April 16, 2014

Progress In My Craft Room

I got quite a bit accomplished in my craft room with being snowed in so many days. Plus the day we were without power we were able to do some decluttering since moving about kept us warm.  I still have a little bit more to do but at least my craft table is clean! Take a look at what I’ve done so far.

craft room shelf

I did a couple of easy craft projects like the pom pom covered “M”. I saw one on Craftgawker a while a go and since I had time (and quite a few cardboard/wood letters) I decided to give it a try.

pom pom to cover cardboard letter

I did it over a course of a few days while watching a few episodes of the last season of The Americans on Amazon Prime. All you have to do is glue pom poms randomly over the letter of your choice. I used hot glue but I’m sure other glues would work just as well.

craft store letter covered with pom poms

 

This would be cute for a kid’s room especially if you got a really big letter and hung it on the wall! I didn’t cover the inside of the M because by then I was tired of gluing pom poms. But I would paint the parts you don’t cover with pom poms for a more finished look. I may one day :)

today will be awesome

I also altered a clipboard with some paint, scrapbook paper and mod podge. My daughter made me the sign (it’s spin on something we say to each other when we have a day where we want to accomplish a lot of things).  She has an etsy store here where you can request custom designs.

craft area

I cleaned off my desk!!!!! I made a pile for the garage sale we’ll be having this spring,  a  pile of things I need but don’t have space for and a pile of things that needed to be put away.  The pile of things I need now – stuff I plan on doing soon and extra odds and ends are in the two plastic bins under my table.  If I find nicer bins I may switch them out for the ones I’m using now (one is purple).  But these are ones I already had and quite frankly I’m just thrilled I can see the top of the table so they are good enough for right now!

craft room

I feel like I did the hardest part and now I just have some fun fluffing to do!

Awesome Ideas for DIY Family Command Centers

Seems like everyone is in organizing mode in January! Me too!   Since we’re planning on moving this year and have lots of things going on,  I’ve been thinking of making a Family Command Center so that we all know what’s going on when. If you’re not familiar with the idea of a Family Command Center,  it’s basically just a one stop family organization area.  Here are a few examples that I find inspiring!

keep your family life running smoothly with a family command center - great ideas for making one

Please visit the linked blogs to see more about  creating your own  Family Command Centers.

Round of command center ideas

One Creative Housewife  has a wonderful post on how she set up this command center.

round up of command centers

Achieving Creative Order made this command center for a client.

round up of command centers

SAS Interiors shows you how to put together this budget friendly command center.

round up of family command centers

Proverbs Living made this organized and pretty family command center.

round up of family command centers

Love this command center from Home Remedies!

round up of family command center ideas

This one  by  Hi Sugarplum! is a great example of  making the most of a little/awkward space

round up of family command centers

Beneath My Heart created this amazing wall command center!

family command center

This one is amazing isn’t it! I’m pretty sure most if not all is part of the Pottery Barn home office line since I used to have a few of these pieces (and of course got rid of them during a decluttering phase- could kick myself now!). via Organize with Sandy

Do you have a family command center?
A round up of family command centers. Great ideas!

My New Pantry & How I Organized It

I’ve never had a house that had a real pantry, as in – a dedicated one in the kitchen. I’ve always just made myself a pantry where ever I could squeeze some extra space.  In this house I had a pantry in the shower stall of the downstairs bathroom that we didn’t use. Then when we remodeled the downstairs so that our daughter could live there, we moved the pantry to the closet of her old upstairs bedroom (which we now use as our tv room).  Now that we’re preparing to sell our house, I thought I had better find a more traditional space for the pantry.

pantry makeover & organization

So I moved things around and converted the broom closet into a pantry! It makes sense. It’s right by the kitchen. There’s a big hall closet that we can keep the brooms, vacuum, floor cleaner in and still have half the closet for coats and what not.

pantry door

It’s impossible to get a shot of the pantry from the front since it’s in the hall and there’s not enough space to be able to back up. So I’ll have to break up the photos.

pantry shelves edged with washi tape

We kept one wire shelf  at the top that we had in there and my husband installed the other shelves (which he got at Home Depot).  I  had to paint the closet since we had to Spackle holes. So I used a few jars of white sample paint left over from the kitchen (which I mixed together for a “custom” white) :)

I edged the shelves with various washi tapes that I have and the back wall has some clearance wrapping paper from Target ($1.48 a roll) for a pop of color. I used some strategically placed thumb tacks to put up the paper and I didn’t bother with making it go wall to wall. I would have had to spend way too much time cutting and lining up the pattern!

