I was out shopping yesterday for a gift for my sister-in-law, Erin, who is getting married this weekend. I did a couple different 2nd Opinion segments for Erin in the past, one for her living room
, and another for ideas on how to dress her wall alcoves
. She's got great style, and already has most of the normal things that newlyweds need.
The present is for a wedding dinner a few days before the actual wedding takes place. The theme was something to help them in their marriage... something funny is welcome as well. Finally my husband and I decided on something that would be useful and pretty = a jewelry box. Erin loves
jewelry, and since her soon-to-be husband will inevitably be gifting Erin with some of her favorite things throughout their life, we thought we'd give them a beautiful place to store it.
So I thought I'd share some beautiful boxes that I came across-
I decided to go with box 1 from West Elm. It's large so it makes a big impact. I wanted something beautiful that wasn't too feminine so Erin's fiance can appreciate it as well. The black graphic design is more masculine, but it has a nice silver shine that brings a nice sparkly feminine touch. It would look great on its own or with things stacked on top. In the picture the jewelry box looks good, but its prettier in person!
Here are the sources for the above boxes-
Do you use a jewelry box? Or have a favorite way to store it? I shared how I organize my jewelry here
Trays. What are they for? Do they really serve a purpose? Not only can they be beautiful, but they can work as a great way to help you organize things. I have two trays in my home that help me keep organized. One is next to the door that holds a bowl for keys, a tissue box, sunglasses, etc. The other on my dresser in my bedroom that keeps my makeup organized. It keeps things out for easy accessibility, but groups things together so it looks cohesive.
Here are some examples of great ways to utilize trays in your home -
Here we have a tray (looks like West Elm
's) organizing books and a cute magnifying glass on a coffee table.
Below we have another coffee table tray, but this time instead of blending into the table for a more undercover way to help keep things tidy, the one below (also West Elm) makes a big statement in the room as a bright pop of color. This tray organizes various accessories.
Just like I use a tray (much smaller than this one below, I might add) for my makeup, I love how they styled their perfume collection here. The simple peonies are a great touch as well.
This last picture is a great because I like the budget friendly/DIY aspect of it. In this example we have an elegant picture frame used as a tray, with the glass painted (or maybe its paper behind it?) a bright, bold pink for a fun pop.
In case you are in need of a tray, here are some that I am fond of (click the tray to get the link!)-
Can you tell I'm into a specific color palate for trays : )? Do you use a tray in your home to help you keep organized, or to just add beauty to your space? I'd love to hear what you put on your tray!
Today I'm sharing a small glimpse into my home. Do you remember our first guest post + introduction of our new segment
? Well, I'm continuing on with our new segment based on DIY's and well organized space...but in a much less intimidating way.
My husband and I have this nook in our bedroom, an open space in between upper and lower cabinets in the corner of our room behind the door. At first I didn't know what to do with it, so it usually collected clutter, or folded laundry that for some reason couldn't quite make it to the closet right next to it. Luckily not too long later, I realized a more useful use for this space so we made it into our little jewelry nook.
I did a simple DIY, like, it took less than 10 minutes. Thats my kind of DIY! I had some foam board that I've had sitting around forever (and needed a use for it!), bought some wrapping paper, and just wrapped the wrapping paper around the board and taped it in the back. I wanted to go with something similar to the wall color cause I didn't want it to stand out too much (and because there are notches that come down on both top corners of the nook, and the board wasn't long enough to run the whole way across), but have it add a little bit of interest to that plain white space behind the jewelry. The picture below isn't great because of the glare, but you get the idea.
My husband uses the watch box to keep watches, cuff links, collar stays, etc inside. And I have the earring stand in the back, and all the little bowls.
I used command hooks to hang my necklaces from to maximize space on that side of the wall and to keep them from tangling.
I bought these white dishes while visiting my parents in Japan a few years ago. Really they are for kitchen use, not for decoration, but when I saw the need to better organize my belongings without spending money, these bowls did the trick! I have one for watches, bracelets, rings, and perfume samples/ necklace pendants, and one for loose change (not shown here, its on my husbands side which you can see in the top two pictures).
