Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Organizing Tip Tuesday- Where are the keys?

How many times in one week can you say you have asked the question, “Where are the keys?”  I am betting a whole lot!  I bet that people waste an average of 5 to 10 minutes a day looking for their keys.  At least that is the amount of time I know we have wasted looking for keys in our house.

I did have a silver metal container that I used to keep on a bookshelf behind our desk but since I re-organized that space I had to find a new home for our keys.  I was stumped!  For the life of me, I could not figure out where the heck I was going to have our keys housed!  Then it just hit me one night sitting on the couch and I was looking at our desk.  I actually felt kind of silly that the idea had never occurred to me before considering it was such a simple solution.
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BOOM!  A Command hook placed on the desk for the keys to hang and be in plain sight.  I know!  I’m a genius!  This was even way better than where we had kept them before.  Sadly, I lost backs for two of my hooks and need to replace them so my husband can hang his keys here as well. 

Very simple and easy organization!  Just make sure the keys are hanging there every night before turning in.  It could save you some awesome time the next day.

Have a great day and take some Time to Organize!

Monday, September 23, 2013

A Simple Hike

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This past weekend we all celebrated the arrival of FALL.  I love the Fall season.  Texas got it’s first cool front and oh my gosh, it was amazing.  Turning the AC off(saving a few bucks there), to being outside and enjoying nature.  Which is exactly what we did.

The picture above is from some trails behind Mayfield Park in central Austin.  It is a really beautiful area.  It is hard to believe you are practically in downtown Austin.  Lots of natural vegetation and little creeks.  Toads, lizards and birds scurry everywhere.  The park itself has ponds, gardens and is home to lots of peacocks. 

So we decided to take a simple little hike there on the first day of Fall.  We grabbed some water bottles, cereal bars and camera.  The park and trails are free to the public.  The kids had a great time and we enjoyed a little exercise too. 

Enjoying life and time with your family does not always have to be about the money you spend.  We are learning in my family that spending time together and being more in the moment is way better.  Looking for things to do that don’t require money is not as difficult as you may think.  Look for local parks, stores that put on free events, movie theaters that host free movies for kids and so much more. 

I have even found a few web sites that give all kinds of information about free events in our area. It has been wonderful to find free things to do through these online sources.  We are on a tight budget here and finding free things to do with each other is very important.  It requires a little time to look up the information but is well worth it when you do. 

Simple living is what we are striving for in our family and with each day that passes, I feel like we are on the right path. 

Happy Fall Everyone!

Friday, September 20, 2013

Art and school storage

I hope everyone has had a great week.  Today I will be talking about this bookshelf that is now home to art and school supplies.

Since buying this shelf at IKEA, it has served a few different purposes.  First it was in our sons room full of books, models and toys.  Then it stored all of his Legos in bins and Lego models.  I moved it into our living room area and have re-organized it at least twice before now.

It didn’t seem to matter what I did, this bookshelf did not stay clutter free or organized in any way.  I was using the entryway closet to house art and school supplies and this area to had a hard time staying organized.  I also didn’t like the fact the supplies my kids use almost on a daily basis were shut up in a closet.  With them, it needs to be right in front of them to be handy, grab and use.  I decided this bookshelf just might work for their stuff.

I started by clearing everything off.  Here is the bookshelf before looking pretty good but it never stayed that way.

I then cleaned out the closet and went through all the kids supplies.  There was a lot of stuff.  I threw away old papers and some art supplies that were old.  I got some containers that we already had and started to sort.  Most of what I had was bought at the Dollar Tree.
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I took the time and labeled everything with my label maker.  If you don’t own one of these it is a great purchase.  I got mine at Target.  If you cannot get one right now, be creative with paper, markers, washi tape, tape or even yarn.  Get that imagination going!

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Here is one last look at the bookshelf that now stays clutter free and organized! 

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Organizing Tip Tuesday-Organizing that works for YOU

For anyone who visits my blog, you have seen this bookshelf above more than once.  First it was in my son’s room.  I then moved it here and have re-organized it at least twice before.  Maybe you are thinking I cannot make up my mind about this shelf.  I do not see it in that way. 

Here is how I do see it.

When I organize a space in my home I do it for a few reasons. 

1. I want the space to work for everyone
2. I want it to be functional and easy to maintain
3. I want to have less clutter

Those are pretty much the top three reasons for me.  I picture in my mind how I want the space to work and what things I want in the space.  Then, I clear it off completely, clean it, and work until it fits the picture in my mind.

Now sometimes, this works out great and I do not have to organize that space again for a long time.  Other times, I end up re-organizing it right away or when I can see that it is just not working with the reasons I listed above.  This is my way of organizing and it works for me.  Everyone is different of course and so is everyone’s home.  From the layout to what you have in your home.  No one has the same exact space.

The three reasons I listed above though, can be used for anyone’s home.  How you choose to arrange furniture or how you choose to store your items is completely up to you. 

But, you may not like my list of reasons for organizing and that is cool.  We are all unique in are thinking too.  My point is that as long as you are making an attempt to organize and simplify your life, you are on the road to a home that works for you and yours.  Don’t organize because you saw an awesome PIN and are determined for your home to look like that one in the picture.  Take that idea and make it your OWN.  I love to be inspired by Pinterest but my house is distinct in that it is MINE. 

