Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Fix-It: Home Command Central: Binders

As I hinted in my previous post, one of the bigger re-organization jobs has been 2 fold: creating some improved work areas for myself and the kids, plus a Home Command central space.

I got busy looking over many pins for inspiration and found some great printables along the way.

I needed a new system. so I began a complete overhaul and have been using and re using my new finds and inspired ideas from pinterest.

The Home Command Center:

as seen in the above picture of the side of our refrigerator...who doesn't use their fridge as the go to area for information of your home? well we do...and it has been a sore spot for awhile now trying to figure a better way to utilize that space and the area directly around it and our back door, which for the most part is the main coming and going area in our home for our family.

Matt and I chat of these grand remodeling plans of re using this back area space to make a proper mudroom, etc....but well you needs FUNDS for that...and funds just aren't part of this equation right now. So what do I do?

we have limited space

we have limited funds

and a lot of mess and disarray

which may not cause stress to my family but it does to me and well if Mama ain't happy than no one is...

somehow I "conned" Matt into helping me set up a "new" organization desk/work area in our family room and well it's moving along.

Emptying the desk shared by both the kids and I was like an archaeological dig and it took over the dinning room table for a good week as I sorted and looked on pinterest for new ideas of how to organize all of this "stuff"

I  decided I needed a new way to sort, file and keep track of everything from finances to meal planning and family time...

this is my temporary "desk" area until I have shelves installed over my new desk area. I sorted through my current system and condensed and reused the storage items I had around the house already. Plus the added bonus of a surplus of white binders I had stored up.

I decided on a system of 3 main binders:
Home/Family Life
Get Creative

I also have 6 paper organizers for items that don't quite fit in the binders' system.
A "to-do" file
A general school file
and one file per child

I have tweaked and moved things around a bit over the last weeks as i get used to using a new system. In the end to make life not just organized and more efficiently functioning I want it to look pretty too. So I plan to do something like this:

as seen from this pin/blog:  iheartorganizing

here's a peek into each of my binders and where i found the printables on pinterest:


it has 5 sections:

savings, with pocket pages to keep gift cards, lists, saving plans for trips, camp, etc

Budget and Bills,  with a general monthly bill list, a working budget spreadsheet, pocket pages for bills, payments, etc

the budget sheet was found here: simple-dimples organization-binders

Monthly Calendar (of expenses/income), this has a calendar to fill in when items are due and pay dates; a register or track your spending sheets, and pocket pages for receipts

the register pages was found from the same blog link above

this one I found while searching for something else, and I think i like this format a bit better...will be trying this one February. Found here: yourway-spending-worksheet

The last two sections are for misc receipts and any credit card purchases made. Plus an area for any other documents, notes that pertain to bills and finances and websites for billers.

Home/Family Life binder

 this Binder has 8 sections

Important appointments/reminders pocket page:

Meal Planning, which includes a pocket page for recipes to try (from magazines, friends, etc)

 my master meal list and chart to fill in new recipes to try again

weekly evening calender so i can plan out the weeks meals accordingly

the Next section is for Chores/Cleaning:

I have a pocket page for chore/cleaning instruction cards that i give to the kids when we play the "House Game" on most Saturday mornings. I have created a section with cleaning schedule samples and blank sheets for me to fill in as I come up with a better schedule than just the random cleaning spurts or the "we have company tonight....AHHH!"

The GREAT "To-DO!" section:


Pocket pages above (self explaining) and then one of the best pins (IMHO) the Things to do list:
I printed and then made multiple copies of.  I pull a new sheet out each week (the goal is to do it Sunday afternoons) and begin filling it out. It stays on a clip board in plain site for me to keep track of what I'd like to and am suppose to get done during the week ahead, from laundry to Disney planning....

