Wednesday, October 31, 2012

My Life Organized in a Household Binder

I have fallen in love and it's not with a human!  That didn't sound good but who gives a crap.  I am in love with my new system for organizing EVERY part of my life. This new system includes a binder full of about 40 pages of pure bliss. It will help even the most unorganized person find some peace in their world of chaos.

If you feel like your head is spinning due to following scenarios then you have come to the right place:

1. piles and piles of paperwork
2. bills to pay
3. greeting cards to mail
4. birthday's to remember
5. kids important school paperwork getting lost
6. trying to figure how much food you bought for last year's birthday party in order to plan for this years
7. forgetting what you already have in your pantry when are food shopping
8. budgeting for the holiday season
9. forgetting passwords
10. prioritizing home improvement projects

The list goes on right?!? And keeping track of all of that can be very overwhelming. What if I told you that you could access all of that information in one place. Are you jumping up and down? Because I sure was when I found this binder kit on Etsy. This kit has EVERYTHING you might need and more. The best part is it is all housed in one spot.  

How I used to organize my life 

Before I share all about my new Household Binder I want to give you a little background of how I used to stay organized.  If you didn't know I have a Type A personality and I don't just like everything in it's place, I LOVE everything in it's place.  I already had a pretty good grip on my household organization {auto maintenance, household maintenance, updated fire extinguishers/smoke detectors, organizing/filing paperwork, and keeping track of finances}. The only problem was each area was organized in a different place.  For instance: all of my passwords are kept in here in this iphone app called KEEPER...
All of my important paper documents {mortgage docs, medical forms, receipts, paystubs, etc} are stored here in my filing cabinet.  Nothing fancy here but it is organized PERFECTLY to my liking.  

All of my Holiday/Birthday/Special Event budgets are logged here in these notebooks. I like to keep track of old christmas shopping lists and previous birthday lists so I don't repeat gifts.  I also like to keep track of how much money I gift to people for weddings, graduations, etc. so I am consistent. 

All of my food shopping lists are kept here in this ShopShop app and my Target shopping lists are usually kept in my Notes app.
                 ShopShop App                                                          Notes App

As you can see I micromanage EVERYTHING and I am a complete control freak. I have many more apps with lots more info stored and a couple more notebooks/excel spreadsheets tracking my spending. Even though this system was working just fine, I just always had this passing thought {more like a feeling of panic} that what if something happens to my iphone/ipad/macbook pro and I lose everything? AHHHHHHHH  I would DIE! I am almost too dependent on technology and that is NOT a good thing.  Yes, it's great to have an iCloud account but there is still something to be said for backing everything up on a portable hard drive or keeping everything filed the good ol' fashioned way. That is theeeee MAIN reason why I love my new binder. Buying this binder kit was the BEST $40 I have ever spent.  With no further ado I would love to share my new level OCD!  Check her out.....

Front pockets are great for housing stamps, labels, weekly receipts, and greeting cards....

There are a wide variety of documents in this binder and to get a full list of what comes in this kit click here.   I only took pictures of few of my sheets and then I attached some screen shots of some others.  Majority of my papers are already filled out and I didn't want to reprint blank ones just for photos. I wasn't about to share all of my private biz!

I actually added some of my own spreadsheets and tried to mimic the look so I could keep the flow of my binder cohesive.  I swear by this Day to Day Spending sheet.  You can't budget for anything unless you know exactly what you are spending right NOW.  At the end of every week I gather all of my receipts and I tally my totals here on this form.  After the month is over I take those numbers and apply them to my yearly expense report {separate excel spreadsheet} which tracks my income vs. my spending for the whole year.  IT'S AWESOME to see how much you can really save if you give yourself a budget and FOLLOW it.

Once I learn to cook I will use this one....  LOL

This one is CLUTCH!  I am always letting food go bad in my fridge and I never clean it out. {this might have something to do with me not cooking} This will keep me on the ball.

