12 DIY Storage Projects to Organize Your Home


12 DIY Home Storage Tutorials | Pretty Handy Girl

It’s January and you know what that means! Time to clean and purge the house of all the excess stuff. Last year I was too busy with projects to purge, so this year I’m taking advantage of some warmer days to clean out our home. I hope you’ll excuse me while I’m in clutter busting HELL mode. In the meantime you might enjoy these 12 DIY Storage Projects to help you organize your home (and hide clutter.)

Make a Coat Rack from an Old Door
 and Make a Shoe Storage Bench with Kitchen Cabinets

full_flow_wall_above_washerLaundry Room Storage using Flow Wall [Read more…]

Sports Gear Storage Shelves in a Small Space

Sport Gear Storage Shelves in a Small Space | Pretty Handy Girl

Sport Gear Storage in a Small Space | Pretty Handy Girl

My home is protected by ninjas! Well, actually Tae Kwon Do athletes, but they are ninjas in training. So, don’t even think about breaking into our house or they will open up a can of whoop ass on you! 😉

Unfortunately, where my boys are plentiful in kicking and punching skills they lack in the picking up your stuff department. Which means that the bottom of the stairway to our bonus room is usually the dumping ground for their gear bags, clothing and gear.

Sport Gear Storage Shelves in a Small Space | Pretty Handy Girl

I knew I could “up” the amount of storage we had in this small unused space by going vertical. I designed and created Sports Gear Storage Shelves in the small space at the base of our bonus room stairs. Adding mesh siding gives the storage system a locker vibe and allowed for better air flow around stinky sports gear.

Sport Gear Storage Shelves in a Small Space | Pretty Handy Girl

Want to know how to build your own Sport Gear Storage Shelves? Hang out for a while and I’ll walk you through the step-by-step tutorial.


  • 6 – 1 x 3 x 8′ poplar boards
  • 1 – 4′ x 4′ x 3/4″ finish grade plywood
  • 2 1/2″ wood screws
  • 1 1/2″ cabinet screws
  • 1 1/4″ pocket hole screws
  • Wood shims
  • Wire mesh
  • Stain (or paint)
  • Wood glue
  • Finish nails
  • Wood putty
  • Putty Knife
  • Kreg Jig
  • Hand saw or coping saw
  • Power sander and sandpaper
  • Nailgun
  • 1 1/4″ finish nails
  • Tape measure
  • Level
  • Pencil
  • Painter’s tape
  • GRR-RIPPER 3D Pushblocks

Cut List:

  • 5 – 15″ x 24″ plywood (shelves)*
  • 5 – 1 x 3 x 15″ (shelf cleats)
  • 5 – 1 x 3 x 23″ (shelf cleats)
  • 2 – 1 x 3 x 88″ (sides of support frame)
  • 2 – 1 x 3 x 4.5″ (top & bottom of support frame)
  • 1 – 5.5″ x 84″ piece of wire mesh
  • Rip edge banding 1/4″ thickness from one 1 x 3″ board

* You should be able to get a sixth shelf cut from your plywood if you wish to use it for a base.


Before beginning to build, sketch out your design with painter’s tape. Take note of the height of any baskets or gear bags you will store on the shelves. This should give you the ability to visualize the storage shelves and make any alterations to your design before you build. Once you are happy with the layout, write down your shelf heights.

Sport Gear Storage Shelves in a Small Space | Pretty Handy Girl

You may wish to clad the walls in wood planks like I did before you build the shelving. If you decide to add the planks, here’s the tutorial for planking your walls.

Sport Gear Storage Shelves in a Small Space | Pretty Handy Girl

Measure and mark the heights of your shelves.

Sport Gear Storage Shelves in a Small Space | Pretty Handy Girl

Using a level, draw a pencil line where the shelves will rest.

Sport Gear Storage Shelves in a Small Space | Pretty Handy Girl

Secure the 1×3″ cleats below the pencil line using 2 1/2″ wood screws into studs.

Sport Gear Storage Shelves in a Small Space | Pretty Handy Girl

Continue securing shelf cleats to the wall with screws into available studs.

Sport Gear Storage Shelves in a Small Space | Pretty Handy Girl

Paint or stain the cleats to match the wall color.

