Thursday, May 17, 2018

11 Quick Tip! Get a Grip on your Drawer Dividers

Drawer dividers are generally intended to provide some order and calmness. They prevent our belongings from becoming jumbled messes and are also ideal for creating organized categories. I have always been a huge proponent of dividers because they have made our lives easier and better in every room in our home.

However, finding dividers that fit inside of drawers just right is a rarity. No matter how much you search and create grids and measure and plan, there will always be that last sliver of space. Or what about those times when you only want to divide a portion of the drawer? And because those drawer dividers are not always perfectly fit, they end up sliding from side to side and front to back. #thehorror

I have worked with a few folks lately that have had that very problem and asked how to prevent the obnoxious shifting of everything each time a drawer is opened and closed. Dividers are supposed to make things better, but something so small can quickly become a daily annoyance.

There are three really easy (and non-permanent) ways that I like to prevent shifting, wiggling, and sliding inside of drawers.

1 |  C O M M A N D  S T R I P S

Because I usually spring for clear/acrylic drawer dividers, I also prefer the clear Command Strips. You can purchase replacement strips solo (no need to purchase with the hooks), and they are great to use for a variety of discreet projects around the house. Of course, any type of Command Strip could pair well with any drawer divider of your choosing. I place one or two of the strips on the bottom and stick it directly to the drawer/liner.

With this method and the next, I am selective about what divider I adhere the strip to as I don't want to incur the expense of doing this to the bottom of every divider in the drawer. I typically select the divider that is able to support/hold all of the other dividers in place as well.

No one would be the wiser, and there is absolutely zero shifting of the dividers when the drawer is opened and closed.

2 |  C L E A R  B U M P E R S

Another little household hack is to use cabinet/drawer bumpers!

These can be found at just about any home or hardware store, and are very grippy! They are generally used to protect your cabinets and drawers, but have also been known to protect glass surfaces, the walls behind frames, added to the bottom of home decor and accessories and electronics. And now they can also be found in some of the drawers in our home!

In the drawer above you can see I left a large amount of space for longer items to be stored and wanted to prevent the entire row of dividers from sliding forward. Adding a few bumpers to the front of the dividers in the front rows did just that!

This is a really great option when you only want to add a couple of dividers to a large drawer and have a lot of additional space to fill with other items.

3 |  G R I P P Y  S H E L F  L I N E R

For heavier duty projects, my "go to" is a grippy liner. And sometimes grippy dividers too!

A few years ago I gifted my husband two Elfa towers (these frames and these bins) to store all of our project materials and tools, and I am just now beginning to tackle the huge project of organizing them!

I have been on the hunt for both a good liner and also good dividers to use inside of the drawers; nothing cute or fancy but 100% durable. I landed on some black grip liner that can be cut to size, along with these interlocking organizers that also have some inside grip to them.

No matter the weight, tool or piece of hardware, they should stay put as the drawer is opened and closed or even removed completely to be toted around the house and garage. The grippy shelf liner not only holds the dividers in place but also the objects sitting on top. And the interlocking lined dividers will be good for the more heavy duty items, while everyday dividers will work for smaller pieces and still stay in place with the help of the liner.

Again, this option allows for the dividers to be split and only be used in certain areas of the drawer, which also means that I am able to better maximize how each drawer is divided and categorized. Hooray for added flexibility!

BONUS TIP: Grip liner can be found just about everywhere in a variety of colors and price points, and can easily be cut down to size. If you only want to add some smaller pieces of the liner below the drawer dividers to stretch your investment, that works too! Also, get creative with what you use, rug pads and silicone caulk can serve the same purpose!

I always try out my tips before sharing them and recommending them, but you can't 100% tell from the photos just how well these methods work, so I compiled a couple of quick boomerangs I took with my phone to drive the point home.

No-Slip Drawer Dividers from Jen Jones on Vimeo.

And because I am often asked about where to purchase the items found in this post, or my favorite dividers in general, I have rounded up everything for you below.

It's time to put those dividers in their place once and for all!

Monday, May 7, 2018

28 Teen Boy Bedroom Workspace & DIY Shelf

Why is it that the middle of any room update is always the hardest? Maybe it is just me, but that is where I slow down and things seem to really lull. Maybe that is also why most of the rooms in our home are incomplete.

