7 Pantry Organization Products
By Jennifer Shapira
“I always recommend using tiered shelf organizers,” says the Container Store’s Kim Hitchcock. The expandable plastic shelf “provides visibility and accessibility,” allowing you to group your stash of soup cans or baking products at different heights.
$9.99 and $14.99; containerstore.com
2. OXO 16-inch Lazy Susan
Organizer Alejandra Costello uses several of these in her pantry for easy access to frequently used items. Other turntables are inferior because they don’t rotate very well, “This (one) spins the best!”
3. Pull-out Lid Organizer
Genius for those of us who rattle around looking for a lid for every pot, this slim, pull-out addition to any cabinet organizes the tops all in one place.
4. Oxo 10 Piece POP Container Set
The 10-piece set is a pricey investment, but organizers swear by them. Not only are they transparent and rectangle, Costello says, they are easy to clean and the top “clicks” into place so you know it’s shut.
5. Brother P-Touch PT-D200 Labelmaker
The Brother series is a favorite among personal organizers (Cawley has a spare one in her car at all times) and allows you to punch out directives on what goes where. There are numerous font choices, and replacement tapes are available in two widths and come in a rainbow of colors.
$39.99; costco.com or at Walmart, Staples, Office Depot, Amazon; price may vary
6. Martha Stewart Home Office Kitchen Labels
If you’re interested in giving your pantry some personal flair, consider sticking your stock with Martha Stewart’s simplified DIY labels, a favorite of Costello’s. Available in dry-erase or chalk, these labels stick to most household storage vessels and you can erase and rewrite as needed.
$5.99; staples.com or at Michaels and stationery stores
7. Beverage can dispenser
Vertical stacking of cans takes up less room, and makes grabbing easier.
Decluttering has never been so easy.
By Jennifer Shapira
1. Entertaining hide away
We all have the pieces of tableware that we buy thinking we will use it everyday, but only seems to come out of the cabinet when guests arrive. Best, and safest, place for these pieces are wrapped and stacked away in the out-of-reach cabinet spaces—not too far when entertaining, but, also, not taking up arms-reach cabinet shelves.
2. Style it, don’t sterilize it
When trying to declutter sometimes people go overboard, not having anything displayed and out in the open. So, don’t forget to incorporate areas of interest, making people forget they are in a kitchen. Use awkward reaching areas of the kitchen to display some treasured pieces. This will pull in the whole room, having the eye focus on the decor instead of appliances.
3. Out of sight, out of mind
Only display everyday spatulas and cooking utensils on countertops—only four are really needed. You can make them a piece of decor buy choosing ones in bright, vibrant colors. Less used utensils should be stored, neatly, in a nearby drawer.
4. Cookbook mania
Chefs in the kitchen tend to come with a multitude of cookbooks, but how often are all the recipes actually used? Keeping go-to recipes at a close reach is needed, but you don’t need all those cookbooks in the kitchen. Photo copy your favorite recipes and store them in a stylish binder, in plastic sleeves, that you keep in the kitchen. If you still don’t want to get rid of your cookbooks, shelve them on a bookshelf somewhere else in the house.
5. Match it up
Mismatched plates make for visual chaos, especially if you have open shelving or glass cabinet doors. Keeping plates, cups and bowls in the same style and color tone bring a calming, orderly effect, both on the table and in the cabinet.
6. Seasonal swap out
No one is expecting you to get rid of your crockpot, but it doesn’t need to be handy in Northern Virginia’s sweltering summers. When it comes time to change up your seasonal or holiday decor, take the time to swap out your seasonal appliances as well. Store the bulkier items in the attic or other storage areas in the house. Or, if you still want them nearby, tuck them in the island counter cabinets.
A Pantry with Personality
The personalization of a home pantry has become much chic-er and a lot more interesting in recent years.
With so many DIY websites, blogs and TV shows, and the advent of the extremely popular online pinboard Pinterest, area experts say that the information sharing of creativity is flourishing.
Such forums exist to offer suggestions and inspirations to those who are looking to put a bit more oomph in their daily lives.
The pantry is often such a small space; it’s quick and affordable to give it a makeover. Think Mason jars with vintage-looking chalkboard labels or containers identified in a perfect font.
“There’s lots you can do to bling out your pantry,” says Janet Schiesl, Centreville-based professional organizer and D.C. Metro Chapter president of National Association of Professional Organizers (NAPO).
“Mine is tiny,” Schiesl says. “There’s so much more you can do if you have a larger [pantry]. It’s a doable project and I did it for almost no money.”
Schiesl chose a sunny gold paint color to serve as her backdrop and finished the white mesh shelves with a pretty, corresponding ribbon threaded throughout.
Now, with two grown sons and less of a fear of broken glass, she replaced her go-to plastic containers and scored Salvation Army clear glass jars to store her dry goods.
Just recently, one of her son’s oldest friends stunned her with praise for her project; he slapped a Post-it note inside complimenting her handiwork that read: “Mrs. Schiesl—This looks so nice!”
