Category Archives: Containers

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. 🙂


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

Athletic Gear Storage in the Coat Closet

When I began cleaning and organizing our third bedroom/storage room, I ran into the problem of where to put all of our athletic gear. Since I keep my Creative Salvage stock in the closet of that bedroom, the gear couldn’t go there. Since I store boxes to ship my Creative Salvage items in our attic, the gear couldn’t go there. Since our garage can’t hold much more storage without becoming unusable for its main purpose (riding mower parking), the gear couldn’t go there. Since we are protecting our master bedroom closet to keep it for clothing and shoes and extra comforter storage only, the gear couldn’t go there.

So I put it in the only remaining closet I had available: our coat closet. At first I balked at this idea. After all, I liked being able to keep board games there, along with our coats. It seemed like a good idea, because it is close to our living room and therefore accessible at a moment’s notice. However, the athletic gear won out, and the few board games were designated to another storage area.

In the future, I plan to dress this closet up a bit and put matching organizers in it, including a storage shelf to go on the closet floor to add more storage and keep things off the floor itself. Until then, this is what I came up with:

… and ta-da! …

There was only one blooper I came across while in the middle of the process; our medicine ball wouldn’t fit, no matter how hard I tried to squeeze it in. *sigh* I’ll have to figure out where else to put it. Right now, it’s keeping Grandpa Mo (our ancient riding lawn mower) company.

(Hello, Grandpa Mo)

Where do you keep all your athletic gear? I’d love to hear other ideas!

Sorry I’ve been posting later than usual, lately. It’s been a crazy week! I hope you come back tomorrow, when I’m making an announcement about a new guest blog series that will begin soon!


Filed under Cleaning, Closet, Containers, Organizing, Sorting, Storage

It’s Raining, It’s Pouring

{Image: D. Sharon Pruitt; typsetting by me}

All day on Tuesday it rained. It rained over the weekend. It’s just been very rainy and crazy in general lately. My headaches have come and gone with each new front, and the temperatures have gone up and down.

I had to make a Staples run yesterday afternoon to stock up on some mailing supplies for Creative Salvage and decided to go out at the very worst time of day possible. I made a dash for that store, let me tell ya!

I didn’t get much done in the house, although Daniel did put on an episode of Hoarders: Buried Alive right after dinner and within 15 minutes I was digging old leftovers out of our fridge in disgust. He really hates dealing with leftovers we’ve forgotten about, so I have kept promising I’ll take care of it … as soon as I’m finished shipping this item, or writing this blog post, or cleaning the living room. Well, tonight I finally got around to it, and all it took was those first 15 minutes of Hoarders. I was so scared by what I saw on TV that I rushed to my refrigerator and began frantically searching labels for anything past its expiration date. I’m telling you, that show is a kick in the pants. It’s a sure-fire way to motivate me, any day.

And they say television is bad for you.

In other news, despite the dreary rainy week, I have gotten back into listing new items in my shop, including these very sunshine-y vintage tin canisters that would be just perfect for using to organize small items. I picture them being displayed on a shelf as a pop of color and a handy disguise for pens and pencils, art supplies, or what-have-you.

They’re bright enough to push away the gloom of rainy day, dontcha think?

Ahh, winter in Tennessee. You’re never sure what you’re going to get. In February of last year, we were fighting off Snowpocalypse. This year, we’re practically swimming in non-frozen precipitation!

Have a safe, warm, and dry day, y’all!

p.s. Just one more day left to enter my giveaway. Have entered yet? You could win an Organize Now! book and an At-a-Glance Daily Planner!


Filed under Containers, Creative Salvage, Life

Container Store Shopping Trip

My good friend, Joy, and I drove to Green Hills this afternoon to attend the Grand Opening of the The Container Store in Nashville. We were so excited; it was like early Christmas for us organization freaks. I can’t express how much I love that she and I are kindred spirits in our sense of style and appreciation of all things organizational. We wandered the store for hours, dodging the masses of people and drooling over all the shelving, kitchen stuff, office supplies, and yes, containers.

