Built In Shelf DIY

Whew! It’s been a busy week over here. We’re well into our bathroom renovation and I’m so excited with how it’s coming along! We’ll have some progress photos of the space up later this week for you all to check out (get excited!). (for those new to the blog – you can see the before and after shots, here)

In addition to demoing and rebuilding our upstairs loo, I took 30 seconds this week to do a first round of accessorizing on our newly refurbished built-in.

Remember this built in shelf DIY from last week?

Vintage Built In

That turned into this guy?

Adding Shelves to Builtin

Well I decided there’s no time better than the present and snooped around the abode for some accessories to add into the space.

It’s most definitely not finished, and it’s leaning a bit too traditional for me right now, but hey – it’s better than an empty cabinet, right?

Built in Bookcase

It was fun to be reunited with lots of the little treasures we still had packed away.

I love, love, love these little bookends I found thrifting a while back.

Marble Bookends

They are the perfect bookends for the (imperfect) books we found stashed away in our attic when we moved in.

Antique Books

They’ve got some water damage on them, but from a distance, it’s hard to tell πŸ˜€

Our little happy pig found a new happy home. Fitting that he overlooks our Dining Room where this preggo lady pigs out quite often.

How to Accesorize Bookcase

Right now, these little gold guys serve no function other than ornamental, but when we add in a little bar on the bottom shelf, I plan on using these for stashing some mixer essentials.

Accessorizing Bookcase

And above it all, Honest Abe sits looking pretty. Another fun thrifting find. πŸ™‚

Abe Lincoln Bookend

What were you all up to this weekend? Anybody else renovating a bathroom?

DIY Built-In Bookcase

When we were in escrow with our little abode, I remember showing people photos on our phones of the new joint and they would almost always comment on the little built-in we have in the Dining Room.

And sure, it was nice. But it was also a lot less nice up close in personal than it was in those photographs. Which is why we decided to do a little DIY built-in bookcase action over here.

Vintage Built In

It was old, and the door stuck, and it was our official junk collection spot for things we didn’t know what to do with in the kitchen. A little bit of this, a little bit of that.

Plus, now that I’m all in hyper mama bear mode, I also started to think to myself that every time we opened those sticky, reluctant glass doors, we were probably risking exposure to lead paint and the likes.

Lead Paint on Built In

Anywhoo … I just didn’t want to risk it. Plus, the doors were a bit too kitchy for my taste.Β So one night over dinner, I said to Jay – let’s give that baby a makeover.

I wanted everything to look more built-in, so we decided to scrap the glass shelves that were in here before, and swap them out for solid wood shelves instead to create this little built-in bookcase.

Adding Shelves to Built-in

The good news was that we already had brackets mounted on the cabinet sides from the previous shelving, so it was easy peasy to get the new shelf in. We just measured, cut, and messed around with some different height options for a bit.

Since there were doors mounted to the sides of the built-in previously, we also had to come back through and add some putty into those gaps before we did our final round of fresh paint. Here it is, waiting to get a quick sand down in between coats of putty (I think we put on 2 coats, total).

Filling in Gaps with Join Compound

I can tell you, I’m already loving how simple thisΒ looks compared to the rather busy built-in viewΒ before. The panes of glass and everything, it made that corner of the Dining Room just look overly busy to me.

Here is a shot of it after we added a coat of Benjamin Moore Simply White.

Adding Shelves to Builtin

I’m really excited to accessorize this built-in bookcase now! I already found this fun serving tray at the thrift store for a few bucks last weekend. I think it would look awesome along with a little mini bar on that bottom shelf.

Brass Bamboo Tray

When everything is said and done, I see the built-in bookcase looking something like this! Stock that liquor shelf up, babbbbeeyy.

How_To_Style_a_Bookcase

MMMMMM – T-minus 4-months until this mama can get her hands back on a Margarita. That excites me more than it should. πŸ˜‰

Planner Fever

Lists – love them, need them, have to have them. Now, a list of my life organized in a cute and succinct and chic little booklet, now that’s just too much to handle for this organized crazed women.

I’ve been researching planner options for like – a year – and I’ve got a list of some of my favorites that are currently on the market.

