Quick End-of-Summer Projects


Its that time of year as a teacher when I realize that I'm going back to work in a few short weeks and didn’t get everything on the summer to-do list completed.   I'm currently in this state of MUST-GET- THIS-LIST-DONE!   It's not that I wouldn't be able to get anything done once back at work because I usually do the same amount of projects during the school year as I do in the summer.  These projects aren't worthy of individual posts because (1) they aren't all that original and (2) they aren't super complicated. Hopefully this will get your butt in gear to check off some of those items on your list that you can get done before the end of this wonderful season falls upon us. 

Plastic Shopping Bag Container

I saw a few pins on this very topic numerous times already and didn't think too much about it until I realized I had a huge bag full of plastic shopping bags.  The ones I had seen involved the plastic reminisce of a Clorox Wipes container, but I didn't have one, so I used an empty oatmeal container.

It literally took about 10 minutes and was super easy.

- Peel off label from container.
- Measure containers diameter and height.
- Cut cardstock of choice to fit container.
- Glue cardstock to container with proper glue/adhesive. I used a decorative sticker on the seam because   I had the sticker from a previous project.  It wasn't necessary, just cute.
- Cut an X-shape in the plastic top to pull out bags.
- Fold plastic bags into thirds the long way and roll connecting them at the end. I was able to roll about     20 bags for my container.
- Leave the top of the plastic bag sticking out of the pre-cut T on the top of the container for easy access   to each bag.

Power Washing

Underneath the deck is a cement porch that has a great view of the lake.  Pretty much the slab of concrete was green because of all the years of moisture, pollen and green stuff (algae?).  I tried using soap and a heavy duty brush, but my scrubbing efforts left with little results.  So, I got the heavy duty power washer and boy did it make me happy. 

If you own a home, a power washer is really a great tool to have.  When we first moved in, I spent the entire day power washing the sides of the house, deck, and all the windows.  It really is worth its money because they can charge $200 plus to come in and do it.  That is about the cost of purchasing the washer.  It also works great on washing the car.

After and Before
Well, about an hour and tons of green dirty water later, I had a pristine concrete porch area.  It was so satisfying to see the before and after.  Don't forget to wear your water shoes or shoes you don't mind getting wet.

Shelf Liner

Shelf liner tools and materials

I started lining my shelves when we first moved in back in June, but quickly found out that I had more shelves in the kitchen, bathroom, and laundry room than shelf liner could cover. I bought out the shelf liner stock at our local Lowes, Home Depot, and Walmart out of the type that I wanted and had to turn to online purchasing to get the remaining liners. Once that happened, the momentum to complete the project was gone and I put the box of shelf liner in the projects/to-do room. We had a goal to clean out the projects room this past weekend before school starts and this is just one project I could get done easily.

Shelf liner helps protect wood from moisture and makes it easier to clean
Do I really have to explain how to put in shelf liner?  Just remember to measure then cut. A little tip -  a rotary cutter, a lip edge ruler, and cutting mat make the process go quicker.  My lines are straight and it saves time.

Shelf liner installed
PS - That is indeed a GelPro Basketweave mat from Amazon.  I love it so much, we also have a matching one in front of the sink.

Outlet Blending

Where's the Wall Wart?
Have you ever heard of an outlet being called a wall wart?  Ok, I didn't either until Jeff said it when we temporarily placed a black outlet cover over a light switch in a yellow painted room in our old home.  I personally never thought it looked bad, but I can see the comparison to a wart. This term popped into my head when we moved into our new house.  In the kitchen, we have a black tile backsplash  throughout the kitchen.  Instead of looking at the backsplash, I was always focused on the white outlets and outlet covers that stuck out with their contrasting white.   We immediately bought all new outlets and covers on our first trip to Lowes when we moved, but didn’t get around to installation until this past weekend.  Being near a water source, some of the outlets are required to be a GFCI.  These cost a bit more money, but we're able to save the old white GFCI outlets for future expansions in the house.

Wall Warts - now you see 'em
Wall Warts - now you barely see 'em
We left the light switches white so it will be easier to spot them.  While we were changing out the electrical outlets, we also took the opportunity to install the Clean Cut Touchless Paper Towel Dispenser.  It literally is our most used kitchen appliance and we love it. It also makes for a perfect  housewarming gift.

I have tons of other projects that I need to get done. If anything, I hope I inspired you to get some of those projects done that you've been putting off for a while. Are you in a big rush to get projects done before the end of the summer?

<3 mk

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