Shoe caddies are great for storing shoes, but they also have a range of other creative uses. At Seville Classics, we believe that smart closet organizers are just as effective in other areas of the house. Whether you’re looking to tidy up your child’s toys, your backyard garden tools, or your bathroom toiletries, shoe organizers offer plenty of compartments so that everything has a place. Below, we’ve shared some creative ways to use a shoe caddy that go beyond simple closet storage.
Indoor Hanging Planter
It’s become popular to hang indoor plants with glass baubles and string, but what if you transformed a shoe caddy into an instant herb garden? Not only is it more cost-efficient than buying pots for each individual plant, but if you’re living in a cramped apartment, it allows you to grow a variety of herbs on the back of your kitchen door! Moreover, you can label each plant so that your entire family learns which is which. It’s a conversation piece, storage solution, and miniature garden, all in one.
Meanwhile, closet storage can be just as effective in a cramped pantry. By hanging a shoe caddy on the back of your pantry door, you’ll have plenty of pockets to store snacks, fruit, vegetables, and more. Many shoe caddies are constructed with clear plastic, allowing you to see inside each pocket, which is great when assessing how much food you need to buy at the grocery store.
Home organizers can help to teach children better habits, especially when it comes time to put away their toys. There’s something strangely fun about stashing colorful toys in a shoe caddy, and you can make a game out of it when playtime is over. Over time, your children will have more pride for their toys, treat them with care, and maybe even develop an organizational system of their own. This way, nobody accidentally slips on an action figure, your kids learn about discipline, and Lego pieces are less likely to go missing.
Camping Supply Caddy
When taking the family for a weekend camping trip, you’ll want to have quick access to important items like bug spray, kitchen utensils, and a headlamp. A shoe caddy might seem like an impractical storage solution if you’re backpacking in the wilderness, but if you’re just pitching a tent for a few nights, it’s a great way to carry your supplies. You can hang it on your tent or a nearby tree, so that it’s easy to cook meals on the campfire.
Front Seat Car Caddy
The same shoe organizers are just as useful inside a car, where they can be hung behind the front seat for storage purposes. If you’re traveling with an infant or toddler, the caddy’s compartments are perfect for stashing diapers, toys, and baby wipes. Once the kids are a little older, the same caddy can be used to store books and electronics for those longer road trips.
When it comes to kitchen organization, your pantry is the command center, where dry foods, canned goods, and spices are stored. With such a cavernous storage area, it’s easy for items to get lost in the shuffle. That’s why we believe it’s important to regularly assess your pantry, get rid of unnecessary items, and use more effective kitchen organizers so that you can find any ingredient at a moment’s notice. Below, we’ve outlined a few techniques for cleaning up your pantry, so that cooking becomes a more joyful activity.
Purchase Clear Containers and Labels
First, you’ll need to invest in kitchen organizers that are easy to locate and store. We recommend clear containers, because they allow you to see exactly what kind of food is inside (ex. penne, spaghetti, or rigatoni), as well as how much you have left. For even more context, you can stick a write-on label on each container, and then revise the label to reflect whatever’s inside. It’s also a good idea to buy a few mesh baskets for fruits and vegetables, so that they aren’t forgotten in a bowl or on a dimly lit shelf.
Assess Which Items are Truly Necessary
Once you’ve invested in a few home organization tools, it’s time to take everything out of the pantry and decide what to keep, donate, or throw out. Yes, we mean everything. First, lay the items neatly on a kitchen counter or table, so that they’re easier to sort. This will also give you a rare opportunity to dust and wipe down the entire pantry, from the highest shelves to the floor. Next, look at each item and ask yourself: has this food expired? If not, will I actually eat it? When deciding which items to keep, you need to be ruthless. Get rid of stale food and one-off purchases, so that next time when you look in the pantry, you only see fresh and delicious items.
Stick to a Cleaning Schedule
The first time you take everything out of the pantry, it may take hours to assess and clean. Once you’ve established a more organized pantry, though, it’s so much easier to maintain. We recommend taking a few minutes every week to see what items you have, what items you need, and what you should avoid buying in the future. This can help immensely with meal planning, so that ingredients are actually used for specific dishes. When you only buy items that are necessary in the short tem, your pantry stays spacious, and grocery costs go down.
