DiVOGA Cork Collection Review and Giveaway!

Organize Your Home or Office with DiVOGA Cork Collection

By Amy

 I received the DiVOGA products from OfficeMax in order to facilitate my review. The DiVOGA products featured in this giveaway are also provided by OfficeMax and will be sent to the winner directly. Opinions expressed in this post are 100% my own. I have not been compensated for this post in any other way.

DiVOGA Cork Collection

 

The utterly cool people at OfficeMax asked me to check out their new line of DiVOGA Cork Collection of office supplies.  Cork??  I was intrigued.  I’ve never heard of cork being used for office and organizing essentials other than bulletin boards.  But as you can see, they have created some pretty fabulous products!  Here is the DiVOGA Collection in my own home office computer station.

DiVOGA Cork Collection

 

My favorite thing about this new cork collection is that it matches with everything!  No matter what your décor, Cork is a neutral, so it will “go” with whatever you already have by way of décor.

Here is what OfficeMax is saying about their new Limited-Edition DiVOGA Cork Collection:

About the DiVOGA® Cork Collection

Tired of yesterday’s trends? Try today’s new neutral! The new, limited-edition DiVOGA Cork Collection from OfficeMax delivers just the pop of texture—and basic color—you’re looking for. Its matte finish gives a soothing feel to each piece, from notebooks and note holders to luggage tags and totebags! And because cork is a natural element, each piece is distinctively unique. Look for the DiVOGA Cork Collection at your nearest OfficeMax store.
 
The limited-edition DiVOGA Cork Collection is part of the fashion-focused DiVOGA line of workplace and home office accessories that is available exclusively at OfficeMax. From file folders to coordinating desktop organizers, DiVOGA offers great solutions to help create a contemporary and clutter-free workspace.
 

Here are some close ups of the products…

The Pencil Cube has a picture frame on every side for you to personalize.  I added some pretty scrapbook paper to add a pop of color.

DiVOGA Pencil Cube

The Compartment Tray is my favorite DiVOGA product! It is big enough to hold all the “little things” that seem to get lost in a drawer, but small enough to not take up too much desk space.  I love it!

DiVOGA Compartment Tray

Tablet and Cell Phone cases. These are both lined with a soft flannel-like material to protect your personal electronics.

DiVOGA Tablet and Cell Phone Cases

 

2 Pocket Document Wallet, Journal, and Padfolio (bottom).  All great additions to your organized life!

DiVOGA Document Wallet, Journal & Padfolio

The Magazine File is the perfect size for any papers, notebooks, calendars and file folders you may need to keep together.  I added the Padfolio to the file for size reference.

DiVOGA Magazine File

This Tote Bag, I am loving!  The cork is soft and pliable, and it’s big enough to carry plenty, but not so big and bulky that it would be hard to handle.  The tote bag also has an inside pocket that’s perfect for a cell phone or other smaller item.

DiVOGA Tote Bag

I truly was pleasantly surprised by the fun cork designs, and softness, yet durability of the products and the high quality.  And best of all… YOU, one of our lucky readers can win the package of all 9 products featured in the image below!(Retail Value $100)

DiVOGA Cork Product Bundle

Just enter below and we will notify the winner and have it shipped directly to you!  Good Luck!
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Love to all! ~ Amy

 

 

I have been married for 24 years to my awesome hubby, Todd and we have 4 equally awesome kids who keep me young! Our favorite thing to do together is travel. I enjoy gardening, yoga, walking and saving money! I am very active in my church and am currently serving the children, and I love volunteering at my kids’ schools doing whatever I can to help the teachers and staff.

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A Magnetic Family Calendar to Keep You Organized

Keep Track Of All Those Activities In One Space!

By Amy Trauntvein

I received this calendar for review, but all opinions and pictures are my own.

When you’ve got a house full of kids and adults who are busy, you’ve got a lot of activities, appointments, practices, lessons and everything else to keep track of!  Jen at Calendarsandchores.com must have seen me in her crystal ball because she asked to send me one of her beautiful and functional calendars to check out, thank you Jen!  Oh yes, I‘ve got a smart phone with a calendar and all which I use, a lot, but I needed something that my whole family could see every day and also add to as things come up. (Large Magnetic Calendar seen here with 6 weeks and bonus Memo strip $82.00)

Magnetic Calendar

This magnetic calendar is the perfect solution, because it is a perpetual calendar!  What’s that you say?  It means that when your week is over, you wipe everything off the top strip, and move it to the bottom of the calendar to start filling in for later weeks!  You see, each “line” is it’s own magnetic strip that you can organize yourself and it all fit’s on the included frame any way that you fancy.  When my calendar came, I slapped that thing on the wall and got to filling it all in!

So many of my kids activities are for multiple kids so instead of using one color per kid, I use a certain color per activity/lesson.  I’ve got 2 kids in the high school marching band, so I used Red for their school color, I have 3 kids in piano/vocal lessons with the same teacher so I use blue for those, I have 2 kids in gymnastics and I picked orange for it and so on and so forth.

I adore the magnetic pencil cup! ($10)  Not only is it cute, but it holds all the extra month labels that aren’t in use, and my wet erase markers (I like them better than dry erase for fine tip writing and they don’t smudge) right where I need them.  No more looking in drawers and wondering what my kids did with them!  They stay right here.  Period.

Magnetic Calendar

The weekly Menu List ($4.50) comes in handy for those busy nights that I just don’t want to figure out what to fix for dinner.

Magnetic Calendar

And Memo strip (included in calendar kit) with categories of Upcoming Events/Grocery/To Do/Notes section you can use in place of one or two of the “weeks” on the calendar, if you just want to post a month at a time.  See bottom of the calendar…

Magnetic Calendar

The calendar comes in many colors and styles and sizes, but I love the Antique White frame with the Vintage White magnetic strips.  They are perfect for my living space!  As you can see, I chose to use all 6 weeks and even figured out a way to let me know when the next month is coming up.  I separated the two months a bit and stuck the September strip between the two.  Easier for my kids to know what month they are looking at.

Magnetic Calendar

I am so happy with my new calendar and so are my kids.  No more, “Mom, what time is practice? Mom, what day is the party?  Mom, when is picture day?”  They can just look themselves.  Thank you calendarsandchores.com!  You’ve just made my schedule a whole lot easier to handle!

Be sure to check out her online Etsy store.   She also carries other cool products like chore charts cute locker memo magnets.

Love To All! ~Amy

 

 

 

 

I have been married for 23 years to my awesome hubby, Todd and we have 4 equally awesome kids who keep me young! Our favorite thing to do together is travel. I enjoy gardening, yoga, walking and saving money! I am very active in my church and am currently serving the children, and I love volunteering at my kids’ schools doing whatever I can to help the teachers and staff.

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Staples Office Supplies To Help You Shed, Shred and Get Ahead in 2013

March 25, 2013 by  
Filed under Blog, Offices, Reviews & Giveaways

We Can Use Help With Office Supplies Right? Staples Can Help

I received this fun gift pack, along with a Relay Flash Drive to review for Staples. Anyone who knows me, knows that I can walk into an office supply store and just roam the aisles. I love them. Honestly, I’d prefer going through an organization, or office store, over shopping in a clothing store. I know, I know.. I’t an oddity.

staples

Shed
I’ve have discussed many times how papers can take over your life, and your home. You have to keep some paperwork for taxes and business purposes, but the majority of it, you can shed by shredding and recycling it.

Shred
Protecting yourself is important in today’s world. Be sure to shred any paperwork that has your name or any kind of private information on it, before throwing it away.

Get Ahead
Staying organized is important for any of us. It helps us to stay ahead of the game and know where things are, what they are, and how to use them.

I just have to stay, that I’ve always wanted an “easy” button! I was excited to see that tucked into my box. I’ll be using it on conference calls, that’s for sure! What fun I’m going to have. There were batteries already in it, so it worked right out of the package.

