Shopping where I fear to tread…….

This morning, bright and early, I drove to where I almost never go–the mall.  To investigate/get ideas for containers and shelving. 

For my closet. 

Which is scheduled to be demolished on February 10. 

I MUST have some sort of idea on what to do by February 10.  I don’t.  (Can you feel the panic rising?)

The mall is a fearsome place for me.  It has too many choices of everything.  The price is always too high.  They don’t negotiate, either.  Take it or leave it is their motto.  To add insult to injury (pocketbook injury that is), there are stores devoted to almost everything—one for candles, one for soaps, one for negligees, one for kitchenware, one for kids clothing, one for teenage clothing, one for shoes, even one for just socks.  It’s just too much!  No.  I don’t go there and haven’t gone there for a long, long time.  But this morning, I found myself wandering through the big department store to try to find the exit into the mall—through the men’s department, through the makeup and fragrance aisles, finally seeing the mall itself.  Yea!  (I did not drop bread crumbs to find my way back.  I just remembered the displays and departments to wander through to find the exit to the garage.)

I headed directly to the store devoted to putting things in storage.  Containers.  Shelving.  Bins.

My friend and I spent an hour in that store.  Do you know you can put anything at all into some size plastic container?  They’ve got it.  Right there in one place.  Let your imagination run wild!  They had containers for things that COME in sealed containers, like, ummmm, lipstick.  For the kitchen, a multitude of items to store and stack. 

I have the kitchen thing covered.  Really.  Lots of glass/plastic containers acquired from people who had been bitten by the ‘I’m going to get organized’ bug and paid top dollar for items they found didn’t really work in their pantries.  Well, they work fine in mine!  (Insert smiley smug face here….)

Like these: 


I don’t recall the exact price on these, but maybe $2 or $3 each.

$2--I seem to find a lot of these!

This is a REALLY big one.  The lady gave it to me as she did not have change for a twenty.  Yes, she did…..she only had $2 on it to begin with.  Of course, I had to remove a bunch of stickers on it—butterflies and flowers and such, but that wasn’t hard to do. 

I didn’t buy a thing.  Sadly, all I discovered is that plastic is ubiquitous (didn’t know I knew big words, did you?  Don’t worry, I don’t know many.) and I can’t/won’t pay retail for it. 

What I did determine, however, is that I’ve got too much stuff in my closet.  Everything from shirts to shoes, too much of everything.  So, even though I have gone through the closet once and Good Will has been the recipient of a couple of large bags of clothing, I’m going to do round two of same. 

I also realized that I have a fortune in my garage shelving.  I had no idea what shelving costs!  Certainly, it is more than the $5 or $10 I have spent for garage shelving. 


Two shelving units I got last summer.  At sales, of course.  For a nominal amount.

My normal approach to such a dilemma is to just keep looking for an item at a yard sale, err, excuse me, I mean ‘brocante.’   Everything really can be found if you just look long enough.  But………..

This time, I have a deadline.  It is not yard sale season.  I’m going to have to make some sort of decision here.  And, no, I do NOT have $1600 to spend on shelving and containers just so everything LOOKS organized in my closet.

So, I think it is called do the best I can with what I’ve got and figure out the rest later.

The Universe will take care of it and besides, let’s face it—it isn’t the biggest problem in the world.  It’s a very nice problem to have.  In fact, I’d like to say I LOVE having such a problem. 

But….how do you store your sweaters?  On hangers?  Folded on shelves?  In boxes?  In drawers?  All of the above?  Got any creative ideas here?


January musings


A New Year’s Resolution was to begin a blog, so here ‘tis.  The Harpeth View will be about decorating, crafting, treasure hunting (aka going to yard sales or ‘brocantes’ as I understand they do in France) and similar such activities.  Since it is almost the end of January, I have barely made the first month cut-off……and my, January has gone quickly!

It’s been a mild January around the Harpeth:  one light dusting of snow, a bit of rain and a few days when the temperature dipped below 30, but very few.  What a lovely way to begin 2012.

How are your New Year’s Resolutions holding up?


Not so much here either…….I tend to refer to them as “New Year’s Revolutions” as I recycle them each year.  You know the drill:  get fit, lose weight, eat healthy, be nice to the dog and the husband, that sort of thing.  Alas!  I fear I fail more than I succeed.

So this year I decided to be realistic and select some which I actually WOULD keep.  At the end of the year I’ll evaluate.  The resolutions involve actually doing some things I want to do, so the likelihood is I’ll do them.

This doesn’t mean they are just fun activities—but the satisfaction I’ll get from having them done is greater than the pain of doing them, so there you have it.  And here are a few:

1.  replace the carpeting (aka, the dirty rags covering some of my floors) with hardwood.  While I’ll hire this done, I will be the number one cleaner, organizer, etc.  I’m proud to say that I am already in the process of this one.  The floor people arrive February 14, so I’d better be ready.

2.  reorganize the master closet.  No illusions anyone else is going to join in the fun on that one!  But again, I’ve begun.  The floor in there will be replaced with Bamboo, present carpeting being worn out.

3.  redecorate an upstairs bedroom for boys as my little granddaughters are all grown up now.  But I still have little grandsons who come to stay once in a while.  I’m going for a somewhat ‘retro’ campy look I think.

Aside from the usual cleaning and gathering (I’m a yard saler—how do you spell that anyway?)….and the other assorted things I manage to get into, I will post some craft projects from time to time.  All this organizing, cleaning out and cleaning up fits right in with The Happiness Project—a book which a group of us are reading and trying to get, well, ‘happier.’

One thing I’ve determined for sure:  I’m NOT getting any younger, so if I want these things done and I want to enjoy them, I’d best be about it.  Now, THERE is a New Year’s Resolution!

Here is one of my projects:

I hope to change this to a more boyish look.  So, consider this the ‘before’ photo.


I made the headboard years ago, copied from a designer magazine photo.  It’s light pink-red ticking stripes.  A friend cut the design out of plywood, I covered it with foam cut to fit and then polyester batting, and finally sewed the cover to fit.  It’s a trundle bed, but as you can tell, it’s very girly.

The chandelier will be replaced with a flush-fitting ceiling fan.  The room isn’t very large, so most of the time I’ll keep the trundle under the bed—but with a bit of rearrangement, I hope to make it more useable for the boys AND for me.


I paid $30 eight years ago for the chandelier.  Note the shades?


Dried flowers hot glued on to plain shades.  The shades cost $1 and the dried flowers were about the same—all were from various brocantes!

(I like thinking I’m really French.)

Again, I copied an idea—from a Decorator Showcase house.  The decorator had a girly chandelier similar to this and had the shades all done in faux dried flowers.  How easy is THAT?  And yes, they’ve held up extremely well for eight years!


I have four of these Homer Laughlin plates, also found treasures.  They were located on either side of the headboard.  Again, nominal cost—as I recall, perhaps $3 or less.

DSCN7678                     DSCN7679

The doors on the left are to a large closet in the room; the doors on the right are the doors into the room.  So, two walls are taken up almost entirely by doors.  I love the large closet, though, and I have always thought the entry doors were unique for a bedroom.  (I didn’t design the house.)

Any ideas on what I can cover the glass with when the room is more boyish?  Maybe something will ‘come’ to me!  I’d welcome any thoughts, though!

What are your projects for this year?