Condo Blues: cleaning and organization




Showing posts with label cleaning and organization. Show all posts
Showing posts with label cleaning and organization. Show all posts

Sunday, May 15, 2016

How to Make a Pallet Wood Clamp Storage Rack

The small downside to insulating the garage walls is I lost my free wood clamp storage organizer. I can’t store my clamps on wall stud like I used to now that they are filled with insulation.
Currently my wood clamps are stored in a pile of stuff on top of my workbench. At least I think they are. There is too much junk on top of the workbench to tell. Sigh.

During Operation: Clean and Organize my Workbench and Clear My Recycled Materials Stash, I added a woodworking clamp storage rack is a quick and easy wood pallet stash bust project that took practically no time and with very few tools to make to my punch list.


Quick and Easy Workbench Woodworking Clamp Rack

 

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You will need:

Monday, March 7, 2016

How to Make Bottle Cap Tiles

I want another ear phone, phone, and table charger organizer for the living room to hold the overflow from the Cigar Box and Wine Cork Storage Box I made last month.

I found a decorative Indian spice box during a 10 minute tidy in the kitchen that will a few quick tweaks will fit the bill just fine thank you.

 
The interior wood dividers easily popped out of the box in my hand. I wanted to add feet to the bottom of my DIY decorative storage box.  What to use?

Bottle caps!

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Sunday, February 28, 2016

DIY Allergy Friendly Homemade Furniture Dusting Spray

Dusting is not my favorite chore. I tried to make it easier by using a feather duster to dust the stuff on bookshelves and other hard to reach up too high places.

Until my allergist put the kibosh on that. He says feather dusters push more dust around than they pick up (including my fancy ostrich feather duster as well as the even fancier lambs wool dusters.)
Which for most of you will still work all fine and dandy but not for me. I have a litany of seasonal allergens including and especially dust mites.  So how exactly am I supposed to dust the furniture without commercial dusting sprays or a feather or lambs wool duster?

In this instance, my allergist recommended the best way to clean dust and dust mites is also the most non toxic and cheapest cleaner in the world – water!

How to Make Nontoxic and CHEAP! DIY Dust & Allergen Furniture Spray

 

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Thursday, January 28, 2016

DIY Cigar Box and Wine Cork Storage Box

More often than I want to admit, phone and table cords, earphones, and eyeglasses are strewn about the side tables in my living room.  I put the stuff away. The next evening we need the stuff to read books or watch movies on our tablets and plop it on a table before heading off to bed. I put the stuff away…

It’s a never ending cycle.

A friend found a bunch of empty wood cigar boxes in the basement of her wine shop. I was drooling when I found out. Old cigar boxes are the gold standard of recycled project material just begging for an upcycle!

Needless to say, I made my way over to her shop and came home with a cigar box to make into a decorative storage box with wine cork feet to contain the flotsam and jetsam littering the living room.

 You have no idea how much work it took to to win the eBay auction for these vintage metal frames. I had my optimist fill them with my prescription. I love them!

How to Make a Decorative Cigar Box Storage Box 

Thursday, January 7, 2016

DIY Recycled Bottle Cap Zipper Pull. So Easy!

I keep my dance, color guard, and yoga gear organized and ready to go in separate string backpacks. I am extremely fortunate to get the little backpacks from marching band events. That  makes it a zero cost organization system. The downside is all of the bags are from the same sponsor. Is too easy to grab the wrong bag for the wrong class. Whoops!

I can fix this by making a unique handmade zipper pull for each backpack so I can tell them apart.

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This is a quick and easy recycled craft that is fun to do with kids. Sourcing the materials might be the best part of the project because we are reusing bottle caps. Enjoying a soda treat in the name of recycled organizers? Don’t mind if I do!

Sunday, January 3, 2016

Our Favorite Condo Blues DIY Projects in 2015

We’re celebrating the New Year by looking back at some of our favorite Condo Blues DIY projects for 2015.

