Posts Tagged ‘Organization’

Shed Shape-Up

This is one of those projects that just “happened”. Scott and I have a habit of working on something and then it suddenly leads into 3 other projects that really need to be done – thus taking up an entire day, when we set out to only spend 20 minutes in the yard. Since the weather has been so nice, we’ve been trying to focus on getting our yard into better shape. Thanks to sunshine and MiracleGro, we’re actually seeing some growth in some plants that have been so-so for the past 5 years.

Ahh, Spring. We had a landing at the bottom of our deck’s stairs that needed some addressing, so we purchased some 2x8s to re-build it and fill in with some new, larger gravel. This entailed getting the circular saw out of shed, which then led to this:

These are the contents of our tiny shed and the shocked/frustrated faces at how much crap was crammed into an unorganized space. This shed has always been a bone of contention in our household – no matter how well we organized it, stuff just ended up on the ground and it required taking everything out of the shed just to find one item. In terms of organization, this situation was not good. After completing our stoop project, we knew that we had to address this pile-o-crap once and for all, rather than just throwing everything on the floor again.

So, off to Home Depot we went, for the second time in one day. We talked to a very helpful salesperson who led us to some powder coated brackets and (3) 12×48 melamine shelves  – no cutting required.

We cleaned her out, gave her a good sweeping and got to work with drilling our brackets into some studs.

We decided to leave enough room under our bottom shelf for items that needed to go on the ground (cooler, pressure washer, etc.) and left around 20″ between each shelf to accommodate two paint cans stacked on top of one another. We also opted for 12″ deep shelves to give us enough room to actually walk into the shed (which has never possible before, I might add) and have some room to maneuver. We then excitedly put all of our items onto the shelves and off of the floor for the first time – ever. Oh, glorious organization.

I know these pictures aren’t the most exhilarating, but it’s amazing how much joy $34.00 and some elbow grease can bring to us. This whole project only took about 30 minutes and we’re so amazed that we hadn’t thought to do this before now.

We left about 18″ between the end of the shelves and the door for our longer yard tools (shovel, rake) and kayaking paddles. The other side of our shed now houses all of our large hooks to hang items that can actually be accessed since we have room to walk into the shed. Praise God.

This might be my most favorite organization endeavor yet. Here’s to no more bruised shins and cursed words every time I have to go into our shed!

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I had a cold this week and you know what I realized as I sat on the couch, surrounded by balled up tissues and decongestants? There isn’t much quality programming on during the day. Aside from a slew of soap operas (Erica Cane is still on All My Children!?) and Judge Judy, there are some terrible infomercials and that’s about it. I was starting to feel even more sorry for myself since I couldn’t find anything to pass the time, when my channel surfing landed me on the Hallmark channel. I had my doubts, but what do you know? The set of the Martha Stewart Show had me drooling on my flannel pajamas.

Gray walls, crisp white cabinetry and an explosion of white ceramics? I have to say that Martha knocked this one out of the park. Her set provides a great neutral backdrop to whatever she’s doing on the show, but there are so many great details and textures that give the space a lot of depth. Now, I may sound like I’m Martha’s number one fan, but it hasn’t always been that way. I used to feel like I should be emphatically anti-Martha because a)everyone and their mother loves her so b)I felt like I should rebel. Silly me. Once my mom sent me a years worth of Martha Stewart Living, I was quickly converted and now think that, although a little nutty, the woman is a friggin genius at what she does.

I mean, come on. Looks at those deep drawers (perfect for pots and pans) and the rolling-pin rack on the kitchen backsplash. Wouldn’t you just die to have a kitchen this (verging on insanely) organized?

My husband always jokes about my “future craft room” because I’m so incredibly hip. I’d take all the old woman jokes you can throw my way if I could have a craft room like this. The open shelving and natural light makes me wanna whip up some homemade wreaths and do some papier-mache like there’s no tomorrow.

Quintessential Martha – the ribbon station. Doesn’t she have a patent on that or something (I’m totally starting rumors about Martha patenting ribbon stations and crafting techniques)? I love the idea of an island on casters for a craft room, or even a kitchen. The basket storage makes items so accessible and the casters make the island adaptable to any crafting scenario. Don’t ask me what crafting scenarios may arise during a heated day of crafting, but I would love to be able to roll with the punches – and an island on casters is my ticket to success.

Ahh my dream office. Tons of organization and a perfect little corner for a laptop and printer. Clean and efficient. Any other television sets that are helping you get through a sick day? Or care to share some more Martha love?

All images courtesy of Martha Stewart – naturally.

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This weekend was finally a somewhat relaxing one – a huge departure from the rest of our summer. We spent some time with friends, enjoyed a pre-season football game and decided to give a mini-makeover to our (rather unorganized) hall closet. After our trips to Home Depot and Target, I felt like a) a big time adult and b) a line out of the movie Old School. Nonetheless, our closet is just a wee bit more organized and that makes me sleep a little better at night. Really.

