Tag Archives: organize

Almost Ready for Baby – 38 weeks

So, as I write this we are 5 days away from meeting our little one! And, since he has stayed put inside, I have accomplished everything to date on the list from a few weeks back… baby prepI actually ended up adding a few things along the way too. So here are a couple of the highlights…

We decided to set the Dining Room up as a dual purpose room. My thoughts are baby will sleep in there nights until he sleeps through the night, 11-12 hours. For Isaac that was around 10 weeks old. A 2nd crib was purchased (actually it was a gift!), bed made, blackout shade installed, and some baby items brought in.

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The buffet that I wanted to add doors to for ‘safe’ storage is in process; it still needs paint and handles. Doug may finish this weekend, but at least is usable to store some baby things.

Isaac has a big boy bed and has been experimenting with sleeping on it. I would say he’s 70% big boy bed, 30% crib depending on how tired he is. I am fine with letting him get comfortable. He stays in and calls me in the morning to come get him. So far so good!

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Baby clothes (0-6 months) have been washed, sorted, and put away in the boys’ closet and dresser (some in the dining room cabinets too).

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Our cars are prepped with car seats; grandparents also have a car seat for Isaac. This is big! I won’t feel the pressure of driving both kids all the time and we will not have to move car seats to do it. HOO-RAY! Grandparents are scheduled to help fill in for the first couple of weeks. We are blessed! Don’t know how we would do this without them!

more baby prep 10Hospital bag is packed. Baby’s gift to Isaac is wrapped. I even have some Valentine’s Day gifts for Doug and Isaac ready.

Baby log is made. Isaac notes for helpers are prepped. (Both probably deserve their own post)

more baby prep 8We even have diapers! Friends, volunteers, and family have been stocking us. Our small group even planned a MealBaby for us. Awesome.
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I also did a big stock up of our pantry. Hopefully this will help in the first few weeks when I cannot drive. Doug can go grab milk, bread, and fruit, etc. I think we have enough cereal to last through summer, thank you coupons and sales.

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All the paperwork has been done. And, I even had my LAST dr. appt. That really made it feel final since I have been spending hours there each week.
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While looking for batteries and a key chain I got frustrated one day off and even got organized our junk drawer. Which turned into all the kitchen drawers, then all the cabinets. Not really on the agenda, but hey?!
more baby prep 3Our last thing to do is name this baby. We are down to a short list. Doug has a firm favorite and Isaac is calling him that, too. I like the name but like a few others better, so we are waiting until the moment to make it final.

Overall I am feeling pretty good about the tangible prep. I wish I could prep Isaac like I can the house and baby stuff. I am hoping he isn’t too jolted. I also hope my healing is quick and easy so I can be a functioning mom of two! I cannot wait to hold a sleeping baby again.

The Basement Project – Phase 2

The basement is still under way!
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Here is a reminder of what I did Phase 1: Create the Plan

  • Wrote down everything in the room to know what I was working with.
  • Divide all the items into groups (on paper). 
  • Map out the room to plan for where the items would end up.
  • Divided the project into bite-size chunks that I could do in a few hours, then in a few days
  • Made room to work by pushing table against wall and some empty boxes gone.

Phase 2: Sort, Purge, and Store
This was the tedious part. After I broke down the project into chunks, it was time to get chewing. ….Sort, purge, and store…. ON REPEAT! 2 hours here, there, and again. Slowly making progress. But, accomplishing what was on paper, kept me motivated.

basement phase 2It is hard to read the picture because it is written in pencil, so I have it listed below. It actually changed a lot throughout the process… But here is what my final work looked like on each of the days.

Five days (2 hours shifts):
1 – Gift wrap, bags, boxes. Craft supplies. Move Printer. Clear long wood table.
2 – Boys clothes & label. Bag clothes to give away. Kid Supplies. Summer Misc.
3 – Organize pantry. Storage needs for pantry. Purge glassware. Purge gifts.
4 – Home decor: candles, glass. Christmas presents. Baby feeding Misc. Maternity clothes.
5 – Project pile. Trash out. To give and Goodwill items packed into car. Christmas/seasonal.