From the looks of it, we are all extremely organized people! Or at least we all want to be extremely organized people, myself included!
 

Our Top 10 DIY Projects on Condo Blues in 2015

 

Organize Your Garage in Three Easy Questions   

 



6 Smart Strategies to Organize a Garage and Workshop 

Sunday, December 27, 2015

Our Top Condo Blues Blog Posts for 2015

 Before we can say hello to 2016 we should take a look back at 2015. It is always interesting to me when I take a look at which Condo Blues projects and blog posts are the most popular posts of the year because I am almost always surprised!

2015 is no exception. I had no idea there were so many readers who want to cut glass bottles without fire or risk of burning down your house. I thought it was just me!
As we say good bye to 2015 and before we say hello to a bright, shiny, and new 2015 let’s take a look at my most popular Condo Blues in 2015.
 

How to Cut a Glass Bottle with Hot Water

 


Friday, December 4, 2015

Make Peek a Boo Window Gift Tags

After a two day craft room excavation I had a couple of boxes of old business cards and nice little pile of random paper, ribbon, buttons, and punches on my worktable. The following day and fueled by probably more hot chocolate than one person should drink in an afternoon I started to play.


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Once I got on a creative roll, I upcycled a bunch of old business cards into gift tags I’m not ashamed to tie onto our Christmas gifts this year. I have so many handmade stash buster gift tags, that I’m going to turn this craft project into a blog series. Come craft with me!

 

How to Make Embossed Gift Tags for Hanukkah or Christmas

Sunday, October 18, 2015

Quick and Easy Boat Cleat Towel Rack

I need to to organize the towels in the guest bathroom and found my design inspiration at the vet’s office. Wha? Let me explain.

Lacey’s vet has boat cleats on the main desk which allows you to anchor your pet’s leash (pun intended) over the cleat so your hands are free to make payments and sign paperwork.  It is quite genius and something I’d totally expect seeing growing up on Lake Erie.

The guest bathroom is taking on a nautical vibe. I like repurposed and reclaimed design elements. So why not organize my bathroom by repurposing dock cleats? Sounds like a plan.

How to Make a Boat Dock Cleat Towel or Coat Rack

 
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Tuesday, September 29, 2015

The House of Unfinished DIY Projects

Husband had a dream.

One of those I dreamed I ate a giant marshmallow and in the morning my pillow was gone kind of dreams.

His dream was about making a list of DIY projects we need to do and actually finishing them.




I have no idea how his subconscious cooked up that idea for a dream.

Sunday, July 19, 2015

Cheap and Easy No Slip Tool Chest Organizer

After I built my recycled pallet and cabinet workbench, I needed to organize and load in my tools.


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The power tools were easy to organize. I already keep my power tools in their cases. I stashed those in the workbench cabinet. Boom. Done.

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

How to get Rid of Ants in a Pet and Kid Safe Natural Way

After nine days of consecutive rain my yard is waterlogged. A bunch of ants decided to seek higher ground and wanted to use my kitchen as a summer vacation spot.

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I wanted to kill the ants but I am leery of using borax, conventional ant bait traps, and sprays because I don’t want to kill my dog along with the ants. Death by shoe is more natural and personally satisfying but it not a good long term solution.

Five Things You Absolutely Must Do to Get Rid of Ants

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

25 of the Best Ways to Reuse Old Pill Bottles

Husband and I are relatively healthy people but every once and awhile we get sick enough to require prescription medicine. More often than not the medicine comes comes in a plastic bottle that aren’t always recyclable.

I really hate tossing something like that into the trash and sending it to a landfill to sit on a mountain of garbage for a thousand years.



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Monday, June 8, 2015

11 Creative Ways to use Industrial Pipe Shelves

Pipe shelving is one of those projects where I wish I had more room in my house to install a big, crazy wall of industrial shelves. While I was drooling over them on line I noticed that there are more styles of industrial wood and pipe shelves that  could fit into my small home. Come dream with me, won’t you?


