This is my son’s room:
before Lego amount
it’s mostly Lego. After I put away the Mr. Potato Heads and the Fischer Price castle set, all I was left with was Lego. I tested a retrieval method suggested by my aunt, a sock put over the suction intake of a vacuum cleaner.
I used my hand sized vac and a wee sock with no match.
hand vac and black sock
I was careful to leave a little bit less than just enough sock so when the suction was activated the sock couldn’t be pulled into the vacuum.
the sock-Lego collector
My finger is pointing to the length of the suction intake.
He has a very dense pile carpet in his room so the tiniest pieces of Lego burrow down deep to foil feet and knees passing overhead. The sock/vac set up took care of them, even the ones I couldn’t see. I would fill the sock then turn the vac off and let the pieces fall into a bucket.
Obviously using a larger vacuum with a longer sock would mean this takes even less time. This method had the added bonus of filtering out the fuzz and hair from the carpet so it didn’t wind up in Lego storage.
Start with an empty and yucky junk drawer. Vacuum, then paint.
the junk drawer
painted junk drawer with dividers
I added 2 adjustable dividers that I bought from The Container Store but a plain wooden slat from the garden section of the hardware store for $0.55 each works just as well. I find the spring loaded ones easier to re-position if I want to move the junk around.
A set of hex keys, 6 bubble wands, pliers and pens.
I anchored the baskets to the drawer with 3M Command velcro so they wouldn’t budge and I could create custom sized spaces in between the baskets for other things.
organize junk drawer
The bathroom cupboard in our master bedroom was basically a waste of space so I added a shelf in it to use up the rest of the space. I went with the “assembly required” bookshelf motif for my shelf since I had a bunch of shelf clips left over from our bookcases. This meant drilling a teeny hole into the cupboard under the sink but not THROUGH it. To achieve this I set the torque on the drill at 8 and the speed at low. I also tied a string around the drill bit at the maximum distance that it could enter the wood.
string tied on drill bit to indicate length of hole for shelf holder clip
I measured the length of the cupboard and cut it out of a pine board that I bought for $6.80. Now, if you use the clip in the above photo you will have to cut your board smaller than you measured in order to fit. I switched to plain ol’ straight bookshelf clips
Now I have an extra shelf that I will eventually put most of my makeup on.
diy bathroom cupboard shelf
What follows is a tale of two bathroom sink cupboards, they are the 2 main bathrooms of the house and as such have to store the most stuff. The primary item for storage is toilet paper as per hubby’s request. He in no way wants tp stored in our giant garage, out of the way, and replenished as needed, he wants a Costco bale’s worth in each bathroom. So I did.
Here are the before shots.
downstairs bathroom, nothing special but so much potential
upstairs bathroom, the hair trimmer for the boys is in the giant red/white bag on the left
the full span of the upstairs bathroom from cleaning supplies to bubble bath
I made three shelves as inexpensively as possible. I bought 2 wooden dowels for $14 and cut them myself with a saw into 8 inch lengths. I sanded them ($3) then spray painted primer on them ($6) and painted them ($8). I hand painted 2 stripes at the bottom of each leg with paint I already had.
I glued 4 legs to a large tile ($0.70 on sale) with a super duper adhesive called “No More Nails” ($8) and let it dry over night.
diy shelf made with tile
One went downstairs and two went upstairs.
organize under bathroom sink
organize under bathroom sink with diy shelves
organize under bathroom sink, hair trimmer now in sewn white bags on top of left shelf
I added 2 Command hooks too to hold a few things.
I already bought the desk organizers but I found that something was lacking. I decorated the acrylic one with scrapbook paper and I thought that would be enough to meld into my office decor; but it wasn’t. I needed just a bit more style and finesse.
Since I couldn’t add decorative feet to the actual desk organizers; acrylic splits, paper tears; I decided to put each one up on a pedestal. I bought a primed plank of wood at Rona’s (or any hardware store) and cut it to fit my desktop organizers with a handsaw. I painted each piece to match the blue/brown/pink palette of my office, then added 4 acrylic drawer knobs to the bottom of each one, purchased from China, off Ebay, for $1.99 + $1.50 shipping.
cut, paint and drill holes in plank of wood
It’s all well and good to make a to-do list, but where do you put the list until you do the to-do? I have a little laptop stand right beside the office door and all I want (or have room for) on the narrow shelf are my chocolate covered almonds and my coffee coaster. No space for a to-do list.
Since I’m by the door I simply stuck a 3M Command hook in arms’ reach and used a hole punch on the to-do list to hang it up. Voilà, to do list off the laptop table but still visible.
organize to do list (and jewellery made by children)
My bathroom is a bit teeny so I added a plastic, three-drawer unit as storage for my time-of-the-month lady supplies. In order to divide the supplies into their relevant scheduled time during that-time-of-the-month I needed some drawer dividers. I was not about to buy anything so all I did was measure the width of the drawer (10 inches EXACTLY) and cut the same width pieces out of an empty cardboard box. In my case I painted these cardboard dividers first then cut them to a smidge LESS than 10 inches before inserting them in the drawer. They wedged in perfectly.
diy drawer dividers
diy drawer dividers with scrapbook paper in drawer front to make it prettier than plastic
Normally I don’t give a flying foo-hah about what app people get for what purpose as long as it gets the job done but I found one that has changed my habits and so merits a shout out. It’s the “Tody” app for an Ipad and it’s free. It organizes your household chores so simply that you could fill out all the pertinent information while drunk.
The initial input might take 10-15 minutes, but after that it’s all smooth and happy sailing. You enter the chore you want, selected from a comprehensive menu, for each room in the house; how often it should be done; and the app generates a beautiful and large vertical bar graph that is colour coded from green (done) to red (overdue). Once the chore has been done you click on “just did it” and the bar slides from red to green in an extremely satisfactorily descent. I’ll wash a floor just to watch that bar change colour.
I found a new way to decorate paper for letter writing. I used a circle hole punch in a piece of cardstock, leaving a 3/4 inch border around the circle. I dobbed ink with a sponge inside the hole and onto pieces of looseleaf that I had cut to 6×8.
Then I used a corner rounder to edge the looseleaf (not pictured).
To encourage dance, play and general running around and burning energy amongst my children, I hole punched 2 holes on opposite sides of a cardboard tube, threaded a ribbon through it and tied a big knot to hold it in place. My daughter choreographed a gymnastic ribbon routine on the spot.
diy gymnastic ribbon