Thursday, March 11, 2010

Finding space

I loved reading your sweet comments about the Bub’s room! Thank you so much! Many of you asked about the book holder in his room -- it’s actually a Goodwill find. It was natural wood and I spray painted it white and added the “books” letters. Love it. :)

I’m continuing to make progress on his room’s transformation, and I continue to get more and more excited! Yesterday and today, I’ve been working on the layout of the room – the addition of the full sized “big boy” bed has thrown me for a loop.

I think I’ve figured out a set up I love, but to get there I removed a few things – more on that in a minute.

We are SO lucky our house has a ton of storage space – lots of closets, a decent sized garage, a basement, and even some attic space we don’t even use. Don’t hate!  ;)

But I still try to find ways to store items in spaces that may get overlooked. Our utility closet in the laundry room holds things like extra filters, a step stool, etc:

You have to be careful with a space like this – don’t block any vents and watch the hot stuff. :) This space works well, because most of these items would go in the garage, and this saves me a trip out all the way out there. A whole ten feet.

I showed you how I painted this laminate TV cabinet here, and it’s held up great!:

The storage in this piece is great, which is why I wanted to rework it instead of getting something new. There was so much space inside, most of it was being wasted. So I got a piece of wood cut to the right size and attached it to the inside using brackets:

It almost doubled the storage space for tapes and DVDs! And no, I didn’t paint the inside of the cabinet. I got stuff to do peeps! I was onto the next project!  :)

All drawers in this house are home for something. The table in our foyer holds a few tools I use a lot, so I don’t have to run down to the basement:

And maybe a checkbook for the pizza guy. Oh, and a nerf gun my Stink Eye Sister got the Bub. She is an aunt, and thinks she’s fun and cool to get nerf gun for a three year old. Who shoots it in places he shouldn’t. So it’s hiding.  :)

In the linen closets, try rolling your towels instead of folding them:

It really does create more space!

Our linen closet in the loft also functions as toy storage:

I go up as high as I can in closets (that empty space way up there should be used for something!) and put stuff on the floors too.

This closet used to hold a bunch of games as well, but that brings me to my latest project. When I was trying to figure out the furniture layout in our son’s room, I was pretty positive I was going to have to put his dresser in the closet. I luuuurve to put dressers in closets. I’ve always done it! We have two in our master closet. :)

If you leave closets “as is” – they are such a WASTE of space! Soon after we moved in to our house, I took down every shelf they had just installed in our closet and rehung them so they were much more functional. I’ll show you that space soon – I need to do a load of laundry first. Or 25.

As you could see in my last post, the dresser I bought and painted for the Bub’s nursery is beautiful! And it wasn’t cheap. So the thought of sticking in the closet wasn’t really floating my boat.

I decided I would look into a closet storage system instead, but figured it would be at least a few hundred bucks to do, even if I installed it myself.

Wrong-o! Yesterday, on my 8th trip to Lowe’s out of ten already this week, we took a trip down the organization aisle and I found a very simple closet system that worked perfectly!:

The camera was crooked, the bins are not. :)

I was a little intimidated to do this, but it was SO EASY! Each canvas bin goes together in maybe three or four minutes, seriously. The only hard part was getting the two metal pieces on the wall level and the right distance apart:

The bins are HUGE and roomy! I can’t believe how much they hold! The dresser that held his clothes had three large drawers and two small, and now it’s in the guest room (which is perfect because I needed one in there anyway!) and for now, it holds games:

Can you believe the four canvas bins hold WAY more than the dresser? They are DEEP.

I cannot even tell you how much I love these! You just pull out each bin to get inside:

Uhh….I don’t fold the jammies. I pick my battles. And I already told you I need to do laundry –- he really does have clothes.  ;)

I wasn’t sure how this system would hold up to the Bub, but I’m really happy with it so far:

He’s already tested it out, and it’s working great.  :)

The metal pieces that go on the wall were $8 each, and they have extenders you can buy if you need it to go floor to ceiling. (I didn’t need them.) Each bin was about $25 – so this whole “system” was about $115. Now I want to chuck the dressers in our closet and put these all over!

I know $115 isn’t necessarily cheap, but it’s a LOT less than I thought it was going to be. I will probably need more bins as the Bub gets bigger and the clothes get bigger and more plentiful, but for now I’m thrilled with it!

So how do store creatively? Any fun tricks? Do you use every crevice like me?

P.S. These are made by Rubbermaid, and no, I’m not getting paid for this post. :)

Thank you to my sponsor:


  1. Are you sure the Nerf gun isn't for the pizza guy?

    That picture made me laugh! Way to use your spaces, and thanks for inspiring us!