All those years of boys raiding the pantry for afterschool snacks?
Photos and copy courtesy of Decor8
If you are looking for an easy and budget-friendly way to redecorate for spring this DIY should do the trick. Design diva and best-selling author, Holly Becker shows you how to add some much needed floral flair to any room.
Supplies Needed: Origami paper, metal tacks, nail polish
Tools Needed: Scissors, cardboard petal templates (various sizes)
Step 1: Grab some metal tacks and paint the tops with 2-3 coats of your favorite nail polish color – let dry – I left mine out overnight.
Step 2: Fold origami paper (or paper that is perfectly square) in half, then half again so you have a small square. Cut into the square to create your flower using scissors. Petals do not need to be perfect, have fun and experiment. You can also free hand flowers if you like or you can cut out some cardboard templates in various sizes, trace around them and cut out your flowers. This works if you want to create larger blooms as well.
Step 3: Cut into the paper to create different sizes of petals and mix different papers and patterns, too. I use 4-5 layers to create my flowers. You can even mix up texture – try incorporating newspaper (I love the look of Japanese and Chinese newspapers), crepe paper and tissue paper for some layers along with paper.
Step 4: Stack your petals to see how they look and rearrange or cut new ones as needed.
Step 5: Grab your thumb tack and stick it through the center! Now you can tack anywhere you’d like! You can also glue the petals in the center as you layer them and top it with a button or a circle you’ve cut using paper and add them to gifts, lamp shades or where you think you could add a little flower power in your home!
Don’t hesitate to get creative, and eco-friendly, by using old magazines and comic strips from newspapers. This is a simple spring upgrade for any home! You can find other great DIYs on Holly’s website Décor8.
Posted by Octavia Silva / Tuesday, March 12th, 2013
If you’re looking to avoid the insane bar crowds on St. Patty’s Day, perhaps you should consider staying in and co-throwing a St. Patrick’s Day party. It’ll be a cheaper and more convenient way to indulge in this jolly Irish holiday! I spoke with Molly Bowers, a friend who throws a St. Patty’s Day celebration every year – and this year will be no exception. Here’s a list of her St. Patrick’s Day party must-haves:
Posted by Angela Bobo / Thursday, March 7th, 2013
Cheralee Lyle is the South African-bred photographer and stylish mastermind behind the buzz-worthy blog Miss Lyle Style. Currently residing in the nation’s capital, her blog features daily outfit inspirations, product reviews, trend spotlights, amazing DIYs, and fashion styling and photography projects. Having been featured in Marie Claire magazine and Refinery29, many have taken notice of Lyle’s “uptown-meets-downtown” appeal. The fearlessly fashionable blogger took time to share with our readers her favorite trends from New York Fashion Week, her DIY inspiration, and why she thinks D.C.-area fashion can’t be boxed in.
Posted by Tim Regan / Friday, March 1st, 2013
Happy Sequester Day, everyone! We’re all doomed. To fend off the coming economic hardships in NoVA, here are some ways you can enact an emergency sequester on your household budget:
1. Make your own coffee
Here’s a tip that might save your life when you’re deciding between an overpriced cuppa and your family’s weekly loaf of bread. It’s no secret that the Starbucks and the Caribous and the Dunkin Donuts (if you’re that uncivilized) of the world mark their coffee up significantly, so why do we bother? Want coffee that tastes as good or better? Buy a french press ($10+). Buy a coffee grinder ($25+). Buy whole bean coffee in bulk ($8+ per pound). Do all that, and you’ll save yourself at least a zillion billion bucks (estimated) over the course of a year.
2. Make your own laundry detergent
Despite what that lying Snuggle bear says, laundry detergents and fabric softeners are fairly easy to make at home. Seriously, Google “DIY fabric softener” and “DIY laundry detergent” and you’ll find hundreds upon hundreds of step-by-step instructions. And guess what? They all use basic household ingredients.
Read the rest of this entry »
Read the rest of this entry »
Posted by Zachary Westlake / Friday, February 22nd, 2013
Get your fish finders ready! A California winery is submerging four cases of 2009 Cabernet Sauvignon to test how the ocean affects aging. The wine is locked in metal cages so make sure you have some bolt cutters. [Drink Business]
Warning: terrible pun ahead. I knew there was something fishy going on. [NPR]
A dream come true: 25 ways to eat bacon, and seem sophisticated while doing it. [NYT]
Q: What should you mix your DIY Red Bull with? A: booze. [Buzzfeed]
Plush Gelato closed in Vienna. [Patch]
The reason you can’t stop eating those Fritos. [Esquire]
The face of Oreo cookie addicts in America. [HuffPo]
Posted by Ryan Cornell / Tuesday, February 5th, 2013
Gone are the days when you could get away with just filling out the “To:___ From:___” part of a Valentine’s Day card and dropping it in a paper bag. It’s the thought that counts, and like Christmas cards, the thought counts much more if it’s expressed with your own handiwork. So pull out the gluestick, scissors and construction paper; we’ve come up with some ideas for a do-it-yourself take on the holiday.
