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I love using junk to organize around my house. I hope you enjoy these ideas as much as I have enjoyed making them

This birdcage has been turned into a Craft organizing center. Simply spray paint a bird cage , make shelves out of left-over wood and accessorize with your favorite craft items or pretty papers. You can even slide envelopes and mail between the wires.

I actually copied a project I had seen in Country Home Magazine by Ki Nassauer, and she was so honored she had me send this one in to the magazine to be published in the "reader Letters" section. It was my first published project.

Crate Shelf

Always in the mood for change, I decided to pull some old crates from my barn and make a storage/display shelf in my "junk room"

First to make it look less "dorm" and more "furniture" I added some feet to a board for the base.
This lifts it up off the ground a bit and makes it look more like a piece of furniture.

Then I pulled in several crates from my barn. I tried them in different configurations before I settled on this. You could screw them together at this point, but I did not. Then I accessorized with stuff that I have in the barn that is mostly for my Etsy store. Pretty much all of it is for sale. It'll be a rotation of my favorite items until they sell and then something new will go in their place.

The whole project took about 20 mins including drilling holes for the feet. I think it might make a good spot to photograph Etsy items as well.

Mail Boxes are not just for Mail

Old mail boxes make fun storage. Put one in the kitchen for utensils and dish towels, Or the guest room for mail and an extra towel. I use one outside for gardening tools, which keeps them dry and protected from the rain.

Here's the Scoop

Rusty old grain scoops are pretty easy to find at flea markets. Once used via a belt driven system to scoop and transport grain or water or some such, similar to the photo above. Usually they are sold individually but sometimes you can still find them attached to their belts. They come in various sizes as well

They make fun wall pockets and organizers etc.
Here are a few projects I've done with old rusty grain scoops.

Make a caddy by placing 2 of the scoops back to back, attaching them to a piece of scrap wood.

This was a very very simple project. I added a handle to the top, and there you have it. It's being used for spice storage next to the stove. It would also be great for condiments at a cook-out too. To seal in the rusted patina, I sprayed them with a spray on varnish before assembly.

For these two similar projects, I took an old clip board, and a grain belt scoop. Two screws from the back and it was ready to be put to work

Rusty Catch-all

For this project I attached the scoop to a chippy piece of wood that I picked up at a re-use center. For clips I used old Perm Roller clips that I had found. Any clips will do. Old Hooks, and misc hardware finish it off, and you have a great beside-the-door catch-all for keys, coats, hats, notes, pictures or whatever.

This organizer was made from some smaller grain scoops. I spray painted them white and then rubbed them with fine sand paper to give them that aged look. Then I simply screwed them onto an old piece of wood and added hooks. This makes a great by-the-door catch all for keys, change, etc. And I'm sure you could think of many other uses for it.

Office organizer

If you can't find an old grain scoop, use your imagination, old sewing drawers, narrow metal baskets, regular baskets etc. will all work for this fun idea.

A few fun ways to gather up the clutter

This project was so fun to do. Sorry the pic isn't really that good, the item sold before I got get a good shot of it. It all started with this long narrow basket that I picked up in MN. I mounted it to the lid of an old wooden ammo box. Then I screwed in wire hooks, also picked up at the Bonanza. For message/photo clips I used old metal Perm roller clips. A couple of old drawer pulls and it's finished. The original hinges were left on to use to hang this message center to the wall. One of my best and favorite customers picked this up at my Barn sale, and I'm sure it will be put to good use in her home.

From Hymnal holder, to organizer

I recently picked up these old hynmal holders at a sale.

They are unusual in that they have a large pocket, a smaller pocket, and places for a pencil. My immediate thought was to make an organizer for next to my computer.

China Cup Organizer

Make a row of them or just a single. Great as a key/change/celphone drop by the door.

This is a really fun and unique project. You'll need a wet saw to do this one.

Luggage Pocket wall organizer pocket

An old luggage pocket, an old Frame and some scrap wood, Mount the pocket onto the wood and then added various embellishments. It makes a great place to display old photo's, cards, mail etc. You could also mount the pocket on an old drawer front, or even a shutter.

In the Office or Studio

Old parts trays are a great way to store and find small items in a craft studio

I use an old suitcase to store current year paperwork and files. An old shoe tying toy, would be a great pencil holder on a teacher's desk.

I use a metal file box like this one to keep folders and papers close at hand, the flip lid is perfct for clips, pencils and glasses.

Use various vintage items in a new way to keep supplies close at hand

This is one of my favorite organizing tools. These old address flip files are great for keeping passwords organized and close at hand. It does not matter if they already have writing in them, just cover it with a post it note or label.

Old lunch trays are perfect drawer organizers.

This old welding tool carrier is perfect as a desk organizer in an industrial space.

Spring Mail holder/sorter

Doll crib is perfect for files

An old bicycle basket for files and folders, is easily transported or hung on the wall

Bread boxes work great in an office or desk area, and they have doors and lids to tuck it all away

And old drying rack of some sort makes a fun inspiration board, next to it you see the bicycle basket

Bakery bread trays

Make garage and workshop organizing easy as pie


This is just some peg board, mounted on the outside of the garage for those garden tools.