Weekend Organizing...Kitchen Drawer

Here's another fifteen minute project...clean out and organize a few kitchen drawers. I worked on my junk drawer, the drawer that holds the phone books and my silverware drawer. That drawer led to organizing my utinsil drawer. Overall it ended up taking twenty minutes and things got sorted and put where they belong.

If you do this for the next three days, most of your kitchen drawers will be organized! A great time to do this is while something is baking in the oven.

Terrific Tip Tuesday...Pencil Boxes

Pencil boxes are great organizers at a great price. Right now you can pick them up for around fifty cents!

Stock up...before they run out! Okay, I’m being kind of dramatic, but you wouldn’t believe how many uses a pencil box has. These are great for organizing children’s art supplies, but they are also great for organizing lots of other things. Feel free to comment and add to my list!
Here’s my list so far:
Colored pencils/markers/crayons/scissors/glue
Rubber bands
Post-it Notes (my mom stocks up on these and they fit great inside)
USB Cables/chargers
Paper Clips
Hair accessories
Small envelopes
Spools of thread
Mementos (hotel room cards, concert tickets, etc) I have a weird obsession with hotel room cards, and I hate throwing them away, so this is perfect!

Let's Talk Kitchens..Another Fifteen Minute Project

I decided yesterday I would tackle the cabinet where I store all my spices. I’m not a big fan of cooking, so my cabinet that has my spices doesn’t get much attention. I probably haven’t attempted to organize this cabinet in years!

I took everything out. I had a few things (bread crumbs, fried onions that you put on green bean casserole, gluten free flour and baking powder) that were almost empty and expired. I had to throw those items away. I found some SpongeBob tattoos that didn’t belong in my spice cabinet, as well as a baggie of Chuckie Cheese tickets. Those items were moved.

Then I divided my spices into “sweet and salty”. The sweet baking supplies went on the right and the cooking seasonings went on the left. On the bottom shelf I use my three-step shelf system. It works great because you can see what you’ve got in a deep cabinet. It works best if the shortest items are in the front, tallest in the back. I purchased mine years ago at Walmart.

The second shelf has cooking oils, measuring cups and other tall spices.

My top shelf has candles and matches if the power goes out. It also has my meat tenderizer and a funnel. I suppose you never know when you need a funnel!

I used a small basket usually for pencils and pens and put all my packet seasonings in it. This is a great way to store these!

Talk about not having to worry about organizing your closet...Fashion Diet

I just read this article in the New York Times. It is a fashion diet. If you did this diet, there wouldn't be much to organize!


Essentially, people are limiting themselves to six clothing items and they wear them for a month. The idea is that you appreciate what you have and are not being materialistic. I believe this is a very noble endeavor, however, I couldn't last three days doing this!

I run, so I'd need running shorts and a top. That would leave me with four items left. I pretty much would be left with a pair of pants and three tops or two pairs of pants and two tops. I'm pretty sure I would want at least five shirts/tops (in addition to my running shirt). This way I could wear a different top everyday. Plus with Kansas weather, it could be cool one day and the next day hotter than heck! I'd need one long sleeve shirt and one short sleeve shirt. I'd have to hope the weather would cooperate with my fashion diet so I could alternate tops!

I don't like doing laundry THAT much! Think of all the water I'd waste washing my two shirts and two pants!

Plus, the people I work with would notice after about three days. If they didn't say something, the students I work with would sure say something! "Why are you wearing that shirt again?"

However, I could probably NOT go shopping for new clothes/jewelry/shoes for a month. Heck, I could probably make it to the end of 2010 and not buy anything new. That would be much more realistic and give me lots of time to appreciate everything in my closet!

Perhaps this weekend, I will go through my closet and make sure I'm giving all my clothes the love they deserve! I organize my tops by color and I always have my black and white clothes towards the front of my closet, which is usually where I grab from first. Perhaps I'll do a little rearranging and move the black to the back. It will be like a whole new wardrobe!

I made a logo...and other news!

I just set up a spot over on Facebook for Organizing Simply, and I needed a picture. This is what I came up with!

I love getting comments. Next week I'll be starting TERRIFIC TUESDAY TIPS! Please let me know if there are specific topics you want covered. Two topics I'm planning on covering are meal planning and back-to-school organization. Plus, I have a number of ideas to help save time and keep things nice and organized.

My Scrapbook Room is Done!

My scrapbook room is done and was under budget (if you don't count tax). I gave myself a budge of $75. I love it! Remember, I used to just keep everything in tubs under the bed and would bring them out and put them back when I was done. It wasn't any fun to do this. I now have a great work area.

