I’m not one to waste space, especially in a small home. After getting my simple diy pantry built in as part of our outdated kitchen transformation, the back of that pantry door was just staring at me all empty-like. So I asked Roy if he could pleeeeease make me a pantry door organizer. Being a sucker for my puppy dog eyes, he said yes. I just wanted it to hold some basic things like plastic bags, teas, jellos and other smaller items. He measured it up and before I knew it, my panty door was empty no more! Roy is not a professional carpenter and only recently started dabbling in building things. He claims anyone can build these things with a few basic tools. So don’t let the idea of wood work overwhelm you!
Pantry Door Organizer Supplies & Tools
- 1″x4″ for sides and shelves all cut to 2.5″ wide
- 1/4″ slats cut from left over pieces for cross pieces
- Luan 1/4″ plywood, 2″x4″ piece
- Wood Glue
- Saber Saw for Cutting Notch in Back for Door Knob
- Table Saw was used for everything else
I added some colorful contact paper to the back of some of the shelves. You can never have too much storage!
I’m kind of embarrassed to admit this but we were using a stand up clothes armoire as a simple DIY pantry in our kitchen because we didn’t have enough space to hold all our food stuffs. Hey, you do what you need to do. And I needed more space for my canned goods. Roy, who’s not a carpenter, finally decided he was going to make us a pantry as part of our outdated kitchen transformation. It would be small and in the corner, but it would be floor to ceiling. So he designed it using Googles free program SketchUp. Then he bought the materials and started building! I’m amazed at how much this small pantry holds. I was able to empty the “armoire” pantry and a couple of cupboards. You can watch him make it start to finish below. If you enjoy these do it yourself wood projects, you might also like our DIY Bed Canopy.
This is the corner it was going in to. Not very big is it? (FYI it has been painted)
This is what we were using for a pantry along with a couple of the kitchen cupboards.
Roy LOVES messing around Google SketchUp and he designed the new pantry.
The start of the framing now begins!
The outlet was on the wall which would now be “inside’ the pantry so Roy had to move it. Fairly easy job.
After the frame was up, the sheet rock was cut and put up.
Then wood strips were added for the shelves.
The sheet rock was mudded and sanded by our son Adam.
Roy began painting the inside.
Shelves were cut.
More sanding by Adam.
Shelves inserted and painted. The final step. The door!
The door and frame were painted.
Though this will be part of the decorating post you get a sneak peek. We added a label to the door.
Perfect! You’ll see more later!
Actually there was one more step. Roy added some shelving on the side so we could get rid of a bakers rack that held a variety of appliances. Now came the fun part. Filling the new pantry!
I can’t believe how much stuff we could fit into that small pantry. We opened up so much cupboard space in addition to getting rid of the old armoire.
I purchased a special container on wheels for Oliver’s dog food. We can now store paper towels inside rather than in the garage.
Items that are not used as much go on the upper shelf.
I don’t get all fancy with my organizing in here as there is such a turnaround. I just keep it neat.
Get organized with a gigantic wall calendar! As you might know, huge wall calendars are not only hard to find but also really expensive. Well, here’s a way to make your own using Washi tape and its not only inexpensive but a fun eye catching focal point. Ours was used in my daughter Amy’s home office but it would be equally great as a family center. It incorporates Post-it Notes and you can use smaller ones and assign each person a different color or use large ones that fill the entire block. So many choices! We did ours in black and gold but get creative! If you’re looking for other ways to get organized check out how to Organize Office Supplies in Style and our Home Office Closet Makeover!
Wall Calendar Supplies
NOTE: We tried electrical tape for the calendar as we thought it would be perfect. It was too stretchy and would not stay up on the wall.
- Black Washi Tape
- Post-It Notes These come in a variety of sizes too!
- 40mm round gold sequins
- Sequin Pins (to hang sequins on for dates)
- Gold Letters for Week Days These are 2.5″ tall. The size you need will depend on the size of your calendar.
- Black cardstock
- Double Sided Tape
- Black Sharpie Marker
Step By Step Instructions
Wall Calendar Frame
Something To Think About: What types and sizes of Post-it notes you want to use. i.e. small sizes for each person, a large size that fills the block etc. Some might require doing some specific math to get your boxes the right size. You’re also using wider Washi Tape than the typical type.
- Pick a wall that you’ll place the calendar on.
- Decide how big you want the calendar. The only size limit is your wall.
- Measure out and lightly mark where your rectangle will be.
- Take your width number and divide by 7. Take that number and measure and mark across the top and bottom of your rectangle.
- Take your height number and divide by 5. Take that number and measure and mark down the right and left side of your rectangle.
- Cut your Washi Tape and lay it out along the all the lines you made. The main calendar is now completed.
Calendar Sequin Dates
- Write the numbers 1 through 31 on your sequin’s with the hole on the top. These are for hanging on your days.
- Lightly hammer tap in the sequin pins where you want your dates to hang out. Change them out each month!
Calendar Days of the Week
- Make half circles from black paper that fit over your day columns.
- Place your day of the week letters on each half circle and tape it over the appropriate column using double sided tape.
- As everyone generally always knows what month it is we didn’t add a month label but you certainly could.
Get organized with this fun huge wall calendar made with Washi tape, large sequins and Post-it notes! It’s great for a home offices or a family center!
Wall mounted file pockets are expensive. We’ll, we’ve found a way to make super cheap & creative wall mounted holders using 3 ring binders! The pockets can be used to organize or hold all types of things but we created 7 different printables so they can be used as a homework helper. You can even use wet erase markers to write on the charts and keep track of what needs done when! It’s a very unique and useful upcycle project. These would also go great with our small wall pouches made from recycled CDs! We used one of these pouches to make a Homework Helper Portable Desk.
Homework Helper Pouch Supplies
NOTE: The pouches are made to hold light weight items such as paper. If you would like a much stronger hold use E6000 and allow it to dry.
- 1″ 3 ring binders with insertable covers
- 1″ x 9″ or longer paint sticks
- Downloaded printables below
- Saw for cutting paint sticks
- Glue gun
- OR E6000 Glue
- Command Strips
- Wet Erase Markers
- Grommets Optional. We used the 3/8″ set for another pouch project.
The first thing you need to do is remove the metal ring strip from each of the binders. This can be a little tricky depending on the type, but generally you can carefully pry them off using screwdriver and pliers. We insert a large flat screwdriver next to where it was attached and then twisted the screwdriver to help pull the metal up.
After bending the metal center up a little we used pliers to reach under and twist the brad that attached it. The goal is to remove the rings with the least amount of damage to the binder itself.
We ended up having to pull the brads out after we twisted the metal bar off.
This does leave a hole on each side of the binder. But it is the back of the binder so it doesn’t matter as that part will be against the wall.
Cut your paint sticks to about 8.5″ or 9″. These will fall about an inch below the top so that there is a little give when placing items in the pouches.
Binders with metal removed and cut paint stick ready for gluing.
You can also insert two grommets in your binder before assembly. This allows them to be hung with nails or even ribbons rather than using Command Strips. Its super easy.
This is the pouch we made for our Homework Helper Desk.
This is how the wood will be placed in the binder.
Paint the sticks.
Start by gluing along one side of the binder as far up as the stick will go. (You could also glue directly onto the stick. Place the stick in place quickly. Do this for both sides of the binder.Place a line of glue on the tops of the sticks.
Fold the opposite side of your binder over onto the wood strips being careful to line them up correctly.
Print out the binder inserts.
Slide them into place.
Command Strips work wonderfully for hanging your binders on the wall.
The homework helper binders are completed and ready for use!
Wet erase markers work great on the surface! (Dry erase doesn’t rub off as well)
Go to work in your underwear? Sure! The best thing about having a home office is there are no rules to follow. That also means you can fix it up in your own unique way! Check out our spectacular closet makeover below. We’ll show you how we turned our messy closet into a well-organized, beautiful and fun place to store office supplies.
Closet Makeover Supplies
- Plastic Parts Chest (painted black)
- Plastic three drawer chests (set of 6 for $27)
- White Bankers Boxes
- Black Pinstriped Banker Boxes
- Sheer Curtains
- Wall Stickers of Choice (Found ours at the Dollar Store)
- Labels for plastic three drawer chest. I made these using my Silhouette cutter.
This is the before and after shot.
When we moved in, my office room was a typical closet.
Shelves were added and painted.
I keep our family files in banker boxes. The hand written labels were pretty worn.
All my office supplies had also become a mess.
I already owned a parts chest that I painted black and used for the smaller parts.
View our tutorial Organize Office Supplies with a Parts Chest here. The labels are a free printable download.
The top shelf was very high and I chose to use it mainly as a focal point. I purchased some wall labels at the local Dollar Tree.
I chose to use sheer curtains on the sides of my closet. First I tried grey. Then I switched to hot pink. What a difference!
There’s also a light with a pull chain.
A yard sale is a great way to declutter and make some extra cash. Having participated in and attended more than my fair share of them through the years, I’ve created a printable kit (actually 5 of them!) that has a detailed list of great pointers and an outline to assure your success. The kit is filled with useful printables of all types including some you probably wouldn’t think of such as a “Testing Station”. There’s also an inventory sheet to keep track of what sells.
So grab the kit of your choice (we have five colors) and start planning your most awesomely successful yard sale ever! To help you gather your items, check out our 3 Box Rule Dejunking article. It will take the pain out of cleaning out!
Roy smiling at a yard sale we helped my parents set up last year.