  2. Why have I never thought to put something like that in our daughters closet? She is 4 so she has a hard time closing her dresser drawers so this would really be helpful to us all! Not to mention she has no more wall space for the 2nd dresser that she needs yet her closet it to shallow for a dresser. This would solve that!

    And I will be rolling my towels from now on. Saves space and it's cute to boot.

  3. I love those bins. The funny thing is, as soon as I read that you love them, they were easy to install and inexpensive, I went to to try to find out just how much they were. If I would have kept would have told me! This post comes at a great time! We are about to buy our first house (built in 1950) with tiny closets! Love those bins!

  4. Even though I have a 3 car garage, a basement & a large house, I don't have enough closets. Since I like to keep things handy I utilize armoires, chests, baskets, boxes, etc. so I don't have to go far to get things. All of the closets I do have are built in (I used to be a closet designer). Custom closets are easy to build & the melamine parts can be bought from a big box store. The slide out drawers you purchased are great! Good post!

  5. Wow, I've never seen those but they are a really great idea! I love that they are canvas and not plastic or wire. Softer. I'll take some pictures soon of how I organize and do a post... just for you.

    I can't wait to see Bub's finished room. And also, show us your closet!


  6. So many great ideas that I need to put into practice since I don't have much storage space. I'm off to see how you painted your laminate TV cabinet :)
    Thank you so much for the inspiration!

  7. Fantastic ideas. I went from a 3600 sf house to a 600 sf duplex when I got divorced. I've had to get VERY creative with temporary storage. I'm not allowed to hang shelves or do anything permanant.

    I love these ideas! I think I'll look for an old dresser to use to hold games!

  8. I'm contemplating redoing all of our closets (they all have so much storage potential but the builder put in a few lame & very lousy shelves). I was looking at those canvas bins and wondering how well they worked. The tester ones at Lowe's didn't roll out very well so I thought maybe they weren't a great idea. However, you've changed my mind and perhaps I'll give them a second chance.

  9. OOOH! I have a question! I've been thinking of painting my old kitchen table...the top is laminate...and wondered if the paint would stick...would it just scrape off, or what. I saw your comment about your painted laminate TV stand....any tips on what type of paint to use? Would using KILZ first help? Right now the finish on my table is "wood"...a medium/dark finish and I want to paint the table white. Just not sure about it...especially the table it will hold up. Any tips you could send would be MOST appreciated!!!!! THANKS in advance!!!!!

  10. Great job! I love closet organizers. It was one of the first things I did when we moved here. I have a small walk in in our bedroom. I also added a mirror to the back wall. It helps to bring in light and is convenient! I have to work on the rest of the closets now.

  11. I do! I try to use every available space for what needs to be stored. I even use under the beds for out of season clothing or pictures where I don't want the glass broken. I think I even have a dining room table leaf under one of the beds!

  12. We have a small walk in closet in our Master and we used the white wire shelving to fill the space. We have two rows of hanging space on the back wall of it, one along the side for longer dresses and such, a row of shelves next to that shoe racks on the other side and shelving above that and above the hanging racks..up to the ceiling. It is fairly cheap to use that system and you can configure it anyway you want. Of course it is still not large so we do use our dressers as well. We have the same wire shelving and racks in our kids rooms and it's working out great!

  13. This post is perfect timing for me - on Monday we are embarking on a major renovation of our upstairs master bedroom & bath, and I've been tearing my hair out trying to figure out how to get the maximum storage space out of the closet that will be built in this bedroom. I will definitely be using this idea!! Thank you!

  14. I'm not hatin' on you, but I am SOOOO jealous of all of your storage space. ;) Our attic is packed to the gills b/c that's what you do when the 1970s Colonial you live in has zero storage.

    LOVE the idea of rolling the towels. Why didn't I think of that? ;) I am going to do it today!

    I put a made-over dresser in my oldest's closet, and that works great. It's a tiny closet and the dresser barely fits, but it would have been wasted space under the rack anyways.

    My younger daughter's closet is big and I have a bookshelf I got from a retail store closing in there, as well as a rolling computer printer cart--use it to store diapers and blankets. :)

  15. cutest part of the room is the little bub himself! tell me u put those cute jeans on him just for this pic! too much!

  16. Quite the thinker U are. I like this idea a little better than the dresser because of the depth of the bins...I'm thinking of adding a lil shelf on top like a faux dresser? Perfect for my 14 year old who has a pile of junk in his closet right now. Thank U!

