Creating a Mud Room

Creating  Mud Room In Your Garage

I don’t have a mud room in my house, nor do I have a place for a mud room in this house.  So…. I have to make a mud room in my garage.

We were only able to do this after we got the shed and were able to clear out extra supplies (bikes, lawn mower, tools, sporting equipment and such) out of the garage and into the shed.  Check out my series of posts on how to organize your shed.

Our garage was suffering from “winter messy blues”.  You know…. during the winter how you bring everything into the garage, and nothing gets put away.  Because it is winter, it is too cold to pull everything out of the garage onto the driveway to clean it out…. so it all just accumulates and gets messier and messier?  Yes… the garage messy blues!

Garage “Before” Pictures

before garage I didn’t think to take pictures at the very beginning.  This was in the mist of moving things into the shed.

garageThere were metal shelves on the empty wall.

What we did was to clear everything out.  Took down the shelves.  Moved the freezer over to the left further.

Then we painted.  The paint was actually a gallon I had left over from painting the dining room.  I didn’t want periwinkle walls in the garage. I wanted gray walls.  I wanted to use gray walls and red accent (Ohio State colors).  But I had an unopened gallon of periwinkle. So what’s a girl to do?

You go to Home Depot and tell them to make your periwinkle paint -  gray! They will look at you like you are crazy, tell you that they don’t know that they can do that.  You will then tell them…. just add black please.  They will do it… several times – each time explaining to you something about the base of your paint being a medium base and that to use dark colors you nee a heavy base – so they are not going to guarantee that it will dry very well.

You will look at that final color that he smears on the lid and it dries (with the blow dryer) and think… wow… that really does look gray! Silently jumping up and down wanting to say .. I told you so – but also realizing that when it dries… or doesn’t.. the Home Depot man might be jumping up and down and saying… “I told you so!”

I only wanted to paint the long wall and short front wall that had been dried walled.  The rest of the garage had studded walls… and weren’t going to be part of my mud room anyway.

painting garage

Oh.. and yes, I know…. my gray paint does have a hint of purplish-blue in it still.  (It sure looked just gray on the lid!) But it is a garage, and it isn’t worth spending another $35 for a gallon of pure gray paint. This will do.

Here is the finished painting job

The next step – outfitting my mud room.

I didn’t want to spend a lot of money on this project.  I knew I wanted:

1) Cubbies for shoes
2) Bench to sit on to put on and take off shoes/boots
3) Hanging area for coats and snow pants
4) Hooks for book bags
5) Shelves for paper towels & toilet paper storage
6) Places for the kids sports bags
7) Trash can
8) Dog food storage near by
9) Floor that had carpet or something to keep from having dirty feet after shoes came off
10) Have it look nice

What I did:

1) Went to Ikea and bought two cubby units, two metal coat hangers/shelf units and 2 wall mounted hooks, wooden sturdy hangers
2) Brought up a small shoe cubby unit I had in the basement
3) Brought up a red couch unit that we had in the basement
4) Used made from cut wood Dave already had (one was a shelf from somewhere else we didn’t need any longer)
5) Bought padded garage squares for the floor (I already had some, just got some more)

Are you ready?  Here it is…. not the Mona Lisa of mud rooms…. not the prettiest you will see, not the classiest you will see, but it will work for us.. and I like it.

Garage Mud Room “After” Pictures

garage mud room

My son and his friend basically dumpster dived for the red diners bench. There is a 2nd one in our basement. They saw them at the curb a few years ago and he brought them home just as pleased as he could be. We have used them in the kids basement TV room.  But I thought this would be perfect here. Plastic so if they are dirty or wet it isn’t a problem. I didn’t have to buy one like I thought I would… and it looks fun.

The black coat hangers came from Ikea.  The cubby units did too.  The shoe unit in on the floor I already had. But I thought the top of it would work great for the 3rd karate bag. If you look to the far right of the picture you will see a plastic shelf. That is where the other 2 karate bags of the triplets will go.  The trashcan I wanted is to the left.  You know…. when you come in from the cars and have fast food bags or whatever needs to be thrown away…. just makes it nice and easy.

The cubby units work great for the boots and shoes.  I bought the white shelf dividers so that you wouldn’t lose good space in the cubbies.  The triplets keep their shoes and boots on the left cubby, the two older boys use the right cubby.

The dog food container is to the left of the bench.  So it is still easy to get to when you come out into the garage, but yet out of the way.

The gray padded garage floor squares work great.  They will keep the cubbies and bench from getting all wet from snow coming off of cars. They will keep feet somewhat dry, clean & warm when taking on and off shoes & boots.

Keep in mind when you are buying anything from Ikea that has to be mounted on the wall.  They evidently have different measurements for their studs when building houses.  My husband gets very frustrated when he has to hang something from there.  The holes do not line up with 16″ (I think) studs that are standard in our homes.  He had to figure out how to hang the coat/book bag hooks that I wanted hung.

He ended up first mounting a piece of wood and used it as a base to then hang the coat racks from.  I originally had planned to put one coat rack in one place and the other in another place….. but after the big deal this was.. I didn’t get upset at all when he put them side by side.  It will actually work out great.

So one more look at before….

garage

And then “After”

garage mud room

Oh .. and yes – we still put a car on this side.  We were parking my Honda Pilot on this side of the garage and our “run around” car the Neon on the other side.  But we switched them up.  The Neon now goes on this side, so there is still plenty of room for the car and to get around it on all sides.  The Pilot goes on the other side of the garage.

We also put a key pad on the outside of the garage so the kids can get into the garage themselves.

 

 

 

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Teaching Kids Responsibility with Chores

August 18, 2011 by  
Filed under Cleaning, Family & Friends, Products for Organizing

Giving Your Children Jobs Around The House

I strongly feel that kids need to take part in the family chores. I think our job as parents is to raise them to be independent adults. If they constantly have everything done for them, once they are on their own… they flounder around like fish out of water. They want someone else to do it for them. I’ve seen it time and time again.

A Few Points to Keep In Mind

1) Kids like routine
2) Kids need guidelines
3) Kids like to feel grown up
4) Kids like to help

Use these points in a positive Way
Routine and guidelines - Have a schedule for chores. Make a job board. This is one that I used to use for years. I have since revamped it, but this is a very simple one I like to show people.  It doesn’t have to be fancy.  The first name magnets I made, I let the kids color their own.  They loved that.  But you could also go the other route and make printables on your computer and make them look vintage or something that matches the kitchen or decor.

I started this when the triplets were three years old. They couldn’t read, so I drew the pictures.  Even though some of the chores like vacuuming might have been more than a three year old could accomplish the way I might want the job done… it gave them a sense of pride to help. Of course I helped, and now at ten years old they know how to do it properly.

For me… I go simple.

chore board

I use a magnetic dry erase board that I purchased at a discount store.

You can put the magnets directly on your refrigerator – maybe you don’t have the wall space to hang a chore board, or you don’t want one hanging, or you don’t want to purchase one – you don’t have to!

I put the children’s names across the top and the jobs they are assigned that week, underneath their names. Depending on age and ability will determine how many chores and of what level they are per child.  During the school year my children get two chores per week. (Keeping their rooms clean, beds made and laundry put away are routine chores. They are not on the chore board)  During the summer when they are all home, they have three per week.

