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{Let’s Organize: 2012} Kitchen Countertops: Recap & Link Party

14 Jan

Week One of  Let’s Organize: 2012 is COMPLETE! And I am so excited to check my first item off the list. Kitchen counters were a great and simple project to start with. Ready to see how I organized?

Before:

Not the worst room in my home, but definitely messy. Dirty dishes, clutter, and folded laundry. {Hah!}

After:

I grabbed a handy Simple Human sink caddy, and these plink garbage disposal cleaners {which I now completely love!}. The sink has never looked {or smelled} better. Sigh of relief…

Due to my recent chalkboard obsession, I was super excited to find these at Pier 1 {and for FREE with a $10 off $10 coupon!}. Baking supplies and pasta look neat and tidy.

And finally, the whole thing…

Nice and clean. My next goal? To keep it that way.

Here are some of the products I fell in love with this week while in organization-mode. Some of them, I used in my kitchen. Others didn’t work for my space, but I’m seriously in love with them. Maybe they’ll work for yours.

1. Method Cleaning Products from Target – perfect for my counter tops. They smell good AND they’re eco-friendly {and decently priced}: that’s a win-win{-win}. Find coupons @ Target to make the deals even sweeter.

2. The Simple Human Sink Caddy from the Container Store – sleek, shiny, lovely. I did some research on this one – the cost is a bit steep @ $16, but is the same across the board at Target, Bed Bath & Beyond, Amazon, & more. I suggest saving with a Bed Bath and Beyond 20% off coupon {you can sign up to receive those via email here}.

3. The Stockholm Fruit Bowl from IKEA – pretty and functional. Clear up that counter space and look amazing doing it. This would look amazing on the kitchen counter, or in the middle of a dining table or coffee table.

4. A Banana Hook from the Container Store – infinitely cooler than the classic hanging fruit bowl. And the best part? It’s only $3.99.

5. Chalkboard Canisters from Pier 1. Check out Pier 1’s Facebook Page for regular deals – I did this and found mine for about 2cents each when I used a $10 off $10 coupon!

6. The Joseph Joseph Elevate Carousel Set {utensils included}from Amazon – this one would be a big splurge for me, but I’m totally loving the colors. Not only would my counter top look super organized, but it would be cheerful, too! Adding this one to the wishlist…

 


Let’s Organize: 2012

9 Jan

This year, I’m challenging myself to be more organized. {What a common New Year’s Resolution, right!?} Though common, I know my home needs it, and Home Storage Solutions inspired me with their simple “52 Weeks to an Organized Home” series. Since I’m not yet in the 2kids-big-house-attic-garden-and-a-dog phase, I’ve taken their schedule and have adapted it a 50-Week Series to fit my young-adult-small-space-living lifestyle.

Anyone else feel like me, and take one look at their messy home, inside their pantry, in their closet… and feel totally overwhelmed? Yeah. I love: the way it is broken down week by week. No reason to feel overwhelmed, because all of the tasks are small and simple. And by the end of the year… ta-da! A {mostly} perfect home!

I’ll walk through the challenges week by week, and hope you’ll do the same! Join me: Follow me on Facebook and Twitter, and subscribe via e-mail. Throughout the year, share your successes {& failures} & photos with me each week, and I will share them on the blogosphere. Here we go:

  • Week 1: Kitchen organization: countertops and sink (January 9, 2012)
  • Week 2: Kitchen cabinets and cupboards (January 16, 2012)
  • Week 3: Kitchen pantry and food storage areas (January 23, 2012)
  • Week 4: Refrigerator and freezer (January 30, 2012)
  • Week 5: Recipes(February 6, 2012)
  • Week 6: Coupons (February 13, 2012)
  • Week 7: Addresses/Contact Information (February 20, 2012)
  • Week 8: Mail (February 27, 2012)
  • Week 9: Bill Paying (March 5, 2012)
  • Week 10: Receipts/Tax Documents  (March 12, 2012)
  • Week 11: Filing System (March 19, 2012)
  • Week 12: Magazines and Newspapers (March 26, 2012)
  • Week 13: Internet Accounts and Passwords (April 2, 2012)
  • Week 14: Take a deep breath… and a BREAK! (April 9, 2012)
  • Week 15: Home office (April 16, 2012)
  • Week 16: Cleaning supplies (April 23, 2012)
  • Week 17: Bathroom (April 30, 2012)
  • Week 18: Medicine cabinet (May 7, 2012)
  • Week 19: Entryway / mud room (May 14, 2012)
  • Week 20: Living room / family room (May 21, 2012)
  • Week 21: Dining room / kitchen eating area (May 28, 2012)
  • Week 22: Laundry room (June 4, 2012)
  • Week 23: Laundry baskets and hampers (June 11, 2012)
  • Week 24: Purses / briefcases (June 18, 2012)
  • Week 25: Books (June 25, 2012)
  • Week 26: CDs and DVDs (July 2, 2012)
  • Week 27: Photos (July 9, 2012)
  • Week 28: Craft Supplies (July 16, 2012)
  • Week 29: Vehicles (July 23, 2012)
  • Week 30: Pets (July 30, 2012)
  • Week 31: Storage Space (Storage Unit/Basement/Attic) (August 6, 2012)
  • Week 32: Patio (August 13, 2012)
  • Week 33: Home “Launching Pad” (August 20, 2012)
  • Week 34: Linen Closet (August 27, 2012)
  • Week 35: Coat Closet (September 3, 2012)
  • Week 36: Take a deep breath… and a BREAK! (September 10, 2012)
  • Week 37: Master bedroom closet (September 17, 2012)
  • Week 38: Seasonal clothing switch (September 24, 2012)
  • Week 39: Master bedroom (October 1, 2012)
  • Week 40: Jewelry & Accessories (October 8, 2012)
  • Week 41: Shoes (October 15, 2012)
  • Week 42: Makeup & cosmetics (October 22, 2012)
  • Week 43: Organizing closet space for your Guests (October 29, 2012)
  • Week 44: Guest bedroom organizing challenge (November 5, 2012)
  • Week 45: Organize toys and games (November 12, 2012)
  • Week 46: Create personal home inventory (November 19, 2012)
  • Week 47: Keep a family calendar (November 26, 2012)
  • Week 48: Christmas decoration storage and organization (December 3, 2012)
  • Week 49:  Organize wrapping paper and gift bags(December 10, 2012)
  • Week 50: CELEBRATE! ‘Cause you’re done.

