Homework Station Inspiration: 32 Ideas for Organization and Order

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As the school year kicks into high gear, you’re bound to be inundated with homework, calendars, newsletters, flyers and all manner of miscellaneous supplies.  It can be hard to keep track of it all, especially while keeping schedules, activities, due dates and big days straight!  Keeping yourself and your kids on track all year long can see a monumental task: what you need is a homework station!  A homework station can be as simple or elaborate as you wish and should include all the items you and your kids need to stay focused on school.  If you’ve got the space, you can add hooks for backpacks, a calendar or a cork board so you never have to miss another important date!  Whatever your specific needs, there’s a station on this awesome list for you!  So take a look at our homework station inspiration and create a space that suits your family.

 

1. Desk Built-in with Hanging Storage from Better Homes and Gardens

This space is everything you could want in your home: clean lines, lots of storage, tucked into a little built-in.  If you’ve got the space for a built-in desk, you can’t beat it for homework management!

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2. Mini Homework Station in a Tray from House of Smiths

You can pick this tray up and take it with you!  Tucked inside the drawers and boxes are all the supplies your children could possibly need. This is perfect if you haven’t got a designated homework desk, or if your space is limited.  Plus, it’s motivational!

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3. Rolling Cart Station from Smashed Peas and Carrots

The small kitchen cart from Ikea is cute, compact, and totally functional!  Cram it full of supplies for school and still have space left on the bottom to stack homework, worksheets, and books.  Then you can tuck it away and roll it out when you need it.

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4. Magnetic Back to School Station from The 36th Avenue

This magnetic back to school area can hang right on the side of your fridge!  You’ve got everything you need to stay organized right at arms length – including a handy dry erase/magnetic calendar, supplies, and “accountability clipboards.”

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5. Seat Sacks and Curtain Rod Storage from Scissors and Spatulas

If you’ve got a table or desk area, sew up some seat sacks to hang on the back of your chairs!  Kids can slip in all of their homework, books, and papers.  Add a curtain rod with hooks to store supplies they’ll need.

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6. Chalkboard Organization Station from Design Dining Diapers

This little chalkboard is a cute addition to a homework organization center!  The trendy baskets keep supplies within reach and you can write notes, reminders, and to-do’s on the chalkboard.  Get supplies and note clutter off the tables and counters and up on the wall.

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7. Tabletop Homework Station from Polka Dot Chair

This tabletop homework station can sit front and center on a desk or table and be removed during mealtimes since it’s so portable.  No need for a ton of space in order to keep everything looking crisp and neat – and readily available.

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8. Repurposed Crib from A Little Learning for Two

If you’ve got an old crib from your kid’s babyhood, repurpose it into a chalkboard desk!  The great part about it is that there’s a ton of built in space to hang supplies and needed items.  There’s room to spare on all the old crib slats and the desktop provides ample room to work.

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More great homework spaces on the next page — >

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3 Tips to Keep Paperwork Organized During a Move

3 Tips to keep paperwork organized during a move - Tipsaholic.org

3 Tips to keep paperwork organized during a move

Moving often involves a large amount of documents, records and paperwork. It can be difficult to keep it all from becoming too chaotic. One easy way to keep it all together is to put it all in an accordion file. Then you will have a handy place to store everything, and won’t be hunting through boxes when you quickly need something. Here are tips to help you get the most use out of the accordion file and keep the papers organized.
 

1. Label the Tabs

Label the tabs for each section of the file, so the documents will be easy to find if you need to retrieve them again. Color coding the tabs with one color for papers related to the new house, and a different color for those involving the old house will help to keep it all organized.

 

2. Include All Needed Documents

Be sure to include space in the accordion file for other paperwork such as:

 

Legal documents

Of course you will need to add to the file any legal documents or contracts involved in selling, buying or renting your home.

 

Transcripts, report cards or grade sheets for your children

This may be need for school registration. Also, keep vaccination records here in case that is requested.

 

Medical information

Include any previous medical or dental records that would need to be given to a doctor in your new area.

 

Identification for each family member

Important documents such as social security cards, birth certificates, or passports could easily be misplaced during a move. By keeping them in the accordion file, you will easily know where to find them if needed.

 

Inventory list for your new home

Most moving companies provide you with an inventory list of all items that are being moved to your new home. Or make your own, so nothing gets left behind. Sketch an outline of where the furniture will be placed in the new space. It will speed up the process on moving day, if this is all kept handy in the file.

 

Address list

As soon as you know you are going to move, start jotting down a list of those you need to notify of your change in address. You can even start a paper, to keep in the file, where you tape the return addresses torn off the envelopes of mail you receive.

 

3. Make It Pretty

Now that everything is organized in the accordion file, it’s fun to personalize it. For example you can add to the front a picture showing a good memory in your current home or tape onto it a map showing where your new home will be.

 

By keeping everything in one accordion file, you can avoid misplacing an important document, and you will have all papers you need organized in one place.

 

Photo Source: Better Homes and Gardens

 

I’m Frances. I am a mother, a wife, and a community volunteer. I work as a scientist by day and moonlight as a blogger. Making lists helps me keep everything on track. While I have a good life, there is always room for improvement. Join me as I decorate, organize, and try new things over at my blog Improvement List.

Moving? Check out these other ideas:

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Moving with Kids                   Ease Moving Stress               Moving Checklist

6 Clever (and Useful) Travel Souvenir Ideas

6 Clever (and Useful!) Travel Souvenir Ideas

 

 

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When you travel, do the colorful souvenir booths always seem to call your name? Do you go to them like a moth to a flame and buy whatever catches your eye? Or do you look at them and decide not to buy anything because you don’t know what to buy… and then regret that decision when you’re back home and you don’t have anything to remember your trip by? Here are 6 ideas to show you how to buy the right travel souvenirs and how to display them in your home long after the vacation has ended.

 

1. Tiny Souvenirs for Shadow Boxes

Buy only small souvenirs that will fit in a shadow box and then create a shadow box collage for every country that you visit. This is a great idea to display your travel souvenirs in an attractive way and will help reduce the amount of souvenirs you’ll need to lug back home.

 

2. Key Chain Souvenirs as Christmas Ornaments

You can easily find a nice-looking key chain souvenir at any location, but what do you do with them once you’re home? You only have so many keys, right? Turn them into pretty and memorable Christmas ornaments with the help of a ribbon! Try a red velvet ribbon or a gold ribbon and tie up your key chains. Every Christmas, you’ll be able to sit down and enjoy all of your traveling memories with your family. How nice!

