How to Create a Gallery Wall

Gallery wall with brass picture frames.  styled bar cart in dining room

For some reason I’ve always been intimidated by gallery walls, and nervous about not being able to get it “just right.” But I adore the way that they look, and wanted to showcase these brushed brass frames with my favorite black and white photos of the kids. In the spirit of one of my favorite mantras: “just start” I grabbed my painters tape, and laid out a plan.

Gallery wall with brass picture frames.  Styled bar cart in dining room

The entire project took maybe 10 minutes, and I was shocked with how easy it was, and I’m absolutely LOVING the results! The thing I’ve realized about organizing a gallery wall, is it doesn’t need to be perfect. As long as you cover enough wall space, and coordinate your pictures - you’re good to go!

A couple of things that I found helpful:

  1. Lay out your design either on the floor, or use painters tape to outline your concept on the wall

  2. While your pictures and wall hangings don’t need to match (often it looks amazing to have different pieces and textures!) do pick a general color scheme and stick to it.

  3. Go with your gut. Choose photos and personal items that you love, and the outcome will be a garunteed win!

Gallery wall in girls nursery.  changing table with round mirror on dresser

After building some confidence in my dining room it was on to my daughter’s nursery. For these gallery walls I took a bit more risk, and mixed in some sentimental items. Things like family heirloom prints, a macrame shawl of my grandmothers, and my daughter’s sweet hat - all of which make me smile every time I see them. Don’t be afraid to mix in some greenery as well (faux or real), these hanging planters are one of my favorites, and how cute is this little white and brass geometric succulent container?!

Corner of nursery with basket, gallery wall, table and couch

If you’re planning a gallery wall of your own, or have already completed one, we’d love to hear what you did! The best part about these is that no two are the same, and it’s so fun to see all the different ways to style them.

Happy Organizing!

Love,

Lindsay and Ashley

Our Top Instagram Posts of 2018

It’s always nice to reminisce a little as the year wraps up, and a New Year is just around the corner.  In that spirit, we thought it would be fun to look back our most popular Instagram posts, as it gives us a glimpse into what is (and isn’t ;) resonating with our readers.  As always, drop us a line, as there is absolutely nothing we love more than hearing from YOU!

White dishes organized in a drawer with dividers

#10

To kick things off, let’s start with a little drawer organizing. If you’ve been reading the blog for awhile you know this is one of our favorite areas to organize, and from baking drawers to kids dish drawers - we love having everything so accessible. You all loved the idea of putting plates and bowls in a drawer, but there’s always the dilemma of dishes shifting and bumping into each other.  These bamboo drawer separators are one of our favorites to use in both our own homes, and on our client projects as well.

Home office in the kitchen

# 9

Ah a little home office organizing.  You all were clear about how much you enjoyed this one- and we have to say it’s one of our favorites too!  This office / cozy kitchen set up proves you don’t need a large space, as long as you keep a minimal mindset and organize accordingly.

Organized kitchen pantry with baskets and wallpaper

#8

Everyone seems to love (and have questions galore!) about how to most effectively organize and style a pantry.  We’ve written many a posts to address such questions, and from how to create a gorgeous pantry on a budget to how to DIY your own wallpapered pantry - we clearly can’t get enough of these spaces!

Organized and decanted baking cabinet

#7

Speaking of pantries, we absolutely understand that many kitchen don’t have one. This is probably why our little baking cabinet struck a major chord with many of you.  So much in fact, that after many requests, we came out with our own line of vinyl baking labels.

Decanted spices in mini ball jars on open shelving

 #6

Coming in at the middle of the pack - we were so glad to see that we’re not alone in our obsession for decanting ALL things!  Like us, you all loved these affordable mini ball jars, which are about as cute as can be and perfect for all of your spices.