Making The Chore Board

Purchased a box of these magnetized stickers for business cards at the office store. They are a little pricey, but I still have plenty left and they are the perfect size and the magnets on them are really strong.  The sheets of magnet stickers isn’t inexpensive either, and I have found that you have to cut it and the magnet isn’t’ as strong.

magnets

Either cut paper to size or the backs of old business cards.  I like to write the chore (and picture of the chore) on the card before I adhere it to the magnet. Then just peel off the backing of the sticker.

And place your paper onto the sticker.  There you have it.. Easy Peazy!

job board

Cleaning Buckets – Feeling Grown Up and Making it Fun To Help

By giving them their own “cleaning bucket” it helps to make them feel more important. The younger ones can have something like this with just some cleaning wipes, a sponge and dust cloth.
If you color code your kids, then be sure to have their bucket in “their color” to keep them straight.

When they get to be a little older and can handle cleaning chemicals responsibility they can have something more like this.

cleaning bucket large

Keep it fun and colorful!  The more positive we go into it, the more positive results you will get from the children.

It doesn’t have to be difficult or pulling teeth in order to have children learn responsibility.  But I think as adults we have the responsibility to teach our children how to live in the real world… and that starts at home.  Personally I think it needs to start early.  We aren’t helping our children by doing everything for them.  We help them by teaching them how to do things for themselves.

 

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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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Dresser Drawers

July 5, 2011 by  
Filed under Bedrooms, Blog, Products for Organizing

How Organized Are YOUR Dresser Drawers?

Here is my dresser…. before.  A mess isn’t it?  I have two jewelry boxes.  One is my Mom’s, one is mine (I have organized and that will be coming up soon).

The pillow – is the bodice of my wedding dress.  (Yes, I had my wedding dress taken apart. Hmmm.. another blog post opp. isn’t it?)
The candles and flowers are from my wedding.  (Dave and I were married 4 1/2 years ago).
The stuffed bear is from Dave from Valentine’s day. I love stuffed animals. The little elephant I got at the Murphy’s trip in January.
The pillow on the right behind the bear is a needlepoint pillow my grandmother made.
I have a weight and a ruler on there too.. no meaning.. just more clutter.

The actual dresser is from my Aunt from when I was first married (first marriage back in 1983). I’d love a matching new bedroom suite, but I’ve never had the extra money to spend on one. So a remake of these might be coming up at some point in the near future.  I want to redecorate my bedroom soon.

 

dresser

 

I have never micro organized my dresser drawers.  I have always sorted my clothes into specific drawers, I fold my shirts and clothes and pair socks, but I have never taken the effort to organize my undies, t-shirts and socks.

Before pictures

drawer

I’m going to be brave and show you my messy dresser drawers…. are you ready?  (ugh.. embarrassing!)  See…. for the few of those who think I’m perfectly organized everywhere in my house… you will see… I’m certainly not.

Undies….

dresser drawers

T-shirts that I wear under a lot of clothes

dresser drawers

Kind of a mess of a drawer. I have my PJ’s, lounging outfit (winter) and a swim suit in here.

dresser drawer

Work out clothes. (They haven’t been used in awhile.. ugh)

dresser drawer

dresser drawer

I decided to give it a go!  I found a couple different drawer organizers.  I bought a couple sets from Ikea. I made the cardinal mistake of not measuring my drawers BEFORE I bought them.  I bought two packages of the Skubb organizers them at $9.99 each. skubb drawer organizer

Once I got home I realized they did not fit in my top three drawers.  The top drawers were too shallow for them.  But I knew I’d be able to use them in some of the other drawers.

I did measure them before I went to Old Time Pottery. I found these drawer organizers there.  These were $3.99 each.

drawer organizers

I knew they were going to be shallow enough to work.  You are able to add the dividers in if you want them.

drawer organizer

I put all the dividers in.

drawer organizerI then went through and sorted everything in my drawers.

I asked myself these questions:

1) Do I wear it?
2) Do I like it?
3) Does it fit?  (The killer since I’ve gained weight)
4) Are there any holes or can I not wear it because it need repaired?
5) Is it seasonal?

Then I had to decide if I was going to:

1) Keep
2) Donate
3) Store the out of season clothes is it fits, is in good shape & you like it.
3) Pitch

After pictures

Undies drawer now!  I love this. I got rid a bunch of undies that I never wore.  Yes.. I did that too. Pick a pair up and realize they are ones you don’t like. So why didn’t I throw them out right then? I don’t know.  I’d just throw them back in and get another pair.  So, I got rid of all those I didn’t like. 

Bras on the left (my others are being washed) and undies on the right.

underwear drawer

Look at my socks drawer. (I never showed a before pic because I forgot to get a before pic)

socks drawer organized

My T-shirts

dresser drawer

My real Tee-shirts.  This is a top drawer and I didn’t have any organizers that fit it.

drawers 28

Second Tee-shirt drawer using the Ikea organizers
drawers

Third Tee-shirt drawer

dresser drawer

Here are my other drawers – PJ’s

drawers

Workout clothes
dresser drawers

Hose, slips etc..

drawers

I have to tell you, this is the first time I have ever organized my drawers so extensively. I love it!!  To go in and not have to pick through to see what I want!  Awesome.

I also cleared off some of the stuff on top of my dresser.  One of my jewelry boxes is gone (I’ll be posting on that later).  Until I redecorate this room with new colors and refinishes (of this dresser)… it will look like this. But one of these days it will look awesome!

dresser drawersOh yeah!!  Doin’ the happy dance with my organized drawers.

 

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Old Time Pottery Review

Do You Have an Old Time Pottery Store Near You?

old time pottery

Hopefully you do! If you’ve not been there before, then you need to go! You will find a massively big store that has just about anything you could need for your home.

Be sure to give yourself plenty of time! This is not a store that you zip in and back out of quickly. I don’t know if I have ever spent less than an hour in here.  Oh wait… yes I have. I had to run in to get some extra baskets one time and spent only about 15 minutes in it. (But that was an exception)

One thing about Old Time Pottery stores is that merchandise varies in each store.  They buy huge quantities of merchandise (hence the good prices for some high end products) and they get new shipments in each week. This is one of those stores that it really pays to shop frequently! And if you see something you really like, don’t hesitate to buy it, because there will be others who like it as well…. and it might not be there next time you go to the store!
hour glass
Ok, so you know many stores like that right? But do they also have discounted prices on everything? That is why it is so fun to go to Old Time Pottery.
I have made many trips there recently. I used plastic baskets from there for my pantry, refrigerator and freezer reorganization.  These are the ones I used on my pantry, I got red ones for my ref. and freezer.

old time pottery baskets
I also got some wire organizers that I used under my sink, and pantry and also plastics cupboard.

It isn’t your fancy-smancy store.  It is very basic. Grab your cart and start your adventure.

old time pottery

There is a little bit of everything.  I love all the baskets they have there.

old time pottery baskets

But I have recently been there for items to decorate in my dining room.  (You’ll see those in a later post when I show you my finished dining room….but if you watch the video close you’ll see what I got on the check out counter) Here are a few other fun things you’ll find at Old Time Pottery (that you haven’t already seen in my video)

They also have a contest going on. You can see rules for the VIP Old Time Pottery card contest below (hint…. it can earn you five extra entries into this contest! Double whammy goodness!)

old time pottery

 

old time pottery

 

old time pottery

 

old time pottery

To Enter to Win 1 of four $25 gift card to Old Time Pottery!!!

