Shelf Reliance & THRIVE Foods with Carolina Food Storage

Today I’m excited to tell you about one of Scissors and Spatulas’ newest sponsors! Carolina Food Storage is a website and online store dedicated to improving and maintaining the quality of food while eliminating waste caused by tossing expired foods.
I don’t know about you, but when I clean out my pantry I end up throwing out a garbage can full of unused, unopened food because it has expired. Money down the drain! Using the Shelf Reliance food rotation system in combination with freeze dried foods, this waste can be eliminated. Now I know you are thinking, “Freeze dried foods? No thank you!” But really, you gotta take a look at these.
THRIVE foods offers the same food that you use every day and would typically buy from the grocery store with the advantage of a longer shelf life. Thrive products are all natural and free of harmful preservatives and additives. And the best part…all the work has been done for you! No dicing, chopping peeling, etc! If you still don’t believe me, take a look at some of the recipes they have available here.
 

 When combined with the Food Rotation Systems, THRIVE foods are constantly rotated on a first in first out basis.  This guarantees your family receives the freshest food possible and helps reduce waste.

Now let me introduce you to the founder of Carolina Food Storage.
Meet Leigh Ann…
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For years my husband has wanted to start a food storage system.  We really didnt know where to start and what to buy.  We stocked up on various canned foods that we never seemed to want to eat on a daily basis and they eventually expired and were thrown out.  I set out on a search to find a system that would work for us and was so excited when I found Shelf Reliance!  The selection and quality of the food is better than anything I had tried in the past.  With a shelf life of 25 years on most items, I knew that we wouldn’t waste our hard earned money on food that is thrown away.  Shelf Reliance has all of the foods that you normally shop for at the grocery store, fruits, veggies, grains, meats and dairy all with an extended shelf life.  Shelf Reliance also helps me save time, I don’t have to run to the grocery store as often and I don’t have to spend extra time in the kitchen chopping and browning because it has all been done for me!
Shelf Reliance THRIVE Freeze Dried Foods are great for:
* Quick Everyday Meals
* Emergency Food Supplies 
* Camping Trips
* Dorm Rooms
* Vacation Homes

Since our foods do not require refrigeration and have an extended shelf life the possibilities are endless!
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Head on over to Carolina Food Storage now and take a look. It’s a pretty cool concept to help save money and eliminate waste while eating well at the same time! Also stop by their Facebook page where you can find lots of new recipes, deals, and other information.

 

DIY Board and Batten “Mudroom”

board and batten hallway drop zone mudroom

This is our back hallway. It’s just off the kitchen and is the entry from the garage. It is also where I keep the boys jackets, backpacks, my purse and everything else that needs to be dumped when we come into the house.
I’ve wanted to make a “mudroom” in this space for over a year. Obviously there isn’t room for a bench (I’ve tried to convince myself that a small one might work but I know it would be completely in the way.) but I’ve wanted to add board and batten with hooks. Why I haven’t gotten around to it sooner, I don’t know. Probably because the little hook thing I had worked just fine. Until a couple weeks ago when one of them broke because it had too much hanging on it!

That was all the motivation I needed. Last Saturday I told my husband he was going to be putting up board and batten. He had no clue what I was talking about so I pulled up Pinterest and showed him some examples. I wish had done this months and months ago because it was SO easy and cost almost nothing! It was finished by the end of the weekend.

Of course we had the wood we needed in the garage. One wide board to use across the top (this is the board or board and batten) and the skinnier boards to sit perpendicular to it (known as batten). We did have to buy one extra skinny board to use as the baseboard.
Hubby measured the wall and cut the boards to fit.

