The Power Of Pretty Paper

January 10, 2020

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Red Gingham and Floral Contact Paper

Oh January, how I love your clean slate. A brand new page on my calendar and a brand new chance to get this place in shape.

Once the tree comes down I start thinking about emptying closets and organizing spaces.

I draw up a plan of attack, compile my supplies, which are mainly garbage and donation bags and dive in.

This year, I decided to start in the bathrooms, since both of them had been recently updated. I figured let's keep them as pretty as possible for as long as possible.

Plus, they were small rooms, and like I said, overhauled just this past summer, so I was under the impression that they wouldn't require too much of my time. Maybe a half an hour for both.

I already knew my master bathroom was in great shape. That would be a five minute fixer.

The girls' bathroom was a different story. I'd been down this road before several years ago. Tired of all the mess and disorganization, I bought them baskets to give the cabinet a little structure.

It worked for a while, but honestly, I had to keep reminding them to use the baskets. Hairdryers and curling irons spilled out, cords were tangled and toilet paper was constantly rolling out of the cupboard.

So, when I went to clean out the vanity this week, I was thoroughly unprepared for what I found.

Everything looked great.

Baskets To Organize The Bathroom

The baskets were filled with extra supplies, the hair appliances and their cords were corralled in their buckets and there wasn't an errant shred of paper to be found.

Organizing Bathroom Cabinets

Even the drawers were tidy.

No torn soap wrappers, empty make up bottles or stretched out hair ties. Nothing that didn't belong. I was shocked.

How To Organize Your Bathroom

I didn't need any of my supplies...there was nothing to do here. How could this be?

How To Organize The Bathroom

Completely perplexed, I came right out and asked the girls why everything was so neat, what was the magic catalyst?

Could it be that they were growing up? That they were respecting their momma and her crazy perfectionist ways? That they understood all the hard work that went into completely making over that vanity?

Maybe. I mean they are very good girls.

But mostly, it was all about the paper. What?

That silly, inexpensive contact type paper that I'd lined the drawers with, when we renovated.

Rose Contact Paper

They didn't want to mess it up. Plus, it made the entire space look so polished, it motivated them to be more thoughtful in their actions.

Put things in their place.

Throw out the trash.

Keep it clean.

Who knew?

I mean, of course, it makes sense. Anytime you add something new and attractive to a space, it's only natural to want it to remain looking its best. Come on...I know it's not just me.

When you install a fabulous new countertop, you tend to wipe it off more often. You fluff pillows on that comfy new sofa whenever you walk by and you're much more apt to make the bed when there's a dreamy new comforter topping it.

It's human nature. Especially when you're a decor fanatic. Or raised by one.

So there you have it, my super simple organizing hack of the day is to add the paper whenever and wherever you can.

Pantries.

Linen closets.

Dresser drawers, kitchen pull outs, laundry shelves and by all means, bathroom vanities.

You get the idea.

The possibilities are endless, so are paper choices. These rolls were each a little more than $10 a piece, but a whole roll is rarely necessary for one job.

Contact Paper

I only needed a fraction of the beige tea rose one to cover the vanity drawers, doors and interior floor.

I plan to use the red floral and gingham check to recover my kitchen pantry shelves. For some reason that closet is always a disaster.

I'm betting on the power of this pretty paper to fix that mess next.

Now if I could just find one that came in sheets large enough to cover their entire rooms, I'd really be in business.

Oh well.

I guess the bathroom's a good start.

For now.

Do you believe in the power of paper?

Hey before you go, check out all the fun posts from my friends! My creative friend Ann from The Apple Street Cottage is hosting our first Ten On The Tenth hop for the year.

Ten On The Tenth Blog Hop



You don't want to miss their posts, this month's it's all about organization and home hacks.

Ann at The Apple Street Cottage

Patti at Pandora's Box

Katie at Let's Add Sprinkles

Terrie at Decorating With Tip & More

Tammy at Patina And Paint

Carol at Blue Sky At Home

And me...Kim from Exquisitely Unremarkable


50 comments:

  1. I am a believer that we don't like to mess up pretty things, so this is a good idea to line the drawers with pretty paper! I have a few drawers that need some better organization (or perhaps just a bunch of stuff that needs to be thrown out) . Happy New Year!

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    1. Patti, tossing stuff has become my new favorite thing! Well, that and not buying a lot of stuff I don’t need anymore. Of course, teenage girls seem to NEED everything, so for now, pretty paper is my first line of defense. 😉

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  2. This is true for me. I love shelf paper and keep it neater if it looks cute. Great post.

