Craft Storage and Organization – In the News!

I have a lot of tips on craft item storage and I shared a few of them on my local Fox News station yesterday morning. Here’s the link. Hope you enjoy!!!!

My favorite tips from the segment???

Use an over the door shoe organizer to hold kid’s craft supplies. This is one of my favorite organizing tools and can be used in so many ways.

Use shallow containers whenever you can. This makes it easy to look into each one and see everything in there. It also helps you to know when you’re running low on a particular item.

These are great tips for general organization as well and can be used throughout the house. I need to do a post just on over the door organizing, don’t I? Look for it soon!

~Erin

Summer Preparation Checklist

It’s kind of hard for me to write a post about preparing for summer because yesterday we got about 10″ of snow in our Colorado mountains. Oh well, I know the snow will end eventually. Last week, I had the pleasure of doing a seminar about preparing your home for summer. I’m going to share some of the tips I shared with those attending the seminar. Here is a list of things I do to prepare my home for warmer months! I know not every tip will apply to every household, but this is a good guideline for what to focus on when the seasons change.

Prep Checklist

Kitchen

-Go through everything in the pantry – throw away expired items

-Clean Oven

-Find recipes that use in-season veggies or fit the feeling of the season and bookmark them

-If you plan on being outside enjoying the summer days, prepare some freezer meals or pull out some crock pot recipes. That way you can relax on your deck in the evening instead of cooking and cleaning up the kitchen

Bathroom

-Clean out old products, throw away anything expired

-Organize summer health and beauty products – restock items like sunscreen, insect repellant, and the first aid kit

-Wash shower curtain; replace liner if needed

Bedrooms

-Switch out winter clothes for the summer wardrobe – hang up the winter jackets in the back of the closet, move the sandals up on the shoe rack, etc.

-Wash cold weather blankets and sheets – store them in an air tight bin or bag

-Do the ‘hanger trick’ – hang all hangers on the bar backwards, when you wear something it goes back on a forward facing hanger, anything left facing backwards at the end of the season can be donated!

Living Room

-Wash and store heavier blankets and throws, bring out lightweight throw blankets.

-Switch out throw pillows

Outdoors

-Clean/ Repair gutters

-Safety check – inspect outdoor furniture, playground equipment, outdoor stairs, grill – make sure everything is in good condition before heavy summer use

-Pest control check – fill in holes/ seal windows where bugs could get in; make sure your pets are on flea and tick medication; check for signs of mice and other rodents; make sure all items that could attract bears are locked away in a garage or shed. (ok maybe you don’t have bears where you leave, but we’re in the mountains!)

-Rotate the items in your shed or garage – put away sleds, skis and snowblowers. Move bikes, hoses, gardening tools and anything else you’ll enjoy this summer up front and center

General Checklist Items

-Purge! Hold a garage sale, donate to various organizations, anything you can do to clear out clutter

-WD-40 squeaky doors and handles

-Thoroughly wash windows

-Dust EVERYTHING! Take all items off shelves before dusting, dust light fixtures, switch plates, baseboards, top of the fridge, picture frames, tops of doorways

-Make sure your fans are spinning in the right direction, the blades should be pushing the air downwars in the summer and lifting it up in the winter

-Clean everything well before you put it away for the summer – blankets, winter clothes, sports equipment – the cleaner it is when you put it away, the better condition it will be in when you take it out again

-Reduce the number of cleaning products you use – using natural products allows you to clean more than one thing with each cleanser

I hope this lists helps you get your house ready for summer fun!

~Erin

Donate and Recycle – News Segment Link

The link is up to my guest news segment on Fox 21 News in Colorado Springs. I think it is so important to get rid of your items in the safest and most responsible manner possible.  If you are able to help others in the process, all the better!!!!

Foxy Mom Donate

Donating and Recycling News Segment

I will continue to add different ways to get rid of your items and keep them out of landfills!

~Erin

 

 

Donate and Recycle – News Segment

Hi everyone! Today I had the pleasure of doing another guest segment on Colorado Springs Fox 21 News. Today I discussed a variety of ways to donate and recycle unwanted household items. The link will be posted shortly, but in the meantime, let me guide you to my page of resources for donating and recycling. I am continuously updating this page so be sure to check back!