Staples New BETTER® Binder with removable FileRings™

staples

Couple things I liked right off the bat with this BETTER® Binder: 

  • The front clear pocket pouch on the front of the binder that you can slide your own cover page into.
  • Side binder 1″ clear pouch that you can label the side of your binder.
  • It has rubberized hinged sides that enables you to open the binder completely flat on the table and they will help it to hold up longer.
  • It is easy to open the binder clips, but pushing down on the tab on the end.

staples

I did have a hard time figuring out how to take the inside binder out. You see the picture on the cover that you can pull out the binder file and hang it as a hanging file. What the binder does not tell you how to do, is how to do it. I played around with it for a few minutes before I finally realized you pull out with the ends of the binder section and that is how you remove it.  Why wouldn’t they either show that in a picture, or have it written somewhere?

staples

You can see that it just lifts off the little nubs.  What is nice is that you can take that whole binder thread and then hang it as a hanging file somewhere. I did look and you can get replaceable binder removable refills.  That is nice. You can then reuse the notebook and just add in a new refill binder to start a new notebook.

Staples One-Touch™ Aero Stapler

stapler

Staplers? I have one in several places in my home. Office – check. My mini office in the family room – check. Basement wrapping station – check. Kids each have one in their rooms at their desks – check.  Why? You always seem to need them, don’t you?

This is nice because it has the rubberized top lever that makes it a little easier to use. I was expecting it to act almost like one of those ones that you barely have to touch though, with the name One Touch. You still have to push, and you have to push pretty good, just like any other stapler, to make it work.
I did test it a bit and kept folding the piece of paper to see how many sheets it would go through. It says it can staple up to 10 pages. I would have to say, I think it’s more than that.

stapler

It wasn’t any harder to push going through this many layers than it was going through the first couple. I did check to make sure on the opposite side it had tucked the edges down. You know how often, if you go through too many pages, the underside will have the points sticking out. This didn’t do that.
My suggestions – make it in funner colors! I might walk past this in a store, unless it was lime green, orange, or hot pink. Just sayin’ Staples. Yes.. color matters to some of us.

M by Staples™ Arc Customizable Notebook System

notebook

I was given the 8.5 inch x 5.5 inch size Arc Customizable Notebook to review.
There are many options you can use to add to this notebook. Calendar pages, graph paper, To Do, or project planners, along with several other options.
I like that it’s easy to move pages around and you can customize it how you’d like.  I see online there are other color and design options, along with the full size 9×11 size. That’s good.

My thoughts:

I again could not easily see how to remove the pages. I kept thinking the plastic round rings would somehow come out, come apart or something. It doesn’t show a picture or give any explanation on how to do it. I handed it to my husband who messed with it a few minutes, looking at the rings also. He then simply pulled the pages up. Duh

notebook

It this convenient, yes.  Would I purchase this kind of system myself to customize it? No, I wouldn’t.  Why? Because, if I am going to take the time to build a customizable notebook, I would want to know that my pages are going to stay secure. I’ve had other systems that have pages like this and after removing things around a few times, the paper does tend to lose some of the edges that keep it hanging on securely.  I would purchase a binder before I purchased this, for the purpose of a calendar system or project planner.

If it was for a To Do list, that I could pull out and remove the pages I had already used and discard, then I would consider this solution. That’s just my personal opinion. There are many that would love this kind of system.

Relay USB Flash Drive

flash drive

I’ve used this Relay 8 GB flash drive to pull some pictures off of one computer to put on another computer. It’s kind of cool looking. It worked without any problems. It’s always nice to have a few of these around, plus it’s kind of cool looking.

flash drive

Thanks Staples. I always love checking out office supplies. Now I have some new toys to play with!

I was supplied with the products from Staples that are shown in these pictures, for no cost.  I was not compensated in any other way for this post. The pictures, and opinions are my own.

 

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Never A Pen When You Need It!

February 25, 2013 by  
Filed under Blog, Donating & Causes, How To Organize, Offices

But We Have A Bazillion Pens In The House!

Why is That? Pencils and pens accumulate, we put them away, but then don’t use the ones put away – we buy more.  Right? We also get them from all over. Trade shows, expos, conferences or company reps give them away freely. Of course there are always those who use them at work and walk home with them in their pockets. (Tell me it isn’t so!)

pens

So what is the solution? Clean them out, organize and disperse them in locations where they will be used and needed.

You first want to gather up the pens, you might be cleaning out a desk drawer, or kitchen junk drawer – but try to gather up as many around the house as you can fine.

You want to test all the pens to see what ones work and which ones don’t. There’s nothing more irritating than grabbing something to write with and having it be out of ink, dried up or with broken lead.

pens

Only keep the ones that write nicely. If you wouldn’t want to write a letter to someone with it, then you need to get rid of it. Why keep it if when you grab to use it, you don’t like it? You’ll just put it back and go look for another one? I’m right aren’t I?

Make 3 piles

1) Keep – Keep what you need. You don’t have to keep ALL of them, if you have oodles.
2) Donate – Pens, markers that work well, but you don’t like them or you have over flow. You can donate them to underprivileged school districts, or underprivileged countries.
3) Trash / Recycle – For the ones that don’t work, you can trash/recycle them. I had a reader, Vicki; comment on my other post on organizing your pens, say that you can donate your pens to  http://www.penguyart.com/ (even ones that are broken or don’t work). This guy makes artwork with used pens.

 Disperse Them. 

You don’t have to have fancy pencil/pen holders. You can use baskets, check book boxes, plastic containers from food items, etc.
do it yourself

Put them in places you will utilize them.

Purse
Desk Drawer
On top of the desk
Kitchen counter
Near your home phone
By your couch or chair
By your bed
In your car
In your workshop

You can also bag some up to give to someone, donate, or keep in your car, or keep for your kids for school.

pens

I did another post, Pens & Pencil Clean Out a couple years ago. You can find some more info concerning this, there.

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Organize your Office Desk Drawer

Start Simple! Organize A Drawer

Organizing can become so over whelming to many of us, that it’s easier to look at an entire room and all of the mess, and say – “it’s too much, I can’t do it.”  But if you focus your efforts on something small to organize, like your desk drawer, it’s a start… it will motivate you to keep going.  The feeling of accomplishment you get from having an organized and cleaned out area is awesome!

organize office drawerOffice desk drawers can very quickly become a “catch all” for all kinds of things.  This is my desk drawer as I opened it to do this post.

There is some organization there, but I want to to show that organizing your drawer doesn’t have to be scary or “too big” to do.

organizeI used baskets and also just the plastic trays that the sharpies came in.  But it needs some freshening up.  You don’t have to go out and buy expensive supplies. The boxes your checks come in work great. These baskets are from the dollar store.

organizeLOL.. look at all the mini hand sanitizers!

office drawer before Then in this front built in tray…. there is a whole bunch of little “stuff”

So this is what you need to do

Take everything out of the drawer

cleaning out the desk drawerThen clean the drawer.

dirty drawerAnd this is a long narrow drawer, so I had to get it all the way out.

All the little crud and bits and pieces that get back in the corners.

Grab what ever products you use to clean with and a clean rag and clean well.

I’m use OdoBan for a lot of different cleaning projects. It is the smell of clean to me. I also just realized it was green. I had no idea, I’ve been using it for years.

Once you have cleaned…. then you sort the items.

Sorting

1) Keep – You use it, love it and Need it
2) Donate – You don’t use it or need it and it is in good shape then donate it to others who can use it.
3) Move it – It doesn’t belong in the office. (for instance a child’s wallet – or that little hand held fan in my desk drawer)
4) Trash/Recycle – If you don’t use it, and it isn’t in good enough shape to donate – then trash or recycle it.

