Saturday, May 1, 2010

Operation Organization, Take 2... OR "Boxes and Caddies and Bins, Oh My!"

Well, this week’s Operation Organization project was my car.  I don’t have a before picture because once again I forgot, which is a shame because a picture is worth a thousand words, especially in this case.  But I will attempt to paint a picture for you so that you have a visual and a frame of reference.  
This is my car.  (and yes, it is parked on the ice in the middle of a frozen lake.  We're having a picnic.  Traditions in the frozen tundra...)
I really like my car.  I got it “for my birthday” (which really just means, ‘hey we need to get you a car and it’s near your birthday so don’t expect anything else’) about 2 years ago.  It was shiny and (almost) new - at least new to me.  And clean.
Fast forward.  I currently have charge over three children during the day.  The twos and mini - so this, of course, means three car seats - all lined up across the backseat.  Wedged in there, nice and tight.  Those babies aren’t going anywhere, even if they weren’t buckled in (which of course they ARE).  Three car seats means that there are also three times as many rogue fruit snack, chicken nuggets, french fries, tissues and toy cars caught beneath them.  Well, I guess not three times, since mini doesn’t do a whole lot of that... but there are plenty of rogue pacifiers and linkadoos under HER seat.    Then, obviously, there are more than three times as many of these items strewn about around the floor of the car.  There are also piles of forgotten napkins, socks, toys, and books.  Milling about this pile are shoes and sweaters that have been stripped off and flung despite repeated warnings not to, way too many sippy cups which have escaped detection, and the odd rock, twig, and leaf or two.  (bugs a boy and K’s a tom boy, so you do the math.)  The cargo area is full to near overflowing - bags of items from the last time I taught the kids at church, bungee cords from when I hauled my desk half hanging out the back end, a large, old, bulky two seater stroller, and various sundry items you never know if you might need (sun block, bug spray, ice scrapper, hats, gloves, sun glasses... I’m an all weather vehicle) and of course, more socks.  
The front seat is generally clear, save for the four or five lip glosses strewn about the console, the gallon sized ziploc of change and the empty gum containers, the full gum containers, the flashlight I used maybe once two years ago and a pile of CDs.  
I don’t think this begins to illustrate the ridiculousness of my car.  I think that people may have passed Hank in the parking lot (Hank’s the car, by the way) and been convinced that a family of five lived there full time.  I wouldn’t blame them if they did.
Half based on the lake fly incident, I decided it was time to clean it, in and out.  After ridding the car of superfluous items, there was still a small pile I felt necessary to carry at all times (wet wipes, sun block, extra pacifiers, tissues, baby carrier, a few toys, certain medicinal items... you know.  Normal stuff.  But where to put it?  The idea was to keep the cup holders free, and my console can only hold so much.  So I turned this 

into this.

My very own car caddy.  
I’ve mentioned the budget before, and I think there are plenty of us in the same boat.  I just can’t go out and spend 20 bucks on a car caddy right now.  That’s a whole box of diapers!  Hmmmm.... box of diapers.... I could use that.....

and that’s how the whole thing began.
First I cut off the flaps.  Then I cut the bottom of the legs of a pair of jeans off.  I used them to cover the flaps and hot glue to keep it together.  Then I glued them into the box to divide it into three sections (medicinal, toys, miscellaneous).  

I dissected an old blazer to cover the box.  I kept the pockets of the blazer intact as I cut it apart so I could use them for small items - lip gloss, sunglasses, crayons, etc.  There are three pockets total.  Then I hot glued some of the blazer’s buttons on for decoration and made sure to use part of the collar because I thought it added a cute touch.  Voila!  

Custom, one of a kind, caddy.  While working on this project, I started wondering if I was actually saving money or just spending it all on hot glue instead.  

I also wondered what the heck people were thinking in the 80’s.  I almost had to get out the garden clippers to cut the sleeves of the blazer off at the shoulders.  What woman in her right mind wants to walk around wearing this?  Is this a flattering look on any body type?  I think Stacy and Clinton would agree with me on this one.  The answer is a resounding NO.  Do yourself a favor, ladies, and if you are still walking around with shoulder pads large enough to cushion you from a fall from an airplane, give them to St. Vinny’s where they will be lovingly scooped up and turned into a car caddy - or better yet, this awesome clutch on Craftaholics Anonymous that I WILL make someday.  

I think I could have pieced this together better if I had taken a bit more time with it, but I had actually been on my way to clean out the car and I got distracted making this, so I felt a little guilty crafting when I should have been cleaning.  But, I told myself it was ok, since I needed it in order to clean.  On the other hand, I was wasting valuable nap time, so.... I kind of rushed it.
I was kind of inspired, however, so later on I made these
into these.
My craft area needed some more organization, and I’ve been on a saving and salvaging kick lately.  All I did was cut the boxes into the shapes I wanted, used mod podge to cover them with scrapbook paper cut into strips and squares, and then gave them an all over coat for a sealant.  For the “ideas” box, I discovered that when the mod podge dried, it twisted the box all funky.  I considered throwing it away.  Instead, I used a dot of velcro to clasp the sides together at the top and that worked fabulously to keep it straight - so crises averted!  Then I used my Stamp it Up markers to write what the boxes were for and put them to use right away! 

So I guess that’s actually TWO organizational projects for the week.  I’m feeling better already. 



Megan said...

A-MAZING! I've been thinking about making a car caddy to put in the back seat between my kids and trying to figure out what type of "box" I should get for it, a diaper box is pure genius! I can't wait to make my own!!!

Mrs. Sojourner said...

Very creative! Thanks for some great ideas.

Robin Ange said...

Genius! I love this idea. I have never thought of covering boxes with fabric and I have a ton of fabric lying around.

DeeAnna said...

That car caddy is GENIUS! Love the blazer cover, I wouldn't have guessed that in a million years!

Life in Rehab said...

What would we do without all those sturdy, handy boxes? I LOVE the car caddy!

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