Purging the Playroom

Each winter, we clean out the playroom and remove all the toys that are broken or that the kids have outgrown. We always try to do this before Christmas to make room for the Christmas gifts, but this year, we have another purpose.

Organizing and simplifying

We want to simplify life for everyone at our home. We are trying to live with less and just enjoy what we already have. Our daughters have toys they have never even played with, and it’s our eventual plan to use their underused playroom for another purpose. We have decided to keep their favorites but simplify what they have. Since the kids mostly play in the family room instead of staying in the playroom, it makes more sense for them to just keep their toys there.

For as long as we have lived in our home, our playroom has looked like this:

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We are planning to rework our current office to a family room. This room would be the primary hangout for our entire family, with floor to ceiling built in bookcases for books and toys. We are also keeping some of their toys in their own rooms now.

Last week, we went through the toy boxes in both kids’ rooms, and every shelf and basket in the playroom. We threw away one full bag of trash and broken toys. We filled two large bags of things for donating/giving away, and we emptied out three bins.

Here’s a picture of our purge pile in the back of the van:

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We are far from done with our playroom purge. Check back next week for our playroom plan. I hope you have a great week.

 

 

Linking to StonegableWorthing CourtCedar Hill FarmhouseConfessions of a Plate AddictTThe Turquoise HomeA Place of My TasteThe Happy Housie, The Blissful Bee, My PinterventuresThe Lady Prefers to SaveThe Kolb Corner, Craving Some Creativity,  Let’s Get Crafty, Diane and Dean DIY,  Starfish CottageBluesky Kitchen,  Potentially Chic,  McCall Manor, and Odds and Evans,  The Quintessential MommyChristine Everyday,  Little Miss DexterousDécor To AdorePoofing the PillowsAt Home With JemmaWhite Spray Paint,  and French Country Cottage!

 

 

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Organizing kids’ spaces

My oldest daughter loves clothes- she loves buying new clothes, but She also loves to change her clothes. Not surprisingly, this has led to some major messing up her dresser and her closet.

Emorie’s closet really needed some Jesus an exorcism some cleaning out. Actually I’m the one who needs Jesus- opening that closet makes me think bad thoughts.


And the dresser isn’t any better.


I finally got tired of it and decided to fix it. I started by removing anything extra, non fitting, or anything out-of-season from the closet. Then, I straightened what was left.



And suddenly, all of my mean thoughts have disappeared. Isn’t that way better?

And as for the dresser.  Some of the drawers didn’t need more than a minor straightening.


But for the ones that looked like a tornado had run through them, I took everything out of them and used my trusty drawer organizers.

When I was finished, it looked like this:


I know I’ll just be refixing the closet and drawers again soon, but in the meantime, this is so much better.

What small organizing project have you done lately?

Linking to StonegableWorthing CourtCedar Hill FarmhouseConfessions of a Plate AddictThe Turquoiseaquifer and HomeA Place of My TasteThe Happy Housie, The Blissful Bee, My PinterventuresThe Lady Prefers to SaveThe Kolb Corner, Craving Some Creativity,  Let’s Get Crafty, Diane and Dean DIY,  Starfish CottageBluesky Kitchen,  Potentially Chic,  McCall Manor, and Odds and Evans,  The Quintessential MommyChristine Everyday,  Little Miss DexterousDécor To AdorePoofing the PillowsAt Home With JemmaWhite Spray Paint,  and French Country Cottage!

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Getting organized with Cozi

Our family is going through something of a transition, and as a result, we are trying to manage our time better and organize our lives better. 


Some time ago, I heard about an app called Cozi. At the time, I owned an Android phone and Cozi wasn’t available on Android. 

Now that I am an iPhone user, I decided to give Cozi a try. First, set up your Cozi with all your family members. You can also tie one account to the phones/devices of all your family so you can all keep one another updated. We have even synced my Cozi account with my daughter’s iPod Touch. 


This way, when you input calendar events for each family member, it color codes them and uploads them to each family member’s phone. 


Here’s a sample weekly calendar layout. See how each of our events are a different color? 


You also get an email from Cozi on Sunday nights reminding you of your schedule for the week. 


You can also upload recipes and schedule them for certain nights. Cozi will even build a shopping list of all your ingredients.


Cozi also includes a built in shopping list AND a to-do list. The type A in me is loving it, y’all. 

I love using Cozi. It has helped me to remember appointments, keep up with meals and shopping lists, and create a to do list to help keep everything straight. And best of all, Cozi is free. There is a premium version but the free one does everything I need. 

