Wednesday, February 1, 2012

84 Reader Space: Great Gift Wrap Organization!

Today's story makes me smile.  Not only because a reader now has the sweetest gift wrap organization imaginable, but because it is real.  Sure, we see the loveliest of organizing pictures in magazines, which I even feature  here from time to time.  Why?  Because they are inspirational.  They give us a happy feeling and inspire us to be creative.  And that's exactly what happened with today's reader, Kelly.  She was definitely feeling inspired by a pretty project and I love her results!


Kelly wrote:

Jen,
I discovered your blog a few months ago and I love it! I have always been an organized person, but lacked the ideas and inspiration that your blog provides. Your blog has really motivated me! My husband is in the military and we are gearing up for a big move this year, which has prompted me to get purging and organizing as much as possible before we must pack up everything once again. I've been taking it one space at a time, and one area that really needed attention was our gift wrap supplies. Last week I reorganized my gift wrap using an over-the-door Elfa organizer from the Container Store. A few days later, I noticed your Organized Dream Home post and saw that we were both inspired by the same photo of gift wrap supplies organized on the back of a door in an office. I just thought you might like to see what I was able to come up with. I've attached some pictures of my "before" pile and how it turned out, nice and neat on the back of a door. I also blogged about it here.
 
Since we are a military family, we move a lot and usually don't own the houses we live in, which means we need our storage solutions to be semi-permanent and hopefully don't need to be drilled into anything, like a door, cabinet or wall. We have 2 small children which means every inch matters, so the Elfa Over-door System is perfect for this project because it makes use of space that usually does nothing. The Elfa rack didn't need to be drilled into the door, so when we are packing up, it will be easy to empty out and take down. No repairs needed and we can use it for anything we want in any room with a door in any house in the future. I can think of lots of uses for this over-door rack and it is very high-quality so I think my investment of about $70 will be worth it in the long run.  
 
My first step was to gather up all my gift wrap supplies into one place and then purge. I tend to keep all gift bags thinking I will reuse them so my collection had become a bit out of control. I got rid of anything in bad shape, or things that I would never reuse. I asked myself: what do I tend to buy for gifts and how do I usually wrap them? Since we are military and most of our friends and family live far away, I tend to buy small gifts or gift cards since everything must be mailed. I kept this in mind as I sorted and purged. I also made sure to keep a few bags from every occasion category, such as weddings, birthdays, baby, holiday, etc. That way I would always have something on hand. Now I am able to "shop" from my own collection of gift wrap supplies instead of running out to a big box store thinking I need to buy something. And space in our home that had not functioned as anything but a door before, now functions as smart storage. I hope this provides a little bit of inspiration for you as I am inspired daily by your blog!
 
Kelly

 
The popular inspiration photo is this one from Better Homes and Gardens:

{source}

"Here is how my wrapping stuff looked before. Shoved under the bed in my daughter's room or in her closet, not ideal locations now that she is getting bigger and needing more of her bedroom space for herself. Plus the wrapping paper roll holder is too short for many of my rolls and so the lid would just sit awkwardly on top. The under-the-bed storage container was all wonky from our last move and the lid wouldn't fit right, plus it was overflowing with way too many bags.


I decided I needed to purge, purge, and purge some more until I could fit all of my supplies on this over-the-door Elfa rack. This rack worked perfectly for us since we are a military family and we move alot, we need something that does not get drilled into walls/doors and can go with us when we move. This organizer would also be great for a pantry or bathroom or laundry room or garage, so we will always be able to use it for something. Or at least that is how I justified the cost because Elfa is not cheap, even on sale.


Here is what I needed to purchase to create this storage:
  • 77-3/4in Mounted Standard
  • Set of Two Residential Overdoor Hooks
  • 3 Deep Baskets
  • 1 Shallow Basket
  • 1 Media Rack

A deep basket holds about 15 paper rolls {with room for more} and the media rack holds them in place



A shallow basket on top fits all of my curling ribbons:

Another deep basket holds my gift tags and stickers, a handful of gift boxes, wrapping tissue, and some more ribbon:


And yet another deep basket holds all the gift bags I kept:



I purged and tossed anything ripped, torn, old looking or just plain ugly. I made sure to keep a handful in each category: holiday, baby, wedding, birthdays, etc. I probably still have 40 or so bags and they all fit in this rack.


So, now all my gift wrap is in one convenient space on a door that was doing nothing to help me organize before. It kinda just stood there doing nothing. But Elfa and I put this door to work and we didn't even need to drill one hole! The whole set up of the rack took literally 3 minutes and sorting and organizing took about an hour total."

I can't express how smitten I am with her project!
 

