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I'm just a girl with a labelmaker

Category Archives: Organization

I don’t think I could ever actually have enough closet or storage space. Walk-in closets are so wonderful – a room of organized storage and shelves…ahhhh. On the other side of that, having NO bedroom closet is a bit of a nightmare…unless of course you own several large wardrobes, which we don’t. This is what we started with as far as closets go…So we hung two rods, a light, a shelf topped with milk crates and closed it all in with a curtain (which I did a super easy no sew hem on).

*excuse the blurry cell phone photos*

That worked pretty well, except that we didn’t really have a good place for shoes…or was a little cramped. So we “built” a walk in closet…I know, I know…the back of that shelf is really ugly – BUT I’m working on covering it with possibly a textured bamboo or sea grass wallpaper. If that doesn’t work out it might get covered with thin wood or paneling and painted once I decide on a wall color. The great thing about these shelves is that the options are endless (and that they only cost me $25 each)…we must’ve had them five or six different ways before we decided on this arrangement. This may not work very well if you have carpeted floors, or you may need to use a sturdier/ heavier shelf. Of course this would work without the curtain, and some people may prefer having it open, but my handy husband built a bracket (which will also get painted) to hold our curtain rod so that we could still use our “hemmed” curtains.We picked up a few different types of hooks…Shoe boxes make great “drawers”, and the depth of the  shelves is perfect for shoes, purses, folded pants and shirts…We have so much more storage now, plus a nice little dressing room area! Now I just need to get busy on the painting.


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There’s just something about a gift wrapped up with ribbon and handmade bows. I’m kind of a sucker for pretty ribbon and like to keep it handy for projects, but it gets messy when you have several spools all tangled up in a box or bag together — it’s sort of like hangers in a laundry basket, neat and tidy when they’re all organized but a stressful disaster when they get hooked together! So, I made ribbon organizers (for barely over $1.00 each!)

For this little project I picked up a couple plastic containers at the dollar store — any size size or style will work, I wanted to make sure mine had lids so I could stack them. If you aren’t concerned with having a lid, then you could use the plastic containers that have small holes on the sides (this will save you the step of making holes in your container). I used wooden skewers because I have a huge pack of them, but a small wooden dowel would work the same.


1.) Begin by using a ruler or tape measure and a permanent marker to mark the center of each end of your plastic container…

2.) Make holes just large enough for the dowel or skewer to have a snug fit. I planned on doing this with the hot tip of my hot glue gun…BUT, my hot glue gun is M.I.A. 😦 Soooo, first I attempted slowly drilling a hole, and this happened…Again, I’d like to say I recommend using a hot glue gun, but sometimes ya gotta get creative…Whatever your method, if the plastic is being melted make sure to do it in a well ventilated area!

3.) Turn the container on it’s side and make holes for the ribbon to “dispense” through. On one container I made the holes circles for thin, curling ribbon – on the other I made the holes flat slits for thicker ribbon.

4.) Poke the dowel or skewer through one end of the container and begin adding spools of ribbon, threading the end through the dispenser hole on the side. When you have added  all of your ribbon, poke the dowel or skewer through the other end of the plastic container…

5.) Trim the end of your dowel or skewer so that just an inch or so is sticking out on both ends, my skewers cut easily with scissors but a dowel or anything thicker may require more heavy duty shears…

Now get busy wrapping gifts! 🙂

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Today I have a kitchen cabinet organization to share…done with only what was already in this kitchen! So check out the before pics, where everything is just sort of shoved into the cabinets, not really making everything accessible…

I can’t believe how chaotic that food cabinet is!…okay okay, those are my cabinets…guilty. We just kept stuffing food into that cabinet and I kept thinking I really need to figure out something better for our food. So last week I put some of my juice fast energy to use! My plan was to use this little diagram to sort of map out where things might go, saving me the trouble of pulling everything out and making a disaster of the kitchen.

Don't laugh, I'm not very good with scale...

Well, that didn’t work out and I ended up making a disaster of the kitchen anyway. The goal was just to organize the food cabinet…which meant dedicating another cabinet to food…which turned into moving everything around! Our kitchen is now much more functional and seems to have more space! Also I got a chance to move all of the glass casserole dishes from the top shelf to the bottom cabinets (that was just an accident waiting to happen!). I have a few quick and easy tips when it comes to keeping your kitchen cabinets organized…

  • Use a small basket for packets such as taco seasoning, kool-aid etc.
  • Nuts and seeds store well in labeled jars (such as mason or reused glass jars)
  • Designate an area, basket or drawer to snacks you can grab on the go
  • Keep like items together: baking goods, cereals, breads, pastas, canned goods
  • Use (or make!!) a tiered shelf for your spices…I happen to have an abundance of size D batteries in little boxes, they make a perfect shelf for the back of my spice cabinet
  • Keeps lids with the dishes/ containers they belong to
  • Hang often used items on a rail and…
  • Store flour and sugars in large glass jars, this shelf keeps them out of our way and gives a nice place to tuck the trash can and dog bowls
  • Dish soap pours easily out of an oil dispenser, plus it looks prettier than the plastic bottle 😉
  • A counter top spice rack is great for spices you use often, at the end of every summer I dry any herbs I have and fill the jars!

