Beachy Memories

If your kids are like mine, they are always trying to keep every little rock, bucket of sand, broken shell and sea tumbled piece of trash that they find on the beach. Or in a creek. Or just walking down the road. Sure you can bring it home in the name of preserving your sanity, but then what do you do with it?!

I let everyone collect all the shells and sand that they want and then sometime things “blow” out of the car on the way home. What are you gonna do? With a paired down set of shells, rocks and sand, we create little jars. They are cheap at Michael’s and we try to get the same size each time – or at least the same style. Then we fill them, label them and put them on a shelf. Easy to dust and no beach memories on the floor!

And if glass scares you, grab a plastic jar instead and hot glue the lid on for a toddler / hands on friendly version.

Easy way to control the amount of crap that comes home and keep it in one place is to use a drink cup with lid. If you’re extra fancy, remember to pack some ziplock bags

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Our sand dollars were purple and hairy. We put them in a bleach bath over night and voila! White and smooth.

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Ta da! A sweet little mess free collection of our vacation!

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Also works with creek rocks:

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Organized Living: Noted

In college, we had to take the Meyers Briggs personality test – which I actually found to be pretty accurate. And just in a breif version now, I’m still the same personality type today. But I think one part has gotten even stronger…judging.

No, not what it sounds like. A judging personality prefers to have matters settled. Likes to make plans and details on what one is jumping into. A judging personality needs details and lists.

And if we’ve met? You know I love me a list (Stop laughing, Marilyn ūüėČ ).

I reached out on Facebook to my friends about the best way to keep notes in your phone and on your computer. The unanimous decision was Evernote. I quickly downloaded it and then began to transfer all of my notes from my Note app in my phone over. It took me a few weeks to get really used to it and organized in a way that works best. But now? It. Is. Awesome.

In general, I keep a running To Do list broken into work, writing and life. There are sub categories from there, but it gives me a quick and dirty. I can update it at school from my phone and when I get home and sit down at my desk, it’s there to remind me to order party table cloths. I can also print a hard copy which I love for the visual reminder at my desk.

I keep my grocery list, Target list and Costco lists there so when we’re in the car and a kid says “can we get popcorn at the grocery?” I can add it in and avoid the sad frowny face when I realize I forgot to purchase said popcorn because my list wasn’t handy. Now, my list is always handy.

I am just starting to try the “clipping” feature where you can put pictures, websites, etc. I love this because I always see a sign for something, or a website I think is neat and now I can clip it into Evernote rather than save the bookmark. And it’s allll in one place. One place! Everything!

Get downloading. You’ll thank me when you never forget something on your grocery list again.

 

 

Organized Living: Catch It All

Any time I flip through a magazine or catalog, I always sigh when I see neatly organized “catch all” or mud rooms. I love the idea of having a place to house all the stuff needed for activities, school and life.

This is our finished catch all and I love it. It makes clean up easy (ok, slightly easier) because everyone can put their bags, gear and or reminders in one space. Plus there’s not back packs and soccer balls every where. Or at least in theory.

This bench is an antique that has been in our house since I was little. It sort of floats around rooms, but it always works. The mirrors and the baskets are Target. And the shelf is courtesy of Peter and his amazing carpentry skills.

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I love the baskets. They make storage so pretty. And yes, having a crap basket is totally necessary.

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One organized living solution that keeps my sanity is to have a bag for each activity. Swim, dance, soccer, softball – all of them get a bag. Then at the end of each game or practice, all the crap goes back into the bag. That way there’s at least a fighting chance of finding soccer balls and TWO¬†shin guards.

And that orange bag? Is a life saver! It has pockets surrounding the inside and the wide opening means everything is easily accessable. It’s called The Game Day Tote from Simply Steph’s Monograms on Etsy. Tell her I sent you when you order yours.

Need ideas for your mud room? Head on over to Pinterest and get ready to lose a few hours. All you need is a little space and some imagination – now get organized!

Shared Office Space

One of the benefits of having an office big enough to share is that Peter works from home so much more. It’s been so nice to cut the commute time and have him be able to be able to pop out for lunch and then back into the office.

But there is a downside…we have totally opposite working styles. I like order. He likes chaos. I do not eat at my desk. He has full blown meals (I’m cringing while I type…). I like my papers stacked up neatly and I have a system of where each¬†project goes. He has the paperwork tornado approach. What’s worse is that his craziness spills (sometimes literally) onto my stuff. Which if someone touching my stuff wasn’t enough, food¬†stains aren’t¬†really my gig.

So for months I have been trying to find a new desk configuration that would work for both of us. Something where we could each have our space and storage and have a cohesive look to the office. That in itself is a challenge. Finding something that meets that criteria AND that we both agree on was damn near impossible.

Every few days I would find myself digging around online looking for ideas.¬†We couldn’t agree on anything. Finally one day I sent off an email with links to a few things I found that I liked (or could tolerate if he liked) and we got a hit. A great, rustic industrial desk from Target.¬†The price wasn’t too bad to buy two of them – plus there was an online sale. Sold!

I love the illusion that there’s just one desk.

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We were also able to reuse my current desk’s sides and reconfigure them into a console table. It made for a cheap solution to my need for drawers. I like storage and organization, but it all has to be out of sight. I am very visual so whatever I am working on, or need to work on, goes on the desk. But if too much is out, the clutter makes me itchy. It’s a delicate balance.

Now I have to get some clever storage bins for the shelves. I need something that looks nice but also is functional that can hold file folders…plus some cute desktop accessories…I see a trip to The Container Store in my future.

Mac approves too.

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Dependable Divas Giveaway!

The lovely ladies from Dependable Divas (who I featured in my Friday post on Scottsdale Moms Blog) are sponsoring a giveaway for 6 hours of their services! Can you imagine what two ladies who organized¬†for a living¬†could do in your house in 6 hours?! The kids room, the garage, the laundry, the office, the kitchen…just think of all the places they could make neat and tidy! It makes me a little jealous that I can’t win…

Head on over to Scottsdale Moms Blog at 1pm today and enter to win – just tell us all about the messiest, craziest, most in need of the Divas place in your house. The winner will be chosen at random on Friday June 22nd. Details and fine print on the site.

Good luck!!!