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    1. Thanks Katie! Sometimes it really is the little things...

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  3. I'm a huge fan of paper, Kim. I used contact paper to line our medicine cabinet when we moved into this house and it still looks great...and, shouldn't everything look pretty????

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    1. I’m a huge fan of pretty, Ann and when it’s practical, even better! Form and function…perfect!! Thanks for hosting!

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  4. I love shelf paper as well Kim. It is so much easier to keep clean by wiping it off. Love the pattern you picked out for the cabinet. Looks so pretty and the girls are going to love keeping it nice and tidy. :)

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    1. Thanks so much, Terrie and you're right, way easier to wipe down. Wood gets wet and icky. The paper just wipes clean.

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  5. Oh, I am a firm believer in pretty! Your girls do a super job keeping their bathroom cabinet tidy and yes, pretty. Brava! The older I get (seventy-two and counting), the less I can tolerate clutter or messiness of any kind. BTW, we live in a mid-fifties ranch and there are several layers of old contact paper on the kitchen cabinet shelves. Any idea how to remove it, short of gutting the kitchen and replacing the cabinets?

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    1. Thanks Donna! They really are doing a great job. I think the paper helps along with the fact that they are older themselves now and paying for some of their supplies and want them to stay nice as well! Either way, I'll take the progress. 😉 As far as removing old contact paper goes, our home is from the 20's and I've had to remove layers here, too. Sometimes you can get lucky and the layers stuck to paper will peel off easily, but not always if they're very old. It's the ones stuck to wood that can be even more tricky...however, I've always found that using a hairdryer or a heat gun to warm the glue and surfaces does the trick to loosen it and then I scrape with a scraper. It's not easy for sure, but it gets the job done. I have to do this in my pantry this spring. I'll try to write a post about it. If you try it let me know how it works for you! And have a super weekend!

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    2. Warm up the contact paper with your blow dryer. Start pulling up from one corner and keep the hot air aimed at the exposed sticky side. It should pull up in one piece.

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    3. Thank you for the tip! I'm going to use it when I tackle my pantry. ☺️

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  6. I had some contact paper on the door shelves in the fridge once upon a time. That was a great thing! Easy to clean and looked good. I do think paper is a good start to keeping things neater. (p.s. You really didn't clean the girls' bathroom before you took the pictures?? amazing!)

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    1. I really didn't clean a thing, Nancy!! In full disclosure, I did remove the hair from their hairbrush...that was icky, but nothing else was out of place. You could've knocked me over with a feather!!

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  7. My dear Kim,

    You had me laughing with this post. I was your daughters when young. Everything everywhere.

    Never guess? My mom did the same thing to my shelves with pretty paper. Result, my mess was a mess no more. I wanted it to look nice to see everything with the paper.

    Moms and young girls. I was good too but something goes wild when your young

    Yes, pretty paper is a must.

    Cindy

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    1. Oh Cindy!! I was not a neat teen either. My mom used to laugh when she came over to see what a neat freak I'd become my own home. That paper sure does help though and I'm glad to hear that it's not just in my house. Pretty paper for everyone!!

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  8. I remember that my mom loved to cover the bathroom drawers with pretty paper and she also had clear paper for the kitchen shelves. January is the perfect time to do a project like that. I organized my Christmas decorations and brought some to the Salvation Army. It feels good to get things organized in the home.

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    1. It's a great time to clean up and out, Julie!! I agree 100%. Enjoy the weekend, I hear it may be warm!!

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  9. Super cute idea!! I guess maybe I should have lined my daughter's room and bathroom when she was home with paper, maybe it would have helped??? Now she's got her own home and apparently things are neat and clean...not when she lived with me!

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    1. Haha! Debbie, I said the same thing…I’m going to wallpaper your rooms top to bottom in this stuff. If only! And I was a giant mess maker until I moved out. I guess things are different when you have to pay for them yourself! 😉

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  10. Does the Power of the Paper work for husbands?

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    1. Ha! I love it Christine...and I would say, sadly, no. 😉 Well, not if my kitchen pantry is any indication...

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  11. I'm a believer! Hey, that's a song! :) I love to have pretty papers on my shelves like you but I was so impressed you used that lovely paper on the inside of the doors! I love that idea. You're raising those gals right. This was such a cute post and right down my ally as I have been organizing all day. We've been in our house a little less than a year and kinda crammed things just to get things put away so I've been trying to find a place for everything and make it neat! Now I need some more pretty paper. Thank you so much for your visit and Happy New Year.
    Be a sweetie,
    Shelia ;)

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    1. Thanks so much, Sheila, what a lovely thing to say. I'm trying with the girls and they love that paper on the doors, too. I think that was what really did the trick. Enjoy your organizing and your own pretty paper!

