Monday, August 31, 2009

For Office Supply Addicts: 10 Pencil Cups

elephant coffee mug holding pens

I'm still a fan of using coffee mugs as pen holders; many of us have way more mugs than we need, so why not put one to another good use? But if you'd like a pencil cup that isn't a coffee mug, look at the following options!


2 pencil cups, hexagonical, lovely patterns

Let's start with these beautiful pencil holders from Galison/Mudpuppy. The patterns come from woodblocks in the Victoria and Albert museum; not surprisingly, the museum shop also sells these pencil cups. Update on Jan. 22, 2013: I'm no longer seeing these pencil cups of the V & A web site, or the Galison/Mudpuppy web site.


pretty floral pencil cups

I'm also very fond of these pretty pencil cups from SuzyJack, available in six patterns, and made with recycled paper. They come with 22 pencils, too.


pencil cups

Thomas Paul also makes nice pencil cups, available from See Jane Work, RedStamp.com and doe. Update on Nov. 7, 2010: These pencil cups are no longer available.


cloth pencil cup

Heading out to Australia, we can find this cloth pencil cup from kikki.K. Update on Jan. 22, 2013: The company no longer sells this pencil cup.


Italian paper pencil cup

And this is just one of the many beautiful pencil cups made by Il Papiro, in Firenze.


suede pen pot

Over on Etsy, Little Black Duck sells these suede storage bags which readily serve as pen pots. [via Apartment Therapy] Update on Nov. 7, 2010: I no longer see these at Little Black Duck.


monkey pencil cup

Want something funkier? Etsy seller Monkey Travel Club has this monkey pencil cup; there's also an owl version. Update on Jan. 22, 2013: I'm no longer seeing this pencil cup.


bird pencil cup, wood

Staying with critters for a moment, we have this oriole pencil cup. (I wish the whole collection were available!) [via Sparkle Paradise] Update on Nov. 7, 2010: I can no longer find any source for these pencil cups.


hand-crafted wood pencil or pen holder

Here's a different sort of hand-crafted wood pen holder.


Buddha pencil holder

And finally, here's a totally different pencil holder.

Related Posts:
12 Pencil Cups with Personality
A Reader Shares Her Pencil Cup (and I Find 10 More)
Pencil Cups, Round 3: Two More I Had to Share

[photo at top of post by Lex in the City, licensed under Creative Commons]

Saturday, August 29, 2009

August 2009 Organizing Tips & More

storage pillow

My August 2009 newsletter is now available.

Tip of the Month: Organizing for the Real You

Organizing Product of the Month: PJ Pocket Pillow - on sale, half off!

Also included: Organizing Event of Next Month, Organizing Statistics of the Month, and Recycling/Reuse Information of the Month

Friday, August 28, 2009

Spicing Up Those Sliding Closet Doors

colorful sliding closet doors in green, orange, and brown

Tired of your basic boring closet doors? Armadi closets, based in Florida, can provide a whole range of alternatives; see the company's wonderful closet door photo gallery.


pretty sliding closet doors

The Sliding Door Company has just what you'd expect!


sliding wardrobe doors

A Way With Furniture, in the U.K, provides bespoke wardrobe sliding doors.


red and black sliding wardrobe doors

And Robe Design in Ireland has some pretty eye-catching sliding wardrobe doors.


shoji sliding closet door

Another fun alternative is a shoji sliding closet door. Here's a typical one, from Berkeley Mills. Another company making such doors is Cherry Tree Design


shoji sliding closet door - unusual design

Or you could get a wilder one; this one also comes from Berkeley Mills.

Don't want to buy new closet doors? You could consider painting or wallpapering the doors you have.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

3 Unusual Ways to Use the Walls

koala pouch, wool

Professional organizers are always looking for unused storage space - and sometimes that means looking at the walls. Depending on your needs, you might want to add some shelving - or some sort of memo board. But here are some other fun ways to use the walls.