This is what was purchased:
$6.99 Desk organizer from Michaels. It holds hole punches, brads, scissors, markers, and corner rounders.
Three $1.50 each pink containers with snap lids from Walmart. One will hold scrapbook adhesives. Another holds small scrapbooking memorabilia that are not photos (hotel room keys, concert tickets, etc). The third one will live in the top dresser drawer to hold misc small stuff.
One $2.50 tall pink container with a snap lid from Walmart. I needed this to hold stamping supplies.
$14.99 six drawer cabinet with wheels from Office Depot. I used a $10 coupon that my husband got in an email, This holds all my stickers. Plus I have a drawer for stencils and books.
$14.99 wall organizer from Michaels. I used a coupon. This holds ribbons, adhesives, memorabilia, and photos waiting to be scrapbooked.
$2.00 for two photo 4x6 holder from Michaels. I used coupons. I used to just stack things on paper trays. These keep photos safe and
$13.02 for three cans of spray paint. The paint was used to paint the old brown dresser white. It looks so much better.
$6 for three photo frames from Walmart.
$8.99 photo board from Michael's. Used another coupon!
I made about five trips to Michael's in the last three weeks, since they have a one coupon per day limit.
Total: $73.98

There were other great organizing supplies I liked such as small crates for $1.99 at Office Depot, but I just didn't have a need for them. There were also great plastic jars with lids at Michaels. These would be great if you had lots of small craft supplies like beads, buttons, gemstones, etc. They have sets of three large ones or six small ones.

Right now I am using the top dresser drawer for my hot glue gun and all my stamping supplies. The second dresser drawer can be used to keep my current scrapbooks and photo albums. When I’m done with a scrapbook album, I have a bookcase upstairs that has a cabinet on the bottom with doors. That’s where my completed scrapbooks live.

Wall Shelf...I love this!

My daughter loved this. She felt like this was something that came from my dream scrapbook room. Here’s the deal: I had to assemble this myself and I’m pretty direction deficient. Actually, I’m horrible at directions and reading any sort of three-dimensional map or drawing. I have no depth perception aptitude!

This is my dream scrapbook room:

It was supposed to take 15 minutes to assemble. It took me 15 minutes just to make sure I had all the pieces. There were six steps. I would screw something together, only to find out it was upside down. It mattered what direction boards were placed, because there were little tracks for other pieces to slide into. I had the entire thing put together in a little over an hour. I was very proud of myself, except the top piece wasn’t lined up right. I knew this because it was sticking out about a half an inch on the backside. It couldn’t hang from the wall this way!

I took it off, and finally realized, I had to flip it over. That was it. One hour and fifteen minutes later, I did it (not including the time it took to make sure I had all the materials)!!! I put extra ribbons in one of the white canvas basket. At this point, the other basket is empty!

Then I set up my two pink containers on the shelf. The first one holds all my adhesives. The second holds all the little things I collect...event tickets, hotel room cards, etc. I also thought this would be a great place to store my 4X6 photos that are waiting to be scrapbooked. In the "old days" I would just stack all this stuff on paper trays. I like my new system much better

Scrapbooking Interruption....Back-to-School Supplies

Yesterday I noticed all the ads in our Sunday paper were all school supply related. We had to go to Walmart, so I brought along the Office Max, Target, and Office Depot ads. Sure enough, the sale prices on lots of items were cheaper, and Walmart price matched. I probably saved $5 overall, but I only had to go to one store. When it is 100 degrees out, one store is better than three!

I was able to get my daughter's school supply list online.

I know some people just got done with school at the end of June, but we go back in August!


My daughter fell in love with this caddy at Michaels. They have bigger ones, and I debated which one to get.

I had read that you should “go big” when buying scrapbooking supplies. However, I really don’t have tons of stuff, and I thought I would bring it home and make sure everything fit. If it didn’t, I could always exchange it for the larger size.

I had more than enough room, and I actually ended up with empty pockets! I put the markers, scissors and hole punches in the top (there are three sections). Then I put brads and corner rounders along the side. There are six pockets along the side, and I ended up with extra space. I paid $6.99 for the caddy on sale (with a coupon). I decided I got a good deal!

My Stickers Are Now Organized!

Organizing my stickers has been one of the most difficult things for me to organize. I had a binder with page protectors, and the stickers were put in page protectors by theme. However, some of my stickers were twelve inches long, and didn’t really fit in an 8.5x11 binder. Plus it was a pain to find stickers.

I got lots of great ideas for stickers from the Internet. When I went shopping, I had an idea in mind. I wanted to use drawers for my stickers. I would have a drawer for seasonal/holiday stickers, a drawer for travel stickers, then the other two drawers would be for each of my children. Since I have a boy and a girl, this would be easy.

My daughter actually found this cart at Office Depot. I liked it because the drawers were not too big. It also has six drawers, and I could use the other two drawers for my scrapbooking books and extra card stock/stencils. My husband actually got an email from Office Depot for $10 off a $25 purchase. This would make the cart $14.99! I couldn't turn down a deal this great. Walmart also has tons of options for carts with drawers.

My daughter made the labels,and organized the stickers. Even my long stickers fit in the drawer! This will be a huge help. I love it!

Practicing What I Preach

I have been going through my photo folders and renaming them YYYY-MM-DD Description. OH MY GOODNESS!! I set a timer for 10 minutes and work. If I didn't take a break, my eyes would go cross from looking at the screen!

I also have been deleting some junk shots as I go. So far it has taken me forty minutes! I still have a few more folders left (about thirty-five)! From now on, I'm always going to do this!