Arrange Products By Group, Shape, and then Height
It’s common for pantries to be organized by size first, because it’s more visually appealing. However, it’s much more important that items are arranged according to their purpose first, and then ordered by size. For example, canned foods, snack bags, and spice jars should each be kept in their own designated section. Once you’ve established where each group goes, you can refine the placement of individual items according to your needs. For example, you’ll probably be using olive oil more often than truffle oil, so keep the olive oil bottle in a location that’s easy to reach.
Your bedroom is a sanctuary. It’s where you wake up every day, where you spend time with your significant other, and where you sleep, so it should never feel cluttered. In today’s increasingly fast-paced world, it can be hard to balance work and relaxation time, so the bedroom gets neglected and littered with distractions. However, we believe that overworked people need downtime, and they deserve to have a bedroom that allows them to tune out for a few hours. Below, we’ve shared a few home storage solutions to organize your bedroom, so that it can be a place of relaxation, and not filled with anxiety.
Cleanse Your Closet
To improve your home organization skills, you need to set up a living space that’s efficient, neat, and intuitive. This starts with cleaning out your closet. First, go through your wardrobe and donate any clothing that you haven’t worn in months, and outfits you don’t see yourself wearing in the future. After eliminating the clutter, organize your wardrobe in easy-to-find sections. For example, you can hang the pants in one area, fold sweaters in another area, and arrange clothing by color.
Utilize the Space Under Your Bed
Underneath your bedframe, there’s a huge amount of storage space just waiting to be used. Perfect for luggage, extra linens, and sliding storage boxes, you can hide these items easily with a long bedskirt. Long and bulky objects that don’t fit in your closet (such as a guitar or exercise equipment) belong under the bed, so you can access them whenever necessary. If you need even more space, invest in footboard storage for your blankets and seasonal clothing.
Create a Dedicated Reading Area
In a messy bedroom, your reading chair and nightstands can quickly become an unofficial filing cabinet, with books and magazines stacked a few feet high. However, you want this reading area to encourage quiet contemplation, so last year’s magazines have got to go. We recommend investing in a magazine rack, as well as a small bookshelf for your permanent collection, so that your reading chair stays unoccupied.
Put Jewelry on Display
While a jewelry box is convenient for storing smaller pieces, it’s much easier to find jewelry that matches your outfit when it’s arranged on a hanging organizer. You can take a vintage picture frame, add nails and wire mesh, and paint it to create your own display, or just buy a premade organizer that hangs in your closet. This will give you plenty of space to arrange earrings, necklaces, and bracelets so that they’re easy to access.
Remove Work-Related Items
Ideally, work and relaxation should be kept separate, but it’s easier said than done. For a start, we recommend keeping laptops, paperwork, and planners out of the bedroom, so that you’re not tempted to keep working late into the night. Often, smart home organization is about creating compartments for different areas of your life. You wouldn’t eat dinner with your family in the bedroom, right? The dining room is for sharing meals, and the bedroom is for rest and relaxation. Keep work-related items away from the bedroom, and you’ll start to feel a noticeable reduction in stress.
Vanities are making a comeback in the modern home. Today, a vanity can be a place for putting on makeup, a storage area for bathroom accessories, and a centerpiece in a master bedroom. There are no strict rules for vanities anymore, though, so they can be used in even more creative ways. Below, we’ve outlined a few bathroom accessories ideas and vanity styles for the contemporary home.
Vanity as Minibar
When hosting a cocktail party, what better way to serve your guests than with a gorgeous vanity that shows off all of your bottles? Since a vanity offers plenty of space, you can use it to mix drinks, share a few hors d’oeurves, and store your glassware. It’s a classy idea for entertaining a few friends, and even when it’s not a party night, the minibar serves as a great decorative piece.
Bicycle as Bathroom Vanity
Meanwhile, some crafty designers have stretched the “vanity” concept to its limit, creating a bathroom sink from a vintage bicycle and exotic wood tabletop. Artist Benjamin Bullins first popularized the idea on Pinterest, and now it’s taken off. If you’d like to build your own bicycle vanity, however, make sure to replace the standard tires with some solid rubber tubes, so that they don’t go flat. As far as bathroom accessories ideas go, it doesn’t get more imaginative than this.
Vanity as Art Studio
On the other hand, you can also repurpose a traditional bathroom vanity for more creative uses. For example, you can leave the sink and drawers as is, and make the vanity a centerpiece for your personal art studio. Store your brushes, paint, and palettes in the drawers, and then wash your dirty supplies in the sink after a long painting session.