Tell me: If you have an Old Time Pottery Around You. Which store (or state if you don’t want to be specific)  If you don’t know go to Old Time Pottery and plug in your zip code to find out. (sorry, no online sales – in store only) **Be sure to come back here and leave me your answer in your comment. Your e-mail has to either in your comment or on your profile.

FOR EXTRA CHANCES TO WIN:

**Each of these HAS to have a separate comment to win. The winner is picked using Random.org. It just goes the number of comments….not by what you say.

1) Go to the Old Time Pottery Web site and sign up to be a VIP OTP (Old Time Pottery) shopper. No purchase necessary. You will register and then you can print out a coupon to take to your OTP store to enter. You are entering to win a $50 gift certificate! (They are picking weekly winners) This promotion is good until June 17th. (5 extra entries – add 5 comments)

2) Subscribe to my Organize with Sandy blog This is for 1 chance to win!

3) Follow me on Twitter @OrganizerSandy (Leave me your twitter name) 1 chance

4) Stumble one of my posts for 5 extra chances to win. (tell me which post. Post 5 comment entries)

5) Tweet this out up to 3 times a day. You can use the tweet button at the top to make it easy. ( Pls leave your url link) 1 chance for each tweet.

Please keep in mind I approve my comments. So you won’t see them right away. Never fear!

See lots of way to enter!!

This contest will run until 11:59pm est on Wednesday , May 25, 2011  *THIS CONTEST IS NOW CLOSED*

Any comment that comes in after the above time will be deleted. This is open to US mailing addresses only. Must be 18+ to win.  One person per mailing address only. Winner will be chosen by Random.org

You will have 48 hours to reply to my e-mail if you are picked as the winner, or else I will go on to the next winning number.

I was given a $50 gift card for Old Time Pottery, but this in no way swayed my opinions.  I was talking about going to Old Time Pottery on my past posts, before they contacted me.  The pictures and videos and opinions are my own.

 

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Shed Storage

Tool & Loft Storage

Being able to clear out our garage has been wonderful!!  It enables me to be able to make a mud room (coming in the future) and to not have to worry about the bikes scratching our cars coming in and out.  Having Storage outside the garage in our new shed has meant many changes.   It also enabled Dave to go buy a motorcycle, because now there is room in the garage (ok, so not all the reasons are so great! lol)

Tool Zone

I gave a specific area (back left) to Dave’s tools and equipment. We used the pegboard and I also gave him a space on the bottom shelf that he has some workspace.

tool work shelf

There is a surge protector plug behind the white drawers so when he is working he can bring out the extension cord and plug in his radio and drills, or other equipment.

I labeled the drawers for his equipment.

tools

The shelves above have storage items in them that I labeled.

shed storage

Pegboard for equipment.  The wheel barrow isn’t hung on the proper kind of hook. I was experimenting. We did have the two black hangers full of chairs where the wb is hung.  But I didn’t like them there and found another solution for the chairs. I am going to take those two hangers down and figure out a better way to hang the wheel barrow

shed storage

You will see some more pictures from this area in my video below, but I wanted to get to the loft.

Lofts

There are three loft areas in the shed.  I haven’t organized them yet and yes that bothers me!  Right now things are just kind of thrown up there.  But I’ll show you just so you can see.  But… there is one thing I did do to organize in the loft, that you’ll see in a minute.

Loft above the kid and fishing zones- This has a heavy hitch hauler that we use only on full family vacation trips. I have to figure out a better solution for that.  The bin has some golf shoes that Dave rarely wears but wants to keep and paint ball equipment of the teens.

shed loft

The side loft is kind of a make shift loft right now. Dave really was just storing lumber and board there while he was building the other two lofts, but it is convenient. The umbrella is up there now because it was left open in a storm and broke one of the hinges. Dave thinks he can repair it. (We’ll see what happens with that)

shed loft

This is the only part of the shed lofts that I am excited about. I had another one of those wire shelves (like I used for the temp bike rack).  We brought it out and it works great for storing the card table chairs and a few extra lawn chairs.

chair storage

Beside that we just have the kiddie pool that we use for the dogs in the summer and my son put the extra roll of garden fence up there, plus the two card tables. Those still have to be stored better.

shed storage

A closer look at my chair storage solution

chair storage
See the whole shed all at once in my video.

Be sure to check out my other Shed posts that I did this week

Sheds and Garages – Organizing Mission Monday Link Party – Link up your posts!

Shed Plans – Making the Shed Usable with Shelves

Organizational System – Inside the Shed (Kid & Fishing Zones)

Garden Shed Plans

I have linked this post to these wonderful bloggers

Tip Junkie

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Garden Shed Plans

Garden Supplies Organized in the Shed

My Garden zone in my shed is the area I like the best.  Coming up with storage solutions for the shed was a lot of fun!

garden shed

Dave built the shelf underneath the window specifically to have a place to store the seedlings. This is Elise’s tray of flowers that she plans to plant in the flower box just on the other side of this window.   The kids each have their own gardening bucket. No fighting, a specific place to hang them. They are out of the way and add a cute touch.

Now you get to see the entire inside of the shed.  Here is a picture without any of the bikes.  You can see the two shelves on the back wall.

Garden & Kid Zones are to the right.
Tool and Fishing Zones are to the left.
I will cover the Tools and loft tomorrow. I was going to add it on today, but there is just too much to go over in the garden zone.

shed storage

You can get a little better view of the garden zone.

shed shelves

These are the shelves that Dave built me for gardening supplies.
garden shed

Here is another view

garden shed

I made this make shift paper towel holder. I didn’t want to go buy one, but I did want some paper towels out here.

paper towel holderI used the 3M Command hooks (again! lol) and they stuck to wood too!  So far they seem to be holding great. If I discover different I’ll let you know.  But I just put up two command hooks and got some wire. I taped the wire on the left side so that it would stay on.

I left the right side with just a wire loop. So that it is no problem to change the roll. No money spent (I already had a pack of the command hooks) and I have a fun little paper towel holder.

3M command hooks

I also used a command hook for the scissors I hung in this area. Seems you always need a pair of scissors and I must have used them a half dozen times while I was working in the shed this day.

scissorsThey are hanging just behind the paper towels in the garden area. You can see them if you scroll up a couple pics. One more place I used the Command hooks in this shed is just on the outside of the garden shelf (near the single door) I hung one for my dust pan. I haven’t hung the broom yet, but plan to hang it on one of the shelves above (on the outside like this).  The broom I’m using in the shed now does not have a hole in the handle.

3M command hooks

The shelves are the place for any gardening supplies.

garden shedTo the left of the garden area is the single door. Again there was a lot of space that would have gone un-used if I had not put the pegboard on it.  I plan to have Dave put another piece on the lower section, but the only piece we have left is too short to fit.

garden shed door

I had a small basket that I just put a pair of flower snips in. The larger basket underneath the tools has the garden gloves in it.