Here’s a shot of a dreamy closet I wish was mine:

Of course, we didn’t come home empty-handed. In fact, after a brief tour and demonstration of their Elfa system closet organizers, she won a $25 Elfa System gift card … and then GAVE IT TO ME. Just because she knew I could use it. Have I mentioned that I love this lady? I bought this sliding drawer system for one of our kitchen cupboards to hold cutting boards and tall kitchen-y things. Thank you, Joy. You rock.

I also bought an under-shelf hanging organizer to help with our dishes and a pot lid holder. I’m going back with Daniel soon (his birthday request. Why yes, we are pretty geeky like that), so I’m sure we’ll get more loot.

In closing, here’s a parting shot of an item I find especially appealing. My hatred of cable mess is well known to my husband. (He regularly hears me say, “I see cables! Please hide them!) So he was amused to receive this picture in text message while we shopped. Hint hint.

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Filed under Containers, Home Improvement, Kitchen, Organizing, Shopping, 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.


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

Hallelujah! Nashville’s Container Store Opens This November

Welcome to Nashville, The Container Store! I and other organization lovers in the mid-state region are excited to have a Mecca to go to for our supplies. You better believe I’ll be shopping there very, very soon.

November 5th or 6th, here I come.

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Filed under Containers, Organizing, Shopping

The Light at the End of the Tunnel

Cheekwood Botanical Gardens, Nashville, TN

How was your Memorial Day weekend? Ours was hot and muggy and filled with good friends and many memory making opportunities. It began when my brother and a friend of his stopped by for the weekend, staying for a Saturday filled with movies in our living room. We made up for our sedentary day by walking in Edwin Warner State Park after church (dodging cicadas as we went) and then doing some more walking on Memorial Day when we took advantage of a free day at Cheekwood Botanical Gardens (again dodging cicadas as we went!). Monday evening we played host and hostess to a small dinner at our house with another couple (Daniel made his best and tastiest hibachi imitation. YUM.)

All the guests to our house and cleaning we did to make sure they would feel comfortable and welcome made us realize something A. MAZE. ING.

We’re almost there.

I thought it would take a year, and at the rate things have slowed down to, it probably still will, but honest-to-goodness, we’re really close to our desired maintenance mode. Shocking, I know.

Here’s what I still need to do:

  1. Sort the papers. Yikes. My nemesis. Paper. Once that is done, though, we’ll have an almost completely organized office. All that we’ll have to do is …
  2. Sort the craft and art supplies. I love my craft stuff. I’ve spent hours and many dollars acquiring all the supplies I need to do the projects I’ve dreamed up. Only one problem: I haven’t done them yet. So, after a year of trying to cram them into our limited space, I’ve come to the realization I need to find a good adoptive home for them. (If you live in the Nashville area and are interested in taking them, please drop me a line. I’d love for them to get put to good use instead of being donated to Goodwill or thrown out!)
  3. Buy some fabric storage containers for my grandmother’s china.
  4. Sort the rest of the kitchen cupboards and drawers.
  5. Sort the guest bathroom under-the-sink-area.
  6. Buy a deck box to put all our random outdoorsy tools in.
  7. Possibly add some pegboard hooks to put in our shed and organize tools that we keep in there.

And that’s it. Seven little things and we’ll be functionally organized! Sure, there’s a few odds and ends along the way, but those are the major things that keep me from truly knowing where everything is in our house.

I’m so happy to be truly living in our home now. We even have the ability to goof off and just watch tv if we so choose (we so chose this evening, in fact.)

I hope your organization goals are coming along nicely, as well.

Happy Organizing!


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Filed under Cleaning, Containers, Organizing

Measure Twice … Buy Once

This afternoon I took about 30 minutes to an hour to go cupboard to cupboard, drawer to drawer and measure my remaining storage areas. In the past few organizational attempts, I’ve used and reused my available containers and have run out of options. Literally every usable container is, well, used.

Since I still have far to go in this organizational journey, the time has come to make another trip to our local shopping center and pick up some new, attractive, containers. I want to make sure I don’t have to make this trip any more often than I need to, so I’m measuring ahead of time so I can find containers that work with my space. It would kind of defeat the purpose of staying neat if I have to stuff, smoosh, replace, or set aside any of the containers outside of their intended place.

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Filed under Budget, Containers, Home Improvement, Organizing, Storage