Best Day Planners

 

Lilly Pulitzer // Simplified Planner // Day Designer // Erin Condren // Pattern Play

I love them all (so fun, so bright, so organized!) but I have a few leading contenders. Two actually. πŸ˜€

Day Designer

Ok, yes – I know. It says $59 dollars and it’s a little wee planner chock full of not gold, but paper (a lowly priced commodity last I checked). That being said – let’s just say it’s full of magical paper that organizes your LIFE with the wave of a hand – err – pen.

Here is a close up shot of the daily planner page. I’m in heaven.

Whitney_English

Just look at all that organization. Hubba, hubba – MEEEOOOOWW.

My favorite features about this planner:

  • Today’s Top Three: I’m prone to making To-Do lists that can get a bit hairy (i.e. long) I love the idea of prioritizing the essentials and making sure they’re done before my head hits that pillow.
  • Don’t Forget: I forget things. Often. I think that’s why I love my lists πŸ˜‰
  • Big Ol’ To-Do List: Did I mention I like lots of To-Dos on that list? This one provides ample space for me to add in a laundry list of items. Plus, did you notice the check boxes. Yes, that gives me extra gratification and YES I love them.

Only gripe. Wish the dinner section was larger. We don’t go out often, so this would be a locale for me to put in our meal – which I like to include our sides for. It’s a bit tight for that.

Simplified Planner Review

 

Oh my. Here’s some more gorgeousness coming right on up!

Love this one, so many fun colors to pick from, it’s just beauty at it’s core – and $1 cheaper for all you eagle eyed viewers out there.

Here is a close up page from this lovely looker.

Simplified_Planner Page

 

My favorite features about this planner:

  • Monthly Tabs:Β Love the colorful monthly tabs on this one. The idea of just hopping to a month to see what we’ve got in store (vacays, deadlines, etc.)
  • Dinner Space: I like that this planner gives more space for dinner time planning. Since we almost always cook in, this gives me more space to plan our meals.
  • Elastic Band to Hold Closed:Β One feature this planner has the the Day Designer does not is an elastic band to keep it closed. Since I wouldn’t want the pages to get creased, and may want to add additional notes (sticky, etc.) I like that feature.

So do you guys have a favorite planner? What helps you to bust out the tasks at hand each day?

B-gone Bedroom

Ya know, I’ve learned a few things about myself in our sweet little Ann Arbor abode. First, a 10×10 Master Bedroom is just a bit tight. Second, having a bedroom with a great view of your neighborhood and neighbor’s driveway certainly has it’s advantages, but ya know, that’s not my jam either. Case and point, there is seriously a man that walks his dog in our neighborhood at like 2am, with a spulunking light on. Seriously. How would we know that? Maybe because his light shines right on in to our bedroom without fail as he’s picking up his dogs doo doo. Oye. And third – third is that shiver me timbers, would I like a home office. I’d really like a home office.

After we moved everything out of the bedroom to it’s new, upgraded Master Suite location, we had a pretty empty room and like 24 hours to stage it before sale. Scccrreeeaaaccchh. That’s high time for some crunching!

Moving Out Furniture

Since we knew our timeline for when we’d be having the carpet installed upstairs, I was pretty much scouring craigslist every night in hopes of finding some key pieces to quickly (and cheaply!) fill up this vast empty space. And although I definitely found a few things I really liked, in the end, we had to do some cheater-cheater-pumpkin-eater staging and buy some stuff off the shelves, too.

My one solid score, was this beauty of a bookcase.

Adding Crown to Bookcase

Solid wood, great condition. It even had some nice crown detail on the top upping the classy factor.

Solid Wood Bookcase

Now as much as I liked the bookcase, it was a bit orangy in complexion (too much fake and bake), so I sent Jay off with a paint sample and on his lunch break he went out to pick up some greigy goodness to spice this bad boy up.

Two coats of Benjamin Moore Balboa Mist and we had this!

How to Accesorize Bookcase

Nice, right?! Nice enough for some staging! One more craigslist find for this office were these crystally little lamp bases. Add some razzle mcdazzle to the space, right?

Crystal Glass Lamp Base

The rest of it, well, that’s compliments of the fine aisles over at Tar-jay. Given the fact that we literally had one-full day between clearing this room out and LISTING OUR HOUSE, we were under a pretty fine timeline. Ready for some lickety split before and afters?

