Favorite Posts of 2014

1. Organizing the pantry with mason jars & kraft paper labels.Mason Jar Organization Close-up #thissarahlovesMason Jar Organization Labels #thissarahloves


2. Mix-it-yourself Fajita seasoning

DIY Fajita Seasoning Ingredients #thissarahloves DIY Fajita Seasoning #thissarahloves

3. Going from floating, carpet-wrapped stairs to closed and colorful stairs (and painting the trim)

Before and Progress StairsPainting the Trim - Progress


4. Entry Organization
Entry Organization - DIY Hooks Top 2

5. Little Birdy Rag Quilt

Little Birdy Rag QuiltLittle Birdy Rag Quilt - Back


Pretty Organized

Entry Organization - DIY Hooks - All 3I am always misplacing my keys and sunglasses.  So although we’ve tried to create a space in our entry closet for bags, purses, keys etc. apparently opening a door to put down my keys and sunglasses was just too hard. We had some empty wall space above our Ikea shoe bins in the entry and I thought this would be the perfect space to add some decorative storage.

Entry Organization - DIY Hooks

I used some left over pieces of 1×4 pine that we have from the doorway framing. I was lucky and found three pieces of nearly equal length, so I just used that length. They turned out to be about 16″ long and are stained with Minwax Express in Walnut. The top piece has 4 bulldog clips & holds some of our favorite instagrams. In the middle are 4 simple hooks for keys, along with 4 name plates. The bottom piece has two long drawer pulls to hold sunglasses (turns out I have quite the collection when I don’t keep losing them!)

Entry Organization - DIY Hooks Top 2 Entry Organization - DIY Hooks Bottom 2


I didn’t really make a note of how much we spent on these in total, but I’m guessing since we had the wood and stain, that the rest of the cost was about what a nice key rack would’ve been.  Not too bad for filling up a whole wall! Now all we need is a mirror to the left of this little nook & to raise the shoe storage above the baseboards and we’ll be all set!

Entry Organization - DIY Hooks - Detail


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Sharing at The MakersOutside the Box, The DIY’ers

Mason Jar Organization

Mason Jar Organization #thissarahloves

We don’t have a pantry cabinet in this kitchen, but there was an empty wall that was the perfect size for a billy bookcase.  I picked the doors that are solid at the bottom and glass at the top.  Since you could see into half the cabinet, I knew my food storage would need an upgrade.
Mason Jar Organization Close-up #thissarahloves
I got quart sized wide-mouth mason jars for things like rice, brown sugar, and all the dried fruit we put on salads (like raisins, cranberries, and dried blueberries).  The things like flour and sugar are in wide-mouth half gallon mason jars.

I found some round Kraft paper labels from Avery which are the perfect size for the large mason jar lids.  I printed up the labels on my printer and stuck them onto the lids.

Mason Jar Organization Labels #thissarahloves
When I first decanted all the foods into the jars, I was concerned that I would find the jars a pain to work with, but it’s been in these jars since before Christmas and I can honestly say that I love using the mason jars!  And it’s nice that it’s easy to keep everything looking neat and tidy in the cabinet (at least in the upper part…)

Mason Jar Organization in a Billy Bookshelf II #thissarahloves Mason Jar Organization in a Billy Bookshelf #thissarahloves

What do you use Mason jars for?

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Organizing the Dresser Top

This weekend I finally got around to tidying up the dresser top in our bedroom.  It’s where I keep my make-up and jewelry and some of my hair accessories too.  It’s definitely still a work in progress, but I appreciate that everything has a place!

Dresser Top - Progress - #thissarahloves


Here’s a better idea of where I’d like to go with this area.

Bedroom Organization #thissarahloves

flower pots / spice jars / boxes / bamboo boxes / wooden boxbamboo organizers / egg crate / small jars / metal boxes

I’d love to switch the little flower pots (which are great for organizing make-up brushes and eye/lip pencils) for white patterned ones, the blue tray for some bamboo organizers, & the white storage box (which has seen better days) for some white metal boxes.  You can find all the sources for the items above on my New Home: Master Bedroom Ideas Pinterest page.

I keep my make-up brushes in one flower pot and my nail files and emory boards in the other.  The little blue tray corrals my make-up containers.Dresser Top Tray and Flower Pots Make-up Organization - Progress - #thissarahloves

These cute little Anthro spice jars organize my hair ties and hair clips.  These are no longer available, but the cute Target ones I linked to above should works just as well and look equally cute!Dresser Top Spice Jars - Progress - #thissarahloves

I loved Sherry’s jewelry storage idea the first time I saw it & have been using this blue ceramic egg crate for a few  years now.  Things get a little dusty, but it’s nice to be able to see all my basic jewelry and pick something fun to wear in the mornings.Dresser Top Egg Crate Jewelry Storage - Progress - #thissarahloves


How do you organize these items?

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Organized Entryway

This post has been a long time coming! I think we bought the bookshelf 3 or 4 months ago! But it is finally done.

Entryway Organized Entry Closet


We have a half-sized water heater, which is behind a built-in plywood enclosure on the left side of the closet. For the longest time we struggled with how to organize this closet & maximize storage space. Here’s the space with the doors closed.

Entryway Closed Doors


The closet is to the right of our front door. Those black things to the left are Ikea shoe organizers. Definitely some of the best money we’ve ever spent! Especially in the summer when I have 10 or so pairs of flip flops in rotation, it’s nice to have them easy to access but out of sight. We also added some unobtrusive coat hooks to the doors for guests or for our damp coats.