 

3. T-Shirts for a Quilt

Collect unique t-shirts from hotels, restaurants, museums, and other locations you visit while traveling and turn them into a quilt that keeps you warm and keeps your travel memories fresh! Souvenir t-shirts are easy to pack up in your luggage and you can find them anywhere.

 

4. Pressed Pennies as Jewelry

The thrill of watching a penny get pressed with the image of the location you’re visiting is so fun, but putting them to a real use is a lot more fun. Turn your pressed pennies into a pretty charm bracelet! You could also choose one special pressed penny and create a simple necklace with it. See many more ideas for pressed pennies as jewelry here. If you’re not a jewelry person, you could put all of your pressed pennies in a frame or in a glass vase.

 

5. Beer Bottle Caps as Magnets

If you enjoy trying a new local beer for every place you visit, you’ll like this way to incorporate travel souvenirs in your home decor. Bonus: it’s practically free! Just pack up a bottle cap from every beer you drink and turn them into magnets with hot glue and magnet circles.

 

6. Postcards for a Travel Journal

Postcards are cheap, light, and everywhere. But when you fill out a postcard and mail it to a loved one, you’ll probably never see it again. Even if you keep a couple of postcards for yourself, what do you do with them once you’re home? Here’s a great idea: write out what you did on a postcard and mail them to yourself! When you get back home, you’ll have a pile of postcards from the cities you’ve visited with your memories written on them. Punch out holes and attach them with binder clips or decorative tape and you’ve got yourself a beautiful travel journal you’ll always cherish!

 

What do you think of these travel souvenir ideas? Do you have any smart travel souvenir ideas that you’d like to add to the list above? Are you looking for a few more ideas for traveling? Try these tips for creating a Family Travel Kit for Hotel Stays!

 

Featured image via Better Homes and Gardens.

 

“I’m Elisa and I live in Austin, Texas with my husband and our two little girls. I used to teach reading and writing, but now I stay at home with my two kiddos and read and write in my spare time. I also love to undertake DIY projects, find new recipes on Pinterest, and dream about someday finally completing our home. Above all, I love to learn about new things and sharing my new-found knowledge with others.”  Please check out my blog What the Vita!

 

7 Tips to Make Camping Easier

7 tips to make camping easier, #camping, #summertime, #campingtips

 
tips to make camping easier

Summertime, the weather is fine, and it’s time to head into the great outdoors. But the outdoors can be anything but great without the proper preparation and organization for your group.  If you’re in charge of this year’s camping adventure, use these 7 tips to plan ahead, turn camping into “glamping,” and ensure that this summer’s wilderness vacation will be the best ever!

 

1. Prepare ahead of time. Anything that takes a while to do at home will take even longer when you’re camping if you don’t have the right gear! Consider setting up tents and other gear at home to check for broken zippers, holes, and missing parts that might really ruin your campout. Make-aheads like these DIY firestarters are definitely worth the prep time. Consider bringing glowsticks or even solar-powered stake lights to make it easier for everyone to find their way around tent stakes and long anchor cords that always seem to trip people up. Old rugs or pieces of carpet can be placed outside tents to keep dirt inside to a minimum. Extra tarps, garbage bags, and sturdy rope and string also come in handy more often than not. Use this basic camping checklist if you’re not quite sure what else you might need.

 

2. Organize, organize, and stay organized. The organization should begin as you pack for your trip. Try to use boxes or bins that will stack together well and take up the least amount of space possible. Pack the paper plates, cups, and utensils in one box. Pack the cooking tools in another. Pack bug sprays, sunscreens, and first-aid gear together. Pack foods like chips and bread that don’t require refrigeration in the same box.  You might even go so far as to create a small box of supplies for each of the meals you have planned. Organize and pack in a way that makes sense to you, because you will most likely be the one that everyone will run to when they need something.

 

3. Designate areas within your campsite for different “stations.” Handwashing, food preparation, cooking, first aid, drink, and snack stations are just a few suggestions. Take into account that you probably don’t want high-traffic stations near food prep or first aid areas, as these places require a certain amount of sanitation. Food prep and cooking areas may be best kept under a canopy or within a shelter of some kind to reduce the amount of insects, animals, and dirt.

 

4. Institute some “camp rules.” Especially if you’ve got a large group, are camping with small children, or are near water, you’ll want to let everyone know what to expect from the get-go. Does everyone have a “buddy?” Do the kids know water safety rules? Is the group aware of hazardous plant and animal life around your campsite? Make sure the rules are clear and be consistent so that everyone stays safe.

 

5. Establish a “restroom” if there are no man-made facilities at your campsite. Chances are, this is one of the first things your campers will need! Always check the waste disposal requirements for your area before you hit the road – you may be required to remove all waste or at least any toilet paper that may be used. In general, you should select a spot at least 200 feet from water, camp, and hiking trails to avoid contamination and plain old nastiness. Dig a hole with a shovel or rock and use it as your toilet, burying the waste afterwards. If you plan to be in your campsite for long, you may want to use a shovel to dig a deep hole to be used by your group for the entire trip. A hanging tarp or an old sheet can serve as an extra privacy measure if bushes aren’t enough. When the trip is over, top the hole off with dirt. Other campers will thank you.

 

6. Keep the meals basic. It can be tempting to try to feed your campers the same way you would at home, and there are lots of “camping recipes” that seem easy enough, but try to think ahead. Keeping ingredients and pre-made items cold enough can be tough if all you’ve got is a cooler, and refrigerators in RVs and campers are usually limited in space. The preparation and cleanup required for meals can be messy and time consuming when you’re out in the wilderness. Consider making a simple menu with lots of pre-packaged and easy to store items, and don’t be afraid of old camp favorites like sandwiches, hot dogs, and pre-made tinfoil dinners like these.

 

7.  Plan simple entertainments for kids. The wonders of the outdoors will keep them busy for quite a while, but there’s sure to come a time during your campout that the kids need something new to do. Bringing tons of toys and books from home takes up a lot of storage space and you can bet they’ll come home with camp grime on them. Inspire the kids with some simple nature crafts instead, like these 10 No-Fuss Camping Crafts for Kids, or hold a camping scavenger hunt!

