I am so honored to be here sharing some organizing knowledge with you. My name is Jessica and I am The Organized Mama! I love organizing, crafting, decorating, and watching trashy reality television, like The Bachelor!!
As a professional organizer, I have helped numerous families get their pantries in order. But the biggest stumbling block is where to start with the entire process. Continue reading →
Organizational guru. Nope, not me. Not by a long shot. I have learned, however, that when you spend a little bit of time up front to create a functional, organized space in your home, it pays off in the long run. Today, I’m sharing a simple method I came up with to use when I muster up the courage to tackle an organization project. Because it sure does take courage, doesn’t it?! I’m calling it The 4 C’s Method for Organizing Any Space in your Home. Brenna from Domestic Charm rounded up a fabulous group of bloggers who’ve been spilling their tips and tricks all week to help us get and STAY organized this year, so be sure to stick around until the end to check out what everyone has up their sleeve this January! Continue reading →
Since the start of the year, I’ve been rolling through our house on a mission to purge, declutter and organize! I could show you some not-so-pretty pictures of the massive amounts of things I’ve cleared out and shipped out, but let’s just say I’ve gone through a roll of garbage bags, filled the back-end of my car (stuffed full) at least 5 times, with smaller donation drop-offs almost weekly since January.
I had big plans to put together an organizing series for you after I worked on my bedside table organization project, but I never got that far or was able to document each step along the way. So, I had a different idea. Since I am SO SO happy with how our Master Bedroom refresh turned out, I thought I would hone in on a couple other key spaces in the room, in addition to the nightstands and show you how I’ve stayed organized and kept the areas “styled” so to speak. There is something about being a blogger that calls for function AND the pretty in all that we do! I could go on and on about the staging & styling secrets behind most posts, but I’ll save that for another day. Just trust me when I say the house does not always look so put together!! Continue reading →
Hello my dears! It feels like it’s been forever and it sort of has been! Back from Mexico and back at the blogging!
While it’s SO good to be home, especially now that I’m settled into our newly refreshed master bedroom, I’m feeling mega swamped with household odds and ends. I hate to complain after being away for 5 days basking in the sunshine, but there are crazy amounts of things to catch up on. Thankfully laundry is not one of them because my wonderful mom took care of more loads than I could count while we were away. #shesthebest
Since the year of 2016 is still in its infancy stage (or so I’m telling myself that) I don’t feel all that bad that I didn’t get to everything on my organizational to-do list last month. I know January is notorious for being “the month of YOU” and “how to organize your life in the new year”, but I think it’s probably fair to say many of us are a bit…ahem… behind.
BUT, its not too late! Today, I’m joining a group of bloggers for Get Organized 2016, where each of us is showing a freshly organized space in our home. In order to work my way toward the bigger spaces in our home (and since so much of my time last month was spent recovering from the holidays, celebrating with friends at a wedding and the New Year, New Room Refresh challenge, I’m starting small and showing you how you can take just 10 minutes a day to get organized and take back some control of the “stuff” cluttering up your home and life!
So, in light of starting small, I’m tackling my bedside table drawer.
I know, it’s bad. Real bad. like I-can’t-believe-I-just-posted-this-for-the-world-to-see-bad. Please raise your hand if there is a drawer in your house that looks like this!! And to be honest, I knew this drawer was pretty scary and pretty full, so I rarely even opened it up. I was out to lunch with a friend a couple months ago and she was talking about how awful her husband’s bedside table drawer was. She said it was the most disgusting thing ever and she didn’t know how he could find a single thing in it. Well, when I got home, since I was unsure what state mine was in, I slowly opened the drawer and yep, found that.
Thanks, girl. Your husband’s unspeakably filthy, cluttered drawer inspired me to take action. and then blog about it 😉
Even though it’s just a drawer, it can be a daunting task to tackle. So, let’s make it easy.
Here are 5 simple steps for how to organize your bedside table [or any] drawer in 10 minutes or less:
1 | Open it up.
