Category Archives: organization
I recently gave one of my drawers a little makeover with a clear organizer and a roll of duct tape. I used the organizer, which I picked up from Ikea, to separate all my items. It has lots of little compartments that make it easy to designate a spot for each thing. When everything is in it’s place, I can quickly find what I need.
As for the duct tape, I used it to create a stylish drawer liner. 3M has a great snake print tape from their new Expressions line that can be used in a lot of creative ways. Kelly of Fabulous K recently used it to cover a photo frame and Megan of Honey We’re Home used it to cover a mousepad and a tray. To make my drawer liner, I simply measured the bottom of my drawer, cut a piece of poster board to size, covered it with strips of the duct tape and then fit it inside the drawer. Super easy. Looks great and as a bonus, it helps protect my drawer. If anything spills, I can easily wipe it off. This is what I see when I open my drawer now:
What do you think? Not too shabby huh?
If you’re thinking of using snake print tape for a little project of your own, use this coupon for $1 off.
This post was brought to you by Office Depot. All thoughts, ideas, and opinions expressed here are my own. Thank you for supporting Arianna Belle sponsors!
Even though there’s undoubtedly an abundance of inspiration and information available via digital magazines, blogs, and Pinterest, which I all love, I still very much enjoy receiving printed magazines in the mail that I can physically flip through and rip pages out of, while settled in a comfy seat with a big cup of coffee in hand. It’s a relaxing treat at the end of the day.
As much as I love printed magazines though, I don’t like the physical clutter they can create. If you’re like me and have several subscriptions, you know how easily and quickly magazine piles can grow and get out of hand if you don’t periodically toss them or do something to tame and organize them.
Today I thought I’d share with you my system for keeping my magazine collection in check. While I do keep some magazines in their entirety and treat them as books because they’re filled with a lot of visually rich and inspiring content all throughout, what I try to do with most magazines is selectively rip out the pages I want to keep, and organize those pages into binders.
A few of my magazine clippings binders made pretty with simple matching covers
As I’m reading through a new issue, as soon as I identify content I’d like to save, I rip out the page. It may be an article that I found informational and want to reference in the future, or a city guide for a place that I’d like to visit, or an image with a beautiful color story that I find inspiring. I set aside the pages I’ve ripped out and (temporarily) put them in what I’ve designated as a magazine clippings box, because lets be honest, most of the time after reading a magazine, I’m in relax mode, not in organizing mode.
When I’m in the mood, usually on a different day, maybe while watching TV or something, I’ll take my magazine clippings and separate them out into the following categories:
Action – things to buy, recipes to try this week, sites to bookmark, etc.
Business – advice, resources and inspiration for my biz
Cleaning & Home Improvement – how to’s, tips, guides, reviews for appliances and other home products I don’t need or can’t afford right now but possibly will later, etc.
Decor – inspiration, products, guides
Dream Home Inspiration – home ideas that I absolutely positively love and dream of incorporating into my future home
Entertaining – tablescapes, ideas for the holidays, etc.
Fashion – outfit ideas, guides
Food – recipes, cooking tips
Hair & Beauty – ideas and guides
Health & Fitness – informational articles, guides, how to’s
Organization – inspiration, ideas, products
Travel – interesting places I’d like to check out, city guides, travel tips
Someday Maybe – projects I might want to try sometime, book lists, movies I’d like to watch, etc.
Wisdom – articles regarding balance, happiness, spirituality, perspective etc. (helpful for getting out of a funk or getting through a depressing time)
With the exception of the Action category, which I have a tray for near my desk (more on my office trays later), I created a binder for all my categories. Each binder is filled with clear sheet protectors and tabbed dividers (for sub-categorizing). To organize the magazine clippings, I simply put each into a sheet protector in the appropriate binder and under the corresponding sub-category.
My Travel binder with clear tab dividers labeled with sub-categories: Local, Weekend Getaways, National, International, Travel Tips
Here are my tips for anyone who may be interested in doing something similar:
-Go through one or two issues of each magazine you subscribe to, and take a look at the pages you’ve torn out to help you come up with your binder categories
-Assess your needs before going out to buy supplies. I personally go through a lot of magazines and tend to tear out a fair amount of pages, so I determined that I needed a separate binder for each category to neatly fit everything in and leave space to add more. If you’re someone who doesn’t subscribe to a lot of magazines and/or doesn’t tend to tear out that many pages, you may decide you can organize everything into one large binder or maybe combine two or three categories into each binder. If you need to, you can always expand later.