He put two good coats of white trim paint on all of the boards.

paint wood

While the paint dried, he tore out the existing baseboard and patched up the wall with spackle. (The angles of the old baseboard would not fit right with the batten boards so we had to replace the baseboards with a straight edge board.)

tear out baseboard

Once the boards were dried he brought them in and measured and marked the distance between the batten pieces.

board and batten measure

board and batten

The batten pieces were secured to the wall with nails and the board was attached with screws to ensure it would hold the weight of whatever would hang on the hooks.

board and batten drill to wall

The screw and nail holes were covered with some wood putty.

board and batten patch holes wood putty

Then sanded smooth.

sand wood putty

 It took two coats of paint to cover the walls and one more coat on the wood to cover the putty.

board and batten paint

I purchased the hooks from Hobby Lobby. They were $3.99 each but I got them when they were 50% off so all together I only spent $6.

board and batten hallway hooks

And my board and batten wall was finished! Seriously, it was that easy!

board and batten hallway drop zone mudroom

And it cost us about $15! If you didn’t have the wood and paint like we did, I’d say you would spend about $50. Not too bad!

board and batten mudroom wall hooks

Land of Nod Book Bin Knock Off

Back in December we moved the boys into the same room and they got bunk beds for Christmas. I’m sure you’ve all seen these wall hanging book bins on Pinterest and maybe even in the Land of Nod catalog, which is where I got the idea. They call them “Bin There Done Book Bin” and they cost $69 each!

Now if you know me, you know that I’m cheap and would NEVER pay that much for a few pieces of wood. Especially when I know we can do it ourselves! Well, I guess I should say hubby could do it!
I handed him the page I tore out from the catalog and batted my eyes as I asked him to please make me one of these shelves.  So he grabbed a piece of scrap wood from the garage and got to work. Now we have tons of scrap wood, trim pieces, dowels, you name it, in the garage. If you don’t, just go buy a piece of plywood.

He measured it to size (12 inches for the front edge and 16 inches for the back edge that hangs against the wall) and then drew in the decorative edges.

Then used his jigsaw and cut along the lines he had drawn.

Two pieces like this were cut, one for each side. And then one rectangular piece for the base.

The sides were secured to the base with screws. Did you notice Little Man #2 (Parker Reese) doing the work?

 These trim pieces were leftover from  some project. Like I said, we have tons of leftover molding in our garage. They were attached with nails.

Wood filler (or putty) was used to fill the nail holes in the front and small gap between the bottom and the trim piece. Then I took over. After it was dry I sanded the puttied spots and the rough cut edges smooth.

I spray painted it navy blue. It needed about three good coats. D-ring hooks were attached to the back of each side to hang the shelf.

wall hanging book bin land of nod

And now parker Reese has a little book bin to hold his stories!

Land of Nod book bin: $69
Mine: Free. Okay, we had to buy the D-rings which cost a couple bucks. So I’ll say $4.
Love a good (and cheap) knock-off!

 

Replacing the Old Cork Board

Sneak peek of today’s project. . .

Guess what I’m doing this weekend? I can hardly wait for Saturday because my sister-in-law and I are heading back up to Cline’s Junk Antiques! Eek! So very excited! What is Cline’s? In case you are a new reader to the blog, let me introduce you to Cline’s Antiques,or, as I like to call it, a little piece of junk heaven!

Look at all that rust and furniture waiting to be refinished!
Last time I visited Cline’s I scored some great windows for only two bucks each. Yes, $2! Here is one of them.

reclaimed window

Yes, it’s dirty. Really dirty. You see, Cline’s has tons of windows waiting to go home with someone like me. The downside is that the windows, like almost everything else at Cline’s, are just piled up in the yard.
No biggie, a squirt of the hose and a little elbow grease cleaned it up nicely!
So, this window has been sitting in my garage since that shopping trip. I finally have put it to use! I got tired of looking at the cork board in the hall near my kitchen. It gets so cluttered with cards, artwork, invitations, etc. It had to go. I’ve also been wanting to create a chalkboard somewhere near the kitchen to jot down reminders. This window was the start to a perfect solution!

cover glass paint

 I masked off the glass with some plastic bags and painter’s tape. And spray-painted it a pretty gold/yellow color.

paint window

No paint project of mine is complete without a little distressing! I used my new favorite color Distress Ink, frayed burlap, around the edges and on the faces of the wood.

distress ink wood

So my dirty old window was now clean and had a pretty coat of paint on it. Time to make this baby into something special.
I had this great Gallery Chalkboard Vinyl Decor from Stampin Up! It was $25 but I got it for free with an order I placed! So I attached the vinyl to the window.

chalkboard vinyl

Next I needed somewhere to hang things that I typically tack onto the bulletin board like photos, cards, invitations, artwork, etc.
I had this burlap ribbon and baker’s twine that I got from Pick Your Plum. They were perfect for this piece!

bakers twine burlap ribbon

I used the burlap ribbon to add a big bow on the corner of the board.

burlap ribbon bow pick your plum

I wrapped a piece of chalk in the baker’s twine so I could attack it to the board.

hanging chalk bakers twine

And also draped the baker’s twine across the top and bottom of the window. I used hot glue to attach it around the back. Then I added little clothespins that I also got from Stampin Up!

bakers twine hanging line clothes pin

This was the perfect  replacement for thumbtacks and cork board!

