Monday, December 31, 2012

Linen Closet - Part 3

I have to start my New Year's Eve post by saying how thankful I am for all of you that are visiting my blog.  I never expected to have followers on my blog, or on Facebook or so many pageviews when I began this blog at the beginning of 2012.  I hope those that are visiting are finding ideas that may be useful in their own lives or inspire them in some way.  I love projects of any kind and I'm enjoying sharing with you what I have done. 

I started posting about reorganizing my Linen Closet so I wanted to get the last post about that project up for you all.  I have been spending my holiday break from teaching working on some reorganizing and redoing of rooms around the house.  I could use another two weeks to get even more done:)  I previously posted about my bathrooms (here and here) that were part of the process that was supposed to be my linen closet.  This project ended up being more involved in terms of finding homes for items and moving some things around than I originally thought. The closet before I started...

I moved the beach towels from the top shelf to the downstairs bathroom.  This shelf now holds the guest towels.  The shelf in the middle with towels continues to hold the towels we use for our upstairs bathroom that is right by the closet.

This the shelf of medications, first aid, and make up items before I started.  I took everything off the shelf and sorted.  I made piles of like items and threw a lot of older items away.  In addition, I added some medications that were being stored in the bathroom to my piles.

I used the drawers I already had in the closet and also bought a few plastic bins from the dollar section of Target.   I put all my sorted piles into the different containers and labeled them.  The labels are just printed off the computer onto cardstock.  I trimmed the cardstock down and attached them with glue dots which you can find in the scrapbook section of a craft store.

The final shelf has a basket that holds our extra personal care items.  I like to coupon and buy items on sale.  I usually buy a few of a shampoo or body wash if I know we are running low and they are on sale.  These items are all contained in this basket so I can easily tell if hubby or I are running out of something we use regularly. 

I am loving how easy it is to find items in my reorganized closet, especially when hubby needs something and can find it without me digging for it for him.


Thursday, December 27, 2012

Linen Closet - Part 2

I previously posted about the beginning of my linen closet organization project.  It involved cleaning out the vanity in our extra bathroom and moving some items around.  You can find that post here.  The next part of this project was cleaning out our main bathroom.  I knew that there were medicines and other items in the bathroom that I wanted to store in the linen closet as part of the reorganization. 

The medicine cabinet was a mess of old products, old medicines, and things we actually use.  I took everything out, wiped the cabinet and shelves down, and only put back the items we use often and need access to.

I also cleaned out under the vanity.  Again, it was a mess of bottles from products we don't use and items that could be stored elsewhere.

I tossed all old and expired products (lots of sunblock!).  I also moved some of the items that I use frequently to the medicine cabinet with my other products.  Finally, I grouped like items together so they would be easy to find.  The after...

The last two places in the bathroom that I cleaned up were the drawers of the vanity.  I totally forgot about them beforehand so I don't have pictures of them.  The first holds all my hair items and they were all thrown in and mixed together.  I sorted them by rubber bands and barrettes and put them in baskets to keep them from sliding around and mixing together in the drawer.  I also tossed items I no longer wear.

The last drawer mostly need wiped down and to have a few old items thrown away.  I have a basket that holds curling irons and my hair dryer.  I don't use the irons too often so I don't have much of a problem with the cords being tangled.    The bottom drawer also holds my make up bag and my daughter's flossers so she can reach them.

The biggest thing for me was cleaning out items that were old or we don't use anymore.  It freed up a lot of space and made everything look neater just by that simple step.  I have one more post coming that will show you what I moved around and how the linen closet looks now.


Monday, December 24, 2012

Linen Closet - Part 1

Holiday break in our house means catching up on all the things I haven't had time for over the last few crazy weeks of holidays and school.  I decided my linen closet needed some fixing up.  Here is why...

It was a mess!  Especially those shelves between the towels.  No idea what was in the baskets and drawers anymore.  The linen closet is going to cover a few posts because it ended up flowing over into the cabinets in two of the bathrooms as well.

This is the cabinet in the bathroom in our family room. 

It had assorted cleaning products and some old towels.  We have millions of towels so these were sent to the garage for hubby to use.  I also moved the cleaning products to our closet where we keep the rest.  (What?  Put them all in one spot?  What a novel idea:)

I moved the beach towels from the top shelf of the linen closet to the cabinet in the bathroom.  This bathroom is right by our back door so it made sense to put these towels here for when we play in the yard or the sprinkler instead of walking through the house all wet.

The items on the right of the cabinet are dog shampoos which we also use in the backyard.  This freed up most of the top shelf of the linen closet to give me more organizing options.  I'll post about the other bathroom and the final reveal of the linen closet in my next few posts.


Sunday, December 9, 2012

Reorganized Kitchen Cabinet

The kitchen in my house is pretty much the only thing left that we haven't renovated since moving in 10 years ago.  It is still 70's brown and laminate counter tops.  One day......

