Organizing the Obsession

Ok, now that I know my little fetus has boy parts I’ve been a little gung ho in the clothes buying department. Like, every few days, I’m coming home with another bag full. Shamefully bad, I know.

BUT – my obsession thus far has been centered around a marvelous little thing called the goodwill quarter bin. Which is a bin, where you get baby clothes, for a quarter.

I know, right? 

How to Save on Baby Clothes

I mean, you have the look. A lot of it is stained, or ugly, or girl clothes. And don’t get me wrong, I’m so tempted to grab the super cute girl clothes, ya know – just in case I have a little lady some day. I mean – it’s a QUARTER!

But for now, I’ve trained my mind to focus only on polos and plaid, since I’m looking to stock up this little guy’s wardrobe on the cheap.

It’s really,  more or less, become a giant game for me to see the swaggest baby gear I can find for a 4th of one georgie porgie.

Buying Baby Clothes for Less

Your eyeballs are not deceiving you. That’s a Lacoste Shirt (retail value $40), some Tommy Trunks, and Polo board shorts. Man, Henry, you’ve got it made, kid.

Not that I’m really a huge name brand wanna be or anything, but ya know, I’ll take it!

Michigan Sleeper

Jaybird is a Umich grad, so when I spotted this sleeper, I had to add it to the bundle. Disclaimer: I’m NOT a Michigan fan (au contraire, GO GREEN!) so this was actually a sorta big deal. Made my man smile though, so I guess it was worth the twenty five pennies I spent 😉

So, as I’ve added to this collection, I’ve realized I need a way to organize the madness, and keep everything ready to go for when little boy gets here in Spring.

I came up with this system to organize all his clothes!

Organizing Baby Clothes

I just sorted out all the clothes I’d found by month. Nice and folded, laundered and ready for our little guy.

When it gets to be a few months out, I figure I’ll load up his closet with 0-6 months, so that everything is ready for him to wear. Depending on how big of a chunk he is, we’ll just rotate out to the new gear as he grows.

How to Save on Clothes

Mama’s first little guy really liked this activity. I think it had something to do with warm clothes out of the dryer and big boxy bins to jump into 🙂

Kitty Helper

Truth be told, I loved this activity so much, that I went out and bought another bag full 🙂

Buying Childrens Clothes

For now, the skyscraper of baby clothes sits in the corner of our room, just waiting for my next haul.

Organizing Baby Clothes

Any one else have any tips and tricks for finding little people clothes on the cheap? Do share!

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. 😀

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 😉
  • 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: 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: 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?

At Your Service

Sometimes I get it in my head that I need something so badly, that it becomes like, an unhealthy obsession. Butler Pantry’s are one of those things. I think it’s because I’m under the sad illusion that these pantry’s come with said Butler, but regardless, how classy is it to say at your dinner party – Dear, could you go get our chilled wine and caviar from the Butler’s Pantry. Yeah, you’re right. Who wants to eat caviar anyway, let’s just go for two bottles of wine, instead 😉

I’m going to do something sorta mean now. I’m going to show you all these photos I’ve been lusting over of fancy shmancy pantry’s and I’m going to make you want one, too. Evil, right?

Butlers Pantry

Source

I love how in the house above, they used an open wall space as their butler’s pantry. Traditionally, these are placed in galley areas, but this is an awesome way to get one of these beauties in for a house that doesn’t have the conventional architecture for it.

Modern Butlers Pantry

Source

Perfection. That marble back splash seals the deal.

Butlers Pantry Kitchen

Source

Now if this isn’t the perfect little butler’s pantry, then I just don’t know what is. The curved doorways, all that storage, that view of the kitchen – jut stop, it hurts. So good. So, soooo goood.

Wallpaper_in_Butlers_Pantry

Source

Party in the pantry! Love the fun and whimsical take this family chose by installing some brightly patterned wallpaper in this pantry.

Inset Cabinets in Butlers Pantry

Source

Ok, this inset cabinetry pretty much had me at hello. From the windowwwwws, to the wall. That hunka chunka crown molding up top there. Hubbba hubbbaa.

So are y’all now coming down with Butler Pantry disease? Warning, there is no cure for the afflicted. Other than, ya know, getting in on that action and getting yourself one swankified pantry space!

