Update to “Accessible accessories” — Bring back the bling

This blog post falls under the category of “better late than never.”  By that, I mean that it’s taken me over a year to keep my promise of actually ditching my unsightly old jewelry cabinet in lieu of a more creative way to display my baubles.

The cabinet, which I referenced in my earlier post, “Accessible Accessories,” screamed ’80s country oak catastrophe, devoid of charm, taste, or beauty.  In fact, it was so ugly (“How ugly was it?”) that I draped linens on top of it and relegated it to hidden corner of my sitting room, as if I had put it in Timeout.  Then, because it was “out of sight, out of mind,” I never opened it up and stopped wearing jewelry!  You may think I’m kidding for comedic effect but, unfortunately, this is a true story of my decline from bling to boring — all because I procrastinated an easy project!

So this weekend, with a bit more time on my hands, I unloaded my jewelry cabinet, apologized to my long-neglected lovely things, and decided to proudly display them so they would be easy to see and select forevermore.  A wooden-framed chalkboard was the unlikely hero which came to the rescue and became the backdrop for my new arrangement.

image

This was one of the easiest, most inexpensive projects I’ve ever done — merely using push pins at the top of the wooden frame and hanging my necklaces of varying lengths upon each pin.  Not only are the necklaces easy to see, but they look like an elegant tapestry of color and texture against the black background. And no more tangles!

I placed my bracelets, rings, and brooches in the small metal bins at the bottom of the chalkboard where you would normally find chalk and erasers.

Whatever happened to the Cabinet of Shame?  She currently sits curbside where, no doubt, some junk peddler will nab it in the night, thinking he’s found a gem…er…gem cabinet which will sell quickly at his store.  Meanwhile, my jewelry is happy and free from its confines, and I’m gonna bring the bling like never before. :-)

 

 

Cool organization solutions for cool-weather scarves

Fall is my favorite season. Crisp weather, hot coffee, vibrant trees… and lots and lots of scarves to add some fashion flair to our outfits! Over the years, my collection of scarves has grown, but my storage space hasn’t. So this year, with scarves literally hanging around (and all over) my bedroom, I researched some ways to organize them.

Over the door towel rack with shower curtain hooks

Over-the-door towel rack with shower curtain hooks

Coat hanger with shower curtain hooks

Coat hanger with shower curtain hooks

Tension rods in small space

Tension rods in small space

Upcycled ladder turned scarf rack

Upcycled ladder turned scarf rack

Drawer cubbies (even with cut PVC pipes!)

Drawer cubbies (even with cut PVC pipes!)

All of these methods are easy, inexpensive, and take little time. Have any other scarf organization ideas? Send them my way!
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Photos Credits: Towel rack; Hanger; Tension rods; Ladder; Drawer cubbies

Clutter chaos? Pick a pocket

A couple of years ago, I conducted a little domestic experiment. I decided to not “pick up” sundry items lying around the house and see how long they stayed there. You know, miscellaneous things left out on the kitchen counters… tables… floors. I could only stand it a week when I realized that if I wasn’t proactively being the Tidy Tyrant, I would quickly find myself living in Clutter Castle.

Tired of being the consummate pick-up artist, I figured out how to get my messy family members to “put away” before Mama became “put out.” Enter: Over-the-door pocket organizers.

Do I want these plastic contraptions hanging over ALL of my doors? No way. Do I want them in discreet locations to keep their socks and my sanity intact? Hell, yes!

And so it came to be.

MittensWant one inside a coat/shoe closet to house:

  • Winter gear (mittens, toboggans, scarves, earmuffs, ice scraper)
  • Small sports gear (volleyball knee pads, soccer socks, swim goggles, baseball caps) or
  • General outdoor gear (sunglasses, binoculars, camera, sunscreen, visors, bug spray)?

    Why, yes, please.

    Transformers stuffed animalsOr how about one on the back of the kids’ bedroom doors to organize Transformers or stuffed animals? Lovely. I’ll take two.

    Need a simple way to organize school supplies or craft/art paraphernalia? Boom! Slap one on the inside of a pantry door near a kitchen table and, voila — instant harmony in your humble abode.

    school stuff

  • So I say to all of you out there: Get it together! No, wait… correction: Let THEM get it together. Just buy the plastic pocketed “enablers” and make it easy for even the most rebellious of your lot to stay clean and clutter-free.