 

Remember that your area’s weather, your family’s needs, and the activities you enjoy together while camping make a big difference when it comes to getting the most out of the experience. Use these tips and add to them to make your campout unique and special to you! And if you’re looking for more great ideas to make camping easier and more fun, try these tips from Remodelaholic!

 

Featured Image via Kayla Lilly

 

Kayla Lilly is a photographer, writer, wife, and mama making a house a home in eastern Idaho. She met her mister while working at an amusement park and married him a year later after deciding there was no way to live without him. The amusement has continued as they’ve added three kids and a passel of pets to their lives while finishing college and starting a photography business. Drawing inspiration from the whirlwinds of marriage, parenthood, and the media, Kayla blogs at www.utterlyinexperienced.blogspot.com, and spends the rest of her time chasing chickens, organizing junk drawers, diapering toddlers, and photographing everyone willing to step in front of her lens.

6 Fun and Stylish Home Office Organization Ideas and Tips

6 Fun and Stylish Home Office Organization Ideas and Tips | Tipsaholic.com #home #organization #office #storage #diy

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Has your home office become a dumping ground for old bills, pens, office supplies, computer and electronic gadgets and their accouterments, kids’ drawings, receipts, photos, and more?  It’s easy to let an office succumb to the chaotic activity – especially since it’s a highly used area with a lot of uses.  Chances are, if you’ve got a dedicated office space, you can use some organization inspiration.  Don’t let the clutter overtake your work area, and don’t let storage turn things drab  - use these tips and handy list of 6 fun and stylish home office organization ideas and whip that space into shape!

 

1. Everything Chalkboard

The chalkboard fad isn’t going away anytime soon.  And why should it?  Chalkboard paint and vinyl make it readily accessible and DIY-able.  You can even make your own chalkboard paint – in any color!  It goes on just about anything, from labels to boxes.  Since you can easily change what’s on it, it’s ideal for labeling office items, like these great drawers from Polka Dot Chair, or keeping lists.

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Check out these other chalkboard projects, too!

Giant Chalkboard Calendar Wall from Tatertots and Jello

Chalkboard Paperweight from Assemble

Chalkboard Clipboards from Anderson and Grant

 

2. Unique Shelves

Every office requires some kind of shelving.  Small spaces can take advantage of vertical height by building shelves up instead of out. Really tight spaces can install small shelves under desks or on the back of doors.  Shelves hold our storage bins and boxes, keep our books tidy, and offer us a place to display some decor.  They don’t have to be boring either; just take a look at these beautiful reclaimed wood shelf drawers from Not Just a Housewife.

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Here’s more fun shelf ideas!

DIY Ladder Shelves from Woonideeen

25 awesome DIY shelving ideas from Remodelaholic

 

3. Repurposed Utensil Holders

A home office inherently builds up tons of office supplies, writing utensils, scissors, punches, you name it.  The clutter from utensils can get way out of hand, if you don’t find a way to corral it.  A great idea is repurposing other household items (like this pencil holder made from cork trivets by Design For Mankind); it’ll save you money and have unique personality.

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Here are some other great solutions using items around your house:

Stemware Rack Caddy System from Better Homes and Gardens

Lazy Susan Tin Can Caddy from Cynthia Shaffer

 

4. Peg Boards,  Cork Boards, and Magnet Boards, oh my!

One easy way to get smaller items neat, organized, and out of the way – but still within easy reach – is to put up some kind of organizational board.  This makes use of wall space instead of surface space and keeps things tidy.  Bulletin or cork boards are typical options for offices, but you can use magnet and peg boards as well.  Or a combination, like this one from My Blissful Space!

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Here are a few more fun examples:

Fabric Cork Board with Nail Head Trim from Beach House in the City

Clear Lucite Pegboard System from Fashionably Organized

Oil Pan turned Magnet Board from Nic and Kate

 

5. Unexpected Filing Systems

Maybe you don’t have room for a large filing cabinet.  Or maybe you think ordinary filing cabinets are cumbersome, bulky, boring, or even downright ugly.  You can find ways to file those necessary papers that don’t involve your typical beige, metal rectangle.  Just look at this beautiful and stylish solution from Erica Lee Style!

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Check out these other smart filing solutions!

DIY Pull Out Filing Drawer from Beneath My Heart

Striped Filing Cabinet (with CHALKBOARD labels!  See?) from bugaboo, mini, mr & me

 

6. Recycled Baskets and Bins and Catch-Alls

Obviously you’ll have to store some items.  Whether in baskets, bins, totes, jars or bowls, storage containers don’t have to be ordinary.  And they are definitely not one size fits all.  Baskets can be hung on a wall instead of placed on a shelf.  Some storage totes are perfect from hanging on a rod with hooks.  Recycle diaper boxes with duct tape or fabric.  Look at normal items in new ways, like these magnetic dishes that A Girl and a Glue Gun used!

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Here are some more creative storage solutions:

Large Glass Jar Storage from Remodelaholic (check out the awesome wire baskets, as well)

Embroidery Hoop Storage Bins from Curbly

Belted Storage Totes from Brit and Co.

 

Kimberly Mueller is the “me” over at bugaboo, mini, mr & me, a blog that highlights her creative endeavors. She especially likes to share kid crafts, sewing attempts, recipes, upcycled projects, photography and free printable gift tags/cards. When she’s not enjoying being married to her best friend, chasing after the natives (AKA her three kids) and attempting to keep the house in one piece, you can find her with a glue gun in one hand and spray paint in the other. Aside from DIY pursuits, she also enjoys writing, reading, music, singing (mostly in the shower) and the color yellow. Kimberly recently published a craft book entitled Modern Mod Podge. You can also find her on FacebookPinterest,Bloglovin’ and Instagram. Email her at: bugabooblog(at)yahoo.com

 

Featured image courtesy of Polka Dot Chair.

Packing Tips (for camping trips)

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Camping is a great way to create a relatively low-stress, low-cost, low-maintenance vacation.  It takes just a bit of forethought to plan, register, pack and execute a camping trip as opposed to months or more of budgeting, researching, planning, mapping and creating a more elaborate vacation experience.  Camping can help you reconnect with your family and yourself, creates lasting bonds and memories and instills relaxation and calmness to what can be an overworked, overstimulated lifestyle.  If you want to make the most of your camping trip, you’ll need to know how, what and WHERE to pack all your gear and equipment.  Follow these 10 packing tips for camping trips and take the stress out of planning your next getaway!