Sport Gear Storage Shelves in a Small Space | Pretty Handy Girl

Building Curved Shelves with Edge Banding: [Read more…]

Galvanized Tub Storage Bench with Furry Upholstered Lid {Lowe’s Creator Idea}

Galvanized Tub Storage Bench for Kids | Pretty Handy Girl

Galvanized Tub Storage Bench for Kids | Pretty Handy Girl

Every month Lowe’s challenges me to create another unique project to share with you. This month’s challenge was creative storage ideas. Have kids? This is a unique storage solution using a galvanized tub and a furry upholstered lid. It’s the perfect place to store and corral all that kid clutter in your child’s bedroom. The storage tub doubles as a bench and a step stool. Don’t be deterred if you don’t have children, the storage bench could be used for magazine storage and much more!

Grab these materials and tools and follow along with me (and my 13 year old assistant.)

Creating the Galvanized Storage Bench and Lid

Materials for the Galvanized Storage Tub and Lid:

Galvanized Tub Storage Bench for Kids | Pretty Handy Girl



Turn the galvanized tub upside down on the plywood. Use the sharpie to mark approximately 1/2 – 1″ out from the edge of the tub. [Read more…]

Mudroom Tour – 2013



We made some serious progress this past week. Not only did we make a big dent in the “to do” list in the kitchen, but we also finished painting and installing the trim in the mudroom. It’s really nice walking past this little paper flower spring wreath and into a finished room!

Our mudroom is looking so nice that I decided to invite you over for a little tour. [Read more…]

Bonus Room Plans to Convert to an Arts and Craft Room



Hello, this is Pretty Handy Girl reporting from the sick bay this week. If you follow me on Instagram, you’ve probably seen my trip(s) to the pharmacy and my hopes for those little pink babies: [Read more…]

Laundry Room Reveal using Flow Wall


TGIF! Our spring break is officially here. Sadly I’m not going to Cancun to party it up like a bunch of MTV teenagers (As if!). But, I am hanging with two guys! My two little guys that is. I’m looking forward to crafting a little bit with them and maybe catch up on some sewing. My boys both like to sew. They also like to build with hammers. That’s my parenting mission at work. I vow to teach them to do everything that I know how to do no matter which gender that talent is associated with.

But, enough about me, what you are really here to see is the laundry room reveal! Before I give you the whole 5′ x 8′ tour, I want to show you how the Flow Wall cabinets and shelving are installed. Because you aren’t going to believe how easy it was. Before installing the cabinets, I installed the slat wall in no time! [Read more…]

Demolition Day


This past weekend I was able to make some serious progress on our laundry room. Yeehaw! Sometimes in order to make a room pretty, you have to make it uglier first. That was certainly the case with this project. If  you are just joining me, a few weeks ago the nice folks at Flow Wall sent me a custom wall system to install in the laundry room. The FlowWall system of storage will look something like this: [Read more…]

10 Top Secret Spots for Hidden Storage


photo credit: Sean Michael Ragan

It’s time to get your James Bond vibe on. I’m a sucker for hidden storage and using wasted spaces. That’s what inspired me to create this Parentables post on 10 top secret places to hide your valuables, clothes, blankets, coats, CDs, flash drives, jewelry and more!

Watch out, it will turn you into a top secret agent by the end of the slideshow.


Guest Post – Building Under the Sink Storage by Pink Toes and Power Tools


I am very excited to welcome Kristen from Pink Toes and Power Tools today! She’s gonna kill me for this, but this is Kristen:

I am not trying to embarrass her, I just want you to see what a fun gal she is! And not only is she fun, she’s got some serious DIY talent! You should see her daughter’s bed that she made!

Please give Kristen a warm welcome today!

Hello Pretty Handy Girl readers! I am Kristen from Pink Toes and Power Tools and I am honored to be guest posting today here at PHG!

At Pink Toes and Power Tools, you will get DIY instruction and inspiration in home remodeling and decorating, with an emphasis on woodworking. The projects on my blog are all done by me. I’m 5’2″ tall and 115 pounds. In short (pun intended), if I can do it then you can too!”

