7th House on the Left

Call me crazy, but spring cleaning is one of my favorite things to do. Is the actual cleaning the most enjoyable thing to do in the world? No. (I’m not that crazy.) It’s the feeling after all the work is done that’s out of this world kinds of awesome. For us spring cleaning consists of not only giving the entire house a good deep clean, but also purging our belongings (donating/throwing away things we don’t want/need anymore) and organizing the forgotten nooks and crannies. A few days later, when the house is all sparkly, tidy and decluttered… it’s like we have a new house.

10 Spring Cleaning Tips + Tricks via The Apron Blog by The Home Depot

All of that being said, when The Home Depot contacted me and asked me to share 10 of our favorite spring cleaning tips, I remember saying out loud as I read the email, “Absolutely!” It seemed like a fun topic to talk about and one I’d really enjoy writing. Well, it ended up being a really great, fun project and got me all kinds of excited about our upcoming spring cleaning regime. The article is now live over on The Home Depot’s The Apron Blog. Check out the article right here. And, a special thank you to Greg for being my “model” so I could take the photos I needed. He’s a keeper, folks!

My relationship with Ikea’s Expedit shelving system started when I was 14 years old. My mom and dad surprised me by redecorating my room for my birthday. The room design included a large, white Expedit system filled with my favorite books and keepsakes, and the bottom two rows were filled with baskets to organize my things. My dad installed little lights in every other “cube” to showcase my favorite things – like my prized vintage Monkees lunchbox. Yes, a Monkees lunchbox. I’m an old soul. It was my favorite piece of furniture, and served me well until I left for college. When I moved into my first apartment, one of the first things I bought was, you guessed it, an Expedit. Then, just a few weeks ago, we bought a white Expedit for my office. Needless to say, my love for these functional, geometric shelving pieces has never faltered.

Ikea's Iconic Expedit Shelving System // 7thhouseontheleft.com

If you search or “Expedit” on Pinterest, you’ll clearly see I’m not the only one with mad love for this furniture piece. When various news outlets began reporting a few days ago that Ikea plans on discontinuing their iconic Expedit shelving system, I was so surprised! The EXPEDIT, people! Needless to say, the Twitterverse exploded with surprised, disappointed and (oddly enough) angry reactions. My initial thought was, “Why in the world would they mess up something so popular and so iconic to the Ikea brand?”. When I think Ikea, I immediately think of meatballs, affordable picture frames, faux sheepskin rugs and the Expedit.

This morning, I did some clicking around and wanted to hear the news from the source. I found that they’d just issued a press release (here). In their bulletin they said:

“IKEA has updated and improved the EXPEDIT shelving unit with a sleek, new design that is more durable (with a more scratch-resistant surface), more child-friendly (with rounded corners), and still fits all existing storage baskets and boxes. With this new design, IKEA is giving EXPEDIT a new name: KALLAX. KALLAX will be available to consumers in the U.S. starting this April.”

At first when I read “rounded corners”, my initial response was “Nooooooooooo!”. Thankfully, they also attached a photo of the new design, and it looks strikingly similar – if not identical – to the original Expedit design:

Ikea's Iconic Expedit Shelving System to be Replaced by the Kallax // 7thhouseontheleft.com

The “rounded” corners are barely noticeable, and it doesn’t have the 80′s vibe I feared. The more durable material will be a nice touch. I’m just hoping the finish doesn’t look strange in person.

So, in light of this news, here are my questions… Will the finishes of the Kallax match the finishes of the existing Expedit? The existing baskets will fit the new design, but will they be coming out with new versions and discontinuing the old ones? Why are they giving it a new name if it looks pretty much the same? In my book, they can call it whatever they want because it will always be an Expedit to me.

Images from here and here.

For months and months, I’ve tried to decide what to store in our vintage card catalog (more on that beauty here). With 60 perfect little drawers, it’s the organizer’s dream, but I really had no idea what we could store in it that would suit our needs. It wasn’t until we recently sold our dining room buffet that it dawned on me: this would be the perfect solution for storing and organizing our serving utensils, napkins and other small dining room paraphernalia.

Organizing the Card Catalog / 7thhouseontheleft.com

After taking a quick inventory of our belongings, I decided to designate the top six drawers to silverware, the next two rows to napkins and the next two rows for things like napkin rings and place card holders. The bottom section is designated for backup office supplies – but I’ll get back to that in a minute.

What to Store in a Vintage Card Catalog / 7thhouseontheleft.com

For the top six drawers that would be holding the serving utensils, I wanted the inside of the drawers to have some sort of lining to protect the utensils and prevent scratches. I bought six thick sheets of black felt from AC Moore for 99¢ a piece. I measured the interior of the drawer, marked my cut line using a piece of chalk, cut the felt to size and simply placed it in the drawer. Since the felt fit in the drawers perfectly, I didn’t have to attach the felt to the drawer at all because it stayed in place really well.

What to Store in a Vintage Card Catalog / 7thhouseontheleft.com

Because of the weight of the utensils (these babies are really heavy – in a good way) along with how smoothly the drawers move in and out, the utensils don’t really slide around much when you open and close the drawers – which is a really nice and unexpected feature. As a side note, I’ve learned that the best way to clean felt is with a lint roller. It works really well and makes removing any annoying tiny pieces of lint so easy.

What to Store in a Vintage Card Catalog / 7thhouseontheleft.com

I was head over heels in love with how well the napkins fit in each drawer, as well. Six napkins fit in each drawer, folded exactly how I would normally fold them anyway. I was able to fit my entire napkin collection in two rows of drawers, with a few drawers left empty for future purchases.

What to Store in a Vintage Card Catalog / 7thhouseontheleft.com

Since we don’t have a bajillion pieces of silverware or fifty napkin designs, we’re using the bottom section of drawers for office supply backups like Sharpies, craft brushes, tape, scissors, etc. The cabinet is literally six inches from my office, so it makes perfect sense for us.

Organizing the Card Catalog / 7thhouseontheleft.com

I wrapped up this organizing project by adding labels to each drawer. I decided to keep it casual and go with a regular handwritten label rather than breaking out the label maker or computer.

The inner organization freak inside of me feels so much more at ease now that the card catalog is filled, organized and orderly. Even while it was empty, it was our favorite piece of furniture in the house and now that it’s organized and useful, I don’t know what to do with myself!