Easy ways to organize a bathroom closet.

I’m going to be honest with your, my bathroom closet has always been a mess. Its a very small bathroom, and a closet that has shelves so deep it’s hard to reach anything.

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Not only is it a “catch all” location for medicine, linens, toiletries, ect. I have no doors on mine. So that means its always visible. But if you have doors, you may feel it is out of sight, and no need to organize.

But, I recently decided I needed a change, and began to organize, and well, it was over due.

In todays post I want to share with you the simple process I went through for our bathroom closet organization and at the same time, give you some easy bathroom storage ideas to implement in your own home.

I hope this basic tutorial gives you some small bathroom closet organizational ideas that are easy to implement.

How to organize a bathroom closet.

In six simple steps!

Before we jump into it, lets take a look at how our closet looked before the process… (see above.)

Like I said, a dumping ground for what ever needed storing.

Ready to make it look amazing? I’ll show you!

Step 1 : Empty it out.

The first step to organizing anything is to empty the space you’re trying to organize.

This means you need to start by removing all the items from your closet. And yes, I mean everything!

Step 2: Clean

Next, wipe out your empty closet really well. I typically use basic cleaning wipes or all purpose cleaner with a rag.

Now you’ve got a blank canvas for organizing. One thing I like to do at this point is to measure the dimensions of your closet or cupboard. You’ll eventually be shopping for bins or baskets to fit in here, so it’s easiest to measure when it’s clean and empty. My favorite place to shop for this type of thing is Dollar Tree.

Step 3: Purge.

After you’ve prepped your closet, it’s time to go through your items and get rid of the stuff you don’t need.

I chose to dispose of anything we had too many of. (thing hotel shampoo and conditioner, floss, ect.) and items that were expired.

The other part of this step is moving items that don’t belong in this particular closet or cupboard to their appropriate homes.

We had quite a few items that had ended up in the back of our closet shelves but belonged in other rooms. So I put those away in their correct spot rather than back into this closet.

Step 4: Group like items.

After you’ve put items away that don’t belong in this bathroom closet or disposed of items you don’t need, its time to group like items.

Start by thinking through the categories of items you have in your closet. For us, we ended up grouping them in the following categories:

  • Appliances (humidifier, curling irons, hair cutter, etc.)
  • Large and small toiletries
  • medicine
  • first aid
  • dog supplies
  • towels
  • toilet paper

Step 5: Restock

Now that you’ve identified what groups of items your going to be storing in this closet, take time to restock the items your low on.

I always like to have all my first aid stocked in case of an accident and all of the large and small toiletries stocked in case guests need them.

One item I always make sure to have extra of is body wash. You can stock up in an inexpensive way by visiting Dollar Tree They have name brands for cheap! Dollar Tree is the best place to restock just about anything you need!

Step 6: Plan and assemble

Now that you have groups established and stocked, you can put into place a bathroom closet organization system.

Do this by evaluating how much stuff is in each group and getting baskets or bins that maximize the space in your closet as well as the space needed to store your like items. We actually drew out our full cabinet with dimensions and then drew in what we wanted where and what size of basket or bin we needed for each spot.

For example, I knew we wanted to store just toilet paper on the bottom shelf of our cabinet. So I took the dimensions of our shelf to the store with me and purchased a basket that filled as much of that shelf as possible.

There is a wide variety of color, size and shape baskets at Dollar Tree Don’t forget you can also order on line.

Using baskets or bins is a great way to take advantage of deep shelves. Try getting a large basket that’s full depth and then placing smaller bins inside to keep your like items separate.

If your storing towels in your closet, be sure to fold them efficiently so you can use the other half of shelf for a bin or basket or back stock items.

And that’s it! With just a few simple steps, you can have a bathroom closet that is pretty, stores just about anything and makes finding things super easy.

Now, lets review some of the key take away’s from this tutorial:

How do you organize a deep bathroom closet?

Use deep baskets with smaller bins inside!

A basket is perfect for maximizing the entire depth because it can easily be pulled out to access items stored all the ways in the back. Small bins inside can be helpful for keeping groups of like items separated.

How do you organize bathroom toiletries?

For ours, we chose to put larger toiletries (like tissue, cotton swabs and body soap) on the shelf and then store smaller toiletries (like tooth paste and cotton balls) in a basket.

The key to organizing bathroom toiletries is to downsize. Don’t keep too many things. Only stock up on things you’ll need and use, and even then, only keep a few back stock items.

How do I organize my bathroom linen closet?

  • Empty out the closet
  • clean the closet thoroughly
  • purge all your unneeded items
  • group like items
  • stock up on things you need
  • use a diagram of your space and groups of items to maximize the storage using baskets and bins.

I hope these 6 simple steps for how to organize a bathroom closet help you take your bathroom linen closet organization to the next level.

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30 little things that make a house look messy.

keeping a home comfortable and organized is really, really difficult. Not only do you have to figure out how you want to decorate but you also have to learn how to do so in a way that is comfortable and functional. The way you organize your things makes a big difference – this includes lighting, furniture arrangements, mirrors, carpets, and more.

Of course, part of keeping a home comfortable involves keeping it organized. That can be just as overwhelming! Its amazing how fast you can accumulate clutter. If your a Marie Kondo fan, you probably know that one of the best ways to keep things clean is, well – to have fewer things! But that’s not always possible for everyone. So how do you make the best of the situation that you have?

There are actually a lot of things you can do! Some are design tips. Some are organizational methods, and some are just good old fashioned cleaning techniques. With a little bit of creativity and some elbow grease, you’ll have your home tidy and comfortable in no time. These tips will help you do more than just make your home clean. They’ll help you keep it that way.