And with that, the board was complete!

family command center

And because I love to do things on a budget, I’m proud to brag that this piece cost less than $5! Remember, the window was $2, I bought one can of spray paint, the chalkboard vinyl piece was free and the ribbon, string and clothespins I already had in my stockpile.

If you are interested in ordering any of the products mentioned above, I’ve directly linked them to the online ordering site. Items will be shipped directly to your home! Check out all the products at Stampin Up!

Dollar Store Bin Makeover

My creative space/office is beginning to look like an episode of Horders! You wonder why I haven’t shown you the full reveal yet? Because it’s never clean enough to take a photo! And the recent boom of my “Ready to Pop” favor boxes has turned my life and my organization upside down! NOT COMPLAINING! However, it’s one big fat piece of chaos in that room!

While trying to find items to help organize my “business,” I came across these bins at the Dollar Store. I looked at them briefly and kept walking. “I’ll get something cute at IKEA or HomeGoods, ” I thought.

But I immediately did a double-take when I realized that I could make these boxes cute! And so I did. . .

The total cost of this project was probably under $10 (for all three). Three bucks for the bins, $1.50 for the paper, and just a few dollars for the chalkboard vinyl (from Pick Your Plum).

I found some cute scrapbook paper at the craft store that matched perfectly with my craft room decor. I grabbed my bottle of Decoupage (same as Mod Podge but by Decoart. Both are great but I think it dries faster than MP which is perfect for an impatient person like me!) and a sponge brush.

First I cut the paper to fit the face of the box. Then I applied a good coat of Decoupage directly on the box and laid the paper on top. When it was dry I applied a heavy coat on top of the paper, smoothing out the bubbles with a flat edge {bone folders and old grocery cards are great for doing this}.

My original plan was to leave it like this and add the label. But after that second coat I had a different idea.

Screeeech!   {That’s the sound of me slamming on the brakes.} If you read my blog regularly, you know that I can’t leave anything along and that I often modify my idea mid-creation. It happens almost every time. This is probably because I really don’t know what I’m doing to begin with. I just have an idea and go with it, which often leads to new ideas. Anyway. . .

I decided to trim the edges a little so they didn’t completely cover the face.

Then I took one of my favorite things, sandpaper, and rubbed the edges of the paper to create a worn effect.

Next I used one of my other favorite things, Distress Ink. I brushed heavily around the edges and lightly across the face.

I brushed one last coat of Decoupage over the top, particularly around the edges.

I used chalkboard vinyl {if you can’t find sheets of chalkboard vinyl, you can use chalkboard spray paint on any regular vinyl} and cut out a pretty little label using my Silhouette CAMEO. I stuck it on the bin and labelled it!

And there you have it! For under $10 I created some pretty storage bins to help organize my mess!

These bins took care of the favor box chaos. Now what to do with the rest of it?

Whoop whoop! Partying here this week!

DomesticallySpeakingshabby creek cottageThe 36th AvenueSomewhat SimpleChic on a Shoestring DecoratingThe Shabby NestPhotobucketLink Party

Great Idea for Ribbon Storage

How to make a “Ribbon Rack” from a UTO {unidentified thrift store object}.

Quite awhile ago, sometime over the summer I think, I was at Goodwill and I saw this. . .

I wasn’t really sure what it was. Maybe a plate rack? A towel rack? No idea! What I did know is that I liked it. Plus it was only $4. I also knew exactly what I was going to use it for. You see, I have a lot of ribbon. Every time I go to Hobby Lobby, I end up coming home with more ribbon. They have the cutest! Anyway, all my ribbon was in a drawer which a) made it difficult to find what I was looking for and b) a big mess when the ribbon came unrolled. This unidentified piece was about to solve that problem.

