Monday, August 26, 2013

3 Simple Organization Tips that keep me Sane and a giveaway

Once upon a time I would say I was a perfect 10 with my organization skills. Everything had a place, I showed up to work on time, I never missed a dentist appointment, my dry cleaning was picked up and the oil got changed in my car every 2,974 miles. Fast forward  to a life with an active husband and 3 school aged children and my once perfectly executed 10 ..... well, not so perfect. But I try.
I make a real effort to keep organization simple around the house. I need to. I have no time to spend on organization that doesn't help keep me sane or keep the household organized. Here are three easy and simple solutions to help me do that.
Lists 
Jotting down my shopping list as I run out or need something, makes it a whole lot easier at the end of the week when I head to the grocery store. Simply tear off the shopping list and go.
Weekly Planner
 I use this removable Weekly planner from Martha Stewart Home Office and Avery to show the family what the activities are for the week. Placing it on the refrigerator makes it fairly centralized so that everyone is aware of the families schedule. Each Sunday I clean the planner off with a paper towel and put a new weekly schedule up with a dry erase marker. 
Labels

Every pickle and spaghetti sauce jar in my house has now been transformed with a coat of paint on the lid and a chalk board label on the front. Labels are also from Martha Stewart Home Office and Avery. I use these jars in my craft room, work shop, pantry and for my children's reward system. The labels can also be secured to boxes and plastic totes.  I always know what's behind door box #1 now. Love that! 
Speaking of love.......  I would love to send one of you a box full of organizational goodies from me and a $50.00 Staples gift card.
 All's you need to do is comment on this post and tell me your best organizational tip. That's it. One winner will be selected. Please make sure that I have your email address so that I can contact you if you are the winner. 
Contest ends on Wednesday, August 28th,2013 at midnight. Winner will be contacted via email by Friday, August 30th. 
Good luck. I hope your on your way to a more organized life.
Update- contest has ended. Please click here for winner.

 Grateful for~
An organized household and that I didn't forget to buy peanut butter. Luckily it was on the shopping list!

PS- for another amazing idea on how I stay organized in my office, Click here

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This is a sponsored post from Avery however the comments about my love for the Martha Stewart Home Office with Avery products are all mine.


93 comments:

  1. I am, perhaps, the least organized person on the planet...but my job requires that I have to have on-hand some sensitive paperwork, as well as important stuff like safety plans. My lifesaver is a 3-hole punch and folders/binders. These are all labeled and put on a shelf behind my desk. I might lose my mind at school, but I CANNOT lose those papers! (My house is a completely different story.)

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  2. I have a hanging paper organizer in my pantry where I keep important papers such as school lists and numbers. Thanks for the chance to win!

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  3. I keep a calendar on my desk and also a notepad to jot down my daily duties. I try to keep on task!

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  4. I have a grocery list in excel that includes the aisle in the store. I prepare my menu, then my list. I then sort by aisle, category and item - print. No backtracking in the store and no extra items, either! I also keep a dry erase board on my refrigerator to list items that are depleted.

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  5. My best organization tip is my appliance folder that has everything in it from my home. It is a huge folder with plastic sleeves. In each sleeve I have oven, fridge, wine cooler, microwave, etc. it makes it so easy to look something up. Also, have a separate pool folder with all the booklets when pool was built and all maintenance papers that was done to pool. I try to run my home like a business and take care of anything that pops up. The hardest part is just throwing away paper clutter !

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  6. My challenge has always been the papers/mail that comes straight to the kitchen and piles up! Now I have a pretty file box on the end of the counter and in it I have file folders for each family member, receipts to be filed, takeout menus, coupons that come in the mail for oil changes and various things we may be interested in, papers to be filed, etc. It really helps. Thanks for the chance to win!

