Simply Done: Nicole’s Cabinets

Mar 31

Now that I’m back home and pretty much settled (is this even attainable? i can’t be still!) here in SF, I’ve been working hard to get my little organization business going in my new/old stomping grounds. Friends I haven’t lived near for the last 13 years have been reaching out to me for organization help. It goes without saying that I am always on board to help anyone get organized. But little did I know that a few friends were putting the word out to their friends…and eventually my services became known to a precious Mom’s group. Somehow my name/number ended up on their message board and that is how I met Nicole.
Sweet, gentle, loving Nicole with the gorgeous 8 month old baby girl and a member of seriously one of the warmest, most loving families. She has the sweetest mom ever!
Nicole e-mailed me about a problem area in her home – 2 cabinets on either side of her fireplace. Here’s the cabinet on the left, which had the majority of “stuff” to be sorted…

 

How exactly did this happen?

I think we can all relate to moving. Hello, I moved 7-8 months ago and my house is far from perfect. Don’t even look at my garage, friends. When you move, finding a spot for everything takes time. You need to live in the house for a while to figure out where things go and flow.

In Nicole’s case, she and her husband moved into the house 2 year’s ago…then had a baby. And we all can relate to how life gets turned upside down when a baby arrives. As you can see with the bins and containers, Nicole did a great job corralling items. But she recognized it was time to really get in here to sort it all out and make better use of this awesome little space. It had so much potential!

After spending time together, we came up with a plan that included me first helping her sort it all out and then she would have the cabinet interiors painted to brighten up the darkness. We spent a good 4-5 hours sorting, tossing, purging and donating…

 

Where did it all go, you ask? Oh, right here on her kitchen counter…

And over here in the family room…

Once the sorting was complete and everything was temporarily tucked away, Nicole’s painter worked some magic. In the meantime, I shopped for solutions and came up with a plan that would help her be more efficient and organized going forward.

Then I came back…and this happened…

I know! Wow!

First of all – the paint! Bright, bright, bright!

Secondly, everything has a place. And a place that makes sense!…

 

 

The household cleaning items (that needed to live in this space) are hanging on a utility holder. Getting them up off the floor gave her room to tuck the vacuum into place…

In the pre-existing desktop area (yes, this gem was hiding away under everything!), I added a rolling file cart for all things paper; home papers, taxes, baby info, manuals, warranties, notebooks, and more…

 

I made use of her great vertical space in here with the Martha Stewart Wall Manager. Now she has a place to pin up invites, save the dates, important to-do items, a calendar, and more. She also popped in her most-needed items for when she needs them in a pinch, like post-it notes, scissors, a measuring tape and more…

On the table top I found these beautiful ceramic trays (that I almost didn’t let her keep!) at Target. Now she has a spot for a little note pad, a few magazines, and there’s a home for iPads to sit and charge at the end of the day…

On the shelf above the desktop, we sorted photos into pretty boxes and she has 3 bins for containing her scrapbook items (papers, tools and stickers)…

The above cabinets pack a serious organization punch. We packed away cords, wires, notecards, envelopes, office supplies, light bulbs, batteries, adhesive items, games, dvd’s, cd’s, and a tool bag. Yup, it’s all up here. How did we fit it all in? With smart solutions that contain it all, look pretty and she can’t overfill. She can also find everything, which means she shouldn’t have to buy another nail or adhesive strip for a while…

The DIY chalkboard labels made another appearance here, and her handwriting is perfection on them!

I did mention a second cabinet that needed some love, remember? Here is the end result of this great little hidden space…

This cabinet is on the right side of her fireplace, in a lesser accessible location. Over here we tucked away a gift wrap organizer (on wheels!) and a drawer system that contains items she doesn’t always need, but she wants to know where they are when she does need them. Items like yearbooks, family cookbooks, old photo albums, re-gifts, costumes, and more. The boxes on top contain momentos. We even had room to tuck away a carry-on travel bag in case she or her husband need one in a pinch.

I had so much fun helping Nicole get a little more organized and efficient. She did an excellent job purging items, which is always the hard part of helping anyone get organized. The fact is we couldn’t possibly put it all back and expect this space to be functional or efficient for her. She did the hard work and I did the fun part – shop for solutions and put it all away for this gorgeous, bright, and pretty end result…

Looking for some inspiration from this space? See my original pinterest board with some of the details.

Have a great, organized day!

 

comments +

  1. Nicole Mains says:

    You did an amazing amazing job Samantha! Not only was it fun to work with you but the end result is beyond what I ever imagined the space could look like! So thankful people like you are out there to help people like me ;-).

  2. It looks fantastic, what a difference and such a lovely space!! I bought those same pretty printed paper boxes for an organizing project and I just love them, such a happy print! It's actually a project that resulted from winning the giveaway you did with the wire storage shelf a while back; I put it to good use.

  3. Kelley says:

    Great job, Sam!!! I love the rolling carts.

  4. Denene says:

    This is awesome! Love it! I need a filing system like the one you created. I'm going to check out that rolling file.

  5. Olga says:

    I really like it! It is huge job done here! I would love to see your other clients projects.

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