{organizing with style} Days of the Week Clothing Organization, Free Printable, and More Stylish Organizing with IKEA

Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Over the weekend, I had the privilege of presenting a "how to" seminar at IKEA Centennial where I shared lots of stylish organizing ideas during their big IKEA FAMILY event. And today, all of the ideas from Saturday's seminar are right here on the blog, including the new days of the week clothing organization system I created to make mornings with a preschooler run more smoothly.

Stylish and creative organizing with IKEA

I was provided product and/or compensation in exchange for portions of this content, but as always, all opinions are my own! Click here for my full disclosure statement.

I have just a couple of go to stores when it comes to starting any new organizing project, and IKEA is right there at the top of that list! I love organizing with IKEA products because they are not only affordable, but also so versatile! 


During my IKEA Centennial presentation on Saturday, I focused on thee specific areas of the home that pose challenges for each one of us - the kitchen, the bathroom, and the bedroom closet! I emphasized on of my favorite organizing tips - using your vertical wall space for storage when you are short on square footage, and, as an example, I gave tips for creating a functional play space for kids, even when you don't have room for a dedicated playroom. 

Each of these organizing solutions were originally prompted by challenges we've faced in our home as a result of life with kids, but I assure you that these ideas are not just for the kids!

IN THE CLOSET:
Making Mornings Run More Smoothly

When Beckett {who is now three and a half} started to have opinions about what he wants to wear, our morning routine suddenly became more complicated, and much more time consuming! I love that he has opinions, and I want to allow him to make some of his own decisions, but I don't love the melt downs that sometimes occur when he changes his mind for the third time and I tell him that we just don't have time to change again!

I mean, I get it, I have a hard enough time deciding what I want to wear in the mornings - standing in my closet staring at my clothes and feeling the desire to throw a temper tantrum when nothing fits quite right. So it's not that I don't empathize with how hard it can be to choose just the right outfit for preschool, but nonetheless, we needed to find a way to make mornings run more smoothly. 

His closet doesn't exactly qualify as a walk-in, but there is a little more than a foot of depth in front of his hanging clothes. This left a space in the front corner of his closet that I knew we could put to good use.

Unused corner of a closet can be functional

I wanted to add some narrow shelves in this space - but I didn't want to block access to the clothes on the far left of each clothing rod. The Lack wall shelf unit from IKEA was the perfect solution, because the shelves are open on the sides!


After assembling the LACK, I placed it in the corner of Beckett's closet, and then proceeded to create some stickers to label each shelf Monday through Friday. I added cute patterns to the letters to fit the menswear theme of Beckett's bedroom. 

Days of the Week Labels for Closet Organization

I printed the letters on to sticker paper and cut the letters out a pair of fine point scissors. I use sticker paper for many projects, so I buy it in large packages from Amazon, but you can buy a small, inexpensive package at any office supply store.

Days of the Week Labels for Closet Organization

Once the letters were cut out, I peeled the backing off and stuck one letter above each shelf of the LACK {except for the very bottom shelf}.

peeling backing from sticker paper

As you can see in the photos below, because the shelves of the LACK float off of the back panel, this leaves the sides open, making it easy to still see and reach the clothes all the way along each clothing rod. The LACK adds a lot of storage to a previously unused corner of the closet, without making it feel over crowded.

Days of the Week Closet Organizer

Days of the Week Closet Organizer

With the top five shelves of the LACK labeled, I was ready get Beckett involved in the process. I showed him his new shelf and we talked about picking his clothes for school. We looked at the weather forecast on my phone and talked about the appropriate type of clothes to wear for the weather, and then I let him pick what he wanted to wear for each weekday.

As he picked his clothes, we placed them on the shelves, together with socks and underwear. We talked about the fact that once he picks his clothes and they go on the shelves, he can't change his mind.

Days of the Week Closet Organizer

He's a kid he does well with routine, and likes to follow the rules, so I think this system will make our mornings run much more smoothly!