Our Own Yard Sale, June 2016
I printed out a copy of the checklist and signs from the kits below.
Rather than a money box I opted for a sectioned pouch that I wore at all times.
We put our signs up the morning of, after we had the yard sale set up.
Ready to go!
Our granddaughter sold lemonade and cookies for $25.
Yard Sale Supplies
All of these items are listed in our downloadable kit.
- Price stickers. We used these and they make pricing easy!
- Money Box We’ve actually used a shoe box in years past. Whatever you use, make sure it’s in someone’s possession at all times.
- Batteries for items. (You can use cheap ones, just make sure battery operated items are equipped.)
- Clear zip lock bags to hold parts of small items.
- Extension Cord and Power Strip (For a testing table.)
- Tables (borrow as many as you can)
- Lots of change, bills and coins.
- Saved grocery bags (to put buyer’s items in.)
- Soft music (Optional. See checklist)
- Refreshments, drinks or items for a very inexpensive bake sale. (Optional. See checklist.)
- Full Yard Sale Kit (In case you’d rather not make your own signs. We strongly suggest you still print our check list. )
Yard Sale Kit & Checklist Download
Yard Sale Outline
This info is in our kit as a printable check list.
Interesting Yard Sale Stats
|Garage Sale Statistics|
|Average number of yard sales each week in the US||165,000|
|Average number of people who purchase something at a yard sale each week||690,000|
|Average number of yard sales listed on Craigslist each week||95,000|
|Average number of items sold at yard sales each week||4,967,500|
|Total US weekly revenue from yard sales||$4,222,375|
|Best time to start a yard sale||7:00 am|
|Best day to hold a yard sale||Saturday|
|3 Least liked yard sale items: Stuffed Animals, Televisions, Magazines|
|3 Best loved yard sale items: Tools, Collectibles, Sports Equipment|
|Those who expect to negotiate the price||42%|
|Those who leave within 2 minutes if they find nothing interesting.||97%|
|Average profit margin when items purchased are resold on eBay||462 %|
|Average Cost Per Item|
|Entertainment (DVD, CD, Books, Games)||$0.47|
|Household goods, (dishes, office supplies)||$0.57|
|Yard items (plants, trimmers, mower)||$2.37|
These small plastic drawers for organizing parts can be used for oh so many things! And you can glam them up quick with some paint and gems. This one was used to hold office supplies on my desk and I redid it to match my larger parts chest I made over to organize office supplies. You could use these in a variety of areas in the home such as the bathroom for makeup or on the kitchen counter. I use two of them for my craft room organization.
Plastic Drawers Makeover Supplies
- Scrapbook (12×12 sheets) or contact paper of choice
- Hot Glue
- Plastic parts chest similar to this
An old dirty plastic drawer I had in storage.
Cleaned it up and gave it a couple coats of spray paint.
This one had removable knobs so I popped those off.
I used a clothespin on a stick to hold them while I spray painted them silver.
Then I glued small gems into the center.
Measured the drawers for liner.
The front of the drawers were curved so after cutting my liner paper, I traced the end.
Cutting the curved end.
Placed my liner in each drawer.
I keep this on my desk to hold all types of handy items.
Recycle CDs and DVDs into these useful and pretty wall pouches! They’re also a great way to use up those small scraps of fabric you have lying around. There are so many fun uses for these… office supplies, pencils, dry erase markers, coupons, small notes… the ideas are endless. One thing is for sure, it’s a great way to upcycle all those discs you’ve had lying around forever. This is just one of many ideas we have, such as how to “Make a Clock from a DVD” or “Quick DIY Bookends from CDs“. Check out all our CD & DVD Crafts here!
Recycled CDs Pouch Supplies
- CDs or DVDs
- Material Scraps
- Hot Glue
- Thumb tacks, white or silver or brass
- Wire cutters
- Patterns, free below
The basics of how to make your recycled CDs wall pouches are below. You can look at our photos to see different styles. The sky is the limit on design!
Use our free pattern to cut the back piece of your disc.
Following the circle of the disk dab on hot glue around the back edge and wrap your material around carefully. We suggest doing it on 1 to 2 inch intervals then going back around and pulling down the unglued sections to help give a smooth edge.
PULL THE MATERIAL SNUGLY as you go. This also assures a smooth edge.
If there are large pieces of material on the back, snip them off to reduce bulk.
Add ribbon or felt for a hanger.
Using our free pattern which is a tiny bit smaller than the CD, trace onto some felt. This will cover the back of your pouch.
Glue your backing piece onto the back of your pouch.
Take a piece of felt that will be the pouch and set it in place. We used pinking shears on the top edge. You want to allow for the pouch to stick out a little.
Place any small item in the middle to hold up the pouch then put a dab of hot glue on each of the top corners to hold it in place.
Remove your item and turn the CD over and carefully trim around the edge.
Glue the remaining edge to your CD.
We cut out an image from our material to glue to the front of our pouch.
You can also cut an angled pocket as shown. This effect was done for the version with a flower on the front of it.
You would now continue as above in attaching and cutting your pouch.
Cut out your flower pieces to glue on or you can make your own!
For the metal brads shown on two of the pouches, take wire cutters and cut off the point of thumbtacks.
Glue the thumbtack tops to your pouch for a nice effect.
This toy box in a drawer is packed full of fun and creative activities ever for both adults and older kids. We’ve got ideas for your galore! It’s great for a living room end table drawer or in our case a coffee table drawer.
Family and visitors will love going through it and playing with all the creative things. Maybe they’ll play a skilled game of marble jump, or decide to color on a mini adult coloring page. They might sculpt a little something or give themselves a spritz of “joyful” spray. They can freshen their breath and alkalize their mouth at the same time by choosing the tin labeled “Eat Me” and filled with Xylitol mints. Do a word search, play solitaire, even scratch their back! One thing is for sure… there will be a smile on their face when they peek inside this special drawer.
A few of our items had thier own seperate tutorials so be sure to check out “Portable DIY Puzzle Mat” and “Awesome Practical Uses for a Black Light Flashlight“
Toy Box in a Drawer Supplies
I used some things I already had on hand for my drawer and purchased others. I took plain things and added labels to them, Washi tape or bling. I even painted the marbles silver. Below are close up photos of some of the items in my drawer along with a list of what I used and purchased (or something similar.)
(Our DIY here)
(Found at Books a Million)
(Removed label, added bling)
Spray Me Joy Spray
(lavender oil in water)
Small Word Search
(my dad made it)
Adult Coloring Pages
(pdf from Etsy, printed small)
I decided to add a small photo album to the drawer later. The family drawing you see was done by our daughter Amy quite a few years back.
Looking for a more modern plastic bag holder you can make? We’ve got two of ’em! These Mid Century Modern bag dispensers (the ones you get at the grocery store) are made from a 2 liter soda bottle and a DVD or CD. Add spray paint and a few stickers along with our free label below and you’ve got not only a modern function piece to hang on the wall or inside a cupboard but also a great upcycle.
Plastic Bag Holder Supplies
- 2 Liter Plastic Bottle
- 1 CD or DVD
- Spray paint of choice (For the geometric shape we used Krylon Maxx Sea Glass Satin)
- Iron (optional, to round top edge of bottle)
- Utility Knife
- Hot Glue Gun
- Command Strips (optional, for hanging)
- Spray adhesive (optional, for applying cut out label)
- Dry erase marker (optional, for marking your bottle)
- Goo Gone (optional, for removing label residue)
- Circle stickers, washi tape or electrical tape
- Label below
We’ve got a pdf label you can cut out or a .studio3 file if you have a Silhouette cutting machine.
2 liter plastic soda bottle with the label removed.
Measure for your bag opening. You want about a 2″ opening. We use a dry erase marker for marking our bottle as it wipes off easily.
Cut along the lines you made.
Cut the bottom of the bottle off at whatever height you want your container. Our bottle had a natural line on it so we followed that. WE made our second dispenser shorter to allow it to fit inside a cupboard door.
Trim the ends with scissors to even them out if needed.
If desired, you can use an iron to round the top edge. Set the iron to high and press the top end against it for about 15 to 20 seconds until it starts to round. Only do this to the larger opening.
Heating the end gives it a very nice rounded edge.
Spray paint your bottle.
For the first bottle we applied a Silhouette label.
We used black electrical tape to make the triangle shapes.
Spray paint a DVD or CD. Glue on a small piece of ribbon to use for the hinge.
Attach your lid.
For the second dispenser we used a cut out label.
Spray adhesive was used to apply the label.
For the confetti design we used colored dot labels.
Paint the CD.
Apply the ribbon hing.
Sticky two sided Command Strips work wonderfully to attach your holder to the wall. You could also attach a ribbon to each side and hang it up or use a hole punch to hang it on a nail.
Fill your dispenser with plastic bags.
Completed plastic bag dispensers!
How much time every day do you spend looking for misplaced items such as keys, cell phones, homework, remotes, socks etc.? Studies show at least 30 minutes a day. That’s six full days out of your year spent searching for your stuff. 1 2
Yikes. The single most important idea I’ve discovered to keep things neat in the house and find what I’m looking for is this: “Everything has a home”. It’s a simple but powerful concept. Every single item you own needs to have a place in your house that it belongs.
The second part of this concept is equally important: Everyone needs to put items back in their home. I will admit that this part can be tricky and require some practice. But I promise you that having a spot for each item is crucial to having people put things back where they go. Even if you have to put things back that others have left lying around, (you know, while your training them…) that task is so much quicker if you know exactly where it goes.
