Thursday, July 21, 2011


I don't think anyone will be able to claim they had an original idea ever again.  The internet contains so much inspiration and information that no project I see on any blog recently seems one-of-a-kind.  Does that mean that, much like the movie industry has produced every possible plot and is now remaking surefire box office hits just to make easy money (please refer to the upcoming remake of 2002's Spiderman), the world has reached its DIY threshold and all bloggers are just recycling other bloggers' unoriginal ideas?

I realize no one is reinventing the wheel by gluing ribbon to an embroidery hoop to make a fun chandy, but they all act like "Hey look at me, I thought about gluing ribbon to a hoop first and look how cute it is!"  Cite sources, people!

Which brings me to a recent project I made.  :)  I will in no way take credit for it.  I got it from the internet.  Though the internet didn't teach me that a hanging shoe organizer can be used for things besides shoes - my brain did.  What the internet did was show me how to think out of the box, look around my house, and decide what I'd use it to organize.

Here are some ideas:

  • Is your paper punch collection taking over your craft room?  Do you not have a craft room and need a clever way to hide your crafting supplies in plain sight?  Here's your solution:

Uploaded by "950Nancy" to

  • No closet in your bathroom?  Slap one of these puppies on the back of the door and you instantly have 16-20 pockets to fill with soap, lotion, shampoo, medicine, and other sundries:
  • Do you have a pre-teen with too many accessories and not enough drawers?  Use it to store headbands, lip gloss, ribbons, bracelets, etc:

  • Bonnie uses hers to organize gloves, scarves, games, and other things in her foyer closet - I tried this one time with a jewelry organizer and the pockets were too small, so I used a rod-hanging shoe organizer instead:

The last idea I'll share is from that little shit of a TV show, Extreme Couponing, where one of the shoppers featured uses it to store spice packets and other small pantry items, similar to this:

Great ideas - especially for people who live in small spaces and need to maximize every inch of real estate they have!

The last one I'm sharing is from My Sweet Savannah, though she posted someone else's pic without a photo credit.  That bugs me to no end!  This shoe organizer is being used as an advent calendar - how cute!  Instead of crappy candy, you could use this version to store larger ornaments or small gifts leading up Santa's visit?  This might help explain the different between mom and dad gifts from Santa gifts?  Maybe?

I decided to use mine to organize the menagerie of cords cluttering up our office.  We had a pile in a drawer, some organized in CD boxes, others in camera bags, some in the living room even though we don't use them every get the idea.  We had a semi-OK organization system a while ago, but it has progressively gotten out of control.  This system will work much better - all the cords are in one place, labeled so anyone (read:  Dave) can put the cord back where he found it (is that wishful thinking?).

I picked up a 16-pocket shoe organizer at Target for $7.99.  I didn't want a clear one because all the mess wouldn't really be hidden, plus those are more expensive.  Why pay twice as much for 4 more pockets?  No thanks.

Dave helped me put the cords in categories.  I could handle headphones and coax, but I don't know the different between a USB to 6-pin vs. firewire, so his boy-nerd-ness came in handy :)  Oh, and I know you're dying to know our categories - I can hear your thoughts - so here they are:

  • classic (read:  old) iPods
  • classic iPod chargers
  • iPod video
  • headphones/iPod remotes
  • audio
  • video
  • firewire
  • coax
  • USB standard
  • USB special
  • old cell phones
  • HP laptop charger
  • car power adaptor
  • ethernet - I tried to get rid of this because it's so 1998 but Dave convinced me that it might come in handy if the wireless network stops working and I need to hard wire my laptop to the modem.  Will I ever be that desperate for the internet?  Yeah, probably.

Once we decided our categories I got to work with my Dymo, printing labels for each pocket. Only when I stuck them on, I decided it was tres fugly.  See how the edges are curling up?

Do not like.  So I went to the internet to get different label ideas.

I love iHeartOrganizing!  Her blog is so cute and she thinks of the most creative ways to store things. She recently featured a closet re-do submitted by A Thoughtful Place, who had a fabulous labeling idea.  So I stole it.  Shamelessly.  But I cited my source, see?  :)

I like this method because it's not permanent - if she ever feels like the tape measures need to go somewhere else, she can just un-clothespin that label and put a new one in its place for gloves, or sunscreen, or whatever.  I didn't want to go out a buy clothespins, though, so I used some white paper clips we had in the office.  After using some paper scraps (from my anniversary book project earlier in the day) to make white circles and beige squares, I was ready to assemble my labels!

...and here they are in their places:

I added blank labels to the 2 empty pockets and used one to store some extra labels for re-organization as our cord needs evolve :)

The best part?  When I open the door, allllll the cords are hidden!

The second best part?  The top of the filing cabinet is clear!


  1. i love your idea. i am thinking of doing something similar with our (daniel's) ridiculous box o' wires. yes. i call it the box o' wires. why do we need soooo many wires???? i really like your labels!!

    btw, the pantry photo looks like your pantry sort of. :)

  2. I found that ribbon chandy post about as interesting as the time they bought two new throw pillows from Target. Yawn. You know what bothered me the most, though? She didn't even iron the ribbons and they were all wrinkled and creased. Made it look so tacky.

    I need to get a list of the design blogs you read so I make sure I'm not missing anything. :) Though My Sweet Savannah really needs to work on her grammar.

  3. Looks great! I love your little handmade labels. :)