Monday, September 19, 2011


I was inspired by my friend Tara's post on organizing your home to share some of our organized spaces. I am an organization junkie- i literally get a little high from purging out unused things and making a neat and tidy home for the things we do use so that we can find them when we need them! When it comes down to it, what we all need is not more storage, but less stuff! I heard it said once that you can't put something away if it doesn't have a home, and I think that's true. I have to fight the urge to be a pack rat, and sometimes that means I get rid of perfectly nice things, but I want our home to be a comfortable, peaceful place that is as free of the stress of lost things and junky piles as possible. I also enjoy seeing how others organize, and thought it would be fun to let you peek into our home too!

I guess my organization style can be summed up by: baskets, bins, & buckets, and use what you have! An organized home doesn't have to mean expensive custom-made shelving units- I use many bins and buckets from inexpensive places like the dollar tree or the $1/$2.50 area from Target that work with the furniture and cabinets we already have!

Our kitchen and pantry, like for most people, need to be a functional place so I try to keep them tidy. I use plastic bins, the size you would put a pair of shoes in, to store loose things like spice packets, jello boxes, bags of coffee, and extra lightbulbs, etc. They were very inexpensive (actually a hand-me-down, my mom had all her shoes organized in them) but you can usually find them at the dollar store, and they are clear which helps you see when you are low on/out of something.
I bought these little green baskets from the dollar store for my craft room and then discovered they were the perfect fit for my kitchen cabinets! I have one big extra cabinet that I don't need for dishes, so I used the green baskets to hold fun things like party supplies, the kids' little bubbles and playdough jars, and one holds my glue gun & extra glue sticks to have handy. I also use this spot for jars of baby food on a big cake plate (use what you have!).
A typically tricky kitchen spot is the appropriately named "junk drawer" which is usually where random stuff goes to die. This is a place where I used to lose things and then have to buy another because I didn't know I had it! I bought two little wire baskets ($ store) for pens and small things like scotch tape and glue, and then used two small plastic tupperware cups for different sized batteries and even half of an egg crate to sort tiny things like paper clips, spare keys, and outlet protectors. This is one of those small projects I tackled in an afternoon (took me maybe 30 minutes) and I was thrilled with the result! Everything in its place, and it fits tightly so that nothing slides around when you open and close it.
I also use baskets under the changing table (from Walmart and Babies R Us) in Finn's room for little baby things like diapers, bibs, socks, and hats. Easy to clean up/put away, and easy to access! The changing table itself we bought at Goodwill when pregnant with Kenna for something crazy like $15, added beadboard trim to the shelves (makes the baskets slide nicely) and painted it all white. Maybe I should do another post on all the crazy furniture makeovers we've done over the years!
Dollar store baskets are also hard at work in our linen closet! These ones are blue and also fit amazingly well! There is one for sunscreen/summer stuff, one for extra baby shampoos and powders, one for other small items like extra toothbrushes and travel toiletries, and one for extra TP rolls! This is super helpful since our second bath doesn't have a lot of storage. We also store our medicines and first aid in more of those plastic shoe boxes up on the top shelf, away from little hands.
My favorite and most recent storage solution are these teal buckets I found in the $2.50 section of Target for our toy storage! They have little handles to carry them around, and fit perfectly in our storage shelves! I looked for quite awhile for just the right thing that would be durable but inexpensive, and I just couldn't beat $2.50 so I was thrilled to find these! I drove to 2 different Targets to get 8 of the same color. The top ones hold things like play food and dishes (that can be pulled out and taken to the play kitchen), and the bottom ones have small soft toys/biters/rattles for little crawlers to reach. These buckets also make it easy to have cleaning up be a fun sorting game... "Kenna, let's put all the wooden food in this bucket!"
And one more hardworking basket in our house: Matt's mom gave us this beautiful, tall, sturdy basket for Christmas one year. It is the perfect size and shape to fit right behind our front door and, believe it or not, holds an umbrella, the dog's leashes and collar, and several pairs of each of our shoes! It is so convenient and a pretty way to store functional items right where we use them. Kenna loves to pick out a pair of shoes when we go on a walk (most of her shoes live in her closet, but I keep 2-3 pairs that fit her right now here for convenience).
The next space I'm working on organizing is our home "office" (a small desk and bookshelf). This space gets used daily and is one of the first parts visible when you walk in the front door!
(These photos are proof that there was absolutely no sunshine today.)

Here is a fun blog with LOTS of inspiring budget-friendly storing and organizing ideas... I was overwhelmed reading it... and I get lots of ideas from the photo boards on And just for fun, here is a quickie craft project from my craft blog that used $1 Target buckets for a little bright organizing in Kenna's room.

What are some of your favorite organizing tricks or trouble spots in your home that could use a little help?

1 comment:

Tara said...

Yay! Thanks for sharing:) I love all your baskets and organization too!!! So fun!