Organize Now: Simple Weekend Projects

Check out these quick and easy DIY projects you can make this weekend without spending a bundle.


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kitchen organizer
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Kitchen Catchall

    What it is: A shoe organizer that works just as well in the kitchen

    How to make it: Add three screws to the top of the door and suspend a clear shoe bag from ribbon hangers. Label each pocket with a colored tag and store kitchen tools and supplies.

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Cell Phone Home

    What it is: A shadow box converted into a charging station keeps cell phones, cameras, iPods, and all their power cords untangled and orderly.

    How to make it: Find a shadow box wall shelf with an open back. Use hook-and-loop tape to attach a power strip to the back of the shadow box. Plug chargers into the power strip. Cut a piece of foam-core board to fit the inside of the cube and cover with decorative paper. Slide into the shelf to hide the power strip, feeding charger cords under foam-core board. (If necessary, cut small notches in the bottom of the foam-core board for the cords to sneak under.) Plug in electronics and set on the shelf.

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Mobile Home Office

    What it is: An old table receives a fresh start as an office on wheels.

    How to make it: Choose a table the width of a standard hanging file, then sand, prime, and paint it. Screw metal strips to the sides to accommodate hanging files, use a jigsaw to cut holes in the top for glasses or small storage buckets, and attach casters to the legs.

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Bookcase Shades

    What it is: A way to hide cluttered bookshelves.

    How to make it: Use canvas and tension rods to create shades for open spaces.

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Ladder Shelf

    What it is: An old ladder extends storage space and adds vintage charm.

    How to make it: Give a ladder a fresh coat of paint. Add old vent grates to each rung and simply screw them into place.

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Pretty Pencil Cups

    What it is: A chic and inexpensive way to store pencils and pens.

    How to make it: Use hook-and-loop tape to wrap ordinary paint or soup cans in leftover wallpaper scraps.

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Lovely Laundry Bag

    What it is: A pretty and practical solution for keeping track of dirty clothes.

    How to make it: Sandwich the top of a pillowcase in an embroidery hoop and attach a ribbon to the hoop's fastener for hanging.

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Wine Stand

    What it is: A unique way to store and display wine bottles.

    How to make it: Cut a 3/4-inch hardwood board to 3 1/2 x 15 inches. Paint or stain as desired.

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Message Center

    What it is: An information center on the inside of a kitchen cabinet that keeps track of kids' schedules, grocery lists, coupons, and other small items.

    How to make it: Cover the back side of a cabinet door with chalkboard paint or apply peel-and-stick chalkboard. Screw pegboard over another panel and store small items from hooks.

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Picnic Tote

    What it is: A garden tool tote turns into a picnic pack and easily transfers kitchen items to and from the picnic site.

    How to make it: Pile all of your picnic essentials into a repurposed, sturdy, canvas carryall, taking full advantage of divided pockets for flatware, salt and pepper shakers, and refreshments.

    BHG Tip: Once the contents are unloaded on the table, insert a plastic bag to hold dirty dishes, recyclables, and trash -- for easy transport back home.

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Wall Shelves

    What it is: An easy and stylish storage addition.

    How to make it: Transform a pair of two-shelf laminated storage stackers (commonly used for organizing shoes) into wall shelves.

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Message Board

    What it is: An old cabinet door is transformed into a beautiful memo board.

    How to make it: Mount a small shelf to a vintage cabinet door. Apply your favorite finish. Cover the inset panel in chalkboard paint with a magnetic additive. Hang in the kitchen, home office, or mudroom.

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Dress Up a Stationery Drawer

    What it is: Savvy storage solutions for keeping stationery in order and all in the same place.

    How to make it: Borrow a variety of small serving pieces and use a dab of adhesive putty on the bottom of each to keep them from moving around inside the drawer. Use a CD jewel case to store stickers. Clip stationery into sets and store in the lid of a photo box. Hold stacks of note cards in an hors d'oeuvres tray. Mini dipping bowls can round up stamps and address labels. Store pens in the base of a butter dish.

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Bath Dishes

    What it is: A fast and fashionable way to keep small bath accessories organized.

    How to make it: Give plain terra-cotta flowerpots a lively coat of hot pink paint and swirl rub-on accents (found with the scrapbooking supplies) for added interest.

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Skirt a Sink

    What it is: A fabric skirt that hides unsightly plumbing and adds a bit of storage.

