Jewelry Organization: Upgrade

Happy 2013! I know I’m a few weeks late, but better late than never, right?

I have to say I really missed you during my little really long break, but I thoroughly enjoyed the extra time to enjoy Christmas and then recover. With that, I’m back now and like just about everyone around the blogging world I have something on my mind: ORGANIZATION.

I have more problem areas than I would like to admit but one of the biggest is always my closet. I tackled this last year and while it was a start, it didn’t stick. Last week I spent some serious time cleaning out every little nook and cranny, reorganizing, and clearing out the clutter. That part is really not much to show you (meaning the “before” is way too bad and the “after” is much improved for me but probably looks like some of your befores); however, so far it is really working. It’s like having a new wardrobe to be able to see everything (i.e. not dig through it on the floor) and I even found some shoes I forgot I had. Merry Christmas, everyone!

Now, the part of my closet I do want to share with you is my jewelry organization system. Last year, I made huge strides toward my goal with my zero budget-get it done in a day project but it just wasn’t exactly what I wanted. I HATE that this is one of my most frequent pins (repin the update, PLEASE!) It has served it’s purpose, but I’m over the burlap. It’s so 2012 ;)

Jewelry Before

I bought cutlery trays for this purpose forever ago and they have been sitting in the garage ever since. Long story short, I had white spray paint and a free Saturday so I did it! But wait, there’s more! The frame approach actually worked so I just updated that with, you guessed it- more white spray paint! So, want to see it?

Jewelry Organization

DSC_0264 DSC_0270 DSC_0256 Jewelry Organization

To be honest with you, this was a very easy project BUT there are so many little pieces to it that I will share with you later this week but for now, let’s just enjoy it and talk about what I love…

  • There is room to grow and I’m still adding hooks and jewelry pieces.
  • It’s clean, white and just pretty.
  • Why not style it up? I channeled my inner Emily Henderson with the little brass camels #whimsyJewelry Organization

So much better than the old done in a hurry version. This is exactly why I always think you have to continue to evaluate your organizational systems. Sometimes they may be totally wrong and sometimes they may just need a little upgrade- like my jewelry. What about you- do you have a perfect plan in place for your jewelry or do you need an upgrade? What’s working for you? jewelry organization

Sharing with Our Fifth House Dog Days of Winter Link Party- Lots more organization inspiration over there today :)


Pantry Party

Here’s a little something about me: I have crazy amazing organizational skills but before you think I’m tooting my own horn I must confess I am not necessarily good at maintaining it (remember my desk? Unfortunately, I do too.)  Sometimes it just takes a while to find a system that works and stays organized. Please tell me that is not just me.

That is exactly how it has worked with the pantry. I am so thankful to have a pantry, but it’s not huge and if you like to stock up on items when they go on sale (yes please!) you run out of room really quickly. And that means you can’t see what is in there and eventually find a petri dish formerly known as bread. Not that something like that has happened to me, eww, gross.  ;)

So I empty, purge, reorganize, lather, rinse, repeat. And it works and then it doesn’t. One thing that has really helped keep things orderly and visible in the pantry is creating an overflow area for those stockpiled goodies.

I achieved this with a trio of baskets in that empty space above the fridge cabinets for extra sauces, flour, sugar, you name it- pretty much whatever doesn’t fit in the pantry goes in the baskets. And we all lived happily ever after.

Or maybe not. It’s that ugly maintaining problem again. I forget what is up there and then I buy more or I leave it in the pantry to avoid buying more and the cycle continues.  But I think I finally have a system that works and that I can handle.

It’s as simple as an easy printable I created and popped in a frame with a dry erase marker that is hanging on the back of the door. I made a box for each basket and (rocket science here, write this down) I write what’s in the basket and erase it when I remove something from the basket. Crazy, earth shattering idea, I know but guess what- it’s working! The sugar is running low- check the list. Mustard is on sale- check the list. I already have a Splenda in the pantry- write it on the list… … and put it in the basket! 

It’s a system that is so simple even I can maintain it which means no more moldy bread in the pantry. Everyone wins.

Go ahead and make me feel bad, am I the only one who has so much trouble maintaining order of my pantry? What do you do to control the chaos?

The Great Purge: Closet Make-Over Part 1

One of my goals for the new year was to get my crazy closet in order. It was bad. So bad I couldn’t even take a real before picture. I think that may be called denial. But it was that bad, like make-me-want-to cry-before-I go-to-work-because-I-can’t-find-anything kind of awful. I had literally closed the door on my problem one too many times. The denial had to stop so I kept moving right onto acceptance and started the great purge.

So I thought I would just jump right in and show you my after. Are you ready for it? All it took was a little picking up and straightening and… TADA!


Just kidding! This is what I call a DELUSION! My closet does not and will never look like this  (unless we win the lottery then it will look like this but better!) Anyway. I made some major progress. MAJOR. I purged. I even purged shoes. This is huge for me. I heart my shoes. Every little one of them. Right and Left. I am that girl. But I got rid of some- the ones I never ever wear, ones that were broken beyond repair and even the really cute ones that hurt so bad I could cry thinking about it. Goodbye, old frieds. 

In case you can’t tell those are two ginourmous bags of clothes and a (not as ginournous) bag of shoes in the middle waiting in the garage for the next train to Goodwill. I’ll take your “Well done,” now, please. Thank you. And the purge doesn’t stop there. Take a look at my hangers.