I was a seasoned DIYer in sewing and interior painting prior to beginning my blog, but I was a complete newbie in woodworking. Learn along with me as I tackle my first project, a Storage Closet Organizer, which gave me the confidence to build some Leaning Wall Shelves, which eventually led to an entirely new entrance to my home (which is also the laundry room):

With the new year rolling over just recently, I made a resolution to get some organization back into some hidden areas of our home. So today I am going to show you how you can build some under the sink storage, because I was tired of opening the door and looking at this:

I wish I could tell you that I “staged” it to look this bad, but unfortunately that isn’t the case. Some of you may still think that I did and for that I thank you — that means somebody out there believes I’m just not this messy. My husband sure wishes that were so! You can now understand that when I saw this on Pinterest I got pretty excited.


source: Pregnant…with power tools

Actually I got a LOT excited…dollar store bins! Scrap wood! Cheap and easy DIY—what’s not to love??

So I went off and I built some stuff and now it looks like this:

I love it so much now!

First thing you need to do is go get yourself some bins. This project cost me $4 because all I had to buy were the bins and I got 2 for $1 at Dollar Tree. You also need to know that bins vary in quality and usability for this project. Look for rigid bins with side edges that are uniform with no obstructions like these:

Mine looked decent in the 2 pack

…but revealed their true colors when I separated them.

Oh well, no worries. I decided to make these work because they were the only options at Dollar Tree that were the right size (these are about 6.25×10) . I modified my runners from the inspiration photo by using two for each side. You would want to do that if your bins are wonky like mine, or you want the bin to not tilt forward as you pull it toward you to open it.

I’ll give you the instructions using my dimensions — modify yours to work with your bins and cabinet space or to use up the scraps that you have available.

For the plastic bin tower you need:

3/4″ plywood–2 @ 9.5 x 19.75 (sides)

1/2″ plywood–2 @ 8 9/16 x 9.5 (top and bottom–I pieces together mine with multiple scraps for each)

1/2″ mdf/ply–16 @ 2 x 9.5 (runners)

1/4″ ply–8 9/16 x 20 11/16

8 bins 6.25 x 10

First you attach the runners. I did this one by one using a bin to space them and make sure it didn’t bind at any point. Turns out as I measure them now, they are all almost exactly 1/4″ wide. Glue and nail with 1″ 18 gauge nails or countersink some screws.


Here I am figuring out how wide to cut the top and bottom. I think these would slide better if I had put them a little closer together, but I didn’t want to risk them binding. Glue and nail/screw on your top and bottom piece. I just put one nail on each corner of the top and bottom at this point (makes it easier to square it up). Put it on its face, square it up, nail on the back, and add some more nails or screws to the top and bottom.



The drawers do not slide perfectly–if you want drawers that do, you have got to get rigid bins with a decent lip on the side like I said before. For $4, I am more than thrilled with these.

The other components for this project are super easy but you’ve got to be careful. This whole unit won’t fit in the cabinet wall to wall if it is all attached together. If you are strategic you can get them in there and remove them later.

Add a scrap wood bin with felt on the bottom for easy gliding so you can reach into the back recesses and you are good to go!

It looks like I threw out a lot of stuff, but honestly what I got rid of would have fit in half of one of the plastic drawers. Ok, maybe three-quarters of one if you count half empty boxes and miscellaneous plastic bags.

What do you think of it? Have you got a place for one of these in your home?

Thanks again for having me here Brittany!

{clapping hands}

Thanks for that wonderful tutorial Kristen! If you would like more DIY tutorials and fun, head over to Pink Toes and Power Tools! And tell her I sent you!

Would you like to be a guest on Pretty Handy Girl? Read my open invitation here.

Organizing 101 Giveaway and Creating Calm Amongst Chaos


As a mother of two boys, my life is CHAOTIC! No matter how hard I try to contain the chaos that surrounds those two, I have come to terms with the fact that there are some things in life that cannot be controlled.

A week ago Tuesday night, while my dear husband was away on business, I had some super chaos thrown my way.

My boys were 5 ft. from me as I was putting away the dishes. They were showing off their “untrained” ninja moves to each other. My youngest proceeded to show his older brother an amazing kick that had so much momentum it swept him off his own two feet and sent him falling backwards. As anyone would do, he put his arm behind him to catch his fall. The results were 5 hours in the ER, a big fat co-pay, and this:

So, while I cannot control my boys’ crazy antics, what I can control is the chaos that exists in my home in closets, in drawers, and even under the kitchen sink!