An old wooden crate helps to keep cleaning products corralled under the sink

Any other handy kitchen tips? Do you already do some of these things? Or plan on trying a few out? Share and comment on the right…

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Suddenly it’s October! Friday was my birthday and ever since the mister and I got back from a little first anniversary trip we took a couple weeks ago, I have been planning away on my birthday party! Yes, I am a child 😉

So, now that I’ve explained my blogging absence I’ll share how I keep this busy month all sorted out…
Use a planner. I just do not know how anyone functions without a planner or calendar. Simply keeping plans in a calendar let’s me clear my mind of trying to remember that next Friday at 4:00 I have to do something, then on Saturday there’s something goin on at 6:00 and a meeting Monday morning…or wait was that next week?..and when was that dentist appointment??? I’m in no way trying to advertise for them but I have to say that Google Calendar is pretty much amazing! Let me start by saying that 2011 was the first year since being a “grown up” that I haven’t spent a significant amount of time choosing a new planner during the first week of January. I used to write everything down! My planner would serve as a sort of journal or way of remembering when I did what. On top of the fact that I can’t do or commit to anything without first checking my planner, it would be filled with post-it’s, to do lists & doodles. Last year my sweet husband gave me an iPhone for my birthday and I suddenly felt like I wouldn’t be taking advantage of all it had to offer if I didn’t use the calendar. So I gave the standard iPhone calendar a whirl…that didn’t work out for me. I searched calendar apps in the app store and came across one called CCal. CCal seemed pretty user friendly and had a lot of options. It’s an extraordinarily hard thing to do going from the binder size planner that had practically been attached to me while planning my wedding that whole year to a little digital calendar. While exploring all of the options CCal has to offer I realized it syncs with google calendars… I didn’t even know google had a calendar! I quickly set all of that up, linked them to together…set one up for my husband, linked them both together! Recently I discovered the ability to create different schedules of calendars …so for example I made a separate schedule for birthdays & anniversaries which is a different color, same for when certain shows come on TV, and when bills are due… Each of these can be turned on and off for viewing! It’s perfect for me because I can check/update my calendar any time I need to on my phone and have the security that everything is backed up out there in the world wide web! I’m sure there are many more options that I haven’t even discovered, here’s a link to get you on the path to calendar organization!

Anyone else made the switch from paper to digital planning?

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We have lived in our loft for 3 months now and have yet to figure out why our wireless Internet will not work! Turns out it’s not operator error, as we originally thought, we may actually need a new router and even then the wireless in our laptop is a bit touchy. Sooo we have been leaving our laptop plugged into the ethernet outlet in the living room and leaving it in a chair…not exactly ideal. This has caused my desk to become this unorganized mess…
…without being used as an actual desk it just became a place to put stuff. We keep thinking we are going to get this wireless thing worked out and the laptop will be able to return to it’s home on the desk. Well, I decided to embrace the fact that it might be some time before that gets fixed and to just adjust the way we do things. In this case it meant switching the little seating area and the desk…
Now the laptop can be plugged into the ethernet outlet AND be where it belongs, giving the desk it’s purpose back! Wow!  Plus the little kitchen seating area is really growing on me. The old window frame you see there is my DIY project in waiting…once I sand, clean and paint it I’ll hang it above the desk.

What it comes down to is just adjusting how or where you do things in order to keep it organized and in it’s place. If you have a rack for your shoes in your closet but realize they always pile up at the door, maybe you should consider incorporating a shoe storage area near the door. Notice your patterns and make adjustments where necessary.

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There are so many different kinds of containers, baskets and pouches that you can buy to store remote controls (or whatever it is you call them around your house). Some people line them up on the coffee table for easy access, or lack of better place. Some people store them in cabinets, which isn’t always convenient. Some people lose them in couch cushions, or their dogs “eat” them. Years ago I just had to have this large wooden bowl at a yard sale. With no idea what I would do with it, this bowl floated around from room to room for a little while before it landed a home on the coffee table…full of remotes!

It keeps them all together and can easily be moved to any surface in our living room. Any bowl that you love would work just fine, keep your eye out for fruit bowls or large serving bowls. One little thing about blue tooth remotes — we store our blue tooth remote upside down in the bowl, it lays just in the curve so that no buttons are accidentally pushed resulting in our PS3 being on all day or night.

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Several months ago the cable guy was at our house working on our poor connection. My husband showed him where the cable came out of the wall in our bedroom and he began replacing the cable and splitter and asking a few questions. When I answered one of his questions, he looked at me as if he wasn’t talking to me and replied, “Well I see where your stuff is!” Pointing at the small metal trash can that was full of brushes, hair spray and a blow dryer. Even if my “stuff” was in the trash I thought it was odd that he would point that out…anyway, this (never used as an actual trash can) “trash can” is where I keep my blow dryer, brushes, hair spray,  and hair clips to use for styling. I love it because I can leave my blow dryer plugged in, toss everything in there and it fits so nicely under my vanity!

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