3 Quick and Simple Organizing Ideas

This post brought to you by Gecko Tech. All opinions are 100% mine.

Lately I've been trying to purge, streamline, and simplify my life as much as possible. With the start of school and sports, efficiency is the key in getting my jam-packed schedule done. In order to accomplish that, I need organization. Last week I shared my weekly planner to keep my head organized, and this week I'm sharing 3 simple tips to keep the day to day stuff organized using Gecko Tech Reusable Hooks. Because they are removable, waterproof, and reusable, they're perfect for my temporary rental abode.

1. Clean up that craft area. Since part of my job is to create and share projects on a deadline, I need a space to do that. And, because I'm doing that in between working a regular 9-5 and parenting 2 little ones, I have to get my craft on quickly. It's incredibly frustrating when I only have an allocated 30 minutes to work and I spend 10 minutes of that time trying to find a supply. It only took a minute to hang up my most frequently used bobbins, but will save me lots of minutes later when I don't have to search for them in my drawer of clutter.

2. Since I cook dinner every evening (okay, almost every evening) my kitchen has to function well. Night after night, I kept finding myself crouched on the floor pulling out 5 pots and pans just to find one lid. Not only do your quads start to burn, once you find the lid, you then have to restack everything you just pulled out. The little one always seemed to get buried under whatever had come out of the dishwasher last. 

So I did something about it. Stick a couple Gecko Tech hooks to the insides of your cabinets and you'll never have to search for the little lost lids again. Remember, they're removable and reusable so you won't damage the cabinets and can always move or reposition if your needs change.

3. Conquer those bath toys. After cooking dinner each night comes bath time and the kids love to play. Thing is, they don't love to clean up and that hanging mesh bag thing was useless before. Even when they did get the toys back in there, the suction cups never held. Especially when the toys were wet and heavy. Then it became just a big bag of wet mildew toys laying in the tub all the time. Since the Gecko Tech hooks are waterproof, you can use them in the shower. Love that. Good bye suction cups and hello to toys that might actually dry before the next bath.

That's it. 3 simple, quick, and effective ways to streamline the day-to-day stuff using Gecko Tech Reusable Hooks. If you're looking for more creative inspiration, follow the makers of Gecko Tech, The Duck Brand, on Twitter and go pick up Gecko Tech hooks at Meijer stores and soon on Amazon and at Office Max. Happy organizing.

Visit Sponsor's Site

DIY House Number Planter

This post is sponsored by Plaid Crafts but my opinions are my own.
Summer is coming to an end and my once fab landscaping is starting to look a bit tired. The porch is kinda blah and you can't see the house numbers if you're on the porch. They are way out on the garage. Time for a quick and cheap refresh to brighten things up until I get to cover it in pumpkins (squeeeel) and to help the UPS man out. For this project I used Martha Stewart Decoupage and an old unfinished wood toolbox that was collecting dust under my bathroom sink. Don't ask why it was under the sink... seemed like a good storage place at the time.

Here's the toolbox before. It was unfinished wood and quite orange.

Here is a shot of some of the new Martha Stewart Decoupage items available at Michaels. Below is a list of what I used for this project.

Supplies (Available at Michaels):

  • Martha Stewart Wood Stain (both dark and white)
  • Martha Stewart Decoupage (I used the matte finish)
  • Martha Stewart Metallic paints
  • Martha Stewart Metallic Doily Accents
  • Martha Stewart Decoupage Brushes

Step 1:
Stain the box with a mix of the dark stain and white stain.

I just drizzled it on and rubbed it in with a rag. 
Same thing with the white.  It gave me a nice aged grayish color.

Step 2:
Tape of some decorative stripes and paint with the metallic paints. This part is up to you. Go crazy.

Step 3: Add the metallic doily accents using the decoupage medium. I painted some on the toolbox and on the back of the actual doilies. Then, painted a coat over top. They stuck really easily and bent around the side with no problem. I love the metallic gold against the rustic wood.

Step 4: Add your house numbers. I didn't have any stencils on hand, so I printed my numbers out, cut them out, then traced with a pencil.

Then I hand painted them with a small craft brush using a variety of paints. I also couldn't help myself and painted the handle a bright teal. :)

That's it.  A quick craft both functional and cute. Just pop your pots inside. Now the poor UPS man won't have to backtrack into the yard to make sure he has the right place.

If you're looking for more creative craft inspiration from Plaid... stalk away.
Facebook  -  Twitter  -  Pinterest  -  Blog


Life Inspired Link Party #8 + Giveaway

It's Wednesday! Time to link up again and be inspired. Here are a few of my favorites from last week.

And I know I don't usually post anything about food but I just had to. These look ah-ma-zing.

My hosts and I have been busy as well. Here's what we've been up to.

Remember, the Martha Stewart Craft Decoupage giveaway is still going on. Click here to enter.


