Jen Jones

Organize This: Spring Cleaning Supplies!

Written on April 10, 2014 at 4:00 pm , by

It is that time of the year again!  Spring has finally sprung and that means that most are giving their homes a little extra attention.  Something about the fresh air, chirping birds and light breeze coming in through the windows, inspires us to take our homes to the next level.

Whether that means cleaning out your garage, organizing a closet or giving the exterior of your home some love; how you organize your cleaning supplies will make all of the difference in the ease of maintaining your roost.  In fact, a few good tips and systems will help you year round, and make some of those household chores a little breezier.

 

Crete a Cleaning Closet

My first tip is to try and dedicate a single area to serve as a cleaning closet.  This can be a stand-in wardrobe, the corner of a coat closet or a dedicated cabinet in your laundry or utility room.  This dedicated closet becomes a one-stop location for all things cleaning.  Everything from your vacuum and mop to sponges and polishers, this space instantly becomes the cleaning hub of the home for the entire family to reference.  Maximize the closet by adding paper towel holders, baskets and clips to the back of the door.  Also consider lining the interior of the closet with additional hooks for taller items.

 

Create a Cleaning Caddy:

Inside of your cleaning cabinet, add a portable basket to keep the “essential” supplies you find yourself reaching for most frequently.  All purpose spray, wood polisher, glass cleaner along with a few scrubbers and rags.  This caddy can now go with you from room to room during your weekly cleaning routine.

 

Under the Sink:

The cleaning cabinet and caddy work really well for managing your weekly tasks and especially those deep cleaning sessions.  But there are two areas of the home which should be given attention on a daily basis due to the germs that tend to live in those spaces; the bathroom and the kitchen.  Designate a small area under each sink to hold your disinfecting cleaner and sponges.  The goal is to make things as quick and simple as possible, and heading to a different area of the home to grab essential supplies each and everyday is just one extra step.  If storage is limited, consider a simple slim basket or over the door caddy.

 

In the Laundry Room:

Laundry care typically comes with a different set of cleaning supplies, therefore, those supplies should be stored directly next to the washer and dryer.  A slim carts can tuck between the washer and dryer if spaces permits, while adding shelves above the machines is a great option for maximizing vertical storage in a small space.

Let’s face it, life can be messy!  Above and beyond daily clothing care, be prepared to handle stains as well.  Print out a stain removal guide and keep it in the laundry room near a basket of supplies and scrubbers for on the spot garment care!

 

Don’t Forget the Garage:

We tend to spend a lot of time in our cars, so don’t forget to add a special caddy of cleaners to your garage as well.  Fill a portable carrier with supplies for keeping the interior and exterior of your automobile sparkling clean.

 

 

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Jen Jones

Organize This: The Kitchen Island!

Written on March 27, 2014 at 4:00 pm , by

TREND:  Going Bold in the Kitchen.

Bold kitchens are hot right now, in more ways than one!  Everything from graphic wallpaper to intricate tiles to bold center islands; it pays to get playful with kitchen design.  Not only do I crush on colorful center islands because of the instant drama they add, I also love the amount of functionality and storage they bring to the kitchen as well!

 

Add Open Storage:

Pairing both concealed and open storage within your center island offers up versatile solutions for organizing kitchen gadgets and cookware.  Open shelves keep everything within quick reach, while also offering area to display some of your daily favorites.  Pair beautiful baskets with table linens and utensils to allow for easy transportation to the nearby dinner table.

 

Maximize Concealed Storage:

A kitchen island instantly expands storage in various ways, however, a little extra creative planning will allow you to seek out clever solutions designed specifically for handling awkwardly shaped kitchen items.  Deep drawers are ideal for pots, pans and lids, pull out organizers can be retrofitted to hold trash and recycle bins and drawers can be designed to hold knife blocks and cutting boards.

 

Add a Nook for Books:

Keep your cookbooks away from spills and splatters by creating a decorative storage display area within your center island.  Not only will it extend the life of the books, but it will also provide beautiful visual interest in the kitchen.

 

Maximize the Surface Area:

The walls of your island are the perfect place to really expand the amount of storage your kitchen offers.  By adding a variety of hooks, towel bars, baskets and holders, you not only give yourself instant access to the items you use daily, you also free up valuable counter and drawer space as well!

To make the most of the counter surface, consider adding a second roll-out option which can come out to play during kitchen and baking prep yet tuck away during the high traffic times of the day.

 

Get Creative:

Even if your kitchen wasn’t designed with an island in mind, that doesn’t mean that you can’t find alternative solutions to add in the additional storage and surface area.  There are many wonderful off-the-shelf versions on the market, which can act as a stand-in solution.  You may also find that by simply adding casters to a piece of furniture, such as a cabinet, dresser or console table, that a DIY version just became a simple alternative using items you already have on hand or can find inexpensively at a thrift store.

