Tag Archives: Storage

I heart you, pantry!

20 Jan

The first time I went to check out what would soon be our future apartment in Arlington, the thing that wreeled me in was not the apartment’s large size, good price, or fantastic location… but the PANTRY!!!  I think I left there remembering nothing about the wall color, or even the street address, because all I could think about was how I was going to organize my food.  See post Type A+ Personality if you’re feeling confused (or concerned).

Long story short, pantries ROCK.  Not only do they provide ample food storage and a place to play for organized freaks like myself, but they really help prevent food waste!!  Why?  Because everything is visable!  So no more losing ingredients in the back of the cupboard… everything is right there in front of you!

See for yourself!

From Jenny’s HFoP

Now this pantry would not be complete without a few key items!  So introducing….

Jenny’s 10 “must haves”
for organized pantry/cabinet storage!

1. OXO Pop Storage Containers
Keeps food fresher longer, stackable, and well – looks so pretty!

Sur La Table ($50/5)

From Jenny’s HFoP

2. Turn Tables
Great for spices, and no more items hiding in the back of the cabinet!

Bed Bath and Beyond ($8-13)

From Jenny’s HFoP

3. Stacking Shelves
Great way to maximize space, especially for “vertically gifted” cabinets or shelves.

The Container Store ($10-15)

From Jenny’s HFoP

Look!  One shelf becomes two!

4. Plastic Bins
Perfect for keeping small and loose food items together (i.e. half used bags of nuts, coconut, chocolate, etc…)

Amazon ($2)

From Jenny’s HFoP

5. Drawer Gliders
Perfect solution for deep cabinets or drawers, and less backaches!

The Container Store ($20)

From Jenny’s HFoP

Perfect for hard to store lids!

6. The method to kitchen wrap mayhem!

The Container Store ($5)

From Jenny’s HFoP

7. The trusty big-bowl

Great for storing bulk buy veggies that last a while, like onions and potatoes.

Picked up this guy at TJMaxx.  Apparently it’s time for someone to go grocery shopping!

8. Got a pantry with a door?  Lucky dawg… ($38)

9. Shelf Liner
Keep things clean and in place! ($5)

10. Decoration!
Use cookbooks to separate items, brighten things up, or make it look like you don’t order takeout 4 nights a week 😉

From Jenny’s HFoP

{Enough about me, show me your food storage!}


Liberation through Organization, Part 2

5 Jan

Organize Tip #2
Conquering the Bedroom.

For a lot of people, the bedroom gets the raw end of the decorating deal, because it’s the one room that your guests are unlikely to see when they come visit.  And it’s really just about what other people think, right??  🙂 Wrong! Your bedroom should get just as much attention (if not more) since it is the one room in your home that should evoke a sense of calmness and tranquilitiy, or whatever feeling you need to get a good night sleep. So here are 5 easy steps to a more organized bedroom.  Let’s get to it!

1. Make the bed.
This sounds like a simple task, but for all of you “non-functional before coffee” people, this can be quite daunting first thing in the AM.  However, no matter how nicely decorated your bedroom might be, an unmade bed makes a statement… and not good one 🙂  So your first step to an organized bedroom is MAKE THE BED!

Done?  Great, let’s move on…

2.  Put away those clothes!
Ladies, this means YOU!  Your bed, chair, top of dresser, floor, are not storage units!  I know how much of a pain it is to fold laundry… or let alone, DO laundry… but putting away your clothes will likely transform your room 90%.  And here’s some help… In a
previous post I talked about using a basket for my fiancé’s growing gym clothing collection, but I use one too!  I tend to rack up those “going out” shirts from Forever21 that I will wear once (if lucky) and so rather than fill up my closet or dresser drawers, I use one of these and store it on a shelf at the top of my closet:

The Container Store ($12)

And for scarves, headbands, leggings, and other small items that do not need your folding attention, try placing them in one of these and hang from your closet door:

Cheap ($10 Etsy)

Expensive ($64 Revolve Clothing)

3. Sheet Storage.
I know I am not the only one who becomes completely incompetent when attempting to fold that damn fitted sheet.  So check this out…. she makes it look so easy!

And don’t forget to about the great way to keep sheets together and looking fabulous in the linen closet, from my New Uses for Old Things post!

4. Other Clutter Storage
I love antique trunks, and have found they serve as great storage units at the foot of a bed.  They also serve as convenient seating for putting on those tall boots or hard to lace shoes, or waiting “patiently” for your beloved to fiiiinally finish getting ready….  Use one of these for sweatshirts or sweaters, or other bulky items that tend to take up a lot of room.