Two vacation days (3-4 hours of work each day):
6 – List storage needs. List: projects. List: Items to go through in the future  (Phase 4). Drop off items giving to people and Goodwill the rest.
7 – Clear desk. Furniture and big items moved. Memories sorted.

As I went a long I labeled items (hello yellow post-it notes) and bins with sticky notes to prepare for Phase 3!  My favorite!  Here is what the basement looked like after Phase 2 or 18-20 hours of combined work. Get ready…

basement phase 2 - 2 basement phase 2 - 1 basement phase 2 - 5 basement phase 2 - 4basement ph3 7 This wall holds items that are on their way out. On the table and under are either on the “project” list, need to be gone through, or are items I would like to sell. The bins on the far left are old college books and childhood memories; they just need some more time (Phase 4 = after the baby!) Also I have a few empty containers stacked up on the far right. basement phase 2 - 3

Woo hoo! We can see the floor. We can walk through the room!  Everything that is staying has a home! Big accomplishment from the start. Next up labels and labels. Let the fun begin.

Accidental Hoarder

I love to watch the hoarding shows. A team comes in and clears a house and organizes it back to life. It is probably my dream job. Most of us are not hoarders to that extreme, but we all have tendencies. Anybody else have an “I’m going to make something out of that” pile? Intentions are good, the items may even be valuable, but too much of a good thing still has the potential to get out of hand.

I noticed I was hoarding an unlikely little collection. Gift cards. As much as I love them, I had accumulated so many that they were getting lost in my wallet. In fact, between loyalty cards and gift cards, my wallet was starting to look like the back pocket of a working man’s jeans. Can you see the rectangle in the leather? Poor, sweet, red Hobo… you do not deserve that.
wallet 1The cards inside were actually doubling the size and of my wallet. They were taking over. Too much plastic and I don’t even have credit cards.
wallet collage 1Ultimately, I just need to spend these gift cards! Problem was I didn’t even know what I had to spend. So, I sorted the cards (gift and loyalty) and bound them with rubber bands. That would keep them separated, and my wallet thin. I purged some of the loyalty cards and kept the ones I use. Sidenote….I am thinking of trying this  Key Ring App where you scan all your loyalty cards to the app on your phone so you don’t have to carry the actual cards! Sounds fabulous, right? That would get rid of a whole stack!
wallet collage 2Time to make a list! You saw that coming right? I used one of my oversized, lined notecards and cut it to size. I laid out all the gift cards and simply made a list of what I had, and the amount of money on each of them. There were a few I had forgotten about and others that I can’t remember the amount left. The amount totaled over $500. Wow. Hoarders cannot even use quality stuff they have because they don’t remember what they have it! Lesson learned.
wallet collage 3My little mess is now tidied up and gift cards are ready to be spent. And, look how much better my wallet is looking! “Ahhh, organization.”
wallet collage 4So, maybe I am not really a hoarder. Maybe my wallet is no where near the disasters airing on TV. Still, a little bit of life change happened here, people. Sometimes a simple solution can save a lot of frustration. Why didn’t do this months ago? Now it’s time to spend those cards!

Pack it Up, Pack it In

Have I mentioned that I love free stuff? And when it comes to having a kid one of the greatest blessings is free clothes. I mean I like nice clothes, but paying full-price for items that they are going to where only a few times? Can’t do it.