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  7. First, I painted two of my cabinet fronts with chalkboard paint so that I can write down my grocery list. Second, I too have a weekly planner on my fridge for quick reminders. I just did the pasta jar organizing tip too! I put shells in mine for my craft room. They have a pretty ribbon around them to make them match. Would love to win this prize. I have one pack of Martha's labels but would love more! Thanks for the giveaway. bthurst7@aol.com

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  8. Thanks for the post. I thought using baskets would help me get organized but now the baskets seem to be causing clutter as I have them sitting under the tv area. I hope to check back again to see more comments.
    Jstinnett1@gmail.com

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  9. Uh oh -- what if I don't have any fabulous organizational tips? Okay, here's one. I have three baskets in the entry labeled "Bills," "Keep," and "Shred" so I can easily sort the mail when it arrives and it doesn't end up piling up on the dining room table!

    :) Linda

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  10. Remember when Momma said "a place for everything and everything in it's place"? I try to put whatever I'm using back where I got it when I'm done. Keeps the clutter at bay and I don't spend precious time looking for things.

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  11. My best organization tip is to get rid of every piece of paper that isn't absolutely necessary. When I bring in the mail, I go through it and toss. I regularly go through files and shred old papers. Everything that can be done online, I do. It's much easier and cleaner.

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  12. I love the Martha Stewart line! I have the white baskets from WalMart in my fridge to organize everything. I love them. Also I hang a calender inside my pantry, to post appointments and schedules. I dont like alot of papers hanging on the fridge.

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  13. What a great idea. We have a busy, busy schedule with back to school, college and a football schedule, not to mention our work schedules. I have a flat pantry door in my kitchen that I faux painted the front of it, but the back was plain. I use magnetic paint and chalk paint and transformed it into a command center so that we could try and keep it all straight.I'm going to go get one of those schedules!

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  14. Probably the best organization "tool" in my house is one of those plastic pocket shoe racks hung on the inside of a closet near our kitchen that holds school/art supplies (markers, scissors, pens, pencils, glue sticks, tape, etc) - it is SO helpful and friends/neighbors love the idea when they see it, unfortunately I cannot take full credit for dreaming up this fantastic idea (although I would love to) I got the idea off of Pinterest...but it has made our lives SO much easier - now nobody asks "Mom, do we have____?" They just know where to look!

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  15. I'm an organization fanatic, but like you my attempted have waned since the children arrived (and even now, 16 years later!). The big thing I've ever done towards organization is to create a master "Grocery List," with items organized by aisle (department?) - each week I simply circle the items I need and off to the store I go! Thanks for offering a fantastic giveaway.

    Mary

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  16. I start the day with making the bed. When the mail arrives I sort it immediately and toss what I do not want. I clean the kitchen as I cook and at night I make sure the dishes are all washed.

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  17. Calendars are a must for me. My laptop, phone and tablet are all linked so whatever I put on the calendar on one goes onto all of them. I put reminder on non-regular events as well as bills to be paid so I don't forget them.
    I am also a binder girl for different activities I am on. I keep a phone list for the people working with me and any pertinent paperwork. I also keep blank paper for notes.
    I don't do well with loose papers. I tend to throw them away on an effort to decrease clutter. Having a home for the papers keeps me from throwing away that important paper. For mail that I don't deal with electronically, I put it in a plastic shoebox along with stamps, envelopes, etc. I go through the box every Tuesday.

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  18. Here's my top two tips!
    1) never bring the mail in until you are ready to open it immediately and also open mail standing at the trash can / recycling bin

    2) a smart phone app {Grocery IQ} that's a database you create {scan the bar code, type the name, speak the name) and you tap the item it goes to your current shopping list which is on your phone or you can send to any other phone! {honey, pick up ...} Since my phone is always with me I can immediately add something to my list when we run out etc.

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  19. I found you a few months ago and have really enjoyed your blog!

    I homeschool several kiddos. Each child uses a wire framed canvas bin for all their books, workbooks, and supplies. The bins have a home on a bookshelf, but are easily taken into another room, if they need to work elsewhere. At the end of the day - all is put back into place.
    Thanks so much for offering such a useful and fun giveaway! :-)

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  20. oops - my e-mail is carol@hfhco.com

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  21. When all the kids were young I was always on top of everything. What the heck happened?

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  22. I am an organized freak. At least that is what my friends and family call me. There are many methods to staying organized but I've found the key is to keep it personal and to find a place for everything that matters according to YOUR needs. Then, take the extra second or two to return items where they belong after they are used. My unorganized friends are shocked at this simple (and obvious) tip makes the biggest difference.

