With the holidays just around the corner, I knew I needed to clean up my messy office closet.

This is where I keep all my gift wrapping, tagging, boxing and shipping stuff and quite frankly, it was terrifying to open the door. What I needed was an organized closet, fast-and I didn’t want to dip into the present buying fund to make it happen.

Enter my friend the retro metal tea cart:

I purchased this aqua beauty at an antique mall in Pennsylvania several years ago.

The retro metal tea cart is the essential retro furniture multi-tasker. It has so many uses and can still be found rather cheaply in antique stores, on Craigslist, at yard sales and in your Grandma’s basement. It is, in my opinion, the most versatile piece of retro anything you will ever own.

At the risk of making this blog post sound like an info-mercial for retro tea carts, let me share a few of it’s many uses:

  • Rolling kitchen shelf/storage
  • Rolling bar cart or refreshment table for parties
  • Potting bench for gardening
  • Tool storage in the garage
  • Rolling taboret (for all you painters out there)
  • Rolling office cart for all your mail/bills/office supplies (my Grandma uses hers for this purpose)
  • Toy shelf for the kid’s room

…and then there is the newest way I have found to use this amazing tea cart:

gift wrap and shipping supplies storage/closet organizer!

Now with a little organization and my trusty muli-use retro metal tea cart, I have transformed my closet into an easy to find everything gift wrap and ship station!

Since I try to live by the reduce, reuse, recycle model, I try to save as much of the packaging as I can from gifts that I have received in the past.  The tea cart houses my tissue paper, mailing envelopes and cookie tins (Usually everyone who I make christmas cookies for gives me back the tin with a note sayingPlease send a refill next year!“)

Old shopping bags make great containers to hold gift bags and boxes. I also used an old mesh trash can to keep my wrapping paper rolls contained.

Hanging up bags is also a great use of space. Packing materials go in a large reusable bag, while small gift boxes and bows, ribbons and tags go in a plastic bag.

Thanks to my trusty retro metal tea cart and a few other containers I already had laying around the house, the closet is all organized and ready for the gift giving and sending season…and I’m not scared to open the closet door anymore!

Do you have a cool retro metal tea cart? How do you use yours?



  1. First off, I really enjoy reading your blog; the shelves you made for little chairs? Coooooool! Lots of love and hard work going into your Revamp! I completely agree about these carts; I found mine covered in spider webs in a basement of an estate sale and forked over a five dollar bill for it, chuckling with glee all the while. I keep my microwave on top and use the shelves below to display whatever kitchen-y goodness I feel like featuring; are we enjoying the confetti melmac today or the mushroom-festooned Seventies housewares? Mine is white; I love it and also the aqua, red, avocado, yellow, fakey wood grain…I don’t think there’s one I wouldn’t like!

    • Hi Lynne!

      Thanks! I have had such a good response to those mini ranch house shelves, that I am working on possibly opening an Etsy store! Stay tuned!

      The retro tea cart is an awesome thing! I love that you use yours as a display for your other awesome retro goodies! You’re right! I don’t think they came in any color or pattern that is unlikeable! AND they are such a bargain! It’s a win win situation!

      Thanks for reading!

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