25 Days to a More Organized You Days 24 & 25: Closet Cleanouts

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Despite my good intentions to finish out two more days of our 25 Days to a More Organized You posts, I realized today it’s just  not going to happen. I’ve scrubbed and shined and Mr. Cleaned (and vacuumed and dusted and decluttered and ughhhh…  ) in hopes of getting our house ready to go on the market soon, so here’s just a quick peek at all of our organized closets!

 

Sorry to not keep up as well as I’d planned ~ this is one of those times that life just got in the way, and I appreciate you all understanding. 😉 However, if you have any (any!) time in your week to work on organizing any rooms your home, I encourage you to get started. I hate that I’ve waited to move to tackle these chores, but isn’t that always the case? Oh well . . .

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Our closet after our home “stager” recommended adding a chair and baskets to make it feel more like a dressing area (hoping to borrow a better mirror from a friend!)

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Jacksons closet

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Reagan’s closet  

Caroline’s closet

Four basically tidy closets. Success! 😉

 

 

Looking for more ways to get organized in 2014? Here you go . . .

 

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25 Days to a More Organized You Day 23: Organize A Drawer In The Bathroom

Have you shined your kitchen sink and completed your laundry?  If you can’t get anything else done over the next few days try to tackle those two! 

 

Just 3 more days in our 25 Days to a More Organized You Series. (Whew!) I decided to spend the last three days cleaning out our bathroom drawers and cupboards, since that’s one of those chores I constantly manage to put off. Because it’s been nuts around here I’ll keep it short and sweet, but encourage you to join in with me. (I promise you’ll be so glad you did!)

Here are the before and after pictures . . .

And these are a bunch of sample sized items I’m going to donate to our local homeless shelter. (They fill backpacks with these items to give to people who stay for the night, so if you’ve got a few extra items you don’t need it’s a great way to do some organizing and give back too!)

 

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After spending the last few days really cleaning out our home to get ready to put it on the market, I can tell you it feels sooooo good to just purge the clutter. I doubt that anyone will ever listen to me, but even if you’re never moving I think it would be worth “staging” your home once every five or six years just to do a good cleanout. I just can’t believe the difference it’s made, and my house feels so much better for it (and we’re not even done yet!)

 

Looking for more ways to get organized in 2014? Here you go . . .

 

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25 Days To A More Organized You Day 22: What To Do When You Can’t Keep Up

 

I had great intentions to clean out my bathroom drawers today, then underneath the sinks and of course finish up by tackling my kids bathroom cabinets.

 

Then life happened. 😉 My kids were home on a two-hour delay from school, I had a painter and carpet cleaners working on my house, needed to get together a new nacho recipe to share (watch for the post tomorrow), the PPP site decided to quit for about an hour (ugh!) and my kids all have a slew of activities from 2:30-9 tonight.

 

Something had to give, so I thought I’d share this old post as an encouragement to you. My friend Shannon and I shared this thought when talking a few years ago,  and I’m betting a few other folks struggle with it just like we do!  Even if you’re a slightly un-organized mess like we are some days, God has a good plan for you. 😉

 

Do you ever watch another mom who seemingly has it all together and feel simply overwhelmed? Do you look at someone else’s cute clothes, cute shoes, cute kids and (of course) super organized life and think . . . Why can’t I be like that?

 

I know. I do that too.

 

Many days I look at my frazzled, worn-out, over-anxious, slightly-pudgy-self and all I can think is “I AM A MESS!” (And if you know me, you know that’s pretty much the case!)

 

My kids are rowdy, my husband is fantastic (but also loud, boisterous, and slightly prone to holler at drivers that don’t drive correctly . . . ~ahem~), and I’ve managed to miss exactly three appointments in the last two months because I simply don’t seem to have a grasp on all there is to do each day.

 

I’ll never be PTA president (ummmmm . . . which really is just fine by me), I barely keep up with the very few volunteer jobs that I do, and my daughter has convinced me that I’m the only mom in the whole school who doesn’t plan a weekly lunch date with their child.
But, you know what? I’ve come to the conclusion that it’s okay that I can’t keep up. My children are fed each day, my laundry is (usually . . .) caught up, no one has been eaten by the dust bunnies in our home (yet), and when my kids have a rough day, all they want to do is come home to hang out with me. (Mess that I am and all . . . isn’t that just nuts?)

 

 

They don’t care that my clothes aren’t super cute, they don’t even notice that I own shoes (much less whether they’re highly fashionable or not), and they’re each pretty sure that they’re kinda cute themselves.

 

I’m never going to be that girl . . . and I have a sneaky suspicion that even that momma doesn’t feel all that on top of things herself. So instead, I’ve got to work on being the best (unorganized, chaotic, very excitable, and a wee bit nuts) girl that I can be . . . even if that doesn’t look like what I would choose most days in the mirror. Deep down inside, my heart wants to do good, desires to help others, and yearns to be a momma who shares a glimpse of God’s own heart with her children.
And my guess is that He’s not all that concerned with how I look on the outside or just how organized I am, but rather He’s taking a peek at the inside of my heart to see the real me (which needs so much more work than the outside even!) So, it’s really okay that I’m a mess (I promise!), because ~ thank goodness~ He’s got work to do on me yet.

 

 

But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. 2 Corinthians 12:9

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25 Days to a More Organized You Day 21: Organize One Room

 

This weekend I tackled my 13 year-old’s (disastrous!) bedroom. As we’re getting ready to put the house on the market, this one clearly needed some attention, but trust me, you are crazy to wait until you have to organize to get projects like this done! We probably worked for about two hours, but afterwards both he and I were so much  happier with the room. Why on earth did we wait so long?

 

Here’s a peek (I can’t believe I show you all this stuff… ack!) Just forgive the iPhone pictures on some of these . . .

