Archive | House Tips


By Kay on Wed, Apr 2, 2008

Comments Off on Ebates.com

What a great site I just stumbled upon!  If you do ANY online shopping at all, this is a GREAT resource.

It’s a shopping site that gives you up to 25% Cash Back every time you shop online. You can shop at over 900 stores including Barnes & Noble.com, Gap, Target, Buy.com and Expedia. Plus you get additional savings with exclusive coupons, free shipping offers, and limited-time sales!

They have a whole section of Coupons and Promotionals that would be a great resource to check anytime you’re about to purchase something online. And the extra benefit is that some of the coupons not only get you a discount at the store you’re shopping at, but also gives you a cash back percentage with Ebates, too.

Plus, sign up FREE with Ebates today and we’ll each get a $5 bonus when you make your first purchase!

Click here to sign up:
Happy shopping!

OrgJunkie’s Dining Room Organization Round-Up

By Kay on Tue, Apr 1, 2008


Window Seat Before OrganizationSo, I finally finished and am writing the promised follow-up post!  I told you that I was participating in Org Junkie’s Monthly Organizing Round-Up and cleaning up my dining area of the kitchen.  (click here to see my previous post on the subject) Since my 5-year-old, Kate, is a budding artist like her daddy all of her art supplies and drawings wind up on our kitchen table and floor, as well as the window seat behind it.  After a while, it all starts to mushroom and take over the room as you can see in this before pic…  The piles of crayons, and pictures and more pictures, and cards, and table cloth for when we paint, and flipflops (the windowseat is by the back door), and everything else just seemed to always collect here.  And even when it’s organized, it’s still just not very pretty to look at.  In fact, my husband complains about it frequently.

Art Table BeforeI decided that not only did all the mess need to be contained better, but it also needed to move out of my kitchen completely.  The ‘formal dining room’ in our house is right off of the kitchen and we’ve turned it into a playroom – perfect spot for all of Kate’s art supplies.  But before I could move everything, I had to clean out a space on the tall table (away from siblings’ hands) to move everything.  (Don’t you love when one project requires a second and third project to happen first to be able to make the first one happen???  Blah.)

Windowseat AfterFinally, I got the table ready and then moved all the ‘stuff’ to the table.  Then, I cleaned up the rest of the ‘outdoor stuff’ that sits on the windowseat and found a big bin to hide it all in.  So, all the flipflops, sunscreen, bug spray, water guns, and sidewalk chalk are now out of sight! 🙂  And look how clean my windowseat looks now!!

Of course, by the time I got all of that done, I was exhausted and the kiddos were screaming for my attention (quite literally, I’m afraid.  Yes, I tend to be a tad “focused” when it comes to organizing projects! 🙂 )  So, I stopped for the day and decided to come back to the art supply/artwork mess another day.  I think that’s actually a key – knowing when it’s okay to stop and come back to a project another day and not feeling like it all HAS to be finished immediately.  Especially when you have three little ones under foot.  🙂

So, a few days later, I decided to tackle all her art stuff.  Luckily, I had already put some amount of organizing mojo into this area of our lives and had containers already in use.  So, all it took was a little re-thinking of how everything was working and what would make it even better.

Art Table AfterShe now has 3 magazine holders that are specifically designated for 3 different kinds of things.  One for workbooks, one for sketchbooks and CURRENT artwork (I’ll have to write another post about what I do with all her artwork that accumulates at such a FAST pace), and one for stationary (my daughter LOVES to write cards to people).  She has an art kit box (thank you, Tiffany, for that birthday present!) that houses all of her stamps, markers, map pencils, glue sticks, and scissors in neat little organized trays.  Then she has a stack of art projects like beading, mosaics, and stamping that require adult supervision. And the last box next to the bookcase is full of all her painting supplies, including smock and table cloth.  All of the crayons and coloring books moved to another section of the playroom in a three-drawer rolling cart where the youngest two could also access them.

When I was done, I called her over to the table and explained the system to her. (Lucky for me, she takes after her parents and actually enjoys systems!) She got it almost immediately and then called her daddy in to show him and explain each section to him. 🙂  Best way to learn is to teach it to someone else, right?

So, now, I just owe a huge debt of gratitude to Laura over at OrgJunkie for encouraging all of us to tackle this project.  And I’m SO in for the rest of the year, so keep your eyes tuned for my next project!  What’s YOUR next project?

Dining Room Organization Challenge

By Kay on Thu, Mar 27, 2008

1 Comment

I was browsing some of my favorite blogs the other day and ran across OrgJunkie’s latest fun. While I love that there are others out there that are as ‘freakish’ as I am about organizing, Laura’s posts seem to be some of the best. She’s now doing a monthly challenge to all her readers called Org Junkie’s Monthly Organizing Round-Up. The month of February was a challenge to organize some portion or all of your kitchen. Unfortunately I missed the deadline on that one, even though I did just recently reorganize some of my kitchen cabinets. (I had to do something to house my new beautiful plates!)

But, I’m SO in on March. This month’s challenge has been the dining room. While we don’t have a formal dining room anymore (it’s now a playroom), the area in the kitchen where we eat was starting to get over-run by my daughter’s craft supplies. Since she’s a budding artist (she takes after her daddy), we have a little bit of everything and somehow it’s always on the kitchen table and the windowseat behind it. Here’s a ‘before’ pic for your amusement.

So, my goal this month has been to clean up the windowseat and therefore all the craft supplies and move them somewhere higher (where the 18 month old can’t get ahold of crayons to write on the floors and walls with) and more organized in ONE space.

Check back in with me in about a week and I’ll show you the finished project. Or, at least the ‘finished-for-now’ project. Because, seriously, is any project truly and thoroughly completed? Isn’t there always just ONE more thing we want to do to make it perfect? Or maybe that’s just the German perfectionism in me coming out…

Oh, and don’t you want to join me and all the other ‘freaks’ that are organizing their dining rooms this month? Add a comment below about what your next project is going to be!

Under-bed Storage for Kids’ Clothes

By Kay on Tue, Mar 25, 2008


After my sister read my post about sending Ethan to get a pair of pants, she emailed me and asked me if I’d thought about using MeckMom‘s solution to the problem of him emptying his drawers.

MeckMom's Under-bed Storage for Kids' ClothesI’m here to say that I L-O-V-E my sister for reminding me of this idea. And I L-O-V-E MeckMom for having this idea in the first place. And I’m going to the store tomorrow to buy under-bed boxes for all 3 of my kids so I can try this out.

I’ll let you know how it works. In the mean time, check out this link to MeckMom’s ingenious idea to keep my kids from emptying their drawers after I send them to get dressed!

The Ultimate Pre-Made Grocery List

By Kay on Sun, Feb 10, 2008


The Ultimatest Grocery Listgrocerylists.org has just released their FREE downloadable grocery list called, The Ultimatest Grocery List.

There are a lot of downloadable grocery lists out there, but none are as good as The Ultimatest. Why is this one better? Comprehensiveness. Categorization. Cleverness. Helpful clues and cues. Creativity. And… it’s portable, unlike a lot of shopping list software that requires you to be in front of a computer.

The Ultimatest is a free downloadable PDF you simply print out, hang on the refrigerator door and mark up before you go to the grocery store. Just check off the things you need—no more writing out lists by hand!

Holy cow!! Great use of visuals to help explain the proposed budget cuts and their actual impact on the overall budget.

You’ll never fold tshirts the same way again!

If you ever wanted to hear someone put a mommy’s day into a song, try this one! (I guarantee you’ll laugh your butt off.)

A little on the political side, but interesting nonetheless…

Children’s Books We’ve Read