Organized

DIY Wrapping Paper and Ribbon Organizer

Monday, January 11th, 2010

Kids have a way of springing things on you – it just comes with motherhood territory.  Friday, my daughter announced to me that she was expected at the social event of the season.  Okay, it was just another invitation to yet another kid’s birthday party, but it happened to be taking place that very afternoon.  Need gift, need it wrapped, pronto !

In the past, whenever these kinds of social events had arisen, I always found myself scrambling for wrapping paper and ribbon.  It drove me crazy.  I had no place to store wrap in my office and I didn’t want to store it under the bed.  Then I thought, hey, I’ll use the space behind my laundry room door.  Yeah, that’s what I’ll do.  Genius, I tell ya.

I searched around online for a quality organizer, and even considered buying one like this, but most of the consumer reviews said it was junk.  Then I had a light bulb moment.  Light bulb said, “Gurl, what the heck are you thinkin’ ?  Git yer beehind on down to Lowe’s and build yerself yer own, dagnabbit !”  So I did, lickety split.

This project took about two hours total from start to finish over the course of two days, but now I have this great little wrapping paper organizer and I’ve maximized storage in a place I wasn’t using before- behind the laundry room door !   Yeee haw !

organizer for wrap and ribbon

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Snowed In? Get Your Clean On

Friday, January 8th, 2010

I read yesterday that somewhere in North Dakota the snow and wind chills registered at 52 below zero.  If you’re snowed in like half of North America, make the best of it, and get your deep clean on.  No need to brave the snow and sleet to go out and buy chemical cleaning products.  Got lemons, vegetable oil, white vinegar and baking soda ?  You’re in business. 

I’ve read a few books and done a lot of research online over the last few days on natural cleaning agents.  I am now a virtual Cliff Clavin on the use of household products for all natural cleaning.  Of course, this is spoken by someone who believes just about everything she reads online.  Like this internet shocker from Erin, did you hear ? Scrunchies are back

But come to think of it, if you’re snowed in, a scrunchie might make a great dusting tool, wrapped around the tip of a toothbrush.  Just close the blinds so your neighbors don’t catch you on camera holding such a relic of bad fashion.  Of course, that’s assuming anyone still owns a scrunchie.  I think some gals still do.  But if you ever leave your house wearing a scrunchie, do not admit this, because I might have to defriend you on Facebook.  

Lemons are not just for cocktails, my friends. Oil and vinegar are not just for salad dressing.  Baking soda is not just for making cakes and removing odor from the fridge.  These handy household kitchen staples work wonders as natural cleaning agents. 

country living lemons Lemons

Wipe half a sliced lemon onto cutting boards to freshen and clean. 

Toss peels in your garbage disposal and rinse with hot water to freshen up your kitchen sink in no time. 

Clean grout stains by mixing lemon juice with a few tablespoons of baking soda. 

Out of bleach ?  Need to whiten whites in the wash ?  Add a few tablespoons of lemon juice to your rinse cycle instead. 

Mix the squeeze of a lemon with a full spray bottle of water for a quick all purpose cleaner. 

Got ants?  Squeeze lemon juice at their entry point to repel them. 

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Fun with Filing

Thursday, January 7th, 2010

Ha ha.  Got you on that title.  Filing, fun ? Filing paperwork is about as fun as doing your taxes or getting a root canal.  Filing paperwork is zero fun as my daughter would say, especially if you’ve let it get way out of control, like I have.  Filing is the exactly the opposite of fun.  That is, until you come across some very pretty organizational tools. 

Hello my lovely. 

file tote scandanavian

I saw this deliciously darling file tote at the local stationery store and had to have it.  Notice how it knows how chic it is by calling itself a “pretty file tote”.  Kind of like that 80’s Pantene commercial where Kelly LeBrock used to say “Don’t hate me because I’m beautiful.” 

I don’t hate you “pretty file tote”.  No darling, I adore you, especially after you saved me from such wicked despair. 

Self proclaimed “pretty file tote” inspired me to tackle what was tormenting me for months – a ghastly pile of paperwork to be sorted.  I’ll spare you the photo of what my haphazard box of disorganized papers looked like a few days ago.  Let’s just agree It was the definition of a filing nightmare.  Besides, if I showed you, self proclaimed “pretty file tote” would gasp audibly and refuse to be associated with such a mess.

Enter attractive office supplies, and my dearest darling love – the Brother label maker.  

pretty files

 

I had a pretty good plan awhile back.  I was really good at discarding junk mail the moment it crossed the threshold.  I separated and recycled it the minute it came through the door. 

The leftovers were the true problem.  I had a mediocre system in place before, “Bills” here, “Catalogs” there.  I had all the birth certificates and legal documents kinda sorta pretty much organized.  But way too much miscellaneous paperwork was slipping through the cracks.  The “mail to be sorted” multiplied like rabbits overnight.  It became my nemesis.  I would pass by it late at night, fist in the air, and mutter through gritted teeth “Curse you, vile mail to be sorted box”.  Yes, I hated it that much. 

My previous system was like any invention.  Often it takes the first edition to reveal the kinks in the design in order to work them out.  I think I’ve finally worked them kinks out. 

I’ll agree to reveal my plan, but you’re all sworn to absolute secrecy.  Never mind that I’ve published this for the world to see.  Details.   

First, I highly recommend you arm yourself with a label maker.  As you can see, we have a mutual attraction to each other.

love brother label maker

I love my Brother label maker.  He had me at hello.  

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