Before

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And after . . .

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These pictures are awful from my phone, but I can’t get a good lens on my better camera to give you a good view ~ hopefully you get the idea!

You can also see how we organized his Nerf guns a few years ago ~ that’s made his closet so much better and is well worth the investment of a few laundry baskets!

 

 

Do you have a room in your home that needs some attention? Determine to schedule a few minutes (ummmm . . . hours?) to tidy it up this week ~ I promise you’ll be so glad you did!

Looking for more ways to get organized in 2014? Here you go . . .

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25 Days to a More Organized You Day 20: Create a Command Center

This is a re-post from last year on how we set up our family’s command center. I’d love to know how you organize your family’s schedule each week!

My friend Staci had some great suggestions on creating a “command” center to handle weekly schedules, menu planning and more. I asked her to send over a picture of hers (so I’d know where to start!), and this is what she made using an open frame from Hobby Lobby, piece of cardboard, and plain fabric. She cut the cardboard to fit into the opening of the frame, covered it with tan muslin fabric, and decorated it with wall decals.   [Read more…]

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25 Days To A More Organized You Day 19: Organize Your Coupons

Of all the questions I get here on PPP, probably the biggest one that comes up is how to organize your coupons.  love saving money, adore using coupons, and will be a penny pincher every single day of my life, but organizing coupons is one of those things that stresses me out too.

 

When we teach coupon classes, my friend Shannon and I always share that we’ve probably tried every method of organizing there is out there, so here are a few different ways for you to get started.  Remember though that there is no one “right” way to organize your coupons ~ do what works for you and don’t worry about how other folks keep up with their coupons! Here are a few tricks to get you started. . .

 

See how I’ve created a coupon binder (this is a lot of work but definitely works for some folks ~ I’m not using it any longer but it might work for you!)

And see how I now (easily!) organize my coupons ~ in 2014 I’ll most likely be using primarily printable coupons just to allow me more time with my family and less time clipping. 😉

 

And finally, check out this simple way to save just by filing coupon inserts by date.

 

I’d love to know which coupon organizing method you use, and if you’ve come up with another system I’d sure love to hear about it! 

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25 Days to a More Organized You Day 16: The Medicine Cabinet

The medicine cabinet. Ugh.

Does anyone else have issues with this one?

I have organized it once and then organized it again, but basically I’ve decided it’s one of those things that you’ve got to do over at least once a year. Here’s the before and after. . .

So much better!  All I used was baskets that I found at the Dollar Tree (for $1 of course!) and it took me about 15 minutes to tidy it up. If your medicine cabinet could use some attention, tackle this job in your home today too!

 

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What Do You Need In Your Kitchen?

 

Because I’ve been racing around just cleaning my house today (no time to organize anything!) I thought I’d re-post this and would love to hear your thoughts ~ leave a comment to share!

 

 

Do you really need fourteen mixing bowls in your kitchen. . . or could you survive with just three? Is it necessary to have 13 wooden spoons, or could just a few do the job? This is one of those questions I find myself constantly asking as muddle through my cupboards, and when a PPP reader asked for a list on the first day of our 25 Days to a More Organized You series, I thought it would be fun to throw together.

 

It’s so easy to see another fancy kitchen gadget or cute utensil and think we need it, but eventually those items can take over our kitchen cupboards, and force us to lose all sense of organization. Gadgets can also get pretty pricey, so whenever possible I try to pass them by!  But, there are a few items I’d have a tough time living without, and they help cooking each night in our home become so much more manageable.

 

Here’s a peek at what’s on my must-have kitchen list, but it may look different than yours (especially depending on how frequently you cook, and how many you’re feeding!) I’d love to hear your suggestions also . . . but here’s a start at what I’d be lost without. . .

 

I’d really hate to live without:

 

These are so nice to have, but aren’t necessities:

  • KitchenAid Mixer (really don’t need, but goodness I do love mine!)
  • Food processor or hand chopper
  • 4 cup measuring cup (if you don’t have a 4-cup measuring cup and have room for one, I highly recommend it . . . it really could be on my must-have list because I use it so much!)
  • Meat thermometer
  • Cast Iron Skillet
  • Large stockpot
  • Warming Tray (I don’t have this but have always wanted one!) 🙂
  • Bread Maker
  • Blender
  • Electric Grill

 

Things I can easily live without:

  • Toaster Oven (my husband just told me he wants one ~ eek!)
  • Panini Press
  • Chocolate Fondue Pot (we bought one of these forever ago and absolutely didn’t need it so we donated it a few years ago!)
  • Bagel slicer
  • Cake Pop Maker (these look cute, but there’s no way my cupboards have room for one of those!)
This is far from a complete list, and I’m betting you have other items you’d absolutely love to have or think are way more than you need! So, what are your must have kitchen products?  Leave a comment HERE to share . . . it’s always fun to hear your thoughts, and this is a great time to clear out those cupboards of any items you just aren’t using!

 

 

 

Looking for more ways to get organized? See previous 25 Days to a More Organized You:

 

This post does contain affiliate links which helps support this site.  See my disclosure policy to learn more.

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25 Days to a More Organized You Day 15: The Junk Drawer

 

First off, can someone please tell me why on earth we let ourselves live like this? And secondly. . . my husband pointed out to me that I can do this as many times as I like and most likely it’ll come right back to a mess again. Ugh.

 

Before

Several items I found in the junk drawer that clearly had no business being there. Double ugh!

 

And here we are all done – so much better . . . at least while it lasts. 😉

 

 

Do you have a “junk” drawer that cold use a little TLC? Take 15 minutes and see what you can accomplish ~ I’m betting you’ll surprise yourself with how much you can get done in just a small amount of time, and I promise (promise!) it’ll feel so good when you’re done.

