Saturday, January 5, 2013

"Junk" Baskets are Okay!

It's the start of a new year and time to do some organizing! I love to find ideas that don't cost much, use items you might already have around the house, and don't take too much time to complete. So, after coming off a fun but busy holiday season, I hope you are in the mood to do a little bit of organizing. I have quick little tip for you that might help you find a spot for some of those new toys and gifts you received...

Create a "Junk Basket!" You might think I am crazy for telling you that it's okay to have a junk drawer, or a junk basket, or a junk bin. But really it is. You just have to make sure it doesn't get out of control. Every few weeks I weed through my kids junk baskets and take out the stuff that doesn't belong or has lost its "charm" and make room for the new trinkets!
I have three little ones (ages 1, 3, and 5) who received cute little stocking stuffers from Santa, goodies from classroom parties, and odd n' ends they can't get rid of. And I am okay with long as they find their homes in their personal "junk" baskets. Each child has their own basket to keep their items in. The kiddos are at different stages of life, different ages, and have different interests. Their baskets look very different inside but they love them! 

I don't mind at all that they love to play with these "treasures" when it fits into our organized and decorated plan for the family room. The baskets are labeled with their name and fit perfectly under our coffee table. So, look around your home and find a spot for everyone to keep their "junk" in a cute and organized manner. Enjoy!

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Thursday, January 3, 2013

Happy New Year!

I love setting goals for the New Year!  It's just a part of my personality.  I mean, I love setting goals throughout the year too...I'm a goal setter, a list maker, an organizer!  But there is just something about a new year that gets me even more excited.  It is a totally fresh start, a time to sit back, reflect on life and make changes.  I know there are so many people out there, maybe even many of you reading this, who dislike the idea of making new year's resolutions.  But I love it!  To me it's not a matter of whether I stick to the exact goal the ENTIRE year or not.  It's more a matter of trying to move forward, to grow, to be better, and to do better. 

So, the last few days I have been thinking a lot about different areas of my life...what went well and what I would like to change.  I finally had a chance this evening to write those thoughts down.  And I can't wait to spend some time going over them with my husband, who is also a go-getter and awesome at setting goals and achieving them.  He's also my number one encourager!  So, with that, I am excited to start this new year.  I can't wait to see all that God has in store for me.  And I hope to be able to be a bit more consistent with this blog and sharing those ideas, tips, and moments with all of you!

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Thursday, August 9, 2012

I'm BERRY Excited for School!

I love any excuse to give a gift!  And heading back to school is the perfect reason to give a gift.  We haven't met our kindergarten teacher yet but we are excited for a fun school year.  And we are so happy to be back at preschool again this year, with our next little one!  So, we really are excited to give our amazing preschool teachers a gift on the first day of school! 

I saw these sweet strawberry themed items at Target this summer and couldn't resist (a strawberry tablecloth, a strawberry plate, and a berry basket).  So I picked up a few of each and saved them for the perfect gift giving time.  I added some yummy soaps from Bath and Body and the gift was done.

Add a fun tag and the gift is ready to go!  Love it!!  Super cute and easy.  And my kiddos can't wait to deliver these gifts to their teachers.  Happy 1st Day of School!

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Wednesday, August 8, 2012

The Magic School Bus is Coming Soon!

The first day of school is just around the corner!  And before that first day arrives...I love to have a visit from the "Magic School Bus" to get my kiddos excited.  I pick up a few fun items here and there during the summer and fill some little bags for each child.  Inside these bags might be a cute book like "The Night Before Kindergarten," a coloring book, some new school supplies, a toy or treat, stickers, and more!  This could even be a way to give new shoes or a back to school outfit to your kiddo.  (But I love to do back to school shopping this wouldn't be a surprise!)

Then all of my little gifts that I have collected over the summer are arranged in a gift bag and I create a cute label for the front.  This year I added a bus from clipart and a little note from the Magic School Bus.

Then the fun part comes.  The bags get placed on the front porch.  And you can pretend you heard a knock on the door or have your hubby knock and run!  Ask the kiddos to get the door for you and they will be so excited to see a surprise waiting for them.  It's now a fun tradition in our house and my kiddos can't wait to find out when the Magic School Bus is going to visit us and get us excited about heading back to school!

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Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Organizing the School Work!

We are at the very beginning of our school years and already I can see how the schoolwork and artwork just piles up!!  This year my big boy is going into kindergarten and it has motivated me to start some organizational routines for the years ahead.  This made me think about what I am going to do with all those sweet art projects and cute papers that come home.  It's important for me to keep only the ones that are really, really special.  And with those "special" projects...I needed to create an organizational system.  And I did it for all three kiddos!

I picked up some colorful crates that were just a few bucks at Target.  And I grabbed some hanging folders and a bunch of file folders.  With some cute labels, I was ready to create!  Each child has their own crate and in it goes a folder for each year of school.  A cute label was placed at the top.  And on the front of the file folder is a cute cover with a spot for the school photo, important information, and some fun questions to remember all of their sweet answers.  These cute printables came from one of my favorite blogs at "I Heart Organizing."  It was the perfect touch to this organizational system!

Now I am ready for the projects and papers to come home.  The hard part will be deciding which ones to keep and then make sure they get filed away in the correct crate.  And way down the road, each kiddo will have an awesome crate filled with wonderful memories to keep forever!

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Monday, August 6, 2012

Our Morning and Bedtime Routine!

