Why Didn’t I Think of This Sooner?

Why Didn’t I Think of This Sooner?

I use the back of cabinets doors for so many things!  It’s one of my favorite storage ideas and an easy opportunity to overlook.  Today I am partnering with Wayfair to share with you some of my favorites.  The ones that left me thinking “Why Didn’t I Think of This Sooner?”

Using the back of cabinet doors in The Kitchen –

There are so many uses in the kitchen for back of the cabinet organization!  I use these awesome adhesive bins that come in all shapes and sizes to customize my space.  I store sponges, storage bags, a set of spoons designated for coffee…so many options.

I use the back of the cabinet for my coffee station.  I love having spoons, honey and sugar packets accessible while I prepare my morning coffee or tea.  I do try to store items that are not too heavy, so that I don’t have to worry about them coming off the wall.

Why Didn’t I Think of This Sooner?

I also use the back of the cabinet door in my smoothie station to hold up a clipboard with clippings of recipes.  This clipboard is from the dollar, store which is great because it isn’t heavy at all.  I didn’t want some great quality, substantial board for this.  I love being able to place clippings from magazines or recipes that I want to try.  If they were in a drawer, I would surely forget about them.

Why Didn’t I Think of This Sooner?

 

Using the back of cabinet doors in the bathroom –

Similar to the kitchen, the bathroom usually has cabinets that offer an opportunity for great storage.  The area under the sink can be tricky because you always have to work around the plumbing.  The back of the cabinet can be a great opportunity to make up for that lost space.

Why Didn’t I Think of This Sooner?

I love this little cabinet in my bathroom.  Honestly, I am not even sure what it was designed to be used for, but I use it to store my makeup.  It already had built-in storage which is fantastic and I added some extra bins to the back of the cabinet to make it even more useful.  Since the back of the door is magnetic, I also added a magnet to the back of my hair brush.  This slender cabinet is beside the bathroom door and barely visible when closed.

Why Didn’t I Think of This Sooner?

These are just a few ideas that have worked for me!  The more cabinets that you have, the more options you have.  I wouldn’t want to fill up all my cabinet doors with storage but I do think that in a select few, it can be a really great solution.

I hope these ideas inspired you to look at your own home and especially your cabinets, as an opportunity for more smart storage.  Be sure to measure your space so that you purchase the right size bins.  Also, make sure that the new bins won’t crash with what is already inside the cabinet when you close it.   As I mentioned above, I recommend storing items that are not heavy so that you don’t have to worry about anything tumbling down.  Follow the instructions on the adhesive bins and allow them to dry and adhere before adding anything to the bin.

I promise when you find a the perfect cabinet to transform, you will wonder – Why Didn’t I Think of This Sooner?

Why Didn’t I Think of This Sooner?

 

Best of 2015

Best of 2015

Hard to believe that we are already reflecting back on 2015.  When I was a little girl, years seemed to pass by much slower and I wanted time to speed up.  It’s quite the contrary now, but I know that reflection is good and new beginnings are around the corner.  But not before we take a little stroll past the favorite posts from 2015.  I compiled this list either by the amount of times that the post was accessed, the amount of shares on social media, or the amount of comments from all of you.  Please know that I value your opinions and comments and I am careful to take them all into account – basically this is your list of the best of 2015 for Graceful Order.

I started the year with my Refrigerator Organization and that was both popular and a little controversial.  Yup, I have a controversial fridge.  Who knew?  I had an equal amount of comments saying that you all loved the “after” pictures, and others that wondered why in the world I store potatoes and onions in the fridge.  Basically, when I have the counter space, I keep them there and I know that is the best spot.  When My counters are full, I place them in the fridge and have never had an issue with it.

You can find the post here: Organizing the Refrigerator 

Best of 2015

Organizing the laundry room was one of the favorite posts of the year and one of my favorites to put together.  My laundry closet is such a happy spot and full of storage and function.

You can find the post here : Organizing the Laundry Room

Best of 2015

My Favorite Kitchen Gadget post became more popular heading into the holiday season, than when I first published it.  Everyone starts to stock up their kitchen and with so many options, we all wonder what gadgets work, and which just take up valuable drawer space.

You can find the post here:  Kitchen Gadgets that Work

Best of 2015

I did a few more food posts than I had in past years, and none was more popular than this panettone bread pudding.  It was pinned quite a bit in December and as you can see, it is perfect for the holidays!

You can read about it here : Panettone Bread Pudding Recipe

Best of 2015

The most pinned post during the holidays (especially Thanksgiving) was the one that detailed how to set a proper table setting.  Rarely do I set a table full of different utensils but I think it’s good to know how to do it, just in case queen comes over for tea.  You never know.

You can read the full post here:  How To Set a Proper Table 

Best of 2015

Those were the top five posts of the year!  I can’t wait to start sharing new ideas next year (next week!) and to start the year with a new organizing challenge!

Fresh year, fresh ideas, fresh home!  That’s my motto next year.

How would you describe your 2015?  Was it a year of changes, new beginnings, surprises?

Thank you for your support of Graceful Order – I value every comment, every share, every “like”…  I am thankful for all of you!

Maria

 

You Might Also Like...

Food and Storage Needs With Rubbermaid®

I am so excited to finally be able to share with you this new product that I have been using and loving, called Rubbermaid® fasten + go.  It is new and will be available at Target starting 12/27.  So far I only have one but I am marking my calendar so that I can buy a few more when they are finally available.  So what is it exactly?  Well there are 3 kits available – an entree kit, a soup kit and a sandwich kit. 

I have seen lunch kits before in the stores, but this one is different!  The Rubbermaid® fasten + go kits features:  

  • A removable carry strap that allows for easy transportation 
  • Smaller containers can be removed for customizable meals
  • Containers can be nested for compact storing
  • Lids snap to the base to allow for secure transportation
  • BPA-free, Microwave and Dishwasher Safe

Food and Storage Needs With Rubbermaid®

So far I have only tried the sandwich kit, which consists of the following:

    • Base perfect for square or rectangular bread
    • 1 side container – 1 cup capacity
    • 2 snack containers – ½  cup capacity each
    • Outer lid
    • Removable strap

 

Food and Storage Needs With Rubbermaid®

This is how the kit is packaged at the store, and it is really easy to open and close.

Food and Storage Needs With Rubbermaid®

Sandwiches

First, I wanted to try it out for it’s intended purpose – sandwiches.  My husband often comes home to have lunch or he takes lunch with him.  Here is a simple and delicious sandwich with turkey, havarti cheese and avocado.

Note:  Avocado tends to oxidize pretty quickly, so I brush a little olive oil on the slices of avocado and that seems to keep the color.  I still haven’t found a method that will completely stop them from loosing their green color, but the olive oil seems to work even better than the lemon juice.

Food and Storage Needs With Rubbermaid®

It ended up being a pretty thick sandwich.

Food and Storage Needs With Rubbermaid®

But it still fit nicely inside the container.

Food and Storage Needs With Rubbermaid®

Healthy Eating

If you are looking to start (or continue) eating healthy, the little containers are a great way to portion your sides or snacks.  Below, I placed a hard-boiled egg inside one small container, almonds in another and celery and hummus in the medium container.

Food and Storage Needs With Rubbermaid®

For my boys I would serve a similar lunch, minus the avocado.  I added a small portion of miniature cookies and some veggies with ranch dip.

Food and Storage Needs With Rubbermaid®

Sewing Kit

Of course the organizer in me took over and I started finding other uses for the fasten + go kit.  Here I set up a little sewing kit.  This is great for those of us that can’t sew very well, but need to hem some pants or add a button here and there.

Food and Storage Needs With Rubbermaid®

Jewelry Kit

A jewelry kit!  I recently went on a cruise and all my necklaces were tangled with the earrings by the time that I unpacked.  When I place them inside the kit, they each have a separate compartment and I love that!

Food and Storage Needs With Rubbermaid®

For now, I will use mine for lunches but as soon as they are released in January I will buy a few extras for organizing items around the house.  The kits are available in 3 colors – smoke grey, seafoam green (mine) and marsala red.  I think I will buy the grey ones for storage and another seafoam green for our lunches.

Food and Storage Needs With Rubbermaid®

Do you make lunches for yourself or your family?  Do you have a tip for keeping avocados green?  Help a girl out.

 

“This post is part of a social shopper marketing insight campaign with Pollinate Media Group®, Rubbermaid® fasten + go, but all my opinions are my own. #pmedia #FastenNGo http://my-disclosur.es/OBsstV

 

 

Entryway Organization – Organizing with Boxes

Entryway Organization - Organizing with Boxes

Lately it’s been all about holiday entertaining and organization has taken a back seat over here at Graceful Order.  Yesterday, I posted my Christmas Home Tour and some of you noticed that my storage bins (below) were gone.  You see, while I usually wait until January to get my organizing systems back in shape, my entryway organization could not wait.

You may recall that these (see below) were the bins that I used to have and love.  That buffet in the entrance of my home doubles as a catchall and even mudroom of sorts.  One of the main reasons that I liked the old bins was that they were open, but lately it was the reason I no longer liked them.  As the boy’s bike gear got larger, I didn’t like seeing Ninja Turtles peeking out from my formal buffet.  In the family room, I am a lot more relaxed with our style, but I like a couple of rooms to be off limits for green ninjas.  Is that too much to ask?

Entryway Organization - Organizing with Boxes

Although I knew that I wanted to change the bins, it took me a while to find the right ones.  This time I wanted boxes with lids.  I still wanted to keep the functionality of the space by being able to put away the boys’ gear and all my other dining room necessities, but I didn’t want for the space to look cluttered.  Also, this room has a neutral color scheme and I didn’t want a bunch of colorful items sticking out from the bottom of the buffet.

So the boxes had to have a lid, they had to be large and they had to be durable as the boys will be pulling them out all the time.

Entryway Organization - Organizing with Boxes

When Samsill reached out to me to introduce their Pop N Store boxes, I went on their site, saw the little video and knew that they would be perfect for my space.  The boxes are collapsible, stackable and available in 5 colors.  My favorite color is the white, but in this case, I was looking for the boxes to conceal and to blend into the furniture – brown was perfect for me.

Entryway Organization - Organizing with Boxes

So I took the measurements and ordered 4 of their Mega Boxes.  As soon as they arrived I was impressed with their quality and how easy they were to assemble.

Entryway Organization - Organizing with Boxes

Check out the contents of all the boxes:  Roller skates, safety gear, seldom-used pie dishes and linen napkins.

Entryway Organization - Organizing with Boxes

This was my personal favorite – I was able to place my linen napkins on their side inside the box.  This makes it to easy to grab a stack of the napkins I need for a dinner party.

