organize

Jen Jones

Organize This: Toys!

Trend:  Dipped Baskets!

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Of course, these super chic baskets can be used to store just about anything, but I think they would be most darling in a child’s play space.  Whether that is your living room, playroom or bedroom, they are versatile enough to house a variety of toys while your kiddos are young, and transform into beautiful adult storage when they are grown.

What are other functional, fun and smart ways to store all those toys?  Here are a few more ideas.

 

Storage ottomans have to be one of my most favorite simple solutions for toys.  They come in so many colors, shapes and sizes; and they double as seating or a place to prop up your feet.  They can be tucked into corners and under console tables or be placed in front of the sofa.  The best part is that most are soft sided, making them even more kid friendly.  I love that they keep the toy clutter discreetly tucked away, yet toys are simple to access at playtime.

 

A sideboard or a set of cabinets can also be relied upon for tucked away toy storage.   Chic on the outside yet they boast all sorts of storage for games and bulky toys on the inside!  The best part is that they can also be used in just about any room in the home.

 

Bookcases or cubbies keep toys right within reach and keep it simple for youngsters to access the items they adore, and they also provide the versatility of mixing and matching baskets and bins for both concealed and open storage.

 

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Within our own personal playroom, space was awkward and limited so I used some Expedit bookcases to create benches that not only provide oodles of low toy storage, but also double as seating.  Multi-functional solution for the win!

 

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Open bin storage units not only look great, but separate toys by type, are ultra durable and also assist in quick clean-ups.

 

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Sliding bins and crate like bins with wheels tuck nicely under shelving and furniture when not being used, yet are easy peasy to pull out when it’s time to play.

 

Mini suitcases are not only darling room accessories, they also make great storage for all those itty bitty toys and miscellaneous items that kids tend to find and “collect”.

 

Pocket organizers utilize a room’s vertical space and are especially great for housing dolls and their accessories.

 

As much as I adore a good woven basket, canvas bins are a bit more durable and the soft sided edges make them especially ideal for little ones.  They are also lighter weight and come in a large variety of colors, patterns and sizes.

 

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Jen Jones

Organize This: Jewelry!

Trend: Jewelry Displays!

The days of tucking our jewels away in pretty boxes and drawers are gone, today, we are putting those bangles on display!

It really makes sense as an extremely practical way of organizing jewelry since it allows us to see what we have, and ensure nothing gets forgotten or lost.  It makes it simple when planning an outfit, to glance over and pick the icing.  Hanging jewelry also prevents tangles and allows the items to remain separated.

As functional as jewelry displays are, they also look pretty enough to become part of the room’s decor!

Jewelry displays can be created in numerous ways, but most often times involve a darling frame with inserts of varying materials.  Knobs and hooks are also often times used.

 

For my own personal jewelry organization, I mixed and matched a few different display options.  Cork board for necklaces, radiator grate for earrings, an egg crate for earring studs and pins, a ceramic  hand for rings and a pretty dish for bracelets.  I like the setup on my dresser and keeps all the different pieces categorized.

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Speaking of dishes; tea cups, saucers and bowls all make great jewelry storage.  Earrings can dangle from the lip of the cup or bowl, and smaller items can rest inside.

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Another option is a jewelry stand, which is often times tiered plates or dishes which allow you to categorize each level of contents.

 

How about a tree!?  Not only are they sculptural and pretty, jewelry trees are really great for holding all types of jewelry while also reducing the risk of tangles.

 

Of course, the traditional methods of organizing jewelry have been around for years and years, because they work so well!  You can never go wrong with drawer organizers which allow you to divide out the contents and quickly find just what you need.  They come in many different sizes and finishes; even cutlery trays work great!

 

Jewelry boxes keep everything tucked safely and neatly inside, and reduce any visual jewelry clutter.  The box below functions as storage on the inside and out, allowing you to place your frequently used pieces on top, and less often used items inside!

I am a huge fan of keeping a jewelry landing spot such as the one above or a small dish bedside as well, for my wedding ring and favorite pair of earrings.

