Snow is falling today, and if it were Christmas, it would be beautiful. But it is March and we are tired of winter. I have a project to help you with your cabin fever.


Dream about the house you would buy or build if money were no object. What rooms would be in that house? Make a list of the rooms you would want. I have shared that my home does not have a formal dining room. That is the first room on my list.

Now, look around your home and see if you can carve that space out of a portion of one of your rooms. I have shared several times about making a formal dining room out of half of TV room in the basement.  During the holidays it takes over the entire room.

Move things around and set up you new “space”. You will probably need to give away or throw away some items to make room. Try to bring everything you will need in that space and store it nearby. I store my extra dishes, flatware, chargers, chafing dishes and roasters in boxes underneath the stairs. My tablecloths, runners and napkins are stored in boxes underneath the table itself.

I will show you how I carved out a space for my dream rooms in my home over the next few posts.

My table set for a birthday dinner.

My table set for a birthday dinner.

Strengthen the Weak Areas

This post is late in the day because I gave in to my weakness…Spider Solitaire. (I actually gave it up for Lent; but Easter is over.) Today of all days, I really should have done better because my blog is about strengthening weak areas.

We have mini blinds on all of our windows. When they wear out, they break right next to the area where the cord comes out. It gets a lot of stress from being opened and shut every day.

My husband cut some dowels into six-inch pieces and we put them in the mini blinds at the weakest point. The frame of the mini blind cannot bend no matter how hard I pull on it because it is strengthened by the dowel.

(Now if I could just find something to strengthen my resolve not to play Spider Solitaire all afternoon.)


Don’t Let Your Carpet Fray at the Seams

I noticed the carpet was coming apart at the seam between the living room and the hall. I got out my upholstery needle and regular thread. I took four strands of thread and threaded it in the upholstery needle.

Using the upholstery needle, I sewed the seam back together.

Now when I vacuum, that seam will not be pulled up and it will extend the life of my carpet.

Tweak It

We think we need to totally remodel a room when it is not working, but sometimes all we need to do is tweak it. I have not liked how dark my big room in the basement was and thought I needed to add several more lights.  This is how the table looked on Thanksgiving, 2009.


Then, on a whim, Mr. Frugalfish decided to move the light from one side of a board on the unfinished ceiling to the other side. It made a huge difference. This is how the table looked on Thanksgiving, 2011.



All is needed was a little tweak!

I Found Unclaimed Space!

For over 26 years I have lived in the same space. I know this house inside and out. I have caulked every crevice and painted almost every room. I thought I was using all of the space efficiently.

Over Christmas, I got rid of a table in my kitchen and moved a couple of appliances that were on it to the top of my china cabinet. I always decorated the top of my china cabinet and missed having the display space. I realized I was not using all of the available space inside.

Measure, plan and make a pattern.

I decided, instead of stacking the cups on the top shelf, I would hang them from the top by cup hooks. I got paper and measured the available space.

When I lay the cups on the paper, I realized they would not all fit on the top. So, I measured the sides and cut out more paper. I worked on it a few minutes here and there for a couple of weeks until I had a plan that would accommodate all of the cups.

Unsure? Try a temporary solution.

I read if you paint the back of your china cabinet a dark color; it recedes and gives you the optical illusion of a deeper cupboard. I debated painting it, and my husband discouraged it. I wanted to see what it would look like, so I taped black wrapping paper to it with green painter’s tape so there would be no damage. The jury is still out on that decision.

Execute the plan.

I taped my brown paper pattern on the sides and top, and marked where I wanted the cup hooks with a hammer and nail. I wasn’t strong enough to turn the cup hooks, so my husband drilled holes and put them in for me.

After I hung the cups, I was able to put in a few glass Easter decorations. They are safe from getting broken and I will have a new display with each holiday.

Look around you may find some unclaimed space.

My china cabinet.