I love having an organized home; a place of peace and cleanliness where everything has its proper place. You don’t have to spend a bundle on gadgets and containers to make your home more organized—you just need a little time, clever components and some know-how. The following projects will help you clear the clutter and calm the collective consciousness.
Coat and Hat Racks
This project has many variations, but the principle is still the same: use what you have on hand, beautify it yourself, screw it to the wall and use it. One of the best projects I discovered was a driftwood rack.
Source: Design Sponge
- Using a piece of wood, lie it on a table, simulating the wall, to make sure it lays flat. If it doesn’t, sand or cut a portion of the wood until it does—trying not to cut off more that a third of the wood’s thickness. You want it to have substance and strength to hold the hooks.
- Make sure the length of the wood covers two studs to provide stability.
- Get yourself some round hook screws, which can be purchased at any hardware store.
- Use a small drill bit to create the pilot holes for the hooks. You don’t have to have them even—the look of the wood might suggest staggering the hooks for effect.
- Screw the hooks into the wood, making sure that the openings are forward.
- Match the two studs on the wall, to your rack, and then pre-drill your holes. Use two long screws and attach the rack to the wall.
Drawer-fronts – If you have a country theme in your home, you might try using old drawers as a rack and using the decorative knobs as the hooks. Just take off the drawer-front from your dresser, sand or decorate as you like and attach to the wall. If the front isn’t long enough to cover two studs, attach it to a longer piece of wood and mount the wood backing instead.
Old-parts – What about a simple slab of wood from an old fence, barn or shed? Gather up some old, rusty, vintage coat-rack hooks. Keep an eye out at swap meets, flea markets, garage sales or even eBay. Use several types and stagger them for effect. You can paint, stain or even wallpaper the wood.
I love this project because it provided two results: organization…and a vintage decoration in the sewing room. If you’ve collected spools, especially the old wooden variety, this is a way to enjoy them for years to come. This is a great item to keep a look out for at flea markets and especially at garage sales.
Source: Design Sponge
- If you still have thread on any of the spools, use a little glue to seal it in place.
- Take a long strip of paper—cutting open a paper bag works, or a strip of cardboard—and arrange the spools, on end, in the pattern you want to display them. Then take a pencil and trace around the base, so you have a set of circles on your paper. Mark the center of each spool circle with an “X”.
- Position the strip of paper on your wall, where you want the display to be. Use a couple pieces of tape to secure the paper—then use thumb tacks to press through each “X”, through the paper and into the wall.
- Now that you have the positions marked, pull back the paper one tack at a time. Use a tiny drill bit to penetrate the sheetrock and make your starter holes.
- Make sure you go to the hardware store with your spools—you want to find the right sized sheetrock screws. They overhang (or poke out the end of the spool) by at least 1/2”-1”. You can use a screwdriver, but I preferred to screw them in my hand, so as not to strip out the sheetrock. If for any reason you need more stability—you can also buy sheetrock sleeves for screws. Just tap them into the hole and then screw the spool to the wall.
Wine Glass Storage
Have stemware that you’d like to display but don’t want to pay the cost of a display cabinets, here’s a project you can do on your own. Have you heard of T-molding? Of course you have—it’s the molding used to help with transitions of wood flooring…and it’s a perfect tool to modify your cabinet for wine glasses. Just cut to length, pre-drill the holes and attach them to the underside of a shelf or cabinet. Here’s a great YouTube video showing you how.
The Spice Must Flow
The best DIY projects enhance the beautification of your home. That’s specifically the case with organizing your spices in the kitchen. There are no limits as to how you can organize your spices. Ikea is a great place to find fun jars and containers. Have fun when decorating. Use paper, ribbon and pens to be creative.
Source: Kitchen Organization Tips
Don’t Shut Out Organization
A friend of mine found a great use for some old shutters that had come loose. They were replaced, but she felt bad just throwing them out. She sanded the edges and then repainted them to match the decor of her kitchen. Over her small desk nook, she mounted both of the shutters, side-by-side and now uses it as the priority note and letter organizer. Because of the fixed slats and the wall as a backer, it’s perfect for sticking letters, notepads and even hanging keys via s-hooks.
Source: DIY Storage Idea
Do you enjoy drawing, painting or perhaps have someone like that in your family that needs to get more organized? There’s a fun way to do this by using recycled containers and items the artist likes to use themselves. My friend’s studio has an 80” art table in one corner, which has his artistic brushes, pens and pencils packed inside giant coffee mugs he picked up from garage sales. His pen tips, leads and other small tools are separated into various mint tins. You know the kind—the one’s with flip lids. Round, square, even slide-tops; if it can hold an object, it’s an organizing container in his studio. In addition to these, he uses old, discarded milk crates as book shelves, held together by bailing wire and decorated baby food jars for his India ink.
The last DIY project I want to share comes from some dear friends of mine, who home school their kids. The level of involvement is outstanding—especially when it comes to encouraging habits around organizational training with their little ones. Screwed to the center wall in their school room, you’ll find a flat sheet of wood with twenty tin cans attached to it. Each can has been cleaned, de-labeled and the opening checked/filed to make sure no cuts can occur from reaching in. There are labels taped to each can, a larger one created by the children, with pictures to show what belongs on each can, and the smaller ones in words for mom. These containers have chalk, pens, pencils, crayons, erasers, marbles, small toys and more. All items they use during school are neatly placed and accounted for.
Do you have any do-it-yourself projects you’d like to share with us? Something smart and simple that can help us all stay better organized? Then leave us a comment below and share your experiences.
Written By: Dwayne Thomas, who works for cabletv.com, is a 33 year old husband and father from Salt Lake City, UT. He welcomes your feedback on Twitter @DwayneThomas15.