Cultivating Peace and Relaxation With a Portable Home Sanctuary

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #GladeAtmosphere #CollectiveBias

One of the things that I’m incorporating into my life is more peace. Simply put, I’m too tired to be putting up with constant drama or negativity. I just want peace. It’s a little change that makes a big difference! With four kids at home, quiet time can be hard to carve out. I take “me time” when I can get it! One day I might find myself alone on the back patio. Sometimes I have to wait until everyone is in bed and I take up space in the living room. Another day, I’ve locked myself in the bathroom, leaving the chaos outside the door! I’m creating a relaxing home sanctuary, where ever I can. Because it’s good for me (and you!) to fit in peace, calm and meditation into daily life.

#ad Cultivate peace at home with a DIY portable home sanctuary that contains everything you need for relaxing moments. #GladeAtmosphere

Creating a Portable Home Sanctuary

As much as I’d love to have a dedicated peaceful resting place, space is limited. A room all to myself, what a dream! For now I make do with my portable home sanctuary. I’ve collected a few special things into one container that I can tote with me wherever I need to unwind. I have a medium sized wire basket that I use for my sanctuary items. I can easily pick up my home sanctuary and move it wherever I’d like and all of my special things are contained in one place.

Collecting Special Items for Your Home Sanctuary

When filling your home sanctuary box, consider these:

  • What are the items that bring you the most joy?
  • What brings you peace when you’re alone with your thoughts?
  • What items best help you relax?
  • What things represent “you”?

Think about the five senses when collecting your items. How can smell, sight, taste, touch and sounds completely motivate and take away your stress? Here are a few ideas when building your portable home sanctuary.

#ad Cultivate peace at home with a DIY portable home sanctuary that contains everything you need for relaxing moments. #GladeAtmosphere

Scent:

Enveloping yourself in a scent can truly transport you into a calm mood. I have  Nº 1 Enraptured™ PlugIns® Scented Oil from The Atmosphere Collection™ Fine Home Fragrance by Glade® placed around my house. So even when I can’t get to my sanctuary, I’m still able to breath in the jasmine, lady apples and sweetheart rose petals with the base of cedarwood. It really does soothe my spirit to catch the scent throughout the day.

World-renown fragrance designer Ann Gottlieb has layered the artisanal scents specifically for this product line. I was delighted to find such upscale fragrances at my local Kroger store, Food 4 Less (keep reading for a special offer!)

#ad Cultivate peace at home with a DIY portable home sanctuary that contains everything you need for relaxing moments. #GladeAtmosphere

I’ve included a N°3 Free Jar Candle, 4.2 oz. in my sanctuary box. This relaxing scent of starfruit, beach woods and coconut reminds me of the soothing sound of waves. Of a tropical drink and my toes in the sand. Ahhh… I light the candle, close my eyes and I’m already there on the beach. No matter that I’m sitting in my living room. This scent takes away all the stress and starts off my peaceful sanctuary time perfectly.

#ad Cultivate peace at home with a DIY portable home sanctuary that contains everything you need for relaxing moments. #GladeAtmosphere

Sight:

Why do parents need rejuvenating “me time”? Having the time to relax means we can be more well-rested, more patient and more flexible for our children. I like a small reminder of why I’m taking time out for myself. A picture of my kids is a nice addition to my home sanctuary.

My quiet time often comes in small snippets. This means I don’t always have the time for an in-depth novel. An uplifting parenting book, poems or the Bible are my go-to when I want something to read.

Taste:

Oh yes, most definitely a favorite indulgence can help me unwind! Something special to eat or drink is a must. I included amazing oatmeal cookies but sometimes it’s a glass of fresh squeezed juice on ice or some chocolate. During my peaceful time, I make sure to really taste each bite and not gobble my treat up too quickly. If I’m having “me time” I don’t have to share and I don’t have to eat it fast, so I can appreciate each nibble.

#ad Cultivate peace at home with a DIY portable home sanctuary that contains everything you need for relaxing moments. #GladeAtmosphere

Touch:

When I’m worried about something in particular, having a treasure to touch and meditate with can help ease my stress. Add a polished stone, beach shell or gemstone into your home sanctuary box. I have a shell with a carved detail that my dad bought for my mom many years ago, so it holds special memories for me.

Journaling is an important way for me to relax. I can feel my breathing slow as I write down my thoughts and turn each page. Choose a pretty hard-bound book that you reserve only for sanctuary time. A pen that feels good in your hand is essential too.

If you opt for a larger home sanctuary box, you could include a cuddly soft scarf or blanket to wrap around your shoulders.

Sound:

What are the sounds that bring you happiness? Perhaps it’s background music that you have playing while you read? Maybe calming chimes or bells that you ring when entering your peaceful zone. Or maybe it’s inspirational songs that you can close your eyes and sing along with.

Choosing the Right Container

This wire basket cost me only a few dollars and is roomy enough to hold my sanctuary essentials.

Other inexpensive and creative ideas could include:

  • Cardboard photo box
  • Wooden tray or crate that you can paint and decorate yourself
  • Pretty glass tray
  • Wicker basket

Find a container, box or tray that will neatly hold all of your home sanctuary supplies. The idea is that you can store it somewhere so it’s already loaded with what you need. And it should be easy to get to and mobile for moving around your home.

I keep my basket hidden in my closet where I can grab it when it need it but it’s out of sight for everyone else. I love the idea of being able to pull out my sanctuary box so I can indulge in some peaceful time, wherever that is!

#ad Cultivate peace at home with a DIY portable home sanctuary that contains everything you need for relaxing moments. #GladeAtmosphere

What will you add to your home sanctuary?

Start by choosing a fragrance that reflects you and build from there. Here’s a special offer on The Atmosphere Collection™ Fine Home Fragrance by Glade® – Save $1.00 when you buy any ONE (1) Glade® Atmosphere Collection™ Product. Valid 8/13 – 8/26.

#ad Cultivate peace at home with a DIY portable home sanctuary that contains everything you need for relaxing moments. #GladeAtmosphere

 

Preparing Your Child for the First Day of Kindergarten

My 5 year old starts kindergarten in less than two weeks (cue Mom’s tears!) He’s crazy excited about school so that makes preparing him for kindergarten sort of easy. Not all kids are like that though – My eldest was terribly nervous and anxious about his first day of kindergarten. Getting kids ready to learn, choosing at-home school supplies and even cute photo ops can add to the excitement. Here are a few ways to prepare your child for the first day of kindergarten!