There are so many great ways to organize your jewelry, such a memo boards, trays, dishes, trees, stands  and organizers, you may find that just one system is the perfect solution for everything, or go the mix and match route to customize your ideal blingy jewelry storage.

 

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Jen Jones

Organize This: Changing Table!

Trend:  Dresser acting as a changing table!

 

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Using a dresser as a changing table is a trend that has been around for awhile now, and I also think it is one we will see for years to come.  There are endless benefits; the most obvious being that it can quickly convert to long term storage once baby has outgrown the diaper changing days.  But dressers doubling as changing tables also make sense since they often times offer more surface space and more storage than standard changing tables do.  Have you fallen in love with the dresser to changing table back to dresser craze too?

Although it has been awhile since my little guys have been in diapers, it seems just like yesterday.  And even though many new products have since hit the market, many of the same ideas that helped me out then, are still relevant now.   Here are a few of my all time favorite tips for creating a super functional place to change your sweet little babe’s diapers.

Of course, a solid dresser or changing table is the first and most important item on the list.  Looking for one that contains multiple drawers wins big, since babies tend to come with a lot of gear.  Lotions and potions, onesies, stacks of diapers and wipes, it is so amazing how someone so little can need so much!

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The surface of the dresser is a great place to keep the everyday baby care items, such as powder, lotion and cotton swabs, since they are accessed so frequently.  Bonus points can be earned for storing those items in pretty jars and lotion pumps or within decorative baskets, all which disguise the everyday baby clutter.

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Inside the drawers, soft sided drawer organizers create multiple zones to neatly separate the different types of baby essentials.  These work especially well for outfits, bibs, socks and even more cute outfits (because they are so hard to resist)!

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Drawers are really great for keeping all of those diapers out of site, yet nice and easy to access in a jiff.  And we all know we need nice and easy when babies are involved!

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Another important thing to consider is the laundry.  Without getting into too many details, babies can be messy!

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If you are limited on space, adding a few hooks to the side of the dresser or near it on the wall, is a great place to hang a laundry sack.  Those same hooks also are a great place to hang the diaper bag, since many times it needs to be reloaded at the changing table right before an outing.

If you are working with limited surface space, consider adding some decorative shelves above the changing table.

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The shelves act as the perfect place to tuck extra diaper cream, powders and lotions, but can also serve as a happy display of art, toys and children’s books.

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Last but not least, consider adding a small lamp or wall sconce on or near the changing table, with a low watt bulb.  They are perfect for giving off small amounts of light to get you through the late night changes and feedings, without the intensity that a typical overhead light provides.

 

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Chelsey Andrews

DIY-ify: Button Earring Holders

 

A couple of months ago I happened to catch an episode of the Rachel Ray show. I’ve only seen it a couple of times and never actually try to watch it. For some reason… the sparkling lights in the TV mesmerized me and I had to watch. I’m glad I did. I saw the most amazing thing! Ok, not super spectacular, but pretty neat. A designer on the show shared the idea of putting a pair of earrings together ON buttons. Yup. That means they are ALWAYS together.

It’s very simple to do. Pick out a few pretty buttons, poke the stud through the hole and clip the earring backing on the other side. Done.

 

A couple of tips for the process…

- If you have earring that are a bit bulky and wont fit together on one button: Use a bit of string to tie two buttons together, add your earrings to the buttons and now your earrings are together.

- If you have a button with multiple holes: it’s fun to put more than one set of earrings on a single button.

- Buttons that have a single loop on the back are perfect for wire earrings.

 

How many times have I fished around for the matching earring pair? How many hours have I lost doing this? Kidding, it’s not that bad. It’s just great to know where my earrings are.

 

 

- Chelsey, The Paper Mama


Jen Jones

Organize This: Cleaning Closet!

Cleaning comes with all sorts of tasks and products right?  Brooms, mops, vacuums, rags, sponges… the list goes on and on.  Keeping those cleaning goodies all corralled in one happy place is far more effective and time saving than having them spread throughout the home.

