organize

BHG Guest Blogger

DIY Calendar Pencil Cup with Sarah Hearts

 

Sarah Khandjian is the crafty maker behind the DIY lifestyle blog Sarah Hearts. She is a graphic designer with a passion for creating lovely things. When not blogging or making something cute, Sarah can be found at the barn with her horse (her other passion).

 

 

 

 

 

 

I’m always looking for stylish ways to keep my desk organized. Since most of us spend so much of our days at our desks, why not fill them with functional items that look lovely, too? My organizational solution was to create a fun pencil cup using an empty paint can that would corral pens, pencils, and paint brushes. This colorful container also doubles as a daily calendar. It’s stylish and multi-functional – two things that are a must when you’re limited on desk space.

 

To create your own calendar pencil cup you will need:

 

 

Start by downloading the calendar template and printing out the text on the magnetic paper. Use scissors or a cutting machine to cut out each word and number.

It is helpful to bend the magnets around a pencil before you use them. This creates a slight curve in them and helps them wrap around the paint can.

 

Cover the entire outside of the paint can with washi tape. This can be kinda haphazard for a more organic look or it can be applied neat and orderly. Be sure that the tape hangs off both the top and bottom edges.

 

Carefully use the X-acto knife or a utility knife to cut off the excess tape on the top and bottom of the can. Peel off the small pieces of cut washi tap and you’re ready to add the magnets and fill the cup with writing utensils!

 

 

Happy DIY organizing!

Note: You can store the extra week day and number magnets on the back side of the paint can so you can quickly change the date.

 

 

 

 


Jen Jones

Organize This: An Entertaining Station!

Trend: Bold Bar Carts!

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It seems like every time I hop on the computer as of late, I run right into an incredible bar cart makeover.  I am loving that so many people are having a good time turning dated component carts and even TV stands, into bold and glamorous serving carts.  Not to mention, these makeovers are budget friendly and functional!  I can’t wait to scour thrift stores to do something similar myself.  Even my pal and fellow Style Spotter, Michael, found the oh-so-perfect $10 cart from Goodwill which now acts as a beautiful bar cart in his own home!

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As great as these transformed carts are for serving up cocktails,  they are also wonderful for storing dishes and supplies for entertaining, fine china, linens, small appliances and even act as a great surface to set out your food when hosting that nice big dinner.

 

If you are tight on space, select something a bit smaller, that can still be uber functional.  Shelves and drawers below make wonderful storage, and the top surface is the star of the show while entertaining.  Bonus points for adding casters to your serving station, so it can be tucked away when not in use.

 

If you have a little more space on your hands, armoires become an ideal place to store your beverage and entertaining supplies.  They offer an abundance of storage and flexibility and look amazing painted in bold hues.

The best part about these larger cabinets, is that a variety of organizers such as wine glass holders, plate racks, trays and even custom built wine cubbies, can be added to increase organization and storage even more.  Also, it is worth mentioning that beverages always look prettier when poured and stored within vintage glass decanters.

 

If you are struggling to find the perfect piece of furniture to use as your entertaining station, head to the big box stores and check out the shelves and bookcases.  A combination of a couple items will give you a custom look at a fraction of the cost, and pairing them with a vibrant backing or focal wall, really amps that wow factor.  Adding baskets for linens, utensils and smaller supplies, provides a nice mixture of open and concealed storage.

 

And when all else fails, you could always build a custom buffet, which allows you to work within your budget and personalize it for your needs and given space.  It also means you get to select a super fantastic color to paint it!

Again, the open shelving offers versatile storage and wine racks can be installed to add easy-to-access glass storage.  Mailing tubes covered with decorative papers instantly become darling wine bottle holders, and everyday modular cubbies turn into rolling storage and seating with the addition of simple casters and cushions.  The combination above makes for a compact, custom serving station which can be used year round for endless entertaining.

 

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Jen Jones

Organize This: The Living Room!

TREND:  Boldly Painted Shelving

I really love that the shelves above, went from out-of-the-box typical to extraordinary, with a coat of bright yellow paint.  It makes for such a brilliant focal point in the living area, and the organizing obsessed gal I am, is also really smitten with the abundance of storage that these shelves add to the space as well.

There are many great ways to bring unique and budget friendly storage solutions into a family friendly space, and have it still blend seamlessly with your style and decor.   Even if the space is typically used for snuggles, good reads, movie watching, popcorn eating and board game playing, the room can still marry family fun and function all at once.   The room is meant to be lived in after all!

Built-ins are another trend, but I think we can all agree it is one of those timeless trends that have been around forever and will not be going anywhere, anytime soon.