Entryway Organization - Organizing with Boxes

The boxes fit under the buffet perfectly.  They have a lined bottom so my furniture won’t get scratched when the kids quickly pull out the boxes to get what they need.  I love those details!

Entryway Organization - Organizing with Boxes

As a bonus, I was able to clear out the inside of the hutch that used to hold the pie plates, and place all my chargers together in one spot.

Entryway Organization - Organizing with Boxes

Organization plus style is a win in my book!

Entryway Organization - Organizing with Boxes

Do you have a mudroom in your home or do you have to improvise like me?  Do you already use covered boxes to organize what you want to keep out of sight?

 

This post was sponsored by Samsill.  I only recommend products that I own and love and all the opinions above are based on my own experience.  

Back to School Organization Tips

Back to School Organization Tips

 

My boys will be going back to school in 14 days and 3 hours but hey, who’s counting?!  As soon as the school year starts once more, I jump for joy start missing those sweet boys!  All kidding aside, the summer is fun but the school routine is a welcome change in our home.  Here are my favorite tips to get organized for getting back to “school mode”.

 

1.  Restore the sleep routine.

Yes, all those weeks of saying “ah, let them stay up.  There’s no school.” can catch up to you.  It’s important that a week or two before school starts, we start to cut back on bed time.  They should start to slowly adjust back to their sleep schedule prior to summer.

Back to School Organization Tips

 

2.  Create a space for homework.

Clearing out their desks or designating a spot in the home to do homework can be important in them being able to focus once again on school and their homework responsibilities.

Back to School Organization Tips

 

My son’s desk has a few items including a desk mat to protect his desk, sharpened colored pencils (he loves to draw) and a diffuser.  I use the diffuser to either diffuse oils that help him focus while doing homework or lavender to help him rest at night.  If the boys have colds or congestion, I use oils that help with that.  We all have diffusers in our rooms but I was glad to find this black one for him because it was a perfect match for his room and as he would say “it’s manly”.

 

Back to School Organization Tips

 

3.  Buy school supplies.

Many school websites already have a general list available detailing what the kids will need for the school year.  I like purchasing supplies as soon as I can so that I can beat the rush at the stores right before school.  I also like to stock-up his desk with new supplies so that he is excited to work at home as well.  Freshly sharpened pencils are waiting to be used in his drawer.

Back to School Organization Tips

 

4.  Create a launch/landing pad.

Depending on the age of the child, they will need a spot to place their book bag and possibly a wallet or keys.  I found this little shelf at Target last year (from the Young House Love line for Target) and I spray painted it to match his room.  For now, it only holds his book bag.  It’s important to have a launch/landing pad so that mornings are smoother and important items don’t get lost.  This will help them develop this important habit for the future.

Back to School Organization Tips

5.  Organize clothing and closet.

My boys use uniforms for school so I just removed last years uniforms and replaced them with the new ones.  This is a great time to go through their clothing and get rid of items that no longer fit.  That way you don’t have to hear in the morning “Mom, I don’t have jeans!  Nothing fits!”.

Back to School Organization Tips

 

Kids (and parents) can be anxious before school starts and having things in order can make us all feel more calm and ready to tackle the next school year! What is your favorite tip to avoid the back-to-school madness?

~ This posts contains links, a few are affiliate links.  Affiliate links don’t affect what you pay for the item, so you don’t pay more by purchasing through the link.   As always, thank you for your support of Graceful Order!

You Might Also Like...

Organizing a Gift Wrapping Station

Organizing a Gift Wrapping Station

Our first home was pretty small and having a large area dedicated to gift wrapping was certainly out of the question.  When we purchased our current home which also had a garage, I knew that I wanted wrap-around cabinets and one would be dedicated to gift wrapping.

If I am ever upset at my husband, I just need to think back to all the work that he put into building the cabinetry in the garage – then my heart is once again filled with fuzzy feelings for the man!

Seriously, it was a few weekends of a lot of hard work and trips back to IKEA.  Most cabinets only had shelves but the one that housed the gift wrapping items had to have a few drawers as well.

Without further ado, I give to you the GIFT WRAP STATION!  At least that’s how my husband presented it to me when he finished building it.  He followed that with “and I hope I see you wrapping gifts…often.”

Organizing a Gift Wrapping Station

Almost half of the cabinet is full of party items because I didn’t need the whole cabinet for gift wrapping after all.  The bottom half has 2 plastic drawers and one metal that holds all the paper.

Organizing a Gift Wrapping Station

The first drawer holds all ribbon and bows.

Organizing a Gift Wrapping Station

 

The bows are color grouped and separated by inexpensive shoe boxes that you can probably find at the dollar store.  There are always more red bows since most of the wrapping occurs during the Christmas season.

Organizing a Gift Wrapping Station

 

Most of this ribbon is from Walmart.  I love cloth ribbon as a finishing touch to any gift although I admit that nothing beats the convenience of a ready made bow!

Organizing a Gift Wrapping Station

 

The next drawer holds the bags and tissue.

Organizing a Gift Wrapping Station

 

And there is enough tissue there to build a fort- a really colorful flimsy fort, but you get the point.

Organizing a Gift Wrapping Station

 

The metal drawer holds a ton of rolls of gift wrapping paper.  I love the convenience of a gift bag (it’s usually the route that I go) but I love a beautifully wrapped box!  I also like looking at pretty paper when I open the cabinet!

 

Organizing a Gift Wrapping Station

 

The very bottom of the cabinet holds extra gifts.  Some are items that need to be re-gifted and others are items that I purchase ahead of time for upcoming birthdays.

I also have 2 greeting card organizers that I love!  One is full of birthday cards and the other is divided into other occasions.

Organizing a Gift Wrapping Station

 

It just occurred to me I can never re-gift that Jake toy to anyone that reads the blog…oh shucks!

Gift Wrap 15 IH

 

How do you store your gift wrapping items?  Do you also love pretty gift wrapping paper even if you rarely use it?

Organizing a Gift Wrapping Station

 

Other Related Posts:

Organized Master Closet

Organizing Christmas Gifts 

Easy Thanksgiving Gift Idea

Holiday Card Station

 

 

You Might Also Like...

Organized Home Week 10 – The Family Room

Organized Home Week 10 - The Family Room

This is the last week of our “Organized Home” series and we end the week with the family room.  This room gets a lot of abuse love from the whole family and needs some daily attention to keep it looking its best.  Here is a list of things to help you organize the family room.

Make an activity list

Make a list of all the activities that take place in the family room, playing video games, board games, coloring, reading, watching TV…  After your list is ready, you can decide where to create zones that support each activity.

Create a Game Center

Our entertainment center has doors along the bottom and they each have a different function.  I usually opt for furniture pieces that offer storage, not just looks.   Here is one of the cabinets open, this one holds our board games and the boys video games.

Organized Home Week 10 - The Family Room

Make your coffee table work double-time.

If your coffee table has two levels, you can add bins or rolling baskets to the bottom.  These are great to store throws, extra pillows, coasters or remote controls.  Loose items are usually what make a space look cluttered so containerize your items.

Create storage for magazines

Sort through your magazines and get rid of the old ones or the ones that are torn.  If you have magazines with recipes, it is best to rip out the page and create a binder full of recipes to try.  This will really help in clearing out your space.  The magazines that you love and can’t part with, can go inside a large basket or a tray.  If you can’t access the magazines, you won’t read them.

Organized Home Week 10 - The Family Room

Organized Home Week 10 - The Family Room

 

Make the space reflect your style.

Spend the time to create a space that reflects your style.  I love a home that is decorated over time and is as comfortable as it is beautiful.  Decorating does not always equate dollar signs.  You can “shop your home” and change pieces out from one room to another and create a whole new look.  I love doing this and then I wonder how I didn’t think of placing that item there before.

Organized Home Week 10 - The Family Room

 

Decorate with books.

I love decorating with books and I do this throughout the home.  Adding a stack of books to a table adds height and visual interest.

 

Organized Home Week 10 - The Family Room

 

Tidy up at the end of the day.

My family room during the day turns into nothing short of a disaster but when the boys are back in bed I use my systems to quickly pick-up.  There are nights that I don’t do my nightly routine and the next morning it’s such a drag to walk into a messy room.  Just like making the bed everyday, this is a task that takes very little time but makes a big difference in your mood throughout the day.

Organized Home Week 10 - The Family Room

Also in this series:

Week 1 – Organizing the Refrigerator

Week 2 – Organizing Kitchen Cabinets

Week 3- Organizing the Pantry

Week 4- The Master Bedroom

Week 5- Organizing the Entryway

Week 6 – Organizing Kid’s Bedrooms

Week 7 – Organizing the Laundry Room

Week 8 – Organizing Hall Closets

Week 9 – Organizing the Dining Room

 

 

 

You Might Also Like...

5 Tips for Organizing a Toddler Room

5 Tips for Organizing a Toddler Room

Let’s commence with humor, because humor will make motherhood (and life) a lot more fun. 

When my kids become wild and unruly, I use a nice, safe playpen. When they’re finished, I climb out.” ~Erma Bombeck  :-) 

Earlier this week, I posted about organizing kids’ bedrooms and I had some moms ask for specific tips on organizing toddler rooms.  While all the steps from the last post still apply to toddlers, I want to share with you my favorite tips about organizing toddler rooms.

1 – Use a mix of matching containers

While matching your containers will instantly make any room look tidy, they don’t all have to be the same exact container.  Closed toy chests work well for large toys, medium bins are great for small toys and open containers work well for storing books.  Containers can be stored inside bookshelves or inside kid’s closets.  Use toy chests for stuffed animals, blankets or place 2 or 3 open containers inside to sort smaller items.  Otherwise, small items will get lost in the bottom of the toy box.

5 Tips for Organizing a Toddler Room

2 – Label bins using text and/or picture labels

When labeling bins for little ones, it’s a good idea to use a picture of the content of the bin, instead of text.

5 Tips for Organizing a Toddler Room

3 – Make items accessible for toddlers

Toddlers will only put away toys if they can access them.  And even then, we know it can be a challenge.  Even if you have to do some or most of the work (especially if they are toddlers), it will be easier for you to put away their toys if there is a system set up.  

Also, they will only play with items they can access so be picky with what you leave at arms length.  I choose to keep my son’s DVD’s at a height that he cannot reach because I know that he would take them apart daily if he could.

5 Tips for Organizing a Toddler Room

4 – Create a Reading Station / Nook

My toddler’s room is small, the smallest room in the house.  Although a sizable reading station was not possible, a little nook in a corner was.  I did not have space for a bookshelf so I added a shelf that could hold a small amount of thin books.  He has more books inside his closet but these are the ones he reaches for time and time again.

