30 March 2015

Seasonal Clothes Swapping

First I will say that I do not enjoy this task but thankfully it only has to be done 2 times a year.  Transitioning from tank tops and shorts at the end of summer and the packing away of long sleeves and heavy coats at the end of winter. By the end of the season I am so over seeing the same clothes on the kids anyway, I guess that part I do enjoy, along with having it done!

First things first, make sure you have enough time. Don't rush it, make it 2 separate times if you need to but don't try to rush through it all.

Prep your boxes or bins, baskets or whatever you are using to sort.
I have 6 bins I use.
~ Keep in drawers
~Keep for next year
~Hand Down

Keep in drawer is something that is going right back in.
Keep for next year, stuff that will likely still fit in 6 months and is in good shape
Hand Down, outgrown by this kiddo but in good shape for the next
Donate/Sell. Honestly, sometimes I never want to see something again and if it's not worth it to sell we will donate it or hand down to another family that can use it.
Scrap, there is only so much you can do with a shirt that was put over chubby thighs and stretched out. If it's cotton I will keep it to clean stuff up, or use it to stain wood.

Once the current stuff is sorted. More prep. Get the kiddo ready! I can't tell you how much this part of the project will determine how it ends. In smiles and probably some mama tears or tears of frustration from everyone! Bathroom, snack and then distractions put away just sets the stage for a smooth transition. We have a speedy try on everything questionable session. Sometimes it's hard to know if something is going to fit without trying it on. Sizes on labels can be very different from brand to brand.

~If you are a momma of more than 1, do 1 child at a time. It's already daunting, don't make it harder on yourself with more stuff than you have to have out at once.
~Keep 1 top and 1 bottom from the sell or donate pile handy. Just in case there is a weird weather day. You don't want to have to dig through a bin for them in the mad rush before school or bed the night before.
~Get the stuff that is going out, OUT as soon as you can!
~Label your bins/boxes with a label you can see easily

I have found that the more often I do this, the more often I buy less the following year. Seeing stuff that was not worn much before it was outgrown is a sure sign that our kids have too much.

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27 March 2015

Organizing Friday {Week 13}

Spring Break Week!

I didn't really plan to do much this week.
I did go through all the kids clothes, pack up the long sleeve T's and get the short sleeve T's out.

We keep 1 bin under each kiddo's bed for out of season clothes that fit.
Slowly working our way towards having just the 1 bin, I was buying way way too many clothes, so each kid also had 1 bin under our bed of stuff that is too big. After this go around of clothes swap there might only be 1 bin under our bed! I am getting better about not over buying and letting stuff go. I used to have a whole bunch of hand me downs from our oldest for our 5 year old. I did such a good job last summer that the 5 yo has 1 tank top this year as a hand me down. All of the others were worn out or stained. 

Since I don't have much to share today from our house, I thought I would share these super ideas I have seen around for storing kid clothes!

 So smart to use the page protectors on the inside of the bins! We have used duct tape and written directly on the bin, neither of those ended well.

Here are some free printables too!

If you don't have room, or the budget, for plastic bins, there is this option.
a 2 pack from Dollar Tree of sweater bags. They aren't hard plastic, so if you have a smaller or awkward space under a bed, a corner closet etc. You just might be able to shove some of these in there.

These are the ones we use

How do you store out of season or out of size clothes?

I will share my process for season clothes swapping soon!
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20 March 2015

Organizing Friday {Week 12}

I didn't get last weeks task all the way done.



I don't really know what to do in here, we got rid of so much of the kids bathroom stuff, in anticipation of not having 2 bathrooms, that there really just isn't much to organize. 
I moved the beach and pool towels out to the garage with the life jackets and other summer stuff.

Just needed a space for 
Towels and washcloths
We really kept all of their towels to the bare minimum so they don't take a lot of room.

We didn't unpack the decorations because it just hasn't happened and this bathroom isn't really conducive to it either.  

I do want to grab a couple of baskets for the shelving so I can start stocking up on necessities again, while keeping them pretty. Looking for some deals. When I am on the hunt I put the measurements of the shelf or area in my phone so I don't have to worry about buying something and it not fitting.

The extra bedding was just that, extra. We have been in this house 5 1/2 months and yet to need them. I donated all but 1 extra and there was plenty of room to keep it with the rest of the kids stuff in their closets.

