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Organizing

Tipful Thursdays: Organizing Essential Oils

A few months ago I finally decided to take the plunge and invest in Essential Oils. I wanted to slowly replace all of our household cleaning agents and venture into some new uses.

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Shortly after receiving my first set of oils I wanted to find something to store them in that I could easily transport when we travel. Around the same time Thirty-One came out with their new catalog and the Baubles & Bracelets Case. I decided to get one and give it a try.

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You can fit about 15 oils inside which is the perfect amount for travel needs or even an emergency kit in the car.

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I also love that there is space for cards with some of the recipes I make often. There is also space for the pads for our travel diffuser.

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The Baubles & Bracelets Case goes for $20 and is currently available in five different patterns.

Organizing 101: Rolling Office Cart

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One of the hardest parts about downsizing to an apartment was giving up my craft room. I LOVED having my own space to retreat to after a long day. However, my family is more important so it just meant I had to get creative. I ended up purging over half of what I had in the end leaving me with the essentials.

Now I have a little nook in the kitchen and some storage in the living room (more on that in a future post). I loved using the RASKOG Utility Cart to store all of my gift wrapping supplies in my craft room but since I downsized my supplies it wasn’t being used in the apartment yet. I have no drawers at my work space to the cart made the perfect storage storage solution for my office supplies.

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I may have a slight obsession with Post-It notes so I like to keep a variety of sizes on hand.

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I found an unfinished trio box set that works out perfectly to keep paper clips, rubber bands, and clips organized. The Martha Stewart Book Plates were the perfect final touch to label each box.

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Using a wooden utensil tray I was able to organize all of my greeting cards, note pads, extra tape, and envelopes on the bottom shelf. iHeart Organizing has inspired me to line the bottom of this with bold contact paper which I will do once I find them, lol.

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Although it’s significantly smaller than before I really do love my workspace. I love being so close to the kids play area and the kitchen where my husband cooks dinner and weekend breakfast. I am able to still keep up with things while feeling close to everyone.

Organizing 101: 6 IKEA Must Haves

I have to admit I was pretty excited when we made the decision to downsize and move into an apartment. Although I would lose a lot of creative freedom renting, I was presented with a new challenge of finding effective ways to organize our small space. We were a family of four living in a four bedroom 2,200 sq ft house downsizing to about a 1,200 sq ft two bedroom apartment.

Since our plans unexpectedly changed and we will be moving to Canada in the fall I thought it would be fun to focus my Tipful Thursday series on organizing small spaces for the next few weeks.

First up, a few things that have made it possible to organize with kids using IKEA!

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GNDBEY Shelf Unit | TROFAST Storage Box | PJAS Baskets
GRUNDTAL Towel Holder | KURA Reversible Bed | TROFAST Storage Combination

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A baby bath tub using the TROFAST Storage Box
I was extremely disappointed when we noticed a crack in our tub the first night. I know that is part of renting but it certainly made the impression no pre-inspection was done. Parker loves taking a shower so it didn’t effect him much but after a few days Caity really needed a bath and I was desperate. While I was getting the kids ready for bed Rob came in with one of the TROFAST Storage Boxes from their room. It ended up being the perfect size for her and fit nicely on our sink counter. I also plan to bring this along when we go on vacation so I don’t have to worry about scrubbing hotel bath tubs! I can store items in it during the trip so it won’t take up extra space.

A laundry room drying rack using the GRUNDTAL Towel Holder
In our old house I had a whole laundry room I could spread out in. While having the washer and dryer in the kitchen has helped keep up with the laundry, I don’t have as much space when it comes to air drying our cloth diapers (and other unmentionables). The GRUNDTAL Towel Holder was a perfect edition to the laundry closet. Completely out of the way when it’s not being used but can hold up to 20 diapers at one time.

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Sleep & play using the KURA Reversible Bed and TROFAST Storage Combination
Although Parker loved his toddler bed and couch from IKEA I wanted him to have something new and fun to help transition to the new apartment. We also wanted to create a quiet space that Parker could retreat to if he wanted some alone time. We loved the KURA Reversible Bed but the ladder made me nervous. Parker was a little young and I was worried about Caity trying to climb it once she was mobile. Then Rob came across a fantastic IKEA hack using the TROFAST Storage Combination as stairs in place of the ladder. Genious! The unit fits perfectly, almost like it was IKEA’s evil plan all along. I also loved the extra storage for linens and toys that didn’t fit in their play area. To help deter Parker from jumping on the bed or trying to climb off, we also got the KURA Bed Tent for the top. The STICKAT Organizer is another fun addition to keep a few books close in case he wakes up from nap early. As a final touch Rob installed a set of the DIODER LED Light Strips for some extra lighting underneath.

An organized kids closet using the PJAS Baskets and GNDBEY Shelf Unit
One of my favorite room features in our Home Tour was our Shared Changing Station. It also happens to be my most popular pin on Pinterest. I had to go small and tall in the kids shared closet and needed to find a way to organize all of their clothing, gear (including two strollers), and their changing station inside. While I couldn’t recreate the entire set up, I was able to keep the GNDBEY Shelf Unit for our cloth diapers. I also managed to make room for the PJAS Baskets for their pajamas since I don’t fold them (gasp!). We actually use these baskets around the entire house to store clothing, toys, and even some of my craft supplies. Adding a small chalkboard with some twine is a cute and functional way of labeling them with their contents.