Sure, there are absolutely times where it makes sense to store specific cleaning supplies within an individual room, rather than heading back to the cleaning command station each day.  For example, I am a huge fan of keeping cleaning supplies tucked under the bathroom sink, since I tend to wipe up the bathroom on a daily basis.  By keeping the supplies right in the space that I clean each day, I am more apt to grab a sponge and spray.

Speaking of keeping supplies together.  My next cleaning product organization tip is to give yourself a cleaning caddy.  It makes it much easier to take a bucket or basket from room to room to dust, wipe down the glass, scrub a stain or clean the counters, rather than keeping products lined up under the kitchen sink or up on a shelf.

Again, I have found that by keeping my products together and portable, I am much more likely to want to use them.  It just makes things so much easier, and allows me to “work smarter, not harder”.

 

Back to the cleaning closet.  Closets are a great place to store those larger cleaning supplies, such as vacuums, brooms and mops.  And the smaller caddies and essentials can be tucked into bins and baskets within the same closet.  If your home is limited in closet and storage space, consider purchasing a utility wardrobe to your garage, entry or mudroom.

When planning out your closet, list all the daily, weekly, monthly and annual cleaning tasks that you tackle, and stock your closet accordingly.  Some might find it easier to divide out the cleaning supplies by specific tasks, others may select to divide them out by frequency or portability.

Utilizing the backs of the closet or cabinet doors, along with the interior walls of the closet, is the best way to maximize your storage capacity.  Over the door organizers or pockets are a great way to store extra supplies such as brushes, sponges, disinfecting wipes, gloves, etc… hooks and clips are also wonderful options for handled items such as dust pans and brooms.

If you are like me, and watch for your favorite products to go on sale and stock up on a few extras at that time, keeping a cleaning closet allows you to store your overflow cleaning supplies and products as well.   They are also a great place to stash extra bulky paper products.

 

A designated area for all of your supplies provides a great starting point to keeping a tidy and clean home.  Sometimes just looking at my cleaning items all nicely corralled, gets me inspired to turn up the music and do a little scrubbing.

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Jen Jones

Organize This: Pantry!

The pantry is often a small space, however, it has to function BIG!  Typically used to store food, it may also be the home of small appliances, serving pieces, paper products, etc… That means it is important to maximize the space provided and organize it in a way that makes sense on a daily basis.

Here are some of my no fail pantry organizing tips!

  • It’s good to give your pantry a good starting foundation.  Foods of all kinds are stored in the pantry, and that can mean drips and spills.  I started in our own pantry by adding pretty liner, which has provided us with super simple clean ups.
  • Hanging a clipboard within the pantry will allow you to keep a weekly shopping list right at your fingertips.
  • Tuck a step stool inside to help you reach the shelves up high with ease.

 

  • Tiered shelves and lazy susans are magical additions to the pantry since they don’t allow items to get lost in the back.  They keep everything visible and easy to access.

 

  • A dry erase board mounted inside of the pantry is a great spot to manage meal planning.
  • The addition of simple hooks allow you to hang linens within the pantry; everything from aprons to hand towels to oven mitts.

 

  • Label, label, label.  Labels are great for determining food types {especially when similar in shape, color and size}.  They also help ensure that things make their way back to their original home.

 

  • By using clear storage containers within the pantry, you can always see exactly what you have on hand right at first glance, and food stays fresher for longer.

 

  • The back of the cabinet or pantry door is always prime real estate for storage of all kinds.  Over the door organizers, magnetic boards and hooks are all great items that will make the most of your space.

 

  • Divide your pantry into areas or zones that make the most sense to your daily routine.  Keep like items together and categorize items by food type.  Place frequently used items right within reach and less used items up high or down low.
  • Another great way to maximize the space originally provided, is to invest in expandable organizers, which clip below shelves or stack above, to ultimately triple your storage.

 

  • Pantries tend to be designed a few feet deep, which means things can easily be forgotten in the back.  A great solution is to install roll out drawers so that nothing shows up on the missing persons food report.

 

  • Baskets make a great, less expensive alternative option to the pull out cabinet drawers.  They hold the same functionality of pulling all contents out at a time, but at a fraction of the cost.

 

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