storage solutions

Erin Menardi

Friday Finds 7.18

Hello again, friends! This week I wanted to share some ideas for re-purposed wood projects, because I think those kinds of pieces are some of the coolest ones out there. It’s cheap, it’s creative, it’s fun, and it’s hard to beat that mix of old style and new flair.


Take a look at these amazingly easy dyed bamboo placemats from The Homesteady next time you’ve got a half hour to spare. I love their bright, simple, earthy look, and so will all of your dinner guests.



If you’re looking for some extra storage options around the house and have an old ladder hanging around in the garage, try this ladder shelf idea I pulled off of Refresh Restyle. It puts a fresh twist on an old piece of hardware almost everyone has handy but never uses.



For a more creative project idea–and one your kids will love–grab some branches from the yard and make some of Tonya Staab’s  tree art. It’ll be a fun afternoon for the kids, and a piece of their art you’ll want to keep forever.



I think these repurposed wood cut-outs from Primitive and Proper are super fun and full of character. If you’ve got the right tools and a decent drawing hand, customizing different shapes or outlines would be a cinch!



And finally, can we just talk about how absolutely awesome this tree house from Say Yes is?? I’m convinced I should probably build one ASAP (cue handy husbands/boyfriends/significant others everywhere). Who decided adults were too old for tree houses, anyway?



Get building while these crazy summer days last!

Jen Jones

Organize This: Pet Supplies!

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.


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Jen Jones

Organize With This: Bold Floral Patterns!

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?


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Jen Jones

Organize This: A Wonderful Wardrobe!

Trend:  Goodbye closet, hello wardrobe!


Whether your existing closet is far too small or one does not exist at all, wardrobes have been around for ages as a fantastic stand-in solution.  However, they have come a long way over the years!

It seems that I am seeing individuals opting to install wall-to-wall wardrobes in place of everyday closet systems more and more frequently.  There is something really appealing about the ability to keep everything within reach and easy to access, yet nicely concealed at the same time.  I also find that wardrobes are beginning to offer endless custom storage solutions at a fraction of the walk-in closet price.

The first step in selecting the right wardrobe, is taking the time to do an inventory of your current belongings.  Take note of every last shoe, accessory and dress, and use those numbers as a guide to determine your storage needs.  Between your clothing count and your allotted space, you are well on your way to finding a suitable option.

Although some wardrobes come with limited built-in storage solutions, customization options are endless!  This is another reason why these pieces of furniture are becoming more prominent.


Let’s start with ways you can modify the exterior of a wardrobe to adapt it to your space:

  • Install decorative crown moulding to the top of the wardrobe to give it an instant high-end appearance.
  • Change out the stock hardware.  Off-the-shelf wardrobes typically come with inexpensive knobs and pulls and simply upgrading the hardware will take the wardrobe from great to grand.
  • With the proper technique, paint can be applied to most pieces of furniture and completely transform the way they compliment a space.
  • Some wardrobes may be “hacked” and built-in for a custom storage look at a fraction of the custom furniture price.




Now where it is important to make every inch count. the wardrobe interior:

  • Utilize the backs of the doors with organizers and outfit inspiration boards.
  • Don’t be afraid to add additional shelving.  Just because it wasn’t purchased with enough shelves, doesn’t mean you can’t bring in more.
  • Add drawers for accessories and undergarments.  Whether you purchase something custom for the closet or utilize a store bought option, drawers go a long way with clothing and accessory storage.



  • Add baskets to the shelves.  Baskets are great for corralling odd shaped items and concealing clutter.  Pop a label on the fronts for quick identification.
  • Install hooks to the interior walls and doors for ties, belts and scarves.
  • Install a second closet rod for double the hanging space.
  • Use slim, felt hangers to maximize hanging capacity and prevent clothing from slipping to the floor.
  • Add in a shoe organizer to the lower portion of the wardrobe to keep your footwear looking fancy.


So what do you think?  Are you a fan of wardrobes and their versatility?


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Jen Jones

Organize This: Drop Zone!

Trend:  Multifunctional Drop Zones

Drop zones are commonly located inside of an entry door, and provide a location to store a variety of items that typically make their way into the home with you.  Drop zones are completely personal and based on individual storage needs, however, here are the most common items to consider when putting together a drop zone in your own home.