There are a bunch of pages that I am not using from this kit because I don't need them {yet} = babysitter notes page, petsitter notes page, & contacts list. With all of the pages I am using I have a total of 7 different sections in this binder. {7 Sections: everyday stuff, finances, design work, all things kitchen, party planning/events/holidays, all things blog, & household maintenance} One of my favorite sections is my Design Work tab. I keep lots of helpful documents here. I have a growing list of DIY projects and the steps for attacking them along with a 3 1/2 page long list of all the paint colors I have used in the past 5 years. This makes remembering some of my favorite colors super easy.  

FYI- I created this form and it won't be found in the purchased kit

This Paint Reference sheet isn't included in the binder kit either.  It was an old freebie over at IHeart Organizing.

Here are a couple screen shots of some spreadsheets that I couldn't share because they are all filled with my personal info. I use these the most....


I am such a dork and I get WAY too excited about this kind of stuff but I know I am NOT alone.  I know lots of people probably already clicked on the Etsy link and purchased their own binder kit before they finished reading this post and that makes me so happy. Please let me know if you purchase it, I would love to hear about your transformation.  I'll be back soon to share how I made my own dividers/folders for my binder. 

Well... are you thinking I am a total psycho and I am way too organized or are you wanting to jump on the bandwagon?  Dish.....

A special THANKS to Jen over at IHeart Organizing for doing all of the leg work to make this awesome binder kit for all of us! 

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

10 Design Tips That This Girl Lives By

There are many secrets in the design world that are all too often KEPT secrets. I love finding out new design tips that will help make my home a more comfortable, organized, happy place to live.  Isn't that what we all want?  There are a ton of do's and don'ts out there and I am here to share some of my favorite do's. 

Here are 10 guidelines that I always revisit when I am transforming a space:  

1. Is my TV too big or too small for my space?  To figure out what size TV best fits your space, measure the distance in inches from where the TV will sit to the edge of your sofa, divide that number by 2.5.

2. What makes an area rug too big?- always leave 18" between your area rug and the closest wall. Unless you have an incredibly small space.  

3. How high do I hang my wall art?   When hanging wall art or a picture frame always hang it at eye level. Due to our varying heights the average height up from the floor is anywhere between 55"-60".

4. Clutter Free Countertops-  When it comes to your kitchen countertops try to keep them as clear as possible. Rule of thumb is NO MORE than 4 small appliances on the counters at a time. The more counter space the bigger your kitchen will look. If you have a smaller kitchen I would suggest only 2 appliances out at a time.

5. Dining room rugs- Not sure how far your area rug should extend out from your table?  Allow 36" from the edge of the table to the end of your rug.  That is plenty of space to be able to push a chair in and out without having it come off the rug. 

6. Stocking Bookshelves- Do not pack your books onto a bookshelf and leave no room for them to breathe, especially if you are accessorizing with things other than books. 70% rule=  try to only fill your shelves about 70% of the way.  More than 70% would be considered TOO MUCH and would probably give you a headache.

7.  Space planning- If you are trying to position a sofa and an arm chair in a space and you aren't sure how far away they should be from each other, remember the 4-9 rule! Keep the two pieces about 4ft away from each other and no more than 9ft away. You still want to be able to have a conversation without having to scream across the room. MAJOR no not line your walls with furniture. Even just sliding a couple pieces off of the walls will create a more intimate space.

8. Keep furniture away from a doorway- On average you should keep any furniture about 36" from any doorway.  You don't want to walk through a door way and run into the side of a table or sofa.  This obviously doesn't apply to entry ways and any small living spaces.

9. What is a good height for a chandelier over a dining table? Anywhere from 30-34" up from your kitchen/dining table is a perfect height for your chandelier.  It is just high enough so that you can still see the people across the table from you. 

10. Mounting a TV- This is an easy tip to remember. Go sit on your couch and look at the wall where you want your TV mounted and the center of your TV should be at your eye level. Makes sense right? Of course you can allow for the top or bottom of your TV to be at eye level as well.  So if you are sitting on your couch and any part of your TV is at eye level, Ya did good! 

