Friday, February 26, 2010

A "Good Enough" Entryway...

Where do you and your kids enter your house? Back, front, garage, side? And where does all the "stuff" go?

You know the stuff I mean - the school bags, the shoes (oh, the shoes!) the socks, the inside-out jumpers, the library bags, the 'things that need to go back to the car', the 'things that need to go to the charity bin', the shoes...

We enter the house through the front door. Consequently that is also where the stuff goes. It has been driving me mad for a long time. I had a small bench at the entry to sit on whilst putting on shoes, and the shoes were supposed to go under it. They. never. did. The kids school bags went on the seat of the bench, but when they were there, there was nowhere to sit! Arrggh.

What I really really want is one of these. I have even printed out the plans and started costing it.

But I'm trying to be realistic. The time frame for planning, saving, buying materials, learning to use the power tools and actually building it is loooong.

So I have compromised for the sake of my sanity (oh! the shoes!). I 'borrowed' an Ikea 'Billy' shelving unit from our office by re-arranging a few things and have made an entryway organiser that is good enough for now.

I re-arranged the shelves so that there is an open space at kid-level. I used 3M hooks for their school bags. Homework folders and library books can sit flat on the shelf under the bags if needed. School shoes go on the bottom shelf, casual shoes above the bags. (Since I took the photos, I have added some inital stickers to show whose things go where - working well, especially for the SHOES.)


I picked up some 9L rectangular basins at the supermarket that fit really well onto the shelves, which hold hats, sports gear and schoolwork ready to be sorted (either 'filed' in the bin when the kid's not looking round file or put into a binder for keeping). Some old alphabet stickers and the help of a six-year-old shows what's inside. There is still room on the top for those 'pending' things - wiaiting to leave the house to their next destination. I am on the lookout for some nice baskets for that spot.


That's better. Not perfect, but definitely better. Shoes all over the floor are no longer sending me slowly insane bothering me.

What's good enough at your place lately?

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Happy Valentines' Day

We normally don't make much of a fuss of today's 'holiday'. It feels a bit like another excuse for retailers to convince you to buy more stuff you don't need, slotted neatly between 'back-to-school bargains' and  'Easter savings'. In past years, I have been known to bake heart-shaped biscuits and put them in the kids' school lunches, but that has been the extent of the celebration as I am cheap thrifty and refuse to be drawn into the hype.

This year, I thought that because there was so much cool free stuff around the 14th fell on a weekend, I would make a little effort to show my boys that I really do love them despite my frequent ranting and screaming occasional crankiness.

I found some terrific FREE printable goodie bags here. I didn't have any paper bags to print directly on to, so just used plain paper and then cut and glued onto some cellophane bags I had left over from Christmas baking.


Once I added a few heart-shaped chocolates and some heart-y ribbon, they were good to go to surprise the kids in the morning.

 I found a really great card for hubby from one of my favourite graphic designers, Cameron Blazer, for FREE on her blog here. She has a really dark interesting sense of humour! Right up my alley, and comes with a matching envelope. Did I mention it was FREE?

And then to have something to share in the afternoon, I made a batch of Raspberry Swirl cupcakes...

with pink cream cheese frosting, topped with some little picks I made by using the free printable chocolate wrappers from here and a bit of creative punching and cutting.

Yum! Hope your day has been full of cupcakes love too!

P.S. "Life's greatest happiness is to be convinced we are loved." -Victor Hugo

Sunday, February 7, 2010

Household Organisation Station

As promised, less than a week since my last post and a pretty cute project...

Recently I spotted this in the markdown section of the local discount place while doing the weekly grocery shopping (you know the one, starts with "A"). The box was damaged so it was half price.

I thought it looked interesting (for the price) but didn't buy it because I couldn't think where I could use something  tall and thin.

'Till a couple of days later.

