Closet Organization, Accessory Edition | DIY | Basics for Beginners

After four years and counting of life under the same roof and clothes in the same closet, I feel like we’re reaching a tipping point in our closet’s ability to contain all of our clothes, shoes, & accessories in an organized way. Conveniently enough, it’s been really easy to just shut the closet door and pretend the monster isn’t there, but I feel that organized closets are something that make your house a happy, less stressful place to live. Plus, it can be hard to fall asleep with a monster nearby. While getting ready for work in the morning, already not my favorite time of day, it’s an unnecessary source of stress to fight with a pile of stuff when all of it could be [somewhat] easily organized and accessible in the unused spaces of the closet. And with the already small closets that come with an old house, it just seems foolish to leave any space within unused.

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I should mention that my side of the closet is where the monster lives, which has motivated me even more when looking at Robby’s neat half next to my exploding-with-accessories half.

I’ve had a rinky 3-peg board on my side that doesn’t even pretend to hold half of my scarves, yet alone any bags or purses. The first step was to remove the 3-pegger, which took two seconds since I installed it before our adventures in hanging heavy stuff on the walls taught us how to hang things correctly!

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Next, I hung four double hooks at around seven feet high. These are slated for my ever-growing scarf collection (want to get me a present? scarves make me happy!) and a couple of bags with long straps. The tools I used for this were: a stud finder, screw driver, hammer, & an electric drill. Areas of the wall with studs behind them only needed a screw to hold up the hook, and areas without a stud needed a drywall anchor + screw to hold the hook. This is pretty basic and goes quickly if you’re accustomed to using an electric drill, which I am not! Thankfully Robby was there to look on and let me know when I wasn’t holding the drill in a straight line, which was the only hard part on this project.

First, I marked the wall where I wanted to hang the hooks. Next, I used the stud finder to determine which hooks would need anchors (areas without studs behind them), and then pre-drilled holes the size of the anchors before hammering them as flush with the wall as I could. Then, while holding the hook over the anchor, I used a screw driver to install the screws. For areas of the wall with studs, I pre-drilled holes the size of screws, and installed the screws with the other hooks.

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Now that all of this is out of my “miscellaneous” pile on top of the laundry basket, I can actually reach the full length of my clothes bars. The next phase of organizing will include a set of lower hooks (around three feet) for bags with short straps, and a shelf above my top clothes bar for boots, hats, and presents I’m hiding from Robby seasonal items. Who needs an expensive off-the-shelf closet organizer, which might not completely work with your space and your stuff, when you can customize your storage modules to the space you have and things you want to store?

I’m really looking forward to getting more comfotable with using tools around the house, which I think is an important step for all homeowners, and especially women. How fun to be able to plan a project and execute it independently, without having to make a “honey-do-list” for your parnter in order to complete it. There’s nothing stopping you from learning how to use all of these tools (and more!), and you’ll probably share my satisfaction when you do.

Happy organizing!

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Posted in Don't Hire a Professional, Mood Boosters, Tools and Techniques, Uncategorized, women like tools too | Tagged , , | 2 Comments

Drainage Practice Run – Dry Fit Success

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So this little monsoon just came through, soaking the already saturated earth and testing out my new drainage system, installed yesterday. I dug all the trenches, connected the pipes, and waited for a really crazy storm to test it out before cementing the pipes together for good. With PVC, once it’s together, it’s never coming apart. I feel it’s always a good idea to do a dry fit before applying the bonding chemicals to $150 worth of pipes and connectors.

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You can see here where the new pipe bends around a staircase. It’s the lowpoint on that part of the house and it’s where water was getting into the basement. You may just see a puddle full of dirty water, but I see that the runoff is pooling exactly where i’d hoped. Once I fill in the trench and grade the dirt, all of that runoff should go into the two drains you see in the photo. Dryfit success. No water in the basement!!

Posted in Crawlspace, DIY, Don't Hire a Professional, Exterior Maintenance, Gutters, House Repairs, Landscaping, Plumbing | Leave a comment

Unexpected projects: DIY drainage repair

Happy Fourth of July everybody!

Atlanta has seen unseasonably high rainfall in the past month. A normal July would have our grass crunchy and brown, but this year it’s green and growing like crazy (hooray!). It’s even raining right this second, as it has been for the past 24 hours. Flash floods are popping up everywhere and we don’t even blink anymore when our phones chirp with weather alerts. We get it, it’s raining out there… a lot.

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We even had a little flash flood in our basement crawlspace this week – very exciting! When I pulled into the driveway yesterday afternoon,  the first thing I saw was Robby with a sledgehammer. A sledgehammer! That’s a first. He was busting up the sidewalk above our evidently broken drainage pipe that runs along one side of the house and goes under a short set of stairs.

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When unimpeded, the pipe allows water that’s flowing downhill to get under the stairs and flow out the other side. When Robby busted up the concrete above it and pulled the pipe out, we found that it was clogged with roots and dirt and critters. So the water had to find another place to go, which turned out to be the basement.

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The plan is to install a new PVC pipe, which should be impervious to future root damage. First, the rest of the concrete will be busted and removed. We’ll probably replace it with pea gravel once the new pipe is in place, for aesthetics and easy access to the new pipe in case of any more drainage issues. Fortunately we weren’t planning on any big Fourth of July festivities, because this repair should take several hours to complete.

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We hope that once the pipe situation is resolved, we’ll have a dry basement when it rains.

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