Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Space Repurposing

A few weeks ago, I had a sudden burst of energy which resulted in a lot of spring cleaning around the house. If this is what they refer to as nesting, I sure hope there's a lot more where that came from! One of the tasks I tackled was to clear out one area of organizational space that has jut not been used to it's fullest potential to this point and get it ready to be re-purposed. If you were around here way back when when I featured the House a Home challenge, you may remember that one of my favorite pieces in my home is the deacon's bench that my grandfather built for us as a wedding gift.

To say that this piece of storage/organizational space was not being used to it's fullest potential is a huge understatement. When I decided to open it up and do something about it ... this is what I found.

Yes, that's right. The bench was entirely full, to the brim, with bags. Big bags, little bags, plastic bags, paper bags. Bags, bags, bags. Gee, I guess I really need to stop making fun of my grandmother for the insane collection of grocery bags that was found hidden in the drop ceiling when we moved her out of her house (shh, no one tell Grandma I said that). I guess I'm just as bad!

For a family that uses reusable bags for grocery shopping and whenever else possible, there is definitely no need to have an entire bench full of plastic bags. So, I unloaded it all and was left with this...

A giant pile of bags. And an empty bench.

I decided to bunch up a few to keep for the times when I really do need a plastic bag. Only, this time, I promised myself I would keep this collection under control and store it hanging on a shelf in the laundry room. So, I packed up all the bags and had one large pile to go out to the garbage** and one small pile to keep.

Now, I am left with the task of deciding how to re-purpose this space. It seems to me like the perfect place to store hats, gloves, scarves and mitts for the winter. I know as the baby grows up and as (hopefully) more babies enter our lives, we'll soon have a giant collection of these items, but for now, we don't have that many of those things - and we also have a great space for them in the entryway "closet".

Right now, I have begun using the bench as a temporary location for the few baby items that I have started collecting. These were all stashed on the top shelf of my closet, but let's face it - that's another space that needs an overhaul - so I thought this would be a great place. Now they are all together and ready to be moved as soon as we get the spare room/office transformed into the baby's room.

When that time comes, and the bench finds itself empty again, I will need to come up with another use for it - something more useful and productive than an old bag holder. I know it would be a perfect place for extra pillows and blankets but I don't need that because I've got a blanket box in the living room and my hope chest in our room. What about a makeshift toy box for when the baby comes? Does anyone have any other suggestions?

And don't you worry - I have a feeling this will be the first of many many space re-purposing posts as I attempt to transform this wee apartment into a home ready for baby.

**After receiving two comments scolding me for throwing these bags away, I thought I should add a little snippet here to clarify - I didn't put them in the trash trash. They are in the garage in the blue bin (recycling bin) ready to be taken out on garbage day because we have road side recycle pick up! Don't anyone worry - we recycle like crazy around here :) I just refer to everything that goes out to the road as garbage, even though it's sorted into recyclables and non-recyclables .... but thanks girls for keeping me accountable for doing my part :)

12 comments:

Jessica said...

I love your bench! I would love to have one in our laundry room / back door area but no room :(

Gina said...

The tree hugger in me is forced to tell to you run out to the trash, get those bags, and take them to the nearest grocery store so you can recycle them!!! :)

Love the bench!

Brooke said...

that's a gorgeous bench and great purpose for it.

Lucky in Love said...

What a neat bench!! And I think a place for winter accessories is just perfect...when the time comes.

Annie said...

i love your storage bench!
i think using it for winter items is a great idea as well ;)

Chubby said...

I love the bench and I LOVE spring cleaning but I have to agree with Gina. My heart lurched when I read that you threw those plastic bags away! Most grocery stores these days have big bins out front where you can drop off your unwanted plastic bags. I found your blog through OMG Mom, btw, and it's really cute!

Chubby said...

Just got your comment on my blog and thanks for stopping by! Also, thanks for the clarification on the bags. I figured if you were someone who shopped with canvas bags, you couldn't be someone who just threw plastic away :) Happy Cinco de Mayo!

Brittany Ann said...

I'm glad I'm not the only one who hoards plastic bags:)

This Texas Momma said...

As much as I discourage hoarding, you should keep those bags for dirty diapers! Unless you're doing cloth, which we haven't talked about. So glad you were able to get an unorganized space all fixed up....a girl after my own heart!

tonya jones said...

Maybe you could use it in the baby's room. You could store extra packages of diapers, wipes, etc. in there. You could get a cushion made for it to go with the baby's bedding and change diapers on it, or sit and read to baby, store baby's keepsakes in it.(blankets, heirloom clothing, etc)

Gwen said...

Love the bench!!! I've been taking notes on little things like this so I can redecorate soon. I guarantee you that this went into my inpsiration book. :) I think I need a bench like this to house shoes in an entry way. XOXO

SnoWhite {Finding Joy in My Kitchen} said...

what a neat bench! glad you're enjoying the space in a new way.