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.

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 an 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!)

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. 😉


Easy Step by Step Guide to Decluttering Your Home

Need some help getting started on decluttering your home? This is an easy step-by-step guide with simple actionable steps to take. I’ll start you out with small steps and before you know it, you’ll be finished and loving your home again! Let’s work together taming the clutter!

easy steps to declutter home

Easy Step-by-Step Guide to 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.
You’ve also likely stumbled upon Marie Kondo and the KonMari method of organizing. Wherever you fall in the spectrum of hoarder vs. minimalist, you can likely benefit from this Easy Step-by-Step Guide to Taming Clutter.

Ask Yourself one Question:

Do you see clutter in your own home?

Are you so immune to that pile in the corner that you don’t see it anymore? Keep reading to find out why this small pile might not help your brain.

Visual Clutter:

I admit I have clutter. Not, the “OMG! Call Hoarders” type clutter. But, I do have small piles of things with no home. A few extra knick-knacks, some papers that need to be filed, or those horrid happy meal toys! This is an example of small visual clutter. It’s not “bite you on the nose” noticeable most of the time. Did you know even the smallest bits of clutter are noticed by your eyes, and your brain has to process it. This is why sometimes you stop seeing it. I call anything that sits out 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.

You need the visual calmness of a clean room to be more creative and more productive. It helps focus your mind on the task you are doing.

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.”

Easy Step-by-Step Guide to Taming the Clutter:

I’m going to share with you a simple step-by-step guide to reducing clutter in your home. This process works in any area of your home.


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

Step-by-Step Guide to Reducing Clutter:

Begin by gathering your four boxes. If you are working in an area with larger items, you can set areas just outside the room instead of boxes.

Label each one with these labels:

  • KEEP

I like to use a different color for each label so I don’t accidentally toss something in the wrong bin.
cardboard boxes in front of closet labeled keep, donate/sell, recycle, trash

  • KEEP – Things that don’t belong in that room or to be stored away somewhere else
  • DONATE or SELL – Goodwill, Thrift store, or FreeCycle.org donation. Or sell by having a yardsale, on Craig’s List or Facebook Marketplace, eBay, or consignment shops.
  • RECYCLE – paper, glass, cans, and other curbside recycling. Also, dry-cleaner hangers, plastic bags, or other items that can be re-used. (Old cloths or linens 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.

Where to Start:

Start in one area of the room. If you want to be systematic, start from one side and work clockwise around the room. Put things away or add them to the labeled box.

Once the zone is clear, clean off all the surfaces. Then move on to the next area in the room.

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?
  4. Do I need it?
  5. Okay, and finally if you like to KonMari, “Does it spark joy?”

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

1 Year Box Rule:

If you still feel stuck, try the 1 year box rule:

Create another box and put anything you are undecided about inside. Seal it up and write a note on the box to assess it one year from today. 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.

Get It Out of Your House!

When you have finished going through the whole room start removing the bins from the room. Empty the trash, dump the recycling in your recycling bin.

Do not leave the boxes in your home. Put items in your car to recycle or donate while you are running errands (dry cleaner hangers, grocery store plastic bags, packing peanuts to a local shipping store, batteries etc.)

The Keep Box:

Assess the “KEEP” items and decide which ones can go back in that zone or need to go elsewhere. When you put them away, be sure to store them out of sight. Don’t allow items to become visual clutter. Here are some ideas for finding additional storage in your home.

Storage Ideas:

Maybe your home lacks enough closets or storage areas. I get it, some homes don’t have plenty of storage. If you don’t have an attic, basement, or storage spots I have some ideas for you!

  • Pie Safe or armoire
  • Cabinet
  • Dresser
  • Hutch
  • Desk
  • Bins
  • Storage bench
  • Shelving

After our kitchen remodel, I bought an old desk from the Habitat ReStore and built a wall-mounted hutch over the desk. This area is my command center and it’s prefect for paying bills, storing papers, chargers and mail.

Holiday Home Tour 2017 | Pretty Handy Girl

Before the command center, I used a pie safe in the corner of the kitchen.

Although it is a small piece of furniture, there’s lots of storage inside.

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

My friend Renee found a credenza from Craig’s List and she utilized this piece of furniture for mail and her daughter’s art supplies.

We also built a wall-mounted mudroom cubby and shoe storage bench in her small entryway from the garage.

Build a built-in bench in a bay window and store linens, games, or large pots and appliances.


Any closet, corner, or nook in your house can store more if you build or purchase a set of shelves.

Sport Gear Storage in a Small Space | Pretty Handy Girl

This sports gear storage area takes up only a small footprint, but it holds more equipment than a soccer team! See how I built these shelves in a small area at the bottom of our bonus room steps.

Garage Corral:

Sometimes you just need an area to corral items that are tall or tend to roll around. In our garage, I built a corral for tools and sports gear using scrap wood and large PVC pipes.

Install Cabinets:

Cabinets are the best storage solution for visual clutter. They look uniform and hide everything inside. You can shop for used cabinets at a ReStore location, look on Craig’s List, or purchase unfinished cabinets, or unassembled cabinets to save money. My favorite storage cabinets in our house are the ones that can be easily reconfigured on a hanging slat wall. You can read how I installed them in our laundry room first, then loved them so much I used them in our bonus room.

Storage cabinets don’t necessarily have to be cabinets. This set of old gym lockers adds loads of hidden storage in the mudroom at my Saving Etta project.

What to Do with the Donate/Sell Box:

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 months or donate them if you haven’t after that time frame. (I might have been slacking on this rule. Pretty Handsome Guy might be calling me out on this one.)

cardboard boxes in front of closet labeled keep, donate/sell, recycle, trash

Keep Box:

Finally, sort through the remaining items in the KEEP box. Walk around the house with the box and put items away. Go room to room until all the items are put away. (If you have to, go ahead and leave items in the room where they belong, and put away later. Remember today you are only tackling the one room!

Magazine File Box Facelift | Pretty Handy Girl

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! Or start on the next room to declutter.

I hope you found this Easy Step-by-Step Guide to Taming the Clutter helpful! Please pin it for later or to help a friend declutter.

easy steps to declutter home


Looking for a quick way to hide small items? Use one board to create this adorable storage bin:


Or use one of these 16 DIY Built-In ideas to add more storage to your home.

16 diy built in storage and shelving ideas pinterest image