5 Back-to-School Organizing Tips

Image courtesy of digitalart at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

If you live with children that attend school, they are either already back in school or about to return.

Here are a few tips to help ease the transition:

  1. If you haven’t already, begin getting everyone back on a sleep schedule. Have everyone go to bed and get up the same time each day to reset their internal clocks so they won’t be tired those first few weeks.
  2. Begin planning their lunches if they will be bringing them to school. Purchase needed supplies such as a thermos, sandwich containers, lunchboxes, utensils, napkins, etc. Sit with them and plan the lunches they would like to take. Create a weekly grocery list based on these items so you will always have them on hand.
  3. Decide on a space in your home for backpacks, coats, shoes and papers from school. If everyone knows where to place their items when they come in, they’ll be less likely to just drop them on the floor.
  4. Think of how you want to store and keep track of papers from school. You could purchase an inexpensive file box and create folders to hold weekly newsletters from the teachers, graded papers, artwork, informational papers from the school and progress reports/report cards. Ideally, you could store a year’s worth of papers for 2 children in one file box. At the end of each marking period you could purge the items from the folders and discard what you don’t need. There’s an app called Artkive that allows you to take pictures of your child’s artwork and then create a photo book. We use this app all the time and love it!
  5. Set up a homework station in an area where the child will not be distracted. If they are young and need your help with homework, keep them close by, but keep distractions to a minimum. It’s good to have a container near them that holds all of their needed supplies (pencils, crayons, markers, erasers, pencil sharpener, calculator, etc.) so they don’t need to get up every time they need something.

If you have any additional tips to add, I’d love to read them in the comments section below! :)

Organize Your Clothes by Creating a Capsule Wardrobe

Polyvore.com

Ok. Here’s something I had not heard of until recently. Maybe I’ve been living under a rock or something, but it is a wonderful idea!

It’s called a Capsule Wardrobe. Have you heard of this before?

Basically, it’s a process you use to organize the clothes you wear by selecting a few key pieces and then using those pieces to create multiple outfits.

Using this method ensures that you don’t overspend each season on clothing and eliminates the “I Have Nothing To Wear!” panic we feel quite often.

So here are the steps to create a capsule wardrobe:

  1. Decide on the type of clothing and how many you will need.  Be sure to include the following items: dress pants, little black dress, jeans, t shirts, sandals, ballet flats, high heels, boots, purses, blazers, sweaters, shorts, skirts, button down shirts, regular shirts, jackets, scarves, coats and tanks. (Of course you will eliminate items if you know you don’t need them or add items if I don’t have them on the list)
  2. Next decide on a color scheme. Select 2 colors for items like pants, skirts, purses and shoes. These colors should be able to mix and match with most other colors. Black, gray and navy are usually good picks.
  3. Now select two other colors to act as accents to your wardrobe. These will be the colors for your tops, shirts, sweaters, etc.
  4. When purchasing items, stay within your preselected color choices and all of your clothes will be able to play nicely together and you will always have an outfit for any occasion! ;)

Some people like to create a Capsule Wardrobe for each season (3 month period) and others prefer to create a Spring/Summer and a Fall/Winter Capsule Wardrobe.

Ideally, you should have about 35 items per season and you can carry items over from season to season, if needed.

I am really loving this idea and have already gone through my clothes and organized them in this Capsule way. It has helped me see that there are clothes that I own that really don’t connect with anything else, but I also noticed that I gravitate towards certain colors each season.

Check out Pinterest for more ideas on creating your own Capsule Closet.

Have you heard of this concept before or am I the last one to find out about it? If you organize your clothes this way, let me know how it’s working out for you! :)

Save Money on Summer Outings

Image courtesy of ponsulak at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Image courtesy of ponsulak at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Now that summer is in full swing, I thought I’d share a post I wrote a year ago about ways to save money on outings this summer.

It definitely acts as a refresher for me, so hopefully it will help you out as well!

Enjoy! :)

 

 

10 Tips-Creating a Spa Bathroom

HGTV.com

HGTV.com

There is nothing more relaxing than coming home at the end of the day and entering into a bathroom that has a spa-like feeling. Instead of traveling to the nearest hotel or spa, why not create your own spa bath?