My kitchen cabinets are relatively tall.  I keep a step stool in the kitchen because I can't reach beyond the second shelf of my cabinets with my short little legs.  I also do not have a pantry so I stuff a lot of things into those cabinets.  I showed you over the summer my organized spice cabinet which you can find here.  My cabinet of canned goods stays very organized because I have all the similar types of cans in rows on the shelves.  However, the cabinet above the kitchen sink was another matter.

The bottom shelf, especially, was a complete disaster.  I was always digging for what I wanted or buying extra because I forgot what I had.

I started by buying some containers at Walmart.  I just wanted some baskets that weren't too expensive.  I ended up with these.

I also bought some small containers for items for Rylee's lunch.  Jen at IHeart Organizing mentioned that she used these in one of her posts awhile back and they were also inexpensive at Walmart.

I tossed anything that wouldn't be used or was old enough that I didn't remember when I used it last:)  Some of the items that would be used for Rylee's lunch such as pretzels, I put into the small Ball containers so they are ready to throw in her lunch bag.

Above is what the cabinet looked like for awhile.  I labeled the baskets with Rylee lunch, snacks, bread/pasta, and granola bars because those are the things we grab the most.  I printed labels on cardstock and stuck them to the baskets with glue dots.

After living with the cabinet for awhile, I decided the size of the baskets weren't working with their labels. I needed more room for Rylee's lunch items and less for snacks.  So, I have switched the labels around.  I have one basket that remains without a label because it doesn't have a permanent category.  It has had a variety of different categories so it is staying blank until I make a final decision.  I also had hubby pick up some wire shelves while he was out the other day to make the most of that tall bottom space.

So, the cabinet now looks like this......

A much better use of space!


Linking up with:
Freedom Fridays
Shaken Together

Sunday, December 2, 2012

Organizing the Button Craziness!

You know how you get all those buttons with your clothes?  I assume you're supposed to save them....just in case:)  For all these years, I have thrown all those buttons in a Longerberger basket my mom gave me to use as a sewing kit, probably about 15 years ago.

Now, I don't sew.  I can sew a button on, maybe sew a rip in a pinch, but I am not one to sew much of anything.  Therefore, the basket of buttons is rarely used.  However, when I need thread and a needle, I dig...and dig...and dig some more.  Just not cutting it!

Here is the alleged sewing basket...

To start, I dumped the contents onto a table.

Scary, huh!:)  I took all the buttons out of their little packets or plastic baggies and sorted them by color.

I bought this box in the tool and outdoors section of Walmart.

Then I gave each color of buttons their own little home.  I used the other half for safety pins...woah, the amount of safety pins I have for some reason.  I also put thread and elastic on the other side.

It all fits so nicely.  I need to make a pretty label for the top, I just haven't decided how I want to make it yet (this is the time I want one of those fancy cutters to make words:).

And just because he's adorable...this was my buddy at my feet the whole time.  He was keeping me company:)  He is wedged between the couch and the table I was working on.


Linking up with:

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Christmas Door Decoration

Oh, I love the holidays!  I am trying to cross items off my to-do list that I wanted to make so there is time to have them up and enjoy them before the season is over.

I just finished a door decoration for my front door.  I had a snowman one that I used all winter but I wanted something with holiday colors.  There were posts on Pinterest where boxes were covered and connected with ribbon (the link for my pin doesn't work anymore) or letters covered with scrapbook paper.  I just combined some different ideas into what I wanted.

I started with letters from the craft store that I painted white.

Hubby cut me boards that would fit the letters.  Mine were about 5x7.  He also drilled a hole in the top and the bottom so I could connect the boards.  I painted two boards green and one red.

I used hot glue to attach the letters to the boards after everything was dry.

Then I tied twine through all the boards so they would be connected and hang in a line.  At the top I looped the twine to make a way to hang it.  Right now it is hanging from a command hook on the front door but it is heavier than I anticipated.  I'm waiting for the day when I hear it crash so I am looking into a stronger way to hang it.

I also tied the twine on at least one side of each hole (I did the front of each to keep it consistent) so that nothing would slide.

I also put a loop at the bottom to finish it off.

Ta-da!  Here is what it looks hanging on the door.  I love it and I love that it is something I made myself.



Linking up with:
Shaken Together
Freedom Fridays

Saturday, November 24, 2012

Easy Christmas Tree Decoration

Since my living room redo began (this is a never ending project and one day when I finish it, I will post pictures:) and I went from a hutch cabinet to just a buffet, I am excited to have the whole top of my buffet to decorate for holidays. 

I had seen an idea for a tree from scrapbook paper on Pinterest (find the original post here).  My daughter loves to craft and I thought it would be fun to have her make one for our decorations.

Here is what it looked like once she was done.  I cleaned out a lot of my paper when I reorganized our laundry room so I did not have any scraps for her to use.  Instead, I bought coordinating colored paper at the craft store.

