Category Archives: Organizing

Creative Collections: Organizing Challenges

I don’t know about you, but I do better when I have someone else guiding me through organizing my house… as in, telling me what to do. Even though I have no contact with these people, except for the occasional comment, I feel accountable to keeping up and making sure I do a good job.

So I’ve collected some organizational challenges that you might enjoy. Some of them aren’t currently going on, but the ideas are great all the same. Remember, doing something is better than nothing (even if you don’t complete the whole challenge). And you don’t have to do it in the same timeframe that the challenges recommend–do what works for you!

Organizing Made Fun
31 days of spontaneous organizing

A Bowl Full of Lemons
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Craftivity Designs
8 week organizing challenge

An Everyday Occasion
50-Day-Organization-ChallengeBreething
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Happy Organizing! Good luck!

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Creative Collections: Toy Organizing

Little by little, I feel like our house it getting more organized and put together. Logan is building a bench for our eat-in kitchen with storage for our china (out of the way, which means out of little people’s hands!), and I’ve gotten round one of toy organization done. Too bad that keeps changing when more toys are added! Needless to say, I’ve been looking at all sorts of playrooms! And since I know that’s a problem many families face, I decided that’s a great way to keep New Year’s organizing going…

via BHG

via BHG

(there’s no actual directions here, but the idea is great–bags hanging on curtain rods on a door!)

via The Cottage Mama

via The Cottage Mama

via The Fancy Frugal Life

via The Fancy Frugal Life

via Make It and Love It

via Make It and Love It

via HGTV

via HGTV

Also check out this post from An Inviting Home about organizing a kid’s craft space. 

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Don’t forget, your storage doesn’t have to be beautiful or match. It just has to work for you! Pictures with labels with make clean up easier for your child (and therefore easier for you!).

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Creative Collections: Cleaning Schedules

I’ve tried some cleaning schedules in the past–some worked for me, lots didn’t. As much as I want to do a little cleaning each night, I always end up doing it on the weekend. I hate that, but it’s what ends up happening (mostly because I crash on the couch after Emily goes to bed!). Oh well! Besides an hour on the weekend means that I can get Logan to help me…and husband help is something I know many of us have troubles with!

So here are some of my favorite cleaning schedules. And even though I don’t do much with the daily cleaning, I’m going to give it a try again! It would be so nice to have that couple hours back on my weekends!

Daily Cleaning Schedule by Organizing Made Fun
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Monthly Cleaning Schedule by Two Things in Common
Deep Cleaning Monthly Schedule

Quick Clean Ups by Clean Mama
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Daily/Monthly Cleaning Schedule by Squirrelly Minds
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House Cleaning All Year by List Template
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As I was looking for cleaning schedules, I found this fantastic advice at Organizing Made Fun. Read the entire blog post here.
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Happy New Year!

Well the new year has started with a bang. Impending snow storm, frigid temperatures, paci weaning, lots of crying at naps, organizing, cooking… What am I going to do when I head back to work next week?

Like most people, I’ve used the new year as a time to get more organized. I told my sister that this morning and she rolled her eyes, looked around the family room, and said I was one of the more organized people she knew. Haha, she’s sweet. But I’m trying to get some things organized and some habits formed before Piper comes, so that Logan and I aren’t creating good habits while we’re sleep deprived.

Besides purging and donating, I’ve created a new command center. In our pantry, I’ve set up a some calendars and  clipboards.
*Calendar #1:  Week by Week:  schedule, menu plans (and where to find the recipes)
*Calendar #2:  Monthly:  I found a calendar last year that just has the month and dates (no days). I’m using it to write down everyone’s birthday and anniversaries. I’m determined to get cards and presents sent out closer to on time this year. This way, when the new month rolls around, I can prepare.
*Clipboard #1:  Grocery Lists:  I have this set up as a Week by Week list to coordinate with my menu planning. I’ve been taking the whole months worth of lists to the grocery store to stock up on the food that isn’t fresh. The goal is one big shopping trip at the beginning of the month for the majority of ingredients and staples, plus quick weekly trips for fresh foods.
Clipboards #2 and #3:  To Do List for Logan and me

If you’re interested in some free 2014 calendars, here are some of my favorites…

The Funny Place
2014-calendar-Free-use

Kate and Trudy
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Maya Road
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Creative Mamma
creativemamma.com-2014-calendar

iMom
iMOM 2013-14 Calendar-JAN14

The Handmade Home
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What are your organizing goals for 2014?

