Friday, April 22, 2011

28 You Asked: An Excellent Expedit Makeover!

One of the fun parts of running the blog is the opportunity to meet so many wonderful blog friends.  I am so lucky to receive the number of kind and encouraging and inspiring emails that I do on a daily basis {and please forgive me if I fall behind at times, I honestly do my best to get back to as many of the emails as I can in my allowed "blog" time!}

Many of you write in asking for some ideas or solutions to specific areas and dilemmas, and I push out tons of replies, but it's rare I get to see the actually outcome {hint hint!}.  But one of my long time readers was kind enough to share with me the outcome of a question I had offered some guidance with, and I thought it would be fun to share it with you!!

Jill wrote:

Hi Jen

My name  is Jill and I live in Australia and I have become totally addicted to your blog, actually it has inspired me to start blogging about getting myself more organised. I look forward to every Tuesday when I can check out your latest blog post. Seen we are close to a day a head I have to wait till Tuesday.

Anyway the reason for my email is I have an ikea 4 x 4 expidit of which needs a big make over, we have it our back lounge room, it houses kids toys {little people, duplo and extra I don’t keep in their rooms}.  It also holds my scrapbooks, some of the kids books, and all their homework. I have 8 cane boxes.

Anyway it is currently a total disaster, you know like everyone has just closed their eyes and ran for cover. What I want form this space is to have it look nice, but it be very functional, still keep the toys, scrapbooks , but most of all I want it to be a liitle hub for the girls homework supplies, eg homework sheets, readers, and their supplies they need to get there home work done. I would like they toys to stay on the bottom shelves, and home work stuff to be up the top some how, As we have a 2 year old.

I love how neat and tidy your playroom looks. I love the ikea vases and with the kids crayons {of which I just got one of my sister inlaw as I think Ikea might not sell the smaller ones any more}.  I do have some more of the other white vases too.

Anyway I was wondering if you have any suggestion of how to make  this area of our home more functional and looking better. I have ideas rolling around in my head but just can’t seem to get them out {copying you with pencil tins mad out of cans, using my one white vase, and maybe one of my other bigger white vases. Oh I also love document boxes. The girls home home work comes home in a manila envelope  bigger than and A4 sheet if this helps

I hope you might have some great ideas for me

Thanks heaps Jill

Here is a photo of Jill's Expedit that she mentioned in her email:

And here was my response for Jill:

Hi Jill!

I adore what you already have going on with all those baskets, they add a nice texture to the bookshelf!

I whipped up a quick diagram of my vision for your bookshelves, based on what you had mentioned you had wanted.  I am attaching it to this email.

I would completely stick with keeping all the toys corralled in those great baskets.  I thought that adding some decorative labels would help your little ones identify the contents, since they aren't see through.

Above the two rows of toys, I would assign a whole row to holding all of your scrapbooks and accessories.  You could also add book storage for the kiddos.

You mentioned the top shelf was for your girls and their homework.  I thought that using these letter files
would be great as in and out boxes for their folders/papers.  One slot could be for "To Do", another for "Complete" and another for all those other school correspondence with important information.
I also thought that a couple of these media boxes would be just the perfect thing to give each girl a place to corral all their school supplies to get their homework completed.  Each box could contain a glue stick, pens, markers, crayons, scissors, drawing tools, calculator, etc... that way, when your girls need to do their homework, they can grab their "homework box" and have everything they would ever need, right at their finger tips.

You mentioned you also wanted to use some white vases to corral goods, so I tossed some of them on there for you as well!

Best wishes, I hope that helps a little.  If I missed anything or if you have any additional questions, just let me know!


She totally took off with the ideas and ran with them and created greatness!  Ready to see the awesome after?!

Totally incredible right?  Can I tell you the amazing feeling I had when I saw the vision become reality?  Seriously, nothing more fun than that.  Jill did an INCREDIBLE job!  Love love love the organizing that took place the how streamlined her area has become for her and her family!

So this is my call out to anyone else I have given advice to {hopefully it was useful!}, that had run with the idea and completed the project, and not shared it with me.  Now is your time.  I would heart to see!  And I think it would be great fun to feature those stories right here on the blog next week!  The success of that post is in your hands, help a gal out!