 

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25 Days To A More Organized You Day 13: Pick A Closet

 

So, I shared with y’all about our upcoming move (yikes!) which of course means I’ve got a closet or two to clean out. My ten-year-old’s closet is the last one that needed a serious cleaning, and I’m so glad to have it done today! Now, the clean closet doesn’t look all that impressive, until you see where we were just eight hours ago . . .

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Ackkkk! (Did I really just show you all that?  I couldn’t even hold still to get a good picture it bothers me so much!) 😉

 

The only good thing that I know about moving (at least that I can come up with so far . . . ) is that it forces you to do a serious de-cluttering, and I am thankful for that.  Take some advice from me ~ don’t wait until you’re forced into some de-cluttering ~ get ahead and enjoy the fruits of your labor!

 

I really encourage you to tackle a few of the closets in your own home over the next few days if you can. When my husband and I realized a move was coming, we did a major de-cluttering of our own closet, and I can’t believe how much more peace I have just having that one closet clean. If you struggle with keeping up tidy closets (ahem, or your children struggle with that one . . .) I encourage you to take on the challenge and make 2014 the year to keep those closets just a wee bit more organized. You’ll be so glad when it’s done!

 

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25 Days to a More Organized You Day 13: The Pantry (Part 2)

Re-organized my pantry today after heading to Publix so it looked like it did HERE. Basically the same post as last year, but it feels oh-so-good to have it done. Schedule a few minutes this week to get yours tidied up too if it could use a good cleanout!

 

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And by the way, here’s what I scored at Publix for $49 (saved $85) tonight using just coupons from the Publix 10 Minute or Less list. Here’s the Target list t00 if you’d like to save big this week but are short on time (you can do it!)

 

 

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25 Days to a More Organized You Day 11: The Spice Cabinet

Here’s a re-post of my all time favorite way to organize the spice cabinet. I spent about 20 minutes tidying mine up today, and encourage you to spend a few minutes working on yours too if you can this weekend!

My spice cabinet has been a mess for months . . . despite several attempts to re-organize.  Because I’m such the penny-pincher, I’ve refused to spend any moo-lah on items that could better organize my spices, which has led to crazy disaster every night as I start to cook!

 

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Finally, as I was cooking this week and got knocked in the head by a pie plate (yup, it was that bad), I decided that this was just ridiculous. (Seriously!)  You see, we’ve been married for almost sixteen years, and I’ve never done anything to make this mess better. . . I’ve tidied it, but there was just no system in place!  So yesterday I ran to Walmart and spend $30 on a few items to Fluff it Up.  (Why on earth did I wait so long?)  Here are the results . . .

 

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I found a 12-pack of Ball canning containers for $7, and purchased plastic lids to match for the tops.  I added my more frequently used  baking products to those (things like baking soda, baking powder, cinnamon, yeast packets, etc.)  I also purchased a few racks to give me extra space, and baskets for the top to keep all of our cookie cutters & cake decorating items in (I’ve made every single birthday cake for my kiddos, so I have quite a stash of goodies up there!)  My favorite purchase were little tiny Ball canning jars that are just perfect for a few seasoning mixes I keep on hand – cinnamon sugar, homemade Ranch dressing mix, and Italian Seasonings. (They’re so cute, but you can hardly see them – they’re hiding just behind the powdered sugar shaker!)

 

 

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Recently, a friend convinced me to purchase a nicer computer and it has made a huge difference in my productivity on PPP in 2012.  (I spent my first year blogging on a $300 netbook . . . it was just awful!)  I’ve started to realize that sometimes (when you can afford to!), spending a little money to purchase items that make you work more efficiently is just worth it.  And you can imagine the amount of time that I’ve spent searching for spices in that mess up top has definitely hurt my productivity!  So, while I don’t want to spend too much on things I don’t need, I do think it’s okay to splurge every once in awhile on things that will make me more effective in my work (which is cooking for my family!)  Especially since I saved enough money in my grocery budget this week to splurge on it . . . yayyyyy!

 

 

Find a few minutes over the next few days and see if you can give your spice cabinet a good clean out ~ you never know what you may find while you’re there!

 

Here’s a sneak peek of this week’s upcoming challenges so you can get ahead for the week:

  • Day 12: the pantry (part one)
  • Day 13: the pantry (part two)

 

 

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25 Days To A More Organized You Day 10 {Guess What I Found?}

I’d hoped to get this up a little earlier tonight so you’d have time to tackle your freezer too, but I’ve got a little girl who’s under the weather and it’s been nuts around here! Hopefully you’ll be inspired to get yours done this weekend too 😉

I’m so stinkin’ excited about sharing today’s post on what I did to make my home a little more organized, and am hoping you’ll join me too! After entirely too long, I tackled cleaning out my freezer today, and you’ll never believe what I found while I was in there. . . .

 

D. I. N. N. E. R.

 

(I know, I know . . .  so exciting, right??) 😉

I also found bananas (which freeze great for chocolate chip banana bread)

 

And lots of cheese that I didn’t even know I had.

Not only did I find one dinner, I found a whole bunch of meals that have been just waiting to be cooked.  While I don’t normally keep up with freezer cooking, I do stockpile basic freezer items when they’re on sale, and if I make a big batch of something I pop the extras in the freezer. (However, I have a tendency to forget I’ve put them there.) Here’s are the meals I came up with today after just 20 minutes of work:

 

woohooo!

 

Find a few minutes over the next few days and see if you can give your freezer a good clean out ~ you never know what you may find in your freezer too!

