modern thrifter

modern thrifter

Thrifter & designer. Blogging about life in our MCM home & living on a budget. I also design things with my husband. You can see our work at The Mahoney Studio

ORGANIZED
We are one week into school, and I’m trying my best to keep the kids’ school papers, backpacks, lunch boxes, and all the other thousands of little school related things organized. Last year we implemented a wall filing system in the kitchen for the papers, but inevitably everything else would end up strewn about in two or three rooms everyday.
This little spot is in our family room and it’s still a work in progress, but so far, I’m happy with the way it’s been functioning. We built it mostly out of things we already owned.
The bookshelf was in the family room already, but it was flipped on its side. It holds books and a few toys, but the bottom two cubbies have buckets with the kids’ shoes. 
We’ve had an extra Lack shelf, that was given to us, stored in the closet for years. We mounted it flush between the shelf and the wall to give it a little more of a “built-in” look.
I bought two Variera boxes from Ikea (mine are solid white, which I can no longer seem to find on their website) to hold hats and gloves. The globe is an old thrifted one with terribly outdated countries, but I still like the way it looks.
The Enudden hooks were also a new purchase from Ikea. I love the all of the hooks and shelves in the Enudden collection and I’d love to get a few more things for around the house. 
Eventually, I’d like to build in a bench seat so that their rain boots could fit underneath, but for now we are using two of the beanbag stools that we scored off of Craigslist. I’m also thinking of lowering the floating shelf a little so they can reach the bins a little better and adding one more shelf above that would be even with the top of the bookshelf.

ORGANIZED

We are one week into school, and I’m trying my best to keep the kids’ school papers, backpacks, lunch boxes, and all the other thousands of little school related things organized. Last year we implemented a wall filing system in the kitchen for the papers, but inevitably everything else would end up strewn about in two or three rooms everyday.

This little spot is in our family room and it’s still a work in progress, but so far, I’m happy with the way it’s been functioning. We built it mostly out of things we already owned.

The bookshelf was in the family room already, but it was flipped on its side. It holds books and a few toys, but the bottom two cubbies have buckets with the kids’ shoes. 

We’ve had an extra Lack shelf, that was given to us, stored in the closet for years. We mounted it flush between the shelf and the wall to give it a little more of a “built-in” look.

I bought two Variera boxes from Ikea (mine are solid white, which I can no longer seem to find on their website) to hold hats and gloves. The globe is an old thrifted one with terribly outdated countries, but I still like the way it looks.

The Enudden hooks were also a new purchase from Ikea. I love the all of the hooks and shelves in the Enudden collection and I’d love to get a few more things for around the house. 

Eventually, I’d like to build in a bench seat so that their rain boots could fit underneath, but for now we are using two of the beanbag stools that we scored off of Craigslist. I’m also thinking of lowering the floating shelf a little so they can reach the bins a little better and adding one more shelf above that would be even with the top of the bookshelf.

Comments
[ CHANGE OF PACE ]

I’m still here, I promise—still thrifting, too. I haven’t picked up any big “wow” pieces as of late, but I am quite pleased with some of my smaller finds—a shiny white Karlsson alarm clock, a book by the very funny David Sedaris that I’ve been wanting to read, and the perfect pair of italian leather sandals for summer, to name a few.

Projects around the house have come to a stall, mostly because we’ve been spending our spare time working on design projects, but also because we’ve decided to get really serious with our budgeting in order to build up a larger emergency fund/savings. It’s amazing how quickly we can settle into “comfortable” and start letting extra income flit away one dollar at a time. 

It’s hard for me to not be constantly working on fixing up the house, but I’m taking this as an opportunity to find the neglected, tedious, and free things that need to be done. Yesterday we spent most of the day outside tidying up our yard [ivy jungle]. You may not know this about me, but gardening is just about my least favorite activity—cleaning moldy food containers wins the prize for most dreaded household chore, in case you were wondering. 

Yard work really isn’t that bad once I get started, and it’s not the manual labor that I don’t like. It’s the creepy crawlies that I could do without. It would seem like being a mom of a little boy would have desensitized me to that by now, but, no. The only thing that eases the anxiety about plunging my hand into an overgrown patch of patch of mystery weeds is my pair of elbow-length leather gloves (I’d get shoulder length if they made them). 

The other free chore that yields instant gratification is organizing, which is how I plan to spend the better part of this coming week. If I wasn’t so embarrassed about the current state of some of my closets, I would post before and after pictures to keep myself motivated. Maybe I’ll muster the courage to put them on twitter.

