How To Organize Jewelry

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If you’ve ever tried to organize jewelry before, you know how hard it can be, especially with all the different shapes and sizes. Bulky bracelets, bangles, baubles and rings–nothing about it is uniform. Also, having a system that works with your habits can be tricky. Some things you wear regularly, others are only for special occasions, and some are things worn a few times a month to work or with the perfect outfit. Here’s how I organize my jewelry to fit my life, habits and style.

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My frequently worn jewelry and rings live here–in a jewelry box my grandma gave me when I graduated from high school. It fits my Alex and Ani bracelets perfectly, and has room for my rings (I don’t have many). It site on top of my dresser and works perfectly because I can close the lid to avoid visual clutter.

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This is my “I wear it so much that it’s stupid to put it away nicely” spot. This cute and simple antique milk-glass bowl holds my watch, and some of my most-worn stud earrings. I wear these things so much that I needed somewhere to dump them when I’m in a rush to the gym after work and somewhere where I could remember to put them back on in the morning. I got this little dish from an antique store for only a few dollars and I’m pretty much obsessed with it. I makes me feel really unique and original and it’s reminding me that I want to shop at more antique stores in the future. #resolutions

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I keep all of my fashion jewelry and delicate, easily-tangleable (that’s a word–right?) necklaces hung on the wall in my closet. I got the rod and S hooks at Ikea for under $15 and the rack above it from Michaels. Michaels is AMAZING for jewelry organizers. They have boutique-like jewelry display items, like the ones found here. I got this rack for $7 using a 50% off coupon. Never, ever shop there without a coupon. Ever.

The pieces of jewelry above are things that I like to pair with certain outfits. Having them hanging in my closet helps me pick out my outfit and any special jewelry in one swoop, making my morning routine easier.

There you have it. I don’t have a streamlined system to my jewelry to keep it all in one place and looking Pinterest-perfect, but I have a system that works for me and my habits. That’s really what getting organized is about–tailoring your organizing systems to maximize efficiency for your life. A little time organizing jewelry now, can save you a lot of time when getting ready in the morning. And you can see all of your jewelry so you no excuse not to accessorize.

This weekend, come grocery shopping with me and see how I put my meal planning sheets to good use.Signature

5 Pinterest Inspired Ways to Organize Jewelry

In my never ending mission to ban clutter and streamline my life, I have found jewelry to be one of the hardest things to organize. There are so many different sizes, lengths and types of jewelry that keeping it all orderly is a serious challenge. Recently, I’ve switched-up the way I organize my jewelry, which I plan on showing you very soon. In the mean time, take a look at these five Pinterest inspired ways to organize jewelry.

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1. A mirror with hidden jewelry storage. This maximizes space and let’s you accessorize your whole outfit because that’s what you’ll be looking at right before you open this baby up. From Love Chic Living.

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2. This looks like DIY heaven. I love this idea! So simple and so beautiful. From the Row House Nest.

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3. This shabby-chic shadow box turned jewelry organizer is awesome for chunkier fashion jewelry and delicate chains and charms alike. From The Stir.

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4. Why have a jewelry box when you can have a jewelry drawer? I love the compartments for each set of earrings. There is a place for everything and everything in it’s place. From Fresh American Style.

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5. When I saw this, I couldn’t get over how inventive it is. A silverware tray turned jewelry display case–genius! From BuzzFeed.

When you’re having trouble organizing something–especially something that comes in a variety of sizes like jewelry–you’ll need to get creative. Shop your house, look at what you already have, and expand from there. I can’t wait Signatureto show you how I organize all my jewelry. Stay tuned!

DIY Clothespin Labels

Last week, when I made over my closet, I knew I was going to need some labels. I couldn’t see what was in the bins on my shelves without taking them down and looking inside. That kind of defeats the whole purpose of organizing for efficiency, right?

I have seen a lot of organizers, bloggers and Pinterests pinners (?), making cute DIY labels for their own spaces and I thought I could make my own, too. Here’s how I did it:

1. I gathered my materials. For these labels you’ll need: scrapbook paper, clothespins, paint, packing tape, your label-maker (I know I haven’t talked much about this yet–but if you’re trying to get organized, your first purchase should be a label-maker), and a hot-glue gun.