Restoring Your Vanity with a Modern Look
It doesn’t take much to transform a weathered bathroom vanity into a showroom piece. You just need a fresh coat of high-quality paint, some new bathroom hardware, and a few tasteful accents. When painting your vanity, first wipe down the wooden surfaces with liquid sandpaper, apply primer, and let it dry before sanding with 220-grit sandpaper. After wiping the piece down with a cloth, you can start painting. Then, select bathroom hardware that complements your mirror and wall sconces. Spend a little extra time on the details, like some subtle cabinet paneling, and your bathroom vanity will look better than new.
Home storage is an art form, and there are an infinite variety of solutions to every storage issue. Whether you decide to build your own closet, utilize plastic storage organizers, or install a metal shelving unit in your garage, there are so many ways to harness your unused space. Below, we’ve listed a few of our favorite storage ideas for every room in the house, so you can learn to make the most of your bedroom, kitchen, or garage area.
- Hang Your Clothes on a Wardrobe Rack: For a minimalist solution to your storage woes, invest in a black or silver wardrobe rack and set it up in an easily accessible corner of your bedroom. You can use this rack for all of your highest quality shirts, dresses, and jackets, so that you free up your main closet space for the less attractive pieces. This will give your bedroom more of a cool boutique feel, without adding much clutter.
- Use Heavy-Duty Bins in the Garage: Making the most of your garage will give you the space to park a car, create a work area, and just be more organized in general. We recommend purchasing a set of stackable plastic bins, so that your valuables are protected from extreme heat and cold, but you’re still utilizing the available space. Slide and stack your bins in a steel shelving unit, create labels for each bin, and then organize them so that your most important items are easy to access. These all-purpose storage organizers are the ideal solution for a cramped garage.
- Dedicate a Basket for Spare Pillows and Sheets: A large wicker basket looks great anywhere in the house, and you can place one at the foot of your bed for decorative and storage purposes. Stash extra pillows, bedsheets, and blankets in the basket, so that when you’re hosting guests for the weekend, you can give them fresh linens at a moment’s notice. Meanwhile, a few smaller baskets are perfect for those loose items, jewelry, and accessories that are typically strewn around the room. Baskets are proof that home storage doesn’t have to be complicated.
- Recycle Wooden Boxes as a Makeshift Kitchen Pantry: Finally, it’s easy to repurpose a wooden champagne box or produce crate as a mini storage area for your kitchen countertop. You can use it to display tea, coffee, spices, and small plants. Depending on your kitchen’s color scheme, you might want to paint the box or add some cool wallpaper to the back panels. As far as storage ideas go, this one costs almost nothing and it adds effortless style to your kitchen.
Not every home has enough storage space for your clothing, shoes, and boxes, but it’s fairly easy to build another closet to stash your belongings. Closet organizers provide a dedicated place for everything, so you don’t lose important items, but they also allow you to keep your bedroom neat and orderly. Below, we’ve outlined the essential steps for constructing a closet, DIY style.
Here’s What You’ll Need
- Framing Nails
- Compound Miter Saw
- Drywall Compound
- Drywall Screws and Joint Tape
- Putty Knife
Preparing the Closet
First, figure out how many 2x4s you’ll need to frame the entire closet interior with wood. To attach the 2x4s to a concrete or steel wall, you can use a Ramset hammer.
Once the initial framing is complete, tape and mud the drywall to your interior using drywall compound. If there is any leftover sheet rock or exposed concrete, you can smoothen the surface with some plaster and a putty knife.
Building Closet Doors
Depending on where you’ve decided to build a closet, you may need to construct closet DIY doors as well. To assemble the doors, you should have at least seven 1×6 boards, an 8×4 sheet of plywood, a drill, screws, paint, an air compressor, a sander, a Kreg jig, and a closet door track.
First, use the Kreg jig to drill precise holes into the boards, and then attach the boards together with the screws so that they form the basic doorframe. Next, sand the boards so that they’re ready for painting, and then attach the plywood to the frame with some nails. You can either cut the plywood with a router to fit the frame perfectly, or just nail it to the back.
Finally, secure the door track to the top area of the closet, and screw in the rollers to the back of the door. Now, you have a clean closet space and a roller door, but you’ll probably still want to put in storage compartments and a rack for clothes.
Building a Closet Organizer
Depending on your budget and time constraints, it’s possible to buy premade closet organizers from a hardware store or build them yourself. Companies like ClosetMaid make it easy to put together shelving and drawers, so all you need is a hammer, level, and a drill. Just follow the instructions, drill the shelves together, and then slide in the drawers.
