21-day challenge: week one

21-day challenge: week one
Week one

Well, week one of the 21-day organizing challenge is under way. I had exactly five things I wanted to do this week, and even though I barely got them accomplished, I did manage to get them done.

First, I tackled our entry. It wasn’t terrible but it needed a little attention.

2. Secondly, I straightened up our out-of-control pantry.

And by giving it a good thorough cleaning, I got it to look like this.

3. Next, I worked on the area under the girls’ bathroom sink.

WhenI was finished, it looked like this:

And if you’re wondering what the inside of the drawers look like, they hold various toiletry items for the girls and they look like this:

I also cleaned and organized the area below my kitchen sink.

It looked like this when I finished.

4. Our linen closet wasn’t too bad, but needed a little extra love.

I put away a few things in the proper place and cleaned them up. I was pretty pleased with the overall result.

While “playroom” was on the list, our playroom just got a huge purging and organizing following Christmas, so it was still in good shape.

Just in case you want to play along, and you’ve forgotten what’s ahead:

Next week, we’ll share tips for clearing extraneous clutter, garage organization, and closet organization. Join us next Saturday for my room reveals!

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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?

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?

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.

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.

An organized craft cabinet

An organized craft cabinet

I bet you’re thinking, “Well, that picture doesn’t look very organized.” You’re right. That is the before picture. Now that I’ve got your attention, let me tell you how a sheet of pegboard, some bins and baskets, some lumber, and some spice racks totally changed my creative space.

I keep my craft supplies in a tall TV cabinet that I bought on Craigslist for $100. I have for a long time wanted a Workbox, but at almost $2,000 a pop, I just can’t justify the expense.

wb3_WRP.jpg

Source

So I make do with my $100 Craigslist special. I love this cabinet, as it just looks like a piece of furniture in my office…but I didn’t love how chaotic and disorganized it was.

I really didn’t love it the night I opened the cabinet and a can of stain fell on my foot. 😡

And the cabinets on the bottom?

They weren’t too bad, but not too great, either.

Just like a lot of things in our house, the craft cabinet started off great but then fell into disorder. Boo.

I decided even if I can’t have a Workbox, I can borrow some of the ideas I like from it. One of those was storage in the door. I’d already attempted this, but not too well.

I immediately decided pegboard would be a cheap and easy way to do this. I bought pegboard, a set of pegboard baskets, a set of plastic pegboard bins, and some plastic pegboard hooks.

I knew I’d have to mount the pegboard on 1x4s to keep the screws from going through the outside of the cabinet. Luckily, I had some left over from a recent project.

I added pegboard to both cabinet doors and painted it white.

I then added our bins, baskets and hooks. I hung up washi tape and ribbon using dowel rods. I repurposed those spice racks I had used before.

I also added a shelf inside the actual cabinet.

I already had the boxes and bins.

Let’s take a look at that before and after once more, shall we?

Before:

After:

It’s not perfect and it could still improve, but at least my toes are safe from wayward cans of wood stain.

Comment below and show me your creative spaces!! And have a great weekend.

Organize your fridge: a stress-free approach to simplifying your kitchen

Organize your fridge: a stress-free approach to simplifying your kitchen

Our fridge was pretty well organized, but like most organized spaces in our home, it was starting to get a little out of hand. This happens to the best of us, but I have good news. With these tips, you can get your fridge organized quickly and easily.

1. Group like items together

I grouped these dairy items together in an acrylic container because not only are similar, but because their containers are also similar.

Our bottom drawer is used to store sandwich items, such as cheeses and lunch meats.

Kid snacks are all stashed together.

As are salad items

And dairy/ condiments.

2. Put items in clear containers so you can see them.

How many times have you forgotten about perishable food items and only rediscovered them when they were expired? Clear containers help you see what’s in your fridge. I am the world’s worst for forgetting about fruit and veggies in the crisper drawer, so having these things on eye level helps as well.

3. An unused crisper drawer is a space-saving place to stash canned drinks.

They still roll around a bit, but not as much than if they were loose in the fridge. Plus, you have more room in the fridge for other things.

4. Stash things you use the most in the front, and things you use the least in the back.

No one likes knocking over everything when they’re trying to reach something else.

5. Use place mats or Fridge Coasters to catch spills or stickiness

See those handy dandy flowered mats in my fridge? They’re cheap shelf liner. It grips the fridge and doesn’t slide around, and it wipes clean with a wet cloth. Plus, it’s cute. Win, win, win.

6. Take a moment each time you grocery shop to clean out any expired items.

When you are restocking your fridge with fresh groceries, this is the perfect time to do a quick check for any expired or spoiled items. I also like to take this time to wipe down the inside of the fridge with a wet, soapy cloth.

These tips help us keep our fridge clean, functional and organized, which makes cooking a lot easier. Plus, you spend less money on grocery day, because you aren’t spending on items you already have.

How do you keep your fridge organized and clean?

Have a wonderful weekend.