No, seriously open up that drawer, that closet door, that cabinet, whatever it is. If you know its bad, then chances are you are avoiding it. Or it could be the total opposite scenario… it’s SO bad that every time you open it, you have a minor (or major) anxiety attack. I’ve been there, too. Just not in this case. The first step is usually the hardest. It gets easier and more fun from there!
2 | Empty it out.
Take every single thing out of the drawer, even the pieces of lint left behind. If it’s not completely empty you will grab a few things and call it good. You want a clean slate when you start to put the drawer back together again.
3 | Lay out the contents & sort by like things.
I had quite the variety of random things, but there were several reoccurring themes or items, so I grouped them together on the floor.
Once you’re able to see what you have and how many of the same type of thing. you can determine if you need to toss it or keep it – either back in the drawer or find it a new home, maybe back with the rest of its family members.
You can see above I grouped like items together and still had a ton of outliers. Some were necessities, others were goners. I mean, who keeps sunglasses, reed diffuser sticks, and alphabet magnets in their bedside table drawer??
And about that bottle opener, you ask? Yes, it was deemed a necessity.
Ever grab a bottle of wine to take to your room to watch a movie, fold laundry (no, just me?) or relax and not have an opener? Welp, now you can stock one in your bedside table and thank me later 😉
Once I determined if each item was going back in or not, then I could prepare for the next step.
4 | Round up bins, baskets and / or trays to store items in.
Shop your house [You can read up on my “shop your house” tips here!]! That is why I could literally call this a 10 minute job! I didn’t have to buy any new organizational storage containers or pretty little things to stage the drawer with. Yes, I’m a blogger and I stage things. #sayitaintso These storage containers are all from the Target* $1 section from one trip or another. I had them in my office, but they weren’t in use. I grabbed them and brought them to my bedroom to see if they would all fit in the drawer and if my items would fit in them.
Yes! They lined up perfectly!
5 | Put items back in their newly designated spot.
I have 5 storage containers, so I looked down at my keep piles which were grouped by like items and determined which groups would fit where. Small, divided acrylic tray went closest to the bed for hand cream, lip stuff and my trusty rubberbands. [See this other acrylic storage option]* Next to it, I put a few essential emergency-ish items – Tums, Advil, mints and yes, a chocolate craving counts as an emergency. Mine is similar to this one, only black. Then I have 2 decorative cardboard bins – the pink and gold polka dot one has a couple of inspirational quote books inside. The top book is full of motivational words you should read first thing in the morning. I got it from a dear friend and she’s actually the friend whose husband inspired this post – the irony!
On the far side in a white and gold bin – I have spare phone and tablet chargers, extra fitbit charger, headphones, TV remote and apple TV remote. At the back. I have the book I’m currently reading and in the gold cylinder, I have a flashlight and yes, that bottle opener!
While you’re off getting your drawers and closets organized, you can start thinking about freshening up your decor! Tomorrow, I’m participating in a table top styling hop, but Day 1 is TODAY! You don’t want to miss these stylin’ surfaces!
Vacation has been wonderful, but the idea of being home is sounding pretty great! Aside from the severe drop in temperature, I am looking forward to getting back – back to our own beds and our normal daily routine. This trip has definitely been a nice reset button for me and a little break from the winter blues. Today, we’ve already had our coffee, taken our morning walk and are heading off to the pool to swim and have lunch shortly. It doesn’t get much better than that 🙂
Speaking of being back in our own beds, last week I shared a glimpse of the room I am staying in at my parents’ house down here and how I made a few tweaks to the bedside area. Their set-up is great and I have actually had some excellent sleep, which is always an added bonus when you are away from home! Today, I am going to share a quick tutorial for the DIY gold detail acrylic tray I made to use as a catchall for my jewelry after taking it off at the end of the day. It was quick, easy and gold. Need I say more?!
1 – Start by cutting your paper to fit inside the acrylic frame. My frame was a 5″ x 7″ so I measured my paper, made a couple of pencil marks and then made the cuts.
