Pinterest exploded all over my Linen Closet

Do you like to organize things? Do you get all giddy when everything has its own special spot when you put things away?

If so, this post is for you!

And me.
Because I totally get that fluttery feeling when I walk into The Container Store.

Last week I was complaining about my linen closet because it basically looked like that pile of crap that the creepy lady wears on her back in The Labyrinth spilled all over the place.

Well, I’m going to show you how one hour of work and $11.50 changed my horribly overstuffed closet into a Pinterest dream.

First, brace yourself because this is an actual photo of what my closet looked like before I touched it…

linen closet - beforeMessy. Messy. Messy.

Between the bath towels, hand towels and washcloths, I had 35 towels shoved in there. 35!! That’s like 30 towels too many when you consider the fact that we basically use the same towels, launder them and then hang them right back up in our bathroom to use them again!

Step 1 was obviously to purge the towels. I kept 2 – 3 of each type of towel (picking the ones that didn’t have random bleached out spots because we’re totally classy) and the rest went into the donation bag. Just that small change resulted in the towels and spare sheet set taking up just ONE shelf, instead of two. Yay for progress!

Step 2 was to go through the overflowing medicine organizer and divide the contents into three piles: cold & allergies, ouchies and expired. After I disposed of the expired medication, all the cold & allergies medicine went into one clear box and was labeled appropriately. Then, I gathered up anything that would fix an “ouchie” situation: band aids, heating patches, Neosporin, etc and added that to the Ouchie box. A couple of the larger items, like the heating pad, went into a black basket. Now we have one shelf full of medicines, instead of having random stuff just hanging out all over the place.

Step 3 was fixing the “I can’t find it” problem. You know, when your husband asks you for his razor refills and you tell him to look in the linen closet only to be met with him shuffling things around and muttering that he can’t find anything… That happens to other people too, right? Well, now all Travis has to do is look straight ahead at the “Travis Refills” box to find his extra soap bars, deodorant, razor refills, dude face wash, shaving gel and more. Genius, right?! I made a box for myself too, so that I have easy access to my girlie stuff.

This is when I realized that I have an issue with lotion. I always think that I’ve run out of lotion, so I keep buying more. I was also given a crap-load of fun lotions to try at the last BlogHer conference, which of course I took gleefully. However, as you can tell by my FULL box of lotion… I need to have a lotion intervention and go cold turkey.

Step 4 was to organize the rest of the randomness that lives in the closet. One basket was used for light bulbs and another for batteries. The large basket on the floor houses travel-sized stuff and travel bags so that I can just grab and go when I have to go out of town.

Step 5 was the snazzy on-the-door organizer for those frequently needed items. The organizer is actually a mesh bath organizer, but I thought it would work great for my closet. Also, it was only $2.50 at Dollar General… I hung it on the back of the door with a couple small picture hanging hooks and filled it with pain relievers (which my husband asks for a few times a month), a refill for my conditioner, and toothpaste. There are a few empty pockets too so that I can add things that Travis is having a hard time finding.

Are you ready to see the difference?

linen closet - after
SO. GOOD. Right?!
Want a close up?

linen closet - close up

Oooooh baby. That’s the stuff!
And here’s a closer look at the door organizer:

linen closet - door

So there you go, the secrets to eternal happiness. Oh wait, I mean the secrets to keep from opening your closet and having a pile of towels fall on your head.

I could have gone to The Container Store or Bed, Bath and Beyond to pick up lots of pretty organizers, but I decided to do this project on a tiny budget. I stopped by Dollar General and loaded up on supplies for way less than I thought I could have. I even bought a super cute $5 lampshade for Jack’s room that I instagrammed over the weekend!

lampshadeI WAS kind of confused that the Dollar General was different than the Dollar Store in that everything was NOT a dollar… I mean, isn’t that kind of the point?! Anyway, I ended up spending $11.50 on this project.