 

Here’s a sneak peek of this week’s upcoming challenges so you can get ahead for the week:

  • Day 11: the spice cabinet
  • Day 12: the pantry (part one)
  • Day 13: the pantry (part two)

 

 

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25 Days to a More Organized You Day 9: The Fridge

Before

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After

 

 

Better.

 

Now go spend a few minutes working on yours too!

 

Here’s a sneak peek of this week’s upcoming challenges so you can get ahead for the week:

  • Day 9: the freezer
  • Day 10: the spice cabinet
  • Day 11: the pantry (part one)
  • Day 12: the pantry (part two)

 

 

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25 Days to a More Organized You Day 8: The Linen Closet

How are you doing on staying organized this month? If you can, tackle these challenges every day, and I’m betting your home will feel so much more peaceful:

And now, here’s the mess in our home that I tackled today (I have oodles of excuses for this disaster, but instead of my reasons I’ll just show you the before and after pictures ~ yikes!)
 
Before

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During (yes, all of that was inside that one closet – craziness!)

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And finally, the after ~ wooooooooohooooooo! 🙂

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I donated a few blankets that we never use to our church’s thrift store, put larger flannel sheet sets away in my kids closets, and stacked blankets that my kids could use for “fort-building” at the bottom of the closet so they can easily get them (and put them away!) when they’re playing. Goodness, gracious, why do I settle for that mess when I could have something so much better?

 

So, go. 

 

30 minutes, a good sized trash bag for items to donate, and a little resolve to get it done. If I can do it, I know you can too!

 

 

Here’s a sneak peek of this week’s upcoming challenges so you can get ahead for the week (I had a few requests for these!)

  • Day 8: the refrigerator
  • Day 9: the freezer
  • Day 10: the spice cabinet
  • Day 11: the pantry (part one)
  • Day 12: the pantry (part two)

 

 

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25 Days To A More Organized You Day 6: The Ironing

 

Did anyone manage to tackle their laundry this weekend? We got home last night from Atlanta and it was so nice to know that my laundry was mostly caught up on ~ so I’m determined to stick with this one all month long.

 

While my laundry room for the most part though looks pretty good, the ironing has been just waiting for someone to get to work. So last night while watching some of Downton Abbey (I have to finish the rest tonight), I decided to get this job marked off my list.

 

Here’s before . . .

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During . . .

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And after (woot!)

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And here’s proof that I really did iron a few. 😉

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I still have five little girl dresses that need to get finished up on tonight, but for the most part these are done and out of my way . . . yay! I don’t iron many of our clothes, but it’s so good to have some of the ones that have been hanging in our laundry room for months finally ironed and put away.

 

(Does anyone else have a few clothes that they just don’t iron because you know if you do you’ll just have to iron it again? I did have that thought while I was at work  . . . ) 😉

 

 

 

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25 Days To A More Organized You Day Five: The Laundry Room

 

Since we’re working on keeping up with the laundry this weekend, I thought we might as well go with the laundry theme tonight!  This laundry room makeover is one of my all-time favorite organizing posts, and believe it or not, this laundry re-organization that I posted two years ago STILL looks this good. (The only issue I’ve had is with clothes to be ironed . . . if someone wants to hire me a laundress I’d really, really appreciate it!) If you have a tiny laundry room like I do, don’t lose heart . . . you can get yours organized too. 😉

 

 

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(originally posted January 2012)

I’m going to just go right ahead and share our dirty laundry (quite literally!) here today. 🙂 I’ve spent the last five years detesting our laundry room, because it felt like there just wasn’t any hope for a cute-“Pinterested” laundry room. It’s tiny, and hidden away from just about everything as it’s upstairs, so we’ve had no motivation to do anything with it. (My husband looked at my laundry room board on Pinterest, and said “you know, those aren’t laundry rooms, those are living rooms!”)

But, I finally decided mine could be so much better than what it was (right?) Here’s what I’ve looked at for way too long (and I just went right ahead and took the pic in spite of the mass chaos . . . yikes!) [Read more…]

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25 Days To A More Organized You Day Five: Complete (Yes, Complete) The Laundry

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Let’s talk laundry.

 

Sooooo exciting, right?

 

This week (thanks to keeping up with Motivated Moms), I’ve been really working to keep up with my laundry, and oh my heavens, it feels so good to have that tiny bit of life just more put together.

 

This, my friends, is my washer.

And  come right on over and meet my dryer.

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Do you see what’s special about them?  Clearly, they are not fancy, but they are ~ drum roll please ~ EMPTY!!!

 

Happiness might just be an empty washer and dryer when you’re a momma who’s done thousands of loads of laundry over the last few years. 😉

 

Here’s the thing about laundry: you can put it off, you can hide it in your closet, you can hide it behind your door or stuff it in your hamper. But guess what? It doesn’t go away, no matter what you do (well, until you do it), and whether you tackle it today or wash it all a week from now you still do the exact same amount of laundry.

 

This is not one of those chores that helps a procrastinator out a single bit.

 

So here’s my challenge for you this weekend (get ready and brace yourself!)  

 

Wash all your laundry.

 

Every stitch of it.

 

Get caught up, completely. Even if it means beginning at 7 AM tomorrow morning and not finishing until Sunday night.

 

Once it’s done, join me and tackle a load a day (maybe more or less, depending on what season of life you’re in!), and let’s really keep up with our laundry this month.

 

Soooooo, anyone with me? Let’s go!

 

Note: if you’re a working mom or have little ones at home, I know keeping up with the laundry is even a more monstrous task than I can imagine ~ even as a mom who works at home it is one of those things that’s hard for me to keep on top of. I encourage you though to really (really!) try to get control of this one area of your world as I promise it will give you so much peace. But, in the midst of it, be sure to give yourself grace during this busy season of your life ~ we’re definitely all at different places and I know some days the laundry is just too much! 