    Thanks for the chance to win these awesome goodies! Lhowards4n@yahoo.com

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  23. I do a load of laundry everyday. Start in morning and also plan supper for that night. Sounds simple, but if the laundry and kitchen get behind, so does everything else.

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  24. I love your jars with the labels! I go one step further on the grocery list and write things in the order that I'll find them in the store. Helps so much when I'm at the Super Center so I don't forget something that was all the way back over on the other side of the store!

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  25. My best organized tip is my binders with page saver sleeves that I put clipped magazine recipes in. As I look through my favorite magazines I cut the recipes (and design or craft ideas) and put them in the sleeves behind the appropriate dividers. This way I can recycle the magazine immediately and it doesn't sit in a pile for me to look through again.

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  26. organization makes me happy. Canisters,baskets and pretty boxes help to keep things organized for me. Thank you for the giveaway opportunity. xo P.S. you still have time to enter my giveaway too

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  27. Lazy susans in my pantry to hold spices, oils, vinegars and herbs.

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  28. I just added small removable hooks to the closet to hang jewelry. (Necklaces & bracelets). You can organize by color type etc. easy to see what's there when getting ready.

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  29. LOVE, LOVE your jars. Will make a few, for sure. I have a gray, soft side file with 12 tabs (Target) that keeps all my crochet patterns. I have so many patterns now that I need to buy another. I keep several small, tin, painted pails on the shelf in my scrapbook room for pens, pencils, tools etc. I have two 6 drawer Sterlite draw systems which keep all my stamps. They are in drawers by topics (flowers, birthdays, sympathy etc.) I have six 12x12 clear totes with latches that I keep for each project I have. As I buy stickers, embellishments & papers I put them in the appropriate tote. I always have supplies on hand that way. I have a bulletin board next to our computer with a calendar & reminders. On the refrigerator I have a tablet to jot down items I need at the grocery store. Along with this, I plan the next weeks menu's & write down ingredients I need (we live 8 & 20 miles to nearest grocery stores). Coupons are always cut and placed in a coupon organizers. THANKS for the opportunity to win such wonderful prizes! It would be awesome to win! llleuer@gmail.com

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  30. At our house the grocery list is in the computer on a spread sheet. The list is set up to match the way our main grocery store is organized. Every week we print out a list and hang it on a clip board in the pantry. I have a pencil attached with velcro to the clip board so there's always a pencil available to use. During the week as we use up items throughout the house we check off the things we need to replace when we're at the store. There's also room to write in things not on the list such as seasonal items or items we buy infrequently. When it is time to go shopping I just grab the clip board and go. I clip the coupons I plan to use that day to the board to help me remember to use them. This system has been working for us for many years. I've even been approach by other shoppers and asked for a copy of my list! JBeardsley@centurylink.net

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  31. Since our grand children came to stay with us it's been a daily adventure trying to get organized especially with school started. I purchase a couple of those hanging canvas cube things with 6 cubes each for the closet and have them pick out their school clothes for the week on Sunday. Now mornings are a "little" less stressful!

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  32. I know it sounds old fashioned but my best friend is my spiral bound calendar on my bedside table. I write everything on it. It also has a tear off shopping list feature. Not only do I note appointments but I also note payment due dates for various bills. While the rest of my family insists on using the calendar on their phones, there is something to be said for seeing a week in advance. My family members put "reminders" on their phones but often ignore them because they come at an inconvenient time and they don't want to admit it but often miss deadlines due to this oversight.

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  33. I hate paper clutter... Especially junk mail.. So I throw it in the recycle bin before it ever makes it in the house.... My neighbors think its funny that I go through my mail in the driveway then throw it away before going inside!

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  34. I use the grocery list on the fridge and use a monthly calendar, but I like the idea of a weekly one on the fridge. My task now is to decide what to do with all the school papers the kids bring home.

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  35. OMGosh, Laura. I hardly ever sign up for giveaways any more BUT I am in the process of sorting and organizing everything! I was always so organized and the downstairs got away from me-it is now NEAT but not organized. This kit would be perfect and who doesn't LOVE Martha Stewart products?

