Organizing


One of my New Year’s resolution is to plan better. To take control. To be proactive and not reactive.

In order to be proactive at home I know that I’ll need to have a plan. I used do pretty well at flying by the seat of my pants, but have recently realized that there might be a better way for me. So I’m going to give planning a chance. I made up this simple chart to help me. There is so much packed into this bad boy that I’m actually giddy over it! I’ve taken some ideas I know will work and some I think may work for me and combined them on one sheet of paper to hang on my fridge. The idea is that Sunday mornings I’ll print a new one and start plotting out my week.

Week at a Glance

week at a glance scheduling help

There’s a box for every day of the week, duh. And a box for notes. Right now it is being used as my shopping list.

There’s a line for me to plan a menu in advance. I’ve never been a meal planner and I know even trying to plan a week at a time is setting myself up for failure, so as long as I have the next day filled out before I go to bed it will be doing its job. By having a dinner plan before 3 pm will put me in control of that situation.

The next line is for housework. This is my take on the FlyLady system. Everyday I’ll pick an area to spend 10 minutes working on and eventually my house will be immaculate (ha!). Even if it isn’t immaculate it will be better than it was before. Its all about the baby steps!

The dots at the bottom are to keep me accountable to myself. The top 2 are for exercise. Each dot represents a half hour, The next line of 5 is for my servings of fruits and vegetables and the bottom 8 are for glasses of water. I’ll put a check mark in the bubble to keep track. Hopefully there are no empty bubbles at the end of the day.

calendar

So there it is, my effort to plan ahead while still allowing the flexibility I know I need. Feel free to download your own weekly planner and join me in being proactive in 2016!

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Bathroom Organization - Storage ideas, diy shelves, shower organization, medicine cabinets... love these ideas!

Christmas decorations are down and it’s time to get organized!  The bathroom is one of the easiest rooms to organize.  We’ve got some great ideas for you!  Storage, DIY shelves, even ideas for kids bathrooms.

Bathroom Organization

Quick and Easy Tips for Kids Bathrooms from The Crafting Chicks

Bathroom Organization - Storage ideas, diy shelves, shower organization, medicine cabinets... love these ideas!

IKEA spice racks for storage from Suite Revival

Bathroom Organization - Storage ideas, diy shelves, shower organization, medicine cabinets... love these ideas!

Custom Vanity from The Crafting Chicks

Bathroom Organization - Storage ideas, diy shelves, shower organization, medicine cabinets... love these ideas!

 

Full Length Mirror Sliding Storage Cabinet from Ana White

Sliding Mirror Shelves

10 Ways to Take a Bathroom from Drab to Fab from The Crafting Chicks

Take a bathroom from drab to fab

Shelf above the door from My So-Called Home

Bathroom storage

Medicine Cabinet & First Aid Organization from Simply Kierste

Medicine cabinet organization

Organizing the shower from The Crafting Chicks

Shower organization

DIY Bathroom Cabinet from Liz Marie Blog

DIY Bathroom Cabinet

Gabriel Wall System from Ana White

DIY Bathroom Wall System


organization challenge Happy January 1st! Our Michael’s Makers challenge this month was to organize an area of our home. So, naturally I picked the absolute worst area of our house to tackle. This closet serves as the drop zone for pretty much everything. It holds coats, backpacks, cookbooks, art supplies and anything else that we want out of site. It has gotten so bad that you had to kinda lean into it to get the door to shut. Know what I’m talking about? It was high time for a coat closet makeover.

disaster

My husband is so embarrassed I’m sharing this photo. But here it is guys! The shoe organizer on the door started out as a great way to hold pens, pencils, crayons, markers, etc. But the etc. has gotten out of control. The coat hangers are too high for our kids to reach, so they just toss all of their stuff on the ground. It’s one of the places I hope the door never gets opened to when we have company.

organized_closet

First, we moved the adults coats/jackets to a different closet and got rid of everything that didn’t belong in here, so this is only holding the kids stuff. Hooks on either side hold their coats and backpacks and the baskets keep lunchboxes contained. We added 2 more shelves to help corral the art supplies and more bins for things like hats and gloves and snowpants and even their sunglasses and headphones. The black bag holds my reusable bags. Notice how the door is completely empty, no more clutter hanging out here!