Posted by Angela Bobo / Tuesday, December 4th, 2012
Doesn’t dear old Santa have it nice — you know, with everyone sending him a list of exactly what they want most? If only everyone were so forthcoming with their wishes when it comes to sharing them with friends and family. Still, there is no reason to feel forlorn! We’ve surveyed area retailers and explored store after store all over the Internet to bring you gift ideas for everyone on your list that are practically a sure bet!
Presenting Saint Nick’s Sweet 16!
Day Two: Something Crafty
Envelop Template Kit
This gift is perfect for the thoughtful friend who still believes in the magic of a handwritten note, or the perpetual hostess looking to add a personal touch to her constant invitations. Head over to the Paper Source (Mosaic District, Alexandria, Reston) to pick up this cute find.
Photo Props Kit
Another cool craft found at the Paper Source is this photo props kit. This kit is great for teens or the friend who you can always have fun with. Pick up the props and pose your way to a ton of new memories!
This season is all about parties, so why not host your very own crafting party? The Paper Source offers a variety of private DIY parties including book arts, card making, favors for all occasions, and stamping 2.0. Check out the website here for more details.
DIY Picture Frames
What better way to frame those photos than with these unique DIY frames? This kit would also make a fun family project for those with younger children. The best part is that it is made from 100% recycled and earth friendly materials.
Customized Beer Glasses
Help your guy stand out on football game nights with these customized beer glasses. You can personalize them in any way you want and they conveniently come in a set of four. It’s time to ditch the can and go with something more fun!
Stay tuned for tomorrow’s next installment of Saint Nick’s Sweet 16: Something Sentimental!
Happy shopping! And Happy Holidays!
Photos and Copy Courtesy of A Beautiful Mess.
- 1 2x3x96″ stud
- 14′ of electrical cord (just like you see on a lamp cord). You’ll have to ask an employee at a hardware store to cut it for you.
- 4 3″ screws
- 2 shades of paint
- 2 pieces of galvanized plumber’s tape, with 2-3 holes in each
Step 1. Measure and cut your stud into two 16″ long pieces, and two 29″ pieces. The width of your magazine rack is going to be 16″, but you can adjust the height however you like – it doesn’t have to be 29″! After you cut, line them up to make sure they are even. (*Note – to those of you that don’t have a saw, did you know that if you go to Lowes or Home Depot to purchase your supplies, you can have them cut your stud for you there for a few extra cents? Just give them your measurements.)
Step 2. Taking your four pieces, arrange them on the ground. Begin pre-drilling and then screwing in each side.
Once all the sides are screwed together, we need to mark where our holes are going to be. Decide which end is going to be the top of your magazine rack, and start from there. For this tutorial, we’re going to have 8 rungs on our magazine rack.
Step 3. For both the top and the bottom, measure where the middle is on your stud.
Step 4. Using a ruler, draw a line down the middle connecting your two marks, so that your holes will be centered.
Step 5. For the first rung, mark 4 inches down from the top of your rack, and then mark every two inches until you have 8 marks. Repeat your measurements exactly on the other side.
Step 6. Drill a hole each place where you’ve marked. After you’re done, sand down your holes and sweep the sawdust away.
Step 7. Lay your magazine rack down onto some old cardboard or newspaper. Time to paint! We decided to go with two different summery shades. I love that you can get small portions of paint now.
Paint your inside one color, and then your outside your other color! Afterwards, while the paint is still wet, use a toothpick to make sure your drilled holes are clear of paint on both the inside and the outside. Let it dry overnight!
Now, the fun part! Take your electrical cord and pull it in half down the middle. You’re only going to use half of your cording, so save the other half for later in case you make another one!
Affix one end of your cord to the top outside of your rack using screws and something to hold it down. (We used pieces of galvanized plumber’s tape, or you can knot the end for a different look.) begin threading your cord through the holes. (If the metal piece bugs you, you can paint over it.)
As you’re threading, pull it as tight as you can! Make sure it doesn’t sag or dip anywhere. After you’re done threading, double check to make sure that each rung is as tight as it can possibly be. Affix the last end to your rack just like you did the first end, and chop off the remaining part of your cord.
*A note on our electrical cord choice – you can try to use something different if you would rather, but we experimented with twine and with metal wire cording. Metal wire cording was really difficult to work with as you thread it through the holes – it unravels, bends, and shows kinks easily. Twine tends to stretch and would give you saggy magazine rungs. If a magazine rack is something you hope to have last you for awhile, the electrical cord is durable and easy to work with.
There you have it! It’s ready to hang magazines on! You can make several in different sizes, as long as the width is the same, and you allow an extra 20″ of cord for each additional rung.
Photos and copy orginally posted by A Beautiful Mess.