Becoming Neat and Complete

Being organized isn’t always what you imagine it being. If you have spent years with the same clutter, in the same spots, you might not think if it as clutter – it is just part of the room! Being organized isn’t about removing everything – it’s about taking hold of your space and making it function for you!  Organization is time consuming, and (can be) exhausting, but the ease afterwards should be worth all of the hard work! Don’t let all of your hard work go to waste either. Keep your space how it needs to be neat and complete.

The clutter can come back! Don’t let it! It will grow, and grow, and grow, until one day you feel overwhelmed again! Keep it neat – even if that means one night a week (or month). Continue to make the effort, even though it’s hard!

Remember:  It doesn’t have to be done in a day. Start with what you are comfortable with and make progress. When you are ready to put things together, remember to feature what you love! It is still your space! Organizing isn’t about hiding things, its about functionality and simplicity.

Advertisements

Refreshing the Craft Corner

Recently, there has been talk of moving to a different house. Moving involves lots of decluttering, cleaning, and sorting. So I decided to step up and work in things that we don’t always think about. I decided to work on my craft closet/corner.

IMG_5105

I had boxes, tape, plastic bags, and a garbage at the ready. Sometimes projects can feel overwhelming. Start where you can move something around. I moved the purple tub first so I could see what I needed to do after that. So, move what is in the way and make a pile for going though at a later time.

IMG_5108

I had multiple plies (and boxes) in the room. The divided piles included: donate, give to friend, sell, and garbage. Taking one step is at a time is key. IMG_5106The stuff in the craft corner had been collecting for about 5+ years. A good 40% of the corner went away – in the garbage or donate.

The purpose of going though the craft corner was to declutter and remove things – and it happened!

IMG_5109The end result removed 2 containers of stuff and a bin! Only the 2 drawers remained!

This project was completed in less than 2 hours!

So remember: Start with the front & take it one step at a time!

Good Luck and Happy Organizing!

Beneath the Bathroom Counter

Recently I had the opportunity to organize under a bathroom sink. The bathroom cabinets had never truly been organized (at one point there was 2 stackable baskets and that was all there was). It started out looking like this and was covered in powder and dust.

If your bathroom cabinets look similar to this you need to take the time and sort it out. It’s just 3 easy steps – declutter, clean, and organize.

I inspected the clutter before anything else; I saw a few things that needed to be addressed and made sure they stayed on the list of things I needed to look into. I started by taking everything out of the cabinet – all 3 sections. Once everything was out, cleaning and wiping down the bottom and getting the dust out was very important. When everything was finally out it was easier to make a plan for what needed to stay in the bathroom and how it was going to fit in there.

IMG_4941
The rough original plan

I was planning on other things to work when I started this project, but there was a few rough patches and I had to work around theses to make the system work better.

I put in Sterilite modular drawers (scroll to the bottom of the page 2350, 2360, 2365, 2370) that come in different sizes and they are stackable no matter what size! Also Sterilite stackable bins (scroll to the middle of the page 1660, 1662, 1664) were a great addition to the bathroom cabinet. The wonderful over-cabinet basket was one of my favorite parts of the bathroom – you can find it from Spectrum Diversified Designs  (this isn’t the exact one-the one I used is longer available).  In the end it worked out – even though it didn’t go as planned!

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Good luck and happy organizing!

School Tips

I know that everyone isn’t in school, but I did want to put somethings out here for anyone who wants some simple organizers (and tips) to help make things easier towards graduation of high school or the start of college and through college.

Starting Young

There is great ideas about what to start doing with your kids once they start school. Maybe something similar to birthday questions from Best Activities for Kids or these yearly 20 questions from Paper Nook are things you can do to watch your kids grow. One of my favorite things to see parents doing is creating yearly file boxes similar to the ones from Destination of Domestication or if you are interested in a file box that goes year by year, specifically for school pictures, projects, and paperwork, then the School Paperwork Storage from iHeart Organizing will help prevent parents from throwing stuff, every year, into a container like my mom did. The file folder method is more custom and organized. You can even add those yearly questions to the file box! Did I mention that every child gets their own box? (A really great suggestion for the file box would be these very nice waterproof file boxes from Sterilite). 

Oh, and  a quick suggestion-every year give your son or daughter’s teachers blank cards to write something about your son or daughter and how they were as a student each year (maybe with a favorite memory), so when their senior year comes around they will have little memories of the last 13 years that they may or may-not remember! Make it a secret project to surprise them later with! I have also seen parents giving teachers the Dr. Seuss book, Oh the Places You Will go instead of cards.

Don’t forget about the thank yous!  Have your son or daughter give out thank yous to each teacher every year – it does mean something to them!