There is now room for snowboots and shoes to live in the closet too. I’m so happy with this transformation that now I want to leave the closet door open for all to see!

art_shelf

The next shelf holds the contents of that messy shoe organizer. On the left, sliding drawers limit the search for pencils when it is homework time and those cute pull out bins in the middle house random things like chalk and super glue and even dice. Apparently we have quite the dice collection. I added vinyl labels so the whole family knows what is where and where to put things away when they are finished.

crayons

My favorite are the totes on the right. They have a top insert, so on the bottom we have our crayons.

artcaddy

And the top holds are colored pencils, erasers, some washi and a pencil sharpener. Every thing has a place and everything is in its place!

playdoh

Likewise, the Play-doh is in the bottom and all the Play-Doh tools are on the top. Which means we don’t have to dump out the entire bin of Play-Doh to find the right color or the pair of Play-Doh scissors!

organizers

Michaels just launched a new line of storage and organization product called Cre8ted Spaces available in stores now and it has tons of different colors, bins and office supplies – with more than 300 new items in 4 coordinating colors, you have to check it out!

If you don’t know where to begin, you can always take a look at some of the fun storage projects on Michaels.com or the other 49 makers’ ideas on The Glue String for tips on designing, organizing and decorating their favorite places!


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New Year's Eve Printables - party favors, gift tags, goals, banner, and so much more!

We’ve got a great roundup of our favorite New Year’s Eve Printables for you.  Another year is almost over.  Time to celebrate!  Banners, gift tags, party favors, scavenger hunts for the kids, midnight kisses for the adults… and so much more!

New Year’s Eve Printables

 

Scavenger Hunt for Kids from Reasons to Skip the Housework

New Year's Eve Printables - party favors, gift tags, goals, banner, and so much more!

Out with the old and in with the new from Moritz Fine Designs

New Year's Eve Printables - party favors, gift tags, goals, banner, and so much more!

Good Fortune treat bags from No Biggie

New Year's gift bag

New Year’s Eve Gift Basket from The Crafting Chicks

New Year's Gift Basket

Have a Sparkling New Year labels from Salt and Pepper Moms

Have a Sparkling New Year - Gift Tag

Confetti party favors with printable tag from A Pumpkin and a Princess

Confetti-Party-Favors1

Sparkling New Year Tag from The Crafting Chicks

Sparkling New Year Tag

Ring in the New Year from Chickabug

Ring in the New Year gift tag

New Year’s Game from Alice & Lois

New Year's Game

New Year’s Eve Countdown Number Banner from The Crafting Chicks

New Year's countdown banner

Midnight Kisses from Glitter N Spice

New Year's Eve midnight kisses

Kiss Me Kit from The Dating Divas

New Year's Eve Kiss Me Kit

Sparkler Favour Tag from TOMFO

New Year's Sparkler favour

Photo Booth Props from The Crafted Sparrow

New Year's Eve Photo booth props

Quick New Year’s Banner from The Crafting Chicks

New Year's Eve Banner

Happy New Year!  May 2016 bring you and your family lots of happiness and joy!

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Top 5 Decorating Tips

Over the years I have learned, studied and pick up tips on decorating. I have a few of my own top 5 decorating tips and suggestions that I am excited to share with you today!  Really… decorating can be a lot of trial and error, but for the most part if you develop tips and tricks that can define your personal taste and style, it makes decorating not as overwhelming! rugs Rugs have always played a huge role in my decorating. I use rugs for that fun pop of color. Today’s trends seem to be very neutral, which I LOVE, but I don’t want to forgo what defines my own personal style, which for me is COLOR. I just can’t live without it! So by neutralizing the room and adding fun patterns and a pop of color, it creates warmth and defines my personal style! Another tip about rugs is the size. If you go too small you can make a room look smaller.  Interesting enough, by going large you actually open up the space. In dining rooms in particular it always looks a lot better to have a large rug to cover the legs of the chairs, even when they are pushed out. Another space is in the living room; the ideal size is usually big enough that all legs of the furniture are on top of the rug.

