This is the final post in our series The Ultimate Guide to Staying Organized: Must-Read Solutions! Jenna’s sharing some all-around unique storage and organizing solutions for you to use around your house to make your life easier!
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I have been so lucky to have Jenna, a friend of mine who is a home organizer, agree to share all of her awesome home organizing solutions! Her organizing ideas are very creative and actually work! My idea of moving piles from one place to another was not. I’m an average organizer…not terrible, but not great. Jenna’s ideas have seriously helped me get more organized and stay organized. I’ve had to put in the time (that I barely have), but I’m seeing results! I want to assure you that you will too if you follow at least some of her ideas! It’s rather exciting, and I feel less stressed because I am keeping up with my organization. With two small kids this is definitely a challenge, and it’s certainly not perfect, but I’m doing my best!
This organization series has been all about getting organized AND staying organized. Jenna has helped us tame our clutter whether it be papers, kids toys, or everything else! We have already shared Part 1 (paper clutter), Part 2 (designating empty spaces for organizing), and Part 3 (creative organizing solutions for kids), so if you missed those, make sure that you go back to read them!
We have been invited into Jenna’s home to see how she lives and breathes organization, and while we’ve been in there we’ve been able to peek around at her gorgeous house! Below are some more lovely pictures from Jenna’s rustic and modern home! Since it’s our last trip to her house, I threw in a few extras! Be sure to take a look back at Part 1, 2, and 3 to see more pictures of Jenna’s beautiful home.
Jenna is super crafty, as well as, organized. I know, it’s not fair to have all of those talents! I chose two unique and adorable projects to share with you! The first one is a coffee table in her living room covered with wine labels. She and her husband had to “work” very hard at collecting all of those labels! She said that it took a long time to collect all of them. I have to question how long it really took. 😉
The second project is this custom rainbow wall art! Just like a lot of us, Jenna saved meaningful paper mementos from things that she and her husband had done together. And just like a lot of us, she wasn’t sure what to do with them. Then the idea hit her to make a piece of wall art using all of the paper pieces! It’s so creative and special!
The Ultimate Guide to Staying Organized: Must-Read Solutions Part 4
Unique Organizing and Storage Solutions for Around Your House
by Jenna (Home Organizing Solutions)
Part 4: Unique Organizing and Storage Solutions for Around Your House
I don’t know why I have so many pairs of jeans because I really only wear the same two pair! I used to keep them folded but the pile was always toppling over. Here’s an easy way to hang your jeans without a hanger – with curtain rod clips! Just slide them over the hanging rod in your closet.
Those boot shapers that are used to keep tall boots upright are expensive! I use pool noodles from the dollar store. Just slice them to the correct length for DIY custom boot shapers. If you find that the noodle is too skinny to hold up the boot, try putting in two noodles, secured together with rubber bands; if two noodles are too wide, slice a noodle in half lengthwise!
I’ve learned over the years that our hamper filled up way too fast. Some of you might already do this, but I bought multiple hampers for our family. Everyone in our family has their OWN hamper, and each bathroom has a hamper for towels (if you have a small bathroom, try putting one in the hallway). At the bottom of each hamper, I put one of those mesh laundry bags (although some hampers come with an integrated laundry bag). Whenever somebody’s hamper gets filled, they bring their laundry down to the basement (I would love to have an upstairs laundry room, but that’s not happening!). At this point, everyone is well-trained to bring down their own laundry…I’m going to attempt to teach my 9-year old how to work the washer and dryer soon, so wish me luck!
I do a lot of batch cooking of soups, stews, and chili during the winter, so that means a lot of leftovers. I found that using gallon size freezer bags works great for freezing leftovers FLAT…it saves space in the freezer, and the food thaws out faster than if it were in a large container. To get the bag to freeze completely flat, place it on a baking sheet. Once frozen, you can arrange all of your flat frozen bags upright or in a stack.
I keep anything that has to do with packing lunches in its own separate space in the kitchen. You could use a cabinet, large drawer, or shelf in a pantry. In our kitchen, we keep lunchboxes, thermoses, sports water bottles, travel mugs, and plastic containers on an Elfa Shelving System (on sale NOW!) that I installed on the inside of a closet door. Side note- we have TWO DIFFERENT sets of plastic food storage containers- one set for lunchboxes, a different set for leftovers…..the set for leftovers is kept in a different location than the lunchbox set 😀. This also helps when attempting to match lids to bottoms!
