BHG Style Spotters

The Hottest Trends for You and Your Home

Posts by Jen Jones

Organize This: A Trip to the Beach!

Let’s head to the beach and catch some rays and waves! It is definitely that time of year to spend hours playing in the water and soaking up some sun!

Beach Organization

The point of a trip to the beach is to have a blast and also take some time to get away and relax. The process should be easy breezy and leave you feeling refreshed, not stressed. Here are a few tips as you head off to your favorite sandy hot spot.

  • Keep your beach bag prepacked. Beach days are weather permitting so be ready to go when the moment strikes. Select a beach tote with ample storage pockets, and keep it filled with all of your favorite essentials such as a beach towel, swimsuit, sunscreen, sunglasses, a first aid kit, etc… This will ensure you always have sun protection and the basics on hand, even when you head out in a rush.

Organized Beach Bag


  • Speaking of first aid, load up a small container filled with basic care items for those “just in case” moments.

Diy First Aid Kit



  • Rolling your towels will save space in your beach tote.
  • Small pouches will be your best beach friend. Add pencil and toiletry pouches to your beach bag to hold all of your smaller items, such as sunscreen, hair accessories, gadgets, etc…
  • Make sure to bring the baby powder! It is a great way to rid your body of sticky sand.
  • Add a wet sack to your beach tote arsenal. This will provide you a place to store your damp swimsuit without effecting the rest of the items in your bag.
  • Shopping/Utility carts are a great way to haul your beach umbrella/shelter, chair and bag all in a single trip. Many can handle the sandy beach with ease, and they collapse down nice and flat when not in use.
  • Use clear pouches to protect your phone/tablet while still offering the opportunity to utilize it.
  • Be prepared for the heat with a well packed cooler. Stock it full of water and healthy snacks, which should be pre-chilled if possible. Glass containers are ideal for keeping foods fresher for longer, but plastic is less likely to break on the beach. Don’t forget the utensils and dishes, they can attach right to the lid of the cooler with some Velcro!

Organized Coller



Do you have essential beach items that you won’t leave home without?


Beach Product Picks

sunscreen | lip balm | radio | umbrella | towel | powder | chair | tote | sunglasses | snack container | water bottle | gadget pouches | sun hat | facial spray | wet sacks | magazine | utility cart | paddle game | mini first aid kit | cooler


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Organize This: Dining Outdoors!

‘Tis the season for grilling, picnicking and eating outdoors! The evenings are warm and it really is the best time of the year for outdoor entertaining and family gatherings. The goal is to enjoy your company, not to spend hours preparing, cooking and cleaning up. Here are a few tips to keep you prepared for dining outdoors anytime the mood strikes!

Outdoor Dining Organization

If you cook outdoors frequently, it may be beneficial to create a secondary outdoor kitchen to prevent frequent trips inside. Whether you build something custom or utilize a nearby potting bench, consider adding a few hooks for hand towels and grilling tools, as well as shelving to corral outdoor dining supplies. An often forgotten treasure is an outdoor trash can for quick cleanups. These units provide storage below and work surface above, making the most of both space and time.

Organized Grill cart

If a larger work surface is not an option, think about adding a smaller bar cart to act as a hot spot for storing frequently used dining and grilling supplies, while also providing serving surface. Select a piece that can hold up to outdoor weather conditions, wood and steel tend to be the best options. Plastic lidded bins will keep dishes and linens protected from moisture as well.

Utensil Holder


A little lattice goes a long way in the storage department with this DIY utensil holder. Although compact, the organizer packs a lot of punch with hooks holding frequently used grilling tools and a shelf for holding a grilling basket and condiments.

DIY Utensil Condiment Caddy


Create a portable caddy that can hold cups of flatware, dishes and your favorite condiments. This will keep it super simple to transfer your indoor dining to the great outdoors.

Too Box Caddy

An upcycled tool box also has the ability to become handy and organized dining storage.

Picnic Basket


If you love to take last minute trips to the park, keep your picnic basket pre-packed and stocked with outdoor dishes, flatware, linens and a cutting board. Lidded jars work great for transporting side dishes while wax paper, baking liners and treat bags work wonderful for dried goods.

Organized Picnic


Stash a picnic-ready blanket in your vehicle for impromtu outdoor dining; an easy solution is to roll an oversized quilt and tie it up with ribbon.

Picnic Blanket


Outdoor Dining Product Picks

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Organize With This: Crates!

I always find it thrilling when something quite ordinary can be turned into something extraordinary. And that is no exception when it comes time to find storage solutions for around the home. In previous posts, I have shared a few of my favorite organizing solutions that are always reliable, such as credenzas and bookcases. Today I am adding another to the list; the great wooden crate!

Crate Storage Solutions

Wooden crates are readily available; whether at antique, thrift, craft or home improvement stores. They are typically quite inexpensive, and the storage possibilities are truly endless. The best part is you don’t have to have hardcore DIY skills to be able to make these amazing little gems into something quite incredible. A little stain and paint is all you need to bring these wooden boxes to life. Check out eight examples below of how crates are making a storage difference in a variety of homes and spaces.

