Archives for August 2011

Three Easy Space Saving Solutions in a Small House

While “small” house is a relative term, we often feel like we are bursting at the seams of the room that we have in our house.  It would not be truthful if I didn’t share that we all not-so-secretly wish that we could live in a bigger house.  However, for now, our house is what we can afford.  (And, even with knowing lots of house staging tips, I’m still intimated by the idea of trying to sell our house.)

In order to best use the space that we have, we’ve had to come up with some creative solutions for various areas of our house.  (This is in addition, of course, to being careful to not have too much clutter and things we don’t need.)

I’ll share just a few of the things that we’ve done at our house, and I hope that you’ll share some of the ways that you fully utilize space in your house!

A Surprising Way to Gain More Space for Furniture

One solution that we found for helping us with furniture arranging was to take doors off that we felt we could live without.  By taking a door off of the closet in our boys’ room, we were able to fit a bed on a wall that wouldn’t normally have fit, since you wouldn’t have been able to open the closet door with the bed there.

We also removed the door to a very small room that we had in our house that was just 35 square feet in area.  If we had kept the door, it would have taken up much of the available space in the room.  However, with the door gone, the whole 35 square feet is usable.  (It became my itty bitty craft room.)

Simple ways to get more space in a small place. Without spending any money!

A Rarely Considered Source of Space

Speaking of my itty bitty craft room, one of my favorite storage solutions was one that we used in that room.  While I was looking around after my husband set up the room for me, I looked from inside the room into the hallway and said, “Could we put a shelf above the door?”

This was such a simple solution for more storage space!  It was quick and inexpensive to add a single shelf, and I have been able to use it for a lot of little used craft supplies (that I still felt like I wanted to keep).  While the shelf is visible from inside the room, it is completely out of sight to those who just walk by the room.

Shelving and Baskets Made a Great Pair in Our Laundry Room!

Making the Most of Your Space with Shelving

Shelving has been a staple of our home.  It seems that whenever we’ve wanted to add more space to a closet, craft room, or laundry room, shelving has been our answer.  Because I have been blessed with a handy husband, we often haven’t had to spend too much to make these additions.

When we moved in, many of our closets (as well as the laundry room) utilized the typical single rod across it, with a lot of wasted space.  We took out all of these and added things like double rods and then shelving.  We went from closets that would have fit a large amount of clothing (and then nothing else, typically) to closets that fit slightly less clothing (with is fine) but also could hold the children’s toys and other items.

With a small (or non-existent) budget, you can definitely make some small changes to free up some room in your home.  What are some things that you have done in your own home to make more room?

Angie can be found writing at Many Little Blessings about all of the adventures of life that happen between loads of laundry.  She is also the founder and editor of The Homeschool Classroom and Catholic Mothers Online.

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Cabinet Makeover

Sixteen years ago I fell in love with a cabinet. I found it at a junk/antique shop and knew it was perfect for our little apartment.

It didn’t matter that it was $30 and we had no way to get it home… I knew it was something we could use in any room of our house.

Yes it was old and needed painting. The glass inserts for the doors were long gone, but this cabinet could be used for so many different things I knew it was worth the $30.

I don’t remember how we got it home (probably on the top of our little Saturn) but it was mine. It sat unpainted in our living room for a few months until I saved up enough money to buy a can of oops green paint.  I made fabric panels for the doors and it became the “green cabinet.”

Over the years it has been our pantry, home office, craft cabinet, homeschool cabinet, tool cabinet, and much more. It’s lived in almost every room of our house from basement to the kitchen and has been my favorite piece of furniture.

Fifteen moves courtesy of the Navy took its toll on the green cabinet. The bottom doors were warped during a painting fiasco, the sides were chipped and dinged and the fabric panels were eventually replaced with plywood.

My father nicknamed it a piece of junk, but I still loved my green cabinet.

After painting my kitchen red I realized that the green cabinet needed a makeover. Well, it needed a makeover way before I painted the kitchen, but the red walls and green cabinet were too Christmas-y for me so it was time for a change.

I had some leftover black paint from my picture shelf project so I used it to paint the cabinet. I sanded the cabinet and used DryDex to fill in some of the chips along the bottom.

It took about two hours to paint the cabinet, including the inside. The entire time I was painting I kept telling my daughter that I couldn’t believe I waited this long to redo it! The green paint had been in bad shape for so many years but I just didn’t take the time to repaint it.

Cabinet Makeover | The Happy Housewife

Silly me.

The paint was only $11 and I used it for the shelves, the cabinet and my daughter painted her desk.

The top part of the cabinet holds spices and canned goods, the small drawers hold coupons, the large drawer holds cloth napkins and the bottom holds my cookbooks.

The cabinet looks like an almost new piece of furniture in my kitchen. Why oh why did I wait so long….

See more of our Household DIY Projects:

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ARM & HAMMER Plus OxiClean Power Gel Laundry Detergent Review

Several years ago, under the influence of pain meds, I was talked into buying an HE washer. Through the fog of my back pain and medicine it seemed like a good idea. This new machine would hold more clothing, towels, and even a king sized comforter and use only a tablespoon of water! Okay, well maybe I’m exaggerating a bit, but you know how they try to sell you on things.

After my back surgery and off the pain meds I realized that my HE wasn’t all it was cracked up to be. My biggest issue was that all our clothes seemed to have a funny smell to them after they were washed. I couldn’t put my finger on it, but there was definitely a smell.

I quit using my tried and true detergent and tried several others. Finally I settled on a popular brand that was also the most expensive. I hated paying all that money, but it was the only thing that worked!

When I saw on the Arm & Hammer schedule that I would be reviewing ARM & HAMMER Plus OxiClean Power Gel Laundry Detergent I was nervous and excited. You all know how much I LOVE OxiClean, but I was afraid to switch detergents and have stinky clothes again!

I’ve been using the Arm & Hammer Power Gel detergent for a few weeks and so far our clothes don’t stink! I think it cleans as well as the other brand and out of the 30 loads of laundry I’ve done in the past few weeks there were only 2 stains that didn’t come out in the wash. One was an ink pen and the other was unidentified. I’m impressed with how well it works to get the clothes clean and keeps them smelling fresh even in my HE machine.

I also noticed that you can get away with using a little less than the recommend amount and still get the same results. This means a 31 load bottle can actually last 35-40 loads if you stretch it! The final benefit, where I live Arm & Hammer Power Gel detergent is cheaper than the brand I was using. I love saving money so I will definitely purchase it again.

If you want to try ARM & HAMMER Plus OxiClean Power Gel Laundry Detergent you can grab this printable coupon on the Arm & Hammer website.

This is a sponsored post for Church & Dwight Co., Inc, the maker of ARM & HAMMER branded products, who is compensating me to try different products. Be sure and head over to The Switch & Save Challenge for the chance to win $25,000.


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Family Room Makeover



  • 2 gallons of paint
  • Removal of curtains
  • Re-Organization

You don’t need to spend a lot of money fixing up your house. Paint is cheap. Getting rid of stuff is free!

What projects did you work on this summer?

This post may contain a link to an affiliate. See my disclosure policy for more information.