Posts by Jen Jones
Trend: Fall Boots are BACK!
Summer days are winding down and fall is coming at us in full force. Time to pull out those cozy throws, soft sweaters and tall boots to prepare for the chilly months around the corner.
Whether it is a rain boot, a riding boot or a trendy knee high boot, storing your favorite footwear can be a little tricky. Here are a few of my favorite ways to make the most of your space while keeping those boots looking chic all season long.
First and most importantly, the way the boot is stored will ultimately impact the shape and the boot’s total lifespan. To maintain a proper form, there are many inserts on the market made specifically for boot storage. I highly recommend using one of these forms, or getting creative with objects around the home to create a form to tuck inside. Everything from wine bottles to foam pool noodles to rolled magazines, all make great alternative boot forms.
What makes storing boots so difficult, is dealing with their bulkiness and height. Whether in an entryway or a closet, there are many wonderful shoe and boot organizers designed to accommodate awkward sizes. One way to battle the height issue, is to invest in a closet system containing adjustable shelving. Stand alone bookshelves also work perfectly for this as they offer adjustable shelving as well, and are versatile enough to be used in almost any room of the home.
If you are looking to store your boots outdoors, consider purchasing or building a solid wooden rack, which can store the boots inverted. This will allow them to remain dry no matter what the weather brings.
If you find that storing boots indoors is more convenient, there are many ways to get creative with your entry space. I really love the idea of recycling old crates to offer flexible winter gear storage.
Or utilizing a tall console table as a drop zone with a boot tray tucked below. A good rug and boot tray will protect the flooring from all of those outdoor elements that typically come in on our feet.
Consider adding a bench to your entryway, which doubles as seating and ample shoe organization. Building in a second shelf doubles the storage capacity and offers space for foot gear of all shapes and sizes. Quick tip: Toss small baking soda pods or dryer sheets into the bench to absorb any foot odor that may get locked in.
Limited on floor space? Just like any good organizing project, think vertically! Oversized binder clips attached to the wall will provide creative and space saving boot storage. And as great as this is, consider adding a small strip of felt inside each prong of the clip to protect the boot’s material while they hang.
Just as clips rock in the entryway, they also work wonders in a closet. Hangers typically designed for pants and skirts also double as an amazingly creative way to stash away your trendy fall footwear.
And just as much as maintaining the boot’s form is crucial, caring for the boots finish is equally as important to extending the boot’s life expectancy. Taking a few minutes to put together a shoe care kit will ensure your boots hug your feet for more than a single season. A few items you may want to add to your kit are saddle soap, leather conditioner, weatherproofing protector, shoe brush and soft cotton rags.
Trend: Packing up and setting off to enjoy the final days of summer!
As much as it hurts to say it, summer days are numbered. With summer winding down, many folks are doing what they can to make the most of those final sun filled days. Whether heading up north to a friend’s cabin, packing up the family to head to the beach or jet setting across the country to explore an unfamiliar city, packing for a trip can cause unnecessary pre-travel frustrations. What should I pack? What should I button up around the house before we leave? How do I make the most of the space in my carry-on bag? Here are my top ten tips for stress-free organized traveling.
- Make a list, check it twice. Create a master list of things to do around the house before heading out of town for a few days (turn down heat, water plants, set alarm, etc…) as well as a master list of frequently packed items. Give yourself empty blanks to fill in so the list can be tweaked based on your current trip and begin filling out your checklist a few days prior to traveling. Save the list digitally to prevent filling it out from scratch every time the travel bug hits.
- Use your calendar of travel events when planning what to pack. Keep a list of potential activities that will be taking place on your trip and use that as a guide when packing your clothing. Place clothing into piles based on day/event and select items that are easy to mix and match to give you more looks with less. Accessories go a long way in changing the look and feel of an outfit, but are much less bulky in a suitcase.
- Use packing cubes within your suitcase to divide out your contents by type and to prevent items from mixing. This will be handy as you begin to rummage through your suitcase more and more each day. Toss in a few empty pouches for a damp swimsuit or dirty laundry. Garment bags work well for this also.
- Roll clothing vs. folding. You will have less creases to iron and it takes up much less space.