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    Photograph credits: The Happy Housewife, Day Crafts, and Org Junkie

  • Accessible accessories

    There is something to be said for organizing your “stuff” in hidden-away drawers, cabinets, and bins.  Especially the ugly stuff — and we all have some of that.  But equally so, it is great when you have beautiful things that, while requiring some type of organization, can be displayed openly in a beautiful way.  Enter — jewelry.

    I will admit, I have an ugly oak 80s-style jewelry cabinet. I wish I could say it is retro-cool, stylishly primitive, or shabby-chic. But alas, it’s just plain ugly!  Plus, every time I need something out of it, I fight with tangled items in rickety drawers.  Its one saving grace is that it is in my bedroom closet so no one but me need be subjected to its inadequacies. Still, it is getting on my nerves, and I have been inspired by some very practical yet lovely ways to organize jewelry and display it in a highly accessible way.

    jewelry screen bestThis framed jewelry screen is the creative product of my friend, Lori, who reports that this was a simple project which cost next to nothing.

    She purchased the decorative aluminum sheet at a local craft store for about $6 and used scissors to cut it to size and fit a frame (after she removed the glass). Kudos, Lori!

    Even if you decide not to use a sheet such as this, you can use burlap or other material to create a “backing” to complete the look.  Then, hang or post your earrings.

    jewelry storage 2To the right is a similar approach, with the addition of a coat rack, using the knobs to hang necklaces and the shelf for bracelets, brooches, or boxes.

    The below idea uses a cutlery organizer, with hooks to hang long pieces in vertical fashion and horizontal compartments for bracelets and other items needing to “sit” on a shelf.  Use multiple cutlery dividers to accommodate more pieces and to create a wall-art look.

    Jewelry+Storage+1If you still like the idea of putting jewelry in drawers, here are two interesting ways of organizing your pieces in a novel way — using an antique or decorative baking tin or using small teacups.  The latter of which can hold bracelets and necklaces in the cup portion, with hook earrings draped over the edge.

     

     

    jewelry-muffin-tray_MG_2743cups-saucer_2

     

     

     

     

     

     

    If you have a lot of bracelets, I love the idea of ringing them ’round a paper towel holder, as shown below.  You can’t get much easier than that!

    bracelet organizationSo have I shamed you into a jewelry project… or inspired you?  Either way, I hope it worked. :-)

    Any other ideas you’ve come across on Pinterest which spark your interest?

    I, too, have plenty to do to transform my bedroom closet and better organize my jewelry.  I see a follow-up article around the corner, as well as an oak cabinet Goodwill drop-off in my near future. :-)

     

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    Photo credits:  Aluminum screen frame for earrings – Lori English.  Earring frame with necklace coat rack and jewelry in cutlery tray – Curbly. Baking tin and teacup jewelry organizers – Paige Smith Designs.  Paper towel/bracelet holder – The Adventures of VAMH.

     

     

    It’s still rack-n-roll to me

    Sometimes I think about all those people out there with their nifty little “craft rooms” and “gift-wrap stations,” largely commercialized by the Martha Stewarts of the world.  And sometimes — in my head — I secretly make fun of them, telling myself that it is all just gratuitous luxury for people with too much time and money on their hands.  (But also secretly — I’m just plain jealous!) :-)

    So while I’m working my way up to admitting that I want this… and figuring out a way to make it happen, I’ve discovered a great way to house rolls of wrapping paper in a very simple and inexpensive way — via free-standing wine racks.

    Wine rack for wrapping paper

    Okay, I know what you’re thinking.  Didn’t this chic JUST talk about wine racks in one of her last posts — for storing rolled magazines?  Why yes, yes I did.  Who knew how much one could be inspired by wine… er… wine racks. :-)

    This idea actually came to me a while back, when I moved into a house with this lovely rack sitting in a closet.  (Sadly), I didn’t have nearly enough wine bottles to fill it, so I started thinking of ways to repurpose it.