How I organized my pantry

There are several ways to organize your pantry. I organized my pantry by food type and  then  grouped similar items within my food type categories. I  kept my food in the original packaging. I should also point out that  I do have quite a bit of storage in my kitchen and I keep my baking supplies (flours, sugars, oats, etc.) in my baking cupboard. Some flours (like almond flour I keep in the freezer as well as my yeast). I don’t keep a huge pantry so I don’t write the expiration dates on things since we go through stuff pretty fast and I restock accordingly but you may find that helpful.

pantry organized by condiments

I placed my excess condiment type foods on one shelf. The clear bin to the left holds my large spice containers which I use to refill my small spice containers that I keep in the kitchen. You can see how I organized my spice cupboard here. The second shelf is canned fruits, some canned soup for emergencies, broth etc.

stair step shelf for canned goods

I used a stair step shelf for my canned beans/veggies. I chose this one from the Container Store because the shelves are deeper than the one you can get at Target/Walmart etc.  The whole can sits on the shelf.  I organized my beans by type (I add beans to lots of ground beef dishes I make and I make taco soup at least 1 or 2 x’s a month and that takes lots of beans). That way I know which ones need replenishing. Target had their pasta sauce on sale recently for $1 a jar and they had a coupon on their site so I stocked up!

pantry organized with labeled bins

This shelf is organized by pasta, rice, dry beans. I used bins from Walmart to group like items.  We only eat brown rice past now so that’s all grouped together. The brown rice rotini, penne, and spirals are all in a dish bin. I used a OXO pop container to store the spaghetti (there’s always at least one open bag). LOVE the OXO pop containers and I use them in my baking cupboard.

The quinoa, couscous, rice is in one container. The rice pasta  mac and cheese is in one container and I have some bags of dried lentils & beans on the end.

organized pantry

On  the floor I have soda, some oversized items, extra diswasher detergeant and a pull out stackable drawer organizer from Target. I keep my stuff for making hand soap, dish soap, extra foil, baggies, straws – that sort of stuff in those drawers. On top of the drawers we keep the box of garbage bags we use for the kitchen and napkins.

I hope you enjoyed the peek into my pantry and remember that  everyone’s pantry is going to look different because we all eat differently and we all have different amounts of money to spend on groceries.

Linking to:  A Bowl Full of Lemons, Thrifty Thursday

DIY Saturday: Junk Drawer Organization Ideas

Happy weekend everyone!  Sometimes the most disorganized area of a home is also the smallest. I’m talking about the junk drawer! I think most people have a junk drawer in their kitchen or somewhere in their home. It becomes a  catch-all for those little odds and ends that we need and normally winds up looking like a mess. Hopefully these junk drawer organizing ideas will help you keep things in order.

We all have them! Here are some fantastic ideas for organizing your junk drawer!

The first step is to dump everything out and then decide what you want to keep. Use one of these methods to put everything back nice and neat.

cereal box drawer dividers

See how to make these cute drawer dividers that are from cereal boxes @  I Heart Organizing

junk drawer organizaition

This beautifully organized junk drawer uses a bamboo flatware organizer @ Two Twenty One

junk drawer organized with plastic containers

This organizing  idea uses  plastic containers @  Heroth Home

DIY junk drawer organizer

You can build this junk drawer organizer for $5 and in 15 minutes – instructions @ JRL Woodworking

organized junk drawer

Isn’t this drawer pretty! Wish mine looked like this :) They used clear acrylic cubes to keep things contained via BHG

organized junk drawer with baskets

These baskets are from The Container Store but you could use ones from the dollar store just as easily via Oprah.Com

Be sure to check out my Pinterest Boards for more organizing ideas!

 

October Is The 31 Days of….Project

Hi, I just thought I’d pop in to remind people that October is when a lot of  blogs participate in the 31 Days of writing on one topic challenge.  There’s a one stop linky sign up at Nesting Place you should check out.

