You guys know that I’ve had some struggles with organization– it’s just not a strength for me, and my natural tendency is to choose form over function. But I have really been making a conscious effort to get organized, especially since when we moved into this home over 2 1/2 years ago now, we downsized a good bit.
One of my best design decisions ever was to turn our unused entry into a library. Not only did that give us usable “hanging out” space, but the function it added to our lives has been incredible! The desk area is used countless times a day, but the bookshelves (which I admit, I really wanted to add for the visual component)- OMG! These are the best bookshelves ever to help you get organized.
(*Affiliate links used. This means, at no additional cost to you, I may receive a small commission if you click and/or make a purchase on a product link. Please see my disclosures here.)
It’s the Carson 5 Shelf Bookcase from Target. They are inexpensive, yet they have tons of open and closed storage. For homes with limited storage space like ours, they are amazing!
Let me show you the three main ways they’ve helped me get organized. Which, coincidentally, were the three things that were causing me the greatest clutter anxiety before.
Using the Carson bookshelf to get organized
Craft and hobby supplies
Now, I’m not a huge craft supply hoarder-part of my ongoing “therapy” with improving my organizational skills is to let go of stuff I’m probably not ever going to use- but I do have a supply of paints, glue, glitter, and random stuff that I use for projects. For some reason, that stuff would end up all over the house- in different dressers, Beau’s room, in our master bedroom closet (our only real storage space in our home). Now, I have it all organized and in this one spot:
Also, notice that I painted the bookshelves white, but nope, didn’t paint the insides. Prob not ever going to happen either.
Anyway, here’s a closer look at the top shelf. I have them organized in these jars by glitter, ribbon, markers/brushes, and paints:
The supplies in the green basket in the bottom shelf are random things that I tend to use pretty frequently, either for crafts or just for styling pictures for blog posts.
One big need I had was somewhere to keep my camera equipment together. That was easily accomplished with the basket on the top shelf:
My camera manuals, plus all of my lenses, batteries, etc., fit in there. Just that basket alone has been amazing to have!
Okay, something that used to really stress me out was managing all of the paperwork that comes in to our house every day. I used to have file folders that I would just keep in a dresser (just laid down, not hanging) that I would put paperwork in. This was after it had sat in another dresser drawer until it got so full that it nearly burst. I used to hate sorting through all of that paperwork because I didn’t have a system to sort or manage it.
Now I do! This hanging file folder container (also from Target, link here) is amazing! It’s thin enough that it fits perfectly in the bookcase, but has enough room to be functional. Plus, let’s be honest- it’s pretty.
So I guess what I’m saying is, I’m shallow enough that since it’s functional AND attractive, I’m willing to use it every day. But the proof is in the pudding. It’s been keeping me completely organized with my paperwork for nearly 4 months now. Which is something that has never happened in almost 20 years of adulting so I guess that’s saying something.
One reason that I was completely overwhelmed with using my Cricut for so long was that I didn’t have room to manage all of the stuff that comes with it. Vinyl, cutting mats, plus the Cricut itself. Obviously, no craft room, and since we don’t have a dining area, leaving everything out on the kitchen table isn’t an option. So that was something else that I was storing in my master closet. Which meant it really didn’t get used, because it was a process to get it out.
Now, I have all of my stuff right by my computer where I need it, and as a result, I’m using my Cricut so much more!
Here’s how I’m storing my vinyl and cutting mats:
In one of the bookcases, I didn’t add the shelf so I would have room for the taller supplies. Remember the baskets from the kitchen cabinet organization? The baskets that I absolutely love and that are still keeping those cabinets perfectly organized? The baskets that come in a million colors, are practically indestructible, and come in different sizes?
I might be a fan.
They do a great job of holding the vinyl. I use tiny binder clips to keep the vinyl held together, and that maximizes the storage of that space.
The basket was just a little bit wide, so I popped the back off of the bookcase so it would be a perfect fit. With these bookcases, there are two backs- the top and the bottom. Popping the bottom off did nothing to it, structurally, and gave the basket a bit more breathing room. But, if you didn’t want to do that, there are tons of baskets that are slimmer that you could use! But I love these, and had this one on hand so that’s what I decided to do.
My taller mats are a little tall for this space, as you can see, but they’re fine. They’re not bent or anything when I pull them out.
In another bookcase, I have my Cricut Explore One – a perfect fit!
It’s on the bookcase directly beside my computer, so whenever I want to use it, I just pull it out, put it on a stool that’s in the library, and plug it in.
Now, for those of you who have a separate craft space, this probably seems pretty not functional. But for those of us in smaller homes without a separate craft space, who don’t really have an option to use a dining space…for me this has worked amazingly well, plus it’s kept the clutter completely at bay 🙂
That bottom shelf is not Cricut related really, but it’s where I keep project materials that I’m currently in the middle of. It lets me keep everything together and organized until the project is completed. Any guesses what that project might be? 🙂
I kinda love these bookcases. In fact, I have another one I’m using for shoe storage in my closet (I’ll show you that space another time!) And I’m thinking about adding a couple more on either side of the couch in here. They are terrific for small spaces that need both display and closed storage. I couldn’t recommend them more!
P.S. Check out how I gave these bookshelves a custom look here!