Washer Woman

O. M. capital G, y’all. I washed my own pantolones in my own house this weekend. I didn’t go to the laudro-mat, or beg my neighbors, or, ya know, wear stinky clothes (again). We hooked up that son of a gun and washed our clothes. In our house.

BAM.

Now, if you’ve been following along with the saga that is our second story laundry room, you’d know that these advances in modern technology did not come easily. Or, ahem, cheaply. Ah contraire, my friend. But alas, after our first washing machine bit the dust, we were left with the hard reality that if we wanted to clean our clothes, we’d have to (gulp) buy another one.

But first, ‘member how I mentioned our door was a bit too tight, well we had to get to removing the extra trim around the frame to prep for washer delivery 2.0.

Removing Door Frame

It appears Jay is adjusting well to life in the south as a hillbilly that doesn’t wear shoes around power tools and shards of debris. Not advised, not advised. {do not attempt this at home}

He does look proud of his demolition handy work though, wouldn’t ya say?

After our demoing was done, the next morning the moment was upon us and our new machine was entering the house. I made Jay come home on his lunch break, since the whole thing just made me feel like I was going to vomit. Something about another washing machine not making it up the steps just made me get weak in the knees. But you guys – the delivery guys were ROCK STARS. They even brought our old, busted machine into the garage for free AND brought up our dryer, which was becoming a permanent resident of the Living Room.

No more appliances in our bedroom – Huzza!!

Breaking Washing Machine

The delivery staff hooked up the washer, and tested it before they left, so we had complete peace of mind that everything was peachy keen before they bid us farewell.

Monumental sigh of relief.

Once the ball was back in our court, we still had to level the machine and lift up the dryer (which is half the weight of the washer, thank God). Leveling the machine required 30 minutes or so of tweaking before we got it just right.

Making Sure Washer is Level

We wanted to spend some extra time being diligent on this step since we had heard that having the machine level is crucial to avoid any extra shaking you might experience during the spin cycle. We’d read some horror stories online of washing machines shaking the entire house when they’re on the spin cycle, so we figured it made sense to dedicate some extra time up front vs. regret it forevermore.

I seriously don’t know how Jay motivated me to do it (I did not want to), but he convinced me I was capable of helping him lift the dryer up onto the washing machine. Now, it wasn’t that heavy but ya know, I had a few bad memories flooding through my head as we attempted to once again maneuver an appliance around the house. Thank GOD, this appliance remained unscathed. WHEW.

Before we knew it we were loading these beasts for the first load of laundry!

Washer Shaking on Second Floor

As mentioned, we had heard that second floor laundry room’s can lead to some serious house shaking, so once the machine hit the spin cycle, we pretty much both hunkered down to watch this thing, and see how bad it was going to get. Should have grabbed popcorn, man, it was that entertaining.

Washer Shaking House

It wasn’t bad at all though! For 99% of the cycle you can’t even tell the machine is on, it’s so quiet. When it transitions onto the spin cycle there is about 10-15 seconds where there is a bit of vibration, but it’s not something that’s all that noticeable, and it certainly doesn’t feel like the entire house is shaking, so that’s good!

I think we had hyped it up in our heads, so we were not quite sure what to expect, in all honesty.

The units themselves are quite large and have a ton of different settings. We feel like we’re living in the lap of luxury 😀

Samsung Washer

And although it’s oh so fine to have a washer and dryer in da house, the rest of the laundry room is lagging behind in the style department. You know, stuff like all of this plumbing and electrical. Ugly alert.

Plumbing in Laundry Room

Our general game plan is to cover all of this up with a built-in bookcase, but for now, it’s just depressingly ugly. Realistically, it’s going to be a few weeks (months, dare I say) before we come back to this room and start to make the magic happen.

When we do though, this is the general layout, and idea of what we have planned.

Laundry Room Storage

Since we were able to cut out an access panel behind the washer and dryer (in our attic space) we’re going to completely enclose the appliances so that they look more or less built-in.

Although the bookcase will not be deep, it’s going to be very tall, and I’m so excited to have all this extra storage!

Since we knew we’d be procrastinating on our final laundry look, we did re-install that door though, to keep all the ugly on the other side 😉

Newly Installed Door

So who else out there has a second story laundry? I’m curious to hear feedback from others on what works and doesn’t work with their spaces.

