Home Organization with a Binder- Free Printables

Home organization can begin with one simple tool- a household binder. Do you have one place to keep your quick-to-access, daily information? Where do you keep addresses, emergency contacts, doctors numbers, sitter details, school contacts and calendars, gift cards, receipts, menu plans, passwords, to-do list, birthday invitations…? Wouldn’t it be easier to have ONE place where you go to access some of these things? A household binder is a great organization tool for anyone. My brain can’t hold all of this information, nor can I remember where I’ve kept it all! It’s very tiring.

I have sections, pockets, extra sticky notes, and blank note paper in mine. It also holds an extra checkbook, gym cards, medical cards, and those annoying key tag cards. Keeping it in view and in one location makes it a family tool.  Make your binder fit your needs. Create sections, insert your own charts/checklist, or add pockets. (I use several pockets in mine)

This is your push to get started! I’m helping you start your binder with some customized printable pages.

Click the image for access. Then, simply enlarge to see better and scroll to see each page. You can then download to your computer and print away!

binder image

Don’t procrastinate! This is a great first step to getting organized and your brain will thank you!

I’d love to help you with your home goals. See Services here.

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Spring Cleaning and Fresh Home Series:: Organizing Dresser Drawers

In our effort to create a fresh home, we’re kicking off this Spring Cleaning series with Closets and Dressers.  I chose to start with these areas because they are frequently accessed spaces that can be frustrating.  I love the reaction my clients have when they see the space gained just by doing a few things differently. Your issue may not be lack of space, so first work with what you have. We’re ready to Get Real, Create Boundaries, and Choose Essentials from this weeks Product Picks.

 

Get Real

To organize any space successfully you must evaluate your behavior with your belongings–do you pile, stuff, fold, or hang. This helps you determine what systems, containers, or dividers you need and how you will use them. This get real moment is important for any family member. I always ask clients to describe their impulse reaction and preferences.  The impulse tendency may need to change, other behaviors just need a solution.  Also, see what alternative space options are available in the house- think seasonal clothes, area for bags….

 

A designated home creates boundaries

If items are designated a home they’ll likely make it back in the correct space. Containers or dividers create boundaries. You’ll soon discover that if it won’t fit, you don’t need more OR if one item goes in, one must come out.  For parents, this helps manage their fashionistas desire to have another sparkly shirt.

 

Do you really need everything?

I always clear dressers and closets from all belongings, sort items, pair outfits, and then pull out donated goods. Think you’re done? You may find that seeing everything in good order often leads to more purging. It’s a good thing!

 

Ready Set – Get the Essentials {Dresser Drawers}

Once you determine what you are keeping, define what items need to be in the dresser and those that need to be moved to the closet.  Next, you’re ready to get organized.

 

I have used many of the Real Simple organizers for clients, purchased at Bed Bath and Beyond. However, they come in various materials, prices, and even in pink, so do what works for you.

 

Honeycomb organizers are great for rolled socks, folded bras, underwear or accessories.

 

Real Simple Honeycomb Drawer Organizer

 

Use dividers to section off items and keep them neat.

 

Real Simple 6-Piece Adjustable Drawer Organizer

 

Adjustable dividers like these serve many purposes. My favorite use is to fold t-shirts in a double fold with the crease facing up so that you can easily see the graphic pattern, style, or color. Dividers keep the shirts folded tightly, allowing you to sort by shirt type (long sleeve, short sleeve, print, colors…) Label the inner lip of the drawer and you’ll never guess where items go.

 

Bed Bath and Beyond Adjustable Dividers

 

You’ll be surprised at how much space you gain by using drawer organizers. There is simple joy in seeing what you have and being able to quickly access  belongings. Check the Simply Savvy Closet board on Pinterest for organizing inspiration.

 

Be sure to share your space challenges, questions, and fabulous transformations! I’ll be sharing Simply Savvy Reader Spaces and questions during the series. Subscribe to the blog and follow the fun on Facebook so you don’t miss a thing.

 

**{Sharing with:: Weekend Bloggy Reading at Serenity Now}**

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organizing craft supplies::a quick-fix

I am an organizer; however, my home has areas that get me frustrated and get neglected just like anyone else. For example, I had not truly organized the craft supplies and they were beginning to pile up and take over. In just twenty minutes, I pulled out everything from the storage cabinet, purged and containerized, and replaced items in a more orderly grab-and-go way.

 

I plan on creating a craft area that my boys can access independently; however, this overhead cabinet has worked fine for two younger children.  I still feel the need to have some control in this area!

 

 

I first spread the activity and coloring books across the floor-with a little helper eyeing each one. While the boys chose those they no longer wanted, I gathered learning books and moved them into another location.