5 Tips for Organizing a Toddler Room

 

Consider bins for odd-shaped books.  Some books fit nicely in a bookshelf, but toddler books come in all sizes and shapes and sometimes a bin is the best spot to store them.

5 Tips for Organizing a Toddler Room

 

5 – Have a spot to place clothing they have out-grown.

I keep an open bin at the bottom of my toddler’s closet where I can toss items that no longer fit.  I prefer an open bin for this so that it is an easy system to follow.  When the bin is full, I sort through it and donate the items.

Beneath the bin I keep boxes of hand-me-downs from my older son, with the following size he will wear.  The next size or two he will use go at the bottom of the closet and the rest go on the last shelf of the closet, right up to the ceiling.

5 Tips for Organizing a Toddler Room

 

We started with humor so let’s wrap it up in the same fashion:

“The quickest way for a parent to get a child’s attention is to sit down and look comfortable.” ~Lane Olinghouse

Isn’t that the truth?

 

 

You Might Also Like...

Entryway Organization

Entryway Organization

“Hon, did you see my keys?  Mom, where is my bike helmet?”  Sound familiar?  Everyone stop and go hunt for the keys, the helmet (and my mind, for that matter).

We all need a landing pad.  Ideally, a mudroom would be a great place to store all these things.  However, I live in Miami and mudrooms are not really popular.  Some people do have large foyers that they can add storage to, and create an area to “land”.  But if your home is like mine, there is no foyer, no mudroom, and when you walk in, you are in the living room.

To read the details of how I use my small entryway as a landing pad, click on over to A Bowl Full of Lemons, where I am sharing my Entryway Organization.  As always, let me know what you think in the comment section!

xo,

Maria

You Might Also Like...

Organizing Nail Supplies

Organizing Nail Supplies

Before I had kids (you know this will be a good post when it starts like this) I always had my hands manicured.  Nowadays, I rarely get my nails professionally done because the polish won’t last for more than one day.  I start cleaning and doing dishes (cue for the mice to start singing the Cinderelli song) and there went the perfect manicure.  So for the most part, I fix my nails at home.

If you are fixing your own nails and you are not organizing nail supplies in one spot, chances are you are going through drawers looking for a file, then the polishes are in another spot and you may not even use them unless you see them.  If you have a lot of nail polishes, like me, I love this tiered nail polish organizer that I purchased about two years ago.  Mine holds over 60 polishes and it is full.  If I feel compelled to buy a new polish, I give one away that I am not using.  Not that it’s anything to brag about to say that you limit yourself to 60 nail polishes!  But the organizer does keep them all in one spot.

Organizing Nail Supplies

See how it is tiered so that you see all of your polishes?  Love that.

Organizing Nail Supplies

If you only have a few polishes and a minimal amount of nail supplies, I love the idea of using these Command Brand bins that simply adhere to the inside of the cabinet.  I found these two sizes at Target but you can also fine them on Amazon here.

Organizing Nail Supplies

Here is an example of the smaller caddy at work inside my cabinet.  I don’t use it for this purpose but I wanted to show you how the small one fits a few polishes, a nail file and a cuticle cutter.  I actually use this caddy for my floss picks.

Organizing Nail Supplies

Purchase a little acrylic divider (they sell these at Walmart, Target and sometimes at Homegoods) to place the rest of the nail/foot care supplies.  Here you can fit your files, toe separators, cuticle oil, cuticle and nail cutters.  I place this little caddy next to the polishes in my bathroom cabinet.

Organizing Nail Supplies

Of course you can also put together a little bin (even from the dollar store) or a small cleaning caddy and place all your nail supplies in there.  This is a great idea because it makes it portable and you can take it with you wherever you do your nails.  In my case, I keep it in my bathroom which is where I do my nails, so portability is not an issue.

The mice are almost done with my dress, gotta go!

~ Maria

This post contains affiliate links.  I am grateful for your support of Graceful Order!

You Might Also Like...

Transform your Closet

Transform your closet

I shared the before-and-after of my master bedroom closet last year, but I have added some features that I wanted to share with you.  You can transform your closet by learning how to best use the space you have.  Organizing your closet will also simplify your morning routine.

I am a stay-at-home mom, and I am not very adventurous with my wardrobe.  I basically wear jeans and a t-shirt everyday (not the same one!)  with minimal accessories, except for the weekend when I put forth more effort.  I like dressing down and I like dressing up.

When I do dress up, I like options!  I like my closet to look like a mini-boutique.  Because I am girlie, I am just not fussy.

Transform your Closet

  1. Start by sorting your pieces.  Sort your items and get rid of things that you know you will never wear again.  Items, even expensive, good quality ones get faded, they pill, they eventually look dated.  Donate them or toss them if they are in bad shape.  That way you can make room in your closet for the items that you wear and love.  There is no sense in having a crowded closet, when you can get rid of items that you don’t like or use.  Having space between your clothing even makes putting away laundry easier.Transform your Closet
  2. Display your favorite pieces.  Most of my jewelry is costume jewelry and I have a lot of it.   I have a stand alone jewelry armoire in my bedroom, but nothing compares to actually seeing my options when I am getting dolled-up.  One of my favorite buys is this jewelry display.  I find that I use my bracelets and watches so much more after I added it to my closet, and doesn’t it look like a store display?  Love that.
    Transform your Closet

I added an earring display (I do wish it had more room though).

Transform your Closet

And a ring display, actually I bought two.  These are all faux pieces.  If they weren’t, I would be blogging from my private jet.  :-)  I would still be blogging though…I love it that much!

Transform your Closet

3.  Add a garment valet rod.  This one fit right into the pre-drilled holes in my closet system, so that I can put outfits together (when I take the time to do that) or even when I am putting away laundry, and I just want to get shirts on a hanger before the wrinkles set in.

 

Transform your Closet

It tucks right in, when not in use.

Transform your Closet

4. Color-code your wardrobe….Game Changer!  This takes a while the first time you do it, but you will save so much time when you are getting dressed. Also, putting away laundry is faster when you know where everything belongs.

Transform your Closet

5. Laundry Folding Board for perfectly folded shirts.  Honestly, I don’t use this board for my clothing since I hang up most items.  I do use a laundry folding board for my husband, because he has so many t-shirts.  It keeps all his shirts looking great in his closet.  If you fold your shirts, it’s a must for the department-store-perfect-fold look.  I found mine in The Container Store but I couldn’t find it there now, so here is a similar folding board on Amazon.

Transform your Closet

6. Invest in thin hangers (whether plastic or flocked).  This will give you so much more room!  Wood hangers are beautiful and they are great for suits, but they are also bulky.  If you are looking to make space, thin hangers are the way to go.

 

7. Use a tie rack to display necklaces.  Bulky necklaces are really fashionable right now and tie racks are perfect for holding larger jewelry pieces.  It also keeps them from getting tangled.

Transform your Closet

8. Bring a dresser into your closet.  When I shared about our master bedroom, I mentioned that we opted for a sitting area as opposed to a dresser.  Adding a small dresser inside the closet definitely made up for the storage we lost in the bedroom.  This dresser is from IKEA and it is topped with glass (sold separately at IKEA) so I don’t have to worry about it getting scratched.  Plus, I think it looks nicer with the glass topper.

The rest of the cabinetry was built around that dresser.

Transform your Closet

9. Add a mirror to your closet.  I could have added more cabinetry above the dresser, but I am so glad that I didn’t.  Even a small mirror can make your closet look larger.  I didn’t have space for a full-length mirror, but even this little one did the trick.  I can also try on my accessories in the closet, which wasn’t possible before.

Transform your Closet

10. Use kid hangers for your pants to save space.  I used to use regular sized hangers for my pants, and they would take up so much space.  One day I tried using hangers from my son’s closet and they were a perfect fit!  I bought a couple of sets for myself.  I will be honest, I am not a fan of felt hangers.  I don’t like how they cling to clothes (which I get, is the point) but for pants I did prefer the felt, it keeps the pants from sliding.

Transform your Closet

These are my favorite tips and products for transforming a closet!  The key in organizing your closet is to capitalize on using all the space available, but the key to transforming it, involves a little bling.

I hope you all enjoyed this tour of my closet and I would love to hear from you.  What are your favorite closet organizing tips?

Maria

~ This posts contains links, a few are affiliate links.  As always, thank you for your support of Graceful Order!

 

Here is an updated master closet post : Organizing the Master Closet

 

 

You Might Also Like...

Organizing Cookbooks

All my friends know that I love to organize, But I am equally known for my love of eating cooking.  I read cookbooks like one would read novels.  When a favorite chef of mine has a new cookbook coming out, the release date is written on my planner (right next to my cardio gym class suggestions reminders…the irony).  I take this stuff seriously.

Over the years, I have collected so many cookbooks that they were spilling out of my office.  I needed a solution for organizing cookbooks. I knew that I had enough to fill up a bookshelf, so that’s what I did.  There was a little corner in our home, that was perfect for my books.  This spot was close to the kitchen, which made it even better.

Organizing Cookbooks

 

I found this bookshelf at Target.  I wanted something sturdy but inexpensive.  It’s not like I have kids that jump on furniture!  Scratch that.  I don’t have kids that jump on bookshelves.

Organizing Cookbooks

 

I started to place all the cookbooks in the bookshelf and I thought that I would have enough room to accessorize the bookshelf and leave some empty space…but nope.  The books took up the whole space.  If you have a ton of books to put away in a bookshelf, try to alternate the placing.  Standing some books, leaning others, and so on…  Break it up so that it is more interesting to look at and not so orderly.  If you do have space, add a picture frame, a book-end, or an accessory on top of a stack of books.

Organizing Cookbooks

 

I left enough space on top of the bookshelf to look through the books when searching for a recipe.

Organizing Cookbooks

 

I added some accessories and voila!  My little cookbook corner!

Organizing Cookbooks

 

Do you also collect cookbooks?  Where do you store them?

Until next time!  I will be cooking up a storm (at the very least, reading about people that do!)

Maria

 

Adding Storage to Bathrooms

My last post on my master bathroom’s before and after  was kinda lengthy, so I left out the details of this new cabinet.  I already have a small closet that holds a ton of stuff in my bathroom, but I really needed a bit more storage for my little towels and miscellaneous items that get “lost” in that other closet.  Purchasing an over-the-toilet etagere (fancy schmancy word and yes, I would like a croque madame with my etagere) is the perfect way of adding storage to bathrooms.

Adding Storage to Bathrooms

 

I started building this puppy at night, because I am patient like that.  Hence the bad lighting.

 

Adding Storage to Bathrooms

 

It was pretty easy to put together and I didn’t need an assistant.  Although my toddler kept saying “mommy, I’m a great helper” the whole time.  He even brought over his toy drill.  :-)

The last step was anchoring it to the wall.