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1 Piling things on surfaces.- There’s a big difference between staying organized and just keeping things off the floor. When your piling stuff onto every surface, your home will start to feel crowded – fast. So, what ever your do, don’t throw junk on top of every clean counter top and table.

2 Not having enough on counters.- Believe it or not, it’s actually possible to go the other extreme too. Having too little on your counters also feels awkward and odd. The happy medium is to find the proper place for appliances on your counter tops, such as toasters and coffee makers.

3 Having clutter on the front of your fridge.- One of the main focal points of your kitchen is your fridge, so it’s noticeable when covered with clutter! Its easy to let junk accumulate on the front of your fridge. Make sure you regularly clear away old Christmas cards, invitations, and notes.

4 Neglecting your shelving.- The way you organize your shelving can make a huge difference in how your kitchen looks and feels. If your shelves are organized and you use them to keep your appliances neat and tidy, you’ll notice a big difference in the functionality and comfort of the space.

5 Over stuffing your cabinets.- Even worse than disorganized cabinets are cluttered cabinets. Not only do they look bad but it also becomes impossible to find the things you need. Take time to organize things in their proper place.

6 Letting your entry way become cluttered.- The first thing that people see when they walk through the door is, well, the floor. It’s easy to let your entry way get cluttered with shoes, jackets, and bags. Make it a priority to keep the entry way organized. Provide a place to put things as you come inside.

7 Letting your closets get messy.- Shove everything into the closet and your done with cleaning right? Not exactly. Having a messy closet actually makes everything worse. Whats more, it makes it difficult to find things when your need them. Try Get 5% Off Your Order at EasyClosets with Code: CLOSETS165 for help.

8 Not labeling your storage.-It’s a pain to try to find things lost in storage. To keep things organized and easy to locate, get out a marker and neatly label everything. That way you can find items again. Even if its years down the line. Check Dollar Tree for sticker labels also.

9 Over decorating.- One easy way to make things in your house look cluttered is crowding ways. Its easy to over-decorate with family photos, knick knacks, and collectables, but keep it simple. Minimalism can be much more pleasing to the eye. I tend to go overboard with throw pillows and blankets. Hofdeco has some beautiful pillows to choose from!

10 Having too many toys.- Every parent knows that it’s easy for toys to get out of hand. Birthdays, Christmas, and grandparents all mean an overflowing toys box. But your home will be much more comfortable with fewer play things. By the way, studies show children play better and focus more when they have fewer toys. You may want to refer to my post https://uncommomspaces.com/10-tips-for-controlling-clutter-in-kids-bedrooms/

11 Having a tangle of cords on the floor.- Having cords around the house in a simple part of life in 2019. With phones, laptops, tvs, and other technology, its hard to avoid having them in a pile on the floor. But this isn’t just a tripping hazard, it looks terrible.

12 Letting collections get out of hand.- Its all well and good to have a collection of postcards, vases, or figurines, but too many can quickly lead to clutter. Try to curb your collections by only putting a few of your favorite on display. My weakness has always been candles. Like these from Premium soy candles with hidden jewels valued $20-$7500 at JewelScent

13 Having too many books on display.- Every person who’s an avid reader probably has too many books on their shelves. Unfortunately, it can make your living space feel extremely cluttered. Try not to over stuff your book shelves.

14 Letting laundry sit around.- They say that laundry is the one chore that never ends, and they’re right. It can be really hard to keep up with, but try to stay on top of your laundry. Having piles of clean or dirty clothes can take up alot of space. click here to go to Easy closets.com. They have tons of storage solutions.

15 Using too much furniture.- Finding furniture that you love is great. But placing too many pieces in a room quickly turns it from comfortable to claustrophobic. Make sure to leave open spaces that you can enjoy.

16 Hoarding too much stuff.- Everyone know some one who verges on the brink of being a hoarder. Marie Kondo had one thing right: If you don’t use or like something, get rid of it. Someone else will enjoy it, and you’ll be able to breathe again.

17 Putting things in the wrong place.- Having too much stuff can make a room feel crowed, but so can putting things in the wrong place. Play with open spaces around the room and make sure you have enough of them to feel comfortable.

18 Holding on to things you’ll never use.- This goes hand in hand with hoarding. That tennis racket you think you might pick up one day? Let it go! It’s better to buy another one then to have an unused racket gathering dust and taking up space in your storage room.

19 Over crowding coat racks.- Coat racks are usually right at the entryway of homes. That means they’re one of the first things that people see when entering. When they get overfilled, it’s a quick way to make a room look cluttered. Keep your coat racks as clear as possible.

20 Not having a place for shoes.- Kids and adults alike are guilty of walking into a house and kicking their shoes off at the door. This makes a mess that can cause tripping hazard’s. It also makes getting out the door difficult. Putting in a shoe rack is a great way to avoid these problems.

21 Having too much open shelving.- Open shelving is a popular style these days but it actually can look more cluttered. Even worse, it means appliances gather dust faster and more conspicuously.

22 Having a too large table.- Trying to cram an overly large table onto a corner means losing lots of valuable space. Not only that, but tables are magnets for clutter. So, keeping your table small will only help you.

23 Choosing carpet over hard flooring. While our parents and grandparents loved their carpeting, it’s actually not a great choice for homes. For one thing, it makes rooms feel more confined. It also makes rooms more difficult to clean. Having hard floors gives you the opportunity to break up space with eye catching rugs.