This was the perfect door for this because it opens up on the side directly across from our three gardens.

garden shed

Dave put in a third raised garden bed this year so that each of the triplets could be in charge of a garden. He had to put some green fencing around the beds because the dogs thought these were their own sand boxes or something. They kept playing in them. I just saw that the tomato starter tray had fallen when I looked at this picture. That is what that black thing is on the right hand garden bed.

raised garden beds

The basket that holds the garden gloves is great.

garden gloves

So even if the garden gloves come back looking like this after the kids have worn them – it isn’t a problem. The basket is open, so it helps them dry without getting mildewy and the dirt will eventually come off and fall out of the basket and onto the floor where it will be easy to sweep out the door.

dirty garden gloves

There was an area above this door, well all along the side of the shed that bothered me.  I thought there is space up there to be used!  Dave again made a little shelf for me (although I didn’t have to have it, but it does keep things more stabilized) to be able to place the more dangerous sprays and chemicals up higher.  You can see it in this picture.  See above the door?

shed organization

The roof is slanted and since I didn’t want anyone to get conked on the head coming in or out of the shed by a can of Raid, I made a safety catch. I again used a piece of wire.  We put two screws in the studs on either end.

storage in shed

 

Then wrapped the wire around both ends securely.  The sprays and such can just be lift up above the wire to get out or put away. There is no reason to have to take the wire off and on.

storing dangerous outside chemicals

You can also see that Dave just used a spare piece of peg board for the shelf. We weren’t able to use this piece anywhere else because it was too small, but it worked perfect here.

shed storage

Just underneath the garden shelves I bought two rolling plastic bins to store bird feed in. I was thinking one would be for potting soil, but we didn’t have any of that and had lots of bird seed, so at least on this round – both are for seed.

Once one is empty it will be no problem to clean it out and change the label and use it for whatever I need it for.

garden shed organizationThey are sealed containers so that we don’t attract mice (hopefully)… also why a broom and dust pan are so important. I don’t want to brush the bird seed into the grass. There is some thistle seed in the bird food and if it gets on the grass, I’ll get thistle.

bird food storage

I also think it is important to have a trashcan available in your shed. You will use it more than you would have realized.

garden shed storageTo the left of the garden rolling seat/cart – I have a couple other clear bins. I will use those at this point for potting soil and any odds and ends that might be too big for the shelves. There is some weed control cover in there right now.

The left to the left of the window had a nice space for the watering can.

watering can

Don’t forget to use the underneath areas of shelves, or above your head areas.  Think outside the box!

As you saw in the earlier picture I hung the kids gardening buckets underneath the shelf.

gardening buckets

Her flowers are growing! I do have her take them outside to water them.
flower starters

Here is my little “Martha Touch”. This just seems like something Martha might do. I had all these gardening gloves. Most had never been worn. I decided to use them as a bit of Garden Shed decor!  See them?  I was having difficulty getting a head on shot of them because it was so light outside.  It was washing out the picture too much. But I used a chain and hung them on either side of the window.

 

garden shedI used binder clips and clipped the gloves onto the chain.

garden glove curtainI just thought that was a cute idea. You could actually buy gloves with a pattern and be even more creative with the idea.  Hang them down across the top or something?

Dave wanted a clock in the shed, so we brought out one that he had in the basement and didn’t use much. We hung it right over the window. The window still has tape on the outside. Dave still has another coat around the window to paint.

clock

On the shelf to the left of the window I have a green bin with sprinklers and garden nozzles in it.  One of our coolers is on the shelf above. We have a couple more that might come from the basement out here also.

On the shelf below the paper towels I have another green bucket. I have the seed packs in there that we didn’t use or partially used and a pen and sharpie marker. Just odds n’ ends.

garden shed

I had a lot of fun with this area.

My suggestion is to utilize every portion of your shed you are able.
We will be hanging bikes in the winter, use under shelf space, above head space, door space etc.

I am sure I will continue to add thing up higher on the ceiling and any wall space.

Tomorrow I will finish up with the tool area and lofts.  I am also hoping to make a video of the whole shed, so you can see it all at once instead of in four different posts.

Don’t forget to link your organizing, cleaning or DIY posts to my Organizing Mission link party!

Be sure to check out my other Shed posts that I did this week

Sheds and Garages – Organizing Mission Monday Link Party – Link up your posts!

Shed Plans – Making the Shed Usable with Shelves

Organizational System – Inside the Shed (Kid & Fishing Zones)

Garage Storage – Outside

I liked this post to these wonderful bloggers

A Bowl Full of Lemons
Bella Before and After

House of Grace
Tip Junkie

Thank you to Bella Before and After for Featuring this post!

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Shed

Making Our Shed Usable!

This shed was completely bare inside. We didn’t have them put in the lofts because Dave wanted to do them himself. But he didn’t have any other plans for the inside.

That is when he said to me, “Hon, what are your shed plans?”

LOL…. Let me tell you!

He wanted me to give him an entire layout of what I wanted him to do. (No problem!!)

 

So he went to work.

Why have a shed if all you are going to use it the floor space? There is SO much more space to use! Our shed has the barn roof style, meaning there is usable space up high! It was Amish made, which to me means quality.

Like I mentioned, Dave already had plans for a loft to store things that we don’t need as often.

But I wanted shelves on the far short wall, and peg board on the long wall. I also asked him for some short little shelves between the window and the single door.

shed shelves One of the things that he did was to take the time to make grooves in the back of the shelves. What this created was to keep things from falling down in the crack at the back. Because there are studs you can just take a straight shelf and do it quick… but taking the time to groove them out, really was a nice touch.

building shed shelves

As for the little shelves I mentioned between the window and door, I just meant narrow little shelves between the studs. He went above and beyond there for me too….but this is just the ledge that he made (that I didn’t even ask for) I decided this would be my gardening area! I didn’t get a picture of the finished shelves before I loaded them. Those you have to wait for!

shed shelf

Sometimes I don’t always know what or how I am going to do something. Here is an example.

I wanted something to organize the kids balls, their basketballs, footballs, soccer balls. I went online to see the different options and I didn’t want any of them for the shed. I had an idea in my head…. now I just had to figure out how to do it.

I looked in several different stores, walked up and down the aisles of The Container Store…. and did come up with a solution (you’ll have to keep watching this week)

My suggestion:

1) Look at what is in your garage (or whatever space you are trying to clean out) that you want to go in your shed.
2) Decide on “zones” for your shed.
3) Decide how you can best use the wall space of the shed
4) Decide on how you will accomplish this – BEFORE you start moving things in!!

Note: Your spouse might not have the same views an might be in a mood to have the kids start hauling everything in, when you aren’t ready. This tends to cause great stress to an organizer, if it would happen…. {just sayin’}

Don’t forget to link your organizing, cleaning or DIY posts to my Organizing Mission link party!

Be sure to check out my other Shed posts that I did this week

Sheds and Garages – Organizing Mission Monday Link Party – Link up your posts!

Organization System – Inside the Shed

Garden Shed Plans

Garage Storage – Outside

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Planning Board

DIY Chalkboard & Dry Erase Scheduling Planning Board

planning board

Creating your own schedule board that is geared towards your children/ family doesn’t have to be hard. It can be a family communication board, weekly calendar, chore board for the kids, or combination board, or planning board like I created.

I made karate calendar / job board for the triplets.  Their karate schedule is different most every night. It also changes a couple times a year.

