Saturday, October 27, 2012

Cable chaos!

Problem: Cables, chargers and wires, oh my! Every gadget comes with at least one accessory, and until just recently this is how my "Cable Basket" looked like. It wasn't pretty, and everything was constantly wrapped around everything else! So frustrating!

Source of inspiration:

What I did: 

Bought a Memory Box from Micheals

Cut up some cardboard to use as dividers

The dividers in the box

Used wrapping paper and glued it on the cardboard dividers

Final product... labels and all! 

Cost of the project: A $2 Memory Box from Micheals... that's it!

Why I love this:
  • I actually know what's in each compartment so grabbing anything is super quick
  • No more tangles = No more frustrations :) 
  • I also love this cause it just looks nice and organized!

Finally, an organized walk-in closet!

Problem: Since I can remember, I've always had an issue keeping my clothes organized. My real problem was always figuring out what to do with clothes I would maybe wear once more before washing it. For those items, I didn't want to put them back with the rest of my never-worn clothes, and also didn't want to put them in the hamper right away in case I would wear it again. My solution was always to lay them on top of my personal laundry basket. This worked for a day or two, but then the side of the hamper would get too full, so I moved on to the floor. The closet would look reasonable at the beginning of the week, but by laundry day, this is the disaster that would wait for me... I'm not proud of this!

What I did: 

  • I went through everything I owned and divided everything into piles:
    • A summer pile that I put away in another dresser
    • Maternity clothes that I also put away in another dresser (not quite sure why it took me a year to get rid of this!)
    • A pile to give away to Salvation Army
    • A pile to sell on Kijiji (already made $25!)
  • I had also bought two little hanging closet organizers at the dollar store a few weeks prior. Once I got home I realized they were much smaller than I had thought, but this turned out to be perfect. I put both of them up, and this would now become my "worn-once" area. This would allow me to actually see what was there, unlike the arrangement I had before!
  • I also got rid of my personal hamper since all it did was allow me to pile up clothes. Now either clothes go in the hanging organizer, or it goes straight in the hamper.
Cost of the project:
  • I bought two hanging closet organizers which cost me about $4, but then I made $25 from the clothes I sold, so this project actually made me money :) 

What it looks like now:

Why I love this:

  • I am in love with how I've got everything organized! The hanging organizers are the perfect size. It's also a great spot for my pjs and comfy clothes when I come back from work.
  • While I cleaned my closet I found tons of pre-pregnancy clothes that I had forgotten I had. Basically it was a free shopping-spree! I even found a $20 bill in one of my pairs of pants that I hadn't worn in years!
  • Laundry day is so much easier now that I don't have to go through my huge pile to figure out what needs to be put away and what needs to be washed! What is in the hamper gets washed, everything else can stay where it is!
  • I love that whenever I organize my things, it motivates me husband to do the same :) He never wants "his side" to look messy, so he also got rid of lots of clothes he no longer wears! It's so much easier when everyone's on board!
  • I actually did this project a few weeks ago and it still looks this clean. This is how I know an organization project was a success! If it's natural to keep going, it means it's a good setup for you! 

Sunday, October 7, 2012

Container drawer messy-ness!

Problem: I had accumulated quite a few containers over the years. Some were Ziplock brand, some were No Name, others Rubbermaid... which all meant none of them fit into each other properly. I was tired of looking at a disorganized drawer!


So many different types of containers and lids!

Looks so much better and more organized!
Cost of project:

I knew re-organizing this drawer and getting new containers would add up! I didn't actually keep track of all the containers I got since I got various packages of the Rubbermaid containers. I'm guessing I spent about $50 on containers (wow!), but I'm still happy I did it! These "Easy Find Lid" containers from Rubbermaid are amazing. The lids snap into each other so it's easy to keep them together!

Why I love this:

  • Even though I spent more than I wanted, I just love never running out of containers! 
  • This drawer looks great and it's so easy to maintain it since everything fits into each other just perfectly!

Sunday, September 30, 2012

A usable front entry closet!

