Category Archives: Organization

Organizing Links

After posting some of my cluttered cabinets and rooms yesterday, I thought you’d like to see the sites and blogs I frequent for ideas, tips and inspiration.

  • — a great site for organizing every area of your home, even your refrigerator.  Also great ideas for getting started with freezer cooking.  I created a Household Notebook several years to help keep track of, well, the household.  Cynthia has created all sorts of printables for practically anything you want to keep track for your home.
  • (and the magazine) — another great site, and publication.  I love the simple, clean ideas they show for everything from the kitchen to your closet.
  • — Laurel has lots of great ideas and offers a 10-step program, if you will, for the organizationally challenged called Fresh Start.  She also has a home planner with various printables.
  • — Mandi is the author of Life…Your Way and offers a plethora of information on more than just organizing.  She too has free printables.
  • — Better Homes and Gardens has been around forever.  I receive their magazine every month and also get weekly emails.  I have found great ideas on their site for organizing my craft room.

Some of my favorite stores for organizing my life and home are IKEA and The Container Store.  You can also find great stuff at Target and Walmart or even in your own home if you think outside the box a bit.

Have a great weekend and happy organizing!




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National Organization Month

I bet you were thinking I was gonna miss a day in my Post A Day promise.  Well, I thought I was too.  I was feeling quite run down today, then I helped my children with their Math.  I do not recommend this prescription.

I homeschool my two teenagers and they usually don’t need much help with Math, but some days they do.  This was one of those days.

My son was quite frustrated right off and slammed his hand on the table and shouted at me.  Yes, I kept my cool.  I don’t always, so the fact that I was not feeling good and responded appropriately means I deserve a little recognition for not being the psycho-crazy, scary, screaming mama.


Anyway…I was determined to not give myself an out, because I do that too much and then feel disappointed and depressed and hate myself and my ridiculous proclivity to procrastinate.

While I had a post I was working on thinking it would be published this morning, I just wasn’t feeling it.  That meant I had to come up with a new idea.  But what?!

Then I remembered that January is National Organization Month.  You can figure this out by watching any daytime talk or morning news show this month like  The Nate Berkus Show or the Today Show, my two favorites.

I really enjoy organizing and never seem to have it done.  If you are married and have kids, I’m sure you can relate.  Do you have a cabinet that looks like this?

The top shelf doesn’t look bad, but trust me, most of that stuff doesn’t go there.  I have organized this cabinet three times:  once when we moved in, of course, and twice since then.  I love that my family helps with the dishes, among other household chores, but they seriously need help in keeping it organized.

The same goes for our pantry.

My family must have serious short-term memory loss.  They can’t seem to remember where the chips, pretzels, peanut butter or dog treats go when they get just pulled it off the shelf.  This causes great frustration for this slightly OCD woman.

The cabinets that have stayed organized are the ones I’ve labeled for items like the toaster, cutting boards, or crockpot.  This is my solution.  I’m going to label everything.  EVERYTHING.

Toothbrush?  Labeled.  Towels?  Labeled.  Dog?  Okay, no living creatures.

This means they can’t say, “It’s not mine.”  All I have to do is point to the label and walk away.  Ahhhh….  Rest for mama; work for them.

And this helps me with one of my 2011 goals for our home:  getting my family to rely less on me by easily finding things they need.

One disorganized cabinet that is my fault?  

This is my cosmetics graveyard.  Those two baskets are working well, but that’s it.  I need more baskets for my OPI nail polish, extra body wash, lotions, etc.  So, I’ll be making a trip to IKEA soon.  I love IKEA!!

An entire room that needs help?Do you see all those white magazine holders on my shelves?  IKEA!

This room is not too bad considering we’ve lived here almost a year.  It took me almost three years in our last rental to get semi-organized.  I told myself  it would not take that long this time.  Since it appears we’re gonna stay here til we pay off our debt and save at least 20% for our dream home, I want to get everything done and then simply maintain it.

What will you be working on organizing this month or this year?

Leave me a comment and let me know.  And if you have a blog with a post on this topic, be sure to leave the link to your post in your comment.




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Organizing for Christmas

Photo from stock.xchng

I know what you’re thinking. 

Christmas?!  School just got underway.  I’ve barely managed brushing my teeth and showering before lunch.  Don’t even get me thinking about the holidays yet!

Okay, calm down.  Do you have your coffee and some chocolate?  Alright.  Now that you’re over the initial shock, you can read with an open mind.

I discovered a gem of a website about nine years ago called Organized Home.  I was searching for an organizational tool that would help me keep all my household information in check.  I fell in love with this site!

Imagine how excited I was when I learned CEO Cynthia Ewer had also created a notebook for organizing Christmas.   I have used it almost every year since 2001 to help me be organized and nearly stress-free for the holidays and it has worked!

There are four different notebooks you can use to get organized for Christmas:  Christmas Countdown, Holiday Grand Plan, Houseworks Holiday Plan and Rudolph Club.

