Fri-DIY-day: Organizing for the New Year

by Madge on January 6, 2012

Early January is one of those times of the year when I automatically want to make things tidier and more organized so I can focus on my goals instead of looking for things.

Over the last few days I’ve done a few little DIY projects ranging in price from free to dirt cheap, and I’m surprised, as always, at how much simple, useful little projects like these can add to everyday life! Every time I use of them, I get a little jolt of happy. Easily amused I suppose!

Storing Jewels

One of my new year’s goals is to step up my accessorizing — I’m pretty good with earrings, but forget about necklaces and bracelets and such. I think part of the reason is that all my pretty jewels were in an ugly heap!

So I looked around and realized I had this Martha Stewart wire organizer thing from like 8 years ago. Hung it on the inside of my closet door and now look how fancy!

It’s so fun to look at my jewels whenever I get dressed now, and more pieces are seeing more play. Goal 1 achieved!

I don’t see this particular wire organizer on sale anywhere right now, but there are TONS of ideas online for getting your jewels out of Mt. Ugly and onto the wall where you can see them / grab them / wear them.

* Here is a simple and sweet idea from Re-Nest to turn a grill tray into a jewelry organizer.

* Here’s a tutorial for making a jewelry display out of an old window.

* And ooh! Lace stretched in a picture frame! Purdy!

Corralling Thingies

What do you do with your billion little categories of thingies — pushpins, paper clips, remote controls, pencils, rubber bands? Of course it’s easier to find them when you need them if they always go in the same place, together with all the other thingies in their category … which is a lofty goal that some day I shall attain! A home for every thingie in my home!

I’m not quite there yet, but these little fabric trays I made using this tutorial from Sew Mama Sew are moving me in the right direction. I used a few to corral my (tiny amount of) photography stuff and the chalk for my new chalk/pin board (see below).

They turned out really cute and took no time at all to make. Also, I used fabric scraps and some fusible fleece I already had on hand, so they were also free!

There are loads of tutorials for these online, too — have a look around and see which style appeals most to you:

* Noodlehead’s version

* Chick Chick Sewing’s version

* Mairuru’s Oval Appliqued version

Chalk/Cork Board

This project took so little time and money — less than $40 and 1 hour. And it looks so good and is so useful! I’m quite pleased with it.

What I did was take 6 12 x 12″ cork tiles and mount them to the wall. Then I took a roll of chalkboard contact paper and mounted it directly below the tiles. The end.

I LOVE this feature of my studio and it’s helping my workflow so much already!

Have you been doing any projects to help you tidy up for 2012? Whatcha been working on?


Soli January 6, 2012 at 7:13 pm

I have a long term project in the works of clearing out my stuff in the hopes of moving cross-country. This month it’s Clean Out the Clothes, and each weekend I am home I will hit a space (dresser, closet, basement closet where out of season stuff lives).

Oh and on the jewelry front, I got a jewelry hanger for Yule. It’s on an actual hanger, and it’s a sheet covered in zippered plastic pockets. Took my most worn jewelry out of one box into the pockets and have that in my closet, then put some jewelry in the box I don’t use much, and the box I started with now holds my amber hoard.

Uh, yeah I like my jewelry. :)

Madge January 6, 2012 at 7:42 pm

that jewelry hanger sounds cool, soli. vertical seems to be the way to go for storage!

and good luck with your clean out the clothes project. i soooo need to do that, too! i’ll get around to it one day …

Cate January 12, 2012 at 11:32 am

I bought some cheap embroidery rounds and muslin at Joann’s – ten seconds of work putting the fabric in the frames, and now I have somewhere to hang my earrings that looks nice (and the cat has no interest in it, whew). Necklaces/rings I hang on a thread rack. Not a perfect solution, but it works for now.

Of course actually putting my jewelry away and not just leaving it on my bedside table/sink/arm of the couch/floor is another story… :)

Melanie January 16, 2012 at 12:58 pm

I am NOT an organized person, but I’ve been making a point to get to the most annoying of my disorganized spaces. Last week I cleared out, combined, and reorganized my baking supplies cabinet in my kitchen. Yesterday I went into the cabinet for something, not having been baking since pre-Xmas, and the little jolt of pride seeing how ordered everything was really registered. It’s the little things.


Of course, I then decided NOT to bake anything yesterday for fear of messing it up….!

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