31 days of organization: The Built In

Let me first say, that I love my built in. One of the main things that made me buy this house is all the little nooks and crannies that give it so much character. That being said, I treat this nook like a dumping ground. It’s always just pure chaos in there.

The top shelf is blankets and pillows, the bottom shelf is gift wrapping supplies. Everything gets taken out, thrown back in, unfolded, tangled… generally just hidden away.

But no more! I took literally everything out of there and sorted it all into piles:

  • things that don’t belong on these shelf (toys, curtains, hoarded packaging)
  • tissue paper
  • gift bags (Christmas, then all other)
  • tape, ribbons, ties
  • wrapping paper
  • afghans
  • pillows
  • fleece blankets
  • sheets

My family throws away nothing. My entire tissue paper stash is just used tissue paper from gifts I’ve gotten throughout the years, the same goes with all of my gift bags and ribbons. The same goes for most of my blankets and pillows (with the exception of 2 lovely afghans made as housewarming gifts). And I donate stuff to Big Brother Big Sister at least every 3 months, but I still have a ton.

Anyway, after it was sorted, back in it went!

Much better! Not magazine worthy, but better.

I didn’t go out and spend any money on organizational supplies, and it’s still not pretty, but it’s much more functional and I can actually find things now.

On the top shelf:

  • a comforter bag full of fleece blankets (unseen)
  • a comforter bag full of miscellaneous throw pillows
  • 3 hand made afghans
  • an extra sheet

Note: I have blankets and pillows literally all over the house. This collection doesn’t even include quilts, comforters, and throws. Oye.

On the bottom shelf:

  • The purple box holds tape, ribbons ties, and tags
  • The stand up bags are for any time of year
  • The pile on the right is stacked Christmas bags on the bottom, then tissue paper, then the Target bag is birthday and Christmas gifts I’ve already purchased
  • Up against the back wall is wrapping paper and cellophane (which I rarely use)

Note This is just where gift bags are. I have another section for paper bags. And another section for plastic bags. Also, I have a problem with the collection of bags. 

Hooray! This took under 30 minutes and makes my life so much easier.


  • Start with a clean slate. If you want to organize an area of your house, clear it out completely then make piles and put things back with a purpose
  • If you’ve had something for a year and you’ve never used it, you can probably throw it away
  • Make a pile of things that can be put away somewhere better and more useful.


This post written as part of the following series:

organization- built in closet storage and organization


10 thoughts on “31 days of organization: The Built In

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  4. Ahhh – I hoard tissue paper too! People always look at me like a crazy as a “pet” out the wrinkles in the tissue paper as I open gifts.

    • especially where you’re house hunting— hoard like crazy girl, because you’re going to need it to wrap up breakables!! that’s what I did 🙂

  5. Too funny! I just started taking pictures of my cabinets this weekend so I can do a good “before” and “Tada! AKA: After” picture. I plan on using a lot of the organization tips that I see on Pintrest to help me out. There are soooo many ways to expand the amount of space in your cupboards and closets that I never even happened to think of. Congrats to you for starting the hard and sometimes painful task of organizing. You inspired me to get my cupboards together for the”after” pictures. 🙂

    • haha thanks! man, I hate organizing but this 31 day challenge is just what I needed. There’s so much stuff I just put “away” when we moved in to get it out of boxes and it’s time to sort it out!

      Also- can’t wait to see your deck!! I’m so jealous!

  6. so what you’re saying is that I’m not the only crazy lady that hoards gift wrapping supplies? wonderful! I even stock up on gift bags whenever they’re in the target see spot save 🙂

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