Built-in storage in the living room is a great way to balance a desire for style, by displaying decorative objects on upper open shelves, and offering concealed storage for games, magazines and media below.

Let’s take a moment to chat about media storage.

All of those multi-colored CD and DVD cases can quickly make a room feel cluttered and busy, so tucking them within drawers and behind cabinet doors is often times and ideal option.

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When concealed storage is not an option, sorting them down by category and placing them into decorative boxes, really streamlines the look and keeps them simple to find.

Sideboards, dressers and buffets all make for ideal media storage.  When an older piece is given new life with a fresh coat of paint, it becomes the perfect mixture of concealed storage below, and a place to set the TV above.

Do you have remote control monsters in your house?  The ones that sneak around in the night and hide remotes in the most random places and they go missing for days at a time?  A remote caddy is a great way to solve the monster problem.  If the remotes don’t have a place to live when not in use, it becomes a challenge to find them when it is time to kick your feet up and watch the news.   A caddy offers a great place to keep the remotes, along with all smaller living room necessities.

Storage ottomans will become your best friend in any family space.  They are perfect for holding toys, crafts, games and even all of those bulky video game controllers and accessories.

When not in use, the storage ottoman can do double duty as a coffee table, by adding a sturdy tray to the top.  Trays are a really great way to corral those smaller things, such as reading glasses, the newspaper and a notepad to jot down random thoughts.

If you are big game players, finding a way to stash away all of those bulky and super colorful boxes can be a challenge.  A coffee table with slide out drawers is the perfect solution for impromptu family game nights.

End tables come in many different shapes and sizes, but often times can boast oodles of storage for media, magazines, books and remotes, through drawers or even by nesting them to create multiple layers of shelving.

As they are in many spaces throughout the home, over-sized woven baskets are a storage life saver!  I love to place them at the end of the sofa to hold throw pillows and fuzzy throws, but they are also perfect for tucking away toys and activities for kids in-between uses.

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Jen Jones

Organize With This: Acrylic!

Trend:  Acrylic Organizers!

Acrylic organizers are some of my favorite for many different tasks and for many different reasons.  They can be used in endless ways and come in a large variety of options.  Here are some of my favorites!

 

Acrylic drawer organizers do their job of keeping items separate and simple to find, but they also keep drawers looking down right chic and pretty!  I love going the extra mile and adding some pretty liner in the drawer and have it show through the acrylic dividers as well.

 

Acrylic drawer dividers come in endless shapes and sizes, and many even stack to offer up extra storage.  They can be used for anything from office drawers to jewelry sorters and when you don’t need them anymore in one space, they can easily be adapted into another.

 

Where I really love to see acrylic organizers being played with, is at the desk!

 

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Acrylic gives desk spaces both a sophisticated yet playful vibe.  You can find organizers that work for corralling business cards, desk accessories and even stacks of papers, folders and mail.

 

 

Another show stopper is the acrylic tray.  It is so gorgeous and versatile, that you see them being lined with cloth and used as jewelry holders….

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Or for corralling accessories on top of a sideboard cabinet, a dresser, coffee table, and yet again, at the workspace.

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Acrylic organizers are really wonderful for organizing beauty products, since there are some of us who may like to have a few options on hand, the clear organizers help find everything quick and easy when dolling up.

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Or even for those looking to take their makeup goodies on the go!

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The portable caddy would also look incredible center of the table with some cutlery, or on a desk with pens, pencils and a pad a paper.  I personally love it for corralling my manicure items.

 

Hosting a party or just love having a bar setup in your abode?  An acrylic bar cart boasts organization for the supplies and bottles, and looks super glam besides!

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Although I am a fan of keeping the acrylic on display, it also functions big in tucked away places.  Smaller acrylic shelves can be added to medicine cabinets to create extra storage space for little things.

 

Smaller containers are wonderful for desk accessories, or in the bathroom for itty bitties such as cotton swabs and brush holders.

 

Acrylic drawer options that stack are ideal storage for under the sink as you can see the contents and save space at the same time.

 

Acrylic is an organizational win all around for many reasons.  It is versatile enough to be used in many ways, in almost any space.  It is glam, chic, sophisticated, lovely and can be dressed up or down.  It goes with everything, is durable, simple to clean and typically is quite sturdy for even the toughest organizing jobs.  One of the reasons I crush on it the most is because you can always see the contents of what you are storing, which means less rummaging and sifting for objects you are looking for.

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Jen Jones

Organize This: Small Office Nooks!

Trend: Tucked Away Workspaces!

