Happy New Year, everyone!! I know I’m not the only one that has had the “I can’t believe it’s already 2023” moments. But really…how is it already 2023? I’m a huge New Year’s person. I love the hope and excitement of turning the page, starting a new chapter, and dreaming about all that is to come. I’ve read a couple of life-changing books lately (I promise I’ll share those on here or on Instagram this week!) that have really shifted my perspective coming into this new year. I’m wildly excited to see just what is to come.
And if you’re like me, you’ve been taking garbage bag after garbage bag to the donation center, purging anything you can from your home. They say the amount of “things” in your home equals the amount of stress you feel, and I couldn’t agree more. After Christmas I look around and realize just how much STUFF we have sitting around us. It was a full sweep of this home and I’m already feeling lighter and ready to tackle this year.
So among the trash bins and donation bags, I had a chance to reevaluate the organization systems that I have in my home. What lasted the test of time? What was manageable for my three little kids to keep going themselves? What ended up falling short in our home?
Since implementing them over the last year, we had 8 areas that I feel are my most successful, lasted the test of time in our home and have made those areas exponentially better. These systems have made items easier to find, are kid- and adult-friendly, and have remained “unjunked” as the year has gone on.
1. Spice Racks
These 9″ Non-Skid Cabinet Turntables have been an ideal solution for the unending search for spices. I’m able to separate my spices based on type, frequency we use them, and by size so I can spin these and quickly locate what I’m looking for. With the size of this cabinet (this particular kitchen cabinet is 30″ wide), I’m able to use 3 of these turntables side by side and it fits ALL my spices. I’ve also noticed that this method has allowed me to see when all my spices are running low because my eyes are on them each as I’m spinning them. It’s remained in tact and very helpful this year!
2. Under the Sink
This set of 8- 12.5″ clear plastic bins were purchased from Amazon and I truly couldn’t tell you what has been more effective in rallying in all the stuff that our under the sink holds. I used 4 of the bins to hold cleaning supplies, organize my sponges and Magic Erasers, and hold my roll of garbage bags. By pulling one garbage bag through the slotted handle, it creates a simple pull system that you get one bag out of the roll each time. Genius! I realize that this is a simple little life hack that saves you minimal seconds, but boy does it feel good to do!
I found this amazing adhesive hanging bin that I stuck to the side of the cabinet to hold all of our dishwashing tabs. It comes with 2 sticky tabs on one side of the bin that has held up an entire year without budging. The adhesive is STRONG and has been a gamechanger in easily storing the dishwasher tabs that tend to take up MAJOR space while remaining in their original container. By lifting it against the side of the cabinet, I’ve also allowed myself to use the precious bottom of the cabinet for things like my sponges.
My pantry makeover from October of 2020 has remained one of my most Pinned and most liked projects to date. I’m not proud of how disorganized and messy this tiny space was. With three little kids, boxes were constantly left open, things were spilled on the floor, and I was ALWAYS buying more of something I didn’t need solely because I couldn’t even find it. To put it bluntly, this space was an absolute dumpster fire.
I found these amazing air-tight containers at Walmart and fell in love with the simple functionality of them. Not only will they keep my food sealed tightly and keep their freshness, but my kids can all open and close these with ease. They couldn’t close a box to save themselves, but these are simple and majorly kid-friendly. And because they are clear, I can step in my pantry and quickly scan to see each and every pantry staple in one pass to know what I have and do not have enough of.
Although I had to spend to create this, we’ve saved an immense amount of money on wasted food from open containers and buying unnecessarily. This organized space has paid for itself 100 times over these last two years and still to this day, I wouldn’t change a thing!
4. Basket for TV Cords
When we remodeled our main level in 2018, I chose to do an open shelving option surrounding our fireplace. I wanted a light and airy look to this part of our living room since we have so much wood trimwork in this area. I didn’t want bulky cabinets making it seem too closed off. Yes, some days I wonder if I made a huge mistake by taking away that storage, but I’ve come to embrace this choice and enjoy it for the charm that it is.
One problem that arose when we were installing our TV was where exactly to hide our boxes and wires. We don’t have those cabinets to hide our Internet and TV boxes, and I certainly didn’t want them sitting openly on the shelves, so I got creative with it. With the open space under our shelving, I found the biggest basket at Home Goods and cut a hole in the back of it. I took all the wires off the boxes, placed the boxes inside the basket and then fed the cords through the hole and reattached the wires. I added a great blanket over the top of the basket for a great decor look AND it serves to hide all that technology mess. This is a simple hack that doesn’t cost a lot and you could easily have a basket and blanket lying around your house that you could use today!