The Green Nest – Donating and Recycling Household Items

Foxy Mom Donate

~Erin

Clean Up Your Computer – Get Rid of Unwanted Toolbar Files

I am constantly trying to find ways to organize my computer. This includes:

-Deleting and organizing files and folders

-Backing up my files

-Cleaning up unnecessary and unwanted program files

The program files are the thing I have the most trouble with. I don’t normally do any type of online coupon offers, but I did once and I got an annoying virus called the ‘Shop at Home’ Toolbar which had been installed on my computer for months. Every time I ‘got rid of it’, it somehow reappeared. My computer has been slowing down, programs have been shutting down without notice and the all around function of my PC has drastically decreased. I finally sat down to rid my computer of this once and for all. I spent hours and hours looking online for the right way to remove it. I finally found a simple and helpful article on this.

Removing Unwanted Toolbars

I also had to download Filezilla to access an FTP site recently and it added “Foxtab” to my browser. This was a program that started every time I opened a new tab in Firefox. I removed it in my add-ons using the above article as well.It worked like a charm to get rid of Foxtab.

However, I noticed that the ‘Shop At Home’ toolbar still kept creeping into my browser. (I thought I deleted you ‘shop at home’…) Here’s what I wanted to do to my computer at this point:

fire

So I had to go a little further on this one. Here’s the tutorial I finally used to rid my computer of this for good!

How to Remove the Shop at Home Toolbar Virus

I am excited to report that these toolbars have not mysteriously resurfaced and I’m much less annoyed now!

Now I know this isn’t an exciting post, but it’s useful. It’s so nice to have those irritating programs and toolbars gone. If you have unwanted toolbars that are cluttering up your computer, try the above steps to get rid of them. And don’t be afraid to seek help on this if you’re not certain about doing it yourself. I am reasonably tech savvy and I still get intimidated by all of the issues that pop up with my computer. However, with a decent amount of research and trial-and-error, I was able to solve my most recent problem!

What computer issues do you run into?

~Erin

 

 

 

 

Craft Drawer Cabinet Reveal

I’m going to start by saying that this is probably the creepiest DIY project I’ve ever done. Let me explain….

A friend of mine bought a foreclosure house that had been sitting vacant for 12 years. Vacant of people, but FILLED with stuff. Apparently the previous owner had been a pharmacist and among the items in the house were old doctor’s bags and pharmaceutical equipment. Most of the stuff was beyond repair, but I came across this gem in a tiny basement closet:

Metal Cabinet (1)

Super creepy, right? My first though was ‘this is disgusting’, but then something sparked in my mind and I saw the future of this ‘trash to treasure’ item. I have been looking for a place to store my craft supplies for a long time and I hadn’t been able to find the perfect thing. I knew this was what I was looking for. However, I had to wade through the creepiness before I could get it home. Every drawer was filled with old pill bottles, prescription pads, medicine droppers, the sinister list goes on and on:

Metal Cabinet (2) Metal Cabinet (3)

When I finally emptied it, I carried it to my car (don’t worry, I was wearing gloves this whole time) and took it home. It has been so cold in my little Colorado town for months, so this thing sat in my garage, blocking the way to my minivan. We had a couple of warm days, so my first project was to clean it up. I can’t even tell you how many times I almost gave up on this thing. I was just grossed out and swore I could feel the ghost of pharmaceutical patients swirling around my garage. But I persevered because the choice was to turn it into a work of art…..or have this asylum cabinet haunting my house. First I took all of the drawers out.

Metal Cabinet (6)

Then I sprayed two coats of white metal spray paint primer on the cabinet. Then I used 2 coats of tan spray paint on the main part of the cabinet. Here it is after the first coat.

Metal Cabinet (7)

The spray painting process took a long time because I had to wait for warm days for each coat. If I didn’t, I knew the paint would run or crack or not dry properly.  After the main part was done, I moved on to the drawers. These took forever to prep. Apparently a couple decades ago, labels were applied with super glue.  See all of these black labels on the drawers?

