How to Avoid Sticky Situations with Shelf Paper

As I mentioned in an earlier post, we are living the rental life here in Baltimore. That means, despite some of the features being in sore need of updating, we’re limited as to how much improvement we can actually make. Or, for that matter, how much time and how many resources we’re willing to invest.

That being said, the kitchen was in a sad state of affairs when we first arrived. After some major scrubbing, like, BIG TIME elbow grease, the cupboards still weren’t anywhere I wanted my dishes. Ultimately, I thought that the best measure would be to freshen up the cupboard interiors with some thick, clean, fresh, fun, clean, barrier-like, and did I mention clean?, shelf paper.

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If you’ve never tried lining your drawers or shelves, it can be easy to jump into the cutting and peeling and sticking head first. However, if that’s your method, you may soon find yourself in a sticky, rippled, ill-fitting mess.

First, make yourself a template! I cut mine from an empty cereal box. It doesn’t need to be fancy, it just needs to fit.

Once you’ve measured and fit your template, you’ll find that most shelf paper has handy-dandy grids on the back to help with cutting nice straight lines.

After cutting out your shelf and drawer pieces in the correct sizes, DON’T DO ANYTHING ELSE.

Okay, I just wanted to make sure I had your attention before you got sticker happy and started peeling off the backs of the paper.

Before that oh-so-satisfying-step, you should lay out all the papers in their places just to have a final guarantee that they all fit properly.

Okay, have you done that?

Guess what?

Now, yes, NOW, you can start to peel the stickers.

But, and you’re going to love this part, there’s another trick involved!

If you’re bubble-averse like I am, then this method is a life saver.

I call it “the underneath-er quicker sticker”

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haha No I don’t.

If I did, though, it would be an accurate and effective description. Basically, you want to peel the backing away slowly from below, while applying even pressure to the top and smoothing away bubbles as you go.

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Finally, you can trim any uneven edges with a craft knife but that’s only if you’re a stickler for edges like I am.

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You’re done! You did it! Hooray!

Now for some sweet Befores & Afters

From BLAH to BAM!

Not too shabby, eh?

Hope this is helpful for your shelf lining efforts!

Design

 

Designing a Home Office

 

Although the nature of my profession has always allowed for remote work, I’ve never put the effort into a dedicated home workspace. In the past, whenever I’ve worked from home, I’ve just set up in the dining room – big table, natural light, why not?

Now that I’m working on unpacking and getting set up in our Baltimore row house, I’m going to make the second bedroom an official home office (except I’m going to call it “the library” because I’m a dork). I need it to be conducive to full-time working from home but also still have the capacity for hosting our overnight visitors.

The other challenge is that this home is a rental so I’m not going to be making any long-term investments or permanent changes. Though I wish I could change the wall colour (it’s a hideous pinky beige), the room is otherwise a blank slate.

First and foremost, I need a desk. I’m a fan of rustic, vintage or used when possible, and I try to avoid MDF, veneer, and particle board whenever possible. The real trick is balancing budget with longevity. I think it’s important to be mindful of environmental impact by buying second hand, sustainable, or pieces that won’t need replacing after a short time.

These are a few of the styles that I’m drawn to. (These are NOT affiliate links, just some inspiration that I like.)

 

So, I’m on the hunt! Which of these get your vote?

Do you have any suggestions as to how I should go about choosing?

Leave a link to your favourite recommended desk in the comments below.

Design

Mindful Water Use on #WorldWaterDay

It’s World Water Day! So, what’s the big deal?

Well, access to clean water is something that many of us take for granted. Unfortunately, for so many others that simply isn’t the reality. You may be surprised to know that even in Canada, a country filled with lakes and fresh waterways, there are still communities who live with long-term boil advisories for drinking or bathing or brushing their teeth.

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So, what can we do?

Well, like with any issue of this size and scope, it’s easy to feel overwhelmed by the daunting task of solving the problem alone. Fortunately, we can share the burden together.

5 Mindful Ways for Water Consumption

  1. Shower shorter.
  2. A reusable water bottle is your new best friend.
  3. Keep a pitcher of cold water in the fridge and ice cubes in the freezer. It will save you from running the tap to get it to the right temperature.
  4. Run your washing machine and dishwasher only when full.
  5. Share! Rather than dumping that extra gulp left in the pitcher, pour it into a pet’s dish or onto a houseplant.

Bonus: Never, ever, EVER buy bottled water. If you live in a community where clean drinking water is available, then you really shouldn’t be supporting water privatization by purchasing water from a company. It’s unsustainable, expensive, wasteful, and, in extreme cases, entirely stolen away from non-western communities.

Thirsty for more?

One of the best ways to embrace and enforce change is to stay informed. Here’s some reading to get you started.

Statistics Canada’s water study should spark federal action to protect water

36 eye-opening facts about water

Take back our water: How Trump’s appetite for privatization threatens your drinking water

How are you saving water this #WorldWaterDay?