How I did it:
1.  I cut the white paper to 8X10 since I was going to frame it
2.  I made the strips of paper 1 inch wide but you could do skinnier if you wanted more strips.
3.  The bottom strip is 9 inches long.
4.  Each strip is a half inch shorter as you go up the tree.
5.  My daughter drew and cut out the stars for the top on her own.
6.  The trunk is from a scrap of brown paper.
We used the adhesive I use for scrapbooking and card making to attach the strips of paper.

In the frame on the buffet.  She is so proud that her work is part of the decorations.  The frame is one from Goodwill that I bought a few months back and repainted.
We also made two more for the great-grandparents which I am going to frame and give as a gift from my daughter (great idea for those who are hard to shop for but would love a handmade gift from their grandchildren:).


Linking up with:

Freedom Fridays

Shaken Together

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

A Place for Schoolwork

With my daughter starting kindergarten this year, I have been trying to find a good system to organize all the paperwork that comes home.  I have put long term information in a pocket in my household management binder labeled "School."  This includes calendars for the year, office information and other paperwork that will be kept for the year.

I had been hanging all the other classroom information on a clip on the front of the refrigerator. 
However, I was then flipping through to find what I wanted, papers would slip out, if got heavy enough it would slide down the front.  Just not a great solution.  Then I saw a post about a pocket from the Martha Stewart line at Staples from Simply Organized (find the post here).  Then I got a coupon for Staples in my email and decided I would give it a try.

I covered some clothespins I had with Washi tape I found at Target.

And then I put magnets on the back. I had round magnets on hand so I just cut them to fit the back of the clothespin. 

The first time I hung the pocket on the fridge, it kept sliding so I added magnets to the bottom of the pocket.  This seemed to keep it up just fine.  The pocket does come with its own adhesive but I was unsure about removing it later so I used the clothespins with magnets instead.

Here is what the pocket looks like on the side of my fridge.  No lighting on that side, so the picture isn't great.  I kept the clip which now just has the baggie of box tops hanging from it below the pocket on the side of the fridge.

I'm really happy with this solution and thanks to Simply Organized for the inspiration.


Friday, November 16, 2012

Desk Update

Back in the spring I organized/reorganized my desk (view post here).  I was looking for a place to put the paperwork and coupons that collected on various surfaces and bulletin boards.  This is what I used at the time...

Labeled folders for all of my daughter's school papers and extra curricular schedules and information.  I also created folders for retail and restaurant coupons.  Unfortunately, this bin took up a large portion of one side of my desk.  I was also putting my Household and Blogging Binders next to it which took up even more space.  So, I changed it up a bit.  This is what it looks like now...

Everything is still there and handy, just take up less space, which is wonderful!  The magazine holder has my notebooks that I like to keep near me for notes or other random thoughts that come to me (there is lots of randomness floating around up there at times:)  The black and white binder is my Household binder.  I created the binder back in the spring and I will link to all those posts at the end of this post in case you are interested.  The blue binder is my blogging binder I created recently.

So, where did everything go?  The retail and restaurant coupons are now in my coupon binder that I posted about recently.  My daughter's paperwork has been added to my Household Binder in pockets (see the picture below).  The notebooks that were in the back of the bin are now in the magazine holder.  And I have room to spare!

Here are the links to all the posts I mentioned:
Creating a Household Binder
Household Binder Part 2 - Finances
Household Binder Part 3 - Our Family
Household Binder Part 4 - Our Meals
Organizing a Coupon Binder


Sunday, November 11, 2012

Coupon Envelope

As part of the continuing reorganization of the corner of my desk and everything that was contained there, I am changing where I store my coupons.  Last week I showed you my main coupon binder which you can find here.  In addition to keep all my coupons for the grocery store, I added retail and restaurant, and store coupons to this binder instead of keeping them in folders on my desk.

I decided to create envelopes to keep coupons I want to take with me when I go shopping.  This way they aren't falling to the bottom of my purse or shoved in pockets where I forget to use them.  I do this sometimes and then I'm so frustrated when I get home and realize what I did:(

I saw these envelopes on two different blogs.  There were shown in a picture on Put a Little Shush in Your Home which you can find here.  Check out the totally creative folders she made for her binder while you are there!  When I asked her about them, she mentioned that she got the idea from another blog.  Then I remembered where I had also seen IHeart Organizing.  Jen also provided the labels to use for the envelopes in her post which you can find here.

I started with letter sized envelopes and solid color scrapbook paper that matched the color of the labels.  I cut the paper to the size of the envelope.

I used a paper cutter to trim off the flap of the envelope so I can slide coupons in and not worry about them fitting perfectly into the envelope.

These are the labels for the envelopes that I printed from Jen at IHeart Organizing.  You can find them in the post I link to in the above paragraph.  I did not use the "this trip" label which is why you only see three envelopes.

Finally, I glued everything together and laminated it.  I'm excited not to lose my coupons anymore!