I highly recommend you give it a try.  For more information, visit the Cozi website. 

Linking to StonegableWorthing CourtCedar Hill FarmhouseConfessions of a Plate AddictThe Turquoiseaquifer and HomeA Place of My TasteThe Happy Housie, The Blissful Bee, My PinterventuresThe Lady Prefers to SaveThe Kolb Corner, Craving Some Creativity,  Let’s Get Crafty, Diane and Dean DIY,  Starfish CottageBluesky Kitchen,  Potentially Chic,  McCall Manor, and Odds and Evans,  The Quintessential MommyChristine Everyday,  Little Miss DexterousDécor To AdorePoofing the PillowsAt Home With JemmaWhite Spray Paint,  and French Country Cottage!

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New uses for old things: how you can use a shoe organizer in every room

Most people own an over the door shoe rack, or have at least seen one. They’re cheap, they’re easy to find, and they’re strangely versatile. 

Most of us use them just like this:

                            (Source)
Did you know you can use them in almost every room?


Life Hacks

You can cut them and affix them to the back of your bathroom cabinets to hold extra toiletries. 


(Source)
You can use them in your laundry room to store bottles of cleaner.


Better Homes and Gardens
Use one for extra storage in your kitchen pantry.


DIY Village
How about in your mudroom or coat closet to store winter hats, gloves and scarves?


A bowl full of lemons
How about in the playroom to store art supplies?

Or in your craft room to store your own crafty supplies?


Once Upon A Hive
I have three of these things right now. I can’t wait to show you how I’m planning to use them.

Linking to StonegableWorthing CourtCedar Hill FarmhouseConfessions of a Plate AddictThe Turquoiseaquifer and HomeA Place of My TasteThe Happy Housie, The Blissful Bee, My PinterventuresThe Lady Prefers to SaveThe Kolb Corner, Craving Some Creativity,  Let’s Get Crafty, Diane and Dean DIY,  Starfish CottageBluesky Kitchen,  Potentially Chic,  McCall Manor, and Odds and Evans,  The Quintessential MommyChristine Everyday,  Little Miss DexterousDécor To AdorePoofing the PillowsAt Home With JemmaWhite Spray Paint,  and French Country Cottage!

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Back to school: how we save time in the morning 


Preparation is key to a less stressful morning. Do Anything you can do ahead of time to get yourself prepared for the next day. Some people are far better at this than I am, but I still want to take the time to share what works for us.


1. Use an agenda to be more organized overall

I like to read my agenda the night before to make myself aware of any to do list items for the next day, and any appointments or meetings we might have. This way I don’t have any “surprises” and I know what I’m facing (for the most part) when walking out the door.


2. Get your clothes ready the night before. 

I like to lay out everything I’ll need AND make sure it’s ironed the night before so I’m not scrambling in the morning. This includes workout clothes and my work outfit, down to undies and shoes. I do this for my kids’ clothes as well.


3. Use grab and go breakfast items. 

I like to make several breakfasts ahead of time and freeze them. Then I just grab them, heat them and eat them. It saves a lot of time.

4. Put everything you’ll need by the door. Then you can just grab it and walk out.

5. Pack lunches the night before so you aren’t scrambling to do it in the AM. 

6. Unload your dish washer at night so you can put your dirty breakfast dishes in the dishwasher before you leave. 

7. Check your bags the night before to make sure you aren’t missing anything you need. 


Lastly, don’t forget to say goodbye to your loved ones!! I hope this list has been helpful! What do you do to prepare for your day the night before?

Linking to StonegableWorthing CourtCedar Hill FarmhouseConfessions of a Plate AddictThe Turquoiseaquifer and HomeA Place of My TasteThe Happy Housie, The Blissful Bee, My PinterventuresThe Lady Prefers to SaveThe Kolb Corner, Craving Some Creativity,  Let’s Get Crafty, Diane and Dean DIY,  Starfish CottageBluesky Kitchen,  Potentially Chic,  McCall Manor, and Odds and Evans,  The Quintessential MommyChristine Everyday,  Little Miss DexterousDécor To AdorePoofing the PillowsAt Home With JemmaWhite Spray Paint,  and French Country Cottage!

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10 ways to get organized before school starts


Some of us have only precious few days until school starts back. Others of us have a little longer, but chances are we are all beginning to prepare for the school year.

Even if you haven’t yet bought school supplies, I bet you have at least obtained a supply list so you’ll know what you need.