 

Adding Storage to Bathrooms

 

I really love the fact that it has doors, because let’s face it, it won’t always look this perfect!  I will eventually add more stuff.  I haven’t decided what I will store here and what will stay in the closet.

Adding Storage to Bathrooms

 

I found these little baskets at Target, on clearance.  I am putting new travel-sized items in this one.  Not toothbrushes and stuff, because this is on top of a toilet, and because that is gross, and because…well.  Ya know.

 

Adding Storage to Bathrooms

 

The one on top has empty cosmetic bags, brushes…not quite everyday stuff but it can still be handy on top of the etagere ( I will now have a mimosa with my croque madame with my etagere).

Here is the side view.

Adding Storage to Bathrooms

This is a little idea that made a big difference in our bathroom.

Au revoir, et a la prochaine!  (It means, goodbye, until next time, in french.  I know this to be true because I just looked it up.  Merci Wikipedia!)

Maria

Organizing Under the Bathroom Sink

Organizing under the bathroom sink

A couple of days ago, I shared how I maximize the vanity/sink area that I have in my corner of the bathroom.  If you missed it, you can read about it HERE.

Today,  we are organizing under the bathroom sink.  This area can become a black hole, if you let it.  It’s awkward (with the plumbing) and its deep and baskets don’t always fit nicely.  Since I have so many products under my sink, I chose to organize them with turntables.  I used four, two large and two small.  I placed them in a way where they fit and still turn.

Organizing Under the Bathroom Sink

Each turntable has a purpose.  One is for foot spa stuff, the other for bath gels, the other for hair products and one for bath salts and oils. You can purchase the small turntables in my Amazon store HERE and the large turntables HERE.  But you can also find these in most home stores.  They are an inexpensive way to add a lot of functionality and organization around the house.  If I used a basket, I wouldn’t be able to access the products in the very back.  Now, I just turn the table until I see what I want.

On the cabinet wall, I have an organizer that I use to store these thingumajigs.  Ahem.  I also keep my Clarisonic Cleanser in there.  You can find that metal organizer HERE but again, these organizers are in most home stores (I have even spotted them at Marshalls).

Organizing Under the Bathroom Sink

On the other side, I have another organizer but I can’t link that one since its kind of old.  I don’t even remember where I bought it.  I keep a little makeup bag on the top shelf and miscellaneous items in the bottom shelf.

Organizing Under the Bathroom Sink

 

Do you have a system for organizing under the bathroom sink?  Isn’t that plumbing annoying to work around?

Happy Organizing my friends!  I have a bathroom makeover coming up next so stay tuned!

Maria

 

Organizing Small Bathroom Sinks

Organizing Small Bathroom Sinks

 

Last week we organized the shower area, and this week we tackle the bathroom sink or vanity area.  More specifically, organizing small bathroom sinks, such as the one in my master bathroom.  My husband has the same size sink on the opposite side of the bathroom and it works for him because all he stores is a toothbrush, a bottle of mouthwash and a razor…men…

However, my sink area has been challenging.  Where was I supposed to store all my makeup, cleansers and moisturizer??  A girl can simplify but she can’t part with all her products!

I would have loved a small cabinet, but the area was too narrow and I would’ve bumped it every time I leaned over to rinse my face.   A bloody nose would not mirror one of those graceful moments in facial care commercials.  By the way, who actually makes all those faces while applying product on their face?  I am sure that I make faces, but not pleasant ones.

But I digress.  So I added small shelves along the side and it gave me a ton of storage!

Organizing Small Bathroom Sinks

A closer look at the shelves.

Update to post:  Many of you have asked me where I purchased these shelves.  I think that I found them at Target years ago, but I no longer see them at the store.  I have just added a similar set to my Amazon store and you can find them HERE  Otherwise, you may want to check Homegoods or Marshalls.

Organizing Small Bathroom Sinks

The shelves are small but hold a ton.  I also like the open shelving (in this case) because these are items that I use daily.  Here are all my makeup brushes.

Organizing Small Bathroom Sinks

 

The third shelf holds items that I don’t use everyday but I do use often, and a little plant to prettify the wall.

Organizing Small Bathroom Sinks

Bathroom sinks can get cluttered in no time if there is no system in place.  When you don’t have a lot of counter space, sometimes the best solution is vertical storage.  Use your walls when the counters won’t do.

Organizing Small Bathroom Sinks

Do you have a narrow sink like me, or a large area to spread out your makeup and products?

Later this week, we will organize under the sink and I will share my master bathroom update, so stay tuned!

Maria  

You Might Also Like...

Organizing the Shower Area

Even the shower area needs a little bit of attention and organization.

Organizing the Shower Area

I used to have one of those metal shower racks in the corner FULL of products.  Then next to it, I would place the ones that were too large to fit.  With the shower rack I realized that if given the chance, I would turn the bathroom into a Hoarders episode.  Yes, me, the one with the organizing blog.

Of course, I had my excuses.  I couldn’t just stick to one shampoo because my hair needed variety and couldn’t commit.  Then I had 2 shower gels, because apparently my skin also liked options.  Then I had 2 shaving creams because my husband likes gel-based and I like cream-based….and on and on…

Eventually, the shower caddy started to oxidize and it was the perfect opportunity to throw it out and come up with a different plan.

I found this acrylic makeup organizer that I was no longer using for makeup, and it was P.E.R.F.E.C.T.   Because it was small, and small meant that I had to streamline.

Organizing the Shower Area

I only purchase pump-style shampoo and conditioner bottles so that I don’t have to remove them from their spot.

The front of the organizer was considerably more narrow than the back but it was perfect for body wash and face wash.

I like to give the shower a quick clean while I am in there (you don’t want to use toxic stuff ever, much less in an enclosed space) so on the side, I placed a cleaner.  I also keep a pumice stone for my feet in the shower.  I store it upright so it doesn’t get all yucky.    I also keep a bar of soap for my husband.

Organizing the Shower Area

Which brings me to a funny story.  Funny for you.  Scary for me.

A while back I noticed that my shower pouf was looking kinda rough and my husband’s was perfect, almost unused.  So I called my husband in the bathroom and I asked him, “which shower pouf do you use?”.  He pointed at….MINE!  Panic!  I love that man.  I have kids with him, I share everything, but my shower pouf???  Nooooooo!

He knows me and all my crazy boundaries, so after a minute (30 minutes in my mind) he laughed and said “I’m just kidding!  I have been using the bar soap for a while and I don’t touch those things!”

We are still not talking.   So I laughed and hugged him.  Here is a picture of the suspicious pouf.

Organizing the Shower Area

Back to the rest of the shower area.  On the wall, I have my razor that has been there for over 5 years!  I have changed the razor but the housing is the same.  I also have a Command Hook to hold a grout brush because you all know that when you are taking a shower, you notice all the yuckies.

Organizing the Shower Area

So take a second look at your shower area and get rid of excess products.  It is so much easier to clean with less “stuff” occupying space.

What else do you keep in the shower?  Do you share cups but never bath poufs?  Am I a bad wife for almost fainting?  Don’t answer.

Maria

 

 

Gift Wrap Station

Remember how last week I said that I had a big announcement?

Well, I can finally share with you something that I am very excited about.  Recently, I was asked to be a contributor at one of my favorite blogs, A Bowl Full of Lemons.  I am so grateful and excited, and I couldn’t wait to share the news with you.

Today is my first contributor post, and I share the details of my Gift Wrap Station.  Here is a sneak peek…

Gift Wrap Station

So hop on over to A Bowl Full of Lemons to get the details and see all the pictures.  I look forward to reading your comments and suggestions!

Feeling Grateful,

Maria

 

You Might Also Like...

Office Makeover – Before and After

You all know that I love a good “before and after” and I know that you do too!   (Before I start sharing the pictures with you, I want to apologize in advance for the before pictures.  The angles are horrible.  I took them with my smartphone’s camera, before I even decided to share them on the blog.  Also, you will notice some strategically placed squares that hide private info.)

Office Organization

A couple of weeks ago, my friend asked me to help her fix up her office space at work.  Her husband owns an automobile business and she was helping her husband with the office work…except, the office didn’t work.  The men thought that the office was perfect.  They thought that it didn’t need a thing changed.  Why mess with perfection? The thing is that perfection looked like this…

Office remodel

and this…

Office Organization

These men were so dedicated to the sales, maintenance and growth of the business, that the back office space was just not top priority.  The store front was beautiful and we needed to make the back office match. With the help of IKEA, a screwdriver, and lots of good conversation, my friend and I embarked on a mission.  To prove the men wrong To make the office beautiful.  To create a space that was welcoming and practical. We started by painting the walls with a color called “Cloudy Day” by Sherwin Williams.  We painted the moldings white.  We also purchased white IKEA furniture that would be easy to clean and to customize. Here is the “after” picture of the wall pictured above. Office organization

We chose open cubicles in the bookshelf for binders and we installed drawers in other cubicles for office supplies.  The idea was to leave out the practical and pretty and put away the practical and unsightly. We purchased new filing cabinets, a desk, and the lamp from IKEA.  I found the clock at Target. Office Organization

Of course, we had to add a little “pretty”, while keeping in mind that the office had to remain somewhat masculine.  There went all my washi tape dreams… We decorated with modern, inexpensive IKEA plants, like this one. Office Organization

And this one that I found at Target.  It was kind of short for the cubicle, so I lifted it with a car part.  I am not even sure what it is, but I loved the end result. Office Organization

I love decorating with practical items, such as these little IKEA buckets that hold all the pens and pencils. Office Organization

So one more time…We went from this,

Office remodel

To this,

Office Organization

The men at the office LOVED it and even asked for their own coffee station on top of the new cabinet.  No one misses the dark furniture and my friend is a happy camper. With a little bit of paint, some new furniture pieces and a lot of focus, any space can be transformed.  It’s important to feel comfortable where you work.  Maybe you can’t transform your whole office, but you can transform an area.  Anything to help you laugh while you work.  Actually, don’t laugh, just smile, abrupt laughter could scare co-workers. I hope you enjoyed the pictures and please share with me what is your favorite thing about your workspace.  Is it wall color, your desk, accessories, or your comfy chair?

Until next time,

Maria

You Might Also Like...

Adding Wheels to Baskets

I keep a basket in the hallway that leads to the boy’s bedrooms.  I use it to place small toys and items that I find around the house after the boys have gone to bed.  I don’t want to wake them up (especially my toddler…yikes) so I place the misplaced toys in this basket at night and in the morning, I place them back in their designated home.

End of story.  Perfect system, right?

Good system, yes.  Perfect, not so much.

I love woven baskets because they add warmth and texture to any space.  What I don’t like is how they are not easy to clean and they are a magnet for dust bunnies.