Silverware and knives organized in dual pull out drawers

#5

Back to drawer organizing, and this time it’s for your flatware and knives.  Many of you are either in the process of a kitchen renovation, or you’re thinking about one in the future.  This guy was saved to a whole lot of idea boards, as many of you thought it was a clever solution for keeping knives off the counter and out of reach of the kiddos. 

Blanket ladder by a fireplace

#4

Blanket ladders make our hearts go pitter patter, and we were SO happy to see you guys feel the same way! We built our own ladders with the help of Projects in Person, and it was a blast! For more blanket ladder inspiration check out 5 ways to style them.

Girls nursery with organized toys and open shelving

#3

Raise your hand if you have kiddos, and find their spaces to be one heck of challenge to keep neat and tidy. Ok good, glad we’re not alone and we totally hear you on this one! As mom’s with young children, we love discussing how to wrangle all that toy clutter while keeping a rooms aesthetically pleasing at the same time.

Organized and labeled refrigerator

#2

We can’t help but smile every time we see an organized fridge. This one created a LOT of discussion from you all! Everything from questions about where we keep our leftovers (we promise there’s room) to how we created these fun labels.

Organized command center in kitchen with menu board, calendar, and kids homework baskets

And the undisputed winner coming in hot at #1 is: the command center. If you have this in place and still can’t get your family organized… then there’s just no hope. All kidding aside, this one means a lot to us. It features our custom acrylic menu and calendar boards, which we initially developed for our own personal needs. However, once the comments started rolling in with questions about how can these could be purchased, it wasn’t long before we made them available for sale.

As always, we want to say giant THANK YOU for all the support and feedback! It’s what keeps us motivated and we are SO excited about what’s coming up in the New Year!

Happy 2019 and of course happy organizing!

Love,

Ashley and Lindsay

Organizing your Fridge in 3 Easy Steps

An organized fridge is a happy fridge, right? It’s also a happy mama…and easier than you think. Organizing your fridge can sound intimidating…after all, how maintainable is it? The answer is, very. Not only is it easy to keep organized once you take the time to do it, but it makes cooking more efficient, lunch packing more efficient and grocery shopping more valuable. With everything visible, you won’t overbuy and your perishables won’t go bad. Let’s break it down in a few easy steps and I promise you’ll be happy! I mean, opening your refrigerator to find this can’t make you sad, right? :)

Organized fridge.jpg

Take Everything Out

I mean it…everything. Discard salad dressings, condiments and other items that are expired. Consolidate items that you have more than one and combine them into one container. It’s time to get rid of any of those items that you “might” use someday.

Scrub Everything Down

Using a natural cleaner or vinegar/water solution, spray down the shelves, walls and door and wipe with a clean cloth. Remove all the drawers, transfer to the sink, fill with water and dish soap and scrub. They get much cleaner this way than just wiping them down in the fridge. Don’t forget the areas underneath the drawers…yikes.

Organize

Using clear bins, group like items together and label the fronts. You can buy our Fridge Essentials Label Kit here!

I buy my eggs in bulk, so I place them into plastic egg containers. Using a dry erase marker, label the egg container/drawer with the date on the carton. These containers are great even if you don’t buy in bulk. It makes it easy to see how many you have left so you’re not caught without enough eggs next time you’re whipping up a batch of cookies.

We love using lazy Susans for taller items that get stuck in the back of the fridge. If you don’t have pull out shelves, using a lazy Susan with lower sides works great. Keep smaller condiments, sauces and dressings in the door. Dedicate a separate bin for defrosting meats…that way any liquid that leaks from the packaging stays contained and you can just give it a good wash. I love keeping kid snacks and food items in the lower storage areas…especially breakfast items. Who doesn’t love an independent kid at 6am?

TIP: Dedicate a bin to group the day’s meal planning items together. When it’s time to get dinner ready, grab the bin and get started. Makes dinner prep a breeze!

Organized Fridge Door

See!? That wasn’t so hard, was it! Now get started!

Happy Organizing!