Organizing Paper

I got this expandable 12x12 paper organizer about four years ago at Hobby Lobby. It was regularly $14.99, but I paid $7.49 because I used a coupon. I checked today, and they still carry them! Right now they are black and cream in a paisley print pattern.

I had my paper organized by color, but it wasn't in any order and I couldn't find anything without going through each folder.

My seven year old label-making helper, changed all that! Ann Claire made all the labels and put them in rainbow order. Then she put all the paper where it belonged. Thank you Ann Claire!

This system works great for me. I would love to have shelves that store my paper, however, at this point it is out of my budget. Plus I don’t have that much paper, and this expandable file works great.

I still have lots of work left to do when it comes to organizing: coming up next stickers and everything else!

I also need to find time to get my scrapbooking done!

Update on Organizing Computer Files

I had a comment about my post on naming photo folders on the computer to keep them better organized. Linda suggested instead of the 07-12-2010 naming system for photo folders, it is better to name files by year first (2010-07-12). I tested it out, and sure enough, over time, the year first system makes files sorting much, much easier. Thank you, Linda!!!!

If you use Picasa, they sort by year (camera date) no matter what the naming convention. However, they will not be in order when you look on your computer.

Thanks to Linda, I have a new project to keep me busy :) That and purging bad pictures! I am terrible about remembering to do this! I'm just happy when all my photos are downloaded.

What I Have...

My scrapbook room is downstairs and is the guest bedroom/craft room. Before we finished the basement (six years ago), I would use the upstairs guest bedroom, but there wasn’t much room, so I kept everything in containers that I could store under the bed. Every time I wanted to scrapbook, I took out all of my supplies, and then when I was done, they went back under the bed. My basement has been finished for six years now, and I have yet to make any attempt to create a great work area!
I took some pictures of all my supplies. I’m so embarrassed! (It DOESN’T always look like this, but I emptied almost everything so you could see what I was dealing with). This is all my stuff! Right now I have some containers, two dresser drawers, two paper trays and two small containers that can hold pens/markers. I have an accordion paper holder that works great for storing paper. I also have tons of stamping stuff, that hasn’t been used in probably ten years. My stickers need major help! Right now they are in the blue binder (and many are too tall for it). This mess is rather overwhelming, but since I’m off for the summer, this is the time to get it organized. I should also note that when I scrapbook I usually use paper, stickers (with embellishments) and markers. I don’t really use lots of extra supplies.

Organizational Inventory:
2 small plastic tubs
2 large plastic tubs
2 binders (one is holding stickers in pocket protectors)
1 pencil holder
1 paper cutter
2 paper trays
2 small red baskets
2 large dresser drawers

Scrapbook Inventory:
Tons of stickers
Tons of paper
Corner rounders
Hole punches
Scrapbooking tape
3 12X12 scrapbooks
2 photo album
1 school days album
4 Disney Autograph Books with pictures
Pictures waiting to be scrapbooked
Scrapbooking How-to Books

My Scrapbooks

I keep three scrapbooks going at all times. One is a family scrapbook, and the other two are for my children. I also have a photo album for each of my children. In these albums I add pictures that don’t really have a theme, but just show how they are growing.
Since I teach school, I do all my scrapbooking in the summer. I know lots of people that meet up with once on month on a Friday or Saturday night and have scrapbooking marathons, but that doesn’t really work for me. I want an area that has all the materials within reach and not have to pack up everything and store it under the bed.

These are my projects for this summer:
Update Family Scrapbook
Update My Daughter’s Scrapbook
Update My Son’s Scrapbook
Organize Scrapbook Room!!!!

I have been looking online at dream scrapbook rooms.
This is my favorite: http://www.kevinandamanda.com/photos/scraproom/new/

Since I’m kind of thrifty (sounds nicer than cheap), I’m going to set a budget of $75. I know $75 will not buy me Amanda's scrapbook room, but I’m inspired by Amanda, and determined to have a great workplace! I’m also going to need to track down some Michael’s, Hobby Lobby and Joanne coupons! I’ve also been looking at scrapbooking discussion boards to get even more ideas.

Scrapbooking...Step 1

My July goal is to get my scrapbooking caught up. But I also need to get my scrapbooking supplies organized.

Step 1: Go through my photos on my computer and make sure my photos are organized and backed up. I've now decided that once a month, I will mark my calendar, and back-up my photo folders to my external hard drive.

I usually go through and delete the bad ones when I download them to my computer. It is easier to do this right when they are downloaded.

When you name your folders that contain your photos, the best way I have found is to name them by date, but also add a description.
For example: 01-12-2010 Ski Trip

This makes it much easier to go back and find photos from specific events. Also, 1-12-2010 is not the same as 01-12-2010. If you don't put the "0" in front, they will not sort correctly. I've learned the hard way! Naming them this way also helps when backing up photos. It is easy to see what dates have already been backed up, then only the new photos need to get backed up.

A free photo organizational program that I love is Picasa.
It is a great way to order pictures, email pictures and to post to online photo albums. It is easy and free!