The Carlson Maxi Pet Gate is Saving My Sanity & Carpet!

Surviving The New Puppy with The Carlson Maxi Pet Gate.

I was thrilled when the Carlson Pet Products company agreed to let me do a review on their Carlson Maxi Pet Gate.  I received this gate at no cost, but all thoughts, opinions and images are my own.

Knowing we were getting a new puppy, I was in a bit of a panic.  Knowing all the work that a puppy is, and thinking about all the accidents on our family room carpet were really stressing me.  I wanted to figure out a way to keep the puppy in the kitchen, but we have this 96″ opening. How do you block that?

Carlson Pet Gate

I started researching and came across this Carlson Pet Products Maxi Gate on Amazon.  I was SO EXCITED that something existed that would be large enough to do the job.  (I had to get the gate and 2 extensions for the 96″ opening. When you add the numbers together, I thought one extension should have been enough, but they have to overlap each other when putting them together. I suggest that you ask on the Carlson Facebook page or Twitter handle @CarlsonTheDog to be sure you’re getting the needed extensions if you have a larger opening. I talked to someone and they walked me through what I’d need.) My excitement for this gate grew when I saw there was not only a walk through door, but also a little pet door. Gizzy (my other dog) would be able to come and go through the kitchen through this little door, while Ellie (when she gets older and bigger) stayed in the kitchen.

The first couple days that we had Ellie, the big gate hadn’t arrived, so we had to block off the kitchen area with a home made block-aid. We used a combination of a chest of drawers, 3 foot table and older pressure gate.  It worked, but wasn’t fun to climb over.

temporary dog gate

This is what it looked like on the other side.  There is my sweet Ellie.

dog gate

Once the gate came, just a couple days later (it came from the corporate office, not Amazon) I had my son put it together. He liked the measuring tape strip that came with it. He told me it would be really helpful for lining up where to put in the screws.

dog gate

Tim waited for Dave to get home to actually screw in the gate to the wall.  He didn’t want to be responsible if he messed that up. Isn’t this SO much nicer? I was excited! I loved that I could block off my kitchen from the puppy.

dog gate

Dave was surprised that the screws they had included were very small screws.  We weren’t able to put this into a stud and he wasn’t certain the screws would hold.

dog gate

As it turns out, they didn’t hold. It was just a couple days and one side came out of the wall, tearing up some dry wall with it. (This photo was prior to it coming out of the wall). The other side came out too. Dave got some anchor bolts and put it back in. He should have done that to begin with, since we weren’t putting it into studs.  But I would also suggest to Carlson that they should include them, as even into studs, I can’t see the small screws that were included, being enough. We also weren’t able to screw in the bottom because of our floor board, molding, whatever you call it. If we would have gone up above that, but then the floor support wouldn’t be on the ground and it would be too high to step over. But it still works with just the pressure against the floorboard.

One of the things I love about the gate is that Gizzy, who is about 20 pounds will be able to come and go from the kitchen, once Ellie gets bigger.  The little pet door opens and will allow Gizzy to go through, but will be small enough that Ellie won’t be able to go through.  Ellie is up to 30 pounds right now, and I just tested it this morning, to see if she could still fit through. Yes, she is thin enough still that she just angled a little bit and happily went through. Gizzy will be able to run to freedom when her new sissy constantly wants to beat her up by constantly biting her neck and legsplay” with her.

dog gate

The other wonderful feature is that there is a walk through door.  You don’t have to step over a gate all the time. This makes it so easy to come and go. That first couple of days have to either move things or step over our temporary gate was not so fun!  You do have to step over the bar at the bottom of the gate. I can certainly understand there would have to be one for support of the gate with a door. But you do have to let guests know to just be careful when stepping through. Small price to pay in my book, for having the convenience of a walk through door.

dog gate

The latch at the top just snaps down into place. At first we weren’t clicking it into place every time. You almost need 2 hands to pull back on the red mechnisim to release the latch, but it can certainly be done with one hand. But you can close the gate without the extra snapping.  But, now that Ellie is 13 weeks old, she has already learned that if she jumps up on the latch and it’s not snapped down, she can lift it up with her paw and open the gate. Dang those smart dogs, right?  So we are now snapping it down each time we go in and out. This latch isn’t not as large or strong as the other Carlson dog gate I purchased for the other opening in the kitchen. I was surprised by that, but I think because this gate had to be made longer, it wasn’t able to be made with as heavy as construction as the other gate, hence the smaller, lighter latch. (I’ll show you the other gate below)

dog gate

The other thing to note that I was surprised, that I didn’t realize until my son was putting it together, was that the gate/door has to be on one end or the other. I had planned for that to be in the middle. I wanted her crate to be up against that brown wall on the left, like it is in the picture above when I had the temporary gate up. But it has to be on one end or the other. I adjusted, we moved her crate and it’s all good. Just another thing to know when you’re planning out your space.

