Category Archives: Organize This Series

Organize This: Back-to-School Paperwork

Raise your hand if school paperwork has started trickling in and you’ve already accumulated a nice pile on your counter, command center, desk or nightstand? Me, me, me! Well…that was until I took an hour or so this past weekend to get a system in order to deal with it all! Henry has been in school just over two weeks now, and the PTA, club, and class info (and artwork!) has been coming home since the first day. Not only was it piling up pretty fast, but I found myself anxious that I would lose track of some of the notices and forms that required action in the near future. We’ve used wall pouches, mail sorters, and a bulletin board in the past, all with varying degrees of success. Lately, however, I’ve been craving a more streamlined and out-of-sight way to organize and store most things, but especially the never-ending flow of school-related papers. As such, I’m giving a binder system a try this year, and thought I’d give you a quick tour of our Back-to-School Paperwork Binder in case you too need a system ASAP!

*affiliate links used

Are you already drowning in all the papers and forms that come home at the start of a new school year? Use this easy method to get them all in order!

When I say “paperwork,” I am mostly referring to administrative- and logistical-type papers that come home from school and sports practices. While I do plan to eventually store “favorite” school work and art projects in this binder too, right now, they are still landing here:

Dotted Bulletin Board

I’ll show you our new setup in Henry’s room in the coming weeks…but the star of his mini command center, the bulletin board, is still going strong. My plan is to display the “latest and greatest” here, and then as new/more stuff comes home, it will either be thrown out or transferred to the binder.

Okay…speaking of the binder, here is how I have mine organized. We have sections for SCHOOL (anything school-wide related) | D8 (this is his class #, so this is where we will store anything class specific) | PTA | SOCCER | SCHOOL WORK (favorite projects and work will eventually land here after their stint on the bulletin board).

Are you already drowning in all the papers and forms that come home at the start of a new school year? Use this easy method to get them all in order!

Lately, I’ve been trying VERY hard to use what I have on hand for projects, so I took a few extra minutes to make my own tabbed binder dividers rather than run out to the store. Not only are these really easy to make, but the extra splash of color and whimsy certainly makes the binder more fun to use!

How to Make Your Own Tabbed Binder Dividers

To make your own tabbed binder dividers, start with some 12×12 cardstock in the color/patterns of your choice. I stuck with primary colors for this school-themed binder!

Making your own tabbed binder dividers is quick and easy! This tutorial shows you how!

Next, use an e-cutter (if you have one), to cut out the divider pages. Mine measure 9×11″ with a 2x2x0.75″ tab on each one. These weren’t images I bought. I simply welded a large rectangle and tiny rectangle together to make the divider shapes. Even if you don’t have an e-cutter, you can easily cut these shapes with a scissors. Just be sure your tabs move down the page with each divider.

Making your own tabbed binder dividers is quick and easy! This tutorial shows you how!

Making your own tabbed binder dividers is quick and easy! This tutorial shows you how!

I can’t resist the urge to make cute labels when I have the opportunity, and these couldn’t be any easier. I simply printed out labels on white label tape with my label maker

Making your own tabbed binder dividers is quick and easy! This tutorial shows you how!

…and then used matching super-skinny washi tape (similar) to add a colorful border to each white label. The easiest and quickest way to do this is stretch the label and tape beyond the edges of the tab. Then flip it over and trim the excess with a small scissors.

Making your own tabbed binder dividers is quick and easy! This tutorial shows you how!

The last step is to add holes to each divider. I like to make my holes a little stronger by reinforcing the edge with some clear packing tape. Simply fold a length of packing tape around the bottom edge of the divider and trim the excess off the ends…

Making your own tabbed binder dividers is quick and easy! This tutorial shows you how!

Then use a 3-hole punch to add the holes. The packing tape will make the edges and holes a little more durable once in the binder.

Making your own tabbed binder dividers is quick and easy! This tutorial shows you how!

And literally in about 15 minutes, using all items I had on hand, I had a colorful and snazzy set of tabbed binder dividers ready for our Back-to-School Binder!

Making your own tabbed binder dividers is quick and easy! This tutorial shows you how!