 

 

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Free Printable Budget Spreadsheet

 

I’m so incredibly excited about today’s 25 Days to a More Organized You project! My friend Cheryl from Beyer by Design has taken our family’s monthly spreadsheet and put it together in a free printable version that you can download to work on at home, which will hopefully help keep your finances a wee bit more organized in 2014 (and trust me, when your finances are organized, everything else just seems to go a little bit smoother!)

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Soooo many folks have asked for this, so I hope it helps you see how our family handles our monthly budget, and encourages you to get stay on a budget in 2014 too.  Here are a few tips to get you started:

 

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  • We add a small amount of money each month to our checking account just to have extra savings (usually around $50.)
  • Several of the accounts included in the budget are items that we plan for monthly, and then move once a month over to our savings account (you can see what our savings account spreadsheet looks like on the last page of the PDF.)
  • We take our “useable” expenses out of our checking account twice a month on my husband’s payday (this includes groceries, eating out, lunches, entertainment, etc.)
  • We save all year long for “big” expenses ~ these include things like Christmas gifts, vacationing, homeowners association expenses, etc.
  • On the last page of the PDF you’ll see our savings account spreadsheet which includes what money is allocated in our savings account each month towards certain long term goals.  This is my FAVORITE part of the spreadsheet as we can look back and see what we’ve saved, and look forward to what’s coming in the future!

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Remember this is just a look at how our family handles budgeting, and may be different than what you do however this has worked well for us. (I think my husband’s kept it up for 14 years now!) I’d love to hear how your family handles your budget, and if you have any questions, leave a comment to share ~ I hope it helps you get an idea of where to start if you’re new to budgeting!

 Go HERE to print yours.

 

Also print these free printables while you’re at it:

Looking for more ways to get organized in 2014? See the first three days of our 25 Days to a More Organized You Series . . .

 

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25 Days to a More Organized You: The Entertainment Center (Part 2)

Have you shined your sink yet today?  Mine is spick and span, and my sweet ten-year-old helped me attack the cabinets in our entertainment center, and did an incredible sorting out some of the toys, games, and puzzles that we keep there. Here’s a peek . . .

How do the cabinets in your entertainment center (or other area in your home where you keep games or toys) look in your home? Take twenty minutes tonight or tomorrow and see how much you can clean out – we worked at it for less than thirty minutes, and it’s so much better!

Looking for more ways to organize? Check these out . . .

 

 

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25 Days to a More Organized You: The Entertainment Center

 

 

Okie dokie, so now that we’ve all got our sinks cleaned (right?) it’s time to tackle the entertainment center or whatever holds the television in your home. I’m starting at the very top, and for the next few days we’re going to give it a thorough dusting/organizing/cleaning/de-gunking.

 

Guys, I’m embarrassed to say that I have walked down the stairs in my home at least 1000 times each year, and never (ever) taken a few minutes to clean off the oh-so-dusty top of our entertainment center.  I’ve glanced over there every once in awhile, and then just hope no one else ever does.

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Seriously?

 

Do you see that box for Direct TV? We haven’t had Direct TV in four years.  I asked my husband if there was any reason we should keep it (the box, not even the actual Direct TV machine), and he said he just never knew if we might need it.

 

Ugh.

 

So, 15 minutes of scrubbing, and we’re so much better . . . one job off my list!  One of these days I really need to get some cute decorations to put up there, but they’d just be one more thing to dust. . . . 🙂

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Who’s with me? Go ahead, find a ladder, step stool (or maybe even your husband), and clean off the top of your entertainment center too. If you don’t have one, clean off another tall surface at home (how’s the top of your fridge looking?)  If you have things that just need to go, get rid of them too.  I can’t believe I waited this long, and know you’ll feel so much better too when you cross this one off your list!

 

I’d love for you to hang out with us as we attack the clutter, grime and cleaning this month, and feel free to share your tips as we go along. Happy Cleaning! 

 

 

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25 Days to a More Organized You: Day One

I’m so excited to start this 25 Days to a More Organized You series again this year! I’ve been so busy these last few months that I’ve felt like my home has gotten the best of me (anyone else?) so I’m tickled to finally gain some control.

 

Each day for the rest of the month, I’ll share a short (easy!) project to tackle in your home. My friend Staci actually is holding me accountable in keep up with our Motivated Moms routine (she already texted me today to see if I was caught up), and just having those few chores caught up on in our home feels soooo good.  (See more about the Motivated Moms Planner HERE.)

 

So, here’s your first chore, and to try and keep up with every single night this month. (I promise, you’ll thank me!)

Shine your kitchen sink. Put out fresh linens for the morning. Do it every single night because she says so.  ‘Nuf said.

If you’re really good, stick the sink strainer in the dishwasher to clean thoroughly and use a little olive oil – you’ll be amazed at how shiny your sink is when you’re done!

 

So, who’s joining me? I’d love for you to hang out with us as we attack the clutter, grime and cleaning this month, and feel free to share your tips as we go along. Happy Cleaning! 😉

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25 Days To A More Organized You: Find A Friend To Help

Today I spent a few hours with a good friend of mine, and we tackled cleaning out all of her scrapbooking supplies. Because we’re going on a scrapbooking weekend in a few weeks, we wanted to clear out what was there, and figure out what we could use. (I told her that since I helped, I got first dibbs on any goodies she decided to get rid of!)

 

We spent about two hours working, and here’s what we accomplished . . . 

Before 

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After

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We found a ton of items she can sell on Ebay, plus several items to donate to a local children’s program (they’ll have cute stickers for years to come!) We were most excited though because we found a ton of our favorite colored paper lurking in the back of her closet, and enough albums to work on for at least the next few years. (If you’re a crafter, you know how exciting that was for us!)