The biggest problem with keeping things orderly is that many things do not have an official place they belong. Or that you keep several types of the same thing in different spots. If everyone knows beyond a shadow of a doubt that the tape measure goes in the top drawer on the left in the kitchen, with just a little practice and follow through, you’ll find that it can indeed end up there more times than not!
Organized Home Pointers
Here’s a basic list to simplify things and get you started on your way to a neater home and most importantly being able to find your stuff when you need it.
- Take an afternoon and spend time assigning a spot for everything in your home that does not seem to have one. (Or tackle it one room at a time.) Try to make the location logical and group like things together.
- If there are particular things that get left around a lot, focus on those to begin with.
- Explain to the family that everything in your house has its own home just like they do and it needs to be placed back there when they are done with it.
- Be consistent.
- If things get too out of hand have a “take everything home” party where everyone is assigned a room to find items that are “lost” and takes them back home.
- Make sure to set an example. Kids follow your lead.
When very young kids forget to put something back simply ask “Where does it live?” The same goes for adults though asking a grown man “Where does it live?” might not be seen as helpful as a gentle reminder.
Putting things where they go is a habit, pure and simple and habits can be changed. But it’s a lot easier when you set yourself up for success. So find homes for all your things and you’ll quickly see how this tiny concept can have big results! Then you too can experience the joy of going to the drawer for a pair of scissors… and low and behold… there they are!
Looking for Added Incentive?
Check out the New York Times Bestseller on this exact topic.
Free Printable Reminders
Print these small reminders out and hang them where they can be seen or in places where putting things back might be a problem.
Keep things organized and at your fingertips by making a simple living room handy box remote holder. We used a $4.00 box from the local craft store. It not only holds remotes when not in use but other items you might want handy. We’ll show you what we put in ours but everyone’s will be unique!
This is another idea that came from a personal need. We had redone our living room and the old cigar type box I was using just didn’t look too good anymore so I set about creating something a little less “tacky” for my purpose. You can make these out of anything of course including small baskets! If you’d like more ideas on classy organizing, check out our Organize Your Office Supplies in Style post!
Remote Holder Supplies
Unfinished wood box in the size you need
Paint of choice
Instructions and Ideas
This is what we had been using to hold our remotes and other items.
This box was a bit unique in that the wood top was bendable.
We spray painted the box silver inside and out to match our living room.
These are the items we keep in our box. FYI that iPhone charger is awesome and comes in a variety of colors. If my phone is low it charges it up in a matter of minutes. I also love the round tin you see holding jelly beans. You can use them for all kinds of things!
These small plastic parts chest are not just for nails and screws! (As you can see in our Craft Room Organization Ideas.) With a little paint, labels and some bling, you can transform them into a classy and stylish way to organize office supplies. We’ve got printable standard drawer size labels you can use for your own cabinets if desired. Your office supplies never looked so good!
Organize Office Supplies Project
LABEL SIZES & CHESTS: Many of these types of chests have drawers that are generally standard in size but they may vary slightly. These labels will fit drawers that measure approx. 4.5″x2.25″ for the large size and 2″x1.25″ for the small size. Also, some drawers can have a divider slot on the inner front of the drawers. Those cannot easily have labels on the inside but you can attach them easily to the outside. I personally have three different brands and sizes of chests and the labels fit all of them.
- Plastic parts or craft chest. The labels fit this typical size chest.
- Spray paint
- Printable labels below (or make your own)
- Spray adhesive. (Make sure you get the type that allows for temporary bonds and use out outside.
Blank Labels (pdf)
- Remove the drawers from the chest. Spray paint the chest the color of your choice, using two or three thin layers, allowing them to dry completely in between each coat.
- Lay out the drawers, gather all your office supplies and place them in.
- Write the titles on your labels to match the drawers.
- Print and cut out your labels. They are aligned in such a way that you should be able to cut directly between them with no trimming required. (Unless a specific drawer needs it.)
- I attached my labels inside the front of each drawer but you can also attach them to the outside if desired.
- Using a spray adhesive that allows for temporary bonds, lightly spray the fronts of your labels (or the backs if you’re placing them on the outside of the drawers.) I used 3M General Purpose Adhesive which does both permanent and temporary bonds depending on how long you let the glue dry before affixing to the item. I let the spray set for 60 seconds to make the bond temporary. I barely sprayed mine with tiny short spurts as I just wanted enough adhesive to tack the label into place. This allows you to easily replace labels in the future.
- Fill up the chest with your drawers!
My office supplies had gotten a bit out of hand.
I purchased a plastic parts chest.
I spray painted it to match my office.
I set up a card table and laid out all the drawers and then proceeded to fill them up with my various office supplies.
I titled all my labels to match the drawer contents, then printed and cut them out.
I chose to put my labels on the inside of the drawers facing outward. I took them outside and laid them all face up on a piece of old poster board. Then I did a very light spritz on all of them and let them set for 60 seconds for a temporary bond. This way I can change my labels easily in the future if needed.
Add on your bling! I chose rhinestones.
If you live in a small home it can be challenging to find places to put everything. Something I’ve struggled with is linens. The home we are in now is medium sized but Roy and I have a lot of stuff due to our businesses and hobbies and I don’t have a closet I can devote to linens. They typically end up being stuffed in various drawers. But I finally found a way to store mine that works great and still keeps them handy. Plus it utilized typically unused space under the bed. Bonus!
- Inexpensive clear top zippered bags that will fit under a bed.
You can find these storage bags many places but I got mine on Amazon for $6.49 for a set of two. I bought two sets so I’d have four, two to place under each side of my bed. They are PERFECT for sheets, pillow cases, shams and will even hold small blankets if needed and provide quick and easy access. These are not super heavy duty but they work wonderfully. Fill them full but don’t overload them.
UPDATE OCTOBER 2016: Well these did not last as well as I had hoped. I replaced them with the following Ziz Home Anti-Mold Breathable Home Organizer which is sturdy, and a good price. I can fit a LOT into it and it fills up one side of the bed. So take the ideas below and use them in this larger and stronger bag!
My Linen Storage
Organize them well. I used one for sheets, one for pillowcases & shams etc.
They fit perfectly under the bed. When you need a sheet just quickly slide one out and unzip it. After you grab what you want they easily slide back under. It’s about as easy as opening a drawer to grab something.
If you only have a small area for crafting we’ll show you how to make the most of it! My craft room is also my laundry room so I had to get super creative in order to fit as much as I could into the space and still have it be functional. I used mostly things I had on hand for organizing and decorating my room and to make it a fun place to create in. As you’ll see below, craft room organization doesn’t have to be expensive!
This is a rough sketch of my floor plan. The room is 11’6″x10’6″ and also holds my washer and dyer. You can get an idea of how I laid everything out in an effort to make the most of the space. For a little help redoing your own rooms download our Free Room Makeover Kit.
A Few Supplies I Use for Craft Room Organization
If your budget allows it, here are some extra things that can make craft room organization much easier.
- Mini cabinets I have several sizes of these I had previously purchased on Amazon.
- Plastic test tube type containers for my seed beads
When we moved into our home I chose my laundry room to also be my crafting area. To make the most of the small room I used standing bookshelves and folding tables. I had originally placed everything in the room neatly but never really organized it well and it didn’t take long for the small space to become pretty messy and hard to find what I wanted. My first step in getting it more organized was to hunt down all kinds of containers that I could use to help organize my stuff. The best place to get colorful containers of all sizes is your local Dollar Store. I already had quite a few containers already and I mainly used those. This room is done in an eclectic style which I tend to favor. Bright colors and no set theme other than “fun and creative”. After gathering my containers I started going through all my supplies and weeding them out and organizing them much better.
I can’t stress how important this part is. It doesn’t matter how many lovely containers you have holding your goodies, if you have to open each one up or pull it down to see what’s in it that’s just plain inconvenient. (Unless of course you’re using clear containers.) I labeled everything in my craft room that was in a container so that I could look at a glance and find what I wanted. For tiny containers and my small parts cabinet drawers I used my Brother PTD400AD Label Maker which I absolutely love. It prints in a variety of styles and sizes and on a different types of labels which are easily changed. It runs on batteries or an AC adapter. For larger containers I made my own labels by creating them in my favorite software then printing them on cardstock and attaching them to my containers in various ways. If you don’t have a label maker or a way to print your own do them by hand! They will look just as great and serve your purpose just as well.
