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I'm just a girl with a labelmaker

Tag Archives: organize

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 addedΒ  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! πŸ™‚


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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 πŸ˜‰
  • 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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All of the sudden it’s September, my favorite month of the year! I spent most of my holiday weekend lookin at this…

Our weekend trip made me want to share a few tips on how to keep it all together when traveling. I am usually pretty prepared when it comes to packing for a weekend away, but this time my Friday to-do list took over and I didn’t even begin to think about packing until 20 minutes before we actually pulled out of the garage. What made this last minute packing possible was the fact that I keep my toiletries basically ready to go — well, that and the caffeine! I have three zipper bags of graduated sizes…The smallest for chunkier/large jewelry, the next for makeup, and the largest for my hairbrush, hairspray, comb, toothbrush, toothpaste and any other” toiletries” I might need. I take this one step further by leaving this largest bag mostly packed with a toothbrush I use only for travel, travel size hairspray etc. If I am packing smaller or fragile jewelry it goes in this case, which is wonderful for keeping necklaces from getting tangled…
All of these little bags and cases store nicely inside of my suitcase when not in use. Since I was packing in a bit of a hurry this time…I left my blow dryer, shampoo and conditioner at home. This got me thinking about having a little checklist in one of those zipper bags of things to pack…and yep, I’d probably go ahead and laminate that list πŸ™‚

I’ll leave you with this photo of fantastically organized packing from the movie Up in The Air, just so you’re not thinkin about how crazy I am for laminating a checklist for my suitcase πŸ˜‰


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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,Β  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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If you happen to have an abundance of bedroom closet space, then you will find this information useless. But ifΒ  you are like most of us and you need more storage spots in your bedroom, then read on…

Remember that post on bathrooms “Don’t Stash it, Display it!”? Well, think the opposite for your bedroom…don’t exactly stash it, but organize and hide it. I like for my bedroom to be as simple as possible, for me this makes rest and relaxation come more naturally. So what’s the best way to keep things out of sight yet still organized? BUILT IN CABINETS! Now, if built in cabinets will send your bedroom budget over the top, there are many lower cost solutions. Several cheap shelves/bookcases lining one wall will work wonderfully filled with baskets, shoes, neatly folded clothes, and whatever else was left in your piles when you went on your de-cluttering adventure. Just remember to assign everything a home, don’t start tucking things in places. For extra motivation to keep things in their place — label the shelves! I recommend leaving these shelves exposed, hiding them will only give you less reason to keep them tidy. If you just can’t stand to leave them open, you could hang a sheer or linen curtain on a tension rod just under the very top of the bookcase, or if your bedroom is large enough you could set up a tri-fold screen/room divider in front of them. When lining several bookcases against a wall you may want to secure them to the wall, especially if your bedroom floors are carpeted. Here’s a few bookcases/shelves that you may wanna check out if you plan on doing this…

A bookcase at Wal*Mart for only $24.99 makes it easier to buy several to line a wall.

The EXPEDIT Series from IKEA is very versatile, sturdy, and can even be used as room dividers if necessary. IKEA also sells different styles of baskets that will fit into this shelf like drawers!

These shorter bookcases would fit nicely under a window.

Once our “library” outgrew it’s old bookshelf we decided to “build” a headboard out of it, giving us several shelves right next to the bed. We left the middle section out and I sanded and painted the shelves and a narrow board to match. We secured the board between the two shelves for a place to put our iPod dock and two lamps. We don’t use these shelves much for storage, but they do give us a place to put things and keep our bed from looking like a mattress in the middle of the floor. The baskets on the bottom shelves give us a place to keep pillowcases and heating pads.

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It started small. It started by tucking a few recipes into an extra binder I had laying around, and I believe it’s almost time to upgrade to a larger binder.

Recipes can be so hard to organize, some of them are ripped from magazines, some are jotted down on note cards or sticky notes, some are on cute little recipe cards. I like to keep them all on their original cards or paper, so I began gluing the recipes to pieces of card stock paper, three hole punching and adding them to this binder (if you have two-sided recipes you can copy and print the other side, or just write it all on one side). As the collection grew I added tabs and eventually realized I needed to put each page in clear sheet protectors to keep them safe from the hazards of the kitchen.

I had a little fun writing out a few of my favorite recipes πŸ™‚

The tabs that I used have a pocket that I use for recipes I haven’t tried yet…this, I learned, keeps me from having to rip a recipe off of a page because I didn’t like it.

You can make your own recipe bible with just a few basic school supplies…

What you need:

– Binder

– Card Stock paper, any (or many) colors

– Dividers with tabs and pockets

– Clear page protectors

– A glue stick and some recipes!


It’s back to school time so all of these things should be very readily available at any store — So get out there and fight through the crowds of children to get that cool binder you always wanted πŸ˜‰

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