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Now that I’ve finally survived these 25 days of organizing (and have realized that I’m not exactly the most organized girl out there. . . could you tell?), here are a few tips that might encourage you as you move forward:

 

 

  1. If you have young children at home, things are just going to be a little bit disorganized (it just means you’re normal.)  Prior to having kids I really did lead a fairly organized life, but three cute kids totally threw my life out of whack. Be patient with yourself, aim to tackle large projects in short spurts, and cut yourself some slack as these are just very busy years. (While I’m not sure parenting gets even an ounce easier, the messes do seem to become a bit more manageable as they get older. . .)
  2. Find a friend to work with. It just makes life more fun, and you’ll tackle those big projects more quickly!
  3. Shine your sink. There are lots of great tips on organizing out there, but for me, this one seems to make all the difference in how organized our home stays. I’m convinced it motivates me to keep up with other things too!
  4. Check out these great organizing websites. As much as I’d love to have my home perfectly organized and know all the tricks to the trade, I’ve still got a lot of work to do. Here are a few great sites to help you get organized:

 

I’d love to hear if you’ve conquered a big project this month while organizing at home, and always love hearing your tips! Take a minute and share your thoughts by clicking HERE . . . and happy organizing! 

 

Looking for more tips on organizing? Check these out. . .

 

 

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25 Days To A More Organized You: Set Aside 15 Minutes Each Day For Those Overwhelming Tasks (yikes!)

 

After sharing a ton of ways to organize here over the last month, today I’m going to share my absolute most-embarrassing post ever including pictures of my disastrous closet. Believe it or not, it’s stayed *manageable* for two years since I initially posted this, although it could use a little fluffing! If you’re looking for some motivation to get started on those big projects that just seem overwhelming, here you go. . . 

 

Originally posted in October 2010

I realized recently as I looked at the daunting task of re-organizing my closet that there was no way I had the few hours of time it would take to accomplish such a monstrous challenge.   So I started thinking . . . what if instead I set aside just 15 minutes each day to tackle the job?  Now you need to understand,  my closet was a disaster . . . completely unbelievable . . . we haven’t cleaned it out in FIVE YEARS! And while I’m pretty good about keeping the rest of my house tidy (well, as tidy as three kids and a messy hubby allow), I had pretty much given up on even starting this mess!

 

I can’t believe I’m sharing this with actual real live people, but here’s how it looked when I started . . .  please know that the rest of my house really isn’t this bad . . . it’s just our horrible closet . . . and no one EVER is allowed in there . . . well, except now all of you reading this . . . WHY AM I SHARING THIS WITH YOU??? (I’ll stop babbling now. . .)  [Read more…]

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How To {easily} Organize Your Coupons

See Part One and my original coupon binder HERE

 

In today’s 25 Days to a More Organized You series, we’ll talk about how to organize your coupons {easily!}  If you’ve been looking for a simple way to organize coupons, this method might be for you. I started using only printable coupons this month and am loving it, so it’s definitely worth considering if keeping up with mounds of coupons has started to become a little overwhelming for you. 🙂

If you’re an experienced couponer this probably won’t have much new information to you, but hopefully it’ll help any new couponers just starting out out there!

 

 

Also, don’t forget to always click the “back” button on your browser to print an extra coupon ~ you should be able to print two per computer.

Here are the 10 Minute or Less Printable Coupon Only Lists on PPP:

These are the coupon websites that I primarily use:

And here are a few tools that may help:

 

I’d love to hear your tips on how you organize your coupons, and what works for you. Please take a minute to leave a comment with your ideas to share!

 

 

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How To Organize Coupons

Okie dokie guys, in the last few days of this 25 Days to a More Organized You series, we’re finally going to talk about how to organize coupons. (EEK!)  While I love clipping coupons, adore saving money, and penny pinching is undoubtedly one of my favorite hobbies, I really don’t like spending hours organizing coupons all that much ~ I just don’t have time for it!  Because of that, I’ve personally tried just about every method of organizing coupons on the planet, and will share the good, the bad, and the ugly of a few different methods with you.

 

Most importantly though, there is no one right way to organize coupons, and you may switch quite a bit as you go! This first post is a video that I shared of my coupon binder a little over a year ago, and while it worked for quite awhile, I’ve switched methods again (I’m just fickle that way!)  See below to watch the video (please be patient with this penny-pinchin’ nerd as you watch!), and then I’ll share my thoughts at the end. . .

 

The good:

  •  I love my coupon binder when couponing at stores that don’t keep a very detailed sales ad up each week. If you regularly shop Walmart, Kroger, Target or another store that frequently has “extra” deals in their stores that aren’t included in the weekly ad, you’ll be able to score extra deals because all of your coupons will be with you when you shop, and hopefully you can easily find what you’re looking for.
  • It’s easy to sort out which coupons are expired by keeping the expiration dates folded towards the front of each baseball card holder. It usually took me about ten minutes to quickly get rid of expired coupons at the end of each month. 
  • If you clip multiples of the same coupon (approximately more than 4), it’s very easy to keep them all managed here together so that you won’t lose track of what you have on hand.

 

The bad:

  • It’s time-consuming, and if you don’t manage your coupons very regularly, it very quickly becomes overwhelming. If you can dedicate 1-2 hours per week to this method, I’m betting you can keep it up, but for me it just got to be more than I could handle on a regular basis.
  • If you don’t get lots of multiples of each coupon (and consider yourself more of a “strategic shopper” rather than “extreme couponer”), your binder may be full of places for every coupon, but you may have a single coupon in each tiny slot. Filling those slots can take quite a bit of time, and gets to be frustrating for just one or two coupons.