When I was pregnant it granted me rights into my family/friends’ Share the Clothes Club. We waited to find out the sex of our baby, so the day we came home from the hospital my sister-friend dropped off two bags of baby boy clothes. Ever since, the clothes keep coming from Beth, from other friends, and from my step-mother who works at a second-hand store. Let me tell you, it is awesome. There are  a lot of clothes. A lot. Storing them is the challenging part of this blessing.

clothes7Isaac is 18 months now and is wearing mostly 18 month-sized clothing. He can wear some 24 months, but others he’s swimming in. In his closet 18 month clothes are hanging on the right side and 24 month hanging on the left. This allows me to start pulling from the larger clothes as he is transitioning. When he grows out an item, I toss it into a size-labeled bin in his closet. Once he is completely out of the 18 month clothes I’ll pack those up, and pull out the 2T. Brands do not all run them the same, so this system has worked well for me.

I have supplemented the gifted stash with just a few purchases and holiday outfits. I rarely go shopping at kid’s stores, though I can’t walk by Janie & Jack without perusing the sale rack. I mainly shop for Isaac at the local sales by the multiples’ clubs. In Cincinnati that happens in the spring and fall. I usually spend $50-100 a season and walk out with bags of items in all different sizes. I buy what I need, like if his 2T stash has mostly shorts I look for pants. The sales are only two weeks away (yay!!), which was motivation for me to break into the garbage bags of the larger clothes piling up in the basement.

I brought all the clothes upstairs so my little helper could share the work. OK so he really enjoyed playing in the bins, dragging off clothes, and walking around with pants on his head. He gets into projects. Sometimes it takes longer with him in the mix, but honestly I would rather spend more time on a project with him in the room, than retreat to the basement and miss time with him.

clothes9I started with sorting all the items into piles by size a total of 2 bins + 4 garbage bags. Any 24 months and 2T clothes went straight to the laundry room to be washed. Those will go to Isaac’s closet. Piles are 3T, 4T, 5T & beyond and Misc.

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You can see that the 5T and above are slim, that is because the Share the Clothes Club is still using those sizes. They will eventually come into the rotation, and the clothes Isaac is finished with move along as well.

I then sorted each of sizes by type of clothing item: pants, jeans, sweaters, sweatshirts, long-sleeved shirts, short-sleeved, winter PJs, long-sleeved PJs, summer PJs, etc.
clothes3See the 3T label on this bin? It is actually a combo of 3 of the items from my 5 Favorite Things Blog Launch Giveaway! I used the over-sized notecards as the paper, sharpies to add some color and the washi tape to adhere.

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In the past I have used mailing labels for these bins, but I end up relabeling bins and it’s hard to remove all the sticky paper. Ding, ding, ding!!! Washi tape easily removes from items AND is pretty. Yes!

Another trick is to quickly write a list of clothes that I have in this size on the back. I wrote it in pencil so I can update it as the clothes trickle in. I also made note about holiday clothes, swimsuits, jackets, etc in this size. Here is the genius part. I can actually take these lists with me as reference for the multiples sales I am going to in a few weeks.
clothes4 I am hoping that it helps me shop very smart. This did not take much additional time and I believe will save me rummaging through the bins thinking, “Do I have mostly winter clothes or summer in that size?” and “Does Isaac have slacks for Thanksgiving?” Yes, I am a planner. I created this system, but I do think it is genius. Not to sound prideful, but I’d say the same thing if you created it.

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Here is what we were left with to take to the basement…
clothes6After the clothes were washed, 24 month were hung up and the 2T put up into bins.

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So there you have it! It feels good to have this project done and more importantly I am prepared for my sale shopping in a few weeks.

If you are local, here are links to the 2 sales that I like:
Tri-state Multiples Sale
Eastern Hills Mother of Twins Sale
There are more all over the tri-state that you can look into. I will be back to share my spoils.

How do you organize and shop for clothes? Please share your methods and strategies. I love this stuff!

5 Favorite Things… Blog Launch Giveaway!

I am super pumped to launch my new little blog into the world. So, what better way to celebrate than share some free stuff with my friends?! FREE STUFF, people. I love free stuff. You’re welcome.