We squeezed a TON of storage into this space & I tried to make it look presentable enough that if someone leaves the door open I don’t feel ashamed of the mess! The first step was to add an inexpensive bookcase in front of the built-in (totally nowhere near square) plywood box. I wanted to use boxes from Ikea for organization, but we ended up going with these cube organizers and I’m so happy we did! I also covered the backboard of the bookshelf with chevron contact paper before attaching it to the shelves.

Entryway Organized Closet with Bookshelf and Boxes


Next I added this (labeled as a) bathroom organizer to the wall (with cup-hooks to hold our gloves, scarves & other small winter gear. I wasn’t looking for something with hooks – but they have come in very handy for corralling scarves and umbrellas. This guy might have to have a run-in with some colorful spray-paint when the weather warms up!

Entryway Organized Closet with Basket for Gloves and Scarves


We used the top shelf for our storage boxes right from the start. Sometimes it’s nice that these boxes are see-through, but it wasn’t in this case, so I used some more of the chevron contact paper to disguise the contents. The TJs bag next to the paint bin hides in-progress projects and my drop-cloths are on top of the bin. Perhaps it’s time to upgrade to a full-sized bin for the paint stuff?

Entryway Organized Closet with Shelfpaper on Storage Boxes


Here is a run-down of everything we squeezed into this closet.


Entryway Organized Entry Closet Details



  1. Disguised storage boxes {using chevron contact paper}
  2. Over-the-door hooks for guest coats {the over-the-door version of these}
  3. Hangers for our winter coats {including Penny’s puffy winter coat}
  4. Hanging basket for gloves & scarves
  5. Andy’s golf clubs
  6. Storage bins {with our emergency supplies}
  7. Re-covered box for paper bags & USPS flat rate boxes {with faux bois paper from Target’s $ section}
  8. Bookcase with storage boxes
  9. On top of the bookshelf we have a receipt box and I created a landing spot with a trinket tray. On the built-in plywood box we have file holders with our everyday files, a re-covered box for reusable shopping bags & in the back is Penny’s travel bag. There’s also a piggy bank for loose change, a mail sorter for coupons, & a flashlight. On the wall we have a plastic bag organizer & a key holder.
  10. Ikea shoe organizers

Here is a detail shot showing some of the items in #9

Entryway Organized Closet - The Details

And one last look. Overall I’m happy with the organization attempt. I’m not crazy about the color of the faux bois paper I used, so I think I might re-recover the cardboard boxes – perhaps in grey? I also plan on adding some labels to the brown bins’ handles. How do you use you entryway closet?

Entryway Organized Entry Closet

Halfway there

This weekend we started lots of projects, but finished very few.

We decided to re-organize our entry way coat closet.  It’s a bit of a weird closet, as it houses the water heater too. It means on one side of the closet we have about 11″ between the closet door and the weird plywood box built around our water heater. After lots of googling around, we decided that our best option would be a cheap-o bookcase from Target.  It had the right dimensions, the right price (cheap cheap cheap), and since it would be hidden inside the closet, we figured the melamine wouldn’t be too much of an eyesore.

As you can see, I did line it with my chevron contact paper.  I’ve finally finished up the first two rolls.  I did consider lining it with something else, but it’s hard to argue with self-stick paper….  I’ll show a full reveal shot once we get our storage boxes bought, built and filled.

Penelope did her part to build the bookcase. (Ignore the rats nest of wires behind her, please!)  Please note her new leopard print pajamas.  Adorable!


I also found some gorgeous fabric for our living room.  I realized that we need bigger, lighter colored scatter cushions on the couch, and have been on the lookout for something.  This weekend, I found the perfect print at Jo-Anns.  I think I want to do the back in a contrasting fabric and color, but I haven’t decided what yet ….


Oh and Penelope got some more new sweaters, since she looks ridiculous in her extra small ones now that we got her some properly fitting ones.  Guess she grew more than we thought!  Here she is showing of her pink plaid one.


Hopefully I’ll be able to share the pretty and organized coat closet before the end of the week.  The pillows may take a little longer …

What did you do this weekend?

Organize On! My Shoe Closet meets Chalkboard Labels

Update: Welcome Pinterest people! This post seems to be the most popular of my posts on Pinterest. I hope you find some organization inspiration here.  Feel free to look around the rest of the blog too & leave a comment if you like what you see!

Shoe Closet OrganizationAnd today we get to the real reason I ordered the chalk board paper and chalk pen which I told you about yesterday! Here’s the before of my shoe (and coat) closet.  Well it’s not the true before – at first the shoes were just piled in there (as we recycled all of the paper shoe boxes before our move).  But I wasn’t about to take a picture of that mess!

It took no time at all.  I used the grid on the back and cut out 4×6 rectangles.  I carefully stuck them down – making sure to smooth out any bubbles.  Then I printed a description of the shoes on the label (being careful not to smudge it) and called it a day!  Here’s the after.

I think it looks pretty good!  Are the labels perfectly straight?  Heck no.  Is the printing perfect?  Of course not. Does it still look pretty darn good?  Sure does!

2nd Update:  I’ve since worked on getting matching hangers for the coats that also live in this closet.  My coats are (almost) all on dark brown wooden hangers & Andy’s coats are all on light brown wooden hangers.  It looks soo much nicer when hangers match don’t you think?

Shoe Closet Organization Hangers

3rd update: I still love my shoe closet almost 7 months later & I will definitely do this in our next house if I have to space. I have found that the chalk pen doesn’t erase well, but since I bought a big roll of chalkboard contact paper, it’s easy enough to just replace the label with a new one. I’ve also started to use these shoe boxes in other spots in our home – like in the bathroom & the linen closet!  Do you have any organization projects that still work for you 7 months down the line?

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