  • She found inspiration and made it her own.  
  • She sorted all of the gift wrap supplies, analyzed what made sense to keep based on her personal situation and purged the rest!
  • She found a solution that best fits her family needs.  Since they move frequently and rent, no drilling required and it can be reused anywhere they go to next!  
  • The piece she used is so versatile in regards to what it can store and how it can be used and because of it's quality it will last for an eternity so it will be well worth her investment.
  • She is now freeing up floor and closet space by taking advantage of previously unused door space.
  • She is inspiring others.  Yes, her before picture is almost identical to my current gift wrap storage.  I am motivated!
  • She made it easier to shop her own home and reduce over purchasing wrapping supplies at the store, no more rummaging through multiple bins!
 
Who else is totally in love?  Anyone else been organizing their gift wrapping essentials?  What additional ideas/tips and tricks can you share?  Who else has checked an organizing project off of their "pinned" list?



ATTENTION!!  Want to be featured in a Reader Space edition?  Have an awesome organizing story to share?  I am looking for projects that have made a positive impact to your life.  Please send your story and photos to iheartorganizing@gmail.com and I would heart to feature them right here, on the blog!!  Photos should be high resolution and unedited.  Please include a description of the project, including any costs, inspiration, and how it has changed your life and routine for the better!  Oh, and no worries my friends, we will NEVER judge "before" pictures because that just wouldn't be nice!  Only love goes on at this blog!  More info HERE.

84 comments:

  1. I actually think I like hers better than the BH&G one - it looks a lot tidier! (and you should see my current gift wrap storage. Or maybe not. Yikes!!)

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  2. I'm totally inspired! My before pile looked SO much like hers (with a bit more holiday stuff) and I have the perfect place to put it! I'm going to find the organizer and (finally) tackle my wrapping supplies! Thanks for sharing.

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  3. Really Great! Thanks for sharing! I agree, hers looks better than the BH&G sample!

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  4. I need to do this, my gift bags are mostly organized-ish but i have so many! I cannot seem to let a gift bag go, so i will purge and freecycle until my bags fit into 1 under-bed box (I do not usually wrap so there is only one roll of kraft paper)

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  5. Her wrap station looks so simple and neat. The gift wrap disaster is on my To-Do list for February.

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  6. I've been looking for something similar to the Better Home and Gardens picture for so long! When I went to the container store I didn't find anything similar, but obviously I just wasn't looking in the right spot! I'm super excited now :)

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  7. My wrapping stuff looks like her "Before" picture at the moment. Can I just say, who the heck invented those dumb wrapping paper holders?! Do they not know how long the rolls are, because I have NEVER seen one that someone was using with the lid on! I have a plan in mind, but the area I need to use has bifold doors so that makes it tricky. Love her space!

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  8. I've been dying to do something like this with my gift wrap supplies. I am definitely going to proceed after seeing this. Love it!

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  9. I'm so inspired. In fact, I'll be pinning some of these photos and hopefully putting the back of a door to work very soon. What an awesome project.

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  10. I love the fixture on the back of the door! I'm a HUGE commitment-phobe when it comes to adding features like that but the amount of function makes this 100% worth it!

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  11. This is amazing!! I loved this post....so simple....very dreamy to look at :)

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  12. I LOVE THIS! Your before picture looks just like how my supplies are organized now! I will definitely use this idea to organize!

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  13. Thank you so much for this post; with our recent move this will be my next organizational project. I have to agree with previous poster that this one is much better than BHG

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  14. Inspired! I was already planning on a Container Store trip this weekend.... now I know what I'm doing with that random storage closet door! Thanks for the step-by-step directions and supply list.

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  15. I really love this idea. I think I will have to do this as well. Just FYI to everyone, a very similar over-the-door rack is sold at Target for about half the price. It is marketed for a pantry door or wall to store food (I've used one for this purpose), but it is totally customizable in terms of where you put the shelves and the pieces for keeping tall items from tipping out of the shelves (very similar to the Elfa pieces, just slightly less attractive). It might not be quite as pretty, but it still looks good and if it's going to be on the inside of a closet door, it doesn't need to be fancy.

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    1. Thanks so much for the heads-up on a lower cost alternative!

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    2. Yes!! Thank you! I think the one you are referring to is the Closetmaid 8 tier adjustable door rack. I found it here: http://www.target.com/p/Closetmaid-8-Tier-Adjustable-Door-Rack/-/A-13680756?reco=Rec|pdp|13680756|ClickCP|item_page.adjacency&lnk=Rec|pdp|ClickCP|item_page.adjacency

      I can't wait to go to Target, now! :)

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  16. Wowzah. I can't believe that is over the door. That is fantastic. I LOVE using door space. She did a wonderful job. SO fun to wrap presents now.

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  17. FYI: Elfa on sale now through Feb. 15. Headed to TCS! This is awesome.