Ready-to-Print Binder Cover & Spine

Before I set to work sorting out papers and filling up the binder, I wanted to add a cute cover to the clear pocket front so that the whole family would know where papers go! I designed a cover (that matches the Kids Travel Sticker Book) and printed the cover and spine out onto photo paper.

Are you already drowning in all the papers and forms that come home at the start of a new school year? Use this easy method to get them all in order!

I then used some scrapbook paper to fill up the rest of the large binder cover and add a bit more color. Totally not necessary, but little things like this make me smile!

Are you already drowning in all the papers and forms that come home at the start of a new school year? Use this easy method to get them all in order!

I didn’t set out to design this to share, but it occurred to me that you all might like the binder cover and spine as well so I went ahead and uploaded it to The Organization Toolbox for you!  It’s ready-to-print just as you see it above. If you need access to my Organization Toolbox, simply subscribe to THIHM Newsletter below and the Organization Toolbox Password will be delivered straight to your inbox!

(Pssst – If you just subscribed but didn’t receive the final password email, please check your Spam/Trash folders! The password is in case sensitive…please use ALL CAPS!)

Already have access? Visit the Organization Toolbox HERE to access your the School Paperwork Binder Cover and Spine!

With the decorative and functional elements of my binder in place, I set to work sorting out our papers and filing it up. I started with a 3-hole puncher inserted into the front so I will always have one handy. Now I have no excuse to make more piles or just stuff papers into the front of the binder. A quick punch and papers can be filed right away!

Making your own tabbed binder dividers is quick and easy! This tutorial shows you how!

Next, I sorted all of our papers into the correct categories, trashing what was already out-of-date or unnecessary…

Are you already drowning in all the papers and forms that come home at the start of a new school year? Use this easy method to get them all in order!

…and each paper was punched and put behind the right tab.

Are you already drowning in all the papers and forms that come home at the start of a new school year? Use this easy method to get them all in order!

In just about an hour, even with making my own tabbed dividers, I had a snazzy, functional, and easy system for dealing with our Back-to-School paperwork. This binder now sits right near where we empty Henry’s backpack every day. As papers come out, artwork goes on his bulletin board, trash goes right into the trash, and anything that is important gets punched and filed right away. Fingers crossed I’ve found the right system for keeping important papers easily in reach but out of sight this year. I’ll keep you posted on how it works out for us!

Organize This

My Organize This series is all about (relatively) simple and quick organizing projects that make a big difference in your day-to-day life. These aren’t intended to be large organizational overhauls, but rather quick sessions you can accomplish in an afternoon or weekend! This Back-to-School Paperwork project took just an hour but has made a huge difference in our paper piles! Catch up on other projects in this series by clicking on the pictures below:

Organize This Bakeware-013 Organize This Printer Station-01 Organize This Recipes-001 Organize This: Recycling Storage Solutions for a Skinny Pantry Organize This: Thread Organize This: Laundry Supplies Untitled-1-16 Small Toy Storage Bags-001 Organize This: Fabric Organize This: Batteries Organize This: Your Gym Bag Organize Your Cleaning Supplies with these simple & colorful DIY cleaning kits! Get your Lego kits organized and labeled with this simple organizing project! Never loose a manual or piece again! Is your purse a black hole you can't find anything in? Check out my solutions for creating order in this most used item of the day!

I’ve been feeling a little sad and overwhelmed about the state of our house recently, so quick, easy and colorful organization projects like this one go a long way in helping me feel more normal and settled. I hope you found some ideas here that you can use and implement in your own life and home!

Making your own tabbed binder dividers is quick and easy! This tutorial shows you how!

A quick announcement before I close out for the week!

Next week, I’ll be popping in on some off days for some external deadlines I need to meet. My Rustic Wheelbarrow for The Home Depot project will hit the blog on Monday at 1PM EST. I think you guys will love what I came up with, so don’t miss it. AND…I have a long-awaited Chore Chart printable going live next week, so be sure to come back regularly!

Hope you all have a great weekend! See you back here Monday!

Megan Signature

Organize This: Your Purse!