    I have several organization tips but here are a couple I have employed over the years. When I do laundry I have a basket for each person in the house. As soon as I take the clothes out of the dryer they are put into the correct basket and that person is responsible for putting their own clothes away.

    Another quick pick-me-up. When my family was young and I went to clean I would take a laundry basket into each room. Whatever was on the floor or not in its right place went into that basket. I would clean the room and then, when I had the extra moment, I would sort out and put away the stuff in the basket. The kids had to put away their own basket of stuff.

    Okay- One more-I'm on a roll now. When the kids started school I would buy each of them a clear tupperware file folder (the big one with the handle on top). I would put dividers in it and as their work came home every day it either went into the container (if it was going to be saved) or into the trash. At the end of the school year we would go through and decide what was worth saving. Some went into a loose leaf binder in clear plastic protectors. The rest went into a folder labeled with the year. As adults they had so much fun going through all their old "papers" and drawings and stuff.

    okay-that's all I got for now- lol xo Diana

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  36. I have to say I am a big list maker. I always have lists going and it helps keep me organized.

    Cynthia

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  37. I am very "old school"...I live with folders...folders for upcoming trips, projects, ideas for upcoming parties, etc...I use sliding baskets under counters to corral things, two pads on my desk for "groceries" and "things to do"...I love marking off my things to do list...but what I do mainly, is to take at least 30 min a day to work on an organizing....to create a more organized space or just "upkeep"...My worst organizational "area" was a space in a closet for craft supplies...but once I ordered my Martha Stewart craft furniture...all was right with the world!!!

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  38. My best storage place is my file cabinet. I go through items from the mail box, throw and file to keep clutter to a minimum... everything that I shred goes to the composter outside and eventually to my plants. (no shiny coated paper, but all the rest)

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  39. Hi Laura! Wow I had no idea there were "giveaways" on blogs (yes, I'm a newbie). Anyshway, about 2 years ago I found myself living as a single mom of four children, ages 2-16, on one income and living in a 2 bedrm townhouse (thank God for wine lol) Organization became imperative. So rather than using my brain for creative ways to strangle my ex-husband, I decided to come up with creative (and affordable)ways to get my family of 5 organized!
    The biggest frustrations I had were running up & down stairs trying to find this or that plus getting that wonderful phone call at work "mom, I left my permision slip at home", "mom, I left my flute on the bed" "Ms. Watson, you forgot to return Carter's weekly book to preschool this morning". Geeeeeez how can I fix this?!
    Ahem....5 canvas totes! Yep that's my secret! We each decorated our own tote that we sit on the bottom 5 stairs. Each afternoon we put books, mail, unsigned permission slips, toys, shoes, etc in the respective person's tote. At bedtime we each carry our tote upstairs and unload that day's accumulation of "stuff"...after homework is complete, each tote is REloaded with next day's "stuff" (signed permission slips, lunch money, homework, etc). The next morning we each carry our tote downstairs with everything needed for the day!
    Mornings now run MUCH smoother, no more running up & down the stairs fifty times, no more (well not as often) running late looking for one shoe and even better...no more "mom, I forgot..." phone calls!
    Thank you for the opportunity to share and good luck to us all :-)
    Sincerely,
    Carey
    careywatson@gmail.com

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  40. As a busy wife, mother of 3 and grandmother I color code all my calendar events. Each person has thier own personal color so I know who's going where!

    Amy
    amyallen77@comcast.net

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  41. I homeschool my 3 kiddos and need every bit of organization that I can get my hands on! I'm so with you on the jar saving! I reuse every glass jar that comes into our house! spray paint the lids and add a label and i feel so much more organized. I use them in every room of the house. I don't keep very many items in bags or boxes in the pantry now and I love it. school rewards/treats, ribbon, buttons, you name it.! Thanks for the chance to win.
    Kristi @ redrobinflewaway@gmail.com

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  42. Lazy susans for my spices and small condiments in the fridge.
    Calendar and lists keep me going.
    I visit the MS collection @ Staples all the time. Would love to win.

