Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Organization...a word that gives me goosebumps.

I get asked a lot about organization or running a house with five little kids. Well, our house is far from a perfect oiled machine but we have some things that certainly help! Here are some of our fun projects that make life go smoother so we have less chaos.

We started making our own laundry soap. There are so many recipes on Pinterest and we found one that works for us. Such a money saver and works great! I fill more than a 5 gallon bucket and it lasts us about 6 months. We have a TON of laundry. The whole thing to mix up is about 20. and so worth it. I put a batch in this smaller container and keep in my laundry room so I don't have to reach into the 5 gallon bucket every day. 

Folding laundry....well that is another matter. Right now we currently have a queen sized canopy bed. We have had it almost our whole marriage and it works great for sorting through the laundry so I can hang it in each kid closet. I can make sections for each kids for the clothes that hang and I can make piles for the clothes that go on the shelf. We talk about wanting a king size bed but I know I would lose my canopy bed. We will see. Someday. 

Storing my jewelry. I LOVE earrings. This is only about half of what I have because I have a bad habit of taking them off in different places and storing them around the house. I got the earring stand at a local farmers market a few years ago and spray painted it black. The green bottle for my bracelets I found at Goodwill. I have to admit I hardly wear them but they look so cute on my counter. :) Now I also have to share that I love a good deal. Most of the earrings I have I found at Kohls on super sale for next to nothing. I only let myself look in the clearance section for fear I will fall in love with an expensive pair. My husband is so sweet and every time we go on a trip/vacation he suggests I pick out a new pair of earrings. :) 

We no longer go through 20 cups a day! I made this in one afternoon. Super easy. I got a piece of wood from Home Depot (and asked them to cut it). I stained it a dark color that I liked and got super cheap tiles and mod podged my favorite scrapbook paper on top and then put stickers on for each child's name. I used wood glue to attach the coasters onto my piece of wood and put little soft buffers on the back so it won't scratch my counter. Then I sprayed it with a water proof adhesive. Now drinks stay in the kitchen and on their coaster when they aren't using them. No more searching through the house and asking which cup belongs to who.

A closer look. 

This is one of my recent joys! I have had these green containers for a while, using them for other things. I am a sucker for baskets and organizational items at the store. Especially in the clearance area. I was so tired of our silverware not fitting in the holder we had for it. Then I found that these fit exactly the width of my drawer and each one holds its own item! LOVE IT! Another benefit is when we are serving food on the kitchen island when we have company I can simply lift out one of them and sit it on the counter so people can grab their own forks etc...with out having them all over the counter. Super excited about this one!  
Pantry organization: I reuse the plastic containers we get from buying our fruit at Costco. I rinse them out and cut off the lid and waa-laa! I have a new bin to hold snacks in and it is clear so I can see what is inside. Plus you have to get excited about a free container!  
I also use the free containers for my gigantic drawer next to my stove. 

Works great for large drawers and keeping the little things in their place.  
Our garage...well temporary fix until we build our locker style system. This was super cheap and I put it together days after we moved in. Each kid gets their own hook for backpacks/Sunday school bags. They each get their own colored bin for shoes. We don't fit in a small hallway closet anymore. My husband and I have a bin for some of our outdoor shoes on the left in the white bin. On the other side I have a purple bin for the kids' umbrellas. The dresser holds my TV and DVD player on top so I can watch my favorite episodes of Friends while I run on my treadmill. It is the perfect height to hold my TV for viewing. AND the drawers are perfect for storing gloves, hats, earmuffs, sunglasses and any other little items needed for getting out the door. Super excited about that double duty feature!

Most of our toys are also out in the garage. Right outside the door so we can grab them. I also have a "Kid Cave" under our stairs with a tiny door that they can throw their toys in and play inside if they want. But I try to keep most of them in the garage. If I am lucky they will stay organized like this for a few days but it makes me happy. Each bin (from the dollar tree) holds different toys, trucks, legos, dolls, little people, etc... These bins help with clean up because each kid has to fill a bin and then we are done! 

Towel rack for each kid. We obviously don't fit well on a typical towel rack, I really struggle just sharing one with my husband so I made this for the kids. I had originally made it with three hooks but when our two youngest came back to us I was able to add two hooks in the middle. Each hook has a black and white photo above it. 

I have to share that I made this one with my Dad's help. He went with me to the antique store to find the old door knobs and helped me cut the extra length off the door knob so it would fit in the wood. Couldn't have done it without him!

Just another view without towels. Which is often the case if we are doing laundry. :) 

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