storage solutions

Jen Jones

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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Jen Jones

Organize With This: Better Homes & Garden’s Color Palette of the Year!

Hopefully by now you have seen the announcements and taken some time to soak up Better Homes & Garden’s 2015 Color Palette of the year.  It is SO fresh and pretty!

The moment I spotted the deep hued grays and greens paired with flirty pinks and a playful tealy blue, I found myself noticing that I already use many of the beautiful and bold colors throughout our home.  In fact, seeing them all pulled together in one inspirational photo gave me a few new ideas for upcoming room makeovers we will be working on.  Thank you BHG!

Being the storage loving gal of the group, I decided that I would pull a few fab “color palette of the year” organizational products that can be used to jazz up and organize any room in the home!  Enjoy!

 

 

bookcase | jar | filing cabinet | pouch | trays | memo set | wire basket | tote | woven basket | hanging sacks | desk | storage ottoman


Jen Jones

Organize With This: DIY Storage!

I have always been a bit of a storage “junkie” as one would say.  Not only do I love the process of organizing, I love beautiful and stylish containers.  What I don’t love is the impact that storage can have on my wallet.  Therefore, whenever I take on an organizing project, my first step is to brainstorm ways to create my own storage using materials I typically have on hand.  Most often times, a little creative thinking and resourcefulness allows me to DIY beautiful solutions on a budget.  And I am always up for the crafty challenge!

I have DIY’d a lot of storage over the years, and I typically find myself reaching for many of the same items over and over again.

 

Cardboard Boxes:

Boxes come in many shapes and sizes; the boxes I find myself using most frequently are shoe boxes and cereal boxes.  Pair the boxes with paint, decorative paper or fabric, and you have a high end look on a crafty budget.

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The boxes above were given a few coats of paint and the edges were gilded with gold.  Below, boxes were covered in fabric to create a canvas effect.

 

Food Packaging:

Don’t throw away those oatmeal canisters, cereal boxes or soup cans!  They all can be upcycled as storage throughout the home.

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{ cereal box drawer dividers via }

 

Jars:

Mason jar storage has gone viral over the years.  They can be used to corral anything itty bitty.  However, if you don’t have any mason jars on hand, head to the recycling bin and use any glass jar.  With a little paint, they can be crafted to look like storage purchased at your favorite home good store.  And they work great for holding anything from cotton in the bathroom to nuts and bolts in the garage.

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Pegboard:

Maybe I typed too soon.  Mason jars and pegboard may have to battle it out for title of Most Versatile Storage Solution.  I love using pegboard all over our home to keep commonly used items within arm’s reach.  Pegboard in the laundry room organizes sewing supplies, in the craft room it organizes gift wrapping and crafting tools, while in the garage it organizes utility items.

 

Picture Frames:

Pictures frames work wonders for displaying your favorite memories, but their functionality doesn’t have to stop there.  If you have a few extras on hand, or pick some up at your local thrift store, they can be used to hold pegboard, decorative sheet metal and even canvas pockets to create stylish and practical wall storage solutions.

Simple hardware can also be added to a common photo frame to create a beautiful, decorative tray!

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Crates:

Unfinished wood crates can be purchased extremely inexpensively at local home improvement and craft stores, and with a little paint and/or hardware, you can put them to work all around your abode.  Add casters to create pull out shoe storage, or cut them in half to create slim wall organizers!

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Magazine Files:

Say farewell to paper clutter!  Magazine files organize magazines, mail, school papers, books, newspapers and stationery.  Because they are slim, they can also slide into pantries and linen closets to organize awkwardly shaped items in a sleek and stylish way.

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Rope:

Thicker rope paired with thread or hot glue can be used to create baskets, while softer rope is perfect for embellishing containers and for creating storage bin handles.

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Fabric:

Fabric can be sewn into organizational pouches, pockets and baskets.  It is also the key to making recycled boxes, food containers and jars look top notch.

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Decorative Paper:

Just as I utilize beautiful fabrics for covering boxes, paper can do the same.  I also love to use decorative wallpaper, gift wrap and scrapbook paper to line bookcases, drawers and trays.

Storage does not have to be expensive to be beautiful.  Using common household items as storage is not only easy on the pocketbook, it also promotes recycling.  All you need is a little glue along with some lovely fabric or paper and you are well on your way to high end storage on a shoe string budget.


Jen Jones

Organize This: Personal Glam Goods!

When bathroom space is limited, it becomes important to make the most of every nook and cranny.  That is not always easy when personal care products are involved.  Hair tools and sprays, night creams and lotions, oral and nail care… How can you make the most of a bathroom with limited counter and storage space?  I would love to just hire myself a daily glam squad to come in and take care of it all for me, but alas, I am no celebrity so it is up to me to be selective about how much I really need and use.  Of course, the first step is to check dates and purge items that are old, duplicated or haven’t been used for an extended period of time.  Once that is done, the fun begins!  Here are a few of my favorite tips for organizing daily beauty supplies.