Here is a fun rug I added in my boys’ room! BLOG8 wasll I adore wall decor…clocks, pictures, shelves the list goes on. The biggest thing to watch for when hanging wall decor is the height. The mistake I see happen a lot is pictures and clocks are hung too high. The rule of thumb is to hang items at eye level.  The pictures become more personal and you won’t find yourself straining your neck to find out what time it is:)  One more tip I personally use when it comes to wall decor. Don’t be afraid to use big items in small spaces. One big bold item on the wall can sometimes be all you need to finish the space.

Here is a perfect example from my office; the big clock was all the wall needed! OFFICE3 light Lighting is a big one for me! I like to find affordable ways to get great lights in our home. I know that lights can be PRICEY!!! I found by using outdoor lights (from Lowes and Home Depot), even online that you can get a really great look for a lot cheaper. I would have to say the majority of the lights in my home are outdoor lights. I feel like they add that farm house, industrial look I love so much!

Another tip for lighting: don’t settle. If you have your heart set on a light. Just wait and save ’til you can get it. Lights are something you see and walk by EVERYDAY. I like to put my lighting budget into the main room rather than the rest of the house. Anyone that steps into your home will see these lights and you definitely want them to make a statement, along side your furniture and decor!

Untitled I have a weakness for pillows. I very well have TOO MANY pillows. But pillows are the jewelry to your furniture. Pillows bring in character, color and pattern. I love to play with color and go as bold as my heart allows. Don’t be afraid of pillows and don’t limit yourself to all the same size pillows either; have fun and show your personality! I love to mix high-end pillows with low-end. Target is such an affordable place to pick up a great pillow if you want to change it up. I also love to switch out my pillows for the holidays. It’s great to have certain pillows for certain holidays. Makes seeing them again all the more special!

Here is a picture of my friend’s sofa. I love how she mixed all kinds of colors and shapes! IMG_1959.JPG trim I know… I know…Trimwork is pricey, especially if you hire it out. But hear me out… sometimes it REALLY is worth the price! It can TRANSFORM the space and by the time you buy decor to cover that one wall…you might want to put a pencil to paper and just see? There are so many GREAT trim tutorials out there, and the transformation is amazing!  What trim does to a space is makes it go from flat to 3D. It adds warmth, depth and interest.  Even a little bit of trim can add sooo much!!!

On my instagram feed I just posted this “before and after” of my front room. hhjfhk Well there they are… my top 5 decorating tips.

Happy Decorating!

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This post may contain affiliate links. Olaf Book Box

We love working with Michaels. We are able to find out the best upcoming products and let you all know about them

Michaels recently released a brand new Cricut – the Cricut Explore One, which I used to create this fun Frozen-inspired project. The machine comes with the free Cricut Design Space software that allows you to cut printable images, upload your own images and fonts, and has 25+ free 1-click projects and 50+ free images built in.  And if you already have cartridges then you are able to upload them into your Cricut Design Space and save them there.  These cartridges paired with the Cricut Explore One is ideal for cards, party decorations, wall decals and even home décor!

cricut-explore-one-machine

My two youngest kids are beginning readers.  They are getting so excited about books, now that they can read some sight words and sound out other words.  They are both off to kindergarten this fall and I thought it would be so fun to make a special box to hold their new beginning reader books.  This box would also make a great “library” book holder (so hopefully they won’t get lost at home).

We love Olaf at our house…he’s hilarious!  That’s why we were so excited about the new Frozen Cricut Cartridge and the Olaf images.

sm olaf book box 2

To Make an Olaf Book Box…you will need:

Cricut Explore One

Iron on Vinyl (I used the color teal)

A linen photo box

-Cricut Design Space

Cricut tools

-An Iron

An Olaf Image

Screen Shot 2015-08-05 at 2.29.29 PM

In Design Space, I created a “melted” Olaf,  with the quote “A GOOD BOOK IS WORTH MELTING FOR.” -OLAF

Such a fun quote to go with books!’ sm olaf book box 1

And last…I ironed my Olaf and quote onto the top of the linen box.  Such a quick and fun project.

sm olaf book box 3

What would you make with the Frozen cartridge?  Such a fun movie with dynamic characters.  My kids love anything Frozen right now…especially Olaf.  This would also be great to iron onto a canvas/cotton book tote.  Happy Reading!