  17. I love unexpected finds that answer our "issues" (storage.... nothing else intended!) Ha ha!

    So, come and solve my issues now will ya? I'm in serious purge mode after having my entire home turned upside down this past week having it all painted inside.

  18. Great job! I loooovvve closet systems!! I have them in EVERY closet in the house, and they REALLY do make a huge difference in the amount of items you can store. I actually use our "extra" coat closet (we have one by the back door, and one in the front hall) for "extras" (paper products, household cleaners) and to store the vaccum, broom, etc. It is 2 steps from the kitchen, and who needs 2 coat closets? (we have extra space in our office closet for out of season coats if needed). I try to utilize every drawer in the house as well. We have a dresser in our library that was my grandmothers...she used it for her sewing essentials and I now use it to store smaller games. Guess maybe I learned it from her!! Baskets are another great choice. Can't wait to see his new room.

  19. I LOVE your blog! I hope you don't mind, but I added you to the link list on mine. You are very creative.

  20. I look at MANY craft blogs. and I mean many, much to the dismay of my husband and kids. this is the first time i've been so inspired that I just had to comment. Will you please be my new best friend?

    (and take me to goodwill with you so I know what a good find looks like)

  21. Love those canvas bins! I may have to suck it up and invest in some of those to replace the horrid plastic drawers I use for my socks and undies. I deserve better!

  22. Good grief - who does fold jammies!? I agree - pick your battles. I don't fold any of my kids clothes except the good ones. That way, even at 4 and 6, they can be responsible for (almost) all of their own laundry. Well - the putting away part anyway. I still haven't trained them to use the washer! (jk!)

  23. I's amazing what closet organizers can do for a closet. I redid my own closets a few months ago. Taking down a clothes rod and added shelves gave a huge boost in my storage area.

  24. I love the games in the dresser!

  25. Great storage ideas! We recently moved and are in desperate need of shelves and storage areas!

  26. I like the rolled towel look, however it takes up too much space. We have way to many towels. I wish my closet was bigger because it looks so good!

  27. I just found your blog. Ohjoy! You are a woman with the same mission. I'll get to more of your "goodwill transformations" soon. If if you have time take a peek at my blog and the post(meet Bubba) about my money saving living room decor.

  28. I totally agree with rolling towels instead of folding them!! I also love the closet organization thingy from Lowe's. Thanks for sharing. As always, you're an inspiration.

  29. Ooohh, I can't wait to see the picture of how you rehung the shelves in your closet. I have pretty good closet space too, but I don't think I make the most of it.

    I like to save space by going UP the walls. For example, in my kitchen, with very little counter/cabinet/drawer space, I covered a basic cork board with cute fabric and hung it on the wall over my oven (like art). That allowed me to actually hang (with push pins or a simple nail) the little things that can clutter drawers: wine opener, measuring cups, pot holders, etc.

    It is the BEST because I never have to go digging for something small in an overcrowded drawer.

    Oh! Also, instead of a knife block on the counter, my husband and I opted for a magnetic strip that we screwed onto the wall to hang our good knives from. Ahhhh, counter space...

  30. My fav trick has been the clear over the door shoe organizer used in a closet in our dining room that holds my kids craft supplies. :)

  31. Quick laundry tip :)

    I HATE to do laundry (and i have 54 boys and 2 girls). I have finally figured out a way to do laundry QUICKLY!!!!

    First catch up on laundry (worst step) in one day (believe me it MUST be done in one day or it won't ever be done:)

    Then you have 1 laundry basket for the ENTIRE house (if your kids are old enough to sort lights and darks you need 2 baskets)

    Each morning you quickly sort lights and darks and throw one into the washer. Then when you get home from work (or if you stay home, when the first one is finished) you throw the other in.

    It is FAST to fold the clothes and I too do not fold jammies :). I only have to fold 8 shirts, 8 pairs of pants, and 8 pairs of socks, and maybe a sweatshirt or two every couple of days. I also throw a couple of towels in with each load (we have cream towels and brown towels) this way you never have LOADS of towels.

  32. I love the tools in the front hall drawer - I need to do something like that. So handy. I like the nerf gun there as well, you never know when you will need it.

  33. I love the idea of the bins. Organizing things makes me happy. The Bubs is so cute in the photo.

  34. I like the closet drawers, very nice. Our house also has loads of storage, plus I grew up as a military brat so I can stuff spaces so full you'd think it was a clown car, which means that we are not hurting for storage space...except for that darn Christmas tree...


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