Friday, May 05, 2017

Linen Closet Makeover

A few weeks ago, I decided to make over my linen closet. It was already organized but I needed to make "prettier". I moved into my townhome a few years ago but with Matthew, everything seems to take a while. He is not in school anymore so I don't really have any free time to myself. It is kind of like being an ICU nurse and doing everything else you need to do on top of working 24/7. Anyway, let's get to the closet! 

One of the first things I did when I moved in was to add the wire racks to the closet.  My townhome was a flip so everything was brand new, and I mean everything! New windows, doors, drywall, floors, furnace and just about everything you could think of however that meant that I didn't have any curtain rods, towel bars or anything. I had one wire shelf in there. That is the top shelf and I left that one and worked around it. I purchased wire racks and the hanging bar for the walls so I could add adjustable shelves. Scott installed the bars on the back wall for me and then you just add the adjustable pieces to hold the shelving.  And that is how it remained until now.

I started with the gray paisley cloth bins from Target. I use and prefer gold however I do love gray and gold together. For this project, I decided to go with gray.  Since this closet isn't very wide (around 3 feet if I recall), I used the 11 inch bins so I could use three across.  I needed to maximize storage so I used every square inch of this closet.
I purchased this home sign from Target because I liked it and wasn't sure where to use it until I did this project. I used industrial strength velcro to adhere the sign to the striped bin. That way, it brought in the gold that I used in the rest of the house.
This is the closest thing I have to a "before" picture.  I took a ton of pictures throughout this process however I accidently deleted all of the before pictures!!! I almost died! I had taken pictures of different bins and test photos as I went along and for some reason, I deleted the before pictures when I deleted the test photos! Anyway, the closet was okay, just not pretty. I had the laundry baskets for some twenty years and had kept them because you can't find baskets for normal size linen closets and these were perfect! They are 3/4 bushel baskets and most of the baskets they sell today are 1.5 bushel baskets. Go figure. I searched everywhere for some new baskets!
Here is a picture of the gold home sign.
Here is a picture without the sign. I actually like it both ways.  Let me know whether you like it with the home sign or prefer it without.

So let's go through the linen closet and check out the bins. I know for myself, I am nosy and always want to see what is in a bin or a box. It drives me a little crazy when people don't show you. It's kind of like knowing a secret, lol.  No secrets here!  In the top three bins, I put in toilet paper. I have 8 rolls in each bin for a total of 24 rolls of toilet paper.
The second row of bins are as follows: Bin #1 is for Matt's sheets. I keep the spare set in here. Bin #2 holds hair supplies-these are my electric rollers and Matt's hair cutting tools. Scott cuts Matt's hair so everything is stored in here. See photo.
Bin #3 on the second row holds cotton balls and my manicure and pedicure Better Beauty Cases. I got these cases from HSN and love them.  I bought them a few years ago and also use them in Matt's wheelchair for his supplies.
Here is a close up of the labels.
And here is how they are organized. You can click on the photo to enlarge it.  I do my own manicures and some pedicures. I still enjoy going for a pedicure now and then but I like having everything I need at home. I do all of Matt's manicures and pedicures though.
Next are the plastic bins. I used these years ago and then switched to the Better Beauty Cases for first aid and supplies however I didn't like getting the cases out if you need a band aid. My bathroom has a vanity but no medicine cabinet, just drawers in the vanity so I decided to go back to these plastic bins.  I added some silver glitter paper and put that inside the bins to make them sparkle! I added white labels to the front with black letters. I could have used clear label tape but  I need higher contrast labels now that I am older, even with my new lenses, lol.
I don't keep a lot of stuff. I only keep one of an item and typically one or possibly two back ups.  The plastic bins hold the following contents:
Bin #1 holds: Dental (toothpaste, floss, whitener, mouth guard), Nails (loofah gloves, nail brush and my nail polishing cuticle brush that I use to touch up any manicure mistakes) and Razors (Matt's shaver).
Bin #2 holds: Eye Care (lubricant drops-I use these after cataract surgery.), First Aid (bandaids, etc.) and Wraps (knee mostly).
Bin #3 holds: Deodorant, Q-tips and Soap (bar).

On the next shelf are my towels.  In the striped bin, I store washcloths on the right side and microfiber rags on the left side. I have travertine tile in the bathroom on the shower walls, floor and sink so every day after my shower, I use them to wipe down the shower walls. I try to keep everything close to where it is used, so this is the best place.