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2. Next, paint your clothespins which ever color tickles your fancy. For these, I chose “Deep Midnight Blue” and “Champagne” by Americana.

2015-01-11 16.25.30 I absolutely love navy and gold.

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3.They will dry relatively quickly, because the wood absorbs a lot of the paint, meaning you may need a few coats to completely cover the wood. While it’s drying, take the time to work on your labels. Cut the scrapbook paper down to the size you want it. Make sure not to cut it too big or too small, and if you’re using these to label a number of things that will all be on the same shelf or in the same area, make them all the same size to create a uniform look.

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4. Now break out your rusty trusty label maker and put it to good use. After that you can “laminate” the labels by covering the front and back in packing tape and trimming the edges. I got this idea from one of my favorite YouTubers, Katherine from DoItOnADime.

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Did I mention it’s hard to paint an entire clothespin without getting any on your hands? Trust me, the results are worth it.

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6. Now, take your hot glue gun and attach these lovely “laminated” labels to the front.

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And there you have it! The cutest little labels you ever did see. I love these because they are so simple, inexpensive and versatile. They can be used in so many places around the house. A linen closet, pantry or craft room to name a few.

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Let me know if you try these in your space and let me know how it went! Please leave pictures in the comments below or Tweet me @qqquimby016.Signature

How to organize your medicine cabinet

Hey there!

I’m back again with more tips for you to organize your teeny tiny apartment. Today I want to talk about the medicine cabinet. It might seem like a pretty ridiculous place to have to “organize” but I’ve seen some that are pretty neglected.

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The medicine cabinet is the place where you should put everything you’re going to use daily. It’s one of the most accessible places in your bathroom, and I highly recommend that it becomes the place to store everyday items, not just medicine.

Actually, the only medicine I keep in my medicine cabinet is Matt’s daily vitamins and my daily vitamins. Also, the only real “organizer” I use, is this:

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I got this organizer from Joanne’s in the sale section for I think around $3. I use this to corral all of the small stuff that tends to float around or get lost in a medicine cabinet. I keep items such as nail clippers, tweezers, a nail file, eye drops, floss, toothpaste and my contact lens case. I have lots of extra compartments to keep more small items on hand if I need them. This small organizer is kept on the middle shelf of the middle section of my medicine cabinet because it holds items I use twice daily.

This is what the middle section looks like as a whole:

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Again, this is the one place where I keep the items that I use every. Single. Day. They are front and center and easy to put away and get back out. As you can see, I don’t use a lot of bins or organizers, but I do have everything inside the cabinet neatly put back, and I have a specific designated place for everything. I don’t label where things go, but if it would help you to put everything back in it’s place, then I highly recommend putting label tape directly onto the shelf so you know where everything goes.

The most important thing about organizing a space that you’re accessing everyday is to leave breathing room between each item.

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If you’re constantly taking things out and putting them back, you want it to be easy. If it’s cramped and you have to move another item to put something back or you are jamming something into the space, or every time you open the door things are falling out, you will be less likely to put it back. This will cause all types of items to accumulate on your bathroom counter, which creates clutter. Clutter is bad. Do not make your bathroom cluttered. Make sure everything has room to breathe and your life and organizational habits will improve. I promise!

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This is the right side of my medicine cabinet where I keep items that I use less frequently like a lint roller (Lint accumulates EVERYWHERE in my bathroom–it’s where our washer and dryer are. Does anyone else have this problem? Help me!), some wipes, prescription cream, and body spray.

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The right side is mainly for Matt’s things that he accesses less frequently. Also, our vitamins (the only medicine we actually keep in our medicine cabinet) are on the bottom. His and hers (awwwwwwwwwww). Yep and they’re Walmart brand.

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Luckily, all of the different sections of the cabinet are connected, so that frees up some space between the doors for some overlap. I wouldn’t recommend putting everyday items behind the door hinges, because again, you’re going to be less likely to put it back.

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Side Note: If you’re wondering how I can afford Clinique, but I’m taking Walmart brand vitamins and constantly preaching budget-friendly organizing, the truth is, I can’t. All nice things I own I owe to my sister, Michelle, who is a manager at Macy’s. I’ve already told her that she’s never allowed to quit. Ever.