Crate Mudroom Storage

Wooden crates make amazing wall storage because when paired together, they can create cubbies and open shelving. SImply anchor the crates to the wall and you have instant mudroom storage for pet supplies, outdoor gear, boots, shoes and even a mail station!

Laundry Room Crate Storage


But don’t stop at the entryway, think about other spaces throughout your home that could benefit from wall cubbies and shelving as well. Like the laundry closet! Crates above the washer and dryer provide easy and convenient access to your daily laundering essentials!

Create wal Office Storage


Wooden crates are the ideal size for holding decorative storage boxes, magazine files and binders, thus making them quite popular in home offices. Above, they are again wall mounted to hold daily paper necessities in a beautiful way. Bonus: They can also be placed on the floor to act as filing storage.

Crate File Boxes



Also in a home office or craft room, crates keep craft supplies on display and ready to use when the crafting mood strikes.

Crate Craft Storage


Many old vintage crates contain built-in dividers. This is always an organizational plus, as they now provide sorting options for smaller bits and pieces.

When looking to store children’s belongings, it is important to select items that will remain durable and can also be used down the road when the youngsters have grown. Once again, crates to the rescue! Adorable, kid friendly and versatile enough to switch gears at any point in time.

Crate Toy Storage


Add casters to the bottom of wooden crates to create “drawers” that pull out from under furniture. This keeps toys and child clutter tucked away between uses, yet provides floor level access at play and pick-up time. Bonus: these roll-out crate drawers also work great on the floor of pantries for storing vegetables, paper products and reusable shopping bags!

Crate Book Storage


Slice a standard craft store crate and half, add a few mounting brackets, and you have quick and easy bookshelves in your playroom or child’s bedroom!

Nursery Crate Caddy


I don’t like to play favorites, but this crate stand is simply genius. Utilizing shelving brackets from a home improvement store created a three tier storage solution that is perfect for any small nook.

Crate Blanket Storage

Lastly, here is a solution that can be used in just about any room in the home! Prop the crate up on a base, anything from a small table to a luggage rack will work well, to create a furniture style catch-all. Placed in a living room or guest room it works to corral extra linens, while in a bathroom this solution could act beautifully as daily toiletry storage. The options truly are endless, yet stylish at the same time.

How do you utilize crates around your home? Are you ready to head to the craft store to whip up some great crate storage?

Organize with This: Bookcases!

Storage furniture comes in endless shapes and sizes, however, when planning out storage solutions for your, sometimes it comes right down to the basics. I receive a lot of questions regarding organizing and storage for apartment dwellers, and I always resort to my favorite answer; a bookcase! In fact, bookcases are amazing storage solutions no matter what the shape or size of your home. They are by far the most versatile piece of furniture I have come across, and I just love how they can be used in just about any space of the home without becoming a permanent fixture.

Let’s begin in the entryway. By swapping out the upper shelves with a few hooks, you have an instant mini-mudroom closet. The lower shelves are perfect for holding shoes of various sizes while the upper portion can hold coats, handbags and accessories.


Affix a few bookcases together to give them a “built-in” appearance. Then, remove a shelf or two to give your television and components a tucked away location to live.

By adding a basic bookcase to the end of a bank of cabinets or an island in the kitchen, you now have quick access to decorative dishes and cookbooks.


Another amazing way to add smart kitchen storage is by turning a bookcase into a pantry cabinet! When the adjustable shelving is paired with jars, baskets, risers and organizers, the bookshelf provides a lot of bang for your storage buck.


If you entertain frequently, you may find it is nice to keep a serving station set up and stocked around-the-clock. By adding a few baskets, decorative trays and bottle holders, you are well on your way to being the hostess with the mostess.

If your home didn’t come equipped with a dedicated home office, create one from bookcases! Add a desktop and some shelves between a pair of bookcases and you have an instant desk that will leave you whistling while you work. Looking for more space to spread out and craft? Two shorter bookcases plus a solid top and you will be sewing up a storm in no time!



Bathrooms are not typically known to be grand in size, making it easy for daily toiletries to clutter up available counter space. Because bookcases are often slim, they can be tucked in behind doors and beside bathroom fixtures. Fill the shelves with towels, jars and baskets and your beauty essentials will become neatly stowed away, yet easy to access each day.


Heading to the bedroom now and bookcases work there also! By installing a basic clothing rod a bookcase becomes a simple and sweet closet for a child. Pair a few bookcases together and suddenly you have the makings of a custom closet for shoes, sweaters and handbags galore!



Finishing off in the playroom, a bookshelf is about as versatile as it gets for keeping special toys easy to reach and on display. Canvas and soft sided bins are great for corralling smaller pieces, while the remaining items inspire imagination during play time.

Bookcases are an obvious solution for storing books, however, they really do create inexpensive, slim, versatile and vertical storage in just about any room of the home. The best part is that they can easily be modified with paint, decorative papers and even doors. How do you make bookcases work hard for you in your personal spaces?

Organize This: Gardening Gear!