Days of the Week Closet Organizer


This system is also going to help me stay on top of things. For example, each Wednesday is water day at Beckett's preschool, and he is supposed to arrive wearing his swimming suit and water shoes. By setting out the swim clothes in advance, I don't have to worry about losing track of my days and forgetting the appropriate Wednesday attire!

Days of the Week Closet Organizer

After using the top five shelves of the LACK for organizing Beckett's clothes for each day of the week, I added a basket to the bottom shelf and filled it with Beckett's shoes.

Days of the Week Closet Organizer

As Beckett's shoes get bigger, this basket likely won't hold them all, but for the time being it's the perfect solution to keep his little shoes from getting lost in the back corners of the closet. Now Beckett can find his own shoes, making it easier for him to get himself dressed in the mornings and to put things away at the end of the day.

Organize little shoes in a basket

I'm so happy with how this project turned out! The LACK shelf is just the right size to allow us to add this days of the week organizational system to the front corner of Beckett's closet without hindering the hanging space!

Days of the Week Closet Organization

And I just love finding ways to take advantage of every inch of real estate in a closet! Here's the before and after...


Days of the week closet organization

Want to create a days of the week organizer in your kid's closet? Download a printable version of the MTWThF stickers in either of the color options below. Just click on either set of letters to be directed to the download now!



Of course, adding a Lack wall shelf unit isn't just a good idea for a kid's closet. This same shelf would work just as well in any closet in your home. Whether you want to pick out your own clothes for the week, or just need a little more storage, this is the perfect shelf to tuck into the corner. It could hold seasonal items, like sweaters in the winter and shorts and capris in the summer, it would be perfect for folded jeans and t-shirts, and it would even make a great shoe shelf!

IN THE KITCHEN:
Creating More Storage Space

No matter who you are or where you live, my guess is that you would agree with the statement that you can never have enough storage in the kitchen! Even before we had kids, I felt like we were very tight on kitchen storage space, and then, after our boys came along, our kitchen suddenly became overwhelmed with all sorts of items that had never been there before - from bottles and sippy cups, to baby food and bibs. For a while, these items just piled up on our kitchen counters until I couldn't take it anymore. 

I had to find a way to create room for these items behind closed doors - but where? I started by identifying one particular space that really wasn't functioning well for us - the spice cabinet. Despite taking up one long shelf {prime kitchen real estate} our spices weren't well organized and were more likely than not to fall on my head when I reached for something in the back!

Spice Cabinet Before

I have learned that in organizing your home, you must make the most of every available space. This includes finding ways to utilize spaces that often go overlooked, like the walls and the back of doors. So this was the approach I took in our kitchen... I began taking a closer look around to identify unused spaces and find ways to make them work effectively for storage.

The first space I identified was the empty, narrow wall in our reach-in pantry. 

Empty wall of reach in pantry

Our pantry is well organized, but I had previously assumed this space was too narrow to be of much use. After measuring it, however, I discovered that it was exactly the right width for IKEA Bekvam Spice Racks! I purchased 7 of them to take full advantage of the height of the pantry

The Bekvam spice racks are made from a solid, light colored wood, but I decided I wanted to dress mine up a bit {I always like to make my organizing pretty because it motivates me to keep it organized}. I grabbed some left over latex paint from the basement, and painted each of my seven spice racks a different shades of blue and teal.

Painting IKEA Spice Racks

Once they were painted, we installed them on the pantry wall, being strategic about their placement to ensure that we could still easily access everything on the pantry shelves. Then we filled the spice racks up. I quickly determined that I could fit many more spices into the racks by transferring the spices from their original containers to matching spice jars. {Click to read all about our spice organization.}


In the end, I was able to fit all of my spices and all of my bottles of oil and vinegar on this narrow pantry wall! Here's a quick before and after...