24 Matching your decor too closely.- You might think that matching decor is a good idea but there’s a line. Not having enough variety in your decoration means not having a focal point in a room, which can make it feel cramped and uncomfortable.

25 Keeping your room too dark.- Sometimes, all you need to make a room feel better is a little bit of light. If your home is too dark, consider installing more light fixtures. Or using brighter light bulbs. It can make a huge difference in how a room looks and feels.

26 Pushing furniture against the wall.- Do you think pushing the furniture against the wall will open up a room? Well, it will technically. But that doesn’t mean it will feel more comfortable. Spacing your furniture in a way that alternates open and closed spaces will help a room look less cluttered.

27 Nat having a focal point.- A room needs a good focal point to center it and make it feel great. That might be a table, a television, a window, or a great picture on the wall. Centering attention to one place will create a feeling or organization.

28 Not having a color scheme.- There’s a bit of technique that goes into making a room comfortable and attractive. You’ll need to decide on a color scheme before diving in for some variation, this should be several colors, not just one.

29 Not dividing spaces.- Arranging furniture is a game of dividing spaces. Don’t just push everything up against the wall. Instead, play with negative space to see what feels the best to you.

30 Not mixing colors.

So now that you know these 30 tips, you may want to read this https://uncommomspaces.com/why-decorating-makes-you-feel-good/

How to encourage kids to be tidy.

If your home is like mine, it can be a never ending battle to get your kids to pick up after themselves at time. In my case older kids are even worse hen the little ones. Perhaps it has something to do with that teen attitude. But no matter what their ages, there are things you can do to encourage your kids to be tidy. Yes, you can have tidy kids!

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Its really a matter of knowing how to make it easy for them, and this is what I’ve learned through the years. As a former teacher at a day care, I believe these ideas to work!

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I have learned that as long as kids are living in my house, it will never look the way I want it to. But tidy is one of my favorite words to describe what I’m looking for. Again, far from perfect, but as long as its presentable and liveable, I have learned to be content. Some day when my kids are grown and on their own, I can have a clean home again.

There are things that we can do as parents to make cleaning up easier for our kids, however. I have greater success with making it as simple and straight forward as possible for my kids. The following are methods I find to be helpful with kids of all ages.

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Here are some things you can do to encourage your kids to be tidy too.

Set a good example of keeping things picked up.

Even if life is busy, you as a mom need to at least demonstrate what your expectations are and being consistent in how you care for your things and are tidy your self.

Teach your kids to care for their things.

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You will show them more than once in order for them to learn what your expect and to master the art of doing it. Especially if they are younger.

Use the pick up rule.

From a young age, teach your child to pick up after themselves before getting the next thing out. This is the pick up rule. Its amazing how simple this concept is, but its so hard to implement since kids can create a tornado in the two minutes that you are using the bathroom.

Maximize closet space in kids rooms.

Put a lower bar in their closet using a tension rod to put their hanging things with in their reach. This will make cleaning up their clothes on their own so much easier.

Organize kids toys smart.

Store toys in clear or opaque containers. That way, it will be easy for your kids to see how full each container is and to quickly sort the containers properly if they get out of hand. You can find these containers at the Dollar Tree.

Label where kids toys go.

Label their toys containers either with words or pictures of whats in each bin. You can purchase peel and stick labels at the Dollar Tree. But there are plenty of other ways of labeling as well.

Kids dress up clothes organization.

Keep dress up clothes on a simple coat stand or set of hooks. This will avoid taking up precious closet or cupboard space, and will add some color and fun to the room.

Label where kids clothes go.

Label their dresser drawers with words or a picture of what goes in each one. This is how to deal with kids who are not old enough to read yet. All kids can look at a picture and put things in the correct places.

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Organize small things in containers.

Use small container in their dresser drawers to keep things like socks, underware, belts, and slippers together. This is such a simple thing to do, and it makes a world of difference in them being able to maintain some sense of order inside drawers. This is especially true if their drawers are large.

Hooks work great for kids clothes and things.

Provide them with a few hooks in their room to hang hats, partially worn clothes, or even a sweater, sweatshirt or coat. This can be a really cute way of adding a pop of color or decorative touch to the room while also creating more room in precious drawer space.

Use a binder for kids special things and keep sakes.

Create a binder with clear page protectors for them to keep their treasures in. Most kids like to hang on to things that have special meaning to them. This could be things like birthday cards, special pictures, or letters from friends or loved ones. This way these things not only have a place, but they are also forced to pick and choose between what to keep and what to toss. This keeps them from hanging on to too much clutter.

In our home we enjoy doing crafts, and there is always left over parts. I find this falls into the binder category. We get this great box We Craft Box that has amazing cool things for kids to create, and even has a story that goes along with it!

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Let kids choose where their toys belong.

Let them be involved in the decision as to where to put their things. If they are part of the process, they are more likely to want to put things away.

Store kids pajamas out of sight.

Have your kids keep the pajamas they may wear for more than one night under their pillow to avoid having to look for them at bed time. That way they pajamas are out of sight, yet they are easy to find when bed time rolls around. I always say, what ever I can do to make bed time go a bit smoother is a good thing.

Color code different kids towels.

Have a different colored towel and wash cloth for each child so they can be responsible for taking care of their own towel and wash cloth after using them. When the bathroom is a mess of towels or wash clothes you know just who to seek out based on the color. It makes it so much easier to hold your kids accountable.

Choose kids packaging wisely (or get rid of it)

Get rid of excess packaging or packages that just don’t make sense or aren’t easy to use.