Please note that I use affiliate links in my posts. Clicking the links and making a purchase helps me in a small financial way, thank you!

1. “Play” School at Home

If your child has never been to school before the entire concept may be daunting and confusing. Outline what will happen throughout the day. Describe terms they might not know like work study, arts and crafts, recess, lunch period, quiet time and free play. Role play can help kids know what to expect and ease the jitters.

Home workbooks like these can get your kinder kid prepared for what they might be seeing from their teacher during school. (BIG Kindergarten Workbook and Reading & Math Jumbo Workbook: Grade K)

   

2. Read Books Together

Story time is a big deal in kindergarten! And of course you already know that about 30 minutes of reading each night is ideal to develop reading skills in kids.

These are two favorite books I know about the first day of school. They are sure to put a smile on the face of your nervous kindergartner. These books are must-haves! (The Kissing Hand and First Day Jitters)

   

3. Make Learning Fun

Teaching basics like letter recognition and how to properly hold a pencil will start kids off on the right foot. Supply your kindergartner with a few of these items to practice learning at home first. (Melissa & Doug On the Go Water Wow! Alphabet Activity Book and Gaobei Pencil Grip for Children)

4. Wait for a Supply List Before Making Big Purchases

I know that the kindergartners in my school district don’t use backpacks. Kids carry open-topped buckets to hold their over-sized paperwork. So I won’t be making a backpack purchase for my kindergartner this year.

That’s my son on the left with his LL Bean backpack in 3rd grade. He’s still using it in 8th grade!

However if you do need a backpack, I highly recommend L.L.Bean. I bought my eldest son his backpack from L.L.Bean when he entered 3rd grade. He’s starting 8th grade this year…with the same backpack! And it’s still in great condition (no wear, no tears and the zippers work perfectly).

LL Bean Backpack (same one I bought my son 5 years ago!)

Before you run out and stock up on pencils and crayons, wait for a supply list from your child’s teacher. Or consider buying a few small items to have at home to get your child in the “back to school mood”.


5. Teach and Practice Basic Manners at Home

“Please” and “Thank You” goes a long way. So does sharing, friendship and being a good friend. Practice with gentle reminders at home. A few good books can help to reinforce what you’re teaching. (365 Manners Kids Should Know: Games, Activities, and Other Fun Ways to Help Children and Teens Learn Etiquette and Say Please, Little Owlet)

   

6. Pick Out a Special First Day Outfit

My kids love having something special to wear on the first day of school. And I always shop Gymboree because the quality and pricing is fantastic. The clothes are durable and so cute too (perfect for picture day!)

At prices like these, you can easily stock up for the entire first month of school! (PS: These are all images of clothing that I’ve recently purchased for my own kids!)

If you’ve never ordered before, here’s a special link that will get you 25% OFF Gymboree with your first order!

Make the First Day Special

Now that you’ve taken care of preparing your kindergartner for the first day of school, here are a few more ideas to help make the first day really special!

7. Plan a Fun First Day Breakfast

Put away the cold cereal for the first day and give the kids something fun and filling! A Mickey waffle would surely put a smile on their face for back-to-school. And Amazon even sells Golden Malted waffle mix, the same kind used in the Disney parks! (Disney Classic Mickey Waffle Maker and Golden Malted Pancake & Waffle Flour)

8. The Obligatory First Day of School Photo

I love the idea of taking first day of school photos in the same place each year, just to compare growth from year to year. I try to pose my kids against the cute white fence at my mom’s house each year. From left to right, this is my son at kindergarten, first, third, fourth and fifth grade.

      

Another sweet memory is capturing your kindergartner exploring their classroom for the first time. I grabbed this shot when my eldest son sat down to look at picture books in his new class.

9. Write Down First Day Thoughts in a School Memory Book

You’ll look back fondly on these sweet memories! Having a dedicated school memory book keeps cute memories, photos and special awards and photos in one spot. My 13 year old son has the book mentioned here. I love looking back at it on the first day of school each year, remembering that adorable kid with missing front teeth! (School Years: A Family Keepsake of School Memories)


For more on this really awesome topic,
check out the other great posts from the Blogorail!


These practical back-to-school preparation tips will help ease your kinder kid into the first day of kindergarten.

Little Ways Moms Can Make Big Differences in Their Health

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #NatureMadeProbiotics #CollectiveBias

In a few weeks I’m going to be celebrating my 44th birthday. Celebrating? Yes! There are definitely times when I’m the oldest mom with her kids on the playground (and I have the creaky back to prove it!) So I might be older but what I don’t want is to feel old. I want to wake up with the energy everyday that I need to parent my four kids. I’m making little changes NOW that are going to make a big difference. It’s the “snowball effect”. One little change begets another on my way to a healthier life.

From moving more, portion control and taking a daily probiotic, these are a few little things that moms do that make a big difference in their health. #ad #NatureMadeProbiotics

Out for a walk, moving more and sitting less!

Moving More. Sitting Less

As a writer, I’ll admit that I tend to sit more than I should! One of my goals is to be moving more and sitting less.

  • Stand when doing household chores. I stand when folding laundry and sorting socks.
  • If you have trouble remembering to move, set your phone alarm to remind you. Even a 20 minute walk or an impromptu dance party helps!
  • Can you walk instead of driving? Work in walking to the library or the store as part of your exercise for the day.

From moving more, portion control and taking a daily probiotic, these are a few little things that moms do that make a big difference in their health. #ad #NatureMadeProbiotics

Portion Control

When I’m busy with my kids there are times when I forget to eat. Unfortunately that means the next time I sit down to eat, I’m ravenous and tend to overeat. And of course there are many side effects to overeating, from feeling bloated to weight gain.

  • Eat off of a smaller plate to trick your mind into thinking you have more food.
  • Take a look at proper serving sizes. Use a measuring cup to get an idea of sizing.
  • Serve food in the kitchen and don’t return for seconds.
  • Add twice as many vegetables as anything else on my plate.

From moving more, portion control and taking a daily probiotic, these are a few little things that moms do that make a big difference in their health. #ad #NatureMadeProbiotics

Listening to My Body

Stopping and really listening to my body throughout the day helps keep me in check.

  • Is my throat dry? I’m probably not drinking enough water.
  • Am I stiff? Maybe I need to run through some stretches.
  • Am I really hungry? Then why am I opening the fridge again?
  • Am I tired? Why am I forcing myself to stay awake! I should get to bed earlier.