Here is the before, when we had our bed inside the room.

Small Bedroom Layout

And here is the same angle, after.

Small Home Office

Truth be told, the room feels a bit bare to me, but given our ttiiiiggghhttt timeline – I’m going to go ahead and call it good. Plus, is was so dang nice to have a faux office in the house for a few days. Not going to lie. I pretty much have got it in my head that I need an office in the next house now. #FirstWorldProblems

Now, this office has a few finishing details that never came to be. Whenever I would plop my booty down to type away a blog post on the lap top, I’d stare up at this big old blank abyss up on the wall and think about how much it needed some snazzy new art. It’s missing something, right?

Art Above Desk Area

My favorite area in the room, is to the right of the desk area, near the window. I was a total pouf skeptic before, but man am I sold now! Poufs for everyone! It’s the perfect little thing to pop into the corner to add a bit of color. I was concerned initially that the pouf would sink in too much when you sat on it, like a bean bag, and just collapse in. It actually stays pretty firm though so it’s great for additional seating.

Poof for Seating

I had to save the best for last on my craigslist deals – I’ve been holding out on you πŸ™‚ See this nice slate blue parson’s chair?

World Market Desk Chair

Well one day when I was pursuing craigslist, I found not (1) Parson’s chairs, but 6. Now I knew I didn’t need six parson’s chair, heck with a pending cross country move I didn’t even want (6) chairs. So I did what any logical little lady would do. I kept one, and sold the other 5! πŸ˜€ So that chair there, I basically got paid $85 to keep it πŸ™‚ SCORE.

Put in it’s Place

Really this post should be labeled all the little things we never did, that we were forced to do abruptly before selling our house. It’s amazing what you can accomplish under a bit of pressure πŸ˜€

If there is one thing I’ve learned from listing our house for the second time now is that people are nosy and when they are walking through your house, they are going to open up the most randomΒ things. Bedside tables, any of your kitchen drawers, closets – anything, everything. Be prepared for it to be opened. I knew off hand that there were a few too many junk drawers in our house, so I decided that before we listed, we should also take a bit of time to spruce up and make sure nothing jumped out of our drawers at people.

Let’s start with our nightstands, which typically looked like this. Every night it was an epic battle to find the chapstick, which seriously irks me, because living through winter’s in Michigan, I’ve got perpetually scaley lips.

Organizing Nighstand

No more my friends. Look what I spotted at HomeGoods for $6.99 each. As luck would have it, each of the organizers I found fit exactly into our petite little bed side tables. Must be fate.

Organizer for nightstand

After throwing out half of the contents and reorganizing the rest, we finally had a compartmentalized storage system. Now if that’s not a slice of apple pie, I just don’t know what is. In addition to being able to find my chapstick, I can now also find my bobby pins, another historically elusive item in the Sell Household. πŸ˜‰

I’d show you Jay’s side, but it’s pretty matchy matchy so I think y’all get the drift. Mission organize nightstands – DONE!

Organizer for Nightstand

Our next check on the organize/clean this place list was the basement storage closet. Just like the laundry room, this place was a hot mess. At one point you can tell we kinda sorta tried to organize this space (see the baskets!), but that nose dived real quick into this abyss of cleaning supplies, paint cans and screw drivers.

Organizing Storage Closet

Nothing pretty. Since this is a well utilized space, my only goal with this chunk of the house was to get rid of anything that we didn’t need anymore (some MAJOR purging is going on right now, I’ll tell you that much) and group all the other items together with like stuff. So, baskets seemed like a good place to start, and y’all know that if I’ve got basket brain, the best place to cure that ill is a trip to … wait. for. it. …. HomeGoods.

Do I have a basket problem? I think I have a problem.

Best Place for Inexpensive Baskets

But I’m only addicted to basket buying since it makes such a difference! If only I could organize all of my life by buying more baskets, I’m telling ya. Once I reconfigured a few things and gave the heave ho to anything old or non-usable, we were left with this.

Organizing Paint Closet

Added bonus, now when we move we can just grab the baskets with the stuff we’re taking, and pack them just like that. Annnddd their already organized that way, too! It’s pretty important round these parts to always know where our cans of spray paint are. πŸ˜€

Another small detail we hadn’t checked off the to-do list was adding hardware to our lovely little closets upstairs. Now, normally I would get hard-core analysis paralysis about a decision like this but being that we installed these the day before we listed our house I just let the Jay bird pick out a set during his lunch break. You know what, I trained that man good. Look what he came back with.