 

1. Back to Basics.

Part of the fun of camping is forgetting about all the extras in life – electronics, toys, games, equipment, utensils and STUFF – that we get bogged down with.  Get back to basics by keeping your packing simple.  Consider everything you’re planning on taking carefully and think, “Is this NECESSARY for 3 days (5 days, 7 days, what have you) away?”  Take what you need and leave the rest behind.  If you realize you’ve left something that really is essential, most campsites or state and national parks have stores for your convenience.

2. Don’t go overboard.

Over-planning is one way to stress-out any family vacation, but it also makes packing a million times harder.  If you’re going camping for a few nights, chances are you won’t have the time (or energy!) to play every single outdoor game in your garage, do every single sport-related activity, or make every single gourmet meal and campfire treat you’ve got on your “ideal” list.  Limit yourself.  Pick just a few favorite games, activities, meals and treats and save the rest for another time.

3. Become ONE with nature.

Guess what?  You’re camping, not spending the night at the Ritz.  You’re going to get a little dirty.  There will be bugs.  You’re hair and clothes will probably smell like campfire from the minute you get there.  So don’t worry about bringing a new outfit for every single day for every single person.  You won’t need accessories and tons of shoes.  You’ll probably want some soap, but don’t worry about cosmetics and the whole beauty regime.  Don’t be afraid to be RUGGED!  That’s what camping is all about.  The biggest key when picking clothes is to remember you want to be warm and dry.  Pack extra socks and a sweatshirt for everyone, along with just a few items to wear daily.

4. Make a List.  Check it twice.

Camping doesn’t require a ton of fancy gadgets or equipment, but there are some definite things you don’t want to be caught without.  To make sure you pack what you NEED and leave what you DON’T get a complete list of gear.  You can find some sample lists online.  The Packing List Place has one, as well as Love The Outdoors.  Keep in mind that any pre-made list will likely need to be altered to fit your family and your particular geographic area so look it over ahead of time, whittle it down and add on as necessary.  It’s also a good idea to make two checked columns – one you can check off for “checked and ready” and one you can check off for “packed in car”.  That way you’re covering your bases and are less likely to accidentally leave something behind in the driveway.

5. Be prepared.

Check ahead for area conditions – weather, area emergency issues that might be a problem (wildfire probability, flooding, avalanche, etc.), park or camp site maintenance issues that might affect you, etc.  The more prepared you are, the better able you will be to refine your packing list.  When you check the forecast, for example, there may be no rain indicated for the week so you can likely pare down your wet weather gear.

6. Don’t lug your luggage.

Instead of packing a different suitcase for every family member, consider packing items into plastic tubs with lids according to category.  This is perfect since they come in different sizes for different amounts of things (extra large bins like these are great for bigger camp items like lanterns, emergency radios, skillets, hot plates, camp stoves, etc. while medium sized bins are good for clothing), stack nicely together, have flat tops, are water resistant, and pack up well since they aren’t odd shapes.  They are also easy to identify by using large labels such as these or simple tape with permanent markers.  Consider using bins for clothing, cooking, food, games and activities, and weather-related gear (ponchos, boots, warm sweatshirt, etc.).

7. Pace yourself.  

Don’t plan on throwing everything together willy nilly at the last moment.  While camping can be a relatively stress-free family vacation you’re simply asking for trouble if you don’t give yourself time.  Begin packing preparations two weeks in advance.  It might seem excessive, but you’ll want to make sure all of your gear and equipment is in working order before you actually pack it away.  You’ll also want to replace lost or broken items, make sure you have the right amount of things for your whole family, and create a “map” for packing your car.

8. SPACE yourself.  

Chances are you’ll be driving to your destination, so make sure to leave plenty of room for passengers.  Crowding can make people (especially little people!) crabby!  So don’t try to cram so much into the passenger area of your car.  Use storage areas for smaller items (like the pockets on the back of the front seats for small backpacks or bags) and fill up your trunk or cargo area with clean, well-packed, boxes and bags.

9. Think outside the box.  

Utilize the space outside your vehicle as well.  This will ensure that you have ample room for your passengers inside!  While clean and sturdy boxes, backpacks and bags are great in the cargo area, you can pack dirty, cumbersome or large items outside.  Use a bike rack on the top of your vehicle and consider getting a cargo carrier for the top of your vehicle, like this one.  You can carry other large items for outdoor activities (like kayaks, canoes, folding tables, etc.) with various types of carrying racks.

10. Make a map.

A packing “map” can be super useful when planning for your trip.  Essentially, list the items you’ll need based on bin, bag, box, etc. along with WHEN you’ll need them.  Following the “first in, last out” rule, decide which items you’ll need to access right away and which can be accessed later.  Then either draw the items in a diagram or simply number and label them according to when they will be packed in the car – this way you’ll know ahead of time what needs to go where in order to not only make everything fit efficiently, but also to have what you need WHEN you need it.

 

Looking for more helpful ideas for camping? Try these 7 Tips for Easier Camping!

 

Kimberly Mueller is the “me” over at bugaboo, mini, mr & me, a blog that highlights her creative endeavors. She especially likes to share kid crafts, sewing attempts, recipes, upcycled projects, photography and free printable gift tags/cards. When she’s not enjoying being married to her best friend, chasing after the natives (AKA her three kids) and attempting to keep the house in one piece, you can find her with a glue gun in one hand and spray paint in the other. Aside from DIY pursuits, she also enjoys writing, reading, music, singing (mostly in the shower) and the color yellow. Kimberly recently published a craft book entitled Modern Mod Podge. You can also find her on FacebookPinterest,Bloglovin’ and Instagram. Email her at: bugabooblog(at)yahoo.com

7 Steps to an Organized Nursery

7 Steps to an Organized Nursery | Tipsaholic.com #home #organization #baby #nursery #storage

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Babies.  They’re adorable.  They’re cuddly.  They’re tiny.  And they come with A LOT of STUFF.  Who knew that adding one miniature person to your family would create such havoc?  The diapers, wipes, ointments, lotions, powders, clothes, toys, books, binkies, blankies, burpies, BOTTLES!!  The list is nearly endless and, doubtless, the space in your home is NOT.  Here are seven tips that’ll get your nursery organized and in tip-top shape in no time.

 

1. Be a Basket Case. 

Baskets and bins are go-to storage solutions.  You can find them at nearly any store in nearly any size and style.  Look for bright colors and fun prints to add interest to your baby’s space.