I started off with finding a frame. I had one that I really liked, was the right size, but the color wasn’t right. So… I spray painted it.

frame

Step one  – Prime and paint the frame.

This is what I used for primer.  I also got the Krylon paint.

primer

I used an Dover white gloss spray paint and it took several coats.

spray paint

Step 2: Gathered your other supplies

craft supplies

I had the frame, Chalkboard Contact Paper, 18″ x 6′ and the  Liquid Chalk – Works like a Marker Dries like Chalk – Set of 8 Earthy Colors ,a glue gun, an x-acto knife and cutting board and a ruler. I also purchased a long narrow magnetic dry erase board that fit half of the frame.

But I also needed a few other things.  I had purchased this Elmer’s Tri-Fold Foam Display board from Walmart for another organizing project I am planning in the future. I knew I wouldn’t use it all for that project, so this would work perfect. It is light weight and thick enough.

Elmers Tri-Fold Board

I also bought some small self laminating sheets.

photo laminating sheets

I had magnets that you can adhere your business card to.

magnets

Then I found those cute small clothes pins when I was in Walmart too. They were just too cute. I also bought 3 yards (I didn’t need all of that) of a thicker ribbon and some thinner robe like ribbon (for the name cards) along with white hooks.

Step 3: Measure the space that the Elmer’s foam board needs to be cut to fit.

First position the dry erase board where it will fit. Then measure to cut the foam board.
craftI used the X-acto knife to cut the foam display board. It made it easier than scissors to cut and you get a cleaner line.
xacto

Step 4: Cut the chalkboard contact paper to cover the Elmer’s foam board.

chalkboard contact paper

You don’t have to cover the back of the board too. Just bring around the edges and make sure you have a smooth surface on the front without wrinkles or air bubbles.

chalkboard contact paper

Wrap the edges under and then on the ends I did trim off some of the excess contact paper with the x-acto knife. I didn’t want to take off both layers, I just wanted to thin it down when I folded it over.

chalkboard contact paper

Step 5: Position the two boards into place.

I first cut a piece of ribbon that would cover up where the two surfaces meet and hot glued to the dry erase board.  I positioned it so that it was half off the dry erase board.

I put hot glue around the inside ridge edge of the frame where the boards would lay.

I then placed the dry erase board with ribbon attached into the frame (good side down).  I then put the chalkboard covered foam board into place. I first hot glued the edge of the chalkboard foam piece that would meet up against the dry erase board. Once they were in place I held it up without turning it over to make sure the ribbon was in place and then pushed on it to make sure it would adhere to the chalkboard piece.  This is what the back side now looks like.

craft

I also gave a squirt of some hot glue in between the crack where the two pieces meet.

hot glue gun

Turn it over carefully once it has dried and this is what it looks like at this stage. From here you can customize it.  You may want to leave the top blank for hand written notes or magnets. (See the ribbon across the middle?

communication board

Step 6: Put the screws in place.

I just purchased the small hook screws. I didn’t need to pre-drill them, I just positioned them and screwed three of them in the bottom, one for each of the triplets.  Then two across the top for the ribbon to tie onto to hang it.

hooks

Step 7: Make the Name Cards

I got out some of my old business cards and used those.  I put two of them together for a little thicker base.  Then I covered those in the chalkboard contact paper.

business cards

Once I covered three of those I cut the thinner ribbon to the length I wanted. I did bring it down the side of the business card to fully measure.

I then wrote each of the kids names on the chalkboard covered name card in the chalkboard markers. Be sure to let them dry completely before you complete the next step.

chalkboard markers I then opened up one of the laminating cards and placed the name card upside down on. I placed the string down along the edge of it and then covered the laminating sheet. Be sure to tuck the other side of the string down.

name card

Step 8: Make the clothes pin magnets

I again took one of magnets for the  business cards.  I covered the sticky side with a piece of the chalkboard contact paper.  I then cut it into two strips length wise. I then used the hot glue gun and glued the clothes pin onto the chalkboard contact paper covered side.

clothes pin magnet

I made one for each day of the week.  I only used Monday – Saturday on my board though. The kids don’t have karate on Sundays, so I didn’t want to crowd them.

Step 9: Make the small cards with the time on them.

I then cut up some of my old business cards in half. Covered those with the chalkboard contact paper and wrote the times on those.

cards

Step 10: Write the jobs on the chore board.

I put a number 1, 2 and 3 on there, because the triplets change seats at the dinner table.  They will have their seat assignment, and chore for a week at a time.

chore boardRemember if you mess up, you can use a wet cloth and erase .. and start over.

Step 11: Put it all together

The weekly karate schedule

clothes pin board


schedule

The top bow. It hides the hook that it is hanging from.

bow

The weekly chore board and seat assignment for the triplets.

chore board

The final project

planning board

Isn’t it cute?  I am really excited about using it.  It is going to go against a periwinkle wall when my dining room is finished.

 

I Love Your Comments!

I’m linking this post up to these lovely blogs:

Cherished Bliss - Craft and Tell Tuesdays
Bella Before and After – Amaze me August
Tip Junkie – Handmade Projects
A Bowl Full of Lemons – One Project at  Time


This project has been compensated as part of a social shopper insights study for #collectivebias. The pictures, project and thoughts are my own.





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Organizing the Refrigerator

Refrigerators Can Get So Gross!

Have you had any science experiments growing in your refrigerator lately? lol

refrigeratorIt is so easy for things to get pushed to the back of the refrigerator and get lost.  I don’t have a side by side, my freezer is on top and our refrig. isn’t all that big. When the milk and big things are on the top shelf that is just over waist high, then it is harder to see down to the lower shelves to see what might be on the bottom.

Plus ours had gotten so dirty! Yuck!  I did wait until the refrig was pretty empty to take on this project.  It is not normally this bare!

Before

You can see from this picture how some things are pushed way to the back. There is a pop can underneath the drawer and I’m not sure what is in that round container on the bottom in the back.  I don’t normally get back away from it on this level (like I am to get this picture)

refrigerator

Ok… fresh Parmesan cheese. That was from the beginning of December, wonder what the expiration is on that?

refrigerator

Looks like 2 open jars of applesauce. The mayo should be in the door.

refrigerator

Here is one of the things that drive me crazy.  I can’t get my hubby or kids to put lunch meat and cheese in the meat drawer.  Then they get pushed to the back of the refrig. and not found.

refrigeratorThen I open the drawer and see this – the cheese wrapper without any slices of cheese in it!  There is one underneath it.  For pete sakes… can’t anyone throw away an empty wrapper?  Do you have to deal with any of this at your house?

refrigerator

Here is the door.  I see duplicates …. it will feel so good to get this cleaned out.

refrigerator

Empty everything out of your refrigerator!  I suggest 1 shelf at a time.

This is the top shelf contents.

food

Check for Expiration Dates

Oh.. I’m not opening that to check it… would you?  It is what… 2 1/2 months old! lol

expired cream

Here is what I was left with on the top shelf after I purged what I didn’t need or was expired.

food

Pretty amazing huh?  No…. pretty bad!!   Good thing I waiting until the fridge was practically empty anyway.

So I kept going….  and cleaned and purged  the rest of my refrig.  This is actually good to do routinely before you go to the store (not clean the whole thing, but get rid of old things and make room before you leave, it helps you to see what you need and it eliminates stress when you are trying to fit everything into your small fridge and have to do it while your food is melting sitting on the counter.

