Home Organization Ideas | What Else Michelle - Part 2

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Week 11-10: Storage Room Fix


I know I haven’t been able to religiously post updates about my home organization challenge. Weeks passed without any new posts just because I was simply lazy. No alibis this time.

Actually, I was never on break when it comes to organizing. It’s just that I can’t totally finish one area and so I could not post any reveal photos. But right now, I can say that I’m 80% done. Almost all our stuff are in their respective places now. storage-before

So here’s what took most of my time when it comes to organization — our storage room. This used to be our maid’s room but since I was never comfortable having stay-in help, I decided to turn this space into an organized storage room. It’s right in the middle of our house too and I’ve always hated how the people who stayed here just couldn’t keep it clean. And what annoys me most is that I have no control over it because it was their room.

When our househelp left last April, I simply dumped all our unwanted stuff here. I don’t have a “before” picture but you can easily imagine how this room looked like before it was emptied. You could hardly see the floor anymore from all the things littered in here. There was a single bed underneath the stairs with shelves, baskets and boxes on top of it; under the bed were more boxes and huge plastic bags. progress1

I am quite proud to say that I tackled this room myself except for the hauling out of the stuff and wooden wall installation. I gave the walls a fresh coat of semi-gloss paint (left-over from our kitchen paint job). Take note that this room had never been touched ever since we moved here more than three years ago so the white paint was all yellowy and icky with stains that I don’t want to know and few vandalisms care of our previous househelps!

I wanted something bright and happy for that wall and since I still have left over yellow paint from the dining room paint job, I gave that wall a coat. Oh, it was also my first time to use wall putty to smoothen the huge cracks on the wall. I don’t know if there was an air-conditioner  or a window installed here before but those cracks were just plain ugly.

I thought about three coats would do but when I checked it out the day after, the wall paint bubbled so I had to scrape the whole thing off. I shouldn’t have wondered why it happened because this wall is a continuation of our living room wall which I covered partially then later on installed mirrors to cover the problem area.progress2

So instead of wasting time and money applying more wall putty, which won’t even guarantee that the wall paint would stay smooth and stain-free, I opted to have it covered with 1/2″ plywood. (The original wall had rust stains that showed no matter how many coats of paint we applied. The only solution is to waterproof it from the outside which is not feasible since it’s the neighbor’s wall already. Yes, that’s how living in the Philippines is…) We used the whole 4’x8′ board here using metal furrings as frame instead of 2″x2″ wood just because my husband still has a lot lying around the garage.

I used pre-mixed wall putty to cover the rivets, applied one coat of primer (flat white latex since I can’t use enamel because, well, I’m pregnant!) and then sanded it smooth using 180 grit sandpaper. I know it’s not how professionals finish a wall but I’m impatient and was having constant allergy attacks due to dust and paint, not to mention this is just a storage room, so I didn’t bother making it perfect. But I’m really feeling proud of myself at this point. storage-after

So here is the progress shot! I used the same seafoam green I used in the living room but added a little white to make it a bit lighter. I still have to do a bit of styling here but it’ll do for now.

Three items had to go through a mini-make over too. The cheap book case on the left was buy1-take1 from Iloilo (for about P600 or 700, I think) and the one on the right, a shoe rack, was our first DIY project. It is made from scrap baseboards. The door was plyboard which I covered with sinamay and wood strips.


I roughly painted the cheap laminated shelves after sanding it a bit then distressed the front. For the shoe rack, I just painted it directly without any sanding or whatsoever and added the yellow “mosaic” look on the door using masking tape. Like I’ve said, I’m lazy and I just need to change the colors of these shelves. chalkboardHere is the chalkboard frame I did that was  once in the kitchen. I just changed the frame color to yellow to make it pop a bit. More work needs to be done here but at least this room no longer is your typical storage room. I’m planning to stash my DIY loots here. 🙂

Week 14-12: Ground Floor Sneak Peek

15weeks-orgI can’t believe how time flies so quickly! I’m on my 26th week now, officially the last week of second trimester. Next week will be the start of third and that means I’m nearing my deadline for home organization. And just because I wasn’t able to post anything for three whole weeks, doesn’t mean I’m just sitting around doing nothing. The last three weeks had been the busiest week of all. On top of having our ground floor fixed, I still had some work related projects going on and of course household chores to be done. We still don’t have househelp (and I still refuse to get one), I’m getting heavier and my tummy’s growing bigger, so doing all the cleaning and organizing is no longer as easy as before (not to mention occasional allergy attack.) Ok, am I whining?

Anyway, so here’s a sneak peek to what happened for the past three weeks. Chaos galore! But now, I’m much, much happier and satisfied.

I love crisp white walls just like the rooms you usually see in interior design magazines, blogs and Pinterest but after painting our house white, somehow it just didn’t feel right. That’s because we only have a tiny window as natural light source. White, in order to be seen, needs lots of natural light. No wonder our house still looked gloomy. Gray shadows are everywhere and white failed to make our house appear cleaner and brighter. 🙁moodboard

I’m still going for a beach-themed living room so here’s the moodboard I did. Our house feels like a cave with very little sunshine so I planned to bring the outdoors by using natural materials like wood, burlap, jute, abaca and of course, plants! And since white isn’t working for the walls, those 3 colors (yelow, tiffany blue and warm white) are brought in for the walls.