-Make sure you use either extra-wide dividers, or dividers that are specially made for use with sheet protectors (like these). If you get regular dividers, since sheet protectors are wider than regular letter sized paper, you won’t be able to see the tabs.
-Label the divider tabs with a label maker for a neater look (if you don’t have one yet, I highly recommend getting one, it’s so handy!)
-If you want to downsize and organize a collection of back issues you’ve accumulated over time, do it in batches. Trying to organize them all at once can be overwhelming. Plus the process is more fun if you let yourself do it as a leisurely project
*This post was brought to you by the folks at Office Depot. All thoughts, ideas, and opinions expressed here are my own. Thank you for supporting Arianna Belle sponsors!
I’ve been reading the book Getting Things Done by David Allen and have enjoyed learning about his approach to productivity. One of the things from the book that I have started putting into practice and have found useful is to ask myself, ”what’s the next action?” when adding things to my to-do list. Here’s a look at what a few items on my to-do list would have typically looked like prior to me considering the next action question:
- replace broken steamer piece
- recover sofa chair
- buy file boxes
- get boots fixed
At first glance the to-do’s seem fairly straightforward but, when I would look at items like this on my list, for some reason I would find myself resisting them. They’d often get pushed back and continue to remain incomplete. Why? Mr. Allen explains that most actionable items require some quick thought and planning steps before we can precisely define what has to happen to complete them. Do you need to research something? Gather certain information? Contact someone? He says that the thinking exercise for each item is something that has to happen at some point or another and it’s better to complete it early on because “if you haven’t identified the next physical action required to kick-start [an item], there will be a psychological gap every time you think about it even vaguely.” (pg. 130)
Here’s the same list re-written after taking the time to think about the next physical action required for each of my items:
- get model number of steamer for replacement piece
- research fabric options for sofa chair
- measure optimal size for file boxes to go in closet
- research shoe repair places on yelp
In order to replace the broken steamer piece, I have to first get the model number so that I can contact customer service with that information. Before I can recover my sofa chair, I first have to find the right fabric. Before I actually go out and buy the file boxes, I need to first measure the space I’m putting them in so I know they’ll fit and I’ll know what to look for when I’m at the store. To get my boots fixed, I need to first find a repair place to take them to. The idea is to have all my thinking completed about the steps of an actionable item so that when I have a window of time to get something done, I can use the tools I have (computer, phone, etc.) and the location I’m in (at office, at home, out running errands, etc.) to cross more things off my list, having already defined what exactly there is to do.
To be honest, I don’t always write my to-do’s this way. It’s a habit I’m trying to develop. Sometimes I’m in a rush and write down something non-specific because I just need to quickly dump things out of my head. If this happens, I try to look back over my list when I’m not so rushed, and re-write the vague things on my list to make them specific next-action items.
Have any of you read Getting Things Done? I’m working on putting other recommendations from the book into practice and will report back here letting you all know how it goes.
photograph above by Yvonne Bauer of the blog Fraeulein Klein
Sugar Paper is a high quality paper goods company started by Chelsea Shukov and Jamie Grobecker 10 years ago. Late last year they outgrew their original small space and moved their studio to a large warehouse in West LA. These photos give us a peek inside:
Gorgeous right? As a young entrepreneur I find this so inspring. Perhaps one day I’ll get to move my company into a similarly large and beautiful studio Gotta dream big right??
Photos via 100 Layer Cakelet and Sugar Paper’s Instagram Feed
–Another inspiring workspace here.
In our future “forever home” would love to have glass front storage cabinetry in the bathroom, whether as built-ins or a freestanding piece, where we could house and display neatly folded stacks of towels, glass jars filled with bath salts, beautiful soaps, and other bath essentials. Something kinda like this:
Image sources: 1 – this is glamorous via design sponge, 2 & 3 – white + gold design via la dolce vita, 4 – found via vignette design, original source unknown, 5 - bhg, 6 - instyle magazine
Remember the media unit I shared a photo of in this post? Well when we first purchased it, our initial idea was to add two lower drawers for closed storage. After trying out the drawers though, we didn’t like how they looked and opted instead to keep the unit open. That meant though that we had to find alternative options for out of sight storage.
