Hiding cables & cords

This is my secret hiding place for cables, cords, and my power strip that serve my desk.  I hate the look of errant cords, so I needed a solution.  I came across this post on Young House Love and figured it was worth a try.  I already had some black IKEA boxes to try it out with.

This is a small shelf that I set up next to my desk; it holds the printer on top of it and hides my cable connection on the wall.

All I did was cut a nice size hole out of the back (you NEED to make sure that the hole is big enough to allow for proper cooling/venting), and fed the cords through that hole.  I love that all of my cords are now hidden.  And I’ve never had a reception issue with my modem being in the box either.

IMPORTANT:  I’ve been using the system for over a year now and I’ve never had an issue, but if you decide to try it out, make sure that you feel the box periodically for the first several days– you don’t want to start a fire.  My modem and power strip never even warm the cardboard box.

Plastic Bag Holder

Okay, if you’re anything like me, you hate throwing plastic bags away (but you’re terrible at bringing your reusable bags to the grocery store!)  My collection of plastic bags was getting out of hand and I knew there had to be a cute solution to it.

So, I perused Pinterest (per usual) until I found an inspiration.

Check out Martha Stewart’s version— she’s so creative.  And, this is super cheap.  In fact, you might be able to make it from all things you already have.  Who doesn’t love “F-R-E-E”?!

Here’s what you’ll need:

  • old dishtowel (I liked all mine, so I just bought a $1 from Goodwill)
  • strip of elastic
  • safety pin
  • sewing machine (super easy straight stitching only!)
  • a piece of fabric to make a hanger with (about 2×8″)

Here’s what to do:

1. Lay out your dishtowel with the nice side facing down.  Take one of the short ends of the dishtowel and fold it over– just enough to make a small pocket hole for the elastic. You can get all fancy and pin it first, or you can be lazy like me and just eyeball it while you’re sewing.

2. Attach the elastic to the safety pin and use the safety pin to thread the elastic through the pocket hole.  Once you get it all the way through, secure both ends of the elastic together on the safety pin until the end.

3.  You’re folding the dishtowel in half (long ways) now.  Just make sure that the wrong sides are facing out.  Sew another seam (following the seam lines) along the length of the towel.

4. Now, take the piece of fabric you’re going to hang your plastic bag holder with and fold it in half length-wise.  Sew a simple seam.  Then turn the hanger inside out so the rough ends of the fabric are inside the hanger.

5. With the plastic bag holder still inside out, sew one end of the hanger to one side of the top, and then the other side of the hanger to the other side of the top.

6. Tie a knot in the elastic.  You want a big enough hole to pull a bag out of, but not so big one will fall out on its own.  Hide any excess elastic by stuffing it in the pocket holes.

7. Now turn it right side out and you’re all done!

I got 35 bags in mine– and really, who needs more than 35 bags at any one time?  Feel free to toss the rest of your plastic bag stash without guilt!

Closet Organization

(Original post from my Blogger; visit http://megeletto.blogspot.com/2010/10/closet-organization-project.html to view it.  And please also excuse my poor-quality iPhone pictures.)

As a homeowner, I’m continually getting ideas for how to customize and optimize the spaces in my house.  There is a square “closet” in my bedroom, that is about 3’x3′.  Since I don’t use that closet to store clothes (I have a whole other room for that!), it is more of a storage closet for files and other miscellaneous things.  Regardless, with the odd shape, it was starting to look more like a dumping ground for clutter, so I decided to be handy and build some shelves (Friday night).

The closet really wasn’t usable as it was.  Especially since I wasn’t hanging clothes in it.

I wanted the shelves to form an “L” across the back and right side (You can’t see it, but there is a 12″ space between the door opening and the wall), so I would need to customize them myself.

So I took a trip to Lowes, bought the wood and had them cut it. Lesson learned: don’t stand directly in the line of the big saw, because if the blade is turned the wrong way, the board WILL fly across the isle.  No one was injured, but it was quite comical and the poor guy who was cutting the wood was pretty new and obviously embarrassed.

After the wood was cut I went home and set it all up in my garage/glorified shed (Finally a use for that space!), and painted the boards black.  Several hours and several coats later, I finished.  I let them dry overnight and brought them inside the next day.

Unable to find the power drill at my parents house, I was resigned to just screw the brackets in with a screwdriver.  Not terrible, but I will admit that my thumb throbbed for a couple of days after.  And, because I was determined to finish this project myself, I probably looked really funny in the small square closet trying to hold up the board, hold the bracket, and check the level all at the same time, but I completed the project.  Hooray!

And after a quick trip to IKEA, to get some baskets to make the clutter even less visible, it is finally done.

I have a strong tendency to decide I’m going to tackle a project, assume it will be really easy and quick, and then realize part way through that the project is actually going to take me several days/an entire weekend.  I should probably stop doing that, but I can’t seem to help myself.

Regardless, yay for clean and organized closets!  I wonder what project will be next…