Archive of ‘Organization’ category

Jewelry Storage

One of the last things I packed before we moved was my jewelry. I wear jewelry every. single. day. so the thought of going a week or more without any of it was not something I cared to experience.  In the new house, I had to find a way to organize my many long necklaces without them getting tangled, and I just needed them out of a box.  I decided to hang them in our master closet (which has more than enough wall space), which means only I would ever see them, let alone use them. Because of that, I decided my budget would be as small as possible, while still aiming for something cute and rustic.

I had an unused fence picket in the garage and a hack saw, so I got to work cutting the panel down to 32 inch lengths.  It made for 2 panels.  I had a box of white cup hooks on hand, and I picked up a tiny sampler can of the color stain I wanted to use.

I lightly sanded the two wood panels before staining them and banishing them out to the garage to dry.

Once dried, I measured in 2″ on each end of the first panel and placed a cup hook at each of those spots. From there, I placed a hook every 3-4″ between the two original hooks.

For the second panel, I placed them in between each of the top hooks, to leave room for the upper necklaces to hang down.

I then drilled pilot holes on each end of both pieces of wood, and nailed them into the wall. So far so good, and they are holding up nicely!

Necklace Hanger

If I had wanted to make them a little prettier, and was okay spending more money, I probably would have hit up hobby lobby to buy an assortment of vintage-inspired cabinet knobs, and would have used those to hang the necklaces off of.  The only downfall is that in addition to a greater expense, it would have allowed for fewer hooks, so each hook would have been more “cluttered” with jewelry for me.

As is, this project cost me about $2.70. Not too shabby! If you don’t have any of the items on hand, you should expect to spend about $2-3 on wood, $4 on cup hooks, and $2-3 on stain.


Printable: Chore Charts

Today it’s in the low 30s here in Texas, and we have a “Significant Winter Storm” coming our way. For those of us in Texas, this means icing of the roads and potential for some snow.  That might not seem like much to some (heck, I learned to drive in a city that is consistently ranked in the top 5 cities in the country for snow fall each year!), but in this area, where local governments are grossly unprepared to manage icy roads, it can be extremely dangerous.
So aside from sending Patrick off to work for the day – since we don’t really have a choice in the matter – the kids and I are keeping ourselves cooped up in the house with the fireplace blaring and activities to keep us busy like movies, snap circuits, our WWUSA prgramming, and more.

So today’s post is going to be a quick printable for your family. Here goes!
About 3 months ago, I made the kids to a quick “to do” list on some scrap paper. Their lists included things like “pick up all the clothes in your room” and “put barbies/legos back in their place”. It was small, quick jobs that helped get us closer to that larger goal of an organized play area, without overwhelming them or causing bickering. To my surprise, they happily crossed off all their items and brought the lists back to me, begging for more ‘jobs’.

You want to help me more?! SURE! Here’s a load of laundry!

Another thing my kids love to do is use our home-made dry erase board to write/draw on, so I decided to combine the two, and make them each a cute, permanent fixture in their rooms to keep track of their responsibilities.

BrendanChart1 LilyChart1
Brendan’s is Blue/Grey to coordinate with his room colors, and Lily’s in Pink/Brown to go with hers. We included a few blank lines to fill in responsibilities that might occur once in a while (or even just once) but aren’t common.
The chores listed on each one are representative of what we expect of them based on their ages and our current needs, so feel free to edit the downloadable PSD file to make the chore list better suit the expectations you have for your kids. You can also easily personalize each one with your child/s name in Photoshop.
I printed ours at Kinko’s as an 11×14, trimmed the excess paper off using their table-top paper cutters, and  then framed them in the ultra cheap document frames from Hobby Lobby or other craft stores. Quick and easy!

Charts1You can download the PINK CHART HERE and the BLUE CHART HERE.

If you enjoy this printable, please consider pinning it on Pinterest or sharing on facebook! Thanks!

Printable: Christmas Shopping List

What I’ve learned since becoming a Parent is that shopping for multiple children is HARD. You have to be sure everyone has at least close to the same amount of gifts to open. You can’t spend obviously more on one child’s gift, lest their feelings get hurt. And lord knows if one kid gets the awesome gift, bickering will ensue.
This is the first year we will have all three kids with us on Christmas Morning, which makes equality in gift giving that much more important.
Keeping three lists of wants and needs separate, remembering what we are asking Santa for, and what we are asking Mom and Dad for… well, it’s a challenge.