 

The ugly:

  • Not everyone will agree with me (and that’s totally okay!), but for some of us not-always-so-organized penny pinchers this can become more work than it’s worth. For me, I constantly felt behind, and because I rely so much on a store’s sales ad to show me what deals are available, I even felt like I missed deals in that big ole’ binder because I wasn’t as focused on the sales ad.  While this method is definitely a favorite of many folks, at least at this point in my life I’m taking a break and trying to use only printable coupons. (I’ll share how I’m organizing those tomorrow.) So far, I’m loving it, and am probably happier right now with how my coupons are managed than I’ve ever been. It may not work for everyone, but it’s been a great happy medium for me!

 

Soooooo . . . how do you organize coupons and what tips do you have for any new couponers out there? I’d love to hear your thoughts and suggestions, as I am definitely always looking to learn a few new tricks!

 

 

 

 

Looking for more tips on organizing? Check these out. . .

 

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How To Organize The Tupperware Drawer?

Today’s organizing post is one that I shared last Spring on how to organize the tupperware drawer. When Jennifer asked about how to organize the tupperware drawer over on the PPP Facebook page, I knew this was one we all struggle with! Hopefully it’ll help you get yours under control also!

For years I’ve been hoping to have my hubby add dividers in a few large drawers in our kitchen, however it wasn’t a project that was all that high up on his list. (Don’t you hate it when your list and his list don’t exactly match up?) 😉

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However, when I saw this smart idea on Pinterest, I decided even I could handle this one (all by myself!) I made a quick run to our brand-spankin’ new Target for the rods (which cost $4.83 each), and spent about ten minutes setting them in place . . . WOOHOO! (I’m betting you could get them even cheaper at Hobby Lobby using a 40% off coupon.)

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Here are a few other ideas clever uses for tension rods:

Do you know of any other clever ways to organize drawers in your kitchen?  I’d love to hear them!

 

Looking for more tips on organizing? Check these out. . .

 

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Clean The Pantry {Part Three}

 

I’m thinking I should totally re-name this series 25 Days to a More Organized Me, because I’m definitely getting some organizing done around here!  I *thought* today’s last bit of the pantry would be an easy chore. . . but when I went to Publix and did this, I put my pantry to a workout. Here’s the before (without all those extra groceries. . .) [Read more…]

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25 Days to a More Organized You Day 19: Organize Your Paint Supplies

 

Create a bin for your paint supplies. It’ll really make your life easier when you decide to paint. (However organizing it a bit more than mine is a great idea . . . I’ve got to find the tops to those cans of spray paint because one went off and was spraying paint everywhere . . . eek!)

 

Tomorrow I’ll finish the 3rd part of cleaning out your pantry . . . a 2-hour school delay, way to many posts to do, and busy afternoon schedule got the best of me today! If you have other tips on keeping up with paint supplies (I’m betting y’all do way better than me . . . ) please leave a comment to share. 🙂

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Clean The Pantry {Part Two}

 

Can I just start by sharing that I have absolutely no business teaching anyone how to organize anything? 🙂 To say I’m mortified to share this picture is an understatement, but now that it’s all cleaned up I’m hoping it’ll motivate you to get your cupboards cleaned out too. This is the cabinet in our pantry where all the “extras” go, and I don’t know that I’ve cleaned it out in at least a few years. Needless to say, it was time!

 

(Will you please remember as you see this that I have three crazy busy kiddos, run a small website, and am completely scatter-brained? Yikes . . .this is just awful but I’m running out of cupboards to clean so we must be heading in the right direction!)

 

Here’s the before (completely un-edited, obviously . . .)

 

And the after . . .

I donated a ton of cookbooks . . . there are so many that I don’t use at all, and it felt so good to get those cleared off the shelves. Like many folks I primarily hunt down recipes online, so the extra clutter isn’t worth it except for the books I really do love.

I did keep out a few favorites that I’d really like to use soon . . . 

Here are a few favorite cookbooks that I did keep (which I highly recommend. . .)

 

Your turn now! If your pantry needs it, determine to spend the next few days really getting it cleaned out. Take on bite-sized pieces each day, and I promise it’ll feel so good to have it all done. I can’t wait to hear how you do, and if you have any tips on cleaning out the pantry, I’d love for you to leave a comment to share!

 

 

Looking for more ways to get organized? See previous 25 Days to a More Organized You:

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Clean The Pantry {Part One}

 

Know what I love? Abundance. I’ve been couponing seriously for six or seven years, but even now when I open my cupboards to a full stocked pantry, I can’t help but get a tiny adrenaline rush. (Have I mentioned lately I’m a penny pinching nerd?) 😉

 

While our family really has always had enough, there were so many days prior to couponing when we had just enough. Because we’ve always tried to live within our means, there were many days when it was all I could do to stretch our grocery budget from paycheck to paycheck, but there really wasn’t plenty.

 

So, I’m not going to complain one tiny bit about cleaning out my bulging pantry. (Really, who can complain about that?) Instead, we’ll spend the next three  days getting the pantry cleaned out, and hopefully you’ll do a little pantry clearing out too. I’d love to hear how you do (and you can send me an email also if you’d like to share your pics!)  While it’s great to organize simply to have some control over the clutter in your home, organizing is also so important so that you can shop wisely at the grocery store. (More details on that tomorrow. . .)

 

Enough chit chat, here’s just how bad it was (go right ahead and prepare to be shocked at this disaster . . .)

 

Before. . . 

YIKES! Why on earth do I show this stuff with you all???

After. . . 

Tip: My kids brought home cardboard standing magazine files last year from school, which help keep our pasta boxes from toppling over. I also love this smart tip for organizing canned goods (perfect with all those great Coca Cola sales at CVS this week!)