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Bib Backpack Tutorial

I saw an idea on Pinterest about hanging bibs on the back of a high chair using a Command hook. Genius, I thought. Until I watched my child reach up and pull things off a table higher than I thought she could reach. Yeah, those bibs would be everywhere! But I really wanted the drawer space back! So I decided on a “backpack” that would hang on the back of her chair.

Now, I have to be honest. I know how to make one type of pouch. And I just used the same format over and over. Remember, this tutorial for the bag for Fabric Memory? Pretty much the same thing with just a few modifications (yeah, I’m using some of the same pictures…) I did only use one panel for the outer fabric and lining this time though.

Fabric Memory bag

Fabric Memory bag

What you’ll need:
*Outer fabric panel 14×24″
*Lining fabric panel 14×24″
*velcro
*coordinating ribbons

1.  Fold the bottom of your panel up so there’s about a 4″ flap at the top. Sew up both sides. Do this with the lining too.

2.  Creating a flat bottom:  Push your corners out so they create a triangle.
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3.  Measure down 1″ from the corner.  Sew a seam following the line your pin created, intersecting your side seam. Repeat with both corners of the outer fabric and both corners of the lining.
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Finished bottom

4.  Turn your lining right side out and slide into your main fabric (which is still inside out). Line up the upper edges and pin.
Slide the lining in
Pin the edges

5.  Sew around all the edges, leaving about an inch gap. Clip your corners.

6.  Turn it right side out. Top stitch around the whole opening, which will close the gap.

7.  Attach the velcro to the flap and line it up on the front of the bag.
Velcro

8.  Find the center of your ribbon. Zig zag it to attach to the back of your bag. The position of these ribbons depends on your chair. Make sure they easily attach to the back.DSC02744

Then you’re ready to attach to your chair and fill with bibs. Nice and out of the way!

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Enjoy that you just freed up a drawer in your kitchen!

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New Year’s Organizing Revolution: Family Room

Our family room does double duty–living room and playroom. And oh my, little Emily has quite a collection of toys. Already. Let’s please note that she’s not even a year old yet. Yikes!

But I think we’ve done some smart furniture buying to do double duty.

This shot is a good combination of our storage ideas. The wicker cube holds our dvds. The large basket on the shelf holds most of our board games. Then the other basket holds Emily's burp clothes.

This shot is a good combination of our storage ideas. The wicker cube holds our dvds. The large basket on the shelf holds most of our board games. Then the other basket holds Emily’s burp clothes.

More baskets! The top two are PS3 and Wii games (one for Logan and one for me). The baskets on the bottom are Emily's toys.

More baskets! The top two are PS3 and Wii games (one for Logan and one for me). The baskets on the bottom are Emily’s toys. The shelf on the left is her library.

Yeah, Emily decided she needed to kiss the camera as I was taking pictures.

Yeah, Emily decided she needed to kiss the camera as I was taking pictures.

This ottoman was one of our smartest buys. Cushy so we don't have to worry about her hitting her head. Then there's storage on the inside. Some of Emily's toys and our weights (to keep it in one place).

This ottoman was one of our smartest buys. Cushy so we don’t have to worry about her hitting her head. Then there’s storage on the inside–some of Emily’s toys and our weights (to keep it in one place).

I’m still on the lookout for an inexpensive dresser at a thrift store. I’d like to do something like this, just with clear plastic tubs. I’m thinking a bright blue like this one though.

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from BHG

Add it to my list of projects!

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What smart storage solutions do you have in your family room?

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Creative Collections: Play Room Storage

Ahh, toys. It seems that they’re slowly taking over. And our cute little house doesn’t have tons of closet space, so we’re all about creative solutions!

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Old Dresser as Toy Storage by BHG

Why yes, something like this will be in my living room when I find a good dresser. Maybe with clear bins though.

Why yes, something like this will be in my living room when I find a good dresser. Maybe with clear bins though.

