Category Archives: home

A Project a Week:: Week 3: Complete

Week: 3
Project: Organize the plasticware cabinet (and finish hemming the curtains!)
Status: Complete (mostly)

The plasticware cabinet has been tamed! 

While the very-curious toddler was safely napping in her crib, I pulled everything out of the cabinet. (And totally forgot to take a ‘before’ photo. It wasn’t pretty. I’m sure you’ve seen an overflowing cabinet.)

I had a few rules: 
  • Anything that went back into the cabinet had to have a matching lid.
  • Containers with any sort of damage would be chucked.
  • Anything we hadn’t touched in a year would be thrown out or relegated to basement storage.
 Here’s what didn’t make the cut:
  •  A very fun but never-used, ice-cube tray for making arrow-shaped ice.
  • Two metal racks for our pizza stones. We use the stones once a week, but never use the racks. 
  • Two plastic pitchers.
  • A scraper for the George Foreman grill that we gave away prior to moving to Albany in 2009.
  • A travel coffee mug that I didn’t know existed.
  • A stack of lids for plastic deli containers.
  • A burger patty shaper.
  • A lasagna pan that we use from time to time, but not frequently enough to store here. 
  • Several containers either damaged or missing lids.
  • Several lids without matching containers. 
  • A cat-shaped lid for cans of cat food. Our cat has had canned food a total of three times.
  • One of those trays for microwaving bacon. Gag. I have no idea why we own that thing. 
Storage space is at a premium in our kitchen, so weeding out all this stuff made a big difference.
Here’s the cabinet after putting the frequently-used items back:

It’s not easy to see, but you get the overall idea. It’s an organized cabinet! The remaining lids and containers are organized by size/shape. Larger containers and the electric mixer live on the top shelf, cutting boards and containers on the bottom. After taking this photo I relocated our travel mugs from the counter to the area behind the container storage, and placed the toddler snack cups in the open area in front. There is also room remaining for our glass/aluminum food storage containers that currently take up valuable counter space.
Another long-looming project, done!
(Curtain update to follow…)

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A Project a Week:: Week 3: Organize the Overflowing Plasticware Cabinet

Week: 3
Project: Organize the plasticware cabinet (and finish hemming the curtains!)

Background: There isn’t much to say except that the cabinet that houses our plasticware/cutting boards/etc has become a cluttered mess. I’ve been buying fewer plastic storage containers and more glass/aluminum containers, and the new stuff has no place to live – so this needs an overhaul.

The Plan: Match containers to lids, ditch anything that doesn’t have a match or is in bad shape, move anything we haven’t used since moving in to the ‘donate’ pile, make space for glass and aluminum containers/lids currently taking up counter space, and do it all during a naptime so that this cabinet doesn’t become toooo appealing to the toddler in the house.

Also: Finish hemming the curtains that did’t get hemmed last week.

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A Project a Week:: Week 2: Hemming Curtains – Update

So, here we are. At the end of Week 2.

And I have not finished hemming our curtains. (Although they are pinned, so that’s progress.)

The thing is, the weather this week was amazing. And there was a three-day weekend. So, other projects took precedent.

I could consider this a failure, but I’m going to take it as a Project a Week lesson. Sometimes, project plans change based on conditions. The important part is that projects are getting checked off the list.

Instead of hemming curtains this week, I:

  • Transitioned my closet from winter to summer.
  • Planted flowers in pots for the front stoop.
  • Weeded the front gardens and planted some new annuals.
  • Collaborated with Pat to pick out shrubs for the patio border (Pat did the hard part of this project, planting the shrubs on an 85-degree day- and it looks great)
  • Planted marigolds in the vegetable garden for some natural pest-control and added bird netting over the strawberries and chives (a cute but destructive rabbit has already been helping himself to the chives- hoping the netting deters him)
  • Planted bulbs and thinned out lily-of-the-valley in the side yard.
  • Planted various other flower bulbs/seeds and herbs in containers on the patio.
I still feel like it was a productive week, although I did stray from my plan. 
Since the curtain-hemming project is partially complete, I’m going to keep this one in the plans for next week and add another. 

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The Nursery

The nursery, from start to finish (click through to the Flickr set for details) :

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Ours

We hunted and searched, found and pondered, weighed pros and weighed cons, worked and saved, stressed and fretted, laughed and squealed and gasped, gathered papers and signed our names a thousand times, took a deep breath and handed over checks with many digits, and then: the keys were passed, and the little house was ours.

Holding hands tight and jumping in with shouts of joy: Another Big Life Moment, ours.

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Our town, all dressed up

I left work yesterday tired and a bit frustrated. I just wanted to go home and hibernate. As I turned out of the parking lot and drove up the street in the heavy winter darkness, Easthampton stepped out from its dressing room and twirled around, modeling its new duds. Every tree along Cottage Street was strung with white lights. Wreathes hung along the lamp posts. The windows of the shops were decked (out). Easthampton looked festive and fine.

The thing that struck me was that all of it felt so genuine— it didn’t feel like a shopping mall or a movie set, it felt like a small town putting its best foot forward for its residents. The town didn’t get all dolled up for commercial reasons (to trick people into spending money using olde time nostalgia), it did it out of pride and respect, because the residents deserve to see it sparkle for awhile. The town had brushed off its holiday best, it was sitting up straight and waiting to be noticed.

When we moved here from Northampton, a friend who lives a few blocks away welcomed us and said he loves Easthampton because it’s “grittier, more real”. And while I love Northampton, I know what he means. There aren’t really any tourists to impress over here, not yet anyway. The town is here for the people who live and work and create here. That isn’t always the best philosophy for business, but the genuine sentiment behind the holiday get-up is a nice change of pace.

Thank you Easthampton, for making me sit up straight and notice you. (I promise we’ll do a photoshoot later in the week.)

(There are some thought-provoking posts on Easthampton floating around out there this week. Check out what Jim and Trace have to say.)

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