Today I’d like to share a few tips for getting organized for the new school year.


1. Clean out your children’s dressers and closets.

This will not only help you to be able to find things more quickly; it will also help you to see what school clothes you need to buy. When I cleaned out my daughter’s closet, I realized I didn’t need to buy as much as I thought I needed. 


2. Don’t wait till the last minute to get school supplies 

Go school shopping as soon as you get the list (if you can). Waiting til the last minute can mean some of your supplies with be hard to find.


3. Create a designated homework station

Have an area free of distractions where your student can concentrate and have all his or her supplies on hand.


4. Have a pin board or folder to display artwork or important papers. 


5. Plan and create some make ahead meals 

The beginning of a school year is always crazy but you cannot sacrifice nutrition. Make ahead some nutritious meals and all you’ll have to do is take them out of the freezer and cook them. 


6.  Start practicing your family’s back to school routine at least two weeks before school starts

No one likes waking up a cranky, sleepy kid and dragging them out of bed. To make it easier on everyone, get back into your school routine by going to bed early and waking up early before school starts back. 


7. Purchase a calendar or agenda that works for you and use it 

Write down everything and get into the habit of checking over your calendar each night before you go to bed. 


8. Establish a cleaning routine that works well for your family. 

Few can clean their whole house all at once every week. Establish a routine where you can clean a little bit each night. 


9. Prepare for tomorrow as much as possible on the night before.

Before you go to bed, get ready for tomorrow as much as you possibly can. Pack your lunch, lay out clothes, make sure your clothes are ready. Put your bag and everything you’ll need by the door. Put the coffee in the pot and set the timer. Know what you want to eat for breakfast. Mornings are stressful, but preparing for them makes them easier. 

10. Relax and look forward to the new school year. I hope your summer has been wonderful. 

Linking to StonegableWorthing CourtCedar Hill FarmhouseConfessions of a Plate AddictThe Turquoiseaquifer and HomeA Place of My TasteThe Happy Housie, The Blissful Bee, My PinterventuresThe Lady Prefers to SaveThe Kolb Corner, Craving Some Creativity,  Let’s Get Crafty, Diane and Dean DIY,  Starfish CottageBluesky Kitchen,  Potentially Chic,  McCall Manor, and Odds and Evans,  The Quintessential MommyChristine Everyday,  Little Miss DexterousDécor To AdorePoofing the PillowsAt Home With JemmaWhite Spray Paint,  and French Country Cottage!

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A DIY library book tote


One of the youngest members of our family got her first library card last week. Our sweet girl was so excited! When we got home, our library books ended up here:


That table catches everything!

I knew I needed to solve this problem, because I didn’t want the little sister to tear up the books. I found these super cool tote bags.


I grabbed some stick on letters.


I painted around the letters with some black craft paint.


Now we have a super cute tote to not only hold those books up out of reach, but we can use them to carry our books to and from the library!


I’m going to consider this a win. What quick and easy solution have you created lately?

Linking to StonegableWorthing CourtCedar Hill FarmhouseConfessions of a Plate AddictThe Turquoiseaquifer and HomeA Place of My TasteThe Happy Housie, The Blissful Bee, My PinterventuresThe Lady Prefers to SaveThe Kolb Corner, Craving Some Creativity,  Let’s Get Crafty, Diane and Dean DIY,  Starfish CottageBluesky Kitchen,  Potentially Chic,  McCall Manor, and Odds and Evans,  The Quintessential MommyChristine Everyday,  Little Miss DexterousDécor To AdorePoofing the PillowsAt Home With JemmaWhite Spray Paint,  and French Country Cottage!

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Tips and Tricks Tuesday: Organize your fridge

 

 

Our summer is busy already, and because we’re involved in so many different activities, it seems we’re never home. Our fridge, which is normally organized and neat, was looking pretty bad.

I was getting frustrated because things were falling out when you opened the door. I also couldn’t seem to find anything. I was at a new dollar store which recently opened near my parents’ home when I spotted these plastic fridge trays.

They actually offered three different sizes of them, and the prices were good. Plus, they look like the pricier acrylic trays that are so common in the blogosphere. I’m all about things that look expensive but aren’t.

I bought four of the smaller size, and four of the mid sized. I plan to later buy two of the large size, but they were sold out, and that would have put me over budget. Still, I’d say that this is an improvement, wouldn’t you? I ended up spending about $30 to get our fridge organized. It’s definitely a big help because now I can see everything in our fridge and I can tell when we’re out of something.


