Tag Archives: organizing

Make Up Your Mantel for Thanksgiving!

Source: 52mantels.com via Karyl on Pinterest


I’ve always been enamored with holidays.  And holiday decorations. My favorite new thing to do is to decorate the mantel.  There’s even a blog called 52 Mantels!  We don’t actually have a mantel so I decorate our buffet.  I like how it makes my decorating efforts compact and concentrated.  That way you don’t need to have, or store, tons of stuff!

A few tips for decorating your mantel:

1) Use what you have. You probably already have a supply of holiday decorations.  This is a good starting point.  I have always decorated for Halloween but not for Thanksgiving. Although the jack-o-lanterns didn’t seem right, the paper mache pumpkin my son made in Kindergarten was perfect.  So was the scarecrow.  Also, look for thing that are just lying around.  I went searching for things that were orange and brown and found two soup bowls in the kitchen cabinet in those colors hat even had turkeys on them.  Who knew!

2) Add seasonal flowers or plants.  For Christmas there are poinsettias, pine wreaths, and holly. For Valentine’s Day, roses.  I also choose plants and flowers for their colors.  For example, red roses are great for Valentine’s Day but they could work for Christmas and the 4th of July.  I plan to use the pumpkin on the porch and fill it with flowers for our Thanksgiving centerpiece.  Nice idea from Inspiring Pretty.


3) Use free printables.  I love free printables!  They are free!  I found the idea and free template for my Give Thanks Banner from At Second Street. Speaking of giving thanks, thanks Kalleen At Second Street!

4) Subway art. These are those cute prints that you can just frame for instant decoration.  Simple Crafter has some great ones.  They are also all over Pinterest.


5) Make it your own.  Decorate in your own style.  Add family pictures.  You can get ideas from other people but always own it!

6) Keep it fresh.  You don’t have to use every single item every single time.  Change it up and don’t over do it.

Happy decorating!

Birthday Card System: Never forget a birthday!

Source: google.com via Rachel on Pinterest


I have a system for birthday cards that enables me to send cards to my loved ones on time and pretty much without fail.  My sister-in-law, smart girl that she is, suggested that I share it.  So here it is:

First you need a birthday book like this:

You don’t need a fancy one.  All you need is a calendar.  Gather all your birthdays and keep them here.  This is your birthday bible.  The last week of the month, get out your birthday book with your supplies: birthday cards, stamps, address labels and post-it notes.

Go through the next month, find your birthday people, and write out your cards to each one.

As you complete each card, put it in its envelope, address it, put a stamp and a return address label on it.

Now here comes the important part: Put a post-it note on it with the date it should be mailed.

Now put them all together in a stack in order of date to be mailed.

I keep my stack at work.  Each morning I take things that need to get mailed that day.  I take off the post-it note and it’s ready to go – already addressed and stamped!

The good news?  Your loved ones get their cards on time!  Try it!

There’s a fine line between organization and retardation

Mens Closet, Remodeling

Mens Closet, Remodeling (Photo credit: summitdesignremodeling)

When I am putting away my husband’s clean laundry, I don’t always know where everything goes in his closet.  I asked him if we could label it to help me.  “There’s a fine line between organization and retardation,” he said.  “I’m afraid I will come home one day and find a label on the TV that says “TV” and I will say ‘Oh, that’s what that is!’”

I can see that getting hubby organized is going to take some work and ingenuity.  Have you been able to get your husband on the organizing bandwagon?  If so, how? 

Organizing the Linen Closet

I recently organized the linen closet.   Here are a few pictures:


1. Organizing is good for the family.  Even if I lived alone, I wouldn’t always remember where I put every little thing.  With a family, labels really help everyone find what they need.