First it needed some “Heavy Cream” paint. This paint is made by Valspar and it’s one of my favorite colors. Not bright white, but not too off-white. Then, of course, I had to distress it.

The piece originally had three rods and a lot of empty space. I had hubby drill three more sets of holes.

I grabbed some dowel rods we had in the garage {I’ve told you before we have TONS of scrap wood in our garage. Every size, shape, etc. This is when it comes in handy!} and hubby measured and cut them long enough to be inserted into the drilled holes.

We ended up adding another hole and rod in between the two upper rods.

The rods fit perfectly through the holes in the center of the ribbon rolls.

Now when I need ribbon, instead of digging through my drawer, I can simply tug on the ribbon and cut it at the desired length! I love this thing!

Whoop whoop! Partying it up here this week!

DomesticallySpeakingshabby creek cottageThe 36th AvenueSomewhat SimpleChic on a Shoestring DecoratingThe Shabby NestPhotobucket

Seat Sacks for the Kids

Cleaning, organizing, cleaning and more organizing. That’s what I’ve been doing for the past week. I’ve got a huge pile in the garage to donate, and overflowing trash can and still so much stuff that I have no where to put it!

Last January, I organized my kiddos’ coloring table by creating these IKEA knock-off hanging buckets which was a great way to organize their crayons, markers and pencils. It’s also been a great space-saver since the table is small. However, the buckets didn’t solve the problem of coloring book and paper storage. Since the boys got new coloring books, activity books and stickers for Christmas, I needed a solution. I wanted everything to be right there, at the table where they could see and reach the books on their own.

I came up with these cute little seat sacks! Back when I taught kindergarten, several teachers used these on the backs of the students’ chais since kindergarteners use tables, not desks. They are perfect for holding books, paper and other table activities.

I really didn’t have a method to making these. I kinda just made it up as I went along. I started by measuring the fabric to fit the length and width of the chairs, also making sure it was wide enough to hold books.

I started with a long, rectangular piece of fabric for each chair. I basically hemmed the entire length of both sides as well as the top. I did not hem the bottom.

Instead, I measured the length needed for the pouch and folded the fabric up once, then folded the same length again. This not only created a more durable pocket, but it also “lined” the inside of the pocket so you don’t see the backside of the fabric.

I cut four strips of ribbon, 12-inches each. I folded the length of the ribbon in half and attached it to the top of the sack. I double-stitched the ribbon so that it could withstand the weight of the books.

And that was it!

 I tied the ribbons around the chair backs.

These cute little seat sacks took me about 30 minutes! They solved my coloring book storage problem and they allow all the activities to be visible and accessible to the kids!

**These sacks will be available in Scissors & Spatulas’ Shop which is coming soon! Several colors and fabrics will be available. In the meantime, I can take orders via email! jen at scissorsandspatulas dot com.**

Are you ready to see if you won either of the $100 giveaways?

The winner of $100 from AMEX Serve is. . .

Michelle Alvin on  said:   I signed up for Serve!

And the $100 prize from Kodak Galleries goes to. . .
Congratulations to both of you! Not a bad after Christmas present, heh? Be sure to email me ASAP to claim your prize! {jen at scissorsandspatulas dot com}

 

Home Stories A2Z

 
Todays Creative Blog

 

Burlap-Covered Magazine Boxes (an IKEA find)

{A few of you may have noticed that this post accidentally went up yesterday before I had finished writing it. Oooops!}
Several weeks ago I featured some fabulous burlap-covered magazine boxes by Lucy’s Lampshade.
In fact, they were they same boxes that I had just bought from IKEA and coincidentally, I had planned on covering them in burlap to match the burlap boxes I bought. However, I was torn over how to label the boxes, the boxes at IKEA had such cute metal frame labels. When I saw Lucy’s boxes and found out I could buy these frames at Hobby Lobby, I knew exactly what I was going to do! Copy her, of course! 
So here are the materials. Cardboard magazine boxes from IKEA. They come in a pack of five for just $1.99, I think. One yard of burlap and metal frames {found in the scrapbooking section}.