I attached 6 magnetic chalkboards to the side of our pantry (I used Velcro Command Strips so as not to damage the cabinets). We recently had our kitchen remodeled, and I was determined to keep our vintage-looking beauty of a fridge clear and free! We use our magnetic chalkboard for a menu, notes, grocery lists, and to hang kids’ artwork. If anyone uses the last of something, they know to add it to the grocery list. You could also use chalkboard paint for the inside of a cabinet door, in case you don’t want your grocery list publicly displayed! HERE are some similar boards from Pottery Barn. Unfortunately mine are no longer available!
It sounds so simple, but not everyone does it. Remove the products from their packaging! For some reason, I use a lot of baking soda (and not really for baking!). I use it for cleaning purposes as well as to keep our garbage disposal smelling fresh. But those little baking soda boxes don’t pour very easily. I started buying baking soda in large bags from Costco, but they’re heavy to lift. So I saved an old half gallon milk jug, grabbed a funnel, and filled it with baking soda – now I have a new, easy-to-pour baking soda container! For you, it might not be baking soda but instead, a different product 😀.
Ok, this might be a tough one for those of you that can’t bear to be separated from your phone for more than 5 seconds. But isn’t it nice to take a break and unplug? In our house, we keep the chargers for all devices in ONE SPOT, plugged in, and not to be moved. This means that we never have to plug and unplug chargers, and we always know where they are.
I just purchased THIS charging station from Amazon to make our charging station even more efficient and organized!
I keep the charging cords wrapped up with pipe cleaners, and identified with label tape.
We have a cabinet to house all of our electronic devices and chargers. I love that everything is hidden behind closed doors, and this particular cabinet happens to lock…I’m thinking that this feature might come in handy someday when our kids have their own phones and we have them shut them down for the night. I’m sure those of you with older kids are laughing at me right now, but it’s a good idea in theory, right??
AROUND THE HOUSE:
There are many items that I have bought duplicates of just for convenience. For example, I have Clorox wipes stashed in many places throughout the house, in addition to keeping some in our cleaning closet. Our kids are always drawing, so they have sets of markers & crayons in their bedrooms, in their playroom, AND in our kitchen if needed for homework. I keep basic medicines (Motrin, Tylenol, cold medicine, etc.) upstairs in our bathrooms AND another set in our kitchen. We also each have a 2nd toothbrush and toothpaste in our downstairs powder room so that we don’t have to go back upstairs to brush our teeth in the morning before work and school. It’s the little things that make life easier!
I almost always remove items from their original packaging, because packaging takes up a lot of space! This is especially true for snacks items. We have a “snack drawer” in our kitchen, and I can fit a lot more snacks in there when I take everything out of the boxes! Some other items include paper towels, bars of soap, juice boxes, sponges, toilet paper, office supplies…the list goes on! Often I find that removing items from their packaging allows me to stack or store the item in a way that it might otherwise not fit in a cabinet.
Use binder clips attached to the spine of your photo albums to hang cute labels identifying the year.
MORE IDEAS FOR KIDS:
Kids Memory Box
Create a memory box for your kids’ school and sports related items. I’ve made ours with hanging file folders identifying the school year and grade for each of my kids. In these folders, I keep class photos, certificates, report cards, sports photos, awards, and those special projects the kids have made that I could never part with (my daughter’s version of Time Magazine with me on the front). Having this box is a life saver because whenever these items enter my house, I now have a place for them! Side note – this is NOT a box for saving kids’ artwork…that’s a discussion for another day!
Target has THIS plastic boot tray for under $5…my son uses it for Lego projects that he’s working on, and it can be moved around easily. Even though he has a Lego table in the playroom, my son sometimes likes to work on his Legos in a different room, and this tray is large enough to hold both the project and all of the Lego pieces. You could also use a large baking sheet for this purpose as well.
I love these rolling storage carts from Michael’s…they’re really cute, inexpensive, sturdy, and come in many colors. My daughter has two in her room – one is used as a nightstand and the other is used for her art supplies. My son also uses one as a nightstand for his books with a light clipped to the side. You could use these carts for anything from cleaning supplies to toiletries!
I can’t thank you enough, Jenna, for sharing your unique and creative organizing solutions with us over the past few weeks! You are an organizing genius! All of the ideas you put forward, are not only doable, but will help people stay on top of their clutter.
I have had several readers leave comments on Instagram or Facebook saying that your ideas are totally manageable and not overwhelming. That is exactly what I wanted this series to do for people! Baby steps are steps in the right direction, so be proud of yourself for any bit of organizing you can accomplish! It will take time to organize your whole house, but it will be worth it in the end!
Don’t worry everyone…this isn’t goodbye from Jenna forever! I’ll get her back here at some point!
You can see some of my organizing progress HERE where I refreshed my bedroom and closet!