Friday, April 2, 2010

Organization 101

Kelly's Korner is hosting "Show us your life" with organization ideas today! 
Show Us Your Life with Kelly's Korner
I thought I'd participate since organization is my middle name!  Ha!  I just had spring break so I had some time to go through and do some spring cleaning/organizing!  I needed to go through Andrew's clothes and see what he had for summer, plus put away some things he had outgrown.
He was a big help!  Ha!  He found some of his old things and wanted to put them on, silly boy!  He is holding one of his preemie diapers I saved- it is so tiny it could probably fit on a small baby doll!
It was funny he could still wear his baby hats!  They just had to stretch out a little more, but not much!  We had fun reminiscing.
I came across his old pair of monkey shoes.  These were my favorite baby shoes he had.  He wore them all the time.  So sweet!
In our basement I have tub after tub of his clothes, so I organized them into gender (for future reference!) and specific sizes so I'd know where everything is.
I also made a tub with his crib bedding, sheets, etc and old Halloween costumes.  The funny thing is, Andrew can still wear some of his seasonal clothing an extra year (he's a shrimp!  Ha!) so it is nice having them labeled like this so I can go back to them next year and dig out his old summer shorts, etc that I know will still fit him.  That way I don't have to go out and buy new clothes for him every season (although I still buy him a few things!  Ha!)
I love Andrew's closet.  Craig put in these shelves and I like it because they are removable.  As he grows (and his clothes get longer) I can just take out a shelf when I need to!
I  love these bins (I got them at Walmart for cheap in packs of 2, and different sizes).  I just change out the labels when I need to.  For example, when he was a baby I had a bin for burp cloths, his baby shoes and hats, but now I moved those things to the closet downstairs so I have room for other things in his room.
I love this new addition to his big boy room.  Just an example of something old that you can fix up and personalize for storage.  This was an old trunk we had at the lake that was full of our bedding and blankets.  I took it for Andrew's pirate room, painted it white and painted his name on it.  Right now there are toys inside, but I figure eventually there could be other stuff, like clothes or school sports equipment, etc!  Ha!
I love unique storage items, like this boat shelf.  I just use it for his books, special toys, etc.  I love to use buckets and baskets for extra storage, too.
These storage shelves are great (the shelves and bins are from Target).  The front is chalkboard so you can write and change out what is in them.
 Probably my favorite organization idea of all times is my holiday decoration tubs.  Craig built me shelves in the basement several years back, and over the years I accumulated tons of holiday decorations.  I couldn't keep track of what was where very well, and every year I would try to remember what I did with the decorations for that season.  So I started getting colored tubs to match the seasons.  Then I took pictures of the different rooms in my house during that season (mainly Christmas, but some Halloween/Fall and V-Day too) and then I put the picture of that room on the front of the tub.  Every item that goes in the room is stored in that tub.  I love it!  It makes decorating for things so easy!  It is a process to put up my Christmas decorations.  This way, I can do a room or two at a time and not be overwhelmed.
Just some other fun ideas I had trouble coming up with (I'm not sure why!) but thought I'd share for anyone else who doesn't know what to do with the little pieces that go with certain toys.  For example, his play kitchen that I repainted (remember, it was mine when I was a little girl?)  I couldn't figure out what to do with the millions of play food items and pots & pans, etc we had to go with it.
Problem solved!  These are laundry tubs from Walmart (cheap!) and I just store all the food and accessories right inside the kitchen itself!  I spent a lot of time thinking about what I could buy to store the food, etc in, like shelves to sit beside it, etc.  But this is one less piece of furniture I need to buy and takes up less space!

Another idea I love is how I solved problems with my recipe books/boxes.  If you are like me, I had a million different recipe books and boxes.  They were written on all different notecards, random things I had torn out of magazines, etc.  It was a mess!  And I never knew what to make for dinner and I was not motivated to dig through and find things.  I fixed the same things over and over, mainly things I could remember the recipe and wouldn't have to look it up!  Ha!  Often times we would get take out or go out to eat because the last thing I wanted to do when I got home from work was try to figure out what we were having for dinner.  And I never had meat thawed out when I needed it!
This is my solution!  I just went out and bought a pretty binder, some folders I liked and tab dividers (this all cost under $15).
Then I made a "quick menu" right in the front.  These are all the recipes I like to make, many I had forgotten about!  I just went through all my books and notecards and sorted out things I knew I'd make often and were easy to fix.
The best part of the quick menu is, you write the dish on one side, and next to it you list the ingredients you need to make it.  Not specifics (like 1 C. sugar, you just put "sugar").  This makes grocery lists a cinch!  You just get out the quick menu, pick out what you want to make and check to see what ingredients you have and what you need to buy.  I usually make a 2 week menu for us, so when I shop I get everything I need for 2 weeks of meals without having to run back to the store because I forgot something!  My 2 week menu also helps with knowing what I am making in advance so I know if I need to thaw something out.
 Then behind the tab for "main dishes" I typed up all the recipes, in alphabetical order and listed the actual recipe here.  All in the same book.
I also made a quick menu for desserts, and am working on one for side dishes also.  Then you just use the tab dividers to separate main dishes, desserts, sides, breakfasts, etc.
After each divider, I have a pocket folder that I can stick new recipes in that I eventually want to add to my quick menu and recipe list.  I just saved everything on my computer so when I get several new ones to add, I'll just add them and print out a new list!
I just love this new method.  I find that I cook more often, and it is so easy to figure out what we are having and make a variety of things.  I also only have to go to one place for all the information I need to write out a grocery list, shop, and make the meal!