Covering the boxes was easy. I really just measured and cut and hot-glued. They didn’t turn out nearly as pretty and neat as the purchase burlap boxes! {You can see these boxes in the photo of the shelves below.}
f
The labels were simple to attach, I just poked a hole and inserted the brads that came with the frame labels.

And that was it! 
Very inexpensive, but cute and matching, burlap magazine boxes. 
And another little peek at my new craft room!

Partying here this week: 
Todays Creative Blog

Guest Post: Jenny of Planner Perfect

A big thank you to Jen, for hosting me today on her fabulous blog! 

Hello, my name is Jenny, homeschooling mama of seven children, and  blog author of Planner Perfect and Planner Perfect Meals. I hope to inspire you today on some baking tips I have up my sleeve, and to share some of my yummy fall, dessert recipes!

One element to keeping organized with your meal planning for your family is to plan one baking day in each of your weeks. I love getting out my planner and looking though my favorite food magazines and write down all I’m going to bake on my baking day with all of the ingredients needed; along with my main meal planning and I’m set for the week, full of delicious meals and the ingredients needed to bake up some amazing baked goods.  These baked delights compliment all of my meals and snacks for my family and it is comforting to know that my family is eating well with foods I prepare for them using quality ingredients, and that I’m saving money not buying processed snacks and breads.

Here are just some of my favorite baking day, items, I like to bake-up. I’ll usually stick to 3-4 different baked goods/breads each week, changing it up each bake day.

Muffins. I’ll change it up each week: banana, blueberry, cinnamon sugar

Whole grain bread/muffins

Homemade white bread

Cinnamon rolls

French bread

Cookies

cupcakes

pizza crust

dinner rolls

What makes you organized with your baking day, is not only the fact you are setting a day aside each week to bake them, but you can bake extra and freeze; ready to pull-out for any meal. You’ve got muffins that freeze quite nicely for breakfast, my breads are to eat all week long for our sandwiches for lunch and the cookies are a treat that can be frozen and of course ready to eat straight from the oven!

Here are some of my all-time favorite fall recipes…

Chocolate Molasses Cookies

These are the most yummy, moist, fall cookies you’ll eat. When I found these in, Country Living Magazine, I knew that I’d love them! The molasses imparts such a wonderful flavor and creates such a moist cookie. They even have a dusting of brown sugar on top! I love making these every fall, pack them in wax paper sacks, along with a thermos full of hot apple cider and take them with me to the pumpkin patch with the kiddos.
Believe me, they’ll be your new fall favorite!

Click here for the Chocolate Molasses Cookie, printable recipe.

secret winning chocolate chip cookie
streusel muffins
whole grain bread

Check out more over at Planner Perfect Meals full of my favorite tried-and-true recipes that are delicious and kid friendly! And for everything organized, check out Planner Perfect where you’ll find everything from spring cleaning to the ultimate organizing system. I look forward to meeting you…

Enjoy creating a baking day each week and enjoying the feeling the comes from being organized in your home and kitchen.
Sincerely,
Jenny

My New Kitchen Canisters

{Sneak Peak}
If you are a regular reader of this blog you’ve probably seen these canisters in the background of many of my food-related posts. As you can see, one canister is missing. The largest of the three, which held flour, suddenly broke. The bottom just fell out last week while I was making cookies. ???? So I was on the hunt for some new canisters, which I wasn’t exactly happy about because I really liked these. 
Then I got happy again when I found these triplets at Wally World (Wal-Mart). And I was even happier that they were only $6.97 each! But they were kind of boring just like this and I needed to do something to jazz them up.

I thought about using chalkboard paint and doing something like Erin over at 3 Meadow Lake Cottage (her photo above). I even bought the paint. But then at the last minute, I changed my mind and decided to use black vinyl and my good ole friend the Cricut.

Here I’ve cut the vinyl and used contact paper to transfer it to my canister.
For a full tutorial on cutting and sticking vinyl, go here.

Peel away the contact  paper. . .

and viola! My sugar has a brand new home!

I know I said I loved my old canisters, but I love these even more
{Notice gallon-size canisters are a lot bigger than my old ones. Guess I need to buy more sugar and coffee just to fill them!}
Shall we add up the cost? 
I spent just under $21.00 for the canisters. The vinyl I already had, but if you want to include it, it was $7.99 for the roll and I used about 1/4 of the roll. So I think it’s fair to say 
$25.00 for these beauties!
I love decorating on a budget!