I kept an eye out for stylish boxes and bins and found some at Office Depot that were the perfect size and a lovely creamy neutral color. I went with three box bins for the upper right shelf and two document boxes for the lower left shelf. The bins now hold my husband’s Xbox games, controllers, etc. out of sight while keeping them easily accessible. The boxes hold various card and board games. Here’s how it looks:
More home updates to come!
p.s. In case you’re wondering, we don’t really keep any DVDs in the media unit because most of the movies we watch nowadays are via Netflix, Zune or Blockbuster.
The folks at Office Depot sponsored this post. All ideas/opinions/thoughts are my own.
It’s no surprise that a stylish event planning company like Tara Guerard Soiree, who regularly puts together magazine worthy weddings, has equally magazine worthy offices. Check out the photos below of their clean, tailored and bright workspace:
Sets of matching boxes and binders on custom floor to ceiling shelving provide plenty of storage and help maintain a clean uncluttered look.
An bulletin board above Tara’s desk serves as a catchall for photos that inspire ideas.
Large windows flood the conference space with natural sunlight
The tall spacious white table in the central workspace provides a perfect morning meeting spot for the team.
Definitely saving this as inspiration for when my I (hopefully!) have a larger company office space!
photography by Julia Lynn for Lonny
The newest decor update in my office is a big beautiful tray that Paloma of La Dolce Vita recently sent over from her Joy & Revelry shop for a White Box Challenge. I decided to put the tray on the surface of my Expedit shelving, which I have right behind my desk, along the back wall. It has been great for containing things that I like to have within arms reach but off my desk. Here’s a look:
Things tend to look neater and more stylish when corralled within a tray, wouldn’t you agree?
If you haven’t already, be sure to check out Paloma’s shop, and to get 10% off, use code LDV_WHITEBOX_10.
I oftentimes carry a lot of things in my handbag – keys, cell phone, driver’s license, credit cards, debit cards, rewards cards, cash, coupons, lists, hair ties, lip balm, lotion, tissues, pens, sunglasses, the list goes on….can you relate?
Because most of these items are relatively small, they can easily get lost in a large bag and it’s so annoying to have to rummage through to try to find what you’re looking for. What I like to do is group and separate everything into smaller bags, cases and pouches.
For the essentials like money, driver’s license, keys, tinted lip balm, and my cell phone, I use a wristlet that easily fits in my bag and I can pull out when I’m making a quick trip and don’t really need much else (the one I have is an old style but you can find a similar one here). I use a magic wallet, which is compact enough to fit inside the wristlet, to keep my credit cards, debit cards, and my license, organized. I keep cash and coins in the little interior pockets of the wristlet. I try not to put anything else in there so that there’s enough room to also fit my keys if needed.
For all the non-essential cards that I use less frequently but still like to have on hand, like loyalty cards, rewards cards, gift cards, etc., I use a card cubby and sort them all into the little alphabetized dividers.
My business cards go into a nice business card case so they don’t get dirty or bent.
Coupons go into a small expanding file case. There was a time not too long ago when my husband and I were really penny pinching and to make the most of the money we had, I got into the habit of putting coupons for items we frequently bought or stores we normally shopped at, into an coupon file that I took with me whenever I went shopping. This worked really well and I’ve continued with this habit. I no longer find myself at the store saying, “aww I had a coupon for that!” and feeling regretful that I could have saved some money. I labeled this expanding file with general categories like beauty, craft, grocery, office, etc., which makes it easy to find the relevant coupons when I’m at the checkout counter. I use the space in the front for my shopping list and a pen.
In an accessory pouch that has interior pockets, I keep beauty and personal care items that are nice to have handy like hand cream, hand sanitizer, hair ties & clips, lip color, a mirror, oil blotting sheets, floss, a mini lint roller, tissues, bandages and a multi-use ointment.
My miscellaneous items, like a measuring tape, notebook for jotting down notes and ideas on the go, an extra pen, and a backup battery for my phone, all go into a zippered pouch:
So there you have it, that’s how I organize my bag. The general idea is to group like items together and put them into smaller bags, pouches or cases that will keep the contents organized. I know everyone has different needs and carries around different things, but I hope this inspired some ideas on how to organize your own bag, if it’s not organized already.
*The folks at Office Depot sponsored this post. All ideas/opinions/thoughts are my own.
Came across these images of ladders used to organize and display high-heeled shoes and thought it was such a clever idea. I love seeing how people reimagine things and use them for something other than their intended purpose.
Makes a fun alternative to traditional shelving. If you use a salvaged or vintage ladder, it’s eco-friendly too!
Another creative shoe organization idea here.