This is all the little stuff that came out of the front little tray

I mean really…. do I need all these hand sanitizer?  And what good are they doing in my desk drawer?  They are all half full.
hand sanitizerThen of course you always end up finding loose change anytime you clean don’t you?

changePicture hanging supplies

Tacks and paper clips

thumb tacksAnd doesn’t everyone have a couple of stray keys?

keys

Lots of pens and markers

pens

For the pens, pencils and markers go through the exercise that I described in this post I just posted yesterday on pens and pencils organizing.

Now go through and take the items and distribute them where they belong. Do you have a bank somewhere on the main floor of your home for loose change?  I have one on top of my refridg and another one in my laundry room.  Any change that goes in here goes towards the family vacation fund.

coins

If you have things like hand sanitizers or hand lotions in your drawer. You don’t need as many as I have here. hand sanitizers

Consolidate them into 1 or 2 containers.

hand sanitizersI had 2 containers that had the rubber holders on them, so I poured the others into those and got it down to two containers.

hand sanitizerThen I put them where they would do some good. One went on my purse and the other went on my bookbag.

hand sanitizer

If there is a key that belongs in the office (for a safe, desk drawer or locked cabinet) make sure you label it.

labeled keys

Separate your pens from your pencils, from your sharpie markers, from your highlighters. Just be sure they all work properly.

sharpie markers

After you have gone through and sorted out what doesn’t belong in your desk drawer you can put your drawer back together.

I did not go out and buy anything for the drawer. I just used what I had in the drawer… I want you to realize that you don’t have to go out and buy a lot of things to organize.   We always find excuses not to do things, I want you to know that you can go in and clean out…. sort….clean…..put back  ANYTIME!  You don’t have to wait to go buy things!

Now… put things back in.

I did something a little interesting here.  This drawer goes back really far and I have problems with the baskets sliding back into the drawer.  I could go and buy a really cool fitted desk drawer organizer, and I could have ravaged around my house for more organizers… but I also want to show you… your organizing can take place in about 30 minutes.

So…..I used a ream of paper that I had stored underneath the desk to put in the very back of this drawer to help keep things from sliding around so much.

** Great tip from a reader Daren. Daren said to use pieces of velcro underneath the baskets or trays to hold them in place from sliding! I love that! Never even though of that. I’ll be trying that one for sure!

I had extra room in the drawer after I cleaned it out, so I moved a couple things over from another drawer that had too much in it. The tapes from a labeler, some extra staples and thumb tacks. I also put my nursing hemostats and tweezers in here. I do use the hemostats for things like taking out knots in cords etc…so I actually do use them in my office.

Here is the final product.30 minutes…. and a reorganized and clean desk drawer.

Now it is your turn!  Go take just a little bit of time and organize that drawer!

 

This post was revamped from it’s original post date of January 27, 2011.


 

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Creating Space In The Family Room With Ikea Expedit Units

Have A Smaller House And Need More Space?

I love using cubby wall units. I’ve used the Ikea Expedit shelves for several areas of my home. In the garage for my bedroom, mud room and in my actual office, that I don’t really use anymore (I have gone back to my mini office in the family room, to be near the family).

Now I have gone out and gotten a couple more of the large 5×5 Expedit units. When I make the drive to Ikea, I usually have a big list; since it is over two hours away from me. On this trip I bought two of these! I got a white one for my kitchen (that post will be coming) and I got this one for my family room. I painted the wall deep brown that is on the long end of my family room that runs into my kitchen.

ikea expedit

The other thing I did with this unit was to put it on casters. The reason I did that was two fold.  One, because this unit is large, when it is in “guest” mode (I’ll explain in a min) it covers a heater vent. This will still allow that heat to escape and not be completely covered up by the unit. The main reason I put it on casters is so that I can easily move it when needed.  You see, I again have created a mini “office” to work.

This is how the unit is the majority of the time. It is scooted up so that I can access the cubby units for work.

ikea expedit

It works great for me. I have my essentials at my finger tips.

ikea expedit

I know that it doesn’t look the best when people come to visit, so I also have a “guest” mode.  When we have guest over, I can simply pull the unit over on the wall so that it isn’t up beside the couch.

ikea expedit

This works great for me. I also have a smaller 2 cube unit that I have as a side table. I have one of the bins on the top of it that I use for my trash can. Below it I have a portable file that I can access.

side table

It’s a solution that works great for me. As I’ve mentioned before, I’m not a decorating diva, nor will I ever be. I am very practical with what I need and cost. These units are very sturdy and work great for what we need them for.

This is not a review that I did for Ikea Expedit Shelves, nor did I get compensated in any way for it. I just used them, love them, and want to share what works for me.

 

 

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Fellowes Shredder Powershred 63Cb Review and Giveaway #SmartGiftsforGuys

December 13, 2012 by  
Filed under Blog, Offices, Paper, Reviews & Giveaways

Need a Gift For The Man In Your Life?

What about a POWERSHRED Fellowes Shredder?  Even the name sounds tough! It’s not a delicate shredder, or pretty shredder… it’s a POWERSHRED! Right there, we know we’ve got our men hooked! The nice thing is, is that it also benefits us! We have less paper clutter around right, and we don’t have to worry about identity theft because it shreds it so small.

fellowes shredder

I’ll tell you now that this Fellowes Shredder is heavy! I picked up the box when it came to the porch and I was thinking.. wow, this sucker is good! I have a shredder now that is soon going to be replaced. It gets jammed really easy and then heats up after just a couple minutes and I can’t do anymore shredding.

Here it is! It’s such a nice size.  You just put the upper power unit down onto the basket, remove some tape and plug it in… it’s ready to go.

One of the things that we accumulate way too much of is paper! Think about how much junk mail you get on a daily basis.

So much of that junk mail can be used to cause you a deal of great anguish if it falls into the wrong hands.  Any mail with your personal information on it should be shredded. Also any old credit cards need to be shredded. I’m happy to see that this can also handle those.

fellowes shredder

Here is a size scale, you can see the actual size of it.  You all know the size of hanging files right? So I put it next to my portable hanging file so you can see.

fellowes shredder

Now I’m going to test it.  One of the things that we all get so much of are those pesky charge card offers. I don’t even like to open them, but my other shredder couldn’t handle putting them in whole. In fact, I had to open them and unfold the papers to feed it in.  Here we go….

fellowes shredder

It worked!  It did stop about 3/4 of the way through and I thought it was going to be jammed. The red light came on and after about 3 seconds it started going again and finished the job. I did several more the same way and the same thing happened.  Of course when I opened one and took the envelope off, it went easier and didn’t stop. I didn’t have to unfold it to run easily.

fellowes shredder

Here are the results. They were little strips 1 1/2 – 2″ long. As a suggestion from me, I would have liked to have seen those strips diced even smaller, but this still did a better job than my other shredder.

shredder

I really like the fact that when you touch the area around the feed… it turns off automatically.  When you have young kids, that is a really nice security blanket to have.

Features:

* Jam Blocker ™ There is an electronic sensor that measures the amount of paper and prevents over feeding
* 10 sheet cross-cut – Turns a piece of paper into 399 pieces so you can’t read anything.
* Shreds credit cards, paper clips and staples
* 5 gallon basket
* 8 minutes continuous run time without shutting off
* Safesense® Technology – automatically shuts off when hands touch the paper opening
* Energy Savings System is in use rather the shredder is in use or not.

I can hardly wait to give this to my husband this Christmas! (Now to pack it back up so I can wrap it!) It is larger than I thought it was going to be. It’s heavier than I expected it to be. Both of those things combined in a shredder, mean a higher quality shredder to me.

I am planning on giving this to my Dad. He LOVES office equipment and he only has a small one sheeter shredder. He will be SO excited! I will update this post with a picture once I give it to him.

Be sure to check out my “Smart Gifts For Men In Your Life” Pinterest Board and feel free to pin any of these pictures onto your pinterest boards!