Let's start with the koala pouch shown above; there's a pelican version available, too. [via Inhabitots and Apartment Therapy] Update on August 15, 2011: I can no longer find these products.


plastic organizer for the wall with many different-sized pockets

If you're into retro stuff, you might like uten.silo from Vitra, a plastic design from 1969-1970, still available for purchase. It comes in two sizes and three colors - white, black, and red. It's widely available.


large rubber straps hold things along the wall

And since it's been two years since I first mentioned Droog and the strap, by NL Architects, it's time for a reminder about this unusual product. Here's another site selling the strap; it has a different picture, which might be helpful.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Magnetic Boards in a Multitude of Styles

Union Jack magnetic board

Prefer a magnet board to a bulletin board, a memo board or a chalk board? Let's look at some of your options - starting with this Union Jack magnetic notice board.


round red magnetic board

You could go for a simple round magnet board - in eye-catching red. (Those magnets - in your choice of four colors - are sold separately.)


round magnetic board

Or maybe you'd prefer a not-so-simple round magnetic board. Update on Sept. 5, 2010: These came from Oliblock, and it seems they are no longer being sold.


bakery magnet board

This Old Bakery magnet board is made from recycled metal. Update on Feb. 20, 2011: Or so said the site I originally found it on - which no longer sells this item. The site I've now found it on doesn't indicate if it's recycled metal or not.


striped magnetic board

The Macbeth Collection has magnetic boards in well over 100 designs.


perforated magnetic board, pegboard style

This magnetic board has a pegboard-style design lets you use hooks and other accessories. Update on Sept. 5, 2010: Topdeq is no longer selling its products in the United States, but it does sell in many European countries. I've linked to the French site, but there are a number of others.


magnetic board

And then there are the magnetic boards available from a number of Etsy sellers, all of whom offer a number of patterns, and many of whom provide matching magnets - sometimes included, sometimes for an extra fee. This magnetic board comes from Design4u. Update on Feb. 20, 2011: I'm no longer seeing magnetic boards at this site.


fabric magnetic board

This fabric magnet board comes from Stick To It.


paisley magnetic board

Magnetic Memories makes fabric-covered magnetic boards in four sizes. Update on Sept. 5, 2010: This Etsy shop no longer exists.

fabric covered magnet board

Here's a magnet board from TootsbeeZ. Update on Sept. 5, 2010: This Etsy shop no longer exists.


lovely fabric magnetic board

And finally, there are the many lovely magnetic boards from Steel Dreaming Design.

Related Post:
Magnetic Boards: Beyond the Refrigerator Door

Other Options: Hardenbrook Studio makes some lovely magnet boards, which come with magnets that match the theme of the board. You can get many of them through Elizabeth's Embellishments. Unfortunately, the pictures of the boards have a copyright notice, so I can't include a picture here.

Sunday, August 23, 2009

For Office Supply Addicts: Scissors That Won't Get Lost

scissors caddy in four colors

A place for everything, and everything in its place. These scissors all come with their own holders - so "their place" is pretty obvious. First up is the Edward Scissors Caddy, from Koziol.


orange scissors and holder

The Anything Scissors are sold by Paul Smith in the U.K. and by Rare Device and Unica Home in the U.S., among others. They comes in yellow as well as orange. [via Switched On Set]


scissors with bunny holder

Pylones has these scissors with the bunny holder.


blue rabbit scissors

And here are some rabbit scissors where the scissors stand on their own! They come in four different colors.

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Woodworking Gallery in Half Moon Bay: Stunning Storage and Other Organizing Products

shell box

I've been admiring the many lovely wood items at Gallery M for ages now - and have bought some smaller items. It's a gallery dedicated to high-quality woodworking, carrying the work of many different artisans. So I don't know why I never thought of featuring the many storage options available at this remarkable store until I walked into the place on Friday.

Owner Andreas Strieve was kind enough to send me some great photos - so you'll be seeing a combination of my snapshots and his much better photos.


wood trunk or hope chest

There are a number of stunning furniture pieces, such as this hope chest - as well as various chests of drawers, and nightstands, and desks with drawers.


charging station, wood


charging station, wood

But I'm going to mostly focus on the smaller items. One that really caught my eye was the charging station, which handles five items. The one I saw cost $149. It comes in a number of different woods, as you can see.


jewelry box, closed

And then there are the beautiful wood jewelry boxes.


jewelry box, open

The interiors are lovely, too!


jewelry box, open

This one doesn't look like much when it's closed - it's just a wood cube. But when it's opened - oh my!


small wood boxes

You can get small boxes, like these.


jewelry chest closed

jewelry chest open

Or a large jewelry chest, like this one.

