October 31, 2011

{OrganizedHome} Day 31: Staying Organized


Today is the last day of my series 31 Days to an Organized Home, and I want to leave you with some tips to help you stay organized.  How do you keep those spots you've worked on looking tidy and functioning well? Here are some ideas:

  • One in, one out.  Come home with a new package of socks? Get rid of all the old ones with holes. Come home with new toys for the kids? Donate the old ones they don't play with.  Assuming you already own enough (or too many) things, you can stay on top of clutter by disposing of the old when you bring home the new.
  • Have a place for donations.  And visit the thrift store often to drop them off.  Things left sitting around the house waiting to be donated have a way of never actually getting donated.
  • Label things.  It keeps you accountable to your own organizing.  If you have a basket on the counter with no label, it will probably soon be holding some mail, a spare key, some legos and a loose button.  If it's labelled "mail", there's a good chance that you (and those you live with) will only put mail in it.
  • Have less stuff than you have room for. A great sale at the grocery store shouldn't throw your pantry into disarray. 
  • Don't lose sight of what organizing is really about. It's about allowing our homes to be what we need them to be: refuges, sanctuaries, venues for epic Wii bowling show-downs, and so much more! 

      If you're eager for more, here are some of my favorite books that deal with Organization and simplifying.

      Unclutter Your Life in One Week by Erin Rooney Doland

      This book is largely written for people who work in an office setting, but I love it anyways. I especially love that she has the reader identify their learning style (visual, auditory, tactile)  and then gives tips on how to organize your clothing accordingly!
      Favorite quote: "If you've never read the complete works of Shakespeare, and you never plan to read the complete works of Shakespeare, get rid of the complete works of Shakespeare."



       This is the kind of book you set out meaning to read and just end up drooling over the photos.  I have the hardcover edition, which would make a great coffee table book if it weren't for the fact that my kids are inclined to destroy anything I leave on the coffee table.
      Favorite part:  The very practical but pretty section on kitchen organization


      Organized Simplicity: The Clutter-Free Approach to Intentional Living

      Tsh Oxenreider (a.k.a.SimpleMom) has written a guide that really speaks to my passion for a simpler, more organized home.  This little handbook is a great resource for those who want to simplify, not just their homes, but their lives.
       Favorite quote: "But I wanted more...intentionality in my life.  More conviction. More certainty about the why behind the decisions I made as a home manager.  I didn't want life to happen to me; I wanted to happen to life."

       This series is over, but the tips aren't.  I intend to keep blogging regularly (but not every day...goodness no.) And I'm excited to talk about some things other than organizing (like parenting and baking and cleaning!)  So please keep visiting often and leaving your lovely comments!  And if you have something in particular you think I should blog about, connect with me on my facebook page and let me know!
      *This post contains affiliate links.  Click here to learn what that means.

      October 30, 2011

      {OrganizedHome} Day 30: My Craft Closet

      I had another post planned for today.  But then I spent the evening painting and organizing my new crafts closet.

      You might remember the before picture from this post here.

      Here is what it looks like now:


      I literally sat in my laundry sink to take that picture.  While my husband held a lamp. Do you know how difficult it is to take pictures of a closet? at night?


      I've moved my wrapping paper and gift bags into the crafts closet because I am finding that I often use craft items while wrapping gifts and vice versa. 


      I've used a kitchen divider meant for baking sheets to hold gift bags and tissue paper.  I have three of those kitchen dividers in my house and only one is actually in the kitchen. They are so versatile!


      I store ribbons in a box covered in white shelf paper and some grommets.  You can pick up a grommet tool and some grommets for cheap at any sewing store and the package will tell you how to use them.







      The closet walls are painted with a grey paint I picked up from the mis-tints bin at Home Depot.  I love the mis-tints bin!


      [This is day 30 (woohoo!) of 31 Days to an Organized home.  Thanks for stopping by The Complete Guide to Imperfect Homemaking. I would be thrilled if you'd follow me on facebook or twitter.]

