Category Archives: Organize

Releasing Books Part II and then comes Magazines

Success. The Bernal Heights Library accepted all of the books I donated. I took them in to the Circulation Desk to drop them off. The Librarian explained to me that whatever they don’t keep they donate to Friends of the San Francisco Public Library.

Next time though I think I will donate them directly to the Friends of the Library because they will give you a receipt for your tax-deductible donation. I don’t think the libraries themselves are setup to give the receipts.

Also, they don’t accept magazines. I have yet to find a local place that I would consider a good source for buying and selling (or even donating) used magazines. I called my local bookstore, Red Hill Books, on Cortland Avenue. They do not currently buy or sell used magazines. That would be the most ideal location for me if I could buy and sell used magazines there. I know I would stop in all the time. I did provide that feedback to the person I spoke with on the phone so I will let you know if anything comes of that feedback.

I was told that Green Apple Books might buy and sell used magazines. I called them. They said no they do not buy and sell used magazines. There is a used book store in Berkeley on Shattuck near the BART station that will buy (in limited quantities for like ten cents each) used magazines and does also sell used magazines. Alas Berkeley is also too far to be a stop on my regular errands and therefore would not be a simple solution for me.

For now the best solution I’ve found is that I’m going to donate them to Gifts on the Hill.  Gifts on the Hill is run by the Bernal Heights Neighborhood Center which is an awesome non-profit that serves Bernal Community members in large part seniors and low-income. I called Gifts on the Hill and they said they don’t sell used magazines but that the seniors would probably enjoy them so that’s where I’m going to donate my magazines this year. Perhaps knowing that they are going to a place where people will enjoy them will help me to donate them as soon as I’m done reading them so they don’t end up as house clutter.


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Filed under Organize, Simplify

Organize your undercabinet-practically free

Organized undercabinet, originally uploaded by kellyinbernal.

I work for a company that recently moved offices and had a huge surplus of old office supplies. Many were donated but some had a lot of trouble finding a home. I wanted to find a way to make sure that wepurposed as many of those old supplies as possible. I notice a surplus of old magazine holders and got to imagining how I could put them to use.

I do use reusable bags most of the time but I’m only human and sometimes I forget and I’m not the only one who brings bags into my house. We store all our extra paper bags underneath the cabinet. It used to get so crowded in there and the bags were always overflowing and fighting the bin for space.

The magazine holder is the perfect size for brown paper grocery bags.  Now there’s order underneath the cabinet. It also provides me with a good organizing boundary. When the magazine holder is filled up, that’s it, no more bags.


Filed under Organize, Repurpose

Gift set packaging gets new life as a Spice Rack

Picture 011, originally uploaded by kellyinbernal.

This wooden box was the packaging for a Holiday Gift Set from the Body Shop, circa 2000. My handyman drilled a couple holes in the wall and hung it up vertically. It now houses our tea and spices.

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Filed under Craft, Organize, Repurpose

Dream, make, save – repurpose a gift box into a tea chest

Combining households, friends moving away, Christmas gifts…what do these things all have in common? They’ve left us with a huge stash of teas and an overflowing cabinet.

On Amazon the other day I spied these beautiful wooden tea chests.

Mark Feldstein Wooden Tea Chest

Ironwood Gourmet Acacia Wood Tea Chest

Do you ever start to daydream whenever you’re shopping and you find something you like? I do. I started to imagine that unweidly gallon-sized ziplock bag full of mixed tea packets sweetly compartmentalized in a wooden tea chest. Then happy memories of a lovely dining experience at The Fly Trap capped off by the waiter opening the wooden tea chest and asking me to pick out my tea – just like a present. Lovely. And all of this could be mine – for only $25 – $45.

And then I remembered that I happened to have a metal box left over from a Christmas gift set, a cardboard box from a case of wine, a pair of scissors and a ruler. And also perhaps a greater fondness for the green in my wallet than my shopping daydreams.So here’s what I wepurposed:

I lucked out in that the cardboard inserts from the wine case were just about exactly the right size. I pretty much just trimmed them down with scissors until they fit into the metal tin. I did find that it’s best to keep the height of the cardboard inserts about half an inch lower than the top of the box. That allows you easier access to pick up the tea packets.

Best of all my tea cupboard is no longer overflowing. I can’t wait to have guests over for tea. Total wepurpose savings = $40.


Filed under Organize, Repurpose, Simplify