Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Show and Tell Tuesday - Organizational Tips and Tricks

I'm linking up with Andrea at Momfessionals to share organizational tips and tricks.

I have to confess, when my husband saw me taking pictures of my planners and asked what I was doing, he totally snickered when I told him I was getting ready for the organization post.  I told him he didn't have to snicker 'quite' so loudly!

I crave organization but don't always accomplish it.  Nevertheless, I was able to scrounge up a few things around my house that help keep things running smoothly.

I have never used planners before this year.  Scratch that...I've never used a personal planner.  I've been using classroom lesson planners for 15 years.  I am in love with my Erin Condren planners for home and school.  They are so pretty.  It makes me want to plan and keep track of things.  I love the interchangeable covers.
I don't double up between my lesson plans and my personal planner unless it is after school or a special dress up day I want to remember.  Then I write the event in both places.

The personal planner has become very useful in helping my husband and me keep track of bills and finances.  We have a 'budget meeting' four times a month when we each get paid to talk about the bills, check off payments made, and plan for the upcoming weeks.  (I can't wait until May because the page colors are so pretty!)

It's not the cleanest spot, but the garage houses all the bikes, sports equipment, bags, and water jugs....not to mention the cars! We installed the track and hook systems a few years ago.  I really like them.  The only drawback is the bins get junked up and we have to reorganize them...as you can see!

We took advantage of overhead space by hanging hooks for the razor three wheelers.  These things are so much fun for the boys, but take up a lot of real estate.  Hanging them was the perfect solution.

More bins on the track system.  The garage is set for a major overhaul and organization session.  We have a community clean up day coming in March where you can place all of your unwanted "treasures" on the curb and the City will come and pick it up free of charge.  Our goal is to get the garage and backyard cleared for that date.

Back inside the house I bought these closet organizers for the boys.  Both of our boys wear uniforms to school and are very involved in soccer that requires specific practice gear and game day wear.  The red organizer is my older son's school uniforms.  When he was littler, I used the days of the week to help keep his daily clothes organized.  As he got older, I switched to a system of placing all his uniform pants in one cubby, shirts in another, Mass day uniform in another, etc.  
The sports organizer is on the left and it holds his practice and game day uniforms.  I organize the sports cubby similar to the school uniforms in that shirts go in one section, shorts in another, game day uniforms in another, etc.  

Right now the boys share a bedroom and a closet.  Hudson's gear is on the other side of the closet.  In looking at this photo, he has WAYYYYY too many pairs of pants!  Need to scale back there!

Both boys also have a dresser that holds underwear, pajamas and their non uniform T-shirts, shorts, pants, and sweatshirts.

We installed this simple shelving system to hold my oldest's trophies and awards from his variety of sports.  My little one is quickly catching up and needs a shelf of his own.

Down the hall in my bedroom is my jewelry box.  I love that it is a mirror on the outside...

...and a jewelry box on the inside!  I just love this thing!  Keeps all my jewelry in one place.

Our house is about 15 years old, but I don't think it was built with great storage in mind.  It has ONE linen closet located in the main hallway, so we use one of the two under-sink cupboards to hold clean towels.

The other under-sink cupboard holds cleaning/personal/beauty supplies.  I started sticking baskets under there to help contain items and allow me to see what I have and what I need.

I try to really be selective in what I keep and what I toss.  I call these four boxes our "Memory Boxes."  The boys' boxes are getting pretty stuffed.  Artwork, report cards, and select schoolwork make up the contents of their boxes.  I might need to upgrade to a larger box for the boys.
 Eric and I also have a box.  It holds cards to and from each other, things we've gotten from the boys, little momentos, etc.  I have to admit, I also have a few more of my own boxes from childhood out in the storage shed.  I keep these boxes on the floor in my closet so they are easy to get to.  If they were in the garage or storage shed, I'd never put stuff in them or the items I want to keep would stack up somewhere like my dining room table.

One last area of organization is in our closet.  Eric had these three-part hampers before we met.  We put towels in the blue one, dry cleaning in the red, and regular laundry in the yellow.  Keeps things separated.
Also in this picture are the two hangers with pants on them.  This is a system I created for myself to keep track of clothes I've worn once.  I'm not sure if this is a secret to share or not, but I usually wear pants and shirts twice before throwing them in the wash.  (I don't usually do this in the summer when I get sweaty, but definitely in the winter.)  Once I wear an item, I hang it on the bottom rack so I know it's been worn once.  After that it gets tossed in the hamper.  All of my clean clothes are hung up on the top racks.

We are certainly not the most organized family, but in writing this post, it made me realize that the few things we do help go a long way towards making life easier.


  1. Visiting from the Tuesday Talk linkup! I just got an Erin Condren and am trying to use it enough to justify the cost. :) I loved getting a glimpse at your organization! (ps- not sure if it's just me, but on your page, there was no white background for the content area and the blue was really hard to read. May be a glitch on my end if there is supposed to be a white background!)

  2. I need that jewelry box with the mirror. That would be perfect in my room right now! Did you get that recently??

  3. Kirsten, thanks for the heads up!

    Sandra - I got it several years ago. It was ordered online. A google search jewelry box wall mount mirrors brought up several options. Hope that helps!

  4. I need to check out those planners- they sound perfect! Thanks for linking up with Tuesday Talk!!