 

 

This is what they were left with…

 

 

Next, I moved onto sorting and purging craft and art supplies. I already had some containers so my plan was to just use what I have for now.

 

 

 

In only twenty minutes the cabinet looks like this…

 

 

No, it’s not the prettiest art storage you’ve ever seen, it isn’t to me either; however, it is organized and streamlined. I can see what we have and grab the appropriate container depending on the craft.  My objective was to get one quick project done over the weekend that made a difference to me. This was it, and I succeeded. Getting organized does not have to look perfect– just start with something small.

 

What quick fix have you accomplished lately? Share your comments and your links. I love sharing back!

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blog series:: get organized for savvy savings::organizing the pantry

I recently had a kitchen makeover and had to remove all items from the cabinets and the pantry closet. I transferred everything to the walk-in pantry with the goal of reorganizing it when the kitchen was complete. To my surprise, I found three boxes of Ritz crackers. My area of issue in my pantry is the sliding, yet deep, drawers. I had purchased another box of crackers because I did not see the other two I already had. This lead me to my next savvy savings tip for this season and everyday- organize the pantry in order to know what you have, before you buy. Not only will you save by not making duplicate purchases, but you make room for the big holiday meal items.

 

There a super-fabulous designer pantries and then there are simple solutions everyone can follow. In just a few simple steps and a small amount of time, you can have an organized pantry. The goal for the pantry, regardless of the size, is for the function to be defined and for items to be easily accessible. Ask yourself: Does your pantry hold only food, or does it contain paper goods, cleaning supplies, and those catch-all items with no home? Can you see and reach all items? Once you determine the function of your pantry, it’s time to edit what you have.

 

Sort and Purge: Review all expiration dates, group like items, and remove any items you bought but are not using. Consider donating canned foods.

 

Containerize and Clip: Use tightly sealed containers for frequently purchased and used items; such as, snacks, cereal, coffee, flour, and sugar. If you keep items in bags, make sure to have clips to secure opened bags and prevent food spoilage. Place bagged items in  open bins.

 

Consolidate for Space: As you sort through your items, trash boxes that are almost empty. For example, oatmeal packets, snack bars, and wrapped crackers can be placed in containers.  I also use one container for grab and go snacks.

 

Group like items: Use small bins to group items that share a purpose. For example, keep sprinkles, icing, and other baking toppers together.

 

Organize and Access: Determine how you can utilize your space, create more space, and have quick access to see all items. This is where you will decide on what racks, sliding  tracks, dividers, risers, lazy susans, and clear containers you may need to accomplish your goal.

 

Maintain the Order: Make sure your family is involved in understanding where things go. Label what you can and demonstrate your new system.

 

Maximize your Space:  Use the pantry wall for mounting cleaning supplies and the interior side of the door for posting your grocery list-I suggest a magnetic board or cork board-chalk paint is a crafty solution too.

 

Here are some wonderful examples of pantries that use a variety of containers and have creative ways to maximize their spaces. The idea of adding color and style to a pantry is a greaet way to make it extra clean and special. I have also included images of products I use and that you see in some of these pantries.

 

thehouseofsmiths.com

bhg.com

amberlaneliving.blogspot

Crate&Barrel canisters

Container Store shelf paper

Amazon Magic-holder wall organizer

Amazon Madesmart expandable shelf organizer

 

Amazon Copco 2-tier turntable

Amazon Cereal Snapware

 

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savvy solutions::you asked I answered

So glad you have stopped by to Ask Simply Savvy! I enjoy sharing readers challenges in organization, time, space, and design. I also love to share your successful spaces. Send your questions and I will review submissions and may detail a solution in a regular post on the Simply Savvy blog. I might share product ideas, mood board designs, or provide a list of how-to’s or tips. I will answer all email, but will selectively post for others to see.

Ask Simply Savvy

Don’t forget to Subscribe to the Simply Savvy blog!

If I choose your submission for a post, I will email you for permission to use your name, show your question or challenge and share your photo. I may have additional questions for you too. I have a lot to share, so I cannot do this detail for every submission, and I want everyone to benefit.

So, think of your spaces, your current challenges, things that make you feel chaotic, your to-do list that adds stress to your day, or just general questions…I look forward to helping you accomplish your goals and hope to inspire others along the way!

 

 

 

 

 

 

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blog series:: get organized for savvy savings:: toy storage

As I continue this series on tips to help you save by getting organized, I hope you see the savings potential of having order. A great place to start is with your childrens’ toys and their spaces. On the last post, hold a swap-out, I provided examples on how to hold a toy swap for savings. Not only do you save money by not making new purchases, but you rid the clutter in your space. Once you have completed your clean-up, it’s time to create a simple organized solution that you and your family can follow. Though there are fabulous designs to inspire us, I want to share some simple and affordable solutions, along with some must-haves.

