Archive for ‘organizing’

April 25, 2012

clean sweep

Kids’ rooms…what a task to maintain!  Typically, no one likes to get them in order…   What works depends on the day.  Over the years, we’ve attempted many strategies:

  • create a checklist, then reward with a prize after everything’s checked (normally not a fan of this tactic, but when everyone loathes the chore a treat motivates)
  • choices:  “Do you want to clean your room today by yourself?  Or clean your room with mommy’s help?”  “You can clean your room this morning OR clean your room AND wash the dishes!”  “Would you like to clean under your bed or pick 5 things to give away?”
  • pay for giveaway items –  “25 cents for each item you pick to donate to the thrift shop.”
  • set a timer & have a pick-up race
  • assign cleaning in a sibling’s room as a consequence  – didn’t to x daily chore = 5 minutes picking up in sibling’s room

Once complete, the benefits are great.

  • seems like there’s more oxygen
  • clean room = play in the rooms more!
  • occasionally, kids conclude they have too much stuff, the mental antidote to stuffitis
  • open space = room for new play

“If you only have a hammer, you tend to see every problem as a nail.”  ~ Abraham Maslow

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April 11, 2012

cute caddy

Repurpose a cardboard bottle holder into an art caddy!

Start by reinforcing the bottom with a piece of cardboard.

Next, decide on materials ~ duct tape was fun, easy, & sticky.  Use tape stripes (hint: finish bottom first) for a variety of pattern choices…

Or, make a scene:

Other options include decoupage with scrapbook paper or candy wrappers, painting, or any combination.

 

February 8, 2012

tweet tray

Say “tweet tray” 5x fast.

Being a huge fan of trays, it is hard to pass one up at the thrift shop ($1).  The perfect specimen for decoupage.

UGH!  That is one of the few ugly flowers on earth.  Rescue supplies:  glue + water, scrapbook paper, exacto knife, styrofoam bowl & foam brush

Cut & piece the paper to fit, spread glue evenly on tray & paper, top coat 3x with glue + water or store bought decoupage.

Tray in ACTION…before:

after…

ahhhh…

“Three Rules of Work: Out of clutter find simplicity; From discord find harmony; In the middle of difficulty lies opportunity.”   ~Albert Einstein

January 31, 2012

stud holder

No, not men, nor two by fours.  Earrings!  The cheapest, easiest, most functional earring holder ever

Clear off those dresser surfaces & hang up the jewelry!  Got a pants hanger or hanger with clips?  A .34 cent piece of felt?  Voila!  It is a cinch to take studs on & off, plus the entire inventory can travel to find the right look with outfits.  It can be rolled up & stored or taken traveling.

Embellishing options include adding ribbon vertically &/or horizontally for compartments, embroidering initials or names, or adding a simple perimeter framing.

“One of the advantages of being disorderly is that one is constantly making exciting discoveries.” ~ A.A. Milne

 

December 12, 2011

teacher gifts

Please say “no” to cheesy holiday mugs & teacher trinkets!  Consider gifts that disappear…consumables!

  1. purchase a few baking ingredients & attach your child’s favorite cookie recipe (great source:  www.penzeys.com)
  2. $5 gift card to a coffee shop attached to a homemade card
  3. movie basket – microwave popcorn, box of candy, bottled drink
  4. hot cocoa basket with mix, marshmallows & snack
  5. tea goodies – loose tea in different flavors, biscotti, sugar cubes
  6. salad dressing & marinade with recipes attached (great source:  www.gazeboroom.com)
  7. crock pot recipe with all non-perishable ingredients in gift box

Or, gifts contributing to their profession:

  • sticker or stamps
  • gift card to a teacher supply store
  • post-its, personalized stationary
  • nice pens, markers, highlighters
  • inspirational quote calendar for educators
  • hand written note of appreciation & thanks

November 23, 2011

pocket bag

 A super cute, simple & functional tote pattern:  http://www.allpeoplequilt.com/projects-ideas/bags-pillows/pick-a-pocket-purse_1.html

Made a little more complicated by moi…since I had to make the liner fabric different than the exterior…

The outside is a chunky cream corduroy, interior large pocket an orange micro suede, interior small pockets & straps a sweet cream vine & flower print on chocolate brown.

So handy!  The perfect size for an ipad or books, plus the pockets are nice little organizers for glasses, phone, pens, & goodies.  Or, a gift bag purse created & filled with treats suited for recipient…  ho-ho-ho!

 

November 22, 2011

box magic

Well, it’s not really magic, but “cardboard box organizing” = dull.  Skip the pricey containers & look to your kitchen or around the house for empty boxes to organize goods.

  • 1# butter box standing upright & placed in the car console for pens & pencils
  • cereal boxes with the opening tapped shut, laid on their side with the top side cut out – put a few side by side in a desk drawer for organizing papers 
  • empty kleenex box in bathroom to stuff grocery sacks for the waste basket
  • box in a box strategy for separating items or boxes in a crate for same idea

“Thanks to my mother, not a single cardboard box has found its way back into society.  We receive gifts in boxes from stores that went out of business twenty years ago.” 

~ Erma Bombeck

September 19, 2011

ribbon hanger

Pick an inconspicuous door for posting classwork, invitations, snapshots or art.  Attach a ribbon to the inside of the door & drape it over the outside.  Use any sort of clip or clothes pin for hanging.

  • a cinch to trade out pieces of art
  • use different ribbons or clips for holidays
  • add up to three ribbons for Christmas card display
  • group similar pieces (ie. all b/w photos) for an artsy look
September 1, 2011

supply headquarters

Storage is the name of the game to help keep the rest of the house in order.  The shelves in the basement below hold office goods, craft supplies, & miscellaneous material for unknown future projects. 

  • notches cut out of the plywood shelf create ‘book ends’ with the studs which have proved very useful when organizing
  • L brackets screw into the studs for support
  • additional wood supports were secured to the studs running perpendicular & under some shelves 
  • set up the area like a retail store
  • utilize space as far up as safe & possible
July 11, 2011

tray chic

Clear surfaces bring mental peace.  Use trays to temporarily contain activities or projects until completion.  Options include:

  • cookie sheets
  • cardboard box lids
  • store-bought stackables, wire baskets
  • decoupage: 

“Creation is a better means of self-expression than possession; it is through creating, not possessing, that life is revealed.”    ~ Vida D. Scudder

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