Taking a Daily Probiotic

Taking a daily probiotic is definitely one of those things that helps me to balance my gut health. I feel so much better when I’m taking one. And when I’m feeling better, I’m more motivated to make good choices. That’s the snowball effect of good, healthy choices. And for me, I start with Nature Made® Digestive Probiotics Adult Gummies.

From moving more, portion control and taking a daily probiotic, these are a few little things that moms do that make a big difference in their health. #ad #NatureMadeProbiotics

 

Probiotics are the “good” bacteria that exists naturally in cultured or fermented foods (like yogurt and certain cheeses). Probiotics offer benefits for your digestive system by pushing out unwanted organisms. This allows more of the “good” bacteria to be present in your gut. And “good’ bacteria can help you feel better (remember the “snowball effect”? It’s real!)

I picked up Nature Made® Digestive Probiotics Adult Gummies at my local Walmart. As directed, I take two a day. I appreciate that Nature Made® is produced to the highest quality standards to ensure purity and safety.

From moving more, portion control and taking a daily probiotic, these are a few little things that moms do that make a big difference in their health. #ad #NatureMadeProbiotics

Nature Made® Digestive Probiotics Adult Gummies have dual action probiotics plus energyǂ† B12 (ǂVitamin B12 supports cellular energy production.† †These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. These products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent disease.)

And let’s be honest. Chewing an adult gummie is FUN! I look forward to taking my Nature Made® Probiotics Gummies, it’s like a little treat just for me!

From moving more, portion control and taking a daily probiotic, these are a few little things that moms do that make a big difference in their health. #ad #NatureMadeProbiotics

In what little ways are you making a difference in your health? Is a probiotic part of your daily routine?

From moving more, portion control and taking a daily probiotic, these are a few little things that moms do that make a big difference in their health. #ad #NatureMadeProbiotics

Want to take the best cell phone pictures? These tips for phone cameras will have you capturing the best images.

Phone Camera Tips for Capturing Your Best Shots

Everyone’s taking lots of pictures with their phone cameras. Naturally your phone is easy to carry with you, especially when traveling. And you can share images immediately on social media which is always fun! When traveling light, I leave my bulky DSLR camera at home and rely solely on my phone camera to take pictures. Here are a few tips for capturing your best shots on your phone camera.

Please note that I use affiliate links in this post. Clicking through and making a purchase helps me in a small financial way, thank you!

Want to take the best cell phone pictures? These tips for phone cameras will have you capturing the best images.

Taking the Best Shots on Your Phone Camera

We’ve all seen some truly fantastic phone camera shots that look like they were taken with a “fancy camera”. And we’ve seen the out of focus, smudgy and too dark/overly bright cell phone shares too. Here are some phone camera tips for taking the best shots! All of these pictures were taken with my Android, Samsung Galaxy S6.

Want to take the best cell phone pictures? These tips for phone cameras will have you capturing the best images.

So happy I had my camera with me to capture this first taste of a Dole Whip at the Polynesian!

Clean the Lens

That’s a no-brainer when using your regular camera, but often forgotten with your phone camera. Use a lens cloth to clean up smudges for the most crisp images. In a pinch, the edge of your shirt will do.

Want to take the best cell phone pictures? These tips for phone cameras will have you capturing the best images.

Celebrating Dia de los Muertos at Disneyland during Halloween time.

Getting in Focus

Getting that beautiful bokeh (or blurred background) is easy with your cell phone camera! Simply tap the spot on the screen that you want to be in the most clear focus before you snap the picture. Having the item close to the camera will create that lovely bokeh in the background.

Want to take the best cell phone pictures? These tips for phone cameras will have you capturing the best images.

Adjust Brightness Manually Before You Shoot

Things looking too dark or overly bright? Just before taking a photo, adjust the brightness manually. Simply touch your cell phone screen and slide your finger either right or left to brighten or darken your shot. My phone has a little light bulb icon that pops up on the screen to indicate brightness.

Want to take the best cell phone pictures? These tips for phone cameras will have you capturing the best images.

The sun was overly bright on this day at the Wyndham in Disney World. I adjusted brightness before taking the shot.

Turn Off the Flash (or Diffuse It)

Sometimes lighting is lower than you like but always try to resist using your cell phone camera flash. The flash can create some intense shadows, hot spots and maybe even completely blacken out the background of the image. Instead of using your flash, concentrate on holding the camera very still by propping your arms or using a travel tripod.

Another option is to diffuse the flash (especially helpful when photographing food in a dimly lit restaurant). Hold a paper napkin over the flash on the camera to lessen the strength.

Dozens of ways how to save money on food at Disney!

I wanted to capture the entire scene behind the Dole Whip cup so I didn’t use the manual focus for this shot inside the Polynesian.

Night Shots

I find that I can capture better night shots with my cell phone camera than I can with my regular camera. One tip is to hold your phone very steady. For this shot of the Disneyland Hotel pool area at night, I held my elbows on a railing so I didn’t wiggle the camera when I took the picture. Use the brightness feature sparingly to lighten things up as you wish.

Want to take the best cell phone pictures? These tips for phone cameras will have you capturing the best images.

Dark scenes that are far away aren’t going to show up well. You’ll need to get up close to the item and make sure that it’s fairly well lit. Also items that are moving quickly in the dark are going to blur if you try to photograph them. Aim to shoot items that are still or moving slowly and very well lit, like the float in the Paint the Night Parade (featured image at the top).

 

Crop Later Instead of Using Zoom

Zooming on your cell phone camera is going to make you photo look very pixilated and/or blurry. Better to take the photo as you see it and then crop later.

Want to take the best cell phone pictures? These tips for phone cameras will have you capturing the best images.

Don’t zoom! Better to crop the image later.

Sharing on Instagram

If you’re taking a photo specifically for Instagram, set up the shot ahead of time to best fit their square frame. You don’t want to have to crop out your favorite part of the picture to make it fit into the frame for Instagram. I wanted to capture not only my kids in this photo but the sandy beach and the hotel behind them so I took a wide shot and then cropped for Instagram.

 

Snapseed

Rather than using the same ol’ filters on Instagram that everyone else is using, edit your photos in Snapseed. This free app allows you to simply crop, brighten or sharpen images. Or you can get as complicated as you would in Photoshop on your desktop with curves and healing tools. Except that Snapseed is totally easy to use!