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  43. oops Belinda email = bbledsoe@hccmail.org

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  44. I have created a "snack station" for the kids lunches. Its really a basket where I empty out all prepackaged snacks and create baggies with snacks, so its easy to "grab and go."!

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  45. Oops sorry-my email is leigh_levine@hotmail.com (previous post)

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  46. I keep all my appointments in my calendar on my iphone. It's with me where ever I go. I also have wooden hanging slots in my kitchen to keep the mail and kids school papers.

    Christi
    christigermany@cox.net

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  47. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  48. Freezer tip: I could often never remember what was stored in my freezer, much less be able to find it, until I purchased some clear plastic bins from The Container Store. I used my p-touch labeler for each one "Beef, Pork, Chicken, Veggies"... etc. It is so easy to remove a bin to retrieve an item!
    http://www.containerstore.com/shop/kitchen/refrigeratorFreezer?productId=10027634&N=74068&mr=clear+freezer
    Email: jbmgw@swbell.net

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  49. Ok my friend...do you think you can take a trip up to NJ and help me...the organization gene was left out in my case! I get things done but if you ever say how you would probably have a seizure! : ) You rock at this and color me impressed! Now if you could shower me with some of your talent...I would be over the moon : ) Thanks for sharing and I am trying...really I am!!!! : ) hugs...

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  50. I keep a monthly calendar on our fridge and color code the activities of the 5 of us on there so everyone knows what our schedules are! I love it and I would love to win this!!! Thanks!!!

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  51. I keep a monthly calendar on our fridge and color code the activities of the 5 of us on there so everyone knows what our schedules are! I love it and I would love to win this!!! Thanks!!! Cpmitchell29@gmail.com

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  52. I am a list maker and a calendar jotter! I just recently graduated to a smart phone, so I'm making lists and jotting things on my calendar there, too. I still love my paper lists though. As one of the other posters mentioned, sometimes I miss the alerts on my phone, but my paper is always there and easy to see at a glance! Thanks for a great give-away...I just love Martha's stuff!! luvs2scrap at aol dot com

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  53. My customizable planner by arc/Staples. I know it's old school but it keeps me on track. Love my month at a glance. It's big enough to see everything, keep notes, to do list, groceries, appointments and it's small enough to throw in my purse. shereepowell@hotmail.com

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  54. I keep myself in check with a big family binder. In it I keep my daily to do lists, cleaning schedule, coupon organized and budget lists such aa vacations, bills, etc. I keep my family involved by syncing our mobile devices with a calendar app. When one of us changes a dare or time, it alerts the other members of our family. My husband and I dont have to make a hundred calls a day anymore. P.S. Love the Martha line at Staples!!

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  55. When my grandchildren come to visit, they have their own drawer in the dresser. In the drawer, Each one has their very own plastic "pillowcase" bag filled with Jammie's, clean undies and a toothbrush. Each bag is labeled with the child's name. After their bath it makes it easy for everyone to get ready to jump in bed!
    Linda carter
    Lbcarter51@comcast.net

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  56. Just found your blog! Great posts! I'm in the middle of organizing as well. Lists, Labels and of course my kitchen command center. I can't live without any of those!
    http://cookiescraftsandchaos.com/2013/08/26/kitchen-command-center/

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  57. Hi Laura-
    Your home organization ideas are great. I will now be saving my spaghetti sauce jars! How smart!

    I order the same thin Brownline (brand) calendar in red every year.It is thin enough to fit in my bag but large enough that I can actually write in it. It is 81/2" by 11".

    I then color code all activities and entries so I can see at a glance what is upcoming.

    When our three girls were still at home and very active, they each had a color.

    That at least kept me on track.

    This is a great giveaway!

    Thank you,
    Laura
    www.whitespraypaintblog.com
    lmh136@yahoo.com

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  58. When I receive the yearly calendar from the boy's schools showing late starts or early dismissal, plus days the boys have off from school, I take a few minutes to send a meeting maker to myself and my husband so we both have those days marked clearly on our work calendars. It takes a few minutes, but totally worth it in the long run when trying to balance work/life.

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  59. My best tip is to do a little something every day. Then you won't be overwhelmed on crazy days!