Pantry wall before and after spices

Now that these spice racks are there, it’s amazing to think that wall of the pantry was previously just wasted space. Not only are our spices now much more organized and easier to find and access, we also freed up an entire long shelf in our kitchen cabinets!

So, what did I do with the newly found space? I filled the shelf with baskets that hold water bottles, sippy cups, and the containers that we use for packing school lunches. Our boys are now old enough that we don’t have any more bottles in the house, but when we did, we also kept a basket of bottles on this shelf. {Click here for tips on baby bottle organization and sippy cup organization.}


All of these items that used to clutter up our kitchen counters now have a home behind a closed door!

For years, the cabinet under our kitchen sink used to be a black hole! It was one of those scary situations where when you opened the doors, you never knew what was going to fall out.

Under the kitchen sink before

After our boys came along, this problem only got worse. We were making more frequent trips to the grocery store for diapers and baby food, and we wound up with more plastic bags than we knew what to do with {I'm working on being better about remembering to take my reusable shopping bags}. Additionally, we began creating kitchen laundry at an alarming rate - between dish towels, dish rags, and bibs! With our laundry room being on a different floor, I needed a place to corral the kitchen laundry until I was ready to take it upstairs to wash it.

I finally took control of the space and found a way to organize it once and for all...

Under Kitchen sink organization

I won't go into all of the organized details in this post {although you kind find them, together with my 11 tips for organizing under the kitchen sink in the full under sink post}, but I do want to point out one of my favorite aspects of this organized space...

Even when organizing inside of a cabinet, it’s important to think about ways to every available space – including the backs of doors and the “walls.” Under our kitchen sink, there are a number of pipes and valves that take up the floor space in the back left corner. But, just because I couldn’t sit anything on the bottom of the cabinet, I didn’t want this entire corner to go unused.

My solution was to hang two IKEA Veriera Trash Baskets from small hooks on the walls of the cabinet, just above these pipes and valves.

Bag and Kitchen Laundry Baskets

I use one of the baskets to contain all of the plastic grocery bags that used to spill out every time I opened the cabinet door. Now I can just reach in and grab a bag when I need one, and I can lift out the entire basket when I want to take the extra bags to be recycled. I use the other basket for kitchen laundry. When the laundry basket is full, I can just lift off the hooks and carry up to the washing machine.

Ikea baskets used for under sink storage


IN THE BATHROOM: 
Stylish Organization for Kids & Adults Alike

The bathroom near our kids room has only a shower, so we end up bathing the kids in the bathroom attached to our guest room. The guest bathroom has a decent amount of cabinet space, but I quickly discovered that this wasn’t ideal storage for all of our boys bathtub toys. Since I couldn’t put the tub toys away in the cabinet while they were still dripping wet, I used to pile all of the toys up in the corners of the tub to wait for them to dry.

Then by the time they finally did dry, it was basically bath time again, so I never bothered putting the toys away – but I hated the way it looked, and the piles were always falling into the tub and on to the floor.

Bath tub toys before organization

I knew I needed to come up with a better tub toy storage solution, but I still wanted the bathroom to feel like a grown up space when we have guest in town.

One day while shopping at IKEA Centennial, I noticed the Grundtal Rail System, and realized that might be just the answer! We installed a Grundtal rail on the bathroom wall above the tub, and hung Rationell Recycling Bins {also from IKEA} from the rail to hold all of the tub toys. The bins are a perfect size for holding tub toys, as well as other items like baby shampoo and wash clothes.

stylish bathtub toy organization

In order to be able to put the tub toys away while they were still wet, we needed the water to be able to drain out of the bins. We used our drill to drill small holes in a grid pattern on the bottom of each bin {read the full tutorial here}. 

Holes in bins for bathtub toy storage

I added some cute labels to the front of the bins, and filled them up with the tub toys – I love the way it looks! It’s very effective storage, but it still looks nice.