Metal Cabinet (5)

I had to literally chisel them off….not kidding….with a chisel. Then I cleaned the drawers and sprayed a couple coats of primer on them.

Metal Cabinet (9)

I started with 6 drawers just to see how the color would turn out. I chose a bright teal because I wanted to have a little fun with this piece.

Metal Cabinet (10)

I loved the color so I went back to the store to get 2 more cans for the rest of the drawers. As I walked into the aisle, I saw two cans of teal sitting on the shelf waiting to transform my cabinet. A guy came from the other end of the aisle and went straight for the teal! He grabbed one and I immediately grabbed the other. I knew one can wouldn’t finish my project so I gave him my most pitiful look and said something like “too bad they don’t have more, I need two cans for my project”. And he said…. “it’s a pretty color isn’t it?” and walked away into the sunset with my other can of paint. I was so impatient at this point, I had to come up with another plan. I decided to paint the middle drawers a different color and chose a dusty blue. It turned out to be the best misfortune! I loved the blue (add a new paint color to my favorites!) and the contrast added some interest to the drawers.

Metal Cabinet (13)

Another week went by as I waited for a warm day to paint my last set of drawers. The weather was not on my side and I got antsy. I decided to just go ahead and paint…..bad idea. Immediately after I started spraying, the paint crackled and split.

Metal Cabinet (14)

 

I was so sad. I knew that I would have to sand off all of the paint, re-prime, and spray again. However, I decided to wait. I’m going to live with the crackle for a while until summer arrives. So please politely ignore the crackled finish on the bottom drawers. Other than that….Ta Da!

Metal Cabinet (16)

Metal Cabinet (19)

I used adhesive drawer liner paper on the bottom of the drawers and I have already filled every drawer with craft supplies.

Metal Cabinet (21)

I had an empty frame that is spray painted in the same color to accent the top of the piece. In the summer, I will fix the bottom drawers and soon I will be making labels for each drawer.

Metal Cabinet (17)

I absolutely adore the way it turned out. It’s functional, a little sassy and has a great story.

Metal Cabinet - B&A

~Erin

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Beautiful Jars in Organizing

I used to be all about the function of organizing. I didn’t understand why cabinets and containers possibly needed to be beautiful. To an extent, I am still that way. The ultimate goal of organizing is to make your life easier. However, I have made an about-face on my opinion on being beautifully organized. I now find that pretty organizing tools make me smile, add a touch of class or creativity to my spaces and encourage me to keep things looking neat. Here are a few ways I use jars to pretty up my spaces:

I used to keep change in an old Tupperware container. But that’s not very inspiring, is it? We now drop those extra coins into a pretty ceramic pot that sits on our dresser. It’s handy, but also beautiful to look at.

DSC_1834

A lot of people have toothpicks in their pantry. But I have found that an adorable toothpick vase adds a little character to my spice shelf.

DSC_1793

Sometimes you have to get creative with what you have. I had a large jar that I didn’t have any clue what do to with. Then I spotted a really cool piece of fabric my sister brought me from The Gambia in Africa. I didn’t have the perfect spot to hang it, but I wanted it displayed. So I folded up the fabric and nestled it inside the jar. It is now part of the display on top of my cabinets. Two Birds. One Stone. Done.

DSC_1818

Last year, I switched to making my own detergent. I could have put the concoction in a plastic bin, but what fun is that? I found 2 awesome jars at a thrift store for $4 each….score! They are now happily occupying the top of my dryer and make laundry just a tad more enjoyable.

DSC_1828

So I will continue to pretty up my spaces. A little personality in my items goes a long way. What do you do to organize in an inspiring way?

~Erin

 

Kitchen Desk – Reorganize and reuse

Hi friends! I am visiting sunny Phoenix, Arizona right now and it.is.hot. I mean really hot:

hot

That’s almost 9:00 at night! I grew up here, but I forget how blazin’ hot it is. So we’ve been doing some inside activities instead of braving the heat. I’m helping my mom with a few organizing projects while I’m here and the first one was the desk/workspace in the kitchen area.

Now this space was difficult for two reasons.

