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31 Days to a More Organized Life ~ Day 7 (Entry Way)

Ok, so now onto organizing things in the home!

One of the things I am most excited about with the new house is the long empty wall as you enter the front door. While this wasn’t written on my “must have” list it was something I was looking for. Why you ask? Because I have wanted to have one of these in my home since I started seeing them on Pinterest.

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Ultimately, I would love for this piece to organize all of our scarfs, gloves, hats, umbrellas, sun glasses, keys, purses, diaper bag, etc… Thinking about eventually being a family of four, I want everyone to have their own space. At the same time, I don’t want it to look cluttered.

I have started to brainstorm how we can put one of these together. After playing around with Photoshop, I came up with this. Each of us would get 2-3 shelves in the cabinet as well as a basket under the bench. IKEA has great add on like drawers, shelves and trays. I also discovered rod iron hooks with letters and think it would be adorable to each have our own personal hook for purses, bags and backpacks.

Each cabinet is $180/each (IKEA), 1×5 cubes $59.99/each (IKEA), Wainscot Panneling $79.99/8ft (Home Depot) and baskets $16.99/each (IKEA). This total for this would be around $645 which is a little pricey so we may try to alter a few things. I am not sure about the white or the overhead bins and may do a nice mirror and shelf with picture frames instead.

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I was thinking of making one of these for inside the cabinets to hold all of my sunglasses. I probably can’t use a picture frame since it may hit the shelves inside but something thinner would do just the trick. 
I also want to put hooks on the cabinets inside for lanyards and keys so they are out of the way. 

I also found this on Pinterest and thought it would be so cute in an actual mud room. I just had to share because it is such an easy DIY project. Michaels has these wooden crates and after a little paint and sturdy nails, vola, you have storage with character. We may do this in the garage by the door for rain boots!

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That wraps up day #7 for me! Check back tomorrow where I will be showing you are linen closet and how to creatively use those TP and paper towel rolls to make things a little more organized! 

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31 Days to a More Organized Life ~ Day 4 (Cleaning Schedule)

If you have been following along with me the last few days, you probably have noticed that my focus of this week is using documents to organize different areas in our home. I have found overall that spreadsheets, checklists and schedules work best for my family and I.

Today I want to focus on how to keep your home clean and tidy without stressing about it one day a week. I find myself to be much happier when my home is organized and clean. This gets a little difficult with a little one at home.

I decided to make a list of everything that needs to be cleaned around the home. I started making the list at my kitchen table but then realized that I needed to walk around the house to make sure I didn’t miss anything. I created a daily, weekly, monthly, quarterly and annually list based on what I came up with. I also came up with a few items that should be done 2 or more times a week.

To help me on a weekly basis, I created another document by day. I love checking off accomplishments so this is great to have on the fridge for easy updating. 
I can’t wait to put this list in action and see if it helps keep our home a little cleaner and my stress a little lower!

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31 Days to a More Organized Life ~ Day 1

When Rob and I found out we were expecting, the conversations of me becoming a SAHM started. While I really liked my job, the commute was long and expensive. Since I always wanted to be a SAHM, I was happy that we were in the situation we were. I had all these grand ideas of being able to do EVERYTHING in the home so Rob could focus on work and then relaxing/playing with P when he got home.

P is three months old and I don’t know what I was thinking! I guess this is one of those situations where you don’t really know until you are there. Most days, I don’t have time to shower, clean up the house or make dinner. I will never regret the hours of cuddle time with P but wouldn’t mind being a little more productive during the day. I know this is possible if I just take a step back and look at everything I want to accomplish and create a clear plan to do so. If you know me, you know that means getting out the notepad and making to-do lists.

A challenge hosted by The Nester, couldn’t have come at a better time. Every year, she hosts a link up where bloggers can take the challenge and blog about a certain subject for the 31 days of October. Originally, I wanted to focus my 31 days on making a happier and healthier me. After brainstorming a little though, I realized that my time would be better spent focusing on organizing my life. That in itself would make a happier and healthier me.

I hope you follow along as I reflect on what I currently do to organize my life and what I can do to make it a little more organized. I will be focusing on every room in the house and even on organizing with a baby and living with what I call, “the unorganized”. With a few giveaways sprinkled it, I am very excited about the month ahead and how things will look on October 31st.


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It’s getting real!!!

I didn’t want to say anything until it was official but…. looks like this family of 3 is moving to a bigger playground!

A few weeks ago we found this amazing home that has everything we are looking for. Some of my favorites are a wall big enough in the entry way for a coat closet just like this, separate laundry room, garage, 4 bedrooms (so one of them will be my art room), a large master bedroom with soaking tub and backyard for P to play in! Here are a few pictures. Since a family is still living there, I didn’t want to post pictures of their personal belongings. It is kind of like a split level so there are four floors (the forth being a one room loft), laundry room, coat closet, sitting room, dining room, kitchen, living room, four bedrooms, two full and one half bath, garage and a crawl space.

I am so excited to be able to document this whole process and share all of the ideas I have for the new house! I have already created in inspirational board (to come in a little bit). Just keep your fingers crossed because this was a short sale and so it isn’t really “ours” yet. We are waiting to hear back from the bank but are optimistic they will be satisfied with our offer.

In the meantime, we have begun the process of selling our home since we have to close on our current house before we can close on a new one. We love our Realtor and the company we are working with. A moving company they work with came out to give us a quote on packing our house and moving it. Not sure if I will need help packing but we wanted to get a quote just in case. They came and put up the sign today and listed in online. Rob and I spent yesterday evening making sure the house was all tidy and clean. It wasn’t too much of a project due to my awesome cleaning schedule and always having the house pretty put together.