My Dryer Eats Our Socks!

I know I’m not alone when I say that my dryer’s favorite snack is a sock. Not a pair of socks, but one sock, leaving the other alone and without a partner.  Eventually I find the missing sock, but by then, it’s hard to remember what I did with the lonely one. I found a solution.
A place for misfit socks.
Here’s how I did it. . . 
My mom gave me this antique washboard a few years ago. I spray painted it black and it has hung in my black and ivory toile laundry room since. Plain and black, until now. 

I bought a few different black and ivory scrapbook prints .
I measured the length and  height inside the margin of the washboard frame, 

transfered the measurement to the paper,
and cut the paper to fit the measurements.

I grabbed my Mod Podge and a sponge brush.

I applied one coat of Mod Podge on the washboard then carefully laid the paper inside the margin and used a craft stick to smooth the paper over the board.
I put two coats of MP over the paper, letting the first coat dry 15 minutes before applying the second.
After another 15 minutes I laid the letters (which I cut using my Cricut) and applied one more coat of MP over the letters.

I took the clothespins apart and measured and cut the paper so that it would wrap around one side of each clothes pin. I used the same technique as described above to apply the Mod Podge, (1 coat under the paper, 2 coats on top with 15 minutes in between each coat) and wrapped the clothespin like a present.
After putting them back together they looked like this.

I used a hot glue gun to attach the clothespins to the washboard.
There ya have it! 
Lost and (hopefully) found.

Organizing Kiddos Coloring Table

IKEA is #1 for organizing space solutions. 
Last year when our office was converted to a playroom, I purchased just about everything from furniture to shelves, to decor from IKEA. One of my favorite things in the playroom is this:
It’s mounted on the wall above the kids’ art table and keeps crayons, markers, stickers and stamps. And it has worked out GREAT! I really wanted to have something like this for their table in the family room but didn’t want to make the trip up to IKEA. So, instead I decided to create my own. 
Check it out:
Not bad ‘eh? 

I purchased most of my supplies from Lowe’s. I’m sure I gave the men quite a laugh as my two boys and I went up and down the isles searching for these items. I knew what I wanted, just didn’t know where to find them! From Lowe’s: 
1. 1/2″ thick dowel rod
2. bag of S hooks (that would fit snuggly on the rod)
3. package of two  unfinished wooden finials
4. can of satin finish spray paint
Not pictured are: 
5. 3 baby blue tin buckets from Michael’s dollar bins 
6. 2 curtain rod holders which I got, as luck would have it, from the thrift store.

I spray painted all the pieces, including buckets with a couple coats of spray paint.
 After they were painted, my hubby mounted the rod holders on the wall, cut the dowel rod to size and attached the finials to the rod. 

I organized the buckets. . .

then hung them on the hooks.

           Before:                                     After:

  

      

Total cost was probably about $10.
I’m also going to grab some curtain rings, the ones that have the little clips like these (but not from Lowe’s –  too expensive), to slip on the rod to hang their artwork. Clever :)

The 12 Days AFTER Christmas

Not quite as exciting as the 12 days BEFORE Christmas. . .


Christmas is over and you suddenly find yourself with loads of new stuff but no where to put it. Especially if you have children! This year seemed worse than ever to me. Probably because we now have two children and started off with more than we need and thanks to Christmas, acquired more than we will ever need! *Note: I am very grateful! Maybe this is why on December 27th I was ready to strip down the Christmas decor and hide it back in the attic I have NEVER done this before the New Year.  I also had the sudden urge to organize and clean EVERY crevice of the house. There’s that nesting instinct kicking in!
I’m happy to say that after 12 days, many spent wearing sweats, down on my hands and knees, my house is officially CLEAN!
And boy do I feel great about it! Want to try? Here’s how. . .