Schedule a 10 min. tidy 3 or 4 times each day.

Looking to have tidy kids? Tired of cleaning up after your kids? Put these principals into practice and experience the peace and calm that kids who are tidy can bring into the home.

How to organize your fridge to keep your food fresher longer. (And cut your energy bill.)

Tip: Your fridge isn’t just a closet for food – it’s a high tech device that helps you store all of your favorite snacks, condiments, and meal fixins in optimal conditions. Not only do refrigerators have different compartments that serve different purposes, they also have different temperature zones. This means that if your storing things in the wrong place, your not taking advantage of the modern miracle of refrigeration. And that leads to loss of food, loss of money, and less desire to cook at home. (Who wants to face down a crisper drawer of wilted greens? Talk about a bummer)

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Chill out!

Food needs to be maintained at cold temperatures to prevent the growth of bacteria and other microbes that make food spoil – and can make people sick. Refrigerators should be kept at 40F or lower and freezers should be set at 0 f. But even when the refrigerator is sufficiently cold, the temperature will vary in different parts of the fridge, depending on how close they are to the cooling element. Master the art of the refrigerator, and your food will last longer.

Your game plan:

Freezer

Lets start with the obvious stuff: Freezers are for storing frozen things (duh!) You’r ice goes in the freezer, as do frozen fruits, veggies, meat, stock and other items. You can also store a surprising number of other foods in the freezer for latter use, such as tortillas, pasta sauce, and even eggs. (note: you can freeze bread for up three months, but don’t store it in the fridge or it will dry out) The trick with freezers is to pack foods tightly in their containers, and keep things well organized, since this optimizes storage space and also saves energy. (And moolah on the energy bill) Rather then using glass jars, which can break, freeze food in stackable plastic storage containers or in plastic freezer bags laid flat.

Doors

Doors are the warmest part of the fridge and should be reserved for foods that are most resistant to spoiling. Keep condiments, juices and other foods that can stand up to temperature fluctuations here. (and remember, that even condiments have a shelf life). Since fridge doors can get warm (particularly when they’re opened often), eggs and dairy shouldn’t go here, even if you guzzle milk straight from the carton all the live long day. (although, if that’s how you roll, you have bigger bacteria to worry about)

Upper shelves

The upper shelves of the fridge have the most consistent temps, while lower shelves are coldest. One pro strategy from restaurant kitchens is to place foods that don’t need to be cooked near the top of the fridge. This includes left overs, drinks, and ready to eat foods, like tortilla hummus and deli meat. Herbs can be kept fresh by placing them upright in a vase or jar with a plastic bag. You’ll want to keep berries up here for easy access. See crisper section for more berry info.

Lower shelves

The lower shelves are your best bet for raw meat, eggs, seafood, and other dairy to be stored at the coldest temps. To prevent raw meats bacteria from spreading to other areas, assign a particular section of the fridge as your meat locker. Keep meat in its original packaging, and place it on a plate or in an improvised bin that is cleaned regularly.

Overall: Don’t over crowd your shelves too much. Unlike the freezer, the fridge shouldn’t be totally packed. Cold air needs to flow here, and if it can’t you’ll get inconsistent temps with pockets of heat and warmth. (Luke warm yogurt anyone?) Leaving a little wiggle room between your left overs will also help keep your energy bill down.

Crisper drawers

The purpose of crisper drawers is to maintain moist conditions that help preserve fruits and veggies. But don’t make the mistake of jumbling all your produce together in a fruit and veggie free for all. Many fruits, including apples, peaches, plums, pears, and cantaloupes, produce ethylene, a chemical that helps them to ripen. Unfortunately the ethylene produced can also promote ripening in other plants, causing veggies to yellow and go limp or even sprout. So keep veggies in one drawer and fruits in the other.

Fruits and veggies should be washed before eating, but too much moisture can cause foods to flip from ripe to rotten before you can get your antioxidents on. The goal is to was fruits and veggies when its convenient, but not so far in advance that they are likely to spoil before you eat them. When washing fruit, remove extra moisture by draining in a colander, blotting with a paper towel, or using a salad spinner. Berries are particularly fragile so handle with care. Once washed, put greens and herbs in a plastic bag or container with a square of paper towel to soak up extra moisture. Out the containers back in the crisper for longer term storage, or on the top shelf where you more likely to see them.

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On top of the fridge.

If you’ve been using the top of your fridge like a food attic, stacking bottles or merlot or loaves of bread up there, stop! Even if you kitchen is tiny and that spaces feels super convenient, its not a smart idea. To regulate cold temps inside, the fridge’s condenser coil pumps warm air out, and heat rises around the appliances cabinet. Results: It gets pretty warm up top. Heat is krytonite to wine. And it will make bread mold faster. The best use of this space? Store appliances or supplies like paper towels or a stack of cook books.

To fridge or not to fridge…

One of the tougher questions is figuring out if something goes in the fridge in the first place. Certain foods don’t belong in the fridge. Tomatoes will turn mealy and odorless in the fridge – keep the comfy at room temp. Onions, squash, and potaotes do best in a cooler environment with low moisture, so store them in a dark cupboard or other place outside the fridge. Avacado’s and many fruits are just fine being left on the counter to ripen, but can also go in the fridge to slow the process down if needed. Herbs can be kept in the fridge in a vase or the counter top. If they’ll be used in a few days.

Then there’s the gray zone: Foods that can be refrigerated to maintain maximum freshness and quality but don’t have to be refrigerated, if you use them quickly. For example, nuts, nut flours, nut butters, are just fine to store in the cupboard, but refrigeration will help maintain the natural oils. So refrigerate if your house is warm or you wont be using with in a few weeks.