31 days of writing challenge in October

She has categories set up so if you’re interested in Family Life, Blogging, House & Home, etc it’s easy to see what blogs are participating and what they’re going to be writing about.

There’s so much good content but I’m going to have to limit myself to just a couple  for this month such as:

31 Days Of Less & More

31 Days of Less & More @ Living Well Spending Less

31 days of getting organized

31 Days of Getting Organized @  Organize & Decorate Everything

31 days of spontaneous organizing

31 Days of  Spontaneous Organizing @ Organizing Made Fun.

I’m mainly hanging out in the Organizing & Simplifying category for this month since that’s what I’ve been working on all summer.  I’m hoping to stay motivated since I want to tackle some big projects before the Holidays!

Are you participating as a writer or a reader this year?

Creative & Inexpensive Organizing Ideas

I love the Container Store as much as the next person, but I really love it when I find creative ways to organize. Especially since I’ve been working on re-organzing my home this summer. Even better if the idea  repurposes something or if it’s an inexpensive organizing idea (the Container store can be pricey).

A roundup 10 Creative & Inexpensive Organizing ideas

Here are 10 Creative Organizing Ideas that I like!

soda fridgepack used as a soup container by  Then She Made

This is a soda fridge pack that’s been repurposed into one of those self-rotating soup storage containers. Isn’t that clever! See the tutorial at Then She Made

dish drainer file holder

Brenda at Cozy Little House  had this really cute idea to use a red dish drainer as a file holder.

cups as storage for pencils

I like this idea for corralling office supplies. We all have extra drink glasses that we can use. This idea is from BHG

DIY banana hanger

Create your own banana hanger with just a C hook & S hook and save some counter space. Petit Elefant shows you how.

cracker box lid holder

Here’s a cracker box lid holder for all those plastic tops from Crafty Journal

CD/DVD organization

Organize your dvd/cd’s by storing them in their sleeves via  Hi Sugarplum!

sink caddies as pantry storage solution

I love this idea of using sink caddies to hold those little packets in your pantry. See the whole amazing pantry at Make Bake Celebrate

magazine file holder store clingwrap/foil etc

How about using a magazine holder to store your wraps? See more of her kitchen re-organization here The Wandmaker’s Mother

pantry organization

I also love this idea  to use the space on the side wall for little items in your pantry from Domestic Imperfection

drawer organizers from boxes

Make your own custom drawer organizers from boxes. The Stonybrook House shows you how.

I hope you found some  ideas here for organizing your home. Check out my Organized Nest Pinterest Board for more great organizing ideas!

Making Some Changes In The Master Bedroom

I’ve been on an organizing mission all summer. Just little projects here and there. Nothing too involved or time consuming really. One area that was bugging me was the top of my dresser. I didn’t take before photos but it was kind of messy! Anyway, I found the perfect little organizer and that of course led me to making a few more changes and now I have a whole new direction that I want to take this room (another domino effect)!

organized dresser top

This is the organizer that I found and it’s perfect for me right now. Love it!!

makeup organizer from TJMaxx

It gives me a place to put all those little samples from Sephora that I get from ordering my husband’s cologne through them. I have a place for my lipsticks, my one eye shadow case (I’m not a big makeup person – I’m more into skincare) and all the other little things I use. Plus I have room to grow. Now if you use more makeup than me this one will probably not work for you but I’ve seen tons of others at Target and the Container Store that are made for holding lots of makeup. The idea is to find a way organize and contain your makeup in a way that works for you.

mercury glass dish used to organize perfume samples

I put all the little perfume samples that I have in this little mercury glass dish to keep them contained and easy to grab.

mercury glass lamp on dresser

Our bedroom is done in mostly black and cream with robin’s egg blue walls and I decided that it needs a bit of sparkle.  I replaced the lamp that was here with this mercury glass one that I already had. I sometimes use it in the living room at Christmas when I like to bring out all my mercury glass stuff. I’ll be adding more touches of sparkle as I find them.

round silver mirror

I also added this silver mirror from TJMaxx.

black toile curtains

I like the bit of bling it brings to this wall!

target branch wall art

My dresser top looks so nice that my husband wants to re-organize his! Yay! Although that’s going to be a bit of a challenge! :)