Adding Wheels to a Basket

I decided that the best solution was to add wheels to the basket, so that sweeping and vacuuming was easier and more effective.  I found some adhesive wheels on Amazon because screwing in wheels was not an option.

You can find these HERE in my Amazon store, but I am sure that any hardware store near you will also have them or similar ones.

Adding Wheels to a Basket

 

I followed the instructions on the package and adhered the wheels to my basket.  I also added a bit of glue to secure them further, considering the weave of the basket.  These wheels are intended for flat surfaces so I compensated with the addition of glue.

Adding Wheels to a Basket

 

Here it is with all four wheels.

Adding Wheels to a Basket

And here it is back in its place waiting for Elmo, Barney, or my favorite…tiny legos.

It’s hard to tell the difference (and that was the idea) but it is so much easier now to clean under the basket, and the wheels keep the basket cleaner.

Adding Wheels to a Basket

 

When I start spray painting, nothing in my home is safe.  I think it will be the same with wheels, no basket will be safe.

It’s worth mentioning that these wheels don’t swivel and I don’t know how much weight they can bear, but they are perfect for a simple project like this.  I think they may also work with under-bed storage since dust bunnies are another reason that I don’t keep anything under my bed.  I also have wheels on the baskets that I keep on my closets floors.  It is a simple solution that makes cleaning easier, and I am a fan of easy.

Can you think of anything that you can add these wheels to in your home?  Do you have the same problem with baskets and dust bunnies?  If so, I hope this will help!

Until next time,

Maria

 

You Might Also Like...

Creating a Smoothie Station

Smoothies have become so popular in the last couple of years.  It makes sense because we are all becoming more conscious of the ingredients that we consume and we want to avoid sugar-laden carbonated drinks.  We are also very busy and smoothies are portable, quick to make, and pack a lot of nutrition.

I think the healthiest smoothie that you can drink, is the one that you make yourself.  Why?  How many of you (like me) have gone into a smoothie chain, assuming you were getting a healthy drink, only to realize that they were using strawberries dunked in sugar syrup, or adding sugar and ice so that they could use less fruit.  Nope, I won’t pay 5.00 for that!  I prefer to spend the money buying quality ingredients and making my smoothies at home.

SMOOTHIE Organization

After buying all these awesome ingredients, I needed an equally awesome way to store them.

The cabinet where I kept all my smoothie supplies, was usually my “messy” cabinet.  It was not an absolute disaster, but it wasn’t practical either.  All the little packages of cocoa, flax-seed, chia seed, needed a new home.

Here is what the space used to look like.

Smoothie Organization

Packages everywhere.  Some of them were not even resealable.  I needed containers.

Smoothie Organization

I found these OXO containers at Target and I purchased them in two different sizes to accommodate the different products.  If you want to purchase them online, you can find them HERE, in my amazon store.

You may remember that they are the same containers that I used to create my Coffee Station.  You can read about that HERE.

Smoothie Organization

I also decided that I wanted to move the shelves around, to better fit the new containers.  I removed the cabinet door so that the shelves would slide out.

I also went ahead and gave the cabinet a good cleaning.

Smoothie Organization

I placed the shelves back after measuring the height that I needed.

Smoothie Station

I then emptied all the packages into the new containers and added labels.

Everything went back in the cabinet.

SMOOTHIE organization

Notice how narrow I made the shelf holding the mugs.   The coffee cabinet is right next to this one and I keep my mugs in here.  I like everything to match, except coffee mugs.  I like collecting different ones.

SMOOTHIE Station

In the very top, I placed the larger cans and containers.  Since I lowered that shelf, I can now reach up and grab whatever I need.  Before I did this, I could never reach the top shelf.

Smoothie Organization

I finished the project by hanging a clipboard to the cabinet.  I found this clipboard in the dollar section at Target.  I plan to keep smoothie recipes here.

SMOOTHIE Organization

Here is the finished product!

Smoothie Organization

It really is a pleasure to open up this cabinet now, considering how it looked before.

Please share with me if you make smoothies at home and what are your favorite types.  This week, I will share on Facebook a couple of my favorite smoothie recipes so stay tuned!

Shaking it up! (my corniness has no limits)

Maria

You Might Also Like...

Organizing The “No Junk” Drawer

This week, let’s take 10 minutes to tackle the junk drawer.  Instead of just tidying up what is already in there, lets resolve to make it a NO JUNK drawer or at the very least, less junk.

Lets face it, a drawer with the prestigious name, “The Junk Drawer” is the most likely to receive the least amount of love.  This is also the reason that its one of the most cringe-worthy areas in the kitchen.

I have always tried to keep the items in this drawer to a minimum, but lately I have simplified it further.

Here is what my “no junk” drawer looks like now.

Junk Drawer Organization

 

I have already shared with you that I don’t have the most spacious kitchen, and I didn’t want to dedicate a whole drawer for miscellaneous items.  The way I look at it is, if I dedicate a whole drawer for this, I will find a way to fill it up.  I gave myself half a drawer to work with and it made me rethink what I would keep in this space.

Half of the drawer is taken up by a steak knife block.  It fits perfectly in the drawer, it doesn’t shift and keeps the baskets next to it, in place.

Every junk drawer will look different and I encourage you to only keep items that you frequently use.  In my case, I keep scissors, writing tools, tape, memo pads and chip clips.  (By the way, I used to have like 10 chip clips in there and we rarely buy chips.  I also have a ton of workout gear and…well…back to the drawer).

Junk Drawer Organization

I also keep a little plastic container to collect Box Tops for my son’s school.  Otherwise, I know I would just throw them in the drawer and they would get lost since they are so small.

Junk Drawer Organization

So what are the steps to creating a “no junk” drawer that works for you?

1. Empty the contents of the drawer onto a nearby surface.

2.  Categorize items into Keep / Discard / Relocate  (later, you can relocate items that don’t belong in this drawer).

3.  Clean the drawer.  If you will use clear containers, you may decide to place a pretty liner on the drawer after cleaning.

4.  Containerize this space according to the items you are keeping.  I chose not to use a drawer divider made for junk drawers because it would take up the whole drawer and I would feel compelled to fill the spaces, even if I didn’t need them.  Instead, I chose clear containers with a colorful non-skid backing that I found at Target.  They had different sizes and you can customize your space.

Taking 10-15 minutes to do this small task will not only make your drawer pretty, it will also make it easier to find and put away items.  This will keep your drawer organized for a long time (or until your husband loses his keys and turns every drawer upside-down.  This may or may not depict an actual event that may or may not have occurred in my life.)

What else do you keep in the junk drawer?

Until next time!

Maria

 

 

You Might Also Like...

Organizing Plates and Platters

Organizing Plates and Platters

I have shared with all of you how much I (we) enjoy cooking and entertaining family and friends.  I also love plating and food presentation, so over the years I have accumulated quite a few dishes.

It is always a challenge figuring out how to store so many dishes in a relatively small kitchen.  I don’t have many cabinets and I use most of them for pantry use (we do not have a stand alone pantry closet). I keep some dishes in the dining room hutch, but the majority reside in the kitchen cabinets.

Here is how I store and organize my dishes.

Organizing Plates

I have also collected quite a few glasses over the years.  I keep most of them in the dining room hutch.

Below are the ones we use daily.  The goblets are inexpensive and sturdy; they are Libbey brand and you can find them HERE.  I have also seen them at Marshalls and Homegoods.  The smaller tumblers are not as sturdy but they are inexpensive and I love the size.  They are from CB2 and you can find them HERE.

All the other white plates are from different stores that I have collected over years.

Organizing Plates

 

A pet peeve of mine is stacked plates. It’s not a big deal if they are plates that you seldom use, but your everyday plates should be easily accessible. You shouldn’t have to lift salad plates to get the dinner plates on a daily basis.

I have cabinet dividers and risers in almost every cabinet to maximize the space and to make my dishes easily accessible.

Organizing Plates

The metal divider/shelf below is from Target.  You can find some white ones “here”.  Walmart and Homegoods also have a good selection of cabinet organizers.

Organizing Plates

I do have some colorful dishes but 90% of them are white. I think that food looks better on white plates. I also love that I don’t have to worry about them matching. Plates that I bought last week match the ones that I purchased 15 years ago.

I love cool plates like these concave ones.  By sliding the shelf against the cabinet, I made space for these narrow plates.

Organizing Plates

Most of my drawers hold serving platters.  These are too big to fit in my cabinet.  They are perfect in the drawer.

Organizing Plates and Platters

In this drawer I keep the bowls that we use most often.

Organizing Plates and Platters

Organizing is an art!  This is a standard size drawer and I was able to fit quite a few serving dishes by playing around with placement.

I love opening a drawer where everything has it’s place and is not shifting all over the place.  Because all these plates fit in here so tight, there is no room to budge.  As Martha would say – “That’s a good thing.”

Organizing Plates and Platters

The bottom drawer is the deepest.  In here I keep all the clear baking dishes.

Organizing Plates and Platters

As you can see, I rarely buy dish “sets”. I prefer to buy them separately so that I get exactly what I want. I may love a plate but dislike the coffee cups that come with them in the set.

I want to leave you with some good tips for building your plate and platter collection:

  • Get rid of plates and cups that you no longer like or use.  We sometimes keep things in our cabinets that we don’t even like, instead of making space for something we truly enjoy.
  • If you only want or have one set of plates, make them accessible by placing them on a removable shelf riser.  This will double your space!
  • If you buy plates separately like me, it is best to buy 9 if you need 8. That way if one breaks, you still have a full set.  If two break…well…try not to break two!
  • Take your time buying dishes.  It is fun to collect things that you love over time, instead of buying things that are on sale to fill up a cabinet.

I hope you enjoyed these ideas because I really enjoyed sharing them with you!

Tell me –  do you collect plates too or is one set more than enough?

Always Organizing,

Maria

 

 

You Might Also Like...

Baking Station Organization

We are back in the kitchen!  This week we will focus on creating or organizing a baking station.

Designate an area in your kitchen to hold all of your baking supplies.  It is so much more fun to bake when everything is within reach!

You may remember that last year, I organized my baking drawer.  You can find that post HERE.

Baking Organization

Today, I want to show you more of my baking station.  I can’t keep everything in that one drawer, so I keep all of my dry baking supplies in the cabinet above the refrigerator.

Although I can reach this cabinet, it isn’t easy for me to do so.  Therefore, it is the perfect spot for large, clear containers, that allow me to see their contents from where I stand.

Here is a picture of the cabinet.  This cabinet is not always used to its fullest potential in some kitchens, but it is a great space and probably one of your widest cabinets.  Let’s put it to work!

