Sunday, January 24, 2010

The New Year 2010

January is almost over, its time to get down to business. I'll be polling followers and friends to see what they would like me to blog about this year.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

School Work Organized

What to do with all the school papers? I handled this mess by giving each child a a set of drawers. Each child has a big drawer for finished "work and art" and a smaller drawer for "to do" items. Things from school/playtime are briefly admired and then put in the large drawers. Since we have home schooling after a regular school day, I can keep track of what we are working on in the smaller drawers. When the drawers fill up we sort out together what is important to file away and what can be tossed.

I selected this system because I liked the tough, plastic drawers which easily hold an 8 1/2" x 11" paper. Also this is a nice looking, cost effective option.

Important to know, I have altered this piece! I bought this TROFAST piece from IKEA. The original was too high and I didn't want extra drawers to sort, so I cut the sides so that the third drawer guide in each section could not be used. I had to put the piece together first, so I could see if it was possible to change the height, then I took it apart and used a table saw. Then I put it back together. I think this worked ok, since this TROFAST piece was wood, I'm not so sure the particle board versions in white will be as easy to change. (Use caution.) When we have visitors at the kitchen table, this slides out and doubles as extra seating. Sometimes a catch a child reading here next to the window.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Ottoman and Filing storage

In small spaces you need things that are multi-purpose. I didn't want the look of filing cabinets, so I opted for adapting two ottomans for the job. When I purchased the ottomans I made sure that they would accommodate the metal filing guides you can buy at an office supply store. (Check the measurements.) A Dremel (tool) was used to cut the ends of the guides to fit the ottomans. I added the hinges for easier use. I also stained, sealed, and attached legs to make the ottomans look more like furniture. The picture shows just one of the two. We pull them around for extra seating at our craft table and computer desks. Note - if you fill them with heavy items they can be hard to move around. If we didn't have carpet, I could have added wheels to make it easier to move.

Monday, October 19, 2009


My son has toys, books, and legos. We had only long wall that would work for these items. We needed furniture that was deeper than traditional 11 1/2" shelving to accommodate the bins we already had. We couldn't go too deep either, as we needed access to the window. This system had to hold lots of bins, have solid shelves for books (not wire shelving), and had to be inexpensive with a budget of $100 or less. We still need to finish updating the labels, but the picture is worth a look!

Friday, October 16, 2009

Product Highlight

Problem: Things falling off the upper cabinet shelves when you grab for one item.
Solution: Clear Handled Storage Baskets from The Container Store are a great way to get those upper cabinets in order and get only what you need out of the cabinet at any given time. I think, although I haven't tried it, for very short people a hand grabbing device would be able to grab onto these basket handles.
Small 11" x 6-1/4" x 5-1/8" Large 13" x 7-3/4" x 5-3/4" also available in white

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Secret Kitchen Storage Space

The mirror and mirrored shelves on our dining room wall was an eye sore! It made the room look like it had two dining tables and twelve chairs and decades old. Decorative items I set on the shelves just reflected the items for a cluttered look. This had to change! I added the curtains to either side, and things became symmetrical and thus, more formal looking. This is appropriate for a formal dining room. This also made the mirrored shelves much more practical. I could put all my extra kitchen gadgets here and no one would see it!

Monday, October 12, 2009

Craft Armoire


I don't have a craftroom, so this is a nice place to house craft and sewing items. Well, it wasn't the nicest place to go to until I organized it. I added two shelves and now I can pull out what I need without the rest falling on me. I also added three hanging pockets sewn from cloth placemats and a hook for storage on the doors. Get more space wherever you can! I had about one trash bag and one give away bag. I even brought my craft items from the garage to put in the armoire. It is important to keep like items together so you don't have several places to go when you are looking for something.