Moving from Toddler to Big Girl Room

The time has come. My baby is so not a baby anymore. With the start of kindergarten, she's officially a big girl. Not "big girl" like when we told that little white lie and said she was a "big girl" when she was potty trained or when she was a "big girl" the first night she slept in a real bed, and not a crib. This time it's the real deal. Complete with eye rolls, "whatevers", and yes, her own opinions on what her room should look like. Out with the toddler pastels and in with whatever the kids are into these days.  haha I'm so old. She's ready for a new look and I'm terrified.

Here's what we're currently working with. Mind you... this was after a giant toy purge. It's very light and soft and baby-ish. I admit.
The bed is her Crib-for-Life. And honestly, I'm kinda hoping it's life would end. I'm a little tired of the light wood and huge foot board. If I can get up the nerve to part with it, this sucker may hit Craig's List soon. The name letters are the same ones I made for her when I was still pregnant. And, since we are renting, the walls need to stay as they are... the lightest shade of pink... almost white.

Yes, this is clean. To say we have a storage problem would be a good assumption. I don't mind the dresser, but the shelves need a do-over. They no longer display a few pretty things. They just collect all things now. The hamper is falling apart (the lid was eaten long ago by the dog) and that giant mass of paper in the corner is all the school/daycare papers we've deemed worthy to keep over the years. They look fabulous, don't they :)

Don't be alarmed. That's not an animal. Just fake princess hair hanging out in the doll house.

This dresser was a Craig's List find and is full of dress up. I think this one could use a paint job. Those pillow shams are always there. They only make it onto the pillows if people are coming over. You guys don't count. Ha.

So there ya have it. I've got lots of little plans and projects in my head and she's already picked out new bedding and 4 cans of purple and pink spray paint. I'm hoping by her birthday (October) the big girl transformation will be complete and I'll like it too. :) Stay tuned. I'm anticipating an uphill battle.

One more thing...  Does anyone else's kid hoard like mine??? There's this...
And this...
And this...
I haven't been under the bed yet. I'm sure there's a few more "treasures" waiting for me there too!

If you'd like to see the progress on Operation Big Girl Room, click on the pics below.

Get Organized for Back-to-School + Free Weekly Planner Printable

This is a Sponsored post written by me on behalf of BIC® for SocialSpark. All opinions are 100% mine.
Since school started this week for us, I feel like my life has become ridiculously busy. Seriously. Maybe it's my (a'hem) age, but I just can't keep it all straight. Between kindergarten drop off and pick up (different times on different days), daycare for the little one, soccer (practices and games), meetings, work functions, errands, doctor's appointments, and dinner every night, I have a hard time keeping up. I've tried MANY times to use the calendar on my phone to help me out and it just does not work for me. My husband, being the IT guru he is, cannot understand that. I realize it's easy to use, but I need to see my week all layed out in front of me. I need to draw arrows, and color code, and doodle, and physically write things down as they come to me. The tiny dots on the tiny calendar on my phone just don't cut it. Tell me I'm living in 1996, it's cool, I've accepted it.

So, to keep my life somewhat organized, I write out a weekly plan and color code the different categories. To download this free weekly planner printable, click here! The color coding really lets me know at a quick glance, without even reading, when practices are coming up, when I have a school obligation, when I have a work obligation, when we're out of toilet paper, etc.

For this calendar, I'm using BIC® Atlantis® pens because they come in a variety of colors and were available with all the school supplies. Pick some up while you're shopping. Blue for work/blog obligations, green for sports, pink for school, etc. Find a system that works for you. I realize this is quite a simple thing, but it's really helped me feel less frazzled and stressed. No "OMG, I forgot" 20 minutes before you're supposed to be somewhere.

What simple things help you stay organized when schedules get hectic? If you head over to BIC Back-to-School Instant Win and tell them what excites you most about this back to school season, you'll have a chance to win 1 of over 1,000 awesome prizes. No purchase necesary. U.S. only. 18+. Ends 9/2/13. Sweet deal. :)

Visit Sponsor's Site


Life Inspired Link Party #7 + Giveaway

Wednesday again!  I'm officially the parent of a kindergartener this week and feeling more flustered than ever! I think we have finally decided to hire a cleaning service after an incident this week where someone might not have had any clean undies to wear. I will not mention names, but let's just say I cannot keep up! Work, blogging, kids, cleaning, laundry, dinner, soccer... it's too much! Something has to give. Anyone have a cleaning service? Is it worth it?

Back to the link party... So, if you're like me and can't remember anything these days, subscribe to our mailing list for a weekly reminder! Also, go visit my four other amazing co-hosts... they're nice, I promise.  Balancing HomeSweet C’s DesignsPoofy Cheeks and Sew Woodsy.  Here's what they've been up to this week.

  1. Fall Mantle & Printable from Balancing Home
  2. Make Your Own Cool Tie from Sew Woodsy
  3. Permanent Chalk Writing from Poofy Cheeks
  4. Make an Infinity Scarf in 5 Minutes from Sweet C’s Designs
    And today we have a sweet giveaway from Martha Stewart Crafts new Decoupage line. Giveaway open to US residents only ages 18+ up. Please wait for the rafflecopter to load. Giveaway ends September 4, 2013. So enter to win a nice box of goodies and show off your stuff.

    a Rafflecopter giveaway