I hope you got some ideas that will work for you!  I am excited to read other blogs and get other ideas today, too!  Happy organizing!

24 comments:

Heather McDougle said...

I love your organization! I wish I had more of that in my house!

I'm following you from Friday Follow!
Heather
http://www.ratherbechangingdiapers.com/

Kel said...

So organized! I love it! Stopping by for Friday Follow. Have a fantastic weekend!

Kel
http;//betweenthelines-kam.blogspot.com

Beth McC. said...

First off I am jealous of Andrews closet- not only is it organized, look how cute it is!! Second I Just printed your recipe book! FANTASTIC!!!Thanks for the ideas, Happy Easter!

Ashley said...

I love the menu idea!!!!! I'm going to start that!!

Stefenie said...

Jen,
WOW!!! You have done a ton of updating the past few days. I walk away from the computer for a little while and find myself WAY behind in reading updates. I enjoyed then all.

You should become a professional organizer. LOL!!! WOW!!!

Hope you ave a great Easter!

The Riedel Family said...

I love your tips for the closet! Such a great idea. And the holiday storage idea was awesome as well. Thanks!!

Danielle Taylor said...

Wow you are very organized! I love your idea on labeling the big bins that you store clothes and decorations in. I just might have to steal that! With 2 little girls it is always a pain to sort through 5 different totes to change out their clothes with the seasons.

Sassy Brit said...

Happy Friday Follow! I love how organised you are too, and you've inspired me to make my own quick menu list! Thank you! I'm a follower.

Beautiful little boy you have too! Such a lovely blog. Take care, and happy Easter! Loved the Easter bunny too. We don't do that (like visiting Father Christmas) over here!

If you have time, please pop by and say hi!

Sassy
:)

Tina said...

Very cute and gave me some ideas!

Letherton said...

cute monkey shoes
Here from FF

Take a minute to check out my blog
Photography, life and Giveaways
I have a lot of giveaways going including a misikko flat iron over 100 dollar value

ethertonphotography.blogspot.com

CathyBB said...

Hi there! I came here from Kelly's Korner and I just started to giggle because your tubs of kids' clothes in the basement look just like mine! =)

Your son's closet, however is absolutely GORGEOUS - ten times better than any closet in my house! I love it! Thanks for sharing this!

P.S. God bless that little boy of yours. I had open heart surgery as a small child and have a soft spot for heart kiddos. =)

Amanda said...

Hi! I'm following from Kelly's Korner! I love your organization ideas!! I needed more ideas and really like yours!

Amanda

Olivia said...

Holy, Buckets!! You are SUPER MOM! I wish I had 1/2 of your organization skills. LOVE these ideas and I intend on putting them to use sometime....Yes, I am a closet procrastinator!

PS Love the pic of Andrew and The Easter Bunny in the last update!

Happy Easter you guys!

The Spencers
www.oliviakathrynfayespencer.blogspot.com
www.carepages.com search:oliviakathrynfaye

Rona's Home Page said...

I love your clothing bins. That would have been a great idea when our son was little.
I have to be organized. We very busy and if I don't put appointments on the calendar well, it's not pretty.
Today, I forgot that I had a doctor's appt on Wed. Ugh!
Have a great weekend.

mel @ the larson lingo said...

I am LOVING your son's closet. WOW. So inspired! And, the recipe binder? Yes, please! Love it. You are an organizational guru! Love your blog, I will be back!

Mommyto3andahusky said...

I love your organization with your recipes! :) Such a cute blog! Became a follower, hope you don't mind! :)

Love Being a Nonny said...

I LOVE LOVE your son's closet!! Amazing!

Krissy said...

I wish I was as organized as you. My kids room is a MESS! Wanna come down to NJ and clean mine?

Stopping in from Friday Follow! Hope you have a great holiday weekend!! Hope you also stop by our blog!

http://theartsymom.tk

Teresa @ Grammy Girlfriend said...

You look like a GREAT organizer...and love the RED

Hope you will stop by and leave a comment....On Sunday night I will be drawing for
$100 GOODIE BASKET.

http://grammyababychangeseverything.blogspot.com/2010/03/new-friends-new-blogs-and-giveaway.html

joeandbridge said...

Hi there! Stopping in to be your newest follower from Friday Follow! Hope you can swing by mine!
Happy Easter!

Bridgette Groschen
The Groschen Goblins
www.groschengoblins.com

Shoshanah said...

Out of all your ideas I love your holiday tubs the best!

MelissaAggie98 said...

Every corner of my house is super organized too! Glad to know I'm not alone! Everything looks great!

Happy belated FF! Loved looking around your blog and I'm your newest follower! If you get a chance, please stop by and follow me too! Have a great day!

http://www.mommylivingthelifeofriley.com

Anonymous said...

I am home from school today and I am about to start some spring cleaning. So glad I checked out your blog first! Thank you for sharing some wonderful ideas. I am so glad to hear that Andrew is doing good after his surgery!
We will keep all of you in our thoughts and prayers
Tami, Bryan, and Kennedy

kinsey said...

hi mrs huegel first off i wanna say that u should show that in class i meen the first part cuse the second part was just about organnization so yah also andrew was sooo cute on the easter egg hunt c u tommarrow

your favorite student
kinsey
ps im kinda glad that im the only one in class leaving comments

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