I used Snapseed on this shot at Port Orleans Riverside, including white balance and brightness.

Want to take the best cell phone pictures? These tips for phone cameras will have you capturing the best images.


For more Disney photo tips,
check out the other great posts from the Blogorail!


5 Things I Do When Budgeting Money Makes Me Cranky

Okay I’m sure I’m not alone in this, but constantly budgeting my money makes me cranky! With 4 kids and a limited budget, there’s not always a lot of wiggle-room when it comes to “fun money”. Yes, I’m always putting money in the savings account for our retirement and there’s a little bit going into the Disney bank. But when it comes to right here and now, not being able to just buy whatever-I-want whenever-I-want-it makes me irritable!

So I can’t go on a spending spree and that’s okay. These are 5 things I do when I need a little escape from reality. They are just the right pick-me-up when the budget is tight.

Please note that I use affiliate links in this post. Clicking through and making a purchase helps me in a small financial way, thank you!

What are the little things you can do when budgeting makes you cranky? 5 Things I Do When Budgeting Money Makes Me Cranky

1. Plan a Fake Vacation

Can’t hop a plane or jump ship? Just like reading a book transports you into another world, planning a fake vacation can transport you around the world with a click of a button. This is one of my most favorite ways to daydream. Pick a spot on the map and delve into this area as if you were really going to visit!

  • Borrow travel books from the library. Which part of the world are you most drawn to?
  • If you could only drive 500 miles or less, which direction would you go and what would you do?
  • If you had to travel in central Europe which country would you go to? (I actually made this decision when I won a travel contest!)
  • Read up on cruising. Check out the Disney cruise restaurants and menus – They’re all online!
  • Which attractions would you visit in Orlando other than Walt Disney World?
  • If money were no object (and it never is when planning a fake trip) which extravagant add-ons would you make?
  • Perhaps someday when you win the lottery (that’s totally going to happen, right?), you’ll already have your travel itinerary ready to go!

Planning a Disney trip? Pick up one of these recommended Walt Disney World or Disneyland books for everyone in your group!

2. Fill my Online Shopping Cart with Clothes I’ll Never Buy

I’m not literally going to go to Target, load up a cart and then abandon it at the door. But it’s TOTALLY okay to do that online! In an online shopping cart you can virtually mix and match, quickly move from dresses to shoes to jewelry. And when you’ve gotten the shopping bug fix, simply close the browser window and you’re wallet is still intact!

3. Get Rid of Stuff

If I’m on a budget I can’t buy more stuff but it does give me some joy to pass along some of the stuff we already have. Purging and giving makes me thankful for things I was able to purchase and reminds me that I already have enough “stuff”.

  • Weed through kid’s closets. What doesn’t fit and who can you pass the clothing down to?
  • Is there something in your closet you haven’t worn in a very long time? Request a bag from ThredUp and you may be able to resell some of your items.
  • Have a garage sale. Put the money you make towards something special.
  • Be ruthless in the kid’s toy bin. Keep only what they really play with and donate the rest.
  • Next time you pull out the holiday or seasonal bin, see how you can pare down the decorations so that you only keep your most favorite items.

Budget-friendly & Practical Organizing Solutions for Small Spaces

4. Buy Something Little and Fun

A cheap but meaningful splurge can really boost spirits when the wallet is tight. Obviously you can’t do this one every day (or even every week!) but once in a while buying something small is just what you need. What little thing makes you happiest? For me it’s something that pampers me, like new Jamberry nail wraps or a lipstick! For family fun, choose a new board game or get a gallon of vanilla ice cream and a few toppings for mid-week sundaes.

What are the little things you can do when budgeting makes you cranky? 5 Things I Do When Budgeting Money Makes Me Cranky

A manicure at home (on a budget) makes me feel better!

Look Ahead to Something Real

What fun thing do you have coming ahead in the calendar that you can look forward to? Whatever it is, start your planning now! I love planning and think that research is half the fun. So if you have a vacation ahead, cultivate your own official itinerary. Research restaurants, peruse online menus and decide which mouth-watering dessert you’re going to order when you get there. I find that looking ahead (and not dwelling in the I-can’t-right-now) really fills up my thankfulness cup and reminds me why I’m budgeting and saving in the first place!

What do you do when budgeting gets you down? Share in the comments!

Win a Disney’s Beauty and the Beast Castle Vacation Giveaway

Win a Disney's Beauty and the Beast Castle Vacation Giveaway

Have you ever been to Scotland? Ever slept in a castle? No, me neither.  How about a vacation with 20 of your closest friends? Well that sounds like a lot of fun already, doesn’t it?! Keep reading to find out more about this amazing Disney’s Beauty and the Beast vacation giveaway from HomeAway.

Please note that this post contains affiliate links. #partner

Disney’s Beauty and the Beast Castle Vacation Giveaway

The grand prize is absolutely mind-boggling – One winner will win a five night stay in the HomeAway castle holiday property “Duns Castle” in Scotland for the winner and up to 20 guests, including the costs of economy airfare & ground transport to and from the Castle Holiday Rental. Also included are some meals, entertainment and cash to off-set the taxes. I’m already plotting which of my 20 friends I’d invite!

Win a Disney's Beauty and the Beast Castle Vacation Giveaway

Imagine the fantastic conversations we’d have over dinner around this table!

And if you aren’t the lucky grand prize winner, HomeAway has other vacation giveaways in this contest to five runner-ups. Wow, wouldn’t I love to take my family to Italy. Or Australia. Or Hawaii, I can’t decide!

You have until the end of the month (March 31st, 2017) to enter. You can only enter once so your odds are as good as anyone else! Good luck 🙂

ENTER THE HOMEAWAY BEAUTY AND THE BEAST VACATION GIVEAWAY HERE

 

 

 

ALL the Disney Princesses in a Disney Collection by Jamberry GIVEAWAY!

