Friday, May 16, 2014

Dollar Decorating: practically free organizing boxes

My desk has been in dire need of some organizing for awhile.  It's one of those "I know where everything is but I don't know that anyone else would see a method to my madness" things.  Plus we had office supply type of things in 3 different places around the house which doesn't make much sense.  So something needed to be done.  When I've gone through an area multiple times and it still doesn't feel organized I know I need a new plan.  Here is my before but it's more of an in between:

Like seemingly every project I started thinking about this one months ago and bought some Kassett boxes at IKEA specifically for this project and that trip was more than 2 months ago.  I had done some consolidating but couldn't figure out how to organize my supplies inside the boxes.  So everything got piled into this basket in the mean time:

That's a pretty messy before.  I read organizing blogs and their "messy" befores usually look better than my afters.  But this one was a mess.  Then I saw this tutorial on I Heart Organizing for DIY cereal box drawer dividers and I knew how I would organize my mess.  All I had to do was start hoarding cereal, waffle, and whale boxes.  Once I had a few of those for options I could get started. 

I tried different configurations until I found one that worked.  To make my original 5 boxes it took about 2 hours (an episode of Grey's and some Cougar Town on DVD).

My basic supplies besides my boxes:

-scrapbook paper or wrapping paper (I used scrapbook)
-box cutter

I also used my scrapbook paper cutter but scissors and a ruler would work too.

I started by cutting down all the boxes to 3.5 inches high.  I think the Kassett box is around 5 inches high but I thought that would make my little organizers too deep to get my finger in so I went a little below the top of the box.  I used a pencil & ruler to mark around the bottom of each cereal/Whale box and then the box cutter to cut.

Since I was working with 12x12 paper I had to be strategic in how it was used.  I started cutting a strip the length of the box and then cutting that strip in half so it would go further down the outside.  I taped this down.

Then I cut another strip the width of the box and put this on top of my taped strips.  It was easier to put in first and crease before committing with tape.

Then I used what paper I had left to cut a strip to surround the outside of the box.  If I was working with wrapping paper I would have cut the initial strips to reach all the way to the bottom on the outside.

I did some by taping down the flaps first and others with taping the wrap and then the flaps.  Either works.

Here's my first box filled with organizers:

And then filled organizers:
I was so happy with the results that I made a few more for my other Kassett box which also gave me spots for the rest of the supplies from my messy basket.

This is a huge improvement over where I started!!

The next week I made a few more for another box that sits in my desk:


And my current desk arrangement which is so much better than the mess I've had basically since we moved in.  Or really as long as I've had this desk.  

On the bottom is a larger Kassett box that holds printer paper (good and scrap).  Behind it is a second box the same size with things we rarely need like file folders and manila envelopes.  The blue striped box on top holds any current receipts I need to enter into my Money program (I do that once a week) and little things that might need attention when I'm on my computer (like online RSVPs).

I'm a big believer in "a place for everything and everything in its place" and these practically free boxes really help with that.  My total cost was nothing since we ate the food out of the boxes and I had scrapbook paper and tape on hand.  Scrapbook paper can be found for 20¢-25¢ which still makes these boxes pretty darn cheap.  Next I have my eye on making one for a kitchen drawer and maybe using contact paper there.  Have free ways to organize is slight addicting...


Lauren said...

Wow so organized! Nice job!

diana said...

Thank you! I'm pretty excited about it! Haha.