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 OrganizationOf 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

 

 

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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

 

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

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

 

 

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

 

 

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 

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!

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

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

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?

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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.

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Then the other side.

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Then the bottom half.

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

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

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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.

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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.

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Next side.

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Bottom.

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Not quite done.

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

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

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Do the same for the under-shirts.

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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.

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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).

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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.

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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…

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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

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.

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

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

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And here is the after.

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Simple idea but it really makes a difference!

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

🙂

Maria

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.

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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.

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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?

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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.

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In the baskets without dividers I placed light bulbs.

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Surge protectors, flashlights and extra outlets.

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

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

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

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Here are all the smaller baskets back in the closet.

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

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Here is the after shot!

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

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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.

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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.

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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.

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

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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.

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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.

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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.

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

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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!