Check back each Thursday as I share more tips on organizing our apartment. This month is dedicated to IKEA and next week I will be sharing my mobile office using the RASKOG Utility Cart

Our Month Summarized

I can’t believe how much has changed in the last few weeks. Our timeline for moving jumped on the fast track and here I am in our new home on the couch typing this during nap time.

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Purging certainly took a toll on us mentally, physically, and emotionally. Image purging 2/3 of your belongings in less than a month. It was certainly and challenge and it seemed like every time I turned around another box showed up. We sold a ton of items on our local yard sale group, had what can only be described as an epic yard sale, and took 4 full van loads to the local thrift store. I jotted down some thoughts and tips that came to mind during the process that I will share in more detail soon.

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Our move went relatively smooth. We decided to hire packers and movers again. It is more expensive but with two littles at home it made life a whole lot easier. After the packers were done on Monday we went to the apartment and stayed there. The next day Rob drove Parker to daycare and supervised the 1st half of the move. By early afternoon 3 amazingly strong guys were bringing in boxes 3 at a time. While the apartment is small I had already assigned different areas for boxes to make things a little easier. They put boxes where I asked and reassembled all the furniture. All I have left to unpack is all of the craft/office stuff. Then I want to take another pass through everything and reorganize some things. It will certainly always be a work in progress.

I am anxious to share some of the posts I have been working on about our experience downsizing, tips for a smooth move with littles, our favorite apartment organizational hacks, and tips for littles sharing a room.

Loft Bed

The kiddos have transitioned amazingly and love sharing a room together. Caity is still not sleeping through the night but Parker doesn’t seem to be bothered by her cries before we can get in there. She has been taking naps in our room and most nights after about 2am. Parker seems to love his loft bed, especially the play space underneath and the “tunnel” on top.

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Most importantly, we haven’t wasted anytime getting out and spending time as a family. In the last week we have spent more time as a family doing fun things than the last 2 months. We have eaten mouth watering cheese steaks, watched the airplanes come in at Gravley Point, swam in the pool, and cuddled on the couch watching movies. Living in a small apartment is absolutely amazing and although it may have its downfalls, the perks make it worth it.

Thirty-One Thursdays: Easter Basket

Iv’e been meaning to start up my Thirty-One Thursday series again. It’s a fun way to share what products I love and creative ways to use them. Since Easter is this weekend I thought I would share a sneak peak at Caity’s Easter basket, the  Cinch-Top Bin in the seasonal Tweethearts pattern.

Easter Basket - Bin

 

Personalization: Charcoal (color) Style 19 (font)

The Cinch-Top Bin is the perfect for all the goodies the Easter Bunny leaves behind. The inside surface is easy to clean and they also collapse down almost flat for easy storage throughout the year.

cinch-top-binThe Cinch-Top Bin is currently available in 3 patterns for $25 (plus tax and shipping). Contact your Thirty-One consultant for more details. If you do not have a consultant I would love to answer any questions you have. Feel free to email me at, mommammeyer31@gmail.com, or visit my Thirty-One website.

 

Organizing 101: Silhouette Scraps

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I just love when I am facing an organizational challenge and have an “ah-ha” moment. Even better is when that solution is free! As a packrat at heart I always hated throwing away the letters, shapes, and numbers that were left over from my Silhouette projects. Recently I was creating conversation hearts for some Valentine decorations I just couldn’t throw all the words away. I started rummaging through my craft room to look for a solution and came across my stash of Wedding Planner materials including a bunch of photo pages. I realized that the photos pages would be perfect to keep different size scraps organized in a binder.

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For the mini letters, number, and shapes I used business Avery Business Card Pages and mini Post-it Notes to identify them. This has made it really easy to browse what I have before taking the time to create something new. The scraps above where from Valentine conversation hearts I made. I tend to use these smaller scraps for birthday cards and such. You could also use the Avery Trading Card Pages for these smaller scraps.

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For the slightly larger scraps I used Avery Horizontal 4×6 Photo Pages. In each slot I placed an Oxford Ruled 4×6 Index Card to catalog what the letters, numbers, or shapes were. As they are replaced with new ones I can just cross off the previous and write in what it is being replaced with. This saves so much time from guessing and I can reuse the index cards 30+ times.

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The Avery Diamond Sheet Protectors are great for the large cutouts I make for parties, holidays, or when I did my weekly bump boards during Parker and Caity’s pregnancies.

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I also found that when I was clearing the cutting mat there were always tons of little scraps that went everywhere. A recycled tissue box is a perfect and an easy way to keep the scraps out of the way without running to the garbage. I just sit mine next to my Silhouette and empty it when it gets full. With all of the cute new patterns Kleenex is coming out with I don’t even need to worry about covering it!