Showing posts from October, 2012

31 Days of Home Organization-Day 31 -Recap

Well, we've made it through another 31 Days challenge.  I'm not sure if it's because I've done this before or if it's the subject matter, but I think this year was a bit less challenging and I've got organization ideas that I haven't even touched.

Looking back, the three most popular posts based on page views were:

Day One - The first post in the series.  It has a list of all the other posts so you can quickly find the topics I wrote about this month. (This day also garnered the most comments).Day Four - was all about the basics.  As hard as certain parts of our home can be to organize, it just comes down to basic concepts.Day Two - is when I unveiled my Home Management Notebook.  If you don't have one, you really should consider putting one together.  The notebook makes life easier for everyone in the family.
My two favorite posts to write were:
Day 25 - was about my favorite organizing resources - books & blogs.  I get so much inspiration from thes…

31 Days of Home Organization-One in One out

Once you get your home organized, a good rule to follow is the 'one in, one out' rule.

When you buy one item you should toss (or donate) a like item.  Following this rule will keep our homes (especially our closets) from becoming too full.

Today is Day 30 of The Nester's 31 Day Challenge.  Can you believe I've made it this far?  If you've missed any of my posts you can find them here.


31 Days of Home Organization - Vertical Space

No matter the size of our homes or the rooms in it, most of us feel like we could use more space.  Going vertical is a good way to find some extra room.

Use space over the door for storing special occasion serve ware.

We can take bookshelves to the ceiling.

Vertical space on the back of cupboard doors is perfect for storing items that you frequently use and want quick access to.

Where have you been able to find extra space in your home?

I'm joining The Nester& 1200 others in the 31 Days Challenge. All of my posts can be found here.

31 Days of Home Organization-Gift Wrap Storage

Gift wrap supplies can really take up quite a bit of space and get spread out through the house if you don't have a plan to keep it organized.  These five ideas can help, even if you don't have room for a dedicated gift wrap room (wouldn't that be fun?)
Stand it  - Store rolls of gift wrap in a five gallon wastebasket, an umbrella stand or a laundry hamper. Hang it  - A shower caddy mounted to the wall makes the perfect place for your gift wrap supplies. A shoe organizer hanging on the back of a door is also a good way to keep your supplies in one place.  All those pockets are perfect for ribbon and tape and small gift bags.Stow it - Use a dresser in your guest room for gift wrap supplies.  Even if you can only borrow a drawer or two it makes a great place for anything that can lay flat.Frame it - Turn a large, open back frame and cafe rods into a pretty place for gift wrap and ribbon.Hook it - Everywhere you look hooks are being used to keep things tidy in our homes.  Gif…

31 Days of Home Organization-Quick Tip-Closets

I had planned to really delve into closet organization this month but I'm not sure that will happen with all the Halloween festivities this weekend.

I go through my closet about a couple of times a year but it always seems a mess.  I chalk that up to the fact that it is super small (no walk-ins here).  The first place I start is by taking all the hanging clothing out of the closet and do a quick purge of anything I am really sure I don't need/want anymore.  I then place everything back in the closet with hangers hanging backwards ( the open part of the hook of the hanger should be facing you).

When you wear something, put the hanger back the other way and hang the item on that hanger when you hang it back up.  After a year (or even 6 months) you will have a clear picture of what you wear and what you don't making a closet purge really easy.
I got this idea from the great Peter Walsh.
This is day 27 of The Nester's 31 Day Challenge. You can find all my posts here.

31 Days of Home Organization - Quick Tip-At The Front Door

Keys, phones and more.  Seems we're always looking for them.  How about this easy way to keep them from being misplaced?
This is a cutlery tray with spots for keys, phones, wallets & sunglasses.  This is a brilliant idea I got from Better Homes & Gardens.
I think I'll be looking for a cutlery tray this weekend. 
How do you keep these things from getting lost?
I'm taking part in The Nester's 31 Days Challenge. Find all of my posts here.

