Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Storage Container Tips


Good question about where to find the best storage containers. You've come to the right place. I'm (borderline) obsessed with them. One of my biggest dreams is to be completely cardboard box free in our house. We are getting close!

J. Terence Thompson 18-Gallon Slate Blue Tote
For plastic storage totes,  my favorite places is, surprisingly,  Lowes! I try to find those standard size (I think 18 gallon) plastic totes that I use for most of my storage for around $5, like this one here. I've had the best luck there.

Target and Walmat don't have nearly as big of a selection as Lowe's. They have a whole huge aisle (or 2!) dedicated to all kind of storage bins, boxes, crates, whatever your heart desires. I'm giddy just thinking of it!

One of my organization tips that I loooove is having different colored storage bins for different purposes. It's so awesome to be able to just look at the bins and know what they are for. Christmas decorations are in red totes with green lids, Fall decorations in orange totes, mementos in blue, seasonal clothes in gray. Soooooo much better than a sea of cardboard boxes!

I used to be kind of intimidated by home improvement stores until I started going with Brian. But, Lowes especially (Home Depot, not so much) has a huge selection of home decor items too like (tons!) of curtains, rugs, and mirrors.  Check them out while you are there, if you need anything.

My favorite place for smaller organizing items is...Dollar Tree! There is one by me that has almost a whole aisle of plastic baskets, drawer organizers, and even fabric crates! It's AWESOME!! (sorry.. I get a little excited about organizing :) Definitely worth checking out. Also a good place for holiday decorations, cards, picture hangers, and umbrellas.

Important tip...assess your needs first and go shopping with a plan.  It can be a little overwhelming and easy to just start buying up everything and then trying to find a use for it. You can easily spend a lot more than necessary.

Good luck! I'm proud of you for getting organized! Let me know if you actually find anything at those stores or if you find an even better place. I haven't actually bought any new storage containers in awhile.  And I'd love to see before and after shots of your progress! And I'm on the hunt for large storage baskets for the baby's room luck so far at Target, Walmart, Marshall's, or Michael's..maybe I'll check Lowe's next.  Let me know if you see any while you are out!

Monday, October 25, 2010

I am focusing this week on getting organized! Tiff, post what you used to organize (i.e. bins you used...etc.) and where I can buy them. I know you can buy organizing stuff almost anywhere but I like to hear what works for other people. I wish I could do a weekly plan but my weeks are always changing. Like sometimes we work late and I just don't feel like coming home to cook and clean... or whatever it was I wanted to accomplish that day. And I don't want to set unrealistic goals for myself because then I feel like a failure if I don't accomplish them. I work better with mini goals that I create the day before or the day of. Yesterday I decided that today I was going to get our winter clothes more organized (sweaters and jackets take up so much room!) and also find a better place to keep our shoes and create a type of "command center" where we can keep important mail, receipts, and stuff like that. The beauty of working from home on Mondays is that while I'm capturing video (I do a lot of video editing and when a video is "capturing" I can't do anything else on my computer) I can then do other things around the apartment. Makes me feel very productive!
Looking forward to seeing/hearing what you guys are up to! Britt, post pictures of your paintings!


Weekly Plan: TT

I'm excited about getting back into planning out my goals for the week! It feels so great to give a purpose to each day so I know what to do with my "free time" while Lizzy is napping (which keeps getting shorter..we're working on that), to feel like I'm working everyday on my personal goals, and to know when my housework is "done" for the day. 

I found myself spending way too much time yesterday just thinking of all the things I wanted to do and all the different (countless, really) ways I could plan out the week. I'm working on a way to streamline that a bit...maybe at least a concrete plan for things I need to do on a regular basis like dusting, vacuuming, cleaning the bathrooms, etc. I also want to make a weekly spreadsheet template. I'll keep you posted!

So here's what I have for this week:

Weeklong Personal Goals:
1. Put my hair half-back in the morning when I get ready instead of my standard ponytail.
2. Go for a jog twice this week around the neighborhood big block.
3. Do 50 sit-ups and 10 pushups everyday.
**I'm hoping to build on my personal goals category weekly and make these things part of my daily routine...starting very small!

Daily Household Goals:

Monday 10/25:  
1) Finish rearranging family room and living room
2) Dust and vacuum downstairs and basement
3) Wash baby laundry
4) Find recipes and make something with the ground meat thawed in the fridge (I'm thinking freezer burritos and crockpot meatloaf...I'll post the recipes of what I make tomorrow)
5) Make homemade granola (I'll post the's the best thing'll never want to buy yucky store-granola again!)