The Last Year

Senior year is stressful. No matter what Senior you ask there is a pressure that is looming above them and they can’t do anything about it – that pressure is the idea of a structureless future and making everything just right. This is a stress that no one can stop from happening (we can’t go to Neverland-we must grow up). What you can do as a parent or as a student is prep early. It might feel as though you have enough time and that you won’t be rushed-the clock is ticking! So, start early. High schools usually let students know about scholarship opportunities, but if they don’t then talk to a school advisor (or counselor) and see what they can do for you. Start looking for scholarships early-as early as Junior year- at least try one or two.

Sophomore and Junior year students should be visiting their advisor/counselor. Students should be looking into their future and High school advisors/counselors are available to support and give out ideas and suggestions.

Starting College and Getting Through It 

College is the start of a bumpy journey that starts with independence. To make it less stressful here are some great ideas that can help organize the start of college to get you in great habits for the future. Start with printing out your course schedule for the semester. Put this information into this Semester Planner from The Organized Student (she has other printables available for free and they are very helpful). If you think the Semester Planner is helpful, maybe try to make a schedule that will be consistent week after week (try the Class Schedule printable from Just a Girl and Her Blog). Once you know when you have class you should be ready for class – books! Take a trip to the campus bookstore. Once you collect all the books you are going to need for the semester, fill out the Textbook Form from Bloglovin’ and staple the receipt(s) onto the back. Of course these are just little organized documents, but it’s a start! Try keeping thing you will need access to frequently (Semester Planner and Class Schedule) closer than things that you won’t need as much (Textbook form). Those are the physically oranganizable things. That about everything else? Things from college courses will come from the computer. I recommend printing things out rather than reading online. Reading on a computer screen might lead to distractions or hurting your eyes. If you prefer reading online, marking up the text can be hard. Try using this Google Chrome extension-Clearly (sorry, this is is an extension is available only through the Google Chrome browser and will no longer be connected to Evernote by the end of January). If you want to print something out, you might want to try using Print Friendly to remove extra things that you don’t need to read. You can put these papers in binders such as these from Target (they are good quality and are inexpensive).

Taking notes can be done the traditional way with paper and pen or you can try Microsoft OneNote (which I will be trying out this semester). You can also use Google Drive and make a folder with many documents.

Just a quick tip on highlighting- highlight what is emphasized in readings, notes, readings, and lectures.

Tests, exams, and quizzes all test your ability to understand the information. If you have the time to take these tests, exams, and quizzes then take the time you need to take them.

The most important tip anyone can ever give you is to ask for help when you need it. If you don’t understand, ask. The one think to keep in mind-always ask. Ask another student or contact the instructor during class, during their office hours, or through email. It’s simple- always ask.

It can get overwhelming trying to pick what to do, but you just might need to try things to see what works for you. Function is very important and making things function universally to everyone is impossible, so just try and find something that works for you!

In the future maybe I can update you on other school tips-if you’re interested!

Good Luck and Happy Organizing!

Weekly Planners

All of have something we need to do every day and most of us have things written down to help us remember what we need to achieve on a daily or weekly basis. One of my favorite things to keep me in task is using a weekly planner. I’m going to try to explain to you that you just can’t grab a planner and tell yourself you are going to use it. I know this from experience. Just grabbing one off the shelf from your local store isn’t going to help you be more organized-it just might stress you out and make daily and weekly things harder to do.

My Experience with an Off-the-Shelf Planner

This past year, right around August before my classes began, I remember going into Target and passing the small clearance section of office supplies and seeing a planner that I had marveled at a few weeks before. It was 1 of 3 or 4 left and it was $1-2 off so I decided why not try it-I needed a planner anyway. This planner has monthly calendars and weekly planners. (My idea before I saw this planner on clearance was to make my own.)

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

This planner worked great for about 1 week. After that week I realized I hated it. I just didn’t work for me. This planer was made for someone with very structured time and projects that didn’t take up more than 6 words. This planner was made for someone who already had their life in a strict pattern of consistency.

IMG_4905Well, that nice, cute, and plain planner got put aside and a notebook stepped in (again it was from the clearance section at Target). And every week I wrote down what I needed to get done and crossed it out as I went.

The lesson I learned was an easy and some-what cheap, but still quite obnoxious one. Planners aren’t meant to be grabbed off the shelf. My main mistake was the fact that I couldn’t see inside the planner before I purchased it. If you can’t look at the inside of the planner – don’t buy it (even if it gives you a preview on the back). Planners are meant to help you with the many things going on inside your life – not create a pain and be inconvenient.

I resorted to a simple list system with very poor organization. The beginning of the year has brought to my attention that I need a new planner (even though a notebook lasts forever and the blue planner would work just fine).

