How to Have a Beautiful Kitchen on a Budget

First of all everyone has their own budget and everyone also has their own idea of what beautiful is. So with this in mind…I am going to share what I did on a budget (which is a work in process) and what I feel makes it a beautiful kitchen.

For any budget I feel there are three things that one can do for no cost or very low cost. 1) Keep the space clean and decluttered. 2) Use dual purpose storage/organization tools. Pick decor pieces that double as storage. Only have pieces that have a function as this helps keep the space feeling more spacious and stylish. 3) Add some fresh flowers to the space. It gives the feeling of elegance and adds to the fragrance of the space if your budget allows.

Now here is what I did for this space. This isn’t the whole kitchen but it gives you a visual of my improvements. We moved in to this home years ago. There was nothing wrong with the kitchen space as it functioned for our needs. It just wasn’t the style we liked. We lived in the space and made small improvements while saving money for some of the bigger improvements.

The first thing I did was replace all light switches, outlets, and their covers. The previous owners either painted them or dripped paint on them trying to hide the 1980’s yellow ivory color. This was a small improvement which nobody would notice but me but it drove me crazy to keep them. It is really inexpensive to do and I did know how to rewire them. What an impactful change it made to the kitchen.

Next I replaced the huge oak fluorescent light fixture that was in the middle of the kitchen ceiling. Again, nothing wrong with it as it functioned, but it hung down about 8 inches from the ceiling in an already low ceiling space. So we put in canlights that were the same as the rest of the space.

A few years later we replaced the appliances.  The microwave died and all of the appliances were original to the home so it was time to update.

The appliances didn’t fit the space like the older ones did so we had to move some cabinets to fit the fridge and therefore the flooring needed to be updated. So…we replaced the hardwood and tile flooring and updated to one flooring throughout the whole kitchen and dining rooms.

Then came the cabinets a few years later. These are the original cabinets, again nothing was wrong with them they just were the 1980’s oak,and outdated hardware. We used a couple of Rustoleum kits in Espresso and refinished the cabinets which was way cheaper that buying new cabinetry. We opted to replace the hardware but one could cut costs by spray painting the existing hardware to give it an updated look.

We then bought a new faucet to match the coloring of the new cabinet hardware. We still need to update the sink, countertops, and maybe add a backsplash, but for now we just updated the paint on the wall and that made a huge difference.

Other  little things that I do to make my kitchen beautiful is I don’t have rugs in my kitchen. I did for years but I find they collect debris and dog hair and takes away from the beautiful clean kitchen vibe I prefer. I also don’t hang towels from the stove, fridge, or dishwasher handles. I think it makes the space look dirty and cluttered. I prefer to hang a clean cloth and towel by the sink and when it is dirty I replace with a clean one at the end of the day.

The last thing I have done is to keep the inside of my cabinets and fridge organized. Everything has a place and therefore no clutter piles up at the snack bar.

Some people have a bigger budget and can do the work or have someone do all the work at once. I didn’t have a large budget so I did a little at a time. I was fortunate to have a functional kitchen so I could DIY the kitchen as I had the money and the time.

I will share my organization with you all on a later post.

Jewelry Declutter: Lia Sophia Bracelets

It is time for a jewelry purge and declutter. I have grown a collection of jewelry from my twenties and into my forties and my tastes have changed over the years. Today I started my purge and declutter series with my bracelets. I have about 40 bracelets and I can’t even tell you the last times I wore some of these pieces. It is time to let them go so others can enjoy them as much as I used to. The majority of my bracelets are Lia Sophia pieces. I was not a distributor for Lia Sophia. I just loved the heft and quality of the Lia Sophia pieces.  #liasophia #bracelets

I started out with 39 bracelets and I ended up just saving 7 bracelets. I already feel relieved to have less and only kept the pieces I actually wear frequently.

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I love my storage for these bracelets. I purchased these glass storage items at Target. I have a couple of these that are empty now and I plan on putting my watches into these pieces after I purge a few watches. Glass jewelry storage

Here is the photo of all of my bracelets that I am purging and decluttering:

I have decided to keep just 7 bracelets. Have you done any decluttering and purging of your jewelry collection? It proved to be a lot easier than I anticipated. Here is the photo after my purge and declutter:

Pottery Barn Vanity: Makeup & Jewelry Storage

I received this beautiful piece of furniture for Christmas a few years back. It is the Hampton Vanity Tower & Super Set from Pottery Barn Teen.

It is a beautiful piece of furniture and organizational tool as is, but I had to make a couple of modifications to it. I didn’t like the look of the cork boards on the inside of the doors. I covered them in foam board wrapped in fabric. I use this section to hang my necklaces and it works beautifully.

I also didn’t want the expense of buying storage pieces to use within the drawers to organize my makeup and jewelry. So I opted to make simple DIY drawer organizers out of foam board and covered them in fabric. It is visually pleasing and very inexpensive and makes this look like a custom piece.

This is the before picture without the drawer organizers. As you can see, there is a lot of storage and possibilities for organization. Below, you will see the DIY drawer organizers that I made for a more customized organization.

I have had this piece organized several different ways over the past few years. I am getting ready to reorganize and declutter my makeup and jewelry. I will post photos here of the before and after.

Do you have some helpful tips to share on how you organize your makeup and jewelry?

Thirty-One Fall Bundles

Welcome Fall! We have a new catalog full of new patterns and products. Click on the shop tab and check out what the new catalog has to offer.

rp_fall-1-300x251.jpg Fall 5 Fall 4 Fall 3 fall 2


Erin Condren Planners

image imageAm I the last person on the planet that hasn’t streamlined a life by using Erin Condren Planners? I feel that I am way behind the times. I have been reluctant to purchase one because to me I thought these received more hype then needed. To me it was a glorified sticker book with a calendar added. And to tell you the truth…a little old school.