Here’s my supplies breakdown:
6 plastic shoebox organizers = $6
3 black baskets = $3
1 mesh shower organizer = $2.50

So what do you think, is it Pinterest worthy? Does your husband need his own refill box because he can’t find anything unless you hand it to him? Are you confused on why everything at the Dollar General isn’t a dollar?

11/7/13 Update: Do you see that shiny new “Featured on BlogHer” badge in my right sidebar? Well, THIS post was FEATURED on the BlogHer website. That’s right, I clicked over to the FRONT PAGE of BlogHer, saw MY article on their front page and then jumped up and down while doing a weird little scream!

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Tying up my Curtain Strings with Safety Cleats

THIS has been driving me CRAZY.

before  blinds

With a little dude running around, I had to do some childproofing in my living room, which means that the crazy-long blind cords had to be tied up out of his way. I don’t know WHY the cords go all the way to the floor — maybe so the dog has the option to adjust the blinds if the sun is in his eyes — but they looked like a rat’s nest. If a rat made a nest out of cords halfway up the wall.


I tried to tie the knots nicely…if that is such a thing. Nothing worked though. No matter how hard I tried to tuck them away, they looked awful.

I did some googling around, and found some blind safety cleats on Amazon but paying $2.89 for a piece of cheap looking plastic wasn’t exactly ringing my bell.

So I put it off for a while longer.
Ok, like a year.
I WAS BUSY! I swear!

Then, over the weekend I was wandering around Home Depot at a snail’s pace. Really, I was – Jack refused to ride in the cart and insisted on weaving from one shiny thing to another. And shut-your-face if you automatically think that I basically do the same thing. Even if it’s kind of true.

While in the hardware aisle, one of us may have been switching the screws from bin to bin while the other suddenly bust out in a “OHHHHH” like you hear at a firework show. It was like the angels were singing…

project materialsYeah, that’s right. Those sexy things are 2 1/2″ Chrome Plated Rope Cleat’s.

OOOhhhhhh Ahhhhhh!
And a 2 pack was only $1.78!

I grabbed up three packs so I could try them out in my living room and we (slowly) went on our way.

It took me less than 15 minutes to install them all and LOOK HOW PRETTY!

mid install


close up

after viewI’m kind of kicking myself for not doing this when we moved into our house almost two years ago. For a grand total of $6 the living room looks LESS MESSY. I mean, on the walls. Don’t look down at the floor where the toys live.

Have you done a super cheap and easy project where you kicked yourself afterwards for not doing it ages ago? Are you going to run to Home Depot now and buy yourself some fancy cleats? Did you know that they were called “cleats” and not “those cord wind up thingies?”

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1 Can of Spray Paint + A Shabby Chic Birdcage

I realized recently that I haven’t done any fun DIY posts on here in a while, so let’s do one of the easiest projects in the WHOLE WORLD! All you need is some spray paint and something you want to paint. That’s IT!

I picked up this shabby chic birdcage at the thrift store for $4.90. I think it was probably used as a card holder at someone’s wedding because in addition to the birdie door opening there is a latch that you can undo so you can lift up the entire top.


The birdcage was originally painted a beige-ish color and had spots of nastiness and rust on it. It wasn’t too cute, but I liked its size and curves… so into my trunk it went. And there it lived for a couple months because I was too lazy to bring it inside.

Well, I got the urge to do some spray painting… so I grabbed a can of teal paint that was just hanging out in my basement with the spiders.


Two coats later (with no prep-work at all) and check out the curves on this bad boy! Bow chicka, bowwow…right?!


The project cost me less than $5.00 since I had the paint leftover from another project. However, if you needed to buy a can of Rustoleum spray paint they typically cost around $6 and you’d have plenty leftover for other projects.


Have you been spray painting anything lately? What color would you have chosen for my birdcage project? I was originally thinking of spraying it shiny silver and hanging it in Jack’s room like a spaceship…

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