Love,

Ashley + Lindsay

How to Organize LEGO Sets

Organized Lego Sets.jpg
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LEGOs are one of the most popular toys in the world…no wonder most children have more than a few sets. However, as parents we can all agree that they are a nightmare to keep organized…especially when your kids have graduated from DUPLO to the traditional LEGO. While we can’t guarantee that you won’t step on a few in your lifetime, we can certainly help keep them contained and organized.

Use small plastic boxes to keep sets separate. We love using the ArtBin Essentials 6x6 plastic storage boxes to keep LEGOs organized. These boxes come in a variety of sizes to store various sizes of sets, but the 6x6 is perfect for most of the smaller sets. Not only does it hold all the pieces, but I can keep the instruction booklet in there as well. Cut out the cover of the booklet and tape it to the inside of the lid to you can easily see which set is which!

The other advantage to storing your LEGOs this way is that it makes it easy for kids to trade their sets back and forth…because we all know they build them once or twice, and then they are ready for a new challenge!

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How to Create a Home Gift Wrap Station

You know that pile of holiday gifts you have hiding in your closet? Wouldn’t it be nice to have a place to wrap them without having to haul out your wrapping paper and supplies every time you want to wrap a present? Luckily, creating a gift wrap station in your home is easier than you think and doesn’t even require that much space.

I created this simple wrapping station with an empty shelf in my kid’s craft room/husband’s office. This would also work on the inside of a cabinet as well.

gift wrapping station with wrapping paper and ribbon

Using mini tension rods, display your wrapping paper in between the walls of your shelf or cabinet.

Use the same tension rods to hold rolls of ribbon.

Use cute jars and vases to display and hold your embellishments, gift tags and other gift wrap necessities.

gift wrapping station with wrapping paper, tissue paper, and ribbon

Keep a dedicated tape dispenser, pens and pair of scissors in the gift wrap area so you always have the supplies that you need.

Store tissue paper and gift boxes on a shelf below the paper and ribbon for easy access.

If you don’t happen to have an empty shelf or area to create a full gift wrap station, we absolutely love these hanging gift wrap organizers. You can hang them over a door or even right inside your closet. They are a space saving and economical way to store and organize your wrapping paper so it’s ready to go when the craziness of the holidays hit!

Happy Organizing!

Love,

Ashley + Lindsay

Small Space Organizing: Kitchens

An organized kitchen is an efficient kitchen…especially when you’re dealing with a smaller footprint. Not all homes have sprawling open kitchens, particularly older homes where the kitchen wasn’t historically a gathering place like it is today.

I live in a home built in 1941. The kitchen space as a whole is quite large because it’s an eat-in kitchen, but the actual prep area is quite small. When your cooking and prep spaces are limited, it’s even more important to utilize every square inch to its fullest potential. While every kitchen is different, the following are a few tips to help you get organized.

Photo Credit: Tiffany Kokal

Photo Credit: Tiffany Kokal

Think about items you use on a daily basis. For us, that’s coffee and cereal, so we dedicated two cabinets in our kitchen to those items. The rest of the food is kept in our small cabinet pantry. The coffee items are located in cabinet right above the coffee maker.

baking cabinet with hot coco and coffee bar

Use some of your favorite kitchen items as decor. I don’t like to keep my standing mixer on my main counter, so I keep it over by the buffet with my pastry slab and cutting boards. Kitchen items make some of the prettiest kitchen scenes.

Photo Credit: Tiffany Kokal

Photo Credit: Tiffany Kokal

kitchen organization baking sheets

Store your cutting boards, baking sheets and other large items like platters in a vertical file for easy access. If you don’t have built in dividers, you can purchase them to fit into any cabinet.

Use an expanding divider for your silverware. This allows you to fully utilize the size of the entire drawer entirely. I love how bamboo dividers fit in with the drawer to look custom.

organized utensil drawer with dividers
kid's dishes organization

I keep my kids dishes and lunch box supplies right above the dishwasher because they are frequently used. It makes the unloading process nice and efficient!

