21-day challenge: an organized linen closet

21-day challenge: an organized linen closet

Our linen closet wasn’t terrible but it definitely needed a little love.

We had some good things going in our linen closet but we really had been neglecting it and piling it up. I began the cleanup process by removing everything that didn’t belong and putting it in its rightful place.

I neatly folded up all the towels and popped them into the cubby shelves. I also used bins and baskets to corral smaller items. I took everything that was just sitting on the shelf and found a new home for it.

I also cleaned up and consolidated some of the luggage on the floor of the closet. The laundry basket is for dry cleaning.

Rolling up a quilt actually helps it to take up less space than if you folded it up.

Let’s look at the before and after again:

After:

All in all, I’d say that our linen closet is so much neater and more organized. What do you think?

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21-day challenge: pantry organization

21-day challenge: pantry organization

We have a really big pantry/coat closet at our house that I absolutely love. It has a ton of storage space, has nice shelves and is just a really useful space. At the moment, though, it’s a really messy space.

What. a. mess.

Thankfully, it’s a mess that isn’t too hard to clean up. I started by going through each shelf and throwing away anything expired, or more than half empty. I also consolidated boxes and containers if I had any items that were open.

Group like items together. It makes it easier to find what you’re looking for.
Use clear jars so you can tell when you need to replenish your dry goods.

I also went through all of my canned goods and straightened them.

Using shelf risers helps maximize your shelf space.

And finally, I used baskets and bins to corral chip bags and snack boxes, clip on shelves to maximize space, and wood crates for under-shelf storage. Eventually, I plan to add casters to the bottom of my crates so I can roll them out easily when I need them.

All of our breakfast items are on one shelf, making them easier to grab and go.
Quick lunch items are also stashed together to make packing lunches easier.

I also straightened up the items on the shelf to make them easier to find and store.

All in all, my pantry is so much neater and better organized. What cabinet or pantry organizing project have you completed recently?

21-Day Challenge Kickoff Day!!

21-Day Challenge Kickoff Day!!

Do you know what day it is? It’s kickoff day for our annual 21-day organizing challenge! This week, I’ll be sharing my own cleaning and organizing challenges, as well as showing you my progress….and offering a few tips along the way.

Remember, you don’t have to do an entire room or an entire dresser, closet or cabinet. You can focus on a small part of a room or closet, or even one shelf or some drawer. It’s completely up to you.

I really need to tidy up our entry way and I’ll be sharing that tomorrow.

I also need to pay some serious attention to the cabinets underneath our kitchen sink and the girls’ bathroom sink cabinet.

Our pantry needs some work as well.

The playroom just got purged and organized after Christmas, so it just needs to be straightened up.

And lastly, our linen closet. It used to be so neat and now it’s in need of a serious straightening up.

So, now you know what I’ll be sharing on the blog this week. Happy organizing, and don’t forget to share your progress on Instagram with the hashtag #ons21daychallenge.

Have a wonderful week!!

The 21-Day Challenge: Organize Your Whole Life in 3 Weeks!

The 21-Day Challenge: Organize Your Whole Life in 3 Weeks!

Every January for the past three years, we gear up for a little “routine refresh,” if you will. We tackle all regularly used areas of our home and perform a purge and an organization tune up.

While the 21-day challenge may seem intimidating, consider this: make it work for you. Don’t do an entire room at a time. Do one small section, or drawer, or closet. Or start with the worst part of that room. You can do as much of this challenge or as little of it as you’d like. It doesn’t have to be major and it doesn’t have to be overwhelming. And you can also repeat it as many times as you need 🙂

Organizing doesn’t have to be stressful and it doesn’t have to be time consuming- it does have to be helpful. Here are the challenges list, if you’d like to play along. If you do take the challenge, I’d appreciate it if you’d post a pic on Instagram or Facebook with the hashtag #ons21daychallenge.

Happy organizing! For the next three Saturdays, I’ll share my progress with you.

Have a wonderful weekend.

An Organized Holiday:Christmas planning binder

An Organized Holiday:Christmas planning binder

christmasplanningbinder

Have you ever made lists for Christmas? Making lists is something most of us already do without even really thinking about it. But did you know you can create a binder to help you organize and simplify your Christmas season?