Linking to: That DIY Party,   The Thrifty GroovePinterest Blitz

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Home Sweet Frugal Home – Making A Budget Binder & A List of Free Printable Financial Planning Pages

This is my summer of organization! I know most of you are thinking summer is the time to relax and take it easy. I plan on doing that! But I also think summer is a good time  to do a little organizing since I do have more free time and I will have more hands available to help me did do some projects.  So my first project was to re-organize our finances  (you’ll find out why as you read on) and  I made a budget binder! I also have a list of free printable financial planning pages at the end of this post.

budget binder and resources for free printable budgeting sheets

Cute cover sheet is from my daughter’s etsy store

I know that most people set up a basic budget in January for the year.  I always did. There’s nothing like a shiny New Year to get you motivated to make changes and be more organized!

free printable budget planner pages

The only problem I realized is that, for my family at least, I would often  have to re-do it mid year because my husband’s company has our medical insurance running June – May and every year the options get worse and the cost is more!  It’s also the time that our mortgage company re-evaluates our escrow account for taxes which affects our mortgage payment. I never know how these two things will go! Sometimes things stay pretty much the same and sometimes, like this year, we’ll be paying close to $200 more per paycheck for medical (plus a high deductible) starting June. Yep, an extra $400 a month!! I almost cried when I saw that!

So now I’m going to try setting up our basic budget from June-May and see how that works. We’ll continue to re-evaluate it each month and tweak it as necessary.

I know it’s “old school” to use pencil and paper but that’s how I like doing it.  I have tried other budgeting methods. Some people keep their budgets in an Excel spreadsheet,  some use online programs like Mint or YNAB,  some use Quicken, some use the envelope method and some people don’t care and do nothing and it all works out for them… or not :)

I would say do whatever method that engages you and really makes you aware of your spending and saving. I’m not completely old school…I do pay all the bills that can be paid online and I use Quicken as my check register and just download our transactions every day.

organizing with binders

My Budget Binder

My budget binder is a 1 1/2 inch binder with various inserts from different places on the internet. It contains:

1. A pocket for receipts that need to be filed – that way they don’t accumulate in a pile on my desk. You may want to keep stamps or something else in it.

budget binder receipt holder

2. A monthly checklist to make sure bills are paid (that way my husband would know what bills need to be paid & when  should I be unable to). I’ve been using free printable calendars.

3. Debt tracking sheet – a place to list debts that have a monthly balance and get excited watching them go down!

4. Annual Expense sheet to keep track of those expenses that happen once a year and then break them down into a monthly cost for budgeting. For example: Termite Bond Renewal, AAA Membership, Warehouse Club Renewal Fee,  Membership/Subscription Fees,  Property tax if it’s not included in your mortgage etc.

5. Total Income & Expense worksheet with Financial goals for the year. That way you can see where to cut if you have more going out than coming or if you have certain financial goal you want to reach.

weekly budget planner sheet

6. Monthly & weekly budget planner pages divided by monthly tabs. Weekly pages are  so I can keep track of groceries, entertainment, personal spending money etc. that I budget a weekly amount for.

7. Some people might want to keep check register pages in their planner but like I said, I use Quicken plus I rarely ever write checks.  Some people might want to use cash tracking pages if they use mostly cash. Use whatever sheets apply to your needs in making your budget planner.

*****

My daughter sells really cute Home Management Binder Cover Sheets in her etsy store here. There are lots of people that sell budget planner kits on etsy so check there if you want to save time.

Here are some places for free budget planning sheets to help you get started. If you offer some on your blog  or know of others, leave the url in the comments and I’ll add it to this list. I’ll keep updating this list as I find more free planner pages so be sure to bookmark this post to see any changes.

free printable budget planner resources

Resources for Free Printable Budget Worksheet

Paycheck to Paycheck Budgeting Form

Printable PDF Weekly Budget

Freebie Finding Mom Free Printable Income & Expense Worksheet

Dave Ramsey Monthly Cash Flow Printables

Pinch A Little Save A Lot 8 Editable Financial Printables

The Accidental Okie Free Budget Printables

The Uncluttered Lifestyle Financial Planner Pages

About.Com FrugalLiving Free Budget Worksheets

Mom’s Budget worksheets

The Chic Crafter Household Monthly Budget Pdf

Free Monthly Expense Worksheet

Colorful Monthly Budget Planner from DIY Home Sweet Home

Bill Planner for A5 Filofax

Monthly Budget Worksheet

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Linking to: Thrifty Thursday

