Vintage DIY: Organizing

One of my favorite things to do is organize spaces.  Whether it be closets, drawers, shelves, or cabinets, there are useful solutions for every space of your home that still look beautiful.  Many times it takes a lot of trial and error to figure out the most convenient, functional, and appealing places to store things.  I usually end up RE-organizing all my closets, drawers, cabinets, and shelves at the beginning of each year for a fresh start.  This involves getting rid of anything I don't use or want anymore (which will give you tons more space to work with), deep cleaning the space (wiping down shelves, vacuuming, dusting, etc.), and finally reconfiguring your organization scheme.  The final stage is the fun part where you get to set everything up and decide what kind of containers to use, and where everything should be placed.  In my opinion, there is NO excuse for using ugly plastic Tupperware containers in your organizing, when there are so many other more appealing options right at your fingertips.  While many of the vintage items that we love, find, and collect may not be useful to us for their traditional purposes, I find them to be fantastic for re-purposing in organizing.  Some of my favorite vintage finds are things that I bought just because I loved them while having no idea what to do with them.  They may have sat on a shelf for a short while, but before long I realized they would make a perfect makeup brush holder, towel rack, or mail divider.  Check out the photos below for some inspiration and ideas for reusing these items and happy organizing!

                                                                           via Country Living
BASKETS! BASKETS! BASKETS are the BEST organizing tools! Anytime you find a vintage basket of any size, BUY IT! You can use them in every space of your home.  I especially love to have a linen closet full of baskets.  This keeps all your towels, bedding, and washcloths neatly stacked and organized, plus it looks so pretty every time you open it!

                                                             via Better Homes and Gardens

Here's a great example of how you can use a variety of vintage materials to make a beautifully organized shelving space that's so pretty you don't have to hide it behind closet doors!  Glass jars with lids are another vintage item that you should NEVER turn down!  All shapes and sizes work great for the kitchen, bathroom, vanity, and much, much more!  Mixing in special items like the antique plates and mirrors make this organized space seem more like a decorated display than a regular bathroom shelf.

                                                                       via homelife.com

Chalkboards are your best friend when it comes to organizing.  This is a chic and appealing way to label everything.  You can use chalkboard paint to cover surfaces or even make your own chalkboard tags or labels.

                                                                         via Midwest Living

Ladders are another great organizing tool that can be used for magazine racks, towel racks, blankets next to a sofa, or even high heeled shoes!  You can paint them a fun color to coordinate with your space, or use an old wooden ladder for a more rustic look.
 
                                                                  via allpeoplequilt.com

Tins are a great example of a vintage item that many people only use for display or collecting purposes, but they are also great tools for organizing!  This picture shows how you can make a cute tiered desk organizer from old tins, but you can also use them for holding craft supplies, makeup, sewing notions, or toiletries!


The planter is a vintage item that can be used SO many ways in organizing. There are so many over-the-top and beautiful vintage planters available that are also VERY affordable.  These make great organizers in smaller spaces like drawers.   I love how Martha Stewart used a collection of all similarly colored planters to create a cute tea time tray above!


In the same vein as baskets, vintage boxes and crates of all sizes also make great organizing tools!  You can hang them on walls (as shown above), stick them inside drawers, or use them on shelves.  If you don't like the design on your box, you can always paint it a solid color, or cover it with pretty papers!

                                                                          via Martha Stewart

Another great example from Martha Stewart of how to use planters, but this time in a bathroom!

                                                                                         via HGTV

Old drawers also work the same way boxes or crates would.  These usually come in smaller and more unusual sizes than boxes or crates, so be sure to snag these before throwing out an old or damaged piece of furniture!


I could do an entire series of posts just on how to organize your jewelry, but this is one of the prettiest and most fun ideas for a mismatched tea cup collection!  Tea cups would also work well for other small objects like office supplies, sewing supplies, or craft pieces!

                                                                           via Pinterest

Vintage cake plates are great for adding height to any display and giving you multiple tiers for holding items!  They also look extra pretty on a vanity, bedside table, or bathroom sink!