What do you think?  Do you like to see the process of the transformation, from question to completion?  Would you like to see more?  Didn't Jill do an incredible job with the Expedit?  Who is sending me some more "You Asked" before and after love?


  1. LOVE this Jen! So fun to see before and afters. I have to say that I am so impressed with how quickly you get back to your readers. I've seen in the comments the way you respond so quickly to questions and do an amazing job of giving answers and advice. This is an area I really need to work on. I get so overwhelmed with questions on my blog. I'm much better responding to e-mails. Anyway - just wanted to tell you again how great you are. :) Oh! And i just posted my shoe system that was totally inspired by your shoe purge challenge! Thanks again for all of the inspiration! (and yes - I have girls so we do have a few more shoes than you to deal with. ;)


  2. I love it!! Now that is true to life and a great makeover to boot!!

  3. looks awesome... puts me in the mood to organize for sure

  4. Looks amazing and so organized! Gotta love IKEA!

  5. Such a fantastic post!! I loved that you totally addressed her problems plus gave her an easy to ready picture guide!! I just fell in love with your blog. I can't wait to find some inspiration on here to tame my wild beast of a studio/office! Thanks for sharing : )


  6. Love it, and would love to see more Question--->Completion Posts :o)

  7. Thank you for your response to my email : )

    This looks so great!! I want one of those expedits ASAP!!

  8. Wow!!! What a great job on both your parts. The makeover is remarkable. I have an area in my office that houses a variety of items in my son's old chiffarobe...and I hate it. I'm thinking a trip to IKEA is in order now. Thank you both for all the inspiration and motivaion. Happy Day!

  9. Really great work from the both of you! How cool to know that you helped organize someone in Australia- you can add international organizer to your resume!!

    Love your site- keep up the inspiration!

  10. i'm glad i'm not the only one who has IKEA shelves that get a little messy sometimes.

  11. Jen I'm a new follower thanks to my every organizing friend Lisa! I have an Expedit unit like the one above and I can't wait to redo it! I will send you before shots and afters of course! Keep up the inspiration! One room at a time and we'll all be better organized :)

  12. im going to have to send you a picture of every room in my house! just kidding, but that was amazing. im really glad she sent you her challenge because its a good example of alot of our mini stations we all have to deal with and think of some amazing solution for each.

    thanks to both of you.

  13. Forgot to ask - where are those little pink cans from? And the chalkboard tags for the baskets...are those handmade or can I buy them somewhere?

  14. I would love to see more posts like this! It looks great & this is perfect timing as my days with a baby are coming to a close & I will be organizing toys soon! :)

  15. I love it! So we can email you if we need ideas??! I am desperate for someone to help us with our unique closet situation!

  16. Love this!! Well done Jill :) I would love to see more posts like this!

    Gosh I wish I could just send you a few photos of my beroom Jen and get you to work your magic!

  17. Jill did a faboo job! Nice teamwork, ladies!
    I'd love to see more befores and afters!

  18. I've seen the crayon caddy's done before! I've been meaning to make one for a few years now, and this blog post reminded me to do that! So I did! Thanks for the reminder!

  19. Oh, and for those asking about the tins.... right now at Target there are some in the dollar area! I made a crayon caddy for my kids using some today :) You can check it out on my blog

  20. Oh Wow thanks Jen for the feature, you have just put a humgous smile on my face, I just got home form a small break away, having not even been near a computer since Thursday. What a surpirse to comehome to this post. Tahnks so much for continuing to inspire all of us

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  22. What a great trasformation. We love our Expedit shelves. I have to mention in case anyone does not know, but Target sells the BEST bins/baskets for these shelves. They are the canvas bins that go with the ITSO storage system they carry. These bins fit the Expedit cubbies like a glove and ar more sturdy than the canvas bins that Target sells for the ClosetMaid storage cubbies. They also come in a ton of great, stylish colors. Oh, and another plug for these bins, they are thin enough that you can use a cute binder clip to attach a label to the open/handle part of the bin to identify the contents. The bins are $10-$12 ish... but they go on sale about every 3-4 weeks for $8 or $9. They even had some tan ones on clearance a while ago, but I haven;t been able to find anymore since I first spotted them in February.

  23. It really looks so nice now and there's an empty cubby to boot!

  24. your blog is just amazing!!!

  25. Jill, what a magnificent effort. This looks totally gorgeous. I bet the kids love it too.



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