You can also make your own boxes and bins with simple supplies.  Try spray painting inexpensive buckets, as seen at Southern Lovely.  Or utilize those large diaper boxes once empty and cover them with fabric.  Here’s a step by step tutorial from Positively Splendid.

 

2. Play Hide-N-Seek. 

Hidden spaces are great for storage – especially for things you’d like kept out of sight.  Not everything needs to be within easy reach or instantly visible.

Under the crib is a perfect spot to add a plastic tote bin of extra essentials.  A Lovely Lark shows how a crib skirt perfectly conceals the items.

You can keep things hidden away behind doors as well.  Try an over the door canvas pocket organizer, or you could simply use a shoe organizer that provides tons of pockets for small but often used items.

 

3. Divide and conquer. 

There might be a ton of stuff, but it’s all really small!  Using dividers is a simple trick that keeps things tidy.

Keep small items sorted, stored and easy to locate with drawer dividers.  Ikea sells the perfect drawer divider solution in a set of 6.  See it used at i heart organizing.  You could also divide drawers with small plastic bathroom caddies, or even shoe boxes.

You’ll likely be able to make great use of hanging closet space since baby clothing is so tiny.  Hanging clothing dividers separate clothes by size so with one glance you’ll be able to grab what you need.  My Sweet Nest uses decorated plastic rings.

 

4. Stay Open-minded.

Open storage solutions are a great example of form and function working together within a space and can create a beautiful aesthestic.

If clothing storage is minimal, consider hanging some baby clothing as decor.  It can be as elaborate (take this “open closet” from Tied With a Bouw) or as simple (this driftwood rod from The Sweetest Digs) as you’d like.

Open shelving is a great option as well.  The look is clean and airy, it keeps items easily accessible and it showcases specific colors, themes, or keepsakes.  Check out the metal baskets paired with the open shelves on Life as a Thrifter

 

5. Think Outside the Box.

Tons of great storage solutions don’t require shelves OR bins!  Thinking creatively about items you may not normally use in a nursery can add a ton of personality and may save you some cash!  Rolling crates, clear jars (out of baby’s reach!), open metal or wood cabinets are all good ideas.  Or how about mounting plastic buckets up on the wall?  See it in action at OhOh Blog.

 

6. It’s a Theme Thing. 

Your nursery probably has a theme.  Whether it’s traditional, whimsical or eclectic, your storage should match your overall scheme for the space.  You’ve gone all elegant and classic?  Try lidded boxes in coordinating colors, chests or storage ottomans.  Cutesy little animals?   3 Sprouts Animal Bins feature whimsical animal faces – like foxes, elephants, zebras, raccoons and more.  Plus, extra large collapsible fabric floor bins are perfect for larger items.  See how Newborn Mama used suitcases to bring in matching storage for her nursery theme. 

 

7. Get on the Green Team.

Recycle items found at thrift stores, rummage sales, or your own basement.  Our Dream Foreclosure shares several diaper storage ideas from unexpected sources (like a magazine rack!).  Don’t get hung up on what the item was originally created for.  Check out the farmer’s market epergne that Boots and Totty set up in her nursery.

 

Don’t forget, with a baby, the more storage, the better!  Use a combination of tips and tricks to make your space work for you.

 

Need more ideas?  Get a load of this perfect nursery space on Remodelaholic!

 

Kimberly Mueller is the “me” over at bugaboo, mini, mr & me, a blog that highlights her creative endeavors. She especially likes to share kid crafts, sewing attempts, recipes, upcycled projects, photography and free printable gift tags/cards. When she’s not enjoying being married to her best friend, chasing after the natives (AKA her three kids) and attempting to keep the house in one piece, you can find her with a glue gun in one hand and spray paint in the other. Aside from DIY pursuits, she also enjoys writing, reading, music, singing (mostly in the shower) and the color yellow. Kimberly recently published a craft book entitled Modern Mod Podge. You can also find her on FacebookPinterest,Bloglovin’ and Instagram. Email her at: bugabooblog(at)yahoo.com

 

Featured image courtesy of Better Homes and Gardens.

4 Simple Ideas to Revamp Your Jewelry Storage

4 Simple Ideas to Revamp Your Jewelry Storage - Tipsaholic.com

 

If you love accessorizing but aren’t big on organizing, chances are your jewelry’s tangled in a massive jumble of knots.  Don’t let your favorite pieces lie stagnant any longer.  Organizing your jewelry can be as simple or elaborate as you want it to be, but the point is to make your accessories visible and easily accessible.  Here are four jewelry storage ideas that may change the way you SEE your jewelry!

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1. Make it CLEARLY VISIBLE

If you can easily see what is available to you, the odds of you actually wearing your jewelry dramatically increase.  Don’t keep them tucked away in an obscure drawer or in a heap on top of your vanity.  Plastic trays, glass jars, bowls, or drawer dividers are all great tools.

Here are some examples:

2. Try RECYCLING

You don’t have to spend a ton of money on jewelry armoires or fancy boxes.  There tons of great ideas for up-cycling things you can find at thrift stores or maybe even in your own stash at home.  Not only will it keep your jewelry neatly organized, but recycling means you’ll have a one-of-a-kind piece. Your storage will be unique and personal.

Check out these ideas:

3. Mind the BUDGET

I don’t just mean fiscally.  You’ve got to pay attention to your space budget, too.  If you’ve got tight quarters, there are still a lot of storage options that can work for you!  If you’re frugally-minded, don’t let it stop you.  Think about inexpensive solutions that can either hang on a wall or door or make use of wasted space, leaving floor space and counter space clear.

Take a look:

4. Think about the BIG PICTURE

If you’ve got a ton of jewelry, you may have to think LARGE when it comes to storage.  Large doesn’t have to be overwhelming.  Plenty of simple ideas can be made to accommodate all of your accessorizing needs.  So think about everything you need to store within arm’s reach:  necklaces, bracelets, rings, earrings, bangles, scarves, sunglasses, brooches, pins, etc.  If you want to use it regularly, you’ll need a way to store and access it.