2 – Run 3 strips of the tape on the inside of the frame. 3 – press your paper down so it adheres to the bottom of the tray. 4 – Take the tape runner and make 3 – 4 little dabs on each side of the tray, spaced about an inch or so apart. I made the marks just big enough so it wouldn’t show above or below the gold trim once I wrapped it around the edge.
5 – Take the trim & wrap it around all 4 sides of the tray along the tape marks, pressing down as you go, on the corners as well. You need to get the trim to form around the edges. Cut off the excess trim once you make it all the way around.
6 – Take the gold leaf pain pen and run it along the top edge of the tray for a bit more gold detail. Once it is dry, you can put it right to use!
A few minute later, I set it on the bedside table and filled it with my gems! It is just the right size to hold a few bracelets, watch and my rings and not take up to much room on the nightstand.
If I were to make this tray again, I would probably look for another method for sticking the trim on… you can see the tape marks from the inside of the tray looking out and it isn’t quite holding the gold trim very well. It is meant to be decoupaged on, but I didn’t want to decoupage on the acrylic for fear of seeing brush strokes, etc. Next time, I will leave the trim off or experiment with other adhesives! lesson learned 🙂 I just might be making one of these for our master bedroom or our soon-to-be-revamped guestroom.
Once I return home, I hope to have my project posts [and a few progress ones, too] flowing. I am almost done with my ugly green chair, so the guestroom should be in full-swing makeover mode very soon!
Have a great Monday and please stop back again to see what I have been up to back in Illinois!
Greetings from AZ! We are on vacation down in sunshiny, 90 degree, lovely weather Arizona visiting my parents and several other family members. Needless to say, it has been perrrr-fect! Although I had planned to do a bit of blogging while away from home, I wasn’t entirely sure what I was going to post about. I have a few posts drafted with some new ideas, so I hope to get them completed in the next week. If not, I’ll just add them to the run-on list of post ideas I have been churning out in my head but that haven’t quite made it any further than just that…a list.
Whenever I am visiting my parents or they are in town visiting us, my mom and I are always on the hunt for new home décor and chatting about the latest and greatest design ideas for our homes. I definitely inherited my love for decorating from her and we love doing it together when we can. “If only we lived closer!” we always say, then we could bounce ideas off of each other all day, everyday (and probably spend too much $$$, also!).
Since I am a guest in her house this week, I thought I would share how I helped my mom do a quick bedside table roundup to make it slightly more functional for me. Of course you don’t typically take it upon yourself to start rearranging and adding things to the room your hosts graciously put you up in, but with my mom, it’s totally ok!
She has a great guest room set-up in their home in Arizona, so I just made a few tweaks to the bedside area to allow for simple storage & easy access for items on the bedside table.
Glimpse of the bedside table before:
There was actually no staging here!
What changes did I make?
1 – Water decanter & glass– I relocated these pieces from the dresser to the nightstand so a quick glass of water is more accessible while in bed. I love that she has this in the room and am pretty sure I will be adding one to the guestroom in our house during the revamp. At that price, why not?!
2- DIY acrylic tray (tutorial coming soon) to hold my jewelry at the end of the day. The small tray keeps all of the pieces together so they don’t get knocked off and end up missing.
3 – Silver tray with handles – This was also previously located on top the dresser. I realized my book was on the table, but magazines were on the floor, so I grabbed it and moved it to the little cubby / shelf on the nightstand. It happened to fit in there just right. The tray now holds magazines, my iPad and book and can easily be slid out to reach in and grab what I need. As I always say, if loose items can be corralled into a permanent home, then when they get out of place, you know just where to put them when tidying up. Take a look at Simon’s nursery closet, our linen closet and pantry for a few spots in our home that tend to stay neat & tidy due to great organizational systems we put into action.
No major changes, but a couple of small ones that are working out very nicely so far!
What is on your nightstand at home? What items do you like to have on your bedside table when staying somewhere else? I would love to hear from you!