Amore for our Amoire

Ahhh, to have a mud room. Now, don’t get me wrong, I’m counting my lucky stars that we’ve got a laundry room these days but thing is, it’s on the second floor, so it’s definitely not functioning as a space to schlep our goods. Just a washing locale, which I’m well and good with, but ya know, I’ve definitely been starting to notice that the side of our Living Room has morphed into a legit dumping ground for all our junk these days.

Since it’s closest to the driveway, we tend to come in the side door, which has been lending this location to being the spot where we kick off our shoes and stash our backpacks.

Seewhadamean?

Shoe Storage at Back Door

We have an amply sized side porch off of this door, which Jay and I have toyed around with converting to a screened in porch years down the road. A bit torn on that one, since it’s our only outdoor space where we can hollar a hello to our neighbor’s passing, that’s totally open. This is what it looks like now.

Side Porch

Now all these shoes and crap everywhere was starting to drive me absolutely bonkers, so I started my normal craigslist prowl, in search of the next accessory to outfit our space and stash our stuff. I actually landed up spying lots of contenders, but we had one limitation, the size of our little Prius that could. In the name of not wanting to go out and rent a truck from Home Depot or the U-haul location, I wanted to find a piece of furniture that could actually fit in our car, to avoid that extra cost.

And ladies and gentlemen, we found ourselves a winner that just fit.

Coat Storage At Door Nice, right? I mean seriously, this thing is definitely my new best friend 😀

One thing we noticed off the bat was that we needed some reinforcing in the toddling department though. Since we knew we’d be opening and shutting the doors on this often, we wanted to make sure it had sufficient weight to it. So although it made me a wee sad at the thought of putting holes in the wall, when Jay suggested screwing it right into the wall, I was game.

We found a scrap piece of wood from the garage,

Attaching Furniture to Wall

Measured the distance we’d need, and attached that baby right to a stud in the wall.

Measuring Back of Furniture

Before we (quasi) permanently affixed it, I made sure that the armoire was centered on the wall. We had about 5 inches on either side, so the armoire takes up most of the wall to the left of the window.

Mounting Furniture To Wall

Now that we’ve added some storage to the room, this side of our living room currently looks like this. We’re looking to add a large 12×15 rug in the next few months that will come out to 3 feet, or so, in front of the armoire. Looking at this vantage point also reminds me of how much I want to add window treatments to this space – but window treatments are expensive yo, so I’m just going to have to sit on my hands and wait for that.

Armoire for Coat Storage

In the other corner of the living room, we have a little antique plant stand that we nabbed for $5 on craigslist (it was in rough shape), and refinished. I plan to sell it to make generate some dough to pay for the window treatments (waste not, want not), but for now, it’s a fancy plant stand. 😀

Barley Twist Table

Everyone in the house loves the new armoire we’ve added for storage, but there is definitely an orange member of the household that is particularly partial. 😉 It’s like one big box – he can’t even handle himself around it.

Cat Getting Into Furniture

Next up, a little switcheroo is in order for these plain jane knobs. I’ve got my heart set on these guys. Or maybe these guys.

Adding Hardware to Furniture

Anyone else living in a tiny little house and have to get creative with storage? I can’t tell you how much of a difference this little guy is already making for us to keep this part of the house organized. In love. 🙂


2014 | Let’s Do This

Confession – I suffer from seasonal affective dissorder or shall we say seasonal (D)efective disorder. It gets down right ugly with me when old man winter comes knocking. If it’s below 40 degrees, I basically want to punch a baby. My shoulders are scrunched up and cold for 6-months out of the year and it just kills me man. Although in many ways, I’m totally pumped about the new year and ready to OWN it, the winter blues put a cramp in my style.

So recognizing my disadvantaged mental state, I decided to put together some small tools to help me make good on my resolutions, instead of sitting in front of a space heater, whimpering in my long johns.

Weekly Planner Free Download | Lemon Grove Blog

I’m also a huge fan of check lists around here. Truly, is there anything more satisfying than having a big fat check next to a task you’ve just busted out? In my book, I’d be hard pressed to find one. So I thought of all the things I wanted to accomplish in the next year, and made a purty little list for them. I also went out and bought a fancy pants binder from Tar-jay (with gold dots!) to get my rear in gear. Nothing like a pretty binder to entice me to open my list and get a crackin.

