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HOME OFFICE REVEAL-2

Another day, another home office. Blame it on 2020 sending everyone packing to work from home. I feel like I’ve organized a million home offices at this point. Butttt…. this one is GOOD. I’m kicking myself because I didn’t get true before pictures… (just picture it for me?). The “before” pictures are after about 10 hours of purging, sorting and prepping for product. It was a huge project. The client said to me she hasn’t used the office space in years as it became a dumping ground for everything that didn’t have a home, but we fixed that. It’s absolutely stunning, functional and I probably shed a tear at the conclusion of this one…

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HOME OFFICE REVEAL

So, here’s the deal. 2020 has been a wild ride and turned our homes into restaurants, playgrounds, schools and offices. And as long as we’re working from home why not have a pretty place to work? I have to say, of all the projects this project is my very very favorite. I try not to play favorites really- but this time- it’s justified. If the millwork, paint and wallpaper weren’t enough- we got to add the prettiest organizing bins to make this space functional and beautiful!

iDesign Linus shallow drawer organizers
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SMALL BATHROOM ORGANIZATION IDEAS

Recently, my husband and I renovated our bathroom. Our home is just shy of 1000 square feet, so as you can imagine most of our rooms are pretty petite. We had always planned to renovate our bathroom when we purchased the home and I was really excited to plan for functionality.

We needed a more functional bathroom, and I had so much fun organizing the space.

After we moved back into the bathroom, I used temporary organizing solutions until I could determine the perfect, customized solution. Here’s the result.

Some of my favorite details are the over-the-toilet cupboard, glass door, vanity, and in-set tile shampoo holder.

THE SHOWER

If you are remodeling, I would highly recommend asking your tile setter to include an in-set shampoo holder. If I could do it again, I would make it much larger. To remedy the size issue, we added in a little holder off to the side for razors and other small tools we keep in the shower. I love our shower head, the removable head makes it so easy to clean the shower.

shower door

shower head

soap holder

razor holder

TIDY TIP:

To keep your shower looking clean and tidy at all times, only keep the necessities out at all times. I don’t shave with shaving cream everyday, when I do I just grab my shaving cream from the nearby cupboard, and then put it back.

WALL CUPBOARD

Utilizing over the toilet space is imperative in small bathrooms. We added this cupboard, and used a basket to contain extra toilet paper, and the side of the vanity houses the toilet paper holder.

Toilet paper basket

Toilet paper holder

Cupboard (similar)

TIDY TIP:

Use a basket to contain extra toilet paper. Utilize the space you have, we used the side of the vanity to mount the toilet paper holder.

Long and Skinny Organizers (3×9)

Round organizers

Three-Section Acrylic organizer

TIDY TIP:

Use a variety of organizers to keep things in place in your cupboards. I label with a dry erase marker that will easily wipe off. I used drawer organizers, toothbrush holders and a makeup holder. None of which I used for its “intended” purpose. Think outside the box- what can you an organizer for- even if it’s not advertised in the way you need it.

VANITY

Unfortunately, it looks like the exact vanity we used is not sold anymore… but here are some tips for selecting a small vanity. First, often when the sink is off-centered it allows for more storage. Look for the maximum number of drawers available.
BEFORE

AFTER

For the under the sink storage, I used clear stackable organizing bins from The Container Store. They have many different sizes and are perfect modular fit for bathroom organization. Measure your space, considering hinges, pipes and height for a perfect fit.

Here’s what I used (follow this link for all of the items, then select individually)

LEFT SIDE: Narrow Long Short Stackable Plastic Storage Bin Clear 4-3/4″ x 17-9/16″ x 5″ h

*MIDDLE BOTTOM: Large Stackable Plastic Storage Bin Clear 5-7/8″ x 10-1/4″ x 6-3/8″ h

*MIDDLE TOP: Medium Stackable Plastic Storage Bin Clear 5-7/8″ x 10-1/4″ x 3-1/4″ h

*I used the shorter bins because of the pipe. Make sure when you’re measuring you make note of how much space your pipes take up.