 

You can Purchase one!

The Fellowes Powershred 63Cb can be found on Amazon ($125 right now as I post this) and at Office Depot (I couldn’t find this model on the site, but they might have it in the stores) and Office Max (179.99).  The suggested retail price is $149.99
fellowes shredderYou can WIN one!
Win a Fellowes Powershred 63Cb shredder!  The contest is going to run from Monday Dec 13rd – Friday Dec 21th at 12:01am.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

I will notify you via email and you’ll have 48 hours to respond. If I haven’t heard from you at that point, then I’ll pick another winner.  You must be 18 years of age and have a US shipping address. (no P.O boxes)

 

 

 

 

 

Disclosure: I received product from Fellowes, Inc. and The Motherhood as part of my participation in this program. All thoughts and opinions expressed in this post are my own.

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Do it Yourself Easy Desk Storage Set

Easy To Make – Do it Yourself Desk Set

do it yourself desk storage set

Some of the plastic containers you get products in are really nice, and I decided to make a diy (do it yourself) desk storage set out of three different ones.

I do not normally keep storage containers like these, unless I have a specific use for them.  I love do it yourself projects, but I see too many people keep SO many things like this… with the intention of “some day” getting to it.  Only keep enough containers for the specific do it yourself project you want to accomplish. It will decrease the clutter… and you will be able to save up new containers when you are ready for your next DIY project. But I thought I could make a nice little set for my daughter’s desk by recycling plastic storage containers and some decorative tape.

I kept two different tea mix containers and took the labels off.

do it yourself desk set

I then took the labels off the two tea containers. Both of these labels came right off… easy peasy.

diy desk set

I then had two naked containers, like this one!

do it yourself

I then took my decorative tape.  This is duck tape that I got at Target or Joanne’s. (I can’t remember which)  You can decide how you want to place your decorative tape on the container. You can cover it completely, or make stripes up and down or a single one around…. like this one.

do it yourself

Here is the other container.

do it yourself

I also kept this larger round nut mix container. The label for this container was glued on.

do it yourself

I could have spent a lot of time and soaked it off… peeled  and gotten it sparkly clean first… but heck – I’m covering it with tape.  So I just taped over the label.

diy desk set

Here is the finished product. You can use the lids on your containers if you want.

do it yourself

Here is the finished product that you can put pencils in.

do it yourself

do it yourself

 

do it yourself desk set

There are so many things you can use something like this for.  This do DIY desk set is going on my daughter’s desk in her room – but I could also see something like this being really cute in a craft room. you could store beads, or any kind of craft supplies in these.  Ideas are endless.

diy desk set

 

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Organizing and DIY Link Party – Week 6

Link Up Your Posts for Organizing and DIY Link Party!

If you are looking for some organizing and DIY ideas, then check out the links on the linky list!

organize and DIY button

I wanted to share some organizing ideas I found on the Better Homes & Gardens Blog

This is your typical plastic door shoe holder used for kitchen gadget storage.  They have it labeled nicely and secured it well at the top.  Check out that tiny trap door at the bottom! What’s up with that? Is it for a small dog, cat or a friendly mouse? lol

Organizing and DIY

 

This mobile office could really come in handy for someone without an actual office in their home.  It could easily slide into a closet or the corner of a room.  It could also be transformed easily for a dinner party (change out the pencil/pen cups and put silverware cups in it’s place).

Organizing and DIY

 

I always love these message centers.  Using the inside of your cabinet doors.  The key is to make sure you have the space to close the door. Especially where they have the sticky note holders, you would have that much less room for storage inside the cabinet.  Not an issue with the chalkboard section.  You can also use some metal as an insert and have a magnetic board. But it can still prove to be a very useful solution for many.

Better Homes and Gardens
Share your DIY, crafts, decorating, organizing projects!

You can find the link for my button on my top “Buttons” Tab. (right now I only have the Organizing Mission Monday button, so it is fine to continue to grab that) 
1) Link to your specific post – not your blog
2) Please Link back to my blog with my button or link (link just above underneath my button)
3) Blog post related to Organizing or Cleaning or DIY or crafts or decorating are WONDERFUL!
4) No sales pitches or web sites.
5) Feel free to link up more than 1 post.

I also have a Pinterest Link party on Fridays!! Be sure to check them out! Favorite Pin Friday!

Looking for other link parties? I have a whole list of them. Thumbnail via day above and keep scrolling down to find a more extensive text lists by day on my link party list. If you aren’t sure how to link up… see my link party tutorial here. It is simple. If You Are On A Reader and Want to View
This party will be open until Feb 12, 2012 at 11:59pm

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Office System

September 6, 2011 by  
Filed under Blog, How To Organize, Offices

Plan a System so Your Office Will Flow Smoothly

Organizing any office, you have to consider the flow.  How will the office function the smoothest?  If you do not have any kind of plan, you will be wasting precious time and get frustrated. Why? Because you will be having to jump up to get things, or looking for things that should be right within hands reach. 

Let me show you a pictures from an  office that didn’t work.

cluttered officeHere is one that I was evaluated for a client.

cluttered office

Plan Office Zones

1) Plan your office in Zones
From where seated at your desk you should have zones.  The zones determine what you use daily, weekly and maybe monthly.

Zone A – The area right around your seat.  You use these things daily and should be within easy reach (scissors, stapler, pens/pencils, paper, file drawer that you access daily)

Zone B – Area just outside of Zone A.  Not too far away, maybe  along reach or turning your desk chair around to reach the copier or extra ream of paper.

Zone C – Items you don’t use nearly as frequently. Supplies, extra pencils, staples for stapler, files that you don’t access daily.

2) Clean out and sort your office

Decide what you use in the office. No kids games, no sewing projects, no basketballs (you get the picture)
Decide if you like it, use it and need it – if so.. keep it  If not decide if it should go into another room, be donated or thrown away.

3) Plan out what you are going to use in your office for storage and where it will go
I suggest planning it on graph paper. Measure and make sure things will fit the way you want them.

4) Put your office back together again after cleaning it well.

The After picture

Just a little bit of good planning can make an office very functional.

This was written as a guest post for Daze of Adventure last January.

 

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Organizing Mission Monday Link Party – Week 33

August 1, 2011 by  
Filed under Blog, Offices, Products for Organizing

Back Up Your Computer!!

Do you do it?  If your computer crashed or stopped working, would everything on it be saved?

seagate external hard drive

Is it one of those things that you have on your “forever do list”?  It is something you “intend” to do, but just haven’t gotten around to it?

Then do it!!

I have a good friend who just had her computer zapped in an electric storm, someone else who lost her computer on a trip.  Everything was gone.  No back ups!
Imagine losing all your pictures, all your paperwork you have saved. Everything!

I don’t back my computer up everyday. I should… I know. It is as simple as plugging it in when I go to bed and hitting a button.

But I do always back it up before I leave on a trip or take it into the Apple Store.  Thank goodness I did that last week.  I backed it up and went into the Apple Store.  I needed a new hard drive. When I got it back the next day it was back to square one, none of my data was on it.  But I plugged in my external hard drive and reloaded everything that had previously been on there.  (phew)

I am looking to get some of my pictures off of my computer. I hate to do it, because I am constantly going to them looking for one for a post, or that someone wants a copy of – but I have over 100g of memory being used on my pictures.

It will also be good if I do back my pictures up to an internet site. Then if I am on another computer, I can still access my pictures.

How do you back your computer up? How often do you do it?

Link up to My Linky Party

What is happening in your life this week? But as always you can link up any organizing or cleaning or DIY post to my link party.

Organizing Mission Monday

You can find the link for my button and also my “Proud to Be Featured Button” on my top “Buttons” Tab.

