Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Tuesday Tune-Up: Paper Trail

Whew! I just completed my annual "organize the files" day. I went through all of our paper statements, bills, receipts, and other similar junk, throwing out the old and organizing the new. I keep all my paper for a year, and other important documents for three years. Usually, I tend to just let the paper pile up during the year, so when January comes around, it's time to shred anything over a year old.

Need to clean out yourself? Here's a few tips:

1) Do not keep what you do not need.

Simple enough right? MmmmHmmm. Until you start going through papers and want to get sentimental - then, you start to try to hang on to papers that it makes absolutely no sense to keep. Just throw it away!

2) Shred it!

Anything with important information that is.

3) Organize according to date.

Keep everything in date order. This makes it easy to find if you need to pull it quickly.

4) Organize according to subject.

I have individual file folders for each specific document, but my hanging folders are divided into subjects. For instance, one of my hanging folders is labeled "Credit Cards" which contains individual file folders of all of my separate credit card accounts.

5) Maintain Easy Access.

Keep your files in a place that you can easily access when new statements come in. If not, you'll most likely end up with a stockpile of everything together - Of course you did have good intentions of filing them before they collected into that intimidating mound.

On a side note, how are those organization goals coming?

I've got pics of my closet makeover coming later this week!

Friday, January 18, 2013

Fabulous Friday Finds!

I've been researching and checking out all kinds of organization tips and pics to share with you as you head into the weekend! Here are a few spots that might get those organization juices flowing and help you meet your organizational goals for the month!

Check out this gorgeous pantry at thesocialhome.

This site has wonderful pictures and videos for all areas of your home. Visit alejandra.
bathroom organization

I love this idea for storing small items! Creatingkeepsakes also has more ideas for craft storage. 

Check out mygreatchallenge for tips on pure organization - surely something we all struggle with!

iheartorganizing  is one of my personal favorites when it comes to organizing. She just posted her new kitchen makeover and it is to die for! 

This wrapping station is definitely on my to-do list! Can't wait to free up the space it's taking up in my closet floor. And how easily accesible!

I also love this linen closet from iheartorganizing! I have no linen closet in my home, but a cabinet like this will work wonders!

I attempted to find things that were practical for most of us! Yes, there are some lavish pictures of closets and pantries, but let's face it, most of us don't have those big spaces! 
I'm learning to work with what I have - that's the key! 

I'd love to see and hear what you are doing to organize! Leave me comments and updates! 

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Home.Organized: creating a home planner

Well, I toyed and toyed with this idea, decided to give it a test run in November and December, and due to its fabulous success, have embraced this organizing idea for 2013!

A Household Planner. This seemed like a very daunting task to me the first time I was introduced to it. However, as I contemplated the thought, the idea grew on me. So much so that I decided to give it a whirl. I am so excited about using it this year to keep my home organized!

Its purpose? To help me keep track of everything going on in life and to keep it in one place. After searching and searching for just the right pieces to go into my organizer, I have finally completed it and already put it to use this month.

Here's what I did:

(1) Purchase: Notebook, Dividers, Pocket pages

(2) Find: Printables online to meet my organization needs

(3) Print: Everything that I wanted to go in my organizer

(4) Label: All of the sections of my notebook. 

(5) Complete: Fill in calendar, information sheets, to-do lists, etc. 

Ok, so that sounded super simple right? It was! The only time-consuming part was finding all of the printables and handouts that I used, but I'm including links to all of them for you! (If you want to use the same ones). 

My Sections:

(1) Calendar. This includes a monthly calendar through December of this year. I will write down all events on this calendar to keep up with our very busy lives. (Yes, some people prefer to do this electronically on an app, but I like to see the big picture written out - call me old-fashioned :) Click here to download a 12-month calendar.

(2) Weekly Plans. This is one of my personal favorites! I love this printable weekly planner. Mine hangs on my fridge in my Mead Organizher fridge organizer! I keep all of the blank ones in my planner and pull one out on Sunday night and fill it in for the week, then to the fridge it goes! Click here for weekly planner printables. 

(3) Meal Planner. I found this handout that coordinates with two others in my book! Yay! for coordinating colors. What does the meal planner do? Makes me plan out what my family is going to eat for the week. I try to base our meals on what we already have in the pantry, but if I need to grab something at the store, I can write it on the grocery list on the right side of the page. I keep my meal plans in my fridge organizer as well so that I can quickly glance at them to remind myself what's for dinner. Click here to get your free meal planner printout. You may have to scroll down on the page when you get there, but it is there :)

(4) Blogging. I also printed 52 of these blogging planners. Obviously, you won't need this section if you don't blog, but I love to take one out each week and hang it on my bulletin board above my desk. Keeps me focused and in-check for writing. Click here if you are interested. I also store and keep ideas in the pocket folder for this section. Did I mention I love my pocket dividers? They are so practical!

