Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Five Favorites - Organization

Reading Jen's post on organization has inspired me to do a 5 favorites on what I have found that works for our house (read:  I'm not organized enough to do a whole post on it, but I should be able to pick out a few of my favorite tricks).

1.  Sock Basket
Yes, this is an actual picture of ours
We've tried buying socks in different colors for each child, but it just didn't go over well.  This system works well for us simply because we only have two girls in the family (me and Princess).  Almost all of our socks are white, with the exception of Doug's work socks and our soccer socks.  All clean socks get thrown in the sock basket, done.  If I want to wear a pair of mine that are colored they're pretty easy to find because they'll stand out against the white.  Colored socks make me happy, even if I'm the only one who sees them.  Besides, the newest fashion is to wear mixed matched socks anyway...who knew we were ahead of the curve on this one!

2.   My Homeschool Cabinet
Cut me some slack, the school
year hasn't started yet!
This was a gift from my husband's beloved grandmother's estate, and I love, love, love it.  It makes me happy to be using it for all our school books because Grandma Haege was an educator and I think it makes her smile in heaven to know we are putting it to such good use.  Plus, it's big enough to hold pretty much all our stuff.  At least all the homeschool stuff is in one place, when it starts to overflow I know it's time to declutter the artwork and such.

3.  DVD Binder
Why I need one of these...
OK, this one I haven't done yet, but it is a super idea that a friend of mine uses and I think it's genius and I'm planning on implementing it as soon as I have a spare minute (maybe I'll let the older boys work on it instead).  She has a ton of Disney movies and to keep them organized she takes them out of their original cases and sticks them in a binder labeled "Kids Movies" (with the plastic pages that hold multiple CD's per page).  Then she puts the DVD cases in a box in her attic.  Like I said, genius.  The cases stay nice and all of her movies are in one place so when they go on a car trip she just takes the whole binder so the kids aren't fighting over which movie to take.  I would expand on the theme by putting their XBox games in there too.  The only issue I would see with this is making sure you don't leave the binder in a hot car or accidentally leave it in a hotel room on vacation.  It would be tragic to lose your entire movie/game collection at once!

I still think this is a good idea, our DVDs are constantly getting scratched up because the kids are popping them in and out, and then the cases go missing/break/have cover missing from them (you get the picture).  As you can see above, our DVDs are currently stored on a high shelf to keep the little ones from reaching them.  It would be nice to have all of that combined to one or two folders and clean the clutter up.

4.  My Changing Table

We've received this from Doug's folks when Firstborn was born, my MIL said they used it as a changing table when their boys were little, so it's had alot of use.  We've painted it multiple times to match the decor of the nursery.  I keep the diapers and wet wipes in the top drawer, along with Toddler Boy's pajamas.  Then the rest of his clothes go in the bottom two drawers.  We've gathered quite a collection of those thin receiving/swaddling blankets over the years and I use them as the cover to the changing pad on top.  If it gets dirty I just whip it off and throw it in the wash and grab a new one out of the drawers.  It's not in the shot, but I also have a "diaper champ" diaper pail off to the side.  It's wonderful for keeping the smell down in the nursery, I usually only have to empty it on trash day.  We've used cloth diapers on and off over the years, but when we're using disposables this is what works for us.

5.  Shoes in the Van

I'll end with the comment I left over at Jen's organization post and mention the "shoes in the van" trick, which is similar to the "outfit and diapers" in the van trick I used when the kids were really small or working on potty training.  This summer we started leaving Princess' (5) and Toddler Boy's (2) shoes in the van.  It has been a life saver on my sanity and anxiety levels.  Seriously, we would start looking for their shoes 1/2 hour before we were supposed to leave, we'd put them on...only for them to lose them again right before we walked out the door!!  Even if Princess left her shoes by the door, Toddler Boy finds great joy in wearing her shoes around and dropping them wherever so it makes it impossible to find both of them.  It helps to have shoes they can put on and off themselves (or with their brother's help) rather quickly because chances are they will wait until we arrive at our destination before slipping them on.

The down side of this is they are always, always running around barefoot.  Which means I am constantly cleaning their feet off.  It could also entail a trip to the E.R. if they step on something (like, say a large fish hook with a barb that was knocked down by the dog).  The fact is, my two youngest despise shoes and would be running around barefoot whether their shoes were in the car or not.  At least when they're in the car the shoes are not lost.
Stickers from recent E.R. visit
Princess was so, so brave
(Trust me, you absolutely do not want to see a picture of the fish hook embedded in her foot).  It was not pretty, but I sure am proud of how well Princess did in the hospital.  She scored stickers and a McDonald's Happy Meal from the whole ordeal.

Head over to Hallie at Moxie Wife to see more 5 Favorites link ups!!

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