Monthly Archives: June 2013

Great Tips for Getting Rid of the Kitchen Clutter!

Closet-Pantry

If you are guilty of disorganized kitchen cabinets and pantries, then you spend countless minutes searching for the spices and ingredients you need to make delicious meals. Here are a few tips and suggestions to help you no longer have to worry about opening the doors of the pantry and cabinets and having everything pour out toward you.

3 Steps to Organizing your Pantry

If you already have a pantry, here are a few steps to organizing one of your kitchen’s key storage spaces.

Pantry-Drawer1)      Take everything out of your pantry. Lay it all out according to what you use most, expiration dates, and like items, such as: spices and herbs, cereals, snacks and chips, soups, etc.

2)      Once you have it all laid out you can easily reorganize your shelving space. Most used items should be placed at eye level and in front. Things that are rarely used should go towards the back of your pantry, or on top shelves. If need be, invest in an over-the-door organizer to store your herbs, spices, and other smaller, often used items.

3)      If you find you just have way too many boxes and packages, invest in large, clear jars to easily store cereal, sugar, flour, pretzels and any other foods you see fit. Also, put erasable labels on the jars so everyone can find what they need.

No Pantry, No Problem

If you aren’t blessed with a pantry, don’t worry, we have you covered.

If you use cabinet space to store your pantry goodies, then similar steps can be taken.

Pantry-Rack

1)      Organize everything placing most used and similar items at eye level. Thing that aren’t used as often can be place on higher shelves or farther back on the shelves.

2)      Use clear jars or other containers to store cereal, sugar, flour, etc.

3)      Experiment with storage systems and organizers such as pull-out racks. Can a moving part the extends or rotates help you access more of your precious cabinet space?

Use your Drawers!

Pantry-Drawers

1)     Invest in drawer organizers if your cabinets are filled to capacity. Have a space between your fridge and cabinets? Get a thin, sliding shelf storage unit to put in that small space.

The Pantry Closet

1)    If you use a closet as your pantry, get creative! Get a decorative door for the closet, or put a chalkboard on the door to write a grocery list of things in the pantry you need.

Whatever you use for pantry storage, use these tips to stay organized.

5 Best Tips for Organizing a Bath for Space and Efficiency

bathroom-from-aboveOrganization can optimize any area in the home, from the closets to the baths. This week, let’s take a peak into the 5 best strategies, tips, and steps to maximizing space in your full bath – no matter how small it is, or how many people need to use it.

1. Organize the Tub and Shower

It may be true that while Dad needs a dandruff shampoo and Mom likes a specific conditioner with her very specific shampoo, a daughter might still prefer her 3-in-1 while a son wants the popular stuff with the scents that waft off all the “cool kids”. Baby might require three rubber duckies and a plastic diver to boot, and now we’re talking about quite a lot of items for the ledges and soap dish alone. But before each washing becomes a symphony of different bottles sliding off the edges and hitting the shower floor, let’s talk storage solutions.

Shower caddies are one great solution and come in a variety of sizes and shapes to attach and accommodate all types of showers and baths. Here’s our tip. Don’t go with suction cups as your preferred form of adhesion. We’re trying to get away for the shower symphony of falling objects, remember? While suctions might be a great solution in your car for you GPS or radar detector, the dampness, humidity and other unique environmental factors present in your shower or bath make them less than ideal.

If you want to give a DIY solution a shot, try adding an old shower curtain to the back wall with hooks for loofahs and caddies. As always, it’s just a matter of getting creative, tweaking, and starting over when things don’t work.

2. The Super Simple Solutions for More Space in the Shower

This one is a two-parter and it’s about having more space to bath, and so having more comfort.

First, understand that light colors always open up a space, and that goes for shower curtains as well. If it’s a dark color and you feel like you’re showering in a small, enclosed space, switch to white and see if your morning doesn’t start out bright and airy – that’s a pretty good change for not a lot of effort.

Second, give a curved shower curtain a shot. It may give you that extra space you were looking for so you can really spread your elbows during those dramatic shampoos that are usually only seen on TV.