- Select a cosmetic/toiletry bag that opens flat and contains a hook. Hooking the bag to the back of the door or a nearby towel bar will clear up limited hotel counter space. Only utilize the cosmetic bag for non-liquid toiletries; the liquid items should be transferred to travel size bottles and packed within a clear plastic bag and placed in an easy to access pouch of the suitcase. Also remember that hotels are always stocked with daily essentials which allows you to skip packing the soap and makes room for another pair of shoes (wink wink).
- Pack an ultra-lightweight, nylon tote which can fold up nice and small (and takes up minimal space in a suitcase), yet turns into a portable market tote or beach bag for any day trips you take while on vacation.
- Place all flight information, hotel / automobile reservations and other itineraries into a durable folio and tuck it inside of your carry-on tote. This will ensure your boarding pass is simple to locate at the airport and that you can quickly pull out an address for the taxi driver.
- Add a pocketed purse organizer to your handbag / tote to keep all of your carry-on essentials neat and tidy. The added pockets provide designated space within your bag for pens, tech gear, cords, currency, ear-buds, cosmetics, etc…
- Place shoes inside of shoe sacks to prevent suitcase contents from becoming soiled during travels. Reusable grocery bags and even plastic shower caps work great for this purpose.
- Be sure to add a luggage tag to your suitcase containing your important personal information in the event your luggage becomes lost, but don’t share too much. Create a specific email address just for your luggage identification and also include a cell phone number and the phone number of the hotel you will be staying at. Adding a home phone number or home address may ultimately put your personal information into the wrong hands. Select a tag that is unique and easy to spot on a baggage carousel or even add decorative washi-tape around the handle to make your suitcase stand out from the rest.
travel checklist / packable travel bags / jewelry roll / hanging toiletry bag / nylon tote / passport cover / luggage tag / folio / purse organizer / toiletry bottle / luggage grips / carry-on suitcase
Trend: Romantic Grunge
It is time to start thinking school-like thoughts again and romantic grunge is popping up everywhere! Florals, plaids and whimsey prints paired with dark neutrals, worn leather and edgy elements create this fresh back to school look.
With school days lingering in the near future, it is time to design an organized study space to set your teen up for success! Here are a few simple tips to putting together a dedicated work zone that will keep your teen organized throughout the entire school year.
Consider using a desk that offers enough surface space to double as a vanity for hair and makeup in the morning, and study sessions in the evening. Add storage that will accommodate both functions separately; such as a cart of drawers below for beauty supplies and drawers and organizers above for office accessories.
Let’s face it, teens don’t always do homework at their desk (sometimes the bed or couch is more appealing), so keep favorite writing supplies and homework tools within portable zippered pouches. This keeps small items corralled within a backpack at school and ensures your child is ready to do homework no matter where they land.
When it comes to organizing supplies at the desk, shop the home everyday items that can double as free storage. The kitchen is typically a jackpot of storage solutions, everything from leftover food packaging to muffin tins and mugs can be utilized to corral paperclips, stamps, erasers and pushpins.
Place a memo board nearby to offer your teen a place to pin up important notes, photographs and homework. The visual reminder will ensure that important details, dates and papers are not missed during busy mornings and sports seasons.
Add decorative hooks near the workspace to hang backpacks, handbags, hats, umbrellas and lunch totes. Keeping all school related items near the desk will create efficiency during study time and in the morning when heading off to class.
A simple wall pocket is another workspace storage solution that will ease the daily school routine. Fill the pockets with the items your child uses on a daily basis, such as jewelry, lotions, journals, lip balm, etc… By keeping favorite daily necessities corralled in a single location it reduces the risk of rummaging through drawers and slowing one down.
Additional quick tips:
- Assign each class subject a specific color to use for organizing folders/notebooks.
- Find a good wall calendar or portable planner to keep track of important dates and deadlines for tests and extra curricular activities.
- Invest in a good task lamp to take care of the eyes during late night study sessions.
- A good set of headphones works great in reducing noisy distractions.
- With technology being front and center in our daily lives, take advantage of the different organizational applications available on the market.
- Attach a USB drive to a keyring or clip it to a backpack to ensure that important data being transferred from school to home is never misplaced.
Trend: Chic Organization for your Furry Friends!
Our pets are a big part of our daily lives. They bring smiles to our faces, are loyal companions and complete our families. However, pets can come with a lot of stuff! Leashes, dishes, food, treats, vitamins, grooming supplies, oh my!