(5)To-Do Lists: Here I use a master list that includes a start date, task description, and target date as well as a check box for the completed task. (I just love checking items off my list!) Although there are many to-do lists out there I finally settled on this one Click here to download it yourself!

(6) Reference Section: This section is home to all kinds of information sheets. Anything from an emergency information sheet, pet information, birthdays, party planning, gift purchases, to thank you card records. I don't keep these in bulk, but rather use them to make copies if needed or simply keep them in the book for useful information. 

(7) Budget: Here I keep a ledger of our monthly expenses. Pretty simple, but very needed. 

(8) Cleaning: Oh yes, tips, recipes, tricks, cleaning plans, all of it is kept here.  Click here for the source to a few of my favorite cleaning tracks and organizing sheets. 

I plan to add a few more sections as I find need for them, but for now, I am loving the help that my household planner is giving me.

Whatever your stage or style of life may be right now, I seriously suggest using some type of planner to help you keep your home organized. It is our job as wives and moms to run our home in a way that is decent and in order. Just look at the Proverbs 31 mom - she was most certainly organized! 

Of course, my planner and its sections are not going to work for you. You must make your planner work for you! Take this idea and adapt it to fit your needs! 

Happy planning!

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Tuesday Tune Up: Junk Drawer

Hello! So sorry that this post is a day late this week. I simply think I forgot yesterday was Tuesday! Yes, my brain is in that funk lately!

This week's Tuesday Tune-Up features the infamous JUNK DRAWER! AAAAHHHHH! Yes - This is what I used to say when I opened it. Actually, I think it bothered my husband more than it bothered me. I caught on that something needed to be done about it after ten or so comments about his not being able to find anything in this drawer. As a result - Voila! an organized junk drawer.

I've been doing quite a bit of reading on the topic of organizing since this month for me is focused on organization. One of the main methods taught about purging is keep only what is useful. The junk drawer is a place to keep odds and ends that are useful to a particular space. My junk drawer is purposed for downstairs gadgets in my home. As you can see, I can quickly grab what I need without having to search. 

Starting from the back left: I purchased a muffin pan at the DollarTree to house my paper clips, rubber bands, etc. My desk is super small and does not have space for these things. Candle lighters fit nicely in the space leftover beside the muffin pan.
I then have a small bin for batteries. With a toddler's toys, batteries are normally in high demand. Now, I have easy access to them.
The next small bin houses adhesives and my side bin contains pens and markers. 

Ta-Da! A drawer that is functional and no longer lives up to its junky name! 

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Tuesday Tune-Up: Project Organize

It's a fresh new year...I love January because there is just something in the air that screams, "NEW START!" Personally, I love to set January aside as Organization month. It's out with the old and in with the new. Or maybe, it's spice up the old and make it new to you! So, here's your challenge for this week. Make a list of a few big organizing projects that need to take place in your home. Hey, maybe you only have time for one - GREAT! Write it down and devise a plan to get that specific area or areas organized this month. Write down   the area, what you would like to see done in this area, and what items you may need to purchase to make this happen.

Might I add that you can find some great smaller organizing bins at your local DollarTree. Recently I have purchased some items online at a much cheaper price than the store had for storage containers and organizing bins.

Here's what is on my list for January (I'm hoping to add a few more, but I'm definitely going to finish these).
* Master Closet - Our master closet is technically a "walk-in" meaning I can step into it, but it is not deep at all, just wide. Therefore, I am going to move shelves around, add a shelf, and build a shoe-rack to optimize my space and make it organized and beautiful.

*Freezer - Opening my freezer right now makes me cringe! I hate to even look in there because everything is everywhere! There has got to be a better way! Thus my goal to get it organized :)

* Laundry Room - Mine is more like a laundry closet. My plans include adding a shelf and some bins to keep everything accessibly in its place.

* Baby Toys and Clothes - This definitely falls under the category of out with the old and in with the new. This is actually a project I've already completed this month but I think it is a must for anyone with kids. Baby boy received lots of new clothes and toys for Christmas, and to make room for them, we cleaned out all of his clothes that he is growing out of and boxed up the baby toys that he really doesn't play with anymore. Yeah - It was time to put away the baby swing and the bouncer too.

* Clothes Drawers - I want all of the clothes in my drawers to be easily accesible, easy to see, and easy to store without having to cram and dig when I put things in or pull them out. Whew!

I've spent some time looking for ideas on how to organize these spaces and wanted to share some links with you - maybe it will ignite the itching to organize! For the kitchen (and lots of other spaces) I love this site! click here She is so well organized - I envy her!

 For book storage - I have actually adopted this idea in my pantry, using these for my recipe books. I've also thought about using them in the kids' rooms for books. click here .

This site has tons of ideas for organizing and maximizing your home. click here . I could spend hours on this site. Lots of pin-worthy ideas found here.

I would love to hear back from you! Let me know what project you plan to tackle and a before and after pic would really make my day!

I'll be posting my own before and afters as well! Happy Organizing!