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  18. Just ordered my supplies for pickup! Thanks for sharing this!!!

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  19. She did an amazing job!

    Mrs. Delightful recently posted: My Memories Giveaway

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  20. LOVE. totally going to do something similar to free up some extra space. thanks so much for sharing. :)

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  21. Does anyone know how the media rack works? If the tubes of wrapping paper can fit through it, how does it hold CD/DVDs? Did she tinker with this somehow (or perhaps I'm just dense and not getting it)? Thanks.

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    1. I did not have to do anything to the media rack, just popped it on like the other baskets to the hanging rack. The media rack has an open bottom with 4 supports running along the width and 2 supports on the sides, so the rolls can go right through between the supports and be held up, but can't fall out. It works for CD and DVD cases because they are too wide to fall through. I hope this makes sense!

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    2. Makes perfect sense! Thanks for taking the time to answer! And great job on the new gift-wrap center!

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  22. I only have one question...what is the green square attached to one of the shelves with ball cord? *super curious*

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    1. Looks like it is a gift tag!

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    2. Yep, it is a gift tag! I didn't want it to fall out of the basket, so I clipped it on for easy access when I am ready to use it.

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  23. I love this and am now itching to go through my stash and pare it down! I am a fellow military wife and have to share that the red mover tag on your original under bed tote made me smile, those never stop popping up in our house! =)

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    1. Hahaha! Yep, I completely gave up on getting them off everything, I think they must multiply when we aren't looking!

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  24. thanks for sharing, I so need this in my life for all year wrappings. Christmas wrappings are put away with the Christmas decor, but this would be a wonderful way to keep my other wrappings more accessible. Kathysue

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  25. This is fabulous! I am going to check out this container. I have several doors that could be put to use. Thanks so much for sharing this! XO, pinky

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  26. This is brilliant! I saw the BHG pic awhile back but knowing we aren't staying in this house forever, didn't want to do something so permanent! I even have the Elfa system on our pantry door - can't believe I didn't think to do this! She did a wonderful job - so inspiring! Thanks for sharing!

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  27. I think many of us clipped the BHG picture as inspiration. I'm also looking at the Target version to use on a closet door near my craft area. This post makes me want to get it done! Thanks for sharing!

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  28. love it, and would love to copy, but unfortunately i dont have a door to use.

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  29. I wish I could be THIS organized. Wow!! I would love to use this, but I have NO free doors in my very small apartment. Could you do some type of organizing article that deals with apartment living? I love to organize but it gets hard sometimes with very little space. I need some more creativity!

    Thanks,

    Jess

    www.kensingtoncreations.wordpress.com

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  30. I love how she chose the solid pink bag that just fit the basket for her gift bag storage. I'm sure it will help protect the corners of the bags from wear, and it looks smart!

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  31. That looks great! I think I may have to do that! I bought one of those wrapper holders during post Christmas sales and I agree, what a PITA. I have 3 rolls that don't fit because they're way to tall. Annoying.

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  32. I love it! Gift wrapping supplies is one of the things I struggle to find space for. At this point, I don't have a free door to use. I'm still searching for a solution, but this is great!

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  33. I love this and it looks better than the BHG. I may have to do this.

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  34. I have been looking for a way to organize my wrapping paper/bags/etc! THANK YOU FOR THIS! So doing it! :)

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  35. It looks fantastic. All of my wrapping paper and supplies is stacked underneath my stairs.

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  36. I don't see the media rack on the website, is it on a different page? I think this is Fantastic!!!

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    1. You are right, it is on a different page, here is the link, it is called "elfa media shelf white" ($6.99 on sale right now)
      http://www.containerstore.com/shop?productId=10029074&N=&Nao=0&Ntt=media+rack

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  37. I too think Kelly's looks better than the BHG one. Much neater. I just realised I do have a door that I can use on the main level in my home. Currently all my gift wrap supplies are down in the basement and I don't like having to go down there to get it all. This is a great solution!

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  38. Wow how inspirational. I really need to do that. I have a box with everything stuffed in. Great post.
    Love Jem

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  39. That is FANTASTIC. I might have to try this!

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  40. Love it!! great use of space. I do wnat to know where she got the big spools of ribbon!

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  41. I need this! My wrapping supplies are currently in an underbed storage container and it is definitely not pretty! Love it!

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  42. Wow, it looks so perfect. I want one! My gift wrap supplies are in two dresser drawers. I could really use them for other things besides gift wrap! Thank you for the inspiration!

    www.createyourdecor.blogspot.com

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  43. Love this idea! Purchased the supplies already! Thanks!!

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  44. Very very organized, I didn't see the media rack that held the wrapping paper rolls in place in the components list on the website. Where is it?? :)

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  45. My gift wrapping storage is the same mess as hers was. I will be fixing that very soon thanks to her idea and solution.

