Each year of blogging there’s projects that I just knocked out of the park and others that end up admittedly flopping. While I never intentionally post a ‘bad’ project, sometimes what sounds brilliant at the beginning just ends up not working out long term.
Do you ever wonder how well those projects you see on Pinterest or in magazines end up? Does the blogger still use that solution that they claimed was the ultimate life saver?
The projects I post here on the blog are always ones I’m actually working on for my home. I rarely post a project just to get something up on the blog. (My friends always ask me what I’m going to do with the blog once I’ve organized every in of our home. ‘Move?’ I say???)
Some of these projects have truly been game changers for me, making life easier, more organized, and less stressful. Others ended up not working the way I planned. Since I’m big on setting goals and taking time to evaluate what worked and what didn’t, I decided to share my 2017 top 10 blog project wins & misses with you today!
So, I looked through this past year of blog posts and pulled out the projects that were the big winners of the year and ones that didn’t work at all.
Here’s my wins & misses for 2017:
These are my top 5 projects that have really stood the test of time this year. These are the ones that make me think ‘man, I’m a genius’. Don’t worry, I’ve got an equal number of misses to bring me back down to earth.
1 Fridge Liners | These were so incredibly easy and pretty much required NO skill at all. I used flimsy cheap plastic placemats (found at Target) as the liners. Making these really quick, I barely measured the space before trimming the placemats. I really believe this is one of the best beginner DIY organizing projects on my list.
2 Digital Christmas Card Storage | Being a professional organizer, I really hate to admit that I don’t like getting rid of things. Well, there I said it. That includes cards. I had STACKS of old Christmas cards from friends & family that I just didn’t want to part with. The problem was that these cards were taking up valuable space in our closet and realistically I never looked at them. To appease my desire to hold on to them with my need to clear up some space in one of our closets, I stored all these digitally.
3 Foam Board Shelves | The white wire shelving in all our bedroom closets created some storage challenges for me, especially since I store a lot of non clothing type items in our closets. It’s pretty much impossible to store binders on wire shelving without something below. These wrapping paper covered foam boards were a quick fix that I honestly thought might be temporary. Well they’ve held up incredibly well over the year and I have no plans to change them.
4 Tax Preparation Process | Obviously, not a fun topic, right? Well that’s probably why this one ended up on the wins list. Each year Joe & I have the best intentions of being that couple that gives our tax docs to our accountant EARLY. You know the ones who get a discount on their taxes because they turn them in before anyone else?
Between job changes, a variety of investments, home purchases, and my blogging business, not only have our taxes gotten more complex, but so did accumulating all needed documents. The process and checklist we came up with has made a huge impact come January when we’re getting our taxes together. Yes, you read that right, JANUARY. We became ‘those people’.
5 Front Porch Storage | The townhouse we moved in to a couple years back is a pretty good size for Seattle, but one thing we do not have is a garage. It was a concession we gave up while house hunting in a very expensive and competitive market. We got used to it pretty quickly and have been able to easily park our car right outside our house, but we do feel the effects of not being able to store items in a garage. You know the stuff you need to store, but don’t really want in the house? Lawn mower, bikes, outdoor kids’ toys, gardening supplies, etc.
We (well Joe) upcycled two plant containers in to storage bins to hold some of Reagan’s supplies, gardening tools and bike cleaning items (Joe’s a big cyclist). Essentially, it’s the stuff that I don’t want stored in the house because we only use them outside. This was a HUGE win for us.
Now on to the ones that just didn’t work the way they were intended. I had the best intentions with these 5 projects, but in the end, they just didn’t work the way I envisioned them. Live and learn.
1 Dog Paw Mitt | Living in rainy Seattle with a big Doberman, I thought this cleaning mitt would be a life saver. It just didn’t work for us. Because of Reagan’s size (she’s about 75 lbs), I sometimes need more than one small mitt. The other problem we encountered is that we just don’t have a great place to hang it. Cute idea, but just didn’t use as intended.
2 Painted Wooden Hangers | More than anything, I think these were just fun! But practically, I found myself not using them the way I thought I would. Yes, they brighten up our closet, which I LOVE. But I didn’t use color coded hangers for real organizational needs. I already had a system for keeping my closet organized and incorporating colored hangers ended up being unnecessary for my needs.
3 Organizing Baby Feeding Supplies | This one just makes me laugh every time I read it. Oh this new mom was a little naive in assuming that all the baby feeding supplies would stay in nicely organized labeled bins. Realistically as time went on what worked best for us was to have ONE drawer that we threw all feeding supplies in (sippy cups, spoons, formula, teething rings, bibs) and one small station on our counter for bottles. Sometimes I cringe when I open that drawer, but I know right now this is the best solution for me.
4 Labeled Paint Cans | I’m actually really glad that I did this project. We had lots of paint cans left over from our builder, as well as paint cans from rooms I painted. So, I wanted to make sure these were appropriately labeled to make touch ups easy. I’m planning on updating these by using my label maker to label each can with the ROOM the paint belongs to. Then I’ll create a google doc that lists all the details (paint color, brand, etc). These paper-y labels just don’t seem to hold up long term, especially with paint spills.
5 User Manual Binders | This binder is a HUGE improvement to what we used to have: warrantees and manuals scattered all over our house. Yet, the reality is that since putting this binder together, I’ve actually never used it. Also, as my husband pointed out, most of the user manuals can be found online. Plus, the binder is literally overflowing. A project that I’d like to do this winter is to get all this information stored online.
While it’s never fun to recount the quote on quote ‘failures’, it is a good reminder to me that creating solutions that work for your home and family do take some trial and error. Some of my projects were home runs from the start and others needed some tweaking to fit for our family. Even the ones that didn’t work at all helped me to figure out what WOULD work for our family.
I’m excited for the upcoming year as I’ve got lots of projects I want to tackle!
If you’re thinking of getting organized for the new year, take a look at some of my favorite affordable organization products here. I’m not a big believer of buying your way to organization, so I choose my products carefully.
See you in the new year!