Feeling inspired to do some rearranging after reading this? Go get 'er done!  If you have any questions during the process, feel free to ASK AWAY! I would also love to hear about any design guidelines that you lovely readers live by.  

Monday, October 29, 2012

DIY- Star Tie Up Shades

Hurricane Sandy is here and she is a mean bitch!  We have been watching the news all day and praying that everyone who decided to wait out the storm {crazy idea}will be okay and that our beloved beach house that we rent will stay intact. Time to get my last post in before our power goes out.  For all of you out of towners, enjoy this post and keep us in your prayers!    

My DIY star tie up shades: Oh how I love thee.....

This DIY project was done for the windows in my nephew's bedroom.  I am in the middle of transforming his space into a camo/military themed room.  In a recent post  I shared my steps on transforming this dresser with some Chalk Paint, new hardware, and some craft paper.  In that post I shared my excitement for this DIY project. I am so proud of this project because it isn't something I would normally tackle.  Sewing projects are NOT for me and if there is any chance I can take a shortcut around sewing....I'M GAME!!!  So that's exactly what I did.  I had originally planned on doing floor to ceiling drapes but the bunk beds and dresser were interfering with how the panels were laying on the floor so instead I went with this tie up shade from Target.  My sister already has a roller shade installed inside the window frame so that will be the main source of light control. The only problem was I felt like these shades were REALLY blah especially because the walls are already a creme color. That's when the wheels started turning....

Before I left Target I grabbed one of these brown 63" panels {shown below} not knowing exactly what I wanted to do with it yet. When I got home it finally hit me, "why not cut out a couple of stars and adhere them onto the tie up shades to go along with the patriotic/military theme?"  Then I got lazy and thought about how attaching a bunch of stars might be very time consuming.  I was interesting in a quick DIY so instead I decided to do one big star on each shade. I used the one brown curtain panel for the stars because I thought it would be a nice pop of color on the light creme shades.  Now the only problem was to figure out how to get the perfect sized star shape to trace. 

I ran to Jo Ann Fabrics and they had a whole slew of stars to choose from.  I picked up this star with every intention of tracing it and then returning it the next day.  No harm in that right? Use and 

After I traced the two stars and cut them out, I gave both stars frayed edges.  I didn't want a refined, straight edge look. I liked the look of a distressed frayed military star.  To fray the edges you just brush the edge of the scissors against the grain, if you will {my golf lingo}, just like you are trying to curl a piece of ribbon.  

Then I pressed each star to get any wrinkles out before I adhered them to the tie up shade.  I had a bath towel over top of my kitchen table along with a table cloth to create a wide flat surface to iron on.  I also pressed the tie up shades. 

I layed the star on the shade to get an idea of where I wanted it. I measured and found the center point on the shade and I put the top point of the star on that mark. I am already LOVING it at this point.

I picked up some iron on, no sew, hem tape and started cutting pieces to line the edges of the star.  

This tape is super easy to work with. You just peel the paper side off and put the tape in between the two fabrics you are trying to bond.  Like so.....

Lay your top fabric over the tape and press with the iron for 5 secs. Voila!  Fabric is now bonded. All I have to do now is repeat that 20 more times...Ahhhhh! 

SO WORTH IT...and I have to admit this DIY was dummy proof.  The directions on the hem tape were easy and doing each point of the star at a time helped me keep the star in place.

I love how the frayed edges turned out, subtle but just enough to give it that detailed look. Did I mention I am a "detail" girl?  I love knowing/researching/completing details of everything, especially fun DIY projects like this one.

What do you think?  Feeling up for an awesome NO SEW project?  I love that crap, anything to keep me from sewing. I will have to stop avoiding that eventually but for right now I love a good shortcut.  Swooning over this hard core.... I might have to do something else in this room just so I can blog about it again.

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