Category Archives: Organized House

Organizational tips/tricks and gear for your everyday life.

Vincent Kartheiser’s Minimalist Apartment

I just thought I would share a really well done small space – occupied by Mad Men’s Vincent Kartheiser:

Office Supply Series #1

Because I run across some seriously cool/unique office supplies that I just have to share!

Can be purchased Here, Here and Here!

 

Trundle Play Table

trundle play table

I have found my new, most favorite, most awesome way for organized play while keeping the house clean:  The Trundle Play Table!

I found the link for the one pictured at goodhomesdesign. But a bunch are floating out on the internet (including this and this) and I’m sure making one of these babies can’t be too difficult right?  Wood, door pulls and casters (says the lady who finally learned how to install trim…)

 

Instruction Manuals

Ok, I don’t know about you BUT when I started going through all of our stuff to try to get our house in gear I realized that I had about 4 different locations for our user manuals and instructions.  And when our daughter came along there was an entirely different pile of “child toy” instruction manuals to find space for.  Eventually, in my quest for clean, I decided I would put them all in ONE location, neat and tidy!

This proved to be a bit of a task when I realized that #1 I had very old manuals for things we didn’t have anymore (chucked those) and #2 not everything remaining would fit into one container.  So, I did what I determined to be a smart step:  I took all the manuals for items that would remain in the house (stove, fridge, dishwasher, washer and drier) and put them in a 3-ring binder.  If ever we move I will leave that with this house for the next owners :D  This binder sits neatly next to my organized filing system with all our other manuals.  The side that’s alphabetized is our daughters toy manual section – organized by brand.  The other side is organized by “item type” like kitchen, media, random electronics, spa gear, and etc.

I thought I would share because for the last year this system has worked GREAT for our family :)  I no longer have to sort through 3-4 piles of manuals just to determine that I must have put it somewhere else… It’s either in the filing system or it’s non-existent.  The End.

Update on How to Cut Your Grocery Bill in Half

Ok folks.  So here’s the deal:  One of the reasons I started this site was to address and document the many ways/attempts and successes/failures as I try to get our house in gear.  One of the things I’ve been trying recently is shopping on a budget and I’ve expanded it to shopping just 2 times a month (inspired by How to Cut Your Grocery Bill in Half)

I planned our meals and grocery list for the whole month, then split it in two based on what was needed for each half.  I also estimated (based on past grocery trips) how much each item on the list would cost so I had an idea of what we would be spending.  I wanted to make sure that it would work within our budget and, if needed, I would switch up a couple of meals for less expensive options.

This last week I went grocery shopping with a list for the first half of the month and I hit up: the Dollar Store, Fred Meyer and Costco.  Before shopping I pulled out $300 cash – because that was ALL that I was spending on this trip – this is the bigger of the two trips this month.  I have to share – it was a SUCCESS!  I came in under budget (I was so paranoid about what would happen if I overspent… I didn’t want to have to choose on-the-spot what to not buy…) I had to skip a couple of things that would have been healthy impulse buys (like the grapefruit cups at Costco) but I’m so proud that I was able to stay within my limits and stock us up for at least 2 weeks.  Some of the purchases I made are actually things that will last MUCH longer; like the 25lbs of flour and 25lbs of sugar – I don’t anticipate using all that in one month…

So, stay tuned for the next installment and whether I am able to stay on budget for the whole month… “I think I can, I think I can, I think I can…”

52 Organizational Ideas

I glanced through this post and found several things I had already seen and other ideas that I was surprised and pumped to try to incorporate into our household…

Though, I have to share… when I got to the post about re-using a globe I cringed (just like I do when people desecrate hard bound books) at the misuse of a classic decorating/educational item being repurposed.  :/

eep!

Doggy Row of Hooks

doggy row of hooks

We have two dogs in our household and if it wasn’t for fear of our 3 year old lab getting SO EXCITED by seeing her leash – I would probably have this already… just for the cute factor :D

For anyone who has need of their leashes near the door but wants a cute way of hanging them… here’s your solution!

Organized House – Trunk of Containment

Alrighty then!  I have succeeded in organizing one facet of our household (for which I am EXTREMELY proud): OFFICE.

Once upon a time I had one, maybe two, boxes of “office supplies” and paperwork.  This is what I THOUGHT at least… until I finally moved all my stuff into one location post-marriage.  Then, the true realization of the amount of stuff I had accumulated over the years sat there glaring at me.  I’ve gone through many different forms of “organizing” the office.  Resulting in purchases that were initially going to solve all our cluttered office problems but turned into furniture that just cluttered up our space.

IKEA drawers

IKEA drawers

I made my hubby buy a certain set of desks from IKEA because they had a matching drawer/file cart that I was “totally going to use for all our files”!  Please note:  I couldn’t even fit one file into the silly little cart.  And though it was good for random clutter and pens – it lacked even a basic helpfulness when it came to all my financial aid, bills, old medical, or misc files.   (The baby-safe latches were something we added on later, after our daughter pinched her fingers dramatically one evening.)

Then, after attending a Money Wise Woman conference with my mother, I was convinced we needed a filing cabinet for all our stuff.  I needed some way to rotate out all those very important documents!  So, we bought a file cabinet and invested the $$ in files and hanging files and everything that was going to help me stay organized… then I accidentally broke the file cabinet by neglecting to strap it to the wall (this was pre-baby).  So I ended up buying those little plastic crates as a temporary solution for the multitude of files we had strewn around the office.

This is the point where I determined 1) We had too many files 2) I am an office supply junkie and 3) We needed a REAL solution to this clutter/dis-organization issue.  So…

With the assistance of a printer/scanner bought two or three years ago, a shredder borrowed and a LOT of time; I scanned/shredded all non-essential files and kept only the ones that we needed hard copies of (ie. mortgage statements and tax information).

Now, the problem was… scaling back the office supplies I’ve collected over the years and fitting them WITH the essential files into a central location that was closed off from my kiddo.  WHAT TO DO?!?

Score one for Martha Stewart (I hate to admit that – but she was my inspiration on this one…) I decided to pair up this filing system from Martha with my dream of a little “get ready” area for the kid to create our front entryway/office space.  My hubby had a trunk from his younger days that he kindly emptied for me and files went inside one plastic crate inside the trunk.  Any office supplies I wanted to keep HAD to fit inside the trunk as well.  All other office supplies are being donated to local school districts.  And Voila! an organized, condensed and easily accessibile office space that cost us ZERO dollars since I only used what we had.