Closet Organization Part 2: Totes

Closets can simultaneously be the most used and most neglected spaces within a home.

They’re perfect hiding spots to hold things you don’t have a place for, yet they tend to be so unorganized that you never find those things again once you put them in there.

The Challenge: Tackle your closets by organizing your belongings into storage bins according to category.

It might take your closet from something like this:

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To something like this:

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It takes some time and thought to get it started, but the end result is definitely worth it.

Now, where do you begin?

The stars of this show are storage bins, and there are two ways to go about the process of converting your closet storage to totes:

  • Beg for, borrow, or buy multiple sizes of totes beforehand, and then sort your items to fit what you have.

OR

  • Sort your items ahead of time, and then find tote sizes that correspond to the amount of each type of thing that you own.

**I took the first approach, but I would recommend the latter. It would have been much easier to know what I was working with before I spent an hour searching through totes. It’s obviously possible the other way; it just takes more brain power. The bins I used can be found here.

5 Steps to creating an organized closet space:

  1. Empty boxes of miscellaneous content.
  2. Make piles for each category of items.
  3. Designate a storage bin for individual categories.
  4. Place objects into the designated bin in an organized manner.
  5. Stack totes logically, with like things together and smallest bins on top.

You may find that you don’t have enough objects in a certain category to fill a tote. In that case, try to combine similar categories. Just make sure you don’t go too broad.

Example Categories:

  • Shoes
  • Portfolio work/Keepsakes
  • Hobby Supplies
    • art
    • sewing
    • baking
    • scrapbooking
  • Board games
  • Backpacks, duffel bags & purses

 

BONUS TIPS for making the most of your new space:

Once you’ve taken the time to organize it all, you can revel in the fact that you know exactly where to find what you’re searching for. That, my friends, is no small victory.

Questions, comments, concerns?

You know what to do.

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Found Object Restoration: From Trash To Treasure

Do you ever look at something and say, “That would look so great in my house, if only it was…a different color, covered in better fabric, etc.”?

Luckily, it’s usually pretty simple to take something that’s unattractive and turn it into the ideal accessory for your home. Often, it costs less than going out to buy a new one that matches perfectly to begin with. All it takes is a little time, a little research, and a little elbow grease.

Giving new life to old objects can be done in so many ways.

Just a few options include:

  • Upholstering chairs with new fabric
  • Painting metal objects
  • Sanding and refinishing wooden pieces
  • Turning old curtains into new pillows
  • Making a bookshelf out of a broken dresser

As always, Pinterest is one of the most valuable resources a person can use when it comes to anything DIY-related. Type the word “repurposed” into the search bar to get some brilliant inspiration.

If you want to try one of those ideas and don’t have any project subjects at home, don’t fret. Garage sales are great spots to pick up some outdated accessories and really make them work for you.

Thrift stores like Goodwill are also a gold mine of objects just waiting to be repurposed. You may not find anything you like the first time, but don’t give up. Thrift store stock is constantly changing, so your next trip may provide you with exactly what you’ve been looking for. You can begin your search by finding your local Goodwill store here.

Etsy shop owner Sheila Parks recently reupholstered a chair she found. The photo on the left is a picture of the chair when she picked it up. To some, it may have looked unsalvageable, but she knew all it needed was a little TLC. The photo on the right is the same chair after she was finished.

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Check out more of Sheila’s work on Etsy.

“I like using found objects to decorate my home because it’s cheaper than going out and buying things brand new. Older furniture is often sturdier, and this way, I get to choose the style of fabric that I want. I like not being limited by the selection at the furniture store,” she said.

You don’t have to have to be a seasoned crafter to repurpose old items. A lot can be done with a simple can of spray paint. This is where the research comes in, though. The trick to getting a perfectly-done final product is making sure you used the appropriate materials. To narrow your search, DIY network released a guide that covers which kind of paint to use on almost any surface you may need to spruce up in your home.

New homeowner Jerra Cottrill decided to make old lamps work for her by putting a new coat of paint on them. The photo on the left is how the lamps looked when they were given to her. The one on the right is the end product.

before  after

With new shades, nobody would ever know those lamps are over 40 years old! And, really, who has money to go buy the perfect lamp at Pier One when you could make a similar one yourself and pay less than a quarter of the price?