Here are 10 tips to help you create that relaxing spa-like bathroom in your own home:

  1. I know that whenever I enter a spa the first thing I notice is the way it smells. Think about the scents that relax you and add them to your bathroom. Calming scents are vanilla, lavender (my favorite!), chamomile, cinnamon, tangerine, and coconut. Select one and add it to your bath by using air fresheners, potpourri, candles or plug-in room fresheners. Feel free to change the scents with the seasons or whenever you feel like you need a change. Just adding a calming scent to your bathroom will make a world of difference!
  2. Consider placing white ceramic containers on your counters to hold your cotton balls and swabs, makeup brushes, toothbrushes, potpourri, your everyday jewelry or anything else your heart desires.
  3. Create a spa environment around your tub by adding a tub caddy and place candles, loofahs, shower gel and soaps on it. Most tub caddies come with a book holder to allow you to read while relaxing in the tub.
  4. Add music to the bathroom by adding a clock radio or shower radio. Be sure to tune in to a relaxing station to help you unwind.
  5. Orchids are able to tolerate the wet, steamy environment of the bathroom. They also add a calming, spa-like feel. (I cheat and use the silk varieties!)
  6. A nice, fluffy bath rug will feel really nice to your toes when you step out of the shower or bathtub. Sliding your feet into some fluffy slippers will help keep your feet warm and prevent you from slipping on the hard floor.
  7. Hang matching bathrobes on the back of a door if you don’t have any place to put hooks. Just seeing the robes when entering your bathroom will help you begin to relax.
  8. When deciding on colors for your bathroom, the most calming colors are the light ones. Keeping everything uniform in color will be very easy on the eyes. If painting the room, be sure to select formulas designed specifically for the bathroom.
  9. Consider adding art to the walls. Select peaceful designs that go with the color scheme you’ve selected.
  10. Installing heated towel bars and upgrading the light fixtures can give the bathroom an instant facelift. While you’re at it, add a wall-mount magnifying mirror to help with putting on makeup.

Those are just a few ways to transform your bathroom into a “spa bath”. If you have any tips to add, let me know in the comments section.  :)

Related Posts:

Organizing the Bathroom

Decorating the Bathroom

5 Common Organizing Mistakes

BHG.com

Today I thought I’d post about some of the common organizing mistakes I see when working with a client.

The mistakes aren’t terribly bad, and with a little tweaking, fixing them can totally change the way you function in your home.

  1. One of my pet peeves is cluttering up your refrigerator with pictures, magnets and small pieces of paper. When you have too many items on your fridge, it creates visual clutter. Most people hang items on their fridge to look at or to remember something. The problem is that you really don’t notice any of it because there is so much to look at. To those that must have something on the fridge, I usually suggest hanging either a magnetic calendar OR hanging pictures on the fridge in an orderly way. Then your eye will be drawn to it. Paring down items on the fridge will also help your kitchen appear to be more organized.
  2. Another common mistake I see is not storing items where they will be used. This is something that can be fixed quickly. The next time you use something, take note if you have to walk farther than 3 feet to put it away. Trust me, if you have to go too far, you probably won’t put it back and it will become clutter. This can happen in every room-kitchens, bathrooms, garages, kid’s rooms, and family rooms. Just thinking about where you use an item can help you find a better place to store it, which in turn will allow you to return it and reduce clutter in your home.
  3. Not having a system for papers is another common mistake I see. This one is huge! If you don’t have a place for papers, mail, children’s artwork, bills, insurance documents, magazines, etc. (I think you get the idea ;) ) they end up wherever they end up. Getting a hold of your paper and creating some type of system will turn your life around! For mail, create an in/out system. Trash junk mail immediately and file the rest. If it’s something that needs your attention shortly, place it in the “in” box. Some type of filing cabinet is a must. You can create folders for anything you desire: bills to be paid, graded school papers, kid’s artwork, bank statements, etc. When you receive those types of documents, file them immediately. Then you will always know where they are.
  4. Another mistake is not using containers to contain items in drawers. Whether you have a junk drawer or makeup drawer, you need some type of container to organize the items. You can use the acrylic organizers you see at Target, Walmart and The Container Store or little dishes, utensil organizers, or small baskets. Anything goes really. Just find a way to separate things so they will be easier to find when you need them. No more rummaging through the drawer looking for that screwdriver! There are drawers all over your house that can be containerized. Think kitchen junk drawers, office desk drawers, utensil drawers, baking drawers, jewelry, makeup…I could go on and on.
  5. This is a funny one. Oversimplifying. I have actually had a few clients that decided to organize their homes and ended up putting everything away. Nothing was on the walls, kitchen counters, end tables, coffee tables, etc. They were actually calling me in for decorating services because they felt their home needed a “homey” touch. I explained to them that organizing does not mean clearing everything away, it simply means keeping things orderly. I advised them to bring out the items in the kitchen that they use everyday and place interesting decorative objects on the tables and walls.  We brought out blankets and draped them over the sofas and moved a few plants around. Just by doing these simple things, their homes lit up and had a “lived in” feel. Being organized does not mean boring! :)

Hopefully you were able to envision your space while reading this to see if you are making any of these organizing “mistakes”. As you can see, they are not horrible, just ones that require a little advanced planning and resilience to stick to the plan of keeping it organized.

Until next time!