When I started thinking about the new year and what I would bring to my blog for my readers I knew I wanted to bring more to the blog then just DIY’s and tours of our home. I LOVE those things, y’all know that, but I wanted to give you MORE. I started thinking about the questions I get asked a lot over social media and decided I would start sharing the answers here to some of those questions. Yesterday I shared two of my most asked questions in my How ‘I’ Keep a Tidy Home post and today I thought I would talk about one of my other most asked questions… ‘HOW DO YOU STAY ORGANIZED?!’
Before I begin today’s post, just like yesterday I want to say…I am NO expert, on anything friends! I share here on my blog what works for me and my family in hopes that it may inspire or help someone find something that also works for their family. I do not blog with the mindset that I know everything about what I am talking about or that what I am sharing is the best way. I am simply opening my heart and our home to you here on the blog hoping it reaches someone. Even if its just one person. Ok now that we have that out of the way. 😉 For those of you just stopping by today, or if you are a new reader I am a 31 year old stay at home mom (but these tips will totally work for the working mom and dad as well!!) who homeschools her three daughters and has a type A personality.
My first must do to stay organized is to have a good planner and write everything down! I’ve had planners in the past and honestly I went in with good intentions but then I put them away in the drawer and forgot about them, I resorted to just lists. But this year I’m using a new planner and its from Heart of the Farm planner and its gorgeous! So pretty that I leave it sit out and check it daily. If you’re in need of a planner you can find these here through Cory. I use my planner for my cleaning schedule, that you can find in yesterdays post How ‘I’ Keep a Tidy Home, I also use it for our meal plan (I do a monthly meal plan and at the beginning of each week I write down the meals for each day of that week! Super helpful!!). I write down important dates, schedule out my blog posts and keep track of extra to-do’s and projects. This planner also has a spot to write prayers, blessings, keep track of your water intake and your exercise. It has a space for everything plus its filled with beautiful photos and inspirational sayings/quotes!
We live in an old home that is short on lights and closets. No but seriously it is. So to make up for the lack of closet space and with living in a 3 bedroom home with 5 people I sometimes have to get creative with our storage. Our homeschool room was a bit of a challenge. Why? Because I needed to keep most of the items in this room accessible to our children. They need to be able to know where things are and able to get to the items. So for this room I used a lot of glass jars, bins and magazine holders.
The glass jars are from Walmart and they are perfect to store craft items, legos and other supplies. You could even use them in the kitchen! The gray bins are from Ikea. I keep one bin full of my supplies such as the stapler, tape, hole punch and so on. The large bins hold our homeschool games and extra note books for the year. These are perfect to keep things tidy and organized! My husband and I built most of the furniture in this room but the tall bookcase is from Ikea. Its the same one we have in our dining room if you remember seeing it. The magazine holders keep our weekly folders and papers together, we also have one full of construction paper for projects and some of our books are in the others. This room has to be very functional for our school days and being organized truly helps make our days easier!
The bedrooms. Our oldest two daughters share a room and our youngest has a small room to herself. The previous owners built on a master bedroom with a bath before converting what is now our master bedroom. So the room works perfectly for our two daughters to share. In each room our girls have under bed storage that we found at Ikea. They each have three bins to keep their toys in. They choose how to keep and organize their bins but there is one rule to the bin. Once a bin is too full for the lid to close we have to sort through our toys to find the ones we no longer want to keep. The girls have never had an issue with this rule and its worked perfectly to help keep the toy overload under control.
Our daughters also have these $4 Ikea spice racks near their beds as shelves and book holders. They love being able to keep their favorite books close to their bed or add photos and trinkets. It provides extra storage in their room and also gives them space to decorate and enjoy. We also weed through our books periodically to donate the ones the girls have outgrown or no longer read.
