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Posted on: September 13th, 2014 by Darla | No Comments

This is the Day the The Lord Has Made


Even my eggs have their daily priorities organized!

Posted on: September 11th, 2014 by Darla | No Comments

In preparation for the teen organizing seminar that I’ll be presenting at next week, I thought I’d give you some ideas for organizing your own teen’s closet.

Teen Closet Before:

How to organize a teen's closet (before)

Here’s the funny thing. This closet, as is, will never, ever be organized. This shelf unit is just not ever going to work for this particular kid. This is what I call a classic “technical problem”. Even after doing the sorting and purging that she needed to do, here’s what her “organized” closet looked like. (Remember, I usually guide this work, but the teen actually does the sorting and purging, so she can get the hang of it.) So here it is, organized, but still not fixing the real problems:

teen bedroom not quite organized yetCan you see how this is just never going to work for this kiddo? There isn’t enough structure in the right places, and it just isn’t ever going to be pretty enough for her to be motivating. Oh, and she can’t actually reach the top hanging rod, but yet there’s a ton of wasted space at the top.

 Teen Closet After Organizing:

how to organize a teen's closet

Notice how this setup makes the best possible use of all the space, while so many things are still easier to get to? Oh, and it’s pretty. Like most things we do, this only took a few hours, and she loved it, mostly because of her new signature purple hangers. Her brothers wouldn’t be caught dead stealing those!

I hope this gives you some ideas for organizing your own tween’s or teen’s closet.

Posted on: September 9th, 2014 by Darla | 2 Comments

Well, folks, today was supposed to be the Peach Butterscotch Scones recipe, but since that one sneaked by me a little early, today I’m going to give you a killer quick organizing tip for you scissors.

Do you know where your scissors are?

If you have kids in school, this is a do or die question.

We always know where ours are, and here’s why:

organizing tip for scissors

These pair hang on the inside of my craft cabinet doors.

I probably don’t have to tell you that the number of scissors on hand should always equal or exceed the number of kids in any household!

A little 3-M Command Hook on the back of a cabinet door can make all the difference!

This tip won’t even take you 5 minutes to implement. If you’ve never used Command Hooks before, here are the keys to success:

  • Prep the target area by cleaning it with an alcohol pad, and let dry for about 2 minutes.
  • Press the adhesive and the hook on the target area, according to the package directions.
  • For best results, give it about 10 minutes before you hang anything on the hook. Scissors are light, so you can hang them right away, but I usually wait a couple of minutes.
  • If you ever need to remove the hook, follow the package directions and slowly pull the adhesive strip down, not out, and you’ll have no damage to your walls or cabinets, even if it’s years later.

I even use this trick for the adult scissors, which hang on the inside of my lazy-Suzann. That way, they don’t take up (or hide in) a drawer.

organizing scissors

What do you think? Is this one organizing trick that would improve your life with almost no effort?

Posted on: September 6th, 2014 by Darla | No Comments

Shoe Shopping tips for kids at consignment salesUse sturdy, flexible material like craft foam sheets, so you can insert tracings of little feet inside shoes for a quick size check.

Posted on: September 4th, 2014 by Darla | No Comments

How are the first few days or weeks of school going? Whether you have little ones or teens, chances are you’ve had your fill of paperwork right up front. Chances are that you already have the tools to keep it organized, but if it hasn’t moved off your kitchen counter or dining room table, let’s tackle that today by updating a school binder for parents.

How to Update a School Binder for parentsIn a previous post about creating a school binder, you learned about the few simple supplies you need and how to set up a few key tabs in your binder for parents.

Since you probably have a binder already set up from last year, cut your organizing chore in half by re-using what you already have set up. Just clean out the old and fill it with new paperwork. This will take you just a few minutes. My favorite must have tools for this are these write-on plastic pocket tab dividers.

tab dividers for school binders

They make it so easy to create the categories you’ll divide up papers by, so you can easily toss ones you no longer need, and keep important things easy to find by category. Here are mine.

categories for a school binder

This year, I was cleaning out my rising second grader’s binder and creating a new one for my kindergartener, but even she had a yellow folder of stuff from her preschool that had a few things I wanted to keep.

re-using and updating school bindersIt took only a few minutes to toss the old information and locate the few items worth keeping:

  • rosters with classmate contact information
  • online passwords from in-school computer programs
  • club information
  • her stash of name labels
  • a baggie to collect BoxTops

One item got passed from the older to the younger child: a paper clock to learn to tell time.

**You get the teacher’s pet award if you scan the class roster or important contact information into Evernote, so you’ll always have access, even if you aren’t at home to access your binder.

I added one thing to both binders: a list to collect their friend’s names. I sometimes can’t keep up with who is a BFF, who is just a friend, and who switched sides to the “not a friend” camp. This will help me.

friend list in school binder

Since school started, we’ve gotten enough paper to fill up these organized binders. Contact lists, bus information, lunch menus and other classroom information is already filed away in the pocket dividers. No searching for a 3-hole punch on my watch! This is what our kitchen counter looks like now.

school binder updateMy bill holder (the white organizer on the left) sits next to a binder for each kid, and the school directory (barely visible on the right). You could argue that you might be able to get by with just one binder, since the kids go to the same school, but I am happy to have just these two binders to help me keep things straight for now. Whichever you choose, I think you’ll agree that it’s better than a pile of papers on the counter.

school binder eliminates paper piles

A school binder is easy to keep organized each day. No more lost permission slips or missed events.

Do you already have a binder that you can repurpose in a few minutes to keep you organized this year?

How to Update a School Binder for parents