Notice anything unusual? If you guessed that my hangers don’t match, I’m going to need you to get over that before we move any further. I would love to have all matchy fancy hangers, but I just got rid of some wire hangers from my mix so I’m happy with my progress. Baby steps.

What I hope you noticed is they are all turned the wrong way. This is not my idea. I have read it so many places I can’t even remember whose it was, so if it’s your idea- thank you, here’s your credit. For those of us who did not come up with this genius idea, let me fill you in. You turn all your hangers backwards until you wear something. Then you turn it the correct way. So at the end of a certain time period, if it’s still turned backwards you know you didn’t wear it and it’s maybe time to say goodbye. Here’s what it looks like in live action (sorry, I watched the turtle man again tonight)

Two days in and this is working for me so far. The purge felt pretty good and I’m looking forward to getting rid of the next stragglers. Is my closet perfect? No Way! Did I make some MAJOR progress? Expletive Yes! Since this is a work in progress, let’s look at the whole thing. This is the look that I will count as “befores” as we get more into this little project. 

See those bins up top? Want a closer look in one? I thought so… 

Extra hangers! Robb worked on this little part of the project and made these way more orderly than it was. Thank you!!

Let’s talk about the whole space

Things I like:

  • It’s way more in order and easy to see things. (this does not make it easier to pick out clothes in the morning, just so you know)
  • My shoe system- boxes with pictures. Yes, please. It works.
  • The ottoman- makes it easy to store summer things out of the way and reach the top shelf.

Things I don’t like so much:

  • It needs some love and better storage solutions on the shelves.
  • I still have too many clothes- more purging required.
  • Lighting- our builder picked really good stuff with a few exceptions and these lights are a big one.
  • And maybe the biggest- I need to maintain it. As in, clothes go on hangers not floors. hmmm.

So far so good. And a sign of my progress…

That’s right! I can sit down IN MY CLOSET to put on my shoes. Win! I’m liking it but Avery was a little confused by the whole situation. I think it will grow on her too, what do you think?

* first closet picture from kraftmaid gallery. A girl can dream :)

Quick Change: My (utensil) Cup Runeth Over

Happy Monday! I mentioned on Friday that big projects just aren’t possible all the time but little ones still matter. Here’s a quick change we just made at our Home Sweet Here. Take a look at the problem.

Or I guess I should say problems- too many utensils not enough room. I’ve already purged, I have placed drawer appropriate items in the drawers and I really do use all of these. I like to cook and I like having the proper spoon, spoonula, spatula or spider for what I’m doing- what’s wrong with that? (Please don’t turn me into untensil hoarders, it’s not that many)

What’s wrong with that is my holder (a pottery barn pitcher snagged at the outlet years and years ago) just wasn’t enough room and it was driving my poor husband nuts every time he put away the dishes. He was getting kind of tired of injuring his knuckles jamming the stuff in there. And since he puts away the dishes 99% of the time, I really, really wanted to decrease his injuries and increase my storage space.

We looked lots of places with no luck. It appears I really have more than the average utensil holder can hold (still doesn’t make me a hoarder, just makes those things teeny!) So we looked at alternatives. I was thinking another larger pitcher but we couldn’t find one that was any bigger than what we have. Until an epiphany hit me in TJ Maxx and I found this…

It’s a pot. Like for flowers and such. It’s huge. It was only $5.99 so it was totally worth a try. We bought it right then and there. Robb may have even done a little happy dance in the store. Or I may have made that part up.

We brought her home and TADA! Utensil conundrum solved! Who else has used an unconventional solution  to a storage issues? Share some ideas, please! 

There you are, desk!

One of my goals for this year was to get everything in the office in order. My first order of business was to take care of the paper clutter. I really try to keep things in order, but sometimes I just throw the mail, or something else on the desk. And then I repeat that. Over and over, until it ends up something like this…

Ugly. Bleh. You want to know another secret? If I need to clear away the clutter in a hurry, do you know what I do? I take everything off the desk and do you remember the bins in the shelf behind the desk? They look like this…

If you could look closer, inside, they look more like this..

Ugly, but I’m being real. I use those to clean in a hurry. Two of the three may look like that. Maybe.

So let’s start PURGING! I set up 4 stations to sort everything. Take a look at my categories, they worked for me.

And I sorted, and sorted until the desk was clear and the baskets were full!

Then I tackled the baskets one at a time. I payed the bills and attended to the things in the “Now” basket (and caught up on a little Secrets from a Stylist. I heart Emily Henderson. I think we could be friends in real life. Call me)

Then started my 2012 Filing System. I like to keep everything for the year. Just in case. I know there are those scanning things and lots of bills are paperless (which I take advantage of on lots my my bills), but I just feel better having all the paper stuff in one place. I made a list of all the categories I needed and made some labels.

Then I put it all together, started filing. We got the file box at Target for $13.99 and it has plenty of room for the whole year. If you’re keeping count, that emptied bin #2.

Then I just put the box in a safe place (lots of personal info in there!) and put my desk back together. I added this area so I could keep my personal calendar in place as well as have a space for my work calendar when I bring that home and any other little odds and ends that are in limbo. The frame is a project for another day.

And on the other side I have everything else I need. Sharpies, sharpies and more sharpies. It’s an obsession but I make no apologies. I corralled them all with a $3ish paint bucket from Lowe’s. There is also a coaster for my coffee mug and a little bird vessel for paper clips and teeny post-its.

I even started on the shelf behind the desk. The two offending bins are clear so I added some labels to the magazine holders to keep me organized.

There’s not much that a label or a sharpie can’t fix, right?