So there you have it! My organized jewelry, and crazy simple DIY.
How do you organize your jewelry?
Do you have any DIY's that we can share on 2nd and Strand? As you can see from mine above, you don't have to be intimidated... we'd love to see it no matter how great or small! Or how about a well organized space? We'd love to see glimpses into your homes and how you are making it work for you!
Your fridge. Yep, that's what I want to talk about today. I love a good organizational project. I also know that when things are well organized, its purpose and your functionality are extremely more productive. I think it's safe to say we all dislike waste. In the case of my fridge, it sort of breaks my heart to throw produce away that I didn't use in time. So, to help cut back on waste and organize an important part of our life (yes, I'm talking about food here people!), lets get our fridge space mastered this week.
Here are some tips to help you take control back of your fridge-
1. Clean it out! Go ahead and take everything out. And scrub those shelves and drawers nice and clean. Its always good to have a fresh start when taking on an organizing project, especially to see how the space really looks without being crammed full of things.
2. Look through all the items you took out of your fridge. Are there random jars you forgot about that are expired? Do you have leftovers from last week still in tupperware that should be tossed out? Sort through everything and get rid of what shouldn't be in there anymore. Take note of items that are going to expire soon and produce that looks like it may go bad fairly soon so you can use those in the next day or two.
3. Sort similar items together. A drink group, produce group, carb/grain group, dairy group, etc. Once you have sections sorted, think of where you'd like them in your fridge and resize shelves if needed. Also, something that has helped me is to keep heathy snacks visible. When I need a snack and see something unhealthy... there is a good chance I'm going to automatically grab that to eat. Keep some healthy options front and center!
4. Put your items in your fridge, look at how clean and organized it looks, and give yourself a pat on the back. And then get started on your freezer : ).
I also want to share some products that are beneficial to keeping an organized fridge, therefore (did I really just say "therefore"?) cutting down on useless waste.
1. Clear food containers. Next time you need new food storage containers, you really have to go clear...which I feel pretty much everything is lately anyways. Its important to be able to see what you are storing so you don't forget about it. And even if it does get pushed back on the shelf, you can still see whats in it. I have these Rubbermaid
containers I got from Costco. They are microwave/dishwasher/freezer safe, which is an important feature for me because if it means I don't have to dirty an extra plate... that's an automatic win. I do love the look of glass ones too -
2. Added organization solutions. My freezer is little. Very little. So I really need to keep it organized to fit as much as possible in there. In my apartment I have an old school fridge with the freezer on the top, which means it has no built in shelfs... which means it was up to me to do something about that! I have a shelf like this
in my freezer, with two of the bins below sitting side by side on the top. This takes up about 3/4 of the space which keeps things very organized (I have free space to the side, items can be organized in each bin, and items can be place below the shelf). We make a lot of smoothies so keeping all that frozen fruit in one place instead of falling out of the freezer when I open the door is a plus :).
In my fridge I also have two bins similar to the ones shown below to help keep items in their place. In one I keep our various types of yogurt, apple sauce, etc... anything that is little that easily gets knocked over when not snug inside a bin. My other one is for our different types of cheese. Yes, I like dairy. Everything else has a designated space in my fridge and are grouped together with other food that is similar.
3. I don't transfer my milk or juice into cute clear glass containers, but some people definitely find it beneficial (it can help create more room if your drinks/juice comes in weird sized cartons). Looking at these
(I believe the tall version is seen in the first picture) definitely makes me want to start though -
So what are your tips and tricks for keeping your fridge and freezer organized and under control? Do you group your foods together (or think I'm totally crazy for doing that...you wouldn't be the first : )? Do you have any products that you love that you can recommend?
I LOVE it when things look organized. Does that mean my house is always perfectly organized and clean? I wish... it is far from that. But there is great satisfaction when you open a cupboard or a drawer and see that its contents are organized and functioning well.
I have been having issues with our family's desk... from keeping the surface space uncluttered, trying to control my desire to shove things in random drawers when trying to clean up in a hurry, and my guilt with throwing things away that are still in good shape but that I never use (ahem, highlighters). So I'm going to break my desk down into small projects, which really is the best way to reorganize anyways, to get it whipped into shape. I already got started with organizing the cords underneath the computer.