Organizing the Small Stuff
I not only organized the large items I had, I went through all my various tiny parts and pieces. I had thousands of buttons, some that were antiques my mom gave me and some that were newer sets I’d purchased for various crafts. I dumped them out and sorted them, picking out the nicer sets and placing those in tiny zip lock bags. I buy various sizes of these bags in bulk on Amazon. They’re very inexpensive for a large stack of them. I used 2″x3″ size for the buttons. I didn’t bag all of them, just the obvious ones, so I still have a large button box full of loose buttons. But when I need a nicer set for something I can now find it easily. These tiny part cabinets are perfect for small items. I have three of them I’ve collected through the years. These had gotten fairly messy and mixed up and the drawers needed labeling. (I was tired of opening up every single drawer as I tried to find what I wanted!) I cleaned them out, sorted them and labeled them with my label maker placing the drawers in alphabetical order. Having lots of craft parts is pointless if you can’t find them when you want them. I’ve actually re-purchased things that I ended up finding later so organizing can save you money! My jewelry parts were already in small plastic boxes with sections but they had gotten out of control and mixed up so I sorted through those also. I had a lot of tiny seed beads and wanted a better way to store them. I found these plastic test tube containers with lids that worked great! I filled them by standing them in a cup of flat marbles and then using a funnel made from the corner of an envelope. I had an old antique flower planter and decided it would be perfect to sit on my table and hold my files and other paper items. I use wrapping paper for a variety of crafts including using it as wall paper on occasion! I utilized the back of one of my shelves to hold these rolls using some elastic. I had two small skinny shelves and decided to set those on my craft table to hold my small paint bottles, among other things. I placed the paint bottles on their sides, making sure the lids were on tight, and grouped them by color. I can now grab the color I want at a glance. For my small material pieces I used an old filing cabinet and hanging file folders. I previously did a full tutorial on how to organize fabric with a file cabinet. I came across a magnetic strip in my storage that for meant for holding kitchen knives. It was perfect for attaching to the side of one of my shelves sitting on my desk. I stick my scissors on it. I also found an old wire kitchen lid rack in storage. I hung it sideways on the wall and my bead and jewelry containers fit nicely into it. Notice the label above it that I printed. I had a bunch of Washi Tape that was just stuffed into a container. I decided to make a dispenser to display it nicely using a cardboard box. Check out the Washi Tapes Dispenser tutorial!
My Supply Nook
I used three cheap standing bookshelves to hold the bulk of my supplies. I arranged them in such a way that they made a nook with one of the shelves facing my work area. Below are the various ways I organized my supplies.
Working Area & Pegboard
Three folding tables are arranged for my work areas. You’ll also notice I had fun decorating in various ways. My dad does woodworking and made me the items shown to hold my ribbon and paper. The chair you see was an old ugly folding chair that I gave a makeover on this post. You’ll also notice that I’ve made use of all the space under my tables to store things I don’t get into very often.
This is my main working area.
I have one bookshelf turned outward so I have access to those shelves while I’m working.
I’m especially proud of my pegboard you see on the end of the one set of shelves. It was so easy to do and we did a full post on how to hang pegboard anywhere.
I had a large old frame that I made into an inspiration board to hang in my craft room. The link will take you to that post if you’d like to make your own! It also has custom thumbtacks I show you how to make.
My sewing machine was placed on the far end of one of my tables. The washer and dryer on directly behind it. I had a small stool that was a good fit for that spot and that is what I sit on to sew. I keep my sewing supplies under the table on the left.
This is the other side of the room where my washer and dryer are. I have added two wood file cabinets to hold things and stuck a shelf on top for even more storage. The cabinet above the washer and dryer holds craft things on the right side and laundry supplies on the left.
I had a small but growing collection of Washi Tapes that I kept stuffed in a box. The box was nicely labeled but it was getting harder to find what I wanted without dumping it all out and poking through it so I decided to make a dispenser and organizer for it. I used things I already had. A small cardboard box, some dowels and some decorative scrapbook paper. I made two versions, the second of which is the best as I’d worked out the kinks! Cost? $0.00
All you need is this!
Supplies for Washi Tapes Dispenser
- A small cardboard box. The size is dependent on how many Washi Tapes you have. Try to do some rough measuring ahead of time.
- Decorative paper and/or paint
- Small 1/4″ to 1/2″ dowels. (Mine are 1/4″)
- Small metal hook for scissors
Grab the free pdf sheet with details on how to assemble your washi tapes dispenser.
NOTE: Its very important that you measure carefully to allow for your Washi Tapes to hang free and not bump into the next row. I had to redo mine because of placing them too close together. Washi tapes come in various sizes but for the ones shown, the holes on the sides were 2.5″ for the tiny rolls and 3.5″ for the larger ones. View my diagram below. Again, these are estimates for my own box. Yours will be different. Download the free instruction sheet for more details.
SIDE VIEW OF BOX (LAID ON IT’S SIDE)
My first attempt
It turned out OK but I knew I could do better.
My second attempt. I used a box that some electronic item had come in. I also used a drill this time rather than just an awl. Made a cleaner hole. The dowel should fit in snugly.
If you’re like to sew or craft and have lots of small pieces of fabric lying around we’ve got a clever and unique way to organize fabric using a hanging file cabinet. It tucks them away but open a drawer and you can see each piece easily! We used an old file cabinet we had and painted it.
Supplies to Organize Fabric
Some file cabinets are built to hold hanging files, some are not. If yours isn’t just purchased a cheap hanging file frame like I did.
- File cabinet
- Hanging file folders
- Hanging file frame (If your cabinet isn’t set up to hold hanging files.) The link is to the exact one I purchased. $6.88 for a set of two. It’s adjustable for size.
- Tiny binder clips (optional but you can hold fabric onto the folder if desired to help keep it in place.)
PROS & CONS
After using this system for a while I felt I needed to give the pros and cons. The pros are that its very clever and looks great and allows you to see all your fabric scraps at a glance. The con is that inserting the files in and out can be tricky if there’s a lot of files as it tends to want to grab other fabric with it. Using a small binder clip to hold them is a help. I suggest not filling the drawer too full to help avoid this. I would also suggest cutting the files into two piece so you don’t have to pull out two groups of fabric when you want something.
I welcome any suggestions on how to make this work smoother! Just leave them in the comments below or you can email us using our contact form!
The File Cabinet
My file cabinet was really beat up. I decided to paint it. I used chalk paint but it was my first attempt and I wasn’t completely pleased with the coverage or end result but it worked for my purpose. If I did it again I would grab some Rustoleum spray paint and give it two or three coats.
I had tape and labels stuck to my cabinet in places. I scraped them off then used Goo Gone to remove the residue. Then I scrubbed the whole thing down good and painted it with two coats of paint. Again, I’d spray paint it next time!
The plastic grips on mine popped out easily and I painted them a contrasting color. Then I inserted my hanging file frame as my cabinet was not set up to use hanging files.
The finished file cabinet ready for my fabric.
There are two ways to do this. You can cut each file folder in half and use them separately or keep them together as I did and place your fabric on each edge. For extra small pieces I placed more than one scrap on a side.
The finished result! A very pretty way to organize fabric.
Using small binder clips can be helpful.
If you’ve got a room makeover planned we’ve got some free tools that are not only fun but incredibly useful. By using the simple steps and our FREE PRINTABLE KIT you’ll have your room planned out, organized and beautiful in no time!
Room Makeover Guide
1. What is the overall “vibe” you want?
How do you want the room to feel when you walk into it? Do you want it bright and happy, or calm and peaceful? Maybe it’s a room where creative juices will flow so you want it to feel inspiring. The room’s purpose, and especially the colors, will help you determine the energy you want it to have. More on that in step 4. Right now use some creative words to get the general overall feeling you want your room to have. We’ve got a list of descriptive words with our free kit below that can help you determine exactly how you want your room to feel.2. How much do you want to spend?
Do you want to buy all new stuff or do you want to use what you have? Determine your budget and decide what you will buy and what you will use or makeover. A coat of paint can turn a piece of furniture into a whole new item!
3. Use Pinterest for ideas and utilize “secret” boards to save things you like.
I have a secret Pinterest folder for each room in my home. (No one can see secret boards except you.) As I come across ideas I like I pin them to the appropriate board. Then once I’m ready to start on that room I have a supply of ideas waiting for me!
Screenshot of some of my secret Pinterest boards.
4. Choose a Color Scheme
a. Color determines the feel of your room more than anything else.
b. Grab a pallet from your image. I use the following tools to grab a pallet from my image that I can then print out.
#1: Color Pallet FX : This is my favorite as it gives the largest array of colors but it require that you save the image you want to your computer desktop. For a PC you can just right mouse click on most images to save them. Then you click the sites upload button to grab the image and generate the pallet. The draw-back to this one is you can’t print it out. So you have to take a screen capture of some sort if you want to save it.
#2: ChipIt on the Sherman Williams site has a button you can drag to your browser toolbar and pick pallets as you surf which makes it the easiest to use. Sign up for their free account and then grab the button. Here’s a 1 minute video showing how it works. It’s super easy. You can even pin your pallet to Pinterest! (It also tells you the Sherman Williams paints that match the colors.)
MY EXAMPLE PALETTES
When I was deciding on a colors for my craft room I came across an image that had a color scheme I loved. I created a palette from it using both sites above.
5. Play with an online virtual room creator.
If you really want to have some fun check out an online virtual room creator. I tested out a lot of them and these three are my favorites.
a. Benjamin Moore Personal Color Viewer: This one lets you see what your walls would look like in any color. You can pick a generic photo from their selection to get an overall idea or you can create a free account and upload your own room photos. In signing up for a free account you are asked a lot of questions but you can just skip over most of them and choose not to get their newsletters unless you want them. It’s really a fun system to use with your own photo!
b. Lowes Virtual Room Designer: This site lets you actually fill your rooms along with choosing colors etc. You can use it without registering but to save you need a free account. Click on “LAUNCH DESIGNER” to use it.
c. Pottery Barn’s Room Decorator lets you fill rooms with all kinds of things from furniture to rugs to decor. You can use it without registering. To save your design, register for the free account. Click on “GET STARTED” to use it.
6. Download our Room Makeover Planner sheet!
We have a free room planner printable you can download. It has places you can now write down what you have decided.