Kitchen Organization – How I Organized My Spice Cabinet

I think a lot of us are trying to better utilize the space that we have and I know that organizing your spices is a challenge! I showed you some great spice organization tips in this post 10 Ways to Organize Your Spices  .  So I had plenty of inspiration for how to tackle my own spice cabinet organization.

how to organize your spice cabinet

My house was built in the late 1960′s and this cabinet close to the stove is pretty typical for houses of that era and basically where everyone that I know keeps their spices. Old house, old kitchen.

spice cabinet makeover before

This is the cabinet organized – the after!

spice cabinet makeover after

How I Organized My Spice Cabinet

#1. I took everything out! I discovered that I had duplicates (sometimes even triples) of spices. I also discovered I was almost (or totally) out of certain spices that I thought I had. So this is a great way to do an inventory of what you have and it’s a good time to wipe down those shelves.

spices to be organized

#2. I realized that some of my problem was from having different sized spices & herb containers. I had big containers of garlic powder, onion powder, red pepper flakes, I had some bulk spices from from Whole Foods  etc. I transferred these into smaller glass spice jars (which you can purchase at the Dollar Stores, Container Store, Cost Plus World Market, Ikea etc). Or you can recycle other glass jars you may already have.

transferring spices to small glass jars

#3. I already had two acrylic tiered shelf organizers.  I had purchased a tiered shelf  organizer from Big Lots (which I returned) which didn’t work for me since the shelves weren’t solid and my spices wouldn’t sit straight. Something to think about if you are considering buying one of these shelves.

Mrs. Dash Spices

I put my tin spices on one of those shelf organizers in order of most used. You might like your spices in alphabetical order – whatever works for you! The new spice jars are on the other tiered shelf on the shelf above.

cupcake topping & liner organization

#4. I made the top shelf for baking spices/extracts which I compartmentalized in the red tray  and since we make cupcakes at least once a week, I put our cupcake liners and toppings in another tray (which is very easy to pull out when needed).

#5. I keep my vinegars, oils (other liquids) in a tray under that cabinet, in the fridge and in my pantry.

In the cubbies around the stove is where I keep my most used larger containers of  sea salt, peppercorns, cinnamon etc.  Yes I know, cool and dark is how to store spices. But we use a container of cinnamon about every month or so. We put it in our morning smoothies and we like to sprinkle a little cinnamon on our coffee grounds before brewing.

organized spices

I do like things to be pretty but it really needs to be functional and save me time.  So I could transfer these larger spices into more attractive containers so the whole thing would be “blog pretty”. But what for? The containers fit the cubbies perfectly!

This has been on my to-do list since forever! It did take me a while to get around to organizing these spices but I’m so glad I did. It”s so much easier working in the kitchen when everything has a place and you know what you have and where it is! A little organization goes a long way!

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Spice Cupboard Organization

My family and I have become a little obsessed with spice organization. Mostly because the cupboard where I keep my spices is such a jumbled mess! None of us can find anything! It used to be pretty neat when it was just me cooking. But now that my husband and daughter cook – well what can I say. The price for not having to cook every meal…

spice cabinet before

Plus I use very little salt so I think I have every Mrs. Dash spice jar there is! These are the original 1960′s cabinets. This cabinet  is only 13 inches wide and the shelves don’t move. There’s nothing I can do about the amount of space I have for spice storage (this is the most convenient cabinet) What to do, what to do?

