Tag Archives: storage

Accessories Storage Tray + An Inspirational Weight Loss Story

Happy Monday! I hope you had a fabulous weekend. I know I did.

Today, I’m going to talk more in depth about a quick decorating/organizing fix that I used in my master bedroom. (I hinted at it here and here.)

But first I wanted to share one more story with you that ties in with last week’s You Can Do It theme.

I don’t typically post about weight loss (other than to compare it to the self-control required to become neater), but I received an email from Kim from Snug Harbor Bay and wanted to share her son’s story with you. Kim’s son, Tony, struggled with obesity as a teenager and went through a remarkable transformation between his junior and senior years, losing 80 pounds and gaining a significant amount of muscle mass in the process. His outlook on life improved, he was happier, and he began living life to the fullest.

Here’s Tony, before and after:

Can you believe it? You can see from Kim’s huge grin that she’s incredibly proud of her son. His secret was working out an hour and a half each day after school, incorporating weight training and focusing on good nutrition.

According to Kim, “[a]t first his diet consisted of cutting out ALL junk food like candy, cookies, chips, coke and fast food. He mainly ate fruit for breakfast, small lunch of a peanut butter and jelly sandwich and dinner was pasta, steak, chicken or pork chops.” He conquered junk food cravings by eating an apple instead any time he wanted to snack. Apparently, he ate A LOT of apples.

His dedication paid off; by his senior prom he was a changed young man.

If you’d like to read more about Tony’s transformation, check out Kim’s blog post, “A Life Changing Experience.” Tony is now going to college and is focusing on a career in nutrition and fitness, with a specific emphasis on overweight children, although he wants to help adults as well. He is also blogging to inspire others to lose weight and enjoy a healthier lifestyle. To follow Tony’s ongoing tips as he maintains his physical fitness level and weight, go to his blog, Tony’s Nutrition and Fitness Tips.

Congratulations, Tony! What a wonderful story of perseverance and accomplishment.

And now … the quick fix I promised.

While I was taking photographs of our master bedroom for the Home Tour Tuesday I posted a couple of weeks ago, I realized that I had quite a few bracelets, rings, and various accessories that were just sitting on my dresser, making it look messier. I didn’t know what to do with them. I wanted to find a way to make them easy to access and, at the same time, incorporate them into my decorating theme. I have a lot of white accents in our bedroom (they pop so well against the dark gray-blue walls), so I really wanted something white to jazz up that dresser. What could I do, without spending more money?

Then a light bulb went off. Aha! I could repurpose something I already owned!

I left my bedroom, went straight to the kitchen, and came back with a white ceramic serving tray from Bed, Bath, and Beyond. We had gotten it as a wedding present two years ago and it has been used at several parties since then. I love its simple lines and it is great for serving cheese and crackers.

And also, apparently, for displaying jewelry and accessories! Who knew? I love how my sunglasses look so special sitting on that white tray, even though I bought them at Marshalls for only about $9 each. To add even more repurposed storage, I also grabbed a white ceramic ramekin to hold my loose rings. I then added a sweet little crocheted heart from Megan E Sass, just for a bit of charm and whimsy. (Why, yes, that adorable headband is from her, as well. It fits so neatly in that third divided compartment on the tray.)

Let me tell you, now that I have a special place for them, I like to keep them there when I’m not using them. I used to toss my glasses on any available horizontal surface, but now I put them back in “their spot.”

It is so good when objects have a home.

How about you? Do you have a repurposed item in your home that does double duty? What turned on the lightbulb in your mind? Do tell!

p.s. Guess what! While my friends were so kind to share their guest blog posts last week, I sneaked off to soak up some rays in the Caribbean! Now that I’m back home, I’ll be sharing some organized travel and packing tips (and vacation photos) soon. :)

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Filed under Balance, Budget Decor, Containers, Life, Organizing, Storage

Necklace Display Case

I discovered this nifty necklace display case at either T.J.Maxx or Marshalls a few months ago, just after we had moved into our new home. For around $15, it was truly worth the ease of taking it home and displaying my collection of necklaces. I had been pinning DIY jewelry storage ideas on Pinterest, but I was relieved have a quick and simple solution so my necklaces would not be tangled in a drawer somewhere anymore!

The display case is painted a light ivory color, has a glass “window” door on hinges, and contains a linen background with ivory pegs for hanging necklaces. It even has hooks to hang it from the wall, which I intend to use at some point, but for now I’m letting it reside on my dresser.

