Wednesday, December 14, 2011

28 Reader Space: Super Sunny Organizing!

My pal Erin, from Sunny Side Up, has been busy switching things up for the holidays!  I love how she has a space that is so versatile, I couldn't wait to share!

Erin wrote:

Hi Jen!

I transformed my scrapbook room into a Christmas wrap station!  I'm having so much fun with it.  I thought of you when I posted it because I knew it was one you would enjoy!

I also wanted to thank you for the tip on the chalk labels and marker.  I re-organized my pantry over the summer but haven't posted about it because I couldn't find labels I was excited about.  I ordered those chalkboard labels and love them!  I hate chalk {so messy!} but that marker makes it so easy to get the look without the mess. 

I know you know this, but I'll just tell you again -- I get seriously giddy checking your blog each day!  Your post today was amazing - such a creative way to display art work!


I am going to do my best not to crash my site with all of her fabulousness...

Here is the magical scrapbook space that Erin already had in place {in a shared room with her son}:

She temporarily moved some of her everyday scrapbooking supplies into the room's closet.

By doing this, she was able to make maximize the space to be used as a holiday gift wrapping station!!

I know, I am smiling too!  Seriously, so fantastic!

Scrapbook holiday paper, holiday inspiration, holiday decor and of course, holiday wrapping essentials!

She tucked a bunch of tags and cards in a bin to be ready at a moments notice!

And filled open top bins with ribbon and bows for easy selection while wrapping!

Of course, no wrapping station would be complete without a bucket of wrapping paper!

I love how versatile her space is!  And that she has a wonderful happy place to head to as soon as a gift needs some wrapping.  Talk about a great way to reduce stress over the holiday season!

And because I can never ever get enough organizing eye candy, I dug through Erin's blog {because I know that she has the same passion as I do!} and found so much more to share!!

Like that pantry she spoke of in her note to me!

Here is her before {pretty amazing already right, it's about as wonderful as my "after" pictures!}

She wanted to take it to the next level.  And that she did!

She made a long term investment in some fantastic food storage containers {they really should last for eons and keep her food fresher for longer}, and paired them with the most adorable chalk board labels!

Wow, my heart just melted.  How does that not just get you all hot and bothered?

She had a couple of really great reasons for the pantry overhaul:
  • She felt the pantry would often times feel overcrowded with bulky boxes that took up too much space
  • She lives in a humid client {jealous} and her food with quickly get stale and soggy
  • She wanted it to be pretty {mission accomplished!}

And what you can't see, but is totally smart is that she attached her Bisquick directions to the back of the container for a "just in case" reference!

I adore that she also used some baskets to corral some random items that she didn't want in the always changing clear containers.

And to make it easy to locate her canned goods and make sure things never spoil or go to waste, she added an expandable tiered shelf!

So many smart tips!

And last but totally not least, she also tackled a closet in their guest room, where her daughter was actually sleeping as well!

The closet had become a bit of a "catch all".  Do you have one of those?  Most of us do, and it's important to address it from time to time to be sure it doesn't turn into mass chaos... just a friendly public service reminder.

The right side of the closet held old Halloween costumes, coats and old prom dresses/dance team outfits from High School. 

The left side is what she liked to call "organized chaos".  Love that, totally made me giggle.

Meanwhile, the closet the girls were sharing in her other daughter's room was bursting at the seams and there was no place for the girls' small toys.

She emptied out the closet and purged down things to store away.

"In Progress" pictures are the best.  Keep it real.  If you are doing things right, it should always get worse before it gets better!

She also sorted through all of the toys.  Lots and lots of toys.  And paired things down a bit.

She found some decorative labels at a local craft store:

Which she matched up with some cheapo bins found at her local Home Depot.  Eye candy galore!

Totally WOW right?  The clear containers make it easy to see the contents.  Always a great tip, especially with kids.  Easy to find what you are looking for, easy to put things back where they belong!

The right side of her closet has short sleeved shirts on the bottom rack and bigger toys to the left in storage containers from The Container Store which used to be on the floor in her other daughter's closet.

 Dresses hang in the middle.

And long sleeved shirts are on the top.  There is also an additional top shelf that she used for larger toys/blocks.

I have to stop now, because I am on happy sensory overload, but you can always check back on Erin's blog for more! 

  • Her wrapping station will give her a place to stay mentally happy throughout the hustle and bustle of the holiday season.
  • Those open top bins make finding wrapping accessories easy peasy, and she has a bin of tags and cards all set to go.
  • To top it off, she added holiday decor to keep her in spirit and inspired!  After the holidays are over, she can easily take back her scrapbooking space!
  • That pantry is swoon worthy.
  • Her food will stay fresh longer, saving her money in the long run.
  • She will also always be able to get a great visual inventory of her current food situation, before hitting up the grocery store, which should ultimately reduce any over purchasing. 
  • She was able to rid the pantry of bulky mis-matched packaging, giving her more space.  She was smart by attaching directions to the back of necessary containers.
  • In her daughters closet, she purged the toys before putting everything back.
  • She used fantastic inexpensive clear storage containers to categorize everything, making it easy to see the contents and avoid excessive digging and dumping out of toys.
  • She categorized where the clothes were hung, so they would be quick and easy to find based on the weather!
So many smart organizing ideas!  Many thanks to Erin for letting me invade her blog for so much inspiration!