 I’ve been in LOVE with the Disney Collection by Jamberry wraps! Truly, I love these amazing designs that feature my favorite Disney characters and have enjoyed wearing them on my Disney vacations. Now ALL of the Disney Princesses are being featured in this next round of wraps in the Disney Collection by Jamberry, Volume 5.
Disney Collection by Jamberry featuring All the Disney Princesses including Disney Princess Belle from Beauty and the Beast

Disney Princesses in the Disney Collection by Jamberry

What a dream come true! This new collection features ALL eleven Disney Princesses, including Disney Princess Belle. Naturally these arrive just in time for the premiere of the live-action “Beauty and the Beast” movie! See all of the wraps here!
Disney Collection by Jamberry featuring All the Disney Princesses including Disney Princess Belle from Beauty and the Beast
Yes, Buy 3 Get 1 Free applies to the Disney Collection by Jamberry! You can get four for the price of one, including Jamberry Junior wraps for little fingers.
Disney Collection by Jamberry featuring All the Disney Princesses including Disney Princess Belle from Beauty and the Beast Disney Collection by Jamberry featuring All the Disney Princesses including Disney Princess Belle from Beauty and the Beast

JAMBERRY GIVEAWAY!

I’m hosting a giveaway here on my blog of a $25 Jamberry gift card that you can use to purchase any Jamberry products on the website, including the Disney Collection by Jamberry wraps, Going, Going, Gone styles or anything else on the website that makes your Princess dreams come true.

Disney Collection by Jamberry featuring All the Disney Princesses including Disney Princess Belle from Beauty and the Beast

If you can’t WAIT for the giveaway to end and just HAVE to buy them now, these Disney Collection by Jamberry wraps are available NOW through my link.

I am a Jamberry Independent Consultant so please email me if you have any questions about Jamberry wraps, the Disney Collection by Jamberry or if you are interested in hosting your own Jamberry party in-home or online!

Disney Collection by Jamberry featuring All the Disney Princesses including Disney Princess Belle from Beauty and the Beast Disney Collection by Jamberry featuring All the Disney Princesses including Disney Princess Belle from Beauty and the Beast Disney Collection by Jamberry featuring All the Disney Princesses including Disney Princess Belle from Beauty and the Beast

“Save Up for Disney” as a Jamberry Independent Consultant

If you’ve been considering becoming a Jamberry Independent Consultant there is no better time than NOW!!! In the month of February, you’ll receive a discount off the cost of your consultant kit.  If you’ve been on the fence, now’s the time to JOIN Jamberry!! (P.S. The 30-40% commission is lovely too!!)

Message me or email at savingupfordisney@yahoo.com for more info. You can also join up via this link.

Disney Collection by Jamberry featuring All the Disney Princesses including Disney Princess Belle from Beauty and the Beast

Disney Collection by Jamberry featuring All the Disney Princesses including Disney Princess Belle from Beauty and the Beast Disney Collection by Jamberry featuring All the Disney Princesses including Disney Princess Belle from Beauty and the Beast

Enter the Giveaway HERE!

 

3 Simple Gift Wrapping Techniques for Gifts (and Budgets!) of All Sizes

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #WrapGiveRepeat #CollectiveBias

3 Simple Gift Wrapping Techniques That Are Creative, Unique and Budget-Friendly! #ad @walmart

Everyone loves to receive a beautifully wrapped gift. When you take the time to wrap a gift creatively, it shows that you really care! If I spend time carefully shopping for just the right thing, I also want to take the time to wrap the gift perfectly as well. It makes my recipient feel so special when they say, “This is for ME?!”

3 Simple Gift Wrapping Techniques That Are Creative, Unique and Budget-Friendly!

Gift wrapping something in a truly special way doesn’t require expensive gift bags or elaborate decor.  Are you ready to Wrap.Give.Repeat? Let me show you my simple gift wrapping techniques for gifts of all sizes.

3 Simple Gift Wrapping Techniques

I have three special gift wrapping techniques I’d love to share. One is a pleated technique that’s really sophisticated. I also like to make gift bags with wrapping paper and tape for odd-shaped gifts. Third, I always use my leftover scraps of wrapping paper to make curled bows that coordinate.

I popped in to the Walmart at my local mall to pick up a Scotch® Gift Wrap Tape 3 Pack Caddie and Scotch™ Multi-Purpose Scissor 8″. These items were located with the greeting cards and office supplies.

3 Simple Gift Wrapping Techniques That Are Creative, Unique and Budget-Friendly!

I like to stock up on Scotch® Brand wrapping products so when I’m in a wrapping frenzy on Christmas Eve, there’s no chance of running out! With the 50% bonus and Rollback pricing at Walmart, there’s no reason not to stock up and save. Plus my preschooler has been in a bit of “go crazy with the tape on everything” phase and has pretty much depleted every roll I had in the house!

3 Simple Gift Wrapping Techniques That Are Creative, Unique and Budget-Friendly!

Best Results Tips

Before you pull out the gifts, be sure to have these things ready to go!

Lots of room – Time to clear off your craft table or invade the dining room! Give yourself plenty of space to spread out. Resist the urge to wrap on the floor (your back and knees will thank me later).

Thick, high-quality wrapping paper – You will not get the best results if you’re using thin paper that tears easily. But it doesn’t mean you have to indulge in expense; I pick up my wrapping papers the year before on clearance (I bought these last year at 75% off, for about a dollar per roll!) Choose paper that has the square inches lined on the back so you can cut the pieces straight.

A pair of sharp scissors – Leave the utility shears in the kitchen and purchase a pair of dedicated gift wrap scissors to keep in the craft caddy. Scotch™ Multi-Purpose Scissor 8″ glide right through the wrapping paper, so you’ll have perfectly straight lines and crisp edges.

3 Simple Gift Wrapping Techniques That Are Creative, Unique and Budget-Friendly!

A gift wrapping caddy -Inexpensive and handy, a caddy will keep all your wrapping supplies like Scotch® Gift Wrap Tape, scissors, ribbon and gift tags all in one place so you can grab & go when you’re ready to wrap!

Special gift toppers – While at Walmart I wanted to find some cute package toppers and there were SO many to choose from! I actually found these in the section designated for decorating mini Christmas trees. I just thought they were adorable and the price was certainly right. I’ll be able to decorate every single gift under the tree with a mini ornament that can be saved or reused on another gift.

3 Simple Gift Wrapping Techniques That Are Creative, Unique and Budget-Friendly!

Technique #1 – The Pleated Box

My sister-in-law introduced me to a very chic wrapping technique that incorporates pleated folds in the wrapping paper to create an elegant look to each box. This works best on a flat box. You might want to use a bone folder and ruler for perfectly straight and crisp edges, though I was able to just eyeball it myself.

  • Wrap the box as usual.
  • Cut a coordinating strip of paper that will be pleated and wrapped around the box.
  • Fold the paper in half lengthwise (wrong sides together). Then turn the crease to one side to create a pleat.