Today, I’ll share some things that I love and YOU CAN HAVE THEM ALL! (Well, one of you can have them all.) If you know me much at all, you know that I have a love for organization and effective systems. My goal is not to over-structure life, but to bring effectiveness to work and home. Organization saves time, and that is time I can spend with my family and friends. In addition, if I can make those systems beautiful and colorful that is a total winner-winner-chicken-dinner in my book.

Here are 5 FAVORITE THINGS…. 

5things1 with numbers on

1. Large Notecards
A great multi-purpose item. I love them because they are sturdy, a great size and lined on one side. I often use them as bin labels, errand list, or honey-do list.

2. Mulit-colored Fine Point Sharpies
Adding a little color to my work and planning just makes me happy. I love to have a plethera of colors to choose from. Yes, I carry about 12 in my purse at all times. Don’t hate.

3. Over-sized Paperclips
Colorful, functional, and big. What is not to love? These clips are super strong and the colors jump out of a pile of papers.

4. Over-sized Notepads
Love to use these for large sticky post-its for notes and lists. I rarely can fit anything on the small square ones. Plus, these catch my husband’s attention before he walks out the door = worth a fortune!

5. Washi Tape
As I said yesterday this is my new obsession! Colorful addition to projects and decor. So many options… I dare you to search “Washi tape” on Pinterest.

…and I am throwing in a pretty desk organizer too. Can’t have 5 Favorite Things just laying around.

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So, here a few ways to enter. Each item below is worth 1 entry, up to 3 entries total per person! Giveaway closes on Sunday, March 3rd at 12:00 midnight EST. 

1. FOLLOW this blog  in one of three ways: SUBSCRIBE BY EMAIL or LIKE ON FACEBOOK or follow on BLOGLOVIN’. Email and Facebook options are available on the sidebar of the home page. (1 entry)

2. COMMENT on any Blog post or Facebook Status on Project Momma. (1 entry)

3. SHARE this giveaway on Facebook or your own blog….or on Pinterest or Twitter or Instagram. Note that you must tag “@ProjectMomma” on Facebook or “#projectmomma” on Twitter or Instagram for giveaway credit. (1 entry)

The giveaway is open to friends, family, and beyond. Open to the United States excluding Alaska and Hawaii (sorry). Project Momma was not paid or perked for any of these items. Coupons were utilized but not harmed in the purchasing of this giveaway. 

 

My Recent Obsession

So, I have tried not to get all worked up about it, but I just.can’t.help.it. I want to scream it from the rooftops…. I LOVE WASHI! Washi tape, that is. I kept coming across bloggers and crafters with this colored tape and finally I was like “what is this stuff and what do you need it for?” I actually googled it, because nobody uses the dictionary any more. Well, except my husband. He actually made his baby name list from a 1970′s dictionary. But anyway…

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Washi tape is basically pretty masking tape. It’s not super sticky, so you can use it for decor and crafting and change your mind! You can stick it to pictures and walls and not feel like you have to marry every decision you make with it. And since I like to be able to change my mind to an updated look or a better system, I have quickly become all about the Washi tape.

1 week ago I bought 5 rolls, thanks to the Michael’s 25% off sale. I have already taped many things around the house. The possibilities are endless and I have barely touched my 10 yards per roll. MWAH-ah-ah!! I have used it for…

Hanging lists inside the kitchen cabinet:
cabinet door

Attaching a temporary picture to the outside of frame:
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Binder label:
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DIY Planner (covering the brand on a notebook):tape7

Clothes storage label:tape3

Cute-ify a list:
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…and I am just getting started.

There you have it cyber friends, proof of my obsession. I cannot deny it. And, I have been hungering for more. In fact, by the time you read this post I would have rolled myself back to the tape aisle at Michael’s for some more, thanks to this week’s 50% off one item coupon. And, this time I plan to share! Tomorrow. Giveaway. Free stuff. Don’t miss it!