Here are some large-scale solutions for TOTAL storage:

 

Kimberly Mueller is the “me” over at bugaboo, mini, mr & me, a blog that highlights her creative endeavors. She especially likes to share kid crafts, sewing attempts, recipes, upcycled projects, photography and free printable gift tags/cards. When she’s not enjoying being married to her best friend, chasing after the natives (AKA her three kids) and attempting to keep the house in one piece, you can find her with a glue gun in one hand and spray paint in the other. Aside from DIY pursuits, she also enjoys writing, reading, music, singing (mostly in the shower) and the color yellow. Kimberly recently published a craft book entitled Modern Mod Podge. You can also find her on Facebook, Pinterest, Bloglovin’ and Instagram. Email her at: bugabooblog(at)yahoo.com

Feature image via Better Homes & Gardens

Cleaning Tips from Organization Pros

Did your spring cleaning go off without a hitch this year?  If not, join the ranks!  Not to worry: there’s still plenty of time to whip your house (and life!) into shape, any time of year!  I’m definitely not a know it all when it comes to organization, so when attempting a big job like this I like to look to the pros.  Those who make lists.  Those who create organization challenges and stick to them.  Those who know what it takes to keep a home organized!  If you like lists, need some help staying on track, and want to spiffy up your home, look below for cleaning tips from the pros!

 

Top Cleaning Tips from Organization Pros via Tipsaholic

cleaning tips from the pros via tipsaholic

1. Holiday Sparkle has a 21 Day Organization Challenge.  The list is broken down by day into areas or items that need cleaning and organization.  There’s usually a fairly heavy work-load day followed by a lighter day of work.  You can find the list and a free printable checklist here.

 

2. Good old Martha Stewart.  Who better than the homemaker extraordinaire herself to tell you how to clean your home?  On her website, she shares a “Spring Cleaning Checklist” – which is really so much more than that.  There are tips and tricks about cleaning almost everything, from ceilings to grout lines.  She lays things out in a table first in generalizations and overall tips and then breaking it down into rooms.  Find her charts here.

 

3. The girls at Homeketeers put together a 30 Day Organization Challenge.  Each day they posted a specific task to be completed along with some inspiration, photos and tips for accomplishing the task at hand.  They covered your general high clutter household areas (linen closet, front closet, fridge, pantry, etc) as well as items (toys, digital photos, jewelry) and your life (organize your Christmas!).  Plus, there are lots of printable checklists.  Worth checking out here.

 

4.  If you’d like some quick tips and a handy list of how to QUICK clean your house, you can print the “Top to Bottom Cleaning Checklist” from iMom.  This list is a clear-cut break down of how to clean each room most efficiently (i.e. from TOP to BOTTOM).  It’s basically a cheat sheet for cleaning, so none of us will fail.  You can find the easy to handle list here.

 

5. Over on Country Chic Cottage, you can find a handy guide called “30 Minutes a Week to a Cleaner Home.”  The general idea is that each week you DEEP clean something that desperately needs it – i.e. the things you don’t generally do weekly.  There’s a printable list that breaks the cleaning and organizing down into manageable chunks by week.  It might take 52 weeks to complete the whole thing, but when you work in 30 minute increments it’s not so overwhelming!  Print out the list here.

 

6. You also don’t want to miss the “Thrifty Tips for Spring Cleaning and Organizing” on Remodelaholic.  There are great ideas for several DIY cleaners and super frugal storage and organization DIY’s.  See the list here. 

 

Happy Cleaning!

 

Kimberly Mueller is the “me” over at bugaboo, mini, mr & me, a blog that highlights her creative endeavors. She especially likes to share kid crafts, sewing attempts, recipes, upcycled projects, photography and free printable gift tags/cards. When she’s not enjoying being married to her best friend, chasing after the natives (AKA her three kids) and attempting to keep the house in one piece, you can find her with a glue gun in one hand and spray paint in the other. Aside from DIY pursuits, she also enjoys writing, reading, music, singing (mostly in the shower) and the color yellow. Kimberly recently published a craft book entitled Modern Mod Podge. You can also find her on FacebookPinterest,Bloglovin’ and Instagram. Email her at: bugabooblog(at)yahoo.com

 

Feature images via Martha Stewart and Holiday Sparkle

5 Steps to Finally Solving Your Mail Clutter Problem

End Mail Clutter -- 5 Steps to a Successful System | Tipsaholic.com

5 Steps to Banish Mail clutter via Tipsaholic

Do you struggle with organizing your mail clutter? With the crazy amounts of junk mail that we receive in the mail, it’s no wonder that so many of us suffer from chronic mail clutter in our homes. Let’s take back our dining tables, our entryway tables, and our kitchen counters from overflowing mail clutter!

Here are 5 steps towards ending mail clutter once and for all.

1. Come up with a letter organizing system.

Before you head to the mail box and pick up the latest batch of mail, take a few minutes to sit and think about your and your family’s needs and the types of mail that you get regularly.

Ask yourself: Do you get a lot of junk mail that you recycle? Do you get a lot of health bills? What about catalogs and magazines? Do you get lots of personal correspondence? What kind of sensitive information do you get in the mail that you usually file away or shred? Do you receive a lot of forms to fill out, such as permission slips for your children’s field trips?

Decide on a couple of categories for your mail. Three or four categories should do the trick, but you could do only two to keep it simple or go up to five or six if you like to be more specific with your organization. Whatever works for you will be fine; just be sure that you will actually follow your system.

For example, you could have three categories: to shred, to read, and to do. You would put catalogs and magazines that you want to thumb through in the “to read” category and put bills to pay and forms to fill out in the “to do” category. If you recycle, you could put a small bin next to your letter sorting station (more on that later) to corral all the junk mail you want to recycle or create a fourth category for that.

 

2. Set up a letter sorting station.

Choose a location in your home where you want to sort through your mail and organize your mail clutter. The entryway is a popular choice, but other locations that would work include a desk in your kitchen, an office, an unused corner near your front door, a kitchen corner, or even a coat closet. Add a little table to the space if you need one and designate that area only for mail clutter.

Since you’ve already decided on the categories you want to use to sort your mail clutter, you can then purchase (or use something you already have) something to hold your mail. What about a stacking acrylic letter holder or a pretty ombre cascading letter file tote? I also like this modern letter sorter, this cute blossom letter sorter, this simple acrylic file sorter, this smart letter tray, and this fun grass letter holder. Choose a product that works well with your letter organizing system.

 

3. Check your mail every day.

The reason for this is simple: if you sort through your mail clutter frequently, the task will always be fast and easy. Let the mail pile up and you’ll end up sorting through all the paper clutter for far too long. And then tomorrow, you decide that you don’t have the time to do it. Then the mail piles up again. It turns into an ugly and disorganized cycle.