31 Days of Home Organization-Resources

You don't have to look hard to find references & resources to help with your organization tasks.  It seems like every week someone is coming out with a new book to help us achieve harmony in our homes through organization.  Three books that I especially like and reference are:

Organizing from the Inside Out by Julie Morgenstern - I have had this book for years and refer to it often.  It's been around for years but still has really good information in it. She takes you room by room to help you organize your home & office.

Feeling at Home by Alexandra Stoddard - I'm not sure this is technically an organization book but more of a finding out who you are and how you want to live book.  It delves into the emotional part of how our homes are an extension of who we are.  This book helps you live in your home.  It helps you know how you want to feel at home apart from decorating, and partnered with organization it helps make that happen.  One thing I love about all of Alexa…

31 Days of Home Organization-Calendar

Along with a planner, I use this hanging wall calendar.  It hangs on the wall in front of my desk so it's easy to jot down appointments, bill due dates, birthdays, etc.  And a glance at the wall keeps those dates front and center.

This calendar was purchased at Staples but they can be found many places- just Google at-a-glance.  Best money ever spent.

What is your go-to calendar?

Over 1200 bloggers are taking part in The Nester's 31 Day Challenge.  My 31 Day posts can be found here.

31 Days of Home Organization-Preparing

Nine weeks until Christmas.  Yes, you heard that correctly.  The key for me to have a serene (it's possible) holiday season is preparation.  Organizing my home this month will give me a clear path to easier preparation for Thanksgiving and Christmas.  I feel like we've accomplished quite a bit this month so far (all my 31 Days posts can be found here if you've missed anything), especially the week spent working on the kitchen.  It sure will be nice to know exactly where the pastry brush is when we need it since we've completed the 30 day gadget clean-up.

I spent this past weekend making my Christmas cards.  I only need to pick out which picture we'll put inside the cards.  One less thing to go when it's really busy.

I've worked this month making our home really Halloween-y for my Halloween loving family.

This corner below is the near the dog's bed so even he is getting into the spirit.

LM's Halloween costume is here, it fits, looks good and is read…

31 Days of Home Organization- Lists

I am not a huge list maker.  I make a grocery list - which often gets let at home (anyone else?) - other than that I am hit or miss. I like post-it notes and use them in my Home Management Notebook for my "to-do's". I use index cards for making lists sometimes.  I have never quite gotten into using my phone or computer for my lists.  No matter where you keep your lists, they are a key to keeping organized.  
Try making lists to keep yourself (and your family) on track for some of these tasks:
Groceries- Saves money & time.  If you don't lose it!ErrandsCleaning/Chores - Clean Mama has some wonderful printables (some free) to help keep you on track.Gifts - Saves money & time.Holiday Greeting CardsParty PlanningMeal PlanningPacking for a Trip Make your lists, use them and feel more organized each day.
What kinds of lists do you make? 
I'm joining The Nester for her 31 Days Challenge. If you missed any of my posts, you can find them here.

31 Days of Home Organization-Organizing for Kids-Quick Tip

A wire, hanging rack is a quick and easy way to organize crayons, markers, pencils & more. This three tiered rack fits little metal buckets (most found at the $ spot in Target) which hold lots of writing tools for the little ones.  We have ours on the wall in the playroom but it would also work nicely on the back of a door.

I'm joining The Nester for her 31 Days Challenge.  Find my other posts here.

31 Days of Home Organization - Laundry Rooms

I have no business talking about laundry rooms.  Mine is in the garage.  It makes it super fun to do laundry in July. Even when it's cooler out it's still not the serene place I would like it to be, try as I might.

On paper, my laundry area is not too bad: front loading washer and dryer, wall cabinets for storage & a utility sink.  I even got a nice hanging rack for my birthday.  But I'm still in the garage.

I love the wall cabinets for storing detergent & other wash related  items (dryer sheets, vinegar, spot remover, etc).

In an ideal world I would love to have something like one of these rooms:

I love the green wall color and the stenciled definition of laundry in this room.