Antique Brass Hardware

Just to go with something different, I decided to pick the antique brass finish. Plus, they were cheaper. Sa-weeet. Immediately after we put them up, I realized we needed to group them in sets of (2), but we ran out of time and the house got listed before the hubby had another lunch break run to the hardware store. At least the people coming through the house could open the doors now.Β Meh. Done, check it off the list.

Hardware for Bifold Doors

Another thing I’d been itching to do for-eva was to put some more permanent pads on the bottom of our chairs. Especially with lots of people coming in and out of the place, I thought it would be good to have something along the feet to keep everyone from scratching the floors up and making it look janky as potential buyers were inspecting the place with a fine tooth comb.

See, we tried going the cheapster route and getting the normal pads that you just stick on the bottom of the legs – but then this kept happening. Subsequently, we started seeing scratches on our floor as the chairs went in and out.

Pads for Bottom of Furniture

Sooo … we sprung a few extra bucks and decided to buy ones that more or less permanently affix to the bottom of the chair. They’ve got little metal grommets on the bottom, so you just grab a hammer a tap a few times to get them so that they’ll stay as the furniture gets moved around over time.

Permanent pads for furniture

Along those same lines, when we were on our organizing kick pre-listing, we thought that this time provided a good opportunity to do some deep cleaning, too. Our basement carpet in particular had seen better days so we decided to clean out that room and have the pros come through and give it a quick deep clean. We considered doing the whole shabang ourselves by renting a Rug Doctor, but we read some mixed reviews online indicating that the DIY route can leave your rug wet and musty, and since musty basements are generally not a selling feature for houses, we decided to leave this one to the pros. We found a coupon a week earlier that sweetened the deal as well, so it only cost us about $10 more than what we would have spent to do it ourselves.

With some quick furniture moving action, we were ready!

Cost to have carpet cleaned

Now if that wasn’t the biggest hodge podge of house to-do’s I’ve ever put together, well I just don’t know what is. πŸ˜€ Devil’s in the details, my friends. πŸ™‚

Organized Life, Happy Wife

With our new closets going in upstairs, I’ve been re-evaluating our downstairs storage situation and moving a few things around. And … patching a few things up. Remember when we re-did our floors, last July. Yeah, as in 8 months ago. πŸ˜€ Well some of the trim still had splash of dark stain messing with their mojo. Like this

How to fix ugly closet

Not very handsome. Since we’ve been hauling a lot of stuff out of these closets as of late, I’ve been able to see these blemishes a bit more up close and personal than I’d like. So, since we already had the paint brushes out to tackle all the upstairs trimming that was happening, we decided it was high time to spruce these bad boys up again. See how much better it looks with a coat of paint? (two, actually)

Painting Trim in Closet

Alas, when you start to improve one area, it can make the others suddenly look a bit dismal. Like the closet walls. Dingy dive, I tell ya.

I looked around in our basement and found the wall color (Behr, Wisdom) and decided that if it was good enough for the room, it was good enough for the closet. Plus, I had just enough left of it to paint the closet while leaving a dash behind for any future touch ups.

Organizing Small Closet

Now that the closets were all painted and pretty, I felt the tug of homegoods calling me. Baskkeettss – I need basskkeetts. Am I the only basket fiend around here? I see a blank space, and I see a basket. I think I have a condition.

See? Baskets galore in this joint.

Baskets for Kitchen Storage

Since this room is used for our Airbnb guests, I decided to mix it up and get a larger hamper like tote for visitors that stay a bit longer and might want to do some laundry while they are here. Plus, it’s cute to boot and only set me back $12 at HomeGoods. Holla!!