To complete the closet, you may want to lay down some carpeting or tile, especially if your new storage space is located in the basement or laundry room. Now, you’ll have a new place to stash your shirts, jackets, dresses, shoes, and other random knick-knacks. When all is said and done, building a new closet should not cost more than $500, and it can be completed over the course of a few weekends.
Sprucing up your living area with plants is an affordable, healthy, and easy home decorating solution. Not only do plants clean up the air, but they also make a house feel like a home, adding a living element that can’t be replicated with a trendy lamp or a colorful vase. This is doubly important for city dwellers, who often don’t have a yard and live in much tighter quarters. With a few carefully placed plants, you can make your home feel more welcoming and cozy, while spending almost no money. Below, we’ve listed a few home decoration tips for plant lovers and aspiring green thumbs.
Create a Succulent Arrangement
If you’re new to the world of plants, you may want to start by purchasing a few tiny cacti and succulents. They require almost no water, take up very little space in your home, and look great on a desk or windowsill. We recommend buying plants with contrasting colors, shapes, and textures, so that you create an attractive medley. Bonus points if you can select plants that play off the dominant colors in your room, such as your furniture and walls.
Place an Array of Plants
Using a bench, it’s easy to showcase a variety of plants in one area of the house. Benches are narrow enough that they don’t take up much space, but they’re also long enough to support a few plants side by side. You can also place plants on an end table, trunk, or bannister for a similar effect. We recommend choosing plants with differing heights and shapes, so that your arrangement is more visually appealing. However, there’s no right answer when decorating! Just have fun, be creative, and come up with something that brings you joy.
Transform Old Furniture into a Plant Holder
Home decorating is an ever-evolving process, and a sculpture or piece of furniture can easily be repurposed into a plant holder. For example, you might have a cool vintage chair that ties your room together, but isn’t actually comfortable to sit in. Why not embrace the chair as a decorative element, and make it even more beautiful with a hanging plant? This idea goes way beyond furniture, though. Try placing a plant inside an old picture frame, inside unused drawers, or inside a piece of driftwood to add green accents throughout the house.
Catch Moisture with an Orchid
Finally, our home decoration tips are relevant for every room in the house, including the bathroom. In particular, orchids thrive in a sunny and humid environment, so they’re great if you have a bathroom with lots of natural light. We recommend placing the pot in a glass cylinder filled with gravel, so that moisture is caught and reabsorbed by the plant. When choosing an orchid, look for bright greenery and only a few open flowers.
Working from home can be a struggle. You’re surrounded with so many distractions that keep you from focusing on the task at hand, and you don’t have a boss motivating you to stay productive. The mere act of getting out of bed, cooking breakfast, and turning on your computer (without surfing the web) can sometimes feel like a small miracle. However, there are plenty of ways to stay engaged when working remotely, and perhaps the best thing you can do is maintain a clean workspace. Below, we’ve outlined a few practical tips for home office organization, whether you’re dealing with a cluttered desk or a chaotic file cabinet.
First, collecting similar items in one place can help to reduce needless time spent searching for things, especially if you’ve come up with consistent categories. For example, you can put all of your office stationery, stamps, and envelopes in the same drawer, so that whenever you need to mail a letter, all of the necessary items are together. We recommend having a distinct area for your office tools, accounting information (i.e. receipts, invoices, tax paperwork), and mail.
Collect and Label Important Papers
Next, any personal documents or paperwork that you may need in an emergency (work-related, disaster-related, or otherwise) should be stowed in the same binder. If you have too many valuable papers to fit them in one binder, you can split them up into multiple categories, so that they’re ready to grab at a moment’s notice. This may include a binder filled with medical records, auto insurance/maintenance records, and of course, your most important office documents.
Install a Mail Inbox
When dealing with day-to-day work responsibilities, it’s so easy to let mail and other assignments build up into massive mountains of paper. To help control this daily influx of information, you can invest in a mail organizer with dedicated spaces for new mail, outgoing assignments, invoices, and other categories. Home office organization works best when it reflects your personal needs, so make a mail inbox with sections that you’ll actually use on a daily basis. When new mail and paperwork comes in, just file it into the appropriate section, and then deal with it when time permits.
Set a Day for Purging
Finally, it’s important to commit at least one day a month for purging unnecessary clutter from your workspace. This includes discarding or filing paperwork that you no longer need, throwing out junk mail, putting office supplies back into their proper drawers, and dusting your office so that it’s a pleasant place to work. If you have hoarder tendencies, ask yourself these 3 questions: Should I shred this? If not, should I file it away? If not, how can I complete this task today? Regular purging is perhaps the best thing you can do to maintain a productive work area in your home.