Quite often, I embark on organizing projects, both big and small, because I simply enjoy the process of thinking it through, planning, shopping for supplies, sorting, containing, labeling, and putting it back together in a fun, functional and pretty way. And while I have certainly been guilty of taking on organizing projects just for the kick of it; most often, these projects are born out of a serious need to get some aspect of our home or life in order. Today’s Organize This project was one that I didn’t exactly have time for considering all the crazy things going on in our life right now…but my purse was so out of control and driving me crazy on a daily basis that I had to make time for it! Today, I’m giving you a glimpse inside my purse and sharing some ideas for getting yours’ organized too!

Is your purse a black hole you can't find anything in? Check out my solutions for creating order in this most used item of the day!

It will be no shock to see that I implemented my tried-and-true-and-used-everywhere strategy of corralling like items together in containers. Instead of using bins or baskets like I do around our home, in my purse I implemented a series of pouches to contain and corral the items I need and use the most.

Is your purse a black hole you can't find anything in? Check out my solutions for creating order in this most used item of the day!

Sure, everything looks nice and neat and orderly up there, but that’s not exactly where I started. Everything that is now nicely contained into the little kits you see above started off floating around the bottom and in the pouches of my trusty cobalt blue Vera bradley purse. The day I finally had enough I dumped it out and this is what I found…

Is your purse a black hole you can't find anything in? Check out my solutions for creating order in this most used item of the day!

Years ago when I bought this purse, I had really good intentions by buying these two laminated pouches to corral toiletries and coins. For the most part, they functioned perfectly…it was everything else that didn’t have a place!

Is your purse a black hole you can't find anything in? Check out my solutions for creating order in this most used item of the day!

Even though these two pouches were more or less doing their job, I knew a good purge was in order. I started by emptying everything out and evaluated what I used, what was expired, and what was still necessary…

Is your purse a black hole you can't find anything in? Check out my solutions for creating order in this most used item of the day!

I purged down to just the necessities (and got rid of a lot of trash), and now my on-the-go toiletries fit much better and are much easier to access!

Is your purse a black hole you can't find anything in? Check out my solutions for creating order in this most used item of the day!

We pay for a lot in cash, which means we are constantly using and getting back change. Instead of trying to fish coins out of the tiny pocket on my wallet, I use a small coin purse. I’ve done this since we lived in Okinawa (where much of their currency is in change form) and the habit stuck!

Is your purse a black hole you can't find anything in? Check out my solutions for creating order in this most used item of the day!

With coins and toiletries mostly under control, where was the issue? There were two main culprits cluttering up my purse and driving me crazy: receipts and snacks. Because of the blog, I need to keep a hold of most of my receipts. I am horrible at remembering to take them out of my bag and transferring them to my blog business binder, so it doesn’t take long for every pocket in my purse to look like this:

Is your purse a black hole you can't find anything in? Check out my solutions for creating order in this most used item of the day!

Corralling like items into dedicated “containers” is a solution that works for me time and time again, so I implemented it here too. I started by snagging two of these adorable pouches that I had been eyeing for weeks at Michaels…

Is your purse a black hole you can't find anything in? Check out my solutions for creating order in this most used item of the day!

And then cut out labels that say “THIHM” (for blog receipts) and “YUM” (for snacks) from gold vinyl using my Cricut Explore.

Is your purse a black hole you can't find anything in? Check out my solutions for creating order in this most used item of the day!

Is your purse a black hole you can't find anything in? Check out my solutions for creating order in this most used item of the day!

Into the THIHM pouch went a few pens and highlighters, as well as the few receipts I wasn’t quite ready to file because of returns.

Is your purse a black hole you can't find anything in? Check out my solutions for creating order in this most used item of the day!

I then packed the YUM pouch with a variety of non-perishable snacks for both Henry and I. Both he and I get pretty “hangry,” while out running errands, so keeping this pouch stocked should help prevent grabbing snacks in store checkout lines.

Is your purse a black hole you can't find anything in? Check out my solutions for creating order in this most used item of the day!

Thanks to the addition of these two pouches, everything that usually lands in my purse now has a dedicated place…

Is your purse a black hole you can't find anything in? Check out my solutions for creating order in this most used item of the day!

