Wednesday, January 4, 2012

best of 2011 (domesticated version)

sort of random, but really a home sweet home best of:

best (simple yet effective) around-the-house tips that made my house cleaner in 2011: 
*i discovered this on vacation, when somehow the plastic detergent measuring cup showed up in every load of clothes our friends kim and jeremy did. aha! they throw their liquid detergent scoop in the laundry every time they do a load. that way the scoop doesn't get all gunky and you use every last drop of the detergent. maybe y'all knew about this one too, but i didn't. no more sticky nasty detergent residue in the little plastic cup, which somehow is immensely satifying.

* i spotted this on pinterest and love it: using a magazine file to store foil, baggies, and plastic wrap. instead of an avalanche of differently sized boxes spilling out, they are nicely contained & neat.

best newly organized spot in my house:
we have a weird little nook off of our kitchen that was not really being used well. when we cleared out our third bedroom downstairs (that was doubling as an office) so that someone could live with us, i switched the nook into an office & i turned the closet into storage for files & supplies. so much more tidy & organized. (the trick for me is always maintaining these brilliant new systems, since that is not my strength.)

best backyard activity:
our holi fight! so fun, so messy, so colorful.
best renovation project:
we had lots of hurdles, but i love you, studio. (thanks, husband and all of the helpers that made it happen)
(almost all the way) after:

(actually, since i took these pictures matt also sealed and painted the floors, covered the outlets and did some final fixer upping and we moved my stuff in, so i'll have to post the real final soon)

my favorite but many of our neighbors least favorite home renovation project:
matt painted our house- dark charcoal with dark trim. is isn't for everyone, but we love it. so there, neighbors who said, "wow, well, at least it will fade" or "i've never really seen a house color like that before" or "are you at least going to make the trim color light?"

hands down best contributor to making my house visions come to life by doing all of the work:

brother aaron, who always comes over to help the cause! any cause, really. my brother is a rallier if there ever was one.

oh, and also? he's funny.

guess what else = awesome?
bring it.


  1. I personally love the charcoal grey. :)

  2. feels like there is so much left to do on the house. maybe i will always live in the paint/work clothes.

  3. I like the detergent cup in wash idea...never heard of it! I'm going to go try it right now!

    I also like the magazine holder for foil and you keep it in a cupboard? I wonder if it will be too tall for my shelves...must go measure!

    Thanks for the tips!

  4. katie- i have ours under the sink, but if you had a pantry or cupboard with high enough shelves, that would work too. i keep mine there because it is in the middle of the kitchen & easy to grab.

  5. ok, I tried the detergent cup trick and it totally it!

  6. i am living for your best of lists!

    the laundry cup thrown in washer is awesome - i learned it from the back of the container a couple of years ago - how did we do without knowing that for so long?!

    i am swooning for your organized closet. it is stunning.

    love the new paint color for the house and i can't wait for the studio unveiling (way to go, matt!).

    and all the while i typed this i cannot think of one domestic tip to share. isn't that sad?!!

  7. best way to deal with clutter:
    as i learned from commentors on my blog- mail the 10,000 pieces of art your child brings home from school to family members who love them. saves paper and relationships with far away loved ones.

    also in the best of domesticated version that husband invented, chip clip all the power cords for your cell phones or other rechargeable items to keep them from getting tangled.

    and lastly best of domesticated tip for you, get a dishwasher.

  8. hannah- are you kidding me? what about turning your closet into a book nook???

    amy- SERIOUSLY. 2012 should be called the year of the dishwasher. and by dishwasher i don't count my husband who always washes the dishes.

    also anonymous, way to start the new year by multiple comments. i love it.

  9. I will try the detergent cup idea! My favorite tip of this year, put a garlic clove in microwave for 10 seconds. Peel comes right off. Voila! No more sticky fingers and peely mess. :)

  10. Oh comments. They ARE fun. I so love your blog and pictures and fun activities and organizing tips. Fun fun fun!

    Happy 2012.

  11. Ah, you've tapped into my secret house-proud side -- the one that watches HGTV whenever it gets a chance, and fantasizes about various room makeovers, and that really gets off on bins and baskets and anything that makes clutter look better! *Love* the organized office/closet! And New Branch, I am sooo going to use your idea for sending a lot of the school art off to relatives. He brings home so much of it, and I can't bear just to toss it, and that's a perfect solution. Now, I'm off to clean out the pantry....

  12. We have a lot of charcoal grey houses out here - they look really nice. So does your house! And hey, if the neighbors really start to complain, break out the hot pink paint. They'll get quiet really fast!

    I have a LOT of organizing to do. It would help if I wasn't such a procrastinator, lol.


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