RIGHT SIDE: Medium Long Short Stackable Plastic Storage Bin Clear 6-1/2″ x 17-9/16″ x 5″ h

I REALLY love these bins for storing makeup because you can adjust the horizontal dividers. The only problem I had was that you couldn’t put in a divider going the other way, so my makeup brushes weren’t standing up. To remedy this, I added in some makeup organizers, also from The Container Store to hold makeup brushes and tools.

Select the Brush Holder when you click on this link.

TIDY TIP:

I am a huge fan of these organizers because they have horizontal dividers that are adjustable and add so much function! Don’t be afraid to add in additional organizers to make it work for you like I did adding in a brush holder to keep all of my makeup brushes in place.

I also used the Clear Stackable Plastic Storage Bins in my hair drawer. I used most of the dividers from the left side to add in extra sections for all of my hair accessories.

These are the size Extra Small: 3-1/2″ x 10-1/4″ x 2-3/16″ h

Well…there you have it. For UNDER $100 in organizing products total, I got this bathroom in working order, and it looks so much better.

XO,

McElle

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How to Seriously Deep Clean your Home in Two Weeks

So, if you’ve been following along on my Instagram you know that quarantine made me crazy enough to paint 800 square feet of our home… considering it’s only 950 total… it was a big project. And it left a lot of dust. I’ve been wanting to do a good spring cleaning but with that project, I knew it would be a waste beforehand. So, here’s my late start to Spring Cleaning 2020! I broke this down for 5 tasks per week. Personally, I like to take a break from all work and chores (if possible) on Saturday and Sunday. So, I break down all of my challenges and organizing/cleaning calendars taking into account a break on these days. But, you could also take multiple days for one task. I realize most homes are much larger than mine, and it may take a few days to clean the baseboards in a 5,600 square foot home.

Anyways… let’s dive in….

BASEBOARDS

I like to clean my baseboards with soap and water. Get a bucket of water and add a little squirt of dish soap. Make sure that you don’t have too much soap so it doesn’t leave a residue. I noticed that behind my furniture the baseboards were extra gross… make sure you check there too!

I also loved this post from Frugally Blonde.

UNDER FURNITURE

Later in the list I mention changing filters… turns out that’s important. As a first time home owner, I honestly have not prioritized changing the filters as often as I should (p.s. if you don’t know either… it’s every three months). I think this explains the obscene amounts of dust in my home… especially under our bed! Gross. I frequently pull my bed out and vacuum using our Dyson V10 which i LOVEEE. It conquers dust like a pro and I could not recommend it more. If you have furniture you haven’t moved and swept/vacuumed recently.. this is a worthy task.

SMALL APPLIANCES

Ok, let’s talk Instant Pot, Rice Cooker, Slow Cooker, Microwave, and Toaster. Some of these I know how to clean well, some I have turned to the experts on.

Instant Pot: I have heard a lot of good tips on cleaning your Instant Pot, but this is my favorite resource from One Good Thing. I do have one good tip of my own though: store the sealing ring in the freezer… I find mine gets so gross and smelly… the cold kills the bacteria and subsequently the smell.

Rice Cooker: I use a similar method to the Instant Pot, but mostly I just try to deep clean and make sure there is no residue on the lid, or rice stuck anywhere… My rice cooker has a non-stick pan and so it is much easier to clean than the Instant Pot. And yes, I do have both… and I use them at the same time a lot. We eat a lot of brown rice…

Slow Cooker: Again, I defer to the experts.

Microwave: I have found the best way to clean my microwave is to place a mug of water and dish soap on the turntable and microwave for 5 minutes. I like to use a mug so it’s easier to grab when you pull it out, it will be hot… Then I pull out the turntable and clean in the sink and wipe down the microwave, the steam and soap make it very easy to clean.

Toaster: Make sure the toaster is unplugged, pull out the crumb catcher, and clean it out, shake the toaster upside down to clean out, and take a q-tip to the top rim to clean. I have a stainless steel toaster, so I like to use a stainless steel cleaner to clean it and it looks like new!

WINDOWS

Hands down the best cleaner is, World’s Best Glass Cleaner- here’s an Amazon link. It smells amazing and works much better than Windex.

