My oldest daughter’s closet was kind of a hot mess.
Well, more than kind of. It WAS a hot mess. It started out great, but as her clothes got bigger (and she did, too), her needs began to change. I decided her closet needed a bit of an upgrade. Since her boxes and organizer shelf were still in great shape, it didn’t need to be a big upgrade.
The first thing I did was order her some new hangers. Now that she is older, her clothes were falling off the child sized plastic hangers. I’d flip through her closet and the clothes would slide right off.
I purchased a pack of fifty velvet hangers from Walmart.com, and also a ten-pack of the same hangers with pants clips for her jeans and skirts. For fun (and to make them match her boxes), I ordered them in hot pink.
Now that her clothes were no longer falling off the hangers, and her hangers were all the same size and width, her closet already looked tons better.
I also removed anything that did not fit, or was out of season to give her more space. Afterward, I began to think about what she needed to store in her closet. She is a little fashionista, so there are plenty of scarves, hats and purses that needed a home.
She also doesn’t wear pantyhose or tights that often anymore, so we really didn’t need two baskets for those.
When I finished purging things, I put all like items together, and updated her basket labels. When I finished, I had this:
A closet that meets her needs and is pretty to look at as well.
With two little girls who like shoes as much as I do, I don’t see it getting any better. My husband isn’t impressed by the shoe buying, nor is he impressed by my shoebox-hoarding. I just knew I could do something cool with them.
I’ve wanted to reorganize my train wreck of a craft cabinet for awhile now, so I thought these would make cute storage boxes for my supplies. I raided my craft cabinet and found chalk paint, antiqued book plates and some paint brushes. I pealed all the stickers and tags off the boxes and wiped them with a dry microfiber cloth.
I gave the box lids two coats of green chalk paint. Keep in mind anything chalk painted usually has an ugly phase. Don’t let it deter you. Just wait 12 hours and apply a second coat. The picture above is after the first coat- see how streaky and thin the paint looks?
And that massive green blob at the bottom is where my unattended (only for a minute, I promise) grabbed my paint brush and paint I’d left out and got to work. A word of caution: put paints and brushes out of the toddler’s reach when you’re not using them. I’m lucky that’s ALL she painted.
I then applied two coats of paint to the bottom of the boxes and allowed them to dry.
I then attached these antiqued bookplates to the box fronts. I already had these in my stash, but you can find them at Hobby Lobby. Side note: if you are having trouble poking holes in the shoe boxes to attach the brads, I’ve found using a grill skewer works well to poke through the cardboard layers.
When I finished, I had three sets of cute little storage boxes.
And with these, I loved the bottom of the boxes and opted not to paint them. I love how they turned out! They’re pretty enough to display on a desk or bookshelf.
Next time you buy shoes, don’t toss the box. Get yourself some chalk paint and book plates, and make some cute little storage boxes.
RIGHT Now. Drop everything and PURGE YOUR HOME NOW! No, I’m kidding. Sort of.
I know you read a lot about purging your home on my blog. Some of you are probably fans of living with less already, while others of you are scratching your heads and wondering how much more stuff I can get rid of and blog about it. #istillhavetoomuchstuff
I am currently in the midst of a whole house purge, but we will talk more about that later.
The truth is, living with less has a lot of benefits. Some are health benefits, some are financial benefits, and some are so good they don’t fit into any category. I’d like to share a few of those with you today, as well as some great advice for purging your home that I’ve collected over the years.
1. Living with less can be beneficial to your mental and physical health
Living with too much causes your house to feel cluttered. A cluttered house feels chaotic, and makes it hard for you to relax and destress. Continued stress affects your mental state, as well as your physical health. An organized and clean home evokes a peaceful feeling, and who doesn’t want to feel at peace in their own home?
This one is especially true if you have kids. More stuff=fewer places to put things away. Stuff that is left out in the floor becomes a trip hazard. Show of hands: who else has fallen over items left in the floor, or stepped on some hard plastic toy with your bare feet? (Lego moms, can I get an “amen?” )
2. Living with less makes your home feel and appear cleaner
Living with too much makes it harder to find places to put things away. Having nowhere to put things causes your home to look and feel cluttered (see above).
A cluttered house also seems dirty even if it really isn’t. Having less stuff and less clutter makes your house look and feel cleaner.
3. Living with less saves time
How does living with less save time? It means that you spend less time looking for things. It’s been said that the average person spends four years of their life looking for things that they are missing. Not being able to find your missing items makes you stressed. Having less stuff means that you don’t have to sort through so much when you need something.
5. Living with less saves you money
How is this? Well, when you make a conscious effort to live with less, you are much more intentional with your spending. Additionally, who here has ever bought something, only to realize you already had that same item at home? Living with less makes it easier to distinguish what you need- therefore keeping you from spending money on something you already have.