The key to keeping all your kiddo’s dishes corralled, is having less of them. Minimize the clutter!

Use your doors. Store everything from kitchen towels to sponges to extra straws in caddies installed on the inside of your cabinet doors. I keep the kid’s straws and silverware in a caddy inside their cabinet.

Use caddies for the inside of the doors under your sink for sponges, brushes, and dishwashing tabs.

File fold your kitchen towels. This method creates space you didn’t know you had, and allows to you store more in one drawer than you otherwise could.

organized dish towels in a drawer
organized tupperware

Lazy Susans…I have to say it’s probably my least favorite storage area of the kitchen. They are difficult to use and things tend to get lost in there…But, it’s there and occupies a LOT of space, so I had to find a good use for it. I think they work well for food storage containers. I recommend storing one type of item in here so you are always aware what’s hiding in that merry go round…

Another good use for the Lazy Susan is appliances that are used infrequently. I’m a huge fan of nothing on my countertops…only keep the appliances you use frequently on the countertop. No one says you HAVE to keep your toaster there at all times…if you’re not a toast person, stow it away until you actually need it. When you have a small kitchen, counter space is hot real estate.

organized knives and drink mixers

Use the space above the refrigerator. I keep my knives up there out of reach of the kiddos, those tall, clumsy water bottles, and infrequently used appliances…oh, and that roasting pan that’s never been used that we registered for when we got married because SOMEDAY we’ll host Thanksgiving?! That’s in the back as well.

organized pantry and cabinet for snacks and groceries

Just because your pantry is small, doesn’t mean it can’t be efficient, and look great too. Actually, having a smaller pantry forces you to only keep what you actually use and know pretty easily what you have and are running low on. I love these glass canisters because they go from pantry to table and look great on their own. Long pull out bins are great to store dry goods, and we ALWAYS recommend risers. It keeps all those cans and jars in line!

I know this post was a long one…but getting organized isn’t a quick fix! It takes time and planning. Hopefully these tips help you rethink your kitchen spaces to be more efficient and organized!

Happy Organizing!

Love,

Ashley + Lindsay

Baking Supplies Organized

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If you’re like most people you may have your baking supplies scattered throughout your kitchen.  Often when we work with clients it’s not unusual to discover petrified brown sugar bags, numerous jars of unopened baking powder, and gummy marshmallows lurking in various drawers and cabinets. 

It’s totally normal for this to happen, as the majority of us keep these items in dark cabinets, and don’t use them daily.  To get a handle on your baking supplies (and avoid buying unnecessary items) we put together a couple easy steps to help you get things in order before your next cookie making extravaganza.

Do a deep clean:  Baking items are notorious for leaving sticky and messy debris.  Clear everything out, and give your space a good scrub.  Now, really look at what you have left.  You can probably combine a few items, or toss others that are past their expiration dates.

The right gear.  Not all of our organizing jobs require new product, but baking supplies are often an exception.  If you have a baking drawer, we love these Bambusi bamboo expandable dividers.  They keep everything from sliding around, and they create a “home” for your spices, cupcake liners, measuring cups, and even your rolling pin!  Extra bonus, that they’re a perfect fit for decanted sprinkles- seriously could these mini ball jars be any cuter?! 

organized baking drawer
organized baking drawer, with dividers, sprinkles, and cupcake liners.

Corral your powdered and granular items.  Let’s face it, usually when you buy a bag of flour or sugar it doesn’t always come in a nice resealable bag.  To keep these items free of contaminants, we adore these baking canister sets.  They make them for everything imaginable, but our all time favorite is the brown sugar container.  No one likes it when their brown sugar turns to stone, and the terracotta disk keeps it the same consistency as the day you bought it.  If you want to up the style game on your containers - we’re now selling our vinyl label baking set!

flour, sugar, and powdered sugar baking containers with labels.
brown sugar container with vinyl label

Now that you’ve organized all of your baking supplies, have fun whipping up your favorite confections!