Anyways, I hope I have given you guys some ideas on how you can organize your medicine cabinet and keep it orderly. In really small spaces such as this, you really don’t need bins or organizers, all you need is some breathing room to get stuff in and out.

How do you organize your medicine cabinet? Do you use bins or organizers in yours? Please, please, please leave a comment below and let me know. I love looking at other people’s spaces to get some ideas for myself.

Next week I’m going to show you how I organize my dresser drawers! Talk to you next time.

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Small Space Organization Series: Under the Bathroom Sink

Hi there!

I’m so excited about how many views I got on the start of my small space organization series! I also got some really awesome messages from friends and family about how I was inspiring you guys to get more organized and that makes me beyond motivated to keep sharing and keep writing about how I organize!

Today, I’ll be sharing with you one of my FAVORITE spaces of my home: under my bathroom sink. Like I said before, I live in 750 square feet of space and I don’t have a linen closet or anything that works for holding toiletries, toilet paper, cosmetics, extra things for showering, etc. So, I have had to take the space under my bathroom sink and make it into what would be like a bathroom closet. Here’s what I’m working with:

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The first tip I have for keeping your small bathroom organized is:

Keep the bare minimum on the counter.

The only things I like to have on the counter are functional things, nothing decorative. The reason for this is to cut down the amount of items I have to move when I wipe it down or deep clean it. One of my favorite professional organizers, Alejandra Costello, says you should take time every night before bed to clear everything off your bathroom sink and wipe it down. I try my absolute best to follow this rule, even though I can sometimes fall off the wagon. Having a clean bathroom sink, especially in a small space, really makes the space look bigger and less cluttered.

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As you can see, I only keep our toothbrush holder, hand soap, a hand towel, and my favorite q-tip and make-up remover pad container.

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Okay, let’s get to the good stuff now. I’m going to start from left to right and then show you the two drawers that are on either side of the sink and above the cabinets.

But first, I have another tip:

Think Vertical

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I use these stackable bins on either end of the space under my bathroom sink. They help take storage upward, without having to pull boxes out every time I want to access something. These organizers are from Joanne’s. I got them on sale in the seasonal section for back to college. I think they were three dollars for a pack of three, however I have also seen similar products at the Dollar Tree! What a steal!

I keep all the things I use frequently in these organizers. On the bottom I keep extra razors, Matt’s extra soap and extra contacts. In the middle bin, I keep tampons and only tampons. Which leads me to my third tip

Take everything out of its box.

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This one small middle “shelf” can hold almost two boxes of tampons and takes up about 1/2 to 1/3 of the space as if I stored my tampons in their original boxes.

Up top I keep a bunch of miscellaneous things, like a box of extra q-tips, an extra soap bar holder, some wet ones, and a small first aid kit.

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Sorry these pictures are so dark, the lighting under the sink is obviously non-existent.

To the left of the blue shelves, I keep shoe boxes for extra things that I access very infrequently. For all of these items, I keep one of each thing out at a time and when that runs out, I go into these boxes and get a new one. I’m only accessing these things about once a month or once every couple of months. Even though I’m accessing these things infrequently, I still like to know where I can find them when the time comes. Which is why I recommend that you

label everything.

I use my label maker to label all the boxes, shelves and organizers I keep under the sink. It helps me know where everything goes if I run out, it helps Matt know where to put things and it keeps me from putting things away in a place other than the place they belong.

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On top of the three shoe boxes, I keep a three compartment snap organizer that I got when I went to college. In it I keep nail polish, nail polish remover, and cotton balls. When it’s time to do my nails, I just pull it right out and everything I need is in one place.

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In some spaces, like this one for example, you can’t think vertical and have to work with what you’ve got. Working around the J pipe under the sink can be a challenge if you’re trying to “think vertical.”

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I keep all of my hot tools in a basket with the cords wrapped (kinda) around themselves. As you can see here, not all the cords of all of my hair tools are wrapped perfectly, but like I said in the first post of this series, having a home for things is more important than having everything look pretty. If I’m blow drying or straightening my hair in a rush, it’s so easy to just dump the things I’m done using back in this basket and be on my way, which helps me keep a more organized and orderly bathroom because it takes little effort to put things back in their place.

It’s more important to have a place to quickly drop something than it is for your space to be and look perfect.