3 Simple Gift Wrapping Techniques That Are Creative, Unique and Budget-Friendly!

  • Repeat the pleating several times, alternating sides. I created just three pleats but you can make as many or as few as you wish.
  • Wrap the pleated paper around the box and match up the edges (trim them a bit if needed to help them line up neatly).
  • Secure the seam with a long strip of Scotch® Gift Wrap tape.

3 Simple Gift Wrapping Techniques That Are Creative, Unique and Budget-Friendly!

The pleated wrap is an elegant and unique look that only requires a simple bow topper. I can’t wait to gift this one to my Mom!

3 Simple Gift Wrapping Techniques That Are Creative, Unique and Budget-Friendly!

Technique #2 – The Odd Shaped Gift

Making gift bags with sturdy wrapping paper for oddly shaped items is actually quicker and easier than people think (and your handcrafted bag will look so much prettier than gift bags that have been used and reused a dozen or more times!)

  • Take the odd shaped gift and lay it on the paper to get an idea how long to cut the paper. Add at least an inch for an overlap.
  • Determine the center of the piece of paper (lengthwise). Bring the two ends of paper into the middle, overlapping.
  • Crease the outside edges of the paper to make it flat.
  • Now determine the width of the bottom of the bag. Fold up the bottom edge of the paper and place the bottom of the gift on top to determine how much to fold the edge (add about an inch or so on each side).

3 Simple Gift Wrapping Techniques That Are Creative, Unique and Budget-Friendly!

  • Open up the folded bottom and use Scotch® Gift Wrap tape to close the lengthwise seam of the bag.

3 Simple Gift Wrapping Techniques That Are Creative, Unique and Budget-Friendly!

  • Bend up the bottom of the bag at the crease. Press gently on each side and the paper will flatten itself into two triangle shapes, one on each side.
  • Use your fingers to flatten the creases.
  • Take the pointed edge at the top and bottom of each triangle and fold it down a few inches.
  • Use Scotch® Gift Wrap tape along all seams to secure the bottom of the bag.
  • Open the bag from the top flatten out the bottom.
  • Insert the gift to determine the height of the finished bag. Trim off any excess paper from the top of the bag, then fold the top of the bag down and secure with Scotch® Gift Wrap tape.

3 Simple Gift Wrapping Techniques That Are Creative, Unique and Budget-Friendly!

Keep reading on how to make the scrappy bow to decorate your bag!

3 Simple Gift Wrapping Techniques That Are Creative, Unique and Budget-Friendly!

Technique #3 – The Scrappy Bow

What to do with those strange long strips of wrapping paper that are leftover? I like to use every bit of extra wrapping paper so I use these leftover strips to make whimsical scrappy bows. I curl the sturdy wrapping paper with the blade of my Scotch™ Multi-Purpose Scissor 8″ and then use Scotch® Gift Wrap tape to piece the bow together! It’s fun to coordinate the wrapping paper on the box to the wrapping paper bows. They really make a bold statement!

  • Collect coordinating strips of wrapping paper.
  • On either end cut into the strip, cut narrow strips that are about 1″ wide. Leave a center section (about 1″) that is uncut.
  • Hold the base of each narrow strip firmly. Open your scissors to expose the blade and run the edge along the underside of the strip of paper (just like you would with curling ribbon). Move slowly and adjust your pressure so as not to tear the paper.

3 Simple Gift Wrapping Techniques That Are Creative, Unique and Budget-Friendly!

  • Coax the curl into place with your fingers. You may need to repeat the process on the same strip if the paper doesn’t curl the first time.
  • Fold the bow in half and then in half again.
  • Gently shake out the bow to loosen the curls and you can arrange them or trim them as needed.
  • Add smaller pieces in coordinating papers by cutting, curling and taping them inside the first bow.

3 Simple Gift Wrapping Techniques That Are Creative, Unique and Budget-Friendly!

Tape the bow to the package. For more depth, add a length of curling ribbon and a mini ornament to complete the bow!

3 Simple Gift Wrapping Techniques That Are Creative, Unique and Budget-Friendly!

#WrapGiveRepeat

This holiday season Scotch® Brand will be donating $200,000 to Fisher House, a charity that provides a network of comfort homes where military and veterans’ families can stay at no cost while a loved one is receiving treatment. When making your seasonal donations, consider a donation to Fisher House via this link.

Are you a “Most Gifted Wrapper” with awesome gift wrapping techniques? How will you #WrapGiveRepeat this year?

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Easy DIY Disney Princess Costumes on a Budget

Easy DIY Disney Princess Costumes on a Budget

Welcome to this month’s Blogorail Yellow Loop. Today we are sharing Disney inspired Halloween costumes. Disney princess costumes don’t have to be elaborate or expensive. You can still dress your little princess in an easy and budget-friendly Disney princess costume that she’ll be able to wear for Halloween, dress-up or to the Parks! Even if you don’t think you can sew a costume, you can make one of these easy Disney princess costumes. Using a store bought t-shirt as a base, you’ll be able to add purchased trim to create a fun Disney-bound type costume.

Easy DIY Disney Princess Costumes on a Budget

Keep reading for the tutorial on how to make a princess costume from a t-shirt.

This post contains Amazon affiliate links

The Idea Spark

A quick Google search will give you an idea of princess styles and colors. There are certain characteristics in the costumes that each character wears, like Rapunzel’s crisscrossed bodice and the draping on Belle’s dress. And each princess has a certain color scheme, like Jasmine’s turquoise and gold and Elsa’s icy blue and white. The characteristics of the style isn’t as important as the princess color scheme. If you keep with a recognizable color scheme you can design your shirt however you like.

For Rapunzel: Schiff Grosgrain Ribbon in Orchid
For Jasmine: Metallic Gold Lace Trim
For Cinderella: Satin Ribbon Rose Flowers

       
I decided to make my little gal a Snow White DisneyBound outfit. Snow White’s color scheme is dark blue, red, yellow and white. But Snow White’s look is pretty simple and I wanted it a little fancier. Using the color scheme, I designed a top with various ribbons, lace and ribbon roses. It’s not exactly like Snow White, but as long as you keep within the color schemes that make each princess recognizable, you can be creative in the style of each princess top.

Easy DIY Disney Princess Costumes on a Budget

Start with a T-Shirt

A t-shirt is a quick and easy way to make a costume base. This shirt cost me less than $5 and I already had these trims on hand. You can layer trims, sew appliques or add ribbons and buttons to create the look you want.