 

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Jen Jones

Organize With This: Black & White Storage!

Written on March 13, 2014 at 6:16 pm , by

There are endless reasons why black and white creates a winning combination.  Together they become a classic yet bold medley that continuously thrives within the home decor and fashion worlds.

 

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When it comes to selecting products for organizing, you can’t go wrong with this dynamic duo.  The classic combination will ensure the storage you are investing in remains timeless for years.  The best part is that black and white pairs beautifully with an endless variety of colors and patterns, so although your tastes may change, your storage doesn’t have to.

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Jen Jones

Organize With This: Pegboard!

Written on February 27, 2014 at 6:52 pm , by

Pegboard has been around for ages, however, more and more frequently it is becoming the “go-to” solution for organizing projects.  People love when storage is versatile enough to be used while keeping the end result simple and tidy. This makes pegboard the reigning solution for problematic areas around the home.  Here are a few examples of how pegboard can work hard so you don’t have to.

 

Tools:

Never go searching for a that flathead screwdriver again!  Pegboard has been used in garages, workshops and sheds for many years as amazing tool storage.  When working on a project, digging for tools is sure to slow anyone down.  Organizing tools on pegboard will ensure they are visible and easy to find during a household emergency or even a quick DIY.

 

Garden Tools:

Pegboard isn’t just for building tools; use it to corral all of the tools used for gardening and yard-work by installing a system over a potting bench or in a small nook of the garage.

 

Craft Supplies:

If pegboards are the perfect solution for building tools, surely they can offer amazing versatility and storage for craft tools as well.  And that they do!  By mixing and matching hooks, pencil cups and even thread organizers, you can keep all of your supplies for your favorite hobbies right within arm’s reach.  Nail the pegboard inside of a decorative frame to hang it above your workspace, or frame out the back of the pegboard to install it on the inside of a cabinet door for concealed storage.  Either way, it is sure to change the way you sew and craft!

 

Oh Baby:

Wee ones come with a lot of gear.  Prevent rummaging for basic care necessities during late night diaper changes by installing a small pegboard near the changing station.  Because shelves, bins and clips can all be attached, they are an ideal solution for holding lotions, powders, binkies, health care items and even charming photos and mementos.

 

Bangles:

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To manage a plethora of wardrobe accessories, install pegboard on a bedroom wall or within a closet space.  Anything from necklaces to scarves to sunglasses can be stored in this fashion, ensuring getting ready in the morning is easy breezy.  By dressing up the pegboard with your favorite paint color, it will allow the organization to seamlessly blend with your space.

 

Command Station:

For those with a lot of appointments and schedules to manage, creating a command station can offer a one-stop spot for holding invitations, memos and date cards.  By adding pencil cups and small bins, office supplies can remain right within reach for the entire family.  Pegboard clips allow you to pin up important notes, bills and correspondences.

 

That’s a Wrap:

Create a small station for organizing the supplies needed for wrapping gifts year round.  Pegboard hooks hold tools like scissors and tape, while bins can be installed to hold markers, pens and embellishments.  Hooks paired with cafe rods or bungee systems can be used for corralling spools of ribbons and tubes of gift wrap.

 

Cleaning and Maintenance:

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A wall or closet filled with pegboard brings together all of the supplies used to care and maintain a home.  Hooks work wonders for holding brooms, dusters, paint brushes, scrubbers and much, much more.

 

In the Kitchen:

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Framing out pegboard in the kitchen provides instant wall storage for daily cookware.  This also offers an alternative solution when cabinet spaces is limited and is also ideal for those who love to cook and want instant access to pots, pans, lids, gadgets and utensils.

 

If concealed storage is much more appealing to you in the kitchen, add tall pegs to pegboard mounted in the bottom of a drawer.  The pegs can be configured to fit your dishware and prevent them from sliding around or shifting while the drawer is in use.

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Jen Jones

Organize This: Your Workspace!

Written on February 13, 2014 at 6:45 pm , by

Lately I have been on a mission to take back my workspace and give it some much needed attention.  Maybe it is the winter weather and the fact that I have been spending more time using my desk; or maybe it is because it is a new year and I am on a mission to get my papers in order.  Either way, I have had an organized workspace on my mind.

I am the kind of gal who needs a clutter free desk and a good system in place in order to feel work ready and productive.  A few extra pops of happy color never hurts either.  Here are a few of my top tips to keep a neat yet inspiring place to work.

 

Having enough surface space to spread out and use a laptop and daily planner while keeping any daily accessories within reach is extremely important.  The workspace should be sufficient enough to perform daily tasks without the need to stop and relocate or get up to grab an important file.  A cozy chair never hurts either.