Happy Organizing!

Love,

Ashley and Lindsay 

How to Organize Those Letterboard Letters

letter board letter organizing

The word “frustration” immediately comes to mind, when I remember my previous method for creating a new letterboard.  Finding the exact letter would often turn into a mean game of alphabet soup, as I’d search tirelessly through the endless jumbled options.  You really don’t want to know how long it took to create some of our favorite setups...

 

stray socks organized, letter board
coffee bar cart with letter board, coffee, and orange juice

Thank goodness for Ashley’s problem solving abilities, as she came up with a genius organizing solution that’s seriously a letterboard game changer.   

organized letters for letter board in plastic container

This little plastic organizer is an inexpensive way to get those letter sorted, and it only takes about 15 minutes.  Get those little guys alphabetized, organize your numbers, and finally separate your emojis.  Add in some labels so you know where everything goes, and you’re done!  Such a simple solution, but it’s guaranteed to save you oh so much time when your creating your next masterpiece. 

organized letter board

Happy organizing! 

Love,

Ashley and Lindsay 

Blanket Ladders Styled 5 Ways

A couple weeks ago, the wonderful Jill, owner of Projects in Person (or PIP as it’s lovingly called), located in the amazing downtown Hopkins invited us to build blanket ladders at her incredible workshop which is in a beautiful, historic space. You’re inspired to be creative the second you walk in the door. Have you seen this place? It’s the ultimate DIY experience guided by amazing leaders who help you every step of the way. We were sure our ladders wouldn’t turn out nearly as lovely as the ones in the photos, but they DID! And it’s all because of this amazing guided experience. There is nothing more satisfying than completing a beautiful DIY project.

Blanket ladders have skyrocketed in popularity the past couple years but I have never seen one as unique as the ones that you can build at PIP. The options to customize your ladder were endless, but my favorite touch was the use of copper. Was I terrified that I would have to cut copper? Yes. Was it easier than I thought? Absolutely, and it was so much fun creating something that I was proud to bring home and display in my living room.

There are so many uses for “blanket” ladders that aren’t just blankets. In fact, they can be a very useful organization tool in your home. Using the vertical spaces in your home frees up table, floor and counter space for other needs. We’re so excited to show you five of our favorite ways to use and style your ladder!

The Kitchen

kitchen items organized on a blanket ladder

With the use of S hooks, you can hang just about anything on your ladder. From baskets holding your various produce to dishtowels and decorative items, the options are endless in the kitchen. Free up some cupboard space and hang your favorite coffee mugs within easy reach. There are so many fun dishtowels out there that don’t deserve to be tucked away. On this ladder we used some fun decorative kitchen items from the Hearth & Hand with Magnolia Collection from Target including the triangle dinner bell, the measuring cups and the small metal woven basket. By now you probably know we love using plants as a finishing touch to pretty much any project :) I love these hanging plants from Sunnyside Gardens.

kitchen items organized on a blanket ladder

The Nursery + Kid’s Room

The collection of sweet blankets you received as gifts deserve to be proudly displayed in your baby’s nursery. Not only will you want to grab one during a midnight feeding or lay one down for a little afternoon tummy time, but they are adorable and are the perfect decor addition to the nursery. Keep your swaddling blankets within arms reach for easy night time routine. You can even display special clothing items and keepsake toys.

baby blankets organized on a blanket ladder

Holiday Styling

It’s about that time…decking the halls…or ladders in this case! We had so much fun at Tonkadale. They seriously have the best holiday decor in any style or color combination possible. We probably could have spent hours there…but we had to pick up our kids at some point :) We also LOVE promoting local business and local products. Faribault Woolen Mill Co. was generous enough to let us use their amazing blankets to display…If you’re going to display blankets, these are the ones to have! How perfect is the plaid for the holidays? Now for the decor…hang festive bells and ornaments, a basket of greens and berries or even a small wreath is the perfect way to display your decor. No fireplace mantel? Use a few S hooks to hang up your stockings. Santa will have no problem finding them there :) Want a fun idea for an Advent Calendar? Hang up 25 candy canes or ornaments, one for each day. I also have a feeling Clark, our Elf on the Shelf will prefer hanging out on the ladder this year :)