And here are a few items I found to donate .. . those bottles of Grape Juice have been in there since New Year’s 2012, but no one in my family will drink the stuff, so surely our church’s food pantry can find a new home for it! 😉

Your turn now! If your pantry needs it, determine to spend the next few days really getting it cleaned out. Take on bite-sized pieces each day, and I promise it’ll feel so good to have it all done. I can’t wait to hear how you do, and if you have any tips on cleaning out the pantry, I’d love for you to leave a comment to share!

Looking for more ways to get organized? See previous 25 Days to a More Organized You:

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Clean Out Your Inbox

 

I don’t know about you, but my inbox holds emails from almost every retailer, manufacturer, and grocery store that I’ve signed up with for a free coupon or product over the last five years . . . yikes! So, today I finally took fifteen minutes and whittled those emails down to just 48 (from over 400…goodness!) If your inbox overwhelms you like mine does me, here are a few tips to make life easier:

 

 

  • Pick five emails that you receive on a regular basis (but don’t actually read) and unsubscribe to them right now. (Most companies include a small “unsubscribe” link at the bottom of their email to easily unsubscribe.) Continue to do that every day for the next five days (or until they’re all gone!)
  • To easily clear your inbox, check the main square box in the top left hand corner of most email accounts, click on it, and delete in bulk any emails that you  don’t need. (I can clean out 100 emails in about a minute using that handy box!)
  • If you have a gmail account (I love mine!), re-confingure it to add the “send and archive” buttonThis is probably my favorite ever tip on handling way too many daily emails, and it’s fairly easy to add. Head on over HERE to learn how to get yours created, and with just one click you’ll not only send an email, you’ll also archive it rather than keeping it in your inbox. (I know that only saves one click, but it always makes me happy to clear those emails off my list!)
  • If you frequently sign up for free coupons and samples, create a “penny pinching only” email account to sign up for those freebies. That way you can still get all the deals, but your regular inbox won’t be inundated with emails that you may not be interested in.
What other tips do you have for cleaning out your inbox? I’d love to hear them, so take a minute to comment and share!

Looking for more ways to get organized? See previous 25 Days to a More Organized You:

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Clean Your Car

Our car’s command center: includes baby wipes, hand sanitizer, band aids, and a few snacks in case of emergency while I haul my kiddos around town.

If you know me, you know that I’m the last person on the planet who should give much advice on keeping an organized car (or garage for that matter . . . my husband’s in charge of that one and I’ve pretty much given up all hope!) But today I spent $6 at our local drive thru car wash and about 20 minutes using their vacuum, and my car is so much better for it. (I drove my husband’s car yesterday which he occasionally has professionally cleaned for work, and oh my heavens, I couldn’t believe how bad mine looked in comparison! I can’t justify paying for a high end car wash, but $6 isn’t too bad . . .) 

 

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Here’s the before. . .

(In fairness, my youngest found out about 3 minutes before taking this picture that she was old enough to go to an extra gymnastics class today, so she changed those clothes and hurried in as fast as she could . . . hence most of the disaster below that I can’t believe I’m sharing with you!)

 

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And the after . . .

I’d really love to get a new set of floor mats for my car, but for now I’ll settle for at least a vacuumed floor. (Does anyone else’s car floor look like that? And does anyone have tips to clean it? I’d love to hear them!)

 

So, take $6 and 30 minutes and get your car cleaned out too if it’s not already. If you want to pinch a few extra pennies, at least vacuum it out at home . . . I promise you’ll be so glad you did!

 

 

Looking for more ways to get organized? See previous 25 Days to a More Organized You:

 

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Tame the Junk Drawer.

 

It’s Sunday, and I promised my kiddos I’d hurry and get off the computer so we’d get some extra snuggle time in . . . so here’s just a quick picture of what 20 minutes did to my junk drawer. Take 20 minutes and finish yours up too~  I promise, it’ll feel so good!

Before

 

 

 

After

 

If you need small organizing baskets, check out the Dollar Tree where they come four to a pack for just a Dollar! (Have I mentioned before that I love that place for decorating and organizing? See why HERE, HEREHERE and HERE.)

 

 

 

Looking for more ways to get organized? See previous 25 Days to a More Organized You:

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Laundry Room Makeover

Total laundry room makeover

 

This laundry room makeover is one of my all-time favorite organizing posts, and believe it or not, this laundry re-organization that I posted almost one year ago today STILL looks this good. (The only issue I’ve had is with clothes to be ironed . . . if someone wants to hire me a laundress I’d really, really appreciate it!) If you have a tiny laundry room like I do, don’t lose heart . . . you can get yours organized too. 😉

 

 

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(originally posted January 2012)

I’m going to just go right ahead and share our dirty laundry (quite literally!) here today. 🙂 I’ve spent the last five years detesting our laundry room, because it felt like there just wasn’t any hope for a cute-“Pinterested” laundry room. It’s tiny, and hidden away from just about everything as it’s upstairs, so we’ve had no motivation to do anything with it. (My husband looked at my laundry room board on Pinterest, and said “you know, those aren’t laundry rooms, those are living rooms!”)

But, I finally decided mine could be so much better than what it was (right?) Here’s what I’ve looked at for way too long (and I just went right ahead and took the pic in spite of the mass chaos . . . yikes!) [Read more…]

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Clean Out The Medicine Cabinet

 

 

20 Minutes. $4 at the Dollar Tree. You can do this too. 😉

 

 

Before . . . 

After

 

Now, you have all weekend to get it done. (I’d love to hear how you do!)

 

So you don’t think I’m nuts, I have two little blonde girls with fly-away hair, so hair supplies are always at the ready for a quick fluff before they walk out the door. . . and they still usually look a mess!

 

Looking for more ways to get organized? See previous 25 Days to a More Organized You:

 

 

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