The swatches are from Dunn-Edwards but since a gallon costs about P1,500, I matched the swatch with Davies’ custom mixed colors. I will give the paint details on another post.


Hello, bright colors! Hello, sunshine in our dining area! (That’s our handyman, Jojo :)) progress3And that’s our handygirl, Me! (Please excuse my lousy house clothes. They just comfy!) I re-did the stripes on that wall. Before, the stripes were darker in color and 12″ thick. I changed it to 8″ and using the same wall color for the beams and two of the walls in the dining area.


This house has a lot of awkward spaces (awkward alcoves?) Remember our living room has the same “feature”? I had it covered with plyboard in the middle leaving two alcoves on either side which I planned to transform into shelves but didn’t push through. (You’ll see later what I’ve done instead.) Our dining area has the same thing which also gets narrower on the other end. If you would look closely, the wall is slanted. (Fact: Not a single wall in this house is close to perfect L. The builder followed the land cut which is really annoying for me! Such a design problem!) dining-nookSo, with a few hollow blocks and a bit of cement, that awkward space is turned into a built in seat since I’ve always wanted a breakfast nook. This is the closest I can get. Haha! I also had that half post added to cover the other half of this awkward space. I just have to stuff this area with more cushions and pillows for comfy seating and to make up for the uneven width.

And here’s how the other spaces look like right now.


The laundry and storage area is almost done. A shelf was built for the paint cans and supplies so I can easily find them. They all used to be under the stairs with no order at all. My scrap woods are now in order too. The stone wall on the right is painted semi-gloss white and I used the same color from the living area for the wall under the stairs. I swear, I’m gonna make this area look chic. Gotta make doing the laundry fun! 😀kitchen-update2013

Sorry for the poor photo quality. This is just a sneak peek anyway. Hehe! I had this kitchen painted apple green 3 years ago when we trasferred to this house. Back then, apple green was my favorite (see dining chairs!) and I thought painting the walls with it was quite daring and artistic. Not anymore… I prefer neutrals now, with pops of bright colors and a rustic touch. I wish I knew this before so I would have picked wood-like ceramic tiles for the kitchen instead of this yellow green herringbone tiles.

Of course the kitchen has another uneven wall that I had to cover. (This is the same wall where the awkward space in the dining area is.) I had it cover with second hand palo china planks which I will talk about in my next post. living-area-before living-area-after

I have finally gotten rid of my two sofa beds. No matter what I do, they just don’t work with the space. Those three seats are my unfinished DIY sofa. And the two supposed-to-be alcove shelves were now covered with mirrors. It really opened up the room. Love them!!!

What do you think of the wall colors? Are they happy enough? I can’t wait to finish decorating the house!dining-before dining-afterAgain, I was in a hurry taking the after pictures so forgive the bad quality. The dining area is far from finished and I hope to replace our dining table and chairs with wooden one and add an area rug. I’m planning to hang a mirror too.

Ok, so that’s what kept me busy the entire three weeks. I know I haven’t shown you the left side of the dining area because it’s really undone, but I swear, I will soon.

Week 1: Pantry Organizer Alternative


We’re expecting a new bundle of joy by third week of October and before then, I want to have everything in the house have its own designated place. I hate clutter and an organized house will make things a lot easier for all of us especially me who does all the cleaning. So here’s a challenge to myself: finish organizing the house in 15 weeks or less. 🙂


I only have one overhead kitchen cabinet and it’s a small one so I have to make the most out of the available space. Plastic baskets are quite expensive and there’s still a lot to organize around the house. That means more money to spend on storage solution. Of course, I have to find another way to make my teeny budget work.


Since no one really peaks inside my kitchen cabinet except me and my hubby (or a house help if we have one,) upcycling something is the best solution for me. We have tons of plastic ice cream containers that fit perfectly inside the cabinet and even though they don’t look too nice, I guess they’re ok for sorting my kitchen stuff. storage-option2

Even though no one will really see them, I still have to make them look a little presentable. I have about 4 rolls of sticker paper in different designs which I bought from Landmark Trinoma 2 years ago (P80 or 90/roll) so I used one of them to cover the top of the lid. (They still have these stickers in home section. I also found some in Daiso and Saizen for about the same price.)

Simply cut a rectangle that would fit the lid then stick it on, pressing the edges to follow the shape of the lid. Cut the excess using a cutter or X-acto knife.storage-option3

Tadaa! No more label. You can also paint the container to match the the sticker you have if you’re not feeling lazy like me. Be sure to prime it first using one specifically made for plastic (Rust-Oleum has one) before applying the paint or it won’t adhere well to the container.
storage-option5I added washi tapes on the side of the lid to make it a bit colorful. Then cut some circles from chalkboard vinyl for the label. Labeling everything is the key if you don’t want all your organization hard work go to waste. 🙂

I haven’t finished the rest of the cabinet yet so no pictures of them in their actual place. I’m also making some changes in the kitchen as part of my 15-week organization challenge.

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