5. Bin for Kid’s School Work
My kids LOVE to bring home their work and show it off for me. They’re so proud of what they’re accomplishing when they’re away from me and I want to embrace their pride in their work. However, the papers are never ending, and if your kids are anything like mine, they want to go back and look at things they created 4 months ago….and you’re just hoping it’s not in the trash.
So I came up with a system last school year that really helped them to be able to see their work and see their growth over the year while also keeping my tabletops clear. I purchased this great fabric file bin from Amazon and labeled each file folder with my children’s names. When they bring home their artwork and test scores, we decide which pieces we really want to keep and the kids will put their work in their personal folder in the bin. The lid gets closed and then gets slid back into the cabinet. So far, Colton has decided he wants to keep nearly every piece he brings home and we aren’t even close to filling this bin! The space in this is massive.
At the end of the year, I take out each file folder and purge all the pieces that aren’t worth keeping and hold on to just the most sentimental ones. Things like handprints, a personal writing piece, etc. Those FEW PIECES go into a permanent school folder I have for each kid in my metal filing cabinet downstairs. My kids don’t even know I have those and I’ll keep it that way for as long as possible! 🙂
This has worked really well for all of us and has kept the excess paper to a minimum. It all has a place that the kids can easily open and look through while also keeping it neat and tidy in our home.
6. Mya’s Dresser Bins
When I created Mya’s nursery, I purchased the IKEA Hemnes dresser for her, which has held up beautifully and is a solid piece of furniture in her room. But those tiny clothes of hers were starting to get lost in the drawers so I purchased a 6-piece cloth bin system that has helped immensely to keep those little pants, socks, and leotards all organized and easy to find for all of us.
What I love most about these bins is that you can rearrange them in so many different ways to achieve exactly the right system for you. In our case, Mya rarely wears tights so we were able to put a bin behind others that holds some of her pieces that she almost never wears. And coming in an 8-pack, we were able to fill two entire drawers full of bins in exactly the pattern we needed. A great set to achieve just the right plan for you!
7. Hat Storage
Having three boys in the house, we have hats. And I mean, HATS! Every sport, you get a new hat. Every new KC Royals season, well everyone needs a new hat. It’s a staple in each of the boy’s wardrobes so we needed a solution in our home to house all of them. Hat hooks are great to take things and put them as a display, but they were doing damage to the back of hats and causing a bump that my boys had a big problem with. That’s when I found a wood shoe rack on Amazon that does a great job of taking up minimal space in the closet while also holding an incredible amount of hats! You can stack hats upwards of 5 high in each pile and this holds at least 16 piles of hats easily. That’s A LOT of hats for one small space!
This has been a real game changer for our storage and it keeps the shape…and creates a display…for all those important hats in the boy’s lives.
8. Garage Mudroom
We don’t have a space in our home for a traditional mudroom. It’s a very open concept with no real “room” that you enter off the garage into. As the kids began school and into a whole slew of sports, the equipment and bags we were trying to store in places was becoming unmanageable. So I took to cleaning out a space in our garage right before you enter our home and I created a “mudroom” all our own. There are hooks to hang backpacks, baseball bags, umbrellas, and coats. There’s a shelf above that I use bins to store winter gloves, hats, and scarves. And I used an IKEA Kallax cabinet as a bench seat that also doubles as four individual storage compartments. We have a baseball section, a soccer section, a space for Jerod’s work boots, and even a nice charging station to keep our outdoor tool chargers.
To get the cabinet to the correct height, I found four 4″ modern metal table legs that I attached with screws. It is substantial enough to hold an adult’s weight as they are putting on their shoes and the height is 20.5,” the perfect height for you to easily sit and stand.
This has worked wonders for my family to leave the car and drop things where they need to go before entering the house. No more “finding a place” for things. I finally have a mudroom all my own…without ever using up a room!
Organization only works when your family can use it. Not all plans work out and it’s sometimes more tedious to keep it organized than it is to do it in the first place. That’s why it’s important to find a system that is the most beneficial for you. I hope you were able to be inspired today with some of my very favorite organization that has LASTED. Here’s to finding the right one to fit you!