Goal of The Week — Dining Room Clutter Banished! & A “New” Porch Light For Me

by Katy on July 8, 2013 · 21 comments

It’s Monday, which means it’s time for Goal of The Week! A new weekly segment where Non-Consumer Advocate readers set and then reach small attainable goals.

“Not a soccer goal, but a personal goal. A single do-able, not overwhelming goal. A concrete goal. A reachable goal. A realistic goal.”

So no huge vague goals like “organize the house” or “lose weight.” A single attainable goal.

Last week’s goal was to address the distressing dining room clutter issue on both the piano and the dresser. And since this was the second time I’d set this goal, I knew I needed to get my tuchus in gear.

Goal of the week -- dining room

I put everything where it should logically go, and I even sold the groovy kitchen clock through Craigslist.

See? So much better!

Piano Goal - After

Remember my dining room dresser? It was a magnet for all things paperwork.

dining room clutter

I bought a pretty gilded wooden tray at Goodwill for $3.99, which I thought would play nicely with the antique gilded mirror. Not to mention functioning as a landing pad for our snowstorm of paper. I also replaced the “The hurrier I go, the behinder I get” Leanin’ Tree mug with an sturdy antique Blue Willow mug. And like an adult, I threw away all the pens that no longer worked. (Crazy, right?!)

dresser after

Yummy . . .

Dresser - Detail

My long term plan for this free curbside dresser is to reglue the drawers and paint the whole thing a new color. But since that’s kind of a big project, I’ll save that goal for another week.

What’s my Goal of The Week for this week?

I scored this weatherbeaten but intact porch light from a free box yesterday. And since we don’t actually have a light over our back porch, it was a perfect find! (Taking out the compost is always a bit of a frightening challenge, as I always seem to attempt this death defying feat in the mysterious inky darkness.)

Porch Light - before

My plan is to clean it up and re-paint it using a can of oil rubbed bronze spray paint. It’s not a gorgeous look-at-me! kind of decor makeover, but it’s still a perfectlygood-enough project. Plus, the price was right! (A perfect post for my secret blog that I like to call “The Inoffensive Decorator.”)

Luckily, there is an electrified spot to install the light, and I’ll badger my husband into the actual installation work.


Non-fundtional light

I love that this project will make my back porch both look and function better.

Are you participating in The Non-Consumer Advocate’s Goal of The Week project? Please share your goals in the comments section below.

Katy Wolk-Stanley

“Use it up, wear it out, make it do or do without.”

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{ 20 comments… read them below or add one }

marie July 8, 2013 at 1:59 pm

I like the dresser as it is. I prefer the natural wood look, so we’ll have to see what you come up with!
So no real goal of the week for me, as this is my day off until saturday.
I’m done!!!!
I bought a potted weeping cheery tree that needs planting, but I can’t decide where it goes yet, so time will tell. I guess that’s my goal of the week


Karen July 8, 2013 at 2:10 pm

I have a medium-size plastic box of papers that need to be sorted and then disposed of.


Sharon July 8, 2013 at 2:18 pm

Katy, that dresser spot looks fabulous with the paperwork contained, and the blue mug. I’m a sucker for blue & white china, so you had me at “Willow.”


cathy July 8, 2013 at 3:51 pm

I also love Blue Willow. I have a newer issue Blue Willow teapot. It’s on my dining room table right now. I think the dresser looks great, and I love the character of the aged wood combined w/ the two gilt items and the mug. My vote (for what it’s worth): let it be and enjoy.

By the way, do you think you have readers trying to figure out how to pronounce tuchus?! Glad you got yours in gear. Very inspirational!


Cheapchick July 8, 2013 at 2:20 pm

It might be just me but I think the light is being held upside down?? I like the old dresser!


Katy July 8, 2013 at 2:26 pm

Good eye, the light is being held upside down! However, I would have needed a third arm to hang it correctly while taking a picture.



Jenn July 8, 2013 at 2:36 pm

Looks so nice and uncluttery! I finished my goal of posting stuff on Craigslist and even sold several things. I also emptied out the three large pieces of furniture that need to be put on Craigslist soon. And finished some of my extra credit errands.

