Saturday, February 26, 2011

Organization Challenge: Week 8?

Well it looks like it has been 8 weeks since the start of the new year. As stated previously I am a bit behind on the challenge because of the whole baby thing. *Who just learned how to smile this week!* So I am trying to catch up. I have made a bit of progress actually on catching up and was able to do 2 projects on my list this week.

On Saturday my parents took Big and Middle Little and kept them until Sunday. Dad, Little Little and I went to Menards (a home improvement store) to look for some supplies. I had gone there before Christmas and purchased some items that had rebates on them. At their store the rebates are given in store credit checks, so I could only go there to use the money. No big deal since I was buying the stuff anyways, it just made for an incentive to go there. Anyways, we did not have a set plan on what we were getting and since it had been quite a while since we have both been in public together we kinda got off track. Lets just say we were very distracted by the large store and spent a few hours looking at all the stuff we could get and left with very little. We did get an under the bed storage tote (on wheels!) for the baby blankets I have.
(Note to all potential mothers/fathers when and if you have a baby shower wait until ALL items are received before you open and wash them. Baby blankets were a hot item at my showers and I have children who are not fond of blankets. I have have over 30 receiving blankets. I put them in the tote and will be making quilting squares out of them to make 4 large quilts (one for each bed). The fabric is cute and it will be something the Littles can take with them when they get out leave our home.)

We also picked up 2 upright laundry baskets since they take up less space and are easier to lug two around when I have to take it down stairs - who are we kidding Dad does all the laundry at our house. Lastly I picked up a canvas drop cloth. This was not because we were painting. Nope it was so I could make a canvas covered box out of a diaper box. Wanna know how? Check this out! So easy to do. It could work on any heavy box, not just a diaper one.

The plan was to complete many projects that are just too darn hard when Big and Middle want to help. Big has a thing with pealing stickers off from everything and when you are trying to place a label on something that just does not work. That was the PLAN but me and plans are not always the best of friends. After spending a few hours at the store and watching TV without someone crawling on us we soon saw our day slip away. I had to do something though. Something needed to be crossed off that list. That wonderful list of projects I made. 52 projects to be exact. So I put my little helper in his swing and sat on the floor staring at the pantry cupboard.
Everything just thrown in there. I couldn't get the door to stay shut.

Little Little supervising. 
Just like I did with the spice cabinet I cleared everything out and put items into groups. Not a whole lot was no needed, a few can goods that I bought thinking they were something else (those went to a local food drive). Everything just basically needed to be straightened and put with it's proper group. It is a deep cupboard and I very much envy those of you who have a real pantry. This is what I was given in this house and I need to find a way to make it work. Once again I have a "to be completed at a later date" because I don't have the time to get it done 100% the way I would like. I want to build drawers so I can see what is lurking behind the tall bins of flour and oatmeal. For now I have to be satisfied the pasta is with the pasta and the baking supplies are all grouped together.
Amazing what a little grouping of "like" items can do.

Another thing that has been bothering me is mail/paper clutter. In our house paper clutter comes in mostly by way of the mail box. We also have a special needs child so we get notes home from preschool and doctors visits periodically. Most of it gets read and placed where ever we can keep it out of reach of the children. It could be the kitchen counter, bookcase, mantel, kitchen table, and my personal favorite place to stash paper clutter, a messenger bag. When a bill is about to be due it is a mad scramble for about 30 minutes to find said paperwork and envelope. Then even longer to find checkbook and stamps. A few times we had to go straight to the bank on the day the house bill was due because I couldn't find the bill.

I have seen people making household notebooks for a few months. Actually it was Life as Mom talking about her household notebook that brought me to I am an organizing junkie where the challenge was put forth. I tried to make a notebook last year but found much of the suggested items not fitting with my family. We are a young family who live in the computer era. I live a little less with technology than Dad does, considering that is his livelihood, but I do love my smart phone. I use apps for almost everything I could use a page for in a notebook. I did, however, take the idea to organize our incoming papers. We keep a notebook in a place that is easy to access (although I will admit it hasn't found a permanent home) so when those papers come in they have a home.

I took the binder I was sent home from the hospital with (I already had 2 but they insisted I take it) and used the tab pages to make my own pocket folders. It was very simple with spray adhesive and thick card stock.

Here are my pages:
Mail Me - Items that need to go out in the mail that day.
Sign Me - Bills that need to be signed and other paperwork that needs a signature (think school permissions)
File Me - Items that need to be placed in a file just in case.
Document Me - If it just needs to be noted but not kept. Kids check-up info, notes from school, etc
Scan Me - If we just need to have a computer file of it and not a hard copy. We do this with our bills and kids art projects.
Destroy Me - Those pesky credit card offers and other things that need to meet the shredder.
A visual for the ones out there who are like me.

Also added a pocket for pens, checkbook, stamps, envelopes and address labels.

So that was my week of the road to recovery organizing. How did you do? Any struggles? Check out 52 Week challenge for more inspiration or information about how you can get going on your own journey. It is never to late to start but if you need a reason or season, Spring is right around the corner and you can use it as a way to give rebirth to your home.


  1. Your own pocket folders! What a great idea!! And I love the covered baby diaper boxes in your post. I have bookmarked both blogs in my "inspiration" folder! Thanks!

  2. Thanks! The pocket folders were very easy and since I have so many office supplies and scrapbook materials I thought I would just use what I have other than buying new. Also I made a snack box with a diaper box and other than not knowing how to sew, it was very easy. Practice will make it easier and with 3 boys I have plenty of diaper boxes to choose from.

    Thanks for commenting!