Tame Those Small Card Games!

While browsing one of my favorite blogs, I Heart Organizing, I came across Jen using a travel sized Q-Tip case to hold her apple ear buds.

It was so cute and so genius. I didn’t need to use it for that but I kept the size in mind for future projects and just this past weekend, had an ah-ha moment myself!

We are huge fans of playing the game memory in our house. I began creating personalized versions for the kiddos with their favorite characters and we have at least six versions that were hanging around the house in ziploc bags. The bags would rip and the cards would get mixed up. It just started to bug me how they were being stored but they were so small so finding a container wasn’t easy (especially one that was attractive!).

I decided to snag one of those travel size Q-tip cases in the travel toiletries section at Target. It was .97 and I simply removed the q-tips and added them to our large container. No waste! Β AND, they fit inside perfectly!!!!!!! Β I whipped up a label with some of the clip art I found to make the memory cards (free online from google) and added some text.

I was so thrilled, that I went back and snagged a bunch more! The container also comes in pink if you are looking for a more girly option! Now all of our memory games are stored safely away. They are easier to grab and throw into my purse or our travel activities bag. Wherever we bring these cases and games, kids flock to the boys side to join in. Love it!

There you have it! Such a simple idea inspired by such a wonderful blogger.

I am linking this up to:

Tip Junkie handmade projects

wednesday's wowzers

Fun with the new Martha Stewart labels from Staples!

It’s no surprise that I like minimal items on my kitchen countertops-clutter just plain ol’ bugs me! So needless to say, having children’s vitamins sitting out is an eye sore for me (oh please, you know it bugs you too πŸ™‚ ). However, if I put them away, out of sight and out of mind! The packaging (even the healthy ones) are just too busy for me. So I snagged these great glass jars and slapped on some of my favorite Martha labels and voila, cute and functional!

My favorite labels of her line, however, have to be the chalkboard labels. They are just outright fun! I added one to my utensil crock and you can even wipe them off and leave different messages!

I love the flourish design of the following ones and decided I would laminate and hole punch them and add them to a ring to help keep the freezer organized. It bothers me when chicken breasts are floating around and I don’t have a good idea of exactly how many are in there. Half empty boxes of breakfast items are frustrating too when you are making your shopping list and have to open them all to check. Doh.

Well there you go! The options and varieties of her line are endless. I love them all!

Have you purchased any of her labels or office products? Any favorites?

wednesday's wowzers

Nope, it’s not just for picnics! Awesome Art Storage Solution

We have been through various organizing solutions for markers and crayons, many in fact. We’ve tried individual cases by child but those always ended up all over the house. I thought those would work well for taking with us to restaurants, etc. but we have a small case of crayons and markers in our Let’s GO bag (future post πŸ˜‰ ), so it was overkill. I have seen caddies before too but they were always too deep for crayons, kiddo scissors, etc. I started seeing picnic caddies used and thought, genius. I had yet to come across any styles I liked until yesterday when shopping Hobby Lobby for some St. Patty’s days treats. And then there, right before my eyes, were their Spring picnic caddies in a rainbow of colors. With a 40% off coupon, BOOM, it came in right around $10. Woo-hoo!! It holds ALL our markers (which are a lot) and more! We do have some crayon overflow but those are stored up high (recycling one of the individual boys cases to store them) and I will refill the basket with them as the ones out break. AND it has a handy handle, which makes it easy for carrying between rooms. LOVE. I also whipped up this cute little label to add onto it (c’mon everything needs a label πŸ™‚ ). You can scroll down and Save As the image at the end if you would like a label too!

A fun little label if you would like πŸ™‚

How do you organize your markers and crayons?

Tip Junkie handmade projects

DIY Custom Toy Bin Labels

Keeping toys organized. ALWAYS a number one issue for clients, friends and often myself. Creating an easy system is KEY in maintaining a clean and organized space. Although I try my hardest to have the kiddos clean up after themselves, the truth is 35-40% of the time, it is good ol’ mom who is doing it. Or perhaps, Dad, their friends or the ever-helpful babysitter. And sometimes, that’s part of the real problem in keeping bins organized. My boys know which bin holds which toys, as do I. However, we are not the only ones who clean up their spaces. Having labels on the bins helps others put things back where they go to (and where to find something so not ALL bins are dumped out). Therefore, when organizing my home and clients’ homes, labels are a must. However, getting your kiddos involved in creating custom labels helps ensure success for others AND encourages even more involvement from the kiddos in the clean up process; they are excited every time they look at the bins! I have organized numerous toy rooms for clients and they are continuously amazed at the change in their children’s play behavior and clean up ability when all the toys are organized and clearly labeled. Children are conscious of which toy they are looking for and have the determination to upturn every bin in order to find it if everything is just mixed together. And they will upturn E.V.E.R.Y. bin.

To start, my boys and I spent an afternoon taking photo shoots of their actual toys. They had a BLAST (as did I working with them) selecting which toys to use and posing them-and boy did they pose them! Lol.

They also had fun picking font styles and colors to coordinate with the each labels “theme.” We used Picnik’s collage function to customize these labels (sadly, we will have to do it a new way after April 19th when Picnik closes, but until then-play away). We used pictures and words to cater to the various ages and skill levels in our household (ages 3-7). That way, no one has any excuse to not understanding what is in each bin. πŸ™‚ It also helps my emergent reader with word recognition.

After that, we simply put a bunch of them into an excel file to save on print and laminate paper. We printed them out on cardstock, laminated them and cut them out. After hole punching them, we used binder rings to snap them around the toy bin handle.

Here are some of the other toy bin labels that came out of this fun day!

What ways do you organize the chaos that is toys?

DIY Clothesline Art Display

One of the most common issues clients and friends of mine with children have is (drumroll please)….. what to do with their children’s artwork. For some reason we (not all but many), feel as though trashing what the littles bring home is like throwing away bits of their childhood. By discarding their priceless works of art, we are not celebrating who they are and their talents. Let’s get real. I have a few treasured pieces from my youth and if I had ALL the pieces, I would be cursing my parents right now for not only would I be stressed figuring out how to store my own children’s art, BUT ALSO my own too. Jeesh. No thanks. I think I will spare my children from that and only hold onto the keepers. And c’mon, you know what the keepers are. If they have three identical drawings of their family done at age 3, keep one. Seriously.

Now, for what to do with the keepers. I have created a personalized art clothesline for each boy’s room that is a rotating display. When the pieces are out of season or the line is too full, I once again revisit if it is a lifelong keeper and store it in a large, legal sized archival box like this one. They come in oodles of colors so each family member can have an easily marked container.

Now for the fun clothesline which is super easy to create and significantly cheaper than those found online like this one.

By making it yourself, you can coordinate it perfectly with your space. With the options from stores such as Michaels and Hobby Lobby, finding wooden shapes painted or unfinished (which allows for even MORE customizing) are easy. Narrowing down which ones to use is sometimes the hardest part.

What you will need:

*Pack of clothespins

*Your choice of wooden shapes for clips and end pieces. Probably at least 8 (6 clips and 2 end)

*Picture wire and picture hanger set

*Hot glue gun

Attach the painted wooden shapes to the clothespins with the hot glue. While they are drying, hang the picture wire clothesline. I would allow at least 6 feet but measure how much line you want before you cut it (and a bit extra for wrapping around the loop piece).

Once the chosen end pieces are dried clip them over the hanger to conceal the hardware and get to hangin’ those masterpieces!!

What do you think? What other creative and inspiring ways do you display your little Picasso’s works of art?

I linked this up to:

Tip Junkie handmade projects

Clean Mama blog

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