Target Greenroom Gold Binder

Since I thought others may want to take advantage of these lists, I thought I’d share the wealth and make them all available for y’all to download and use in your lovely abodes! (just click on the image to make it larger, and right click to download). I put together a nice set (all in coordinating, bright and cheerful colors!). Check it out!

To Do List 

I like to break my tasks for the day into chunks – feels more manageable that way and helps me set some goals as well. This To-Do list is separated into morning, afternoon, evening and next day prep. If I can stick to this, I’m golden my friends.

To Do List

Meal Planning

If you remember from my resolutions post last week, another one of my goals this year is to meal plan. Lately we’ve been coming home, opening the fridge and just kinda staring at it’s contents hoping a meal will magically levitate from our freezer to our dining room table.  That hasn’t happened yet, so we thought we’d move along to the next best thing aka actually planning our meals so that we know what food will enter our bellies each evening.

Since we’ve gotta buy the groceries first, I decided to pop in a column to populate a list each week, too. Planning ahead, amigos.

Meal Planning List

Project List

Being the DIY fa-reaks that we are, there is always a project popping in this joint. This little dude will help us stay on task to bust out the latest and greatest.

Task List

Weekend Cleaning List

Since we are always pretty busy making our house messy with projects (like this one, or this one, or this one), having a weekend cleaning routine helps keep me sane, and helps to keep our house from looking like a herd of wildebeest live here. Some weekends you could just say I lack in the motivation department, so I think having a pretty little check off sheet will help keep me moving along.

Weekend Cleaning List

Calendar

What’s a planner without a calendar to mark down your dates and obligations? Here is my version of a weekly planner to keep ya organized through it all.

Weekly Planner

Weekly Planner

If you’d like any (or all of these) worksheets for your own organization, just click and download to your computer!

How do you guys make sure you tackle those resolutions? Are there other list makers out there like me? (Can I get an amen, sisters?) Or do you have a different process to making sure those to-do’s happen? If this doesn’t work, I’m motivating myself with a big fat Matilda style cake next year. If I complete a task, I get a slice. If I fail, I have to eat the entire cake. 😀

Punching Through the Punch List

The last week here was so hot and so humid. I kind of morphed into a zombie and did all the rudimentary things in the day and absolutely no more. The temp died down a bit this weekend (down to 85 ;)) which has inspired me to whip on the good old house punch list and start karate chopping my way through. Oyyyeeee. Karate chop. (That was the voice inside my head doing an Asian inspired karate chop, if you couldn’t tell). Karate chops and punches, are the same in my book. 😉

After I tackled the living room mantle, I got to thinking that there were still a few stones unturned in the rooms that were doneish. Rooms like our Master. It functioned, the furniture was all in place, but there were little details still nagging at me when I walked in there. Like our sheets. We’ve got some off-white, some white, and some with burns on the back (whoops, don’t put a pillow over a light, apparently, my bad).

Burnt Pillow Cases

Our official punch list in this room before it’s done includes:

  • Put artwork above the bed
  • Get new sheets (these)
  • Hem curtains

Other rooms, like the guest bedroom basically just had a bed, so it was more of an open slate. That’s my optimistic way of saying we ain’t done anything in this room. Nada. Well, we did make the bed, so that is something.

Guest Room Design

To finish this guy off, I’d like to do:

  • Purchase and install curtains
  • Purchase and install a rug
  • Get an ottoman for the end of the bed (DIY?)
  • Get a small bookshelf/storage unit
  • Add artwork
  • Get a new light fixture

Rooms like the Dining Room and Kitchen have made tons of progress in the last month or two, but largely due to the timelines of our materials coming in (slow), we’re currently without a few essentials. Like, a countertop, for instance. Or a backsplash, or cabinet hardware, or a sink. You get the picture. 😉

How to Install a Dishwasher

To “finish off” the kitchen and dining room(s), I’m hoping to bust out the following:

  • Add trim beneath door in dining room
  • Paint around light in dining room
  • Add hardware
  • Install counter
  • Install backsplash
  • Install crown
  • Install sink and faucet
  • Add art work

How to add trim around door

And then there is the Living Room, which is also inching toward progress. Kind of one step forward and two steps back in this room right now. Love the new rug, don’t love the new fireplace. Move the mirror above the dresser to the mantle, need art work for above the mirror. It’s always so much more fun when you go through all the effort of beautifying something and you love it. When you slave away and your reaction is just meh. Not as satisfying.