I always start out strong with big ambitions and ideas and then I get to the blank slate part and become a deer in headlights. You can see more of the blank slate photos of our son's room in this post here. It can be frustrating at times, but it is probably better that I allow myself to take these rooms at a snail's pace. I have never been one to pull off a room that I love with longevity if I race to the finish line.

In our son's room, I got stuck on such an odd detail, and that was the shelf to install over his new desk. I tried three options before I landed on the right one so I felt a lot of thankfulness for nice return policies! (In case you are curious about the shelves I checked out for the space, they were this one, this one, and this one.) After holding each one up and also asking my son to offer up his opinion, we decided that maybe we would be better off finding one that matched the stain in the nearby DIY wall map, which tends to be the main focus in the room.

Why was a shelf important? Well, my goal is to give my son a workspace that is easy to keep wide open and clear of clutter. He tends to be more productive and efficient when he is free of distractions and has simple organization. I guess the apple doesn't fall far from the tree!

So, a shelf not only would add a nice decorative touch to the space, it would also function as a place to toss some of those extra office supplies that tend to land on a desk. When the other shelves didn't feel right, I found these and used them as our inspiration to DIY something. We needed something that was a good depth for holding books and boxes, but not too deep that it felt heavy and out of place.

We already had a pair of the 7 1/2" EKBY shelf brackets from IKEA, so I thought it would be quick and easy to just head to the hardware store and grab a piece of standard lumbar to stain. I took the brackets with me only to realize that the common boards are generally a 3/4" thickness, and the brackets really needed something closer to an inch thick. I searched the store for something that would be a better fit, and then I remembered that I had used a stair tread with these types of brackets in the past. YES! Not what you might typically think of or go to, but it makes the perfect shelf option. Not only are they the correct thickness, they are also strong and sturdy and shouldn't bow easily.

The obvious solution may have been to pair and IKEA EKBY shelf with these EKBY brackets, but they didn't offer a finish that we were trying to achieve.

My favorite projects are ones that I can do quickly and easily with little to no help or money, and this one checked all of those boxes!

I began with the following supplies, many which I already had on hand from previous DIY projects.

The first step was to measure and cut the stair tread down to size. I opted to remove the rounded edge of the tread to square off the shelf completely and leave it the full 48" width.

After preconditioning the wood (I use this), I gave the board two coats of a dark walnut toned stain.

I also gave the shelf brackets a nice coat of flat black spray paint (this kind is my favorite).

The tread shelf is a nice and tight fit into the bracket, in fact, I ended up sanding it down just a smidge and using a rubber mallet to really secure the two together. Then it was as simple as using some drywall anchors and long black screws to install it on the wall.

As you can see, I also added some additional wall organization. He generally has some work-in-progress papers and reminders that I wanted to store in a wall pocket, so I dug out our old daily system pieces and spray painted them gray and black to better suit his room (I originally purchased them here years ago in the ivory finish, the two pieces used are this one and this one). The pockets hold his papers and Chromebook, while the adjoining piece coralls a few of his desk accessories and supplies.

On the shelf, I added an inexpensive box (which is a really great size for most shelves above a desk) with an adhesive label holder. Inside are all of his random homework supplies that he may need to reach for from time to time.

I know Letterboards are the new trendy chalkboard, but you guys, my teenage boy totally digs it! He loves looking up quotes and using it to express his current mood, and I love seeing how it changes and reflects his personality. I found his here for a great price and used a small tin to hold all of the extra letters.

He selected a soft swivel chair from our local Marshalls (similar), and the combination of it all has been many thumbs up by all of us.

The sliding closet door is our last big project for this room and we have been trying to come up with the best wood selection based on the larger size, but I think we have a pretty good plan and can't wait to get it done.

I am glad that we found our goldilocks of shelves, the small details in a room are what make it all come together in the end. And I always get discouraged when it takes me multiple tries to source something, especially basic items, but I really wanted to share because I know a lot of you have mentioned feeling the same way in the past. Decorating definitely comes easier to some than others, but keep at it and don't settle until your gut tells you it's right.

Oh! And this room has made me want to paint 100 more ceilings.

You know I love a good chit chat, so tell me, what is something that took you at least three times of trying before you found "the one".

You can catch up on the entire room update by checking out the closet plans here, how we patched the wall removal here, some nifty drawer dividers here, and the blank slate here.