I’ve always thought the main benefits to being organized were two fold – (1) You know where everything is and can easily get to it without tripping, digging or cussing and (2) It just looks better and gives you that warm-fuzzy, yet super in-control feeling that you are a woman that has “got it goin’ on!” <insert flamboyant triple finger snap>. Sometimes I find myself organizing for reason #2 – take for example, my recent linen closet makeover. Sure, I could access all of my sheets and blankets while they were balled up in the linen closet, but don’t they just look so much better in neat little labeled bins? And every week (slight exaggeration on how often I change our sheets) when I open that closet, I totally give myself a little mental fist pump because I know I showed that closet who was boss.
So while I still have this full supply of nesting crack running through my super pregnant veins, I thought I would tackle a project that often makes me cringe – the mail/junk/remember-to-do/crap-should’ve-mailed-this-weeks-ago bin. Jer and I are famous, like mega-supa-star famous, for throwing random and important papers into our junk drawer. I think it’s the whole outta-sight-outta-mind concept, but every month I find myself sorting through this crap and realizing I forgot to mail or do something important. So to tackle this chaos, I turned to one of my most favorite blogs iHeartOrganizing for some tips and literally found myself taking a page out of her book… or should I say binder!
So without further ado, I’m proud to introduce to you… The Dorrough Family Binder. The one stop shop for all important family information. Although I totally intend for it to grow with our family, right now it has 4 sections: (1) Meal Planning (2) Contacts (3) Dylan (4) Important Dates. And yes, this is the Martha Stewart binder that I showed you guys a few weeks ago…told ya I had big plans for this bad boy.
I wanted the first section of the binder to house stuff that I might need quick access to for the other sections. Scissors for coupons that I’ve stored in the Meal Planning section, stamps for cards in the Important Dates section, zip-drive and itty-bitty tape measure for… Ok, Ok busted. They needed a home!
The first tab and the most frequented section of this Binder thus far is the Meal Planning section. Since my Relay Foods post, a few people have asked how I meal plan and this my friends is my answer. Sure, there are note pads and free word doc templates for doing this, but I think having your meal plan and shopping list on one piece of paper together is super helpful. So here’s how this goes down:
1. Every Sunday I pull out one of my Weekly Meals templates and in the left hand column plan our meals from Monday – Sunday. In the second picture below, you’ll see I’ve listed out some of our favorite meals for easy reference. This is super duper helpful and without it, I’d probably schedule pizza and spaghetti way too many times.
2. After listing out our meals, I then list out the ingredients I need to make it happen. I also do a drive by on our pantry and fridge to see what else I might need for the week.
3. I then log onto relayfoods.com and either quickly fill my cart from “my favorites” list or search out new items and place my order. (yes, I just grocery shopped in 5 minutes…. it’s life changing!)
4. Finally, I hang up this week’s meal plan in our kitchen for easy reference (and because I think this baby has literally eaten my brain and I can’t remember anyyyyything).
Aside from our list of favorite meals, I also use this dual pocket insert to house any coupons and last week’s Relay invoice, which actually had a 12% coupon on it!
Nothing fancy here… not even images, as I didn’t think my neighbors would appreciate their phone number and address on my blog. So in this section I have printouts with the following:
1. Our neighbors contact info
2. Emergency Info – Police, Fire, Family, Doctor, etc.
3. So I don’t have this in here yet, but one day when I have nothing to do (which I hear will be never, once Dylan arrives), I thought it would be a neat idea to print labels with addresses of those I frequently mail to – family and close friends, and have those live in this section for easy and quick reference.
Being the responsible parents-to-be that we are, Jer and I took a baby class a few months ago as we both have 0% experience with those tiny little people. The class was so worth it and we picked up a ton of information on vaccines, food, and hygiene. And since I have a hunch that we might need to reference this info in T minus 7 days, I decided that it needed a little home in the binder as well.
As Dylan gets older, I think this will also be a great place to house some of his daycare and school info.
So how many times have you forgotten a family member or close friend’s birthday? Sure, saying it on Facebook counts but there are some people in your life, you like to go that extra step for and send a gift or card to. As our family continues to grow, it’s been harder and harder to keep track of all of the dates, so taking another tip from Jen’s binder, I created an Important Dates template for our family:
Directly behind the dates, I use the dual pocket inserts to house cards for the next few months.
So that’s our Family Binder. I’m sure it will grow with time and take on new “chapters” but for now it’s working perfectly and has found a comfy little corner spot in our kitchen junk drawer.
More than happy to give y’all a free printable of both the meal planner and important dates template. Just let me know in the comments and I’ll send you a link to download.
So although I’m eagerly awaiting another birthday in this sweet little nest of mine (the 2 bouts of Braxton Hicks have me anxiously waiting!), I realized that I recently missed the birthday of something oh so near and dear to my heart… my blog! It’s been just over 1 year since I started this little adventure and would be utterly remiss if I didn’t give it a little shout out and of course a gift!
