Tips and Tricks Tuesday: Homework and study station


Our little girl starts first grade this week. 


While we couldn’t be more proud of her, we have also been forced to admit she’s growing up. Her needs as a student are changing as well. Our sweet girl had homework in kindergarten, but completing that work at the dining room table wasn’t always the best solution. 

We decided she needed her own desk and workspace in her own room, away from the noise and distractions of the rest of the house. 

We found this beauty on Craigslist.

I promptly made her a French memo board for her photos and school papers. 

I took my girl to Hobby Lobby to pick out some desk accessories. She chose this white crate and I chose some buckets for her utensils. 

We also bought this chipboard E and painted it pink. 

This cute little picture was all her choosing. I love the picture, and what it says. 

This little statue was in my own room when I was a kid. 

I DIYed these boxes to store flash cards and high lighters.

This DIY photo album holds various certificates and awards.

Her center drawer holds workbooks, a student calendar, and folders. 


One drawer holds electronics and chargers.


One drawer houses notepads and journals.


One holds more electronics.


One holds flash cards and markers. 


And her bottom drawer holds work books and art books.


Her space is set up for work and play. While the drawers could be more neatly organized, I did want to be cognizant that a six year old would use it. I wanted her to find her stuff and keep it separated but not be afraid to make the drawers messy. 


I know my kiddo loves her desk and I know she’ll love using it.

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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Make Something Monday: Closet Bins From Diaper Boxes

You may recall that my oldest daughter’s closet contains bins that I DIY’ed from diaper boxes. 

My youngest daughter is quickly nearing age two, but when she was born, her closet looked like this:

She’s getting older now and her needs are changing. I wanted her closet to accommodate that, so I made her some closet bins of her own. 

First, I spent a few weeks collecting diaper boxes. Then, I cut the flaps off the top.

Then, lay out your fabric, place the box on top and cut it to size. 

After you cut your fabric, spray your box with spray adhesive, and glue the fabric onto the box. It’s just like wrapping a present.

Then, use a colorful ribbon to hide the ugly edges. You can also use a pillowcase to line your bin.

I have not yet lined the boxes nor added my labels. My baby girl’s closet currently looks like this:

There are toy bins and a donate hamper (for outgrown clothes) to the right of the vertical shelf. A Rubbermaid tote stows her out of season clothes and her suitcase is to the left of the shelf.

Various other clothing items are stored high and out of reach on the top shelf. 

Our girl’s new closet reflects her changing needs as she grows. Have a wonderful week. 

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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After the holiday season: Keeping the playroom organized


This is a re-write of a popular post I did about playroom organization following the Christmas holidays. My youngest just celebrated her birthday and we had to enact all of these rules just to make room for her new toys.

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Did your playroom look like a bomb went off in it after Christmas? Ours certainly did. It took me an entire day to get everything put away. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not complaining- our girls were very generously blessed this Christmas, and I’m grateful for our family and friends who wanted to give our girls gifts. We had to find some place to put all the toys.

As always, I’m not an expert, but I am more than happy to share what I’ve learned along the way.

But first, a warning:  you may want to go through your children’s toys when they aren’t home. Even if something is broken, and hasn’t been played with for over a year, my oldest will still pitch a fit if I try to get rid of it.

Now that we’ve gotten that out of the way, here are my tips for organizing your playroom or toys after Christmas:

1. Get rid of any toys that are broken, missing pieces, or haven’t been played with in awhile. 

My kiddo had some toys that were broken, and she also had a few things that she never plays with. While she was at preschool yesterday, I took the opportunity to clean out these toys. Our kiddo hoards coloring books, so I even went through those and threw away the ones that had been completely colored. I ended up with a stack of 8 coloring books that were mostly empty, as opposed to 14 coloring books.

2. Categorize your toys. 

This one is time consuming. Take all the toys and dump them in a giant pile. Yes, you read that correctly. Once you have made your giant mess, sort the toys into piles. For example, put the Barbies in one pile, toy food in one pile, puzzles in one pile, etc. We used cubby shelves and fabric drawers to store toys. We then put a label on each drawer to help our kiddo know where to put everything.

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3. Add some shelves….if you can. 

