Getting organized with Cozi

frederick douglass at custom writing 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. 

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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. 

http://www.queen-jungle.com/right-my-essay/ 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. 

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

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

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

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

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

view 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. 

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

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

http://www.english.iibit.edu.au/?essays-about-time 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. 

Buy Homework Online Most of us use them just like this:

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                            (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. 


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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?


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How about in the playroom to store art supplies?

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


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

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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?

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Tips and Tricks Tuesday: How I use my agenda to be more organized

As we prepare to go back to school, I am trying to make sure I’m as organized as possible. There have been cooking days so the freezer will be stocked with healthy meals, there have been closet and dresser cleaning days, and now I’ve purchased a new planner as well. I was enjoying bullet journaling, but it wasn’t the best use of my time. 


I looked at pricier planners like those designed by Erin Condren and Emily Ley, and while I liked them, I wasn’t sure I could justify spending $60 on an agenda I’d only use for a year and a half. Enter the Day Designer by Blue Sky.


Cute, lightweight, and only $20. The front pages of the agenda contain spaces for setting goals and creating a plan for accomplishing those goals.



It also features both monthly spreads and weekly spreads. I have started color coding my calendar entries: one color for each family member and a separate color for church activities.

I use it to record activities and appointments for all four of us, plus work and blog stuff for me.


Each calendar has a space for a to do list, setting goals, and reflection.  


I use the weekly spread to track habits and set three main goals. There is also space to record things you’re grateful for.


I also track fitnesss plans, blog posts, and plan meals. A weekly to do list is included as well. 


There are also blank pages in the back where you can do whatever you like. I use them to make lists, plan blog posts and record important dates:




I like to use sticky note pads for my shopping lists and things that are subject to change, such as Christmas lists and thrift store shopping lists.


Each night before you go to bed, reflect on the day, but take a peek at tomorrow. What do you need to do? Where do you need to be? Looking at your agenda each day ensures that you remember what you’re supposed to do and where you’re supposed to be.

How do you use your agenda to simplify your life?

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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. 

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Make Something Monday: French memo board


My daughter is growing up. She used to have this cute vanity in her room.


Now that she’s going to first grade, there’s a lot more homework involved, and she needs a quiet space to complete that. Last year we used our dining table or office and there were just too many distractions.

A Craigslist search led us to this lovely desk.


I wanted Emorie to be able to have someplace to display her creative works and some pictures if she chooses, but I didn’t want it to make her room look messy.

The solution? A French memo board. I wanted it to match her room and I wanted it to look nice, but be cheap. 

I bought a piece of foam poster board, some ribbon, buttons and fabric.


I then ironed the fabric.


I sprayed the board with spray adhesive and stretched the fabric over it.


Then, I flipped it over and secured the edges to the back of the board.


I ran ribbon strips diagonally across the board at an equal distance apart.


And secured both ends of the ribbon to the back.


I then repeated this step but with ribbons running the opposite direction. I pushed a thumb tack into the intersected ribbons.


I also glued a button to the top of the tacks.

I plan on adding a frame but I’m pretty happy with how it turned out.


What do you think?
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A much more organized pantry


Our pantry used to be very well organized, but we got a little lazy.


And then we got even lazier. Things weren’t put away, things weren’t paired down and thrown away, and things were just…chaotic. 


It was definitely time to do something about it.

I decided to take everything out and assess the space. While it was empty, I gave the room a good cleaning.

I then decided to categorize everything and organize it as according to category. 


I also used some smaller baskets to house fruits and veggies, and two wood crates to make a shelf for my cookbooks. 



I moved some items out of the pantry that didn’t need to be there. 


When I was finished, I had a much more organized space. I love that I can see everything and I know where everything is. 


The space functions so much better for us now. 

Our printer is currently on the brink of death so as soon as I fix it, I’ll make new ones. Then this pantry will be complete.

What space makeovers have you done recently?

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Tips and Tricks Tuesdays: Where to buy bins and baskets


Organizing is a huge part of my life (and my income) but it can be expensive. I want to share some cost effective ways to get organized. 

1. Shop your home


You’d be surprised what bins and baskets you may have around the house. I have several that I am not currently using, so I always look through those before I buy anything new.


2. Target, HomeGoods, Dollar General, Big Lots

Those are just some of my favorite places to buy bins and baskets without breaking the bank.

Just look at Target’s current offerings:


Hobby Lobby has a nice selection, but they are pricy. They do have frequent sales and coupons, so if you’re a HL fan, you may want to watch for those. HomeGoods and Marshalls have lots of high end choices for a fraction of the price. 

I bought these cute metal baskets from Dollar General.


I’d steer clear of Dollar Tree baskets though. They’re not very big and they often don’t hold up well. They do make nice drawer organizers, though. 


3. Make Something

I have covered diaper boxes with fabric and also with twine and rope. I have covered shoe boxes with fabric and paper, and then embellished them with book plates. Get creative! You’d be surprised what you can upcycle. 

Organization is life-changing, but it doesn’t have to be a budget breaker. I hope you’ve enjoyed this edition of Tips and Tricks Tuesday. Have a great day.

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A much-improved linen closet


Our linen closet used to be organized. Like everyone else around here, summer has slowed him down and made him a little lazy. Wait, you don’t refer to your linen closet as a person? Well, why not? 😜

In all seriousness, our linen closet was pretty bad. Stuff everywhere and we had to search for what we needed. Take a look:


You may be thinking, “That’s not so bad!”

What about now?

This linen closet was full of junk and wasted space all at the same time. I didn’t even know that was possible.

I saw this awesome picture in Real Simple.

I thought, “I can do that. I NEED to do that.”

First, I took everything out of the closet. It’s a linen closet, but it’s in our bathroom, so it houses some other things too. We don’t have anywhere else to put our luggage, so it lives here. 

I grabbed a few metal baskets from Dollar General, a DIY basket from another room, and repurposed the brown bins I already had. I also grabbed an empty hamper from another room.


I stashed those extra pillows in that empty hamper. It takes up less space than the laundry basket and it looks less cluttered.


I stashed the towels in the built in shelves on the right, and I stashed our heavier comforter here as well.


Brown fabric drawers hold wash cloths, paper products and first aid supplies.


Metal baskets house sheets, toiletries and hand towels.


I rolled our quilt to save space. Snapping bins corral nail care supplies ($9 at Dollar General).


Let’s see that before and after:

Before:


After:


I hope you have a wonderful Thursday!

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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?

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