1) Link to your specific post – not your blog
2) Please Link back to my blog with my button or link (link just above underneath my button)
3) I’d love if you’d follow me on google and/or FB. The google is new and I’m trying to build it
4) Blog post related to Organizing or Cleaning or DIY or decorating
5) No sales pitches or web sites.
6) If I feature you I will use one or more of your pictures with a link back to your blog.
7) Feel free to link up more than 1 post.

Looking for other link parties? I have a whole list of them. Thumbnail via day above and keep scrolling down to find a more extensive text lists by day on my link party list. If you aren’t sure how to link up… see my link party tutorial here. It is simple. If You Are On A Reader and Want to View All the Great Link Up’s Please Click Here.
This link party is open until next Sunday evening

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Organizing Mission Monday Link Party – Week 13

It’s Almost Spring! How is Your Spring Cleaning Coming?

organizing mission monday link party I have tacked a few projects myself that I will be sharing posts later with you.  I have so many more lined up, it is just a matter of making the time to do them.  I bet that sounds familiar doesn’t it?   But I am adding the decorating component into my spring cleaning this year.

I am going to be working on my medicine cabinet tomorrow!  So start thinking about how you want to clean yours out!

Featured Bloggers This Week!

Mel from Mama Buzz and Real Heart Prints – Closet & Movie Cabinet

Mel took her closet from this:

BEFORE:

closet before

To This!

AFTER

closet afterSee what all she did by visiting her at Real Heart Prints !  You can also see how she added a shoe mirror onto her door to check out those shoes before you walk out the door.  Then you can get the bonus of seeing her organized movie cabinet also.

Jo from Creative Collage -  Master Bedroom Closet Makeover

I’m am so impressed with this!  Check it out.

Jo’s master bedroom closet:

BEFORE

closet before

Here is her after, but keep in mind, Jo did all of this herself!  She didn’t have a company come in and install it, she didn’t buy it pre-made and install it… she made it ALL herself!

AFTER

closet afterDidn’t she do an awesome job?   She goes through the tutorial of how she did it on her blog, so be sure to check out The Creative Collage.

Bianca from Walnut Avenue – Office Makeover

Bianca took her office from this:

BEFORE

office before

She had an inspiration picture that you can see on her blog post, but she knew the look she wanted in her office. She said in her post that she isn’t finished with the entire office, but look at the cool arrangement that she has made so far.

AFTER

office afterShe has really made great use of shelves for her office! I love them.  Be sure to stop by and read her post about her office on her blog Walnut Avenue!

Be sure to stop by both of my featured bloggers today and give them some “comment love”

For those of you who were featured this week, please pick up your button (code below the button) for your blog!

Organizing Mission Monday

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Link up to my Link Party

Link up any organizing or cleaning post to my link party!!

But this week I encourage you to start working on your medicine cabinets!  I will be having a blog post tomorrow on how I did that, so be watching!!

Organizing Mission Monday

<center><a href=”http://www.organizewithsandy.com/blog” target=”_blank”><img src=”http://www.organizewithsandy.com/wp-content/uploads/2009/08/mission-monday-1.jpg “/></a></center><br/>

Rules

1) Link to your specific post – not your blog

2) Please Link back to my blog with my button or link (link just above underneath my button)

3) I’d love if you’d follow me on google and/or FB. The google is new and I’m trying to build it

4) Blog post related to Organizing or Cleaning

5) No sales pitches or web sites.

6) If I feature you I will use one or more of your pictures with a link back to your blog.

8) Feel free to link up more than 1 post.

Be sure to check out my list of link parties

If you have a link party.. please link it up! Underneath the daily buttons there is a list of text links I have compiled too! (Many more there!)

If you aren’t sure how to link up… see my link party tutorial here. It is simple.

This will be open until Sunday March 27th.

I LOVE your comments!!

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Uses for Egg Cartons – To Help Organize

Organizing Doesn’t Have to Be Expensive!

There are common everyday items we use and throw away that we could recycle to help us organize. Last week I showed you how you can use empty toilet paper rolls and duct tape to make cool cord and cable organizers.

Egg cartons – There can be so many uses

egg cartons

Before I show you one use for this egg carton I do want to say that I am not in favor of saving every egg carton from now on because you MIGHT be able to use it.  What I would say to you is that if you can think of an area you can use one of the ideas that I give you, or the other readers give you… save as many as you need for that project and recycle the rest.

egg carton Simple enough

egg carton Are you thinking?

egg carton I have oodles of ways you can use this…. but I’m only going to show you one! I want to hear your methods… see your posts and learn some creativity from you!

You can use this egg carton as a desk drawer organizer.

egg carton

All the little separate compartments

egg carton

Think of all the little things we have in our desks

egg carton You can either cut off the lid and use just this portion of the egg carton, or you can leave the lid on and put it to use also.

egg carton You can benefit from the still divided, but bigger compartments too.

egg carton

There are a couple things when I look at these pictures.  All you crafters and DIY’ers…. you are all thinking… omg I need to spray paint that so that it looks better and you don’t see the writing or I can make that egg carton into wall art if I just do this….

I WANT TO HEAR YOUR IDEAS!!  Better yet… I want to see them.  I would love for you to go and get an egg carton and work your magic on it!  Show me your ideas.

You can either leave your link to your post… or to another blogger who you know has done some cool things with egg cartons in the comments OR you can link them to my link party here.

I love your comments!

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Label Those Cables!

February 24, 2011 by  
Filed under Blog, How To Organize, Offices, Products for Organizing

Labeling all those Cables Can help You to Keep Them Organized

labeling cables

We can make life so much less complicated by just a few little things. Take for instance labeling all those cables and electrical cords we have all over the place!

I have used several different methods.  One that I have used for a long time are these little clips that clip onto the cord and then you write on the label.

cord labels

But there have been 2 problems with this method of labeling.  The biggest problem I had was that they would come unclipped. The second problem is that the sticker falls off, like this one did (and was stuck back on)

cords 49

The other tried and true method is using a sticky label. This works well and is cheap.  The problem is that it does get ragged and eventually will tear.

cords 48

I was relabeling my cords when I was organizing and decided instead of the sticker labels like in the photo directly above I would use a labeler (just to show my readers how sophisticated I am! LOL )

So I cut off all the new labels that I made (like in the very top photo) and made nice printed ones with my label maker.  I used red tape, mainly because I don’t use it for much and I didn’t want to waste my white tape on this.

cordsThere.. doesn’t that look nice? I won’t go into what a pain it was to try and line up the tape so that both sides meet… and how you have to put a bunch of spaces before and after the wording so that the words are out showing.. and not wrapped around the cord, so that you can’t read it.  I also won’t mention unsticking and resticking it to try and not have wrinkles in it .. because it just looks so nice!

cords 51

Here is one before I took off the white label.  I wish I had just left the white labels on.  You know why?

cords

Because within a couple of hours… look at what happened to my nice labels! They are ALL coming unstuck!! Are you kidding me?  I used a lot of that tape (which isn’t cheap I might add)  Arrgghhh…

cords

Since I was working with the duct tape by now (after I did this project) I decided to make labels out of the bright duct tape.

That label isn’t going any place!  It is easy to write on… sticks well and easy to read. I think it would take years before it would tear off!

cords

In conclusion:

Label your cords to make life easier
Don’t use a labeler
Make life easy – buy a roll of bright duct tape. You will have all the cord labels you will ever need and you won’t have to worry about it tearing off or falling off.

Feel free to link up or just visit my Organizing Mission Monday Link Party!

Organizing Mission Monday


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Organize Cable and Cords

February 23, 2011 by  
Filed under Blog, How To Organize, Offices, Products for Organizing

From Toilet Paper Rolls and Duct Tape to Binder Clips – Four Solutions to Organize Your Cords and Cables

electrical cord clutter

All those cables! Yuck!

