Browsing "Organizing"
Dec 2, 2012 -

Dealing With Electronic Cables Once and For All

Today’s project came together more easily and wonderfully than I would have thought! I guess I deserve an easy project once in a while. 🙂

Now, I don’t want to get into too much detail about my electronic set up, but I got my cables from a structured data cable company and the following pictures should give you a general idea of the way I got my electronic cables coraled once and for all!

I started off with another Closetmaid product from Target:

As delivered, the unit was too high for me to comfortably view my monitor. Before I cut it down, I spent some time at Walmart this morning looking for bins that would fill the shelf horizontally and depth-wise, and which would then give me an idea of how much of the legs to cut off. I also cut the second shelf-length-wise to get a front panel for my new shelf.

End result:

The only cables that are now visible are the ones that I absolutely have to plug into my computer.

Behind the front panel are bins that hold my  cables, with one of them being a charging station of sorts:

Now, the only cables running under the desks are the power bar cords.

I felt a little silly today sawing handles off beautiful storage totes then drilling holes in them, but they were the perfect-size containers for my project.

Next step in my office setup is to get an external monitor and then I think my workspace will be as near to perfect as possible!

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Communications & Electronics, Homemaking, Organizing, Personal, Renovating, Technical    2 Comments
Dec 1, 2012 -

New Kitchen Cabinet

I gained a lot of counter space when I removed my dishwasher, but I really didn’t need that much more. What I needed was a cabinet to hold all the stuff that’s normally on the counter and which has no other home. So when I travel, that stuff ends up filling the sink, making using said sink a pain.

The problem was finding a cabinet that would fit into the awkward space between my stove and window. And I only just realised that I forgot to grab a before shot. Doh. This is the best I can do:

I needed something that would be about 12″ wide, about 25″ high, and no more than 12″ deep. It also had to fit around the window valance as I did not want to have to mess it up.

I spent quite a bit of time on the Ikea website then at stores looking at the buildable furniture. I was resigned to making something myself when I found the perfect compromise on the Target website:

This design would allow me to cut down the top part of the cabinet to fit it into the space while still having a good sized cabinet with a door.

Now, I knew that this was going to be a cheap particle board item that wouldn’t age well, but for the price, it was worth having it even for a short while. You can buy this item in a white version in store, but to get the espresso, you have to buy online. I thought the espresso colour would look nicer against my cabinets than attempting to paint white laminate.

Particle board isn’t an easy thing to cut cleanly, but I was able to do an excellent job of it:

The vertical cut isn’t as clean because I started and stopped with the saw while the horizontal cut was made in one motion.

To cut the particle board, I put a layer of tape over the area I wanted to cut, then I used a straight edge and a sharp blade to score through the laminate layer. I then sawed through using my jigsaw and a 10TPI blade. 20TPI is recommended for laminated particle board, but I forgot to grab one last night and the 10TPI did a good enough job.

It took a bit of fussing to get all my pieces cut to fit the hole since nothing was plumb and square. Interestingly enough, the counter I installed is perfectly level while the upper cabinets are not! Go me! 🙂

The area around the valance looks silly:

If I was working with high quality cabinetry (that I would have willingly paid for had I found something the right size), I would have probably cut down the valance and attached the curtain rod to the cabinet. But since this is a vantage point very rarely seen, I will be happy to close the gaps with a little trim.

Once I was happy that all the pieces would fit in the space, I assembled the cabinet, using glue in addition to the screws. I then moved the cabinet into place and mounted it with one bracket screwed into the wall and by screwing the base of the cabinet directly into the counter.

Valance area not withstanding, it looks pretty good!

The cabinet came with a crappy black plastic pull. I used one of my nice pulls that matches the rest of my cabinetry. That involved having to drill new holes into the door but, thankfully, the ends of my pull cover the original holes. I think that pull makes all the difference!

The inside of the cabinet has a moveable shelf. I did not use the top part of the cabinet, so I cut it down to make myself a second shelf in case I ever need it:

If you squint, you can see the roller catch I installed for the door (just below the shelf). The door came with a pretty strong magnet catch, but magnet catches aren’t good enough in an RV. The roller catches have never failed me.

I am going to look for some baskets to fit into the top portion to hold spices. I had thought to put a dowel across to hold whatever, but I don’t think there is enough space to put a dowel and still give me room to pull things in and out. The right baskets will make that space look really nice and hide the awkward valance area.

Everything but the pepper mill fits!

I could move the shelf up a notch to fit in the pepper mill, but then the other items on the top shelf won’t fit. The pepper mill can travel while stored at an angle!

Standing in the entrance looking at the cabinet:

And the ugly side:

I’m not sure yet what I’ll do to cover the hole in the counter (used to be a cup holder). Suggestions?

I’m really pleased with how well this project came together and how much better it looks than I would have expected!

Tomorrow, I am going to use another piece from the same collection to make some improvements in the study.

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Cooking, Decorating, Homemaking, Organizing, Personal, Renovating    12 Comments
Oct 7, 2012 -

A New Window and More Shelves

Have I got an RV tip for y’all today! If you need to replace any of the trim on your rig, say a window frame, and the only ones you can find are the same colour as your rig, not your trim, wait!

My mother helped me install the new exterior window frame on the house door this week and it looks okay, but not great:

We used tons of putty to hold it and keep it sealed (more than the instructions called for) so pulling off the frame to replace it later is out of the question. I will learn to live with it. 🙂

As for shelving, my system in the study’s overhead cabinets wasn’t working. The back wall of the cabinets is slanted, with the top being narrower than the bottom, so I would frequently park somewhere, open a cabinet, and boxes would fly out after having shifted in transit.

I went into the house this morning to ask my mother if she would by chance have any suitable shelving material. Yes, and she was willing to cut it right then, but after that I was on my own as we hadn’t planned to do any work in the rig this weekend (not that there’s any real work to be done, woohoo!). That was fine by me as putting shelves in these cabinets doesn’t provide enough room for two.

A few hours and grazed knuckles later, I was able to move all the bins to the driver’s side cabinets and the odd-sized stuff to the rear cabinet.

I’m nowhere near 100% done with this project as I still need to sort out and containerize some things, so that’s why I’m not showing the rear cabinet now. 🙂 My favourite part of this is that I have some long, slim odd-shaped containers that fill in the rear of the top part of the new shelving behind the clear containers. So I feel like I actually gained some space.

Since I had tools out and there was enough shelving material, I decided to add a shelf in the pantry:

This one made the biggest impact! Those four baskets used to fill up two cabinets and now they slide easily into just one!

Now, I have a bonus RV tip for maximizing space in your RV freezer (even if yours is as decadently large as mine): remove the packaging on whatever you store in there. But do be prepared for people who see your trash to be puzzled.

I was invited over for lunch today and I said that I had no idea what I would have eaten otherwise. I was told, “Pizza. I can’t believe how much pizza you eat!” I burst out laughing. I buy a few frozen pizzas at a time when they are $4.99 or less and remove the boxes for storage. With the thin crust pizzas, I can fit almost five in the space it would take for just one box! I just went grocery shopping this week AND I ordered pizza the night before I did the groceries, so I can imagine what the recycling must have looked like! I explained that of all the boxes in the recycling, I had only thus far consumed half of the take out pizza and all the rest was still in the freezer!

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Cooking, Funny, Homemaking, Nice Folks, Organizing, Personal, Renovating, Social    11 Comments