I then have two sections for Finish It Friday's (what didnt i do and now prioritize that out) and Action plans for trouble spot areas in the home/outside that we want to tackle.

the last section is for Family Time:

I have a calendar printed so I can keep track of weekend and Friday night activities so I can set aside some intentional time for us to do things as a family or just Matt and I

the pocket pages in this section hold Family Night cards, and other items to help inspire fun :-)

Get Creative Binder

this binder hasn't received much use yet...but I have fun plans for this binder to help keep me organized for crafting, gift-giving, holidays, scrapbooking and blogging....stay tuned to see more.

Here are the links to the printables I have used for my binders:

weekly Menu planner: artsyfartsymama-get-organized-printable

Things to do list:

various printables from Simplify Life (link is to a blog about Sunday planning and offers many links to printables): printables c/o designfinch

Printable calndars: todayscreativeblog

Fill in Weekly chore chart: my3monsters-housekeeping

Chore cards for Kids: organicfamilies.blogspot-chore-cards

I hope I inspired you to get organized, please stay tuned for the final installment of this Home Command Central remake as we get back to the Fridge information disarray....

thanks for reading, Julie

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

January's almost over...

It's a balmy 50+ degrees outside on this late Tuesday afternoon, here in Chicago land, feels more like Spring than late Winter. Where's the snow? None here, but the younger girls go to school in their snow boots since its so MUDDY outside after an ice storm turned rain.

Sorry that life has gotten in the way of keeping up w/ the Blog, but have no fear I have been hard at work still organizing, doing the PIN thing, and keeping creative!

As January is wrapping up (which is absolute hard to believe) it's time to get a bit caught up and show you my efforts thus far in my goal of reorganizing my life and home!

Organizational projects that I have tackled have been my :bedroom closet

the linen closet

BEFORE: very scary... 

AFTER: looking way better!

took a trip to the $1 store and stocked up on bins, pulled everything out one Sunday afternoon: sorted for keep, toss and donate. then got to putting stuff back in. Even had Matt fold up the sheets into the pillowcases as seen on pinterest. Looking at several pins about linen closet organization helped too...gave me some great visuals to get started. Final step is to make some pretty labels for the bins.

our laundry/pantry/mudroom:

this is a serious work in progress...get back to telling you more about this project later ;-)

the infamous:junkdrawer

"new" desk areas for the kids and myself

 the BEFORE space, being used by myself AND the kids...just not working

The CURRENT after...(still a work in process)

a home command central area (which goes with the above project)

a better way of organizing all those papers, finances, and everything else a Stay at Home *or any parent/homeowner needs to keep track of

some of these projects have been completed YAY! and others are well on there way to hopefully making life a bit easier and happily organized :-) for all

I will share w/ you in more detail, some of that organization that I have been tackling over the last several weeks and actually putting into weekly/daily use!

stay tuned for upcoming post...
thanks, Julie

Friday, January 18, 2013

Fix-it-Friday: the junk drawer

Are you happy the end of the "work" week is here? I know I am, and its a no school day here, so kind of nice not to have the usual hustle and bustle of the day...

Today's Fix-it-Friday Post is a dreaded area to tackle, but took really no time at all :-)

How many of you have a space like this somewhere in your home?

the dreaded junk drawer area

Oh I periodically clean through this drawer and straighten it up and I probably am the biggest culprit of just tossing the "junk" in there. So yesterday, enough was enough and time to put some of those $1 store purchases to work.

I began by excavating all the little magnets, pencils, twist ties, old batteries, coupons, and more from the drawer and then placed in the handy $1 store drawer organizer bins into the drawer.

from there I begin to refill the bins:

I of course unloaded a pile of garbage, misc items of my husbands and a bunch of odd and ends that belong to kids. Happily everything seem to fit back in quite nicely. So I went from this scary drawer:

To something that looks quite Pin worthy:

Now the trick will be how long will it stay like that?

Well I hope I inspired you to tackle a small organizing challenge this weekend and thanks for reading, Julie

Monday, January 14, 2013

Monday Magic

Has it been a Magical Monday for you so far?

eh? for me, but happy I still got my creativity moving and made a quick less than 10 minute project for today's MONDAY MAGIC Post!