The key to a successful toy space is for the children to participate in the process and find it easy to maintain. Here are a few ideas:

 

  • Choose your storage: Buckets, baskets, cubbies, and lockers all come in a variety of materials, colors and  prices. You can also be creative with what you already have in the home. For example, cover plastic bins, cans, or shoe boxes in fabric or paper and label.  It is important that your solution not require them to dig deep. If they can’t easily access items, they’ll be underused.

 

  • Hang it up: If space is an issue, consider a creative solution to mount storage bins or crates on the walls-be sure it’s within reach.

 

  • A place for everything: Staying organized means that all belongings have a home. Keep your budding artist in order by setting up a creative corner with caddies for supplies. Then, completed work can be displayed on wall mounted clips, magnet boards, or hung on twine…be creative.

 

  • Label it: Keeping storage labeled according to the contents is key to ensuring items make it back to their assigned home. Check out BHG free printable labels or make your own chalk labels like those shown on Hoosier Homemade.

 

  • Maximize your space: Consider an empty wall a wall of possibilities. Use hooks and a painted pegboard for hanging buckets, toys, and more.

 

  • Individuality is key: Children like their own spaces and have toys that are favorites. To head off sibling squabbles, create bins or buckets that are unique for each child. Be sure to create a meaningful label; such as, names, initials, numbers, or an object.

 

Start with some inspiration, review your space and needs, and select the tools to make it work well for you and your family. Keep it simple and affordable with a little creativity. Take a look at these…

See my Pinterest page for more ideas and photo credits. What creative solutions have you used? Be sure to leave a comment and share the post!

Get Organized with Simply Savvy

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loving the family landing zone

All homes need a family landing zone where everyone knows where belongings go the moment they walk in the door. Create a family landing zone before homework gets lost, teacher notes get buried, and special dates are forgotten. The best thing about a plan is that your family, not just you, has a responsibility for their things. It’s never too soon to teach your kids how to be organized.

Some homes have mud rooms for shoes and coats or command centers for papers and mail. I like  a family landing zone that combines all things. So, I thought I would share my tips,  inspiring pictures, and products I find simply savvy.

To begin, determine where your family ‘drops’ things off when they enter the room–I call these your “footsteps” in your space. If you don’t have an ever-so-fabulous mud room, you can create a landing zone in the main family entrance in the home that will be just as lovely.

by Inspiration For Decoration

Next, determine what function you need your landing zone to have. Is this a place for keys, cell phones, mail, school notes, shoes, coats, bags, and pocket change? What creates cllutter in your daily juggling of activities? What do you need to be able to locate quickly? Once you have determined these things, you are ready to create your zone with some essentials.

  1. Hang it up for order: I suggest mounting decorative hooks, knobs, or a coat rack for items that need to be hung; however, an umbrella stand works nicely too.  Be sure to place your solution at a level everyone can reach.
  2.  Store the goods: You can use baskets, shelves, totes, or buckets as storage units. In fact, if you mount baskets vertically it adds a clean, stylized look to your room. Place bowls or other small containers inside wall mounted baskets or shelves to hold change and keys. Trays or folders work well for school work, lunch calendars, and in/out mail. Clutter control: Once you have reviewed the work or mail , determine what to purge and move any keep papers to a more permanent home. For school work, this would be your school year box, or childs work display located in their space. If you don’t have a place for the school work you want to keep…you need one!
  3. Out of site and out of mind: Use a magnetic board, cork board , or memo board to post important notes, things to sign, and dates to remember. If you don’t like to see floating papers, use hanging file folders and large labled clips for these things. Clutter control: If you get in the habit of posting important notes and dates in an online calendar with automatic email reminders, you will minimize the paper clutter.
  4. 10-minute clean-up: Any organized solution needs tweaking. Once you have put your landing zone in place and your family knows where things now go, determine what is working and what isn’t and make changes. At the end of each week file papers and/or clean out items no longer needed.

 These are great examples of a space that combines hanging, storage, and wall solutions.

 

by Under The Table And Dreaming

 

by Decor & You

 I love this option that uses a coat stand….but for a familly landing zone I still want to see a place for keys, papers….

Creative solution by The Yello Cape Cod. You can add a storage bench and baskets to complete the landing zone.

This family landing zone by Organize Magazine shows a great solution for wall mounting all things.

 

The ideas are endless but here are a few of the styles you could choose…

Anthropology

organize.com

 

The Land Of the Nod

Art&Artifactby

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

by Stacks and Stacks

by Stacks and Stacks

threebythree.com

at Target

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

marthastewart.com

 

 

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