What do you think?  Anyone else have a makeshift wrapping station for the duration of the holidays? 

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. This is so cute! I love how she re-organized her spaces and those chalkboard labels are soooo adorable!

  2. I check Erin's blog every day! Love her humor and her organization/cleaning skill! Her holiday ideas have been really awesome and I have incorporated her ideas into my home as well.

  3. Love this! I love how you mention: it always looks worse before it gets better...when you're "in the middle of organizing", so true :)

  4. Love the labels and the chalkboard pen!!

    I've seen those OXO containers at HOME GOODS for cheap. I'm not sure if there are HOME GOODS stores nationwide, but I live in Illinois and HOME GOODS is definitely my addiction when it comes to, well, goods for the home! :)

  5. Thanks for sharing! I am having fun reading your blog each day. I bought a white rug at Ikea after I saw how you painted stripes on one for your playroom. Then I saw that you said it got too dirty so you swapped it out for a more natural choice. I haven't painted my Ikea rug yet. Any advice? Thanks for the daily inspirations. Happy decorating and living, Megan

  6. I absolutely love the chalkboard labels! Great idea!

    The Urban Umbrella

  7. Love it! I long for those OXO containers for the pantry. Some day I will bite the bullet and invest.

  8. Wow, this all looks great! I love the bow bins!

  9. Oh my gosh - I love everything about this! What a joy it must be to wrap her Christmas presents there. And the pantry? AMAZING. So pretty and organised. The chalkboard labels are too cute!

  10. OMG! Awesome awesome awesome! A massive 3 in 1 organisation post here! Love it to bits!

  11. That is so funny...I read yours and Erin's blog all the time and I always think that the two of you should totally be friends!!

  12. If I had a pantry, I would want it to look just like that <3

    A Cupcake for the Teacher

  13. Hello, i was just wondering if you had ever been in an average sized home in england?
    When I read on your friends blog that she was running out of space and needed to rent storage.. but then mentioned a guest room! Shocked!

    My house is the back half of a full house. about 1/8 of the size your house looks to be. It only had one bedroom and it had to be partitioned to make a room for myself and one for my two daughters, that looks around a quarter the size of your playroom. Other than the bedrooms we have one tiny room downstairs that has the entrance, living room and kitchen in one.

    Your organizing tips are really helping, but i have to downsize it all a great deal :]

    You don't know how lucky you are! xx

  14. I follow Erin's blog too (one of my favorites!) and I was drooling over her recently posted pantry. It made me want to run out and buy some of those oxo containers to get started on mine. She seriously has some of the best organizing projects.

  15. Is it terrible that my heart skips a beat seeing her organised pantry? Oh how I would love mine to look like that.

    The wrapping station is dream-like. I'm even more jealous as I sit here looking at the scraps from my wrapping spree yesterday on the kitchen table (the only space I have to wrap).

  16. I love the labels!! I'm new to your blog...where can I find the labels? Do you have an area where you post/list sources of the various tools you use i.e. labels, containers, etc?

  17. @Sherry,

    Here is a link to an Etsy shop I featured that sells those amazing labels:

    Here is a source list that has most items in my home, I try to update it as necessary:


  18. Oh my goodness! So many awesome posts! Thank you for my new obsession! Shelly you are amazing and I can't wait to spend ALL day looking through your blog! haha

    Sending you sunshine,

    Rachael @ You, Me and Natalie

  19. Thanks again for the feature Jen!! You seriously made my day!! :)

  20. I have just read todays offering wow . I love the shared use of space.
    I have two spare bedrooms ( divorce and grown up kids flying the nest)
    The smaller bedroom has a built in bed , Ihave now put in a large desk ( Ikea) and use it for my sewing room having said that I have transformed it to a gift wrapping station I did it last year and it worked so well.
    Today I am clearing of everything crafty for christmas guests .

  21. lables make my world go round! LOVE the shape of the chalk board ones!!! + totally off to check out her bloggy =) Great job Erin!!!!

    Jenn @ Peas and Crayonsy

  22. Erin rocks! Another one I check everyday. You guys make my day when there are new blog posts. :)

    Check out my blog @

  23. This is very pretty and well organized. However, I have looked almost everywhere online, etc. for tips on organizing a little girl's room, not just the closet. Both my girls' rooms have no toys or art materials, etc. because we have a huge playroom for all of that. But, they have lots of clothes, both have vanity tables and drawers of hair accessories, gloves, hats, scarves, purses, etc. and a hutch of books and some junk. Their rooms really need some major organizing all over. Can anyone suggest any ideas?

  24. So pretty!

  25. Wow, first of all....beautiful pantry..great craft area and amazing closet. Daaaang.

    Second, I am now so wanting some of those chackboard labels...I use tupperware modular mates - 1. How do you think they would look with those lables and 2. Where are the labels from again? I can't find the original post.

    Thank you!

  26. @Tara,
    Here is the post with the chalkboard label information:

    I think they would be lovely on modular mates! They are very versatile!

    Happy holidays!



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