I purchased new towels for this project. That is mainly why I decided to do the makeover. It was time for new towels so I decided to just get new baskets and bins as well. I purchased four bath towels, eight hand towels and twelve wash cloths. It's just Matt and I and with limited storage, that meets our needs. 
The baskets were the hardest part of this project to find. I searched all over the internet for white baskets or heck any color baskets that were smaller.  These were the only ones that worked in terms of size. I could find smaller or larger baskets but these were just right. These are called "flexible" baskets and they are from Walmart. They are $4 a basket but I needed them to be sturdy so I doubled them up and actually think they look better. They are a nice crisp white and are perfect! I have used them for at least two months now and they are holding up fine. I was worried the might tear but they are as nice as the day I purchased them. I tried putting other labels (tags) on them but I liked the clean, white look of the baskets so I just added the following labels using label tape: Whites, Colors, Darks and Special Wash.
Another look at the whole closet.
Another look without the "home" sign.
And that's it! Lots of other projects going on but nothing ready to post. I did some small changes beneath the kitchen sink, I added a wall quote in the foyer, got some new furniture for the living room (end tables and coffee tables) and some drapes however I need to wait until next year to get a sofa and some accessories.  I am trying to be patient and content with what I have but it's hard sometimes!
And on a different note, I am excited because I will finally be getting my knees replaced this year. I had my appointment last week and I will get a robotic total knee replacement on my right knee in September. I need Scott to take care of Matt so I had to schedule it when he could get two weeks vacation. He will stay here for a month but works 12 hour days a few days a week so we will see how it goes. Not ideal for sure, but it is what it is. I am hoping to get my left knee done after that but the surgeon only does one knee at a time.  I have been reading about the robotic knee replacements and I am kind of excited. I think it will be great because it will enable me to get back to normal sooner.  Essentially, it allows for more precision, better outcomes and less cutting.  They do a CT scan ahead of time and map out the surgery. Then they make a 4 to 6 inch incision over the kneecap along with some smaller holes for the surgery. The robotics tell the surgeon where to cut leaving the good bone intact.  With traditional knee surgery, my understanding is that normally they cut the ACL and with the robotics, it is left intact.  Robotic technology is very expensive. The cast outlay is around $800k for a facility to purchase it.

 Regarding Matt, I just spoke with the doctor regarding a daytime portable oxygen concentrator.  We got a new oxygen concentrator a few weeks ago that goes up to 10 liters however I only had the portable rolling oxygen tanks if I took him out somewhere and those don't last very long and are difficult to maneuver with his wheelchair. This should make our life easier.


Rennie said...

It's gorgeous. The home sign is just right. Have you checked whether there are limits on how much weight you can bear for the month or so after surgery? you must have adequate time to recuperate!

Dream Mom said...

Thank you so much Rennie! I do not have any details on weight-bearing just yet. I have some appointments scheduled to talk to physical therapy about the after surgery plan. I am sure we will discuss it at that time. Excited and nervous as you might expect!

Diann said...

Great job Sue!

Sarah Mason said...

I am fascinated by how intentional you are about what you allow into your home space. Do people ever give you gifts that you don't want to clutter up your house/don't have a great space for? If so, how do you deal with it graciously?

Dream Mom said...

Hi Sarah, Sure. We all get gifts from time to time that we aren't in love with or don't have space for in our homes. I just try to be gracious and thank the person and if somebody's coming around the house then I'll have it in a more important spot and then at a later time move it to the less important spot and then if I don't use it, I just simply donate it.

I think it's easier if you think about it in reverse. When you give a gift to someone, you give it with the intent that you hope that they like it and want them to enjoy it, but I don't think at any point in time do you ever expect that they will keep the gift their entire life. When you look at it that way, it seems kind of funny and then it's much easier to let things go. Sentimental things or family heirlooms are a little more challenging for me to part with:)

As I get older, I find it is just so much simpler just to keep what I need. I am inspired by tiny house living and by watching YouTube videos and sometimes minimalist videos. I don't have any desire to be a minimalist or live super tiny, but when you're watching shows like tiny houses and you see how efficient they are, you realize how few things that you really need; I find that inspiring. As for myself, I've downsized over the years and it is just so much simpler when you have less stuff. That really is the driving force because then you have the luxury of time. Everything looks neat, tidy and you're using everything that you have and it is really the ultimate luxury.

One key thing to remember is to always keep things that you love or passionate about. I had a lady one time that just loved tablescaping and she was worried about all of the stuff that she kept. I told her that it's okay to keep things that we are really passionate about since she was actively creating all of these beautiful tablescapes. That feeds your soul. In those instances, you just need to put a limit on the amount of space that you will use to store those items and then you're okay.