Like wise whole grain flours and oils such as canola, safflowers and olive oil will last longer if stored in the fridge away from warm temps. Bottom line: if these products are laying around your home for a long time. Putting them in the center or upper shelves of your fridge (or freezer) will help prevent off flavors that can develop over time.

7 things to do in November to save your sanity in December.

Ok, Halloween is behind us, now, as much as I don’t want to skip over November and rush though Thanksgiving – it’s actually my favorite Holiday – every year I try to use this month to accomplish as many Christmas tasks as I can, so that by the time December arrives I’m in pretty good shape. Here’s how I use November to relax in December.

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Take a Christmas picture.

Actually I get a jump start on Christmas cards a whole year before by shopping for cards on major clearance after Christmas. Then I pack them away so I don’t have to pay top dollar for them in November. Our family has made it a tradition to take a family photo on Thanksgiving. I then order 40-50 prints from Mixbook’s Holiday Card Collection There are plenty of creative options from cards to decorative boarders on your pictures. Then all that’s left is to address the envelopes.

Shop for gifts every Friday.

We have to budget for Christmas. I pay bills every Friday, so each week I allow $50 to buying Christmas gifts I’ve saved to my Amazon wish list through out the year. Since we are member of Amazon Prime I never have to pay shipping and can have a box of gifts delivered each week.

Check wrapping supplies.

I take 5 minutes to check my wrapping supplies in November, then pick up a roll or two of paper, shirt boxes, and tissue paper at the Dollar Tree.

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Start baking

Baking may not be your thing, but its a tradition in our family to make tons of different kinds of cookies each year. Not only do we have a cookie tray on the counter through out the whole season, we use them as gifts for the neighbors and the kids teacher and bus drivers. So each week starting in mid October I make 1 kind of cookie and freeze them. If they need decorating I sometimes save that step for the kids and I to do together when it gets closer to Christmas. I also double my pie crust recipe so I have an extra shell if I need to bring a dessert or something.

Make and freeze side dishes.

I always end up hosting at least 2 Christmas dinners at my home. I’m responsible for providing the main course. I try to make sure enough sides are made by those I ask. But I feel that if I have guests in my home, they shouldn’t have to worry about making something to bring. So I just double the ingredients at Thanksgiving and freeze. So then all I have to do come Christmas, is thaw and bake.

Shop for Christmas dinner.

Sometimes we host Christmas dinner. If is our turn, I make a list of what I making and shop for the ingredients a little bit each week on my regular trips to the grocery store. That way I’m not stuck with a huge grocery bill at the worst time of the year to spend more money.

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Plan Christmas activities.

Finally, I take a look at our December calendar and plan out when our other Christmas activities will happen. We always get our tree the weekend after Thanksgiving, so that already there. Sometimes we go see a Christmas movie, some times we celebrate with friends with a white elephant party. I get it all on the calendar in November to save my sanity in December.

What are your tips and tricks for making use of the count down to Christmas?

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Things you can do now to get ready for Thanksgiving!

Thanks giving is coming up fast. But there are a few things you can do now that you can check off your list. That way, when its crunch time…you’ve already done it!

This is so important, especially when your hosting larger gatherings.

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Clean your china

Do you have seasonal or formal dinner ware that you use for this occasion? What about glass are? If you are like me, they have been sitting in storage all year and its time to wash the dust off of them.

Clean and iron the linens.

What linens are you going to use? A table cloth? Place mats? Napkins? Are they clean? Did you iron them? This is a huge time saving step you can do right now.

Polish the silver.

If you have silver or silver plated cutlery, they may require polishing. Take them out of the cabinet and decide if they need to be polished.

Decide your meal plan.

Have you decided what exact recipes your going to make? If you make the same thing every year and use the same recipes, great! We always try a new dish or two to see what is a hit or not.

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Make what you can ahead of time- and freeze it.

Now that you meal planned, is there some thing you can make ahead of time and freeze? Like maybe your pie dough. We make a soup sometimes that can be made ahead.

Early grocery shopping.

Are there things you can get at the grocery store now to prepare? For instance pie crust? Cranberry perhaps or pumpkin puree in a can? Don’t for get the coffee! Buy 100% Pure Kona Coffee

Below is a list of 25 things you can buy ahead of time.

  • potatoes
  • marshmallows
  • pie crust
  • turkey
  • ham
  • cream cheese
  • frozen veggie
  • butter
  • whipped cream
  • canned olives
  • canned pumpkin
  • seasoning/spices
  • soup
  • canned veggies
  • gravy seasoning packets
  • canned pie filling
  • canned cranberry
  • canned fruit
  • sugar
  • chocolate chips
  • cake mix
  • flour
  • crackers
  • chicken broth
  • stuffing mix
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ingredients

  • 1 1/2 lb sweet potatoes
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  • 2 lg eggs
  • 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1/2 tsp nutmeg
  • 1 9 in pie crust

Preparation

  • pre heat over to 350 f
  • boil sweet potatoes in their skins 45-50 min
  • run under cold water, then peel skins
  • Blend potatoes in a blender for about 1 min. To make sure all fibers are broken. Place in a bowel, with butter and mix well. Add sugar, milk, eggs and cinnamon, vanilla, nutmeg. Beat on med speed until smooth
  • Pour into pie crust and bake for 50-60 min. Let cool before cutting.

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10 tips for controlling clutter in kids bedrooms.