We used to have just the two cubby shelves and one vertical shelf, but my parents graciously agreed to get us another shelf for the playroom. We chose another vertical shelf to match the one we already had. I put the kids’ stuffed animals, dolls, games, art supplies, and books on the shelves. I also went ahead and made sure all the toys with small pieces were placed near the top of the shelf. Our baby is tiny and certainly not mobile yet, but I didn’t want time to get away from us! Speaking of shelves, vertical storage is your friend- storage without taking up large amounts of floor space.

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4. Less is more. 

You don’t have to keep every single toy in the playroom. Our oldest is four. She tends to have a short attention span when it comes to toys. She loses interest once the new wears off. I packed away some of her toys so I can cycle them through regularly and then they’ll seem “new” longer. We also keep some books and toys in Emorie’s room on her shelf, and a basket of baby books in the nursery. We have baby toys that are too mature for our two month old- she won’t use them until she is at least six months old. I packed these away and will introduce them when they are more appropriate for her.

5. Put bigger toys in the corner to conserve space. 

The biggest things in our playroom (aside from the four shelves) are the easel, the kitchen set, the dollhouse, and several small wheeled toys. The kitchen and easel are in the corner, the dollhouse is pushed up against the wall, and the wheeled toys are stored underneath the easel. This gives us way more floor space.

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Stay tuned- I am working on a mini-redo of our playroom and am not quite done. I’m hoping to reveal the finished product really soon.

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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Top Five Kids’ Chore Ideas

 

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Happy Monday to you! Today is my first day of school, but my kiddo has been in school for over three weeks now. We’re getting settled in to her routine now, but mine? That’s a whole ‘nother can of worms, as they say in my hometown.

I don’t know about you folks, but I really struggle to find the balance between my job, my kids and my house. When I talk to other teachers, I often hear them say the same. Now that my oldest is five, she certainly is mature enough to help out with some of the household chores. I thought today we’d look at some ways to simplify our chore load by getting the kiddos involved.

I like this list of “age appropriate chores” that I found over at The Happy Housewife. I’ve actually had this pinned on my Pinterest since Emorie was about two (now she’s five).

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I like how she broke this list down by age- it gave me an idea of where to start without expecting way too much.

If your kids are like mine, they are very visual. This visual chore chart would help my kiddo to have an idea of what she needs to do and whether or not she’s remembered to do it. I got this from Frugal Fanatic.

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After all, I have a grown up version of this chore chart myself 🙂

I also think it would be helpful to assign your young children the same daily chores but rotate chores with bigger kids. Some sort of incentive would sweeten the pot as well.

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What sort of chore charts and incentives do you use? I’m not sure at this point which direction I want to go. Comment below and tell me what works in your house.

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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Mommy Monday: Five Cheap DIYs that will make your backyard an awesome play space 

We are slowly but surely trying to turn our back porch into our happy place and our back yard into a haven for our family. We currently have a wood play set for our kids but nothing else for them to really play with and enjoy. Here are five ideas I would truly love to incorporate into our back yard.

1. Paver hopscotch 

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Actually, this picture from City Moms contains three things I’d love to create in my own backyard for my girls: a paver hopscotch, a flower garden, and an outdoor chalkboard. The paver hopscotch could be made with concrete pavers and spray paint, and fairly inexpensively.

2. Outdoor chalkboard 

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What a neat looking play space for kids! The organizer in me is loving the hooks for hanging sand toys and chalkboard supplies.

3. Music wall 

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Your neighbors may not love this one, but your kids will. There is an orchard not far from us that has a music wall and our daughter loves it! You could do this cheaply and could probably find most of these items at yard sales and thrift stores.

4. Mud kitchens 

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How cool would this be? I would have spent so much time playing with this kitchen back when I was a kid. You could probably find a lot of these items at the Habitat for Humanity Resale store. 

5. Fairy Gardens 

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Fairy gardens are kind of trendy right now. I can honestly understand the appeal. It’s like a cute little miniature world. Like a doll house with flowers. My little girl has been interested in making a fairy garden for awhile now.

I hope you have enjoyed this top five list! Have a great Monday.

