5 Household Items that Double as Organizers

By Melody Mesick

Featured Image_repurposed

I am the queen of trying to find second lives for everyday items. When I can repurpose, reuse, recycle, or revive something, I feel like a secret agent that just discovered the kidnapper’s location. Here are 5 items that I personally have repurposed as organizing helpers. The best part? Most people already have ALL FIVE of these in their home. Do you do any of these? Tell us below!!

nonslip hangers

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1. Rubberbands - Those dresses or shirts that just won’t stay on the hanger… They’re constantly falling to their death and end up wrinkled in a ball on the floor of your closet. It drives me crazy!! It’s all because of those slippery hangers.

Sure, you could run out to the store and buy a bunch of non-slip velvet hangers (which are pretty amazing), but if you need an instant fix, add some rubber bands to either side, and you’ve created your very own DIY non-slip hanger.


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2. Extra Pans – I have a whole bunch of pans that I don’t use unless it’s holiday season and I’m feeling all Martha Stewarty. So on the off season, I use my extra loaf pan for grouping small kitchen items together in the pantry. It’s a great way to store them, and I just empty out the contents when I need to use it.

Checks Box

3. Checks Boxes – Whenever I order a new pack of checks, I can’t wait until they arrive! Not because I care to have checks, but because I love the boxes they come in! I know, I know, it’s kind of nerdy to get excited about boxes, but I simply love their organizing capabilities. Take off the lid, flip it over, and you’ve got a handy dandy drawer divider to catch small items like paperclips, pens or post-its.


4. Coffee Beans - Using coffee beans in a vase or glass is a great way to keep those makeup brushes from falling over and getting dirty. So run over to your kitchen, grab your tools and get those brushes spick-and-span!

Keeping cords tidy

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5. Binder Clips - I think I’ve probably spend 1 million hours of my life fishing my phone charger off the ground. Ok, so maybe that’s an exaggeration, but I’m so glad I figured out that binder clips are a quick fix for keeping them conveniently at your finger tips.

3 Simple Steps To Do BEFORE You Start Organizing

by Melody Mesick


Finding the incentive to tackle that jam-packed closet or address the pile of papers tumbling off the desk is difficult for even the most ambitious of individuals. Why? Because it can feel so overwhelming!

For many, organizing seems to remain on the “to-do” list rather than the “done” list because the time commitment to complete it prevents us from beginning at all.  We think, “I don’t have time!” or “I don’t know where to even begin.” We’ve quit before even starting.

How can you take your organizing project from overwhelming to attainable? Here are 3 simple steps or approaches to consider before you even begin, so that when you do, you feel in control, motivated, and efficient.

1. Prioritize - Most of the time, you simply don’t have enough hours in the day to complete an organizing project from beginning to end. So identifying which areas to focus on first can really alleviate the pressure. A great rule of thumb is to address the visible clutter first. Instead of starting with a hidden desk drawer, begin sorting the clutter on top of the desk. If you can see your progress early on, you’ll feel more encouraged to continue working.

2. Clear Space – When you are sorting items, it’s super helpful to have a space to group like-items together outside of their long-term home. So clear off a counter, a bed or even some floor space to designate for category groupings as you go. You can use hampers or boxes that are labeled things like “toss,” “donate,” “storage,” or even more specific item groups, like “office supplies,” “Joe’s sports gear,” etc.

3. Time It – An organizing project may need 10 hours to complete, but instead of waiting until you have 10 hours to spare, start small. Set a timer for 10 to 15 minutes and try to get as much done in that allotted time. You may actually gain some momentum and go well beyond your time frame. Whether if you complete 10 or 20-minutes of work, these regular “power sessions” will really add up.

Featured Image: photo source

The 40 Bags in 40 Days Challenge

A guest blog by Bneato team member Lauren Mang

I first learned of the 40 Bags in 40 Days Challenge from Pinterest while browsing organization ideas (follow my Hyper Organized Board if you dare). If you haven’t already signed up for a Pinterest account, I highly recommend you do. It’s an amazing and essential tool for the paperless lifestyle!

Back to the challenge… My interest was peaked as soon as I realized it was a giant list of rooms/areas to purge. The 40 Bags in 40 Days Challenge has been featured on a couple of different blogs, but I first learned of it on Little Lucy Lu’s page where she states ‘I love throwing things away like it’s nobody’s business. No, you don’t understand… I LOVE IT.’ Is this woman me?! Because I love it, too!

Here’s the breakdown: Rid your life/house of 40 bags of ‘stuff’ during the 40 days of Lent (which begins February 13, 2013 this year). This includes: junk, clutter, garbage, or things you no longer use or love. Bags do not have to mean great big giant garbage bags – they can be any kind of bag: ziplock bag, brown paper lunch bag, shopping bag, plastic bag, or even 95 gallon trash bags (yes, those exist). You can use the list above (from Little Lucy Lu) or you can create your own list according to your own needs. The point is, challenge yourself to really evaluate your items and make decisions of what you need and what you don’t.

Donate your bags to charity, or if you must, put them in the trash. Lent is traditionally a time when devote Catholics repent or fast. According to Wikipedia, today’s Catholics usually ‘give up a vice of theirs, add something that will bring them closer to God, and often give the time or money spent doing that to charitable purposes or organizations.’ It sounds like this challenge covers all three!

So take a page out of a Catholic’s book and give up clutter, give up junk, give up things you no longer love or use. At the end of 40 days you’ll have a better appreciation for the things you kept, and maybe even a small addiction to purging. Trust me, it’s one of the best feelings in the world. We can all learn to live with less… in a matter of only forty days.

