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Creative Thinking = Accidental Organizing

March 9, 2013

A couple of years ago, a friend tried to give me an unused wine rack she had been storing in her daughter’s garage.  Since I live in a small space and have never been much of a drinker, I turned down the offer.

Last last summer, though, when the tree hiding the parking lot next door got cut down, I had to find a way to block the pavement and vehicles from my view.  I asked if the wine rack was still on offer, et voilà!  Problem solved.


wine rack garden jenglisch.

Miraculously, the wine rack also went a long way towards preventing the once-a-year bird/bat kill that usually happens on the balcony.

Of course, I didn’t want the thing to get wrecked when the snow came, so it had to come inside for the winter.  This is how, by accident, it became a food pantry in one of the hall closets:




I use the wine-holding section at the bottom to hold rolled-up cloth shopping bags.

I’m not sure what’s going to happen to this organizing system come spring.  We’ve gotten used to the pantry here in the Treehouse, but I will want to shield the parking lot from my view again once the weather gets nicer.


Speaking of closets, remember the crate playhouse I lovingly made for those household felines?  Yeah, cats suck rocks.  After a couple of weeks of watching them ignore it and refuse to use it, I told them, “To hell with you!”  And I absconded with it for some more organizing in the Treehouse.  Using it, and a second white-painted crate, I found the answer to the problem of the pile of shoes at the bottom of my bedroom closet.


bedroom closet


Incidentally, painting the insides of your closets is a great trick for making you want to keep them organized.  Other solutions I had to get creative about were the putting drawer-liner-covered cardboard boxes on the shelf, utilizing lots of hooks (three more hiding inside the closet) to prevent me from otherwise dropping my clothes on the floor, and a making space for a wicker hamper to do double-duty as an afghan-covered cat bed – because they’ll sleep in the closet anyway – so my skirts won’t end up covered in cat hair.


Still, since I have a fairly ordinary small space closet, there isn’t a lot of room in there for my girly shit, like accessories.  One day, though, during my thrift spelunking adventures, I found a gorgeous picture frame made of glass, mirror, and wood, with a $4 price tag on it.

I felt kind of bad when the ladies at the Catholic-run second-hand store thought I was purchasing it for the hideous print of the Last Supper that was inside it.  (It wasn’t even da Vinci!  It was some random artist who copied it!)  I don’t know what became of the print, but I left it outside the dumpster in case anyone wanted to give it a home.

Is it sacrilege, to leave Jesus by a dumpster?




(Seriously, can you imagine that turned sideways, with a bad copy of The Last Supper in there?  Viva Las Jesus.)

With the addition of some hooks and pushpins, I had myself a nicely organized accessories “closet”….




….that remains hidden behind the bedroom door until I need it.




I think organizing small spaces is a lot like playing Tetris.  You just have to figure out how to make the pieces fit.

If you are a small space dweller yourself, or just want something a little different from the typical decorating and organizing sites, I highly recommend perusing the Apartment Therapy blog.


Dodie Goldney

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related posts by Dodie Goldney:

Looking at the Overlooked

Manifest Headboard

Kali the Destroyer:  Cereal Killer Version



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