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My Favorites from 2013

on January 1, 2014

Over the last few days, I have been working on one of my resolutions to break out of my rut of just reading the same blogs or websites and explore new inspiration.  It has been SO MUCH FUN!  I will share in a later post (or maybe on a sidebar) who has become a new favorite.  But for now, one thing I noticed people doing was posting their greatest hits of 2013.  While I could post what seemed to get the most traffic on this blog, I would be limiting myself to things I actually linked up to other blogs.  So, I decided to post my favorite projects from 2013!  In no particular order, here we go!

There is no picture to go with this post, but I think it is the perfect one to start with.  It is titled “Organization is HARD!” which it truly is for many people, even semi-organized people like me.  I sometimes feel like I have finally got everything together and then life sends me a little whammy wake-up call.  Case in point, I was trying to work ahead on teacher gifts from the kiddo and coworker gifts from me and wrote out these cards to hang on the gifts the day before so we could just go after it the night we planned to put them all together.  The next evening, after 20 minutes of looking, I gave up and wrote out new cards.  Two days later I found them.  UGH!  Lesson learned, put the stuff where you are going to look for it.

After reading tons of blog posts, visiting sites from Pinterest, consuming about 15 organizational books last spring, and from life experience in general, I came up with my Top 7 Organizing Tips.  Putting stuff where you are most likely to find it is one of the top 7.  I should have listened to my own advice when doing the gift tags.

New Desk Space

New Desk Space

Another big change for me this year was an addition of an office space for me in our guest bedroom.  My hubby bought me a new desk for my b-day, and I have been able to do work from home and all my other creative projects in style ever since.  Most of the desk organization has stayed the same.  The only big-ish change is that the magazine holders have been moved to my new closet space to make room for our household wireless printer.  (I was told I get to be the keeper of the printer, because I print more stuff.  Very true, and it keeps me from running down three flights of stairs every time I print something.  And yes, even though there are 3 sets of stairs, our house is still fairly small.  Go figure.)


Another fun project was organizing the bathroom I use to get ready in the morning and share with my little one.  Just finding the right stuff to store everything was a challenge (especially because I didn’t want to spend much money), but I loved how it looked after all the labels were added.

All the drawers happily organized and each with a purpose.

All the drawers happily organized and each with a purpose.

One of the biggest challenges in a smaller home is storage for all of your kid stuff (and we only have one!).  I talked about controlling the kid clutter that seems to permeate every room of our house and also how I tackled some storage problems related to homework/learning center in our eat-in kitchen.  It’s funny to look back on some of these posts because I realized that I have made some pretty big changes since I last wrote about some of these spaces.  For example, in my daughter’s room, we needed to make space for a collapse-able barbie house (which has never actually been collapsed), so the storage cubes have been moved back to the closet for now.  And, her bookshelves now house books on the bottom and toys she wants to make time to play with on the first shelf and the top surface.

My new clothes closet.  Everything fits and It actually is better this way!  The other side of the closet holds my craft dresser and on the wire racks above are some of my other craft/girl scout items.

My new clothes closet. Everything fits and It actually is better this way! The other side of the closet holds my craft dresser and on the wire racks above are some of my other craft/girl scout items.

Another huge change that has made a difference for us is switching how we organize the closets in our master and spare bedroom.  Now all of hubby’s belongings are in the master, and my clothes, shoes, craft stuff, etc. are in the spare room closet where my desk lives.  What a logical change that I should have totally made sooner.  It has worked so well for us already!  This post also covers our storage closet and the drop zone of the kiddo after school.  I also tackled some of our problem drawers this fall and am very happy with the results.  I am still loving the wrapping paper lining the bottom of my nightstand.

And finally, I worked on organizing my calendars and to-do lists.  Mainly I had trouble because I had too many of them–between paper and electronic I couldn’t keep track of what I needed to keep track of.  Thanks to Google Calendar and a few list making apps, I have been able to keep things more together the last few months.  And sometimes I need all the help I can get.

There you have it folks!  My favorites of 2013!  As I mentioned earlier, it’s funny to look back on some of these things and realize that I have already made changes to those systems I wrote about.  One of my Top 7 Tips is to realize when something isn’t working and feel ok about going back and fixing it.  I have that one down!  In the next few weeks, you’ll hear from me on a couple of areas in particular that I have revisited and realized needed some work (one of my 2014 goals! yeah!!).  I am sure there will be more to come as I revisit old projects and start new ones.

Has anyone else had a project they thought was finished and then a few months or more down the line you realized maybe needed a bit of tweaking?

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