Baking Organization

The containers that hold the flour and sugar are from a brand called Lock & Lock.  The ones that rest above them, are disposable Ziploc containers that I use to put away cookie cutters and baking chocolate.    Right next to them, is a bin full of more cookie cutters.

Baking Organization

On the other side, I have Tupperware brand containers that hold items such as, coconut, powdered sugar, sprinkles and brown sugar.

Baking Organization

My baking drawer, which I shared with you last year, holds smaller items that I use for cake and cupcake decorating.

Baking Organization

And measuring cups and spoons.  I have multiple sets of those, considering most recipes call for dry and wet ingredients (and because I like collecting them).

Baking Organization

I like these containers because the lid stays open and I can easily fit up to a 1 Cup measuring cup inside.  I also use the top of the opening to level the cup.  Love that!

I purchased them about 5 years ago on QVC but you can still find them HERE.

Baking Organization

Lastly, in the cabinet right below the baking cabinet, next to the refrigerator, I have a small turntable full of baking spices.

Towards the back, I keep tea that is not used on a daily basis.  They are also on a turntable.

Baking Organization

Since I cannot keep all my baking supplies in one drawer, or cabinet, I do keep them all in the same area of the kitchen.  Everything is within hands reach.

Baking Organization

Above the baking spices is a ceramic box, full of my favorite teas.

Tea Station

Lastly, when you are done, wake up a little kid on a saturday morning and get them to help you in the kitchen, before they even have time to comb their hair.

Baking Organization

Everyone looks better with a little flour in their hair.  But that’s just my opinion.

Until Next Time,

Maria 

You Might Also Like...

Organizing Pots and Pans

Pots and pans…how many do you have?  How many do you need?

Organizing all your pots and pans

Well, I need a lot of them.  I cook almost everyday and I enjoy it.  I enjoy it even more when I have the right tools.

In this cabinet (albeit small) I have:

– 8 Skillets

– 4 Small Pots

– 2 Stock Pots

– 2 Medium Pots

– 1 Steamer Pot

That’s a total of 17 pots and pans!  Not including, 3 enamel dutch ovens (probably my favorite), that I store inside my oven.  One of the enamel pots sits on the stove at all times, since I use it often.  I also have cast iron pans which are my husband’s favorite, since they can go directly on the grill.

I am not a fan of purchasing full sets of pots and pans sold in a box, although it is a good way to figure out what you use most.  The box is usually a better value, but I end up giving away the pots that I don’t use…this negates the whole “better” value concept.  I prefer selecting quality pieces that I will use often and will last for many years.

This also means that I haven’t been able to buy all these pieces at once.  I purchase maybe one piece a year or my husband will give me one for my birthday or mother’s day.  I am one of those women that is REALLY excited to receive a stockpot as a gift.  Truly, it’s what I like.  Why should I ask for pearls when I really want something for the kitchen?

Not all of my cookware is expensive or that high of a quality.  I have yet to splurge on really good non-stick, so I have pans that do the job but won’t last for many years.  A good non-stick 12-14 inch pan is on my list though (honey, I know you don’t read all my posts, but I really hope you are reading this one!).  I get points for subtlety.

Back to how I organize the pans.  I get points for segues too.

I found a metal rack that could be used to store files or bakeware, and I placed it on its side.  It fit perfectly snug inside my cabinet, so each skillet rests safely in separate slots.

Organizing all your pots and pans

Next to the skillets, I have smaller sauce pots since the skillets take up a lot of room.  Behind the sauce pots, I have a large stockpot and a steamer pot.

Items that are rarely used are always towards the back.  The most used items get the best real estate.

Organizing all your pots and pans

In the top shelf, I place medium-sized pots.  I stack the ones that are alike.  Towards the back, I keep larger, less used deep skillets and pots.

Organizing all your pots and pans

This is the largest cabinet in my kitchen and that’s why I chose it for this purpose.  In some of the smaller corner cabinets, I keep specialty pots like pressure cookers, rice cookers and slow cookers.  I label the shelf to remind me of the item behind the front pot, since it’s not visible.

Organizing all your pots and pans

The labeled shelf…

Organizing all your pots and pans

I do suggest that before organizing all your pots, you take them out of your cabinets and make sure they deserve the space that they are taking up.  Obviously, I am not a minimalist when it comes to the kitchen, but I don’t keep things that I don’t use.

At this point, if I did get another non-stick skillet, I would have to get rid of a skillet.  Otherwise, this cabinet would turn into stainless steel mess.  It already does when I don’t put things back where they go.  And by “I”, I totally mean my husband.  Sorry Babe.

Do you enjoy cooking too?  Do you also get excited when kitchen catalogs arrive in the email?  Tell me that I’m not alone!

You Might Also Like...

Makeup Drawer – Before and After

Organizing your makeup

Anyone up for some before and after pictures??

A while back I shared where and how I store my makeup.  You can find that post “HERE“.

A friend of mine has a huge bathroom…with a huge vanity…with a huge drawer to store all her glam!  Is green the color of envy?  I forget.

Well, she was nice enough to let me photograph her space and share with all of you.

Here you will see the before and after of the drawer.  It’s really not a bad before picture and most of us would consider it an after shot.  Here it is:

Make-up Before and After

All we did was purchase some clear containers that had more customized dividers.  That way everything has a home!

Doesn’t it look better already?

Make-up Before and After

And the makeup lived happily ever after…THE END.

Make-up Before and After

Well not really…not until I say goodbye and ask you how you store your makeup.

Please share and as always,

Happy Organizing!

Maria

You Might Also Like...

Organizing your Car

The day you get your minivan.  The day that elation and depression collide.  A mixture of excitement and resignation.  Your chances of coolness have fled forever.

The thing is…they are SO darn practical that you knew it was a matter of time before you caved in.  You are a minivan owner.

So here she is…look at those clean lines…those curves…that exquisite paint job that screams…P-R-A-C-T-I-C-A-L-!!!!

Organizing Your Car

The truth is that I LOVE IT.  The storage that a minivan offers is unmatched.

How to keep it clean:  I try my very best to avoid eating in the car.  If we are in a time crunch or going on a longer trip we do it but we (we means only me) try to avoid it.  You have to be flexible with kids but I find that if I set the standard that we don’t eat in the car I end up having to clean up so much less.  Even with “the standard” I end up picking up a bowl of Cheerios from the backseat every two weeks.

Here is the interior.

Car Organization

I keep a box of wipes and an umbrella in the front.  The box of wipes fits on the floor in the very center and doesn’t move about because the umbrella keeps it put.

I basically don’t know what I did before baby wipes.  I don’t recall my life before them.  I am pretty sure I was miserable.

Car Organization

I put these hooks on the passenger seat to hold my purse while I drive.  I flip them towards the back when I need them to hold groceries.

I have spilled the contents of my bag so many times after breaking hard.  No more.  You can find the hook HERE if you want to try it out.

Organization

Here is my favorite feature of this minivan (Chrysler Town & Country).  The latch on the floor of the second row opens up and there is a world of storage under there.

Car Organization

On one side I keep a TON of grocery bags and a beach towel.   In the next picture you can see the full size of this storage space because here it is only half-open.

Car Organization

Here is the other side fully open.  Isn’t this space huge?!

There is a wagon full of toys, rain coats for the whole family, and large first aid kit under the tool kit (just in case I have to fully assemble my car roadside although I have AAA and a number of other roadside assistance programs).

Car Organization

Now the trunk.  I only keep a small stroller in there since my 2-year old rarely uses a stroller when we are out.

Car Organization

I line the bottom of the trunk with a blanket that I can wash if it gets dirty from a spill or dirt from when I buy plants.  If you ever need a blanket for the park, it’s there too.

Car Organization

On the side of the trunk I keep a roll of paper towel, cups, sunscreen and a bottle of water.  I realize that you shouldn’t drink water that has been sitting in a car getting hot but I like having one there just in case someone starts choking while they are assembling the car roadside.  Am I the only one that thinks of these things?

Don’t answer that.

Car Organization

So you have a minivan.  You now make a new commitment to yourself.  “I will never wear mom jeans.  The minivan is as low as I will go”

This gives you hope for the future.  You may still have a chance at being cool…when you are not driving, of course.

Share with me what else you store in your car.  Do you have a minivan?  Do you love it too?

Happy Organizing,

Maria

You Might Also Like...

How to Fold T-shirts

We are continuing the “how-to-fold” series and today we are folding t-shirts.

How to fold t-shirts

I fold all of our t-shirts in the way I am about to show you.  Today we will be focusing on men’s t-shirts.

Do drawers like this look familiar to you?

_MG_8802BLOG

I used to fold t-shirts this way and when my husband needed a shirt from the middle or bottom of the stack…the drawer looked like a category 5 storm had paid a visit.

The solution (and it really was a solution because its been years since I started the new folding method) was folding the t-shirts in fourths so that they all stand up in the drawer.

Here is how I fold a t-shirt.  I picked the most wrinkled one for the pictures.  I am smart like that.

_MG_8808BLOG

Then the other side.

_MG_8810BLOG

Then the bottom half.

_MG_8811BLOG

Up to this point we all pretty much fold the same.

The next step is what made all the difference.  Fold ONE more time.

_MG_8812BLOG

In this case we are folding a white t-shirt with no design.  If there were a design it would usually be visible after this last fold.  This helps if you have a lot of t-shirts and end up pulling out the wrong one.

Now here is a folding tool that I started using this year.  I.LOVE.IT.

_MG_8807BLOG

The one that I have is from the Container Store so you can find it there as well.  Right after I purchased it I found it for half the price on Amazon.  Apparently, I am smart like that too.

You can find it HERE.

It’s basically the same steps but the tool makes it go much faster and the lines are cleaner.  It helps to create a crisp fold like in the stores.  Minus the wrinkles.  No tool can help the wrinkles on this shirt.  Except an iron.  And I avoid those.

_MG_8814BLOG

Next side.

_MG_8815BLOG

Bottom.

_MG_8816BLOG

Not quite done.

_MG_8818BLOG

And then the last fold by hand so that you end up with fourths.

_MG_8819BLOG

And then do it another 127 times and fill up your drawers!

_MG_8826BLOG

Do the same for the under-shirts.

_MG_8827BLOG

I use the dividers above for some of my drawers.  You can find them HERE.

Some drawers I use no dividers at all like in the picture below.  My son benefits from the dividers but my husbands drawers do fine without them.

_MG_8736BLOG

This is one of my favorite organizing tips because it made such a difference in my home!  I also find that I can fit more shirts per drawer.

Just make sure that the shirts are not jammed in the drawer.  They should come out without much hassle.

Please share with me if you already do this or will you be re-doing some drawers this weekend?

Happy Organizing!

Maria

Organizing Your Purse

Here is my purse.  One of them.  Same story with you I’m sure.

