Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Create More Storage with Jars - Nails, Screws, and Other Hardware

A manly idea for jars: In the garage for nails. I saved big plastic jars (I use plastic so if they fall, they won't shatter) and put nails, screws, etc. in there. The layer of dust adds to the manly feel!

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Organizing Children's Artwork, Idea 4 (and the best idea, I think!)

Although I love my binder method and my memory bin method to organize my children's artwork, I also love my Wall Art Method.  It's basically an inexpensive way of displaying your children's art in your home, with the added bonus of the ability to change the art without having to take a picture frame off the wall and all that mess.

Here's how it works:

1. Shop! Go get 2 hooks - they can be as decorative or plain as you want them to be. Metal is better since it's sturdier. Also buy some wire - the kind that you hang frames with works well and is easy to find. Be sure to also buy the clips that you want to use.

2. Do. Start by marking where you want your hooks to go - which will depend on how long you want the display to be. Then drill the hooks almost all the way in.

3. Before drilling the hooks all the way into the wall, wrap the wire around the screw. Then drill the hook all the way in. Do the same on the other side.

4. Finish. Now put your clips (or just use clothes pins) and you're ready to display your children's sweet art! The fun thing about this is that you can rotate the art.

I employ this method in my girls' rooms, in our upstairs hall, and in my room. Not only is it a great way to display their artwork, but it's a whole lot cheaper than buying store bought art for walls. And the kids will feel proud that their art is displayed and you will not feel guilty when you toss it in the trash after it being up for a while!

This is the last post on organizing children's artwork. I hope one (or more) of these methods works for you! Happy organizing!

Monday, May 23, 2011

Organizing Children's Artwork, Idea 3

Cartoon courtesy of Off the Mark

Go digital - This is a great option for those tech savvy people out there (not me). Take pictures of the art (or scan the art) and put it on the computer. Just be sure to put it on a web album or CD in case the computer happens to crash.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Organizing Children's Artwork, Idea 2

Photo Credit: In Order for Life

Memory Box - I have a big plastic box for each of my kids. Any large art that is really special goes in there (along with other sweet memories of their life).

For even more organization, put things in manilla envelopes and label them by age, grade, or type of memory (i.e.cards, pictures, crafts, or whatever other items you would like to keep). These will not only be wonderful for you to look through down the road, but your children will appreciate them once they are passed onto them!

Monday, May 16, 2011

Organizing Children's Artwork, Idea 1

Is your home overrun with the beautiful glitter projects and marker drawings? Do you feel guilty throwing them away? This post is for you. Here are some ideas to keep your home uncluttered and your conscious clear.

1. Art books -

This is my favorite way to organize my girl's art. When they were little and didn't have that much I laminated the art, hole punched them, and tied them all together with ribbon. Now that their artwork outnumbers the stars, I can't afford this option. So this year I moved onto the 3-ring binder method. I hole punch the art and put it in chronological order in a 3-ring notebook. Any art that's too big (or 3D) to fit, I take a picture of it, print it out, and then stick it in.

If you choose this method, keep in mind that it's a bit fragile. When I first finished the books, I gave them to my girls (ages 6 and 4). The 4-year-old accidentally ripped a page out because she was too rough in turning the pages. So, just be sure to teach your kids how to turn pages and this option is a great one.

Stay tuned for other ways to organize the masterpieces that come into your home!

Monday, May 9, 2011

Decorative to Functional

I often hear people say that they don't have enough space in their home. If you ever find yourself saying that, think again. What space do you currently have that is decorative? Change it into functional.

Take the picture above. My husband and I call it our “$8 Bookcase”. This was one of our first purchases together when we were first married. We bought it at a yard sale for, you guessed it, $8. And I love the items in it. Pictures from our honeymoon. Beautiful old books we bought together. Book ends from my sister when she visited Africa. An Anne of Green Gables book. 

However, my life has changed. We have diaper bags, lunch boxes, and little girl purses. I no longer can afford just purely decorative space in my house. Almost everything has to double as functional. Here's my functional space now:

And just because something is functional, doesn't mean it's not beautiful. I love my hooks and bench because they are functional and cute. If I just hung some cheap hooks - I'd resent the fact that I no longer have my $8 bookcase.

So if you find yourself needing some more storage space, look at your things in a new light. If they don't double as functional, consider changing them so they do.

Thursday, May 5, 2011

How Multi-tasking Can Simplify Your Life

I like being productive. Most of the time it makes my life more simple. Here's one way that I use down time to be productive:

I keep nail clippers in my van. So when I'm stopped at a light, waiting in the drive-through, or trying to be patient at a train track I can save time by clipping my nails. Added bonus: no nail clippings to vacuum up at home.

* Disclaimer: don't clip your nails while driving. But, I have very smart readers, so this goes without saying...even though I did say it.

What are some ways that you multi-task to get things done?

Monday, May 2, 2011

Product Review: The Food Chopper

This is the Progressive International Food Chopper. It's amazing. Here's the story of how I acquired mine:

I have wonderful sisters. One of my sisters gave me this years ago and specifically said that it was so I could simplify my life. Little did she know just how much I love this. It's literally my favorite kitchen gadget that I own.

It's so easy to use, easy to clean (all parts are dishwasher safe), and chops fruit and vegetables into perfect uniform pieces. And unlike so many other food choppers I've owned in the past, this one has stood the test of time. Nothing has broken, the blades are still sharp, and it still works just as well as it did when I first got it over 5 years ago.

So next time you find yourself hovering over the kitchen counter chopping and dicing, consider getting this to make your food prep time easier and quicker.

And no, I'm not a paid endorser for the product...just a big fan of it.