3. Bathroom Closets, Vanity Storage and Out-of-the-Way Places

It’s time to get rid of the non-essentials including perhaps 10,000 sample-sized guest shampoos reclaimed from hotel rooms that nobody uses, ancient bath toys the teenagers used a decade ago, cleaning products that are nearly empty, expired, or taking up space, etc. Like all the spaces, the bathroom needs that organizing care. Once you’ve successfully pared down to the bare essentials, considering storage containers, storage bins, closet organizers or, at the very least, a carefully thought-out strategy for keeping everything both neat and accessible.

4. Shelves, Shelving, and Hooks – Organization System 101

We’ve only got so much surface area in any room to work with, right? Wrong. Shelves come in so many varieties, shapes, and sizes to fit the different demands of your life and home that you don’t even have to pull that old bookshelf in from the garage.

Consider the function when you’re considering the form. Is a shelf going to hold smaller, lighter items like toiletries and perfumes for her. Then why not install a small decorative shelf? Is a shelf going to be where the teens slam down their toothbrushes on the way to jumping a wide arch into their beds. Then here we would recommend something a little more sturdy, and maybe even lower for access by younger bathroom users.

Hooks can and should be incorporated for needs just like shelves. Brushes should either go in a drawer or on a hook. The sink and countertop is not the place for things that don’t seem to fit anywhere else, because if you’re not making designated spaces for things anywhere else, your counter-top is going to fill up very quickly.

5. Put on Your Inspiration Goggles

Remember, it’s exceedingly rare that the wheel has to be reinvented. People have been dealing with bathrooms that they wish were larger for generations. And they succeed in this task all the time. Be vigilant and attentive in friends’ bathrooms and see how their space is organized, ask yourself what works and what doesn’t, what things you would change, and what things you might incorporate.

Hotels and restaurants are pros at working effectively with different space and size requirements, take notes of the things that the professional decorators are doing with those bathrooms. Maybe go wash-up even if you don’t need to, just to look around. Eventually, you’ll gain a sense of best practices and your own likes, wants, and needs. Then it’s going to be easy and fun.

Photo Source

What to Do with All Those Shoes

shoe-storage-ideas-2

Shoes, we all have a growing pile of them on our closet floor. Then we complain about spending what feels like hours trying to find a matching pair, which turns the whole bedroom into a shoe explosion. Here are a few ideas for organizing the shoe clutter that haunts you.

Using the Space You Already Have

shoe-storage-closet-ideas-1If your closet has loads of shelving, reorganize it! Reorganize the shelves to clear up some space and line up your shoes in neat rows. If you have deep shelves put a few rows of shoes on one shelf. Organize them by height, color, or season, whichever you choose. Now they’re easy to find, and within easy reach!

If you don’t have shelves and you’re not a shoe hoarder, we suggest even lining them against the back wall of your closet. Once again organizing them the way you prefer; by color, height, or season. Now you can easily spot the pair you want with ease.

Hang It Up

The shoe hanger, we all know someone that uses it. They may not be the most attractive thing to see in a closet, but they get the job done. There are many types of shoe hangers: clear pouches or solid colored, long or short, and of course the door hanging version, or the two-sided version that hangs from your closet rod. Choose the one that fits your closet best and hang up that shoe clutter.

If the shoe hanger is something you want to avoid here’s another alternative. Have those thin metal hangers lying around? Cut the bottom of the hanger and bend each end to create hooks. Now you can hang up your sandals, heels and other shoes.

If wall or door space isn’t an issue, hang up a coat rack! Yes, a coat rack and hang your sneakers or strappy sandals and heels. Hang up a few coat racks if you can and create rows of decorative, stylish shoe storage.

If heels are causing most of your clutter, and wall or door space isn’t a problem, use towel racks! Create a few rows for your heels and hang those heels up for easy access and keep the clutter off of the floor.

Getting Creative with Shelving

shoe-storage-closet-ideas-3Narrow closet? No problem. Use extra spring rods! Put the back spring rod higher than the other for easy heel and stiletto storage. Have two spring rods level with each other for easy sneaker and other flat shoe storage. Make levels, and store shoes underneath. Spring rods can create great makeshift shelves for your shoes!