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Sunday, May 31, 2015

How to Make an Easy Cargo Net Car Organizer

I have a bunch of junk in my trunk.

The trunk of my car, people. Not my badonka donk! Although truthfully….oh never mind.

The biggest mess maker is the stash of reusable shopping bags we keep in the car. They slosh out of the big shopping bag that is supposed to contain them and into everything else in the trunk.

How to make a cargo net car organizer
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The last straw was when the mess hid a container of orange juice that popped out of a grocery bag and it sat in a hot car for several days. I still have nightmares about the stench that followed. So. Evil. Horrible. BAD.
Most car organizers I found are not made for sedans, only SUVs. Besides we don’t want a shopping bag and stuff organizer that doesn’t allow us to fold the back seat down. This is mostly an issue during the summer when I’m hauling color guard equipment back and forth to practice.  The flags don’t fit in the trunk unless I fold the seat down.


Would you believe this is what my trunk looks like when it is neat? Sad. I know.

 Dollar Store Cargo Net Car Organizer Tutorial


I gave Lisa my idea to hang her shopping bag organizer on the side of the car trunk instead of the back. She came up with using laundry bags because the mesh is small enough to contain the most important thing in our car (besides snacks) my Frisbee and tennis ball for the dog park!


You will need:

Mesh laundry bag - This mesh laundry bag is similar to the one I used  

Fabric - I used a fat quarter of fabric

Interfacing

Scissors

Large grommet kit (I used this grommet kit from Dritz)

Iron and Ironing board

Thread

Straight pins

Sewing machine

Magnet hooks (I buy my magnetic hooks here)

Hook and loop tape 

A canine project manger – Try to find one who doesn’t sleep on the job.


 
I am not sleeping on the job! My eyes are open!

Make it:

1. Remove the drawstring from the laundry bag. I cut the end off with a pair of scissors.

2. Use the scissors to cut a horizontal side open from the closed end of the bag to the open end of the bag.

3. Measure the circumference of the horizontal opening in the laundry bag and add 2 inches to that measurement for a seam allowance.

4. Use this measurement to measure and cut a piece of fabric and interfacing that is that long and 4 inches wide.

5. Fold the rough lengthwise edges of the fabric right side (the pretty part) to wrong side (the back of the fabric) in and iron them into place to make smooth edges to your banding.

6. Fold the banding wrong sides together and iron it into place. This will be the banding for the top of your cargo net trunk organizer.

7. Use the straight pins to pin the banding around the top of the open mesh bag.  Use the sewing machine to sew the top and the bottom of the band into place.

I used a zig zag stitch because I forgot to reset my sewing machine back to a straight stitch after a previous project and I figured why not? You can use a straight stitch too.

8. Pin the raw open end of the laundry bag closed. Use the sewing machine to sew the bag closed.


You should use a straight stitch to make this seam.

9. Set two grommets (also called eyelets) into the band of the bag using the grommet tool that comes with the grommets. Read my tutorial How to install grommets if your kit doe not come with clear instructions.



10. Sew a piece of the hook side of hook and loop tape to the back side of the fabric band. This will help keep your trunk organizer in place and against the carpeted wall of your car trunk.

Warning: This will not be strong enough to keep the organizer full of stuff attached to the side of your car trunk. Guess how I know? That’s why we need Step 11.

11. Attach the magnet hooks to the metal sides of your trunk, hang the cargo net up, and get that organize that junk in your trunk!


This is such an easy way to organize the stuff in our car and make sure it stays put! I made two net car organizers for each side of our trunk. One cargo net keeps our reusable shopping bags organized. The other cargo net keeps our picnic blanket, Frisbee and toys, and car seat covers from sliding all and hiding fetid orange juice containers for days on end.

 
Easy organization. Love that!