dog gate


We also had another opening in our kitchen that I needed to block.  It was wider than a normal doorway, but I didn’t need anything this long for it. I ordered and paid for myself, another gate – the Carlson 0930 Extra-Wide  Walk-Thru Gate.  It is a pressure mounted gate, so no screws! I had thought that the extensions for this gate were extra, but the 2 extensions come with the gate.

This gate seems sturdier than that maxi gate. Again, I think because it has to go in a smaller place, and I’m guessing that it would be too heavy to have this long of a gate for the maxi gate.  This gate also has that wonderful walk-thru feature and the extra pet door.

pet gate

Carlson pet gateThis latch is a much nicer latch. I really wish the maxi gate had the same one. It works the same, the red lever pulls back to release the latch. So far, Ellie hasn’t learned to open this one when it isn’t snapped into place, but I’m sure she will soon.

We’ve not had any issues with the pressure mounted gate not holding. Ellie is 30 pounds and jumps up on it, and we’re still fine. I guess we’ll find out when she’s 75 pounds and jumps up on it, if it will still hold – but it seems pretty strong, so I think we’ll be good.

You can get the Carlson Maxi Pet Gate or Carlson Extra-Wide Walk-Thru Pet Gate the on Amazon through my code, which I’d love of course! You can also find them and other places you can purchase them, along with their other products on the Carlson Pets Products Page. 

I can HIGHLY recommend the Carlson Extra-Wide Walk-Thru Gate, it’s very sturdy and strong.  I can also recommend the Carlson Maxi Gate. It’s awesome to find a gate that can expand to cover such a large opening! I love the walk through gates and the mini pet door features on both gates. (I do recommend getting your own anchor bolts to anchor the maxi gate securely in the wall.)

These gates have really made having a puppy SO much easier! If there is an accident, I don’t stress. It’s easy clean up and it’s not ruining my carpet. I can work (I work from home) and I don’t have to crate her all the time, when I can’t be constantly watching her. Of course, it’s not like she can’t get herself into trouble being left out in the kitchen, but I know the noises now of what to listen for.  She is in the kitchen, lying on the floor asleep right now as I write this post. I’m not running around the house, worrying about where she is, or if she is going to have an accident at any moment.

Thank you so much Carlson Pet Products, you really have helped to save my sanity!




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Creating Space In The Family Room With Ikea Expedit Units

Have A Smaller House And Need More Space?

I love using cubby wall units. I’ve used the Ikea Expedit shelves for several areas of my home. In the garage for my bedroom, mud room and in my actual office, that I don’t really use anymore (I have gone back to my mini office in the family room, to be near the family).

Now I have gone out and gotten a couple more of the large 5×5 Expedit units. When I make the drive to Ikea, I usually have a big list; since it is over two hours away from me. On this trip I bought two of these! I got a white one for my kitchen (that post will be coming) and I got this one for my family room. I painted the wall deep brown that is on the long end of my family room that runs into my kitchen.

ikea expedit

The other thing I did with this unit was to put it on casters. The reason I did that was two fold.  One, because this unit is large, when it is in “guest” mode (I’ll explain in a min) it covers a heater vent. This will still allow that heat to escape and not be completely covered up by the unit. The main reason I put it on casters is so that I can easily move it when needed.  You see, I again have created a mini “office” to work.

This is how the unit is the majority of the time. It is scooted up so that I can access the cubby units for work.

ikea expedit

It works great for me. I have my essentials at my finger tips.

ikea expedit

I know that it doesn’t look the best when people come to visit, so I also have a “guest” mode.  When we have guest over, I can simply pull the unit over on the wall so that it isn’t up beside the couch.

ikea expedit

This works great for me. I also have a smaller 2 cube unit that I have as a side table. I have one of the bins on the top of it that I use for my trash can. Below it I have a portable file that I can access.

side table

It’s a solution that works great for me. As I’ve mentioned before, I’m not a decorating diva, nor will I ever be. I am very practical with what I need and cost. These units are very sturdy and work great for what we need them for.

