Category Archives: Real Life Thursdays

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August 30, 2018

Keep spices and sauces near where you use them and organized for easy access!

I’ve previously talked about moving items in your home by changing its habitat. Since we do a lot of cooking in our house, we have a variety of spices and sauces that get used regularly. Before, they were kept at a variety of different spots around the kitchen. Since we recently decluttered the entire kitchen when child-proofing, I’ve put all of my oils, vinegars, and spices in one area next to stove for easy access. Keeping them organized is now a breeze!

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August 9, 2018

Using a shelf riser in the kitchen to gain extra space!

If you’re like most, the kitchen is typically packed with lots of stuff. For me, I’ve learned to love shelf risers that basically DOUBLE your shelf space! This is one of the top shelves in our kitchen. As you can see, there is not a lot of stuff we use all the time; it’s all pretty infrequent use items (we are that rare breed of non-coffee drinkers!). Although decluttering and organizing is always the best way to gain more space in your home, this is a pretty good substitute!

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July 26, 2018

Linen closets can become such a mess if you don’t regularly declutter and organize them.

I recently (pre-blog, so no before pictures!) cleaned it all out and moved all junk to the trash or to the appropriate home elsewhere. The top shelf holds spare batteries and light bulbs. I keep some extra towels in this linen closet for visitors because the rest of them are kept in our master bathroom. On the floor are some rags in various sizes, depending on the mess I’m cleaning up.

I love having some extra room to grow into! There is something so satisfying about empty shelves and cabinets that make you feel a sense of accomplishment!

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July 19, 2018

6-cube shelf with 3 on the bottom, 2 in the middle, 1 on the top, 3 on the left, 2 in the middle, 1 on the righ

This is one of the walls in the playroom. The shelves got moved in here when we converted it to a playroom. I like to keep all the smaller toys in bins on the bottom as it makes an easy clean up for all of us! I have one for cars, the middle one has all the miscellaneous toys, and the last one has her blocks. The middle cube and the top of the piano has all of her favorite books, so we avoid having her pull out EVERY. SINGLE. BOOK. when she’s looking for the same 10 books again and again. As of now, she basically ignores the other two shelves with books.

I love this 3x2x1 cube shelf from Target because it gives us a lot of space to store stuff in bins, which is key for my kid, while still allowing access to some of those bigger toys that we would not want her pulling down from a high shelf by herself. And I adore any storage unit that will grow with your family over time!

 

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July 5, 2018

As I mentioned earlier, I like to keep the next size up of clothing in the main dresser to encourage knowing what I have in the next size so I’m not surprised by anything missing. For the clothes even bigger than that, I like to put them into boxes in the kid’s closet. Listen, I’m not going to buy any fancy boxes for this purpose:

Pampers boxes with 4T and 4T labeled on duct tape

I’m just going to use what I have. Since obviously I have lots of diaper boxes destined for the recycle bin, I like to use them with some duct tape labels. In our house, there is no need to get that fancy since all of our old clothes go to a cousin that is a little smaller than our kid. If you want to buy some plastic bins to rotate the outgrown clothes, then you absolutely should!

If I used the smaller and bigger bin technique, I would have the current size and bigger size in the closet. Let’s say I have a kid currently in 3T clothing. I would do the 3T and 4T in the dresser with bins in the closet labeled 3T (mainly empty, but slowly filling as random items slowly get smaller on the kid) and 5T, 6T and above. Once all the 3T is in the bin, it can be moved to the basement, storage, garage sale pile, etc. Then the 4T moves up to the main drawer, 5T gets to the back up drawer, and the 5T bin in the closet becomes 4T as the kid starts outgrowing them.

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June 28, 2018

As I’ve said time and time again, babies come with a lot of stuff . Luckily, most of their stuff is pretty little. In my kid’s dresser, I can fit most of the clothing in just one of the drawers, leaving lots of storage in the other ones. Since we just used a short, 3 drawer dresser as a changing table, we keep changing necessities in the top drawer:

Top drawer of dresser featuring changing necessities: Diapers, wipes, desitin, diaper pail refills, all where you need them

As an infant, we kept most of this stuff on a separate cart next to the dresser, but as she ages, we aren’t changing nearly as often. (I guess I need to start planning what to do in this drawer and the top of it for when she doesn’t need any diapers!)

In the middle drawer , we keep all the current clothing:

Current sizes of kids clothing in dresser

The general set up is shirts on the left (long sleeve on the top, short sleeve on the bottom), bottoms in the middle (pants on top, shorts on bottom), and pajamas on the right. Note how poorly they’re folded. She’s at the stage where she will say no to certain clothing and then want a different shirt. I’m not going to spend time folding her clothes all cutesy when they will either be thrown back in here or have food/toothpaste on them within a minute. Some things, you just need to let go. This is one of mine. #noapologies

The bottom drawer is, in my mind, the most important drawer:

Kid dresser, bottom drawer, next size up

We keep the next size up in here. This is crucial because then you are never trying to find the next size when the kid happens to grow overnight! When you put the clothes in here, you can do a quick inventory of seasonality and you will know exactly what you’re missing before your kid needs it!

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June 21, 2018

As I’ve said before, babies come with a lot of stuff. Prior to meeting me, my husband picked out a cute little house that has surprisingly large closets. When the time came to think about how to store all that baby stuff, I registered for hanging shoes and sweater racks:

Hanging sweater and shoe racks organizing blankets

We keep extra wipes in the shoe rack, baby blankets from loved ones in the sweater rack, and then swim gear and swaddles in a shorter sweater rack. As we outgrow wipes and small blankets, I’m certain we will find a new use for these in the future! Any of you guys use these racks for something outside the ordinary?

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June 14, 2018

When you have a little one, you soon realize that they come with a lot of accidents, making back ups a necessity. If you have a small space and a lot of stuff, you need to get creative with your storage solutions. Enter: over the door shoe racks!

Over the door storage

I first put this up in the nursery while pregnant with the little one, knowing that a lot of the stuff would be used for only a short time: the Boppy covers only for a year, the Desitin for (hopefully) 2-3 years, the crib sheets for only a few years. I didn’t want to create a whole storage solution for a limited-time use.

As a control freak, I put labels on each section so you knew what went where. And also what you were grabbing in the darkness of the night, when sometimes changing pad covers look like sheets! As the kid gets even older, I can see it evolving into a toy rack or a place for arts and crafts supplies.

For those first few months, when it seemed like we were going through sheets and covers frequently, I kept it on the open side of the closet door. As we outgrew it somewhat, it got moved to the back of the door, where people didn’t immediately see it when they walked in. As the kid ages and more is leaving the rack, it has now moved to the back of the main bedroom door.

I really dislike single-purpose items in the home, but especially in the kitchen and for storage solutions. As your life and needs alter over time, you need something that can change with you. Don’t be afraid to think outside the box (pun 1000% intended)!