Organize Your PURSE

Now inside my purse.

You will notice that I place all the items vertically.  I can easily see what is in there and easily pull out my wallet (not sure if that’s a good thing).

_MG_8790BLOG

Most women have more than one purse.  We usually rotate them and we do have a couple that are on the top of the rotation list.

I like this little purse.  However, it doesn’t have as many pockets as I would like.  Basically, no purse ever does.

So I purchased an inexpensive (as in under $5) little insert on Amazon.  You can find different colors HERE.

_MG_8798BLOG

Inside the insert I keep a diaper, a small wipes container, tissue, my wallet, a small bag that contains my sons epi-pen along with band-aids.

When I change purses I simply move the insert to the next purse.

Other contents in my purse are…

_MG_8795BLOG

A small bag that contains some makeup, breath mints (because I do care), a set of earrings and a bracelet.

I am notorious for leaving my home without jewelry on.  Then I freak out when I am already in the car but it’s too late to run back and accessorize.

I usually remember my earrings but you never know.  It’s good to know they are there just in case.

Makeup Bag

This is the BEST. IDEA. EVER.  I did this years ago and I absolutely love it.

My wallet used to be so thick with store reward cards.  I am a sucker for anything that gives me points and rewards.  It somehow eases the guilt of spending.  Knowing that after paying for 100 coffees at $5.00 a piece but I get a free muffin at the ends feels redemptive.  Go figure.

I hole-punched every single reward card and I put them into a key ring.  Voila!  No more cards stuffed in my wallet.  They are now easier to find too!

Reward Card Holder

Another clever product that I found at the container store was this key ring holder that grabs on to the side of your purse.

No more fishing for the keys in the bottom of the purse.

Key Holder

By the end of the week my purse gets a little messy with receipts but it is easy to tidy up with this system.

I try to throw away receipts as soon as I get home and place the ones that need to be filed in the office.  I also have a separate area of the purse insert where I keep current receipts that I may need for returns.

It also helps when changing purses that you empty the one you are storing.  Have you ever lost a receipt and had to pull out 4 purses and violently empty them onto your bed?  Be honest.  I have.

I hope you enjoyed this purse and that it inspires you to clean up your purse.  It’s an easy thing to do and you get immediate satisfaction!

Happy Organizing and please share with me your thoughts on organizing your purses!

Maria

You Might Also Like...

Organizing Perfume and Cologne

Perfume Organization

You already know that many of my organization ideas revolve around turntables.  Revolve…haha!

I need to learn to focus.

Well, this is no exception.  You may recall that I used turntables HERE in my linen closet and I use them in my kitchen as well.  I usually purchase white ones.  I added this stainless steel turntable to the Amazon store because I thought it was nicer for fancier items like perfumes.

{You can find the turntable HERE or in any home store that you frequent}

Here is the before picture.

_MG_8652BLOG

I love how the perfumes look on the turntable!  They are accessible and contained at the same time!

_MG_8656BLOG

Don’t leave the hubby out in the cold.  Lets work on his too!

_MG_8658BLOG

And here is the after.

_MG_8659BLOG

Simple idea but it really makes a difference!

Share with me where you store your perfume.  In the bathroom, closet or bedroom?

:-)

Maria

You Might Also Like...

Master Closet Organization

Master Closet Organization

Getting shelving installed in the master closets has been on the “honey-do-list” since we moved in 9 years ago.

In the meantime, I had a mix-matched “system” of shelves that were on clearance at some point and I tried to do the best with what I had.

Earlier this month, we finally gave ourselves the green light to move forward with my closet.  My husbands closet will wait a bit.

Here is a before picture.

Master Closet Organization

The shelves were dark and made the space look smaller and as you can see I didn’t have enough shelves for my things.  It was organized chaos.  Nothing “Graceful” going on in there!

Master Closet Organization

I got everything out of the closet.  The perfect opportunity to get rid of items that needed to be tossed or donated.  Needless to say my room was a mess for days.

Master Closet Organization

I knew I wanted to paint the closet walls since I had chosen white cabinetry.  My husband tried to “sell” me on the idea that we should leave it white.  He is smart and avoids having to pull out the big ladder.

I told him not to worry for one minute.  I would paint the closet all by myself.  ALL. BY. MYSELF.

So he helped me by patching up the holes in the closet, which were many.

Master Closet Organization

As soon as that dried, I happily embarked on my painting project!

The color that I chose was Behr’s Graceful Gray.  It really was my favorite gray and the name was a total coincidence!

Master Closet Organization

I have painted walls on my own before so I wasn’t at all intimidated.  I painted the bottom of the wall and then pulled out the ladder and started on the trim.

And then…I ran out of steam with two walls left.

So I did what any sensible woman with a good amount of self-respect does.   I walked into the kitchen and sighed (really loudly) for my husband to hear and he immediately turned around and said “are you done already?!”

And that’s when I whined…ALOT.  I am not above whining.

Master Closet Organization

And it worked.  He loves me.  That man loves me.

Master Closet Organization

I kept doing the trim but he helped me with the roller which was great because my arms were hurting so much!  So we were done in no time.

We just waited until the next morning when the cabinetry was scheduled to be installed.  I couldn’t wait!

Master Closet Organization

I was so happy to see it come together!

Master Closet Organization

I left a big space on top of the small dresser (from IKEA that we had previously to the install) so that I could add a big mirror and bring a little charm to the closet!

The dresser looked like part of the cabinetry that had just been installed.  I was so happy that it was a perfect match!

Master Closet Organization

I found this little tray for rings and I thought it was perfect.

Master Closet Organization

And it looked great alongside the little plant from IKEA.

Master Closet Organization

Time to add the clothing!

Master Closet Organization

I added them in a color coordinated manner which is how I had the closet before.  It takes a while to do initially but it makes the closet look so much better and its easier to find what you need.

All my hangers are from Crate and Barrel.  I am not a fan of felt hangers.  I prefer smooth hangers so that clothing slides off easily.  These are slim, plastic and really inexpensive.

Master Closet Organization

Shoes that were rarely worn I placed in these boxes from Target.  They are from the Threshold line.

Master Closet Organization

The rest of my shoes are in the very center of the closet.

Master Closet Organization

I did have to get rid of some of my shoes in order for them to fit but it pushed me to purge items that had been taking up space in my closet for years!

Am I the only one whose feet have grown after having kids?  I used to be a size 7 and now I am a 7 1/2.

Master Closet Organization

I wanted a chair or a bench to sit on while I put on my shoes and this one was large and small enough for the space.  Also, it is extremely light-weight and easy to move about.

Master Closet Organization

In the top I have a couple of bins.  I labeled the shelf instead of the bin.

Master Closet Organization

One has belts.

Master Closet Organization

Small scarves or fabric belts.

Master Closet Organization

My purses also have their own spot.

Master Closet Organization

I folded over some of them in order to fit more per shelf.

Master Closet Organization

I now have a belt rack attached to the cabinet.

Master Closet Organization

This frame was definitely the finishing touch.  I had it for years tucked away behind a couch and I spray painted the frame to match the rest of the closet.

The quote says “One shoe can change your life” by Cinderella.  Shakespeare didn’t have any shoe quotes.

Master Closet Organization

In the other end of the closet, I put away boots, chunky scarves…and other things that Miamians buy just for looks.  :-)

Master Closet Organization

That’s the closet!  I am so happy with it!  I waited to have it for so long and now I am that much more appreciative for it!

My husbands closet is next.

I think he should leave it white.

So what do you all think?  Share with me your thoughts on the master closet…

Happy Organizing,

Maria

Narrow Linen Closet Organization

Can you handle one more linen closet?  It’s my third post on linen closets and I probably won’t be doing one for a while.  I will define “while” at a later date.

_MG_8391BLOGCOVER

I really love to look at organized linen closets.  You can find the other two posts on linen closets {here} and {here} if you missed them.

Remember a while back I shared with you all that I was working on organizing a beautiful home and will be working on that home for quite a while.  I also will have to define “while” at a later date.  This home is huge!  Probably 3 times the size of mine so I will be working on it for a long time.

Well, I already shared with you the finished pantry at this home.  You can find it {here} if you missed it.  Last week I worked on a narrow but very tall linen closet that is adjacent to their laundry room.

Here is the before picture.  Actually, I had already removed many things before I realized I didn’t take a picture.

_MG_8332BLOG

I used two types of baskets to organize this closet.  This is one of the baskets.  It is from the Threshold brand at Target and I love almost everything that brand puts on the shelf!  These baskets come in different sizes.  Aren’t they beautiful?

_MG_8333BLOG

The other baskets are the BENTO boxes which you know I use quite a bit in my home as well.  They are great for corralling smaller items.

_MG_8335BLOG

In the baskets without dividers I placed light bulbs.

_MG_8341BLOG

Surge protectors, flashlights and extra outlets.

_MG_8340BLOG

In the baskets with the built-in dividers I  placed batteries.

_MG_8339BLOG

Medicines.  One for children’s and one for adults.

_MG_8363BLOG

In the very top I put the largest size baskets.  One is full of rain coats and the other travel gear for the kids.

_MG_8390BLOG

Here are all the smaller baskets back in the closet.

_MG_8389BLOG

And the rest of the other boxes that hold band-aids and sunscreen.

_MG_8391BLOG

Here is the after shot!

_MG_8387BLOG

Side to side for drama.  I’m all about the drama!

_MG_8332BLOG      _MG_8387BLOG

I like sharing different ideas of items that you can store inside linen closets besides the obvious.

As always, I look forward to hearing from you so please share your ideas as well!

Happy Organizing!

Maria

Organizing under the Kitchen Sink

Everything but the kitchen sink.  That’s my motto for organizing under the kitchen sink.  As you already know, I do not keep any cleaning products under the sinks to avoid my curious toddler from spraying his face with a cleaner.  Although I am purchasing green cleaners, they aren’t exactly supposed to be gargled so I still try to keep them away from his reach.

So this is what my cabinet looks like.  In order to photograph the items that were tucked away, I took them out of the cabinet to give you a closer look.

_MG_8438BLOG

I am using every inch of space.  In the very back I have a ceramic crock that holds all my sieves and giant spatulas.  They used to be in my drawers taking up premium space but they were seldom used and so cumbersome!

I use all those sieves for different purposes, some for straining stock and others for sifting flour.  The point is, I need them all.  I just don’t need them often.  The crock was a good solution.

_MG_8453BLOG

All my cutting boards are placed inside a tiered file holder that is meant for office use.  I love how I can see them all and they are easy to pull out since they are separated by the built-in dividers.

You probably already have one of these that you are not using lying around the house.

_MG_8451BLOG

I tuck the boards into the very edge of the cabinet.