2. I really want to start doing before and after pictures.  I promise to for my next project.  Let’s see; what will it be? :)

3. I am having so much fun with labels.  I got these free from the internet and printed on sticker paper.  Very easy.

4. From now on, I’m buying all white towels. They match and you can bleach them.

Organizing the kitchen

Last weekend I worked on the kitchen.  First I started with the ugly coffee cans we usually keep on the counter.  My husband drinks regular coffee and I drink decaf.  I made canisters out of old coffee containers.  I took off the covers and added labels.  Now we have a little coffee station.

A big problem area that had bugged me for a long time was under the kitchen sink.  Bottles of this and that were every where, some knocked down.  It was total chaos and difficult to reach anything.  I’ve read organizing blogs for months now so I gathered some good ideas.  Containers, containers, containers!

Now the fun part: labeling.  Labeling is the face of organizing!  :)

And here’s one last picture of my organizing handiwork:

I don’t live to organize, I organize to live.  But I have to say that this is new to me and I’m inspired/obsessed.  I hope it lasts.  It’s like being obsessed with cleaning.  Yahoo!  I mean you have to do it so you may as well like it! See you next time.  Happy organizing!

The Beginner’s Guide to Organizing – Laundry Area

I am just starting to organize.  Actually I started a couple of weeks ago.  My goal was to start organizing when my marriage blog ended.  It just ended on May 30th so here I go.

I started with our laundry area.  It was a huge mess.  I cleaned it up and moved a lot of the mess to the next room.  :)  Here are a few pictures.

This is my laundry sorting system.  Pretty basic but it let’s me play basketball with the dirty laundry.  It’s also a lot better than the piles all over the floor.  Here’s one up close:

We don’t have a new house with those cute laundry areas.  Ours is in the basement with concrete walls and pink carpet no less!  I tried to make it cuter with posters and labels.

I don’t want to spend a lot any money on organizing.  Of course I do spend some but I don’t want to.  I’ve been picking up baskets and crates at yard sales and cutting up old cereal and other boxes.  I’ve also found lots of great free labels online.  You can too!

Here are a few more pictures of the laundry area.  As you can see, the laundry area is also the storage area.

I’m just getting started.  It’s pretty fun and satisfying.  I can tell that like cooking and cleaning, organizing never ends.  But at least it creates a structure from which to work and will hopefully make life a little more ordered and easy.  Happy organizing!

By the way, my favorite organizing blogs are I Heart Organizing and Organizing Made Fun.  Be sure to check them out!

Necessity… the mother of invention

Contemporary rendering of a poster from the Un...

Contemporary rendering of a poster from the United Kingdom reading “Keep Calm and Carry On”, created during World War II. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Plato said it.  Not having something causes you to be creative.  I was much more creative with cards and fashion when I had less money.  Being frugal and being creative go hand in hand.  You find new uses for old things, using up old food in fridge while cooking (for example stir fried rice with leftover meat and veggies).  You can make cards from groovy labels you peel off a can.

I just made two signs for our newly decluttered and organized laundry area.  One says “Keep Calm and Laundry On.”  I printed it from the internet,  printed it on 8 1/2 by 11 paper, and put in a plastic sheet protector.  It’s pretty cave like down there with concrete walls, so no fancy frame needed.  It’s not fancy but it looks a lot better than it did!  

Top 10 Go-to Meals

Tuna salad

Tuna salad (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

If you are like me, you may get home at night and not be sure what to make for dinner.  I just typed up this list, covered it in a plastic sheet protector and am going to hang it in the kitchen.  Try to have most of these things on hand so you’ll have a few choices.  It’s better to plan weekly menus, but when you don’t, try this!

Top 10 Go-to Meals*

  1. Tuna Salad and Lettuce/Crackers
  2. Spaghetti with Meat Sauce
  3. Steak, Baked Potato and Salad
  4. Chicken/Vegetable Stir Fry
  5. Breakfast for dinner
  6. Soup/Sandwich/Salad
  7. Baked “barbeque” Chicken
  8. Hamburgers
  9. Pasta Salad with Shrimp
  10. Baked Fish with Salsa

*Don’t know what to make?  Choose one of these easy fallbacks!