​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 Mondays: Arranging your child’s clothing to encourage dressing themselves

My daughter just turned five this past weekend. She loves clothes and is independent in a lot of ways, but in other ways, she still needs lots of help.

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My daughter’s bedroom closet, while large, only boasted one high shelf and one closet rod. Last summer my dad and I made a vertical closet shelf and installed it in the middle, as well as adding more rods along the bottom. You can read about that here. 

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I decided to create a system in which she can reach everything she needs on a regular basis. Her winter hats, colored tights and coat hangers are all stored on the top shelf, since she doesn’t need them often. Her gymnastics clothes, swimsuits for swim class, underclothes, jammies, tops, bottoms and shoes, though? Right in her wingspan 🙂

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The boxes are actually diaper boxes that I covered in fabric. I made the labels with MS Word.

Her undies, jammies, swimsuits, hair accessories, shirts and shorts are stored in this dresser.

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Each drawer has a different function. Here is what her pajama drawer looks like. Her undies drawer is the most organized, but I’m not going to show my daughter’s undies on the Internet.

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We use drawer organizing baskets in the other drawers, but the tops and shorts don’t fit in them. I do try to keep them in neat folded stacks, but as I’m sure you can understand, my kiddo does actually get clothing out of these drawers, so they often look like this:

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Yikes. That’s one thing I’ve just had to let go of, but I do encourage her to help me re-fold and neaten up the drawers every week.

Having your child choose their own clothing and have access to all of it is a great help to them. Don’t forget, though- they do still need guidance in making presentable outfits. Check out my child in this colorful get-up:

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Thanks for reading, and we’ll see you tomorrow for a back porch retreat 🙂

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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Newly-improved school supply storage

We have been searching for a more efficient way to store my oldest girl’s homework and school supplies. She will begin kindergarten this fall, but we work with her a lot during the evenings and we “homeschool” in the summer. Because we need two incomes, we cannot afford to homeschool during the school year, but we certainly can in the summer.

We had been storing her homeschool supplies in an Olaf tote bag:

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I think you can probably see why it wasn’t working.

I loved the look of these homework stations, but I needed something that would be out of reach of her little sister.

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I had seen a few homework caddies, so I decided to repurpose a plastic caddy I already had. It wasn’t working well for holding my cleaning supplies. I liked that it is plastic and will wipe off easily.

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I selected a few items we need most often and popped them into the caddy.

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All other school stuff was placed into a fabric bin and sat on her playroom shelf. We can just go to the bin and get what we need.

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This is working so much better! We can find everything we need and we can put the caddy on top of the shelf, out of sister’s reach. We can also pick it up and carry it where ever we happen to be working.

How do you store your homework/school supplies?

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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Organizing kids’ spaces: kitchen cabinets

Both my kids have a cabinet in our kitchen that houses their dishes and cups. My baby’s cabinet also has her baby foods and bottles. I opened it last week and it looked like this. This was after lots of things fell out at me.

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There were about 8 bottles that Aubrey does not like and will not use just taking up space. There I took those out and put them in my purge pile.

When I was done, the cabinet looked like this:

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Nothing is falling out. Everything is easy to find and the things we need most often are well within our reach.  And best of all, it only took about 20 minutes and didn’t cost a dime.

It’s nice to open the cabinet to get baby food and not get pinged in the head by falling baby dishes.

What quick organizational projects have you done lately?

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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A playroom gallery wall

Most of you know we are finishing our playroom. Today, I would like to show you some new artwork we have hung on the walls.

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I’ve had these green 8X10 frames for ages. I used to use them to display Emorie’s artwork, but lately I’ve used them to display seasonal artwork. I decided we needed something a little less seasonal, more permanent, and more appropriate to the room. These printables were downloaded from the following places:

“Bushel and a peck”: Found at Elegance and Enchantment

Alphabet print: found at Kiwi in the Clouds

“Dream big” from Moritz Fine Designs 

The white letters, which are the first initials of both my girls, were found on sale at Hobby Lobby.

We also bought this super cute clock from Zulily.

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So far, we have bought and decorated two shelves, re-organized and rearranged the room, and hung some artwork on the walls. We are no where near finished with this room.

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We still need to paint, do a fun wall treatment, and change out the light fixture. I can’t wait to show it to you!!

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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