How to Live with a 3rd Grade Hoarder

Over the past few years, my nearly 9 year old son has earned a new nickname:  Magpie.  Since he was small, Zack would pick up anything shiny he found on the ground.  I would find all sorts of trinkets in the dryer after I did laundry each week.

Recently, I took him to the skating rink and my toe stop fell off of my skate while I was working on some roller derby foot work.  I couldn’t find the lock washer that helped hold it in place once it flew off, so I thought I’d need to pick up another one at Home Depot.  Lo and behold, I found it in the dryer a few days later.  My Magpie had saved the day, although he had no idea that he had picked up something that I was looking for.

While Zack’s shiny object obsession occasionally benefits me, it really causes more problems with clutter than it actually helps.  And as he got older, he began including scraps of paper in his collections, too.  Anything on which he had colored or written – Post-It Notes, children’s menus from restaurants, bits of construction paper left over from other projects – was piled up on his dresser or shoved in his drawers.  Whenever I suggested that he didn’t have to keep every single piece of paper that crossed his path, he got really upset.  I don’t believe that Zack is an actual hoarder per the medical definition – I don’t want you to think that I do or that I’m belittling the disorder.  I do, however, think his collecting habit is just turned up higher than most other kids his age and he has a deeper sentimental attachment to things than he should.

About a year ago, I just couldn’t live with his room like this any longer, so we made a compromise.  I bought him a plastic storage tote and told him that he could keep whatever special things he wanted to keep in it, as long as he could close the lid.  We went through every drawer, his closet, and under the bed, and he chose what things were important enough for him to put in the box.  Everything else, he chose to throw away on his own.

How to Live with a 3rd Grade Hoarder - tips to keep kids' collections organized

He’s a cute little Magpie, though.

How to Fix Sticky Drawers in Seconds

A few months after I finished updating the Miss Matched yellow dresser for my bedroom, I noticed that the drawers didn’t slide as easily as they once had.  Old wooden drawers have the tendency to stick and drag, so I didn’t worry too much about it.  My “I’ll get to that one day” attitude about it didn’t help the problem, and four years later I was growing more annoyed by the day over having to twist and jerk the dresser drawers every time I wanted a pair of socks.

Earlier this week, I woke up and decided that today was the day to fix the sticky drawers.  I looked into retrofitting the drawers with slides from Home Depot.  I researched adding metal strips to the bottom of the drawers so that they would slide more freely.  I was irritated that I was going to have to spend money to fix the problem.  Then, I remember one of the oldest tricks in the DIY handbook – candle wax.

I took a cheap tea light out of its metal lining and rubbed it onto the bottom of the drawer were it comes into contact with the dresser frame.  If you don’t have any tea lights or old candles, paraffin wax (if you are a canner) or a bar of soap (if you bathe) will also serve the same purpose.  Hopefully, you participate in at least one of those two activities.

How to Unstick a Sticky Drawer in Seconds

Celebrate Yourself with a DIY Plaque

One day soon, I’ll quit talking about “the wall.”  I’m sorry to say that today isn’t going to be that day. When I could have gestated a child in the amount of time it took me to finish a single project, it’s not going to go away quickly!

When I was working on that painting project, I kept telling Tom that I was going to “frame these damn paint brushes” when I was finished.  It got to be a joke, and I would daydream about where I would hang them.  On one of the painted walls?  On an adjacent wall?

As it turns out, I’d hang them in my office.

You always expect to find certain things hanging on the walls of a home office – awards, plaques and diplomas.  I have both a Bachelor’s degree and a Master’s degree, but I honestly couldn’t begin to tell you where my diplomas are.  I don’t get too many awards and plaques.  But, I did have some empty wall space.  And some old paint brushes.

Easy DIY Heat Embossed T-Shirt

If it wasn’t evidenced enough by my post at the end of the year, I am currently in a state of obsession over heat embossing.  Until now, I had never embossed anything in my life.  I’m not a paper crafter, and I was under the impression that you could only use the fun embossing powders with stamps, ink and paper.  All I knew was that you saturated a rubber stamp using an embossing ink pad, stamped a piece of paper, sprinkled the embossing powder over the ink (much like glitter) and then used a heat source to make the powder stick and raise to the surface.

Once I discovered that you could use embossing powder without stamps, my brain went into overdrive. I literally lost sleep (See?  Obsession.) trying to figure out something different to emboss.  I decided that I really wanted to try it on a large scale on a t-shirt, but I couldn’t find any evidence through Google that you could use embossing powder on fabric.

I took that as a challenge.

Easy DIY Heat Embossed T-Shirt

For my first project of the year, I am sharing with you how I came up with a method for heat embossing on fabric.  The result is incredible, and I am having a hard time shouting from the rooftops about how awesome this looks.  Since I’m equally obsessed (okay, slightly more obsessed) with roller derby than I am with heat embossing on fabric, I obviously had to meld the two into one project – a Skate It Off roller derby themed tee.  You can easily use this tutorial to make a shirt with any design on the front, though.  I may be making a few more with other messages or pictures.

A Look at My 2015 Home Goals

The new year always brings a fresh start.  I love the feeling of a blank calendar and a renewed since of will power.  I don’t really make New Year’s Resolutions, but I do like the newness of January 1st to lay out some goals that I want to accomplish this year.

Personally, I want to be better, faster and physically stronger.  That means working out more and being more conscious about what I am eating.  It means making a plan for the next day and getting a good night’s sleep.  It also means pushing myself outside of my comfort zone even more than I did in 2014.

But my home has its own unique set of goals, too.  I like to think of them as Home Goals.  In the first part of 2015, I’m going to refocus my efforts on updating my son’s bedroom.  In its current state, it feels dark and uncomfortable.  His bed is getting to be too small and the walls scream a little too Nick Jr. for a third grader.  Last year, I put together a mood board for his room that both he and I love, but the longest project ever got in the way of me working on it.

Mood Board for Mid-Century Styled Boy's Bedroom

Instead of just saying that my goal is to finish his room in the first six months of the year, I have made a list of some of the projects I want to tackle:

My Favorite HomeRight Projects of 2014

During the last few days of the year, bloggers from hither and yon post round-ups of their favorite projects of the year.  Sadly, for this blogger, I basically spent an entire year on one. single. project. Needless to say, I don’t really have 10 amazing projects that I think are worth sharing again. But, did you see those walls?!?

So, instead of trying to resurrect some of my admittedly ‘meh’ projects from this year to round out a top 10 list, I thought I would share with you some of my favorite projects from other bloggers.  And since I am a HomeRight ambassador and LOVE all of their products, I’m doing a round up of my top 10 favorite projects from other bloggers who used HomeRight tools.  That’s not a super catchy title, so I’m just calling it My Favorite HomeRight Projects of 2014.


My Favorite HomeRight Projects of 2014

1. DIY Embossed State Art via Bliss at Home – I have never heat embossed (or regular embossed) anything in my life, but this tutorial makes me want to emboss everything in sight! Kristin used the HomeRight Heat Pro Deluxe II Heat Gun for this project, and you can find various embossing powders on Amazon or in craft stores.

Top 10 HomeRight Projects of 2014

2. Gold Snake Bowl via Rain on a Tin Roof – Finally, something chic to do with those fake toy snakes that scare the crap out of me.  This really looks like something Nate Berkus would design, doesn’t it? Jenna used the HomeRight Heat Pro Deluxe II Heat Gun for this project.

Top 10 HomeRight Projects of 2014