Christmas Countdown was the first plan I used. It was the easiest for me to accomplish because I didn’t think about Christmas til early November, like some of you.  Cynthia’s motto for this one is “six weeks to a stress-free Christmas!” I have to admit Christmas was not stress-free that first year, but it was stress-reduced.

If this is the plan you choose, you still have several weeks before you need to get started.  So, you can forget about all this Christmas planning stuff til the end of October.

After we moved to the great state of Texas, I found the Holiday Grand Plan. I began using it about four years ago.  This one is a bit longer but helps you get your whole house clean, organized and decorated from the first week of September to the week before Christmas.  Then you simply maintain what you’ve accomplished and celebrate.

Now, I realize you’ve already missed a week if this is the plan you’re interested in, but the first couple of weeks are pretty easy.  They’re focused on making lists (compiling addresses for Christmas cards, a baking planner, etc.) and answering questions about the previous Christmas; questions like “What would my ideal Christmas be like?”

Hmmm…let’s see.  There’d be copious amounts of money so I could buy those things I’ve always wanted to buy for my sweet husband, with expensive taste, who often goes without and to fly all our family down for one big family Christmas.  We are in Texas after all and everything’s bigger in Texas. 

There are also some new printables this year like the Holiday Sales Planner for tracking those Black Friday deals you have a hankerin’ for.

Hey, I’m in the South now. I can say hankerin’ if I want.  I also like shoot-far and bull frickin’ pucky. Though my family makes fun of me and asks me what bull pucky is which leads to an interesting discussion on cow poo and now I’m way off topic.

Another new printable for the Holiday Grand Plan is the Room-by-Room Decor Planner.  I am very excited about this one since we are leasing a bigger house with a more open layout.  This will come in handy if I get my way this year and have two trees.  One real, one artificial.

Oh, I’m getting giddy just thinking about it.  A real live Christmas tree is what Christmas smells like.  You just have to have one once in your life!

The Houseworks Holiday Plan is similar to the Holiday Grand Plan, however, it’s also a bit like a book club. It’s based on Cynthia’s book, Houseworks.  When I discovered it, I couldn’t afford to purchase the book.  I would like to use it in the future, but I’m happy with the grand plan.

I don’t know much about the Rudolph Club; it’s fairly new to the Organized Christmas website. Here are the basics: members (you can join for free) have a virtual get together on the message boards the 25th of every month throughout the year to focus on one organizational and seasonal task to get ready for the big day.

All of these plans are great and fit many personalities.  Let’s hope that’s one personality per person,  but hey, to each her own.  You simply choose the plan that fits your schedule, then print to your heart’s content.  And the best part:  all the printables are FREE!!

Another of my favorite’s is making the notebook.  It can be as minimalistic or ornate as you choose.  Visit Christmas Planner, a focus site of Organized Christmas.  There are many ways to create and decorate your notebook.

Here’s to an organized Christmas for all and to all a blessed Christmas!


TEW (aka Mel)


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Getting Organized for a Move

My family and I have been consumed with all things moving related since the beginning of 2010.  We found out after Thanksgiving that we would be moving back to DFW.  Our last two moves took place in three weeks, so having two months was novel.  We’ve started searching for a home early, but had a rough time and finally found the right place last Friday.  We’re moving in five days so you can imagine how anxious I was getting.

Michael and I have moved many times in our fifteen years of married life and always get stressed in the last week because there is so much to pack.  I have issues with keeping things (read: pack rat) like old magazines (we’re talking issues from 5 or 10 years ago…it’s a sickness, I know), memorabilia, etc.  Being a scrapbooker makes this especially hard.  I’m a Stampin’ Up Demonstrator so I have a great deal of stamping supplies as well.

Oftentimes, there were boxes filled with all kinds of stuff that appeared to be thrown in at the last minute.  I’ve gone through too many boxes of old magazines, school papers, forgotten photos (some ruined) after we arrive at a new place.  Then I’m so overwhelmed, I don’t complete the task and the box stays packed til our next move.

Determined to get organized during this move, the last two months have been spent packing  and storing boxes in the garage.  I’ve been able to objectively part with a great deal of magazines, papers and books.  (I actually plan to take the books to a local resale shop to support my growing obsession with vampire novels.)  If I know they are going to a good home, I can part with them more easily.

My sweet husband has helped me better organize my crafting paraphernalia by purchasing several totes and a label maker.  I was label maker crazy right after Christmas.  I had the presence of mind to stop before labeling my family and the pets.

The game room in our new home will actually be my office/craft space.  I’ll be sharing it with my sweet girl because she designs clothes and sews.  There’s plenty of space for us to make a mess while our creative juices are flowing and no one has to see it because it is the only room upstairs.

Being organized before moving has relieved a great deal of stress.  There is a place for everything and everything will be in it’s place.  It will allow me to set up our home faster than ever, keep my children on task for homeschooling, and it will afford me more time and space to be creative and work my business.

How do you prepare for a move?  Do you throw it all in a box and sort it out later?  Or do you do it like Martha Stewart would?  Share your thoughts, tips, experiences in the comments.

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