I cannot stress this enough. I’m not the kind of organized that is “Pinterest worthy,” but I am organized because I know that when I’m in a hurry, I want to drop things and go. I do not spend extra time to make things look nice. The more time it takes, the less likely I am to put it all away.

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Directly underneath the J pipe, I keep a cosmetics bag with some make-up I only use for special occasions, not daily. Which reminds me,

Keep things you don’t use every day tucked away.

It really pays to keep the prime real estate space for things you are accessing every single day or multiple times a day and keep the things you don’t in other areas that are harder to access. While you’re still using space that would otherwise be empty, you’re also maximizing the much-needed “everyday space,” like in your medicine cabinet or vanity drawers for example.

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Next to the make-up bag, I keep some extra bathroom items that I got good deals on coupling, or we just have extra of. Usually, it’s an extra shampoo, conditioner, clear care, and saline solution. Which reminds me:

always leave room for growth.

You’re eventually gonna have more stuff, so leave room for it! Right now my growth space is all being used, but when I need the things that are currently occupying the space, I’ll have room for extra items.

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Yup that’s all my toilet paper. I have nowhere else to store it! But doesn’t it look pretty in this blue faux woven basket? I think so! I got the basket at Joanne’s during the same back to college sale for around five dollars. It keeps the toilet paper from sliding and rolling so that other rolls sit on top perfectly. This takes me back to the “taking everything out of the box” tip. If you take the toilet paper out of the terrible plastic casing, it not only looks better, but allows you to manipulate the shape they take to fit your space instead of having to make sacrifices for how the store chooses to package them.

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I turned the flash on for this picture, which is why it’s so harsh. Bare with me while I get used to this whole “photography” thing.

These are the same stackable bins that were on the right hand side of the cabinet, but they hold different things. Again, these are frequently used items, but not things I need on a daily basis. I like to keep them easy to access, but out of the way.

The cosmetic bag in the middle holds a microdermabrasion tool and pads to go with it. There are also some pore strips in that bin somewhere. (I took them out of the box because I like to follow my own rules.) The top cosmetic bag holds a bunch of extra headbands, hair ties, claws, etc.

Let’s move on to the drawers above all the spaces I just showed you. We have two drawers. One is Matt’s and one is mine. Mine is on the right hand side of the sink and it looks like this:

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One of the absolute best things I ever did for organization and cleanliness is keeping all my makeup in bins in this drawer.

For as long as I have worn make-up I have struggled with putting it back in it’s place and leaving it all over the bathroom counter. I’ve been on a quest for the longest time to find something that worked for me. I tried using a small pull-out drawer organizer, I tried using a cosmetic bag, I tried using a compartment snap organizer. I’ve tried it all, and my attempts to keep all my make-up off the counter and in it’s place have all failed, until now. When we moved here I knew that this drawer was destined to hold all of my make-up.

When I’m putting on my face, I open this drawer and leave it open. I put on my foundation, throw it back in the drawer. I put on my bronzer, throw it back in the drawer. I put on my eyeliner, throw it back in the drawer. I put everything back in the drawer because all I have to do is drop it back in. It is a one step process, which works for me. The most important step in organizing is to:

find a system that works for you.

Everyone’s habits are different. Therefore, the way one person organizes will not work the same as her neighbor. You need to figure out how to organize for your habits. If you struggle with always leaving one particular item out on the counter, devise a system–like this one–that makes not putting it away harder than putting it away.

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In the back I keep the case for my glasses, my headband for washing my face, and a drawer organizer with bobby pins, hair ties, and my most worn headbands.

I also gave Matt his very own drawer! Wasn’t that nice of me? Haha just kidding, we like to share our space evenly, even though I am a diva. It looks like this:

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I’m not exactly sure what all of this stuff is, but it’s manly and it’s his. He keeps things in this drawer pretty neat and orderly and organized in a way that meets his needs. What a lucky lady I am to have a guy who’s just as tidy as me!

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I still need to make a few adjustments to this system, but so far it’s working out great! I have extra storage above the sink inside my medicine cabinet, but hat’s a whole other post for a whole other day.

I hope you guys have gotten some good tips for how to organize your small space! Storing things underneath the bathroom sink isn’t always ideal, but when you’re living in close quarters, you have to make do with the space available. Keep an eye out for a post next week on the inside of my medicine cabinet! See you guys next time!

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