Wednesday, November 28, 2012

25 Reader Space: Pretty Organized!

Are you ready for this?  I have another feature full of beautiful yet oh so simple and practical organization! 

One of my favorite organizing bloggers, Casey, is stopping by today to share all sorts of quick and easy projects that she has done in the prettiest of ways!

Casey's blog is the trifecta of awesomeness; beautiful photography, practical tips that anyone can use and solutions that are simply pretty!

She popped over a plethora of amazing ideas to share, and I jumped at the opportunity!

Since the holiday season is here, her timing for sharing how she organizes her decor items couldn't be better!

"We always set up our Christmas tree the weekend after Thanksgiving, so I figured it would be fun to share how we store and organize all of our holiday decorations!  Living in a small house means that storage space is at a premium, and it has really made us evaluate what’s important. I love decorating for the holidays, and we have managed to fit ALL of our Christmas decorations into a few small boxes.

Similar wreath box, ornament boxes, similar tree storage here and here  {A word of caution: I love my ornament boxes, but they have cracked over the years. Nothing a little clear packing tape won't fix! I found a different plastic ornament storage box here. If you don't need hard plastic storage boxes for stacking, there are lovely cloth ornament boxes here.}
  • All of my Christmas storage boxes are color coded in red & green for easy identification.
  • The big box on the bottom holds our artificial Christmas tree.
  • The ornament boxes hold our ornaments, their hangers, and Christmas tree lights.
  • You can see the wreath for our front door in the wreath box, and the red box holds everything else: outdoor lights, linens, and other little holiday decorations.

Here’s a little peek into my ornament storage box. One of the sections stores the lights for our Christmas tree. I just used some of the extra cardboard separators to wrap the lights & keep them tangle-free!

I try to keep all of my ornaments separated by color & size so that I can easily see what I have left while decorating the tree. I wrap cloth around the few sentimental ornaments we own to keep them protected.

Speaking of color-coding, here’s another little tip! We have an artificial Christmas tree, and we have to break it down for storage during the rest of the year. Here’s what we do:
  • Each section of the base requires a different branch length, so they are color coded for easy match-ups.
  • We use stickers to color code each branch.
  • I group all of the similar branches into one bundle & tie it with a matching velcro zip tie.
No more sorting through stacks and stacks of tangled branches for this girl! We may not have a fancy tree, but I can set this bad boy up in two minutes thanks to my little color code system!"

Laundry is always on my brain.  It's a daily chore to keep up on it with our busy family, so I always appreciate quick and simple tips.  Like these:

"In an effort to be {and save!} green, the hubs & I recently started line-drying our clothes. I quickly realized an embarrassing little downside to this: we live very close to our neighbors on both sides, and it doesn’t exactly feel appropriate to hang my skivvies on display in our back yard! I decided to let my delicates stay indoors, air-drying from various doorknobs, etc. Let’s just say that Leif did NOT find it cute when my Vickie’s bras got stuck every time he tried to close the bathroom door! I researched a few ideas about creating a little clothespin rack or something, and then….

LIGHT BULB! I ran into the kitchen, snagged some extra magnetic clips & hooks from our fridge, and clipped my unmentionables right on the side of our metal dryer. Perfection! They’re not in plain view & they’re totally out of the way, but still close to the rest of our laundry so I can just toss them in the basket when they’re all dry. It’s such a simple organizing solution — I love it!

I loved my magnetic clips so much that I actually ended up ordering this magnetic hook rack from Better Housewares to hang even more stuff! The extra strong magnets are great — they’ll even hold a pair of workout shorts! It makes me happy every time I use it {which is ALL the time!} and I’m sure our neighbors appreciate it, too!"

Let's chat simple solutions for small bathroom spaces.  Bathrooms are not typically known for their ample storage and space, in fact, it's often quite opposite.  I love how Casey has done a few quick and easy things to maximize her toothbrush and makeup storage!

"I LOVE our little toothbrush holder. Here’s why:
  • It has an adhesive back, so it mounts right inside the door of our medicine cabinet.
  • It was ridiculously easy to install.
  • It’s cheap!
  • It works perfectly & takes up virtually no cabinet space.
  • Our toothbrushes are all nestled safely inside of our cabinet now, protected from the airborne who-knows-what floating around in the rest of the bathroom.

I tried the whole makeup bag thing. I really did. There were just too many steps involved and too little counter space for any attempts at anything even remotely neat-looking, so things just weren’t getting put away. Ever. My bathroom sink started looking like some kind of mascara massacre crime scene.

Guess what?? I found the solution!!

Cut out the middle man.

These little beauties are called StickOn Pods. They have adhesive backs and adjustable compartments, so I can switch them around if I need different storage options for my makeup. Right now, I store regular & waterproof mascara, under eye concealer, eyeliners, my lash curler, a mini eyeshadow palette, tweezers, and makeup brushes."

Last but certainly not least, let's see how Casey handles those other "his and hers" belongings.  Ladies first:

"I’ve tried a few things to keep my purse more organized, but they never seemed to work. The fabric purse organizers always crumpled up, and the elastic grid-it organizer I tried was awesome, but too big to fit in my bag.