I took the organizing 101 workshop back in the spring, and it was a great exercise in motivation and follow through for me. Over the course of 7 weeks, I learned  how to tackle small projects first. I learned what tools to use while organizing, what my road blocks are and many more useful tips.

Here is just a sampling of the organizational projects I’ve completed since taking the workshop:

Linen Closet

Under the Kitchen Sink

Bathroom vanity

and our Family Command Center

Having a more organized home has allowed me to have a more organized life. Which in turn gives me more patience and time to deal with little surprises, like this:

What about you? Do you want less CHAOS in your home and life? Well, meet your teachers:

Aby & Jay are the geniuses behind simplify1o1.com. Their goal statement says it all:

Our goal is to teach you skills and techniques to get more organized, as well as to provide you with the products and tools that will make getting the job done more fun and efficient. We’ll help you become a more productive, more energized and happier version of yourself. You’ll have more time and more energy to do the things you love (plus, you’ll be able to find everything you use to do those things you love!)

They help people take control of their homes which transfers to better control of their lives. By organizing your home, you can save countless hours a year. By simplifying and organizing your home, you will also save money. Best of all, having a neat and organized home will help you reduce CHAOS!

What better way to start the school year? Get control, get organized, and simplify your life. Banish the chaos that you CAN control!

In Organizing 101, you’ll learn a simple approach for de-cluttering your home. Plus, you’ll find out how to organize and store all the things you keep, so they’re easy to use (and put away when you’re finished!) Simplify Your Life with Habits + Routines will take the mystery out of creating new habits and routines, so you can lead the life you want to live. When you have good habits and simple routines in place, your day flows smoothly, because you don’t have to constantly remind yourself to get things done. Get Organized for the Holidays is the ultimate holiday planning workshop. Get simple tips and ideas so you stay energized and joyful all season long!

If you’d like more tips on organizing your home or office top to bottom, sign up for Simplify 101’s organizing newsletter right here ! You can also follow the blog and get even more daily tips.

Good luck!

Disclaimer: This is a sponsored post paid for by simplify101. However, in all honesty, I can’t say enough good things about simplify101. I will end by telling you that I thoroughly enjoyed the workshops I have taken so far (Organizing 101 and Organizing with your Kids).

My 7 year old son and I worked together to take his room from this:

to this:

And the best part was that he enjoyed doing it and asked every night if we could work together on organizing his room. We worked in 15 minute segments over several days. You would not believe the things that were stuffed underneath his bed! I can’t even tell you because it was that bad. But, on the bright side, my oldest is learning to live in a less chaotic room. 😉


Love Your Home, Not The Stuff! Taming the Clutter


Okay, we’ve all seen an episode of Hoarders by now. The guy that hasn’t seen the carpet in his home in 5 years or the woman who saves everything! We see those extreme examples of clutter and can’t imagine how they can live like that.

But, the question is, do you see clutter in your own home? I can tell you that I have clutter. Not, OMG call Hoarders type clutter, but small piles of it. A few extra knick knacks, some papers that need to be filed or those horrid happy meal toys! They start out in corners, bookshelves, flat surfaces. Sometimes they stay like that, they are there but not “bite you on the nose” noticeable most of the time. And sometimes they multiply and become little families of clutter. Even the smallest bits of clutter are noticed by your eyes, and your brain processes it. This is what I call visual clutter.

In college, I used to have to clean my entire room before I could start on my illustration assignments. I do the same thing in our garage (which is cluttered now) before I can start on a new project.

I NEED the visual calmness of a clean room so I could be more creative and more productive.

This week, I want you to pick one room. Preferably the room you spend the most time in. Is it your kitchen or your home office? Whatever it is, this is the room that will make you happy when you are done. It is the room that will allow you to “Fall in Love with Your Home.”

Four Boxes (or laundry bins)
Large Trash Bag
Different Colored Sheets of Paper
Thick Marker
Cleaning rags
Windex or general cleaners

Begin by gathering your four boxes.Label each one with these labels: KEEP, DONATE or SELL, RECYCLE, TRASH. I like to use a different color for each label so I don’t accidentally toss something in the wrong bin.