Problem: A few years ago we put shelves in the closet thinking it would miraculously clear out our entry... unfortunately I was wrong! We didn't really determine what would go on each shelf, so they just accumulated junk, and that's how it stayed for a while. I wanted things to change!

Before and after photos:



What I did: 

  • Got rid of all the junk! Empty bags and backpacks went upstairs where we keep our suitcases... blankets were folded... gym stuff was brought downstairs.
  • I added an extra shelf so that we'd each have a shelf, and then we could use that bottom one to put mitts, hats, etc
  • Put all the mitts, hats, etc in a basket so they'd be contained
  • As obvious as it is for us to know which shelf belongs to who, I still want to add labels to the shelves so that it'll look even more organized :)

Project cost:
  • I already had everything, but I just had to buy a basket from Micheals for the bottom shelf ($7)

Why I love this:
  • I know this is a successful project since we're actually keeping up with it. 
  • Everyone's got their own space so there's no question as to what goes where.

Organizing Memories!

Problem: In the last few years, I haven't been very consistent in the way I keep track of what we've done. Some years I write in wall calendars, other times I've used Google Calendars, and sometimes I just use photos of events to remember what I've done! I wanted a simple way to have it all in one spot!

Source of inspiration: Design Sponge

Project cost:
  • A drawer organizer to hold the recipe cards ($1 at the Dollar Tree)
  • 4 packs of recipe cards ($1 each at the Dollar Tree)
  • Date Stamp (borrowed one, so it was free!)

What I did: 

  • What definitely took the longest was gathering all the data of things that have happened in the last few years... If you decide to start fresh, then it would definitely save you lots of time since you can skip this step completely. I wanted to go back since the year I started going out with my husband. I went through my entire gmail calendar, my photos, some past emails, etc etc. I wanted to mark down all trips, events, concerts, weddings, etc. I made a huge spreadsheet on the computer with the months as headers, then each row was the day of the month. I just wrote the event in the cell, then put the year in brackets afterwards. 
  • Once that was all done, I stamped every single recipe card... from Jan 01 to Dec 31! Took a while but it just looks so clean and neat. I used one colour per month so that it'd be easy to know when a new month started.
  • Then the fun part was writing all the info on the cards... That part was really quick since I had done the dirty work and everything was on the spreadsheet. I just put the year, then wrote down whatever happened that day.
  • And there you have it... A Memory Drawer!!

Why I love this:
  • Now that the previous years are already done, it'll be easy to maintain daily
  • You never know what you'll see when you pick up a card... Could be something from last year, or 5 years ago! 
  • I know this would be easy to keep track of online, but I just love having physical cards to look at. There's something special with just picking a card at random and seeing all the things you've done on that specific day!
  • My memory is so bad, so this is a great way to remember the cool stuff I've done in my life :) 

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Cute way to organize kids books!

Problem: My one year old son is starting to add to his great collection of books, but I found they were too hidden in his bookshelf. I wanted a way to really display them!

Source of inspiration:

Before and After photos:


After - It's so nice to have all the books out!

Project cost:

  • 4 RIBBA Picture ledge from IKEA ($10 each)

Why I love this:
  • I think kids books should always be out in display! They are too cute to cram into a bookshelf!
  • It's so easy to quickly grab a book when you need one!

Monday, September 3, 2012

I finally love my pantry!

Problem: My pantry looked disorganized and I never knew where stuff went! It needed a revamp!

Before and After photos:

Before - Flour, Sugar, etc all still in their bags

After - In nice containers where they'll stay fresher!

Before - Doesn't look so neat!

After - Much better!
Project cost:

  • 6 medium sized baskets from Michaels @ $8 each (40% off!)
  • 2 small sized baskets from Michaels @ $4 each (40% off!)
  • Rubbermaid containers (4 containers for $20 + an extra one for $8)
  • Total cost: $84 - Definitely the most expensive project, but so worth it!

What I love: 
  • Everything has it's place and it's easy to know where to look for items!
  • It'll be much easier to keep clean!
  • My baking stuff will stay fresher!