This year, the concept of bringing indoor comforts to your backyard is really catching on. People want a cozy place to relax, with native gardens and natural water sources around them. They’re also taking a more refined approach to technology, with energy-efficient lights, discreet TV installations, and other creature comforts. Below, we’ve outlined some popular home design trends that are taking place in backyards across the country, as well as a few outdoor design tips.
If you’re not familiar with the term “naturescaping”, just imagine a yard with natural flora and fauna. This helps the landscape to thrive, and it’s a popular approach with environmentalists, because those native plants attract the area insects and birds. It’s also much easier to maintain a natural landscape — rather than forcing non-native plants into the environment — because those plants are used to the climate. You end up using less water, while also not having to constantly watch over your plants. Add in a few solar-powered lights, and your yard will be almost fully sustainable.
Taking Advantage of Natural Water Sources
Next, it’s important to understand how water runs through your backyard, whether through irrigation or a nearby creek. In 2016, freshwater has become a focal point of outdoor design, with barrels to collect rain, retaining walls to guide water flow, and many other water features. Previously, stormwater was often seen as a nuisance that muddied up a landscape and needed to be dealt with, but today, the effects of rain have been embraced.
Using Dramatic and Detailed Lighting
Technology has continued to influence home design, with solar-power lighting that reduces energy consumption, as well as backyard wi-fi and television options. When it comes to lighting, there are countless methods to help your yard stand out, including color filters that set the mood, tiny lights that twinkle in the dark, and LED lights that last for 100,000 hours. Arrange a few of these lights in an imaginative way, and you’ll create a dramatic landscape while also using a negligible amount of electricity.
Bringing Indoor Life to the Backyard
Finally, outdoor design tips are only useful if they make a backyard more pleasurable for the homeowners. And what’s more enjoyable than a yard that feels like your living room? Adding a few weather-resistant couches and loveseats to your patio will make your family want to spend more time together outdoors. Depending on your pastimes, you can transform the yard into an outdoor leisure area, with a fire pit, horseshoe area, brick pizza oven, or anything else that excites your family and friends.
Organizing kitchen equipment isn’t rocket science. With a little common sense and a few practical techniques, you can transform your kitchen into a streamlined machine. Below, we’ve outlined 5 essential tips for upgrading your kitchen, without spending a lot of money.
1. Embrace Plastic Containers: Using Tupperware for leftovers is smart, but when it comes to organizing your pantry, plastic kitchen organizers allow you to see exactly how much you have of a particular ingredient. You can arrange all of your dried foodstuff (such as flour, sugar, and cereal) into separate containers, and then place them all on one shelf. Likewise, any small packets of sauce or spices can be grouped into one container, so they aren’t strewn around the pantry.
2. Only Keep What’s Useful: Every few months, you should go through the pantry and every cabinet, looking for any spoiled or unwanted food. Throw out the inedible items, and then donate the rest to a food bank or charity. Don’t feel bad about getting rid of food that you will never eat. It’s more important to have a clean, efficient kitchen with enough storage space for goods that you’re excited to cook with.
3. Hang Your Kitchenware: A few simple hooks placed under the stove and over the center island can help consolidate your pots, pans, and miscellaneous gadgets. Suddenly, you’ll have more space in your cabinets for plates, mugs, dried food, and small kitchen tools that usually get crammed into one drawer. Every kitchen has a unique layout, so use your best judgment to determine where the hooks should go. If you have available wall space, it might make more sense to hang your large kitchenware there, instead of using a ceiling rack.
4. Use a Whiteboard: Hanging a whiteboard on or near your fridge will make your kitchen experience much more organized. You can use this blank canvas to scribble an impromptu shopping list, remind yourself to use certain foods before they go bad, and write down recipe ideas as they come to you. When you’ve completed a task, simply erase that section of the board.
5. Lazy Susan is Your Friend: Not all kitchen equipment costs an arm and a leg. Typically, a lazy Susan is used at a large dining room table to allow easy access to dishes and condiments, no matter where you’re seated. This rotating tray also works well in a cabinet or pantry, especially when you’re organizing spices and oils. Place one in your fridge for condiment jars, one in your pantry for spices, and one in a cabinet for health supplements and medication. Give these kitchen organizers a spin.