Here is what I have to say about picking out a planner. This isn’t supposed to make you want just one kind, but I’m specifically going to tell you about making your own.

What Do You Need?

Planners come in all sizes, styles, and prices. You probably have an idea of what size you need based on where you take your planner and how much you use it. Deciding what style you need depends on your own opinion; if you like animals, then get a planner that involves animals. The cost of a planner ranges from just a few minutes of printing, or a few dollars, to $50 or more.

Planners can be a BIG PAIN-especially of you don’t have an idea on what you are looking for. My best suggestion for you no matter your confusion on purchasing a planner-just make it for you. Make it for yourself. You don’t always need an off-the-shelf planner that feels impersonal-planners are supposed to be personal!

Making Your Own Planner

When you start making your own planner I recommend thinking about what size of planner you need. Full page/3-ring binder size is very common and easy to create, so that is what I will start with. 3-ring binders are much easier to work with rather than other binder types that need specific things (amount of hole punches, etc.).

Weekly planners are very important-everything that goes on in 1 week happens within 7 days and you need to have space for that information! Weekly planners such as this whimsical, black and white planner, with no lines, from The Suels is great for people that like to color and enjoy designs. If you prefer lines, try My week from Happily Hope, it’s in line format or line-less! If you enjoy color and simple designs (my personal favorite) the Basic Daily Planners from Maxine Renee Designs are the weekly planners you need. She has 1 page and 2 page planners along with other weekly planners! Or if you want a planner with more structure then you might like This Week planner from World Label made by Erin Rippy. Or if you like the to-do list style-try the planners/lists from Scattered Squirrel.

Once you have your weekly planner, you are going to (maybe) need a calendar (if you want). I (highly) recommend the calendars from My Computer is My Canvas. The calendars are available in 3 different styles and are great for a new planner!

I hope you liked the ideas that are involved in making your own planner. If you are using a planner such as the one below, you need to find a new one because there are things in your life that need more space then a 1/2 inch box.

 

In the new year make time for yourself and make space for your plans.

Good luck and happy organizing!

Cleaning

Where do I even start with this one? If you have ever cleaned, then you know that everything has to be cleaned. Sometimes things don’t have to be cleaned every day or every week (sometimes not even every month)! The way people clean is different in every household and the concept of clean is different to every person. There are hundreds, even thousands of cleaning products. Everyone has their personal preferences for example: some people love the cleaning power of Bleach, but I can’t stand the smell of Bleach, so I use Clorox Wipes.

Most recently (and most often) I need to clean my bathroom. The bathroom that I use is half laundry room, so there is a lot of traffic in and out of the bathroom. The one and only sink (and counter) becomes a dumping ground for things that don’t have a home. On my counter I have a tall skinny container that holds: lotion, antiperspirant, and body sprays. The tall container doesn’t include what I usually keep on the counter- perfumes, cotton products, soap dispenser, and 2 other decorations (I should mention that the counter and sink together is less than 5 feet). It’s a small area that collects lots of clutter and needs to be cleaned often. Sometimes all it takes is a quick wipe down, other times I need to remove everything and clean it all off. (Especially when people get sick it’s very important to clean the bathrooms and door handles.)

Once things that made a temporary home on my bathroom counter have found a home (decluttering), then I have the chance to wipe everything down and clean it all up!

After a apace is decluttred, it’s easy to want to stop and give up-or maybe skip right to organizing. If you go from decluttering to organizing, you are going to try and implement nice clean systems when it’s dusty and dirty-how does that work? You need a fresh clean space (or mind) before you begin organizing, otherwise you might feel rushed or as though the project is never going to end. clean before you organize.
However you clean, it’s one of the 3 most important parts that improve organization. As long as you clean and keep things nice and tidy, you shouldn’t have a problem!

Recipe books

Food! Most people enjoy food or at least like it. Some of us can cook others not so much. Either way we have recipes that are most likely in a box. Well I’m here to tell you about one of my absolute favorite things! Binders! They are made for just about anything. I think you have the idea now – recipe binders! Personally I have one, have made one, and gave one! (I love them and in the future I will defiantly have more up about binders!) For now, let me share with you the idea of recipe binders.

IMG_4598
Sometimes we don’t have the right amount of space for our recipes. (4 binders were used  instead of 1)

I have made 2 styles. (Two from Fab n’ Free and one from Making it in the Mitten) both are free and downloadable! The recipe binder on the left is mine (I have made 2 of the 3 designs available from Fab n’ Free) and the one on the right is the one I made for someone!