*side note: if you read this post after February 13, 2013, feel free to still take on the challenge. You can tailor it to your needs: do 2-3 areas or bags a day, instead  There are no rules other than doing your best to rid yourself of clutter!

Inspired by Bneato

Lauren (Bneato team member) had a fab idea to start a series called, ‘Inspired by Bneato,’ when a friend sent her a picture of her organized closet after being inspired from one of our blog posts. I love the idea as it creates accountability around our goals and makes the task a little more fun when we share and are recognized. Please send in your photos and a quick blurb if you’ve been inspired by us to get your space organized (info@bneato.com).

Like most people, I tend to accumulate clutter on my dresser.  When I used to come home from work or being out, all my jewelry, old receipts, change, phone, etc. would make its way onto the top of my dresser.  For someone who does not like messes (but is most guilty of letting things get messy), this habit of mine gets me so frustrated.  Recently I was lucky enough to visit with one of my nearest and dearest friends, Lauren (who frequently guest blogs on Bneato.com). I saw how amazing her place looked after all of the great organizational projects she had done–and my inner organizer (it’s in all of us!) rallied and I decided to bring some order back to my bedroom!

First, I decided to clear out a shelf in my cabinet, which was great as it forced me to get rid of some old clothes and things I was not using. Next I used lavender drawer-liner paper (purchased at Bed Bath and Beyond) to line the shelf.  Then I used various plastic, metal and acrylic baskets and containers to create separation between my different products and such. (the “metal drawer” is from BBB- recycled from College) 10 extra points? – the plastic and acrylic baskets are from the dollar store, and the earring holder is from Home Goods.  Before I knew it, all my lotions, perfumes, beauty products, receipts – EVERYTHING – had a place!

When I started this project, I did not realize what a big difference it would make, but my room definitely seems bigger now.  I now try and stick with the rule that every other day I need to hang up any jewelry that may accumulate in the free space.  It is great not having to worry if someone stops by there will be a mess to greet them as soon as they walk into my room. For less than 20 dollars and a little bit of time, I have an organized system that works! Thanks Lauren and Bneato for the inspiration! Hmmm, now what can I organize next…

–thanks Deepa Mehta!!

The gift of organization for the holidays

A guest blog by Bneato team member Lauren Mang. 

I was very blessed this holiday season with many wonderful, thoughtful and functional gifts (I must’ve been extra good this year)! I wanted to highlight one of my favorite gifts I received this season, because it included the gift of organization!

This stylish trunk organizer helped me transform my messy trunk into a perfectly organized space. Mine came from One Kings Lane (they have it in the houndstooth or the plain black fabric), but you can find them on various websites; some have the cooler option and others do not.

There’s a section for a blanket and emergency kit; plenty of space to hold all my reusable bags; and the middle compartment which normally holds the cooler also doubles as a great space to hold my laundry detergent (for trips to the laundry mat). The trunk organizer stays put as I drive around town, and is easy to move around when I need more room in my trunk.

I highly recommend this product and am so thankful for the gift!

Cannon Safe got Bneato’d

you guys are not gonna believe what i’ve been working on since March! okay, maybe you will but i keep pinching myself. Cannon Safe called me up right before my big u.s. tour and asked if i’d come out to their headquarters to talk shop (and all things safe). they are known for creating gun safes (and are maxed out with organizers for all things firearm). but they were looking to debut a new sort of safe that appealed to the organized family. so i literally got to rethink (and design) the interior of their safe. i also sourced out the job and had it built to our specifications. the only part i’m not responsible for are the black pockets on the bottom half of the door. not wild about them but hey, it’s a prototype and i’m sure things will change.

picture of the safe at Cannon on the day i delivered the interior. so satisfying to see the project come full circle.

my favorite part—the pull out floor! heavier items are a breeze to take out as you don’t have to reach in—as the floor comes to you!

kitschy kitchen hooks

spotted the online store, gretel, via stylist this morning and had to take a peek. fell in love with these hooks—not to mention their mantra on all things home,

We do believe in love at first sight (impulse buys), but we don’t believe in excess. Gretel’s collection is carefully curated and uncluttered, so that your home can be too.

now i just have to decide which color i like better… black or white? great hostess gift for the cook in your life (which will pair up nicely with yesterday’s culinary inspired treat).

search your books via EYB

my client turned me onto EYB (aka eat your books) yesterday and i couldn’t be more thrilled to be in the know. they tout it as a “search engine for your cookbooks,” which is pretty freaking cool. and even though my collection of cookbooks consists of a measly bunch that add up to three, most of my clients would greatly benefit from this digital service. how does it work, you ask? a $2.50 monthly fee gets your entire library of books on your ‘digital shelf’. that way, you can search for the best chicken recipe at the drop of a hat. you can do a test run for free which allows for 5 books to see if you want to upgrade. i also think this would make a great gift to the chefs in your life…


teeniest closet con’t…

high heels that i rarely wear. 

pared down to 5 pairs

the purple ones i’ve worn once (they hurt like heck). the bird print ones i’ve never worn (given to me by a friend after she no longer wanted them). peach ones–i hate how they make my feet look.

i was telling you yesterday how the plastic drawers on the bottom of my closet hold jewelry, electronics and whatnot. pictured above is the what not. i’m donating the glasses by shipping them off to this place. the rest, i’m selling in a yard sale–along with all the other items i’m collecting as i go through every nook and cranny over the next month and a half.