TOILET BASE

Every once in a while I just like to check around the base of my toilets. I find they get missed when I do my weekly bathroom clean… Just take some bleach and make sure you get it all cleaned really good…

DISHWASHER

I have found that running a cycle with no dishes and a cup of vinegar in a cup on the top rack works wonders! If yours is stainless steel, I also love the glass cleaner for this too.

LIGHT SWITCHES

If you’ve ever done a DIY paint job, you know alll about pulling off the covers to paint. I realized when I was putting them back on how dirty they were. So, I decided to deep clean the switches with some water on a q-tip and wash the plate covers before putting them back on. It makes a huge difference for something you may not notice every day.

DEEP DUSTING

Let’s talk dusting. I learned from my mom how to dust properly as a child. I never use a spray dusting cleaner… or a traditional duster. It works best, and is safest for your furniture to just use water on a rag! Cleaning the rag out frequently. We often miss things like the top of picture frames, and forget to lift decorative items off tables before cleaning. So try looking for areas you might have previously missed.

BEHIND APPLIANCES

Again, while painting our kitchen I had to pull out our stove and fridge. It was bad… Pull them out, sweep, and mop!

CHANGE FILTERS

Here’s another plug to change your furnace filters. Just order some from Amazon, or pick them up on your next Target run. Your air quality, and furnace will thank you.

Alright… well I think that’ll do it for me. Happy Spring Cleaning!

XOXO, MCELLE

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Mother’s Day Gifts that are Sure to Wow! 2020

If you can believe it, it’s time for Mother’s Day. We only have about a week to get our gifts here in time (and we don’t have the luxury of last minute in-person shopping this year, ugh). I have rounded up by top picks that are sure to wow! Here’s to our Moms!

1- Tea towel from Anthropologie, $15

2- Emile Henry Pie Dish, Williams-Sonoma

3- Madewell Jeans, $62.25

4- Striped Apron, Williams-Sonoma, $19.99

5- Staub White Dish- Williams-Sonoma, $291.96

6- Gift Card from Orderly, (email me at mcelle.zuro@gmail.com for more info)

7- Darling Jars with Wooden Lid, The Container Store, $11.99-15.99

8- Volcano Blue Candle, Anthropologie, $34.00

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How to Organize your Ribbon Collection

Growing up, I was all girl. Purses, bows and ribbons have been a staple since my earliest years. I have always loved ribbon. Equally as exciting as a new gift, for me, is its beautiful wrapping, especially when adorned with a perfect bow. I have saved all of those ribbon pieces over the years, and I have grown my collection of cut ribbon. When they’re not on their spools it can be difficult to organize. For years, I have struggled to find the best solution for me. And, I think I’ve found it…

Let me show you what I’ve done:

OK, First Let’s talk supplies and what I’m working with.

CRAFTING TABLE:

I love this table, it was a gift to me, so I am not sure where it is from, but here is one that is very similar from Amazon. In fact I like it better, because when given the choice, I’d always pick white.

THE BINS:

I got these little white bins from IKEA. For $2.99 a piece, you can’t beat the price, and I’ve found that all of their plastic bins are thick and sturdy. I’ve had no problems with quality, and they fit the little cards I used to store the ribbon well.

FOR THE RIBBONS:

cardstock peices

I purchased these rectangular gift tags from Amazon. You could cut the paper yourself, but I only needed 2 sets, and I figured $14.00 was worth my sanity.

washi tape

I used some that I already had, but this is a good option from Amazon.

sewing pins

Here are some that are similar to the pins I already had.

STEP ONE:

Use your straightener to prepare any ribbons that are wrinkled. I turned mine on to the lowest hear, and it worked well.

STEP TWO:

Secure the ribbon with washi tape

STEP THREE:

wrap, and a quick note here, when I had multiple pieces of the same ribbon I added them to the same roll, but you could add them separately.

STEP FOUR:

Secure with a pin, make sure you angle it enough so it doesn’t poke out the opposite side.

After you have repeated these steps, sort your ribbon by color and stack them in the bins, so that you can see what you have.

I have found that this system is easy to maintain, of course it takes more work than shoving ribbons in a bin, but it is easier to find what you’re looking for and it looks so much nicer.

Let me know in the comments if you tried this and how it worked!