Free Room Makeover Kit Download
We realize using glitter doesn’t require a PhD. But there are definitely a couple little tricks that can make it less messy. Plus, we’ll show you a great way to organize it so you always have it’s sparkly goodness right at your fingertips!
Here are a few of the specific items used.
- Regular Glass Salt and Pepper Shakers (Find at Walmart or Dollar stores for $1.00 a pair)
- Tiny Glass Salt and Pepper Shakers )
- Spray Adhesive
- Mod Podge
- Regular envelope
- Sheet of paper
How to Use Glitter
EASY GLITTER CLEANUP
If you’ve used glitter much you know that this stuff can get everywhere and can be tricky to get back into the container after you’re done with it. Here is a fool proof way to clean up after putting glitter on smaller objects. All you need is a folded piece of paper.
GLUES & FINISHING
Glitter works with most any type of glue. White school glue is a general favorite. Just spread an even thin coat over your item and sprinkle glitter on and let it dry. Another quicker option that works quite well for a light layer of glitter is to use spray adhesive.
If you’re putting glitter on something that will be handled or used regularly it’s always a good idea to seal it after the glitter dries on the glue. This can be done with a spray gloss sealer or Mod Podge which is our favorite. It helps prevent glitter droppings from falling everywhere.
How to Organize & Store Glitter
I had various types of glitter that I kept in a box. Some were in long plastic tubes, others in small plastic containers. Then I had a bunch of the glitter dust which is an incredibly fine powder glitter. Those were in tiny sealed bags which were a pain to use. I decided to make my glitter a little easier to use and store. I purchased some regular size clear salt and pepper shakers. You can typically get them for $1.00 a set or less. I use these for the normal glitter. For my powdered glitter I bought a pack of tiny glass salt and pepper shakers that I found on Amazon for $7 a dozen. Now I can grab a bottle and sprinkle away on anything using my method above for returning unused glitter back to its bottle.
Pegboards are a clever and inexpensive way to organize your stuff. Ends up they are fairly easy to do with just a few tools. You can make them any size and put them just about any place! A quick coat of paint and they are pretty stylish! I used a variety of pegboard hooks but also made my own containers from stuff I had! Read or download our free directions for all the pointers.
- Pegboard. Many times you can find pieces the size you want at hardware stores. You can also saw them with a good type of hand saw.
- Wood strips for framing. For larger boards you can use 1″x2″ long strips. For small boards you don’t want them more than about 3/4″ square. Otherwise they will cover more of the holes and you’ll have less hanging space.
- Nails or screws, hammer or screwdriver.
- Good hand saw. Or any electric saw.
- Paint (optional)
- Peg board hooks
How To Hang Pegboard Anywhere
- Decide where you want your pegboard. Any spot with a flat surface you can place a few nails or screws into will work.
- Measure the length and width.
- Cut wood strips for the sides, top and bottom area of where you will be mounting the board.
- Nail or screw on your strips around the area.
- Cut the peg board to fit the area you choose.
- If you want to paint it first now is the time!
- Set the pegboard in place, nailing or screwing it INTO the WOOD STRIPS you previously attached. You want to mount your frame so that at least some of the nails or screws hit a stud or hard surface.
- You’re ready to start hanging!
Make Your Own Hanging Bins
You can easy attach baskets or plastic bins to your peg board as long as you can drill a hole for them to fit over the hooks. This means there is an endless supply of things you can hang to hold stuff! I used dollar store drawer organizers I had and then some plastic cups!
113 cell phones are lost or stolen every minute.1 I tell you this so you won’t feel bad if it happens to you more than you care to admit. But fear not! We have some very basic tips that can help you keep track of that expensive little gadget and a couple things you can do if it does slip through your fingers now and then. Lets all stop losing cell phones!
The most bizarre place I ever found my phone.
Roy’s still asleep as I wake and reach over to grab my cell phone which I place on my nightstand every night. It’s not there. Then I remembered reading on it before bed. I must have fallen asleep with it in my hand. I look under my pillow and don’t see it. Well, maybe it fell off the side of the bed. I grab a flashlight and start shining it on the floor. No phone. Maybe it bounced under the bed or nightstand. I get down on all fours peering under everything. Nope. Could it have gotten wedged behind the bed? I carefully pull the mattress out from the wall, so as not to wake Roy. Nothing there. OK… maybe it fell off Roy’s side of the bed. Uh uh.
Now I’m lifting the covers and shaking them. I take my pillow and turn it on end in the event it crawled into the case. I carefully feel under Roy’s pillow. At this point I’m thinking… “What the crap!?!” As I’m standing there wondering if maybe it was transported into another dimension, Roy shifts in bed and turns over onto this stomach. And there, stuck on his bare back like a piece of toilet paper stuck to a shoe, is my phone. Evidently he was so tired he laid down on top of it and didn’t notice. The slick screen stuck to his back and embedded there for who knows how long, until he turned over. Being me, I of course had to take a photo before I peeled it off. I used his cell for that. I guess things are always in the last place you look.
Ideas To Help Stop Losing Cell Phones
1. Get Off Auto Pilot
We tend to do so many things without thinking. Practice being more aware of your actions. As you lay your phone down just focus your attention on it. It’s that simple!
That’s actually good advice in any situation. Work on being less distracted and paying more attention to what you’re doing.
2. Say It Don’t Spray It
When you lay your phone down actually speak out loud where you put it. “I put my phone on the bookcase.” “I put my phone on the bathroom shelf.” etc.
You’d be amazed at what that one little focused statement can do for your memory! It forces you to be present and aware.
3. You Don’t See That Everyday
This one is kinda fun. When you lay your phone down whip up a quick mental image of something weird that incorporates the phone.
Lay it on the kitchen counter? Create an image of a cell phone eating a plate of food. Lay it someplace in the bathroom? An image of your phone sitting on the toilet. You get the idea.
4. Home Sweet Home
Have a designated spot or spots in your home where your phone lives. A pretty little basket by the door, a decorative plate on the kitchen counter etc. You can have one in all the main rooms if you want. The trick is to get into the habit of using those spots. After three weeks it should be natural!
I saw this Command plastic cell phone pouch (to the right) and thought it was pretty cool. Cheap too. You can stick it anywhere you want as a spot to store your phone.
These tend to work really well as a “home” for your phone because it’s not just a place to store your phone, it actually charges it. You can buy or make all kinds of these.
If You DO Misplace Your Phone
Install one of those apps… the one’s that literally show you where your phone is via gps. Those are worth their weight in gold. Even if your phone is on vibrate they can make it beep. You put the app on your phone and then on your computer or another digital device such as an iPad etc.
We used the app when Roy lost his phone and had no idea where. His second copy of the app was on his iPad so he opened that up and saw the phone was in the house. (Thank goodness.) We just had to narrow down the location. We told the app to make it beep while he and I walked around trying to locate just where in the house it was. Ends up it was in the bottom of his closet… inside a boot. Go figure.
A Few Apps To Find Your Phone
If the phone is turned up and you know its close by you can always call it from another phone. If you don’t have another phone handy there is a cool site that lets you plug in your number and it will call your phone for you. http://www.wheresmycellphone.com
Getting your old photos and negatives onto your computer is not all that difficult. Just a little time consuming! I have literally thousands of black and white photo negatives which have been stuffed in a box for decades. I also had thousands of slides from my youth that were never converted into photos. So I finally took several big breaths (trying not to hyperventilate) and decided to start scanning them into my computer.
The negatives came in all shapes and sizes, from the very tiny 110’s to the normal 35mm and then a bunch of larger 120’s. I even had a few negatives that were bigger than that, two of which were 6 inches tall! This required me to find a way to import all these various forms and sizes of media into my computer. Below I’ll detail how I worked with each type of media and was able to bring it all into my computer.
Scanning In Old Photos
Photos are the easiest to digitize. Many printers now come with on board scanners and they are fairly reasonably priced. Though I had a printer with a built in scanner, due to how many photos I had, I decided to purchase a small portable scanner. This saved me hours and hours of work. The scanner I purchased for around $100 is no longer available but they have a Doxie Personal Scanner that is even rated better than mine was for the same price. It will scan up to an 8×10
Benefits of Portable Scanner
- You can scan anywhere there is an outlet.
- You feed photos into it and it pulls them through automatically.
- It saves the images to a memory card.
- Has the option to connect to a computer and save directly to it.
Because I didn’t have to have it connected to my computer to scan I would sit on my couch and scan while I watched TV. I would then bring the memory cards to my computer and pull the images off. If you use memory cards your computer either needs to have slots for reading memory cards or you can purchase an inexpensive USB dongle for ease of importing the cards in.
I scan to small memory cards which allows you to sit and do it anywhere there is an outlet.
I set up a small table next to my couch with all my supplies. Then I would scan in things while watching TV. I had several memory cards and would fill them up before taking them to my computer and pulling them off.
Scanning in Slides, 35mm & 110 Negatives
As I said I had a wide variety of media and negatives in all shapes and sizes. What I didn’t have was a negative scanner. There are other ways to scan in the smaller negatives but it’s too tedious to really work well. Especially when your dealing with as many negatives as I was. I began researching the issue and finally found a scanner by Wolverine that worked wonderfully. It scans in 35mm, 110mm and slides. It scans only to memory cards, which was fine with me. Again, I could sit on the couch or anywhere there was an outlet and scan my negatives. (They also have a model that additionally let’s you scan in frames from super 8 film.) The scanner comes with the tray for 35mm and slides. You have to purchase the 110 trays separately.