There are many benefits to having an organized and simplified home, with less stuff. Start with one room at a time and keep only what you need- donate, recycle or throw away the rest. I know many people who wish their home was less cluttered, but I don’t know anyone who wishes their home was MORE cluttered. Start today and you’ll soon see the benefits.
Picture it: you’ve finally arrived at your destination on your long-awaited yearly family beach vacation…and you’ve arrived to complete and total chaos. Your hotel/accommodations weren’t what you envisioned, you can’t find half of what you’ve packed, your kids are hungry and grumpy, and you’re about to lose your mind. We’ve all been there, and it’s never pleasant. Sometimes, despite our best planning, our vacations don’t always go so well, and sometimes when you book your vacation the following year, you worry you’ll have a repeat experience.
Worry no more, because an organized family beach vacation IS possible.
The two major things that stress me out the most about vacationing are 1. Spending too much money, and 2. not properly planning for the needs of my family beforehand. Those are the issues I’m going to discuss the most today.
1. Save money before AND during your beach vacation by:
a. I’m a big fan of saving money on vacations. Although vacation lodging is expensive, you can actually save some money. Before booking, browse discount travel websites such as Expedia or Hotels.com. Many chain hotels/motels even offer discounts for military personnel, AAA members, and many other things. Sometimes hotels offer special packages for certain rooms or off site activities that could save you a little cash. You should certainly check to see what reduced rates, discounts, or special rates are available prior to booking your accommodations.
b. It’s super easy to blow your travel budget on meals if you manage to eat out for every meal. If you’re lucky enough to get a hotel room with a kitchenette, or rent a house/condo, you can utilize your kitchen and refrigerator to cook some lunches and breakfasts yourself. A trip to the grocery store for a few cheap, smaller meals is still cheaper than eating in restaurants for every meal.
c. Kids eat free at some restaurants. If dining out is on your itinerary, you may want to find restaurants that are family friendly. Depending on the age of your children, you may even be able to find a few restaurants in which your kiddo’s meals will be “on the house.”
d. Don’t go shopping. I know this one sounds crazy, as it’s one of the things some of us look forward to when we go to the beach. BUT, before you shop, ask yourself: is this something I can do at home? Is this really something I need to buy right now, on this trip? Are similar stores available back home? If you can answer yes to two of those questions, don’t shop. Wait until you’re home, where prices will likely be less in a “less-touristy” area.
e. Search up discounts before booking excursions or activities. Sometimes your hotel concierge or front desk staff will have an inside scoop on coupons or discounts for local fun and games. You’d be surprised how often you can find discounted rates on aquarium tickets, local mini golf attractions, or amusement park admission via your hotel’s front desk.
2. Plan ahead as much as possible by…
a. Researching the area before you book your trip. If you’re headed to a destination you’re already familiar with, skip this step. BUT, if you’re traveling somewhere new, you may want to make sure your family will have plenty to do. Make sure there are lots of fun activities that aren’t too costly your family can enjoy. You also want to research the area so you’ll know where nearby drug stores, minute clinics and pharmacies are in case you need them. Familiarize yourself with the area so you will not have to spend so much time looking for streets and landmarks.
b. Create checklists. Before you start packing, write out a checklist for each family member and what you’ll need to pack. Be mindful of any planned activities or excursions you’ll be participating in as you’re thinking about your packing list. Create a checklist as well for what you’ll need while traveling to your destination. For your kiddos, it’s a good idea to have some snacks and quiet activities on hand to curb boredom. Make sure when you pack that you aren’t rushed. If you’re in a hurry, you’ll be more likely to forget things. See also What to pack in your toddler’s pool bag! and Vacationing with kids: How to simplify.
c. Pack your vehicle the night before your trip, if possible. Packing the night before will save you some time, will cause you to be less stressed when you leave for your destination, and will give you time to realize you may have left something behind.
I hope you have enjoyed our travel tips. Tune in next week for our favorite products for traveling to the beach.
I’m a sucker for an organized kitchen. There are a ton of ready made cabinet organizers available, but most of them are costly. I’ve managed to find a few nice cabinet organizers for an affordable price.
My kitchen cabinets weren’t too shabby, since I’d just organized them last year. They were in need of a little attention, though.
Our kitchen sink cabinet was looking a bit cluttered and crammed full. I took everything out of it and wiped it out. I then moved the stool, candle tarts and dish towels back to their proper places.
Isn’t that way better?
Then, I tackled some other cabinets. I got rid of all the broken or stained plastic ware, and all the extra lids. I straightened our serveware cabinets
And I threw away and/or donated any outgrown baby items and straightened the girls’ cabinets.
I straightened our medicine cabinet, and even added bin labels.
I also straightened our spices and seasonings cabinet.
Other cabinets of ours just needed a little TLC but nothing major.
Our bakeware cabinet
Our drinkware cabinet
I hope you’ve enjoyed our kitchen cleaning extravaganza. And remember, there’s still time to get in on the #21dayorganizingchallenge! Just share your before and after pics on Instagram with the hashtag above!