Kids bedrooms, Is there anything more scary to think about when it comes to keeping things clean, organized and clutter free then kids bedrooms? Maybe, but they certainly can be a clutter collector.

When all together, there are 5 kids in this family. 4 of which have to share a bedroom. I have become an expert in this area. I have mastered some techniques when it comes to making kids bedrooms liveable and manageable for our kids. At the same time, these techniques keep my boyfriend and I happy too. Since expecting perfection isn’t realistic.

You may want to watch for my upcoming post “how to encourage kids to be tidy.

In everything I have learned, I think there are 10 key ingredients in controlling the clutter in kids bedroom, and here they are.

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1 Limit the opportunity for clutter to collect.

This means keeping the amount of “stuff” they have in their rooms to a reasonable and manageable amount. This amount is completely personal and also depends on the size of the bedroom. You also have to take into account the availability of space in the other areas of the house for their things. It also depends on how many children are in the bedroom, and so much more. I cannot stress enough the importance of being reasonable in what is kept in your kids bedrooms and is not.

2 Train your children to be involved in controlling the clutter in their room from the time they can walk.

Kids who are only one can learn to put their pajamas on the bed for instance. Giving them age appropriate tasks from the earliest age is vital. Then, continue to train them while also holding them to age appropriate standard.

3 Declutter/cleaning needs to happen at least 2 times a day.

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I have discovered that kids are easily overwhelmed when it comes to keeping their own space clutter free. For this reason, keeping clutter under control is essential. This is also true for us, but teaching this basic concept to our kids early is setting them up for success in this area.

4 To keep kids bedrooms clutter free, you must have the proper tools.

As I have said in reference to other areas reguarding the things we need our family members to be a part of, we have to make is painfully easy for them to do so. Make sure there is ample storage available for clutter prone things. I find multi – purpose things are especially clever. The Dollar Tree has many options available.

5 Label where you want things to go.

Labels make it easy for anyone and everyone to put things where they belong. With out a label you husband may not know where the kids books or toys belong. This means that it will be very difficult for him to help. Labels also avoid kids being able to argue, “I don’t know where that belongs” as an excuse for being lazy. When labels are being used properly, it saves time since you will not have to continually go in and reorganize everything.

6 Be specific in organizing and labeling things down into smaller groups of like items.

When you have a bin labeled “trucks” ideally you wont be finding trucks put in a different area. If your bin is labeled toys, everyone will have a harder time finding things they are looking for. General labels will also make it more difficult to return things to the correct spot. Having a drawer labeled winter tights will be more organized then just having a place for tights and socks for instance. The Dollar Tree has many types of stickers that can be used as labels.

7 Don’t shy away from implementing “stuff rotation”.

Whether it’s clothes, books, toys, or something entirely different, proactively making sure there isn’t too much to get cluttered in the first place is key. One easy way to avoid this is to rotate the things in kids bedrooms every couple of months. Having less is often a welcome sign in many kids eyes.

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8 Involve your kids.

Allowing your kids to be involved in how their room works ensures that they will be more willing to help you keep their space clutter free. Give them a space they enjoy being and that they can take pride in.

9 Avoid being an emotional collector.

Don’t hang on to things for emotional or sentimental reasons. We all have things that are important to us. But limiting the amount of things we keep for the sake of keeping them is needed. Doing this is important for you. It is also important that your kids have a good role model in this area. There are numerous things you can do to preserve the memory while letting the item go.

10 Only allow approved items to come into your kids bedroom.

Kids bedrooms should not be a dumping grounds for things that belong else where any more then our master bedroom in the first place. As I have mentioned before when deciding on what to allow your child to have, keep in mind that everything they have must be stored.

Always being mindful of this has kept me from allowing certain things into my home just from a storage stand point. This was something I came to learn the hard way.

Clutter can so easily collect in kids bedrooms. But doing these 10 things has greatly helped limit the clutter issues we have in our kids bedrooms. They will help you as well.

Fall clean up – 5 Spaces to organize every fall.

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Its time for round 2 in the fall clean up. Round 1 was the list of 10 spots to purge every fall. Today digs deeper into organizing 5 areas as we start to prepare for cooler weather and busier schedules.

Fall kitchen organization

The decluttering step last week should have cleared out everything that was expired. So, now its time to organize what is left. I’d recommend thinking about the three things that make you crazy when you are trying to cook or put away clean dishes and focus your time on those. Here’s a few ideas from our kitchen.

I don’t bake often through out the year, but various baking supplies were spread through out the pantry. When I organized the pantry, I grouped them all together in a dollar store plastic bin. Before using the bin, I spray painted it to match the rest of the pantry accents. Now, when ever I’m in desperate need of home made chocolate chip cookies, I can pull the whole bin out to the kitchen.

Can organizer/storage bins Using bins to corral similar items also works inside the fridge. The hour I spent organizing the fridge like this two years ago was so worth it. It finally started to get out of control again this summer, so I’ll be getting it back into shape this week as part of my personal fall clean up.

The plastic ware is another great cabinet to tackle before the season of holiday left overs begin. I don’t know what took me so long to figure out how to store them, but I get a little excited every time I open the cabinet and see them under control.

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Fall coat closet/mudroom organization

If you’ve got kids in school, now is the time to figure out a landing zone for back packs, shoes, coats ect. Having a routine place to drop things and help control clutter.

You can fake a mudroom really inexpensively using a cube organizer on its side by the front door, with a bin for each family member. Above the bins, add coat hooks for back packs and your all set.