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  46. This is so inspiring! I have wracked my brain trying to work out how to replicate that BHG pic. Will need to check out our elfa stockist here in Australia to see if I can do it. Thank you both!

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  47. This is awesome! I really need to get my wrapping in order. Very inspiring!

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  48. Love this! I actually ripped out the same BHG photo because my gift wrap needs major organization, but I couldn't figure out how to put the racks together. Thanks for the links!

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  49. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  50. I love this! My clients are always overflowing with wrapping paper, but really you just need a little bit of everything. And using the inside of the door is brilliant - it's a tip I tell everyone. Thanks for the post.

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  51. I am so doing this! I have my gift wrapping in 2 under the bed storage bins, but this would make it be all in one place! Plus I can then use the bins to store extra sheets for the beds which currently really don't have a home. I'll be making a run to the Container Store tomorrow! Does anyone know if it's the narrow or regular deep/shallow baskets that are used? Thank you so much for sharing such a great idea!!

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  52. I just ordered my supplies from the Container Store and I can't wait to pick them up. This is the PERFECT solution to my gift wrap clutter!

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  53. Just bought an alternative to the Elfa system at Target for half the cost. Here is the link.

    http://www.target.com/p/Closetmaid-8-Tier-Adjustable-Door-Rack/-/A-13680756?reco=Rec|pdp|13680756|ClickCP|item_page.adjacency&lnk=Rec|pdp|ClickCP|item_page.adjacency

    It works great!

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    1. Were you able to put the wrapping paper in this one(closetmaid) like she did?

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  54. I love it!! Found this on Pinterest. We're in the process of moving rooms around in our house and my stash of gift wrap, bags, etc was ridiculous. I think I'm going to try the Closetmaid one from Target (only because we have one where I live and it's cheaper)...we'll see how it works out! Thank you!!

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  55. Love this (and Elfa)! Used as inspiration for my own version in my guest room. Genius to use the media rack to stabilize the wrapping paper!

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  56. I found this on Pinterest also and recreated it exactly as shown. LOVE!!! It's made such a difference, before I was always buying more wrapping supplies because I could never find anything and that was just perpetuating the mess.

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  57. Thank you! I got inspired and did a organizing myself. I included a link to your blog in my post http://outofsmallthings8.blogspot.com/
    Love your ideas as well as your guests'!

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  58. Doing this now, literally. Kinda wish I could've saved money by getting the stuff at Target (didn't read the comments until after I got my Elfa in the mail), but I can't picture how it would work with the wrapping paper rolls. It always helps to have a visual. Maybe I'll get the Target one for inside my pantry and compare! Thanks again.

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  59. I just ordered this! I can't wait to organize all of this stuff, the bags that I save are totally out of control!

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  60. I just did this and am SO happy with the results! Great for space saving & organizing! Def not cheap but it works SO WELL!! Thanks for sharing your wonderful idea!

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  61. Nice blog. Thank you very much for posting. I want to know more about this in future.

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  62. Great post! With this we learned that there are lots of things we can put on at the back of pantry doors. Right! Agree or disagree...

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  63. I bought a new bedroom set and my under the bed storage would not fit. I was looking for a better way to store my wrapping paper. Thankyou for listing out the pieces needed - I bought exactly what you specified and it works wonderfully!

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  64. I like this idea but she spent $70 for the elfa system while the BHG one was only $34.95 and comes with free shipping. http://www.chefscatalog.com/product/26097-deluxe-6-shelf-adjustable-pantry-door-rack.aspx

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  65. It says that she used the media rack for the wrapping paper. I don't see that as an option with elfa. Can you help me to figure out exactly what piece she is talking about. I have it all up and finished except for that piece!

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  66. For those looking for the MEDIA RACK: http://www.containerstore.com/shop?productId=10029074&N=&Nao=0&Ntt=media+rack

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  67. For those looking for the MEDIA RACK: http://www.containerstore.com/shop?productId=10029074&N=&Nao=0&Ntt=media+rack

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  68. Just bought all the supplies to organize cannot wait for it to arrive!!

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  69. Inspired, and just bought my supplies from The Container Store. Thanks!!

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  70. I love it! Thank you Kelly, for listing all of the supplies. I just finished a painting/craft room, as I do glass painting. I mounted this on back wall of my closet in that room. The employees at The Container Store helped me find the right hardware to attach it right to my drywall. It was easy!! :) I would love to send a picture, so you can see how it looks, but don't see a place to attach pics! I had two tubs worth of wrapping paper stuff and now it is almost all in the shelf! There are a few LARGE Christmas paper rolls that I have leaned against the shelf, but it is GREAT! THANKS again Kelly!

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  71. Love it! Just ordered all my supplies :) So excited to get organized!

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