 

 

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Natural light is so wonderful if you have it, however, if you work in a windowless cubical or after the sun goes down, task lighting is key.  Swing arm lamps are typically ideal for allowing you to direct the lighting in a specific area of your work surface, and prevent over-exposing your eyes to excessive amounts of direct light.

 

 

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Papers are notorious for piling up and causing instant clutter.  To ensure that everything important is simple to find at a moments notice, take the time to set up a good filing system with labeled file folders.

 

 

In addition to a good filing system, I also recommend adding a couple of paper trays or mail slots for current items that require attention but are not ready to be filed away for good.  This could be mail that requires reading, appointments that need to be scheduled or current documents being worked.

 

 

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In your day-to-day work life you may find that there are some things that are used more often than others.  Keeping those commonly accessed supplies such as stationary and writing utensils easily accessible in decorative desktop organizers, will save the trouble of digging through boxes and drawers each day.

 

 

Although there are items that make a lot of sense to keep out at your workspace each day, there are many other items that should be tucked away.  By placing less used items such as craft supplies and paper products in decorative boxes, binders and drawers, you are keeping your visual clutter to a minimum and keeping your workspace clear of unnecessary clutter.

 

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If you are in the middle of an important project or assignment and feeling excited and productive, nothing will slow you down faster than opening your drawers and rummaging around for a specific tool or supply.  Keep those smaller office supplies such as pens, rubber bands, decorative tapes, calculators and paper clips nice and tidy with the help of trays and drawer organizers.

 

 

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Keeping a notepad or two at your desk ensures you are always ready to jot down quick notes, phone numbers and random thoughts that spark throughout the day.

 

 

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This is a personal preference, but I highly recommend sprinkling in some desk accessories that are in your favorite colors and finishes.  Oh, and pretty flowers too.  Because when your desk is a reflection of you and filled with happy objects, you are more apt to whistle while you work.

 

 

Many desks naturally come with cord clutter from computers, phones and printers.  Finding creative ways to keep those cords concealed in drawers, decorative boxes or with cord clips will ensure you don’t become tangled in a mess of wires.

 

 

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Jen Jones

Organize This: Crafts!

Written on January 30, 2014 at 5:44 pm , by

There are such a large variety of tasks that can fill the crafting category; painting, sewing, embossing, scrap-booking, drawing…  Whether you love one or them all, the crafting hobby typically comes with endless tools and gadgets.  What are your favorite ways to store and organizing all of the special supplies?

Whether you have an entire craft room to dedicate to creative mode, or rely on a single closet, there really are endless ways to make the most of the space given.  Here are a couple of my favorite ways to organize all of the crafty bits and bobs.

Tension Rods:

Tension rods are a really great solution for holding spools of ribbon, washi tapes and gift wrap rolls.  Just insert them in-between two stable surfaces and you have instant storage.

 

Pegboard:

Pegboard is one of the most versatile ways to store your craft supplies, as there are endless ways to mix and match hooks, buckets, dowels and shelves to customize your storage to your specific needs.

 

Over the Door:

Just because many of the over-the-door organizers that are on the market are geared to adding storage in the kitchen, it doesn’t mean that they can’t double as amazing craft supply storage as well.  With a little creative thinking and the addition to some small bins and jars, these organizers can hold everything from gift wrap to ribbon to brads and paper punches.

 

Storage Cabinets:

Depending on the space you have available, different sized cabinets could act as great stand-in craft storage.  Consider checking out bathroom cabinets such as linen towers, étagères and medicine cabinets, as they offer versatility and are often known for their space saving qualities.

 

Drawers:

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With the addition of bins and drawer dividers, a dresser can turn into a great place to conceal craft supplies for both adults and children.  Everything from paints to colored pencils to adhesives can be stored in a one stop spot that is simple to access should the crafting mood strike.

Stand alone drawers systems are also a superb solution for sorting and storing sewing fabrics.

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Kitchen Supplies:

One of my “go-to” places to hunt for craft storage, is either in my own personal kitchen, or within the kitchen department at my favorite shopping spots.  Upcycled food containers covered with decorative papers work wonderfully for corralling smaller objects and desktop accessories.  Spice jars and baby food jars are the perfect match for pins, brads and beads.  Drawer organizers, muffin pans, mason jars, food tins, bowls and mugs and even beverage carts can all be used as resourceful options for a variety of crafting products.

 

Workspace:

To make the most of the time you have to enjoy your creative hobbies, carve out a specific nook or workspace that can accommodate your supplies and give you a place to sit or stand while working.  A small desk, a collapsible table or even a wall to wall counter, are all wonderful options depending on the space available.  By storing your supplies near your work surface, even if that means carving out space within a closet near the dining table, you are keeping things within reach and maximizing the time you have to divulge into your project.

 

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