magazines
  • Coupon Binder Sleeves

Next shelf:

  • charging station (tutorial to come)
  • Cell phones
  • Cameras
  • Battery chargers
  • Walkie Talkies
  • Recipe Box

Drawers:

  • Left: Pretty Handsome Guy’s mail
  • Rigth: Pretty Handy Girl’s mail

Bottom shelf:

  • Cookbooks

Renee’s credenza (another Craig’s List find):

Top drawers:

  • Left drawer: Mail for him
  • Right drawer: Mail for her
  • Lined baskets store all of their daughter’s art supplies! Brilliant and beautiful.

Okay, back to de-cluttering. When you have finished going through the whole room go ahead and start removing the bins from the room. Empty the trash, dump the recycling in the curbside recycling and sort out any other items that aren’t curbside. Put them in your car so you can get rid of them while you are running errands (drycleaner, grocery store, etc.)

Now, sort through the Donate/Sell box. Grab a notepad to jot down anything you will be donating. Then put that pile in a bag and put it in your car as well. Be sure to run by Goodwill or the thrift store one day this week. Put the items you intend to sell in a dedicated spot in storage. Make a commitment to yourself to sell them within 3-6 mos. and donate them if you haven’t after that time frame. (Pretty Handsome Guy might be calling me out on this one.)

Finally, sort through the KEEP box, bring the box with you around the house, and stop in each room. Put away all the items that belong in that room. If you have to, go ahead and leave the items for that room somewhere to be put away later. Remember today you are only tackling the one room!

My closet, de-cluttered in less than 30 minutes.
Color coordinated clothes help you pick outfits faster.
And makes you aware of what colors you have enough of in your wardrobe.

Go back to the room you just de-cluttered. Sit there and breathe in. Allow yourself to enjoy the calmness of a clean and clutter-free space. Let yourself fall in love with this space. Anytime you find yourself disgusted with your home, go back to this space and rekindle that flame.

Now get crackin’ and eliminate that visual clutter. Need some help controlling clutter? Let Simplify 101 give you a jumpstart with a FREE mini guide, click on the button below to get started.