Want to take the pledge to organize with me? Share this post on Facebook or Twitter & tell your friends you’re jumping on board.

Come back tomorrow to read about the Week 1 challenge and get started!

Apartment Living: Decorating for Christmas in a Small Space

6 Dec

If you live in a small space {like I do!}, Christmas decorating can be a challenge! Here are some of my favorite ways to bring the Holidays into small spaces:

Don’t have room for a big Christmas tree?

Go smaller! Two of my favorites this season: a classic little Charlie Brown Christmas Tree or these Red and Green Sequin Tabletop Trees {on clearance at Target for only $12.48!}.

No room for a tree at all? Get creative – like they did at Apartment Therapy – and make an everyday item, like your bookshelf, into a tree:

shelf113011.jpg

And of course, Deck the Walls! You can use art arrangements or wall decals to bring Christmas into your home – and use zero space to do it:

Wall Art Sticker - Christmas Tree - Vinyl Wall Decal

I’m loving this Christmas Tree Decal from secretofthecat {above}, and this Glass Ornament Decal from evgieNev {below}.

Holiday Decor Set - Christmas Ornaments Set  - Winter Vinyl Decal Sticker - HDCO010

If you’re not feeling the decals, consider replacing some of the photo frames on your wall with funky Christmas prints for the season – like this free Holiday Subway art from Eighteen25, or this free Elf printable from LessCake{MoreFrosting}.

 

And if you’re feeling really bold, deck the walls like Jane  or Veronica {what inspirations!}:

Green ball Christmas tree

Peace, Love, & Happy Decorating!

My {New} Thrifty Home: How to Make Moving Easy

22 Oct

Moving is never easy {or FUN!}. After moving twice in three months, I know that for a fact. However, the recent experience helped me discover and re-discover ways to save $$, sanity, and time during the process. So, here are some of my favorite moving tips:

Boxes: To move, you need boxes {duh}. LOTS of boxes. But I didn’t want to pay for them – and you shouldn’t have to either! To find free boxes, scour your local Walmart at around 11pm or 12am any day of the week – this is when they reload the shelves and are emptying and breaking down boxes everywhere. I simply grab a cart, walk around the store, and fill it with boxes in the sizes and shapes I need, then walk right out and load them into my trunk! Totally free, and as an added bonus: recycling is eco-fabulous!

There are times, however, where the free Walmart boxes might not work best – for example – how about hanging all of those winter coats and nice dresses?! I chose to splurge and pay for ONE box while moving the second time: a nice wardrobe box from U-Haul. $$ is worthwhile when it saves that much time and effort!

While we packed, our cat Queso tested the boxes for comfort. They got an A+.

Labels: Label, label, label everything! I can’t express how much time and frustration it will save once you’re in the new place. I suggest labeling first by room and then by what’s inside the box. To save time and energy, I downloaded these clean and cute labels from The Project Girl. Simply print, write, & tape!

And look how organized my boxes became! {Well, still a bit messy… but as organized as a moving box in a U-Haul can be!}:

And finally, The Move: When it comes to spending and saving, I am a big advocate of spending when it’s important to spend! I highly recommend going with a moving company/truck rental that has great reviews, good customer service, and is well-known {but still decently priced!} Ask questions like: what do the previous customer reviews say? What happens if my car or truck breaks down half way there? How far do I have to go to pick up or drop off the truck? Are there any hidden fees?

While you might splurge to have a great truck or service itself, save in other ways: Load and unload the truck yourself – inviting a reliable group of friends to come help {and providing them pizza afterwards} is way cheaper than hiring professionals; Consider towing one car behind the truck – how much will it save you in gas and wear and tear on the car to do this, instead of driving it too?; Get the most out of your gas mileage – read up on the best ways to conserve gas while driving, and use an app  or website like GasBuddy to ensure you’re paying the lowest gas prices for those monster gas tanks.

Have you find other ways to save money {and sanity} while moving? What are your tips and tricks?

Howdy from Texas, Ya’ll!

14 Oct

Again, readers, I’ve been neglectful with my posting – but needless to say I’ve been busy. Remember when my husband and I moved in August? Well, we just moved AGAIN. Our lives for the last few weeks have looked like this {plus a bit of chaos}.

We are now in Texas – the place of our childhood, the place we met, the place we married – and are excited to be back! The husband got a new job, which will naturally lead to new {and naturally awesome} adventures. I must say, it feels strange to be near “home” again as an adult, after learning to walk, read, flirt, and drive in the area – but it is a nice kind-of challenge.

As one of my favorite writers Donald Miller says, “Everybody has to leave, everybody has to leave their home and come back so they can love it again for all new reasons.”

Now that I am moved, and {sort-of} unpacked, I am excited to be blogging again! Oh, how I’ve missed you all. Here’s two the end of a few crazy weeks, and to the weekend.

Cheers!

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