I started this blog in hopes that it would be just an easy way to keep my friends and family updated on all my DIY projects. Although it’s serving that purpose to a T (as you can see from the amount of times my mom comments – LOVE you mama!)… it’s also serving as a bit of a diary and true creative outlet for me. I’ve absolutely loved writing about my pregnancy and sharing my stories with you guys… but even more than that, I’ve loved hearing from you all. As of recently, I’ve gotten a ton of comments from mamas across the country, giving me their best tips and well wishes and it’s just meant the world to me. Getting advice and tips from experienced moms has been unbelievably helpful and I think just from reading those comments, I’ve made big strides in getting mentally prepared for baby Dylan’s arrival. So a big thank you to everyone who has reached out to share your wisdom and support. This has become one of the biggest reasons why I love blogging so much and 1/2 the reason why I’m awake at 5:30 AM writing this… sorry, the other 1/2 is because I’m about to give birth to the next Chuck Norris.
Ok, Ok, sappy, sappy. On to something more fun, like that gift I mentioned that I recently got selfishly for myself for my blog’s birthday. (Yeah…. I have gotten pretty good at justifying non-essential purchases around here). So obviously this gift had to be some “home-bling” and what better gift than picture ledge shelves to display my favorite memories (que my inner cheeseball: “to signify the memories I’ve made during this amazing year”)
So I originally had a cheapo frame gallery over the couch but the pictures kept tilting and it just wasn’t working, so I decided to give it some structure with shelves. I got these bad boys for just $20 a piece at Crate and Barrel, who has some great inspiration on their website for the cool stuff you could display on them. Although, right now I’m only displaying frames, I love the idea of adding shells and other décor to give it some depth.
I know, I know – this room is in desperate need of some color on the walls. We’re getting there!
So Happy Birthday, My Sweetnest. Here’s to many, many more!
Ugh. I’m embarrassed to even show you this hot mess of a linen closet. I mean it’s ugly… so ugly, I recently sat in front of it thinking about how to fix it and literally starting cheering “U.G.L.Y….you aint got no alibi, you ugly, yeah, yeah… you ugly.” Then aside from realizing that I’m a total loser for actually singing that (while sitting alone… on the floor… in my hallway), I also realized that this closet does have an alibi, and a pretty good one at that. Its excuse is that it’s bin-less, label-less, and down right unloved. But I’ve tried to organize this beast before and obviously failed. The whole sheets in the pillow case idea is brilliant in theory, but since I have 0% clue how to fold a fitted sheet and have no desire to learn, this method just doesn’t work for me. So I decided to turn to my ol’ faithful… a labeled bin. And the result…? A truly loved linen closet. TADA…
Here’s how I tackled it:
Step 1 – Determine its use. My very first step was determining what I wanted to keep in this closet. Jer and I also have a closet in our bathroom for toiletries and towels, so this closet only really needs to house sheets, pillow cases, blankets, and extra bath stuff like shower curtains and mats.
Step 2 – Take inventory. I took everything out of the closet and placed it in piles. Anything that didn’t fall into one of the categories above, went into a giveaway or toss pile. I’m not a fan of giving away (or receiving!) nasty old sheets or towels, so I tossed a majority of the little pile I created. You’re welcome Lousia Goodwill.
Step 3 – Bin it. Even after completing Dylan’s Nautical Nursery, I’ve still been eyeing nautical décor… so of course while I’m browsing through Home Goods this week, these canvas, rope handled bins immediately caught my eye. I didn’t have a use for them in the nursery right now, but as soon as I realized how roomie and stretchable these suckers were… I was sold. These are absolutely perfect for storing linens!
Step 4 – Label It. We wont relive the entire post, but as I told you guys early this week, I got these metal bookplates from the office supply collection of my lady crush – Ms. Martha Stewart. I was so very happy with how well these stuck to the canvas!
Although this is only a closet I visit once a week – I’m so happy it’s no longer the ugliest in our house. The closet in our guest bedroom is now donning that title and likely won’t be tackled until I can fit into all of the pre-maternity clothes I’m hoarding in it
So how about you guys? Anyone else tackled a closet organization project recently?
We all know Martha Stewart’s got it going on. She can cook, decorate, garden and organize like a champ. So when I recently came across her office supply line at Staples, I wasn’t the least bit surprised that it was umm… fabulous. I went in for some metal bookplates for our Linen Closet Makeover (which I can’t wait to show you guys later this week) and came out with half her collection… mostly because it seemed like really great quality but I think it also has something to do with the fact that it’s all teal – my fav. And hold the big spenda jokes as the most expensive piece I brought was the binder, which was only $12.99.
So, what the heck am I going to do with all these labels, you may be thinking? Why organize and label the crap out of my house, of course… especially while I’ve got a fully supply of this nesting crack pumping through my veins.
So here’s my plan for putting all of Martha’s office goodies to the test:
Alrighty guys, I gotta get busy. Check back later this week to see how I’ve put each of these in action! Oh and as a disclaimer, you guys know I’m suppose to give birth to this haus of a baby boy anyday now… so no news (or update on how I’m labeling ) is good news!
I'm Jamie, just one new mama organizing her way to a sweeter and happier home