While I don't love the wall color here, I am in love with the amount of storage in this room.

Check out my Laundry Room Pinterest Board for more laundry room inspiration.

Over the weekend I plan to do a little reorganization in my laundry area so I'll share it with you next week. …

31 Days of Home Organization-Storing Seasonal Decorations

Who doesn't love a beautifully decorated home at the holidays?  Along with all that decor comes the challenge of storing it when it's not in use.  Enter the storage bins.  I often wonder what our grandmothers did without Rubbermaid or Sterilite. Plastic storage totes are my number one way to store decorations.  Think about the following when choosing your storage bins:
Size-Yes, it matters.  Storage totes come in all sizes, from a small five gallon to a 45 gallon wheeled model (by Sterilite).  I like the larger sizes for big, light weight decor (like wreaths).  Smaller sizes are perfect for decorations that are smaller, but heavier (like door stops, metal figurines).  Bigger isn't always better so you need to keep in mind what you're storing and make sure you can actually pick up and carry the totes.
Material - It might be less expensive to toss your decorations in a cardboard box and be done with it but plastic seems to be a better storage solution for temperature fluc…

31 Days of Home Organization - When it's alright to let go

Have nothing in your house 
that you do not know to be useful,

 or believe to be beautiful.
~William Morris

Keep this in mind as you are going through your home organizing and purging.  Don't keep anything just because: 
It was a gift from someone you care about.  We all have objects that we don't like but keep because they are from our grandma/best friend/sister and we don't have the heart to part with them.  If a gift is hidden in your closet because you hate it, what good is it doing anyone?  Donate it to the Goodwill and let someone love it.It represents what you used to be.  The mauve dinnerware you got for your wedding in 1992 may not work for you in 2012.  It's okay.  Let it go.You think you may fit into or need it one day. The size 4 jeans from high school?  Toss them - trust me, styles have changed since 1988 and you'll want to buy a new pair when you are a size 4 again.  The baseboards you removed during your home renovation?  Donate or sell them.  You will n…

31 Days of Home Organization-DVD & CD Storage

With the popularity of itunes and Netflix you would think that our music and movie storage dilemmas would be far behind us.  Not around here.  We still need places too keep our DVD & CD collections. I prefer them to be out of sight so I found these collapsible boxes a few years ago at The Container Store.  I don't think these ones are still available but they have a plethora of attractive options.

These boxes fit perfectly stacked two high on the bottom of our library table.  I measured the space before I committed to 12 of these babies so I knew they would work. The area looks neat and everything is easily found when we want a movie or CD.

And, yes, everything is in alphabetical order.  It's super easy to locate what you're looking for this way.
I'm am joining The Nester and over 1000 others this month for the 31 Day Challenge.  You can find all of my 31 Days posts here. I hope you'll check out all of the organizing ideas.

31 Days of Home Organization - Interrupted

It's Day 16 of my 31 day challenge.  I decided to take a break and join Melissa today for her Under $10 Under 1 hour party. A little break is always good although you could say this is a post on how to organize straws if you'd like.

The idea of the party is to share something you created for under $10 that took you less than 1 hour.  My cute little paper straw holder (jar) took about 10 minutes and only cost $2.

To make this I used:

Jar - recycled jam jar - Free
Paper - from my scrap paper supply -Already had
Ribbon - from my supply - Already had
Spider - I stamped this last year while at a friend's, thinking one day I might want to use it somewhere - Free
Straws - $1.99 at Michaels.

Grand total = $1.99
I love how it turned out.  It makes the perfect little Halloween decoration and it's useful to boot.  Although my husband said 'what good is a paper straw?  You can't actually drink out of it, can you?'  Yes, yes you can.  I'll let him pick what color he wa…

31 Days of Home Organization - Paying Bills

Paying bills is not likely high on anyone's list of fun things to do.  But do it we must.  I am the bill payer in our family.  I don't mind doing it and my husband has no desire to take over the task so it works well for us.

