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I’ve been thinking about trying to declutter the front of our fridge lately. I accidentally collect pizza coupons and all kinds of other things thinking that I’ll use them. But, they expire before I get around to using them and our refridgerator stays cluttered in the meantime. If I do clean up the front, this Bamboo Dry Erase Board from PamperedChef would look great by itself on the door. The bamboo would look great with our new bamboo cutting boards and that marker-holder spot is a must have. How necessary is that!?

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My major focus heading in to vacation was to have a couple overnight trips that would add some excitement to a week I intended to spend organizing my bathroom and kitchen. I’m really happy with how both the kitchen and the bathroom look now that I’m not even sure I needed the trips to make the vacation seem like a total success. Surely, everyone has a better day at work when they know their bathroom and kitchen are in order at home?

Here’s where I started: A mess!

We moved into the house in October of last year and began unpacking into the bathroom closet. We then finished sanding the bathroom, got new floors put in, and used the bathroom closet to hold the dust from both of those projects and our toilet paper still protected by its packaging, of course. As you can see, we didn’t even bother trying. We just hoped that if you opened the closet door, nothing fell out on you.

We didn’t even finish unpacking!

So that was my starting point. Any attempt at putting everything on dust-free shelves in the closet would be an improvement but I wanted something we could stick with so I invested in a bunch of small plastic bins to keep track of everything. Luckily, almost everything was on a really good sale because of dorm move-in season.

I ended up with separate bins for things like shampoo/conditioner, body wash/soap, kyle’s toiletries, my toiletries, travel size things, hair products, medicine, and nail polish. I also had very small bins for bandaids, cotton balls, q-tips, toothpaste/toothbrushes, etc. While I was organizing, I realized that you couldn’t identify the contents of the bins without moving them around so I bought a labelmaker and labelled everything that needed one.

Like I said, I am so happy with how the whole thing turned out. What I’m most surprised by is the amount of space we recovered by organizing everything. A lot of items were able to come out of the medicine cabinet and under the sink and get organized into the closet. Now we have a lot of extra space for things in both of those places and I automatically feel like our bathroom has about 5x the storage space that it did a week ago.

My favorite trick I used when organizing is actually under the vanity. I found a pin on pinterest that recommended using a magazine file to organize blowdryers and curling irons under the sink.

I had to pull this out from under the sink to take the photo where I could get a little bit of natural light — as you can tell, our bathroom is not the ideal place to try to take good quality photographs. This is a metal magazine file that I bought because it was on sale, making it 2 cents cheaper than the next least-expensive file, and I thought that the metal might hold up a little bit better. I have a hair dryer, a regular flat iron, and my ProStyler in there and it keeps the cords out of the way and everything easy to find under the cabinet. I love it when something from Pinterest works really well for me!

 

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After seeing these images that Emily from Jones Design Co. wrote about, I’ve had calligraphy on the brain. I just think the calligraphy by Patricia Mumau from Primele are so pretty and elegant. Also, if you’ve got handwriting you like or a cheap font you can download, this would be pretty easy/inexpensive to create. The one thing that stumped me though, is how the heck do you get stamps that look like that? So vintage, colorful, and striking when placed all together.

Well, my friends, after some research, I came across this very helpful article over at 100 Layer Cake that explains you just need to go into a stamp store, look around on Ebay or online stamp stores. Yep, just a simple trip to your local stamp and coin store.

As long as a stamp is unused and not collectible it retains face value. So, you can load up on as many as you need to meet the required postage. A tip though, is to try and get stamps with higher values. Otherwise, your envelopes might be a little overwhelmed.

 

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After seeing this home tour on Design Attractor, I’m constantly thinking about that metal card catalog type piece. I know these are all over the place and people love them. But this particular one, I can’t stop thinking about. It’s such a wonderful piece.

This is the home of Danish Designer Birgitte Rabens. Although these rooms aren’t typically what I’d go for, I still love them. The usage of the wood, mixed with the leather, mixed with various metals is really pretty to me. Also, growing up in Texas has given me an affinity for cacti and after seeing this I’m really wanting some succulents around here! I’m inspired by the placement of the letters on the bottom right of the first photo. Such a small detail but I’m liking the idea of them not having to be on the walls.

Any rooms inspired you lately that don’t really go with your style?

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This is so cute. I am a firm believer that fun things and lots of animals belong in the home. (via Offbeat Home.)

 

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Welcome to So Eclectic

So Eclectic is a blog dedicated to great ideas for home design. Austin, Texas-based writer Mary Marcum and Savannah, Missouri-based writer Jess Rezac feature affordable decor, decorating solutions, and inspiration. At So Eclectic, we experiment with design together. So Eclectic posts new content every weekday.

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Hope Chest

In our hope chest, we share products that complement our home aesthetic or make us excited about the directions of new design.

 

Jess

I live with Kyle, my husband, in Kansas City, Mo. We have a dog, Oats, and a cat, Logan.

I am a development professional who specializes in museums and the performing arts. I write grants, fundraise, and assist with marketing in the form of donor communications. My academic background is in history and museum science, focusing on the presentation and interpretation of Africa in American museums.

As a freelancer, I work with clients in need of websites, Wordpress upgrades, and FileMaker Pro database solutions.

Mary

Hi! I live in a small two bedroom home in Austin, Texas. I believe in vintage, re-purposing, recycling, and making my home comfortable for us and everyone that visits. After grad school, I developed a love for design and giving old furniture a new life. Hope I can take you all along on my journey to rid my house of the "college days" furniture (or at least re-purpose it)! Welcome, and I hope you stay a while!

 
© 2011, Mary Marcum and Jess Rezac at SoEclectic.com