Category Archives: Organizing

Homemade Kids Keepsakes Organizer

I still haven’t dealt with the pile of artwork and papers that my kids brought home from school last year. Now we are starting back again and they will be bringing more home!

Here is the pile of artwork I have been begged to keep because every single piece is special:

While I do love keeping my kids artwork and keepsakes, I do not love the mess it creates. I like things to be organized and in my world everything has it’s own home. So I came up with a way to store and organize all of our favorite artwork, school papers and keepsakes.

Homemade Kids Keepsakes Organizer

 This is really quick and easy to make, the kids can even help!  Here is what you need:

Poster board
Hole Punch
Stickers and/or Markers

First fold the poster board in half.
Then punch holes down the two sides, leaving an open space at the top.

Starting at the bottom of the poster board, weave the ribbon in and out of the punched holes until you reach the top. Repeat on the other side.

Tie in a bow at the top. Tie it tightly!

 Decorate with stickers if you like and label it with your child’s name and grade/age. This is a great job for the kids!

Done! Using the large size poster board makes the organizer big enough to hold large keepsakes without needing to fold them!

And, of course, it can fit small things as well. Do you remember this paper? I just had to keep that one!

The folded up poster board Kids Keepsake Organizer fits nicely right down into a plastic bin so you can stick them in there and line them up just like a neat and tidy little file box full of childhood memories.

If you don’t have much time, you are not crafty, you are lazy, or it is your second or third child who always get the shaft, you can use the super easy way:

Fold poster board in half:

Staple up the sides:

Write the kids name on the front with a sharpie:

Fill it up!

For now I have one bin with a folder for each kid but my goal is to have one bin for each kid filled with a folder for each grade. It will be so easy to look through and my table top will stay clean!

How do you keep your kids artwork organized?

Keeping Your Recipes Organized

I love finding new recipes.  I usually don’t follow them very well, but I do love them.  I’m a fan of making a recipe my own, but I get a lot of ideas from magazines, food blogs and frequent emails from various online subscriptions.

The question is, what in the heck do you do with all of those ideas and recipes?!  Anyone out there have a stack of magazines “just in case” you want to try that recipe on page 32?  Or how about having SO many online recipes bookmarked in your favorites that you it takes you an hour just to scroll through them?

I am a lover of all things organized and I just hate finding a recipe a year after I saved it!  So here is a system that I came up with to keep my recipes organized, easy to find, and on hand!

I have a photo album type binder that I use to keep my favorite, most frequently used recipes in.  I use the “sticky” album pages for recipes that I cut out of magazines and I use page protectors that are hole punched for full sheet articles and pages that I’ve printed.

You can use any ol’ binder or photo album (mine just happens to be a cooking one given to me by my Aunt years ago (thanks, Aunt Jodi!).  Stick some divider tabs in there and label them so it works best for you and Voila!  You have an easy and organized way to keep only the recipes you love and toss the stacks of magazines!

I also have a folder similar to this filled with decorating ideas. You can use this binder system with any kind of articles you want to keep without needing to keep entire magazines or losing them in your emails and bookmarks!

If you like having your recipes stored on your computer (I do save some on there as well) be sure to organize them to make them easier to find.  It only takes a second to make folders in your bookmarked favorites and then save new recipes you find from here or other blogs into those folders. Here is a screen shot of what mine looks like:

Another type of recipe binder I like is this one where you can write down your recipes onto recipe cards and insert into the book.

What are your favorite ways to keep your recipes organized?

Aren’t those recipe cards hilarious! I found them on Etsy and just had to share! Check them out HERE!

My Secret to a Clean House

My house is clean and I’m not afraid to admit it!

I get a lot of rolled eyes when people come to my house and see how clean it is amongst four males in the house. But the joke is on them.  Because my house isn’t really that clean.  It just looks like it is.  You want to know how?  OK, I’ll tell you my secrets, but you may never look at my clean house the same way again!

