Tag Archives: organization

Jazzing Up A Kitchen Corner- Wherein I Install More Ikea Backlog



The Ikea backlog is almost depleted. I purchased the kit for this kitchen wall rail about 3 months ago, prior to kitchen wall painting.


Fintorp kitchen rail comes with two brackets and one 22.5″ rail

The system is expandable if you want to install a longer rail. My rail is going to be placed on the wall to the right of my stove which is just barely wider than a standard counter top depth, so one rail will work for me.

First we mark the location of the back plates (which will connect to the brackets) on the wall. I’m using a level to make the marks. It’s not easy to photograph yourself using a level.

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Me and my gigantic level



You will need your own wall fasteners for this project as Ikea does not provide any type of screw or anchor with their hardware. I like the Ikea Fixa fastener kit for this purpose. It contains 6 different types and sizes of wood screws and 3 sizes of wall anchor.


This is the Ikea Fixa hardware kit, sold separately.


It is unlikely that you will be able to locate two wall studs spaced 22 inches from each other so you if you have common drywall/gypsum board you’ll want to use a drywall anchor.


Medium size anchor and 7/16 drill bit


Choose a drill bit that’s slightly smaller than the diameter of your anchor. You’ll want to be able to insert the anchor, but you want it to be very snug.


Anchor partially inserted into hole

Once the anchor is partially inserted, use a small hammer to tap it all the way in so it’s almost flush with the wall (but don’t squish it AND/OR damage your wall).


As the instructions below indicate (more or less) when you insert the screw into the anchor you’ll leave just a bit of space. Which allows you to slide the wall plate in snugly.


Ikea instructions featuring “ghost screw”, my screw is 1 1/2″. Note the head is domed and not flat.


We dry-fit the plate to make sure we’ve placed our anchors at the correct distance apart. Flat side out, beveled side in. Plate will slide in between the anchor and the screw.


Then we install the brackets, removing them a few times and adjusting the screws to make sure the fit is snug.



Tested for snug


Next we install the rail. Once the end of it is inside the far bracket (towards the back) I contort myself over the oven and place the end-cap on with my left hand. This will be easier to do if you are installing it on a portion of a wall that doesn’t terminate in a corner.


We leave one end off to add hooks.

Rather than the Cirque du Soleil-like moves I performed, you could also assemble the unit then attach it to the wall. But I like a challenge.

Now we insert rail into the other bracket and add the end-cap to the other side.


Voila! Relatively level.

Last step is to take your tiny hex-driver (allen wrench) and tighten the rails so they don’t slide (insert into hole at the bottom of each bracket).

And here it is with useful kitchen stuff on it.


Cute Ikea bucket and 10 hooks. The hooks are sold in packs of 5.

One more Ikea project done! But I’m on a roll, so please stand by for my next Ikea kitchen project —tiny spice shelves–coming this week!

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A Little Slice Of Sweden In My Basement: The Ikea Billy Bookcases Come To Fruition

The Billys are up! Yes, the same Ikea Billy bookcases that have been lurking in their little flat-pack boxes in my basement since 2013 when I insisted that we purchase them RIGHT NOW.

Ikea Billys have been manufactured continuously for 36 years, and for the last 20 years their price is apparently unchanged. Google “Ikea Billy reviews” and you will find people who have kept their Billys for many many years.

My Billys are clear birch. Yes, they are essentially particleboard but they are covered in a veneer of real wood. The components are substantial and sturdy. The fastening hardware is magical.

Billy units come in four sizes: tall units are 79.5″ by 31.5″ or 15.75″, shorter units are 41.5″ high by 31.5″ or 15.75″. All units are 11 inches deep. Extensions add 13″ to the height. Units can be mixed and matched to fit your space and create a custom look.

Billy Series

We begin: there is nothing like the fresh promise of Ikea parts when you first lay them out on the carpet…


Billy Bookcase Sides

It is also extremely important to employ your local burly-man, particularly one who loves a mallet.


Burly-Man with mallet



Initial Billy building: this is the quintessential 31.5″ Billy.


31.5″ Billy- The Flagship

We add the second bookcase, a 15.75″ Billy. The idea is to create a corner bookcase. We try a few different configurations:

The Ikea corner solution (they sell a corner bracket for this set up. I bought the brackets. I cannot find them in the garage.)


Ikea-Style Corner with 45 degree angle

And here is option two- a basic L-shaped book nook.


Corner with 90 degree angle

We choose option two, it seems to fit the small area better. Now do this 2 more times. Then build the extensions. 80 million pegs later…


Built Billys with extensions on top

It is done.


Billy area with desk (also Ikea) and lamp (also Ikea)

The Billys are fastened to the wall with included L-brackets. Ikea gives you screws and washers but not wall anchors. We used 1″ drywall anchors because that’s what we have. Obviously use the correct anchor for your wall.

