Friday, May 13, 2011

Everything In Its Place...

so by now, you may know i love spots to put things.  all things.  clutter drives me insane.  can't function anywhere near it.  so i thought i'd share some of my storage ideas with you.  
some pretty obvious.  some, not so obvious.

ok, so where do all of your batteries, lightbulbs, candles, matches, receipts and paid bills go?  why in a dresser, of course!

i love this old dresser.  it holds sentimental memories for me.  but i really love it because it's a storage workhorse.  some people, because it's placed in a dining room, would store silverware, china or table linens in it.  not me.

the top three drawers store receipts, batteries and paid bills.  the middle row stores small accessories, lightbulbs and craft supplies.  and the bottom row stores more lightbulbs and candles.  i actually have one whole drawer empty.  i love opening up an empty drawer.  such a treat!  i know, i know -- the small things in life make me very happy.

also in my dining room stands this $20 hutch ($20!) i bought from a fabric store.  it was a strange shade of blue with hideous knobs on it.  i painted it white and made a burlap skirt to hide a few things.  

oh, things like a blender, juicer, crock pot. 
 the usual things i rarely pull out to make my family a nice meal. :)

please don't notice that the burlap is still pinned in place.  one of these days, i actually need to get around to sewing and hemming it.  or not.

last week i found myself eliminating lots of little stuff
from around our house.  starting with the kitchen.

behind these glass cabinets were lots of little stuff: teacups, sugar bowls, gravy boats, vases, you know the stuff.  i couldnt' look at it anymore, even though i loved it all.
so i kept all the things that i could fill with flowers and bring to a friend, but tucked them inside old picnic baskets and yummy old things so i wouldn't be overwhelmed by it all.

i bought these old picnic baskets for about $5 and recently found this great old bread box without a lid for a song.  i love its blue color and rusty edges.

i also found this great metal thing (don't even know what it is) and charming old tool caddy (both from a beautiful mess in agoura).  they're my perfect shade of green!

and these are just a few things that are stored inside each item -- awaiting flowers and a friend's front porch.

after i took out all the little stuff and added the big stuff, something was missing.  so i got out my old box of postcards and tied one on to each of the old picnic baskets with twine.  first off, i love old postcards and secondly, they add a pop of color.

i keep them in their plastic sleeves to protect them and mounted them with double-sided tape onto a piece of cardboard.  
look at this one...

dated january 28, 1909!  notice the one cent stamp! and i love how it's addressed just to miss ida bone in iowa.  not even a street address!
how this postcard has survived more than 100 years is beyond me.  we can't even keep a photo in pristine shape for more than a week!

also in my kitchen is one of my favorite tables.  it reminds me of the table that stands in the lobby at the apple farm in san luis obispo.  their table looks just like mine, but they attached a skirt to the front of it to hide extra coffee mugs, napkins and plates.  you need to stay there -- they welcome you with hot apple cider and chocolate chip cookies after a long day of shopping in s.l.o.

so my daughter, who is a 24/7 crafter, loves to do her thing in our kitchen.  well, with that comes lots of googly eyes, felt, crayons, glue and paper.  where to store it all?  behind the skirt just like at the apple farm!

(notice the bulge towards the right?  
someone needs to do some spring cleaning don't you think?)

just a simple tension rod holds the skirt in place.
god bless tension rods!
notice it's actually sewn?  ta da!

and speaking of kids, my son is addicted to playstation.  what i'm not addicted to is the mess of wires that sits next to our television set.  so i found these two baskets with lids (love baskets with lids!) for $7 at a thrift store and now his playstation and wii stuff is hidden for all (i mean me) to see.

and my favorite piece in our family room is this old sideboard.  

not sure what other families would store in it, but we store our kids' socks in it!  yep, the top two drawers are filled with my kids' socks and the third drawer is filled with my daughter's hair accessories.  i'm guessing when we're trying to get out of the house in a hurry, having those items so close to the front door helps. the bottom cabinets are filled with lots of books.  

also by the front door is one of my favorite baskets.  not for what it looks like, but for what it stores and keeps out of sight.

my son's shoes!
he has a thing for shoes.  all colors.  orange.  lime green.  
none of them look (or smell!) that great, so in the box they go!

and last, but not least, our laundry room.

a very small room, but it has lots of storage.
this laundry room came with a large clothes rod.  but it was ugly to always see it and the clean clothes hanging on it.

so i made a curtain panel to hide it.  

and i share my laundry room with our three cats. 
and their cat food.  and their litter.
the huge litter bag from von's is on the floor behind the right side of the curtain panel and their cat food is stored in my old bread box.  all the extra cans are put into the top drawer of this little white table.

so, i think you can tell by this post that i like everything to have a place.  so i don't have to see it.
because when my house is in order, i feel calm.  and when i feel calm, with few distractions, i feel at peace to spend time in my home.  and be with God.  
with nothing distracting my heart from His.

i hope this gives you a few ideas to try in your own home.  
if it does, i'd love to hear (and see!) it.  
and remember, find baskets with lids!  


  1. Hi Ruthie....I love all of your creative organizing ideas! I don't like clutter out where everyone can see. Your home is lovely!
    have a great weekend,

  2. Ruthie...What great ideas! I am a neat freak too. Thank you for sharing these storage ideas. I will be applying some in my home. My Mom and sisters are coming tomorrow for a week. I am so excited! I want to have you over for lunch soon. You have to come give me some tips on decorating. Have a great weekend. I will be in touch. Love. Donna

  3. Hi Ruthie
    It's very late here so I will pop by another day again but I just wanted to say I love your blog and share many of your interests including being organized. Clutter gives me hives. :P
    Love to see more of your cats. Hugs, Deb=^..^=x5

  4. The LUKE comment was me Ruthie!! ANG :) OX


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