Thursday, August 21, 2014

My *Tool* Box

I have a few things that I take with me in the house...if I am goes with me. If I am goes with me. Inside I keep things I use throughout the day....such as:

~ My Filofax Planner
~ Our Family Devotions/Catechism book 
~ Pens/Stickers
~ My Bible
~ Books I am currently reading
~ My weekly menu planner
~ Lotion

Previously, I carried all these things in a market tote like THIS one. That worked just fine but wasn't "ideal". Things weren't neatly separated and were just *in* there. It was okay...but when I saw this Neatnix Toolbox on sale at Zulily, I was super excited (it's a bit on the pricey side at amazon...but if you are interested, you may find it cheaper on ebay....or Zulily may still have some for sale!)! 

It is sturdy and easy to carry by the handle! I just love all the space it has!

There are all kinds of organizational pockets on the front...

...With two larger pockets on the back...

There are even pockets on the sides that (to my delight) fit my lotion perfectly!

How do you organize things you use constantly throughout the day? I used to keep things in different baskets over the years...but the weight of the items would wear on the basket over time and damage it. I am so glad to have found something that is perfect for the use I am giving it! 

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Daily Tasks

Did you know that doing a few tasks daily will keep your spirits high, your home looking tidier and actually motivate you to do *more*? It's true! 

A few things to do *every* day...

* Clear and wipe down kitchen counters.
* Clear and wipe down bathroom counter.
* Make your bed. 
* Wash/Dry, Fold/Put away at least *one* load of laundry.
* Sweep floors (this is necessary for us to do daily...but may not be for you!)

You don't have to have the newest and fanciest counters. You don't have to have the nicest or fanciest house. Keep what you matter what the age/style of your home (even if it is not to your liking)...tidy and clean and you can enjoy your surroundings!

If you do nothing least make your bed in the morning. That is *the* way to start the day off correctly! I am always up before my husband in the after he has left for work, I go back upstairs and make the bed. I've tried to make it with him in it..but that doesn't work out so well! ;)

When you keep the counters of the kitchen and bathroom clear and wiped up, they just look when they look neat, you won't want stray dishes or spills on them to make them look dirty...this motivates you to keep them looking nice throughout the day. And hey, while you are wiping down that bathroom counter, maybe you want to refill the soap dispenser? Maybe you could give the toilet a swish as well?

I'm telling you...these few simple chores, done daily, can really help you in your home-keeping duties! Adding in a few extra chores from time to time such as dusting, washing windows/mirrors, washing bed linens, scrubbing down toilets and bathtubs etc....and you will find that keeping the home doesn't have to be so overwhelming!
Keeping up with things is *key*!


Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Memory Totes

When I saw these "Keepsake Boxes" I thought they would be a GREAT idea for my children's memory items as well. I decided to put one together for each of them. I don't have a Cricut cutter I just used my label maker to put names on the bins. I typically color-code things for my children though anyway (Madelyn gets a purple or pink typically, Xavier gets green and Jaxson is usually blue) just by glancing at it, I know which tote belongs to which child even without a large name tag.

I also paid for some hanging file folders. I already had some of the not-so-beautiful green ones (pictured above) and put those to use too...buying the totes and the file folders wasn't all-together cheap when you need I reuse what I have on hand. :)

Because we home school (and are not involved in a bunch of different sports etc.) our sections are different than those of Toni's from A Bowl Full of Lemons. I am not finished with the sections we will use...but what I have so far is:

~ Photos (from our homeschool co-op pictures etc.)
~ Medical (forms and things needed for proof to the school)
~ Home School Completed Portfolio Verification (papers from the school's superintendant saying our portfolios are complete from each year of schooling)
~ Testing (standardized test results)
~ Grade School (drawings/worksheets from through the years...this may need to be changed over time to allow more room for papers...we'll see!)

 I also bought one extra tote for my filing records. I had them in a filing cabinet that was not in the best condition. Now they are safe and secure in one of these totes and give me easy access to my records (A few of the papers need tucked in there better!)...

Stored ~ Safe and sound in the school room...

How do you store your children's records/memories?

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Organizing Legos

My daughter and I (mostly her though) went through and sorted all the Legos. I bought inexpensive shoe bins at the dollar store and labeled them with my label maker. 

