Updating old cupboards

Hello!! It’s me again. Melodee 🤓 Your personal Organizing Nerd.


Do you have any old melamine cupboards in your house?  You know the ones I am talking about, right?  They are boring and white.  And usually a little banged up.  These ones are located in a laundry room, but I have also seen them in a storage room or garage.

This turned out to be a fun and easy project.  Hardly anyone likes to do laundry anyway, and this room is visible from the kitchen so it was screaming for a mini-make makeover.  But painting was a very permanent option, and new cupboards was an expensive option, so this is a good marriage of the two options.  But luckily it doesn’t require a high commitment level.

For this project I ordered some contact paper from Amazon.  Yep, you heard me right. Contact paper.  The possibilities are endless.

IMG_6435It’s not only for lining shelves.  And if you hate the look, pull it off.  No harm, no foul. One by one I took off the cupboard doors and wrapped each of them like a present.  The tricky part was the larger pieces, trying to get them straight and not crumpled would have been easier with a second set of hands. After the contact paper went up the it was obvious old handles needed an updating too.  A quick run to Home Depot and we found these cute handles for a little color splash.


The contact paper updates the space in an inexpensive way. Overall, the contact paper achieved the desired effect.  An updated space for under $100.00.

Happy Organizing!!


Overwhelming kid’s room

Hi!  This is Melodee, and I know that kid’s rooms can have you feeling really down.  Sometimes you have to ask yourself where do you even start?  It feels like a battle.  Asking your child to clean up your room, but then it doesn’t get cleaned up.  You dig in your heels and say you aren’t cleaning it this time and the battle wages on. More and more gets added until eventually you are clearing a path.  This is the situation with this room.


Yikes!!!  Right?  This room started out innocently enough.  A trip to her dad’s for the summer and a simple suitcase that didn’t get unpacked. Followed by a sleepover with a friend and all the toys brought out to play.  Then blankets and laundry lost their places, along with things being tossed in that she had left around the house.  It’s a simple process and we all know the drill. Things can quickly get out of hand and then it multiplies.

The question becomes, “but where do I start?”  The best way to win against a room like this is not too hard. It is similar to how you would win most battles; divide and conquer!!  For this room I started with the obvious, laundry.  Her laundry basket is usually stored under her bed and it was mysteriously empty.  Ha ha. Gotta love kids.  So I gathered all of the dirty clothes and a limited about of clean clothes.  There were 2 loads of dirty clothes scattered around this room which went straight to the laundry room.

Then I hunted for the shoes.  Lots of shoes.  I paired them together and put them in a shoe organizer in the closet.  This helped clear the floor too.  I was making significant progress.  The toys were my next mission.  I sorted all the barbies together and put them in one bin, and then I found the legos which went in another bin, and so on.  I could actually see the floor!!!


This moment was so rewarding!!  I also recommend that when tackling a room this bad that you do it when the child is away.  I was able to get rid of two trash bags worth of old papers, toys that had seen better days, and old decorations she had saved from a wedding this summer.  She hasn’t even missed them.

Here is the desk area behind her door that housed her distressed piles of collections.


This area was mostly decluttering.  I put all her art supplies together so she could sit and color or write in her journals.  Her jewelry was all put in one container, and her small makeup collection was put where she could access it for special occasions.

Here is the desk after.


She has a small room and I respected that she likes more “stuff” around than I prefer.  So her books and legos and favorite sleeping bag and a pillow are hiding under the desk.  Along with extra diapers for her baby brother. And since it all is tucked away behind the door it is a good place for a compromise.

The next phase of getting this room back into shape was reworking the furniture.  I relocated the bed to the center of the wall, moved her table lamp next to her bedside and took out the small yellow cupboard that she obviously wasn’t using to keep her toys inside.  I opted to use small bins under her bed so it would be easier for her to slide them in and out for playing.


This helped open up her room and opened up more room on the wall by the door.  On this wall I added her dresser and I was able to fit her little brother’s dresser too! (He’s still in with mom and dad).  But it is great, because there was plenty of room now.


So, remember that when a room seems too overwhelming and it is easier to just keep the door shut. (My dad’s method of coping through my teen years).  It is possible to conquer the battle of  ridiculously messy kids’ rooms, and reclaim the peace that is possible, (if everyone in your house would clean up after themselves).