      October 29, 2011

      {OrganizedHome} Day 29: Sentimental Items

      Don't worry, I'm not about to tell you to ditch all of your sentimental items.


      My babies eat from the same silver baby spoons their great grandfather did so long ago. When not being used to feed babies and toddlers, the spoons sit intermingled with new plastic spoons and forks.  The old and the new intertwined, a piece of family history sometimes in my son's sticky yogurt covered fingers.

      The things that remind you of people you've loved and seasons of your life that have challenged or changed you are not clutter.  They are exactly the things that a simple and inviting home are filled with.

      I've spent most of this series asking you to declutter and suggesting ways to hide the stuff you can't help but keep.  I've been challenging you to clear out the things that don't matter to make room for the things that do.

      Now that you've made some room, the challenge is different.  Today's challenge is to bring your sentimental items out of hiding. Bring that box out of the attic.  Or go dig through the basement. 

      Use and display your sentimental items.

      And if you come across something that you don't care to see or touch every day, if it's been in a box for years and you don't have any interest in displaying it on the mantel,  maybe it really isn't that sentimental.  Maybe you can ditch it after all.

      [This is day 29 of a 31 Day Series about organizing your home.  Click here to see more.]

      p.s.  If the idea of using grandma's linens or your great aunt's china scares you a little, read this post.

      October 28, 2011

      {OrganizedHome} Day 28: Laundry Room Organization

       My Laundry room is also my main entry, so it has to be tidy.  Which means my laundry room closet was a natural place to store all of the un-pretties:   tools, cleaning products, board games, flash lights, chicken feed....anything I didn't have a spot for and didn't wan to look at.

      And because I don't have a craft room, I was trying to store craft stuff in there too.  It was a mess.  I don't normally like to show "before" pictures because, well, they aren't pretty and I like my blog to be full of pretty things. But here we go:


      The closet was such a mess that I sometimes didn't even want to try to put things back once I had taken them out.  So they ended up on the sink.


      I contemplated taking the craft stuff out of the closet so that there would be room for all the miscellany that belongs there, but I decided instead to put up shelves for the miscellany and dedicate the closet entirely to crafts. 

      (The crafts closet will be a post all it's own, once it's done. I am seriously excited about having all my craft stuff in one place.  The thought of it makes me a little giddy.)

      Here's a what the laundry room looked like before the new shelves:

      And here is the laundry room now, with more storage:

       I wanted brackets like this:
      via IKEA

      But the nearest Ikea is a 2 hour drive away, so I showed the picture to my husband and he built me some that are similar:


      I stained some wooden crates and applied pieces of self adhesive chalkboard paper to the front.


      I hung a rod to hang some of my cleaning products on.


       An old toothbrush holder makes for a pretty place for paint brushes to dry.
       

      Clothes pins are stored in a bucket.


      I shopped my house for a frame to pretty the space up a bit.

       

      Under the sink I installed a plastic bag holder and use it to conveniently store rags and cloths.


      [Thanks for stopping by to see my laundry room storage solutions.  This is day 28 in a series called 31 Days to an Organized Home.  Click here to see all the series posts to date.]


      If you haven't done so yet, there is still lots of time to link up to yesterday's Home Organization Linky Party!

      October 27, 2011

      {OrganizedHome} Day 27: It's Linky Party Day!


      It's day 27 of my series 31 Days to an Organized Home, and today I'm turning the tables and asking you to show off your fabulous organizing projects!
      • It can be a project inspired by the last 26 days of this series, but it doesn't have to be. As long as it has something to do with creating an organized home, link it up!
      • Please link to the specific post, not your blogs main page. 
      • If you're linking up, you will need to post one of these buttons on your blog somewhere.




      • I would love it if you would help make my first linky party a success by sharing it on twitter or facebook.  The best way to do that is click on the little "t" or "f" symbols in the "share this post" section at the bottom of this post!  Thanks. 
      • If you are new to blogging or Linky Parties and need some help figuring out how to link up, just comment below or email me at kelly at imperfecthomemaking dot com and I will try to help you out!


