Thursday, July 30, 2015

Organization in General

A couple weeks ago, I shared my toy organizing system that I borrowed from a friend.  That sparked this post about organization in general.  I mentioned in my last post that there are many things you can use around your house to organize with.  Well, a couple things that I use are cans and glass jars.

We eat a lot of pasta sauce along with jelly, so we have a lot of glass jars.  And I don't want to throw them away, because honestly that's not very green, but can't really recycle, so I have always saved them to up-cycle in some way.

So I keep them in a crate in the basement and use them for different things around the house.  One in particular, I've had ever since I moved in with my husband is my cotton ball holder.  It was an old pasta sauce jar, and I simply painted the lid to match the bathroom decor.

You can tell I've had it for a few years, I need to update the paint. 

Another thing you can use is cans.  This is a tin can, that I wrapped with a bag we got from our honeymoon.  I keep my hair ties & bobby pins in it. 

You can even take them a couple steps further and add a cute little knob on top, and a candle stick at the bottom.  Here are a couple that my mother-in-love made.  You simply apoxy the jar to the candlestick and there you have a darling little stand.  Perfect for wedding decor, or around the house.

Thursday, July 16, 2015

Toy Organization

So just a couple weeks ago I had a play date with a friend, and I saw her great idea of how to organize her toys. She puts like toys with like, in smaller tote containers that then can stack and then labels them. What a great way for kids to learn how to sort and a great way to keep all those toys organized. I decided that I was going to do the same with my daughters' toys as well.

 Let me just say I love organizing. Now, I'm not the best at it, but I do love to organize things. That being said when I walk down the organizing isle in any store, I always find something that I would like to buy. There are all kinds of totes and organizing bins that you can buy, and oh what fun! Well, now that I'm staying home, even a tote that is on sale adds up, especially when I enjoy buying them and would buy multiple.

 So I started to write a list of how I would split up the toys to see how many totes I would need. As I was writing the list, I thought, I wonder if I have anything I could use in our house. Then I remembered, I have a bunch of gallon sized ice cream buckets in the basement that I have saved for a rainy day. I ended up using 7 of them for toys; Doll clothes, Doll accessories, Little Peoples, Doctor Kit, Dress up accessories and more. I simply labeled the tops with masking tape. I also took a photo of the toys and taped that to the top as well. This way, my 2 year old will be able to associate the words with the picture.

 So now I don't have to buy totes, but can still be organized! Now, toys like balls, blocks and puzzles, I might buy totes for, but there are 7 that I'm not buying. So the point of this post, is that you can still be organized without having to buy the organization totes. Some other containers that are great at storing toys or other items include, coffee containers, tin cans diaper or wipe boxes, and even glass jars. So next time you want to be a little more organized, but don't want or can't spend the money on nice totes, look around and see what you have around the house.

You can even take it a step further and spray paint the containers to match your decor, or tape on some fun paper.  I plan to sew a cute curtain to cover the crate that they are stored in.  Then one day I might beautify the containers themselves. 

I hope this post was helpful, what are ways you stay organized?

Sunday, July 12, 2015

I CAN do this!

The Stay at Home Choice...that's right, I decided to take a leap and stay at home.  After many months of wanting to be a stay at home mom with my little one, my husband and I started talking and crunching numbers.  Realistically it didn't seem like it was going to be a possibility, see we live on my salary and save my husband's.  Plus we were expecting our 2nd at the time of deciding, and that will add to the grocery bill, clothing bill and so on.  
While, I really wanted to, it just seemed like it wasn't going to happen.  However, my husband and I started to look closer at ways we could make it work.  The first thing we did was start writing down everything we bought no matter what it was, even things that are auto with-drawn such as life insurance, or the house payment.  We did this for about 2 months.  Again, it made us see even more how it was not going to work.  
Now, you're probably saying, why is she telling me this?  I thought this blog was to show how she has made it work to stay at home, and yes you're right.  I also want to be honest with you and show you how there were many times that it seemed like I couldn't stay at home.  But guess what! I am!
After a couple months of recording how our money was being spent, we went home for Thanksgiving break.  My amazing mother-in-law, gave me the best book for trying to save money.  The Tightwad Gazette, by Amy Dacyczyn.  Now, the 1st and 2nd editions are from the early 90's, so there are a few things that are different than when the book came out, but there are many things that are still usable.  This book is like the saving money bible for anyone who wants to stay at home.  While I was still working I was able to put a few things to use to start saving earl on.
So if you stayed with me to the end, I plan to share how staying at home on one income is working for me, and how you to can do it if you just put some time and creativity into planning.
I feel that there are many other moms & even dads who would like to stay at home, but don't see how it could be possible.  Feel free to follow my blog on the ups and downs of staying at home on one income and saving while I do.