Tuesday 10/26:
1) Clean and organize nursery
(BIG's a disaster area right now..I'll post before and after pictures to keep me on task): buy storage bins/baskets for bookshelf. Assign items to each basket (make labels?). Sort through rest of clothes.  Organize closet. Spray paint ottoman. Paint mirror pink? Hang pictures, curtain hooks, and shelves (Daddy).  
2) Steam clean carpet and rug in nursery and staircase

Wednesday 10/27:
1) Clear out dining room (It's becoming a storage area and landing zone for all my unfinished craft projects..yuck!)
2) Research some design ideas for dining room..starting with colors for walls and curtains
3) Finish craft projects accumulating on dining room table.

Thursday 10/28:
1) Sweep and wash hardwood floors.
2) Clean bathrooms: Hang shower curtain and picture in guest bathroom.  Find curtain to hang in master bathroom?
3) Set up my "yoga room" in guest bedroom: Set up TV and DVD player, find place to store work-out videos.
4) Pack for Florida trip

Friday 10/29:
1) Completely finish packing, have car loaded and ready to go, travel outfits set-out
2) Make ready-to-go breakfast sandwiches, lunch sandwiches, snacks packed
3) Clean out from dog and that time I left the windows open in the rain (oops!)
4) Get gifts ready for overnight hosts
5) Give house a quickie once-over: vacuum, clean out fridge, wipe bathrooms

Saturday 10/30:**Relax,  we're on vacation!!
When I don't have a plan I feel like I'm either wasting time trying to figure what to do, and then get nothing done...or I get a ton of things done, but don't give myself credit for it. I'm so hard on myself, always feeling like I should be doing more and like my work is never done...which means I never allow myself to fully relax. I hope having a plan helps with that. 


Sunday, October 24, 2010

How about we start with a better picture?!


Saturday, October 23, 2010

Getting Started

Hey guys! I'm so excited about our plans for sharing how to help each other get our lives in order through the blog! I've been taking baby steps to get things going, but have made some great progress!!
As you know I completed my first craft for the month! A 5 year old could have done it but I was still very proud of myself! Because I had an idea and I made it happen!

Yes it was an easy craft but it was still a lot of fun! I figure starting small is probably better anyways so I don't get overwhelmed and feel I want to quit. Even walking around Micheal's was a big accomplishment for me! Those craft stores can intimidated me. But I felt just walking around and getting acquainted with the store was a big step.

My next project will be getting back into painting. And again I'm going to start with baby steps. I am first going to pull-out all my painting supplies and see what I have. Then my next step after that will be to go buy any needed supplies.

And guess what.. I'm taking a painting class this Friday! There is a place in downtown Summerville that is offering a discounted class for military! I'm looking forward to it!!

As far as my Financial stuff has been going this month (which was the other thing I was going to work on) My first babystep assignment for myself was to get better acquainted with our page. I am going to get in the habit of looking at it everyday. I have also created a budget for myself. And tomorrow I am going to go to the library and pick up some books on finances.

I really am proud of myself! I decided to do something and Im sticking to it! And it feels really good! As Steph said, it "puts meaning into your everyday life"!


Need to start somewhere..

We've been talking so much about getting the blog going, so I thought I would just pull the trigger and start one. If we don't do it now, we probably never will! Let's just start posting and see where it goes from there. We'll figure out what we want out of it as we go along.

For me, I just really want a place for us to 1) share what's going on in our lives; and 2) help keep each other on task with our little "life improvement" projects.  I know we've all been feeling a little lost and confused about what we want out of our "new lives" now that you two are newlyweds and things are settling down around here for me since Elizabeth was born (I'll just call her EB from now on, since that's what's you guys have been calling her..and it's much easier than typing out her full name! :) Can you believe she's already 4 months old?!?

So...what do I want to work on during the next week?....

My goal for right now is to make and post a day-by-day plan for the week tomorrow. Should involve some house cleaning and organization projects, getting the budget up and running again, and I want to get back to menu planning and freezer cooking to teach you guys how I do it and how it helps us keep to a (close to..I;m not sure, that's why I need to work on the budget!) $40/week grocery bill.

Love you girls!