Tips From the Almost Always Organized Mom

Purchase a large cork board for each of your children’s bedroom wall. It’s great for artwork, certificates, even sport ribbons ! — The Almost Always Organized Mom

When everything goes to hell, the people who stand by you without flinching – – they are your family.  ~ Jim Butcher

I really love motivational and inspirational quotes, for just about any type of occasion or situation.  Sometimes I use them to lift me up or otherwise motivate me in some way.  I even have a little section in my header that features some of the tips and quotes from my own past articles to remind myself and my readers of a good, quick tip or idea.

When I think about the importance of a family and how integral it is to us as we grow up and then raise our own, sometimes a good quote can perfectly sum up how I feel very easily.  I often turn to different inspiring web sites to find the perfect line and I’ve has good luck finding inspirational quotes and sayings about family at KeepInspiring.me. A real key to organizing a family is remembering just how important it is.

In every conceivable manner, the family is link to our past, bridge to our future. ~ Alex Haley

 

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Organizing the house and the family are generally a big priority around here and we’ve taken some step to streamline that process as much as possible. We’ve found so many useful tools and online resources, many thanks to some readers for the suggestions, that we can be pretty productive and get things running smoothly. One way we’ve done this recently and found really useful online shops to get some of our shopping and gift buying done without having to worry about the quality of the product or the usefulness of the gift. A recent example of this came from the folks at Organize Beauty Now and their green and glam line.gglogo

The products they offer under this line feature both hair and skin care that is 100% natural but, as they say themselves, “does not sacrifice performance for the sake of being 100% natural.” Another nice little line of products they offer are their Eco Princess products–natural and organic play make-up that would make a really great gift for a daughter or niece. This way, the little ones can safely get dressed up lots of glitter and glam while doing so safely.

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Family friendly furnitureI’ve written a bit before about some different decorating ideas around the house to help you get organized. These have included various tools and items such as storage bins to help get things under control. I’ve also talked a bit about easy tips for decorating a living room or a kids room. However, I’ve recently discovered a great online store that specalizes in Modern Chairs & Sofas for kids that I think really addresses some of the concerns of a family looking to get organized as well as have nice, clean and modern furniture designed for families.

FF Modern has helped solve some of the difficulties parents have in finding modern furniture that is actually made for a family. They have nice looking, quality furniture that is designed to address things like spills and bumps.  So, they use surfaces that are easy to clean and avoid sharp corners.  They also integrate useful features like hidden storage, space saving designs and stackable pieces.  All of this, plus it’s made in America and has a lifetime warranty.  A nice added aspect of shopping online at FF Modern is that shipping is free and there is no sales tax outside of California.

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Your closets, of all places, seem to be in continual need of care and attention. Getting organized here is not always that easy to do for a number of reasons.

Generally, we have an easier time buying new clothes and putting them up in the closet than going through our old ones and throwing them out. It’s amazing how attached we can become to an old shirt we haven’t worn for years. Or perhaps you think that someday you’ll fit into those old jeans you looked so great in when you were 20.

The closet also usually has the advantage of a closed door to hide the mess and clutter. If your friends or family stop by for a quick visit it’s easier to just throw your things under the bed or into the closet to worry about later. Unfortunately, it’s not always to easy to go back and straighten up the mess.  Out of sight, out of mind, right?

This is really an unfortunate way to treat your space, especially when there are closet organizers available that will allow you to completely redefine the storage for your clothes and shoes. You can then create a space that you can really be proud of, and you might even rediscover some clothes you forgot you had!

The first step to really get you started is to be honest with yourself about what you truly need to keep.  This de-cluttering process can be quite liberating after you’ve eliminating a lot of the excess stuff that’s crowding you out of your closet. Don’t be afraid to throw out that 10-year-old sweater just because it cost you $100 on an impulse buy.  If you haven’t worn it in a few years you likely won’t anytime soon.  Pass it along to someone else you know who might like it or donate to your local charity.

Next, seriously considering getting some professional help from a company like California Closets. You can get a design consultation from someone who is trained to help you develop an organization setup that is custom to your specific space and needs. If you have a terrific new layout that completely fits your situation and looks great, you’ll likely have a much easier time keeping it clean and organized.

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Avoid the Landfill: How to be Green During your Spring Clean

There are so many things to love about spring. The warm sun, the singing of the birds, the smell of freshly cut grass and blooming flowers all draw us out of winter hibernation and into the outdoors.

Spring Cleaning

However, there is one thing that we all dread as spring arrives — spring-cleaning! All the scrubbing, dusting, sweeping under your kitchen rugs, vacuuming and wiping make us want to go back to bed and throw a duvet over our heads, once and for all.

As the weather gets warmer, the scum on our windows, floors and walls become obvious. Sadly, there’s no other way to get around them but to resort to some elbow grease.

While spring-cleaning make our homes livable, getting rid of some of our old stuff means adding waste to landfills. Here are some ways on how to spring-clean your home without adding to your carbon footprint.

Salvage old stuff.

Clearing clutter is the first step to having an organized home. If you have plenty of clothes stuffed in the closet, now is the best time to sort through them. Anything you haven’t worn in the last six months to a year should be placed in a box and donated.

