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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Organizing solutions: Storing those toys!

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Most of us who have small children would agree: it’s very easy for toys to take over your home. Your life even! We can certainly do things to cut down on the toy clutter, such as simplifying your child’s toy collection.  Truthfully, even a large toy collection can still be organized and stored so that it doesn’t take over the world.

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One of my favorite ideas is to use hampers and vertical bins to corral stuffed animals. Not only does the tall, skinny bin store a lot of critters, it also takes up a small amount of floor space. For the win!

 

 

 

 

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Bookshelves. This goes back to vertical storage with a minimal footprint. Bookshelves will hold a lot of things and can be decorated so that they are attractive. The idea is to create a zigzag pattern across the shelves to keep the eye moving. These playroom shelves hold books and large toys, while bins stored on the shelves hold art supplies, school supplies, small toys, and paperback books. The bottom shelves hold stuffed animals and dolls, while the top shelves hold games and puzzles.

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Here is the bookshelf in Emorie’s room. The box on the top holds small toys that her sister shouldn’t be able to reach. The same rules apply. It’s a nice mixture of actual books and toys.

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These closet organizer cubes and fabric drawers live in our playroom and we love them. Actually we don’t just love them, we lurrrve them. They hold so much and they slide in and out of the cubes so well. The toys are sorted with like objects and placed into their own bin by category. The labels contain the word and the picture to help the littles know where to put them up.

These ideas are just some of the way we deal with the toy clutter. I hope I have shared some useful ideas with you. If you have any ideas that are different from mine, please comment below. I love sharing ideas and learning new things from my readers as well. Have a wonderful week.

Linking to StonegableWorthing CourtCedar Hill FarmhouseConfessions of a Plate AddictThe 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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Mommy Monday: organizing strategies that will get your school year off to a good start 

Now that we are in “back to school territory”  I thought I’d share some ideas for staying organized during the school year. I have found as a student and as a teacher, the more organized and prepared you are, the better your day will be. Since I will be the parent of a school age child for the first time this year, I’m trying my best to make sure we’re prepared and organized.

1. Create a handy and organized place to store school supplies

How much easier will it be to tackle that homework when you have your school supplies in an easy to access place? We love being able to grab up that caddy and haul it over to the dining room table.

2.Use folders to organize paper work 
Here’s an idea we are just now trying. Get an inexpensive pocket folder. I like the plastic ones as they’re more durable. Use one side to stash papers to bring home or take to school and one for homework.

3. Have a designated routine

Your school days will run much more smoothly if you form a routine and stick to it. Homework will be less of a battle if you designate a time to do it. Stay consistent and it will work.
4. Have a special place for your child’s bookbag 

This one goes right along with having a routine. Have somewhere for your child’s backpack to hang as soon as they walk in the door. I like to put everything else she’ll need right there beside it (shoes, coat, etc.)

What tips can you share for preparing for a successful school year?

​​Linking to StonegableWorthing CourtCedar Hill FarmhouseConfessions of a Plate AddictThe 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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Hair accessory organization 

I am the mother of two beautiful little girls, and I’m convinced hair bows are taking over my house. They’re everywhere! Even Aubrey has a ton of the things and she doesn’t have much hair. 

Emorie has an Ikea Hemnes dresser. It has two little drawers at the top.

The top drawer on the left used to house her swimsuits and the one on the right housed her headbands.

Neither was a good solution. The swimsuits were always bunching up and hiding one another, and the headbands were always sliding around or getting squashed.

I relocated the swimsuits to one of the fabric bins in her closet and weeded out the hairbows that were looking worse for wear. I hung the ones she still wears on a long ribbon behind her door.

Then I sectioned off the drawers with some trusty basket drawer organizers from Wally World. These are super cheap and they are so useful.

Her headbands and hairbows are sorted and stored by color. There was also room in the drawers for her sunglasses and costume jewelry as well.

I used two divider baskets to store hair ties and clips in her vanity table drawer.

All the materials used to organize these accessories sets were already in our home. This organizational project didn’t cost me a dime.

I’m really happy with how this turned out. I hope it’s going to Save us a lot of time searching for headbands.

