Monday, June 22, 2015

Weekend Touch-ups

I didn't have any plans for this past weekend, so I made big plans to clean and organize some spaces in the house that were getting a bit out of control and needed to be touched up.  Don't get me wrong, I love a good weekend plan with friends and family, but I also love when the schedule is clear and I can work on things around the house instead.  I am one of those people who can always see those messy areas in the back of my mind even when I should be focusing on other things.  Anyway, this weekend I made a list and I accomplished a lot and it felt great!  I will just take you on a quick tour of what I worked on.

The laundry room was getting a bit out of control and just needed some straightening up.  Also, that Ikea 9-drawer Alex unit needed an overhaul.  That is where I keep all of the kids' art supplies.  You can read how I originally set it up here.  I never planned for it to stay super neat and organized with four kids under the age of 8, but I need to do a better job of looking into it and straightening it up more often to keep from having to completely empty it like I did this weekend.  Some of the photos were taken with my phone, so please excuse their blurriness.

Everything came out and I wiped out the drawers.  I filled a whole garbage bag of broken crayons, old art projects, leaky glue, used coloring books, etc.

I checked all of the markers and threw out the duds.  I put the keepers into Crayola tins and pencil cases and put everything else away as well.  

I was keeping all of the kids' extra school supplies in a small white box (which you can see in my laundry room post), but when they brought their pencil cases back home at the end of the school year, everything didn't fit.  I had a plastic stacking bin lying around in the basement that works perfectly for storing the supplies.  

I have a cabinet in our laundry room that is dedicated to my candles, vases, etc.  It also needed a bit of cleanup.  I even filled a small diaper box with things to donate.  I added a few more baskets and now I don't fear things falling out when I open the door.  

Once the art supplies and candles were organized, I just swept the floor and wiped down the washing machine and dryer and the laundry room was looking much better!  

My desk was also starting to look unsightly, so I went through it and got rid of what didn't belong or things that I never use.  Seriously, what's with all of those scissors?!  These pictures are mid-organizing, but it typically does get messy like this with all sorts of stuff.  

The after picture never disappoints!

I also updated our medicine cabinet.  Got rid of anything that had expired and wiped off the shelves.  Just a few minutes later, it was much better.  You can read a full post about our medicine cabinet here.

I had frames and wall art stacked on our dining room table for weeks now with intentions of getting them up on our living room wall.  I dusted and vacuumed the living room and then hung everything up.  Can you tell that I am going for a coastal feel with this space?  Unfortunately, our hideous dark green microfiber sofas just keep sticking around and will until we can afford new ones.  Also, we have a 2, 3, 6 and 7 year old, so new sofas probably wouldn't be the best idea at the moment anyway.  But they are the farthest thing from coastal.  Bleh!  

Everything looks much better on the walls than they did on the dining room table.  Speaking of the dining room, I also updated our seasonal bucket list.  It's my favorite season to do!  You can read more about that chalkboard here and here.  

That's about all I have to show with photos.  I also touched up our master, linen and hall closets, my craft room, the game and puzzle cabinets, my makeup organizers and the pantry!  I also finished all of the laundry, though by now I am sure there is another load (or two!) ready to go!  I was a woman on a mission this weekend and would you believe I didn't even cross everything off of my list?  What can I say, my list is never ending, but what are you gonna do?!  I feel so accomplished and I woke up this morning feeling a lot better and refreshed knowing that all of those spaces were clean and organized back to where they should be.

Friday, June 12, 2015

My Organized Purse

I am not big on purses.  I definitely used to be, but just haven't being going crazy over them as much as I did before I had kids.  Don't get me wrong, I still love purses and love to add to my collection, but I just don't very often.  For awhile now, I have been carrying a cognac tote from Nordstrom's website.  I saw it on one of my favorite blogs, Hi Sugarplum!, and went for it when it was on sale.  It is by the line BP, which I believe is from their Junior's department.  Anyway, it's cute and I do like it, but it lacks structure and there are absolutely no pockets inside.  It definitely does the trick when I need to take more than my usual items.

My stuff was all over the place.  When I have that much space, it's obviously easier to just throw things in instead of having any kind of organization.  I was finally getting over that purse, at least for day to day use.  I needed something that kind of forced me to keep it organized.  Enter the Merona Dome Satchel from Target.

At $34.99, it's inexpensive in the world of handbags, but it was even more than I would have liked to pay.  It's obviously not top quality and I am sure it won't stand the test of time, but I am happy with it and have finally discovered the shape of handbag that I prefer for whenever I do find myself shopping for a replacement.  Now, let's see how I keep it organized!

The things that I absolutely need in my purse are my planner, coupon accordion, makeup bag, wallet, keys and phone.  

It's like the bag was made for the specific items that I like to carry with me, because they fit so nicely.  The four bigger items have their spot in the middle and then I usually pop my keys in the side zipper pocket and my cell phone in one of the side slits.

I have had this bag for a little over two weeks now and I am absolutely loving it!  There is just enough space to fit what I want and not too much space to allow me to just throw things anywhere.  It kind of forces me to put my cards, receipts, makeup, etc. back where they belong right after I use them.  

Now, you ask, where do I keep all of the stuff for my four children?!  I am currently using a Zip-Top Organizing Utility Tote from Thirty One as a diaper bag.  We have one child who is still in diapers and I like having a place for a tiny first aid kit, snacks, sunscreen, etc.  I always grab that if I am heading out with the kids.  If I am going somewhere that doesn't require me to have my entire wallet, planner, makeup, etc., then I just use a small wallet and throw that in the diaper bag and leave my purse at home.  Otherwise, I just take both.  Not a big deal.  

I definitely suggest looking for a bag with more structure if you are hoping to keep it organized.  It definitely helps when you only have just enough room for what you like to carry along.  

In case you are wondering about some of the items I keep in my purse.... My wallet is actually a personal sized Filofax organizer.  I purchased mine from Amazon a few years ago.  My coupon accordion was from Office Depot, but those things can be found anywhere.  My makeup bag is a Coach outlet find, also from many years back.  My planner is an Erin Condren Life Planner.  There is no way I could keep the schedules of six people organized without a planner that I love.  Should you ever find yourself interested in ordering an Erin Condren Life Planner or anything from the site, please use my referral code to get $10.00 off of your first purchase!  

At some point, I may do a post about my organized wallet and a post about how I use my Erin Condren Life Planner.  Hopefully I can get to those sooner rather than later!  

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