I's Monthly Love: May = Organize!


May's Monthly Love is dedicated to Organization for many reasons.
1) Early May, my friend had a DIY wedding where I learned some to do's and some not to do's
2) Then, my friend, Erica, cleaned out all of her bedroom closets and they are now all empty (WHAT?!  HOW?!)
3) Next, my school is prepping for a floor and cabinet renovation and everything had to be emptied, consolidated or taken home
4) All of the above prompted a "declutter - find a better way - get organized now" mentality that has TAKEN OVER MY THOUGHTS!

First up, let's tackle that DIY wedding day.  Wenny had made and ordered many things herself for her wedding day.  Not only that, she was planning this wedding out of state and shipping items to our friends in Austin.  She had to stay organized since many of her items were not in her physical possession.

She did things right by having clear google docs that were easy to share/collaborate on, had her DIY items planned out as to who was bringing them and who was taking them home, and even created intensive diagrams detailing how decor should be laid out and where important people should be (she's an architect).  If you would like to use some of her documents, leave me a comment!

Other great tips she did right:

  • contact info page (don't forget the bride/groom's #)
  • assigned a wedding party member as the bride/groom's contact person and personal item holder (purse, phone, etc.)
  • planned out ride scenarios for the wedding party and families
  • divided out responsibilities
  • planned out who would take what after the reception was over (very important if you have things that vendors are not responsible for!)
  • labeled boxes with their contents
  • created visuals for the decor team so they could easily set up
To take things one step further, I thought of two things that could help make things even smoother sailing.  We ran into a huge problem with the take down of the wedding.  We had about 3 different people who we borrowed items from, but at the end of the night things were just being shoved into random boxes and random cars so we could make it out of the site on time.  With the 3 people all leaving Austin the next day, and Wenny not being able to take things back with her on the plane, we had to find a way to get all the boxes in one central location and re-sort.  

So tip one:
1) Make sure everything is in a box and is labeled like below!  We had too many things from home not in boxes and it just made things messy.  This will let ANYBODY know what belongs in the box, how to set it up, and how to clean up.

To add to that, here's tip two:
2) Add two more visuals/labels to your boxes: 1 picture of everything that belongs in the box (if there are multiple components), and a label for directions.  Combined with the setup picture, this sounds like a pretty decent plan that won't result in anything being lost!  The direction label would be printed on large sticker labels and slapped onto each box.  It would show who needs to bring the box, who to give the box to, and who should take the box at the end of the night.  The "1 of x" would help each person know how many boxes they should be in charge of so that David would know that he needed to bring 5 total boxes to the wedding and he has box #1, 3, and 4 of the 5.   Anybody who offers to help clean up will also know who to give the box to at the end of the night!  Can't wait to try this out for my friend, Alisa's wedding!

Next up, after tossing and assessing our incredibly disorganized school cabinets and with the end of the year always inspiring greater things for next year, I spent some time on Mrs. Meacham's website.  This lady is INCREDIBLY organized - WHOA!  A few things I want to steal are:


Smellies are given for random student rewards and planned student rewards.  Smellies are given on the insides of student wrists.  Students LOVE gettting Smellies!

Cute idea!  I love a good smell and what an easy way to do it - Lipsmackers!  Yes, kids ARE this easily amused and other times not so much!

Homework Bags

Each bag is a different primary level skill that is impeccably labeled and checked-out.

Label Holder for Book Bins

Her classroom library is organized in pre-arranged and labeled bins.  Books and bins all get labeled!  Plus, she has each kid manage one bin so that every bin is well taken care of!

Planned Lessons in a Copy/Paste Format
Why didn't I start doing this??  Make your lessons copy/paste-able with books pulled and lesson guide all ready to go!  I had my own version of copy/paste but this is TONS better and more easily findable!

Fellow teachers, get inspired by visiting her WELL ORGANIZED website! :)  She is full of wonderful ideas and such an open book!  

So after seeing Erica's closets all emptied out, I wanted to empty mine out as well!  All this stuff was just weighing me down and making me worry and feel stuck in life!  My two extra closets are filled with nostalgia, craft/art supplies, and random things I saved that I was "getting to".  Here are two clever tricks for those crafty knick-knacks without the use of ugly plastic storage systems!

Source: imgfave.com via Isabel on Pinterest

And two inspiration rooms for making my back room a place where I would actually WANT to create in!  I can just picture the LCDF girls hanging out in one of these rooms, having everything readily available at our fingertips, designing away!

Lastly, I've been meaning to create more space in my kitchen cabinets and these guys will help me out!  I just bought the bamboo stacking shelves from Container Store and they look AWESOME!!!  I love them so much!  I even used one in my closet to help divide a shelf in there and it's making me so happy!  The cabinet roll-out drawers I plan to DIY this summer because I refuse to pay $50+ for them - that's just ridiculous!

Kitchen org.

Bamboo Roll-Out Cabinet Drawers
$54 - containerstore.com

Silver 2-Drawer Mesh Organizer
$25 - containerstore.com

Marché Baskets
$17 - containerstore.com

Pro-Grip Shelf Liner
$15 - containerstore.com

Tall Chrome Cupboard Shelf
$15 - containerstore.com

Bamboo Stacking Shelves
$12 - containerstore.com

IKEA Rationell Variera
$7.99 - ikea.com

Zig-Zag Drawer Shelf Liner
$6.99 - containerstore.com

Sliding Cup Rack
$5.99 - containerstore.com

Chrome Stemware Holders
$5.99 - containerstore.com

IKEA Rationell Variera
$4.99 - ikea.com

If you need tool organization for your garage or drawer, look no further than these silhouettes.  They remind me of the Julia Child way of doing things: pegboard and outlines.  Use the template in a drawer with dividers or on pegboard in the garage.

Ok, I lied, one more thing: photo management.  I go to Paislee Press to kick my butt into doing something with my photos flying around in virtual wonderland. Liz is an amazing self-taught graphic designer and digital scrapbooker who creates minimalistic, fine art products.  I absolutely love her work!

Happy Organizing!  Sorry for the wordiness (who wants to read, when you can just look at pictures?!)  Hope you were inspired by something and can take back control of your life!


Kerry at: June 4, 2012 at 4:56 PM said...

Oh my goodness! This is chalk full of AMAZING organization ideas! Something that I totally need in my life now that all of my teaching materials need to take up a permanent residence in my home! THANK YOU!

I adore those creating spaces inspiration photos. I want one!

Also, my mom uses smellies and homework bags and she, well more importantly... her kids!, love them both!

Maigen at: June 7, 2012 at 10:22 PM said...

AMAZING! I love your inspirations rooms! In fact, when I saw that, I added one bedroom to my ideal 1st home wishlist, since I will definitely be needing one of those! ;) You can come help me organize/decorate it!

One funny thing, when I first saw the "smellies," my perception of size was all askew for some reason and I thought it was a box full of spray paint. Without reading in detail, I saw "smellies" and was wondering what on earth you would do with spray paint at a school, but also was quite sure that it would, in fact, be very "smelly"!! LOL!!

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