Wednesday, November 16, 2011


So I’m collecting hobbies… I’m up to two. Crafting (of course), and… cleaning. Ok, cleaning/organizing. I know, it’s sad. But when I can combine the two hobbies I feel so productive!! So here are my recent adventures in creaning (crafting+cleaning).

I made this File Folder Organizer today, and I absolutely love it!!

Some comments, things I did, and things I would do differently:

1. The tutorial given didn’t say anything about the cool colors of the file folders. I bought scrapbook paper and covered my folders in it using mod podge. Ok, I used homemade mod podge which was just watered down glue and made the papers dry crooked. In the future, I would use real mod podge or rubber cement to put the paper on.

2. You only need to put the paper on the front of the file folder because the rest is hidden. To trace the paper perfectly, I just put the paper inside the file folder and traced the front of the file folder onto it, then cut it out.

3. If I were to do it over, I would put the extra effort in to laminate the folders after putting on the scrapbook paper. I think it would make them much more professional-looking and durable.

I only did five file folders, and split two of them in half by adding a line of hot glue down the middle to make two different sections. I did this for Bills/Bank and Incoming Mail/Outgoing Mail. I should have given each mail its own file folder because half of a file folder won’t fit Netflix movies/magazines/etc.

5. I used hot glue to glue the file folders inside each other (but you only get one chance so be careful!)

6. I used 5 folders because I thought I wouldn’t need more than that, but if I were to do it over I would use at least 8. 5 folders made it much shorter than I thought it would be.

7. I just used sticky labels to label them, though the tutorial’s pieces of paper were much cuter (I didn’t have ink in my printer).

8. I just hot glued ribbon to the back and tied to hang (I used two ribbons and tied instead of using just one long one so I can adjust the hanging length if needed).

9. I don’t know why she tells you to fold the tabs down, next time I am just going to cut them off.

I think I am going to make my mom another one (and put more time into it) for Christmas.

For my second project, which I’m not sure if this counts as a craft, I used a large hanging toiletries hanger that I found new at Goodwill. I found this organizer for $2.99 and battled with myself on whether or not to buy it. I really didn’t need it for my toiletries… I already have a hanging travel organizer and I don’t travel with enough toiletries to fill this large one. I ended up buying it knowing it was too great of a find to pass up and that I would find something to put in it. When I was cleaning my room that night, I figured out that I could put the craft supplies that I use frequently in it so that I could just grab the organizer and have everything by my side instead of having to dig through my craft bin to find everything. It was perfect! I have a space for my hot glue gun, extra hot glue, paint brushes, my x-acto knife, scissors, a marker, pen, and pencil, my knitting needles, thread and a needle, a measuring tape, calligraphy pens , and clothes pins. I haven’t even filled all the spaces!!!

I was so excited about this… I was jumping around trying to find everything to put in it while my boyfriend looked on with a face that could only say, “Oh my god, she’s crazy”. I need to add an additional piece of elastic going vertical instead of horizontal to put my large knitting needles, but besides that it was perfect. The best part is, it folds up to get small so I can carry it around and store it easily!

I’ve been wanting to share the other organization projects I have done around my house, but these have been around for awhile and I don’t have tutorials or sources for all of them. Here’s the pictures for inspiration!

How I store my shoes in my closet: I keep each of the shoes (my heels only) in shoe boxes and tape a picture of the shoe on the outside. I then stack the shoes according to color/style. I think I saw this in a magazine once and just had to try.

How I store my earrings: I made earring holders out of picture frames and porch screen. The frame I found had a magnetic white board behind it, so it makes for a cute background. I made more of these and sold them on etsy with pictures on in the background. The screen is attached by Velcro, but when I remade them I did it with magnets and it was much sleeker and stayed together better.

This is a picture of one of the ones I sold on etsy: (If you want one or want the tutorial to make one please let me know!!! I have a ton of screen left over from my hedgehog cage project)

How I store some clothes: So, apparently I have too many clothes. Either that, or I just don’t have enough space. I’ll go for the latter. To fix this problem, I put clothes that don’t need to be hung up and aren’t worn enough to take up space in a dresser in blue tubs in one of those wire square racks from Target. The different tubs I have include T-Shirts (the ones you get for free, not the cute fitted ones), Exercise shorts (including sports bras), Sweat pants, Swimsuits (including cover-ups and swim accessories [goggles etc]), Plain t-shirts (the ones that you layer with that don’t have writing), and socks (which includes tights, knee-high socks, fuzzy socks for winter, etc). I also hung one color of each of my tights and leggings on a hanger like this. It freed up a lot of room for my funky knee-high socks I never wear! I also have a two bins for purses – a larger bin that has its own square for regular-sized purses (my large bags such as duffel bags and backpacks are in a large bin at the top of my closet), and a regular-sized blue bin for wristlets/small purses/coin purses etc. This is great because it guarantees that my dresser or my closet won't get cramped up!

So, I love putting things in bins and labeling them. I did the same thing to organizer my bathroom (under my sink). I have two stacks of small bins holding my extra makeup, Headbands, Hair Accessories, Body lotions/crème/extra razors/anything to do with body, Nail polish/anything to do with nails, first aid stuff, and oral stuff (extra toothbrushes, retainer case, floss, those pink tablets that show how much plaque is on your teeth). The bin in the middle of the two stacks holds my hair products that are too large to have a lid.

I also have a shoebox without a lid in the top of my bathroom closet for medicine and another one for sunscreen (ahem… tanning lotion).

Moving to the kitchen...

I am an avid tea drinker stemming from the years I spent living in England. Seriously. My whole family drinks tea now. So my electric kettle has a permanent position plugged in on my kitchen counter, but it was extremely irritating moving back and forth from the pantry to the kettle to make my tea. Okay, it might not have been THAT irritating and I MIGHT have just wanted to do a craft, but this was my solution:

It holds my regular tea, my decaf tea, my splenda, my spoon, and my mug! All it needs is a mini fridge to hold the milk :).

To make this, I bought a wooden mini dresser from Joanns for $7, painted it colors that matched my kitchen (yes, we went with a blue and green theme), added a circle of cork to the top to keep the mug, and a ring of elastic on the side to hold a spoon. I remember where everything is by: T for Tea, E for dEcaf, and A for splendA. Not the most foolproof system, but it works! I made one of these for my mom for mother's day using brown and gold. It was so classy!!

Finally, I have a Chores List. This lasted about two months (longer than I thought it would) but now my roommate and I work much better together in cleaning the house and doing chores. It’s just a laminated list that hangs on the refridgerator with clothespins that say our names. We would switch chores every Sunday and make sure our chores were done at least once that week.

Some ideas that I am looking forward to pursuing in the future:

1. Using a cereal storage container as a garbage can in the car. Yes, I’m a culprit of car trash and it drives me crazy.

2. Using soda boxes as can organizers for the pantry.

3. Making crap baskets for the bottom of the stairs.

4. Hanging my measuring cups on my cupboard doors.

5. Using a curtain rod to hang my pots and pans.


6. Using PVC piping on the inside of my bathroom cupboards to hold my curling iron.

Well, that's it for now! I'm off to see what I can scratch off my to-do list for the night.

How to keep myself fit

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