Thursday, August 22, 2013

Back to School Organizing!



The kids are back to school and the house looks like a tornado went through it.  Anyone else have this problem?  One of my goals for this school year is to do a better job organizing my home.  No more messes, no more frantic cleaning before guests come over, no more extra stuff.  I want to have a routine for things to make life easier.  I also want to help my children learn how to better help around the house (we'll see how that one goes). 

So, the past few days I have been cleaning and cleaning and cleaning.  And then my family comes home and messes it up!  (enter scream here) I went to town organizing my "command center" for back to school.  Hopefully I won't miss any appointments or activities now! 

Here is what my space looked like before... Complete with paint sample swatch painted on the wall! 


 
 
And here is all the crap that I pulled off my workspace... I should have logged and counted all the random things I had sitting in my organizer. It was impressive. Oh yeah!
 
 
I bought a Martha Stewart desktop organizer at Staples several months ago and it has been put to use in our kitchen.  It lives on a counter/workspace with the telephone and my pens and pencils.  The only problem is that I was not very disciplined with what I used it for.  It became a catch all, and that was not my goal. 
 
 
Isn't it pretty?  I heart it so! Martha Stewart rocks my face off. 
 
I also used some file folders to organize incoming papers, which generally end up in a giant pile on the counter. 
 

 
From the top I have a folder for the cat, the dog, my kiddos for their incoming school papers, a folder for items to file and a folder for the budget.  In the budget folder, I put all of our incoming receipts so we can track our spending.
 


We bought a 6 pack of these cork placemats at Ikea, and I used one to put on the wall for my daily schedule and some items I don't want to forget - like RSVPs and gift cards.  




Above is my home management binder.  I love it!  I put it together maybe 6 months ago and have been tweaking it so I can use it better.  I will share that with you further in another post. Here is a glimpse so you get an idea.  Nothing fancy, but I don't need fancy, I need functional. 
 
 
I purchased two accordion style mini files at Tarjay in the dollar bins to use to organize receipts and coupons.  They are fantastic!  I have loved the simplicity of them and it takes just a minute to log and file things.
 

 
Here is the inside of the receipt file.  I have the tabs categorized according to our spending categories. 
 
 
Nemo is supervising the photo shoot below. :)



 
Another wonderful tool that I bought in the dollar bins at Tarjay as well is this day of the week notepad.  Here I write down my to do list for the day including any phone calls I need to make.  It has helped me so much this week!  Hopefully these things are still available for purchase so you can go out and buy your own, but I am sure there are similar items at dollar stores and other big box stores.  


 
Here is my finished workspace!  I am giving myself a pat on the back, and am committing to actually keep it organized and use it for my intended purpose.  
 
 
OOOOOOOOH!  AHHHHHHHH!  So pretty.  It makes me smile with organizing glee!
 


 
The drawer by the way holds extra page protectors, business card holders and file folders.  All at my convenience. 


 
A few photos of my newly designed and organized workspace!  Kindly ignore my paint swatch.  Thank you for your cooperation. 
 



Happy Thursday and Happy organizing!  What are you doing to get organized at your house?
 
Love and blessings,
 
Alison

Monday, August 19, 2013

Welcome to the Jungle Part 2

The past few weeks have been crazy!  Starting a new school year and adjusting to a new routine always takes it out of me.  I hope to update my blog more regularly, i.e. daily, now that I have two little monkeys in school. 

The week before school started, between the shopping, and squeezing in a few extra fun things, I worked on my flower bed  jungle in the backyard.  It was a lot of work but boy was it worth it! 

Here is the before pic that  you saw in my first post about my jungle that I love so much...



As you can see we have some delightful wood in the flower bed, no we are not part hillbilly, but you would never know from looking at our backyard!


The overgrown grass and flowers add such a nice ambiance to the yard, don't you think?  Said sarcastically of course.