XO,

McElle

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OUR TOP TEN CONTAINER STORE PICKS

We’re on week [who knows at this point?] of quarantine. Which begs the question, what does a professional organizer do when they’re stuck at home? I’ve teamed up with my friend Lexi of Organize with Lexi to provide an answer. We met on Instagram and became fast friends, because, duh, we have the same primary interest.

Anyways Lexi is incredibly talented and so fun to bounce ideas off of.

We decided that we would share our tips together over on our instagram stories. The conclusion is, that when stuck at home, we organize. And Lexi’s main takeaway is that we can share tips allllll day long, but without the right bins and containers, it’s really all for nothing. More on that…

Teaming up for a week filled with fun tips and collaborations with new friends! Yay!

So anyways… we both love the Container Store, and since we established how crucial the right products are, we thought we’d share.

So here goes… our top 10, of all time, Container Store Picks…

  1. Divided Turntable

Lazy Susan’s are a go-to organizing product for any space. One way to use this clear option is in a medicine cabinet! The clear dividers help to separate items such as cold and flu, pain relief, vitamins, and supplements.

2. ProKeeper Baking Set

We love this baking set! It comes with six clear containers to easily store your favorite baking items. This set is perfect for keeping ingredients fresh and accessible, not to mention a stylish addition to your pantry or counter top

3. iDesign Acrylic Bins

These bins essentially turn deep shelves into drawers. Although they can be used in many spaces, deep drawer bins are perfect for deep pantry shelves. Containing and labeling pantry items in these bins ensure nothing gets lost or hidden in the back of the pantry

4. Nordic White Storage Baskets

These baskets are perfect for pantries! When you have ugly packaging to hide these are our go-to! They’re also great for mudrooms and laundry rooms. I highly recommend them when you have something you want to be hidden. The lid is also great because it allows them to be stacked if you have vertical space.

5. The Everything Drawer Dividers

Drawer organizers are so versatile and the best way to keep drawers in check. Kitchens, bathrooms, offices, oh my!

6. 4-Sort Wire Dividers

These dividers are perfect for keeping cutting boards and sheet pans orderly. Also try using them on a counter to store and charge iPads, laptops and phones tangle free.

7. Multipurpose Bins

These truly are the most multi purpose organizer you could own. They are so affordable and versatile. We love using them to organize freezers! The size medium also perfectly fits cans in a pantry, and they are wonderful in office spaces for paper, files and other supplies.

8. White Bins With Handles

These are a favorite of ours. Honestly there isn’t a room where you couldn’t use them. One favorite use is in a pantry to group like things. The white helps hide the packaging and blends into the background making any pantry look fresh and clean!

9. Expand a Shelf Riser

I use these in almost every pantry I work on. They are the BEST for seeing all of your cans, extra sauces and spreads. They’re also great in a cupboard by your stove for organizing spices. Or in a medicine cabinet for keeping medications tidy and accessible.

10. The Home Edit Multipurpose Drawer

These are great for adding drawers into closets for items like sweaters. But, they can also be used in your vanity stacked vertically to create more storage. Or in a toy room for storage for craft supplies or small toys. 

Oh…… and One More Thing….

Learn More on our Instagram Feeds… McElle & Lexi

Thanks for stopping by, happy Shopping!

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PANTRY REVEAL

During this era of staying at home and social distancing we’ve all come to appreciate home. At the heart of the home is the kitchen. It is where a lot of life is lived. As a close second: the pantry. This is definitely true at my parents house, where we all congregate when we come to visit. I had so much fun organizing this space for her!

My Mom is a designer with a general contracting license and she has a really good eye.

When she was designing her home about ten years ago, she had the genius idea to include these incredibly narrow shelves (they’re only about 6″ deep) on one wall of her butler’s pantry. It is a DREAM. Most of the problems I solve when I work in other pantries is shelves that are incredibly deep making it difficult to store things without losing them in the depths of the shelves (literally).

My parents live five minutes away from Carson and me, and we had seen each other so much that we extended them into our “quarantine circle.” And so it was the perfect time for me to help my mom with some finishing touches on her pantry. Wait… let me back up a bit. A few weeks before quarantine she had asked me to help with her house and I had several clients at the time and told her she would probably have to wait at least a month or so until I had time to help her out. As luck would have it she was bumped to the top of the list as quarantine measures were implemented on our city.

