Friday, September 23, 2011

Let the 3 Rs Help with your Organizing Efforts

Organizing your home and being environmentally friendly can easily go hand-in-hand. Here's how:


Stop bringing items into your home. Think twice before buying everything. How will you use it? Is it worth taking up space in your home? If you have everything organized you'll also avoid buying duplicates.


Look around you and think of a way you can reuse items rather than throw them out. If you can't reuse it, donate it or give it away. Wednesday's post about reimagining items provided some great ideas for reusing common things.


Get the clutter out of your house. Find a new home or recycle it following your city's guidelines.

Are there any other ways being green and organized can go hand in hand?

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Roundup: Reimagining Items

Upcycling, reusing, reimagining, whatever you call it, it's a great, inexpensive and green way to customize the storage in your home. I'm not very good at this, but in my efforts to use what I have, I've been looking for inspiration online. As it turns out, there are a lot of people who have great imaginations when it comes to reimagining.

So, without further ado, a roundup of reimagined organizational pieces and links:
A tea box from an old book that could be used to store any little item 
stylishly--remotes, lotion, fingernail clippers, and so much more!
For jotting down to do lists or entertaining your kids.

What a great ribbon organizer! If you don't like the look of the box, 
a wrapping paper or colored contact paper scrap could cover it up. 
A handy little desk organizing caddy made from PVC pipe. 
This would be a great project if you have PVC leftover from a bathroom remodel. 
Like many people, I'm into a bit of rustic decor, this would be a great coat hanger. 
Have you upcycled, reused or reimagined something? Any tips or ideas to share?

Monday, September 19, 2011

Preventing Toy Seepage, Episode I: Start from the Beginning

Ah, toy seepage, the gradual--or sudden--flow of toys into your previous adult spaces. It's annoying. The best way to prevent it is to not allow your children to have toys. But that's not practical, realistic or reasonable. The best practical, realistic and reasonable way to handle it is to start from the beginning, before you bring your bundle of joy home from the hospital.

So, what are you to do to prevent this? Here's a gameplan:
  • Determine the amount of space you have for toys. Be realistic. Unless you're die-hard minimalists, you'll need more than one tiny bin or shelf.  
  • Try to explain your situation to loved ones when they ask what you need. Explain that you have only limited space for the baby's toys. Point them to your registry or tell them gift cards are always welcome. I shouldn't have to say this, but I will. Always be gracious when you receive a gift, even if it's too big and you explained your limitations. Afterall, God invented customer service so we can make returns. (OK. He really didn't, but sometimes good customer service seems like a gift from God.)
  • Pick out concealed storage pieces that are functional and beautiful. I'll round up some of my current favorites next month.
  • When your little bundle of joy begins to play with her toys, pick them up as she goes and routinely clean them out.
This gameplan is a little simplistic, but you should be able to tailor it to your needs.

What toy storage strategies have you developed?

Monday, September 12, 2011

Returning to Normal after Vacation

Vacations are one of my favorite things; until we get home to unpack and attempt to settle into our routine. It ruins the relaxed, calm feeling I get from being away from my everyday.

 Ahh, the beach on vacation. 
Is there anything better?

Nick, Claire and I recently returned from a week long vacation. It was relaxing but still very tiring. (Visiting non-toddler-proofed homes makes me so thankful for gates on stairs and locks on cabinets!)

Although Nick enjoys vacations, he always stresses about the projects waiting for us when we get home. This vacation was no different, so we've decided our basement family room needs to be put back together before going on our anniversary trip. This will help us transition back to normal, but it won't solve everything.

Other ways we'll make the transition easier include:

  • Don't over pack. Over packing makes more unpacking work. 
  • Separate dirty from clean laundry when packing to come home. Take your dirty laundry directly to the washing machine when you return. Better yet, if you can, wash some of your clothing while on vacation before your pile builds up. 
  • Plan to have a free day upon your return to unpack, wash laundry, grocery shop and unwind (hopefully!). 
 Do you have any other strategies to continue the relaxed feeling post vacation?