I recently reorganized my office and I’m amazed myself how much electricity I have going on in this room!  Two lamps, a desk top, a lap top, modem, wireless router, external hard drive, printer, pencil sharpener (as she looks around the office to see what else is plugged in) shredder, clock radio and of course my electric blanket!  I know… it sounds like oodles doesn’t it?  It is, but I’m sure not unlike many of your offices.

So obviously I have a lot of cords.  I got discussed yesterday when I pulled out my chair to clean and saw a pile of cords. I’m thinking… ok I am an organizer, I need to do something to organize this mess.

I am going to give you five solutions that may help you organize your mess. None of them are very expensive and one of them can use your creative juices!

Solution #1 – Cable Organizer from The Container Store

I purchased this cable organizer from The Container Store over a year ago and had never put it to use. So… I got it out and decided to try it out.

You open it up by pulling back on the rubber edges and wrap your cord around it. There are different sizes, this was one of the larger ones. I am using an extension cord on this and it fits fine. I don’t think I’d be able to fit anymore though.

cable organizing

See how it wraps around. If you are only using one cord and need some extra length I don’t think it would be hard to unwind at all. If you were to get several cords in there, it might get a little messy. (picturing a skein of yarn)

cable organizer

You then just fold down the edge and your done!

cord organizing

Then it looks like this

electrical cord organizingYou can find this at The Container Store and it runs around $15, so if you need very many it can be a pricey option. I have seen other ones also called the turtle that are basically the same idea, I don’t think they look as cool as this though.

Solution #2 Using Binder Clips To Help Organize Cables

This is not my original idea, I have seen it in several places and I have no idea who originally posted or came up with the idea. They all use this same picture from this post. That solution does not work for me.  I have a huge thick desk and a binder clip would not clip on the back edge like that.   I took these pictures showing another possible way you could use this down lower on a desk to keep it hidden, although I still like the other solution better. (I’m thinking on the back of the desk)

binder clip solution for cords

Problems with this solution – You can’t have a plug end that is bigger than the opening of the binder clip.

binder clip for organizing cordsThen if you have a thick desk like me… it won’t work.   But I do think it is a neat way to have your cords accessible. It doesn’t really organize the underneath mess though.

Solution #3 – Command Strip by 3M

I have been using these 3M Command strips for a couple of years now and I love them.  These are attached to the leg of my desk right by my chair. I have my computer cable, Seagate external hard drive back up cable and my 2nd monitor screen cable right at hand. I don’t have to go searching on the floor to find them when I need them.

3m command strips

Here is another picture of them from a little further away.  Ideally I should have positioned them on the back of the desk leg so they wouldn’t be so visible.  But, it is no problem to take them off and put another adhesive strip on the back and reuse them. I have also used them along my desk top to keep cords along an edge.

3m command strips

Solution #5 Using Empty Toilet Paper Rolls and Duct Tape to create Sleeves and organizing cubbies

You can see my  post from yesterday called Organizing Cords and Cables that I did showing how to make both of these projects.

Cable sleeve

cable sleeve for cords

Cord Connector Cubbies

The 2nd project I used empty toilet paper rolls and duct tape was to make organizational cubbies for my connector cords.

cord connector organizing

Feel free to link up or just visit my Organizing Mission Monday Link Party!

Organizing Mission Monday


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Organizing Cables & Cords!

February 22, 2011 by  
Filed under Blog, How To Organize, Offices, Products for Organizing

Using  Toilet Paper Rolls & Duct Tape To Organize Your Cables and Cords!

I got this idea from a post that House on Ashwell Lane posted on my Organizing Mission Monday link party a few weeks back. I thought it was great. This was more of a variation of that idea. (but my 2nd solution is just about the same thing as hers) I’m not sure if this was her idea, or if she saw it somewhere else. But after I saw it, I started saving my empty toilet paper rolls. I also bought some duct tape in fun colors.

Solution #1  Creating Sleeves for organizing the electrical cord clutter.

toilet paper rolls and duct tapeI covered the toilet paper rolls with the duct tape. Since my office accent colors are lime green and hot pink I thought that was a natural choice. But I also liked the black and white and thought I might need something a little more calm.

covering toilet paper roll with duct tape

I started with the pink duct tape.  It took 3 wraps around. I could have cut it width wise to fit and do closer to 2 1/2 times, and then I wouldn’t have had the over lap. It’s up to you.

Take the cord and wind it up so it is a little longer than the size of the roll.

cord organizingTake the toilet paper roll and thread the plug through the roll first, and then work the bulk of the cord slowly in.

toilet paper roll to organize cordsI realized as I put this extension cord through, that had I not used duct tape around the roll, it would have split.

toilet paper roll to organize cords

There you go! I think that looks cute!

toilet paper roll to organize cords

Next I covered a green one. That cord was not as large and I knew the cord would end up falling out. Hmmm…what to do?

I used a piece of tape to cover the ends.

toilet paper rolls cord organziersDo that on both ends and then you don’t have to worry about the cord falling out.

cord organizing with toilet paper rollsMy next one was the black and white one. I ended up using this one more as a pass through with a couple of bigger cables. I think I would rather have a paper towel roll… oh.. or even a wrapping paper roll for this (options are endless! LOL) but it gives you the idea. I did wrap up one of the smaller cords extra bulk into it.

toilet paper roll cord organizing

So this is what the cords look like behind my chair now. I also labeled them for easy identification.

toilet paper rolls to end cable clutter

I also used the black and white on the other side of the room where it is more open and visible.

toilet paper roll sleeve for electric cord

Solution #2 – Organizing Your connector and charging cords

Here is another idea and this one is really more the post that House on Ashwell Lane did. This was my original intent for saving the toilet paper rolls, because I wanted to figure out something for my camera connectors.

toilet paper rolls

I covered four more rolls (saving toilet paper rolls in a household of seven doesn’t take real long..lol) and then had to figure out how to attach them together. I did not want to put them down in a box. I wanted to use them on my shelf and have the openings pointing out towards me, not up in the air.

toilet paper rolls to organize cordsI used the green tape to tape them together. Looks a little goofy… but its fun. (actually reminds me of sticks of dynamite from the Road Runner cartoon or something.)

toilet paper roll But I still wasn’t satisfied. It was just sitting loose on the shelf and even though the four rolls were attached to each other, I knew that each time I pulled a cable connector in or our I would have to hang onto the rolls. So I decided to stabilize them in a basket.

toilet paper rolls for connector cordsNow I am back to having to reach down in and the shelf I want these on is up above my head. So….

cord connectors organizedI’m making progress, but still need some more stabilization. I tried and two more rolls would fit right in the empty spaces.

cable organizersI didn’t end up attaching the extra two, there was no need to. I had cleaning clothes for my camera and computer and they worked in here perfectly!

cable organizing

It works for me! Obviously I can add to it if I need to. How is that for a low cost fun organizing project?

What do you think?  Like it.. think it is craaazzyy…. or are you going to start saving your toilet paper rolls (don’t save them if you aren’t going to do the project thought….or you will just end up with a bunch of toilet paper clutter!)

Feel free to link up or just visit my Organizing Mission Monday Link Party!

Organizing Mission Monday

I would love it if you could vote for my blog! You can vote up to once per day. Just click the button. Thank you!

I LOVE your comments!! You can leave them here or from my tab at the top.