10 ways to organize your spices

I think I’ve looked at every post ever written by people who have re-organized their spice cabinets in search of the answer to how to make mine easier to use.  I’m going to share a few favorites with you today and hopefully next week I’ll be able to show you my nice reorganized spice cabinet!

spice jars with Martha Stewart  labels

These are organized on  a  tray using Martha Stewart labels and kept in a  pantry.   Pretty! source: Arianna Belle Organized Interiors

dollar store spice jars

Dollar store jars with customized kraft paper labels from Staples.                 source:  The Social Home: Dollar Store Spice Cupboard

chalkboard spice jars

These chalkboard spice jars are kept in a  drawer which is why the tops are labeled with the spice name. source: Raising Up Rubies: Chalkboard Spice Jars

SpiceStor Organizer

This looks like a handy spice storage organizer. This is from SpiceStor and they have all kinds of spice storage organizers. The one pictured is $19.99

coca cola crate spice rack

Now this is so cute! If I only had a few spices I would do this upcycle of an old Coca Cola crate.  source: Discover.Create.Live

test tube spice rack

Also cute, is this test tube spice rack.  I think I have too many spices to do this though. source: Dream Book Design

ikea spice storage

Spice storage from my favorite store – Ikea.  source: Elevencupcakes flickr

side of fridge spice storage

Apparently, quite a few people store their spices on the side of the refrigerator. source:  small bird flickr

spice organization

This is very cool! I would never have thought of using metal utensil trays nailed to cupboard. source:  Tidy Mom – How to Organize Kitchen Spices

magnetic spice cabinet door

These spice jars are held to the door using magnetic paint! source:  IHeart Organizing

Hope you’re  inspired to get your spices organized. I am! Hopefully, I’ll be able to work on it this week since I’m done painting my kitchen (now I want to organize it)!

 

IKEA Kitchens & Storage Systems

Hey, everyone! One of the things I said I was unhappy with in my kitchen was the amount of storage I have. I need more storage or maybe less things! I’m working on the less things part… but in the mean time I decided to add bit more storage.  We had decided a few months ago on a storage system from Ikea and went there today to pick it up. Ugh! What a zoo! We went early but it was like being there on a Saturday afternoon. We were totally exhausted by the time we left!

IKEA kitchen and storage systems

I want to share some photos I took on my phone of the kitchens at Ikea and all the cool organizing storage systems they have. My daughter and I were oohing and ahhing over all the kitchens!

Ikea plate shelf

If I had to do it over again, I would go with an Ikea kitchen.  They are really affordable, look good, and the quality seems to be good based on all the bloggers and designers I’ve seen use them.

Ikea storage rails

Their rails that you can hang all kinds of things off of and their magnetic strips are really popular.

Small storage rails

I love all the deep organized drawers they have!

Ikea baking drawer

It seems to me that it would be so much easier to get pots and pans, baking dishes etc out of a drawer than from under a cabinet.

Ikea deep drawer

I’m obsessed with spice storage!

Ikea spice drawer

This seems like a very handy way to store your spices.

Here are a few more Ikea kitchen pictures.
Ikea open shelf system

 

 Ikea pull out utility cabinet

Ikea farmhouse sink

I’ll show you what I got next week since my husband and daughter are going to put it all together this weekend.

I pick it out they put it together – good system don’t ya think :)

Don’t forget to enter the giveway that ends tonight. Go to this post . Newsletter subscribers will have to come to the blog and leave a comment if you want to be entered.

 

DIY Pretty Magazine Storage Boxes

There are some magazines that I want to keep intact because they have so much good info that my usual filing system wouldn’t work. In an effort to be more organized, I decided to group all the gardening type magazines I’m keeping in one place with my gardening books. So I made  some pretty magazine storage boxes from some inexpensive cardboard magazine holders from my favorite store….. IKEA, so they would look nice on my bookcase in the living room.

easy diy magazine storage

 I have issues  of Hobby Farm/Urban Farm, Mother Earth News, Countryside, Country Garden and other various gardening magazines that I keep for reference (I don’t keep every issue just ones that I know I’ll want to look at in the future).

farmhouse scrabble tiles

There’s no reason why practical can’t be pretty!