I have a stock pile of jars, cans, pictures, frames and other misc crafting supplies to create simple "From this to that" projects and in hopes of keeping the creative juices flowing in 2013 I plan on most Mondays to do some simple project and share it with you.

today's "from this to that project" is a 2013 Memory Jar.

I used a clean empty glass jar (believe it was applesauce), some decorative tape, a piece of sticky backed cardstock and a piece of twine and here you go:

as you can see I added a bit of my Disney signature :-)

I also added a pencil and started the jar off with a memory about my daughter's first day a ballet class. My hope is to have the whole family participate and fill this jar up with little memories throughout the year and then start a new tradition on New Year's Eve by reading the little notes.

as I was inspired by keepersministryblog

and I hope I inspired you to make something simple but special this week :-)

thanks for reading, Julie

Friday, January 11, 2013

Fix-it-Up FRIDAY: my bedroom closet

Happy 2013!

Have you made any resolutions, goals or plans to help "improve" your life or the way you do things? I hope you have at least reflected on the previous year and look forward to what this new year of TWENTY THIRTEEN will bring.

for myself, besides scrapbooking goals of trying to get a few albums and projects caught up, I also looked at what else I enjoy and how to put that into practical use.

I'm a PINTEREST addict, and sadly proud of it.

however how much of what I PIN do I put into action? well time to put that to test in my PINTEREST 2013 challenge. you can see how this unfolds in hopeful weekly installments of "Fix-it-Up FRIDAY's"

the first installment was tacking my bedroom closet. We have two closets in our bedroom a his and hers set, but lately my usual neat self has been letting this closet become a catch all for anything. Plus after hubby repainted the room in October, we still have no closet doors up yet, so it has been becoming a sore spot for myself. The "his" side is whole other story.....

first credit due:
 I found some pinspiration from this pin:

creativity exchange

(also used some of these methods for my daughters shared closet)

Here's the Before:

clothes toppling over themselves, poor use of floor storage and current space

What I wanted to achieve was:
a) better shoe storage
b) better organization of my folded shirts and sweaters
c) more effective use of the space and current storage items

The biggest goal was to use what I already have in the space and re purpose any other storage items not currently in use. I decided to rearrange the shoe storage, move sweaters into a box and take the bags that were in the boxes on the floor and put in storage bags on the top shelf. Plus I found some unused cube baskets and cloth bins to help keep everything neat and organized. I had earlier in the year cleared several piles from my closet of clothes that didn't fit or I didn't need. so this truly was an achievement in organization, although I did pull several things out that could be kept else where.

let's take a look at the after photos:

neat and organized!
(Hubby is going to cut me an extra self from his side to have even more shirt storage and I want to buy some clothes organizers to keep the shirts in for an even neater presentation)

no junk and boots spilling over under my dresses anymore

moved the current shoe organizer to an upright position to allow better hanging room above. As well all the boots all stacked on top. (Eventually I will purchase some nicer pant hangers to hang the boots and get ride of the boxes all together like in this pin:

the floor bins now filled with my sweaters and some misc items...but wait this doesn't stay like this for long.

  the middle section of the closet, sorry didn't take a decent "before" shot was just piled with stuff. Now it looks so much nicer.

all the bags neatly organized up stop

one basket cube has my ball cap collection and the other swimwear

the cloth bins have my smaller go to purses/bags and extra pj bottoms and tops

this was my original plan for the smaller dress shoes and sandal/flip flop collection, but in the end Hubby wasn't a fan and either was I, especially since it covered up artwork from the kids.

so several pairs went in the shoe cubbie

and the rest went in here, the snacks and misc. stuff found a new home under my bed in an organizer that was poorly being used.

so there you have it! hope it brings you some inspiration this weekend to organize a bit in your home!

thanks for reading, Julie