Clean your refrigerator!

Look how gross this is!  Don’t just take a rag and clean it off !  You need to clean thoroughly!  ewwww!

dirty refrigerator

Take out those shelves… make a big sink full of soapy water… and go to it!

refrigerator

This way you can really clean it well!
Look at the difference from one that has been washed to what another shelf looks like pre-wash.Big difference!

refrigerator shelves

So pull out all the shelves and all the bins off the doors…. and then clean the rest of the refrigerator good too.

Warning…… Naked Refrig Alert!!  lol

empty refrigerator
Reassemble the Refrig and don’t forget that your shelves are adjustable!  You can decide where you want them.. it doesn’t have to be traditional.

adjustable shelves in refrigerator

You can use your tallest item (pop bottle, wine bottle) to check that you have at least one place that is tall enough in your arrangement of shelves.

refrigerator

You may have seen my lime green baskets I got at Old Time Pottery for my pantry.  I found red ones for my refrigerator too.  They are plastic, so they are washable. They have a handle, so you can pull them out easily. They came in different styles and sizes.
Old Time Pottery baskets

It just seemed to me that this might help take care of the problem of things getting stuck in the back of the refrigerator shelves…. (never to be seen again)

refrigerator baskets

It makes it really easy to just pull out the basket to see what is in the back of the shelf.

refrigerator basket

My only concern is that they “just fit”.  So if someone pulls them out, and doesn’t push them all the way back…. then the door might not close completely.  I will have to keep an eye on it… and might realize that I have to go back and get a smaller size.

refrigerator baskets

Here is the door of my refrigerator.  I like to keep the condiments and smaller items in the door.  Again, decide what heights you need your door shelves to be.  We don’t keep milk in the door, mainly because we generally have 3-4 gallons at a time in the fridge.  We go through on the average 1 gallon of milk daily.

refrigerator door

So…… what do you think?  Have you ever used baskets in your refrigerator?  This is a first for me I have to admit.  It is a trial and error kind of thing. I think I will like it… it makes sense. But we will see.
Your turn to organize your refrigerator!  I want to see what you have done.

The freezer is coming up tomorrow!

I’d love for you to link it up to my Organizing Mission Monday Link Party
It will be open until April 9, 2011 to link to, so you have time to work on your pantry and refrigerator

Organizing Mission Monday

I LOVE your comments

I’m linking this post up to

HandyMan, Crafty Woman
Organizing Junkie

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Organize Your Pantry

Pantries Always Need Maintenance

Mine included!  I don’t have a problem organizing my pantry, but with 6 other people in the house, the problem is keeping it organized!

I have my own ideas of where things should be kept. The problem is, that the rest of my family have their own ideas too….. any open area of the pantry is open game IF they are going to put something back into it.

Here is what my pantry looked like:

Before:

pantry

Let’s look a little closer.  This is the upper level.  The medicine bins.  Notice off to the left? There is a loaf of bread! Wait…. we have a bread drawer. We don’t ever keep bread in the pantry (ugh)

pantry

If you look here you see a cereal box that is on the can rack, pancake syrup in a couple places, two bags of raisens..both opened! Drives me crazy. lol

pantry

As an organizer (for those of you who share my passion… or affliction will know how I feel) I have to realize that I can’t control everything in my house.  When I try and I can’t, it only brings frustration.

Here is the lower level down onto the floor.  What? You don’t keep your cereal on the floor?

pantry

Here is the plan of attack!  Clean Everything Out Of The Pantry

pantry

Go through and check expiration dates

I’ll bet you’ll find some expired items.  This one was expired Feb of 2010!

expired can

If you have baskets you want to group things together.  Like with like!

powdered drink mixes

It is ok to take things out of boxes if you need to save room.  We had lose Kool-Aides all over. We get bottled water for the kids for lunch and have the powdered individual drink mixes they can take if they want. I think we had like 4 different flavored boxes opened. So I but the correct flavors together and rubber-banded them together. Same with the Kool-aide and hot cocoa mixes
kool aide

I keep my some of my medicines in my pantry and I went through those too.  You can read my previous posts where I got rid of expired medications and labeled them and organized them.

Before you put anything back into the pantry, clean it!

cleaning the pantry

Decide how you can make some extra room in your pantry

I don’t have much room in my pantry. So I stretched what I had without having to spend a lot of money.  I have previously purchased extra shelves that I put on the floor

pantry

Also up on top of the top rack to use some of that extra space on top. You can see my “fix” on how to put wire rack on top of wire rack.  Of course I am not recommending this method… it is very crude, but I had the lids I wasn’t using and they worked.  It would be best to use a board over the shelf, but I had these at the time I did this and not a board.

pantry

You Don’t Have To Have The Perfect Designer Magazine Cover Pantry!

I LOVE the separate labeled jars and plastic tubs for everything when I see pictures of pantries. But for me, this is not a practical solution for my pantry (I’ve done it before – remember I’m 51 years old and I’ve already raised my 4 boys, so I have tried many different organizing techniques over the years) .

Why I Don’t Use Separate Labeled Storage Containers In My Pantry

1) I frequently had extra of something that didn’t fit into the jar (then you have a box or bag)
2) You buy a different kind of chip & don’t want to mix them, but you already have 2 jars with chips…so you now have the bag of chips too.
3) Moving those beautiful jars out of the pantry all the time to get things for the kids eventually means broken jars (I know!)
4) The family doesn’t appreciate the effort you put into separating items, and they will just shove everything into the pantry if they put groceries away.
5) Trying to keep it up is time consuming and other than the oohs and ahhs of my friends, it didn’t really fill a practical need – other than the feel good appearance it gave me.

I wanted to let you know… it is ok to leave your cereal in a box or bag... it is ok to leave your chips in a bag with a chip clip. You can still be organized without all the fancy.  Heck, you can use boxes  to make baskets like my green ones if you like.

Jars on the Counter
I am going to do is to get a couple jars for my counter for some of our daily use items. My husband’s oatmeal that he eats daily and the brown sugar he puts in it.  Also one for coffee and a cookie jar.  Maybe not the traditional flour and sugar, but I don’t bake a ton and I would rather have out the items we use frequently on my counter.

Labels
I am also going to make cute labels for the baskets. Again, you don’t have to do this step, and your labels don’t have to be fancy, but in general labels do help. (although many times you will just decide that no one in your family actually can read!) I’ll show you the labels once I get them done. I’m going to do them with chalkboard contact paper and chalk board markers I got.

I also use the sides of the walls.  To hang grilling utensils on the left wall and I have a baggie that I hang on the right wall for chip clips. (Again, I’m sure there is a much cuter solutions for this)

chip clip bag

I also have an over the door can holder that helps hold more cans.

Once you have cleaned the pantry and sorted the expired food out – Start reloading!

I purchased these baskets at Old Time Pottery. I spotted them and thought they’d be great. They are plastic so I can wash them. They have handles for easy pulling out and they are sturdy.  I paid $8.99 for the large ones down to $4.99 for small ones.  Plus I loved the colors!
Old Time Pottery baskets

As I was putting things back in, I tried several different arrangements with the baskets.  So don’t think there is one solution and one solution only!  I might even realize I don’t like having the baskets. It is all trial and error.

