Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Quick Tip Tuesday - Picture Labels for Toys

Making picture labels helps young children learn how to put their toys away, before they're able to read! You can pull images of your toys off the internet, as I did with our Mr. Potato Head drawer, or you can snap your own, as I did with our kitchen dishes & food. (I just put a small assortment of them on a white piece of paper & took a picture.) After printing them off, I taped the labels on the inside of the drawer, so they're less likely to be peeled off by little fingers.

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Hall Closet Reveal!

The transformation is our hall closet is finished!  You may remember this blog post from about a month ago, where I began reorganizing the closet.

Here's a reminder of what it looked like to begin with:

This was after removing coats & placing a set of plastic shelves in to create more storage:

And here's what it looks like now!
When I first started working on this closet, I hadn't placed a huge priority on getting it painted & getting built-in shelves installed. But as time (well, a month) has gone on, there have been other areas in our house that I'd like to go through & reorganize, but I haven't been sure where to put some of the stuff that I know will need new homes.  I knew that the built-in shelves would provide much more storage space than the plastic shelves had, and some of the items would definitely fit in there. Alas, the closet took priority again.

Finishing the transformation included:
-Painting the walls (I picked a pretty blue color to coordinate with some cute magazine holders that go in there...who says a closet can't be colorful?)
-Getting plywood for new wooden shelves, and painting them all white
-Installing the shelves (a whole story in itself...I had to enlist the hubby's help here because our chimney runs up through this closet & we had a heck of a time getting anything to go into that wall!)
-Lastly, and my favorite part, putting everything in it's new place!

I picked up some new medium-sized clear totes to house our winter gear - hats, scarfs, mittens - kids' stuff in one and adults' stuff in the other.  While in the store, I also came across these awesome plastic drawers, and after seeing the measurements for them, I HAD to buy them because they were basically MADE to fit my shelves!  Seriously, they're 17 inches deep and the shelves are 17.25 inches deep. What a great way to utilize the entire depth of the shelf.

There's a so much more space in this closet now, it's a bit ridiculous!  The new plastic drawers I got are empty, and I even threw in a basket that I wasn't using anywhere else right now, just to fill the space!  I'm not worried though...there are definitely items in other areas of our home that will make their way to this closet, now that it's so much more functional. I must admit that I left the vacuum & wrapping paper out when I took the after pics, just so I could show off more of the shelves - but they still live in the same spots as the "progress" pic.

I'm so pleased with how it turned out - sometimes I even open the door as I'm walking by, just to look at it again. Yes, I'm an organizing dork. But the neatness & colors makes me happy!  (To which my hubby replies, "Well, if that's all it takes..."  haha)

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Quick Tip Tuesday - Junk Drawer Compartments

Junk Drawers are much less "junky" if you use small baskets to compartmentalize them. Empty out your drawer & decide what really needs to be in it. Then sort like items into each space.

You'll notice I've got a small selection of tools all in one basket (just basics that get used often, the rest are stored elsewhere), spare keys in another, tape in another, a cell phone charger in another....well, you get the picture.

The plastic baskets I have in my drawer were only like $1.25 for a 3-pack, or something like that; definitely well worth it in my opinion. Old check boxes are another great (and free!) option, that's what I'm currently using in our desk drawer.

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Transformation Sneak Peek

I did a little closet transformation project last night. Hubby was out of town, the kids were all asleep, and I felt like doing a little project just for me. Not dishes or laundry or cleaning, something FUN!

But I can't reveal it all to you....because it's not done yet. I'm hoping Hubby can help me with part of what I want to do, sometime this coming week.  Here's a sneak peek to whet your appetite!

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Quick Tip Tuesday - A Basement Tip...

 If your basement is prone to water, try to store as much as possible off the floor.....

(Yep, a bit sarcastic...but not completely!)  

For example, if you have any built-in shelving, try to make the bottom shelf about a foot off the floor, or else leave enough room for plastic totes to slide underneath.  Even if your basement has never had water in it before, it's better to be safe than sorry!  I have a friend who lost all kinds of stuff last year, including all of her childhood memorabilia, when the sewer backed up in their home.  Let's hope that never happens to you!

And if you're wondering, this post is appearing so late in the day because, well, this is what my basement currently looks like!  It's been pouring here for at least half of the day, and the water is just leaking in all over. Just like it did for a good week or two last fall when we had heavy rains.  And again early this spring when the near-record snowfall melted too quickly.  And to think that the previous owners said they never had water in 20 years...

Monday, June 13, 2011

What I Was/Am Working On

Sorry for the lack of posts lately...
My original goal was 3 posts per week, which I'd still like to do, but things have been really busy around here lately & blogging hasn't been a big priority! 

I hosted a garage sale at my brother & sister-in-law's home this past weekend, along with some other relatives. They have a big, beautiful 3-stall garage and we had it quite full!  So that was taking up quite a bit of my time the last couple weeks especially...getting stuff ready, setting it up, etc.  I did have a lot of my stuff together in a pile in my basement, as I shared in last week's Quick Tip, so that definitely helped!  Unfortunately, I forgot to take pictures....boo.

But, now that my basement has been purged of the big Garage Sale Pile in the corner, I finally have room to rearrange some of my storage & finish reorganizing the basement - a project I began a few months ago.  :-)

I'll be sharing more of my Summer To-Do List soon...any big home/organizing projects on yours?

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Quick Tip Tuesday - Donation Station

Image Credit: Super Stock

It's a great idea to have a location in your house where you can toss objects you come across that you know longer need/want - a donation station, if you will.  The location is also up to you, but make it somewhere handy. Some people keep a box in their laundry room (easy to toss clothes in), I keep mine in my basement simply because there isn't a very good place anywhere else. Not super handy, but it's the best location for me. I also like to use a simple cardboard box, that way I can grab the whole thing & just take it with me when I'm ready to donate, and I don't have to worry about waiting to get my plastic tote back.

If you regularly host a garage sale, consider doing the same idea!  I've known since last summer that I would be hosting a sale this year, along with some relatives, so I had several boxes in the basement where I would just stash stuff as I came across it. It can also be a big time saver if you price stuff as it goes in the box, then all you have to do is unpack it when it's time to set up your sale.  I didn't do this, and I'm definitely wishing I had!!

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Creating a Breakfast Center

In our house, most of our food is stored in our pantry. We also have a "basement pantry", which I'll be doing a post about in the near future. So other than my baking staples, the only cupboard in our kitchen that contains food is this one, which I like to think of as our Breakfast Center:

It's conveniently located directly above our coffee maker (and originally the toaster, but we moved that to be right above the bread drawer) and contains almost everything you might need for breakfast: coffee (obviously), cold cereal, oatmeal, and a variety of toppings for toast.  The second shelf is basically our Beverage Center, with coffee, creamer, hot cocoa, teas, Nesquik, instant juice/lemonade mixes, etc.

This cupboard also houses baby-food-stuffs when we're in the baby phase (which is true right now), simply because they're things we access a lot & it's nice to have them in a handy cupboard. We purposely made the top shelf super short, because we wanted the height for the bottom two shelves, and while it doesn't serve much of a purpose when we don't have a baby in the house, it's pretty much a match made in heaven for baby food jars!

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