Monday, August 16, 2010


We’ve all got stuff. Miscellaneous stuff that does not fit in a special category – things such as an emergency radio, pruning clippers, screwdrivers, pliers, vacuum bags, a carpenter’s tape, protective gloves, a backup coffee pot, WD40, wasp spray, a hammer, etc. Every so often you need one of these items in a hurry. The sliding screen door starts sticking, or someone asks you how wide a wall is, or the shower curtain rod slips a screw. You don’t want to go all the way down to the basement, or out to the garage or storage shed. You need a tool right now!

I think many people keep a collection of miscellaneous stuff in the house. We stored our stuff in our pantry on a lower shelf. It was very handy spot, off the dining room and near the kitchen.

Back in April when Robert was sick, we needed a downstairs bathroom. Our son, Davis, hired a plumber and a carpenter, bought fixtures, and had it constructed in a week. (What a blessing.) The perfect place for a powder room was the pantry. That meant we had to clear the shelving out of the room and stash our goods elsewhere. Our living room and kitchen looked very strange for a while with shelving standing here and there. Gradually, some order was restored. But there was no convenient place for the household tools. They just didn’t fit anywhere in the kitchen.

I tried to figure out what to do. I gave over 800 books to the Friends of the Brentwood library. Then I had some empty shelves and stored the stuff in plain sight. I began to look for attractive storage boxes so I could put the stuff in them on the shelves and get it out of sight. This did not turn out to be a pleasing solution.

It is funny how long it takes to come up with a practical idea. I went round and round until I realized I had too many bookcases. I offered an old bookshelf on FreeCycle and received many inquiries and offers to take it off my hands. One person was a no-show, but the next day I contacted the second person on the list. She came right out and loaded it in her SUV.

Now I had space but no closed storage. I finally thought about a cupboard I had upstairs. I was using it to store quilt batting. I figured quilt batting could be squished and condensed and stuffed in the closet in my sewing room.

Let me tell you, those white laminated storage cupboard made of particle board are heavy. I tipped it up on its side and slid it across the floor on a utility towel. Very smooth, until I got to the stairs. It looked like a long way down.

One step at a time. I eased the cupboard down the stairs on the wool runner. It went fine for about four steps and then it swerved, pinning me to the wall. I carefully straightened it out and slid it down two more steps. Another swerve, straighten it out, down a couple of more steps, swerve, straighten, slide, all the way down. Once at the bottom, I made a cardboard slide from a large carton and pulled the cupboard across the living room and into the dining room.

Now all my stuff is hidden away.

I have to get started on my next project. I want to decorate the powder room. It is plain white and very boring.
It is a very small room. I’ve been pondering a weeping willow mural or finding some scenic wallpaper or perhaps a nice cheerful paint color. I’ll need to find a mirror, a towel holder, and some sort of storage for bathroom tissue and soap. If you have any clever ideas, let me know. The floor is beige tile. There is a 2-foot square window high on the wall next to the loo. If you click on the graphic below you can read the room’s inside dimensions. The fixtures are not to scale.

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Blogger Terry said...

I had a lot of fun painting a huge flower on the wall of my tiny powder room. Details on my blog here:

11:37 PM  
Blogger Piecefulafternoon said...

I think the tree would be wonderful - I have a huge blank wall (need that measuring tape to see just how huge - at least 12 feet long x 16 feet high) that I want to paint a mural on - fairies - trees - flowers - Don's childhook summer home in N WI, so far I've just thought about it - but maybe now I'll get busy and actually do something.

Glad you made it down the stairs without incident - that story scared me at first.

6:42 AM  
Blogger wlstarn said...

I have a tiny half bath also. Mine is also irregularly shaped, although all the angles are more or less 90 degrees. I hung a cabinet over the toilet tank for t.p. etc. It's the one place that nobody will bump into it.

7:50 AM  
Blogger Gerrie said...

I immediately thought of Terry's flower. You are becoming quite the woman - doing all of this moving and reorganizing! Good for you!!

8:38 AM  
Blogger black bear cabin said...

Do not attempt another large furniture move like that again by yourself...especially when stairs are involved! Thats what your son is for :) Good grief...that story had me all kinds of nervous! Glad it worked out well, and the cabinet looks great there.
As for the bathroom...perhaps a wall painted something bright and cheery...and then cover the walls with miniature quilts :) The mural idea is nice too though! Have fun!

10:41 AM  
Blogger Del said...

I'm in agreement with Black Bear Cabin - don't do that furniture moving alone. You are putting yourself in danger of a serious fall. Now that I have had a few, I am unwilling to put my body at jeopardy - the resulting pain is not worth it. I hate giving up my independence, but I think of having to be completely dependent because I have broken some part of my body and I call someone to come and help, or even just watch! How about a bookish decoration on your powder room wall?

1:04 AM  
Blogger Christine Thresh said...

I loved Terry's flower. I remember when it first appeared on her blog.
I wish I were as talented.

And, to you dear concerned commenters --

I wasn't worried about myself, I was worried that the cupboard would fall and break apart.
I would not have any idea of whom to call. My sons live 70 miles away. My only neighbors are "old" ladies. It was just a 10 minute job. I was breathing hard after I got downstairs, but that was all.

I felt proud of myself. I have DO to get some exercise, after all.

I will think about scheduling help, far in advance, if I decide to move something else.

9:16 AM  
Blogger Vicky~ stichr ~ said...

put the tree on the wall [and door] across from the loo so you something fun to look at. paint the other walls a grass green blending into sky blue and 'scatter' things in the breeze... dandelion fluffs, leaves, birds....

10:21 PM  
Blogger BrendaLou said...

I think a cupboard above the toilet is great to store all sorts of necessities AND I got one at CostCo that had a towel bar underneath.

Take care of yourself. Thinking of you often!

12:50 PM  
Blogger Isabelle said...

Ah, stuff. Why do we acquire so much?

2:36 PM  

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