This was our closet before. We added these wire shelves to one half of the closet about a year ago and they’ve really made a world of difference. Before these simple little shelves, our closet was a hot mess. These at least corralled our cleaning supplies and cleaning rags a bit, but something wasn’t cutting it for me. We also had a bunch of brooms and mops just shoved in the corner that were making the closet feel a bit unorganized. My husband, believe it or not, uttered eight beautiful words that made my Sunday. “Why don’t you pick up some baskets from Target?” Don’t mind if I do.

These simple green milk crates were on sale at Target (score!) and were the perfect solution for all of our sunscreens, cleaning supplies, extra soap, etc. Now we can easily pull out one bin at a time to get what we need, but everything is tidy and easier on the eyes.

Next stop was Home Depot for an easy little tool to get our mops and brooms off of the floor and all lined up like little soldiers. By getting our mops off of the floor, we were able to gain a bit more floor space which is huuuuge in a tiny hall closet. Now, I know this isn’t rocket science or even that exciting, but my foil holder did elicit quite the response, so maybe you guys really enjoy $4.00 plastic organization pieces. Who knew.

Mmm, sweet organization. I may not be as organized as some of my fellow bloggers, but we all have to start somewhere, right?

I even picked up a couple of other bins from Tar-jay to house our laundry accoutrement in our laundry closet. This actually gets me a little bit excited about doing laundry – 10 bucks well spent.

Now our haphazard closet is a bit more organized, making this girl a bit more at ease. One question for the blogosphere, though – what do you do with all of your random cleaning rags, drop cloths, etc? I immediately lean towards more storage bins/basket, but there has to be another solution. Any organizational freaks geniuses out there who’d like to pass their wisdom my way?

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I’m married to a boy. Obviously. Along with a boy comes tons of wires, electronics and remotes. Freakin’ remotes. When I lived alone or with girl roommates, we literally had one remote. We turned on our 13″ television and watched week long marathons of America’s Top Model and that was that. Easy peasy. Now that I’m getting a glimpse into boyland, I’m the owner of 5 remotes, countless Wii controllers and other accoutrements that make the boy happy. And wires. Loooots of wires. I won’t get into our constant battle with wires today, but I will dabble into how we make my adventures in remote land a bit more bearable.

This is our television station, aka Scott’s happy place. Note the “small” tv that will one day be updated to something gargantuan that will overtake our den. Again, another post all together. Our sleek little media console does a great job of housing all of our boy equipment (receiver, cable box, DVD player and surround sound speakers), while still looking uncluttered. The glass fronts make it easy to control these boxes, all while keeping the doors closed and clean looking. Even our huge sub woofer to the side of the TV stand serves as a nice table for a framed picture. See how nicely I made something not so pretty into something useful? Go me.

Luckily for me, I married a boy that’s extremely neat and organized. Some may say OCD, but I say methodical. Or maybe I say OCD as well. At any rate, he’s organized our DVDs in 3 rows, 3 deep, so all of our movies (and every Friends season, I might add) are housed in one section of the console. The other side is open for me to fill with “chotchkiesthat will collect dust” (his words, not mine) that I haven’t tackled yet. Project! Notice our Wii peaking out from behind the television? The (thankfully discrete) sleek sensor is on top of the television (and barely visible) while the actual Wii console is quietly hidden behind the TV, adding to the uncluttered mystique.

Our side table on the other side of the room is where our extensive remote collection is housed. We have our Wii controllers sleeping soundly in their charging dock, while the other Wii paraphernalia is looking oh so organized in a wicker basket. Baskets may be my new best friend. You can have tons of little doodads, but throwing it into one simple basket instantly makes everything look organized.

On the top of our side table is another basket which houses all of our remotes. Do you see the insanity? An extra Wii remote even creeped its way into the remote basket. We do have a universal remote that should ideally control all of the boy equipment, but the other 4 remotes are there as backup in case the universal remote fails (which it does) and we have to change the input on something (which we do). This basket also houses a brush for our little pooch, some lotion and fingernail clippers which are all in an arm’s reach during some serious tube surfing. What a multi tasking basket! Any tips you’d care to share about your adventures in remote land?

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Scott and I love to cook. This doesn’t mean that we’re necessarily culinary experts, but we enjoy the act of finding something new, trying to create it, and hopefully being able to eat it in the end. We’ve had some times where it didn’t work out so well (the infamous ranch pasta that has ruined ranch forever for us both) but for those that do, we like to keep the recipes for another time. Most of our recipes are found online or in Real Simple magazine, so we have a pile of yummy keepers that’s ever growing in our kitchen cabinet.

Having great recipes on hand is a great way to cook up an idea for a weeknight dinner when your brain just isn’t working after a long day at work. But alas, this cluttered pile was about to get the best of me. Enter, my beloved recipe box.

I picked up this lovely little lucite beauty at a local stationary/gift shop, but you can find tons of similar ones online. I love that the acrylic material is something unexpected, but also showcases the cute recipe cards I bought for the inside.

Transferring printed out recipes onto these cards may be a painstaking process, but how could you not enjoy it when you’re welcomed by a nice little mixer or some cheerful paisley? Ok, maybe I’m alone on this one, but taking the time to transfer your favorite culinary masterpieces will make finding something to cook that much easier. I also believe that taking the time to handwrite something in this era of email and blogging is very therapeutic. Put on some Marvin Gaye, pop open the bubbly and write till your heart’s content.