I’m sharing some pictures from this fun project. I’ll share where we splurged, and where we saved with links to the bins and labels we used! It was so much fun!!

BEFORE
AFTER

Taking a look at the details….

We used these acrylic bins from Target to help create some division for the supplements and other spices and things throughout the pantry.
We used these bin clips from The Container Store and I just wrote on them. Here’s another option from Target.
These bins are big and great for storing baking items. My mom has a lot of specialty baking products she doesn’t use very often so we opted to store them this way.
She already had these cute jars for her tea collection and I wrote on them with a chalkboard marker that will easily come off with Alcohol or a Clorox wipe.
These bins from Target are a definite focal point. They’re advertised for use in a children’s toy room…. but I think they’re right at home in a pantry!
I’m LOVING these shelf labels from The Container Store. It was the perfect way to label this space! I will say that it is definitely not the cheapest option for labeling…. definitely a splurge at $2.50 a piece. Side note: I told my mom she needs to start buying the same brand of cans from now on… is that too much?!
You can see more of those acrylic bins I talked about from Target. I think they’re great for spice packet organizing. Here’s another favorite option too!
We saved some money on this space by incorporating some Target Y-Weave baskets which are a great budget friendly option for pantry organization.
MY FAVORITE pan organizer. It keep things so neat and tidy and easy to pull out just what you need. I only trust this one from Target, because it is so sturdy! It’s also great for platters
I love this option for labeling. I have seen a lot of people label these bins with bin clips, but they sit on the bin at an angle making it kind of difficult to read.
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Inexpensive Target Y Weave Basket Labels

One of my very favorite storage bins are the Y weave baskets from Target. They are affordable, easy to clean, and durable. I have them throughout my house. But, for years I struggled with how to label them. One option is these bin clips from The Container Store or Target. Both are good options, but I found that The Container Store labels are too big for the basket and slide around, and for both you are paying a couple of dollars per bin for a label. I was looking for a cheaper alternative that was still cute and functional.

I had the idea to use the holes in the bins to secure a paper label. I found that I could attach them with twine, or secure with a brad. Here’s how I did it:

STEP ONE:

Create your own labels, or download the labels I used for free here.

STEP TWO:

Cut out the labels.

STEP THREE

Optional step, laminate the labels, using Scotch Single-Sided Laminating sheets which can be purchased on Amazon.

I just carefully laid the sheet, sticky side up, put on all the labels and then trimmed off the excess laminating paper.

STEP FOUR:

Here’s where the process changes for the two options…

To secure with brads:

Poke a hole on each side of the label with a push pin
Poke the brad through the hole we made with the pin

To secure with twine:

Hole punch in the same spot on both sides
Cut a piece of twine about 7” long and loop through the hole

STEP FIVE:

Secure label with brad to bin

Secure label with twine to bin

AFTER

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HOW TO ORGANIZE YOUR ENTIRE HOME IN 3 WEEKS

In light of the recent outbreak of the Corona Virus throughout the world, many people are staying home for several weeks. During this time of uncertainty and fear I have been looking for ways to keep my anxiety at bay. So, I have turned to what I know: staying physically organized to help keep my mind clear. In times of chaos, it is helpful to stay organized and structured. I wanted to share a little bit of that with all of you through an plan to help keep you busy, and organized during the outbreak. So, if you’re looking for something to keep you and your family busy during the coronavirus outbreak, try this challenge using my FREE download.

For each of the daily tasks I will be sharing a how-to on my Instagram stories (@orderly.organizing). But in general here’s how I would tackle each space:

  1. Take everything out
  2. Sort by like things
  3. Throw away/donate anything that is no longer needed
  4. Remove anything that does not belong
  5. Ensure there are no other belongings throughout your home that really belong in this space. If there are things, make sure to include them in your sort
  6. Add bins for containment and put everything away
  7. Label bins to ensure everyone in your home knows where each item goes when it’s time to clean up!

Share with me how it’s going on my Instagram, and if you’re stuck comment below or send me a message. We’re in this together!