Christmas decor on a blanket ladder

Your Living Spaces

Go ahead and use it for what it was originally meant for! By now you’re probably familiar with the term Hygge, (pronounced hue-guh) the Danish word for the mood of coziness with feelings of contentment and wellness. To me, that’s curling up with a cozy blanket and a warm fire on a cold day. I love how the ladder keeps our blankets off the floor and off the couch while displaying some of my most favorite comfort items.

blanket ladder by a fireplace

Plants

As fall arrives and winter quickly approaches, it’s time to bring the outdoors in. Adding a little green to your home during the gray months can bring a smile to anyone’s face. There are so many fun house plants to choose from. We found some amazing little plants at Tonkadale to hang from our ladder. Our favorites are these little air plants. They are lightweight and easy to care for. Just a spritz of water and they are happy! And, you can display them in these darling glass containers. Throw on a blanket for a little extra coziness.

plant blanket ladder and blankets in basket
plant blanket ladder

There you have it! 5 of our favorite ways to style a blanket ladder…there are so many more creative uses for them as well. Have we convinced you to build one yourself? Sign up for one of PIP’s workshops here. Check them out on Instagram to see all the amazing projects you can create yourself. It’s awesome for a mom’s night out or date night! You can even rent out the whole space for a private workshop. Put on your apron, grab a hammer and start building!

Happy Organizing (and building!)

Love,

Ashley + Lindsay

Beauty Product Pare Down + Bathroom Organizing Tips and Tricks

Confession: we both love our beauty products, but they tend to pile up like nothing else does! There’s a whole host of reasons this happens, but if you’re like us, you hold on to products because:

A: To be able to afford said “miracle product” you basically forked over an entire paycheck, and now you’re “saving it.”  

B.  You bought a product after some coercing + magical lighting while sitting in the makeup chair, and after bringing it home you’ve decided it’s not quite right.  

C. You’re stockpiling.  Either you found your favorite product on sale, and said “I’ll take 10.”  Or maybe you’ve finally found that perfect shade of foundation, and bought multiples - fearing it would be discontinued.

If you’re reading this list, nodding your head, and thinking “that sounds like me,” you’re not alone. The majority of our clients all seem to have a tough time with their bathrooms and the clutter that tends to go with them.

First things first: be totally honest with yourself, and minimize what you have.

Let’s get rid of those products that you never use. You know what we’re talking about: that glitter eye shadow, unflattering lip stick shades, and hair products that don’t work the way you’d like... sorry, you guys are out!  After that, please check all those expiration dates.  You could be unintentionally introducing harmful bacteria, if you’re keeping items around longer than recommended.  By simplifying, you’ll both clear up space, and spend less time searching for your favorite products. 

makeup organized in a beauty organizer

Next up: now that you’ve minimized, let’s get organized!

Put “like with like” and you’ll be amazed at how much more efficient you are in the morning! Makeup storage can be as simple, as a dedicated makeup bag with various compartments. Or we love pretty acrylic containers, which makes storing your make up neatly and compactly a breeze.  If you keep nail polish and essential oils in your bathroom, these tiered containers work wonders, and keep everything standing upright.   

nail polish organizer
hair and skin care products organized

Finally: Those larger beauty products (these guys always tend to topple like dominos)

To keep your products for skin and hair upright and accessible, grouping the categories together and using a simple white container is amazing for under the counter use, drawers, and cabinets.  Don’t forget to label them, as it’ll keep you accountable, and less likely to slip back into old habits!

Happy Organizing!

Love,

Lindsay and Ashley