Just do it on a daily basis. You don’t even have to pay the bills or shred anything when you sort your mail clutter. Simply put the mail in their appropriate categories and then walk away. The end. For now.

 

4. Make an appointment with yourself to tackle your “to do” pile.

Remember these bills and forms that you need to complete? This is when you go through them, all at once. These appointments should happen at least twice a week and last for around 20 minutes. Sit down and go through your “to do” category. If you have “to shred” and “to file” piles, do them as well. Don’t stop until you’ve completed everything you need to do.

If you do this regularly, it shouldn’t take very long and you will feel SO good afterwards.

 

5. Whenever you’re relaxing, grab a catalog or magazine from the “to read” category.

Some of us subscribe to magazines that we never read because we forget to do so! When we’re relaxing, it can be easy to reach for the iPad or the phone and get lost in the internet vortex. Try to remember to read the magazines that you’ve paid for (and even the free catalogs) and reduce your mail clutter in the process.

Alright, I’m off to sort through my mail clutter. Can’t miss my appointment with myself! For some more organizing solutions, don’t miss How To Organize Your Closet in 4 Steps and Tips for Organizing Your Garage.

 

“I’m Elisa and I live in Austin, Texas with my husband and our two little girls. I used to teach reading and writing, but now I stay at home with my two kiddos and read and write in my spare time. I also love to undertake DIY projects, find new recipes on Pinterest, and dream about someday finally completing our home. Above all, I love to learn about new things and sharing my new-found knowledge with others.”  Please check out my blog What the Vita!

4 Tips for Using Binder Clips

4 uses for binder clips @Tipsaholic


4 Ways to Use Binder Clips via Tipsaholic

Binder clips are normally only thought of as things to hold paper together. But they are great for organizing in other areas outside of an office. Once, you stop thinking of them only as utilitarian things, there becomes so many possibilities for their use. Also, for added style, move beyond the typical black binder clip. Now they can be found in all sorts of decorative patterns and colors. Here are four tips for using binder clips.

1. Clip it closed

Use the binder clips to hold close opened bags of food. Use a different color every few days, to color code the expiration date of food, so it can easily be seen how long the food has been opened.

2. Hold the bag

Put the binder clips on the sides of trash cans to keep the bag from slipping down whenever something is put inside. This can help preventing a big mess if the bag falls down into the trash can and the disposed items fall out of the bag.

3. Stand it up

They can be used as a makeshift stand. Using binder clips with a pattern that matches the celebration, place them on the bottom of any card or envelope to display those received for special occasions. It also prevents the cards and envelopes from easily falling over.

4. Find it fast

One of the best uses is to group things that need to be kept together, by using the binder clips. It also makes them easy to find later. For example, clip together the various items for children’s outfits including the pants, shirt, and socks…one binder clip per child by assigning a certain color or pattern. This makes it so easy to find the dry change of clothes, in a normally chaotic pool bag, after a day spent swimming.

 

Photo Source: Improvement List Blog

 

I’m Frances. I am a mother, a wife, and a community volunteer. I work as a scientist by day and moonlight as a blogger. Making lists helps me keep everything on track. While I have a good life, there is always room for improvement. Join me as I decorate, organize, and try new things over at my blog Improvement List.

6 Features of an Organized Closet

6 Features of an Organized Closet | Tipsaholic.com #home #organization #closet

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You’ve already purged your closet of everything you don’t wear anymore. Now you need to organize it so that your remaining clothing stays in good condition and is easily accessible. After all, if you can’t see it or get to it, you’re never going to wear it!  The following six features of an organized closet will help you know how to get your clothes in order.

 

Long Hanging Clothes

Most closet rods are at a height that is ideal for long hanging items like dresses and long coats. Be sure to use the appropriate hangers for each item: shaped hangers with broader shoulders for coats and suits, no-slip velvet hangers for delicate items, and wood or plastic for everything else. Please straighten out all those old wire hangers and roast some marshmallows on them, because that’s about all they’re good for!

 

Short Hanging Clothes

Skirts, pants, and shirts don’t actually take up much vertical space in your closet. By installing two rods–one about 40 inches above the floor, the other about 40 inches above that–you can double the amount of clothing you can hang in the same sizes space. Not handy with a screwdriver? Not to worry! If your current closet rod is high enough, you can use one of these closet doublers to do pretty much the same thing. Again, be sure to use the right hanger for your clothes. Skirts should be clipped to straight hangers, as should pants. You can also fold pants over open-ended hangers like these. Tops belong on plastic, wood, or no-slip velvet hangers.

 

Folded Clothes

Everyone has their preferences for how to fold a pair of socks or pair of jeans, but no matter how you do it, there are a couple key things to keep in mind for your folded items. Don’t stack your folded clothing too high. For one thing, you’ll forget about the stuff on the bottom of the stack. For another, those bottom pieces will get smashed and creased from the weight of everything on top. Four pairs of pants, six sweaters, or eight t-shirts is a good rule of thumb. Stack like items together, and keep each stack separate by using dividers or bins. Match socks before throwing them into a drawer; even better, use small dividers to keep pairs of socks separate and visible.

 

Shoes

We are probably all guilty of tossing our shoes into a jumbled mess on the floor of the closet (or living room…or bedroom…or entryway…) but this greatly diminishes the life of your shoes. Storing shoes properly not only helps you know where they are and what shoes you have–so you don’t end up accidentally buying a sixth pair of black heels–but also keeps them looking neat and clean. For people with the floor space, stacking shoe shelves are a great way to organize and display each pair. Over-the-door and other hanging options are ideal for people with less room to work with. Special occasion shoes should be boxed up and labeled so they don’t get dusty or damaged when not being worn, and tall boots should be stored upright with shapers inside to keep them from folding over and getting creases.

 

Accessories

Make sure your jewelry, scarves, and other accessories have a place to live too. But don’t just toss them into a drawer or on a shelf! Each piece needs its own little home, or else your necklaces will end up in a knotted jumble and you’ll be forever searching for matching earrings. See where you have a little extra space to work with and put it to good use. Wall mounted or over-the-door jewelry organizers great for walk-in closets, compartmentalized trays can slide into an unused drawer, and hanging pouches take up very little real estate on a closet rod. Scarves, ties, and belts can be rolled up stored like socks in a drawer, hung on individual wall hooks, or stored on a hanging organizer on your closet rod. Purses should be stored upright on a shelf or in a box.

