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I really cannot remember what life was like before this house project. What did I do on Saturday before the farmhouse? Seriously! Someday, we will finish our house and then life will resume it’s normal pace.

This Saturday project was too big for one gal. The task was replacing all the contact paper in the cabinets and cleaning them out. John’s mom, Elaine, and my friend Cristy helped me conquer this project. Honestly, the sunny day would have been much better for gardening or planting flowers, but this REALLY needed to be done.

4 steps to clean cabinets & new contact paper

1. Remove stuff. Keep calm. Keep calm. Work in small sections. You may end up in a mental institution if you take everything out at once.

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Sometimes, even when working in small sections, it gets overwhelming! Just look at this mess. We were about four hours into the project when it looked this way. At this point there was no turning back, we had to finish.DSCN4242

2. Begin removing 1970’s contact paper. Sometimes, small sections stick. It helps to scrape them up with a paring knife – or just go over them.



3. Shop vac the crumbs out of drawers and wipe all the dust out of the shelves. Enjoy the good clean feeling!


4. Lay down new paper. Don’t worry about matching up the plaids. No one cares that much! To lay down the paper, we just made a crease where we needed to cut and then cut with scissors. We did not measure with a ruler.

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4. Re-organized and re-stash the cabinets. Six hours later, done!


This was a gooooood project with excellent timing. The very next Saturday, I had a lovely shower in South Dakota. It was very comforting to put nice, new gifts into clean cabinets! It’s also super fun to use non-hand-me-down-mis-matched-items from my college dorm room days and John’s hodge-podge collection of items. Here are a few of our new gifts:

Lemongrass fiesta ware 1 quart bowl. I filled it full-o-onions while cooking, just like my Grand Ma taught me! She says, “You can’t cook without onion.”


Back to the future toaster! DSCN4250

New whisk for whipping up farm fresh eggs. I made an breakfast casserole from the Pioneer Woman’s newest cookbook. It was delish. I love her food.


I could have never done this cabinet project in one day alone. I am super thankful for their help. In theory, we did not need to put the new paper down. However, I am glad we did because for some reason these cabinets are not finished on the inside. The unfinished wood is a splinter zone, so I am glad the wood is all covered up again. I am glad they are clean! It is such a good feeling. No boring Saturday’s around here, we are always making a big mess and then cleaning it back up again.

Thanks for reading!



  1. Chris

    Question: Step 1 Would that be a “metal” mental institution? Just wondering??

    • Sierra Shea

      Yep! Thank you very much for the help :) I fixed it.

  2. Chris

    Love everything about your blog.


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Hey, I’m Sierra Shea! I am so glad you are here. 

Where do I start with writing to introduce this blog? At the beginning, I suppose: I’ve been writing on various platforms online since 2013. I started blogging shortly after moving to South Dakota.

I am a mother and a maker at heart. I’m so grateful to be married to John and mother of three: Joslyn, J.D. and Jesse.

I am a self-taught decorator and designer. I am a brand new shepherdess and a Spiritual Director.

I love living in South Dakota, even though the winters & the wind can be a near-daily struggle.

Blogging is a grounding force in my life and it helps get me out of my head, unstuck and moving in the directions I always hoped I’d be going!