Placemat storage

oldalgebraMarch 8, 2010

This post is inspired by Dining Delights latest blog post.

I have about a gazillion placemats. This is just one cupboard's worth. (The top shelf has tablecloths that fit the pull-out table.)

Formally, after spending an entire morning organizing them, I'd find that they were back to one big messy pile in about 2 months.

I think I've discovered a way to keep the placemats organized.

I've placed a large piece of cardboard between each set of placemats.

When I find a color I want, I lift up the cardboard on top of the set with one hand, and use the other hand to pull out the cardboard that's directly under the set. The whole set of placemats comes out along with the bottom cardboard, without disturbing one single mat in the rest of the stack. Works every time. I've often thought that I should pull a Martha Stewart and cut the cardboard into perfect rectangles and cover each one with contact paper, but I've never even gotten close to acting on that idea. Anyway I thought I'd pass this along.

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Looks great, very neat and organized, color me jealous.

    Bookmark   March 9, 2010 at 10:25AM
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What a model of organization! That's inspiring! Btw, I bet Blue Willow looks fabulous on those blue & white check mats.

    Bookmark   March 9, 2010 at 4:37PM
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OA, thanks for your comments/suggestions on my blog! I can see you are the one to ask! That is a great idea you have with the cardboard dividers between placemats. Wonder if it would work for tablecloths? And maybe between stacks of napkins? I'd need A LOT of cardboard! LOL! I'm going to try doing the placemats at least! Thanks!

I will post a link to my Blog and the closet disaster I have so others can see it too!

Here is a link that might be useful: Dining Delight's Messy Closet

    Bookmark   March 9, 2010 at 4:52PM
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Thanks, OA! That will definitely work with my narrow/tall linen pantry! :)

    Bookmark   March 9, 2010 at 9:33PM
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OA, I went to the link you posted on my blog (in the second comment you left) to see the great storage ideas using those rod type built-ins. Wonderful idea! Now I just need to get DH convinced to build something like that for me! It will be a tough sell right now as in the winter, he only goes to work and goes skiing! Thanks for sharing and visiting my blog!


    Bookmark   March 10, 2010 at 3:02AM
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jeannespines organized teacher!!! Great idea! Ahhh, come one roll of contact paper & go for it! LOL! Jeanne S. ...and, repeating myself, I just LOVE that pull out table you where you create those t'scapes!

    Bookmark   March 10, 2010 at 10:55AM
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I do that same thing, OA! Great minds think alike, eh ;^D???
Actually, I've been using a set of eight hard board placemats that warped a bit over the years. I was going to throw them out but they're working really well dividing some of my placemats. Although. . . thanks to all you enablers, I now have waaaay more placemat sets than dividers, so my drawers are pretty darn messy again. I've been keeping an eye out for more board placemats that are too ugly to actually want to use on a table and are selling for really cheap. I store mine in two deep drawers in my buffet.

    Bookmark   March 10, 2010 at 12:51PM
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Oh, Man! That's brilliant. I was just in the Goodwill the other day and I saw a woman buying some of those board-like placemats and thought to myself, "Those are awful looking. Why on earth would you want them?" Had I known about your idea, I would have had a tug-o-war with her. Believe me, there's going to be a run on wooden placemats in my area.

    Bookmark   March 10, 2010 at 1:33PM
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Great idea about the cardboard, OA and your cupboard could rival Martha's in organization I'm sure.

Sure gives me more ideas of what to look for at thrift shops.

    Bookmark   March 10, 2010 at 7:31PM
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OA, that worked out great for you and I like the idea of the napkins in the containers too. I currently have placemats stacked in a linen closet--now I'll need to make some dividers, and my napkins are stacked on top of each other in two drawers of my china cabinet.

What in the world are "board placemats" I don't think I've ever noticed them. Can someone show me a picture please? (I have to run out and hit all the TS in the area before OA gets there!) LOL Just teasing, but I am wondering if they are something that could be repainted or covered in vinyl or soemthing.


    Bookmark   March 10, 2010 at 11:01PM
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You've seen them before. They're usually backed in cork and have a painted scene on them. For some reason, when I think of them, I see a painted scene of Tuscany, although I'm sure they come in all sorts of styles and themes. Don't have any, so can't supply a picture.

    Bookmark   March 10, 2010 at 11:52PM
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Purplemoon the non table-setter...actually HAS one of those board placemats to show Luvs. LOL. Will wonders never cease! I found this a couple of years ago at a Vintage shop and added it to my kitchen rooster collection. As a wall plaque basically. LOL.

hugs, Karen

    Bookmark   March 11, 2010 at 2:29AM
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Well, you've inspired me to clean out and reorganize my two placemat drawers. It needed to be done anyway, but at least now I can show you what my hard board (former-placemat) dividers look like. They were very pretty when they were new and before they started warping some:

I store all my placemats in the two deep lower drawers of my antique mahogany buffet, with the board dividers in between some of them. I really need to find more someday soon!

Karen, love your board placemat!

