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Organizing 101

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!

6 Product Collage

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

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!

Organizing 101: Batteries

Sometimes when I am working on the editorial calendar for Cherry Blossom Love I get caught up in the big picture projects focusing on complete room reveals and 20+ step tutorials. The smaller organizational solutions that keep me sane in our day to day lives, although very important, are forgotten. Over the last few years I have come across some pretty amazing products or hacks that make it a little easier to get through the day that I knew I needed to share with you all.

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Today I want to talk a little bit about batteries. The are a daily necessity in our lives so I like to keep them accessible but can be dangerous in the hands of little ones, especially watch batteries. Rob and I decided they would be best kept in the dinning room in a drawer of our hutch. We almost never allow Parker to roam in their unless it is meal time and it’s a central location for easy access.

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I had seen some hacks around Pinterest of using boxes like these and while I love a good hack, I love finding something perfect for my needs that already exists. We ended up choosing the Range Kleen Battery Organizer for under $20.  The design is compact so it fits small drawers but can still organize 25 AAA, 39AA, 6D,8C, and 49 Volt batteries. There is also a removable battery tester for when you come across those strays and are unsure if they are packing any power!

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What I Love About This Solution:
No assembly or hacking required! For under $20 you can purchase the perfect solution for getting your batteries organized leaving more time to photograph your little kicking away on that piano play mat. Not to mention is makes it super easy to identify which ones are low.