_MG_8458BLOG

On one side of the cabinet I have a pull-out plastic drawer that is full of kitchen towels, aprons, garbage bags and small zipper bags.

_MG_8454BLOG

On the other side of the cabinet (right under the garbage disposal) is a wire divider that I use to place all my glass food containers.  I switched to glass years ago to avoid having to worry about all the chemicals that were possibly inside some of the plastic ones.  I still don’t mind plastic for food items that don’t get heated up.

In the very back are really large bowls which I rarely use and in the front are all the frequently used containers.  The dishwasher is right next to this cabinet so they are easy to put away.

_MG_8460BLOG

On one door I have extra grocery bags.  I have 4 reusable grocery bags in the car.  I sometimes remember that I have them when I am in the store with a full cart on my way to checkout.  I’m pretty good about it but I still need to work on that habit.

_MG_8455BLOG

On the other door I have an organizer that holds foil, parchment, plastic wrap and large zipper bags.

_MG_8439BLOG

That’s it!  I couldn’t fit anything else under there!  I hope I gave you some ideas.

I look forward to you sharing with me what items are under your kitchen sink…

Until next time,

Happy Organizing! 

You Might Also Like...

Linen Closet Organization

You may remember that I recently released a post on the { linen closet } that I have in my master bathroom.  You may also remember that there are no linens in that closet.  The irony.

I also have another linen closet that is extremely narrow and is bookended between my sons room and the boys bathroom.  I need every bit of space in that closet to store not only linens but also items that don’t fit under the bathroom sinks.  Here is the closet.

_MG_8248BLOG

Since the closet is narrow I pulled out all the baskets so that I can share with you the contents.  Also, the lighting in this corner of the house is horrible so I took most of the pictures in my bathroom.  My bathroom has 3 windows so the lighting is amazing for photography AND for seeing every single hair that falls on the floor.  Every strand of hair that falls on that floor looks like a garter snake…perfect lighting will do that!  Since I love well-lit rooms, I have a broom nearby!

Here are the baskets that I use for corralling the items the linen closet.  They are Rubbermaid Bento boxes and can be found at Target.  I like that they have pop out dividers so small items don’t move about.  I chose to mix the khaki pattern with the solid Khaki.  These are the medium and large sizes.  There is also an extra-large size but it was too large for my closet; maybe it would work in yours.

_MG_8094BLOG

I used one of the boxes to put all of our band aids.

_MG_8067BLOG

In the smaller pop-out dividers I placed the ointments and smaller items.  In doing so I realized that I will never run out of Neosporin.

_MG_8069BLOG

I used the larger box for other first aid items such as bottles of peroxide, rubbing alcohol, sprays and gauze.

_MG_8068BLOG

Here it is full.

_MG_8072BLOG

One box holds all the sunscreen and insect repellant.

_MG_8108BLOG

I chose a plastic container for bubbles and sidewalk chalk.  These items would make a mess inside a fabric box.  These are the ITSO bins from Target.

_MG_8103BLOG

_MG_8106BLOG

In the very top of the closet I store water toys that I use in the backyard.  The other water toys I keep with the {beach bag}.

_MG_8111BLOG

In every closet that is nearby a bathroom I like to have a cleaning caddy.  This one holds some of my favorite cleaners and favorite brands.

_MG_8085BLOG

Here are the items back inside the closet.

LINEN CLOSET ORGANIZATION

Linens, of course.

_MG_8203BLOG

I added cute labels to the baskets and I secured them with square clips.  I am attaching this free printable in pdf format for all of you.  Click HERE for the printable.  I left the labels blank so you can either write on the labels or use a label maker to print the tag.  I had my labels laminated to make them sturdier.

_MG_8230BLOG

In the very bottom of the closet I used a large bento box for my son’s school supplies.  The only thing that would make it more perfect would be adding small wheels to the bottom of the basket.  That would make cleaning the floor underneath easier.  I will add that to the honey-do list.

_MG_8102BLOG

Please share with me what you currently have inside your linen closet.  Do you only store linens in there or a bunch of stuff like me?

Happy Organizing!

Maria

Laundry Room Organization

_MG_7927BLOG COVER

I love looking at organized laundry rooms in magazines and commercials.  I’m not sure if it’s the fresh white towels, the clean scented sheets, or the little girl running through the wheat field with her hair flowing.  In those adds, all that is stored in the laundry room is a lonely bottle of detergent and two perfectly folded white towels.  As organized as I am, I can never get my laundry closet to look that neat and if that little girl saw all the stuff I pack in my closet…she would surely keep running…in the opposite direction.

My excuse: I don’t have a laundry room, I have a laundry closet.  My goal is to make it look good so that doing laundry doesn’t feel like such a chore, but the closet is definitely packed!  I have so many things in there and it can be a challenge to make it look uber neat.  So here is my laundry closet…

_MG_7938BLOG

Here it is open.  The other door leads to the garage.

_MG_7946BLOG

Since its a closet in a small hallway, I had to take pictures in segments so that I can share with you what I keep in there.  Here is one side.

_MG_7947BLOG

And the other.

_MG_7950BLOG

Now a little more detail…

I like to leave some room on top of the washer and dryer to fold items right as they come out of the dryer.  On top of the dryer I have stain removal powder, a Martha Stewart book that shows you how to clean anything and everything, a white tin that contains towels, and a little IKEA plant for no purpose other than cuteness. :-)

_MG_7884BLOG

I purchased the little mint jar from WorldMarket.com and it holds oxy powder.  I use a “green” version of the powder.  The jar is intended for kitchen use but I love how it looks in here and it adds charm to the space.  I added the chalkboard label to the outside and wrote the contents in chalk.

_MG_7881BLOG

Next to it is the LAUNDRY tin, which actually hides all those ugly looking floor rags that we all have.  They seem to get uglier with every wash so I wanted them hidden, yet easily accessible since they get used daily.

_MG_7927BLOG

Right above is a small shelf that holds my detergent and fabric softener.  Shaklee and Method products are my favorite since my goal is to slowly-but-surely go green in terms of nutrition and home care.

_MG_7936BLOG

In the first shelf I have these containers that I purchased at Walmart and they hold all the cleaning rags.  Again, I want them handy but hidden.

_MG_7919BLOG _MG_7920BLOG

Next to the small bins, I have all my cleaning products separated by brand or function.  I like that these bins are long and I can just pull them out and easily get what is in the very back.

_MG_7932BLOG

On the other side of the laundry room I have two large wire baskets (from Target).  One holds miscellaneous laundry related products…

_MG_7894BLOG

The other one holds cleaning products.  TIP:  Since the second basket is not at eye-level, I decided to label the spray nozzles with the contents of the bottle.  That way I know what bottle I am pulling out.  Since I always purchase the same brand of cleaners I can just keep using the same labeled nozzle.

_MG_7898BLOG

I hooked this little basket to the back of the wire rack and I keep all my new sponges in there.  I really don’t have a place for them in the kitchen and my laundry closet is close to the kitchen, so it works for me.

_MG_7934BLOG

In the very side, up against the wall (where it’s hardly visible because it is below the washing machine) I have a tiny garbage can where I throw all the dryer lint.  Above it I have a little pail that I throw pocket change into.  I also have a hook that holds a basket full of “clean-and-single-and-looking-for-a-mate” socks.

_MG_7911BLOG  _MG_7908BLOG

At the very top I have three large laundry baskets.  The area above is large but not easy to access so these baskets hold: gallons of water for hurricane preparedness, empty containers that I have for future projects (blame Pinterest), and one of them is empty just in case I need it for something around the house.

_MG_7916BLOG

I use foldable laundry baskets and I just place them in between the washer and dryer.  The machines are so close together that the baskets stay in place.

_MG_7960BLOG

I promise I am almost done but I have one more tip!  I place a valet hook on the outside of the door.  I use it to hang-dry items or to hang shirts while I fold the rest of the laundry so that they don’t wrinkle.  I like this hook because it is long enough to keep moisture away from the door if I hang dry a shirt.

I purchased it on Amazon and you can find it “here”.

_MG_7966BLOG

That’s it!  Lots of items in a very small space can make it challenging to keep tidy, but its not impossible with the use of containers.  Of course, its not the laundry room in the commercials but this is real life and we need to be realistic with our expectations.  However, by mixing practicality and a dash of decor and you will create a laundry closet that you are proud of.  And now the little girl can run through the wheat field once more!

So now its your turn.  Will you be implementing some of these ideas in your laundry room or can you share with me some of your own?

Happy Organizing!

Maria   

Makeup Organization

I don’t wear a lot of makeup.  I just don’t have the patience for it.  However, I can alphabetize 200 CD’s no matter how long it takes.  I guess we are all built differently!  I do appreciate seeing my friends who know how to apply a perfect amount of makeup and still look natural.

Don’t you hate it when you look amazing in your bathroom mirror and then you get in the car and you look like Bozo in the car mirror?  What is it with the car mirror?!  Or is it the bathroom mirror?!  Who is the real culprit?

Like I said, I don’t always put on a full face of makeup but I like having the right tools when I do.  I like to see my makeup.

_MG_7829BLOG

I purchased this large acrylic organizer at Target about five years ago.  They still have it in the section where they have all the cosmetic bags.  I place all the single shadows here so that I can see all the colors without shuffling through a bag.  In the large vertical spaces I store lip glosses and eye pencils.  I like that I can see them all at a quick glance.

_MG_7813BLOG

The eye shadow sets are stored together and vertically.  It makes it easier to pull them out, use them and put them back in their spot.

_MG_7816BLOG

Foundations and primers have their own zip code as well.  I picked up that little clear container at the Target dollar section.  Sometimes I cant find anything in that little section and sometimes its full of gems.

_MG_7850BLOG

Lastly, the brushes.  I love those beads that they use at the top cosmetic stores so I decided to house my brushes in a similar way.  It turns out they sell those beads in most craft stores.  I used an acrylic pencil cup to contain the larger brushes.

_MG_7853BLOG

The smaller brushes along with other makeup essentials are in this slim container.  I also used the beads in the larger compartment.

_MG_7851BLOG

So that’s it!  I once read that it is better to arrive late than to arrive ugly.  It was a funny statement.  It still doesn’t keep me from sometimes leaving the house looking like one of the people who appear in the “People from WalMart” photo stream.  Have you seen those?  They are pretty funny.  On the rare occasion that I go out looking that rough, I pray that I don’t run into someone who I haven’t seen in years.  What are you supposed to say them?  “I assure you that I normally look human.  I just had to run out of the house to get milk!”

So ladies, let’s put on a little rouge, a little color on our face and go out into the world (or in my case, WalMart) with confidence.

Happy Organizing!

Maria 

You Might Also Like...