As mentioned in last week’s upcycling post, create shelving using an old cardboard wine box. Stack up a few wine boxes and decorate them with wrapping paper to create the perfect shelving unit for your closet space.

Give an old dresser new life! Remove the drawers and use the spacing like shelves. If there is no extra wood between the drawers, saw off the front of the drawer to create shoe shelves that slide out! Now there’s a unique spin on shoe storage!

So get creative and reorganize that monstrous pile of shoes in any way you choose.

And if you liked any of the pictures of our closet system solutions for shoe storage, check out the rest of the eShowroom here.

5 Fun Upcycling Ideas

UpcyclingInstead of throwing away an old item, turning it into something useful and creative reduces your carbon footprint and helps you become part of a wider, growing movement called upcycling.

Upcycling is growing in popularity so much so that not only do large, established retail brands incorporate refurbished and repurposed materials into their designs, there is even starting to be a popular design aesthetic using the refurbished theme as a motif.

Since upcycling is such a broad and growing category, let’s just focus on creative storage and closet related ideas. Here’s five to get you started.

1. New Life for Grandma’s Old Sweater

upcycled-skirtWe all know grandma bought that sweater out of love, but let’s be honest, it’s hideous! Well now you can turn that nasty sweater into something beautiful, through upcycling. Combine sections of shirts and sweaters to create a unique, one of a kind dress, skirt, shirt or sweater. Don’t restrict yourself to just shirts. You can upcycle jackets, skirts, dresses, gloves, scarves, any type of clothing really. Just be sure colors and patterns go well together.

Also be sure your end product will fit you, so you can start filling your closet with all sorts of interesting things and one of a kind pieces.. just don’t let grandma see what you’ve turned her reindeer sweater into.

2. So Many Things, So Little Space

Now that you’re filling your closet with upcycled clothing, where are you going to put it all? Well, if we helped you out, then you’re all set.

If not, try supplementing and creating your own unique storage systems with upcycling ideas. Use a sturdy tree branch to create a unique clothing rack. Either hang it from your ceiling using a small chain, rope or cable, or install J-Hooks, decorative curtain rod hooks or holders to hold it up from your wall.

wine-box-into-shoe-rackHave any old wooden crates lying around? Put them on their sides and nail them together to create shelves. Use them to store books, clothes, games or other knick-knacks you may have. Put it anywhere you need extra storage.

Reuse large cleaned-out coffee or sauce cans, and be sure to vary the sizes for a unique look and dynamic storage capabilities. They can also be turned upside down, threaded with a light and used as lamp covers.

Hanging shoe organizers can be a multipurpose space saver. Don’t just use it for your shoes. Use it to store kitchen or bathroom supplies, mittens, scarves, toys, crafts, and anything else you can think of.

Above is an old wine boxed turned into a new shoe box.

TIP: Spray painted jugs and bottles make great vases. Just be sure to clean them thoroughly first!

3. Not a Bookshelf, but a Book Shelf

books-as-shelvesWe’re not talking about a shelf for books, we’re talking about a shelf that actually is a book. That’s all you need. Just firmly affix two right angle hooks to the wall with a slightly narrower width between them than a hardcover book, and place the book on top. On top of that goes the things you’d like to place on your new shelf. The look achieved is fun and creative.

4. Very Specific Storage Problems and their Upcycling Solutions

toilet paper cord holderUsing old paper towel rolls and toilet paper rolls once all the paper is gone can mean a lot more than just throwing out less trash. It can help you organize all the wires that will inevitably tangle up together if left anywhere in the vicinity of one another.

 

TIP: If you’re using the wire, a pen spring might keep it from fraying where it meets the jack.

pen-spring-cord-protector

5. Share Your Ideas

The online upcycling community is abuzz and growing day by day. There is so much to find because so many creative, new ideas are being posted and shared every single day. Follow great upcycling blogs like Upcycle That and be sure to submit your own new ideas to contribute and give back.

The possibilities are endless…

upcycled card catalogue wine case

Photos courtesy of denisebrain on Etsy, more clothing available, Twisted Sifter, more tips available, and Life Hacker.