Mud Room Mayhem #3: The Shoe-lution!

Having no closet and dreading the thought of using some sort of messy shoe rack, I had my heart set on hidden shoe storage. I had planned this out long before the mud room make-over was ever really in the works. I had seen this idea years ago on Pinterest and knew that someday my mudroom was going to have drawers in the stair risers to hide the vast array of shoes that constantly littered our mud room floor.

Tim had already removed the old stairs from the kitchen down to the mud room. He custom built the stringers and stairs to fit the space between the kitchen door frame and the door leading to the back yard that sits at the base of the stairs. We decided to opt for simple 2″ X 12″ construction for the stairs and then sanded and stained the stairs to match the oak floors. We were super pleased with how the stairs turned out despite the fact that they were made very economically without spending on high end wood.

For the drawers, Tim re-used planks from our old wooded futon frame for the sides of the drawer boxes and then old 1/4″ fir for the base and drawer fronts. The fir was removed from the walls of an old walk-in closet/storage room in the basement when we reconfigured some of the basement several years ago. We had kept the wood for future projects and it came in handy for these drawers. Although the fir has much more grain and an orangey/red hue, the dark stain took beautifully and I actually love the fact that the drawer fronts stand-out from the stairs and aren’t so “matchy”!

Best of all, the drawers provide ample storage for our shoes, and short boots will even fit when placed on their sides. So thrilled!! Using stair risers for hidden shoe storage might be my favourite Life Hack yet!! Thank you Tim!

 

Life Hacks I Love #14: Dishwasher Cutlery Basket Repair

Cutlery Basket RepairThe great news is I fixed my cutlery basket and the utensils no longer slide through the bottom and interfere with the function of the dishwasher or the pulling out of the bottom drawer! The bad news is I am not the genius I thought I was when I came up with the idea on how to repair this. I had two holes in the bottom of my basket that were driving me nuts and one night in bed it dawned on me – ZIP TIES! Although I wasn’t sure if the plastic would hold up or melt, I thought it was a brilliant idea ~ so simple, effective and inexpensive! (In fact free for me because of course, I had some on hand.) It took me about 5 minutes to repair the basket and to date (about 2 weeks now) the repairs are holding up very well.

So this morning before doing this post, I thought I would do a quick google search to see if anyone else has attempted to repair their baskets and see what ideas they came up with. I quickly found Mert’s Workshop and his great video on how to use zip ties to repair your basket. I must say I felt a little deflated because I really did come up with this idea all on my own, but I guess it just wasn’t that original after all. The silver lining is that I can share Mert’s detailed DIY video and save the time of restating the tutorial in my own words. Check-out Milt’s video to see how simple it is to have your basket repaired in no time at all! My personal preference is to stay away from red and stick with something a little less obvious like white, but the red ones give you a great visual of how they work.

If you like this idea and think others might too, share it on FB or Pin it for others to see!

Life Hacks I Love #12: Is your skirt too short?

I have a few summer dresses that I wear out and about all summer and feel perfectly comfortable in them, but feel that they are slightly short for work or serving with the 2 year olds at church. I wanted to wear this dress to work yesterday, but when I put it on, I felt it too was not quite long enough.short dress

I was a bit miffed about the situation and not sure why, but I decided to try to “lengthen” the dress. I found my plain black cotton skirt and pulled it up over my waist and wore it below the dress as you would a slip. The end result was a layered look. I was a bit unsure about this combination at first because my skirt was tapered and longer at the back, but the dress was cut to one even length. (I think tapered over tapered and straight cut over straight cut might be better.) This was not meant to be a blogging topic, but rather just a strategy for getting away with wearing a short skirt to work. I was still feeling a bit self-conscious about my little concoction, but ended up getting a few compliments on the dress throughout the course of the day. Go figure? I’m not suggesting this is the be all end all in the fashion industry, but it did seem to work at least to some extent. See what you think and consider it an option next time you’re faced with a similar situation.

plain black skirt layered dress

 

 

Life Hacks I Love #7: DIY Fire Starter

I am all about reusing and repurposing what others deem trash. I had found this idea on-line quite sometime ago and find it is a great solution to the “no kindling” dilemma we sometimes face when building a fire. We have a wood burning fire place and I often find that the fire wood box is lacking the bits of pieces of kindling that are key to building the perfect fire. The solution….paper towel roll + dryer lint = fire starter.

This is a great solution and is created from everyday waste that you have at home. Keep a stash of old paper towel rolls in your laundry room and stuff your dryer lint in the empty rolls. Throw one of these in with your logs when you are trying to build a fire. Once it catches fire, it burns longer than regular paper and thus provides the flame needed for the logs to catch on fire. The more compactly packed the lint, the better it works!

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