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Monday, March 19, 2012

Organization Projects I've Been Doing Lately...

I have not been posting much lately, but I have been busy doing some organizing projects around the house. It's not as pretty as craft projects, but it is refreshing to clear some extras out of the house, and to bring some things out that we can use that were stored away.

I bought this black photo album at Walmart for $6.00. It's one with the full empty pages with protectors. I wish I could remember where I first saw this idea, because it's a good one, and I'd like to give credit to whoever thought of it.

I don't know about you, but I get a lot of awesome photo cards at Christmas, school pictures from family members, and invitations to events. I like to keep them, but I had just been throwing them all in an empty baby wipes container. So now I'm putting them in here. Here's a sample page (from 2010):

I left a page open for the numerals of each year in between each year, starting with 2007 (the first year I could find in my stack of cards), and once I get the chance I'll come up with a simple but pretty design for the numbers. From now on I can just add things as I get them. It's simple and quick, and a lot easier to enjoy than an empty wipes container stacked full of cards.

So then I moved on to the boys' room. You can see our tubs full of smaller sized clothes that we save to hand down to future babies. On top the basket is full because I went through and pulled out most of the winter clothes to store, and I haven't gotten to putting them away yet. Usually the basket is reserved for clothes that they have outgrown, and then when it gets full, I'll pull the tubs out to put them away.

Before I pulled out the winter clothes, I took an inventory of everything in the tubs. I pulled out a few more things to sell (if neither kid has worn it so far, we probably won't miss it), and I wrote down numbers of shirts and onesies and whatnot in each size, so I won't have to guess what we'll need next time around. No, I am not pregnant, but I have noticed each time Matthew's about to outgrow a size that I have no idea what we have in the next size. For instance, I discovered that we have no summer pajamas in his current size, so he spent a few nights sleeping in his clothes. Oops!

I also pulled out all of the "nice" clothes and snowsuits, because those were 2 categories that I was always wondering what we had and could never remember because it was packed away with the rest. They are organized by size, and it's very easy to see what we have. In between is the family baptismal gown, which I'll have to remember to take to my sister's this summer!

I also went through the bookshelves and pulled out all of the books that I could get for free on the Kindle. There were a lot. So many that we now have a free shelf for storing our bins of toy cars and trains, and our bucket of blocks. I haven't decided if this is a good or bad thing yet - the cars and trains are getting played with more, but they also get dumped out a lot more. Apparently that's the fun thing to do.

And finally, I went through our "memorabilia" storage. I had a large teal trunk full of things, and we also had a Rubbermaid partially full. I threw some things out, pulled some things out to scan or photograph and then get rid of, and grabbed some things out for the boys.

Jonah fell in love with my stuffed Mr. Popples, which he now sleeps with every night. I also found some foam dice, some Mardi Gras beads, and some Tinker Toys for the kiddos to play with (saving the Tinker Toys for when they're a bit older). Now our "memorabilia" only takes up the Rubbermaid tub, and I was able to sell the teal trunk for $10!

I still have a ways to go, but our apartment is slowly getting less cluttered, and of everything I've sold, given away, or donated, I haven't missed a thing, and I've made almost $100! I've been trying to use that money to bring things into our house that are both useful and pretty, like the photo album above, and a new flour canister, because the lid on my old one broke when we moved here almost 3 years ago, and I've just been covering it with a plate since then. We've also been able to supplement our grocery budget and stock up on both diapers and wipes, which is nice.

Up next in the organizing realm: finding new storage for our small dvd and cd collection, clearing off the dining room table, and keeping the kitchen counters from getting cluttered again. Anyone else doing some good organizing projects lately?

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