Sunday, July 12, 2009

Clean House

So, as I mentioned, my mom and I went to IKEA, where I finally purchased my very own Grundtal ($14.99 online, $19.99 in the store - why?), and my Kitchen Conundrums are closer than ever to being solved! The spice cabinet situation is working swimmingly, and now my pots and pans are hanging prettily above the stove! It was quite a project getting it up there though. I used my stud finder and laser level, and still somehow it was super complicated. First, the laser level didn't provide a totally level line (though the little bubble was perfectly centered between the lines). I'm not sure what I was doing wrong, but even though it said it was level, when I stepped back to look at it, it most certainly was not! Then, when we finally made it mostly-level, and I was sure I had correctly marked the edges of the studs, we found more trouble! I used my biggest drill bit to drill holes for the plastic spacer things, but the holes were still too small. I made the holes bigger, but still the spacers wouldn't go all the way into the wall. I was using long screws though, so we decided that even though the shelf is not *perfectly* flush against the wall (the spacers are scrunched/squashed between the bracket of the shelf and the wall), it would be ok. And...after redoing 3 of the 4 worked! As you can see, I now have a lovely little shelf full of pots and pans! It took far too long, and I got far too frustrated, but I'm happy about it now. And, it's more shallow than I thought it would be, so it doesn't even make my kitchen look smaller.

This was just one of many projects for the weekend. I also installed a hanging pot lid rack and a plastic bag holder, but I didn't think those were exciting enough to warrant photos. They are useful though! The plastic bag holder is overflowing...who knew I had so many plastic bags?

The other major thing: my mom decided we should deep clean my apartment. I didn't really think it needed it, but isn't that the way with moms? :-) My floors have been triple-cleaned: A round with the dry Swiffer, some vacuuming for corners and baseboards, and a final scrub with my newly purchased Swiffer Wet Jet (works well, but that was a good $30 - too bad I didn't know about the $5 off coupon online). Mom did most of the floor cleaning...hey, it was her idea! She also scrubbed my counters with cleanser, washed all my dishes, and helped me clean my reading corner. I'm putting the bean bag chair in storage for now, and we moved the chair over so it's a little more spacious over there.

A little dark, but this is the new corner...

The inspiration for this? I went to clean a picture frame that was laying on the table, and I discovered a freshly hatched nest of spiders! What kind of spiders decide that a picture frame on my table is a good place for a nes?!?! Ugh. It was gross, and unsettling. Plus, there were cobwebs on the floor and in the corners that I couldn't reach regularly because of the beanbag - I guess my mom is right that it's easier to clean when there is less stuff on the floor...sigh. Moms always end up being right, don't they? Anyway, it's gone, and there is more floor. And I will try to be better about keeping things clean, because do I want to be a home for nesting spiders? NO WAY!

My plants have a new home over here as well, and I'm hoping they like this sunny corner (the dusty miller in particular - it is so sad and in need of sunshine). apartment is now clean and dust free, and I am ready for a nap! :)


  1. i'm a little confused. Why did you use the plastic spacers if you installed it on the studs? Plastic inserts are for anchoring into drywall. Maybe you mean something else by plastic spacer, or maybe one side didn't make it to the stud? But if you're going to be hanging weight (it looks lovely, by the way) overhead I'd reccommend 2" lag screws into studs.

    Unless the bubble level on the laser line was cheap or set into the unit poorly (glued onto the laser catty-wompous) my only guess as to why it wouldn't shoot straight is that your house is wonky, and it didn't look level because the walls are actually crooked. Seriously, I had this problem years ago while refitting my bathroom--the house had settled at such a weird angle that my mirror wouldn't fit on the wall. One of the best things to do in that eventuality is to take the "level" off of a nearby doorframe, ceiling or wall corner using a framing square. It won't be right, but it'll look right.

  2. Sorry, should have clarified. I *thought* I was drilling into studs (it felt tougher/thicker/woodier? than living room walls I've hung things on in the past), but when I screwed the screws in, they slid right out...Mom and I supposed this meant I had somehow missed the studs, and decided the screws needed the anchor.

    Re: the level, it is HIGHLY possible that my walls are wonky! That's why I ended up just kind of leveling based on what it looked like...and how the shelf would functionally be straight, if that makes sense? It looks a teensy bit warped (cheap IKEA construction + wonky walls, I guess), but it's not installed on a my pots and pans won't slide to the floor. Functionally straight?

  3. your walls are plaster, instead of sheet rock. sheet rock you can run through with a chopstick. plaster, found in older homes, is denser and as such can play sillybuggers with stud finders. Next time you go seeking a stud, mark it in pencil, then drill a 1/16" dia hole into it and see if it resists after the first half inch. If it goes flying right through, you've missed. If it drills in and then stops, breaks, or resists mightily, you may have steel studs. If it drills fast, then slows down a bit and makes a pleasing munching sound, ta-da, wood.

    But it sounds like, all things considered, you got it done well. Hooray!

    And yes, it sounds functionally straight, like my first boyfriend. Oooh!