I’m linking this post to:

(I went back to text links because I had such a hard time getting the buttons to link up nicely, and they were driving me crazy! Althought I loved using them)

A Bowl Full of Lemons
Sassy Sites
Tip Junkie
The Shabby Nest
I’m an Organizing Junkie
Belle Before and After
Thrifty Decor Chick
Beyond The Picket Fence
Handy Man Crafty Woman

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Organizing Mission Monday – Week 10

How has your organizing been going this week?   How about those offices?

organizing mission mondayI am basically finished with the offices, but I did have a few more posts this week on organizing electrical cords. I suppose that could fall under offices… but we have electrical cords everywhere – so, let’s just be done with offices. I’m ready to move on…what about you?  lol

Featured Bloggers For This Week

Jen from Simply Living: Organized Work Space

I really like this magnetic board that Jen made.  I was actually looking at something like this when I was at Ikea. The magnets I did buy when I was there, and I held off buying the magnetic board thinking I could find a piece of metal and could do something with it for less money.  After that I see Jen’s post! lol  So perfect.

simplyliving blogspot 2She used fabric to cover the the white board she got at Ikea, and used those fun magnetics that I also bought.

simplyliving blogspotYou can see all of Jen’s post with a tutorial on how she made her magnetic board on her blog Simply Living.

DaNita from Delightful Order on her Desk Makeover

It is amazing the difference a coat of paint and a rug can make to a room!  Great vision DaNita, I love it!

delightfulorder desk beforeI thought it looked pretty good already…. but DaNita had other thoughts.  (Ok..notice the cord from the computer. They drilled a hole in the desk and another one through the back to keep it hidden! I’ve been working on organizing cords this week… maybe that is why I noticed that.)

delightfulorder desk afterDoesn’t that look great?  You can see the rest of the blog post on her blog Delightful Order. If you keep looking around her awesome blog, you will see the finished office/craft room!

Georgette from Pink Calaveras with Free Storage Shelf Makeover

This is such a cute shelf that Georgette made over.  She found it on her base where her hubby is stationed in the Air Force. She said he didn’t see the potential  in it, but she did. Here is the “before”

pink calaveras shelf before

Then after she worked her magic on it… here is the “after”

pink calaveras shelf afterIt almost looks like it is attached to the wall behind it. I think it looks great!  Check out the rest of her post on her blog Pink Calaveras.


For those of you who were featured this week, please pick up your button (code below the button) for your blog!

Organizing Mission Monday

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Link up to my Link Party

Link up any organizing or cleaning post to my link party!!

Organizing Mission Monday

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Rules

1) Link to your specific post – not your blog
2) Please Link back to my blog with my button or link (link just above underneath my button)
3) I’d love if you’d follow me on google and/or FB. The google is new and I’m trying to build it
4) Blog post related to Organizing or Cleaning
5) No sales pitches or web sites.
6) If I feature you I will use one or more of your pictures with a link back to your blog.
8) Feel free to link up more than 1 post.

Be sure to check out my list of link parties! If you have a link party.. please link it up! Underneath the daily buttons there is a list of text links I have compiled too! (Many more there!)

If you aren’t sure how to link up… see my link party tutorial here. It is simple.
I would love it if you could vote for my blog! You can vote up to once per day. Just click the button. Thank you!

This will be open until Saturday night Feb. 26th.
I LOVE your comments!!

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Organize with Wall Units

February 17, 2011 by  
Filed under Basement or Garage, Blog, Crafts & Craft Rooms, Offices

Organize with Style

I just think these wall unit cubby’s look so nice.  You can use them in so many different ways.  I want to show you a couple different examples.

Wall Unit in a PlayRoom at Jamie’s House

This is a wall unit in my husbands niece’s house. She has five children of her own and babysits several others while most of hers are at school.

cubby wall unitShe has all the little toys stored in the canvas bins.  I am pretty sure she told me the units were not from Ikea.  There are two of the cubby units on either side of a tall book shelf.  But it works great for her space and needs.

Wall Unit in a Spare Bedroom for Crafts at Barb’s House

I had one of my readers send this picture to me several weeks ago.  Barb has the Ikea Expedit in her spare bedroom.  It is the 4×4 size with the 2×4 extension on it she said.  She has used several of the drawer units and it works great for her crafts.

Barb - spare bedroom

Organizing in an Office At Sandy’s House

Most of you have seen the Ikea Expedit unit I recently bought and put up in my office. (I know… you’ve seen it a bunch.. but I’m just going to show what I did with a few of the cubby units)

I already had the hot pink and lime green theme going in my office.  For right now I’m sticking with it, until another color combination hits me.  I did purchase 3 of the Ikea clear drawers. They are really a light purple and after configuring them several different ways, I settled on them doing down the center.

ikea drawerI use my canvas cubby’s along the bottom.  I have my books across the top shelf.  I have them organized by category

booksI have my organizing books in three of the cubby’s.  I then have some books on blogging and photography in another section.

I’m personally not a fan of laying some of the books horizontally and some vertically.  To me that looks messy.  I know it is a “style” and many love it, and that is fine. But I find it hard to access the books when you have to pull them out from other each other. I also feel like it takes up more space.

The one thing I like about the size of these cubbys is that they are taller than the ones I have from Target. My taller books can fit just fine in here.
books

I also purchased the 4 way divider unit for the cubby from Ikea.  It was how I was able to make the smaller units by my chair for the little baskets and my bill area.

Then of course I have my “drink” area for my water or coffee.  Since I am sitting right there in my recliner working, I wanted some place to put my water.

Do you have any Wall Units in your home that help you out?  I would love for you to show and tell!!

Your Mission if you chose to take it is: Organize Your Wall Unit


Organizing Mission Monday

Link up Your Office Mission Post

You can find the linky by clicking on the button above or going to my Organizing Mission Link Party. Feel free to keep linking up your different office projects that you accomplish during this Office Mission. I am ok with also linking up organizing projects that aren’t office related. This link will be up until Feb. 24 so you will have time to add your office projects in. If you aren’t sure how to link up to a link party, be sure to stop by and read my link party tutorial

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How To Organize Your Files

February 15, 2011 by  
Filed under Blog, How To Organize, Offices, Paper

Files Revisited!

I did a post on organizing your files in a general sense. But I wanted to go a little deeper with you. I have had some people ask me specifics on how I set up my files.

Files can be our Friends

But for them to be our friends, they have to be organized well enough so that you can find what you are looking for.

File

With that being said… there is no one way that is “the way” to organize your files.

There are many recommended methods, but it all comes down to what works for the person who has to use the files… right?

I am going to recommend to you what I do.  If it works for you.. awesome!  If you want to alter it a bit to work for you.. awesome!  The point is to have some files that can function the way you need them to.

Some people file

Do you need to make labels from a label maker?  Absolutely not!  Does it look nice?  Sure…. but does it work to write it on the little pieces of paper that come with your files.  Heck yes! That is what I used until this “re-do”.  It worked fine, it just didn’t look as pretty.

I showed you what my files looked like before and after I reorganized them last month.  This is the “before”
files

This is how I organized them.  I had 4 drawers, but only used 3 of them.

Drawer 1:  Family / Personal Files

files1) Bank – Monthly Statement (you can also have just online version) and receipts (only need to keep until you check your statements)
2) Bills Paid – statements after I pay bills ( some I shred right away after they are pd. Most I keep until the end of the year and then sort & shred)
3) Cable Bill -  Also includes Internet and sometimes phone
4) Car Insurance – Until next quarter/bi annual or annual statement comes
5) Cars & Repairs – As longs as you own that car
files6) Christmas – I keep a copy of addresses I use for cards each year. Also a copy of each Christmas letter I write each year
7) Credit Cards – If I have important information about any card I might have.
8) Dogs – Shot records, adoption records
9) Flexible Spending – Copy of forms we need to send in information
10) Home Maintenance
11) Home Owner Insurance
12) Home Owner Association information
13) House Bill Sheet – My own record of when I pay my bills each month (old copy)
14) Life Insurance
15) Medical insurance

Files16) Nursing – I’m a nurse, so all my CEU’s, resume, certificates.
17) Store Receipts  – Only on things that are returnable – clothes, gifts (can get rid of after return period is over – but I do at the end of the year)
18) Taxes – receipts and info for just the present year
19) Verizon – cell phone carrier

Drawer#2 – My Business Information

files

I keep files for:

1) Each company I am doing work for
2) NAPO (National Association of Professional Organizers)
3) Taxes
4) Trademark/Copyright/Vendor or Legal information and documentation
5) Client file
6) Income/Expense Records
7) Blog information

(This drawer I do in alphabetical order according to the part of my business it relates to – Social Media vs my Organizing Business)

Drawer #3 – My Kids Files

This drawer is my files for my boys and myself.  Dave also had started a file for his kids in his desk. Instead of having 2 separate files in 2 separate places, we consolidated. His kids are in his files, my boys are in my files.  Works for both of us.
files

Please keep -  A Copy of your Children Up To Date Immunization Records and kind and dose of any medication they are on in their files! (working at a pediatrician’s office you can’t imagine how many parents have no idea of what their children immunizations or medication and doses are.  If you have a Home Organizing Notebook you could keep it there also.