I have been thinking for a while about how I could better organise my bills, school notices and filing, which have been living in the craft room. This was just not working. Most of the time that room is full of stuff waiting to be put away, given away or filed away. (I seem to be the only one who ever returns things to where they belong in my house - can you sympathise?) Because I don't get time to craft regularly, I don't go in there, and hence don't attend to those things as often as I should.

I also had the issue that our phone was up a little too high for the younger 2 boys to reach it easily, especailly to check the caller ID.  Then one afternoon I walked into the kitchen and wham!  Things came together in my head.  Could that cupboard I had seen be a solution to both problems? I couldn't remember reading the dimensions, so actually didn't know how tall or wide it was, but went back to the shop anyway to see if it was still there. It was!

I figured even if it turned out to only be a temporary fix, I was only $30 worse off.

I am a very visual person, so had to assemble it first to get a feel for the dimensions.

It's very tall and thin, but would hold what I needed. I marked out the position of the shelves and spots for 2 cord holes on the backboard, then partly took it apart to cut.

My long-suffering hubby got out the hole saw and joined me in my scheme. (Hooray for boys with power tools! Mwah!)

Once the holes for the cords were cut (one for the phone in the top section, one for a power board inside the cupboard) I used the shelf marks to match up 3 pieces of 12x12 scrapbook paper to line the back.  (Practicality must be accompanied by pretty, or what's the point?!)  Once these were attached (only around the edges with double-sided tape, mind you. A girl's gotta have options!) I slid the backing boards back in.

Et voila!

Now for the fun bits!  On the top shelf inside the door is hidden a charging station for my camera battery, MP3 player and mobile phone.  (It's a powerboard attached to the shelf where those messy chargers can be permanently plugged in and hidden away.)  The next one down holds tape, glue, scissors, stapler & envelopes - the stuff you are always needing for bills, school notes and running repairs.  The bottom shelf holds the household accordian file for this year, so the important things can be filed as soon as they're received or finished with.  (No more 'out of sight, out of mind' in the craft room!)

Up the top is the cute stuff. The phone where the kids can reach it, togther with a pretty notepad...

and with the addition of some 3M hooks on the back and sides, a place for some decorated clipboards and a bulldog clip to hold all the important papers still in use. The shelf still has space for my ideas book and diary.

I am one happy little organiser. All the things I use every day are now close to hand, and stinkin' cute to boot!

P.S. “Start by doing what's necessary; then do what's possible; and suddenly you are doing the impossible.”Roman Catholic Saint Francis of Assisi on time management in 1200AD

Monday, February 1, 2010

Getting Organised??

In my attempts to get organised this year, I seem to have forgotten something....

Oh yeah! Blogging!

I really will try to get back to at least once a week from now on. Cross my heart.  ;)

The year has certainly got off to a golloping start. Here we are in January February already!
The kids are safely back to school - OMG - they are all in the one place for a whole year. They all seem pretty happy with their teachers, and have friends either in their class or right next door.
We will be getting to know the teachers over the next few weeks as the parent/teacher meetings come around, though I must say that year 7 seems pretty full on - our meeting is tomorrow night! I wonder if it's a sign of things to come?

Work has been extremely busy (which is good when you run a small business) - the hangover from the GFC seems to be receding. Thank heavens. We might have had to get real jobs! Working for other peoople! Eeeek!

At least I have accomplished a few things since my last post. I finally chose my word. It was quite a process of consideration and elimination! I tested a few out for a day or so, but finally settled on

This year I will have the courage of my convictions.
I will try to do and think what is right for me, not what is simply expected or the current wisdom.
I hope to make it clear that my feelings are important, my opinion is worthwhile and to insist that there is  room/time for the things I need in my life.
I hope to have the courage to, on occasion, put myself first.

We'll see how that goes...

More about how else I have been getting organised next time. It's a very cute project. (Promise!)

P.S.      “Courage is the discovery that you may not win, and trying when you know you can lose.”
Tom Krause


Related Posts with Thumbnails