All posts in organizing

extras in the entryway

My “everything has a place” efforts needed a bit of help in the dining room/entryway. Without a good space for a command center (aside from the secretary desk), I decided a while back that what I needed was some baskets for the wall by the front door. It took me a while to find some I liked — I finally found this set at Target, and while they’re not perfect, they’re close enough! I can now drop to-read magazines, to-pay bills, to-mail items, wedding directions cards and all sorts of other little items in the front entryway. I like that everything is close to my desk in the dining room for when I pay bills, but also tucked away and not the focal point of the room. What do you think? Want to place bets on how long I can stay tidy + organized? 🙂



Makeover Alert: Cookbook Corner

My recipe binders got a makeover recently, and I finished the final details today. No longer do I have to sort through piles of papers clipped from magazines or printed from blogs!

I’m posting this via phone from my cozy spot on the couch, and I don’t know how to caption photos… But it was a pretty straightforward transformation. Pretty, matching fabric binders from Office Max. Special section dividers that have pockets for the smaller recipes. Removable/movable section tabs in case I reorganize the sections down the road when I fill up the existing binders. Number stickers for the spines so that I can quickly identify them on the shelf (numbers are key — this way, I can add more binders easily, and not be tied to categories labeled on the binder. Right now, #1 is breakfast and appetizers, #2 is soups, salads and side dishes, #3 is main courses, #4 is desserts and #5 is drinks and misc. If I need to add a binder and spread out the sections into 1-6, it’s all the more simple to do so. At least, here’s to hoping…)

How do you organize loose-leaf recipes? Any tips to share?

a bathroom with no drawers

It didn’t occur to me until I’d already bought the house that there are no drawers in the bathroom. Not. a. one. It’s logical: no countertop vanity = no drawers. And it took about two seconds for me to realize that this was an awesome thing. No drawers = less to clean (and we all know that dust just loves to collect in the hard-to-reach corners of bathroom drawers). It also helps me keep my toiletries down to a bare minimum, considering that most of them are on open shelves or contained within the small mirrored medicine cabinet above the sink.

So, for any of you considering a bathroom remodel, I can highly recommend doing so with no drawers. Baskets and well-designed shelves will do the trick for most things… and for eyeshadow and jewelry, just grab a few pretty glass bowls from a thrift or antique store. If you’re like me, they’ll make you smile every morning.

Granted, none of this would be possible without the linen closet across the hall – crucial for storing extra boxes of kleenex, bottles of shampoo and guest towels.

If not for that, the no-drawers and no-cabinets situation might be a little harder to manage. But otherwise, it’s going great so far.

a more functional office

It’s a tiny – and strange – office, that’s true. Awkwardly shaped. Has a wall with three doors leading to the same storage area. Unpainted floor and orange-yellow walls.
But, it has lots of potential. Like a great corner desk that the previous owner left behind:
And now, it has some new shelves.
Instead of a filing cabinet, I chose an IKEA shelf that holds five filing boxes. And for general storage, this fun bookshelf. They fill the wall leading into the office from the basement TV room.
It has to be a highly efficient workspace, since my mom and I will be sharing it when she comes to town. So, lots of storage boxes, labels and baskets.

Still a work in progress but so far so good.

under-the-stairwell magic

Situation: storage closet under the basement stairs. Three doors (all access points for different appliances) but not a lot of room for storing boxes.
So far, I haven’t used the space for anything other than the cans of paint that the previous owners left. (Sorry – didn’t think to take a photo of that gem.) A serious waste of space.
To the rescue: customized InterMetro shelving from The Container Store. Three sets of rolling shelves to fit under the stairwell. Like this:
Luckily, the shelves were the perfect width for the under-the-stairs nook, and we had the posts cut to fit according to the height at each level. All we had to do was assemble the shelves, add the wheels and roll them into the closet.
Ta-da! They’re perfect. And did I mention 25% off? Thank you, annual shelving sale.