1) There is an office in the house so the desk doesn’t really need to be used for many office supplies or files. However, it is a desk, so it has some little drawers and some super deep drawers for hanging folders. So its’ purpose has been kind of undefined for a while.

2) There are 8 cubbies near the top of the desk. While this seems practical, it also can end up looking cluttered because everything is in view.

First we re-evaluated the drawers.

Desk Before Collage - text

My mom had decided to use one drawer for tools. This is great because they are conveniently located in the main living area of the house but they aren’t taking up valuable kitchen space. The drawer just needed an additional bin and a quick reorganization.

Then we did the middle drawer which held the office/ desk supplies:

The 3rd drawer held misc items and it still does. However, there are fewer of them!

 

As for the top half of the desk, there are several shelves and 8 smaller cubbies. Please excuse my horrible iphone before picture.

Before

Before

My mom had a small CD cabinet that she was planning to get rid of. So we stole the drawers from it!

IMG_1873

Filling all of the cubbies with a drawer would have been too overwhelming, so we used 4 of the drawers and used the other 4 cubbies for decorative accents. We had to decide which cubbies got a drawer though….that process took way too long!

Choice A

Choice A

Choice B

Choice B

Choice C

Choice C

We went with Choice C!

Now the drawers are organized and the cubbies look more updated and might get used a little more!

Drawers after collage - text

Choice C

On another note, don’t forget to sign up for our Self Care for September newsletter. It’s a whole month of self care challenges and ideas brought to you by Neaten Your Nest and Life Sprinkles!

We are offering a weekly Self Care Giveaway to a different participant each week. Tag us, link back to us, let us know your progress or ideas and get entered into the drawing for the giveaway! Sign up for the newsletter to start participating.

Giveaway final

Kitchen Organizing – Time to Spice it Up

Pantry - Spice Banner

I have been trying to organize my pantry for over a year. It’s not done yet. I’m not sure it will ever be done. Probably at least once a day I give it a once over glance and think “why doesn’t it look the way I want it to?” But it’s functional and it’s about a million times better than it was a year ago, so what are ya gonna do?

One part I’m absolutely smitten with is the spices. Here is the before of the spice shelf:

IMG_0296

I didn’t like all of the different size containers and they were hard to organize. I spent hours and hours on Pinterest and other blogs looking for great spice organizing ideas. I found some great ones. Chalk labels, magnetic lids, turnstyle holders….but none of them were perfect for my needs. My next post will have some of the other great ideas I found just so I can share how many creative ways there are to store spices.  I finally found simple, plain spice jars at Bed Bath & Beyond. These were exactly what I was looking for and I knew I could just use my label maker to add the names of the spices.

IMG_0383

I’m not going to lie here people, these weren’t the cheapest things on the market. They were 2 bucks a pop and I needed about 28. So, I got a few for my birthday last year. And a few for Christmas. And a few more for Mother’s Day. I just couldn’t pull the trigger on a $56 charge for spice jars at one time. In my head, spreading out the spending makes it feel like less. (Note: That is not necessarily a good financial tactic, but I did make sure it was something I really wanted and I planned for it accordingly) So I FINALLY have my spices beautifully organized in these jars.

I LOVE them! Let me tell you a few of my ridiculously over-analyzed well thought-out criteria for spice jars.

-They had to stand so that I could see all of the jars at the same time. There were some cute options with pull out drawers, but you couldn’t just open the pantry and see them all at once.

-They needed to have a shaker side for sprinkling spices and also an open side for measuring out into measuring spoons.

-They needed to be tall and thin instead of short and squatty (that’s a technical term).

-I wanted clear jars so I could see the spices.

-I had to be able to put the labels near the top so that I could actually see the labels when the spices were lined up on my stepped storage shelf.

I’m thrilled!

Pantry - Spice (1) Pantry - Spice (3) Pantry - Spice (6)

I love the bright colors of the spices and how all of the jars are uniform.

I hope to share more of my pantry success stories shortly. Right now, they are few and far between so let’s all keep our fingers crossed for some progress!

~Erin

 

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.

expo

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!

~Erin