Upcycling for Organization in the News

This week I did a short guest spot on Fox 21 News in Colorado Springs. I gave a few suggestions on how to upcycle items in your home for organizational purposes. From trash to treasure to upcycling old dishes, there’s a variety of tips for everyone. Click on the photo below to see the segment.

Fox News - 2015 April

And if you want more in depth ideas on the upcycled drawer, see my previous post!

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Happy Upcycling!

~Erin

One Old Drawer – Many New Uses

Tomorrow I am doing a short news segment on Fox 21 News in Colorado Springs about Upcycling for Organization. If you miss it or aren’t in the area, I’ll post the link shortly!

I’ll have some fun and easy tips but I wanted to give a preview of one of my upcycling projects. Old drawers are one of my favorite things to upcycle. They have so many uses, there are so many different sizes available and you can find them cheap, cheap, cheap if you don’t already have some on hand. I want to show you a few ways you can use a smaller size drawer for storage and organization.

First, find a drawer…maybe like this one:

DSC_0190Then, dress it up a little. I used some blue paint and distressed it a bit with some stain. I added a knob on the front and some painted feet to elevate it a little.

DSC_0220I wanted to see how many uses I could find for this little gem. I went from room to room and looked for creative storage inspiration and I was amazed at all of the ways it could fit in.

It’s a great way to leave out guest towels or other guest accessories. DSC_0241

Or display some extra magazines.

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It would also make a great counter-top fruit and veggie holder.

DSC_0261It adds a personal touch to the closet where you can store scarves or a variety of other accessories.

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In the kid’s room, you could use it for books or other toys. Or what about changing table storage?

DSC_0329DSC_0378Set it on a window ledge to hold small plants or herbs.

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Or how great would this look as part of a bar set up?

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You could pair it with another drawer and it would be a great self-serve area at a brunch or party.

DSC_0291I’m sure there are a million more uses, these are just my first thoughts. What else would you do with this?

~Erin

 

Junk Drawer Switch Out

PicMonkey Collage 1The Junk Drawer: my albatross……growing like one of those weird dinosaur shaped sponges you put in water and they quadruple in hours.

I have been trying for 2 years to find the perfect organizers for our junk drawer. I don’t know why it has taken me so long to organize something so small. I think it’s because it’s kind of a small drawer. All of the one piece organizers are too large. Believe me, I’ve tried to cram them in and try to mentally will the drawer to get bigger. But it doesn’t. I’ve tried plastic bins, different baskets, bamboo organizers, acrylic trays. I’ve tried to tetris them in there to fit perfectly and hold all of my miscellaneous items.

Then I realized that I wasn’t following one of my basic rules of organizing…..Don’t feel like you have to fill up all of the space.

Empty space can be tempting….nagging…taunting. We have a tendency to want to fill every drawer, shelf and closet with stuff, even if it’s not necessary.

I decided to downsize the amount of items and upsize the empty space. I also bought some bright orange plastic bins from Home Goods. I am not known for my vibrant color palette; almost everything I own is a neutral shade of blah. So I decided to add a pop of color to an unexpected place and I can’t tell you how much I love it.

From this:

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To this:

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One other quick switch I made was in another kitchen drawer. This one holds most of our cooking utensils. The organizer I had before fit perfectly, but it wasn’t right for the stuff I was trying to store. Some of the compartments were too small and it just ended up being cluttered and frustrating.

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So I took some of the previous junk drawer bins and put them in the utensil drawer.

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I also discovered I owned not one, but two, turkey basters. Ummmm. I don’t even use a turkey baster when I’m actually cooking a turkey, so why I had two of these things is completely beyond me. So they have now been delegated as the kid’s official science experiment basters and I have more room in my kitchen drawers.

So, to sum up my mantra for the year: Simplify, Simplify, Simplify!

PicMonkey Collage 1

Purge, Rearrange, and don’t be afraid of a little color!

~Erin

 

Kitchen Desk – Reorganize and reuse

Hi friends! I am visiting sunny Phoenix, Arizona right now and it.is.hot. I mean really hot:

hot

That’s almost 9:00 at night! I grew up here, but I forget how blazin’ hot it is. So we’ve been doing some inside activities instead of braving the heat. I’m helping my mom with a few organizing projects while I’m here and the first one was the desk/workspace in the kitchen area.