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  12. They do have room size rolls of paper....it's called wallpaper!

    I went to a local charity shop this past week & found a roll of paintable bead-board for $7. I'd been pricing it & found it at Walmart for over $20 so I grabbed it. I plan to put it in the back wall of my china cabinet & use the rest for liner. But they also had a bin full of contact papers....such beautiful patterns for less than $3, huge rolls. I may need to go get a floral one to use as a liner as well.

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    1. Ha! Exactly, Jenny!! And oh, that beadboard sounds pretty. I need to look at the thrift stores. I haven't seen any rolls there, but then again, I haven't specifically been looking. I certainly will now. Thanks!!

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  13. If all it takes is pretty paper to keep things neat, then that's pretty awesome! I do need to line the drawers in the vanity in our main bath.

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    1. I wish that trick worked everywhere, Melanie! Like with laundry and dirty dishes…😉

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  14. Who would've though it! It's true though - it is motivating to keep things clean when it's pretty. And that paper is pretty!

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    1. Thanks Mari! So far so good...pretty helps!

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  15. You motivate us all, Kim, with or without pretty paper. I have so many plans for the new year I have yet to start on any of them, too busy planning :-)
    Amalia
    xo

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    1. Thank you Amalia! ❤️ And sometimes planning is the most fun.

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  16. Me too. I love pretty paper. Where did you get yours?

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    1. I picked them all up from Amazon, Florence. If you click on the names of the papers above it will take you there. Or you can click the shop my house tab in the menu bar. I have my items there too. Thanks for asking and hope that helps!

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  17. This is so right to the point, Kim. I have always believed that it is easier to keep something clean when a pretty result is obtained. And even if things are not always just right, it seems to not take as long to put it back to rights when the result will be pretty instead of just functional..Happy Weekend..xxoJudy

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    1. I've always been a sucker for pretty, Judy. I'm happy to know my girls are too...especially when it keeps the bathroom clean! 😉 Hugs!!

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  18. Great post. I like the look of your paper choices. I struggle with getting contact paper applied without wrinkles so last time I cut pieces of fabric like those old oilcloth tablecloths. The back is slightly fuzzy so they stay in place in my drawers. Not sure if they would work on shelves without being stuck down but they are nice in my kitchen drawers.

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    1. Contact paper can be a real pain, Lorri, I totally agree. I use a credit card move in small areas to make sure all the bubbles and wrinkles are out. I like your tablecloth idea. I know exactly what you’re talking about and I think that’s a great upcycle! Have to keep my eyes open for a few of those.

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  19. Oh my, how fun. You bet, I like this idea.
    I cleaned a closet on Saturday! It feels so good to have that done. And I can walk in the closet now, with out having to trip on anything.

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    1. Clean closets are the best...especially when they stay that way!!

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  20. I love the red gingham liner. I have been on the lookout as I wanted to use it in my kitchen as well. I have not been able to find it anywhere.

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    1. Hi Teri! I actually got them all on Amazon. I just ordered a non-sticky, but grippy, shelf liner in the red also. If you want to see my exact choices you can peek at my shop in the tab above.

      I list everything there so people can peek. Also, I linked to the papers in the post. I hope that helps!

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  21. Well Kim, I am going to seriously try the power of paper and see if it works! Your description of what you thought the vanity would look like is exactly what my kids' vanity looks like! I love that floral paper. Wish me luck!

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    1. Gina, it was always such a mess...and I did have paper in the drawers before, but not in the vanity itself. Also they told me that paper was ugly. Ha!! Kids...

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  22. Who would have thought. Paper!!!!! I have to try it in my kids bathroom too and our pantry. I'm the guilty party in the pantry. I just don't know how it gets so messy and untidy so quickly.

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    1. Our pantry is a disaster, Michelle. I am hoping that some pretty paper will be the fix in there, too. Here's hoping! 😉

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  23. Those beautiful papers make everything look special...I'm inspired!

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    1. Thanks so much, Linda! I can’t wait to tackle my pantry now. I need some color on these grey winter days.

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  24. It makes perfect sense! I love the pretty paper you put in the girls' bathroom. It reminds me of a pair of pillowcases I have that are a rare Ralph Lauren pattern, can't remember the name. And that red checked mixed with the little floral print would make me want to keep my pantry shelves tidy.

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    1. Thanks Dewena!! I have been after the mister to paint the pantry for a while now. I can't wait to get that checked print in there!!

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