 

Seasonal Clothes

This category includes things like sweaters, gloves, warm scarves, and coats for winter, and swimsuits, sundresses, and sandals for summer. Store these items in the harder-to-reach spaces in your closet: high shelves, the end of the closet rod, on the floor in the very back, etc. That way they won’t distract from the clothing that is seasonally appropriate right now. Fold knits carefully and store them in clearly labeled boxes. Hang silks, linens, and other delicate fabrics inside garment bags so they won’t have deep creases when you get them out again. Add a cedar block to each box, or include a hanging block inside a garment bag, to prevent pests from munching on your clothes while you’re not wearing them.

Check our archives for more helpful hints on keeping your closets organized!

 

Jen is the mother of two sweet girls; her days are filled with Dr. Seuss books and laundry, block castles and pink tutus. Reading is her first passion. Finding and testing out delicious recipes is a close second. She and her husband are working on making their fixer-upper home into something amazing. It’s a satisfying but painfully slow process. Read more from Jen at her blog: Nothing Can Come Of Nothing.

 

Featured image courtesy of The Hanger Depot.

7 Tips for Smart Pantry Organization

7 Tips for Smart Pantry Organization | Tipsaholic.com #home #organization #closet #kitchen #pantry

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There’s a reason a pantry is hidden behind a door. When we try to cram a lot of food in a tiny amount of space, a disorganized mess is what we get. Try these pantry organization tips to maximize the space in your pantry.

 

1. Baskets

You can find baskets everywhere these days, often at great discounts. Grab a couple and put them in your pantry to use as an easy pantry organization solution. Use them to corral small objects that can easily spill out, such as little potato bags for your kids’ lunches and instant oatmeal packets.

 

2. Stackable Bins

Put a couple of stackable bins on top of each other at the bottom of your pantry. You can use them to hold potatoes and onions (separately, since onions can cause potatoes to go bad fast), recyclable items, or pet food.

 

3. Small Wire Baskets

Look at the sides of your pantry and you might find a lot of wasted space. Ashley of Domestic Imperfection came up with the brilliant idea of screwing in pencil organizers to the side walls of her pantry. She then filled them up with spices and other small condiments. What a great pantry organization idea!

 

4. Tiered Shelves

Instead of rummaging through stacks of cans every time you need a can of coconut milk for your dinner, invest in a couple of tiered shelves to help you easily see all the cans you have at once. These shelves can be used for spices as well.

 

5. Lazy Susans

A lazy Susan, or a turntable, is a great way to efficiently use corner space in your pantry. Corner shelves can be awkward to fill with food containers, but a lazy Susan will allow you to use the whole corner. Here is a great example of this clever pantry organization solution.

 

6. Storage Containers

Food containers can be brightly colored and harsh on the eyes, making it harder for you to find what you’re looking for in your pantry. Try dumping out your dry food into clear storage containers that have an airtight seal. Add pretty labels to them, like this, and your pantry will look much more organized. As a bonus, your dry food will last a lot longer thanks to the airtight seal.

 

7. The Zoning Strategy

Last but not least, the zoning strategy will help you navigate your pantry. Divide your pantry items into “zones” according to your lifestyle. For example, you could assign a basket to hold all of your baking items, from muffin cups to chocolate chips, if you bake cookies a lot. Put all of your kid-approved snacks in a plastic bin to make it accessible for your children. Another basket could be filled with noodles, bottled pasta sauce, and Italian seasoning for your family’s Spaghetti Nights.

 

With a little work and a bit of time, you can turn your pantry into a pretty little spot in your kitchen rather than a messy eyesore that you dread rummaging through. For some more organizing ideas, check out Organizing Your Kitchen and Tips for Organizing Kids Closets.

 

“I’m Elisa and I live in Austin, Texas with my husband and our two little girls. I used to teach reading and writing, but now I stay at home with my two kiddos and read and write in my spare time. I also love to undertake DIY projects, find new recipes on Pinterest, and dream about someday finally completing our home. Above all, I love to learn about new things and sharing my new-found knowledge with others.”  Please check out my blog What the Vita!

 

Featured image courtesy of Better Homes and Gardens.

How to Organize a Pantry

How to Organize Your Pantry via Tipsaholic.com


It takes a bit of time to thoroughly organize a pantry, big or small, but in the long run it’ll save you time. Plus, opening up the pantry doors to find a neat, organized space is always a good thing! Start a great organization system with these 5 steps.

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5 Steps to Organize a Pantry

Start from scratch

The best way to start is to pull everything out. Once everything is out of the pantry you can throw out expired items and see everything you have. This also gives you a chance to wipe down all the shelves and remove anything that doesn’t belong there.

 

Sort by type

While everything is out of the pantry sort everything by type. Pastas, canned items, cereal, etc. Bunch them together in groups on your kitchen table or floor so you can have an idea of how much space is needed for each item and how you might want to store it.

 

Containers for storage

For things that don’t stack well like seasoning packets, bags of marshmallows, etc. add a few baskets or bins to the shelves in your pantry to keep them organized rather than just throwing them anywhere. These are great because they’re clear and you can see what’s inside! If you want to make your pantry a little more stylish try some metal baskets!

Also consider storing things in different containers than what they come in from the store. Things like flour, sugar, quinoa and more usually come in large bags that are odd to store. Get some large mason jars, cute glass jars like pictured above, or plastic containers (these ones looks amazing!) to repackage everything and make it more convenient. You can even spend a month or so collecting jars from old pasta sauces, etc and use those.

 

Organize

Since you already have everything sorted, you can slowly put everything back into the pantry in an organized manner. Remember to keep the lighter items near the top and the heavier items (like cans) near the bottom, especially if you’re in an area that has earthquakes.

 

Label

Not everyone wants or needs labels, but it can add a little touch especially if you buy or print up some pretty labels. You can label baskets, bins, shelves or even the containers themselves. The great thing about this is that while the primary food shopper or cook in the house might know where everything is, but if everything is labeled anyone can come in and find what they want quickly. Another plus to that is that no one has to shuffle things around messing up your newly organized pantry!

 

Aileen is a wife, entrepreneur and animal lover. She lives in a small California town, with her husband and a handful of pets, where she spends her days designing blogs and running her online boutique. You can find more at Life by Aileen where she talks about chasing dreams and her attempts at a simpler life.