Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Fun Nursery Pictures

I have been collecting nursery pictures for my super cute next door neighbor who is having her first baby (a girl) in June.  Here are some of my faves.

Vivi's Room via House of Turquoise

Leighton's Room via Life Made Lovely Blog.

Source unknown.  Via Pinterst

Source unknown.  Via Pinterest.

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Kitchen Organization

Those of you that have been in my kitchen (or in my house for that matter) will laugh that I am posting about any kind of organization.  Let's just say I am not by nature a super organized person.  I am rather laid back, and my house reflects that.  I do, however, like a somewhat minimal and clean home, so I need all the help I can get to keep it that way.

So today, I am posting tips for the organization of the naturally unorganized.

Part One:  Fridge Junk

One thing I just don't like, and I truly apologize to all of you that have this, is the fridge front plastered with all kinds of pictures and junk.  I HATE a messy fridge front.  My personal solution to this, is a hidden wall in my mudroom, where I keep calenders, chore charts, and kid stuff.  I am planning some kind of a permanent cork-board wall solution, but until that happens, I just stick everything right to the wall.  I know some people may object to this, but it works for us, and it works for me because it keeps everything close, yet I don't have to look at the clutter all day long.

Also, the chore chart is an invaluable tool at keeping on top of jobs in the house, and keeping kids accountable to their responsibilities.

Part Two:  Pet Gear

One of the best purchases I ever made, was this lidded Pottery Barn basket.  I saved up, and paid full price for it because it was the PERFECT size to hide our plastic bin of dog food.

My basket was from the Winston collection, which I don't think they are making anymore, but I am sure there are other options. (The Pottery Barn Havana line could be a replacement).

Anyway, I LOVE that the dog food is close at hand, it doesn't look ugly, and because it is down low, and easy to access, even our six year old can take his turn feeding the dog.

The other "so simple its genius" pet solution I have for you, is to buy a hook (available at any hardware store), and hang up your dog leashes by the door.

Now I have to say, I would not do this next to my FRONT door.  I happen to have a back door that is in the mudroom, so I don't mind the hook and leashes in there.  I think it is tidy, and so easy to access.

Part Three:  Counter Clutter
I keep my counters as bare as possible.  With the food, homework, dishes, etc. that end up on the counters everyday, I just don't like to add extra clutter in the form of lots of decorations, or too many appliances or anything.  And yet we still end up with that inevitable pile of stuff everyday.  You know the stuff, the merit badge applications, report cards, assignments, brochures, mail, catalogs, etc.  Well here's what I do.  First of all, I recycle all junk mail as soon as I take it out of the mailbox.  It never even makes it into the house.  This step has saved me a TON of work since I started doing it.  Catalogs I want to look at (Pottery Barn, Restoration Hardware, etc.) are the exception.  For those, I simply put them on the magazine shelf on my entry table until I can look at them.  Every few months I sort through the magazines, and toss the out of date catalogs.

Everything else, that I am not ready to deal with yet, or that I am not ready to throw away, gets put in a crate on the bakers rack.  And when it gets full, and starts to look like this........

I pull everything out and sort in on the counter.  I have a trash pile, save pile, file pile, and keep in the crate a little while longer pile.  It's amazing that after a few weeks, so much of the pile that I at first didn't know what to do with, becomes something I can easily throw in the trash.

And when it's all sorted and put away, the crate looks more like this.

I also keep some of my large serving pieces on the bakers rack.  And usually a plant in the basket on the top shelf.

I also usually keep my little beehive candy jars filled with seasonal, and holiday treats.  (They are empty now, because I couldn't stand to look at the Christmas candy another day)!

I think the baker's rack seems to consolidate the inevitable "stuff" we all have, and helps keep my counters and kitchen a little more clutter free.  I have also used a hutch in the kitchen before.  If you have the space, I highly recommend a separate piece of furniture to stash the day-to-day clutter.  It really does help keep your kitchen feeling more clean and tidy.

And that's it!  Organization tips from and for the unorganized.  I can't wait to do more January cleaning and organizing.  And I have GOT to get rid of all the Christmas decorations.

Speaking of Christmas decorations.  I know we are all sick of Christmas, but I wanted to let you know my Candyland Christmas door was featured on a fun online magazine, Front Porch Ideas and More, and you can see the feature here.

Happy New Year and Happy Organizing!


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