IKAT Laundry Bag

Our front closet was also looking a bit bare in the storage category, so I came back with this multi-use tote to schlep our extra winter essentials in. Our cold weather grab bag. Helps that it’s got summer stripes adorning the side. Almost makes me feel like spring is right around the corner πŸ˜€

Striped Storage Tote

And shiver me timbers, when I was sorting through the basket aisle at HomeGoods I found something that looked familiar sitting there just asking me for the taking. Why yes, those are our pillows from down in the basement. πŸ˜€ Jay was like, but don’t you already have those, and I was all like, yeah, but ya never know when I might want more and by that time Homegoods won’t be selling them and I think I should grab them just in case, so I’ll have them next time I need them! #Horder

IKAT Pillows

See, look how cute they look adorning our cane chairs. At $8 each, I had to grab them for future accessorizing needs. πŸ˜€

Pillows Made in USA

Now, since my urge to fill a cart at HomeGoods is never ending, I’ve developed a little sly system for keeping myself from going broke. First, my mantra is if I don’t see myself using it (i.e. if I don’t know where I want to put it), I don’t get it. William Morris holds the key to my heart – “Have nothing in your house that you don’t find to be beautiful or useful”.

Ok, yes. The pillows may have broken rule #1. Dang. But, in my defense, I can see them in my future, so I got em. Plus, they were a steal…. πŸ˜€

My second cost saving tip – shop the clearance racks! I.E. steal of a deal pillows! Although things are already marked down at HomeGoods, I try to check out the clearance sections first, to see if there is anything that catches my fancy.

My final mantra, use dem’ credit card points, baabbbeeeyyy. Now, Jay and I are pretty low to moderate spenders, but non-the-less, we accumulate some bonus points from time to time. Instead of just letting them sit there and collect dust, I usually get a gift card to a store I know I’ll enjoy shopping at. And yes, that store is 90% of the time, HomeGoods.

Next up on my organization hit list.

Organizing Small Entry Way

Mmm… yep. In need of some HomeGoods assistance if ya ask me πŸ˜‰

Mission Organization

Remember this guy? Well let’s just say the ball starting rolling over here on mission organization after creating the weekly planner I showed y’all last week. One thing led to another and before I knew it I was moving ahead gang busters on all sorts of fun organization things. πŸ˜€

Target Greenroom Gold Binder

Different things motivate different people. Throw a big fat check box in front of me and it’s game time and every time I check off a box, I’m pretty sure the neighbors here me say it – BAM. That. Just. Happened.

Best Weekly Planner

On Saturday, I started with fun things like my undies, which had been terribly unorganized since the last time I cleaned out my closet. Since I literally had underwear still in my arsenal from high school (HIGH SCHOOL) I thought it was high time to purge and just let some of them go. That’s hard for me cause I really hate to throw something away, but when they’ve got a hole in them the size of China, I fear you just gotta bite that bullet and let em’ go.

How to organize closet

Look how much better my baskets look now that I can fit all my junk in my trunk. No more overflow, just nice, neat, organized undies. BAM.

How to Organize Closet

While I was at it, I decided to tackle the notorious kitchen junk drawer. We all got em, it’s easy to spot em πŸ˜€

Here is the before. Tons of crap, tons of stuff we didn’t need.

Organized Junk Drawer

While I was cleaning up yet another room (I know, on a roll), I spotted these little drawer organizers. By George, just what the doctor ordered!

Cute Drawer Organizers

So I organized all of our junk drawer essentials into these cheery little yellow inserts. Better, yes?

Drawer Organizing Ideas

All this organizing makes me want to go out and buy some baskets, stat. Any one else out there as capital “O” obsessed with cute storage as me?

I thought I’d share with you some of my favorite locations for snagging good deals on baskets and containers to stay organized. Digg in, my friends. πŸ™‚

Inexpensive Basket Locations

  1. Crate & Barrel: Heritage Hill Jar
  2. Container Store: Rugby Stripes Bin
  3. Lucky Clover Trading Company: Wire Mesh Basket
  4. IKEA: Kvarvick Collection
  5. HomeGoods:Β Jute Basket

Pillow Fight

Oh man, I’ve been thrifting again and I’ve got some mad spoils to share. Mostly, more linens πŸ™‚ Oh, and more art. πŸ˜‰ Last time I went to Kiwanis I stocked up on new sheets for the bed, but alas, these sheets were without one essential element – pillow cases.

So our extra set of pillows looked like this. Oye.

Old Pillow Cases

Rather embarrassing, especially when you have extra peeps coming through your house via airbnb. So when I found this group of bad boys for a buck a pop, I couldn’t say no.