  • KEEP = Things that don’t belong in that rom or to be stored away somewhere else
  • DONATE or SELL = Goodwill, Thrift store or FreeCycle.org donation. Or sell via yardsale, Craig’s List, eBay or other sales venue.
  • RECYCLE = paper, glass, cans, and other curbside recycling. Also, dry-cleaner hangers, plastic bags, or other items that can be re-used. I.e. Old cloths or linens that can be cut up for cleaning rags.
  • TRASH = Anything worthless in value. I like to line the trash bin with a big plastic bag to make it easier to empty.

Start in one area of the room (I like to start furthest from the door or work clockwise from the door.) This will be the first zone you are going to work in. Begin by taking any and all the items from that zone (unless the item has a place to be stored in that room. In that case, put it away.)

Once the zone is clear, clean off all the surfaces.

Now either put the items away that are staying (preferably out of sight) or place it in one of the four bins.

If you find yourself stuck ask yourself these questions:

  1. Have I used or worn it in the last 6 mos? 1 year?
  2. “Will this item help me create the home I want” – Peter Walsh
  3. Is this item irreplaceable?

If the answer to any of those questions is “No”, then say adieu to it now!

If you find yourself stuck. Try the 1 year box idea. Create another box and put anything you are undecided about inside. Seal it up and write a date 1 year from today on it. Next year when you find that box in storage, get rid of it. Don’t even open it. If you didn’t miss the items inside then you don’t need them. Just donate it.

Continue until you have cleared your zone.

Assess the “KEEP” items and decide which ones can go back in that zone. Be sure to store them out of sight. Don’t allow them to become visual clutter in your room.

I’m going to stop here, because I have some important pieces of furniture for storing items at my reach, but not in my visual line of sight.

First is my Craig’s List pie safe:

This $65 special is not very big.
Approximately 36″ wide by 60″ tall.
But, it stores everything but the kitchen sink!

Top Shelf:

  • school papers
  • school work
  • kids artwork
  • Workbooks
  • Coloring Books
  • Favorite Magazines
  • Coupon Binder Sleeves

Next shelf:

  • charging station (tutorial to come)
  • Cell phones
  • Cameras
  • Battery chargers
  • Walkie Talkies
  • Recipe Box


  • Left: Pretty Handsome Guy’s mail
  • Rigth: Pretty Handy Girl’s mail

Bottom shelf:

  • Cookbooks

Renee’s credenza (another Craig’s List find):

Top drawers:

  • Left drawer: Mail for him
  • Right drawer: Mail for her
  • Lined baskets store all of their daughter’s art supplies! Brilliant and beautiful.

Okay, back to de-cluttering. When you have finished going through the whole room go ahead and start removing the bins from the room. Empty the trash, dump the recycling in the curbside recycling and sort out any other items that aren’t curbside. Put them in your car so you can get rid of them while you are running errands (drycleaner, grocery store, etc.)

Now, sort through the Donate/Sell box. Grab a notepad to jot down anything you will be donating. Then put that pile in a bag and put it in your car as well. Be sure to run by Goodwill or the thrift store one day this week. Put the items you intend to sell in a dedicated spot in storage. Make a commitment to yourself to sell them within 3-6 mos. and donate them if you haven’t after that time frame. (Pretty Handsome Guy might be calling me out on this one.)

Finally, sort through the KEEP box, bring the box with you around the house, and stop in each room. Put away all the items that belong in that room. If you have to, go ahead and leave the items for that room somewhere to be put away later. Remember today you are only tackling the one room!

My closet, de-cluttered in less than 30 minutes.
Color coordinated clothes help you pick outfits faster.
And makes you aware of what colors you have enough of in your wardrobe.

Go back to the room you just de-cluttered. Sit there and breathe in. Allow yourself to enjoy the calmness of a clean and clutter-free space. Let yourself fall in love with this space. Anytime you find yourself disgusted with your home, go back to this space and rekindle that flame.

Now get crackin’ and eliminate that visual clutter. Need some help controlling clutter? Let Simplify 101 give you a jumpstart with a FREE mini guide, click on the button below to get started.