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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Spring cleaning: ten steps to better closet organization

 

So I’ve been a little AWOL lately. I went back to work two weeks ago, and I’ve been trying to balance life with two children, a full time job, house keeping, and blogging. Something had to go by the wayside, so I decided to take a small step back from blogging. Things are improving, so here I am.

Most of us are in the midst of spring cleaning in some way or another. I recently was featured on Your Inspired Design for my closet organization. I have been asked for tips many times since then, so I decided to share those tips with all of you. These are in no particular order.

 

10. Include only what you wear regularly.

This one may seem like a no-brainer. I moved from a house with a HUUUUGGEEEE walk-in closet to a tiny closet. This was a huge adjustment. I learned to include only what I use regularly in my closet. I keep my out of season clothing in underbed bags under the bed, and I keep underthings, pajamas and work out clothes in dressers. Because we live in NC, and our weather is fickle, I keep a few outfits that can transition easily into warm/ cold weather. Twice a year, I clean out my closet and remove what no longer fits, is stained or torn, or things I simply no longer wear.

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9. Incorporate a “donate” bin or basket.

In the picture above, do you see the tall bin to the right of the vertical shelf? That is a donate bin. We have one in both daughter’s closets, and a small donate basket in our own closet. When we find something that no longer fits or that we no longer like, we toss it in the bin. We try to empty these bins at the thrift store donation boxes each month, but it honestly depends on how much is in the baskets.

8. Use matching hangers.

You may not think this is important, but it gives your closet such a streamlined look. I use velvet hangers because they keeps my clothes from sliding off. I use plain white hangers in my girls’ closets. I like these:

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7. How you hang is important

If you hang everything in your closet in random order, it will be harder to find what you’re looking for. I have chosen to hang my shirts not only by sleeve length, but also by color. This makes finding that blue short sleeved sweater so much easier.

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6. How you hang is important part 2

Hang your pants and skirts at eye level- it’ll make your closet look so much neater.

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5. Use your shelves

If you’re blessed to have a vertical shelf, use them to store small items in bins, shoes, purses, etc. A high shelf is a great place for storing lesser-used and out of season items. I also have a second top shelf where I store folded pants and jeans and folded sweaters.

4. Use bins and baskets

We use bins to corral scarves, purses, winter accessories, long underwear, and beach/water wear.

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3. Use clear plastic shoe boxes so you can easily find what you’re looking for.

2. If you have a deep closet, get some sort of light. We have a battery operated motion light that turns on when we open the doors. It’s nice.

1.Give your closet a weekly once over so you can ensure things stay nice and neat.

I hope you enjoyed my tips for closet organization. Do you have any tips?

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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Organization: a new command center

The whole purpose of a command center is to help you manage and organize your home.

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When we first made our command center, it did a great job of organizing and managing our home. Over time, though, it was a different story. Oh, it was still nice, attractive, and useful, we just didn’t use it. We talked about it and we realized why we weren’t using it: the command center was located in our office, and we don’t walk by it unless it’s intentional.

We began looking around our home for a more traveled area in which we’ll pass by the command center several times a day. We don’t currently have a mudroom, but it is on our long term list of things to do. We didn’t want to put it in our living room and there isn’t a good place in the kitchen.

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One side of our pantry (the side that isn’t pictured above) doubles as a coat closet. We also park our shoes in here when we come in the door. I also have to go in there in the mornings to collect my purse and the diaper bag. It’s kind of like our “mini-mud room.” Therefore, the pantry seemed like the most logical choice.

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I started by moving the hanging rack down a bit to accommodate the command center. I also removed any unnecessary bags from the hooks- for instance, Emorie’s swim bag was still in here. The child is not currently in swimming, as it is February. Out it went!

I simplified the command center quite a bit, by reducing its size and making it function better for us. I sometimes felt the large command center we had before seemed overwhelming. The cleaning checklist was moved to the laundry room, since that’s where the cleaning supplies are stored. Just made better sense to me.

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Sorry about the boob light reflection in the glass 🙁

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All in all, I really like how this turned out! And it’s getting way more use as well 🙂 Send me pictures of your command centers. I’d love to see them!

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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Getting organized Mondays: desk drawers

In the past few months, we have organized so many drawers and closets at our house, but some of them still remain in need of help. I wanted to devote one a day a week to a small organizational project, and preferably, a free organizing project 🙂 This one is both.

Our office desk drawers were not that bad, but they definitely could use a little help. They certainly could use a little “prettying up.”

I used scrapbook paper to line the drawers because I had a bunch of it, and most of it was pretty!

I already had the clear trays; I found them at a local dollar store a few years ago.

I think the overall result is way better, don’t you? And best of all, this project cost us nothing.

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