    Bookmark   March 11, 2010 at 1:23PM
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OK, Lynn. Here's the plan.
We get Luvs to repaint old boards. They will have the logo of our company on the lower right corner. (How about calling our company LOL for Luvs, Lynninmexico and Oldalgebra? You and Luvs can fight over which of you claims the rights to the first "L".) Then we set up a site on the internet to sell custom placemat dividers. Simple, yet attractive designs will be available from which to choose. We cut the boards, sand them smooth, and prime them. Then Luvs paints the customer's requested design with their name on each divider. Man, the dollars will be rolling in.

What do ya mean, "I don't think so."?

    Bookmark   March 11, 2010 at 2:07PM
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Love it! Love it! LOL! "I don't think so!" LOL!
And I just GW'd 4 of 'em with Jan. spring fever cleaning! Now I'll probably have to try to buy them back! UGHHH! Jeanne S.

    Bookmark   March 11, 2010 at 3:45PM
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Purplemoon are a hoot. And full of good ideas too! You'd probably sell a lot of them if you set up shop and convinced Luvs to paint. (Maybe you and Lynn could help by just decoupaging some). And your LOL logo....perfect.
Gosh Woman, does your brain ever rest?
I'm sure Lynn will go for this idea, but not so sure Luvs will. Maybe you could tempt her with ACORNS!

hugs, Karen

    Bookmark   March 11, 2010 at 3:48PM
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Great idea, OA..
My friend, who must buy everything in 12's..:)
uses cafeteria trays. She bought them in bulk..they have the lip so it helps the mats stay, and she pulls them out as she needs them..
Her whole basement is those racks from Costco. It is just amazing.
She says she is going to do a post on it, so when she does I'll link it up.

    Bookmark   March 11, 2010 at 11:47PM
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OA, are you trying to put me back to work already? And I was just learning to enjoy being retired! LOL Guess you could tell my ears perked up when all of you mentioned wood placemats because I've actually thought of cutting some to paint--didn't even know there were already some out there! (See I never have an "original" idea!) As Karen knows, I'm the queen of procrastination, so doubt my painting production would be fast enough, you might want to enlist Punk's help--she's a "speedy" painter! I really do like the idea of using something solid as a divider between sets of placemats to make it easier to pull out the ones you need. The ideal storage for placemats would be something like the storage racks the stores have for scrapbooking papers, don't you think? I think Kathleen's friend has a good idea with the lunch trays too--wonder what those cost? Maybe find them at a restaurant supply place???? However, I really like the idea of reuse/recycle something--that way it's less expensive too. The idea of using wood scraps and building some stacked shelving to fit on some shelves in my hall/linen closet has popped in my head a few times too--mainly for separating the sets of dishes, but sure would work for placemats too. Now that would be neat! Luvs

P.S. OMG! I just realized that just a board across a couple of wood blocks, or bricks even, would work for adding extra shelves to my linen closet shelves! The existing shelves allow me to stack plates fairly high, but then it's difficult to get to the ones on the bottom of the stack. So neat that this post has sparked some ideas for better storage of things including placemats! Thanks.

    Bookmark   March 12, 2010 at 2:15PM
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Great idea! I'm trying to figure out how to get mine out of Rubbermaid boxes, but I don't have the shelf space to hold them.

    Bookmark   March 12, 2010 at 2:48PM
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Funny, when I saw Lynne's beautiful board placemat with the painting on it, I immediately thought "Luvs could do that" too! Didn't think of the "company" idea like OA though. If you ever get tired/bored of retirement Luvs (ha!), you could definitely go into business and I'd be the first customer on the LOL website!


    Bookmark   March 12, 2010 at 5:02PM
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Well ladies it sounds like you are having a good time and all you need to do is convince Luvs, retirements over! Her rose placemats are beautiful and I'm sure would sell well with the LOL on them!!!

Yes Luvs, I will help if need be. I'm starting to be a night owl so why not be painting. Do I get to add something to the LOL on them?

It is so amazing what great ideas come about on here. I can see all kinds of ways to store with boards in between. I keep redoing and DH said he will put another shelf up in the laundry room closet above the washer and dryer for me when he's feeling better.


Love jumping in and playing when I have time. I have four drawers for napkins and another shelf for place mats. I still have some placemats out in the shed so hopefully I will get them back in when the snow quits.

This is one drawer of my napkins. The others blurred.

These are most of my placemats.

    Bookmark   March 12, 2010 at 11:51PM
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Gosh, Punk, the only name I could think of with adding the P to it is POLL--not quite as catchy, huh? How about being the "silent partner"? Just joking! Luvs

    Bookmark   March 13, 2010 at 12:17AM
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How about POLLY? Punk, Oldalgebra, Luvs, and Lynn.

    Bookmark   March 13, 2010 at 12:40AM
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Sounds good, AO! The "Y" could be: Yadda, yadda, yadda! (keeps going "on and on" ... and with all the holiday-ers are this forum, I'm sure there would be many customers! LOL!

And, punk, hope your DH is finding some relief soon. Jeanne S.

    Bookmark   March 14, 2010 at 11:01PM
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