You could probably DIY something very similar with a shadow box, spray paint, a plate of glass and wooden frame, hinges, and small wooden pegs. I was happy to find a ready-made solution, but think of the ways you could adapt something like this to your own style and desired dimensions!

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Filed under Collections, Organizing, Storage

Our New Dog Food Storage Bucket

Daniel and I were enjoying a night out, browsing shops, being goofy, and we ran into this beauty. For about $12, it was ours. I’ve been storing my dog food, bag and all, in a plastic trash bin, or just on my laundry room floor and have been wanting a better solution for some time.

There’s a couple problems with the bucket, but they are minor. First, I’ve been using a paper cup for a long time now and I like the one-scoop-and-go method; this scoop requires a few more than that. Second, I’m not sure where to put the it. The counter top is a little bit too far away from my dog’s dishes to be really convenient. I’m thinking I’m just going to make room for it in the laundry room where I’m used to the big bag being kept, and then get a bigger scoop.

I love it when I find attractive solutions to everyday storage problems!

p.s. I’ve announced the winner of the Organize Now! book and At-a-Glance Organizer on the giveaway post. I’m excited to be sending the books out soon!

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Filed under Storage

5 Steps to Get Organized in 2012: Before You Buy Organizers, Know What You Need

Today is the final day of this series! I hope that you have gleaned some nugget of truth along the way that will be useful to you in your home. We’ve already talked about Being Intentional With the Process, Making Specific Goals, Sorting the Major Areas You Use FIRST, and Not Getting Distracted by Details. Today we’re going to go a step further and discuss the importance of knowing what you need before buying those cool, snazzy organizers that are being promoted in every major home store these days (they aren’t dumb. They know how many people make home organization a resolution this time of year!)

I have to say, this particular post resonates with me because as that girl who liked to organize but hated to clean and sort to get the organized state, I went through cycles of binging on pretty, neat plastic tubs, bins, shelves, and anything else that caught my eye. I was operating under the mistaken delusion that more containers meant quicker organizing.

So here’s what would normally happen: I’d buy clear plastic shoeboxes with the newest hip shade of lid, a couple of big totes, and maybe some baskets for good measure. I’d bring them home, take them out and admire them, start putting stuff in them, and I’d eventually get stuck. My sorting method would leave too few or too many containers remaining. Or they wouldn’t fit under my bed or on the top shelf in my closet. Or they’d be cheap and fall apart within weeks. Or … something. But you get the picture.

Then there was the problem that I’d inevitably lose track of which tub or shoe box held the particular item I would look for months later, so I’d tear them all apart until I found it.

So, please, spare yourself that agony …

Step 5: Before you buy organizers, know what you need.

This might make you cringe, but live with your stuff for awhile before you make that next shopping trip to Target or The Container Store.

The beauty of organizing your home is that you don’t have to be confined to a particular method of cleaning, sorting, or decluttering if it doesn’t work for you. I like to keep my toothbrushes in my bathroom in an open mason jar. You might prefer a classier holder. I keep memorabilia in clear plastic bins, you might prefer baskets. I have the majority of my craft supplies in cubbies and fabric drawers in our garage, you might be horrified by that idea and choose a snazzy wardrobe (cast off from the big tv days) to house your crafts.

So, basically, if I was to give you a list of all the best things to buy to get your home organized, they wouldn’t necessarily work for you and you’d be stuck with even more “organizational” clutter than before.

My suggestion is simple; take a few days or even weeks or months to really get the feel for how you use your home. Not how you wish you used your home, but how you really, truly use it. Pay attention to where you put items out of habit when you are done using them. Notice where you wished you had a shelf, or a container. Gather all of like items with like (wooden spoons with the wooden spoons in the kitchen, printer paper with the printer, dirty colored clothing with other dirty colored clothing) and note how much room is needed to hold all the like items.

Once you have a good handle on this, take things a step further and break out your measuring tape. Measure the space available–height, width, depth–in the areas you need containers. Write the measurements down in a place you will be able to find them again (for me, this was a notebook I kept in my purse). Take the measurements with you to the store. You’ll be glad you did. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve broken this little rule and ended up making a second or third trip back to The Container Store to find something the actually fit. Shame on me!

Now, what kind of look do you want with the container you purchase? If it is for the wooden kitchen spoons, simply putting them in the same kitchen drawer by the stove might suffice and save you some money. But if your drawers are all full, or if you want them even more accessible, a pottery pitcher or a plastic lazy susan with upright dividers might be better. For your closet, matching baskets or sturdy fabric-covered boxes would add a certain polished look. In the office, a simple plastic drawer unit or lidded paper boxes would be appropriate for printer paper. Just make sure the item you buy matches your aesthetic, your space available, and your budget.