The next time you’re in search of a new home accessory, think about the option of creating it yourself first. Stop skipping those yard sales. Make special trips to thrift stores. Ask friends and relatives if they have anything similar lying around. Take advantage of the buy/sell Facebook groups.

Doing it yourself will not only make sure it’s done to match your specific taste, it will also give you a greater sense of pride each time someone tells you how perfectly it complements the rest of your decor.

What kinds of objects are sitting around your house just waiting to be given new life?

Tell me about them. I’m dying to know.

Until next time,

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Wire Shelving Creates Alternative For Cabinet Space

Remember when I mentioned using wire shelves to create extra storage space in this post?

Well, today, I’m going to show you how to do it. I went out tonight and finally bought that shelving unit I’ve had my eye on. I put it together, then used it to worked wonders with my utility closet by piling it high with the junk that was taking up my entire floor.

PicMonkey Collage

If you can’t go out, go up. Right?

I think that’s how that saying goes.

 

Assembly

This is the shelving unit that I bought. Notice how it says “No Tool Assembly,” which is perfect for girls like me that don’t own them anyway!

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This particular unit has four shelves. There were others with three and five adjustable shelves, so there’s one to fit almost any space.

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I was so thankful for the quick and easy set up.

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Don’t fear. This can definitely be a one-person job if you’re unable to coax anyone into re-arranging your closets with you. And let’s face it, not many people are going to want to help with that.

 

Before

I’m almost too embarrassed to show it, but here’s the mess that was my utility closet before…

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Terrifying, isn’t it?

 

After

But there’s good news.

Here’s what it looks like now:

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That’s about as neat, clean and organized as I can imagine a pile of pots and pans to be.

But you don’t have to use this idea for kitchen gadgets. Personalize it and make it work for you.

Other things you can store on your shelves include:

  • cleaning supplies
  • hobby accessories
  • shoes
  • extra linens
  • tools

OR

You could even make this into an organizational area for all types of things. Just gather up some totes, label them, and make it a functional catch-all area.

The possibilities are endless.

What do you have laying around taking up floor space?
Would it fit on shelves like these?

Give it a shot.

And, as always, let me know what you come up with.

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5 Steps to the Perfect Window Treatment

Curtains are the superhero of home decor.

They are often overlooked, but if chosen correctly, they can serve three important purposes:

  • They add flare.
  • They ensure privacy.
  • They block unwanted light.

Here’s a simple guide for choosing the perfect combo.

1. Decide on a hanging method

  • Are there traditional curtain rod holders in place?
    • Do you like them? If so, celebrate, because step one is done for you.
  • You don’t have curtain rod hooks, or you don’t like the ones in place?
    • Does your lease allow the use of screws?
      • Yes? Good for you. Choose the ones you want and install them via the product’s instructions.
      • No? No problem! Command hooks offer the perfect renter-friendly option for hanging curtain rods without damaging the walls. Simply attach two of the 5lb capacity hooks, and you’re ready to go.

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2. Choose a curtain rod

Once the hooks are in place, you get to begin the more creative side of hanging your window treatment. Curtain rods have come a long way since the two-piece white, aluminum ones our grandmothers used.

Here are a couple of ideas to inspire your creativity:

 

  • Spice up old curtain rods by wrapping them with twine.

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  • Bring nature indoors by using a tree branch to hold your curtains.

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3. Pick a display style

In addition to the curtain pattern you choose, the hanging style of your drapes can be used to make a statement about your room.

  • Tie Back (Both Sides): Traditional

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  • Tie Back (One Side): Playful

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  • Two-Panel: Modern

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4. Designate a material type

What a curtain is made of can make a big difference in the lighting of your room. To let in the most light possible, go with a sheer option, like the Two-Panel example above. In order to maintain privacy, consider the type of blinds you’re using as well.

For bedrooms, blocking the light out can be desirable. In those instances, a blackout curtain is recommended. Many stores sell blackout curtains, but here is a tutorial to make any curtain with a blackout lining:

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5. Determine proper placement

Hanging a curtain too close to the window can make your room look stunted and small. Take a look at this article to ensure that all of your hard work looks as appealing as possible.

