SPS: Can you KEEP something organized??

How do you keep a bookcase organized?

Organizing a Bookshelf

Or any other high traffic area.

I mean really, day after day, week after week, how do you keep something organized?

I’m not talking about initially getting everything tidied up or staging something for a great photo either. That’s the thrill of the hunt, removing everything from a shelf, organizing, getting rid of and staging the best stuff. The work to keep it that way? Bor-ing.

One day you wake up and walk by your bookshelf and it looks like this:BookshelfLeaning books of Pisa anyone??

How did this even happen? We’re tidy people, how did all of these book get jumbled up and why hasn’t anyone straightened this monstrosity?

Stacks? Really??

Messy BookshelfSo I’m proposing an experiment. As a part of the Small Project Series, every Friday for the next 6 week I’m going to post a pic of this bookshelf on my Instagram and Facebook page, the good, the bad and the ugly with the hopes that some accountability will help keep it on the looking-presentable train. After all, it one of the most highly trafficked areas of my home, I should be able to keep a little bookshelf organized. Shouldn’t I? I guess we’ll have to see about it.

Here’s the bookshelf as it stands today, not edited, not organized, just exactly as it is with a few minor issues but still looking presentable.

Bookshelf 1st reviewHere we go, we’ll see what happens!


PS – I came home from work last week and found this.

Painting FellI guess it’s back to the drawing board. . . here’s the 1st | 2nd | & 3rd attempt I made at hanging this painting. I’ll keep you posted on the 4th.



Master Bath Updates

The 2013 House Tour is done and as promised our master bathroom has gotten some much need updates. Here are a few real life before shots.
Master Bath BeforeMast Bath Blank SlateOur primary need for this space was additional storage. Although we have a lot of cabinet space our counter space is pretty limited. Since the sink is a stand alone, we usually end up with a mess similar to this.Master Bath Messy CounterYikes.

After some searching we purchased 3 of these shelves from IKEA and 2 now hang above the laundry hamper and toilet.

Master Bath with shelvesMaster Bath New Towels

Master Bath with Organization

The third one we cut down to fit on our existing cabinet and is now my ‘getting-ready’ station. Check out that clean countertop!
Master Bath Organized

Last but not least, we added a small hook for my bathrobe!

Master Bath RevealMaster Bath Robe Hook

Have I ever told you a pocket door separates the master bathroom from our bedroom?

Pocket Door on BathoomYup, she’s a beaut.

Dyson Adventure

Leah and I have wanted a Dyson from the first time we saw the tv commercial.  It looked so cool and they must work well because they’re German, right?  We even added one to our wedding registry but we had no luck (they’re a tad bit expensive).  As we were moving from our old house to our new house, a great friend of ours let us borrow her Dyson and, after spending countless hours with it, my love for Dysons soared once again.

Ubenounced to Leah, I setup a search agent on my Craigslist App in hopes we could find a deal.  Two weeks later as I entered into my weekly tradition of eating Friday lunch at New York Pizza, an alert popped up for a Dyson, for sale by owner.

I couldn’t believe my eyes because they rarely come up for sale, and best of all it was only listed for $100! (Dysons brand-new are $400).  I immediately called the seller and learned that it was 7 months old and a friend had given it to him.  He lived in Carbon, TX which is about 60 miles from where we live.  Luckily I was having lunch with my Craigslist partner-in-crime so we made a plan to pick it up that afternoon.

Around 4 PM that Friday we left Abilene and head to Carbon, a hopping town of 224 men, women, and children.  We turned off the main highway on to a gravel road and soon pulled up to a 3 bedroom lean-to nestled next to several mobile homes and abandoned houses.   The situation was sketchy at best and the Dyson seemed very out of place in the house.  We had our normal pleasentries then it was time for the test.  I plugged it in and started vacuuming the floor and it made this horrbile screeching sound.  The seller was very distraught and started taking things apart to find the problem.  He thought he found the problem and tried it again, no luck.  As he took it apart a second time, I pulled my buddy aside and asked what was wrong with it.  My friend was pretty sure it had been put together wrong and therefore it wasn’t sealing correctly, but the motor was fine.  I went back into the house and it was still making the same, horrible sound.  That’s when I knew this situation was about to turn into Craig’s List King magic. Here’s what happened next:

CLK: So no luck on fixing the problemn?

Seller: Nope, I don’t know why it’s broken, I feel bad that you came all the way here to get it.

CLK: Well since I did drive out here I might as well buy it.  In its current condition, what’s the best price you can give me.

Seller: How about $60?

CLK: Deal.

A $60 Dyson? I couldn’t believe my ears! We quickly loaded up the vacuum and headed home.  Once I got home I decided to vacuum the whole house and after about 20 minutes the sound almost completely went  away and it worked like a charm!

This is a classic example that things aren’t always as they seem. When you encounter situations like this, remember to use it to your advantage – negotiate! Often a broken part or missing piece can lead to a BIG discount and with just a little elbow grease, you’ll have something that works like new at a fraction of the cost.

So, what about you? Any great stories of how you’ve gotten a BIG discount on something that was ‘broken’?

Enter the Craig’s List King

The more you get to know the Poarchs, you learn that we rarely pay someone to do something we can do ourselves and because of that we are masters at getting bargains! I started learning the art of wheeling and dealing at a young age watching my parents buy used cars. My Dad, Greg, would do all the research on the car and literally go over every inch to ensure it was in great shape. Once it got the approval from Dad, Mom picked up the baton to close the deal. She would walk into the showroom tell them exactly what she wanted, at what price and how long they had to make it happen. If they didn’t hit her demands within the time limit she was out the door!

My parents didn’t just pick these skills up haphazardly, they were raised this way and trained from a young age. My Dad’s father, Grandaddy, is a master at restoring furniture others threw away because of broken pieces or fire damage. He has given our family countless restored antiques and to this day, at the age of 81,  always has a project going. My Mom’s father (Papa) is the businessman I aspire to be. He built his company upon hard work and integrity and it’s peak he had several franchise stores in northeast Florida.

My love for buying and selling started when I was 16 years old. Our beloved Bertha, a 1987 Buick Century, had come to it’s last days. The car had been passed around our family for years and my Dad made countless patches. The last straw was the connecting rod breaking, it sounded like a hammer on an anvil. My Dad wanted to just junk the car but I saw an opportunity to make some money. I wagered that I could get more money by selling it locally than he could at the junkyard and so it began… He bought me three For Sale signs in which I crafted my master description and to his surprise, I was able to sell that broken car for $300!

Greg and Phillip working on a car, Fall 2011.

Now dubbed the Craig’s List King, I enjoy buying, selling and trading items on Craig’s List and with people we know.The Craig’s List King will feature tips for negotiating, what to look for, and how to get the best deal both when buying and selling. We welcome your comments and questions and be sure to check back soon for our first featured deal!