Speaking of budget, storage isn’t cheap. Even shopping at Wal-Mart, you’ll still run into sticker shock. I’ve had to deal with this by purchasing a few here and there and making do in the meantime. Sometimes making do for us means not having a drawer divider in a kitchen drawer for awhile, or swallowing pride and accepting to use an ugly boring plastic tub I have on hand, or even focusing on updating one area at a time to aesthetically pleasing storage and re-using the uglier storage from the updated locations in other, less visible locations. In fact, I have one plain brown collapsible fabric “drawer,” (first spotted in our old master bedroom closet, then in our laundry room storage area later) that has made its way around my house and is currently residing under the kitchen sink with all my cleaners.

So, before you go out and buy organizers and containers, make sure you know exactly what you need. Save up, take your time, and measure twice.

And that completes our 5 Steps to Get Organized in 2012 series! If you are just getting started reading and would like to learn more, links to the complete series are in order below. I hope you’ll also take a moment to subscribe to Behind Closed Drawers by email or RSS feed, both located at the top right-hand corner of the page. The one-year anniversary of this blog is coming up, and I have big things planned to celebrate!

5 Steps to Get Organized in 2012

  1. Be Intentional With the Process
  2. Make Specific Goals
  3. Sort the Major Areas You Use FIRST
  4. Don’t Get Distracted by Details
  5. Before You Buy Organizers, Know What You Need

Happy Organizing,

Andrea

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Filed under Budget, Organizing, Storage

Moving on Up!

Now that the downstairs is (mostly) set up, I’ve moved on to the upstairs. The office renovation is nearing its last steps; it is time to tackle the chaos of the guest bedroom.

Now, if I was normal (ha!) this would be the place we put a bed and a nightstand and a trunk full of extra blankets and linens, and it would all be so pretty.

I’m not normal.

So while, yes, we have left room for a bed/air mattress for future guests, I’ve decided I need space to store all the vintage goodies for my Etsy shop, Creative Salvage. So onward and upward, movin’ on up … all of my stash is going to be moved to Spare ‘Oom, as C.S. Lewis would say.

The problem is, what will I put it all on to keep it safe? I thought about this for some time. With a near-zero budget (I’m boot-strapping my itty bitty biz  for sure), I had to get creative. So, I stole some shelving from the garage and a tower of plastic drawers from our office (Daniel will never notice they’re gone. Shh. Don’t tell.) I also have an empty vintage metal cabinet I’ll snag. I’m kicking our luggage out of the closet. It will go … um … in the attic? Somewhere. And I’ll set up an inventory area and packing/shipping area. Hopefully, it will all fit.

I’m determined to have my business organized, both for our sanity and for better customer service.

And then I’m going shopping for more stock to fill the shelves and make my efforts worthwhile. Hey, it’s as good as an excuse as any.

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Filed under Bedroom, Cleaning, Closet, Organizing, Storage

Chalk Board Canister Labels

I discovered a wonderful thing at World Market today. Chalk board labels. No painting! No mess! I was so excited I didn’t hesitate to pick up a pack for $3.99 + tax. Sold.

I had seen similar chalk board ideas on blogs and Pinterest and Etsy. I kept tucking them away for future reference, and I vaguely recall seeing one astonished blogger excited about labels, but until today I hadn’t seen them for myself. They are so easy to use, and since I messed up several times while writing on them, I can vouch that they rinse off easily. Just a little water wiped across the label and a dab with a towel to dry and you can re-write over them. I hope this means rinsing out the canisters for new items will be just as easy.

I’m sure you can use these in 101 other ways than I did, but I placed them on glass canisters we got as a wedding present.

Voila!

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Filed under Containers, DIY, Kitchen, Organizing, Shopping, Storage

Storage Above the Washer and Dryer

Now that I have a place to fold the laundry, I was inspired to clean out above the washer and dryer to continue the progress.  They are two closet areas that have been bothering me for quite some time now.

When we moved into our house last June, my main focus was to get in, get comfortable, and get in shape. I began running to train for a 5k Daniel and I ran in October. We ran it , then a month later hosted an open house party (useful tip: nothing like a party to whip your lazy cluttered butt into shape and get a house clean!). Then the holidays hit …

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Filed under Dining Room, Laundry, Storage