Easy DIY Disney Princess Costumes on a Budget

SEWING TIP – If you sew on non-stretchy trim, this will make the shirt less stretchy as well. Just keep this in mind before sewing trim on that you’ll still need to get this shirt on and off your child. For example, if you sew trim all the way around the neckline, it will no longer be able to stretch over her head. Use non-stretchy trim minimally, especially around areas like the hem, neckline and arm holes.

Lay out your trims onto the outfit until you come up with a design that you are happy with. Don’t cut the trim until you have it pinned down and at the length that you want.

Easy DIY Disney Princess Costumes on a Budget

SEWING TIP – When pinning on the trims, tuck something firm inside the shirt to separate the front and back so you don’t pin through the entire shirt. A piece of cardboard or flattened cereal box works well.

Easy DIY Disney Princess Costumes on a Budget

SEWING TIP – Ribbons are slippery so pin them a LOT when you’re prepping. Once you get the shirt on the sewing machine, you’ll find that the ribbons tend to shift so take your time and move slowly, removing pins as you reach them.

Adding little details like these pre-made ribbon roses adds just the right touch to complete your look!

 Easy DIY Disney Princess Costumes on a Budget

Buy Inexpensive Bottoms

Tights and leggings are cheap and quick ways to complete your costume. I looked for yellow leggings at the store for my princess but they didn’t sell them in itty-bitty sizes. I found a pretty floral print at Old Navy that worked nicely with the colors on the top and still gives this modern Snow White a woodsy feel.

For Sleeping Beauty (aka: Princess Aurora): Little Girl’s Ruffle leggings

Want the sparkle without the messy glitter? Opt for a sequined circle skirt that will give your girl all the twirl and none of the glittery mess!

For Ariel – Sequin Dance Tutu Skirt for Girls

Tutu Tutorial

Tulle fabric is very inexpensive and easy to work with. I love the sparkly tulle that has the sequins and sparkle attached. It also has some stretch to it, so you can sew it directly onto the hem of your t-shirt if you wish. Or make a tutu using one of the many tutorials on Pinterest and your princess will be tutu-cute in no time!

An icy blue for Elsa: Sparkle Tulle Teal Fabric By The Yard and a pretty gold for Belle: Sparkle Tulle Gold Fabric By The Yard

  

For more Disney inspired Halloween costumes,
check out the other great posts from the Blogorail!


Here is the map of our Magical Blogorail Yellow | Disney Inspired Halloween Costumes Loop:

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Budget-friendly & Practical Organizing Solutions for Small Spaces

Budget-friendly & Practical Organizing Solutions for Small Spaces

When you’re organized, things just seem to run more smoothly!  Nobody needs to panic when they can’t find something because it’s been established ahead of time that every item has a place. Organizing solutions do not have to be expensive and there is no reason to hire “experts” or purchase pricey dividers or shelving units. It does take time though, arranging items to the best benefit and use of your family. But it will be all worth it when someone asks you, “Where’s my red hat with the white polka dots?” and you’ll know exactly what to tell them so they can find it!

Please note that this post contains affiliate links. Clicking through and making a purchase helps me in a small financial way, thank you!

Organizing Solutions that Work for Your Family

There are 6 of us in our 1000 square foot home. Yep, that’s a tight fit and every inch counts. Since adding our newest little one, we’ve been organizing and streamlining the house now to make room. We’ve always done pretty good with keeping stuff to a minimum but some of our stuff is necessary and it’s all about finding the most practical way to store it in a budget-friendly way!

Budget-friendly & Practical Organizing Solutions for Small Spaces

These are my top 12 organizing solutions!

When we moved in four years ago I had things pretty well organized but over time our needs changed and I hadn’t rethought certain areas. I knew that we could do better and get them even more organized and streamlined. I took a good look at each space I needed to reorganize and made notes. In rethinking some of these spaces, I knew that I could move things there into other locations or even get rid of them completely.

Weed it out

Before you even start to organize, you have to decide what you’re going to keep and what needs to go.

Remove the contents of a drawer, bin or closet and go through each and every item.

Toss out, recycle, donate or place in a garage sale pile…whatever you need to do to minimize. Go through medications, lotions, nail polish, and other household items frequently to toss what is expired or give away what isn’t being used. Add this task to your calendar once each season and it won’t be such a laborious project.

I keep a small basket or fabric box (less than $5 each on Amazon) inside my kid’s closet for donation items. As they outgrow their clothes, I place the items in the basket and when the basket is full the contents are given away.

Budget-friendly & Practical Organizing Solutions for Small Spaces

We make use out of our closet by keeping overstock items and medical needs clearly labeled in bins and drawers.

Get Rid of the “Junk Drawer”

We don’t have one. We don’t need one because in our small home, there is no room for a “junk drawer”…everything has a place!

Dump out your junk drawer and find a home for each and every item there. Batteries? Get a bin for them and store them in a desk. Pens and pencils? Keep them in a cup within easy reach. Mail? Deal with mail as it comes in the door, recycling or filing as necessary.

A mesh desk organizer (Amazon for less than $10) is a great place to keep some of these “junk drawer” items you need close at hand.

Label It

I had a label maker for over ten years and used the heck out of it until it recently died. I just splurged and bought a new Brother P-Touch Label Maker(less than $23 on Amazon) and have been going (slightly) overboard with labeling everything in the house.

However I will note that nobody has been asking me, “Where’s the XYZ” because everything is so neatly labeled for them now! I do recommend investing in a label maker but you could also purchase stickers and label boxes with a Sharpie as well.

Organize drawer contents and sort into “like items”. Add a label on the outside to remind family to put things back where they belong!

Labels on book shelves help young readers organize their picture books, chapter book and coloring books.

Sort important paperwork into 3-Ring binders and then add a label to the side for easy access.

Get it Off the Floor

We’d all love to get those fancy professionally sized closet organizers, right? But boy, are they pricey!! We found a more reasonable solution in metal shelving units. They are intended for the garage I think, but we like to think outside of the box.

Since some of these tall Steel Wire Shelving Unit (under $40 on Amazon) can be customized for shelf height, they are perfect for placing in your closet. We simply keep the units as two shorter racks instead of assembling into one tall rack.

Things sitting on the floor can pile up and add to the clutter. Look at what you have on the floor and figure out where you can put it so it’s off the ground.