Oh how I love routines!  And with the start of school just around the is the perfect excuse for me to create some new routines and systems for us to use.  At a garage sale several weeks ago, I picked up this cute wall cabinet for $5 and knew all it needed was a fresh coat of white paint.  I had no idea how I was going to actually use it, but I knew I would find some purpose for it.  And then at the next yard sale, a lady was packing up her stuff and told me to please take whatever I wanted as she was taking the rest to Goodwill.  Well, I snagged some cute white shelves that I thought might come in handy somewhere in our house.  And I was right, because these two items became the center of my new organizational system for morning and bedtime routines. 

I added three knobs to the shelf to hang some white canvas bags from.  I added the kiddos names to the bags with some iron-on letters.  These bags are for each child to place their clothes in for the next day.  I want to get as much done in the evening as I can, so we aren't rushing around each morning.  Above the canvas bags, each kiddo has a basket.  The basket if for any accessories we need to collect...bows, headbands, belts, ties, and so on. 

And then there is the cute cabinet I found and had no idea how to use.  But I love it here in the hallway to help with our new routines!  The hanging rod has three buckets.  I'm not actually sure yet how I want to use these buckets, and my ideas might change as the school year starts.  But right now I plan to put little notes of love and encouragement in there.  And sometimes I might put something we are trying to learn and memorize in there.

I love to add initials to things so the little cubbie holes were great for that.  And I have a pot of "prayer sticks" we use when we want to add a fun idea to our prayers at night.  And the rest of the shelf is filled with cute decorative items that can change anytime!  I have copies of the morning and bedtime routines I found on my favorite blog "I Heart Organizing" and the kiddos use these to help them be responsible for what they need to do.  Less nagging from me...I just need to point to the next step on the list.  And they love being more independent!!  This is the perfect addition to our hallway outside the kids bedrooms.  It is helping us be organized and ready for a new school year!

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Thursday, April 19, 2012

Our Office in a Closet!

So, for the past couple of years we have a room in our home that has multiple purposes.  It's our guest room, that was also our office, that is also the baby nursery.  And while it was working out okay...we realized that we wanted to make a change.  Having the office up on the second floor of our home wasn't working for us.  It felt like we were always running up the stairs to grab envelopes or staples or a highlighter, or the label maker.  You see what I mean.  Little by little, some of the office supplies started making their way downstairs and then we realized everything was becoming too spread out.  We needed a central office area.  And that's when I came up with a fun idea to turn our closet located under the stairs, into a small office.  This little closet didn't have a clear fucntion it seemed like a perfect fit! 

We purchased a vertical file system for this closet to make the most of the space. 

The other "semi big" purchase we made were some wooden organizers with shelves, drawers, and cabinets which I purchased at Lowe's and Target.

The rest of the organizing was lots of fun...I used little baskets I had, and found some in the dollar section of Target.  We then moved everything from the upstairs room down to this first floor closet.

I loved the pop of turquoise color in this small little space and even some pretty fabric to cover the corkboard squares.  So fun!

With all of the papers that come in and out of our home for school, activities, sports and so on...I knew I needed something to organize it all.  So this hanging folder system has an area for each of my three kiddos.  And they have file folders that pertain to them and their schedule and goodies!

One of the other areas we knew needed some real organization were all of the manuals we have for appliances, technology, and baby stuff around the home.  These magazine files are a great way to organize these manuals and booklets we need to keep.

One of the last aspects of this office closet that we implemented a while ago, is the shoe pocket organizer that hangs on the back of the door.  This is a wonderful way to organize all of the art and craft supplies for the kiddos.  They love having access to all of these things and they especially love to get creative!  It's so much fun to watch!

So, that's a little peek around our new office closet!  Soon I will share with you my "mommy central" space where I keep several of the items I use constantly.  We are loving having this spot on the first floor and it's just the right amount of space for all that we have and need to organize.  It's pretty to look at and a very functional space.  Have you thought of any creative ways to organize your office supplies?  I look forward to hearing your ideas!
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Sunday, April 15, 2012

One Project at a Time...

Do you have an area of your home that really bothers you?  It might be a drawer, a closet, a cluttered corner, or something big like a whole room!  I want to encourage you to start small with your organizing projects...take it one step at a time.  I dream of redoing our kitchen someday.  I envision white cabinets, granite countertops, and stainless steel appliances.  But that's not going to happen any time soon.  We are saving money and we have our list of home projects to get done.  But the kitchen is a big one and not number one on the priority list.  Well, I realized that because I am hoping to upgrade my kitchen...I have been avoiding doing anything to this area of the house.  And while I don't want to spend a lot of money organizing in here at this point (because it may all change), I still have some areas that needed attention and I couldn't function with them how they were anymore.  Most of my house is really organized and labeled and clutter-free.  But the kitchen is a different story.  I don't love the room and so I don't like to put my time and efforts in here.  Well, I changed that this week.  It's been rainy and I had some time to do a project or two.  I started small.  The cabinet above our microwave holds all of our bakeware, cookie sheets, glass cookware, etc.  It's not the ideal space but it's the only space it all fits.  In my dream kitchen someday, I will have an organizing system for these items!  Here is what it looked like before...

And after getting rid of some items we didn't need, simplifying to what we actually use, making a better use of space, and best of all..."repurposing" a file folder holder for our cookie sheets and cutting boards...I am so happy! 

Here is the after...

It is so much easier to find what I need.  I don't feel like things are going to fall out on my head.  And I didn't spend tons of money organizing. I just worked with what I had!  What area is bothering you and you could take an hour to organize cheaply?  Please share!

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