This week I need to deposit checks and coins and open a savings account for the baby. Bonus points for finishing some sewing I have been procrastinating on finishing.


Carolyn July 8, 2013 at 3:00 pm

Well done, Katy!

My goal for the holiday week was to post our stroller and a tow sprayer on Craigslist. Both sold within 2 days, earning us nearly $300 and some clear space in our garage.

Although, I help others clear clutter, sometimes it takes time. The stroller was last used in August 2012 and the sprayer….well, it had been years. Both still worked and looked great after a hosing down.


SarahN July 8, 2013 at 3:59 pm

Oh so many wins – two tidy areas, a lovely mug/pen jar, a found item to brighten the back porch – you are on fire!!

I think I’ll set my challenge as: use fabric scraps, or get rid of them. Which involves getting back my sewing machine, so this might not get achieved… Perhaps I need a back up goal? Thin out my paper filing (scan/shred/recycle).


Lydia @ Not Afraid of the Snow July 8, 2013 at 4:26 pm

My goal this week is to get my freezer and fridge cleaned out as we are going to be moving soon.


Kate July 8, 2013 at 5:55 pm

Well, my goal was going to be painting my bedroom, but I’m waffling on the color – I thought gray, but really miss the blue that was in our old house bedroom, so I need to think on it a bit more. So, instead it will be to finish removing all the wire fencing stapled to our split rail fencing. Most of it will be easy, but I started today with the hardest part – where it had been overrun by honeysuckle vines. Let’s just say I’m glad I know when my last tetanus shot was. 😛


Linda M July 9, 2013 at 3:25 am

Plan to clean carpet….company coming this weekend.
Look up recipes to use up the abundance of zucchini and cukes the garden is providing now.
Try to purge a few things from our closets…goal is five items. Hoping to shed more…but this a monthly goal I have had for myself for awhile.


Karen July 9, 2013 at 5:13 am

Well, it is Tuesday and I have accomplished my one small goal (see above). Will think on my next mini-goal now. Thx for this idea, it helps me to actually get things accomplished.


Louise July 9, 2013 at 5:58 am

I had to chuckle about the grown-up thing to do … throw out non-working pens! So true. With regards to the outside light, shouldn’t it actually hang the other way? Isn’t it meant to mimic the old-fashioned candle-based lights from eons ago that would have hung from a bracket?


Katy July 9, 2013 at 6:25 am

Yes, but I wasn’t able to hold it properly while also taking a photo. Be assured that I’ll install it properly.




Markie July 9, 2013 at 9:57 am

I’ve met my goal of making lots of calls and appointments. Two are for me to enjoy: a facial and haircut.
Now that those are done I’ll add the goal of organizing paperwork and cleaning off my computer desk. I’m taking over psycho sis’s money management and the paperwork from her fall that got her a broken wrist. Also have to send dd’s box off to her next p.o. drop. She’s hiking the Appalachian Trail. I have the box all ready but forgot to put in the all important pads and tampons.


Rebecca July 9, 2013 at 9:58 am

I spy an Apple WIFI! If you want to get that off of a horizontal surface, most can be hung vertically on a wall or attached to the back side of a dresser or bookcase, eliminating it from view. Ours still sends signal great that way, and its totally hidden from sight.


Katy July 9, 2013 at 10:52 am

I like the idea of hanging it behind the dresser!



ani mia July 10, 2013 at 11:25 am

Clean out my 2 linen closets…they have gotten cluttered and I can’t find anything.


Paula in the UP July 13, 2013 at 12:57 pm

Your post reminded me of when I was out visiting my daughter. She wanted to get a few projects done around her house and flew me out there (Colorado) to help her!! Her husband was busy with full time work and school with final approaching. One project we tackled was her outside lighting. They had the contractor installed lights which had a pitted brassy gold look going on. We took all the lights down, cleaned them up and spray painted them ORB, then came time to reinstall them. Should just go back the opposite way of how we took them down right??!! Well we got them all back up and turned the power back on…….not one light worked!! Haha! Her husband, my son in law, had to go back reinstall each of them. In the end they all looked great an added a nice update look to their home for the cost of o e can of spray paint.


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