Budget-friendly & Practical Organizing Solutions for Small Spaces

Hang it Up

I have a hook in the hall closet with a pair of scissors so everyone knows exactly where the scissors are (instead of tossed in a random drawer). Backpacks go on hooks in the garage. Tired of seeing the bath towel laying on the floor because your little one can’t hang it properly on a towel rod? Install a hook! We were limited on wall space so my husband hung bath towel hooks for the boys on the end of the bunk bed and that works perfectly because they are completely out of the way.

An Over The Door Hook is invaluable (and under $15 on Amazon) and can make use of space, especially in a bathroom for towels.

No need to put holes in the wall. Command Wire Hooks are removable quickly but stay up well, even with heavier items. I buy the variety pack and find clever uses for them all over the house!

Beautiful Baskets

With drawer space at a minimum I keep my clean kitchen towels at the ready by folding them and keeping them within arms reach of the sink in this neat wire basket. I also have Wire Basket Organizers (less than $15 for two on Amazon) like this on the back of the toilet for hand towels.

Budget-friendly & Practical Organizing Solutions for Small Spaces

I don’t have room in the kitchen for my cookbooks so I keep them organized in a pretty basket under the foyer cabinet. They are still easily accessed and don’t take up precious counter or cupboard space in the kitchen.

Before you buy baskets new, check out your local thrift store. This is a fantastic place to find inexpensive baskets and you can always spray paint them for an updated look.

Shelving is King

Use all the space you can on shelves by maximizing with wire shelving units. We use these in the kitchen to make use of extra space for plates and bowls. In the pantry for canned foods and boxes this Small Kitchen Helper Shelf really helps maximize space (for about $7 on Amazon).

Budget-friendly & Practical Organizing Solutions for Small Spaces

Using wire shelving to make extra space for plates and bowls.

Use individual shelving in the closet to take advantage of tall ceilings. If you can, always go UP and take advantage of the space you have. We have small closets but they have tall ceilings so I bought expandable shelving units. This allows me to safely stack items higher and use up all the space available.

Box it Up

LEGOS. Oh yes, my friend. Let’s get all those tiny bits and pieces boxed up so that you only pull them out of the box intentionally when you’re ready to play. We also have Leapster games and the Leapster unit all in one box together.

Seasonal clothes and blankets don’t need to take up space in the closet. We load up plastic bins or use Ziploc Space Saver bags to store these items in the attic or under the bed.

Budget-friendly & Practical Organizing Solutions for Small Spaces

With a new baby, I had been given some wonderful hand-me-downs. I wanted to keep track of what I have so I went through the clothes and placed the sizes together into Clear Storage Boxes.

A quick label on the outside of each will let me have the next size up within easy reach. Once she’s used up all the clothes in the bin, I can remove the label and re-purpose the box.

Budget-friendly & Practical Organizing Solutions for Small Spaces

The expandable metal shelving unit makes it easy to take out just the one thing you need. Clothing has been organized into boxes for the future.

Budget-friendly & Practical Organizing Solutions for Small Spaces

Like Items Together

We have a lot of books (I used to work at a bookstore!) but I hate how the small paperbacks were mingling with the tall picture books because they never sat nicely on the shelf together. I found these inexpensive plastic Book & Magazine Organizers and they are perfect for holding paperbacks. I use them on the shelf next to the taller books as a sort-of “book end”.

Consider buying bins or boxes to hold other like things, like summer items. All the bathing suits, sunglasses, and beach hats would then be in one, easy-to-find location. Here, we have one soft bin for hats, one for blocks and one for coloring books.

Budget-friendly & Practical Organizing Solutions for Small Spaces

Contain It

Our bathroom counters are quite small and there’s no room for clutter. We keep only the soap dispenser and toothbrush holder on the counter (which makes it easier to clean as well).

Under the sink, we have a colored container for each child that holds their personal toiletries. Each child’s toothpaste, drinking cup, deodorant, face wash, etc is in their own container. My daughter has a separate bin for her hair brush and accessories.

I have two-tiered Mesh Cabinet Baskets under my bathroom sink that holds things like lotion, make-up and razors. One basket holds hair styling products and another large bin holds tools like the blow dryer and flat iron.

Budget-friendly & Practical Organizing Solutions for Small Spaces

Throw it in a Bin

Target frequently has plastic bins for $3 in their Dollar Spot section. They are nice for items that can be tossed in, like winter hats or gloves, sunglasses or random toys like cars and action figures. Set them on a shelf or even inside a drawer to section off and keep small items (like socks & underwear) from getting lost.

In the kitchen, we store breads in a decorative Wooden Crate on the counter. If you don’t want to purchase bins or crates, keep your old shoe boxes and decorate them with wrapping paper for neat and tidy closet or drawer storage.

Budget-friendly & Practical Organizing Solutions for Small Spaces

And open bin within a box keeps things organized and contained.

BEFORE (left) – Clutter of random stuff on the top shelf.

AFTER (right) – Stackable bins hold seasonal items like sun hats and winter wear. In anticipation of sharing this room with the new baby, I had made bins for art supplies and electronic cords to get my daughter in the habit of putting these items up and out of reach.

Organizing9-before  Budget-friendly & Practical Organizing Solutions for Small Spaces

BEFORE (left) – The fabric hanging unit with daily outfits was a good start. I moved the two-drawer unit in to hold pajamas and socks but items like tights, sunglasses, hair accessories and underpants were mixed in and it was hard to find items.

AFTER (right) – Rearranged top shelf with addition of bins for seasonal items. Added a small bin to the daily outfit unit so she can choose which accessory matches without having to dig in another larger bin.

Deep drawers with pajamas now hold smaller bins for tights, sunglasses and other hair accessories so everything is separated. A separate bin on top of the drawers holds underpants.

Budget-friendly & Practical Organizing Solutions for Small Spaces  Budget-friendly & Practical Organizing Solutions for Small Spaces

Bulky Items Out of the House

Whenever possible try to use a space outside of the house, like your garage, storage shed or attic. We simply don’t have the kitchen cabinet space to hold our large slow cooker or stand mixer, so we store them in a cabinet in the garage.

Yes, you could keep some items on the kitchen counter but this can create a lot of clutter and makes it harder to properly clean the counter tops. Since we also shop at Costco quite a bit we tend to have a lot of bulk items. Bring in only what you need into the house and store the bulk of it elsewhere.


What are your favorite organizing tips? Share below in the comments!