What is a monkeybox?

When I was a little girl, we had a pet monkey named Amanda. My Dad worked in the produce business, so each night he brought home that days culls in a big box - spotty cucumbers, pithy apples, limp celery, moldy oranges and the like. We called it a monkeybox. It was really just trash, but my Mom would take each piece of fruit and trim it, pare it and cut it up to make a beautiful fruit platter for Amanda. Even though it was deemed trash by one, it still had life left in it and was good for the purpose we needed it. That's how I live my life - thrifting, yard saling, looking for another's trash to be my treasure.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Gettin' Organized - One Space at a Time

We are about to start a lot of work at our house - new Heat Pump, Guttering, some odds and ends home repairs, some custom shelving in the living room, painting and new flooring. I expect my next year to be quite busy and full of strange men coming in and out of my house. (And some of them might even be there to work on the house. Ba-dum-dum!) We've lived here 14 years, so it is time to do some updating. We remodeled the kitchen five years ago and the bathroom two years ago, so we are slowly working our way through the house.

I am getting rid of things and putting the things I love out so I can enjoy them. I've been acquiring a lot of vintage tablecloths as of late, so I decided to get them out of an ugly plastic tote and put them where I can see them:
I folded them up neatly and put them on an old white metal kitchen cart that I had bought this spring for $3.00. It might be a temporary place for them, but at least they are out where I can see them.

And, since we can't afford to build on for more space, I am adding space where I can find it. I had a ton of baskets in the linen closet with my coupon purchased toothbrushes, deodorants and razors. I bought these nice fabric shoe organizers at the Dollar Tree. I stapled them to the inside of the door and now I have plenty of storage for all the little things that get lost in the shelves and baskets. I've even made labels for each pocket, but I haven't gotten them on the pockets yet. I'm so Martha! *snicker*

And, lastly. The Gift Closet. Doesn't everyone have one of these? I am always picking up nice gift-able items and putting them in the closet. The very same closet that got flooded in the Great Hot Water Heater Explosion of '08. I culled out a lot of the items that I had bought and donated them to my favorite thrift. It was all good new merchandise, I just overbought. For instance, at one time for some reason, I got an amazing deal on Amazon on Waffle Stick Makers. I think I got them for $3.00 each and ended up getting a rebate on top of that so they were either free or I ended up making money on them. But, I gave one to every conceivable person I could ever give a gift to and I still had a bunch left. So, they are gone.

I saved the glass dish set, a pasta cooking set, a baking set, two sets of all white dishes, an alarm clock, a silver cocktail shaker/bar set, a cool piece of new art pottery and a car washing kit. Something for everyone, right? I figured these are all good general gifts. As for that VCR - new in the box. We bought that for DH's parents, but his Dad died and we knew his Mom wouldn't use it and then she died a year later, so now we still have a brand new in the box VCR. I was told the new VCR's that they sell in stores now are really just Players and not Recorders. Is that true? It might be ebay-able now. The DVD/VCR unit was the Grand Prize at the Back to School Bash last year. DH won it and there it still sits. How do you get a man motivated to do anything? Granted, we already had one, but still, we could be using it instead of it sitting there on that shelf.

Next chore: I have shelves above the washer and dryer and they are crammed packed full of gift bags, ribbons, tissue paper and gift boxes. I am going to save a few and donate the rest. I am going to find only the phone books that are good for THIS year and get rid of the rest. All the partially burned candles are outta here. The batteries must all be in date. If I don't know what cord goes to what electronic, so be it, they are gone too. I am going to finally shred the cancelled checks from 1999. I will find The Bean's birth certificate and immunization record. I will put my photographs in matching pretty boxes with labels. Oh, a girl can dream, right? Photos to come.....


  1. A 'gift closet'... no.
    'Gift shelves' in the attic .. yes.
    DH gets disgusted with this whole concept, but I can't tell you how many times, at the last minute he has said "Do you have something we could give ____?" !!
    You are almost getting me motivated to do some hoeing out - STOP THAT!!

  2. I have a gift closet, too! But immunization records, no clue where they are. I hope we can get them from the doctor if need be!

    Tell me, what is a pasta making set? Like pasta bowls?

  3. Now that is a good idea to use one of those hanging thingies behind the cupboard door. I like that one :-)
    I love the stack of tablecloths too, I'd love to display mine instead of sticking them in a drawer.

  4. I actually dont have a gift closet! But I do have one of those plastic mail crates in the top of my closet with some PJs I got on clearance for Layla and some goodies for next year's school Christmas party I got super cheap.

    Doesnt it feel good to reorganize though?

  5. what a nice feeling to be organized!!! I love that you have the table cloths out where you can see them!!

  6. It feels good to get all that stuff organized, doesn't it? Love your tablecloth collection - it looks great on that shelf!

  7. I have the same tablecloth, bottom shelf, I think third down? It has bricks and fall colored leaves on it!

  8. Good luck! I have been weeding out myself. I love your idea for organzing all the small stuff in the closet. D will have a heart attack if I staple/nail anything to the doors so I'll have to come up with something else. :)

    I have two shopping bags in te bottom of the linen closet where I stash gift items. I only have a few things there now but I'd like to add a few. I love it when Christmas hits and I already have some shopping done!

  9. My mom had a gift closet. I don't have a whole closet, but I do have a pile of a few new things I've picked up at the thrift: Martha Stewart kitchen towels (which will go to a bridal shower person this weekend), a few other things.

    Now, phone books are something that go straight to recycling in our house. That's what the internet is for!

    If you're interested in a good filing system, I highly recommend the one from the Container Store. I blogged about it here:



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