Monday, August 30, 2010

Linen Closets!

Now wouldn't we all want a pretty one? And wouldn't it be nice if linens were indeed the only items in the linen closet? Wouldn't you love that much space? Too bad though. So, I'll tell you how I've organized mine:Top shelf are my sheets. Each bin holds a different size; king, queen, a small bin for pillowcases, and where are my twin sheets you ask? Currently we don't have any twin beds in our house, so I have some of those space saver vacuum bags that I've used for the twin sheets which are now stored underneath my bed (amongst other things....what I wouldn't give for more storage space!). Second and third shelves are my towels. Fourth and fifth shelves, as well as the floor, are bins for different necessities. One is for cleaning supplies (not my main place, but just something to clean up quick messes upstairs), one for "Skin Care," "Hair Care," "Dental Care," bar soaps, hand soaps, travel size items, paper products (feminine products, bathroom cups, etc.), hair cutting tools, fabric/sewing items. Also, if you can see, I have a baby wipes dispenser sitting on top of my aqua-colored sewing box that holds plastic bags for replacing the upstairs bathroom trash and for stinky diapers. Here's another close-up look: And if you look closely, you'll see that I've used my handy-dandy label maker that I LOVE to label each of my bins.

Upon doing a little research on linen closets, I did find some good suggestions out there that I have not implemented, but are awesome none the less. Here they are:

1) Store bed sheet sets in pillow cases for easy access

2) Don't take up space in the linen closet for the bed sheets--store them in the room that they would be used in OR store them (get this) IN BETWEEN your mattress and box springs. So you change the sheets, and voila! A clean set is sitting there ready to be used!

3) If it works for you, rolls towels instead of folding them

4) Use an over-the-door hanging shoe organizer (if you have the right kind of door...unlike me!) to store things like extra shampoo or soap

5) And lastly, get rid of linens you don't need or use! You don't need 4 sheet sets per bed! Downsize for extra space!

So there you have it. Does anyone have any new ideas or suggestions for me? I'd love it if you'd share!

Monday, August 16, 2010

Dejunking the Junk Drawer!

I have been wanting to dejunk my junk drawer for far too long. Here's my before picture:As you can see by a couple little baskets hidden in there, I have attempted to organize this before, but apparently it didn't really work for me. So today I did some revamping, and here's how it went:So, what I did was dump everything out of the drawer (you could do it on a dry towel so that your counter or carpet doesn't get little paper scraps and crumbs everywhere) and then made three piles. 1) to throw away 2) the stuff I wanted to keep IN the drawer and 3) stuff I didn't want to toss, but needed to be put somewhere else. Then I took these handy little baskets/containers and organized! (You can buy these little baskets at Wal-mart or any dollar store). I even put baby jars in a long basket for little things (like tacks, paper clips, safety pins) and then in the back I put clean yogurt cups for different sized batteries and also my twistie ties. And that plastic baggie in front of the yogurt cups are batteries to discard. I'd rather recycle them at the library than throw them in the trash. Here's a website that you can enter your zip code and find a local collection site to recycle your (rechargeable) batteries (apparently regular batteries are harder to find recycling locations for).

Back to the drawer. As you can see I have a container for pens/markers, and the back container has "tool" objects like a screw driver, measuring tape, super glue, etc. That's so I don't have to go dig in the garage every time I need one of these items.

So that's my new junk drawer! Now I want to challenge each of you to dejunk YOUR junk drawer and then tell me about it!

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Web Inspirations....Laundry Rooms!

I would love to have a BEAUTIFUL laundry room. Right now, our house is too small for the system of my choice, but I'll show you what I do have, and what I want.So I have my bins up top with cleaning supplies, rags, light bulbs, etc. Now if you'll notice, in between the washer and dryer I have this 3 tiered cart (with wheels!) where I keep my laundry detergent, dryer sheets, etc. I got it from Wal-Mart a while back. I can't find the exact product out there online, but it's very similar to this. And then of course I used a shower curtain rod to hang clothes up when need be. And I must say, I do love my plastic bag storage on the wall. You can get it just about anywhere. I think I found mine at Bed, Bath, and Beyond. But if you don't want to buy one of these, I've seen people put their grocery store bags in an empty tissue box, or an empty baby wipes dispenser. I use the empty wipes dispenser on my second floor in my linen closet. So here's some pictures of laundry rooms that I love!!Isn't that gorgeous?! This picture came from Stacks and Stacks Clutter Control Freak Blog. She's got some great tips. But here's some real people's laundry rooms:This woman has 5 children and her own laundry room in the basement. She even has a laundry shoot. Read her blog on what she does: Clover Lane. Simple, which equals awesome to me! And next we have a really cute laundry room from Organize with Sandy.Sandy has 7 hampers in her laundry room for whites, jeans, reds, light permapress, dark permapress, towels, and extra (misc – like pillows or delicates). So she sorts as she goes. I really like her system. Read the part about The Laundry Process. I love the laundry cubbies. She's got those kids trained! Read her post and she'll tell you all about it.

Oh! And one more thing on Organize with Sandy that I'd like to try are Sock Sacks! I would love to not have to sort socks! Check these out:I'll have to order mine and see if I like them. Now I would really like to know from you all, how do you organize your laundry room? I'd love some tips!

Sunday, August 1, 2010

Kids' Artwork and School Papers

Now this is a BIG one. What do you do with all of your kids' artwork and school work that accumulates just about EVERY DAY?! This is what I do:
I stamp the date on whatever papers or art that come home from school, and I have a designated basket that I put each child's in. (I got these ones from Ikea).Then during the summer (that means right now!!) I go through them, find the ones I want to keep, use sheet protectors and put them in a 3 ring binder. I sort the papers into artwork, math, writing, etc. Most of the math and science ones get tossed (and sometimes it's easy to see what is toss-able before it even hits the baskets during the year) and then I pick out some of the special or favorite writings and art samples to save. I try to pick out work that shows their progress or their sweet little personalities. Also, I try to make notes on the page so that we know what in the world that picture was all about in 10 years. With those big artwork pages, I take them to Kinko's and get the guys there to shrink them down to 8 1/2 x 11 for me. Below is one of those shrunk artwork pages with my writing explaining the picture on the next page.**Note, I get an explanation from the kids RIGHT when that artwork comes in and make notes (could be a post-it that gets stuck on the paper, or just write it on the back...whatever works for you) otherwise they won't remember by the time I get around to making their book.**

I know that there will be many-a-things that will not make the cut, but remember, you will be collecting and accumulating forever! It will not stop! So, for me, it stops after one 3 ring binder per year. Here's a picture of this same thing on one of the blogs I am following: Creative Organizing So, now I'd like to know, how do you all organize your kids' papers?