And it's not just about how beautiful these are, but also how well-made - something you can't convey through pictures on the web.

Related Post:
Support Your Local Woodworker

Friday, August 21, 2009

Do You Have Room for the Mediocre?

print says: Be Among the Things You Love

Some of my clients, who have abundant lives, have homes they find distressing because there's just too much stuff. I've often asked people, "Do you love that thing, or is it just OK? And do you have room for things that are just OK?"

So I was delighted when We Covet pointed me to this wonderful print from Amanda Atkins: Be Among the Things You Love.

For more reading on this theme, you could turn to Small Notebook, where Rachel writes about having a "home free of clutter, with just the things that make you smile." She notes there will be exceptions - "a few things that are good to own even if they don’t make you happy to look at them (the toilet plunger, for instance)" - but you could even get a toilet plunger that makes you smile, if you really wanted to.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

16 Ways to Organize - in Miniature

dollhouse miniature sewing armoire

Want to furnish the dollhouse for organized living? Let's take a look at some of the neater furnishings you could consider - starting with this miniature sewing armoire. Update on June 19, 2013: Earth and Tree no longer has this armoire, but does have many other miniatures.


dollhouse miniature pie safe

I've written about pie safes - but who knew you could buy a pie safe for your dollhouse? Update on June 19, 2013: The site that sold this specific pie safe is gone, but there are others. Here's a miniature pie safe from Debbie's Designs.



dollhouse miniature chest

Ann High makes some lovely and unusual miniatures. This is her miser's chest, which she says is "based on the chest in a painting by Hieronymous Bosch."


dollhouse miniature desk

Colin Bird does some great miniatures, too. While he seems to specialize in chairs, he also makes some other neat pieces, like this pedestal desk with a real leather top.


dollhouse miniature hand-painted armoire

Margie's Petite Palette offers hand-painted miniature cabinets and hutches, including this armoire.


dollhouse miniature armoire

And Alice offers some amazing miniature armoires, too.


dollhouse miniature display table

Wendy has a very specific niche; she makes enchanting miniature display cases and tables - for those collections of shells, rocks, etc.


dollhouse miniature bookcase

And of course, (almost) every house needs a place for books. Note that the shelves on this miniature bookcase are adjustable.


dollhouse miniature binder

But not all organizing products are big pieces of furniture. We also have the more prosaic binders, magazine files, and such.


dollhouse-miniature-pencil-box

And how about a miniature pencil box from Chris Sturgess-Lief? He can also provide you with some lovely mahogany coat hangers.) Update on June 10, 2013: Sadly, Chris Sturgess-Lief died in 2011.


dollhouse miniature potato basket

And then there's the ever-popular basket: everything from the laundry basket (empty or full) to the miniature baskets by Zara Thomson Ribeaud, which include this potato basket.


dollhouse miniature kitchen canisters

And staying in the kitchen, we can admire these miniature canisters, from Reutter Porcelain of Germany. Update on June 19, 2013: I'm not finding this canister set any more, but you can get another canister set from the same company.


dollhouse miniature umbrella stand

You can get a miniature umbrella stand, complete with cane, from Pinchbeck Miniatures.


dollhouse miniature wall clock

And let's not forget the clocks, so useful in organizing one's time. You can get mantel clocks, wall clocks, or longcase clocks - running clocks, in miniature. This miniature American banjo wall clock comes from Small-Time.


dollhouse miniatures - 3 mantle clocks

Halls Miniature Clocks is also worth a look.


miniature dollhouse cupboard, oak, carved

And finally, let's circle back to the furniture and admire this miniature Tudor oak court cupboard. Update on August 5, 2011: The site that sold this seems to have disappeared.