Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Picnic Table Talk-Organization

I'm so happy about the topic this week at ABC & 123. It's organization! I've come to find out over the past year of being in our own house that I am an organizational freak. At least I aspire to be one. If you came to my house you probably wouldn't be able to tell. I am on a journey to organization as well as everything else in my life. I could spend entirely too much money at IKEA and The Container Store if my husband would let me. He's been really good though about letting me get my supplies for Tot School and stuff to organize them in.

I've been meaning to do a post about organization for some time now, but I was waiting to be all the way organized so I could post about everything. Then this topic came up and I realized that it will be a long time until I am all the way organized so I might as well post what I have done.

Organizing Stuff:
To start off I have organized all of my Tot school supplies which extends from paints to workbooks to puzzles and beads, etc. We are fortunate to have an extra bedroom in our home that we have turned into a playroom. We could have made it an office/craft room for me, but we decided that will come at a later time and a place to store toys would be more beneficial. I am in the process of reorganizing this room with more storage options and getting more stuff off of the floor.

Any ideas??

To start this organization my hubby put up this shelf for me which I have stored puzzles and games on.
I use the closet in this room to store all of the Tot school stuff.
The other side of the closet has an old bedside table that I store craft supplies in.

Organizing Schedules:
When I think of organizing I think of how I organize ideas as well. I made a schedule board for M&M and posted about it here. In that post I said that I wanted to make a schedule for me as well so that M&M would see what mommy has to get done during the day. Well that was back in May and I finally got it done today. It isn't an exact schedule, but it's a check list that I can show M&M what mommy needs to get done. I have not implemented this yet so we will see what happens. It's nothing fancy either. It's just posterboard, sharpies and clipart pictures from Word. I don't know how to put together anything like this on the computer. I know a lot of people use Publisher, but I don't have that. It works for me though!
I also got the idea to make a calendar with interchangeable numbers and pictures on Blissful Moments. This way M&M can see what is upcoming in the week and look forward to it and when she keeps asking me about something we are doing I can turn to the calendar to show her how many days away it is. She doesn't fully understand the concept of days, but she will grow into it.

Confession time! I am so bad at cleaning my house and most of the time it just gets straightened, dishes are washed and laundry is done and then I don't have time for anything else. I made a schedule with one chore for each day. Again I made it out of posterboard, sharpies, and clipart. This one is mostly for me, but I did pictures so that M&M would know what needs to be done each day. She can either help me or play in her playroom/watch a movie, etc. For instance, she will not help me vacuum because she is terrified of the the loud noise it makes! Silly girl.

Organizing Ideas:
Next up is how I organize my ideas that I get for Tot school. This is the process. When I find an idea on the internet I use Evernote. This way I can highlight what I want and click and it will save it in one of my notebooks. I have made different notebooks for different areas of learning like: shapes, colors, arts and crafts, etc. I also have some for ideas that I get for organization, home decorating, projects I want to do myself or recipes. Once I get an idea in there I will periodically go through each notebook and most likely make a list of the activities in them. I recently found this Lesson Plan Book in the dollar spot at Target. I usually do a letter of the week as the basis for each week of Tot School. Each page as a different letter on it and I write ideas that I want to do on there and which notebook I can find it in on Evernote. The green sticky note as a bunch of words that start with the letter I am using. This allows me to think of ideas I can use for each of the words. I found these words on this website. From those words I go to DLTK and Making Learning Fun to find ideas, as well as the rest of the sites I have listed as resources on the right sidebar. Of course I use ideas that I have found from all of you wonderful bloggers our there.

When I find a paper activity, something that I can print out, I print it out and then put it in this file folder box. Each folder corresponds with a letter of the alphabet. I can just slip that into which letter it goes with and take it out at a later time when I am planning for a certain week to cut out or whatever needs to be done with it. When an activity has several pieces I use all different sizes of ziploc bags to keep all of the pieces together. I'm not very crafty so I just write the title of the activity on masking tape and stick it to the bag. It works!

When I am in the middle of making something I use this hanging file organizer from IKEA to store pieces for the project as well as other odds and ends.
Organizing recipes:

Another thing I am bad at is making dinner. Ever since having Bubba 7 months ago and even before that when I was so pregnant and miserable, I have not felt like cooking dinner or have not had the time to. My poor husband....

I have a bunch of recipes stored up in Evernote and finally got some of them printed out to put in plastic pages in a 3-ring binder with tabs to separate different sections. I found this wonderful menu planning form at The Project Girl website which I use to plan out menus for each week. The planner has a grocery list template on it divided into sections. This is a plus for me so I don't have to have another piece of paper that I could lose. She has some other great forms as well. I have to plan out menus or it will hit 4 o'clock and panic sets in as I scramble around figuring out what to make for dinner.

One more thing:
When all of those Tot school activities are done and we need a place to hang them up we put them on the wall in the playroom. They are actually bath rugs from IKEA that I've tacked up onto the wall. My original idea was to put corkboard behind it, but that project hasn't gotten done yet.

This turned out to be a really long post, but I hope somebody gets some good ideas from it to use in their home to get organized.

It may look like I have life pretty much sorted out, but that is far from the truth. I am really good at putting these things together, but not so good about following them. I am taking steps forward and making progress though and that's what counts, right?

I look forward to looking at everyone else's posts to get some more good ideas!


  1. Oh my goodness! Can you come to my house and organize everything, please? I am bookmarking this post because I am about to leave for vacation and I need to spend more time reading this and applying it.

  2. I love the schedule and chore chart, and had to laugh at the vacuum comment (we can relate at our house). I am impressed at all you have already done!

  3. I love the idea you have for displaying art work!

    You and I have alot of the same units too--I use a very similar cubby unit with the colored cubbies in my oldest son's bedroom (makes it so easy for him to put his own clothes away!!) I also use the file folder box and we have chore cards too with pictures for my non-reader!!

    Thanks for sharing!

  4. You are so organized! I love your schedules!

  5. I get alittle overwhelmed at Ikea, but I really want to buy some organizing stuff there. I love the bright colors of that space.

  6. Wow, you are pretty amazing! I admire your ability to focus and plan. I keep thinking good things about Evernote - I want to try it out eventually too. And you are lucky to have a playroom. I think I'd use a lot more shelves to take all that stuff off the floor, but, of course, it also represents investment - both in time to put them up and in money to buy them in the first place. We literally don't have an open wall anywhere in the house - there is always something that we use to store more things in, on or under :)

  7. Love this post! I'm an organizational freak. Well I strive to be.......
    Check out my one playroom organization idea at

  8. Thank you for the comment, so much. It means more than you'll ever know.

  9. I love your bath mat idea for hanging art. We tend to use the larger pieces for wrapping paper. Otherwise I'd be inundated with all the art they create. It's rather scary how much they make.

  10. looks great! like your organizational ideas for the mommy schedule as well as your child's...
    great ideas!

  11. Wow, what fantastic organization ideas! You're inspired me to try to organize my time and space better - inbetween the 4 trips I'm taking in the next month and a half - busy month! :)



Blog Widget by LinkWithin