There will be times that you will realize after you have organized…. that the system you put in place just really isn’t working like you planned.  Don’t beat yourself up over it.  It happens to the best of us. Just redo it. No problem.

AFTER

organizing pantry

I put the medications in a new basket along with the paper plates, plastic silverware and napkins. The things we don’t use or need to get to as often.

pantry organizing

Here is our cereal basket.

pantry organizing

I also made a snack basket.

organized pantry

I have used an extra shelf here, but this one hangs from the wire above.  It works great for cans to utilize that extra space.

organized cans

I have one of the smaller baskets that just holds the peanut butter and one of my favorites and my step son’s favorites… Marshmallow cream.  We normally have a larger jar of peanut butter, so this size isn’t too big.

organized pantry

I also used a basket on the ground for the bottled water for the kids lunches. I had previously purchased the clear smaller baskets with handles from The Container Store. I did have the medicines in them. I am using them for lunch snacks (fruit cups etc) and envelop mixes, Ramon Noodles and powdered drink mixes.

organized pantry

Again…. just to refresh….  BEFORE

cluttered pantry

AFTER

organzied pantry

BEFORE

before pantry

AFTER

organized pantry

Your turn to organize your pantry! I want to see what you have done.  And YES on those of you who do the ultimate organization for your pantry… I LOVE them and LOVE to look at them. I’m not saying the jars and containers are bad…. if they work for you and your family… more power to you (jealous) … but please share!!

I’d love for you to link it up to my Organizing Mission Monday Link Party
It will be open until April 9, 2011  to link to, so you have time to work on your pantries!

Organizing Mission Monday

I LOVE your comments!

I’m linking up to these blogs:

A Bowl Full of Lemons

Reasons To Skip The Homework



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Organize your Handbags and Purses

How To Organize All Those Handbags?

Are they over taking your closet?  Do you have a purse for every outfit or every pair of shoes?

Beth pursesDo you have an idea what my advice is going to be?   Yes….. you need to sort through them and purge them.

I want you to ask yourself these questions:

1) When was the last time you used it?
2) Do you LOVE it?
3) Is there anything wrong with it?
4) Do you really Need it?

Here is what I want you to do.

Beth purses

Make 4 piles:

1) Keep Pile -  Use it frequently (within the last 6 months)
2) Maybe Pile -  It matches an outfit perfectly that I have worn in the last year and the outfit fits me
3) Donate – I haven’t used it in over a year. (or ebay, Craigs list)
4) Trash - Not in good enough shape to use or donate

I think they are all self explanatory except the “Maybe Pile”.  I want you to go through your maybe pile and only pick out the purses that you WILL be sure to use in the next 6 months.

Now.. you may be saying, “But Sandy, no way! I paid WAY too much for that handbag to just donate it!” Then sell it on ebay or Craig’s list, or a resale store. But give yourself a date to do that by, don’t just throw them in your closet and think you will do it later (because we both know you won’t)

It may be hard, but be realistic, how many purses do you really need to keep? They are more than likely taking up space that you could use in your closet.

I want you to note which bags you use over the next year. I bet it is only a couple.

If you HAVE to buy another purse, then decide which purse you are going to get rid of. One in… One out!

How To Organize Your Remaining Purses

The Closet Purse Hanger – These are basically “S” hooks. You can put several purses on one hook. I also use these for belts. They work great.  They are different from your standard “S” hook because they are twisted so they hold your purse correctly in your closet.  (update 11/2012 I’m unable to find this product. Here is a purse hanger that looks similar

purse hanger 4
You can see a closer view here.
purse hook 3

Here is another option that I reviewed called Simply Sarah Handy Hold All.
purse hanger 2This has fabric hooks that wrap around your purse to hold it in place.  If you have long straps, you have to wrap them up, so they don’t hang down too long.

purse hanger 1

There are of course many other options:
You can find cardboard bins like this called Park-a-Purse from Organize.comorganize.com Park a purse

Be sure to watch for the rest of my posts this week:

Purse Organizing – (Part 1)
Purse Organizing - The pouchee (Part 2)
Purse Organizing – Card Cubby  (Part 3)

I want to see how you organize your purses!! If you link up your purse post to my linky party and it is of how you organize all your purses, I’ll pull a picture and add a link to this post too!

I’d love for you to link it up to my Organizing Mission Monday Link Party
It will be open until March 27th to link to.

Organizing Mission Monday

I LOVE your comments!

Thank you to Beth from Plus Size Mommy for taking all her purses out for me to get a picture!

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Purse Organizer – Card Cubby

Card Cubby

Another Product I Found To Help Keep My Purse Organized Is The Card Cubby

When I first saw this I thought it was only to use as a business card organizer. I didn’t need that. Then I realized the full potential of the Card Cubby and I fell in love.

card cubbyDo you have a zillion discount cards, frequent user cards, gift cards, library cards, rewards cards?  We get so many. I had a stack of them in my wallet and I would have to pull out that stack and thumb through them every time I needed one.

card cubbyI found the Card Cubby and realized how wonderful these little alphabetized dividers could be!

If I need my Target gift card I just go to the letter “T” and there it is!

card cubby

It makes it so nice an easy when you are in a store.  Not having to dig through everything and hold up the line, or worse yet, knowing you have that discount or gift card and you can’t find it!

There is a little zipper pocket in the back of the card cubby that you could carry some hidden cash. I like to keep a little sharpie in mine. That way when I have a gift card, I can write the remaining balance on the back of the card. Makes it so easy the next time I need to use it.

card cubby

I keep my Card Cubby right in my purse.  But I know some people who don’t want it in their purses, they just keep it in their car so it is still near by when they need it.

card cubby

It comes in all kinds of fun colors, so it is easy to find down inside your purse.

card cubbyHere are some more of the fun colors:

card cubby

And some more, but you can see them all at my pouchee store that also has my Card Cubbies:

card cubbyI don’t think of this as a good coupon organizer.  You would have to fold the coupons and it really wouldn’t do well for that.  There is a coupon organizer in my pouchee / card cubby store that works great for that.

There is also a front window on the Card Cubby where you can put your business card or a picture.

This product has been a life saver for me and helped me to organize my purse much better, so I wanted to let you in on one of my favorite products.
I do sell the Card Cubby ( I did not invent it and do not make it) in my pouchee store.

**You can also use the discount code “ORGANIZED PURSE” for 10% off of the Card Cubby through March 31, 2011.

Be sure to watch for the rest of my posts this week:

Purse Organizing -  (Part 1)
Purse Organizing - The pouchee (Part 2) *watch for the discount code to order one
Purse Organizing – All those purses

I want to see your purse organizing! If you link up your purse post to my linky party and it is of your purse organizing, I’ll pull a picture and add a link to this post too!

I’d love for you to link it up to my Organizing Mission Monday Link Party
It will be open until March 27th to link to.

Organizing Mission Monday

I LOVE your comments!

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Purse Organizing – The pouchee

Having A Purse Organizer Can Make It Much Easier To Keep Your Purse Organized

I found the pouchee purse organizer several years ago and liked it so much that I began selling it myself.  There are many purse organizers out there.  I have seen and tried a few other ones.  The problems I have had with those are that they are either too big, bulky and expensive or that they don’t have any handles and they are just pockets that line the inside of your purse. Those tend to fall down and get pushed to the bottom of the purse.