Pillow Cases From Thrift Shop

Although not all of them are in sets, I think they will work well for spare pillows for when we have extra people in the house. I also like that they are all neutral enough that we can mix and match them with other sheet sets and not feel like they are sticking out too much. Normally, I wouldn’t go for a pattern, but I love the soft floral options we found along with the solids.

After the pillows were looking so nice and new, I thought it was a good time to tidy up the linen closet and give them a good new home. Malcolm helped. πŸ™‚

Orange Tabby

This is how everything looked after we had them stocked away. Much better.

Organized Closet Tricks

Here’s a shot of the purty little pillows looking mighty nice organized up top.

Organizing Pillows in Closet

During our thrifting trip, I also picked up this sweet little art print, which we currently have up on the front foyer table. It adds some texture to a space that had a lot of dark wood going on right now. I think I may be starting a gold obsession over here. πŸ˜€

Antique Gold Frame

We also got a frame for the orange boy’s baby picture. Only set us back a buck and it’s the nicest little spot for us to admire his infinite cuteness.

Small Gold Frame

Has anyone else been out thrifting over the holiday? Share what you snagged!

Trash Talk

Who knew a trash can would be such a stumper. After the kitchen reno, we had been using left over grocery bags for our trash, which actually worked just fine, for the most part. It was our recycling that just wasn’t fitting the bill. We had a lot of it, and the cardboard box we had stationed under the sink didn’t fit anymore after the new counter tops and under mounted sink were installed. Yippie skippie for nice, deep, sinks. Boo hiss for no place to put all our milk jugs and cardboard.

Under_Sink_Storage

So we had to go searching around the kitchen to find a new home for our garbage. We had a few potential locations in our minds when we set off on our search, and we knew we wanted certain features for our new junk in the trunk collector. Mainly, we wanted it to be 1) slim and 2) a high quality piece of machinery.

After narrowing down all our options, we decided to pop this guy right up next to the side door. The dimensions landed up being absolutely, smack, dab perfect. Just look at that new beaut all snuggled in there.

Simply Human Butterfly Trash Can

See, when we got married, I convinced the hubster to go with the cheapo garbage can. There we were, walking with our little gift gun, going around B to the 3 (Bed, Bath and Beyond) and I see the man just drooling over the Simple Human cans. Me, being cheap, and thinking, umm, that is where we put our chicken guts, opts to go with the $30 option instead of the $120. Both were stainless, meh, seemed the same to me.

Here is the garbage can we got when we got married. Top of the line. πŸ˜€

Round Stainless Trash Can

I don’t think Jay ever did forget those fancy schmancy garbage cans though, since when this one started to crap out on us after 4 years, he was all ready to pull out his plastic and get a new one. What can I say, I caved. The old one clanged enough to raise the dead every time you shut it.

Initially, I was thinking we would need a separate location (i.e. can) for both the recycling and the trash. But then I saw this guy. Two in one, bab-y.

Simple Human Butterfly Recycler

Now if that isn’t perfect, what is. Recycling goes in back, trash up front. Now being just two humans, this garbage can is perfect for us. Would it work for a family of 12, most likely not. The garbage is 40 liters total, so 20 liters for both the trash and the recycling. We take out the trash and recycling about once a week with this model. One thing we have changed a bit behaviorally is that we take big items (pizza boxes, etc) right out the the curbside container, so we don’t fill up the recycling can super quick.

Simply Human Trash Can Review

We are totally loving the two compartments. The organized freak in me wants to just chest bump this little trash can that could every time I recycle my milk jug. It rocks. Favorite thing… soft closing lid. Oh, yeah. Added bonus, the can comes with a 10-year warranty. Not exactly sure what is warranties (i.e. lid, rusting, etc), but it’s a nice to have a bit of piece of mind that they stand behind their product.

Simple Human Trash and Recycling

Now I’m all ready to accessorize this little buddy with some beer bling. Check out this sweet bottle opener I found on Etsy! Only $7. I got a quick approval from Jay on this one πŸ™‚ Anything beer related, he’s an easy sell. πŸ˜‰

Wall Mounted Bottle Opener

 

Dark and Dusty Floors

I’m totally digging my new wood floors. They are dark, and lovely and … dusty and covered in the orange tabby’s hair. Yes, the dirty little secret about those dark wood floors you’ve been lusting over on pinterest, they show all the junk in yo trunk in no time flat. Now with our old floors, I was a pretty consistent cleaner, but I would probably go a week at a time where I would not vacuum or sweep the floors. Those days are gone my friend. Plus, our old floors generally just looked dirty all the time, which contributed to the low maintenance factor. See what I mean?