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  61. Wow I never ever do this, but I lived alone for the past few years. Lotta years actually. But my fiance recently moved in with me (getting married on November 16, 2013.) What an adjustment. I live in a townhouse and although it felt spacious when it was just me...it's not so spacious now so I am organizing closets and bathrooms with a frenzy.I bought 2 of those hanging shoe racks (the soft ones) and I cut them in half and I thumb tacked them on the inside of each door on my cabinets in the bathrooms. Holds his toiltries nicely. Added baskets in my bathroom on a self for additional male items. Covered two of his moving boxes with pretty, yet not too feminine, wrapping paper for the top of his closet. Holds miscellaneous items (men have a lot of miscelleneous items). Finally I have changed out all of the hangers in my closets, his are black and mine are black & beige. They are the flat felt covered ones. Takes up a lot less space and they look pretty as well. And the black matches the zebra wrapping paper I covered the boxes with in his closet. Now if only I could get him to go through all the other stuff he added to what used to be my organized outside storage room. :) Thank you and my email address is rerereal@gmail.com

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  62. every Sun morning I combine work and home calendars on a 4 week wipe off board so we always know what is coming and can spot conflicts.

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  63. My sanity-saver is my Google calendar! It's color-coded to all of our different activities and both my husband and I can access it on our phones, Kindles, and computers. :)

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  64. My best organization tip is: once the laundry is washed and dried, it doesn't go back into a basket! I fold it right on top of the washer and dryer and put it away. If it goes back in a basket once it is washed and dried it tends to stay there for a little too long (or a lot too long). I won't even let my kids put their clean folded laundry into a basket to carry it to their room, otherwise it seems to stay in that basket until it's been dug through so many times that they can't tell what clothes are clean or dirty (then I end up re-washing clean clothes). So...once it's washed, dried and folded it gets put away where it belongs, not put back in a basket!

    norrisbunch@yahoo.com

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  65. Labels is my tip. I label EVERYTHING!!!

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  66. My best tip is to make lists! I have taught my kids to write things down BEFORE we run out, such as groceries, staples, toiletries. I will not make extra errands because someone forgot to write it down. I'm hard that way :) I am the queen listmaker! I'm sharing on my fb page!

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  67. I cannot take credit for this, because I found the idea on Pinterest and thought how brilliant it was. I used a plastic utensil tray like you typically use in your kitchen drawer for knives, forks, spoons, etc - and placed it in my bathroom drawer to keep toothbrushes and toothpastes, floss, picks, etc, neatly organized. <3 this idea!

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  68. I used to be so organized...*sigh*...
    Thank goodness for my iPhone, I use alarms and reminders and make my lists on it. If I lose my phone, I'm sunk :)

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  69. As a college student, organization is a must. I use different colored pens in my planner for each class. The same concept can be applied to daily life. I also always use a green color for my budget. :)

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  70. It's kind of funny putting my name and an organizational tip together lol!!! Actually,my favorite organizing gadget that I use are the underwear and sock drawer dividers. I have had them for probably five years now and get a smile every morning at the neatly arranged "necessaries!" Thanks for the great givewaya/

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  71. I love to stay organized but it is not always possible, but in my clothing closet I do one little think that has helped me out..... When removing a piece of clothing from a hanger, I then take the hanger and place it at the front of the rod so when I go looking for a hanger to hang up my clean clothes all the little hangers are all lined up nicely, no more hunting!!
    Kathysue
    Goodlifeofdesign@yahoo.com

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  72. Pick me... pick me!!!! I love the idea of organization and love everything Martha! I need to get those great chalkboard labels! They would be so much easier than the system I'm using now!!!! Thanks so much for the giveaway, Laura!

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  73. Menu Planning saves me time and helps to keep my pantry & fridge organized. 1 thing I started doing at the beginning of this month that has been a simple timesaver is doing a load of laundry every night before bed and folding it every morning. It really saves me from overwhelming chores once a week.

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  74. Well, this certainly help. Thanks for the opportunity to win it!

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  75. Glad to find out about the chalkboard labels that Martha has! I had to be super organized when I was teaching school but I have gotten more lax since I retired. I'm a list maker, too and I've tried to keep a calendar on my phone but I've gone back to an old school paper calendar. Thanks for a chance at this awesome giveaway!