Here’s my solution:

I try to have as few items “floating” in my purse as possible. My purse doesn’t have a ton of pockets, and I HATE digging for stuff!

First, I decided what I use most often — phone, wallet, and sunglasses. Those items get “floating rights.” {By the way, I ADORE my white phone case – it makes it SO easy to see when I need to grab it!}

I hooked my keys onto a caribiner that clips to my purse strap. No more digging!

Everything else {chapstick, nail files, gum, hand sanitizer, etc.} is tucked into a small bag.

Now I can see all of my important stuff & I can just grab the little bag when I need the small things. So simple!!"

And for her man?

"A few years ago, I received a fancy assortment of green teas as a Christmas present. They arrived in a lovely wooden box, and I was just itching to figure out a great way to repurpose it. I loved that it already had dividers inside, making it a great little organizer. Leif’s tie collection was a mess, so I decided to give it a whirl.

It worked beautifully, cost ZERO dollars, and it was super easy!

I love that it fits in a drawer, but still looks tidy when it’s on the dresser. Bonus: since it only has eight spaces, it forces him to declutter regularly & he ends up with a collection of all of his most useful favorites. 

Fewer choices + no mess to sort through = less time wasted getting ready in the morning. Free, easy, beautiful, useful, time-saving, AND space-saving. Score one for Casey!"

Isn't she just brilliant?  I love how all of her solutions are so gosh darn easy, yet look so clean and lovely!  That's my kind of organizing!  You can find so much more over on her blog here.

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 submit your story and photos here 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!


  1. Great ideas!! I've been wanting to do the purse thing for awhile now, so that I can quickly grab important items from my "mom purse" :) I just need to DO IT!

    1. Thanks so much, Erin! It makes it really easy for me to keep everything cleaned out, too. I hope it works for you!

  2. These tips (and the pictures) are great!

  3. Beautiful!! Simply beautiful!!


  4. Just last night I hung adhesive-backed pen holders to use as toothbrush holders. The part the clamps the toothbrush is made of flexible, grippy rubber so they fit a variety of sizes. Each child has his/her own space for such things right outside the bathroom in lockers. I got them at walmart for around $3 for 4 in the office organizing area. Gonna add to them with your great ideas. Thanks!

    1. Haha, great minds think alike! Did you see Jen's toothbrush storage? She has a different kind of hanging storage & she found the coolest wooden toothbrushes to hang on hers!

      I love the locker idea! Where did you find them?

  5. The stick on pods are the nicest ones I've seen. What a great solution for a crowded counter! Thanks for the great ideas and tips!

  6. All these ideas are so useful. I particularly like the magnets on the side of the dryer. Thanks for featuring Casey's ideas today.

    1. Thanks so much for your kind words, Kathleen! And yes, thank you, Jen, for featuring me!! I am over the moon excited & grateful!! :)

  7. I thought I was brilliant when I decided to attach my keys to the strap on my purse with a caribiner! Seems I am not alone... :) I love the toothbrushes on the inside of the cabinet. I'll be adopted that one immediately! Thanks for the ideas.

    1. Thanks, Karen! Don't you just love those lightbulb moments?? :)

  8. She has such great ideas! I started doing the purse thing a couple years ago. It makes it so easy to switch purses too.

  9. I will have to check out Pretty Organized -- I love the Christmas tree storage idea. I mixed up a few branches on our tree this year, because I had somehow labeled some of them incorrectly! But my husband says the tree looks more real now, because the branches aren't perfect lengths now. LOL.

  10. Those Stick On Pods are awesome! Thanks for sharing that makeup storing solution.

    1. Thanks, Samantha! I really do love them -- it makes me smile every time I open my cabinet :)

  11. I use my wooden tea box to organize my tea ;) lol never would have thought to put it in my bedroom. If I ever decide it doesn't work for my tea, I have a new idea instead of tossing it :)

    Can't wait to use the bathroom make up ideas.

  12. Just wanted to share the way I store my ornaments. Instead of buying expensive tubs for them, I use those clear plastic containers that apples (or other fruit) come in at Costco! It's a lot cheaper, plus you get to eat the fruit. It works really well considering a lot of my ornaments are round, or small enough that I can fit a few in the same space. Then I stack them in a plastic tub with any other decor. Really helps and you don't need to use a bunch of tissue. Hope this helps someone else :)

  13. As far as the tree goes, I remember the many branches and the pain of organizing them and putting the tree together! For my first (and probably only) Christmas tree for our home, I purchased a tree from Treetopia. It takes about 15 min's to put up! It only comes in four pieces: the stand, the bottom, middle, and top. It comes with lights on, so I don't have to store lights! (If I should ever decide that I'd prefer different lights, I can also put others on and just not plug the tree in.) When you put the middle into the bottom (and top into the middle), gravity plops the branches into place! No fluffing needed! No awkward bare spots! And it comes in a tree bag, which is just a little bigger than needed, so I store ALL of my Cmas decor in the tree bag with the tree! When it's time to pull out the decor, it's all in one green bag! It literally takes us 30 min's to transform our living room into a magical Cmas oasis!


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