Neaten Your Nest in the news – Back to School Organizing

You’ll have to excuse my lack of blog posts lately. I’ve been focusing on the ‘in-person’ portion of the business lately. Last Saturday I attended a Women’s Business Expo to do a little promotion and networking.


Then this morning, I did another segment on Fox News morning show in Colorado Springs! This time I discussed back to school organizing. I feel I have to mention that I had no idea what camera was actually turned on, so just graciously ignore the fact that I’m smiling at someone standing slightly to your left. Oh well, can’t win ‘em all!

I tried to give some tips that were practical for back to school, but that didn’t just focus on school supplies and backpacks. I discussed snacks, preparing outfits, and homework stations. I hope a few of these are helpful!





Container Store Inspiration

I just got my most recent Container Store catalog in the mail. I thought I would share with you just a few of the glorious organizing items I’m coveting!

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I love these little scarf hangers that are available in fun, bright colors. Scarves, yes! But what other great ways could these be used? Holding jump ropes maybe? Or necklaces? Ties? Bungee cords in a utility closet? They seem like a great, versatile and reasonably priced product to me!

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The Container Store has an assortment of these Linus cabinet organizers. They have ones that are perfectly sized for a ‘coffee station’ with stirrers, creamers, etc. The one pictured above is holding seasoning packets. I can see them being used for kid’s snacks in either the pantry or fridge. They would work great for separating craft supplies or bathroom items. Or even in the laundry room to hold dryer sheets, a bowl for change or other small items.

Container Store Elfa Garage System

Container Store Elfa Garage System

Can my garage please look like this, please?????  My husband would love this.

container 3These little drawers can be mounted under a sink in the bathroom to create sturdy pull out drawers in small spaces.

container 5I think I will definitely be buying one of these saran wrap/ plastic bag holders next time I go to the Container Store. It’s such a great idea to keep all of these items organized and it is free stannding so you don’t need any hardware.

Container 6This gift wrapping cart is great for so many reasons! Ribbon holders, slide out drawers, caster wheels and a place to hold the rolls of wrapping paper.

container 7I absolutely love this 80 pocket accessories organizer. The top part buttons so that you can put a hanger inside it and hang on a hook or you can button the whole thing right to a closet rod. Perfect for earrings and bracelets!

You can find similar items at other stores, but I love the Container Store for inspiration. It just makes me want to re-organize everything all at once!



Paper Pile Purge Series – Organizing Kid’s Artwork

If you have young kids, you also have artwork. Tons of it….oodles of fingerpaintings, construction paper dinosaurs, and pipe cleaner caterpillars. What in the world do you do with it all? I have some thoughts on that… (keep in mind that these are my opinions and feel free to ignore any suggestion. My objective is to reduce clutter, but each person has a different level of attachment to their kid’s art.)

First, learn to discriminate. I know the 448 drawings your 3 year old did of your cat are adorable. Seriously, I know. My son draws ‘maps’ to our house every other day and they are so cute. But do I really need them all? Do I? Absolutely not. I know you feel like you’re committing some sort of crime as you toss a piece of your kid’s art into the trash, but you HAVE to if you don’t want them to engulf your house! If you keep everything, not only is too much clutter, but then your brain just gets overwhelmed with Cheerio dinosaurs or whatever the current trend is. Just keep a few pieces and they become a lot more meaningful.

Don’t let your house become a shrine to fingerpaintings. For me personally, I like to display the most recent art and then replace it as new pieces are made. This lets me proudly show off my kid’s masterpieces without them becoming the wallpaper of my home.

Kids love to doodle or draw or fingerpaint as an activity. That doesn’t mean you have to keep them all, but it’s nice to do something meaningful with them. Check out this adorable way to recycle your kid’s art into gift wrap from Roar Sweetly.


She punched fingerpaintings into heart cutouts and attached them to wrapping paper. What a sweet and adorable way to personalize a gift.

I have made bookmarks out of fingerpaintings and laminated them. I plan to send them to family members as cute little keepsakes.

Evan's Bookmarks

I also take pictures of my favorite crafts that my kids make, whether I keep the actual craft or not. That way, I have a digital record of their growth as little artists. At the end of every year, I plan to make one 8″ x 10″ printout of my favorites from that year. Here is Evan’s from 2012:

Evan's Art - 2012I actually had this printed on a mug for husband for Christmas and it turned out great.

Of course I do keep quite a few of these little masterpieces. So I needed a way to organize them. I decided to put them in a regular size binder in clear plastic sleeves. This is great for a few reasons:

-I have one for each kid so the art is organized.

-The clear plastic sleeves protect things from getting damaged

-It allows me to put actual crafts/ drawings in the book, but I can also put photos of the art I didn’t keep (Yes, I mean you cotton ball ghost and paper plate rabbit!). Some crafts are bulky or big and wouldn’t fit in a binder. But a 4″ x 6″ photo fits just great.

-I also put a few photos of the kids making or holding their crafts. That way I can see their cuteness as I look at their art.

Here are a few pictures of one of the binders:

image imageimageI love having an organized portfolio of their artwork. What are some ways you organize your kid’s art?



Happy 4th of July!

Happy 4th of July everyone! We are celebrating without fireworks this year because it’s been so dry. Some places in Colorado are still having them, but nowhere near us!

So we’re celebrating with a little food, a trip to our local 4th of July celebration, and some fingerpainting for the kiddos.


Handprint and fingerprint flags


 In the name of organizing,I actually did the fingerpainting craft on the 2nd and made the fruit on the 3rd. If I spread out the activities, I find I’m actually able to enjoy actual holidays a little more!

I have a few more 4th of July inspirations over on my Pinterest Board here.

Happy 4th of July!!! (to those of you not in the U.S., just have a wonderful day!)