 

 

Let’s face it, workspaces are a huge home necessity.  We need them for keeping track of home budgets and finances, for filing, paying our bills, for working from home, for crafting and projecting and of course, for doing our studies.  That is a lot of function for one space to handle, especially when space is limited and an entire room can’t be dedicated to the function.

That is why tiny, tucked away home offices are so huge.  We need them, but the option to devote an entire room from our home to a home office is simply a luxury.

 

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While we were personally in the process of creating our dreamy home office in our lower level, we took advantage of a guest bedroom closet to create a temporary workspace.  The closet was the perfect solution as it was previously being utilized for craft storage, and wouldn’t require us to disrupt them main living areas with a cluttered work area.  Now that we are using our new home office, the closet office still lives on as a study area for the kids, or a nice place for our guests to spend a few quiet minutes of their visit. It is also still one of my most favorite spots in our home.

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Closet offices are really becoming quite the rage.  Simply put, they work!  They are space saving, keep workspace clutter tucked away nice and neat and utilize oodles of vertical wall storage.

 

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There are all sorts of ways to make these closet areas not only functional, but pretty enough to want to spend a few hours tackling administrative tasks.  The biggest way to help them feel like another room in your home; is to treat it like one!  A bold paint color, a pretty stencil or wallpaper {or even wrapping paper}, really make a cheerful statement.

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But back to storage!  It’s amazing how much storage a closet office can really pack!  Whether you add in hooks and rails, floating shelves or peg board wall systems, utilizing the wall space is crucial for making the most of tucked away workspace storage options.

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And when you are all done with work for the day, closet offices can be closed up and out of site.  Curtains are one of the best way to do this as they take up much less space than standard doors, and they also add extra softness to a room!

 

But wait, what if you don’t have a closet to spare?  No worries!  There are so many other ways to gain a workspace when overall space is limited.

 

Look around your home for happy little nooks.  A small corner, a spot between two cabinets or walls or even that forgotten space under the stairs.

These mini-offices can still be uber functional by building in a desk or purchasing a smaller sized version measured to fit your space.   Add some wall storage, a memo board, task lighting, some dishes for small office supplies and a filing cabinet tucked below, and you have yourself one heck of a workspace!

 

Still nookless and closetless?  Scour local thrift stores or your favorite furniture shop for an armoire.  Many are outfitted as workstations for your computer, while the doors and backing act as a place to pin up notes, photographs and memos {add magnetic tin, cork or chalkboard paint to give yourself an instant memo board}.  The lower portion is a wonderful spot for larger electronics such as printers and scanners, along with drawers for filing away all of the paperwork.   And again, just close it up to hide that daily clutter when all is said and done each day.

 

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Jen Jones

Organize This: Open Kitchen Shelving

Trend: Open Kitchen Shelving!

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I am swooning big time over the loveliness that comes with gorgeously styled open kitchen shelving.  And not only are they uber lovely, but they are also an absolutely fantastic solution for dishes, appliances, baking goods and other kitchen necessities.  Especially in apartments and smaller spaces in which storage is limited.

The days of kitchens designed with wall to wall concealed storage are gone, folks are having a blast putting their dishes and kitchen gadgets on display!

While store bought shelving units are an inexpensive upgrade to kitchens that don’t have enough built-in storage…

 

Open shelves are an inexpensive way to give kitchens a nice and airy feeling!

 

Open shelving can also provide added flexibility.  Easily cut down to size, shelves can be fit into awkward spaces to create extra storage and display space.

 

The shelves themselves are not the only functioning piece of the equation; many different accessories such as wine glass racks and mug hooks can be added to the bottom side of the shelving to double the storage capacity.

 

 

Shelving also has a way of really highlighting those items that are frequently used and/or have special meaning.  A bold backdrop, such as a vibrant paint color or tile, really make the kitchen accessories pop.

 

They can also frame out a window while boasting storage where you would least expect it.

 

If you already have your walls filled with functioning cabinetry, but adore the look of open shelving, a simple solution is just removing the cabinet doors.  This also gives you quick access to the items you use most often.

 

Plate slats can also be added to open cabinets, which is an added bonus!

 

A large hutch is another great solution to open kitchen storage.  In fact, many sport a concealed area for tucking away bulky appliances and an open section for all those pretty dishes and accessories.

 

Open shelving isn’t for everyone.  If you don’t love the idea of extra dusting from time to time, but adore the look that comes with the open shelving trend, swap out your cabinet doors with ones that are glass faced.  Bonus points for painting or lining the cabinet backs with a bright and bold color or pattern.

 

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