  • The main purpose of a drop zone is to provide you with storage space for your everyday belongings; things you take with you when you leave and items you bring back into the home frequently.  Most drop zones are right out in the open for easy access, however, they can also be concealed within cabinets or coat closets.
  • When designing your drop zone, the first step is to identify the items you need to store and utilize daily.  What items are you always looking for as you make a mad dash out the door in the morning?  How about items you find filling your arms when you return home in the evening?  Also consider the remainder of your family’s routine in those similar scenarios.
  • Create a surface.  Whether using a cabinet, dresser or shelf, a surface for your belongings is the first step of the process.  Floor cabinets not only provide a location to set belongings, they also double as storage for shoes, backpacks and handbags.  If space is extremely tight and limited, maximize wall space with alternative options such as hooks and bulletin boards.
  • Designate a place for keys.  No one enjoys those moments when you have somewhere to be, yet keys are nowhere to be found.  Designating a hook or tray for keys inside the door will prevent you from being delayed in the future.
  • Just like keys, portable electronics seem to go with us everywhere these days.  Adding an outlet to create a charging station will keep your cell phone and tablet charged and ready to go when you are.
  • Oversized baskets work great for corralling winter gear, umbrellas and footwear near entrances.
  • Add a tray, stationery station or wall pockets for incoming mail and school paperwork.  This is a great location to place stamps, an address book and blank notecards for mailing bills and quick correspondences.  It is also the perfect place to drop incoming mail to be sorted at a more convenient time.  Many individuals also prefer to use a corkboard as a place to pin up calendars, invitations and important paperwork that will eventually require attention.
  • Hooks are your best friend in an entryway.  They work wonders for keeping handbags, accessories and outerwear off of the floor.
  • Lighting is easily overlooked near drop zones, however, very important to the process of grabbing things in the early morning and putting things away in the late evening.  Consider an overhead hanging light, wall sconce or table lamp right inside your door.
  • Adding a mirror provides a spot for those quick hair and makeup touch-ups before heading to work or an event.


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Jen Jones

Organize This: Clothing Closet!

How we organizing our clothing closet has the ability to impact our entire day.  Starting the morning by gazing into a closet full of chaos and clutter is sure to begin your day on the wrong foot.  Here are a few of my favorite closet storage tips to ensure your morning routine is as stress free and simple as possible.


Start from Scratch:

Most closets are installed with a basic shelf and clothing rod; nothing more.  If possible, start from scratch or expand on what is already there, to bring in custom solutions that really maximize your closet space.  Without proper organizers for the different types and styles of clothing, piles begin to form and it becomes challenging to quickly find belongings.  A specific system will allow you to maximize the vertical wall space and make the most of the overall storage area.

Whether you set out to build or purchase off-the-shelf closet systems, consider each type of clothing you plan to store.  Everything from shoes to dresses and pants to accessories such as belts and scarves all should be given a place to call home within the closet.


Double Up:

A simple way to double your hanging space is to install a second closet rod, which simply hooks to your existing closet bar.  Twice the hanging space equals twice the storage.  Slim space saving hangers also allow you to maximize your hanging space, while felted options prevent clothing from slipping off to the floor.


Think Clearly:

Shoes are an investment and should be protected by storing them in stackable shoe boxes or within designated shoe cubbies.  Clear organizers allow you to see and access your footwear quickly during the daily outfit planning process.


Divide and Conquer:

If space permits, consider adding a set of drawers to your closet space.  Whether in the form of a dresser, a rolling cart or a custom closet system, drawers allow you to store your undergarments and accessories with the remainder of your wardrobe pieces.  Add simple dividers to the drawer to keep accessories separated and prevent necessary rummaging.


Pocket Protectors:

Hanging shoe pocket organizers are really one of the most versatile storage items out there.  They can serve endless organizing purposes in almost any room of the home.  When it comes to closets, you could opt to go the obvious route and stash your favorite footwear inside, or switch things up and take advantage of it as great accessory storage.  The pockets are ideal for organizing scarves, belts and jewelry while taking up very little space.


Hooked on Hooks:

Hooks are another option for wrangling accessories of all shapes and sizes.  And they are compact and fit in small areas and nooks of the closet, on the side of cabinets or on the backs of closet doors.  Speaking of closet doors; another way to make the most of your closet is to tap into the back of the door as if it were an extra wall of storage space.  Whether using shoe pockets, over the door organizers or hooks for hanging out your daily outfits; it is important to always keep the added space in mind.


It’s in the Bag:

Handbags are typically bulky and awkwardly shaped, however, pairing them with simple shower curtain hooks will allow them to hang nicely within your closet.  Other handbag storage options include shelves, over the door organizers and decorative storage boxes.  Bonus point can be achieved by stuffing your handbags with paper or fabric to preserve their original shape.


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