How To Make Pretty Magazine Holders

 

These are only $1.99 for a package of  5 but there are plenty of tutorials on the internet on how to make them out of cereal boxes and shipping cartons.

scrapbook paper

You know I like color, so I played with some scrapbook paper until I got a combination that made me happy. Although keeping them plain white is always nice too.

cutting scrapbook paper

Once I had my paper patterns picked out, I traced the face of the magazine file onto the back of the scrapbook paper.  Be sure to center your design the way you want it to look on the magazine holder. I forgot and had to redo the first two.

mod podge

mod podge

To attach the paper I used my favorite, Mod Podge, but I imagine a glue stick or spray adhesive would work also.

cardboard magazine holders with scrapbook paper fronts

I’m a lazy crafter sometimes! So I chose not to cover the sides since,  except for one side, they wouldn’t be seen in the way I have it set up. I did cover the outside of the last one because it is visible (but I could arrange my books so it wasn’t). It’s up to you. I was feeling lazy and didn’t feel like tracing and cutting out sides :)

homesteading books

I’m not going to label them right now. I don’t think I need to since I know what’s in them. Of course if I had done a whole long  row of magazine holders I would label them. I’d be confused as to what was where. But these four I think I can manage without a label.

Voila!

DIY decoupaged magazine holders

Inexpensive, personalized magazine storage  (you can put other things in them besides magazines you know).

mod podge inexpensive white magazine holders with scrapbook paper

 Also, if  you decide to change color schemes… well… easy peasy, they can be changed since all you need to do is change out the fronts.

  mod podge some plain magazine holders into pretty magazine holders

 

Non-Toxic Cleaners & Under Sink Organization

 

orange peels soaking in vinegar

It’s been incredibly hot here lately so I’ve been working on indoor projects more than being outside. One room I’ve been working on all summer is my kitchen. Cleaning, fluffing, organizing it to work better. So today I thought I’d share a few cleaning recipes and my under sink area.

under sink cabinets and rooster rug

There are lots of green cleaners that you can buy these days in mass market stores like Target, Wal-Mart  and supermarkets. I always find Mrs. Meyer products at TJX and Marshalls at a good discount.  But I still like to make my own.  It’s really very easy and inexpensive.

There are tons of recipe’s out there for making everything from your own laundry detergent & liquid soap to furniture polish. You just need to find the recipe that works to your satisfaction.

ingredients for basic homemade cleaner

I use 1 part distilled white vinegar, 1 part water, and a squirt of dish soap  for most basic cleaning.  Combine those ingredients into a spray bottle and shake to mix. It stores really well – I just swish the bottle before using.  I’ve read you shouldn’t use vinegar on marble or granite – just hot soapy water. My counters are laminate so I don’t have a problem with using this all-purpose cleaner in my kitchen.

soaking orange peels in vinegar to make cleaner

For a lovely citrus smell, I soak my orange rinds or lemon peels in a glass jar filled with white vinegar for a few weeks and then drain the peels and use that vinegar. You could also add essential oils or make your own infusion of herbs. Many herbs are known to have antibacterial & disinfectant properties.

I also make a paste of baking soda  or borax (kept in the laundry area as it’s a good boost to laundry detergent) if I need a soft scrub type product.  Sometimes all you need is soap, hot water and elbow grease!

Bleach is very toxic to the environment so I try to limit my use of it.  Hydrogen peroxide sprayed after vinegar is also a good disinfectant. Tea tree oil is supposed to have disinfecting properties and is a natural fungicide but I haven’t tried it yet. I do think vinegar is strong enough to handle most germs but it’s up to you to decide what you’re comfortable with.

Here’s a post I wrote years ago about saving money  making your own cleaning products – it has a few more recipes.

undersink organization with wire door organizer

Under Sink Organization

I don’t keep a lot of stuff under my sink. I’ve found that every time I’ve had leak under there it’s because something has pushed against the pipes. I guess it depends on how your pipes are situated under your sink – mine are all over the place. I just added that wire rack on the door to make it easier to grab a bottle of cleaning spray.

under sink compost bin

I have my composter, dishwasher detergent, big bottle of white vinegar, Brillo, Magic Eraser, Method wipes and scrub brushes on one side.

peel & stick tiles under the sink

On the other side I have sponges, rags, micro fiber cloths, swiffer cloths and extra rubber gloves. I know a lot of people use contact paper in their under sink cabinet, but my cabinets are so old I couldn’t get contact paper to stick! So I used some old peel and stick tiles I had leftover from another house we had. I think they offer better protection against spills and they’re easy to wipe clean.

There are so many benefits to making your own cleaners!  So try replacing your traditional cleaners with some non-toxic alternatives (that you either make or buy) as you use them up.  You really don’t need a ton of different products to clean your house. You’ll find it frees up space under your kitchen sink!

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