I get a lot of questions about our master bedroom and if we have a dresser in it. We do not. Unless you count our side tables which really are tiny dressers and we do store some of our clothes in them. We have the Ikea Rast dressers that I gave a makeover to when we redid our master bedroom you can read about them here (Our Rast Dresser Ikea Hack & an awesome GIVEAWAY!!) In these small dressers we use the top drawer for random items such as our watch, cell phone charger, glasses, ect. We also use it for our under garments and pajamas. The rest of our clothing is in our closet. Not so pretty closet that we plan to redo in the near future but our home is a work in progress. Eventually the closet will have better organization options but for now we do with what we have.
Our half bath in the home is also our laundry room. In this room we do have a small shelving unit and a little cupboard. Its hard for me to show all of the shelves in this space because there just isn’t enough room to back up for a good photo but I keep our paper towels, toilet paper, cleaning products, extra jars, cleaning towels and other small misc. on these shelves. I use the black wire baskets to hold our cleaning towels and toilet paper, I love how they keep the items neat and tidy. I really believe that housing the small items that easily get out of hand and become an eye sore, is the key to helping your home look cleaner than it may be. 😉
Something I’ve always tried to do when buying furniture for our home is be purposeful. With little storage in the home itself and having the girls we need pieces that help us keep our ‘things’ under control. Our family room is probably the biggest area where that happens. You may never know it but in this space we store board games, movies, extra blankets, our gaming system, puzzles and more. How? By the furniture we’ve chosen for this space!
Ta-da! Hahaha we love our storage ottomans for a few reasons, 1. they make our couch super cozy and 2. we can store a lot of stuff in them! We have two storage ottomans in this space, one holds the majority of our board and card games and the other holds extra blankets. These are perfect for things like this! The items are in the room we use them but you’d never know it!
The next piece of purposeful furniture in this space is our TV console. This piece use to be a buffet I purchased a couple years ago at an auction. I removed the tall skinny legs and added feet to get the height we wanted for our TV. This was a simple project and it provides us with so much storage! We house all of our entertainment/gaming system misc. in this piece, plus our movies, large board games and puzzles!
To summarize this post today, because I know it can be a lot but it doesn’t have to be, I would say, start with a planner. A good planner that you won’t write a week in and then put it away somewhere you’ve forgotten. When bringing new furniture into your home, buy it with a purpose, does it help solve your storage/organizing needs? Purge your home randomly and set boundaries for what you bring into your home. We purge at least three times a year, once before Christmas, once in Spring and once in the Fall. Set boundaries for your kiddos and their things just the same as you set boundaries for yourself. Weed out the coloring books with one page left to color, and the little kids meal toys. I sometimes remove a toy that hasn’t been played with for a couple months and if the girls don’t ask for it for a whole month then it goes in the pile to get rid of. I’ve also set boundaries for myself, do I need this? will I use it once a day or once a week? where will it go? do I LOVE it? If I struggle to answer any of these questions instantly, I put the item back. Buy bins and storage baskets that you love and that work in the space you need them. Sometimes just adding a basket to hold the loose odds and ends helps tremendously. Also, for your cleaning supplies, buy the amber bottles to put and store them in. You can easily display them if you don’t have the cupboard room to store them. Using glass bottles or any neutral container is much more pleasing to the eye and doesn’t look so busy and cluttered. Donate your old clothes and shoes and clean the junk drawer (y’all know we each have one) once a month. My goal is for everything to have a place and for everything to be in its place! If it doesn’t have a place in our home, it goes.
I think that covers what I had in mind for today. Again, please know that everything I’ve shared today is what works for our family and I’ve found that we work so much better with an organized home. It helps clear our mind and our spaces for all the other fun things. I hope you’ve found something in today’s posts that inspires you to get more organized or maybe you found something we do/use that may help in your home. Whatever it may be I hope it was something. In all honesty today was a hard post to write, I’ve found over the last two day that to sit down and share what I do daily in our home and how I do it is a little harder than sharing a fun DIY with you guys! It would be much easier if I could just have y’all over for coffee so we could chat and you could snoop around checking things out. 😉 As always, if you have any questions please leave them in the comments below or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org! I’ve also created an image below if you would like to add it to Pinterest to save this post for later!
~Happy Reading Friends