[ CHANGE OF PACE ]

I’m still here, I promise—still thrifting, too. I haven’t picked up any big “wow” pieces as of late, but I am quite pleased with some of my smaller finds—a shiny white Karlsson alarm clock, a book by the very funny David Sedaris that I’ve been wanting to read, and the perfect pair of italian leather sandals for summer, to name a few.

Projects around the house have come to a stall, mostly because we’ve been spending our spare time working on design projects, but also because we’ve decided to get really serious with our budgeting in order to build up a larger emergency fund/savings. It’s amazing how quickly we can settle into “comfortable” and start letting extra income flit away one dollar at a time. 

It’s hard for me to not be constantly working on fixing up the house, but I’m taking this as an opportunity to find the neglected, tedious, and free things that need to be done. Yesterday we spent most of the day outside tidying up our yard [ivy jungle]. You may not know this about me, but gardening is just about my least favorite activity—cleaning moldy food containers wins the prize for most dreaded household chore, in case you were wondering. 

Yard work really isn’t that bad once I get started, and it’s not the manual labor that I don’t like. It’s the creepy crawlies that I could do without. It would seem like being a mom of a little boy would have desensitized me to that by now, but, no. The only thing that eases the anxiety about plunging my hand into an overgrown patch of patch of mystery weeds is my pair of elbow-length leather gloves (I’d get shoulder length if they made them). 

The other free chore that yields instant gratification is organizing, which is how I plan to spend the better part of this coming week. If I wasn’t so embarrassed about the current state of some of my closets, I would post before and after pictures to keep myself motivated. Maybe I’ll muster the courage to put them on twitter.

Comments
[ JEWELRY HANGER ]
Most of the time I try to avoid buying things without a specific  purpose in mind. It’s been a habit that has helped me avoid cluttering  my home and wasting my money. But every once in a while, I come across  an item at a thrift store or an estate sale that I just can’t pass up,  even though I have no idea how I’ll use it. Back in January I picked up  this Japanese woodcut panel at an estate sale. It was only $1, and I  fell in love with the pattern. So far, I’ve used it a few times to clip  up photos and mementos for social events like baby showers, but mostly  it has sat in a closet getting bumped and banged.
Yesterday, it occurred to me that it would function really well as a  jewelry hanger. I don’t know why I hadn’t thought of it before, because  I’m always dropping earrings off of the crowded hooks that I was using. I  grabbed a few nails and hung it up behind the bathroom door. I could  probably do a better installation job, but I really just wanted to get  it up quickly, before I lost the motivation, and give it a test run. I’m  also considering giving it a nice shiny coat of paint to spruce it up a  little. For now, though, I think I’m satisfied—$1 well spent!

[ JEWELRY HANGER ]

Most of the time I try to avoid buying things without a specific purpose in mind. It’s been a habit that has helped me avoid cluttering my home and wasting my money. But every once in a while, I come across an item at a thrift store or an estate sale that I just can’t pass up, even though I have no idea how I’ll use it. Back in January I picked up this Japanese woodcut panel at an estate sale. It was only $1, and I fell in love with the pattern. So far, I’ve used it a few times to clip up photos and mementos for social events like baby showers, but mostly it has sat in a closet getting bumped and banged.

Yesterday, it occurred to me that it would function really well as a jewelry hanger. I don’t know why I hadn’t thought of it before, because I’m always dropping earrings off of the crowded hooks that I was using. I grabbed a few nails and hung it up behind the bathroom door. I could probably do a better installation job, but I really just wanted to get it up quickly, before I lost the motivation, and give it a test run. I’m also considering giving it a nice shiny coat of paint to spruce it up a little. For now, though, I think I’m satisfied—$1 well spent!

Comments
[ SLOW TRANSFORMATION ]
Our downstairs laundry/bathroom is the one room in the house that has never been updated. The picture above is a far cry from what my room actually looks like. Think more wood paneling, drop ceiling, florescent lighting, peel & stick vinyl flooring. It also became the storage spot for several giant rubbermaid bins of children’s clothing.
While I was in Montana two weeks ago, my sweet husband spent a late night in the laundry room, cleaning, organizing, and painting over the wood paneled walls (with leftover paint from our entry). Seeing this slight improvement on our neglected space has given me the motivation to put together a plan for finishing the space.
Enter Google Sketch-Up. I spent the majority of my evening last night tinkering around with this free tool. It was a mixture of fun and frustration, but I think I’m getting the hang of it. Though we don’t plan on spending much money on the project, and some of the purchases will have to wait for quite a while, at least I have an attainable vision now for the room.
Here’s what the current state of the laundry room (I wish I had pictures before it was cleaned and painted):