Deal Alert!  JCPenney (Orig $400, Sale $179)

Overstock ($110)

Ikea ($70)

Target ($200)

Here’s a trunk I currently use to store extra blankets.  My neighbor had left it out on the sidewalk (crazy!!!) and it needed just some simple retouching:

From Jenny’s HFoP

This one I picked up at a thrift store for $75!  Used to store extra sheets and pillows.

From Jenny’s HFoP

5. Don’t forget about under the bed!

While dust bunnies THINK they own the place… this is critical storage space.  Pick up one or two of these, and fill them with out of season items that you likely won’t need for a while.  Look for ones without wheels (takes up unnecessary space) and because they are plastic, they slide in and out fairly easy.  Also try getting one with lid openings on either end.  Makes it easy to pull out just half of the bin to find what you’re looking for.

Sears ($10) Organize.Com ($50)

{Goodnight, and sleep tight (and organized) everyone!}

Liberation through Organization, Part 1.

3 Jan

Ok people, let’s hear those New Years resolutions!  Or rather, let me guess…

  1. Exercise more?  Yeah, I’ve been working on that one since New Years 1999.
  2. Read more “smart” books, watch less “dumb” TV.
  3. Drink more water!
  4. Buy organic.
  5. Be more patient with incompetent people at work.
  6. Find a hobby and stick to it!

Well, unfortunately I can’t provide much assistance with the items mentioned above, as I have tried (and failed) at most of them… however one resolution that I think a lot of people can benefit from, I can help with!  And that is GETTING ORGANIZED!

To me, there is nothing more liberating than that feeling you get after getting rid of clutter, and starting fresh with an organized home…or room…or drawer (why not start small?). So I maaaay have a mild case of OCD (organized compulsive disorder) but I’m gonna work it.

So to start off the New Year, I will be writing a series of posts (interspersed over time) dedicated to staying organized.  And yes, getting organized can be considered a hobby – so go ahead and check #6 off the list above.    Look at that, you’re off to a great start already!

Organized Tip #1:
My best friend, the storage container. 

I cannot say enough about the usefulness of baskets and boxes.  Let’s face it, there are some things like hats & gloves, decks of cards, art supplies, beauty products etc… that no matter how hard you try, cannot stay organized.  Solution? Throw them in a decorative basket!  This keeps similar items together and easy to find, does not require folding, and gives you some decorative freedom!  There are so many types of baskets to buy, but here are a few ideas to get started:

Square from IkeaWoven Baskets

So how can you use them?  I’m glad you asked.

1. Clothing: My fiancé has an overwhelming collection of gym clothes.  He truly believes that he needs all 75 free T-shirts he’s accumulated over the years.  Maybe he wants to glory in the good old days of the “Freshman Engineering Bar Crawl” or brag that he was a member of “Planet Fitness for $10/month”?  Whatever the reason, this is a battle I choose to let go.  Solution?  I got him a huge basket, where he can fold (er…throw) all of this gym clothes and free t-shirts.   It looks great in our bedroom, and I have not destroyed fond memories.  Win win!

The Container Store

2. Hats:  Apparently we’re hat people?  I probably could have neatened this display up a bit before I took a picture (oops!), but I find this storage solution to work great.  Using an empty shelving unit, and lots of different baskets, I have created some order of semblance to our growing collection of headwear.  Bring on the bad hair days…

3. Loose Paper: Unsorted mail, receipts for things you are probably never going to return, coupons, etc….  There are things that even the most well-intentioned person can lose control over. So here’s a solution.  Pick up a few of these, and rather than debate each time over whether you need to keep the item, throw it in the box/basket and once every few months commit to a clean out!

Ikea Target The Container Store

4. Chargers: Between the phones, computers, iPods, cameras, electric razor, electric toothbrush, e-reader… and then the dozen or so chargers you have NO idea where they came from or what they go to, but can’t bring yourself to throw out… these guys drive me NUTS!  So I picked up a plastic shoebox (great because it comes with a cover) at The Container Store, and now I can sleep at night!

Ok, I could go on and on with my storage container obsession… but want to hear from YOU!

{Send me a comment on how you use storage containers to stay sane!}

“My Home is so Woodyliscious”

10 Dec

Thanks Beyoncé for your inspiration!  I know you’re reading this 🙂

So… I love wood. (insert inappropriate remark here).

But seriously…. Every time I go to a flea market or tag sale, I am always drawn to their wood pieces, to use for storage.  I think it’s a combination of my love for that worn, aged look, and that fact that each piece is always unique.