    How to make it: Use water-resistant fabric and line the top with satin trim for a store-bought look. Make it easy to slip it off and toss it in the wash by attaching it with hook-and-loop tape.

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Better Bookshelf

    What it is: A basic ready-to-assemble bookshelf gets a makeover and, in turn, can work even harder.

    How to make it: Cover the inside of your bookshelf with a decal that's easy to remove and update later. Then hot-glue two layers of ribbon to the front of each shelf for added embellishment. Add tags made from scrapbooking papers to keep books organized by genre.

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Room Divider

    What it is: A nifty divider that neatly organizes living room space into a hardworking entry.

    How to make it: Assemble and attach three cabinet units together. Add hooks on the entry side to hang coats and bags.

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Recipe Box

    What it is: A cigar-box turned recipe card holder.

    How to make it: Find cigar boxes at flea markets and online auction sites. Add drawer pulls to the boxes and stash them on a ledge or in an old produce crate outfitted with plywood shelves.

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Salvaged Mail Rack

    What it is: An old metal heating grate is repurposed as a newspaper and mail rack.

    How to make it: Clean the metal heating grate by scraping away flaking paint with a wire brush and washing with a mixture of equal parts warm water and vinegar. Screw to the wall after cleaning.

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Custom Pencil Cup

    What it is: Glue together molding scraps from a lumber store to corral pencils and pens in style.

    How to make it: Attach four rosettes with wood glue, then glue the squares to a piece of plywood cut to fit the bottom. Paint to match your room's decor.

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Mobile Shoe Storage Unit

    What it is: An easy-to-spot shoemobile you can customize to store and roll anywhere.

    How to make it: Keep every pair of shoes together in clear containers and place on shelves with easy-to-attach wheels.

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Jewelry Organizer

    What it is: A piece of art that also holds your favorite pieces of jewelry.

    How to make it: Trim a metal radiator cover or wire screen to fit inside a frame. Stand it at the back of a dresser. Hook earrings through the grid and use small S hooks to hang other items

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Bulletin Board

    What it is: An easy way to keep important papers and bills at your fingertips.

    How to make it: Assemble molding rails and corkboard to create a functional bulletin board. Paint as desired.

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Garment Covers

    What it is: A simple way to store those occasional-use soft goods (throws, seasonal bedding, and formal dresses) and keep them safe and clean.

    How to make it: Slit the seamed end of pretty pillowcases, apply liquid stitching adhesive, and cover the opening with coordinating bias tape. Slip over hangers.

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Kid-Friendly Storage Bench

    What it is: A kid-friendly way to store just about anything.

    How to make it: Add bun feet to an upper kitchen cabinet and top with a seat cushion in a durable fabric or vinyl.

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Hanging Pot Rack

    What it is: An old screen door transformed into extra kitchen storage.

    How to make it: Drill hooks into the ceiling and use chain to hang the screen door from the hooks. Arrange pots and baskets evenly to distribute the weight equally.

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Yardstick Coat Rack

    What it is: A clever way to turn yardsticks into a functional coat rack.

    How to make it: Attach five yardsticks together. Add hooks and hang where needed.

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Beverage Cart

    What it is: A changing-table is transformed into the ultimate beverage station, perfect for entertaining.

    How to make it: Give it a fresh coat of paint. Add wheels to enable you to move the party from room to room and from inside to outdoors. Add plexiglass panels adorned with photo art and attach metal hooks and racks to increase organization.

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Bench Bookcase

    What it is: A clever colorful bookcase fashioned from stacked benches.

    How to make it: Paint graduated benches in coordinating colors. Then stack and fasten benches together.

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Bathroom Shelf

    What it is: A repurposed unused chair turned into a useful wall-mounted towel rack and shelf.

    How to make it: Remove the seat and legs of an old chair and mount it to the wall. Hang towels and other bathroom essentials.

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Storage Station

    What it is: A bookcase outfitted with personalized storage buckets keeps entries clutter-free.

    How to make it: Prime and paint buckets to match your decor. Adjust bookcase shelves to make room for them. Secure name tags to the buckets with a metal fastener and use magnets to add to-do lists and messages.

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Hallway Coat Rack

    What it is: Hangers and plank convert to a coat rack.

    How to make it: Start with four hangers and a plank of wood and simply attach hangers to the plank.

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Organized Entry

    What it is: An entry way turned into an ultra-organized mini mudroom.

    How to make it: Install hanging storage, drawers, and a wall shelf on a wall next to your entryway.

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