The 1st Day 
(Dec 26)

First, get up early to go shopping for great deals on Christmas decor and wrapping paper for next year!! Then, relax and eat leftovers and goodies and play with toys. 
The 2nd Day
Ok, time to do a little work. Begin organizing the new stuff by assessing who and where and then make piles.  Deliver piles to location. You don’t actually have to put the stuff away, just deliver it to clear your living space.Straighten up your living areas and eat leftovers again (you know you still got ‘em). The real work begins tomorrow.
Day 3
 Put on some sweats, roll up your sleeves and get ready to work.
Organize cabinets/closets in living spaces to make room for new items you plan to keep here. Do not include any kitchen storage spaces on this day. While organizing, wipe shelves clean with dusting cloth. *Note: Target’s dollar spot has really nice microfiber mits right now in fun, bright colors!

We always seem to get a lot of winter gear (hats, coats, scarves) for Christmas. Here is a great way to keep them all organized.

Day 4

Start organizing bedrooms. Clean drawers, closets, shelves, etc, removing unwanted/outgrown items to make room for new items. Sort unwanted items into different piles for donating, selling, storing, garbage, etc.

The 5th Day
(Dec 30)

If necessary, finish organizing bedrooms.  After the bedrooms are done, move on to your playroom, office, rec room – whatever you have, whatever you call it, I’m talking about that extra room. This might be the most difficult room because it probably is the least organized, has the most stuff already in it, and has the most stuff going into it. What’s the best way to organize “stuff?” A trip to IKEA! That store has a solution for storing just about anything!

A few pictures of storage in our playroom. All from IKEA


Day 6 
(New Year’s Eve)

Clean your bathrooms and linen closets. Same as all other cabinets: organize and wipe down.
Pull boxes/tubs out of attic to put Christmas decor away.
Celebrate NYE!!
The 7th Day
(New Year’s Day)

Sleep in (if you are able). If you haven’t already, pack up and put away Christmas decor.
Enjoy the first day of the new year!
Day 8

Time to tackle the kitchen. Organize cabinets and wipe down shelves. Clean out refrigerator/freezer, wipe down shelves and throw out expired food. Do the same for you pantry. While you’re at it, why not clean out the microwave?
I like to use a natural cleaner in the kitchen.
Day 9
(Jan 3rd)
Get your bucket of Murphey Oil Soap and water ready! 

Vacuum all baseboards. Using Muphey Oil Soap and water, clean baseboards, wooden furniture, and kitchen cabinets. Now go take a bubble bath, that was hard work!

The 10th Day

Wash windows inside the house and wipe down blinds with soapy water.
If possible, do the outside windows too. *Tip: Best way to wash windows is using vinegar and water and newspaper. Seriously.
Day 11

Go through your house and perform your normal cleaning routine. Dusting, vacuuming, cleaning floors, etc.

Which brings us to. . .

The 12th Day
(Jan 6th)

Donate items to preferred donation center. Visit the dump if you have more trash than your can can handle. Celebrate your clean and organized house by relaxing!!

Pics that aren’t mine belong to:
http://www.abc-machine-embroidery-designs.com
http://www.bigstockphoto.com
http://www.betterworldbooks.com
http://www.whec.com

Clean Up That Recipe Messipe (mess-uh-pee)

Ring in the New Year with Organization

 Every January I seem to go through some sort of nesting period where I try to organize everything. Maybe it’s the New Year’s resolution thing, I don’t know. But it happens every year. If you get the same urge (or even if you don’t but are looking for a way to organize) keep reading and maybe this will help you. It’s just a quick little blog post about one way I get organized in the kitchen.
 First, let me give you a little insight into this project. I am a recipe HOARDER! I love tearing recipes out of magazines, printing them off of websites, etc. Great! I have tons of recipes to choose from when it’s time to cook and bake. The problem? I have a hard time finding them because this is what happens. . .
Recipes end up everywhere! I have piles in my bedside table, piles in my desk, and piles in my cookbook cabinet. Here is the solution. . .

Buy a box of  sheet protectors. You can find them at any of the office supply stores, Wal-Mart or Target. Slide the recipes in the sleeves. . .

and organize them by category in a 3-ring binder. I used the following categories to organize the recipes:
Breakfast
Bread
Appetizers
Soups and Salads
Pizzas and Sandwiches
Pasta
Chicken and Seafood
Beef and Pork
Side Dishes
I use a separate smaller 3-ring binder for sweets and drinks.
Cookies
Candies
Cakes
Beverages
There you go! A great way to get started getting organized this new year!