When the boys were young, I had to find a way to make things work.  I had a newborn, a 15 month old toddler and a five year old…not to mention a husband.  A clean house was on the way bottom of my priority list.  I remember after Charlie was born, my Mom stopped by and I saw her face as she looked around.  Toys everywhere, dishes stacked high, dust bunnies waving at you.  It was not pretty.  I had to change the way I did things.  I couldn’t let the housework suffer. My Momma didn’t raise a slob.  So I learned very quickly how to clean the house quickly and efficiently as possible.

OK, now for the secrets, you ready?

Clean as you go.


Everything has a home.

I know, not very mind blowing.  Kind of a let down, isn’t it?

But it’s just that simple.  If you are a working Mom, you don’t have time to spend three days a week cleaning.  And if you are like me, a stay at home Mom who is hardly ever home due to baseball and volunteering at the school or tending to little ones, you don’t have the luxury of spending your precious free moments cleaning.

I clean the house one day a week.  I do the laundry one day a week.  That is it.  Yet I still have a clean house and clean clothes consistently.

When I say clean as you go, here is what I mean: Don’t leave for tomorrow what you can do right now.

If I walk past the garbage can and notice a that someone spilled something down the side of it, I stop right then and there, grab the wash cloth and wipe it up.  You might think, “I’ll get to that later when I clean the kitchen after dinner.”  No! Do it now!  When you go to clean the kitchen later, that is just one less thing you have to do.  Before you know it, that 15 minute clean up after dinner has turned into an hour because you have to wipe down the garbage can, clean that spill you ignored in the fridge earlier, wipe down the juice splattered down the cabinet from this morning, sweep up the crumbs still there from lunch…you get the picture.

If you clean as you go, you will save yourself so much time!

In the morning, I wipe the bathroom sink and toilet down after I get ready for the day.  It takes me 30 seconds and the bathroom looks clean every single day.  Then on my one cleaning day for the week, I go a bit deeper, clean the floors, clean the tub, etc.

I save vacuuming, dusting, sweeping and mopping for my one cleaning day.  But throughout the week, I wipe down the dusty tv as I walk past it, I take the dust-buster to the kitchen floor after the boys eat (just under the table not the whole floor).  When cleaning day comes, the messes are minimal compared to what it would be like if I would have ignored it the rest of the week.

Now hear me…Don’t deep clean as you go, quick clean as you go.  That’s why my house looks clean but it might not actually be clean.

And it will serve you well to teach your kids this also.  The rule is that we clean one mess before making another in the play room.  My boys have been taught since they were very little to wipe off the toothpaste from the sink when they are done, wipe off the toilet seat if they sprinkle, put their dirty dishes in the sink or dishwasher.

The little quick clean ups add up very quickly to a clean house.  Then spend your one day cleaning a bit more deeply.  You don’t have to focus on the little stuff because it’s done already.  You don’t have to spend half an hour sorting through the mail to clean the kitchen counter because every day when the mail came you took a minute to open it, sort it and put it in it’s home.  So your counter is already clean and you can focus on mopping the floors instead.  You don’t have to spend half your day cleaning toys off the playroom floor to vacuum because every day you (or if they are old enough, your kids) took 5 minutes to pick up the toys.

Oh yes, one more thing, put those kids to work!  Especially if you are a working Mom and your one cleaning day is on the weekend.  You don’t want to spend your entire day off cleaning!  So take a Saturday morning and work together to get it all done.  You will have a clean house and the rest of your day to do something fun!  If you work and have little ones…you have my sympathy.  Hang in there and just do the best you can!

If you can spend just a little bit of time making sure everything has a home, clean up time is much more efficient.  I will write more about that and other organizing tips in time.

So does this make sense? I don’t want to ramble, but it may be too late for that. LOL  You can have a clean house and eat your cake too…or something like that.

I’d love to hear your cleaning tips in the comments section!  We can all use a new trick or two up our sleeves!