Wednesday, October 26, 2011

16 Reader Space: Rebecca's Inspiring Drawer Redo

Sometimes it's an entire room transformation that leaves us breathless, but other times, it's all about the little things.  Those smaller quick updates that really change how you take on future projects and maintain your completed ones.  The ones that leave you feeling organization proud.  The ones that inspire you to open up that cupboard or drawer or closet again and again to admire what you just accomplished!

Rebecca's story is the perfect example of one of those little projects that make a big difference!

Rebecca wrote:

Hi Jen!

I just started reading your blog recently and I can't tell you how much I adore it.  I love organizing and your blog has a wealth of ideas.

I wanted to share with you a quick little organizational project I took on tonight, inspired by you and your blog.

I was in our local thrift shop today and I snagged a few square crystal dishes. I wasn't 100% sure what I was going to do with them but I knew that since they were square they would nest together nicely in a drawer. Funny how you can go to the dollar store and buy plastic containers or you can go to the thrift store and buy crystal dishes for not much more {the most expensive one I bought was $1.99}.  When I got home I realized that my desk drawer has been bugging me a lot lately so off I went to re-organize it.

As you can see from the before pictures the drawer has became a dumping ground. Underneath all that stuff is an old utensil organizer that I thought was going to be a good idea at the time but obviously it didn't work out. 

I went through and pulled out anything that we don't use regularly. My hubby and I are both engineers so we have a weird attachment to our calculators...but three of them? Seriously?! Two of them even have dead batteries! {Side note: while cleaning out this drawer I discovered that my hubby and I used the same calculator in University. If that isn't nerd destiny then I don't know what is}.  We have an office supply closet so stuff that doesn't get used often can go in there. {Yes, the office supply closet is a dream come true. Sometimes I just open the door and stand there looking in. It's like a company supply closet where you can take stuff for personal use and not be stealing!}

I placed some scrapbooking paper on the bottom to pretty things up. I then tried out a few arrangements of the crystal dishes I bought until I found an arrangement that worked.  I love binder clips and paper clips so I made sure they were easy to access.  In my old drawer they were squirreled away in containers that made it awkward to get at them.

My favourite part of the finished project is what I like to call the "calculator holster".  I found an old business card holder and inspiration hit me. Why store things horizontally when they can take up less room vertically? Now when a calculation is needed STAT when can whip out a calculator and save the I mean crunch the numbers.

I would say this whole project took a half hour tops.  Deciding which scrapbooking paper to use probably took up the longest amount of time!  Now when I open the drawer it makes me smile.

Keep up the awesome work Jen!


What I LOVE about this project?  The fact that her drawer wasn't all that bad to begin with, but she was able to purge it, streamline it and recognize that it wasn't working the way she originally planned.  I also adore that she used decorative dishes and pretty paper to really finish off the project.  The fact that she opens the drawer and SMILES?  Melt my happy heart, that's my favorite feeling when I wrap up a project.  And she absolutely should smile, she did a lovely job!  She can access her most frequently used items easily and loves the overall outcome.  That my friends, is what it is all about!

What have you been covering in pretty paper lately?  What other little projects have you been taking on, that have made a big difference in your day?  And how much fun is it that Rebecca and her man used the same calculators and never knew it.  Anyone else have an fun epiphany like that lately?

ATTENTION!!  Want to be featured in a Reader Space edition?  Have an awesome organizing story to share?  I am looking for projects that have made a positive impact to your life.  Please send your story and photos to and I would heart to feature them right here, on the blog!!  Photos should be high resolution and unedited.  Please include a description of the project, including any costs, inspiration, and how it has changed your life and routine for the better!  Oh, and no worries my friends, we will NEVER judge "before" pictures because that just wouldn't be nice!  Only love goes on at this blog!  More info HERE.  


  1. I have several drawers in my house that need organized. How do I know.. well I can hardly get them open{lol}. Putting that on the to do list.

  2. We just lined all the kitchen drawers in pretty green & white paper. Ahhh.
    I love the idea of picking up pretty glass dishes at the thrift store. Great idea. :)

  3. Great job! I love organizing drawers because they take so little time, but make you feel like you've accomplished something. I've spent the day packing up clean summer clothes for storage, I guess winter is really on its way now.

  4. Just wanted to say I caught you on the Nate Berkus show last night and you weer great. So fun to see you on TV. Love your blog!

  5. I love this! Major inspiration to tackle our junk drawer in a meaningful way.

    I also have a super huge organization project in my future, and your blog has been incredibly handy in planning it!

  6. Does she have her own blog?

  7. Jen,
    I love the concept you highlighted at the end of this post - "The fact that her drawer wasn't all that bad to begin with, but she was able to purge it, streamline it and recognize that it wasn't working the way she originally planned." As a frequently frustrated organizer in my own life, I love the idea of revisiting an organization project that didn't quite solve the original problems. You did this recently as well with the Lego reorganization!
    Love it!

  8. What I love? The fact that there are lovely people out there in blogland who are as geeky as me...standing in front of a supply closet and dreaming..that's me! ;) I have to be VERY careful when I go into office supply stores...highly addictive!

    Great revamp, Rebecca!

  9. I think its safe to say that Jen + Jenns LOOOOOVE organizing! haha! =) She did a great job! I've been wondering about scrapbook paper to line the drawers.. it will probably budge less than my fabric ones!

    craft store time? so soon? bahaha yes!

    Jenn @ Peas and Crayons

  10. I like that project, too. This week I put nice paper in one of my kitchen drawers.... I started my mini project in the kitchen when I bought one of these spice racks that go on the inside of a kitchen cabinet door. It uses the (otherwise lost) space there wonderfully and I gained space in that drawer (where all the spice jars had been before). Then I put a wonderful polka dot gift wrap paper in that drawer and used the space for some rolls of paper (rubbish bags, baking paper...). They fit nicely in that drawer and I have them handy when I need them!

  11. That's fantastic.

    I took on a shelf in a cupboard that was really annoying me yesterday. I found a few boxes around the house and organised it all. It's so nice and easy to get at things now. Plus I found my gym membership card that I thought I'd lost. It would have cost $30 to replace it so that was a great bonus!

  12. Oh the stages our drawers go through! The calculator anecdote is adorable!

  13. I would so love to see rebecca's (or anyone's) office supply closet!

  14. I want to see office supply cupboards also.

  15. I really like this idea -- using the unexpected for an ordinary need just makes it so special.
    :) CAS


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