If you’ve really got limited space like we do in our garage entry, I’ve been really happy with the slim hooks we installed for coats. The hooks flip up flush when not being used, and hold a surprising amount of weight. Its great in the middle of winter when we load them down. It was a great way to utilize the space behind the door.

Organizing kids rooms

I mentioned that fall is a great time to de clutter kids rooms of toys and out grown clothing last week. But then what do you do with everything that is left? Bins and baskets are a huge help!

I will have more tips on this in a upcoming post “De cluttering and organizing a child’s room.”

Organizing the guest bedroom

Is anyone else guilty of letting the guest bed turn into a landing pad for the most random crap?

I kid you not, there was still Christmas junk on ours in June! Thank goodness we had some family come and stay with us so I had to clean it up.

Don’t wait until right before Thanksgiving or Christmas to organize your guest space. No one needs more things to do around the holidays.

ATTITUDE

Office/homework/craft space organization.

The last place I think fall is the perfect time to organize is where ever you keep craft/and or office supplies. Even though I’m not currently in school (thank goodness) I get a bit excited about school supplies and office organization every fall. If you’ve been following along you know I got a jump start on this one and have my paper clutter and office organization under control. You can find this article under my organization tab on the home page.

There is a reason I think we should work on the organization of these areas every fall.

Our lives and habits evolve, which I believe is why some people think organization doesn’t work. They do it once and expect it to last forever.

Tweaking the system once a year lets you evaluate whats working and what needs to be updated. Having a designated season to work on key areas of your house will help you stay on top of everything year round. And that makes the time spent so worth it for me.

What do you think? Did I hit or miss the most important areas for fall organizing?

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Fall bucket list ideas.

Every list is going to be different, but here are some ideas to add to your bucket list.

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Fall is my favorite season. Here in Wisconsin, the weather is perfect, the foliage is beautiful, and there are a ton of fall activities to do with the family. Our family is really big on doing activities together, but with so many ideas , its sometimes hard to keep them all straight, and make sure they all actually happen. Creating a fall bucket list has been the perfect solution to ensuring we intentionally plan out the fall season and maximize our time together as a family. Prior to creating out bucket list we would frequently say “one day we should do ___” but they never seem to happen. Either we forget about them, or simply run out of free time to schedule them. That’s why having a personalized fall bucket list is a must have.

Why do you need a fall bucket list?

  • Do you sit around wondering how you can fill your days?
  • Are your weekends filled with various birthday parties and get together’s, and you never have time to fit in your own family fun?
  • Do you look back on prior months and wish you did certain things that you never got a chance to do?
  • Do you always intend to catch up with certain friends (or schedule play dates) but never come around to doing it?
  • Do you have a list of books you want to read, movies you want to see, or concerts you want to attend?
  • Do you wonder what to do with the kids on a rainy day?
  • Do you look back on the fall and wonder where it went, but don’t have anything to show for it?
  • Do you want to maximize your fall and have the most fun ever?

If you answered YES to any of these questions, you need a fall bucket list.

A fall bucket list is a simple resource that encourages you to brain storm all the fun activities that you want to plan. Having a fall bucket list encourages you to think about the life that you want to live and is the first step to putting it into action. By putting together a fall bucket list you are forced to think about all the things you want to do, people you want to see, places you want to go, and put them out into the universe to happen.

Putting together a family fall bucket list gives everyone in the family a chance to choose adventures and contribute to your family’s precious memories.

How do I put together a fall bucket list?

Typically, you put together a fall bucket list in the beginning of fall. But there isn’t any reason you can’t start mid fall! All you need is a paper and pen.

To start, brainstorming all of the fun activities and adventures you want to go on. I like to categorize my bucket lists into the following categories.

  • Outdoor
  • indoor
  • night time
  • places to go
  • play date’s to schedule
  • people to visit
  • things to make
  • things to learn
  • book/movies/concerts

I like to do this together as a family. That way everyone gets a say and can contribute to planning the fun.

Putting your fall bucket list into action.

Once you have your personalized fall bucket list, you have to put it into action. Writing it all down is a good first step, but planning it out is even better. Grab a calendar to start scheduling out when you want to do the various activities on your list.

I prefer to schedule out the big activities in advance but leave some room for spontaneity (you cant predict the weather, so it would be hard to schedule all the out door and indoor activities in advance with out knowing the weather.)

What to put on your family fall bucket list.

Every list is going to be different, but here are some ideas that we have on our bucket list.

Outdoor fall activities

  • Apple picking
  • bobbing for apples
  • decorate your porch
  • do a corn maze
  • farmers market
  • fishing
  • go to a foot ball game
  • grave yard tour
  • have a fall scavenger hunt
  • Halloween trick or treating
  • haunted house
  • hiking
  • jump in a corn pit
  • jump in leaves
  • mini golf
  • park/picnic at the park
  • play catch/foot ball
  • take a hay ride
  • take family pictures
  • visit a brewery/winery

Indoor fall activities

  • bake pumpkin pie/bread
  • bowling
  • bounce house
  • build a blanket fort
  • can your veggies and fruit from the summer
  • carve a pumpkin
  • cook a new recipe
  • create a care box for our troops
  • create a memory box or time capsule
  • eat/drink pumpkin spice everything
  • make an apple pie
  • make candy apples
  • make pumpkin seeds to eat.

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  • play board games
  • rock climbing
  • trampoline park
  • visit your local library
  • write a letter to a friend

Night time fall activities

  • campfire smores
  • drive in movie
  • game night
  • have a sleep over
  • make fondue
  • star gazing
  • make your own pizza

Things to make in the fall

  • build a scare crow
  • create a fall wreath
  • create a halloween costume
  • create a summer photo book
  • leaf painting
  • make a pumpkin volcano
  • make a thankful tree
  • make homemade ice cream
  • make a no sew blanket

Other ideas for your fall bucket list.