Red Oak Floors

We used to joke with the orange tabby that he matched our wood floors perfectly (actually, we told him he matched them puuurfectly), since his orangish fur literally disappeared once it hit the old floor (yes, please feel free to psychoanalyze that sentence, we talk to our cat and go out of our way to use cat orientated words in our discussions with him, sick, I know). Well Malcolm is officially out of the job as a floor model, since he sticks out like a sore thumb on these babies. Good for spotting him when you want to give his chin a scratch, bad for when his fur comes off in tufts as he saunters through the house. I’m ready to shave him. A la the picture below. That’s 48 hours of crap accumulation. So, ya want to hear my secret for keeping the floors sparkling clean?

How_To_Clean_Your_Dark_Wood

Since my once a week routine was no longer cutting it, I’m now tending to my high maintenance beauties more like 3 times a week. Once I realized the extent of my new cleaning duties, I decided to make a few upgrades around this joint in the cleaning department. Ladies and gents, let me introduce you to our new little vacuum that could, the Bissell Cordless Lift Off Vac.Β Love at first swoop.

Bissell Cordless Vacuum

This little guy has become my new best friend. Within a few minutes, I’m able to sweep through the house and remove (most) evidence of the dust and cat hair that accumulated. It even has a handy little hand vac that detaches and lets you get things like furniture and other spot cleaning. I’ve used it on the stairwell, too, which is so much nicer than schleping the entire vacuum up and down the steps.

Bissell Lift Off Cordless Vac

Before we bought this guy, we went to Lowes and flipped over every single cordless vac to see what the underparts looked like to make sure it wouldn’t be scratching up our newly minted floors. Once we got over the scandal of checking out said underparts of the vacuum, we determined that this guy was the best bet, mostly since we could not find anything that would drag along the floor and potentially scratch it. It was like a half hour long discussion in the vacuum aisle, with blue vested helpers asking you if you needed anything every 10 mins. Jay finally convinced me this option had nothingΒ on it that could scratch the floors, so I decided to commit. So glad I did.

Best Vacuum for Wood Floors

So far with my cleaning routine, I’ve found that the vacuum works best for the particles that I can see, i.e. food crumbs, cat kibble, random chunks of other debris, and that a regular old broom, or dust mop of some kind, works great for all the finer particles that are harder to spot. I like to sweep right around the edges of the house once a week or so, since I find that I often don’t go right along the trim when I am vacuuming during the week, which leads to lots of missed spots that pop up in the sunlight.

My regular evening routine after dinner is the do a quick sweep of the floor to make sure everything looks put together and not grungy. I read once that cleaning the house before bed helps you sleep, and being the insomniac I am, I’ve totally found it helps. One less thing running around in your brain as you hit the hay.

How to Clean Dark Wood Floors

See how much I like it? Smiling from ear to ear.

Call me down right quirky, but I my favorite chores around the house are actually vacuuming and giving the wood floors a solid scrub. Probably helps that we have always lived in small little huts of houses, but I really, really like washing the floors! Ha, ha. I know, it’s weird. I’m a total fan of Murphy Oil soap, and think that over time it not only cleans the wood, but conditions it and keeps it looking it’s best as well. I just pour a few cap fulls in a bucket of warm water and scrub down the entire floor.

Cleaning_Floors_With_Murphy_Oil_Soap

Works like a charm! Here is the final shot of the kitchen as I edged out of it after washing the floors for the first time since they were refinished. Puts a smile right on my face, just look at those sparkling beauts.

How to Clean Wood Floors

So overall, I’m a bit mixed on how dark to go with your floor. I totally love the dark (in concept) and think that it looks classy and all that jazz, but in all honesty, not sure if I’d go down that road again. Although I really don’t like the orangey glow red oak can get over time with poly, I think next time around I might consider some lighter options as well. Home renovation, one big ball of trial and error for ya! πŸ˜‰