​​Linking to StonegableWorthing CourtCedar Hill FarmhouseConfessions of a Plate AddictThe 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 using the Target Dollar Spot 

​ First of all, I apologize for not posting yesterday. Do you ever just need a work day? I needed a work day yesterday to clean my house, do some yard work, and go to the grocery store. By the time I finished all those things, I realized I hadn’t uploaded my post. Sorry about that.

Earlier this week, I went to Target. We do not have a Target nearby,but we do have several within an hour range. I love the Dollar Spot and have found many neat and useful items there in the past few years.

One of the coolest things I found was this ruler framed chalkboard. How neat would this be in my classroom or in a craft room?

These peg board kits are only $5 and I almost bought one myself. I didn’t get it because I didn’t really have a place for it in mind.

Ruler hanging strips? Again, these could be awesome in your classroom, office or craft room.

I can think of lots of ways I’d use this $3 bath caddy.

The hanging pocket organizer and hanging cubbies are useful, too.

There are also jewelry organizers for small items. They had canvas fabric drawers as well but I didn’t get a picture.

I wanted one of these for my desk:

And a few of these for storing paperclips and such:

I came home with some pencils and watercolor note cards. If you’re a college student, a teacher, or an organizing fiend like me, you need to get yourself to Target. You won’t be disappointed. 

Linking to StonegableWorthing CourtCedar Hill FarmhouseConfessions of a Plate AddictThe 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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Laundry room reveal

As any DIY blogger/wife can probably tell you, sometimes it’s easier to ask for forgiveness than permission. That’s sometimes true in my house as well. While my husband couldn’t deny that our laundry room was not functional, he didn’t see my vision.

Since the birth of our second daughter this past fall, the laundry around here has more than tripled. Which isn’t surprising. Our laundry closet is located in our hallway, on the otherside of our bedroom wall. Before my dad and I got ahold of it, it consisted of a really high (read:unreachable unless you’re Lebron James) shelf and one rod. It used to look like this:

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That’s pretty bad, huh? And the fact that I couldn’t reach the shelves meant everything was stacked on the washer and dryer…where it  kept falling off in the floor during the spin cycle. 🙁

Enter my dad. He built these awesome shelves, which I love. I can reach them and I have room for everything.

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I also bought these great metal baskets from our local Dollar General. I love them.

I painted the shelves white and added this “wallpaper.” It is really shelf liner with an adhesive back. It’s easy to change out if you get tired of it and mostly easy to put up.
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I have wallpapered shelves before but never actual walls. From this experience, I learned wallpaper is a pain to install and I never want to do it again. Well,maybe in about ten years. After I did the wallpaper accent wall, I felt like something seemed off.
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The walls needed painting. So off I went to our local big box and picked up some grey paint.

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Hmmm. That’s better. Don’t you think?

Then, after I painted everything, I reloaded the shelves. Here is the finished product. Not too shabby, huh?
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Way better than the before.

I do want to talk to you about the challenges and lessons that came about from this project. The first is that wallpaper is a PAIN. I loved how it looked once I was done but I wanted so badly to give up several times. If you look closely there are several spots where mine isn’t perfect. I did my best to match up the pattern, but I’ll be honest. In the areas where the pattern is less visible, it isn’t all perfectly matched. I have learned from this experience that I don’t like wallpapering. If you hear me ever mention wanting to do it again, feel free to slap me.

Also, I did not tape the trim or ceiling. This is the first time I have ever painted a room and not used tape. I didn’t do a perfect job. There are places on our trim and ceiling that I need to touch up. I have learned that it is best to trim out a wall with a brush with a short brush and angled bristles. You also need to take your time and not hurry. A good quality brush is also better.

Other challenges include moving heavy appliances by myself. Don’t do this. Wait till you have someone to help you. I moved mine may enough to work around them and then almost got stuck behind them. I almost called my daughters’ daycares and told them off I didn’t show up to pick them up, to call 911 and send some EMTs to get me unstuck 😉 In the end, my back is sore but nothing bad or embarrassing happened.

And as for the hubs: when he called around four and informed me he hasn’t heard from me all day, he asked what I was up to. I swear that guy has a radar. When I told him I’d been working in the laundry room, he asked what else I’d done. When he got home from work and saw the finished product, I was surprised to see he likes it, too. Maybe he should turn me loose on a few more projects. Just saying.

I am happy with how this “room” turned out! Stay tuned for more updates soon!

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

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