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This post is sponsored by Kandoo and may contain affiliate links but all opinions are my own.

Summer-Survival-Hair-Kit-for-Girls

Summer Survival Hair Kit for Girls

Summer is almost here for me and as a mom of three girls the need to get hair done each day doesn’t stop!  My girls love to swim and we have passes to a local water park so I plan on being there tons.  I always know that I need to plan ahead and make sure that we can be ready to go at a moments notice to keep the girls busy and me sane. One of the worst problems I have is with hair supplies being strung all over the house and throughout each bathroom.  So I decided to put together a Summer Survival Hair Kit for us!

Here’s what I included so you can make your own.

Summer-Survival-Hair-Kit-Container

  • A container with a carrying handle.  I searched for the perfect container and love this Small Sterilite one.  This one might not work for you but look around and get what would be best to suit your needs.

Summer-Survival-Hair

  • Mini Round Food Storage Containers are a great option for me to store all the hair supplies.  Seems like we are always losing something and I hope these containers serve as a good home for these bits and pieces.

Summer-Survival-Hair-Kit

  • You’ll also want to throw in essentials like a brush and comb, bobby pins and elastics, and my personal favorite, hair detangler.  I just found the Kandoo brand detangler and I sure love it.  Smells yummy and leave my girl’s hair so soft and smooth. And lucky for us this Kandoo has a coupon so print this out and save when you try it.

Hair-Kit-for-Girls
Survival-Hair-Kit-for-Girls

Place all of the necessities in your container and just wait for the next time you have to do hair.

Survival-Hair-Ki  I sure enjoyed grabbing mine this past week and using it and tucking everything back away.  My girl’s loved it too.  They each had to put everything away and get it out for their turn. I’m sure that will wear off, but my joy of having it all contained in one place will last a while.

 

So leave a comment and tell me what your best Summer Survival trick is. We’ve got to help each other out!

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cleaning tips

It’s that time of year when holiday decorations are down and my house looks empty.  An empty house  always make me realize that my house needs a good cleaning!  So we’ve searched the web for the Top 15 Cleaning Tips & Tricks!  You’re going to love these!

For more cleaning ideas jump over to our Cleaning Tips and Tricks Pinterest Board!

How to wash pillows and make them white again by Inter Design Info

Top 15 Cleaning Tips and Tricks! These are great!

How to clean glass shower doors by Ask Anna

Top 15 Cleaning Tips and Tricks! These are great!

Homemade Granite Cleaner by No. 2 Pencil

Top 15 Cleaning Tips and Tricks! These are great!

How to remove carpet stains by The Shabby Creek Cottage

Top 15 Cleaning Tips and Tricks! These are great!

The world’s best homemade laundry soap by The Crafting Chicks

homemade laundry soap

Safely clean your computer keyboard by The Mamas Girls

Top 15 Cleaning Tips and Tricks! These are great!

How to clean moldy water bottles by One Hundred Dollars a Month

Top 15 Cleaning Tips and Tricks! These are great!

The no-scrub way to clean your stove burners by The V Spot

Top 15 Cleaning Tips and Tricks! These are great!

How to remove water rings by Homemade Mamas

Top 15 Cleaning Tips and Tricks! These are great!

How to remove hard water by The Thrifty Home

Top 15 Cleaning Tips and Tricks! These are great!

How to get hairspray off walls by Somewhat Simple

Top 15 Cleaning Tips and Tricks! These are great!

Sanitize and restore wood cutting boards by Sweet C’s Designs

Top 15 Cleaning Tips and Tricks! These are great!

How to make your old towels like new by Passion for Savings

Top 15 Cleaning Tips and Tricks! These are great!

How to clean your slow cooker by 365(ish) Days of Pinterest

Top 15 Cleaning Tips and Tricks! These are great!

How to detail your car yourself by Honeybear Lane

Top 15 Cleaning Tips and Tricks! These are great!

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Disclosure: This is a sponsored post from the Mom it Forward Blogger Network & IKEA. All opinions ideas are 100% mine.