White mantel with round mirror

In this room, we still need to tackle:

My goal is to get all these (or most of these) done by the early fall, so that we can start to tackle some of the auxiliary spaces not on our main floor. Namely, we are looking to convert our attic into a Master Suite (squeee!!!). We are currently in the process of getting quotes for this, and we’ve been really pleasantly surprised at how affordable (knock on wood), this addition is going to be. Since we are planning on doing all the interior work ourselves, the quotes we are getting only include the framing and exterior work and the first one came in at $6,000. Certainly not cheap but for what we are getting in the space, we’re leaning toward it being well worth it. Here is one of the picture’s I’ve been drooling over on pinterest as my inspiration.

Attic Conversion

Cleaning Out My Closet

Actually, cleaning out my husband’s completely non-functional, very frustrating, always bursting open at the seams closet. Can ya tell I’ve got some pent up frustration here? When we moved in, Jay and I had to each claim a closet in the downstairs bedrooms, since the smallish closet we have in our current Master was really not enough for two. Barely enough for one! Jay took the guest bedroom closet, along with a dresser we moved over into the room, pictured below. Sure, he is bigger than me, but I thought he was sitting awfully pretty getting the dresser and the closet, when I had to fit all my dubs into only the closet. Just sayin.

Guest Room – Dresser and Mirror

Fast forward 7-months, and it was obvious that something just wasn’t working with Jay’s clothing storage needs. When he was on a business trip earlier this month, I identified the main culprit as his shoes. His dozens and dozens of shoes that he wears maybe once a year. UGG. Not the way I function. Unless I use it often, it usually gets the heave ho. Each has it’s pros and its cons, but man, trying to get him to give up something (like a pair of shoes, he never wears), is like pulling teeth around here. Let’s just say the man is attached to his footwear.

Shoe Storage
All Jay’s Shoes

So after proposing that he rid himself of a few pairs of shoes, and coming up against a brick wall, I moved on to the next best thing. Schlepping them in another closet. He he. We have a (actually pretty nice) cedar closet in our basement, which I deemed the perfect new location for all his shoe needs. Sometimes a girl has to make executive decisions around here.

Closet Organization
All Jay’s Shoes

So after hauling all Jay’s shoe’s out onto the bed, things were looking much improved in the closet and a bit simplified. Just a note – see the green shoe on the far left, bottom side of the photo. That is Jay’s old running shoe. He lost the right footed shoe, but still insists on keeping the mate, just in case the other one lands in his lap. The total non-hoarder in me is cringing at the thought of keeping this shoe around, but I’m telling ya, I’m not dealing with a negotiating party over here! So…. the pair-free shoe lives to see another day. In another closet.

Closet Organization
Closet Before

Since the shoes were compromising all of the above closet storage space, his whitie tighties and socks and biking bag took up all the ground space. I caught this closet on a good day. After a few days/weeks of neglect, this stuff would creep out of the closet and Jay would never shut the door, so this closet would just start to slowly take over the entire room. Not going to work. Nope.

How to organize a closet
Organized Closet

After asking Jay which shoes he needed, on a daily basis, he whittled down his daily duds to the two pairs above. His biking shoes, and his running shoes. He’s an active guy, what can I say. 🙂 And, since he bikes in daily, Jay keeps his working shoes at work, which helps a bit with the closet clutter as well. Now he’s got his undies, his white under-shirts and his socks stored above, along with his two designated pairs of shoes. Yes – I can handle this! Progress!

Organized Closet
Closet Floor

Now the only thing on his floor is his biking bag, and his hamper. Ah. That is a sight for sore eyes! Pretty soon I intend to give his closet a similar paint make-over (a la my closet reno), but for now, I am peachy keen with a little extra organization.