Trays for Wolverine Negative Scanner. (110 size purchased separately.)
Scan negatives to memory cards. This also allows you to sit and scan anywhere.
Insert negatives into tray.
Insert tray into side of scanner. Press to take a photo of the image on the negative. You can then take your memory card to your computer to pull the images off.
Scanning in Larger Negatives
My older, larger negatives proved a bit tricky. They were anywhere from 2 inches square up to 6 inches. So back to the internet yet again to research. I learned of a way to scan them in using a Light Tracer Light Box and my iPhone. Believe it or not the quality was great. You could rig up your own light box such as this one but I used one I already had. The only added work using this method is that you have to reverse the negative image manually in some sort of photo software after putting it on your computer. I’ll show you the basics of how to do that.
Lay your negative on the light box and then take a close up photo of it with your iPhone, using a tripod or holding it as still as possible. Copy the photo from your phone to your computer and move to the next step below.
Reversing Large Negatives
If you have scanned in larger negatives using the method above you’ll find you now have digital copies of negatives that still need reversed. To do that you need photo editing software. There is a variety out there including free ones such as Picasa and most will have the feature you need to reverse the image color. (For Picasa the tool you want is “Invert Colors”) I use Paint Shop Pro for all my photo work. It has a choice called “Negative Effect”. I just pull in my negative I scanned in and use that effect. I can then crop, align and adjust the image as needed. You can see the stages below from a screen capture I took.
My Main Scanning Tools
VARIOUS OTHER ITEMS
USB Dongle (for copying memory cards to computer)
Picasa (free photo editing software)
Think your home is too small to have a library? I just might prove you wrong! Plus, I did it in a small 1,500 foot rental home! This means I had to get extra creative. It’s just Roy and I, but I managed to fit a music studio for Roy, an office for me, a photography studio area, an exercise area, a craft room and a library all into the 1,500 square feet. My library nook is the one I’m most proud of.
The Nook Itself
I converted a dining room into a library on one side and craft room on the other by utilizing tall bookshelves as room dividers. Though the library portion is fairly tiny it’s still large enough to fit in an awesome old wood chair my daughter made over for me and a lamp to read by. I added some really fun decor items and all my shelves are labeled by categories using gold labels.
Organizing Books By Category
Our library consists of mostly non-fiction books and I’ve labeled my shelves by category with really nice gold inkjet stickers (equivalent to Avery 5267). I’ve included the template for the labels I personally use if you’d like to download it.
Download the Template
Replace the text with your own and delete any text you don’t need.
How It All Looks
The dining room was off the living room.
As it’s just Roy and I we have a small table in the kitchen. You can see the doorway.
My divider wall of bookshelves.
Behind this nook area is my larger crafting area which also has bookshelves back to back.
Decorating : My Favorite Part!
These are large family photos taken when we all went to a costume party dressed as pirates. Seemed like a good spot for them!
There is a post coming SOON that shows how you can make a lamp with a message using only paper! Subscribe to get notified!
My daughter bought me this large reading fairy years ago and it’s been in my library ever since. You’ll also notice the battery operated twinkle lights. I love twinkle lights!
(Amazon has a huge selection. Save yourself some heartache and get LED!)
A Jar of Bookmarks
I have a few fiction books in my library. They are mostly beautiful photo books on fairies, gnomes, dragons, etc. I decorated that shelf appropriately with a dragon sculpture my daughter made and with some dragon eggs including the bell jar display that I made. Bell Jar Tutorial Dragon Egg #1 Tutorial Dragon Egg #2 Tutorial
So if you own a lot of books and think there is no place to put them I bet there just might be some tiny spot you could turn into your own library nook! As the old adage says: Where there’s a will there’s a way!
For a little help redoing your own rooms download our FREE ROOM MAKEOVER KIT!
I realize not many people have an “herb closet” but the ideas shown would work for a variety of closets! As we are very much into holistic and natural healing I have a lot of herbs, essential oils, vitamins, homeopathic items and more, which is why I have a closet assigned for them.
I wanted to make it a bright fun area and do it as inexpensively as possible. You could use many of these ideas for your own organizing or sorting! I also have room for more things in my closet now that it’s organized. I photographed everything and give notes above each picture as to exactly what I did.
Supplies I Used
I had most of this stuff already so I spent very little to redo this closet.
- A variety of dollar store containers.
- Wrapping paper to use as wall backdrop. (Also from dollar store)
- Double sided tape (for affixing wrapping paper to wall)
- Key Ring Tags (For labeling some of my containers.)
- Various Labels (I used paper and made mine then used spray glue to put them on.)
- Spray glue (for labeling)
- 1.5″ Round Labels (for my bottle tops)
- Wall paint of choice
- Unfinished Wood Shelf (Purchased at Hobby Lobby for 40% off.)
- Wide Ribbon (For edge of Shelves)
- Old cardboard shoe organizer that I painted.
- Rug for floor of closet
- Framed quote I printed and put in an old frame that matched.
- Printed list of essential oil uses made into a simple wall hanging.
Before the Update
This was my closet before I started. I had my herbs and things semi-organized but it was still hard to find what I wanted. And the closet was pretty icky. The walls had lots of holes and stains etc. This was a normal coat closet when we moved in. My dad built in the shelves a few months back.
Emptying Out the Closet
The first order of business was cleaning out the closet. I put everything in baskets then took them to the table so I could sort through them and decide how they would now be organized.
Patching and Painting Walls
Next I cleaned the walls as best I could, filled the holes and sanded them, then painted the closet a light grey. It looked much better!
I wanted some nice but inexpensive containers to hold all my items so I made a Dollar Store run. I also had an old shoe organizer that I painted to match the shelves. I chose a color scheme of red, green and yellow and white.
Wrapping Paper Walls and Shelf Trim
I wanted the back of my closet to be papered. I chose rolls of wrapping paper from the Dollar Store that matched my color scheme. I cut the paper to fit and attached it with double sided tape and a staple in each corner for good measure. After you cut your paper its a good idea to roll it in reverse around the tube it came on so that it flattens it a bit. I had some ribbon that worked perfect for the edge of my shelves so I hot glued that on.
Because there was a lot of space above the top shelf in the closet, I thought a small decorative shelf would look good there. I went to Hobby Lobby and used their weekly 40% off coupon and picked up an unfinshed wood shelf. I then painted it white. I needed the bottom shelf to have a smaller shelf on it to hold my bins. Roy and my dad made one and I painted it and Roy put it in.
I used a variety of things to label my containers. I had different choices on hand but I decided to just make my labels using clip-art and print them on paper and glue them to my containers with spray glue. I had some red containers that didn’t really have a good spot for a stick on label so I came up with the idea to use key tags. I drilled a hole in the bottom of the handles, printed some circle labels on paper and glued them on the tags. Then I attached the tags to the handles.
As I have so many bottles of herbs and supplements, for ease in seeing what they are, I purchased some 1.5″ round labels to stick on top. I wrote the name of the item and the expiration date. Now at a glance I can see what I have and when they expire.
This is how my key tag labels turned out. They are probably my favorite thing!
These bins hold my bottled herbs and supplements. I have so many I keep them labeled alphabetically. They also each have a round label on top with the contents and expiration date.
My shoebox organizer turned out great. I keep things I want to grab quickly in it.
I wanted an herbal poster to hang on the side walls but couldn’t find one so I made my own. This is a chart graphic I came across that lists some uses for various essential oils. I had to print it in sections and tape it together because it was so long. I then cut 2 wood dowels a little longer than the width of the paper and painted them to match. I glued a ribbon down each side of my poster and then glued the dowels on each end and attached raffia to hang it.
This is my shelf I bought and painted. The decor items are things I had. The quote I printed and placed in a frame I already had.
The door already has this rack on it but it was brown. I took it off and painted it white and reattached it. This closet it right off the living room so we can still hang sweaters and jackets from visitors if needed.
The closet had a chain that turns the light on and I wanted to add something special to it. This leaf pull was in the house when we moved in and I had taken it down and saved it. This seemed the perfect spot for it with a bit of a paint job!
Quite a difference!
THE 21ST CENTURY ROCKS!
As a baby boomer I’ve seen the transition from life without computers to a life where I can’t imagine NOT having computers and it’s given me an extra appreciation for the time I live in. Digital cameras are just one of many wonderful things that this new computerized age has brought us. With smart phones most of us have a camera with us all the time. This mean’s we can save special moment’s of our lives easier than ever before via photographs.
DIGITAL CAMERAS – A NEW WAY TO DOCUMENT LIFE
I’ve kept albums since the beginning of my marriage. My dad taught me the importance of taking pictures and I wanted to make sure my life with Roy was well documented visually. The albums back then were of course the physical type with photos pasted in.
Then came the digital camera which revolutionized how I handled my families memories. They offered unlimited photos that could be viewed immediately! I thought I’d died and gone to heaven. No longer did I need to wait for film to be developed and then hope some of them turned out good enough to use. That year was 2000 and it marked a new age in the our family for chronicling our life. I switched from physical albums to digital versions and never looked back. (With the idea I would get them printed into books at some point.)
TOOLS YOU NEED TO GO DIGITAL
For over a decade now I’ve created digital albums month by month. They are filed by year on my computer and also backed up to an external drive along with my digital photos. There are two important pieces of software you need and one extra piece of equipment to create your albums. (Aside from a digital camera and a computer.)
