End of the Year House Projects

by Lisa on Sunday: Nov 08, 2015

I happened to mention during my Thinking Out Loud post that I’m going to be spending some time on a few home projects in the coming months, and I thought it might be interesting to do a more detailed post on what’s happening. For some background, we moved into our house 2 years ago in July, and while all the big things are settled, this past year I’ve been focusing on some of the smaller tasks, like organization and moving furniture around among other things. But of course, when you own a home, there are also constantly things that need maintenance and that stop working properly. This list is a mixture of both categories.

Kitchen Organization

The kitchen in this house, while spacious, is one that I will likely completely redo at some point in the next few years. Until then, I’m doing some little things to make the space more functional and organized. The first thing I tackled was the drawers. We have 4 drawers in the kitchen, and they are a bit on the small side. We previously had bamboo drawer organizers in them, but the drawers are so small that we had to get a very small version of the organizers and it left a lot of empty space around them. They had also started to break from wear and tear and shifting around too much.

I decided to take some inspiration from some organization videos I had seen on Pretty Neat Living and get some individual drawer containers from the Container Store.

Drawer organizers - before

To do this, I first measured the drawer and then went through their drawer organizer section and got individual pieces in whatever dimensions I could find that would take up as close to every possible inch of space as possible.

It ended up working out really well, and I feel like we gained a great deal of additional space!

Drawer organizer - after

Our kitchen also has a pantry/closet that is pretty spacious, but was lacking in organizational options. For this, I ordered some 3-tiered risers so that I could see everything and more effectively use the full depth of the cabinet.


I also ordered an Elfa shelf system to mount on the inside of the door with 4 different racks so that I can move some of the jars/bottles/spices etc. out into their own organized area. This piece is still in progress because I haven’t hung the rack just yet.


When we moved in, all the blinds in the house were apartment-style horizontal blinds with the plastic slats.

Current blinds

The provide pretty much no insulation (a HUGE problem with how cold it gets here in the winter), and are honestly not that attractive. This year, we started converting to nicer Roman-style shades, though the process has been slow because nice blinds can be pretty pricey and also because there just hasn’t been much time. We started with the master bedroom, and they really transformed the room. Before the end of the year, I want to convert two more rooms: the first floor powder room and the living room.


The “bathroom” category is all about things that are broken! Two of our toilets are doing that thing where they start running spontaneously every now and then for about 5 seconds at a time. All three do that thing where sometimes after you flush them, they will continue running forever until you jiggle the handle. I hear these problems are due to gaskets or something like that (I obviously will be doing more research and consulting with D) so I’m hoping we can fix them.

Another totally random issue is that the doorknob on the master bathroom fell off! D assures me he can fix this one easily. Luckily, you can still turn the little piece that’s still attached to get in and out without a problem so we can still use the door in the meantime.


Last but not least on my list of house to-dos for the rest of the year is the office. This includes fixing one broken thing and completing one organizational project. First, the broken thing: the ceiling fan. A few months ago, the light part of the ceiling fan stopped working out of the blue. The fan still works fine, but the light no longer turns on. We decided to just go ahead and get a new one, so we will be picking one out at Home Depot and D is confident he can install it himself.

The organizational project is the closet. The closet in that room is perfect for an office and allows for a lot of storage. But, just like the pantry, needs a few organizational components to make it more functional. For this one, I’ve purchased another Elfa shelf system for the inside of the door, which will primarily be used to house wrapping paper. I also bought a whole bunch of clear containers to sort some of the smaller items.

Office closet

(Clearly in need of some organization!)

And that’s it for now! When 2016 hits, I will be making a list of home improvements that we will be tackling in the new year. Looking back on 2015, we have really come a long way from where we started!


Have you done any home improvement projects lately?

2 Responses to “End of the Year House Projects”

  1. Ah organization… come to my house please! I need everything organized!

    • Lisa says:

      I feel like there’s always so much to organize too! But it always feels so much better when things are in order.

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