 

Colorful is the way to go!The tabs in both of the binders are special Avery tabs with clear view sheets (I gave you the link to the 5 tab, but they also come in 8 tab) and they work wonderful-a little bit on the pricier side but worth it!

IMG_4851

IMG_4781
I made many copies of the title pages and customized the tabs to different categories.

 

 

 

 

 

 

  • With the Teal and yellow recipe book all of the recipe cards are included along with a conversion page, table of contents, and lots of main titles.
  •  With the colorful recipe book only the main title pages are are included.

Inside both binders are full sheet protectors for the larger recipes.Some of the best ones (for quality and price) are from Target.

  • The colorful recipe book’s full sheet recipe pages are from Alaina Ann

There are sheet protectors for recipe cards too! They are called photo protectors. The smaller recipe cards are 4×6 and are slide in front and back. They hold about 6 a piece; but I like to keep it only to 1 slot per recipe card if it’s written on the back. If you have larger recipe cards, larger photo protectors are available.

IMG_4852

  • The colorful recipe book has recipe cards from Savvy Eats and they were printed specially to fit in the 4×6 photo protectors.

I put these all on one post because when I wanted to make one if these I spent hours trying to find good, reliable printables! So I made 2 in 1, just for you!


Good luck and happy organizing!

Clean it up!

Hi! Hope everyone’s organizing has been going well!

Recently I decided around 8 pm that I would clean out my bookshelf. You should know that I’m a lover of books – a book hoarder. I know that’s a sensitive word but it truly applies here. I take pride in my elaborate collection. Unfortunately I keep all the books I haven’t read with the books I have read. And I asked myself “are you ever going to read these?” And I looked down the bookshelf and I told myself with a sad sigh, “no.” So that’s were my little adventure started.

I pulled out  all of the things that get shoved on top of the books. I know, I know, you aren’t supposed to  do that – well I did.

IMG_4794
Years ago I alphabetized my books and that helped me because I have books in another bookshelf that I needed to transfer.

I removed about a box of books in less than 1 hour (I was really attached to my books).
I took the time and I put away the things that didn’t belong in the bookshelf away where they  are supposed to go.

IMG_4803.JPG
Oh, by the way, I’m donating the books so someone else can enjoy them.

Happy organizing!

The Drawer Project

Hey! I’m excited to show you one of my most recent organization projects. This is something I have been waiting to show you!

So this was my hair stuff drawer.

IMG_4736

It constantly wouldn’t shut (it happens to all of us!) but, I kept pushing it out of my mind. I told myself “I will do it later” and when later didn’t happen I said, “I will do it later, when I have time.” When 11 pm rolled around one night I told myself “organization shouldn’t take forever.” For some projects it does but, for this one in particular I told myself 5 minutes or less. I had the supplies on hand. I purchased this organizer from Walmart but their website is what I fell in love with – madesmart.com.

IMG_4737

I removed everything that I had in that drawer {Declutter} and wiped it out {Clean}.

IMG_4739

Once I pulled things out I found stuff that needed to be thrown out (1 headband) and put in the right spot (paper clip). {Clean}

IMG_4738IMG_4740

And then (my favorite part!) I put in the new organizer and put things that I need to keep! {Organize}

IMG_4741

That took less than 5 minutes and it will look like that for a long time!

Just a hint for drawer organizers: Sometimes they don’t fit snugly into the drawer (like mine) and they can move around and make their own mess. Adding sticky tack to the bottom helps keep them from moving!

Its easy to pick a small project and finish it up, so I challenge you to take 5 minutes and do a little one! Something is better than nothing!

You can do it! Happy organizing!

Busy, Busy, And Really Busy!

Hey, sorry about the inconsistent posts here! School is really getting to me (the semester is almost over – yay!).

Everyone’s life gets a little busy every now and again. And one of my favorite things about plans and schedules is calendars! Well, in particular, these Calendars from My Computer is My Canvas! You have to follow the link on the page but, I thought it would be alright because of her amazing printable designs! You should really take a look at those!

If you are more of a digital calendar person you might want to try Sunrise from Microsoft. It’s available on the Apple Store, Mac App store, and Google Play. It’s connectable to other apps such as EvernoteGoogle KeepWunderlist, and 17 more!

To break it down even further maybe look into the planners from One Good Thing. I like her weekly planners the best. If that’s not exactly what you are looking for try this one from Paige Simple or this set of list-like printables from Lauren Taylor Made. There are so many out there, just take a look at Pinterest! If you need more Ideas, just follow me at: Simply Straight Organization. Just stop by and take a look!

I know we all get busy, so just take a minute or two and write down what you are doing today or even this week. Try one (or all) of the printables in this post! It’s all going to work out – especially when you plan it out!

Best of luck and happy organizing!