Office Organization

Yesterday, we built IKEA shelves for our office closet, which before was kind of a black hole of disorganization. I can ignore messy clutter for a long, LONG, L-O-N-G time, but there comes a point when my brain’s like NOPE and it has to be fixed.

That was this weekend.

Unfortunately, starting any project like this means taking everything out of the closet, spreading the clutter all over the rest of the room (and bathroom, in this case, since it’s the closest other room with space to stack boxes).

And every project leads to seventeen more. Because our office is really just a bedroom, it had a clothes rod and shelf that had to come out. Then we found there wasn’t any wall paint behind the shelf because it’d been there since the house was built, so I had to go find the painting stuff and hastily patch it up.

Then we realized we were going to have to build the shelf frames in the closet because they wouldn’t clear the door.

But, we were victorious… mostly. 😂 We still need some pretty boxes to organize things, so most of the stuff hasn’t been put away yet, but the main pieces are in. Behold!

A picture of the new shelves and drawers in our office closet, still mostly empty.
Still mostly empty, but getting there!

Some of the shelves were out of stock, so we have to wait for a restock. The project is really only half done, but we made a lot of progress in a single day. So much so, in fact, that I’m sore today from all the lifting and carrying and bending and twisting.

Oh, and before I fell into an organizational hole, I absolutely devoured T. Kingfisher’s Clockwork Boys and The Wonder Engine. A forger, an assassin, a fallen paladin, and a scholar go on a not entirely voluntary quest to save their city from destruction by clockwork warriors. It’s a delight! I’m now reading Swordheart, which is set in the same world, and I’m enjoying it just as much. If you missed these when they came out, check out a sample!

And let me know if you’ve read anything fantastic lately. Or tackled any organizational projects of your own. We can celebrate/commiserate together. :)

Hollowed Out Book Kindle Case

I love books, I love technology, and I love crafts. So I decided to bring my loves together by destroying a perfectly good book to make a case for my Kindle. Sorry, book.

Props to Ilona Andrews for inspiring this idea. She linked to someone on Etsy who was selling Kindle cases made out of old books. I decided that I could make one myself, and so the search for the perfect book began. I scoured Half Price Books for something on clearance. While I was confident I could make it, I decided that just in case I couldn’t, I probably shouldn’t experiment on an expensive book. It took a few tries, but I finally found The Perfect Book:

The Perfect Book
The right size, shape, and prettiness. Just look at that embossed hummingbird!

There are a few different sites offering step-by-step instructions on how to hollow out a book. I prefer How to Hollow Out a Book in 80 Easy Steps. It’s not as bad as it sounds, and there are lots of pictures. Armed with a list of supplies, Dustin and I headed out to Hobby Lobby. Where we promptly got into a sword fight:

Prepared for Battle
Doesn’t he look dangerous?

Take a moment to say goodbye to your book, then let out the little kid that lives inside of you. You get to cut up a book. For reals, yo. I had guilt for a couple seconds until I realized that destroying things is fun.

If you are planning to hollow out a book for a Kindle case, take careful measurements of your Kindle. I added a sixteenth of an inch to both the height and width measurement to ease getting the Kindle into the case. That, along with some “freestyle” cutting left plenty of extra room. Cut a few pages and then make sure your Kindle is going to fit in the hole. Don’t cut fifty pages and then realize it’s a quarter of an inch too narrow. I actually stuck to the “measure twice, cut once” rule this time, as opposed to the “eyeball it and cut several times” method I normally employ.

I deviated slightly from the 80 Easy Steps. I didn’t cut through all of the pages, because the book was thicker than the Kindle. I just cut through enough that the Kindle rested below the page level. And instead of cutting out the first page, I sliced it diagonally both directions and glued it down to smooth out the edges a bit, because my cutting may not have been the neatest. I also added a ribbon to help lift the Kindle out of its nest:

Hollowed Out Book Insides
Now my book looks like it is part of the X-Men. And that’s not a bad thing, right?

If you’ve done everything correctly, you’ll end up with something like the following when you add your Kindle:

The Kindle in the Book Case
Awww, isn’t it adorable?

We have two Kindles. The other one is our older Kindle Keyboard. It’s slightly bigger, so I thought we’d have trouble finding a book for it. Until Dustin came across this gem in the Half Price Books clearance bin:

Nuclear Medicine
Does this book make my brain look fat?

I guess they didn’t have much to say on the topic of Nuclear Medicine in the 1970s, because it is a perfect half inch thick. And it was only a dollar. A dollar! For a unique Kindle Case. Hollowing it out is my next project.