Over the years I have tried all kinds of bill paying organizers, containers, systems, etc.  But what I like the best is paying my bills as I get them.  It's super simple and nothing is late.
If you pay your bills on line through your bank you can schedule your payments to be made on or before the due date.

TIP:  I almost always have my bills delivered one day before their due date - just in case.  I have never had a problem with on line bill pay through my bank but you never know.

Once I have paid a bill I file toss it in a box which I purge (& shred) yearly. Anything needed for taxes goes in a file labeled Taxes 2012. There was a time when I was really OCD about the filing.  Once I paid a bill I filed it in a folder for that specific account in…

31 Days of Home Organization- A Sunday Recipe

We spent all week getting our kitchens in order so I thought it would be fun to take a break from organizing and enjoy our newly arranged spaces.  We got some limes in our last Bountiful Basket and I wanted to use them in a yummy desert recipe.  I found Neely's Lime Bars (very similar to Lemon Bars but made with limes) and decided to give them a try.  They were super easy and really delicious.
You may know the Neely's, Pat & Gina, from the Food Network show "Down Home with the Neely's".  Not only is their show one of my favorites to watch on the Food Network, their recipes are fun and tasty, with that special southern flare that I love.  They film their show in their home kitchen.  We could all do that now that we've got our kitchens organized, right?

You can find the recipe for Neely's Lime Bars here.

I loved these lime bars and will definitely make them again.  And again.  And again.

I am taking part in The Nester's 31 Days challenge this month…

31 Days of Home Organization - The Fridge

The refrigerator is probably one of the hardest parts of our homes to keep organized.  It's kind of like a closet in that we can just put stuff in there and close the doors.  Tempting as that is, keeping your fridge organized will pay off in many ways, including: Less food waste.  Think of all the food that gets pushed to the back and is found months (years?) later and gets tossed.Saving money.  Since you aren't wasting food you'll save dough by not having to buy something you already have.Cooking more.  If you know what you have and make a plan, cooking will be less stressful and easier to tackle after a long day.  Cooking more at home will likely save you money as well.

Organizing the fridge should be an ongoing process but it all starts with the basics.  A few times a year I really get in there and clean, take everything out, wash out the drawers, etc. A weekly (the night before the trash is picked up) clean out keeps things pretty organized. When it's done weekly I…

31 Days of Home Organization - The Pantry

Organizing a pantry can be a daunting task but just like any other part of your home it's pretty basic (see a list of organizing basics here).  Take your pantry overhaul step by step:

Take everything out of the pantry.  Wipe down all surfaces before you put things back.

Purge. Toss anything that is expired.  I can send my daughter over to help with that - she's like a police dog when sniffing out expiration dates. Donate anything that is not expired but you know you'll never use (like those horrid Yakisoba noodles you got for free with your 10 coupons) to your local food bank.  Only keep what you know you will use.

Sort like items.  Figure out what works for you.  I find that during the holidays I need to move my chips to the cabinet that houses the crackers because my cereal cabinet is full of Chex cereals for all the mixes I like to make. All canned soups together.  All canned veggies together.  You get the idea.
Containerize & Label. I am a huge fan of plastic containe…

31 Days of Home Organization - Small Appliances

Small appliances, in general,  have to be one of the greatest inventions around.  You can slice and dice and julienne.  You can come home to homemade bread.  You can blend the perfect margarita on a summer day.
You also have to store said small appliances.  And that can be a problem for some most of us.  As a general rule, I am a 'if I see it I'll use it' type of gal.  So if an appliance is stored away I am less apt to pull it out to use it (rice cooker, for example).  But counter space is at a premium and I hate having everything on the counter top unless it's used.  A lot.  For me that means the Kitchen Aid and the Keurig get to stay out.  Everything else is put away.
My crock pot and food processor are used a good bit but definitely not every day.  I'll admit it was a toss up as to whether to keep the food processor or Kitchen Aid on the counter but I figured the food processor was less likely to land on my head when stored in this cabinet so I kept the mixer i…