I love it…

For those who have little closet space in their home (insert 99% of you fabulous ladies out there), reclaimed wood boxes and crates are a great way to keep things organized and “away” while adding character to your home.  My own design aesthetic is more on the rustic side, which plays really well with the reclaimed wood look, however I also think it can work great for those with a more classic, and even modern style!  But see for yourself… ($?)

Mailroom Wood and Metal Tray ($129-$199)

Antique Wooden Cheese Mould ($55) ($540)

Wood Pallets as Shelves. Brilliant!$65).  Seller Indian Summer Garden

I want it…

Most retail stores JACK up their prices for these.  I swear, the more rugged and used something looks, the higher the pricetag.  So your best bet is to peruse a local flea market, or even a yard sale.

Now if it’s raining, snowing, or there is a Law and Order SVU marathon on TV – no worries, you can still score some good deals online!

Definitely start here:

No luck?  How about one of these?

cheesecrates.jpg ($15)

Soda Crate Canada Dry Shelf or Display Case Vintage Wood

Hang on the wall vertically for knick-knack storage….
Or place on top of a cabinet, or shelf for bottles, spices, glasses, etc… ($25)

Wooden Crate Modular Home Office Storage

Quick, they’re on sale!!! ($36.99-47.99)

If you find an untouched crate, use a stencil and black paint to give it an industrial label look! and always sell these crates unfinished, pretty cheap!  Learn how to do it from scratch!

Here are a few of my favorite wood pieces that I currently have in my apartment. Note: I have not spent more than $15 on any of these!

I use this piece for (what else…) storing booze!

From Jenny’s HouseFullofPretty

Used to store magazines and craft books.
From Jenny’s HouseFullofPretty

Beverage Storage Crate: Olde Hadley Flea Market ($15)
Used to store gym stuff (a.k.a collect dust)
From Jenny’s HouseFullofPretty

{You like wood too? 😉  Send me a photo!}

New Uses for Old Things

8 Dec

Thank YOU Real Simple magazine, for sooo much inspiration!

Each month when I would purchase (er… steal my mom’s) Real Simple magazine, I would go right to the “New Uses for Old Things” section.  It’s amazing.  It’s totally a “der, why didn’t I think of that” moment over and over again, and I couldn’t love it more!

Well to my pleasant surprise, one day while perusing Target for much needed household items [a.k.a. cute shirt for an upcoming dinner], I came across an ENTIRE magazine dedicated to the topic.  I just had to have it. ($18.45 and worth every penny)

Using something I already have in my house  – whether to decorate, redecorate, organize, or just make life a little easier – gives me hands down, the MOST satisfaction.

Here are my top 10 New Uses for Old things from Real Simple’s extensive collection (in no particular order).  I think the pictures are pretty self explanatory, but feel free to email me if you need more info than the captions I provided!

Foil-covered doorknob protected against paint Pencil eraser used to secure earring
10. Sloppy painter?  Tin foil to the rescue!
9. Lose an earring back at work?  Not a prob.

Corn on the cob upright in an angel food cake pan Picture frame used as a key hanger
8. Bundt pan to collect those kernels for cookin.
7. Frame and funky hooks for a DIY key rack!

6. Fingers getting a little too close to that nail you’re about to hammer? Try this!
5. Good ole’ newspaper wrapping paper.

Zippered plastic bag used to crush graham crackers
4, Homemade chicken breading w/o the mess.
3. Oh what to do with all those annoying shopping bags… I know – quick pull tissue box holder!

Lighting candle
2. Tough-to-get-to wick?  Use spagetti!
1.  My adorably pregnant friend Aly actually showed me this last one before I saw it in Real Simple!  And for those who aren’t preggers, there is NO SHAME in using this idea for those jeans that just won’t button anymore, but are waaaay too expensive to give away just yet.  I hear ya ladies.

A shout out to pillowcases.  I use both of these ideas and they have done wonders.

Ceiling fan and pillowcase

Ceiling fan duster.  One of the few advantages of being super short, my fiance is stuck with this task 🙂  This keeps all that collected dust from flying into your (or the sucker who’s doing it’s) face.

Good Thing: 3 Organizing Tips for the Linen Closet

Sheet set organizer.  Store the set in the matching pillowcase!  Easy to keep track of the entire set… and well… it looks so pretty.

So Real Simple Magazine isn’t the only one coming up with those “Ah Ha” moments…


Bathroom towel racks for lid holders

Another lid holder “why didn’t I think of that??” idea.

Chrome Lid Rack Organizer

Hello… it’s a file organizer!

Cork table card holders.
One of the advantages of drinking way too much wine.

{Think you can top one of these ideas?  PROVE IT by sending it over!}

Thanks Liz S. for sharing this super easy way to keep track of all those hair elastics!

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