I love it when things cost no money, don't you? I saw this idea on Pinterest and immediately thought it was brilliant and knew I wanted to apply this in my home. So over a couple weeks, I saved these bag closures from produce and bread I got from the grocery store. When I had my little collection I labeled them (I'd definitely recommend using a small tip sharpie, like shown in the picture, but I didn't have one so I just went for it anyways) based on what cords were plugged into my power cord surge protector. We had issues with needing to unplug things, but not being sure which cord we could pull out, which made us have to hunch underneath our desk pulling at different cords to figure it out. Now with the labeled bag closures, I figured out what cord was what, and put its new tag on it. I'm happy to say i wont have to spend any time underneath my desk anytime soon. (image
If you are having the same issue I was having with my cords, I'd definitely try this out. After all, it wont cost you any money! That being said, their are many more examples of how to get control of your cord situation that wont cost you much, or that you may already have lying around your house, so take a look and see if any of these ideas would work for you in your home.
This is the same concept from Martha Stewart
, but it uses cuter tags to label your cords that you can get at any craft or office supply store. They are definitely more attractive, but would slide around a lot more than the bread closures.
This idea comes from Real Simple
using file folder labels to identify cords.
is a great way to organize cords that you need to plug into your electronics often. With this method they will stay in place and you wont have to go searching for them.
Do you have a mess of cords going everywhere? This idea from Real Simple
uses a paper towel roll to help streamline the look of scattered cords. And hey, you can always dress up the roll with some cute scrap book or wrapping paper. You can also use twisty ties you get from the grocery store to help pull your cords together too. Just spread them out every 12 inches or so.
If you have fabric scraps around the house, you can find a no sew tutorial here
to cover cords that only takes five minutes (and double sided sticky tape)!
Don't you love how many options you have to organize or hide cords? If you have any other ideas for inexpensive ways to manage cords, or if you've tried any of these methods, share your thoughts in the comments!
The idea of this post came to me when I was doing the dinner dishes. I was rinsing out an empty bottle of olive oil to put in recycling, but realized I liked the bottle, so instead I put it in the dishwasher and decided I would figure out what to do with it later. Then, a few days passed and I was going to put some flowers in the same vase I use every single week, and wanted to switch it up... in came the olive oil bottle.
I really like finding ways to reuse things. I don't know why, but I think its fun... especially with the added environmental bonus. So I started looking around my apartment at what things I've reused, and realized almost all of them came from my kitchen.
All these "vases" I'm currently using are from the kitchen. The first, is a picante sauce jar (and would look so cute with a ribbon tied around the skinny part of it), the second is my olive oil jar, and in the third picture we have a jam jar and a cup.
Not bad, right? I realized I also had these around....
Do you want to know what these containers originally held? The orange was from some sort of toddler snack (now for office supplies), the yellow was oatmeal (now for toys), the blue was baby formula (more toys), and the little guy in the front was a baby food jar (office supply: thumb tacs). With some help from modge podge
and scrap book paper (or a black sharpie and japanese tape for the baby food jar), they all got a good looking face lift. Again, these all originated in the kitchen.
So this isn't from the kitchen, but I remembered I used the top of two shoe boxes to help organize my son's socks (do you think he has enough socks? Yeah, me too.) and my husband and I each have a little shoe box of our own in our top drawers to help us keep things in their place as well. This is reusing things at its most basic state, but still a very useful, free way to organize!
So whats the point of this post? To add beauty and order to your home you don't have to spend a lot of money. You can find thousands of beautiful things in stores and online, but sometimes times they come with a hefty price tag. So go ahead and look in your fridge, and I bet you have glass jars/bottles that would make cute vases or containers for other things. Next time you go to the grocery store keep your eyes open for jars you can reuse for other things. I did that today and was shocked to see how many cute things I found. I know your kitchen is a weird place to go "shopping", but reusing things is both useful and cost effective!
I'd love to hear how you've reused items in your home to add order or beauty, so leave a comment and tell us about it!