Conquer the Closet

So I think every home has at least one spot where crap just gravitates toward. Our house, has multiple crap magnets, but we are officially down one cause I tackled the closet! Since we moved in, I’ve just been stuffing things in there. Things that totally don’t belong there. Like paystubs, old prescriptions, toilet bowl cleaner. Yeah – let’s just say it was a catch all. Here is a lovely image to help you understand how much this closet was just not functioning.

Cluttered Closet – Before

Inspired by the William Morris project over at Pancakes and French Fries, I decided that today was the day. To Conquer – that – Closet. So I started by grabbing a selection of baskets from our stash in the basement (another area in dire need of being conquered, alas, not today). And I set to work purging this baby of all it’s unnecessary items. Funny, I thought for sure we would have to take a trip to HomeGoods or Ikea to get some new storage for the closet, but I was pleasantly surprised to find a solid stash hanging out in the basement. I found that the one great thing about moving, is that you can go shopping in your house, cause ya land up hoarding random things all over the place and finding them later. It’s awesome.

Closet organization
Baskets | Closet Organziation

I started by just emptying the whole kit and caboodle out so that I could systematically tackle it. When we were packing to move to this house, I actually found that I really like organizing items into a defined space. I was the master of packing boxes. I swear, it’s like another being zapped into my body (I’m talking Quantum Leap, here – do you remember that show!?) Just like that, like vrooom – and a jolt – and this new identity takes over. I would just look at the box, and all the stuff around me I’d have to pack and it just all magically fit. The closet felt like the same type of challenge. Defined amount of space, lots of random crap to fit in. I was up to the task. My alter ego that is, was up to the task. Of course, the Orange Tabby was there for moral support.

The orange tabby helping
Malcolm Helping

I started up at the top, and just worked my way on down. Here are some close-ups of the finished closet. Found some pillows just laying around, figured the linen closet was a good place to put em’ 🙂 We have mostly linens and medicine stocked away in this cabinet, so I started compartmentalizing everything into separate totes to organize.

Closet Organization

Here is the long and lean shot of the space. Much improved! Feels good to check that beast off the list!  Only took 3-months. Let’s see how long it lasts.

Linen Closet Organization
Linen Closet Organization

Going Cordless

One of the jankiest things about our basement built-in has been the cords that are all over the counter top. I hated those things. They were like weeds coming out of the cabinet and making the whole area look totally unkept and ugg. With a capital U. Here is a before picture to refresh your memory.

Computer with Cords

So when I brought up hiding the cords and organizing the space and Jay said it would be no problem to tackle – that made me happy. I didn’t believe him though. I thought he was pulling the whole happy wife, happy life routine. So I said great! … and anticipated not so great. To my complete and utter amazement this was SO EASY. Granted I stood beside him and snapped pictures, but he seemed to know what he was doing. Leave it to the pros, ya know?

The key was in a specific drill bit that he was able to borrow from his co-worker (thanks Ron!). It’s got a diamond blade – fancy, eh? So this beast of a blade cut right through our tile and made the most perfect little circle! I was totally envisioning tile shards flying everywhere and a totally messed up looking counter, but I guess I shouldn’t have doubted the man. So here’s the play by play. First, and most importantly go get a diamond edge hole saw, this is the one we used. You really need this if you are trying to create a hole in tile or stone. If you are just drilling through wood, you can use a normal hole saw, which is what we used after getting through the first layer of tile.

Drilling into Tile

First thing Jay did was get the area just a little wet. Probably a few tablespoons of water – just to helped with the friction. It decreases the heat and you do notice a funky smell if you don’t have a sufficient amount of water on the tile. You can see that a mud like substance starts to result as the tile and grout mix, and the hole begins to form. After this step, ya have a nice little perfectly rounded hole.

Hole in Tile

Next, after you get your layer of tile out, you need to come back through and get the chunk of wood underneath. This only took a second, and Jay just switched out the bit on his drill to a 1″ spade bit, which is just a normal circular wood bit.

Drilling into the Wood

Pretty much done at this point, just need to chisel out any extra wood pieces that are left on the outside perimeter. Look how intensely he is chiseling out that wood! Focused on his work, totally ignoring the paparazzi.

Chiseling Out Wood

After we cleaned up, we were left with this! Totally loving this FREE and super easy upgrade. The counter is feeling a lot more airy and open now – definitely a move in the right direction.

Computer Monitor

And a view from the back – look at how nice those cords look!