The net organizers are easy to remove if we need extra room in the trunk for a trip or when I buy something big at the home improvement store.

How do you keep your car organized?


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Sunday, May 24, 2015

Everything You Need to Know About Indoor Allergies and Air Pollution but Didn’t Know You Should Ask

  This post is brought to you by a partnership between Condo Blues and Air Filter Buy.

I thought I had reducing household air pollution and allergens all figured it. As soon as I change the filter on our HVAC system and clean regularly with green cleaners I should be good when it comes to my air born allergies, right?

Nope. Not so much.

My new allergist not only gave me a more comprehensive list of my allergens, he also gave me marching orders to reduce the amount of indoor pollutants in our house. 

I’ve been doing a ton of research on indoor air pollution. I found this info graphic called Everything You Need to Know About Indoor Air Pollution helpful and want to share it with you.  I personally found it helpful because it shines some light on the health issues related to indoor air pollution as well as telling you what simple steps families can do to protect themselves.




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Not to scare you or anything, but do you know indoor air pollution caused nearly 8% of worldwide fatalities in 2012?

Help a girl out, what do you do to reduce dust and allergens in your home?

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Wednesday, May 13, 2015

How to Clean Sandpaper on a Belt Sander

Sandpaper lasts me quite awhile because I rarely have a project where I bust open a new sanding belt and sand all the grit off the belt before it is time to switch to a different grit during the project.

Needing to change a still gritty sanding belt because it is clogged and gunked up with sawdust is a different matter.

Why does it always happen when you’ve got just a little bit left to sand and you’re out of new sanding belts? Is it some DIY conspiracy I don’t know about? Possibly.

3 ways to clean beltsander



Did you know you can clean sandpaper and prolong its life? Yep, you can! Cleaning a sanding belt is a cheap and easy thing to do. You might already have just what you need to do it too.

3 Cheap and Easy Ways to Clean Sanding Belts and Prolong Their Life


Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Recycled Kitchen Cabinet and Wood Pallet Workbench

I needed a workbench in the garage. I also wanted one place to store all of my tools in my workshop. I’m low to the ground at 4’11”. It makes more sense to store my tools in my workbench than above the workbench on shelves or peg board.  

Originally my plan was to buy matching bathroom cabinets at the Habitat Restore since bathroom base cabinets aren’t as tall as kitchen cabinets.  I would finally have a work surface that is at the correct height for my size!

kitchen cabinet wood pallet workbench

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Father in law said there were  two mismatched kitchen base cabinets that have been forgotten in his garage for years and offered them to me.

Change of plans. Free is good.

Thursday, April 16, 2015

Recycled Pendant Charm Bracelet

I am in Spring Cleaning mode and nothing is safe. I cleaned and organized the garage, reorganized my closet, and tidied the drawers in my nightstand.

During my decluttering binge, I rediscovered some pendent necklaces I haven’t been wearing and my old charm bracelet.

recycled charm bracelet
 Pin this for later. Memory charm bracelets make thoughtful gifts!

Many of my old necklaces were gifts and have special meaning. I know I don’t need a necklace made from one of my grandfather’s tuxedo buttons to remember him but I don’t want to get rid of it either.

Thursday, April 9, 2015

How to Make Reusable Makeup Remover Pads

I use disposable face wipes when I travel for the convenience but once I’m out I forget to buy more until the next time I go on a trip. Besides, I try to limit the amount of one time use disposables I use on a regular basis and let’s face it, wash cloths are reusable and face wipes are not.

Too bad I have a bad habit of by passing the wash cloths at night and not washing the makeup off my face before I go to bed. Why? Laziness I guess. 

make reusable makeup remover rounds

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Fortunately, I found some leftover terry cloth fabric during one of my Spring decluttering and cleaning binges. I turned that into a reusable and green answer for my lazy face washing problem – reusable terry cloth makeup remove pads.

 

How to Sew Terry Cloth Makeup Remover Pads