Now here’s what I’d like to do:


Switch out the faucet to something more modern
Trade out our old washer & dryer for a front load/stacking version
Install some sort of wall shelving—I’m drooling over the Container Store’s Elfa line (pictured in the very top photo)
Rip out the old vinyl floors and replace with hardwood, laminate, or something else (?)
I am also considering making space for a chest freezer that my in-laws have for us. 
See, nothing major. Of course, since no house project is uncomplicated, we’ll need to have an electrician move the dryer outlet to a different wall. Also, since we have a list of other house projects that we need to get to, I know that any progress will be slow-going. 

[ SLOW TRANSFORMATION ]

Our downstairs laundry/bathroom is the one room in the house that has never been updated. The picture above is a far cry from what my room actually looks like. Think more wood paneling, drop ceiling, florescent lighting, peel & stick vinyl flooring. It also became the storage spot for several giant rubbermaid bins of children’s clothing.

While I was in Montana two weeks ago, my sweet husband spent a late night in the laundry room, cleaning, organizing, and painting over the wood paneled walls (with leftover paint from our entry). Seeing this slight improvement on our neglected space has given me the motivation to put together a plan for finishing the space.

Enter Google Sketch-Up. I spent the majority of my evening last night tinkering around with this free tool. It was a mixture of fun and frustration, but I think I’m getting the hang of it. Though we don’t plan on spending much money on the project, and some of the purchases will have to wait for quite a while, at least I have an attainable vision now for the room.

Here’s what the current state of the laundry room (I wish I had pictures before it was cleaned and painted):

Now here’s what I’d like to do:

  • Switch out the faucet to something more modern
  • Trade out our old washer & dryer for a front load/stacking version
  • Install some sort of wall shelving—I’m drooling over the Container Store’s Elfa line (pictured in the very top photo)
  • Rip out the old vinyl floors and replace with hardwood, laminate, or something else (?)
  • I am also considering making space for a chest freezer that my in-laws have for us.

See, nothing major. Of course, since no house project is uncomplicated, we’ll need to have an electrician move the dryer outlet to a different wall. Also, since we have a list of other house projects that we need to get to, I know that any progress will be slow-going. 

Comments
[ $1 ORGANIZATION ]
I took a trip to Ikea yesterday to pick up a few things and I ran across these drawer organizers that were on clearance. They were originally priced at $15 a piece, which seems crazy, and maybe had something to do with why they’ve been discontinued. The clearance price was $1, so I picked up three. They are made of felt and are easy to cut to fit snugly in a drawer. They are meant for office drawers, and I’m a little concerned about the felt getting dirty in the kitchen, but I’m guessing that I can spot clean them when necessary. For that price, I think they’re worth trying.
I’m thrilled to have a little organization in my kitchen, but really, all of my cupboards are in serious need of an overhaul. Actually, I’ve come up with a new organization plan that I’m pretty excited to implement. Since organizing the entire house at one time seems overwhelming, I’ve decided to focus on one room each month. During that month I will organize, deep clean, and make small repairs, as well as making a list of decorating improvements that I’d like to do as the budget allows. Being organized seems more like a ongoing journey than a final destination, so I’m betting that by the time I complete the final room, it will be time to start the whole thing again.

[ $1 ORGANIZATION ]

I took a trip to Ikea yesterday to pick up a few things and I ran across these drawer organizers that were on clearance. They were originally priced at $15 a piece, which seems crazy, and maybe had something to do with why they’ve been discontinued. The clearance price was $1, so I picked up three. They are made of felt and are easy to cut to fit snugly in a drawer. They are meant for office drawers, and I’m a little concerned about the felt getting dirty in the kitchen, but I’m guessing that I can spot clean them when necessary. For that price, I think they’re worth trying.

I’m thrilled to have a little organization in my kitchen, but really, all of my cupboards are in serious need of an overhaul. Actually, I’ve come up with a new organization plan that I’m pretty excited to implement. Since organizing the entire house at one time seems overwhelming, I’ve decided to focus on one room each month. During that month I will organize, deep clean, and make small repairs, as well as making a list of decorating improvements that I’d like to do as the budget allows. Being organized seems more like a ongoing journey than a final destination, so I’m betting that by the time I complete the final room, it will be time to start the whole thing again.

Comments