Tuesday, November 23, 2010

organizing my life

I've always been a lover of organization.  But let's face it, when you throw 3 little ones in the mix, plus a puppy and a night job (jewelry sales, people!  Get your minds out of the gutter...), not to mention all the church stuff going on (small group, youth group, Bible study, etc.), it's hard to maintain my desire and NEED for an organized life.

But this past month, I was bitten by the organizing bug.  And it has made my life easier.

To start with, I organized our linen closet.  I know, most of you already have beautifully organized linens, but mine were not so much.  Yes, everything was folded and in somewhat organized piles, but every time I had to dig out new sheets for the 5 different beds in this house, I could never remember which ones were queen, twin, etc.  So I organized all the sheets by the beds they belong to.

I know this no Martha Stewart picture of perfection, but it'll have to do.

Then I made my own labels (think I may need to invest in a label maker..).

I even organized my massive collection of gift bags and wrapping paper on the top shelf.
And then I smiled.

Next, I knew that my grocery shopping arrangement needed some serious tweaking.  I mean, I do love Target and all, but heading out there 3 or more times a week with little ones in tow is not my idea of great economics.  So, I started a new Sunday night routine.  After small group is over and the kids are in bed, I look quickly through the coupons from the Sunday flier and at Target's online coupons and plan out my meals for the week. Then I make up my shopping list (which I made up myself, color coordinated by section in order of my store route so I make sure not to miss anything and not to have to re-circle the store for the forgotten item just when I thought I was done.  I hate when that happens.).
 **Bonus Tip: Target stacks manufacturer's coupons with their own coupons, making for amazing savings!  Plus, I've found that Target has more off brands than Fareway, making for better deals.  (And no, I'm not knocking Fareway, I love that store too and they do have great prices!) And now Target's RedCard saves you 5% on every single purchase.  That's HUGE if you get groceries there!  And no, they are not paying me to advertise that, although I think they should...**

With my grocery shopping more organized, I decided to organize my freezer and deep freeze to maximize the use of our items in there.  I got this awesome "soup file" idea from the Nate Berkus show, so now every time I make soup, I make a double batch and stick half of it in these freezer bags.  The bags are great for quick thawing and don't take up much space in the freezer.  Love it.

So, that's what I've been up to.  What are some of your best organizing tips?


peter marie said...

You are such a dork!

JUST KIDDING,of course! :) I am actually pretty jealous of your organizational skills. Your linen closet looks awesome! And that soup idea is so great...I'm totally going to do that.
I have absolutely no tips for you because I am horrible at it. I like to organize, but I don't keep things organized long.

Amy Kramer said...

Holy Organizer. You are SOOOOOO pregnant!!!! :) jk

I am a neat freak myself, but have fallen behind lately. Thanks for the motivation to get caught back up!

Do you ever used forums for your couponing? They post all the deals for you, and what items are basically free. And speaking of organizing, I have a coupon file. I keep my coupons for about 3 months. Some of the forums refer back to a coupon from a month or 2 ago, so I always go to my handy-dandy file and whalla... there it is! :) Maybe that can be your next project.

Thanks for the motivation!!! :)

Amy@My Front Porch said...

I totally want a label maker for Christmas. Yes, I know ***DORK*** I'm ok with it :)

And I love the idea of the soup! Which reminds me...I need the recipe for that delicious potato soup you brought us after Sophia was born!

As far as organizing tips -- I'm still figuring out how to do that with two kiddos instead of one :)

H-Mama said...

Are you training to be the next Martha Stewart?

Seriously, my OCD is screaming out... Amen! Yet, our schedule is preventing any thoughts of organization into real action. It's a pity, really. Maybe after Christmas? *crossing fingers*

The last thing I organized was my makeup drawer. An $8 caddy from Target well-spent. It has saved me so. much. time. too... not having to find the 'Waldo' of eyeliners, etc each time I put makeup on. ;)

Hyacynth said...

You are an organizing GENIUS! {Not dork -- sorry Peter Marie ;) }

That's what I'm missing! LABELS! {And I needed to use all caps for that because it was a brilliant discovery.}

Thank you. And thank you some more. Off to utilizer my new label maker. :)

{And thank you for the sweetest comment on my blog a few days ago. I'm so thankful to know you, too!}

laney said...

I love your organizing frenzy! What are the containers that you have your gift bags stored in?

Emily said...

Wow! This is amazing! I love the idea of organizing a shopping list by your route through the store (and not the other way around, which is what I tend to do). Why haven't I thought of that before? You may have just revolutionized my grocery shopping life! Thanks!

une autre mère said...

Peter Marie - If I'm a dork, then you're a dork-lover. Because I know you love me. Just admit it already.

Amy K- Trust me... I am SOOOO NOT pregnant! ;)

Amy P - I'm glad to have another dork as a friend. ;) I will be sending my soup recipe to you soon. I'm so glad you liked it!

H-Mama - Thanks for your makeup drawer tip! My own could use a little help. $7 seems totally worth saving my sanity during my getting-ready routine!

Hyacynth - Thanks for thinking I'm a genius. I would tell you that I am NOT, but I'm also not one to turn away such a great compliment. ;) Have fun with your labels!

Laney - My bags are just in some old Sterlite containers I had in the basement. They just happened to be the right size. Sorry that's probably not much help...

Emily - Glad you like my shopping list! I know it seems a little dorky that I color-coordinate it and print it out... but when I hang it on the fridge, Chad and I know exactly where to add the items we need. If you start doing it, I think you'll love it and it'll save you so much time! :)