Here is what it looks like after I cleaned up the hillbilly wood and pulled weeds.  Hooray!  Looks so much better.  The wood was burned in our fire pit, which is currently a work in progress.  So, it served well for toasting marshmallows and hanging out with the kiddos and hubby.


I even met a few friends while I was cleaning out the garden!  This is the cutest little frog.  He even posed for me as I shot this pic.  Isn't he nice?  I will call him George.  He looks like a George doesn't he?  I tried to pick him up after I was done taking his photo, and he peed on me.  Guess he didn't like it!


And here is a leaf bug!  I had never seen one of these before and I was so excited I got to meet this little guy.  Look at the detail on his body.  You can see little veins going through his skin just like a real leaf.  I had to do a double take to be sure I was really seeing this!

My kids then came outside and was wondering what I was up to, and of course were hungry.  It seems like they are always hungry!  And now that they are off to school, I miss them interrupting me to ask for lunch.  Sigh.  Tell me how your back to school adventures are going.  How are the kids doing?  Are they excited?  I want to know!

Love and Blessings,

Alison

Monday, July 22, 2013

Enter at your own risk

The weather hasn't been cooperating here in rural Indiana for any outdoor projects.  It has been so humid and around 90 degrees for the last week or so.  I would have lost 10 pounds via sweat just working outside.  Not that I couldn't use to lose a few....haha!

So, on with the entry!  I have been working diligently and basically neglecting all other housework.  So, my house is atrocious, but the entry is looking sweeeet!  I am really excited about how it is coming together, although there is a ton more to do! 

This morning I put the first coat of paint on the inside of our front door.  I have been obsessed with turquoise for as long as I can remember.  I like it to have some gray in it, so it isn't as bright.  The color is drizzle by Sherwin Williams.  Here's a pic...


Isn't it pretty?!  I looooorve it!  It makes me want to dance a happy dance in my entry, with which my children would look at me like I am crazy, and say, "Really, mom?  Totally not cool."  They are getting to that age.  Seems too early to me, but whatever.  But I do not care what they think.  Commence with happy dance! 
 
A second coat will go on the front door in about an hour and I have a second coat of white to put on all the trim and around the side lights on the front door.  I also need to paint the inside of the closet and decide what to do in it.  My handy dandy husband has not been around much, and he is my main helper for construction projects, so it is on hold. 
 
Here's a pic of what it looks like now...


It is a bit  blurry, sorry about that, but you get the idea.  I am hoping to improve my photography skills...it is a work in progress.  :) 
 
So, the inside of the closet is still an off white color that most of the downstairs is painted.  I wasn't sure what to do with the inside colors, so I waited,  but now I have decided to paint it the same gray/green color as the walls and add a stencil.  My hubby will add a bench seat and we will take out the bottom shelf and hanging rod at the top.  I am excited to see how it turns out.  Now if I could just keep my husband home for more than a few hours at a time, we could get to work! 
 
Updates to come....stay tuned for more!
 
 

Thursday, July 11, 2013

Welcome to the Jungle

I have a jungle in my backyard.  The weeds are taking over.  Somebody save us! 

I don't know how it got this bad.  It seems that one day, it was a moderately weedy flower bed waiting for some TLC, and now, it is out of control.
 
Isn't it lovely?  You can see there are some actual plants that live there, but the scraggly stuff is
definitely getting in the way.
 

 
Our flower bed is also equipped with some beautiful wood pieces left over from our veggie garden last year. Totally hillbilly style. Oh yeah, we're awesome!

 
I began the weeding process yesterday, but with the 100% humidity didn't get very far!  Work in progress. 
 
I came back in the house to discover chocolate milk covering the majority of the kitchen.  (Which may or may not be a slight exaggeration)  My children had taken it upon themselves to "fix" a snack.  Never a good thing at our house. 
 
After all that was cleaned up, I decided against going back outside to finish the beds.  The kids totally needed some mom time.
 
Hopefully today I will get some jungle clearing done.  Pics to come!