I’m still working to organize this monstrosity of a freezer. Can’t wait to show you next week what I did with it.


How have you organized your fridge and freezer?

Linking to StonegableWorthing CourtCedar Hill FarmhouseConfessions of a Plate AddictThe Turquoiseaquifer and HomeA Place of My TasteThe Happy Housie, The Blissful Bee, My PinterventuresThe Lady Prefers to SaveThe Kolb Corner, Craving Some Creativity,  Let’s Get Crafty, Diane and Dean DIY,  Starfish CottageBluesky Kitchen,  Potentially Chic,  McCall Manor, and Odds and Evans,  The Quintessential MommyChristine Everyday,  Little Miss DexterousDécor To AdorePoofing the PillowsAt Home With JemmaWhite Spray Paint,  and French Country Cottage!

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Tuesday Tips and Tricks: Getting organized with one trip to the dollar store 


Have you ever paid attention to the bins and baskets aisle at your local Dollar General, Family Dollar or Dollar Tree? If you haven’t, you definitely should. 

For example, these little white baskets are 3 for a dollar. They are in use all over my house and they make excellent drawer organizers. Here they are organizing some hair bows in my oldest daughter’s dresser.


Next up are plastic chests of drawers. We use them in our bathroom vanities to give us a little more storage space inside the cabinets.


We also use the little plastic baskets as drawer organizers here as well.


Fabric drawers have many uses and are a steal at $4. Here we use them to organize our playroom.


Dollar Stores also have some pretty sweet deals on hangers. I bought the velvet coat hangers in this closet from the Dollar Tree and they have held up amazingly well.

Dollar store baking dishes Make awesome storage bins for your fridge. Plus, the glass ones are dishwasher safe. Plastic food storage containers work well for fridge bins, too.


The Dollar General stores have these awesome metal baskets, which I am using to store cleaning supplies. 


There are a number of different plastic bins available, which we use all over the house in a variety of ways.



These are just a few of my favorite dollar store organizing tools. Please comment down below to share a few of your favorites.

Linking to StonegableWorthing CourtCedar Hill FarmhouseConfessions of a Plate AddictThe Turquoiseaquifer and HomeA Place of My TasteThe Happy Housie, The Blissful Bee, My PinterventuresThe Lady Prefers to SaveThe Kolb Corner, Craving Some Creativity,  Let’s Get Crafty, Diane and Dean DIY,  Starfish CottageBluesky Kitchen,  Potentially Chic,  McCall Manor, and Odds and Evans,  The Quintessential MommyChristine Everyday,  Little Miss DexterousDécor To AdorePoofing the PillowsAt Home With JemmaWhite Spray Paint,  and French Country Cottage!

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Using an agenda as a bullet journal…and being more organized as a result


I used to create and print this eleaborate calendar. It was great, but too big and too bulky, and it wasn’t very durable. It was also time consuming to design and assemble.

Enter this pretty little $14 agenda from Anthropologie.

It has whole month calendar pages

And weekly pages as well.

There are also blank pages in the back, which I’ve used for a number of things. Some of them I have used to paste in my own pages.

And on others, I draw or write in whatever I need it to be.

Now that I’m getting into bullet journaling, I can see how these boring, handwritten lists will be much more eye catching in the future.

I met a girl at a teaching workshop I attended earlier this year who had a gorgeous bullet journal. She graciously allowed me to photograph it.

I am learning to use my agenda to organize the things I am scheduled to do, the things I need to do, and the things I want to do. I am also using it to set some goals and keep track of other things.

Each evening, I look back over my day and I look to tomorrow to get a good idea of what I need to accomplish. I also make sure I’m ready for the next day.

I am encouraging my readers to share their agendas. How do you use your agenda? What does it look like? Do you make your own from scratch or customize a pre-made one like I do? Please comment and show me your agendas.

Have a wonderful Thursday.

Linking to StonegableWorthing CourtCedar Hill FarmhouseConfessions of a Plate AddictThe Turquoiseaquifer and HomeA Place of My TasteThe Happy Housie, The Blissful Bee, My PinterventuresThe Lady Prefers to SaveThe Kolb Corner, Craving Some Creativity,  Let’s Get Crafty, Diane and Dean DIY,  Starfish CottageBluesky Kitchen,  Potentially Chic,  McCall Manor, and Odds and Evans,  The Quintessential MommyChristine Everyday,  Little Miss DexterousDécor To AdorePoofing the PillowsAt Home With JemmaWhite Spray Paint,  and French Country Cottage!

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