The pouchee has two ring handles. They fold down to stay out of the way.

pouchee

The handles make it really easy to grab the pouchee and either carry it by itself into a store so that you don’t have to carry your heavy purse on your shoulder or to lift it out of your purse and switch it from purse to purse when you change your outfits.  I don’t do that myself, but I know many of you do switch your handbags often to match what you are wearing.

pouchee

There are several features to the pouchee that help you to organize your things.

poucheeThere is a divider down the center.  I keep my checkbooks on either side of the liner. I can fit all 3 of my checkbooks into the pouchee.

There is a zipper pocket for change or personal items.

pouchee

On the other side is another pouch that you can put your money, pictures or papers.

pouchee

The front has slots for discount cards, business cards etc. You can put a pen where I have it, or a pair of thin glasses fit nicely there too.

pouchee

The other side of the pouchee has two pockets. Cell phones (Droid X and iphone do fit) There is also a pen slot on this side of it.

pouchee

You don’t have to have a big purse to use the pouchee.  It works for smaller purses too.  Of course not the really small purses, but compare it to the size of the checkbooks that fit in the pouchee.

pouchee

It is an awesome way to transfer your essentials if you don’t want to carry a purse and a diaper bag or purse and gym bag. Just pull out your pouchee and put it in your diaper bag or gym bag and you are ready to go.

Again, I don’t make the pouchee, I didn’t invent the pouchee… but I do sell the pouchee it because I love it!

**For my readers I have a special going on only through March 31, 2011. You to my pouchee store. If you add the code “ORGANIZED PURSE” you will receive a 10% discount. Keep in mind that I already have my pouchees priced lower than most other sources. This code will also work for the Card Cubby

Here are a couple other reviews of the pouchee that you can see.

Toni from A Bowl Full of Lemons
Monica from Your Life Organized

Be sure to watch for the rest of my posts this week:- (Part 1)

Purse Organizing – Part 1
Purse Organizing – Card Cubby (Part 3)
Purse Organizing – All those purses (Part 4)

How is your purse organizing coming?
I want to see your purse organizing! If you link up your purse post to my linky party and it is of your purse organizing, I’ll pull a picture and add a link to the part 1 Purse Organizing post too!

I’d love for you to link it up to my Organizing Mission Monday Link Party
It will be open until March 27th to link to.

Organizing Mission Monday

I LOVE your comments!

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Purse Organizing

Purses Can Be A Bottomless Pit!

“I know I put it in here?”   “It just has to be here!” “Where are my keys?”  Do any of those sound familiar?

When it comes to purse organization I don’t know if any method can be completely foolproof, unless you are never in a hurry, never just throw something in your purse and always take the time to put everything back perfectly.

I know that isn’t me, and I would bet it also doesn’t include 99% of you! lol

But, purses do not have to be hopeless. There are some really good ways to organize them.  There are many purse organizers out there. I have my favorite and that is what I will show you today when I clean out my purse.

Here is my purse “Before”  Things aren’t where they belong, there are receipts tucked in the sides, etc..

disorganized purse

I use a Butler Bag that I reviewed last year.  I still love it (although I’d like a spring color).  I like having a place for everything in my purse and this helps me do it.

Step 1: Dump everything out of it.

messy purse

Step 2:  Sort it!   (just like you sort anything you organize)

Do you use it?
Do you need it in your purse?
Does it serve a purpose in your purse?

purse organizingThis is pretty much of what I decided to keep.  Not the little buttons, and add in the coupon keeper and make up/medicine bag.

Step 3: Clean It

Then if possible pull out the lining of your purse and clean it.  Even if you are planning to switch out and use your spring purse now and store this (or donate it), you should still clean it thoroughly.  Get out all those cracker crumbs and loose pennies, gum wrappers etc, that get caught down in your purse.

clean your purse

Once you have cleaned it and sorted it, you can start putting things back in. My old pouchee was still in decent shape after a couple of years, but it was dirty and dingy looking.  I could have spent some time working to clean it up, but since I’m spoiled and I sell them, I just went and picked out a new hot pink one. lol

pouchee

Step 4: Reload it

I’ll be going over my pouchee tomorrow with you in detail and how useful it can be.   I start with putting my newly organized pouchee down in my purse.  I am showing you how you can switch out for a spring purse if you’d like….

pouchee

But in reality I am still going to use my Butler bag, so my pouchee will go back in it. I also cleaned out this medicine/makeup bag that I use in my purse. I have my ibuprofen, stomach medicine for my hubby, Benadryl, tiny sewing kit, Shout stain remover, etc.. in here.  I did clean out some things I didn’t need or that were expired.

medicine bag

Then I put things back in the slots I like them in. I keep my frequent user cards and gift cards in the lime green Card Cubby (which I’ll show you later this week) also hand lotion, gum, a phone battery charger and a little multi tool in this side.

purse organization

My husband calls my purse, “Your bag of many wonders”.  lol   I have my coupon holder (black long thin thing, a note pad, sun glasses, extra reading glasses, my medicine bag (off to left) my flip video camera, a high lighter, lipstick, pen.

purse organizing

That is one thing I really like about this purse, it has all the separated pockets.  Before this I have always looked for a purse with organizing pockets in it.  So that things can have their own places.

Designer purses are not important to me.  What is important to me is finding a purse that is usable and that has organization stamped all over it!

I then tuck my pouchee down in on the side. It has my three (yes…  one for joint account, one for my son’s support account and one for my business account) checkbooks, money, pen and my phone fits in it too.  Then my keys usually tuck down in the space to the right of my pouchee so I can find them easily.

organized purse

Keeping your purse organized doesn’t have to be hard if everything has a place.  Rather it is this purse organizer (pouchee) or another one, they are very handy and I do encourage you to try one.  Also using things like the Card Cubby or a little bag like I have my medicine in also helps to categorize and organize things.

Be sure to watch for the rest of my posts this week:

Purse Organizing – The pouchee (Part 2) *watch for the discount code to order one
Purse Organizing – Card Cubby (Part 3) *watch for the discount code to order one
Purse Organizing – All those purses (Part 4)

See my Readers purse organizing posts.

Randomly Robyn: Purse Purging

randomly robyn

Robyn also posted how she is organizing all her purses now.  She is using a sweater storage hanger.

Randomly Robyn purses

Good Enough Mommy: Healthy Back Bag

Good Enough Mommy

I want to see your purse organizing!  If you link up your purse post to my linky party and it is of your purse organizing, I’ll pull a picture and add a link to this post too!

I’d love for you to link it up to my Organizing Mission Monday Link Party
It will be open until March 27th to link to.

Organizing Mission Monday

I LOVE your comments!

I’m linking up to these blogs:

A Snob Comes Clean

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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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I LOVE your comments!!

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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!

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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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Shopping Saturday – Ikea Kitchen Island

February 12, 2011 by  
Filed under Blog, Kitchen, Products for Organizing

I might be in a bit of an Ikea mood for a bit! lol I went last Saturday and saw several items I’d love to have – but I don’t have any place in my small house to put them.

I’d Love To Have THIS!

ikea kitchen island

Think of all the things you could use it for!   What do you think?  Do you like it?  Could you use it?

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