Tried and True Organizing Solutions

Drawer Organizers – A Type A girl’s best friend.

  • sort and separate like items
  • maximize vertical space
  • never compromise accessibility
  • budget friendly

Here are a few of my favorite uses…

K Cups

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Batteries

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Medicines

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Toiletries

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The possibilities are endless!

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Cozy, Comfortable

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1. Lighting – the general rule of thumb is to  light 3 of the 4 corners. Ideally, you should use three different kinds of lighting (i.e. a table lamp, floor lamp and a light focused on an object or piece of art work).

2. Live plants – Simple, structural greenery in an attractive pot is timeless. I recently read THIS interesting article about the benefits of houseplants.

3. Candles (out of reach of little hands and paws) give off soft light and great smell. What’s not to love?

4. A variety of textures makes a room feel collected, comfortable, and unfussy

5. A neutral, warm beige on the walls is timeless. You can inject the space with pops of color via fabrics, artwork, and accessories

6. Strategically placed tables ensure that there is a place (within reach of every seat) to set a mug or glass

7. Keep a basket for clutter creep nearby- Things that don’t belong will, inevitably, find their way in, but you can just toss those things in a basket until you have time to deal with them.

8. Keep toss pillows and throw blankets handy. A storage ottoman is a perfect hiding spot for these.

9. You will never tire of Artwork and framed photographs that you truly love

10 Tips for Maximizing Your Entry Way

1. A coat tree is a perfect spot to hang daily wear so that you can “grab and go”

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2. hooks placed at child height and a floor basket allow your little ones do their part in maintaining a clutter free entry

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3. wooden hangers are a logical choice as they look great and are well suited for hanging heavy, bulky outerwear

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4. A large bin on the floor is a good spot for canvas totes and other on-the-go essentials (like a baby carrier or picnic blanket)

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5. A boot tray kept on the closet floor is easily grabbed and placed by the door on rainy/snowy days

6. A labeled bin for each family member keeps seasonal essentials logically organized

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7. A large, heavy duty entry way rug may not be as pretty as its decorative counterparts, but they really do slip less and hold up better

8. (if you have a steel door) Use a strong magnet to secure mail, permission slips, and forms (you might otherwise forget) right to the door

9. Coat closet must haves: umbrella and lint roller

10. Entryway (or in near proximity) must haves: clock, mirror, hook for keys

 

 

Maximizing Under Sink Storage

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1. We use a plastic drawer organizer for plastic wrap, parchment paper, foil, sandwich bags, and freezer bags, etc. (this allows us to maximize space because we can store other cleaners on top).

2. We use a Lazy Susan for kitchen cleaners (so that nothing gets lost in the back).

3. We store our other household cleaning supplies in a portable tote

4. Our cleaning cloths and rags live in a small plastic basket behind the cleaning tote

5. I drape my dusting cloth and polishing rag over the sink drain pipe

6. There was just enough space in the middle for the garbage can liner box (turned on its side) and two containers of dishwasher pods (in the back)

Maximizing Linen Closet Storage

1. Store extra pillows on the very top shelf. This will allows you to use the ceiling height to your advantage, and if a pillow topples down on you, no big deal.

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2. Store extra blankets, quilts and comforters on the bottom.

3.  Fold your bath towels in thirds instead of halves (follow the same steps, minus the last fold, for hand towels)

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4. Fold hooded towels into neat little packages like this

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5. Learn how to fold a fitted sheet. There are a ton of great video tutorials on the web so I will refrain from reinventing the wheel. BHG has a great one.

6. Keep your wash cloths in a small basket. You can place this basket in front other linens which allows you to take full advantage of shelf depth without sacrificing accessibility to the item(s) behind.

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Trust me, the folding makes a difference :).

Confession: I learned how to properly fold a towel in the last year. To see what our linen closet looked like before, you can sneak a peak here.

 

 

I’m Starting a Support Group (with an enabled comment section)

Yesterday was a not-good-really-quite-bad-awful-kind-of-day.

Sydney woke up fussing, fussed through breakfast and then started pinching. She was in a foul, no good mood.

I decided we should spend the beautiful morning (IT’S FINALLY SPRING IN MN) outside. So I said, “Let’s go to the park.” Knowing that we didn’t have much time because the flooring installer was coming at 10 to fix our faulty, still quite new, floor.

I negotiated Rex out of his winter coat, and into spring appropriate outer wear, and then repeated the same process with footwear.

Sydney allowed me to put her shoes and coat on with minimal resistance, but then did the whole arched-back-stiff-as-a-board-collapse-in-a-fit-of-shrill-screaming thing when I tried to buckle her into the stroller. I won. Barely.

While at the park, I made the mistake of being the first one down the slide. Awesome. It looked like I peed my pants. We stayed for a bit, but not long enough in a certain someone’s opinion so I had to coax and negotiate with a whiny Rex most of the way home.

The rest of the day consisted of much of the same – negotiating, re-directing, whining, audible sighing on my part, and many other unpleasantries said in my head or under my breath.

When an exhausted Tyler got home from work, I was fit to be tied, and the kids were restless. Those three things in tandem, do not a happy home make.

We ate dinner (and if I’m being honest, we did not enjoy each others’ company), and then decided to take a walk to the park.

You can imagine about how well that went. I will spare you the not-good-really-quite-bad-awful-kind-of-day details.

Tyler and I argued (I’m using that term loosely) when we got home. Yes, in front of the kids. The kind of argument that leaves you both cursing your younger self for “choosing” each other and saying nasty things in your head. It was ugly. I cried…out of frustration, guilt, and sheer exhaustion. Commence shame spiral.

Sometimes, when I have a not-good-really-quite-bad-awful-kind-of-day, the only answer is to “sleep it off.” So that’s what I did. I slept…

But, I woke up (at 5 AM) with no more patience or perspective than I had yesterday…until I went to Target and wound up next to the mother of the toddler in a “I’ve-never-been-this-devastated-in-my-life” kind of tantrum. I wanted so badly to say, “Take heart. I’ve been there. This too shall pass. I’m not judging you,” but she wouldn’t make eye contact.

I imagine she cried when she got to her car. I say this because she looked on the verge of tears inside the store, and speaking from experience, that feeling only intensifies during the walk of shame out of the store.

While I, in no way shape or form, enjoyed watching her public torture, it was comforting to know that I am not alone…it’s not just my kids… or just my life. It’s all of us. We are all struggling [most days].

So, to that end, I’m starting a support group :). We can meet at the grocery store…the library…Target…the mall. Heck, we can meet right here on this blog. We can smile at each other and say, “Take heart. I’ve been there. This too shall pass.” We can refrain from judgement and we will always be kind. We can share our not-good-really-quite-bad-awful-kind-of-day stories, NOT because misery loves company, but because EVERYONE is fighting some kind of battle and EVERYONE needs a cheering section.

Let’s start a support group called “Sometimes Life is Ridiculously Hard.” Let’s share our stories and cheer each other on.

I will start, “Hi. I’m Sarah. I’m a mom. I love my kids. Sometimes I fail. Last night, I fought with my husband in front of my kids.”