Thursday, July 24, 2014

7 UHeart Organizing: Simple Desk Solutions for Children

Most often organizing is all about those simple pleasures.  Finding a storage solution that is versatile and simple and makes life easier time and time again.  For example, adhesive bookplates.  I like them a lot {in my best Jim Carrey voice}.  I use them time and time again and they make me happy with every new bin or binder or shelf that is labeled.

Courtney, my dear friend who blogs over at A Thoughtful Place, discovered her simple organizing pleasure which has allowed her daughter to keep an organized and tidy workspace.  I am thinking I need to implement her trick for myself as well!  Here she is now to share more details.

Hi, everyone!  While most of us are in full summer mode, I am always trying to figure out how the upcoming school year can run more smoothly.  I have a daughter who loves to work at her desk and she is constantly creating.  But that often translates to a huge mess.  And while a desk is fantastic, desk drawers can spell trouble.  Sometimes they end up being the black hole of the room.  I finally figured out a system that has helped us immensely.  I am now all about removable drawer organization.  Take a look.

A while back we transformed our daughter’s closet {half of it} into a desk space.  She has plenty of room on the other side for clothing and we really thought a work space would be great.  The metal pails have always worked well for the markers.

But honestly, the drawers have been a disaster.  I realized the drawers had to have something that could be removed and used elsewhere.

I stumbled upon these pouches at Staples.  They were inexpensive and you could even monogram them with a stencil.  I love that they already had a splash of color to match her room.  I love that she can keep her supplies in them but also take them out and use them down on the kitchen table with me or anywhere in the house.  If she feels like working on the floor she can grab her pouches and move there.

This was a little tray I picked up at Target a while back.  I personalized it and had a piece of acrylic cut to fit the inside.  More about that here.  It is a perfect fit for her drawer and she can take it out and use the supplies easily.  I can also ask her to take it out and clean it if it gets messy!  That has been dreamy.  And I have made her a deal.  I let her know I will check and see when supplies are low as long as she checks and makes sure things are tidy and in their place.

The bins above the desk space are from Ikea and are great for storage that will show. They have clean lines and I know these are a favorite of Jen, too!

Like mother, like daughter. Although I have a desk from which to blog, I do most of my work sitting on me bed.  So does my daughter!  So these pouches are perfect to grab from the drawer or toss in her bag if she wants to take something to work on while we are on the go.

I am always on the lookout for really simple solutions. I often find that the little changes make a big difference in how tidy and efficient we can be around the house.  Fingers cross that this new system takes us well into the school year.  What about you?  Do you have a quick and simple fix for keeping kiddos organized when it comes to their work spaces?

"Do you believe in love at first sight? I sure do because when I first stumbled upon I Heart Organizing I immediately fell in love with Jen's mad organizational skills. I think we all long for a calm, organized, well styled life. I am the author of A Thoughtful Place blog where I dish on all things related to decorating, organizing, entertaining, and of course DIY-ing! To be quite honest, working on making my house a home is my happy place. It fulfills my need to be creative and I love sharing ideas {both big and small} with my readers. Along with my blog, I am a contributing writer to House of Fifty and have recently started my own decorating firm, Casey Grace Design, LLC, with my talented sister. I call Orange County, California home where I live with amazing husband and two children. At the end of a busy day, I love to enjoy an ice cold beer on the front porch with my hubby while we watch our children ride their bikes or run around. Life is sweet and I am thrilled to be a part of the IHeart Organizing Team."

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

11 Reader Space: Lighten & Brighten the Laundry Load

Bridget is whitening more than her socks in her laundry space, and I am lovin' the results!

Chores are always more enjoyable when you love your surroundings, so it always extra important to give chore heavy spaces a little extra lovin'.  Artwork, paint, pretty storage... it all goes a long way in brightening a room, and Bridget proves that with her recent laundry room update.

Bridget blogs with her pal Casey over at DIY Playbook, and they are such a dynamic duo.  Their projects are always fresh and fun and I have been fortunate enough to meet them in person and they couldn't be more fantastic.  I always love checking in to see what they are up to, so be careful when you head to their site, you may find yourself lost for hours.

I invited Bridget here today to share more details about her laundry space that started out like this...

Here she is now to share how she really brightened more than her whites.

What is the main function of the space?

"The main function of this space is obviously laundry, but that is not its only vital function.  Because we have limited storage in our home, this tiny space is also extra important because of the hidden storage it offers."

Any superstar tips for keeping it organized?

"Like in any of our rooms, we think it's so important to make sure every item has a specific place to call 'home'.  When everything has a specific spot, we feel it is far easier to maintain an organized & functional space.  Whether it is change found in the pocket of our jeans while doing laundry or a spare sock that lost its partner, everything needs to have a consistent place to go.  By doing this, the space will stay far more organized, be a lot more functional, and a lot less frustrating for everyone in the house!"

What items did you find were essential when organizing the space, and why?

"Bins, Baskets, & Boxes!!  When everything has a place to call 'home' it's easier for everyone to get on Team Organized.  These labeled bins, baskets, and boxes are essential in making that happen and help everyone stay on the same page."

What did you do to go the extra mile and "make it pretty"?

"Making it pretty of course is not always necessary to make a space functional... but let's be real here- it's the fun part that makes things like doing laundry a little more tolerable.  The gallery wall helped make this space extra 'pretty' by adding a lot of color, character and charm to our tiny, otherwise, pretty boring space.  Ironically, this gallery wall was pretty darn affordable because almost all of the art was FREE!  (You can download & print almost every piece from my gallery wall here.) Pretty & Free.... our favorite combo."

What items did you DIY to stay on a budget?
  • Cabinets:  Free! I DIY-ed the cabinets, they were actually our home's original kitchen cabinets!
  • Paint/Wood for the cabinets:  About $50
  • Paint for the walls:  Leftover
  • Hardware:  Around $25
  • Gallery Wall:  (Most prints were FREE!) $40 for frames/basket/hooks
Grand Total:  Approximately $115

How has this project impacted your life for the better?

"What a difference some labeled bins, a functional system, and a new found excitement of an old space can have on your laundry status!  Our home's laundry has never had such great turnaround rates thanks to our new motivation to spend time in a much more functional space.  Personally, I feel so proud that I DIY-ed this project and can't help but have a better appreciation for those old cabinets and a better attitude when tackling our laundry!"

Let's ooh and ahh over the before and after one last time, shall we?

This is one of those transformations that anyone can tackle and walk away with a smile.  The biggest update made was adding moulding, hardware and painting those dated cabinets.  HUGE difference and suddenly the cabinets look like a million bucks.  And the entire space opened up with just that one change.  From there, simple decluttering and the addition of bins and baskets made the space even easier on the eyes.  Lined baskets conceal unsightly bottles while open storage keeps things fresh and fun while unifying the baskets and boxes behind the cabinet doors is always an effective touch.  Lastly the cheerful art brought the entire space home.

A motivating job well done ladies!  Thank you so much for sharing with me and the IHeart community today, I am sure this bright update leaves you whistling while you work.

You can find even more photos and details over at DIY Playbook here.

ATTENTION!!  Want to be featured in a Reader Space edition?  Have an awesome organizing story to share?  I am looking for projects that have made a positive impact to your life, big or small.  They can be anything from an organized drawer or cabinet to an entire room.  Please submit your story and photos to, and I would heart to feature them right here on the blog!!  Photos should be high resolution and unedited.  Please include a description of the project, including any costs, inspiration, and how it has changed your life and routine for the better!  Oh, and no worries my friends, we will NEVER judge "before" pictures because that just wouldn't be nice!  Only love goes on at this blog!
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