 

Hot hair tools seem to be the most challenge items to tuck away due to the heat they put off and their awkward sizes.  Consider adding heat-safe canisters inside of a cupboard, drawer or basket, to safely hold the hot end of the tool and to prevent the cords from taking over the counter.  Bonus tip: Claw hair clips are great for quickly keeping cords under control.

 

If drawer space is too tight for an upright canister, a decorative heat-safe tray tends to work equally as well.  It also looks pretty whether it is left out or tucked away on a shelf.

 

Speaking of trays, did you know they can actually function really well as drawers?  Especially when you add in a few drawer organizers to corral smaller items such as nail care and makeup.  I love that each tray can serve a different function, and that many also stack to save on space.

 

I love shopping the kitchen for alternative bathroom storage  solutions.  In fact, spice racks tend to be an answer to most toiletry dilemmas.  Many are narrow enough to be hung inside of a cabinet or on a wall, yet still offer enough surface space to hold multiple jars and canisters of personal care products.

 

A few other kitchen finds include decorative platters, cups and dishes.  Pieces on pedestals offer layers of storage for smaller items such as jewelry and nail polishes.  Mugs work their magic holding makeup brushes, egg crates are perfect for sorting earrings, and small bowls can store anything from bobby pins to Q-tips.

 

Utensil caddies are another kitchen item that I am a cheerleader for.  They work brilliantly for items that tend to be transported from room to room, and for assembling kits relating to specific personal care tasks.

 

Just like in the kitchen, drawer dividers are crucial in keeping a tidy makeup drawer. With the force of opening and shutting a drawer, items tend to shift and become jumbled.  Drawer organizers keep everything nicely divided and ensure that there is no frantic rummaging while getting ready for work.

 

Office supply stores are another uncommon place to look for bathroom storage.  Many of the products designed for organizing desktops also work beautifully for organizing personal care items in the bathroom.  Desktop organizers can hold both tall bottles and small hair ties while pencil pouches can double as toiletry travel bags.

 

While we are on the subject of travel, I always recommend having a toiletry bag pre-stocked and waiting in a nearby basket, drawer or suitcase.

 

Most of us are not lucky enough to have our own personal bathroom, and storage needs to be considered for two or more daily users.  Keep products for each member of the family neatly tucked away in durable labeled bins.  This prevents any confusion and prevents cross contamination of bacteria and common germs.

 

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Jen Jones

Getting Organized in the New Year!

Be more organized is one of the most common resolutions that individuals jot down on their lists as they ring in the new year.  Of course, the timing is perfect as we are coming down from holiday stress and influx of belongings received, however, being too generic with your organizational intentions may do more harm than good.

The idea of having every aspect of our lives tidy and organized is a beautiful thought, but not necessarily realistic.  Organizing is an evolving and on-going process.  It can’t be achieved over night, it must be sustained over time.  So if you are looking to become more organized in 2015, here are my tips for helping you achieve organizational goals.

 

PRIORITIZE

Being too broad with your organizational goals will only cause a frustration and a lack of direction.  You may quickly find yourself feeling overwhelmed and biting off more than you can chew at once.  It is important to take a look at your day-to-day routine, and focus on the items that slow you down or cause you to feel the most flustered.  Make a list of the items that cause you the biggest headaches, and prioritize them based on what they are costing you financially, emotionally and time wise.  For example, if your guest room closet is cluttered but you only access it a few times a month, then that area is less of a priority than your entryway drop zone, which is most likely used on a daily basis.  Select the top items to focus on over the course of the year (be realistic about your achievable number of projects), and only take on one project at a time.

 

PLAN YOUR ATTACK

Now that you know what you are going to tackle, it is time to plan how you are going to tackle it.  I like to jot down notes with specifics regarding the project; such as my end goal, a few key steps to get there, project budget, storage needs, etc… This gives me a clear picture of what I am truly attempting to accomplish and allows me to manage my money and time throughout the process.  It is really important to think about your habits and problem solve how you can work the new system into your daily routine.

 

FIND INSPIRATION

Some people really love to organize!  For everyone else, it is important to find something to keep you excited about the upcoming project.  To ignite the flame, reach for inspirational magazines (cough, BHG, cough), search ideas on Pinterest or check out your favorite organizing blog.  Also, find ways to incorporate something you enjoy into the organizing process.  Reach for a hammer and build new storage, paint the interior of the closet, create labels/tags out of craft materials, listen to your favorite book on tape or put in your favorite movie.  Finding ways to pass the time and to integrate a little fun is a sure way to stay motivated and get things done.

 

START FRESH

Now that you know the projects you need to work on, have a plan and have found inspiration, I always recommend completely clearing your space.  Empty that drawer, clear out the closet, remove every last item from the pantry.  By starting with a blank slate, you will have the opportunity to touch each item and make an assessment whether it should stay or go.  Clearing the project area also provides a fresh perspective of how to best utilize the area moving forward.