I keep a binder with a December calendar, shopping lists, recipes, grocery lists, address lists, and holiday to-do lists. I also include any pictures or magazine features I want to utilize. I use tab dividers to keep the binder organized and easier to use.

tabbed dividers
$4 at Staples

I used this cute, green polka dot binder to store my Christmas printables and goodies.

green_polka_dot_3_ring_binder-rb393dfe319b74603871c0775810254c8_xz8my_8byvr_540.jpg
$25 on Zazzle.com

I decided I’d share my handy printables with you all today. Below you will find recipe cards, holiday planning checklists, contact lists, and more. All are available to you for free, but you may not use them for commercial use.

Christmas checklist - Copy

Christmas checklist- BLANK

christmas party planning

Blank Christmas party planning template

Christmas Party Planner Sheet

Christmas party planner

Travel checklist

Traveling checklist

Christmas contacts - Copy

Christmas contacts

recipe card

recipe card

I hope your holiday season is off to a great start! Check back Friday and Saturday for some wonderful Christmas-related goodies!

 

Managing paper clutter

Managing paper clutter

School has now started back for both my oldest daughter AND me. If you glance around our kitchen and living room right now, it’s evident we’ve gone back to school. How? The piles of paper.

Paper, paper everywhere and none of it spendable. In all seriousness, the paper piles were getting on my nerves and I knew I had to get rid of them.

1. Start with your existing paper piles

The first step to managing those paper piles is to sort through them.

Go through those papers and get rid of any that aren’t needed, and put away what you need to keep. We utilize several folders in our house: one for school papers, one for bills, and one for work related items. Anything else is shredded or thrown away.

2. File your bills

We have two places in which we file bills: one for bills to pay and one for bills that have been paid. We keep our paid bill stubs in a binder for a year and then we shred them.

3. Go paperless, when possible

Manage other paper clutter by stopping it at the source. Switch to paperless billing when possible, and remove yourself from junk mailing lists.

4. Dispose of junk as soon as possible

Don’t keep unwanted junk paper around…just shred or throw away that unwanted paper as soon as it shows up.

How do you handle paper clutter?

Have a wonderful weekend.

Back to school: 5 ways to be more organized this year

Back to school: 5 ways to be more organized this year

I blinked in June and suddenly, it was August. I’m not sure where summer went, but wherever it went, it left quickly. My oldest daughter starts school next week. The school supplies have been purchased and the school clothes have already been washed and put away. But what else can we busy Mamas do to ensure we are all better organized for the coming school year?

1. Plan ahead

Plan out outfits, meals, and even lunches. Prepare ahead of time as much as possible. Make lists of everything you need to do and buy in the coming week and review it often. The better prepared you are, the better you will handle those unforeseen circumstances that pop up and stress us out.

2. Write everything down

You can’t remember everything and you don’t have to try. The minute you hear about a meeting or event, write it down. Don’t give yourself the opportunity to forget it. The other step is to refer back to your calendar at least weekly to see what’s coming up.

3. Do a “back to school” dry run

Wake up early one morning before school starts and drive to the school at regular time. This will help you become familiar with the traffic patterns, the route, and will help you anticipate any hazards or obstacles that may make you late. Of course, there will still be unforeseen things from time to time, but having driven the route once before helps put your mind at ease.

4. Set up a logical routine and stick to it

Does homework come with tears and tantrums in your house? Having a set “after school routine” can take some of the fuss away. Set the expectation early in the school year that homework is done as soon as you walk in the door and stick to it. I always tell my daughter that it I better to get homework out of the way first thing and then you no longer have to worry about it. Having set morning routines can also eliminate some of the morning rush as well.

5. Wake up earlier than you think you need to

Who likes being in a hurry? Not I. When I’m hurried, I get stressed and I end up forgetting things. Which stresses me out even more. Waking up earlier allows you more time but also allows you time to eat breakfast. Studies have shown eating breakfast improves brain function and helps sharpen your focus. It’s hard to concentrate on anything when your stomach is growling!!

I hope you all have a wonderful weekend and a fabulous first day of school.