Worn out clothing can be recycled by sewing them into new clothing or accessories. Use old neckties as belts. Cut the sleeves of an old T-shirt to create a sexy halter top and reconstruct the sleeves into a headband or pillowcase. You can also recycle an old pair of jeans into a purse. For clothes beyond repair, you can cut them up into smaller pieces and use them for cleaning windows and floors. That way, nothing goes to waste.

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Create treasures out of junk.

If you have a keen eye for details and a good hand for designing, why not put your creativity at work and make your own craft projects? Make tote bags out of newspaper, a clutch out of candy wrappers, and earrings out of soda cans. You can even make money by selling them online or locally. Etsy is a good place to start if you have a knack for creating handmade goods out of recycled materials, but you can sell your masterpiece anywhere on the Internet these days.

 

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Recycle e-waste.

Being good stewards of the earth means thinking of smart ways to recycle waste, including electronics. As new gadget designs come out practically every quarter, we need to come up with ways on how dispose our old contraptions without dumping them in the incinerators. Unfortunately, not many people see direct returns for all the efforts they put into recycling, which is why some companies offer cash in exchange for old electronics.

Cell for Cash and Gazelle are two companies that pay for every cell phone you turn in for recycling. For other items that you may have already been recycling, RecyclingBank gives incentives like food and pharmacy gift certificates.

Trade your old stuff.

Give your old items a new home by swapping them for something else you need. This will help you clear your home without adding garbage to the landfills. Several non-profit organizations encourage individuals to place their items on the list and another person will take that item free. The same rule applies if you need something and don’t want to shell out money for it. Hold a garage sale if you want to make some money. If you find that physically exhausting, list your items in Craigslist and wait for some DIY-ers to haul your old stuff into their homes.

Refurbish your furniture.

Tired of looking at the same old sofa you’ve had since your college days? Why not refurbish it and give it a new life instead of turning it into firewood? Many upholsterers and antique dealers would gladly salvage old pieces of furniture and transform them into new works of art. Revamp your furniture by having them upholstered. If you have the skills, create your own slipcovers to extend the life of your furniture. Not only do you save money, you also get a new look for your home.

Clean your lighting fixtures.

Save money on lighting by wiping them clean. Dirt that has accumulated over the months on light bulbs lessens the illumination they bring. Use a dry cloth or an old handkerchief to wipe the fixtures. This way, you lengthen the cycle of your bulbs and you save money by not buying new ones.

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Use recyclable storage boxes.

Storage boxes come in different styles and sizes. For something that truly never goes out of fashion, use empty old boxes in keeping clutter out of sight. Get your old TV box and fill it with old magazines, clothes and whatever old stuff you have at home. Plastic storage boxes may look pretty with all the sweet colors they come in, but they also add to landfill waste once disposed.

Green spring-cleaning your home is possible by looking for creative ways on how to dispose old stuff without necessarily throwing them away. Reduce your carbon footprint by recycling most of the items you have at home.

Jessica Phan is a designer for Balsamhill.com a purveyor of high-end artificial Christmas Trees. Living in the San Francisco Bay Area is perfect for her because she has a wide range of interests, including Art & Design, Fashion, Photography, Painting and Thrift Store Shopping.

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tree-limbsCreating a nice space outside of your house, including organizing your yard, maintaining the exterior of your house and consistently applying the appropriate tree work are all important aspects of organizing your home. We haven’t spent too much time on the outside of the house, but the truth is that this really can’t be overlooked. We spend quite a bit of time here at OrganizedFamilies.com talking about ways to organize your family and your house. This discussion has ranged from utilizing organization apps for your phone, tips from other bloggers, organizing aspects of your home, spring cleaning and so forth.

One important element of yard work is properly taking care of your trees including pruning them correctly, trimming them at the right time of the year and having the appropriate equipment to get the job done right. This is absolutely critical when you might need to climb up the tree and need the right climbing gear and tree rigging equipment. You might find the tools at your local big box store, but might be better off utilizing a specialized arborist supply store online like SherrillTree. The benefit of using a site like this is that they also have a great learning center with dozens of great articles to help get you started, as well as all of the best equipment that is perfect for working on trees.

 

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I’ve been spending a lot of time this summer worrying about hair and it’s really quite amusing.  Between travel, vacations, hotels, swim parties and water parks and all the other summertime fun, our family’s hair, especially my daughter’s hair, has really had to withstand a bit of abuse.  I’ve really begun to master all the different ways to put up her hair or quickly make it look presentable quickly, and I have discovered that hair accessories can really do the trick.

sbLooking at some of the new ideas women and girls are using now to add some interest to their hair, I’m really liking some of the new trends. Of course, a good old-fashioned bow or headband works, but I’ve seen some pretty interesting things like hair chains and hair feathers. There are some really interesting looking feather ideas on http://finefeatherheads.com/ that I’m looking forward to trying. I especially like the look of their different tail feathers. They also have a great selection of hair ties in just about any color you would need.

One of my big indulgences on the interest lately has been browsing pinterest and instagram and I’ve seen some really cute ideas for hair accessories like the ones I’ve mentioned such as hair feather, chains and others embellishments. Spend some time going through these sites or just brow on FineFeatherHeads.com and I’m sure you’ll see something that will work for you.

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