This is not a review that I did for Ikea Expedit Shelves, nor did I get compensated in any way for it. I just used them, love them, and want to share what works for me.



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Shopping Saturday – Ikea Cubby Sofa Table

Shop Till You Drop – Or Window Shop like me and Don’t spend

I have to stop shopping at Ikea ..what do you think?  Actually this was from the same Saturday a few weeks ago.

I kept seeing this table throughout the store at Ikea.  Again.. with cubby’s. I must have an issue with those.. what do you think?  lol

I am still working to see if there is a way I can use this at my house. If I figure it out.. I’ll be the first to let you know! It was $99 (guessing I was wrong on the $99, maybe I was dreaming that?)

I can see it behind a couch, but I love the thought of it in an entryway.

I looked it up for someone and it is  called the Hemnes Sofa Table and it costs $149 (plus the baskets cost extra)

Ikea cubby table

What do you think?  Where could you use it?

I would love it if you could vote for my blog! You can vote up to once per day. Just click the button. Thank you!

Disclosure: I am not an affililiate or working for Ikea in any way (although I wish I

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Ottoman Storage Footrest

February 10, 2010 by  
Filed under Blog, Living or Family Room, Products for Organizing

I Use My Ottoman Storage Footrest all the time.

This ottoman Storage footrest came from Target

This ottoman Storage footrest came from Target

I bought this ottoman storage footrest last year at Target. I really like it.  I am not being asked to review it, I just wanted to share with you. I needed a place in my small family room for blankets. We keep the house a little cooler to help save heating cost, so the kids always grab throws to cover up with. (Yeah…I use them too in the evening).


I can fit several blankets inside.

I can fit several blankets inside.

I keep blankets in mine, but you can put in pillows, board games, toys, Video games and controllers, placemats or dining room tablecloths, hanging files and office supplies.
There can be a million uses for this storage. The kids also pull it over to sit on and play their video games. I purchased it at Target and I think it was on sale at the time for $69 or $79.
It has held up very nicely and hasn’t shown any wear in the year I have had it.
It has a padded top so it is comfy on the feet

It has a padded top so it is comfy on the feet

Disclosure: I purchased this ottoman myself. It was not given to me and I was not asked to write this post.

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Mini Office

July 9, 2009 by  
Filed under Blog, How To Organize, Living or Family Room, Offices

If you have a home or small apartment that is “office challenged” then you can find a place to call your own. Here are some ideas

1)If you have a chair you sit in routinely in the living/family room, you can set one up there. You just need a side table where you can set up your sorter like in the picture above.

This shows the whole thing. I got two of the cubby units from Target and hooked them together for my table. I have 4 compartments to use. Two on the front side that I use a cubby basket for my trash can, then the other 3 are for books. (The other 2 slots are on the back side)
I have a portable file (Hecht of an Organizer) that I use for my business files. If we have company over I can pick it up and move it out of site.

I then have this over the arm organizer that holds pens/calculator, plugs for my camera and phone, chargers and a flat top surface that I usually have my Blogging notebook sitting on.

2) Closet not being used. Take off the door (it can be left on, you will probably just have to move your chair out to close the door) and hanger rod. You can paint the inside to make it look cute. You can build in a shelf for your desk. You can add some more shelves above it on the wall for storage of your items. On the right and left hand walls you can put up a magnetic board, bulletin board or more shelves. (I am picturing a single door coat closet when I talk about it)

3) An old wall unit or armour not being used can be used for an office.

4) Under the stairs storage area. Paint it, put in a light and desk. There is storage on the steps above (make shelves there) and on the side walls.

Be creative…think outside the box. A corner of your family room maybe that you can put a small table or corner desk may work.
If you have a kitchen counter top that you can steal a corner of.
Let me know what creative office space you may already have or take pictures to let me see what you have created!!

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Couch organizer!

December 12, 2008 by  
Filed under Blog, Living or Family Room

Couch Organizer

Here is another thing that I love! I have it on my couch right next to my mini office! It holds my calculator, pens and other odds and ends on one side. On the far side that hangs down I put all my related connector cords. The one for my camera to my computer, my PDA connector and also my camera charger. I have some head phones in there too that I use for my laptop. If I want to listen to a CD about organizing or watch a DVD on my laptop while the tv is on..I just whip out my little headphones and I am off to quiet zone.
I got the red because I have the red leather couch and it seems match real close so you don’t really notice it. But I am too practical anyway, so I don’t really care. Hee hee It just lifts right off if you want to have company over and want it to look nicer.

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