So, learn to organize in a way that works for YOU.  I do hope you come and visit me here though for inspiration!  Have a great day and take some Time to Organize.

Monday, September 16, 2013

Under Bed Organization


I hope everyone had a great weekend.  It was hot here and I am looking forward to the first cold front!  Bring it on!

Today I wanted to talk about under bed organization.  The bed above is in our daughter’s room.  It is a Kura reversible bed from IKEA.  It has been a great purchase.  She now has more floor space in her room to play.  I had just placed some of her toys and books under the bed in large pink buckets on rollers but this was not working on keeping this space organized.

I had a metal shelf with drawers in the entry hall closet and we were using that to organize art supplies.  This closet was always a mess for some reason and I decided to move the shelf to under her bed.  I took out the pink buckets and we put her toys into the plastic and metal drawers.  I like this organization better because now her things are confined.  The buckets were going everywhere and were also way to bulky.  This storage is streamlined and she has been putting her things away more quickly when it is clean up time.

I did have her help me in going through her toys and putting them in the drawers.  Children love to be involved in making their rooms look nice and it helps them to take responsibility for their things. 

Have a great Monday and take some Time to Organize.

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a bowl full of lemons

Friday, September 13, 2013

Looking at the Future


Picture from: Thinking Futures – About Futures


Don’t you wish that sometimes, you could look into your future? Not the whole story of course, but just a small glimpse. Just a tiny peek at one area of your life could help you determine what the next move in your present life should be. I am thinking that right about now, that would be an awesome thing to do.

See, I have come to the point in this life journey where I have to make a decision about a career. I have an AAS in Child Development and have worked with children off and on for over ten years. I have always felt though that this was not what I was meant to do. After having two children of my own, it has become even harder for me to want to work with others children. I know that millions of people out there are teachers, they have their own kids and they love their jobs. That is great for them! I feel that I am not one of these people. So, time for something new. Now all I have to do is figure out what that something is going to be. Do you see why looking into my future for just a moment would be super awesome?

I really want to start on the path to a new career. I have gone back and forth for years trying to figure out what I want to do. It is driving me a little crazy and my family a lot crazy. In my heart of desires, I would love to be a professional organizer. I have thought about it for a couple of years and the thought is always in my heart. Getting started and being able to really make a good income have held me back from pursuing this dream. My brain is telling me to look for something that is steady, has benefits and good pay. I can honestly feel my heart aching over this choice in my life.

It is kinda funny in a way that we are pursuing a simpler lifestyle here at home and yet I am looking into going back to school and working outside of the home full-time. The school part I do not mind because education is important, but working outside the home is scary for me. Our home is my job and so is raising our children. This is what I have done full-time for the past 6 years and I am just not sure I want to give that up to work an 8-5 job again.

Oh future me! If only I could take a short walk with you and you could tell me what to do. Why do I get the feeling though, that you would still be a procrastinator like your present self?

Maybe not.

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Learning to Live with Less


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Good Morning!  Wow, it has been so very long since I have sat down to do a blog post.  To be honest, I was not sure if I would ever do one again.  I have debated for the past couple of months of giving up my blog.  Things have been kind of tough for our family financially lately and I have just been down about it.  Sitting down to do my blog was not really giving me any enjoyment like it used to either.  So I took a break and I have found that I have missed posting and reading other blogs as well.  So I am back!  Happy to be too!

Over the past couple of months we have been dealing with money issues like I mentioned above.  My husband and I have talked many times in the past years about cutting back and watching our spending.  Well, it did not happen and now we are in a position of “Do it now or things are gonna get really bad!”  So, we have been cutting back our spending on things like eating out and shopping.  I sat down in July and calculated we had spent over $500 eating out that month.  Ugh!  Needless to say, it was time for a change around here. 

I am not going to say that this has been easy for our family to do.  I did not realize how much we depended on eating out and just running to Target to buy stuff.  I knew my husband and I were guilty of always doing this but our kids have been affected too.  Over the past few weeks they have said things like, “I want to go get something to eat.  I’m so hungry!  I can’t wait to get home!”  and “Please can I just get that one thing!  It’s not fair I can’t have that toy.”  Oh my GOSH!!!!  Trust me there has been a lot of this talk and boy, do I feel guilty.  Guilty for being an example of constant want and not necessity. 

So, we are learning to grocery shop better.  I am still learning this, so no advice from me!  Cutting back on extra shopping is tough as well.  I just try and go to Target once a week now.  I really try and put more thought into my purchases as well.  Asking myself, “Do I really need that right now or can it wait?”  or “Do I really need this item at all in our home or for myself?”  This is what it has taken for me to think about the money I am spending.  It can be tough but it has to happen for our lives to get back on track.  It is worth it if we can reteach our children that living with less is a good thing.  Live in the moments and enjoy each other instead of all the stuff around us.  Not that all stuff is bad!  We just need a lot less of it in our lives. 

Have a great day everyone!