So this year I’ve given into my Type A tendencies and I’ve created a spreadsheet to keep it all straight. Organized by child and approximate price-point (Small, Medium or Large gifts), I can now be sure that I’m buying one gift for each kid that is approximately equal before moving onto the next set of gifts. There’s also a stealthy “S” column for the gift designated for the big guy 😉
Ours below is an example. It’s basically their wish-list typed out. While we likely won’t buy all of these items, it’s nice to have a list put together so I’m able to quickly reference what they’ve asked for.

Out Christmas ListIf you like the look of our Christmas Shopping List, you can download a Photoshop-Ready Version here, which can be edited to include your kids names. Or a PDF file here, which can be printed and filled out by hand.

Now, to figure out what Hayden wants from Santa…


Project: Ticket Shadowbox

Like most couples, Patrick and I have a collection of ticket stubs and random memorabilia from our past dates. With this months date-a-thon (which I’ll be posting about a bit later), that stack is getting bigger – quite literally – by the day.
I’m sure you’ve all seen the posts on Pinterest of how to make a shadowbox for our tickets and what not, but frankly I’m not much of a scrap-booking kind of girl, and I really like my quick-and-easy printable projects as they fit so conveniently into my schedule.


I put this together in Photoshop and have been using it for probably two months now, so I thought I’d share for anyone else who is interested.

Simply print at home on standard printer paper or card-stock, slip it into the back of a shadowbox frame, and start inserting your tickets.  You can use a drill to cut a slit in the top of the shadowbox for easy insertion of your tickets, but we chose not to, in case we want to re-purpose the frame in the future.

Download it here


A little organization goes a long way…

While we are incredibly lucky to have the opportunity to live with my family while we complete our house hunt, the lack of storage space has been killing me lately. The bedrooms, bathrooms, and living areas in our part of the house (upstairs) are very roomy, but our closet is sorely lacking in the space department. The kids each got a walk-in closet, but we chose to fore-go a room swap in favor of the attached bathroom our room has. Lets face it, as a Mom, a private bathroom holds way more value than a big closet most days.

So, that being said, my tiny closet is packed to the gills with my clothing and a few key pieces of Patrick’s wardrobe. The rest of his stuff is folded either in his dresser or in a footlocker in the game-room. his shoes go under the bed while mine were collecting in a less-and-less organized pile in the bottom of my closet.

While the closet IS quite small, we admittedly haven’t been maximizing the potential of the space, which has made it feel significantly smaller, and even more cramped. For example, The top of my closet became a catch-all. The cast off sizes of jeans that were a tad too snug to comfortably wear (but I might still reasonably fit into again soon, thus am unwilling to pack up), and random items that were out of season would get folded and make their way up to that top shelf until they were forgotten about.

Last week, though, Patrick had heard me complain about my boots getting “crushed” and not being able to find the shoes I wanted, so he sorted through the bottom of my closet without prompting (Husband of the month award!) and organized everything for me. I was finally able to see all of my shoes and find what I needed.


That, of course, inspired me to take it a step further and tackle that top shelf. If we move before Jan 1, after all, those too small jeans probably won’t be making their way into my rotation before they get packed up. And the out-of-season tops won’t be needed until after the move also.
So off I went to Home Depot and the Dollar Tree.
At Home Depot I bought a large tote for $11.00 and at DT I bought 6 small plastic shoebox-sized plastic containers for my high heels. Home Depot had similar shoe boxes for 99c each, but all of the lids were warped and wouldn’t latch.

Closet Totes

It turns out, I grossly underestimated how many shoes I had, and ended up having to go back to the Dollar store for more later, but at $1.00 each it was still a steal.

After a few hours of sorting and packing, and finally getting my shoes into the plastic boxes I’d long dreamt of using for shoe storage, my closet started looking a whole lot more spacious!


Of course, I still can’t wait to have a larger closet that allows me to access all of my clothes at once, but this is a good start in the meantime! Plus, it will be nice to go into our next home with these organization methods already in place and ready to utilize from Day 1.

Next task, organizing all of those belts…

Total cost: $29.00 + tax
Total time spent: 2 hours