 We are hoping that will take boxes that look like this...

...and turn them into this (thus making it easier to find the pieces they want)...

In the box marked "extra" we put min-figs, swords, horses, bow/arrows and other miscellaneous items that go along with the Legos!

 With grade-school boys, I'm not sure how this will work for us...but it is worth giving it a try! They both seem to like this new system (but we'll see if it lasts as time wears on). Personally, I love seeing the colors separated and *in their place*...but if it doesn't work out over time, we can find good uses for the plastic shoe boxes and the Legos can all go back into one bin! :)

Do your children play with Legos? I think they are such a *great* learning/playing toy. Imaginations soar, minds work to think and build...Legos are truly one of the best investments (toy-wise) in my opinion. How do you store/organize your Legos? 

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Homeschool *or* Office Supply Organization

I want to start this post by saying that whether I used a flash or not with my camera, the boxes do not seem to be very photogenic. They look much better in real'll just have to trust me on that! ;) Also, a few of my labels aren't straight...I have fixed and re-fixed them and sometimes, you just have to leave it be!

Last year, we used these bins to separate all of my children's school workbooks. This year, since we are mostly using Easy Peasy, we will only have math workbooks to keep organized. I couldn't let good storage space go to I utilized the drawers to store my multitude of supplies. Now, notebooks, paper, dividers, folders, reference charts, page protectors and more have their own drawer!

Anytime someone needs a new folder or blank notebook...they know just where to get them!

Extra supplies (purchased from Staples during their school clearance!)...

The children's workbooks fit perfectly in each drawer!

These drawers can be pricey...but not too bad if you watch for them to go on sale. You can find something similar to the one I have HERE. You can find the exact ones I have HERE.

We have found these drawers to be a great organizing tool to keep in our schoolroom. They would work really well in an office setting too! And again, they look much better in real life than in the photos! The pictures seem to show every flaw!

***You may notice in the first photo, a pair of shoes just inside the door...right now, we have four extra kiddos visiting at our house. I didn't move the shoes...I like just keeping it real! ;)

Monday, July 28, 2014

Simple Jar Decorating

I had posted about the many ways to use glass jars in your home to decorate, organize and add a touch of charm to a room. You can find that post HERE.

For my daughter's birthday, we used jars as table centerpieces and my sister made these simple, eyelet decor to put around the top of a jar! I love eyelets and the look it gives the jars!

She simply measured around the top of a jar and cut the eyelet accordingly. Then, she sewed snaps to the ends so they can easily be removed!

Adding a touch of charm to your home doesn't have to take a lot of money or talent (although my sister *is* talented...but sewing the snaps on is something anyone could do!). You could do this for your own home...or make some jars as gifts. You can fill the jars with jar cookie mixes, a favorite candy, or anything else that is fun! Add a touch of eyelet, lace or scraps of fabric around the top and that could make a super-cute gift for a friend! :)

Thursday, July 24, 2014

The Difference a Hanger Can Make!

Let me start off by saying I am *not* a fan of animal print. I never have been. If you like it, that is totally okay! I am just not wild about it for myself or my household. That being said, I am sure you noticed that the hangers in the photo above are an animal print! Let me explain why! 

I had been wanting to get matching hangers to hang our clothes. I wanted decent ones that didn't slip (doesn't it just drive you crazy when you are looking through your clothes and a shirt slides right off the hanger when you don't want it to?). I also did *not* want to spend a fortune.

 So, I had found gotten an email that tells me deals/sales from around the web. One was for these hangers. For the 60 pc. set, I could get it for $10 off (for a total of only $17.99) and free shipping! I thought that was a great price. Then, I looked at the 120 pc. set and it was not on sale...but was only $27.99 and free shipping! If I would have bought 2 sets of the 60 pc. with the sale price, I would have been paying over $34...When I could get the 120 pc. set that *wasn't* on sale for cheaper! 

Unfortunately, they only had animal print hangers for sale. I decided to get them anyway. These fit the budget and although not my style, they do look so nice when they all match.
 You can find them HERE

We had a mish-mash of hangers before...(which we still have with some of Chris's clothes as I don't have enough of the velvet/non-slip hangers for all our clothes yet) and even though things were hung up just looked messy with some metal hangers, some plastic etc.

It is really amazing the difference hangers can make!