Sarah S.

Gaining a Few Extra Inches

Hello my friends! Hope you had a lovely weekend! We did some traveling to a basketball camp my husband and son did together. My son is full out obsessed with bball and quite good at it. They made some pretty fantastic memories this weekend. And mama got to shop. :)
Our weather this week calls for rain literally every single day -- it's the kind where it pours and then the sun comes out and then it pours again. I hope to get a few outside projects accomplished in between (the pergola is done!), but because there's so much rain in the forecast this week I've decided to focus on an indoor project that I've been putting off for at least a year.
Our master bedroom has had one wall that's done:

But the rest of the walls have been the old color:
It's an earthy green gray color called Tornado Watch (the area over the fireplace is a slightly darker tone) and I love this color -- I've just been planning to change it up for awhile. I've had the paint for at least a year now and I'm determined to tackle this space on the rainy days this week.
But like always, I got distracted before I even started. I pulled the dresser away from the wall to start prepping and remembered the little project I've been meaning to do for quite some time. This one only took a few minutes and it's a great little space saver so I wanted to share it.
I love pulling furniture out into spaces (like I did last week with the new living room sofa) but if something is meant to be against a wall I like it against the wall. Not a few inches away -- it's a pet peeve of mine (in my own house). I like the furniture up as close to the baseboard as I can get it.
This little doodad allows for that -- especially behind dressers or entertainment centers where you have the thicker plugs or surge protectors like this:

See how far they stick out? I'm losing a good two inches people. It drives me cuckoo.
Many of you have asked for a tutorial on hanging a TV and hiding cords and this little plug is essential to that as well. (I promise to do one of those very soon!) It recesses back so the plugs don't take up as much space:

They are incredibly easy to install, especially if you've done any electrical work. Years ago I was changing out light fixtures and switches and for some reason plugs intimidated me. I now know they are by far the easiest electrical to change out.

I found this one at a hardware store (I've had it for a good year waiting for me…) but you can find them on Amazon as well (and I'm pretty sure it's cheaper than the store).

I've been doing electrical work for years and years ALWAYS turn off the power at the breaker. I know some professionals who do it without turning off the power at the box -- as long as the switch is off at the light they do fine. I don't recommend that. Always turn the breaker off. Just be extra safe, please.

I also always double check with my voltage tester to make sure it's off. Sometimes all the plugs in the room will be dead but there's that one that's connected to another room on the other side of the wall -- something like that. Just be sure. I plug something in to see if it works and then I check with the tester:

They are a bit of an investment for such a tiny tool, but if you are planning on doing any electrical work this will put your mind at ease.
So once I was sure the power was dead to the outlet I removed the cover and the screws holding it in the wall:

Keep track of where the wires are going -- it will make things much easier. But the new outlet tells you where everything goes too:

My original outlet had one to the ground (the green screw), one white wire to a screw, one black wire to a screw on the other side and then one white wire stuck in the back. You can install the wires by putting them in those little holes in the back or wrapping them around the screws -- I find the holes to be easier most times, but I just follow exactly how it was before:

And no, I didn't take off that outlet cover to paint the first time and won't this time either. No one ever sees it. :)
By the way -- another little tool that's handy if you are doing any electrical work with switches or plugs is a small flathead precision screwdriver:

If you are trying to remove a wire that is placed into the back of the outlet, you have to insert this into the little rectangle area below so the wire will come out:

I have a set of those little precision flathead and Phillips screwdrivers and they are also a Godsend when it comes to removing the tiny battery covers on toys. :)
It took me all of five minutes to reconnect the wires -- but getting it back on the wall took longer. I had to do some maneuvering with the wires and getting them pushed back far enough to fit the recessed version. That part was annoying. The rest was easy.
But now we have a good extra inch in the room! Ha!:

It doesn't seem like much, but when it's one of those little things that drives you crazy, it's totally worth it. I love having the furniture flush against the baseboards and this gets me almost there.
Again, this is the safest way to "hide" your TV cords too -- I'll be sure to share that with you soon. It's great behind any furniture that has these bulky cords. It would also be perfect if you want to highlight your art with lighting -- this installed behind the art would allow the lighting cord to sit mostly flush.
Here's an image to pin if you want to save this for later:

NOW I can start painting! Not that I was putting that off or anything… And of course the sun is shining and it's absolutely beautiful outside. :)
Have you installed these anywhere in your home? Do you hate furniture pushed away from the walls like me?
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