All of those items can quickly look like loose clutter around the home, yet need to be integrated into daily life. Here are a few of my favorite practical (and stylish) solutions for organizing your pets around the abode.
Create a dog walking station near an entrance. I personally love keeping a tote on a hook to hold harnesses, doggy sacks, leashes, treats, etc… The tote conceals the daily walking clutter, yet keeps everything in a convenient location. Take things a step further by adding additional bins and caddies for other grooming supplies and daily necessities.
Tuck pet beds under shelves and in small nooks to keep them out of heavy traffic zones and to offer pets some quiet and security where they rest.
Add decorative labels to everyday tins and jars to take pet food and treat storage to a whole new level. Both you and your pet will be smiling big at feeding time!
Add a small mat or tray under dog dishes and bowls to prevent water and food from spilling and spreading all over the kitchen floor.
Keep an open top bin or basket near floor level to promote daily play and to reinforce which toys are for your pets and which are for other members of the family.
Corral daily grooming supplies such as shampoos, brushes, nail clippers, ear solution and dental care items within a portable utensil caddy.
Unfortunately, our pets may become hurt from time to time and may need specialized first aid solutions. Be prepared with a pet friendly first aid kit containing cotton pads, gauze, bandages, cotton swabs, scissors, tweezers, flea and tick treatments, worming treatments, antiseptic and sanitizer.
Keep important pet paperwork and vet records organized within a handy three ring binder. Keep track of important items such as important dates, medications, veterinarian information, pet sitter notes, etc…
Create an all-in-one cabinet for all things pet related. Pull out drawers to hold pet food, hooks for walking supplies, baskets of toys and grooming supplies. The options are endless and everything tucks away neatly behind closed doors.
Trend: Industrial Shelving
There is something about industrial shelving that lends a warmth and “created over time” look to a space. The distressed wooden shelves, the galvanized brackets and the exposed hardware are all part of the appeal.
Shelving can be used as storage and organization in almost any space you can image. And when shelving is paired with boxes and baskets, it becomes endlessly versatile. Many industrial shelves are not only beautiful, but offer the ability to be customized to fit a variety of functions. Here are some inspiring uses of industrial shelving around the home.
Open shelving in the kitchen
Mudroom or walk-in pantry storage
Living room bookshelves
Media storage and display
Bathroom shelving to hold extra towels and paper products
Boy’s bedroom to display awards and collections
Book and toy organization in a nursery or playroom
Functional workspace surface and storage
So whether you have a small kitchen nook or are dreaming of wall to wall laundry room storage, industrial shelving can fit just about any organizational need while adding character and drama to your space. How have you incorporated the industrial shelving trend into your home?
Trend: Going Bold With Florals
I have always been a fan of playful colors and patterns and really love seeing bold florals being used more frequently as upholstery, wallpaper, window treatments, throw pillows and area rugs. Of course, what really gets me excited is when I can incorporate floral patterns into my organizing and storage solutions as well.
I have been a long time believer that organizing projects are more likely to be maintained when you add a little extra detail and love to the mix. For me, that typically involves using decorative storage pieces that I either DIY or purchase. Whether that be a beautiful basket, a pretty label or patterned paper to line the kitchen drawers, selecting storage solutions that blend with our style and our home is was excites me to get organized and even more importantly, stay organized.
Here are a few ways that you can incorporate the beautiful floral trend into your daily routine and with storage solutions around your home.
- Use a piece of your favorite floral fabric to sew up some new liners for your baskets around the home
- Update a piece of storage furniture with a floral stencil or piece of floral wallpaper
- Add work-happy floral stationery to your desk for keeping track of your daily thoughts and To Do lists
- Corral loose change, pens and pencils, makeup brushes or kitchen utensils within a floral dish, vase or coffee mug
- Use floral washi tape for labeling gadget cords, file folders, leftovers in the fridge and on the faces of decorative storage boxes
- If you love to utilize technology for organizing, add a floral case to protect your gadget
- Select reusable shopping bags in a playful floral pattern to make trips to the market much more fun
- Bring a little extra joy to your organizing projects by lining the backs of bookcases, cabinets and the insides of drawers with pretty floral papers
- You can also use those papers to up-cycle food containers which can be used as small storage all over your home
- Cover empty cardboard boxes with wallpaper, fabric or gift wrap to give yourself high end looking storage on a budget
How have you been bringing bold floral patterns into your daily routine?