      October 26, 2011

      A Review of Mrs. Meyer's Cleaning Products

      Today I want to introduce you to one of my new favorite cleaning products.  I *love* Mrs. Meyer's Clean Day products.  Have you tried them?


      I use the Lemon Verbena Counter spray in my kitchen, and I use it for so much more than just the counters!   The cute packaging and refreshing scent brings a sense of indulgence to ordinary chores.  And most importantly, it works! I even  use it to clean up the cooked on gunky-ness that sometimes gathers on the stove top.




      Gunky-ness is a word, right?

      They have a variety of products in a selection of scents,like Lavender, Geranium and Basil.  They even have special scents for Christmas!   How great is that?!   I can't wait to try the Orange Clove products this holiday season. 




      You can find a store near you that carries them by visiting the Mrs. Meyer's website.  Or you can purchase them through Amazon.com   Some of the products even qualify for Free Super Saver Shipping!

      [I am an Amazon Affiliate.  I may receive a small referral fee for this recommendation.  Amazon didn't ask me to write this post, and the opinions expressed are my own.  I seriously love these products and wouldn't recommend them if I didn't!  Head over to Amazon.com and help support The Complete Guide to Imperfect Homemaking by treating yourself to some fabulous cleaning products. Thanks so much!]

      p.s. The {OrganizedHome} Linky Party goes live at 12:01am EST, so plan to come back and link up your great organizational projects!

      {OrganizedHome} Day 26: Linen Closets

      Use bins and labels to keep everything in it's place and looking tidy.
      via Simplified Bee

      Make the most of your space by hanging pretty linens on the inside of the door.
      via Goodbye, house. Hello, Home!

      Or take the door off entirely and create a beautiful linen nook!
      via Chic Little House

      Consider adding some decorative items.  Who says a linen closet has to be a purely functional space?
      via Young House Love


      Consider scent.  Use lavender sachets or a reed diffuser to make your linen closet smell as sweet as it looks!
      via me

      Some more ideas for linen storage:
      • Don't have a linen closet? You can easily turn a cabinet, some open shelves, a drawer or an armoire into a beautiful place for sheets and towels.
      • Consider bundling your guest sheets with a wide satin ribbon.  Not only will it look nice, it will keep the pieces together and add to the excitement of dressing the bed for overnight guests.
      • Click here to read my article on folding sheets, including the elusive folding of the fitted sheet.
      Please click through to some of the blogs I've featured above and leave them a sweet comment to make them smile!

      [This is day 26 in a series called 31 Days to an Organized Home.  Come back tomorrow for the Organized Home linky party!]

      October 25, 2011

      {OrganizedHome} Day 25: Bathroom Storage


      We share one bathroom among seven people.  Granted, 2 of those people have little use for a bathroom.

      Gratuitous baby photo:


      None the less, we have to make the most of our bathroom storage. I have a linen tower that stores hand towels and extra toilet paper.  The polka dotted bowl holds little things like nail clippers and tweezers.


      The linen tower has a drawer outfitted with small square organizers to hold our hair elastics and what-not.


      Below that is a cupboard with tooth brushes and baby bath towels.


      In the sink Vanity I have three plastic baskets labeled for myself,my husband, and the kids.






      I've hung hooks on the inside of the cabinet to hold my hair dryer and straightener.

      At the thrift store I found a basket that just has coated wire on the bottom (no baskety-ness) so it is perfect for storing bath toys.


      I try to choose bath products in mostly white containers whenever possible to create a cohesive appearance.


      Our organized bathroom serves us well.  


      More gratuitous baby pictures:



      [Thanks for stopping by The Complete Guide to Imperfect Homemaking. This is day 25 of a series called 31 Days to an Organized Home. Click here for more Organize-y goodness!]
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