Stylish bathtub toy storage

When we have guests visiting, we don’t want them to feel like they are using the kids’ bathroom. With the Grundtal Rail, the solution is easy enough! We are able to simply lift the bins of toys off of the rail and put them away in the bathroom cabinet, replacing them with guest bath essentials like a towel, soap and body wash, and a magazine for an added touch of luxury.

An Ikea rail makes for luxurious and stylish bathtub storage

You can read all the details of this bathroom storage solution {including a few helpful hints} in the full post here.

WHEN SQUARE FOOTAGE IS SHORT:
Turn Any Small Nook Into a Play Space for the Kids

If you have kids, then I bet you’ve noticed the same thing I have – they always love to seek out small little nooks and crannies! This is good news for all of us, because it means that even if you are short on square footage for a dedicated play room, the kids will be just as happy with a small little corner of their own... but you'll have to get a little creative to make the space functional!

My boys love playing underneath tables and in my closet. At our house, the kids have a play space at one end of our basement family room, but we don’t have a dedicated playroom. I wanted the boys to feel like they had a space all their own, however, so I decided to turn the underutilized storage space under our basement stairs into their own private hideaway! We were storing a few items in this space, but we weren’t making good use of it, so we donated many of the items and relocated the remaining items to the garage.

Under stair playroom before

Of course, not everyone has an under stair closet, but I bet if you look around your house you’ll discover some small space that’s not being used to its fullest potential – it could be a closet or any small space. Even a little space behind the couch can become a great little reading nook or art corner for the kids.

Kids love playing in these small spaces, but the space under our stairs wasn’t well suited to serve as both toy storage and play space. It's just too small, and the ceiling too steeply sloped, to be able to put any shelves or storage on the floor. Instead, we decided to leave the floor space open for the kids to play and read, and instead use the vertical space to create storage for small toys, instruments, and books.

Let me show you what the space ended up looking like, and then I’ll walk you through some of the fun IKEA storage solutions we used!

Rock & roll under stair plaryroom

We decided on a music theme for the under stair playroom, so we covered the ceiling in records. And we added two Vantad LED lighted rugs on the floor to give the boys a stage to perform on. We covered one wall in sheet metal and created a really cool magnetic ping pong wall coaster for the boys {which you can’t see in this photo, but you'll find lots of photos and details in the full Under Stair Playroom post!}

Then on the other wall, we used frames from the IKEA Ribba collection to frame a couple of music posters and to create some fun places for our boys to display their own art work.

Under stair playroom gallery wall

We used the lower space on the wall to add some storage that is easily within the boys reach by installing four IKEA Bygel rails and from which we hung black Bygel baskets to hold all of our boys small instruments and noise makers.

Storage on wall of under stair playroom

Another Bygel rail and more Bygel baskets hang in the very back of the space hold letter and number magnets that the boys like to play with on the sheet metal wall. 

Ikea rail on wall of play room

Our boys both love to read, so we also needed book storage as well. I installed two IKEA Spontan Magazine Racks on the wall near the back corner of the under stair space, which are perfect for holding some of our boys favorite books. 

Magazine racks as book racks in small playroom

To make a cozy reading space for our boys at the back of the space, we piled up some black and white IKEA pillows. The boys love laying on these pillows to read their books!


I realize that the design we chose for our boys under stair playroom is very specific, and might not be right for every home, but what I want you to take away from this is that you don’t have to have a lot of floor space to create a fun place for your kids to play - you just need to think creatively and take advantage of the vertical space as well! 

These same storage solutions I used in our under stair playroom could be installed in a closet or the corner of your kid’s room to create a special reading area, or even an art spot. For example, the Bygel rails and baskets {which come in lots of other fun colors} would be perfect for organizing crayons, paint brushes, and other art supplies above a small play table.

These ideas are just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to organizing with IKEA products!  

Linked up at Remodelaholic

1 comment :

  1. I absolutely love the mon-fri clothing organization! Great post with lots of great tips. :)

    ReplyDelete

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