I also made a few notes for those coming to look at the house. It included info on Flip Flop & Alice (with pictures) and a note about some of the bigger items in the house included and not included.

I can’t wait to share all the excitement to come with you all!!!

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Monthly Challenge ~ Meals On A Budget

This months challenge is meal planning on a budget.

Rob and I are still trying to adjust our spending on a single income. I have to admit, it’s a little harder than I  originally thought it would be. One of the areas that can really put a dent in our checkbook is grocery shopping and eating out. Our goal is to get away from eating out and making more meals at home. We also want to get into a routine of only buying what we need for the week at the store to ensure we are not wasting food.

Goals of this challenge:

1. Stay on a budget with grocery shopping.
2. Plan our weekly meals and do the grocery shopping on Sunday’s to start the week out right.
2. Plan well balanced meals that include all of my WW requirements. 

As with any of my challenges/projects, I first started making a list of everything I needed to organize to set myself up for success. This was what I came up with:

Create a…
Monthly Calendar (9/1/12)
Weekly Menu (9/1/12)
Shopping List (9/1/12)
Food Inventory Checklist (9/1/12)

Organize a…
Binder compiled of our favorite recipes from cookbooks and magazines
Envelope for all of our coupons (9/1/12)

Purchase a… 
White Board (9/1/12)
iPhone App that is a shared grocery list so I can upload items and Rob can get them on his way home (9/1/12)

Decorate a… 
Clipboard to keep everything together in one place (9/1/12)

Here is what I have come up with so far! 

I created a food inventory document so we could see what we already had in the house to use for meals and snacks. I will do an inventory at the beginning of each month and take special note to expiration dates. There is nothing I hate more than throwing away food because it is past expiration. 


At the beginning of every month I want to go through the calendar and see what we have going on. When will we be away, when company will be staying over, outings planned etc…  

At the beginning of each week, I want to take a look at our inventory in addition to what we have going on that week and plan out our meals for the week. Once we know what our tentative plans are, we can take a look at our recipe binder and choose our meals. Once P get’s older, I want to incorporate theme nights to add some excitement! 

I find that having a specific list helps keep the cost down at the store. I know what items I need for the meals we plan to make that week. I decided to include a favorites section for things we are constantly eating such as granola bars, crackers and string cheese. 

I love our white board area in our kitchen! That’s right, call me a nerd 🙂 Even though we share a Google Calendar, it is nice to have everything written out for the month. The white board below the calendar has three columns; notes, to do and the week broken up by day. This is where we jot down pantry items we need, Rob’s “honey do list”, and a break down of the week (appointments, meetings, outings, etc…). The third white board is our recent purchase to help achieve this monthly challenge.  What I love about this white board is not only can I jot down our meal plan by day, but I can pin any recipes we plan to use for easy access! 

While I am no where close to holding the title of extreme couponer, I do like a good bargain. We get the Sunday paper for the weekly coupons and monthly P&G. I have also found a few websites, such as Grocery Coupon Network where I can go online to find printable coupons. Between the two, we save quite a bit during our shopping trips.

This month however, I want to challenge myself a little more. For example, last week we had a coupon for $1 off two boxes of Jimmy Deans breakfast sandwiches. While having a coupon was great, and prepacked sandwiches are convenient, the total cost was more expensive than if we had purchased the ingredients to make our own sandwiches. This month I want to try and find the most cost effective way to get some of the same items we love to eat.

While I made a handy dandy grocery shopping list, I know there will be times when Rob will need to pick something up from the store. Fortunately, I found an app for the iPhone that I love! It is called, Buy Me A Pie. My favorite feature and the reason I chose this app is because I can add items and Rob can see them on his phone. This will eliminate the need to text him a list or for him to try and remember everything from a voice mail I leave.

This is probably my biggest project for this month. As you can see, we have quite a collection of cookbooks, magazines and printouts of online recipes. My goal is to take these three shelves and combine it down to one shelf with a few of our favorite cookbooks and a binder that has all of our favorite recipes organized into categories.

That’s all I have for now! I look forward to reading all of your ideas, best practices and goals for the month! 



This months challenge is meal planning on a budget! Share your tips for success or how you plan to change your ways for a more cost effective grocery bill at the end of the month. Please make sure to upload a direct link to a new and relevant post. At the end of the month, provide us with an update on how you did, what worked and what didn’t work!  

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Toddle Along Tuesday ~ Finding Balance Part II

So this past week the topic for Toddle Along Tuesday was Finding Balance. I thought about what I wanted to say, wrote my post and published it. Like clock work, this momma had a complete melt down with ugly tears and all. To someone else, it probably would have warranted a good laugh but it was very serious to me.

While I have been able to balance out different things in my daily routine like showering, eating, taking care of P and administrative things, I have so many craft projects and updates around the house that I really want to do. Between blogging, Pinterest and house projects I would start one, get distracted by another and then another. By the time Rob got home, there were 4-5 things going on and I really wasn’t focusing on any of them.

If you know me, then you know crafting is my life! It brings me so much joy and I love coming up with and creating new projects.

Que my genius hubby who came up with what I think to be the idea of the century!!! Using Popsicle sticks, I wrote 1 project on each and placed them into a mason jar. Whenever I have time to start a project, I pull one and work on that project, no others, until it is done.

I actually decided to take this one step farther and did another jar that has different exercises and physical activities on them. Every morning I will choose one and will have the whole day to work it in.

After I was done with just my initial list, I felt a little overwhelmed and said,”I will never get these all done.” His response, “one stick at a time babe.” <3