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.

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.

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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!

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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.)

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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.

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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!

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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.

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  • 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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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

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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}

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

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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!

Simple Steps to Organization

If you need a visual of the Simple Steps for Organization there it is! Take a look and let me know!

Happy organizing!

Declutter. Clean. Organize.

Keeping stuff you don’t need. Everyone does it – don’t lie! I do it too. Somethings hold memories others hold value. I want to simplify things, and you should too. Life should be easier if you don’t have to dig through a drawer. By doing a couple of things we can make our lives simpler. 

Declutter. You can go 2 ways with this one – you can pull everything out (1 drawer at a time; don’t overwhelm yourself with the whole desk!). Or you can do one part at a time, this way you can stop and start when you have the time. Start with one shelf on the bookshelf instead of the entire bookshelf ( just because your goal is to organize a whole room doesn’t mean you have to do it all at once). If you do the whole thing at one time you will become overwhelmed. You are more likely to want to take a break if you pull everything out at once. 

If that means your closet is in need of a cleansing then take a minute or as long as you need to open up that closet and do a section of it. Maybe only focus on the things hanging up. Then look into then stuff on the top shelf. Then look into the bottom of the closet – I know, I know, things pile up down there. Try going through it. Decluttering is when you have a chance to throw away, donate, or find a different home for things. Maybe this will help:

1. Throw away stuff that is: garbage, broken (and you won’t fix it for your use), old – expired papers with past due dates (exceptions include: school work, finace paperwork, binding contracts, stuff you need to keep for records, etc…), undergarments (never donate theses!), there is always more to toss out, but this is a start! 

2. Donate stuff that: is in good condition that you have no interest in anymore, clothes that don’t fit, books, and so much more-just think before you send it away!

3. Find a different home for things that: you know someone will appreciate or someone is looking for. Make sure you ask before dropping off a whole bunch of stuff!

Clean. Always start with cleaning before you organize. Clean your bedroom, clean the bathroom, clean the closet, clean the kitchen, the living room – what ever you are going to organize. Clean the space so you don’t distract yourself from doing the task at hand.

Organize. Don’t know where to start? That’s why I suggested you start small. One drawer at a time, one shelf at a time, one cabinet at a time, see where this is going? Make it easier on yourself and do one little part of a big project before you move on.

More organization things are on the way, have to get you the best stuff before I put it up for you here! 

Good luck and happy organizing!