I had another lady that had a ton of hobbies and had a craft room filled with several hundred thousand dollars worth of supplies. She never ever crafted. In that instance, it's just a waste and they should have gotten rid of those supplies.

Hope that helps. Thank you for commenting.

Sarah Mason said...

thank you for your response!

Dream Mom said...

Your welcome! Have a good week!

Anonymous said...

Sue, is your knee surgery scheduled? Wishing you the best!

Dream Mom said...

No, I had to cancel my knee surgery. To make a long story short I got cancer. I went in to have some bleeding checked out in June and they discovered I had a Stage 1 uterine cancer. I went in on July 27th to have a vaginal hysterectomy to remove the uterus and cervix (kept my ovaries) however as it turns out my uterus was twice as large as normal and very high and he couldn't get it out. Because of the complications, the surgery lasted over five and a half hours and he ended up having to do a an abdominal surgery. I had a 5 inch incision above the belly button and it was extremely painful. So what should have been a one or two-day quickie recovery lasted over a month. Scott had to take the vacation that he was going to use for my knee surgery and use it instead to take care of Matt since I couldn't even stand up. I had four weeks of post-op nauseousness so I couldn't even stand up much which made it hard to do just about everything let alone take care of Matt. Scott was here for at least the first two weeks every day and then I tried to manage after that on my own on and off. Scott did a great job taking care of Matt and helping me as well. I could not have done it on my own.

The good news is that I'm healing well. It turns out the cancer was less than 50% of the uterus and was considered stage one. He got everything so no further treatment is needed. Since Scott doesn't have any more vacation time to care for Matt, I had to cancel my knee replacement surgery. It stinks because I had met my out-of-pocket so it would not have cost anything this year.

My stomach is a terrible mess from all of the incisions both from the robotic equipment and the actual incision. I have 17 different marks all over my stomach and it looks terrible. It does not look normal at all to me. At some point I'll write a blog post about it. I went to a new OB gyn for the diagnosis (surgeon was fine) and she was horrific. That is another story in and of itself and I may file a formal complaint.

Tomorrow, I need to meet with anesthesia since Matt is having a battery replaced on his internal device next week. Luckily we have the same neurosurgeon that did his battery replacement in 2012. They had to wait until I recovered enough from this surgery before they could do Matt surgery. I can't wait until 2017 is over.

In the end, I think it's probably best that I didn't have the knee replaced even if Scott had the time. I really need to get myself back to 100% And to where I am in really good health again. This certainly scared me. Thanks for asking.

Anonymous said...

How have you and Matt been doing?

Rennie said...

Dear Sue, how are you? Sending love and best wishes

Dream Mom said...

So sorry I haven't posted any updates. It is on my list. Life has been pretty busy. Overall, I am doing fine. Matt has been having more issues during the winter since he is medically fragile. Basically, when he has a doctors appointment or lab work in the winter, he seems to come down with pneumonia within the next day or so. So we've had a few episodes like that. In February, Scott slipped on some black ice on my driveway and severed his right quadriceps tendon. He went to the emergency room and was released. Matt got the stomach flu two days after Scott came home from the ER so it was horrible. He had vomiting and severe diarrhea for 48 hours. Then I had it but it was ten times worse with severe vomiting. Scott had a follow up with a surgeon and was told he needed surgery immediately to repair this tendon. The ER had released him without stabilizing it and it had been severed. They told him everything was fine, lol. So he was rehabing at my house along with taking care of Matt. He will be out of work for a few months. He is walking with a walker now and should start physical therapy in another week or so. Matt got pneumonia after the flu so he was on 10 liters of oxygen for almost three weeks plus I was doing breathing treatments four times a day on top of everything else. So it was insanely busy taking care of two people. I don't think I sat down for two weeks! Things are getting better now though. I realize that I may need to start looking for some help. It is a lot trying to take care of Matt, make everything from scratch and keeping the perfect house. Caregiving is 24 hours a day 7 days a week so it's not like I can really ever take some time just for me. Any time that I get that is free, is to run errands and that's about it. Thank you both for asking about me. I'll try to do an update soon. I do post on Instagram a lot under dreammom90. I don't share a whole lot about Matt but mostly house stuff. Matt is doing well now and looks good!

Arthur K said...

Like the wire shelving, first time reading your blog.

Sarah Mason said...

Dream mom, hope things are going better for you, and you had a great Mother's Day!!!

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