DIY Organizing Tips from ShopSmart Magazine

The days of never-ending cups of eggnog and Hanukkah cards from your cousin Geraldine in Amsterdam are over.  Translation?  The holidays have officially ended, and you’re left with an armful (or two or three) of post-holiday goodies.  Yup, hand knit holiday sweaters from Grandma Rose, souvenirs from your sister who studied abroad in Minsk, and Sephora stuff to last you the next couple of years.  Face it.  It’s time to jump start your spring cleaning, and our friends from ShopSmart magazine have a DIY guide on how to reorganize your closet, pantries, and more. Check out their DIY suggestions below.

Make a less-expensive wall unit!
Modular shelving is great because the cubbies can be tailored to your space and budget.  They can be stacked vertically or horizontally and taken apart to accommodate changing needs.  But store-bought units can cost thousands of dollars.

What you need: We used four each of small, medium, large, and extra-large Pränt boxes from Ikea and attached them with regular binder clips.  We painted the insides of some boxes turquoise, lime, and two shades of yellow.  (Pränt boxes, Ikea, $7 to $13 each; large binder clips, Staples, $3.49 for pack of 12)

Make a coat rack!
Instead of being confined to the length of a store-bought coat rack, you can craft one that fits your wall space perfectly using moulding and hooks from a home center.  Since most moulding comes in a 60- to 96-inch length and a variety of heights and depths, your rack can be far longer and/or deeper to hold more garments – plus collectibles on top.

What you need: We paired a 60-inch piece of dentil-style moulding with a simpler style beneath and nailed them to a wall.  We added eight colorful hooks for fun, but less costly versions work just as well.  (Focal Point Dentil Cross Moulding, $45 each, and simpler moulding $3 per foot,; Trolley Stop Hook in green and blue, $12 each,

Make toiletry shelving!
Even if your bathroom is roomy enough for a sizable piece of furniture, grouping sturdy baskets on the wall can do the job for a lot less.

What you need: We simply nailed a trio of baskets to the wall – using varying sizes and staggering their placement – to keep the look stylish and fun.  They hold matching cups that corral makeup brushes and toiletries, so you can also skip buying an expensive cosmetics organizer.  (Large Square Basket, $13, DVD Basket, $12, and plastic cups $8 a pair, all

Make a roll-out bin!
If you’re getting rid of an old dresser, hang on to the drawers or buy old drawers on the cheap at a flea market.  Just add casters and slip it under a bed for handy roll-out storage that’s about half the price of the store-bought version.  You can also use an old dishwasher rack if you aren’t picky about looks.

What you need: We used two salvaged drawers with ugly knobs, which we replaced with pretty vintage ones, and added four casters to the bottom of each drawer.  (Drawers, free; knobs $8 and up each,; casters, $3.45 each,

Make a jewelry rack!
An old rake can do the trick, and it makes a fun and funky alternative to a store-bought wall-mount necklace organizer.

What you need: We bought a new rake, sawed off the wooden handle at the top of the red metal trim, and mounted it to a door.  To add storage space for earrings, we tied a sturdy grosgrain ribbon between the sides of the frame.  (Rake, $20.99,


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