One thing that I truly appreciate about living in the Midwest are the signs of the seasons changing. Waking up to singing birds each morning and watching the trees bloom always brings a warmth to my soul. It also means that I take a break from inside chores and head outside to tend to yard work and gardening tasks.

Garage Storage and Organization

I prefer to spend the first couple spring weekends organizing our shed and garage to set us up for success throughout the remainder of the spring, summer and fall months. The image above repeatedly serves as my inspiration; the adjustable shelving paired with the work surface below combine to create a super efficient storage spot. Today, I am going to focus on organizing the garden gear used for maintaining blooms and veggies during this magical time of the year.

  • Starting out with durable, adjustable metal shelving is a great way to maximize the vertical space in your garage or garden shed. Selecting shelves that adjust also provides flexibility in storing awkwardly shaped items and bins.

Organize Garden Supplies in Small Buckets

  • Galvanized bins will be your best friend when it comes to storing seed, soil and fertilizer. They are weather friendly and light weight, making them ideal for toting around the yard. It is important to select versatile, durable and easy to clean materials any time you are storing outdoor gear.

Organize Gardening Dates on a Dry Erase Calendar

  • Hang an erasable calendar above your workstation to document important gardening season dates such as best planting days, watering and fertilizing schedules and farmer’s market schedules.
  • Use oversized recycling bins to hold those larger bags of soil and mulch. Many offer a flip top lid and when paired with a scoop, they offer easy access any time the gardening mood strikes.

Sead Sorting Bins

  • Small, divided wall bins are wonderful options for sorting and categorizizing seed packets {image via iHeart Organizing}.

Shoe Pocket Garden Supply Storage

  • Not everyone has an entire wall to dedicate to garden tool and supply storage. Add a shoe pocket to the back of a door to hold gloves, tools, seeds, and insect spray. {image via The Coupon Project}

Pegboard Garden Storage

  • Pegboard is about the most versatile storage solution to any organizing dilema, and garden storage is no exception. Install a small panel of the pegboard to hang a variety of watering and planting tools.

Garden Tool Caddy

  • Keep an empty caddy nearby, which can be filled based on the task at hand. They work perfect for toting around smaller tools, seeds, rags and gloves.

Garden Gear Organization Product Picks

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Organize This: Tax Season!

Tax time and filing doesn’t have to be boring or stressful.  With the tax deadline date lingering right around the corner, I am excited to share a some super simple tips for keeping this time of year as worry free and enjoyable as possible.



I have been there… Suddenly it is tax season and I am scrambling and struggling to pull together multiple document types and receipts for filing day.  Whether you have a personal accountant or you tackle the tax filing process on your own, it is important to manage multiple forms and records throughout the course of the entire year.  Although I am not a tax professional, I personally had to find ways to get my own tax system in order.  Here are a few of my favorite tax time solutions:


  • Find a Routine.  Don’t wait until the end of the year to look for documents and deductions.  File/document important information throughout the year during your scheduled budgeting sessions.  A few minutes every week or two is much easier than a multi-hour mad dash in April.
  • Simplify.  Don’t create a filing system that is too complicated to manage, or one that is not easily accessible as forms and documents come into your home.  Add an open top file box or paper trays to your desk with easy to access labeled file folders.  Small, decorative boxes look great and can be used to hold important receipts until you are ready to document them and file them away.  Slotted expandable folders work really well for dividing documents and receipts out by category and/or month as well.
  • Take Note.  It can be very frustrating when you are reviewing forms at tax time and you can’t remember why you kept a specific receipt or what a statement is referencing.  Keep a stack of blank sticky notes at your workspace which can be easily attached to receipts and statements with added details that may be helpful to you and your accountant on filing day.
  • Date it.  Whether it is on a wall, desk or planner calendar, take notice of important tax dates and also mark down reminders a few weeks before each date to ensure they don’t sneak up on you.  This is especially important if you are filing your taxes on a quarterly basis.



  • Need Some Motivation?  What drives you to want to work on bills and taxes?  I enjoy using that time to catch up on a favorite TV show or to listen to my favorite soundtrack.  I also file my documents in decorative file folders and containers because I don’t believe that paperwork has to equal boring.
  • Give Back to Yourself.  Keep a clipboard and lined paper in your car for donation drop-offs.  Each time you make a charitable donation, you should be given a receipt.  Attach the receipt to a piece of lined paper, and document each of the items being donated.  Also snap a photo with your smartphone for added proof and to serve as a reminder at tax time.
  • Don’t Spin Your Wheels.  Keep a small notebook in the glove compartment of your automobile to track mileage throughout the year.
  • Out of Sight, but not Out of Mind.  It is recommended to keep tax documents on hand for seven years before sending them to the shredder.  Save room in your filing cabinet by dedicating a large, labeled bank box in your storage closet to hold those dated returns.
  • Twice as Nice.  Investing in a paper/receipt scanner could save you many headaches down the road.  It is important to keep both digital copies and hard copies of your receipts and statements, as neither way is completely fail safe.



What tips do you have to get through tax season with a smile?


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