 

CREATE A HOLDING CELL

As you are sorting down the contents of your space, each item should be placed within a keep, donate or trash pile.  If you are struggling making a decision on a specific item, place it in the donate box and store that box in a temporary holding zone for a month or two.  If you forget about the item or don’t find yourself reaching for it while it is tucked away, off it goes for good.

 

LESS IS MORE

Having fewer items and less clutter typically results in more time, more space, more money and more freedom.  That is why we love to organize right?  The same idea applies to the storage you are utilizing to organize your items.  While problem solving storage solutions for your project, it is best to think simple.  The more complex the storage solution, the more challenging it will be to maintain the space once the project is complete.  Select solutions that allow you to put things away in a single swift motion.  If your solution requires you to go downstairs, open a drawer, open a bin and sift through a pile of folders just to file away a receipt, I would be willing to bet that the receipt would end up in a pile outside of that drawer instead due to the abundance of steps it takes to put away a single item.  The goal is not to aim for perfection, it is to aim for simplicity and set yourself up for future success.

 

SAVE VS. SPLURGE

Now that you know what items require storage, it is time to go shopping!  However, don’t head  out to your favorite department store just yet.  Start by shopping your home.  Look for empty shoe boxes, crates, trays, bowls and baskets.  There are so many ways to reinvent unused items from around the home as storage, you may be surprised.  Once you have used what you already have on hand, create a quick list of what is remaining.  While sourcing and shopping, it is a good idea to invest in items that will remain timeless and relevant for years to come.  Woven or wire baskets, acrylic drawer dividers and decorative storage boxes will always find a new place to land should your organizational needs change down the road.  For bigger projects, lean towards furniture pieces that are also versatile.  Dressers, credenzas, bookcases and armoires are my favorite pieces of furniture due to their limitless storage options.

 

IF AT FIRST YOU DON’T SUCCEED, TRY, TRY AGAIN

As I mentioned above, organizing is an on-going process.  As our routines, lives and family structures change, how we use our homes will also change.  It is important to stay open minded and excited that there will always be projects waiting for you down the road.  And if one of your first systems doesn’t work out the first time around, it is always OK to revisit it, tweak it and try again.  No matter how much you plan, you will never really know how it will go until you use it for a few weeks.

 

Now that you know my tips for prioritizing your organizing projects throughout the year, below you will find my “go to” organizing products.  These are items I find myself reaching for over and over again due to their versatility and reliability.

 

{ storage drawers / multi-purpose bin / magazine file / pouches / label maker / drawer organizers / wall hooks / caddy / binder / document box / baskets / credenza / label holder }

 

 

What one space are you most excited to get organized this coming year?


Jen Jones

Organize This: Budget Busting Pantry!

Proper pantry organization can impact the functionality of the entire kitchen.  The pantry is important for storing our daily nutrients, and keeping it organized will ensure meal time goes off without a hitch.  Organizing the pantry can also assist with meal planning and grocery shopping, proper food storage and quick access to the items used most frequently.

What is better than an organized pantry?  An organized pantry on a budget!  The pantry above is quite effective, and many of the items purchased or used were found on the cheap.  Let’s take a closer look.

 

 

  1. Use cork tiles on the inside of the pantry door to pin up favorite recipes.
  2. Store dry goods in clear, air-tight storage containers to extend the food’s life and freshness factor.
  3. Shelf risers allow you to double your shelving space.
  4. Tiered shelf risers are great for allowing you to see jars, cans and spices that are stored towards the back of the pantry.
  5. Attaching a clipboard to the inside of the pantry door provides a space for a grocery list.  When something runs out, just pop it on the list and always be ready for shopping day!
  6. Simple clothespins work great as bag clips.
  7. Installing drawers in a pantry is always a great solution for ensuring nothing is lost in the back.  However, custom wooden options can be quite pricey.  Inexpensive storage bins can act as a sliding drawer, allowing you to store like items together, while still offering the pull out functionality that we all love.
  8. Lazy susans are fantastic for corralling smaller jars and bottles.  A quick spin and you can see all of your products in a jif!
  9. Shelf baskets clip onto shelves, giving you extra vertical storage where there once was none.
  10. Clear cereal containers allow you to quickly see what is remaining before heading to the grocery store, while preserving the freshness of the cereal for longer periods of time.

 

And a few bonus budget busting tips:

 

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When it comes to wire pantry shelves, cut foam board (found at the dollar store) to the size of your shelves and cover it with shelf liner.  This is an inexpensive way to ensure nothing falls through those wire grates and provides a streamlined appearance.

 

 

Use mason jars as inexpensive food storage.  And you can never go wrong with making your own labels!

 

 

Magazine files work great for corralling recipes, magazines and cookbooks.

 

 

cork tiles / lazy susan / shelf basket / labels / shelf liner / shelf riser / magazine file / clothespins / tiered riser / food storage

 

 

New Kitchen Storage Ideas