The best part about this whole journey of clearing the clutter and the mess is that this is MY daughter’s room. YES, MY DAUGHTER… While I don’t profess to be the most organized person or obsessed about things being a certain way, I have become efficient and effective at clearing out clutter, organizing, and I love the process of making sense of a space. I have to attribute this talent I have to being the mother of seven children (aged 1-24).  My children have given me a multitude of opportunities to clean up and organize over the last 20 plus years, so I guess that makes me an expert, by default.

Happy Organizing!!

From Chaos to Calm: Kids’ Toys

Does it ever feel like the kids’ toys jump off the shelves and land in the far corners of the room?  Well, never fear.  We will help you tackle this problem once and for all.


Playroom Before

The main problem with keeping a playroom picked up is that kids are notorious for not putting things back where they belong.  One way to help with that problem is to create a home for each toy . Then, there is a better chance the toys will find their way back to where they  belong.

A good method to begin is to sort all the toys.  Get piles of barbies together, then get all the super heroes in one place.  Baby dolls like to hang out together, and so do the stuffed animals.  You get the drill.  Now, this next step is better accomplished when no kids that are emotionally connected to the toys are present.  PURGE!!  I love it when my kids have a broken toy, because those are the first to go.  Donate toys your kids have outgrown or that they no longer play with regularly.  You cannot organize clutter, and stuffing them into bins doesn’t make less clutter.  You will find that kids will play with their favorite toys and they won’t even miss the ones you let go.

Now is the time where you get to find homes for everything.  I like to use open bins because toys have an easier time of finding their way back inside, and you don’t have extra steps of opening and closing it.  I am also a big fan of labeling the bins.  If you have younger children it is fun to take a polaroid of the toy and put the picture on the bin.  I usually print a label for older children.

In this playroom, the mom was willing to let go of several bulky items, like the bench and a few doll houses.  This really opened up the space in the playroom.  We also added a shelf purchased from Costco, which came with bins.  In here, all of the toys were grouped together and labeled.  This is a home with 5 girls and only 1 boy, so we gave him his very own bin, and he was really excited to have a special place for his own toys.

In the oversized baskets we put all the baby dolls in one and the other one housed the stuffed animals.  The basket on the floor next to the baby dolls contains all the baby doll accessories. It is important to keep the things together that the kids will use together.  It gives the toys a better shot at being put away.   The oversized baskets also make it easy to limit the number of dolls and stuffed animals.  If they don’t fit in the bin, it is time to let some go. This is great when you buy new toys.  Have the kids let some of older toys go to make room for the new toys.


Toys are now corralled

On the other wall the big Barbie house found a new address.  Next to it we added a tall drawer where the Barbies all fit.  Which makes sense, because the kids play with the barbies in the barbie house.  Although, because the Barbies had SO MANY clothes, we made a bin solely for Barbie clothes. The clothes are located on top of the doll drawers, again, this is where the kids use them.

Another fun idea for dress-ups is a coat rack, with hooks.  Kids are more likely to hang up the clothes if it is quick and easy.  It could also be a game of throwing them up until it catches.


Drawers hold barbies


Now you can see, you too can reign in the chaos that ensues from a large quantity of toys!!  SORT, PURGE, DONATE, & ORGANIZE.  You need to set aside several hours, hopefully while the kids are at school.  It is helpful to have all the organizing baskets you need on hand. This way you can start and finish your organizing project.

I recently spoke to the mom of this playroom and she reported that the kids have been keeping it picked up, and they love having a cleaned up playroom.


Melodee Finlinson – Organizing Nerds


Kathleen and I have officially launched our joined organizing business.  We are now Organizing Nerds.  We have been very busy, mostly from word of mouth of our clients.  We love organizing pantries, and aren’t afraid to get a little dirty when we organize garages.  Most recently we have been helping our clients get ready for moving, and real estate photos by decluttering and staging their homes.  It is a great feeling to be able to help our clients get their homes sold.  The last client we helped sold their home within one week of our staging the home. We hope you enjoy getting to know us through our website and we would love to hear your comments and are happy to help you in all your organizational challenges.  IMG_0282