    Prior to using the wine rack for my wrapping paper, I stored my rolls in horizontal plastic bins and containers — one for the long rolls… one for the short rolls… one for Christmas… one for birthdays.  Before I knew it, I was laden with bins… or is that bin-laden?  (Okay, bad joke. :-))

    Regardless, you get the picture.  This was taking up a lot of space, bin-wise, and some of the rolls were just standing against my closet walls — anxious to fall out whenever I opened the door. Plus, whenever I wanted to find a roll, I would have to pull out all the bins, open each one, and do a seek-and-find.  This did not bode well for my impatient temperament.

    So I found peace in marrying the practical with the pretty and using my wine rack for my wrapping paper rolls — standing them upright.  Now the rack sits in my finished basement, next to a counter, and allows me to easily store and see what I have, making quick work for my wrapping projects.

    While I may continue to secretly dream of having a glorious craft room, all pimped out with various crafting stations, multi-tiered shelving, and proper task-lighting, I can get some comfort in using my repurposed wine rack.  Oh… and drinking wine. :-)

     

     

    How’s it hangin’?

    While I know we are all neck-deep into digital (thanks blog-readers!), I also know many of us still enjoy reading actual, hard-copy magazines and newspapers from time to time. If you’re throwing yours into a catch-all basket or bin, you’re missing a great opportunity to do something far more clever — and even beautiful — with your stash.

    As is my mantra, if it’s not “pretty” and “easy,” it won’t end up on my blog.  Here are a few ways you can organize/display your mags and newspapers which meet both criteria in a very inexpensive way.

    towel rack -magazine, wall artTowel bar(s):  This photo may showcase a more elaborate “collection” than you have, but what a great way to house your magazines by hanging them on a series of towel bars.

    Obviously, this concept can be done in a much simpler way, with only a couple of bars — taking up a small corner wall or an area over a desk. Maybe you just want a single, long bar to drape your newspapers.  Regardless, choose your style of hardware and, voila, you have highly practical wall art.

    magazine wine rackWine rack:  This idea is beyond easy — no drilling or hanging involved. Just take a free-standing wine rack of any style and place your rolled magazines in the compartments, tabletop- or floor-style.

    If you do want to put a bit more effort into this same idea, buy a wall-mount wine rack and follow suit.  There are plenty of contemporary takes on this last idea, and lateral towel racks can serve the same purpose — with rolled magazines instead of rolled towels.

     

    shutter-magazineShutter:  If you like the “cottage” look, this technique is right up your alley. An old shutter — as distressed as you want it — can be transformed into an interesting display, with publications folded right into the louvers.  Hang it… or stand it against the wall (small ones can sit atop a table).  This style is particularly simpatico with a screened-in porch or outdoor covered area… with a nice margarita next to it. (Well?! :-))

    What about doing the same with your kids’ skinny picture books?  You could even paint each slat a different color.
    ladder magazine rack

    Ladder:  Keeping with the vertical theme, this next idea is one which, while simple, might appear a little more sophisticated.  By propping a ladder against a wall, you add a new dimension to your room — large enough for visual impact but compact enough that it can actually be a space-saver.

    Wood may transmit a more rustic vibe, while metal may lend itself to a modern feel.  Whichever you select, for heaven’s sake, do not spend big $$ getting one from Pottery Barn!  Ladders abound at salvage and “junk” shops and usually come with built-in character.

    Magazine file folder rackFile organizer:  Still too much trouble?  Check out this next idea.

    One of the easiest methods for organizing magazines is to hang them over a stacked or “incline” wire file organizer.

    A few months ago, I purchased one for a buck at Goodwill, and it took mere minutes to set this up on the lower shelf of my nightstand for convenient bedtime reading.  I get compliments all the time for this super-simple, cheap-o  display.  Ha!

     

    Sure, you can buy some very nice (and very expensive) containers, organizers, or display units to perform the same function, but then you will be out dollars that are better-spent elsewhere… and you won’t be able to say “Ha!” like me. Just be a copycat and try some of the easier, less costly ideas above… and make sure to send me your photos and feedback!

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    Photo credits:  Towel bar design from Sweethomestyle.tumblr.com.  Wine rack compliments of JunkChicCottage.blogspot.com.  Shutter design from MyRepurposedLife.net. Ladder style from CoryConnorDesigns.com.  File folder organizer photo from Christy Charlton (aka me!).