Fixer Upper Friday: 30 DIY Weekend Projects

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There are tons of projects that you can tackle in your own fixer upper this weekend. Now’s the time, especially if you’re having guests over this holiday season. I like to keep things simple. Cleaning forgotten spots around the house, like baseboards or light fixtures, is a good start. De-cluttering common areas isn’t time consuming and can breathe new life and function into your home. Rearranging furniture, replacing window treatments, or changing linens can give your space a fresh new look. Why not take the time this weekend to fall in love with your home all over again? Check out this post from Better Homes & Gardens for some more ideas.


Turn a Closet into a Home Office

Nothing says, ‘all grown up’ quite like the need for a home office does. Monthly budgeting, family scheduling, meal planning, and more all take place in this much-needed command center. If you’re lucky enough to have an entire room dedicated for this purpose, you may have found that clutter has begun to overtake the space. It’s like a purse. The bigger the purse, the more unnecessary crap is crammed into it.

So in the spirit of downsizing and de-cluttering, I decided to convert a closet into a well-organized home office.

Closet Before.jpg

Closet After.jpg

Office Closet.jpg

1. Keep It Simple

There really isn’t much to it. An office requires just a few basic things: space for a laptop and printer, a writing surface, space for paper sorting/filing, books, and small office supplies. Shelving mounted on tracks and brackets allow ample storage, and can easily be adjusted to suit your needs.

2. Purge. Purge. Purge.

Get rid of all the old office supplies. That printer that you have to tap three times before it will print… throw it away. The same goes for papers. Keep only what’s necessary.

3. Plants

I am an herbicidal maniac, not purposefully, but I have literally killed every houseplant I’ve had. Fortunately, artificial plants have come a long way since I was a kid. Some of them look amazingly alive, and need absolutely no care beyond the occasional dusting. They’re a perfect choice for any space that doesn’t get a ton of natural light (like a closet), or for anyone that’s a serial plant killer (like me).

I think the best feature of this closet office is the fact that when it’s not in use, I can close the closet door and enjoy the rest of the sitting room.

What are some of your favorite home office and organizing ideas?


Operation Declutter: Basement/Garage Edition

Basement Nightmare

Warning: This post is not gonna be pretty.

I have an embarrassing confession to make: my basement has become a dark, dank hoarder’s paradise. I have finally decided that it’s time to dig out from underneath all of this clutter.

I should give a little background. My house is over 150 years old, and the basement has NEVER been finished. The mortar in the stone walls is crumbling, creating a dusty mess on top of all the stuff that exists in this basement limbo. You see, the basement is one huge catch-all. Out of sight/out of mind, as the saying goes. Problem with that is, I find myself categorizing the items in my basement like this-

1. Things that can’t find a home in any other room in the house…

2. Things that aren’t exactly trash because I swear I can use them for future projects…

3.Things that are only used seasonally like shovels and rock salt and holiday decorations…

All of these things are laid to rest in the boneyard that is the basement. The mayhem starts right behind the door to the basement stairs. This landing is the site of the fourth category: All the things that I don’t want to carry all the way down into the basement for fear I’ll never find them again. As you can see, retrieving these items is like a grotesque, and often times dangerous game of Jenga.

Basement Nightmare 3


Operation Declutter is all about organizing a mess into effective categories and then finding a storage method that suits your needs. Basements typically house all your home improvement supplies, so the categories may look like this-

1. Electrical supplies (light bulbs, switch plates, wires, etc.)

2. Plumbing supplies (pipe fittings, caulk, extra tiles, etc.)

3. Small tools (screwdrivers, wrenches, hammers, etc.)

4. Power tools (sanders, drills, etc.)

5. Small Parts (nails, screws, etc.)

Basement Shelving

A fresh coat of paint does wonders for any space, so I slapped on some leftover paint (taken from my I can use this for a future project heap). I used some cinder blocks and some old metal shelves (taken from my not exactly trash heap) to create a neat little “built in” at the top of the stairs. The shoe boxes were from a dollar store, and they really hide a lot of the eyesores that existed before. Added bonus is that the whole thing cost about $20 (cinder blocks and shoe boxes) and I can easily reach all the items I need without a concussion causing avalanche of crap. It’s certainly not showroom ready, but hey, I warned you that this post wasn’t gonna be pretty 🙂



Organize Your Jewelry into Unique Wall Art

open jewelry box

I admit it. I have a lot of jewelry. Earrings, bracelets, necklaces, the works. When I was a kid, I never got my ears pierced. Everyone I’ve ever met in my entire life has pierced ears, and I always loved the idea of having awesome earrings to accentuate an outfit. But alas, even as an adult, I still haven’t gone through with it. Recently, I started converting regular earrings into clip-ons. This has opened up the amazing, yet often frustrating, world of jewelry hoarding to me. I can’t help myself! So many years without earrings and necklaces!

Anyway, with my new found love of collecting every color, size, and shape of earring under the sun, not to mention all the necklaces and bracelets, I’d noticed that the top of my dresser was no longer visible. Nor was the full jewelry box I had lost somewhere underneath the newer arrivals. Then I noticed that there were pairs of earrings I couldn’t find in the clutter, so I started buying duplicates. It was becoming a vicious cycle.

jewelry overflowing

I decided I needed to take control. There are a lot of options out there for jewelry organization, and each one fell short of what I was looking for. Jewelry boxes (like the one buried on my dresser) were too small and it’s always so hard to sort through those little things. Jewelry armoires were way too big, taking up valuable floor space, nevermind the fact that they seem to only match particular decorating styles. Both options were way too expensive for my taste especially since they didn’t suit my needs 100%.

Always the solution seeker and novice DIYer, I decided to go airborne. Well, not exactly airborne, but I definitely wanted to make use of the vertical wall space I had. I came up with the idea of upcycling some old, folding room dividers into the perfect storage solution. It was simple! I just took one of the panels (they usually come as a 3 or 4 panel unit), and hammered in some small nails over the entire face. I prefer Grip Rite Coated Sinker nails 4D 1-3/8″. Instant storage solution and total eye-catching wall art rolled into one. One panel can hold up to sixty five pairs of earrings!  I absolutely love this thing!