I must admit I was wrong. I have day planners currently for my day job and then my hobby job…plus a personal calendar. Too many things to organize and carry around. I do 99% of my scheduling on my cellphone calendar which has been convenient…but it is hard to glance ahead to plan other events. Here I thought I was being high tech and I just wasn’t cutting it. So…I am back to using technology and good old pen and paper.  So I will give this a try and see if I find this to be beneficial or if it is just a way to make my organization a little more fancy and colorful.

I love the idea of customizing the covers, the layout, etc… I love that they offer a teacher planner as well…a perfect gift for my daughter who just graduated college and will begin her first teaching job soon. A great gift for anyone really.

Target: Organization Caddy

There is something classic and timeless about black and white design. I stumbled across this beauty at Super Target. I just love the versatility of this caddy. It was in the office supply section of the store. I couldn’t resist purchasing a couple of these to use in my vanity tower to store makeup brushes and one for the office to store writing utensils. I even like the possibility of using this for a silverware entertaining. Priced at only $7.99 each…I just couldn’t pass that up. Room Essentials Desktop Storage

I love the amount of room for storing my makeup brushes. Oops…looks like I forgot to clean them before snapping this picture. I have another set of Sigma Brushes coming in the mail which will fill this up perfectly. I can sort my brushes by type to make it easier to get my makeup application done faster. So many options and the size of this caddy fits perfectly on the shelves in my vanity towers.

Another use of this caddy is for writing utensils in the office/classroom. This is what the caddy was intended for, but I can’t help but think of the many ways I can use these.

Another awesome use would be a silverware caddy. Perfect for a party like today…my birthday! Happy 4th of July everyone. Be safe and have a great Independence Day!







Organized Bag Lady May Giveaway

may giveaway true beauty bag zipper pouch

retro metro

May monthly giveaway is finally here! This month I am giving away three wonderful Thirty-One items: Retro Metro Weekender, True Beauty Bag, and a zipper Pouch all in the Spotty Dot Pattern. A value of $120!

How do you register to win?

1) You need to be an Organized Bag Lady Facebook follower. To increase your chances to win…follow me on Instagram, Twitter, Google+, Pinterest, and my website

2) You must leave a comment to this month’s question in the comment sections of any of my social media sites. The question is: If you had $100 to spend this summer, what would you spend it on? (Shoes, handbags, jewelry, makeup, etc…)

It is just that easy! You must be over 18 years of age or have parental permission to register.

Good luck!


New Shoes…New Storage (The Container Store)

container store stackable shoe rackI love The Container Store…and I wish we had one closer.

If you have followed me, you know that I have been buying shoes like they are going out of style. Well…Target and Tj Maxx are really just rocking a great shoe line this spring so I had to snatch them up while I still could.

Obviously, I do own other shoes but with this influx of the new shoes I feel the pressure to find a better solution than my existing one.

My closet is new and has built in storage for shoes, handbags, etc…but, it just isn’t feasible for me to keep my seasonal shoes out and then store other seasonal shoes in boxes hidden in the back of my closet until next season.

I don’t know where you live, but here in the Midwest, spring has been quite off. One day it is in the 70 degree range and the next day it is snowing 3+ inches. I feel that I have may jinxed the weather this year. I prematurely packed away my heavy winter sweaters, boots, scarves, etc…trying to embrace the changing of the seasons. Well…wouldn’t you know it…that is when it began to snow again. Then it was warm for a whole week and I purchased summer clothes, capris, etc…and then it began to turn cold. Seriously…do you think I have the power to jinx the weather? Hmm…

Boy…I really went off track there. Back to the shoe issue, I found these awesome two-tier mesh stackable shoe shelves online at The Container Store that I am going to use. I just ordered three of these…which is way more than I need but it would be nice to have all of my shoes organized within easy reach.

I will post a before and after picture when they arrive. Well…since I am all kinds of crazy…part of me wants to turn the spare bedroom into a walk in closet so maybe the after picture will be a drastic one. Do you think I am crazy for considering to do this? I just checked out Pinterest last night for some ideas and what a relief it was to know that I am not the only one out there who has considered this. I am excited about the possibility of having more organization. I am excited about the prospect of my clothing not being wrinkled because they are crammed into a small space (disclaimer…I don’t like to iron so some of the clothes go in wrinkled).




Winner of Thirty-One February Giveaway Announced!

Congratulations to Jane W. for winning the February Monthly Giveaway!

It is a two piece set to help you get organized! It is the Perfect Fit Organizer and the Room for Two Utility Tote a set worth $70 in the Taupe Gingham pattern from Thirty-One! Since February is a short month…I am going to throw in a couple of other totes in the same pattern to the lucky winner!

Register to Win the February Giveaway from Thirty-One!

The February Monthly Giveaway is a two piece set to help you get organized! It is the Perfect Fit Organizer and the Room for Two Utility Tote a set worth $70 in the Taupe Gingham pattern from Thirty-One! Don’t forget to register to win this set for FREE!

How do you register to win?

1) You need to be an Organized Bag Lady Facebook follower.

2) You must leave a comment to this month’s question. below. The question for this month’s drawing is: If you could have any Thirty-One product, what would it be? That’s it! It is just that easy! You have until the last day of February to register to win. Tell your family and friends…anyone can be the winner! You must be over 18 years of age to register to win or have parental permission to register. Good luck!!