I also have a place for some of those pictures we all get. School photos, sports etc. Not snapshots from our cameras.

File Cabinet #2

Owner Manuals and Warranties

I have these divided into:

1) Appliances – Large
2) Appliances – Small
3) Cameras
4) Computer Equipment
5) Dell and Mini Laptops
6) Hunting
7) Kids Stuff
8) Outdoor Equipment

For us this hits about everything we need it for.  These folders are very customizable for your family and what you need to file.  Just keep the categories narrow enough to know where to look, but broad enough to not have a separate file for each manual

I have a 4 drawer file cabinet also in this office.  3 of the drawers are being used for other things, but one of them has files in it.  I didn’t have enough purple file folders and a zillion of the ugly old green ones, so I used these in this drawer.

Tips

files1) Place your tabs on the front part of your file folder, not the back. It is easier to pull the tab forward to open the folder
2) Place your tabs all in the same slots – it keeps them in a row and actually makes them easier to see. (I used to space them out thinking it would be easier to see.  I redid these files, and they are easier because your eye is focusing in one row, it isn’t scanning back and forth looking for a label
3) Be consistent. Use either all label maker labels, or hand printed labels
4) Keep your writing bold and easy to read.. and brief

Important Files Tips

Please keep important original documents in a band deposit box or a fire proof safe. Such as passports,  social security cards, birth, marriage, divorce, or death certificates etc…
If you would like copies of them in a Home Organization Notebook (I still don’t recommend SS cards be kept there) then please make copies of them for that. These are records that you do not need routinely and if heaven forbid there were a fire, to replace these documents would be very painstaking.

What to Keep?

Do you have to save every little thing?  Nope!
Am I going to tell you exactly what you need to save?  Nope again… and unless it is your tax accountant that know your states laws…. don’t hold it to gospel.   Each state varies.  But I will give you some guidelines that I got off of the Good Housekeeping Site . I originally found this link from awesome Professional Organizer & friend Monica Ricci’s blog post.

1) Tax Records – 7 years
2) Investment Records – As long as you own them, and then another 7 years.
3) Bank Statements – 1 month (until you have verified your statement matches your records. Unless they have tax information on them)
4) Retirement Plans – 1 year   (Roth IRA until you retire)
5) Credit Card Statements – Shred immediately after you have verify they are accurate
6) Paychecks – 1 year (or until you have verified accuracy)
7) Bill – 1 Year
8) W-2 – Until you retire

Now… I’ll tell you a few of my personal thoughts.
I went through  a divorce  in 2000 – I learned that I had to have all kinds of bills, payments etc that went back 2 years when dealing with spousal and child support.  Not that I would ever say to think that way and save that way. But… if you are in the process of a divorce, or you still have children home and might have to deal with a change in spousal support – you might want to make sure you have access to a record of what your bills are. Or save 1 or 2 statements of each bill, paystub etc…. from the beginning /ending of each year. Just to have something for at least 2 years back.

You can get statements online, but if it is further back than what they allow.. you will pay a fee to get them.

A good investment might be a scanner set up for your receipts such as a Fujitsu Scan Snap or Neat Receipts .  I plan to get one of these for my Mac myself, so I’ll let you know for sure when and if I do.

Disclosure: The links for the scanners are not affiliate links.

Your Mission if you chose to take it is: Organize Your File Drawer!


Organizing Mission Monday

Link up Your Office Mission Post

You can find the linky by clicking on the button above or going to my Organizing Mission Link Party. Feel free to keep linking up your different office projects that you accomplish during this Office Mission. I am ok with also linking up organizing projects that aren’t office related. This link will be up until Feb. 24 so you will have time to add your office projects in.

I would love it if you could vote for my blog! You can vote up to once per day. Just click the button. Thank you!

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Password Directory

February 11, 2011 by  
Filed under Blog, How To Organize, Offices, Paper

Where Do You Keep Your Passwords?

In your head?  Do you keep them on the computer?  Yep… I tried it once, until my computer got a virus and I lost the list because I didn’t have it backed up. I’ve learned.

I know there are secure sites that you can keep them.  I haven’t tried that yet. Trust issue I guess.  I know that if I was backing up my computer every night instead of every week.. I wouldn’t have to worry.

But.. I keep them written down, the old fashion way I suppose.  In a notebook.

notebook Any notebook will do. This is one that I had made up through Avery for a review. I love it, and thought it would be fun to use.  I used to have it in a plain pink notebook, but the binder clip was slipping, so I just changed to this one.

I don’t do anything fancy.  I used a protective sleeve for the first few pages just for protection

password directory

On the back of the main sheet I have my blogger “will” as such.  Have you thought of that?  If something happens to you, who knows how to get into your sites and let your friends know or shut them down if need be?  My husband wouldn’t have a clue, nor would he care as he said. He said the last thing on his mind if something happened to me would be worrying about my blogs.

I have at least gotten through to him where the information is, and who he can contact in order for them to help take care of any accounts, blogs etc.. that need to be seen to.

I did not go out and buy anything when I made up my password directory.

What I did need:
1) notebook
2) paper
3) dividers
4) computer/printer

I didn’t have enough dividers, so I made my own.  I just got colored paper, and used a sticky tab for the letters.

I did this about 2 years ago and they are still working great.  Of course dividers would be ideal, but I want to let you know that simple works!
I also like to reinforce the edges of the papers.   I didn’t have to do it on all of them, but I did it on the most frequently used pages.
So you have the notebook set up.  What I did next was to create an excel form.  Nothing fancy or flowery (not that  I don’t love that stuff, but I just don’t think about it when I am making up a form for myself)

I save this and make copies to use in each letter of the alphabet.

Here is how I set it up.  On the far left the date – so anytime I add an entry, I date it. I write down the html for the site, not just the site name.

I then write down what email I use. I have a personal and a work email.  I also write down the user name if there is one for the site.

Then in the next column I write the password.  Be sure to write if things are capital or there are spaces. A zero might look more like a letter “O”. So be careful when you write them out.
The last column I wrote because I have 3 blogs. But I will sometimes just write notes in this space.

That is it.  I write any new password down, I write new sites I join, I write anything that I might need to remember having to do with getting onto or into a site.

I have heard some people say that they just keep it all in their heads.  If they are able to do that, wonderful.  But.. what happens if something should happen to that head and it can’t remember things anymore?  #just sayin!
password directory

I keep my password directory near my chair for easy access.  I do not announce it to my kids, nor do I have the front of my notebook labeled. It isn’t something that everyone should know or have access to (other than my husband)

Your Mission if you chose to take it is: Make a Password Directory!

Organizing Mission Monday

Link up Your Office Mission Post

You can find the linky by clicking on the button above or going to my Organizing Mission Link Party. Feel free to keep linking up your different office projects that you accomplish during this Office Mission. I am ok with also linking up organizing projects that aren’t office related. This link will be up until Feb. 24 so you will have time to add your office projects in.

I would love it if you could vote for my blog! You can vote up to once per day. Just click the button. Thank you!

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