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  76. My best organizational tip is the "Lists" app on my iphone. I have a continual grocery list, to do list, shopping list, christmas shopping list, etc.

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  77. My mom helped me clean out my sewing room and made me promise that I would clean off my sewing table every night and put the project I am working on in the "current project only" drawer. It keeps me sane...now I need her to come and help with the rest of the house.

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  78. As a senior, my new best organizational tool is a binder in the kitchen where all our medications and doctors, as well as contact people and phone numbers are listed in case of an emergency. This would work for young families too. I think we all tend to get a little flustered in an emergency and having everything in one place will help when the mind goes blank.

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  79. I love Martha's organizational stuff. I bought some labels when the kids were getting school supplies. I've been working here and there on organizing the craft closet that got totally ruined over 3 years. I use a label maker for most containers, but look forward to using my new ones on some jars that I've saved. I like clear containers so I can also SEE all that good craft stuff! I also like to read blog posts on organizing, cuz I don't have that gene! Thanks Laura!!

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  80. Thanks for the wonderful ideas! My trick to stay on top of appointments is to include them in my iphone calendar as soon as they are made. For mail, I throw/recycle the junk mail before I can even put it down on a counter. Bills go in my bill file to pay on payday. Also, a trick I learned from my mom is to shop and address/stamp all birthday and anniversary etc. cards the MONTH BEFORE. My iphone reminds me when to send them. Just a few ideas in no particular order. Thanks for the Staples gift card contest!! fingers crossed here!

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  81. It looks like a great system for a family!

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  82. I scan all appts and business cards into my Ical on my phone.

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  83. I love to get organized but I am a note writer and always leave my notes at home. So, I think I need help! I do go thru the mail and throw away everything that is junk and keep bills by the coffee pot for morning looking!

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  84. I love my Google calendar. It syncs automatically to my phone and computer and iPad, so I always know when I have an appointment.

    Now, I want to hear more about your children's reward system. Those tickets look intriguing.

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  85. Great giveaway, Laura! My biggest tip is that I make every effort to keep the items in my closets, drawers and cabinets as tidy as I can. My house might be a wreck, but my cabinets are usually ok. :-D

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  86. Junk mail doesn't make it into my house. I toss them into the recycling bin right away.

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  87. I wish I was organized enough to have a tip....I really need to win this!
    Debbie

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  88. My best tip is that I keep a large spiral notebook that when open has my grocery list written on the right page, and on the left I write errands I need to run that week with the list of items needed. If I can't get to that particular store that week, I just carry it over to the next page/week. It's also easier to make my grocery lists because I can always go back and see what I've purchased in the past. I've even jotted down recipes or meal plans on the left page as well. I've been doing this for two years now and I'm almost ready to start a new book!

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  89. I am big for lists, I also keep all my smalls, things I need often in a easy grab container. But, the best thing I think, is establishing a habit of cleaning as you go, take a minute to put it back where you got it saves so much time later on!!

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  90. I TRY to be organized, but if you saw my home office, you'd never believe it! But that's only b/c I haven't figured out how to do shelving without taking up too much space :/.
    But my tips are: 1. Don't ever leave a room emptyhanded. Put things where they belong as soon as you can.
    2. I keep a small pad on my nightstand and a pen so that I can jot down anything I remember that needs to be done the next day before I go to sleep. 3. I also keep a dryerase board on the fridge to write memos and things as I run out of them.
    I LOVE your jar idea; I love being able to recycle glass this way and I'm going to use it for the office; the basket idea isn't working so well! Thanks for a great giveaway!

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  91. What is in your kid's awards jar? How do they earn awards?

    I saw a few items in Staples from Martha Stewart's organizing line that I'd like to have too. One is the Weekly planner that you have on the refrigerator..seems the magnetic strips never hold up for us though. We keep the monthly calendar on the dining room table and DH looks at it a zillion times, like it has changed since he last looked at it even if its 30 min. before. Duh! I have to keep up with all his Dr. appts. I only have one morning to myself and that is for bowling.

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