Category Archives: Organizing

That Awkward Space Above Your Kitchen Cabinets

That space between the top of the kitchen cabinets and the ceiling – my original display with vine wreaths and lights.

There’s that space between my kitchen ceiling and the kitchen cabinets that I’ve always wondered about.  I guess if I had known more about building a house when we built ours I would have asked for more storage in the form of cabinets all the way to the ceiling.  But that was a long time ago and I digress…

Instead, many years ago I was at a friend’s house and I noticed she had a similar situation and she did something very simple and creative…she unwound a grapevine wreath and added white Christmas lights and voila…problem solved!  I got home determined to so something similar.  I went to Michael’s and bought two wreaths and thought it would be a simple project for a Saturday afternoon – one hour max!  Wrong!  First of all, those dang wreaths would not unwind the way I wanted them too so I ended up separating them into sections and using brown pipe cleaners to put them together side by side by side.  Next I began wrapping the lights around the separated wreaths and was making headway.  I had several extra strands of lights from Christmas that I decided to use.  Of course, I tested the lights before I wound them.  I finished up and placed them on top of the cabinets, plugged them in and…a section right in the middle of the display wouldn’t light.  Really???!!!  Yep…I then remembered why these lights were in a bag and in the attic!  I should have introduced them to the trash can!  So after a quick trip to the store for another set of lights, unwinding the bad lights, rewrapping the new ones…it was now 3 hours later and I was finally finished! Yay!

Over the years, I started adding things to the top of the cabinets.  At first it was pretty sparse but over time I was loving the look!  It was a nice way to display things that I loved.  I didn’t turn the lights on all the time either.  Usually they were plugged in over the holidays and on special occasions.  With just the under the cabinet lights on, it gave the kitchen a really cozy hue.

Now…over time, as you can probably imagine, things get a little…well, dusty.  And not just a use a Swiffer and get rid of the dust dusty, but sticky dusty from cooking and all that goes on in the kitchen.  I’ve taken everything down on occasion to clean it all off but it’s been awhile.  These past two weeks, I’ve really noticed that everything had a cloudy and fuzzy look so I pulled up a bar stool and took a closer look.  UGH!  The wreath and lights looked like they were growing fur!  Not good…

So today I retired the wreaths – to the garbage – and bought some cute little LED lights, cleaned off the top of the cabinets – more UGH – and washed EVERYTHING from the top of the cabinets.  Some things had to be washed twice!  I got rid of some items, and added others from around the house.  It turned out to be a fun project and tonight I’m sitting in the kitchen really enjoying the finished look.  Now…on to the next project!

Getting Organized…

My to-do list this weekend was rather long.  My main goal was to get my daughter’s room organized.  Since she got married in April, I’ve been slowly moving things it her room so I can use it for a photography room.  Unfortunately, I didn’t even step into the room this weekend!

Our Thanksgiving table is set!

Our Thanksgiving table is set!

Instead, I worked downstairs in the family room, kitchen and dining room.  It’s been awhile since I’ve pulled everything out of the cabinets and closets and reorganized!  In the process, I packed 5 boxes of “stuff” to drop off at The Salvation Army.  It just felt so good to reorganize so I kept going this afternoon.  I got all my Day of the Dead items returned to their storage spot in the basement and decided to pull all the Thanksgiving décor out.  I always love going through my decorations every year.  For Thanksgiving, I have a few special items I like to use every year.  In particular, there is a candle that my son Charlie made in Kindergarten that we put on the buffet every year.  There is also a prayer “cut-out” that my daughter Anna Marie put together one year.  There is a pilgrim couple and an Indian couple that my mother used to use every year when we lived in Chicago.  I’ve added those to my décor each year.  I still need to add the Thanksgiving tree.  It’s something we started several years ago where family members write what they are thankful for and put it on the tree.  I’ll explain more about this in a separate post.

Anna Marie's made this cut out craft prayer one year in grade school.

Anna Marie’s made this cut out craft prayer one year in grade school.

So, now the dining room table is set and decorated for Thanksgiving, although I’m not sure if we will be enjoying the table this year.  We are heading to my brother-in-law’s house in Jasper this coming weekend for the Odom family Thanksgiving celebration.  It’s a big transition year for our family with my daughter Anna Marie getting married in April and my niece Kate getting married in May.  My niece TJ also moved to Florida for a job opportunity.  So much transition in one year.  It’s exciting for these young people but also means we need to adjust our traditions to accommodate the newlyweds and everyone who has moved away.  Bittersweet is the word that keeps coming to mind…

Charlie made this Thanksgiving candle in kindergarten.

Charlie made this Thanksgiving candle in kindergarten.

On the bright side of reorganizing, I took our former computer cabinet and turned it into a bourbon bar for my husband!  I remember when we bought this piece of furniture…it’s a large and heavy piece and I loved the dark wood and storage it provided.  When we got rid of our desktop computer, it became a dumping ground for odds and ends.  It was driving me crazy so cleaning it out this weekend was liberating.  My husband sent a photo of it to a consignment store to see if we could sell it but meanwhile, I thought – wouldn’t this be a cool bar for his bourbon collection?!  I mentioned it and he loved the idea…so voila!  It’s now a bourbon bar!

Eddie's new bourbon bar created from our old compute cabinet!

Eddie’s new bourbon bar created from our old compute cabinet!

I’m looking forward to Thanksgiving week when I’ll be off work and can really get some organizing done.  And Christmas decorating for me begins the weekend following turkey day!  Just in time for my annual Cookie Exchange party…more on that later!

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