1. A desktop publishing software. This is what you pull your photos into and make pages.
2. A photo editing software. This is used for touching up and making adjustments to photos including cropping if needed.
3. A scanner for your computer. For scanning in high quality paper items, or anything flat, that you want to save.
I use the exact two software programs I’ve used from the beginning. My photo editing software of choice is Paint Shop Pro. Microsoft Publisher is the desktop publishing program I use to create the actual albums. Nothing beats Publisher in my opinion as far as versatility and ease in layout but it is a bit pricy. If you can afford it it’s well worth it. Paint Shop Pro also costs money and might be overkill for typical users. There are many cheaper and even free alternatives out there for both. Scribus is a free desktop publishing program. Picasa is a free photo editing software. PicMonkey offers free online photo editing. Do some research and find what works best for you. Just remember any software has a learning curve and will require you taking the time to learn how to use it properly. Computer scanners are fairly inexpensive, some being built right into the printer. Thought not a necessity they are much better for capturing letters, documents, cards and anything else that’s small and flat that you want to save. It’s very difficult to get a decent close up photograph of papers if you want them legible.
ENDLESS WAYS TO DOCUMENT LIFE!
A huge benefit with using digital cameras and doing albums using a computer is how much it opens up to you as far as what you can put in them. I can scan in letters, notes or other items that are keepsakes. I’ve scanned in artwork from my kids and grandkids and card’s they’ve made us. A desktop publishing program also allows you to type in text on your pages so you can add notes under your photos. I also type in poems and family stories regularly. As my kids are all artistic I’ve taken pictures of thing such as sculptures and large paintings. Because a big part of our life is online I take screen shots of things I want to keep. Maybe it’s a funny Facebook post or Tweet. I’ve taken screen shots from cell phone of extra funny texts between family and stuck that in the scrapbook. If I get an extra special email I will copy the text from it and add it into the album. In the digital world there is no limit to what you can do! (Well, you can’t put videos in but you can take screenshots of videos which I do all the time!)
A huge benefit of photographing and scanning in all these things is it allows you to keep a visual copy of items that might deteriorate or get lost as time goes by. It can also help save space. Some of my kids had really large posters from school that I wanted to remember but not keep forever. I took photos of them then got rid of the poster itself.
SPICE IT UP
This is certainly not a necessity but I like adding extra fun graphics and backgrounds to my pages. I try to never detract from the photos themselves. The extras are only for making the page look nicer. There are all kinds of graphic packages you can purchase to add to your albums if you’re into that. Scrap Orchard is one site I used that sells them.
You should always have a regular backup of your computer items but it’s especially important for priceless things such as family photos. Make sure you backup all your photos and albums to an external source regularly so there is no chance of losing them via a computer crash.
FINALIZING THE ALBUMS
You can keep your albums in digital format if desired or print them at a later date. I create one albums of pages per month for each year as I have enough photos to do that. I then turn each one into a pdf and share those with my family via email. At some point I plan on getting them all printed into binders.
IDEAS TO SPARK CREATIVITY
These are things you can put in your digital albums either via text, scans, screen shots or photos.
- Scans of newspaper articles.
- Scan in personal letters or special notes.
- Scan in children’s artwork or cards they’ve made you.
- Photos of 3 dimensional items worth remembering.
- Take screenshots from Facebook, Twitter etc.
- Family recipes with photos.
- Screen shots from videos.
- Scan in patches from Boy/Girl Scouts.
- Scan in awards.
- Copy text from special emails.
- Lyrics from songs.
- Add funny things family members say into the albums.
- Before and afters of a huge project.
DIGITAL PHOTO ALBUM SAMPLE PAGES
Here are some of my actual album pages. These give examples of the way you can use a digital album.
Screenshot from iPhone, a pipe cleaner bug my dad made me, food, Roy being silly etc.
Roy and I play the video game World of Warcraft together. I made a page about it which included screenshots from the game.
A picture of my new iPhone skin. A humorous post our daughter made on Facebook. A toy sword I redid for fun.
Roy recorded a new Christmas album so I took photos of it and and a screen shot of his website announcing it. I also scanned in a couple notes he left me that were special. At the bottom I typed in a couple of funny exchanges between us.
A funny story is documented on this page along with a screen shot of a text between Roy and I on our phones. There’s also a photo of my new desktop wallpaper I chose for my computer.
Scan of a newspaper article our daughter was featured in. A photo and story about my granddaughter finding an old toy of mine I had saved. I added a photo of myself with the toy as a child and her with it now.
A page full of Facebook posts from our family that I took screen shots of.
I did a full page on my new car and a sticker I made for the back of it.
A cool story that happened between Roy and I with a photo.
I do love nooks and crannies to put thing in! When I first saw this I knew I’d eventually have to have some. There’s something extra special about secret hidey spots that appeal to the sneaky in me. (Not that my sink sponges and Brillo Pads are something I need to hide from prying eyes.) Anyway, on a more practical note I like the fact that it makes use of otherwise useless space which makes them extra awesome for smaller kitchens. The project does require purchasing some of the ready made drawer inserts shown in the photos. There are several available and they can get a bit pricey but I found a set of two of them for fairly inexpensive on Amazon. They come complete with everything needed to install them. All you need are a few basic tools.
My dad did the honors of installing these for me. It took him about 30 minutes and overall wasn’t too difficult. These allows me to keep my less used sink items hidden away. FYI: Unless you attach a small handle on the fronts you have to grab the sides to pull these open. On another practical note you could keep your jewels in these and I bet no burglar would find them!
FUNKY KITCHEN DISCLAIMER
We just moved into this home a couple months ago. The kitchen is deco 1970’s and will be getting an update in the future. Try not to let my retro cupboards draw your attention away from the project at hand. Ü
- Pre-made Tilt Out Drawer Set (Set I purchased.)
- Flat screwdriver
What comes in the box.
Remove the wood covers on the front of the sink. This can be done by gently prying off or opening the cupboards below and hammering the backs of them.
Following the instructions in the kit attach the side mechanisms to each drawer opening.
After measuring carefully attach the correct pieces to each cover.
Screw the trays in place on the back of the covers and attach to opening as shown in the instructions.
The trays are small but great for holding items such as these. No more sink clutter!
To open mine I have to pull both sides out. For ease you could also attach a handle to the front of each one.
The 3 Box Rule has helped me the most in my efforts to dejunk my home. I’ve used it for years and still do every time I clean out an area in my house. So simple yet so effective! These three boxes with a couple other instructions will aid you in your effort to make life a little less messy and complicated.
Get 3 large sturdy boxes and label them as follows.
(Downloadable signs below if you want to get fancy.)
This box is for garbage and items that are no longer usable or worthwhile for anyone to use or keep.
2. GIVE AWAY
Things that still have use but you don’t need anymore. Take these items to the thrift store and let someone else benefit from them.
3. PUT AWAY
Items that go in another room in your home.
Free Signs Download
Printable Signs To Tape On Boxes
Working in ONE ROOM AT A TIME, put your boxes in the center of that room. Starting in one spot and working around the room go through things and toss them in the appropriate box using this IMPORTANT GUIDELINE: If you haven’t used it in 13 months chances are you will never use it. (This allows for holidays)
After you’ve completed a room, deal with each box you’ve filled RIGHT THEN AND THERE. Put away the items that belong in other rooms. Take your throw away items and dump them in an outside trash bin if at all possible. Put the items you will give away in another box or bag and CLOSE IT. Place it in your car and take to the Thrift Store as soon as it’s convenient. The key point here is to get all your box items out of sight and out of your home as fast as you can. Otherwise its way too tempting to pull things back out.
GET EVEN MORE DETAILS ON THIS TOPIC!
Being a computer geek for decades I’ve come to rely on quite a few little tools that help me do various things. Some I’ve used for years and wanted to share them with you in case you’d find them useful. They’re all FREE. (Though a couple do have paid upgrades.)
Most of these have become invaluable to me, hence why I keep them handy on my web browser toolbar or on my computer desktop toolbar. Some are for use online and some are utilities you download. I’ll give you basic information on each one.
If you have any tools that you use regularly feel free to share them with your fellow geeks in the comments below!
WHAT YOU’LL FIND BELOW
GRAPHIC & PHOTO TOOLS
- Canva Great new free online photo editor.
- PicMonkey – Collage make & more.
- Pixabay – Copyright free images.
- TinyPic – Uploader to share your images online.
- Color Cop – Color grabber.
- PDF Converter – Converts a variety of files to pdf format.
- Abstract Fonts – Thousands of free fonts.
UTILITIES & GEEKY STUFF
- Bitly – URL shortener
- DropBox – Share files easily.
- Speed Test – Find how fast your internet is.
- What Is My IP – Quickly get your computer IP address.
- MozBackup – Backup all your Firefox files for easy moving.
- Unl0ck Files – Unlocks files you can’t delete.
MUSIC & VIDEO
- IMDB – Huge movie database with trailers & more.
- Instant Watcher – Browse all Netflix movies easily.
- EZBlocker – Mutes commercials on Spotify.
- Rhyme Zone – Awesome online rhyming dictionary.
- Fax Zero – Send faxes from your computer for free.
GRAPHIC & PHOTO STUFF
This is a relatively new online program and seems to be incredibly easy to use for manipulating photos. It has a bunch of filters and other simple tools to use. It’s fairly self-explanatory.
Type: Online website that lets you make collages. It also has many other graphical tools.