We are heading out for a mini vacation, when we get back I am sure I will find another area that needs some attention. It's Spring Break here, what are y'all doing for Spring Break?
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13 March 2015

Organizing Friday {Week 11}

After I cleaned up that wrapping paper and gift stuff I just kept going, had plenty of room to get the craft stuff done!

It wasn't horrible before but hadn't been done since we moved.
I was being a little more brutal with purging. For example, there is no way I am going to use all those beads for bracelets, it's already too late for some of the beads, the outfits have come and gone. 

I kept just a few things for birthday parties and was able to send a whole bag full to charity.

Not sure what to work on next, it's supposed to be 70 degrees here today, I won't be doing anything today other than playing with the kids outside!

How do you organize craft stuff? Have a whole craft room?
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06 March 2015

Organizing Friday {Week 10}

Last week was pretty easy, just dealing with the wrapping paper and bags. 
That Target bag was some of it, the rest was hidden under all that fabric. Yikes!
First, I sorted, got all the garbage and items we won't be using out of the way.
Separated the Christmas specific stuff and put with the Christmas stuff, out of the way.
Ahhh, so much better all in 1 accessible box.
 I decided to keep just 2 small rolls of wrapping paper. It's not often that a bag won't be a better fit anyway. These rolls are small so no extra storage.

How do you store wrapping paper and gift bags?

I've seen some serious closets full of stuff like this
I heart Organizing

But that kind of space is just not here, and I don't want to keep track of that much wrapping paper. I would rather have 1 roll of brown craft paper from the dollar tree that I can use and donate the excess, then decorate it for the occasion.
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03 March 2015

March Goals

I am just now thinking about what my goals are for March. A big thing in February was giving up soft drinks. I didn't do too bad, occasional drink here and there. After not really drinking diet cola this month, I tried a drink of it the other night and I could barely get it down! 
I am still avoiding coffee I have to pay for and going to keep avoiding soft drinks. We will just snowball them and keep going.

I am trying to base all of my monthly goals around Refining. I was initially thinking I would give up chocolate in March but being honest here. Cadbury mini eggs? Yeah, I'd fail!

We are done with basketball and we don't have any sports starting until after Spring break. I feel like March is the perfect time to refine our meal time. We have been in a dinner rut and busy with basketball. I haven't been meal planning that great and kinda winging it. That really just hasn't worked out for me. I don't think a month worth of meal planning is going to work for us either, so many variables with 4 kids and a busy hubby. I am just going to keep my goal to meal planning dinner 6 days a week, and STICKING to it. This should really help me refine our grocery list and grocery shopping. 

I've shared meal planning before, I do things differently at different times of year. I know during baseball season everything has to be portable, that is only a few weeks away. Until then, I am just trying to focus on

~Not spending more than our grocery budget due to lack of planning
~Getting the kids to try more types of food
~Use more fresh veggies
~Use what's in our freezer/cupboards

If I can make the time, I also would like to see about container gardening. Since we are renting we have slightly limited choices. If we have our pots still and I can squeeze the other stuff needed into the budget we just might give a few plants a go!

Any container gardening book recommendations? I already have a slight brown thumb as it is.

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02 March 2015

Organizing Friday {Week 9}

Happy Monday! And in case this is your first visit, I wanted to explain real quick why Friday's are for Organizing around here. I have a routine down for cleaning all of our home, Monday-Thursday. That leaves weekends and Friday to get projects done. Our weekends are full of family fun, we want to keep it that way. Usually I post these on Fridays. Last Friday I was pretty ill, slept the whole day! So here it is today!
Last week was the laundry area, it was bad. It was more dirty than unorganized. Some of it was from the move, anything and everything kind of got shoved on the dryer.

So much dust and sawdust!
Spiffied it up a little, used what we had and hung a couple things to get them off the dryer and freezer.

 Finally put that star up, it's not centered but it's not falling off the dryer every few days either.
 Love this vintage pop bottle crate for laundry necessities.

I throw all the pocket stuff in this basket. Change, lego's and gum wrappers for days!
This week I am going to try to work on craft stuff, but I may only get to wrapping stuff. Either way, they are in the same space so it will help.

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