If you are anything like me, then running around like a madwoman before dinner guests or overnight company arrives is the norm. We love to entertain and with out-of-town family in for frequent visits, it always seems like there is a never-ending list of things to do to get ready. I have been working hard to try to get things neat and tidy days before someone is due for a visit, but with 2 little ones running around with toys awry and our own adult-household clutter, it can get tricky. I have put together a list of my Top 5 quick-fix tips for tidying up. I try to do these things each night [or in the morning in the case of #4] – sometime after dinner, before or after putting the kids down, but definitely before I sit down on the couch to cozy in and catch up on some shows! If I wait until right before bed, none of it would ever get done!
I’m not talking about deep cleaning escapades, but the minor tasks that do wonders to the look and feel of our home and also help boost my spirits. Nothing like 5 minutes of productivity to feel accomplished! This list could go on and on, but these are the tips I turn to the most!
Take 5 minutes with a basket in hand to go around the main, high-traffic areas of the house and put all of the random odds and ends that have accumulated over the course of the day. I have a basket in one of my kitchen cabinets where everything that doesn’t have a home but needs a home goes. It isn’t a permanent solution, but at least I know where everything is when I have a few extra minutes to sit down and sort it out. If you have one main “clutter” basket or bin versus shoving each item in a separate nook or junk drawer, then you know it is all together. I have heard of people using a basket or decorative box in each room for this task. Other than my kitchen cupboard junk basket, I also have one on the staircase for items that need to make their way to the 2nd floor. It is easier to grab one basket instead of 5 loose items and head upstairs to put everything back in its proper place. This isn’t a long-term strategy to decluttering, but is a quick-fix for sure!
Don’t forget to do the appliances, too. After you’ve picked up the clutter from the floor in each room and the tops of your counters, a little elbow grease on the kitchen surfaces will do wonders. Nothing says ick more than caked-on food spills and visible oil splatters. A few minutes in here and everything will look shiny and new again.There is just something about a freshly vacuumed room. Do you agree?! A quick vacuum job over hard floors to pick up crumbs and dirt and then the same attention to rugs and carpeted areas and boom. That’s it.
There have actually been studies on this! I won’t try to quote any, but for me personally, I feel instant gratification. The room looks and feels put together after you pull the sheets and comforter up, place pillows in their proper position and fold any blankets or quilts. A neatly made bed not only seems to jumpstart the day, but it is equally as pleasing to crawl into one at bedtime after a long day. Try it everyday for a week and see how it goes 🙂
Empty the wastebasket in each room and replace the trash bags with new ones. A little trick, keep your supply of new trash bags at the bottom of your basket, under the bag that’s in use. I do this in all of our bedrooms and bathrooms. They are handy and ready to grab so you are sure to put one in right away, instead of having to go to the pantry or linen closet to retrieve new ones. There is nothing worse than going to throw something away and there isn’t a bag. So you throw it in anyways, only to have gross stuff on the inside of your wastebasket, which you probably won’t want to scrub clean on a regular basis, so it builds up over time. Eeeek! Save yourself the time and energy and pick up a pack of these. They are my go-to liners for all of our small-sized wastebaskets and they smell great, too. My personal favorite is the vanilla 🙂
Like I said, adhering to any or all of these tidy tips won’t give your house a complete overhaul, but they will help you get ready for last-minute guests [or planned ones you procrastinate preparing for] or just help keep things generally tidy.
Not only will your home smell lovely, but it will help to create a warm and inviting atmosphere. Even if its just you who is sitting down at the end of the day, a glass of wine just seems to taste better by candelight. Right?! Fresh flowers make magic happen too, but now we are just getting carried away.
What are your quick tips for tidying your home? What do you right before your guests arrive?!
I’m off to paint by bathroom vanity now – wish me luck! I hope you’ll be back soon to see what is going on over here. Don’t miss anything – be sure to sign up to follow by email & get posts delivered directly to your inbox! You can tollow This is our Bliss on social media, too!