  • books to read
  • concerts you want to attend
  • movies you want to watch
  • people to visit
  • places to go
  • play dates to schedule
  • things you want to learn about.

5 bad habits that keep your home a cluttered mess.

Good habits can put a clutter – free home on auto pilot for you. And bad habits can ensure that things stay cluttered. Forming new habits isn’t easy, but its worth it.

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Want to know the difference between those with cluttered, messy homes, and those with mostly clutter free homes?

HABITS!

Good habits can put a clutter-free home on auto pilot for you. And bad habits can ensure that things stay cluttered. Forming new habits isn’t easy. But it’s worth it.

Imagine returning home after a busy day. You walk in the door tired, but your glad to be home. Look around. Your house looks pretty good- not perfect, but tidy enough that you feel you can relax for a few minutes before starting dinner.

Isn’t that what you want? Its what we all want. Keep reading to learn which bad habits have been keeping you stuck. Replace bad habits with good ones to create the decluttered home you really want.

I’ll walk you through every one of the habit changes, one easy step at a time.

Sick of all the clutter in your life? Learn the 5 bad habits that keep your home cluttered.

1 You’re so overwhelmed with it all that you’ve given up trying.

Solution: Don’t give up yet! Its not hopeless. Keep reading!

2 You don’t put things away through out the day.

You (and your family)

  • Leave papers scattered through out your home.
  • leave dishes though out the house, on the coffee table, side tables, dressers and bedside tables.
  • Leave clothes (both dirty and clean) strewn about the home, on the floor, on the couch, over the backs of chairs.
  • Leave other items all over the house rather than putting them away when finished using them.

Don’t feel bad. These a very common sources of clutter. And good habits can help you do away with this type of daily surface clutter.

Solution: Make putting things away an automatic habit you practice as you go about your day.

  • When you leave a room, take dirty dishes with you and load them in the dishwasher immediately. If there are no dirty dishes, take other -out-of-place items and put them away. (clothes, papers, ect.)
  • After you fold laundry, put it away. It really doesn’t take long. Enlist some help from family members to make this even quicker.
  • When you take off clothing, hang it/fold it or put it in the hamper. Teach your children to do the same. It will take time for this to become a habit, but its possible. Put hampers in every room where dirty clothes get left.
  • Put important papers that need attention in an inbox/basket.
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3 You don’t put things away upon returning home.

Keys, jacket, bags, phone, mail, ect. Are all deposited in the most convenient spot.

Solution: Practice a threshold routine.

You’ve probably heard of morning routines, evening routines, and daily routines. Those are all good things.

But you also need a “return home routine” That rolls off the tongue slowly, so I like the term “threshold routine”

When you cross over your threshold with stuff in your hands, put it where it belongs.

  • Hang jackets
  • put keys on hooks, or in a basket/bowl
  • Put your phone, purse, and other bags in designated places.
  • Empty shopping bags, put everything away, and store/recycle the bags.
  • Open/recycle/shred papers, putting important ones that need attention in an inbox/basket.
  • Open packages, put things away and recycle the boxes.

This goes A LONG way toward helping you maintain a decluttered home.

It may sound like a time-consuming process but, really, its not. Try it and see. If you time yourself, you’ll see just how quick it is to do these things.

4 You don’t have a “place for everything” That’s working for you.

  • Your previous organizing efforts are a bit troublesome to use, there for no one is using the system you set uo including you.
  • You haven’t de cluttered closets, drawers, and shelves of things you don’t need or use. This makes it difficult to put things away (see #2 & #3 above) which keeps your home messy. This creates a vicious cycle, but it can be broken!

A place for everything, and everything in its place:

That’s my motto, and sort of my mantra that I keep repeating to myself, to make sure I stay on track. And its the most important organizing principal for maintaining a clutter free home. Making the ‘place’ easy and convenient to use help ensure things get put where they belong rather then left out on the most convenient surface.

Solution: Set up easy to use on hand storage solutions, like open baskets, trays, hooks. Frequently remind your family menbers to use them until this becomes a habit.

5 You don’t follow a daily routine

“If you fail to plan, you are planning to fail” Benjamin Franklin

We all need a basic routine to follow each day.

Will you accomplish everything you plan to each day? Not likely. But that’s no excuse to give up completely. And let the days get away from you day after day and week after week.

Solution: Create a simple daily routine on paper and start using it. Put it some place in easy sight, like the fridge door. And hold yourself accountable.

To create a simple daily routine, get a sheet of paper. Across the top of the page write Monday – Sunday. Down the left side of the page write each important task you need accomplished each day. Those tasks should include things like:

  • unload the dish washer before breakfast]was/dry/fold/put away one load of laundry
  • decide on/prep dinner
  • one urgent task

If your just getting started with a daily routine, keep it very simple. If you add too many tasks to it, you may quickly become discouraged and give up.

Start with micro habits so small that you have no excuse not to do them.

The four tasks listed above are the bare minimum chores required to successfully run a household. You need to be able to load dirty dishes to keep your kitchen reasonably clean through out the day. You and your family need dinner. You and your family need clean clothes, and most days have at least one really urgent task that needs to be completed. Complete these four things each day and you will feel like a success.

Once you fall into habit with these basic tasks for a few weeks or a month try adding one more task to your daily routine.

You can do this!

Your home will be cleaner, and you’ll be happier.