Better Home and Gardens


Hopefully, you now have perfectly-hung curtains that you can’t wait to show off to your friends. (Or at least a project idea that you are itching to try.) There is so much out there in the world of curtains. I’ve just barely scratched the surface.

Take a look for yourself, and feel free to leave a comment about what you find!

 

Until next time,

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Storage Hacks Help Renters Utilize Small Spaces

Regardless of who we are or where we live, it seems that we all share one problem: there’s not enough space for all of our stuff.

By making the most of what you already have, even the smallest of spaces can really surprise you. I searched for some of the best storage ideas to help out those of you who are up to your ears in kitchen gadgets or art supplies, and this is what I found:

Closets Can Serve Double-Duty

Make that empty space underneath your clothes work for you. After your wardrobe is hung and you’ve used up the shelf space at the top, your closet’s storage potential isn’t gone. What are you doing with that wasted area between the floor and the bottom of your work pants?

Are your shoes stuffed in boxes or under the bed?
Add a shoe rack like this one to the bottom of your closet.

Is your hobby taking over your bedroom?
Store your supplies in totes and stack them under your hanging clothes.

Utility closets can be functional spaces as well. Add a free-standing wire shelving unit to give things like extra pots & pans or power tools a permanent home. I suggest choosing one theme and sticking to it, though. The last thing any organizing hopeful needs is another catch-all area.

Repurpose Under-Sink Space

Wide open, unstructured cabinets are just asking to be made into a junk pile. Stop yourself from simply tossing your toiletries under the sink by add stacking baskets to make the most of that area. Hanging baskets inside the doors to hold commonly-used items is another way to make use of the space under there.

Renter Friendly Organizing Tips

Don’t Forget About the Behind the Door

The back of every door in your home is just a blank slate waiting to be used as storage. Everyone knows that space has been a prime spot for shoe racks and towel hooks for years, but it can be so much more than that.

Create an organization center for yourself.

organization center

 

Put together a wrapping station for the holiday season.

wrapping organizer

You can even use a over-the-door rack to store your cleaning supplies.

cleaning supplies

 

So there you have it. Small homes don’t have to lack storage. Be creative and use every inch you’ve been given. You’ll thank yourself for it later.

Do you have any small-space storage solutions to share?

Leave a comment about something you’ve done to maximize your space.

Thanks for reading!

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Indoor Plants Breathe Life Into Cold Winter Months

As the summer months wane, we’re reminded again and again of the impending winter ahead of us. Winter means less sunshine, and for many people, that means choosing to stay inside rather than braving the cold temps.

Being cooped up indoors, however, can lead to some rather unpleasant effects. Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) is the depression that sets in during the long, drab winter months. Unluckily for us, women are hit hardest by SAD.

But I have a plan for you to combat the winter blues.

House Plants.

Not only can house plants add some color to your decor, they literally bring life into your home. The oxygen let off by plants helps to offset the effects of SAD, which leads to happier healthier people. And really, who doesn’t want to be happier?
Some air-filtering house plants to help with the blues can be found
here.

Even if you don’t suffer from SAD, house plants can be a cheap, easy way to bring your rooms to life. Some beautiful winter-bloomers include:

  • Cyclamen
  • Streptocarpus
  • Jasmine
  • Kalanchoe
  • Begonias
  • Amaryllis

After you’ve chosen your house plants, you can add more personality with the way you choose to display them. Window boxes, terrariums and fancy flower pots are just a few awesome ways to showcase your indoor garden. If you need inspiration, check out these ideas I found on Pinterest:

  1. 4 Stylish Indoor Plant Displays

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2. Grow an Indoor Herb Garden

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3. 25 Flower Pot DIYs

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Don’t let a lifeless apartment get you down this winter. Find your perfect winter-bloomer. Start an herb garden. Or both! Hit the end-of-summer lawn and garden sales, stock up on those terra cotta pots, and get to crafting!

Do you plan to add a house plant to your decor this winter?

Leave a comment. I’d love to hear your ideas.

Until next time,

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