Ikea First :59 & Morning Motivation Solution

Last week I posted about Ikea’s First :59 Campaign and one of our morning problems.  I shared how our mornings have been so crazy and chaotic.   I wanted to find a way to motivate my kids to accomplish their morning tasks quickly so that we can have smooth mornings and make it to the bus on time!

I also wanted to be able to motivate my kids to get certain tasks accomplished in the morning so that our afternoons aren’t so crazy full!  I am excited about our new plan!
sm job chart 6

With the help of some of Ikea’s awesome organizational items, I created a little nook in our mudroom!  I call it our “Sanity Station.”  The kids are already loving it. sm job chart 4

I bought these Magnetic Boards for 4.99 each!  They were the perfect size for the individual job charts! ikea-ps--magnetic-board__0240287_PE379898_S4

I also chose this standard Notice Board (cork board) to add each child’s weekly schedule. vaggis-noticeboard__0240400_PE380053_S4

The main plan for the job/motivation charts was to split “to do” things up…some for the morning, some for the evening.  I added a few more things than normal to the morning section.  My kids are getting older and since we wake up early to get ready for school, getting more accomplished will help us simplify our evenings. sm job chart 5

When the kids finish a task or two, they love moving their magnet from the “to do” section to “done.”  I love crossing things off my to do list…and this is a great visual way for kids to see tasks accomplished!  I LOVE these magnet boards.  I love not having to search for pens, or deal with messy markers. sm job chart 1

For positive reinforcement, we count up a point for each “done” magnet.  We add these up through the week and each kids gets minutes for special activities, dates with mom/dad, or even extra minutes staying up late.  They are really excited for the new charts!   sm job chart 2 sm job chart 3

You can grab those Ikea Magnet Boards and then download my blank job/motivation chart printables.  Below you can download the boy version, or the girl version. (Personal Use Only Please)

I have loved Ikea’s First :59.  What are some items that you have found at Ikea that help you organize and simplify your day?!  Leave a comment…we would love to hear!
sm job chart boy

 

Boy Chart Download:

cc_download sm job chart girl

Girl Chart Download:

cc_download

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Disclosure: This is a sponsored post from the Mom it Forward Blogger Network & IKEA. All opinions ideas are 100% mine. ikea 1

Don’t let these sweet back to school photos fool you…our mornings can be quite crazy!  Every year I try to think of ways to improve our week days.  This year one of my goals is to get more accomplished in the morning, so that our after school activities and evenings can go smoother.  Also, my kids are getting older and more capable of chores.  I think they feel better when they leave their rooms and spaces tidy.  We can also accomplish a few activiiteis in our morning, like reading and piano.  The goal is to check these off our list before our crazy afternoons.  Plus my kids are more alert and eager in the mornings (I’m the one who needs to work on morning alertness, oh to have their energy!)

Being an educator and mother, I know that kids need a good routine in the mornings and fun ways to keep them motivated.  I love rewarding my little ones for being responsible and helpful.  I’m excited to share with you next week how I use some of IKEA’s best organization products to get our Morning Motivation in gear!

We are excited to be apart of Ikea’s new FIRST :59 campaign.  I loved reading about how they want to help families have better mornings.  There is nothing worse than sending off my kids frazzled and annoyed in the morning.  We all have a much better day leaving happy.   survey1a-700x344

IKEA’s research for the  first 59 minutes of the day found:

-72% of survey respondents said that a stressful morning affected the rest of their day

-3 in 4 people do not have a regular weekday morning routine

-49% of adults over 35 that get stressed in the morning identified getting kids prepared for the day causes the most stress

I’m excited to share with you my solution using IKEA products…to get my kids MOTIVATED in the MORNING!  Wish me luck!

IKEA has made a dedicated pinterest board to First :59.  You can find more info on this campaign there:)  Be sure to check out their FIRST :59 page for lots of helpful tips and insights.  We can all use a little help getting our mornings off on the right foot!

ikea 2

Here are some fun Job Charts from our site that I will be getting some inspiration from:

Brooke’s Job Chart Templates

annie's-jobs

Kirsten’s No Fail Charts
crafting-chicks-pinnable-impage-job-charts1-550x1024

 

Jamie Job Chart Printable job-chart-header-sm

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