We leveled the first unit on the far left, then fastened it to the wall. The next unit was leveled and placed flush with the first. The third unit was placed at a right angle and overlaps the second one slightly and the fourth is level and flush with the 3rd.


Billy Bookcase Sides, butted and slightly overlapped

The extensions are connected to the top of the bookcases with cam locks.


Extension on top of bookcase- cam locks visible on either side

The sides of the bookcases contain a cutaway in the back to fit easily over your baseboard trim (we thought we were going to have to remove the trim– yay!!).

You may have noticed in one of the earlier pictures that one of the bookcases covered up an outlet. We installed a low-profile flat plug extension cord and snaked it under the bookcase via the cutout channel.


Cut-out for baseboard trim, extension cord is routed through

Next project entails installing trim pieces around the edges (between the Billys and the walls) and on the top (between the Billys and the ceiling) to make them look like a built-in unit.






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No Dish Left Behind


When I pack the dishwasher, EVERYTHING is going in. No. Dish. Left. Behind.

Happy sink!

Happy sink!

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Future Home of the Mom Cave

So here’s where I am in Operation Clean Teen Boy’s Room.


I always forget to take a “before” so here it is. It’s a very nice room, lots of light, big closet.

Yesterday, we took the queen sized bed out of teen girl’s room (she got a daybed- which we put together and also which I was going to post but I didn’t get in there before she “teened” up the room, so we’ll leave it until we decorate in there.)

I used the patented Macro-Micro-Nano vaccum system for this room: first pass with a shop vac to suck up all the particulate larger than a terrier, next use the OLD crappy vac to get the next layer, finally, finish up with awesome, will-suck-your-face-off Shark vac to get minute dust particles.

Spouse and I wrestled Q bed into the room. Next step, put together trundle for remaining teen to use with her daybed (using abandoned twin mattress.)

Then this room gets a a nice fresh coat of paint in whatever color I have enough of in my garage. I think the winner is going to be Careless Whisper, a nice silvery tone that will really set the mood of the forthcoming Mom Cave.

This room will be where I sew, craft, and generally chill out, and will double as a guest room, my first space of the kind!

Next pic will be post-paint and with furniture. Hopefully re-decorated teen room will also be featured soon. We are doing a 70’s theme in there with some gorgeous burnt orange paint.

Following this, will be the Big Ikea Billy Bookcase Caper in the downstairs living room, which will also feature my new office area. As organization arrives, bliss follows.


Because It’s Awesome


This is my silverware drawer. I know. It’s nice.


Abandon All Hope Ye Who Enter (AKA: Cleaning A Teenage Boy’s Room)

I may not recover from this.

My son just graduated from highschool and decided to live at his dad’s house for a while, mostly so he could stay up all night gaming, sleep til 1pm and NEVER change his clothes. Good luck with that, Single Dad!

I miss him crawling out of his downstairs bedroom and pawing through the refrigerator like a starving raccoon once or twice a day, and grunting when asked, “Hey, what’s up?” On the upside, I am saving approximately $20/week in milk expenditure, not to mention the water and electricity usage he abused with his 45-minute showers. Please do not ask me to speculate on what he was doing in there.

I love him. He’ll be back.

Until then, I have something I never dreamed of in my three bedroom house- a guest/sewing room! At long long last, a sanctuary. A zen temple. A mom-cave!

I asked him to pack everything he wanted to take, throw away what he didn’t want, and make a pile of things that can be donated. So of course he packed one backpack full of socks and underwear, took his TV, his tool box, a few bins of stuff, and his bicycle and left me a legacy of adolescent filth, a decade of legos, and a slightly goaty smell.

I think he may have cleaned that room every other NEVER!! NEVER NOT ONCE was that carpet vacuumed. I encountered dust bunnies bigger than a Pekingese, some of them had teeth (like the rabbit in Monty Python’s Holy Grail: “It IS the rabbit!!) The vacuum cleaner was in the room, as if he had made an attempt to use it before discovering its wretched futility. It was still plugged in. Feathers from the torn down comforter littered the room as if a goose had exploded. I had to pluck them out of the mattress cover as if cleaning the Xmas bird.

Things I found: (now then, if you thought I was going to say PORN, you are WRONG and clearly a perv….sooooo grateful for that….the horror….)

  • Money: several Christmas cards from 3 years ago with CASH in them
  • Check: Christmas check from Grandpa from 2012– uncashed
  • Gift Cards: $40 worth
  • Things from school that he should have given me and told he didn’t have
  • Millions of legos

I ended up using a shop vac to avoid killing another vacuum cleaner. And 10 plastic bins of crap later- voila! Mom-cave is coming into view.

I guess I am lucky he is a bit of a minimalist or it could have been worse.

Next step is shampooing carpet and laundering bedding (if indeed it can be saved). Once that’s completed I’ll have a clean slate and will begin posting pictures showing progress. I am actually in somewhat of a time crunch here as will have guests in one month and possibly as soon as a few weeks, so it will be soon.