The category tabs that came with my cool, clear box make recipe searching a cinch. Scott’s in the mood for a hearty dinner, you say? Well, I’ll pop on over to my meats tab and, lo and behold, Mama Vihlen’s beef stroganoff is calling my name. Yumm.

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So I have a bit of a conundrum of the jewelry storage kind. I currently have a hodgepodge of storage pieces for my lovely things that sits on my dresser. I would rather refer to it as a “grouping of things” with the f-bomb behind it, but hey, I’m trying to keep this blog PG (if you didn’t get that, just ask me later). I digress. It’s a disaster. Every morning when I go to pull my favorite earrings or find something festive to brighten up my work wardrobe, I shudder at the explosion of shizz that is on my dresser top. Blah.

This is even afer a little bit of tidying. Don’t judge me, internet! Well, you can judge me, but just don’t put hateful comments on my blog. I know that this jewelry situation needs some addressing, so I’m coming to you, world wide web, to help me out. I know that I want something very clean and simple to house my everyday earrings and necklaces, and then the rest of my stuff that isn’t used daily can stay in my hodgepodge of boxes and relocate to the closet. For the easy accessible everyday pieces, what are your thoughts on these little numbers?

This modern little tree hails from Urban Outfitters, and I think it’s just swell. There is another version as well that I’m leaning towards… but will either of these provide the look I’m going for?

Possibly I should go for some cool bowls to casually lay my necklaces over and to house my few choice earrings?

I love these little bowls from anthropologie, but I fear that my things will become a big tangled mess if they’re left to their own devices in a bowl. Maybe the solution is a nice, sleek tray for everything to be laid out upon? I am seriously considering this for my makeup (in the bathroom) so I can store my makeup bag in a drawer but keep the everyday essentials at my fingertips on the countertop. Maybe this solution could work for jewelry as well?

Quite the pickle, eh? Maybe I’m over thinking it (shocker, right?), so I’m hoping blogland can stear me in the right direction! Feel free to let me know your thoughts or if you have another storage solution that’s better than what my brain has cooked up!

p.s. I love postscripts. Just wanted to let you know that I usually provide a link to the products I’m showing if you’re interested in where they hail from. If you see a word that is underlined and in a different color, give it a click and see where it takes you (my dad just had an “aha!” moment).

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One of my new years resolutions (I have many because I can’t seem to keep any) is to be more organized. Get organized, get fit, get healthy – the same as everyone else, right? Maybe so, but organization isn’t just about being incredibly anal; it’s about improving your well being. For me, clutter and being unorganized equals stress, and I know that stress definitely affects me. Tell me that I have to move, find a new job, speak in public – and I start dry heaving. So, anything I can do to alleviate a bit of stress in my life is a win win. I’m by no means gaining a medal for my organizational skills, but I know some people that would. I envy/am a bit freaked out by them. But in ’09, I’m going to try my hand at becoming just a bit more organized. Then maybe I’ll win a medal.

Most of the existing organization in our abode is in the kitchen. It’s a room that Scott and I spend a lot of time in and it has to work like a well oiled machine, in order to keep us sane. We installed this paper towel holder shortly after moving in for the sole purpose of getting stuff off of the countertop. Anything that eliminates clutter means organization heaven for me.

Ahh, another little organization gem. Who thought I’d get excited about a trash can? We used to have a freestanding trash can in the corner of our kitchen, but with the addition of Charlie the wonder pooch, we had to put his food bowls somewhere in the kitchen. Then, my brilliant husband (who is a frequent visitor to Home Depot) remembered seeing this puppy and thought we’d install it in a cabinet that wasn’t being utilized to its full potential. About 20 minutes later, we no longer had to look at a stinky trash can… or smell it.

The infamous foil holder. I’m sure that everyone and their mother has one of these, but when we bought our house, it was sorely missing this. We picked one up at our local Space Saver store (similar to The Container Store) and popped it on the back of a kitchen cabinet door. This little number provided us with more drawer space and kept the foil and clingwrap outta site, outta mind.

This isn’t necessarily an organizational item, but I feel like it makes our kitchen seem that much cleaner. We picked up these little glass bottles with pourers at World Market and use them to house our dish soap and olive oil. The clear glass bottles reflect a bit of light around the room and let us avoid having the nasty plastic bottle of dish soap and olive oil on our nice, new countertops. Now, I say “nasty plastic bottles”, but I do still have my Mrs. Meyers soap in its original container. I may buy a swanky glass bottle for it as well, but for now I kind of like the retro text and colors that the bottle has. Any organizational tips you’d like to share? I’m dying for more ideas to become increasingly more anal. :P

P.S. Like the new header? I finally convinced by dear husband to make one for me from some ideas I had found online. Maybe if you leave enough comments about how awesome it is, he’ll feel obligated to do a full website re-design so I don’t have to use the WordPress templates anymore. Come on, peer pressure!

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