Hello!! Today, I am back again with a super simple playroom organization post. It is probably not all that thrilling to most, but I have found that labels make me happy! This labeling project took me about 10 minutes. It simply involved coming up with several toy categories, typing them out & printing them on white cardstock paper, cutting each out and then adhering the label to the plastic bin with Gold Washi Tape on all 4 sides. I bought this 3 pack of tape around the holidays last year, as they are the perfect addition to plain wrapping paper. When I decided to use the tape for these labels, I decided to use the gold triangle roll to coordinate with the letters on the wall in the Reading Nook (see part 1 and part 2). Sound easy? It was!
Here is how mine turned out:
These bins from Target fit perfectly on the shelves behind the door of our old dining room buffet. Henry has already started to learn what the labels say and (occasionally) puts the toys back where they belong! Picking up after playdates is easier now, too. When other parents want to help, they don’t have to ask where each and every little thing goes!
Do you have any quick and easy organization or labeling tips? If so, please share by leaving a reply!
Enjoy the rest of your day and please come back again soon!
Now that Simon has arrived and I have finished taking pictures of the nursery, I am finally ready to show you!
If you’ve been reading over here then you know I have been working on this room for months… back in March I was creating the ever-evolving, never-ending checklist which I am proud to say is completed and I couldn’t be happier with how the room turned out. Simon will be sleeping in a bassinet in our room for awhile, but having the room done & ready is such a good feeling.
We change him on the changing pad in his room throughout the night… & T and I have both sat in the glider to rock him to sleep… His little outfits are hung up in the closet & folded in the drawers…And the art and photos are hanging [untouched for now!] on his cute little pegboard gallery wall.
It is definitely a happy place for us (and Simon, too, I hope)! Continue reading →
Today I am going to share a project I have been working on over the last couple of weeks. It was a task that needed to be addressed ASAP, so I grabbed a garbage bag and headed in…to the pantry, that is. We have a small walk-in pantry just off the kitchen with great shelving for tons of storage. We had the pantry system put in by Closets by Design last year and I guess you could say I kept the shelves somewhat organized, but they definitely were not in shape like I wanted them to be. I knew I needed to clear out the junk (throw out expired food), remove things that don’t belong in a kitchen pantry (I ended up with 2 shopping bags for Goodwill when doing this part?!) and decide what items should be stored on what shelf. I then made a list of foods / items that could be grouped together in baskets and bins. I had several baskets currently in use in the pantry and several others I had spotted at Target, etc. and knew I wanted to pick up and slap some pretty labels on them. The labels were printed on cardstock paper, cut to size and inserted into gold bookplate label holders. I will put together a full source list at the bottom of this post in case you are in the mood to overhaul YOUR pantry this weekend. I think the project stemmed from some nesting tendencies I have been displaying lately, as well knowing I wanted to tackle some spring cleaning around the house!
The pantry isn’t perfect, but it works for us! I have 3 shelves being used for storage of large kitchen gadgets, garbage bags/misc. items and another for vases, candles and candleholders. Although the shelves look “neat & tidy”, I felt like putting up some fabric panels I sewed and inserted some elastic into. I attached them to the edges of the shelves with velcro squares for easy access even though I don’t really have to get at those things very often. The fabric panels were definitely not necessary, but I thought it made the space look pretty 🙂
Here is what we have goin’ on in the pantry NOW
(Sorry for the photo overload :))
Bins, baskets & shelves ~ all with pretty gold labels (I couldn’t help it)
You can see I added several shelf risers to allow for maximum usage of space. Below you will also see an under-shelf basket and 2 black plate racks (paper plate & cloth napkin storage).
A few more snapshots ~ the bottom fabric panel, clear plastic containers for dry goods storage, a bin for energy drinks, sliding drawers for misc. items.
Stacked paper goods & plastic serving utensils
I added 3 large plastic hooks behind the door for reusable grocery & shopping bags and last, but not least, the Recycling basket… its always been there, but I had to add a label, of course!