I’ve used this online site for several years now to make all my collages. It offers various layouts, colors and styles and also has a variety of other tools for photo touch-up and manipulation. There is a paid version which expands what you can do but the free version has everything you need.
Type: Online site with copyright free images and photos.
As someone who uses a lot of images online it’s important that none are copyrighted. I use a site called Fotolia to buy many images but first I’ll check Pixabay to see if I can find what I need for free. NOTE: After you do a search the top line or two will be SPONSORED images which cost money. They have a watermark over them. Just skip past those to the free ones.
Type: Online site that lets you upload a photo or graphic to easily share online.
TinyPic is another site that has been around for years. It allows you to upload a photo which you can then grab a url to share online. No account is needed however signing up for a free one has some great benefits. It stores all your photos in your account for future access and also allows you to organize them into categories.
Type: Online site with thousands of ideas for color combinations.
I don’t have a good eye for color and what goes together well. Design seeds does nothing but give thousands of color combinations which it adds too regularly. It’s a wonderful source for inspiration whether you’re doing graphic work or deciding on a new color theme for a room in your home.
Type: Small software utility that lets you use a dropper tool to grab a color from any image shown on your computer. It instantly gives the color code numbers and letters which are useful anytime your working with something that you want to change the color of. NOTE: The link I give is to an older stand alone version which does not install to your computer. They have a newer version but its does an official install and also has some adware.
Type: Online site that lets you convert text files and many other formats into a pdf.
If you’ve ever had a file that you needed to turn into a pdf to send to someone this site does the job!
Type: An online site with thousands free fonts to download and install on your computer.
I admit it. I’m a font whore. This is my favorite site for finding new ones. It allows you to type in your own text on the site to see how it will look before downloading a font. You can also browse it’s many categories. (Full post on this software and how to use it.
UTILITIES & GEEKY STUFF
Type: Online site that shortens urls (internet addresses) for easy sending.
If you share urls a lot this site can come in handy. It lets you shrink those long ugly buggers into something short and sweet. Just paste in the url you’ve copied into the box on their site to get it shortened. You can also sign up for a FREE account and get more options one of which is a button to stick on your web browser toolbar. Then when you are on a page you want to share just click the toolbar bitly button and up pops a nifty box that gives you the shortened URL.
Type: Online use plus downloadable software to allow easy sharing of all types of files.
Dropbox has a variety of uses. It requires a free account to be set up. (Paid versions are available which give more room if needed.) I use it to share files with family members and most importantly to get photos from my kids to use in the family scrapbook which I mange. You can share your DropBox with anyone you choose. All of my family has a dropbox app on their phones. When they take photos they place them in their dropbox which they have shared with me. I can immediately access them from the software I downloaded to my computer. My husband Roy uses it to share music files with our son who is also a musician. He drops a file into the dropbox on his computer and my son whose in another state can grab it.
Type: Online bandwidth tester.
Ever wondered if your getting the speed on your internet that you’ve paid for with your internet company? This lets you check.
Type: Online site that instantly gives you your IP address.
There are occasions when you are asked for your IP address for various reasons. This site gives it to you. Just remember www.whatismyip.com
Type: Software that backs up your Firefox settings, plugins and bookmarks.
If you’ve ever changed computers or installed a new operating system you know that you lose all your Firefox settings. I have my Firefox tweaked out BIG time with quite a few plugins not to mention hundreds of well organized bookmarks. This software saves all those goodies to a single file that I can then import into another Firefox. This is also useful if you want to have the same settings on your laptop browser as you do on your desktop browser.
This is a FREE utility. They give you a choice to send a donation but you can download it free using the link underneath the donation option. This little utility allows you to unlock files so you can delete them. Many time files are undeletable as they are “in use” but various things such as Windows Explorer or other programs you opened them up in. This utility places a choice in your RIGHT CLICK menu so you can unlock the files. NOTE: This is for use with files that you place on your computer yourself… text files, image files, pdfs etc. Never use it for removing installed software or files used by your computer.
Type: HUGE movie catalog with ratings and trailers among other things.
There are a variety of sites that offer information but I love IMDB the best. I can quickly check consumer ratings of a movie, watch a trailer, read about whose in it and even get some fun behind the scenes information. I use it on my computer but mainly use the IMDB app on my phone. If you go to the movie theater much it also shows you local showtimes for your area if you create a free account.
Type: Online site that has the full Netflix catalog for easy searching, queuing and watching.
Like many others I’ve always been frustrated at the inability to easily search through all of Netflix movies. This site allows you to do that with a variety of searching options, read reviews etc. Plus there are queue and watch buttons on each movie.
Type: Small downloadable utility that mutes Spotify commercials. Open the blocker first then open Spotify.
If you have a free Spotify account and listen using the downloaded software on your PC, this little app mutes all the ads they play in between songs. Cool. (There is just dead air while the commercial plays but I find that much more soothing myself.) Read the instructions carefully.
NOTE: Every time they update Spotify you will most likely need to go back to the EZBlocker site and download a NEW version. If your EZBlocker stops blocking ads this is most likely the reason.
Type: Online site for watching Free Movies & TV Shows
I actually don’t use this anymore as I have a Netflix account but its a great source of movies and TV shows for free. Keep in mind you do have to put up with commercials.
Type: Online site rhyming dictionary plus other things.
I love to write poems and this is one of the best rhyming dictionaries I’ve found.
Type: Send free faxes.
Despite it being the 21st century there are still many companies out there that use faxes. This site lets you send faxes for free.i You can also choose to include a cover sheet. The file you upload must be in pdf format. (This is where that pdf converter site mentioned above comes in handy.)
You can also pay $1.99 to send a fax that does not have their logo on it.
Have lots of fonts? You’re gonna LOVE this article. Have only a few? You’re still gonna love it. All you need is the right software… and this is your lucky day because there just happens to be a TOTALLY FREE font utility available that is just awesome. I’ve purchased many font programs in the past and this free one is still my favorite. Its called Nexus Font and its super simple to use. (Sory. PC users only.) You can create your own categories to quickly find the style of font you want. Or you can use it to look through all your font at once. It lets you put in your own text and see what it would look like with each font style. That part is uber cool.
I’ll show you the very basics of how to use it below. So if you’ve been frustrated because you have so many fonts and no easy way to view them, your frustration is over!
Basic Font Info
Having hundreds of fonts on your computer will slow it down. That’s just a fact, so it’s a good idea to only keep the fonts you truly love and use. I had over 2000 on my computer and decided it was time to weed them out a bit. I used Nexus Font to look through them and uninstall the ones I didn’t want. It also has a tool that will check for duplicate fonts so you can delete those. You have to be careful uninstalling fonts so you don’t uninstall ones that your computer needs. Typically you’ll get a warning when you try to uninstall a system font. If you always choose the option to SAVE A BACKUP of the font before uninstalling, if you do have a problem you can install it again!
1. Too many fonts slow down a computer so keep only the best.
2. Uninstall (rather than delete) fonts you don’t like or use.
3. Font folder is on C Drive under Windows in the folder Fonts.
*IMPORTANT It’s best to only uninstall fonts that you know you have installed yourself. Many fonts are needed by Windows and other programs and must be kept installed. Always UNINSTALL rather than delete fonts. That way they are still there in case you need to install them again.
Something you should know if you don’t.
Download Nexus Font
Need a good source for free fonts?
This shows the software when you open it up and some of the key features.
When you double click on any font it opens up a font screen where you can see all the letters, numbers and symbols associated with that font plus different sizes.
You can use the program as is but if you have many fonts you will want to create SETS which you pick yourself. You can do this by clicking where shown below. Then you pick a name for the set. You can name your sets whatever you wish such as BOLD or SCRIPT or SANS SERIF or SERIF Etc. After you have created some sets you can then drag fonts from the right side into your sets. You can put fonts in more than one set too! This way if you want a script font for something you can easily go to your “Script” set, assuming you created one, and find all those fonts there and nothing else. NOTE: This is not actually moving the font. It’s just tagging it. If you were to delete a set you would not lose the fonts listed in it.
Feel free to use some of my suggestions below for sets that I made.
Deleting & Uninstalling Fonts
If you no longer want a font you can either delete it from your computer or uninstall it which still keeps a copy of the font to be installed again if needed later. I suggest always keeping a copy just in case.
There always seems to be that one drawer, typically in the kitchen, where small things get placed that we’d like to have handy. This drawer usually starts out nice and neat but somewhere along the line something goes horribly wrong… and before we know it, it has mutated into a black hole of literal JUNK. Mine usually gets cleaned out when I move which was OK because I’ve moved a lot so that happened regularly. But now that we’re more or less settled I’m determined to keep this drawer orderly!
The only true way to do that is to avoid using it as a catch all. You know, a handy localized spot that’s inviting you to toss stuff in you don’t want to deal with at the moment. Well you can’t do that anymore. You need to follow one rule: Only keep the things in it that were decided upon and nothing else. Your drawer will then joyfully function to it’s fullest capacity and be a place of convenience for things we need and use regularly. (As opposed to a bog of nastiness lurking in the background.) The contents and location will of course vary with each household. My drawer has always been in the kitchen but in our new home I decided to use a drawer in my bakers rack which is in the dining room next to the kitchen. You can see it below along with some suggestions. The key is to make it handy.
Remember, your junk drawer should make life simpler not be one more place you need to clean out “some day.”
My junk drawer is in my bakers rack in the dining room next to the kitchen.
Results of Junk Drawer Survey
We took a small survey of what people had in their junk drawers. Here is the result.