Now this space was difficult for two reasons.

1) There is an office in the house so the desk doesn’t really need to be used for many office supplies or files. However, it is a desk, so it has some little drawers and some super deep drawers for hanging folders. So its’ purpose has been kind of undefined for a while.

2) There are 8 cubbies near the top of the desk. While this seems practical, it also can end up looking cluttered because everything is in view.

First we re-evaluated the drawers.

Desk Before Collage - text

My mom had decided to use one drawer for tools. This is great because they are conveniently located in the main living area of the house but they aren’t taking up valuable kitchen space. The drawer just needed an additional bin and a quick reorganization.

Then we did the middle drawer which held the office/ desk supplies:

The 3rd drawer held misc items and it still does. However, there are fewer of them!

 

As for the top half of the desk, there are several shelves and 8 smaller cubbies. Please excuse my horrible iphone before picture.

Before

Before

My mom had a small CD cabinet that she was planning to get rid of. So we stole the drawers from it!

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Filling all of the cubbies with a drawer would have been too overwhelming, so we used 4 of the drawers and used the other 4 cubbies for decorative accents. We had to decide which cubbies got a drawer though….that process took way too long!

Choice A

Choice A

Choice B

Choice B

Choice C

Choice C

We went with Choice C!

Now the drawers are organized and the cubbies look more updated and might get used a little more!

Drawers after collage - text

Choice C

On another note, don’t forget to sign up for our Self Care for September newsletter. It’s a whole month of self care challenges and ideas brought to you by Neaten Your Nest and Life Sprinkles!

We are offering a weekly Self Care Giveaway to a different participant each week. Tag us, link back to us, let us know your progress or ideas and get entered into the drawing for the giveaway! Sign up for the newsletter to start participating.

Giveaway final

T-Shirt Organizing Inspiration

Thank you to Kelly at Cobwebs, Cupcakes and Crayons for inspiring today’s post. She is currently doing a Clutter Buster Boot Camp on her blog where she assigns new tasks every week to keep the de-cluttering manageable. The first clothing assignment was the t shirt drawer. She had a great tip on how to roll your t shirts so that you can actually see them.

I’ve since missed a few assignments (I was always a procrastinator in school), but today I went to my t shirt drawer and completed task #1. I don’t feel so bad about missing the assignment on work out clothes because, let’s be honest here, I’m not known for my athletic prowess. And pretty much anything in my t-shirt drawer would undoubtedly double as workout clothes if an actual workout was ever on the horizon! My shirt drawer is pretty much for anything I wear around the house. Everything that goes out in public hangs in the closet.

Anyways….Here is the before picture of my t-shirt drawer:

I must say that the before picture looks pretty neat and organized. Here’s the problem. How many shirts can you see? 4, right? Well how many shirts do you think I wore out of this drawer? Drumroll….4. Yes, I only wore the 4 shirts I could see.

So I followed Kelly’s tips for purging, folding and rolling. My favorite tip is to roll the shirts from the bottom up. This is helpful because a lot of t-shirts have emblems or wording at the top and folding from the bottom up still allows you to see exactly what the shirt is.

The purge actually involved only a few items, but included a ridiculous item from an old Halloween costume and a Snuggie. I won’t bore you with pictures of me in a Snuggie, but here is one of my dogs in Snuggies:

Yes, I have dog Snuggies. And Yes, they were free. And No, I did not get rid of them. I’m feeling more embarassed for myself even as I share this with you, but a little humility never hurt anyone, right?

So, I rolled all my shirts and put them back in the drawer. They still didn’t fit all on one level, but most of them did. Here is the after photo:

Now when you compare the photos, the ‘Before’ picture actually looks a lot cleaner. But organizing is not always about looks, it is also about processes. Now I can see 14 shirts, compared to the previous 4! That’s 10 more shirts that actually have the potential to escape the drawer for a day!

I also got rid of a few items, moved a few other things to more practical locations and realized that I have a very strange collection of shirts. You can’t see it very well, but the one on the bottom right pictures a moose with one antler and it says “Is that your final antler?” It’s one of my favorites. :)

So, thank you to Kelly over at Cobwebs, Cupcakes and Crayons for the inspiration yet again!

~Erin