Organizing Craft Supplies by Something To Do
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Stuffed Animal Swing by It’s Always Autumn
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Peek-A-Boo Toy Sack by Make It Pefect
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Fabric Storage Bins by Make It and Love It
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Spice Racks as Book Storage by Naptime Decorator
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Lego Table by Kojo Designs
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And just because I love labels…

Toy Storage Labels by Confessions of a Slacker Mom
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Printable Toy Tub Labels by Childhood 101
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Creative Collections:

I’ve been thinking lots about the challenge for the New Year’s Organizing Revolution… closets. And I got… nothing! My closets are fine–nothing special, but they hold a fair amount. Probably the cutest thing I’ve done in any of the closets was the size dividers in Emily’s.

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Besides that, they’re pretty basic. Mostly organized, but basic. So I’m going to bow out of this week’s challenge. But if you’re still looking for ideas, here you go!

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Pretty Dishes for Jewelry by Martha Stewart
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Shoe Storage by Growing in Grace
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Curtains for Closet Doors by The Pleated Poppy
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Scarf Storage by The Life of the Party
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Necklace Storage by Engineered Style
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Happy Organizing!

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New Year’s Organizing Revolution: The Kitchen

Ahh, the kitchen. The heart of the home. Inevitably, where we all hang out when our families come over.

I love our kitchen! When Logan moved in (he bought the house nearly a year before we even started dating), the kitchen was one only a non-cook would buy! Hardly any counter space, poor layout, inconvenient storage. The smartest thing we ever did was remodel the kitchen…before we got married and I moved in. All the benefits of a remodel without all the stress of living there (though I did have to do one very large round of dishes in the bathtub).

My little helper!

My little helper!

For this challenge, my goal was to create more of a unified… and therefore less cluttered… look. Much as I would love to buy new jars and tubs at The Container Store, that’s just not possible. Alas.

Instead, I hit up The Dollar Tree!

I also took the contact paper from the office and made labels for all of my containers. I really like how simple it makes everything look.

Perfect extra storage! Baskets hide cookbooks, coffees, and miscellaneous things of Logan and mine.

Perfect extra storage! Baskets hide cookbooks, coffees, and miscellaneous things of Logan and mine.

This pot rack frees up so much cabinet space! And I love the Rachel Ray pots and pans.

This pot rack frees up so much cabinet space! And I love the Rachel Ray pots and pans.

My spice containers--I designed the magnetic backsplash around using these (yay for heating duct supplies at Lowes)

My spice containers–I designed the magnetic backsplash around using these (yay for heating duct supplies at Lowes).

My refrigerator

Lazy susan on the top shelf for condiments. Baskets for Emily, yogurts, and cheeses. And an open shelf for leftovers.

Lazy susan on the top shelf for condiments. Baskets for Emily, yogurts, and cheeses. And an open shelf for leftovers.

Magnetic jobs chart

Magnetic jobs chart

Inside my cabinets:

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Hook for my lunchbox

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Labeled, sorted, and containerized

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Inside one cabinet is my menu and shopping list. So much nicer than on my refrigerator.

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Oils in one, vinegars in the other. These are just ice cube bins from Target. I got tired of cleaning up the oil that spilled onto the bottom of the cabinet. So the bins let me just run them through the dishwasher!

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I’m linking up to A Bowl Full of Lemon’s New Year’s Revolution! Please vote for me! The numbers will change as the voting goes on, but I’ll title it as Lindsey’s Kitchen. Thanks!

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Creative Collections: Kitchen Storage

Week 2 of the New Year’s Organizing Revolution has begun and we’re off to the kitchen! Even though this didn’t need as much work as the office, it still felt great to deep clean and organize this room!

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Here are some great storage and organizing ideas for the kitchen…

Organization Tips for the Kitchen by The Family Handyman
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Hidden Kitchen Organizer by Two Twenty One
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Structured Snacking by Midwest Living
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Containers in the Refrigerator by Pennies and Blessings
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Baby Food Jars into Magnetic Spice Jars by Dav.I.Son
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Chalkboard Lids for Spice Jars by Frugal Decor Mom
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Plastic Bag Organizer by Martha Stewart
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Cake Stand by the Sink by Savvy Living
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Magazine Holder for Foil by Candy’s Clothes Closet
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What are your great kitchen organizing/storage tips or projects?

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