…and since everything fits juuuust right, there is no spare room to toss in extra things (except for a water bottle!) I’ve been using this system for a few weeks now, and it’s been a game changer for keeping track of the things I need to access the most and keeping purse clutter totally at bay! Yay!!!

Is your purse a black hole you can't find anything in? Check out my solutions for creating order in this most used item of the day!

Organize This

My Organize This series is all about (relatively) simple and quick organizing projects that make a big difference in your day-to-day life. These aren’t intended to be large organizational overhauls, but rather quick sessions you can accomplish in an afternoon or weekend! This Purse Organization project took just an hour but has made a huge difference in my daily routine! Catch up on other projects in this series by clicking on the pictures below:

Organize This Bakeware-013 Organize This Printer Station-01 Organize This Recipes-001 Organize This: Recycling Storage Solutions for a Skinny Pantry Organize This: Thread Organize This: Laundry Supplies Untitled-1-16 Small Toy Storage Bags-001 Organize This: Fabric Organize This: Batteries Organize This: Your Gym Bag Organize Your Cleaning Supplies with these simple & colorful DIY cleaning kits! Get your Lego kits organized and labeled with this simple organizing project! Never loose a manual or piece again!

So how do you keep your purse organized? Do you use pouches, pockets, or something else? Do you change out purses frequently? I’d love to hear the solutions that I have worked really well for you!

Is your purse a black hole you can't find anything in? Check out my solutions for creating order in this most used item of the day!

I hope you all have a wonderful July 4th weekend! I’ll be back here Tuesday with one final project for the Master Bedroom! See you then!

Megan Signature

Organize This: Legos (A Simple Way to Sort and Organize Lego Kits!)

Henry is not quite at an age where he regularly plays and builds with Legos. However, over the last year, we’ve been gifted quite a few Lego kits that with our help, he has been able to assemble and then play with. But after a few days of playing with the new truck or car or helicopter, it often gets put aside. And then as Legos tend to do, they eventually fall apart, get stepped on, get dropped, etc. Add to that a few ruckus playdates and a birthday party with nearly 20 kids, and Henry’s small Lego collection was essentially dismantled, spread across the house, and all mixed together. Over the last few weeks, I kept coming across more and more random Legos…and as I threw them in a basket to “deal with later,” I’d cringed at the thought of the eventual task of getting them all sorted out. Well…I finally decided we needed to deal with the Legos situation before it got worse…and I am pretty proud and excited to show you what we’ve done. Let me show you our simple yet effective way to sort and organize Lego kits so they are contained, accessible and easy-to-find!

Get your Lego kits organized and labeled with this simple organizing project! Never loose a manual or piece again!

By the time I decided to tackle the Lego situation, Henry’s 10 Lego sets were all in various stages of construction and destruction. Some boxes were falling apart, some manuals were missing, and who knew which pieces belonged to which kits. As I said, Henry is still on the young age for Legos; and if he/we ever wanted to re-build any of these kits again, it would be practically impossible until they were sorted out and reassembled.

Get your Lego kits organized and labeled with this simple organizing project! Never loose a manual or piece again!

To get the kits “playable” again, I knew we needed to disassemble anything that was currently still assembled and sort out every last kit using the piece inventory in the back of each manual. When I told Greg what I wanted to do, I’m pretty sure he thought I was nuts. But after 2 movie nights of working together…we had all 10 kits sorted, reassembled, and labeled! It wasn’t nearly as painful as we thought it would be, and the results were more than worth it:

Get your Lego kits organized and labeled with this simple organizing project! Never loose a manual or piece again!

Not only are 9 of the 10 kits (miraculously!!!!) complete, but all the cardboard boxes have been replaced with sturdier, snap-top, stacking boxes, and all but one original manual has been found (which I am pretty sure we will find once the packing starts for our upcoming move).

Get your Lego kits organized and labeled with this simple organizing project! Never loose a manual or piece again!

Sure getting these all these Legos sorted and put back into their original kits was a bit tedious and time-consuming. But it was oddly therapeutic and relaxing to sort and count bricks…and boy am I glad to have our situation under control and a system in place now before the collection grows! (I’m from a big Lego family, so I know with certainty our collection will indeed grow!)

Get your Lego kits organized and labeled with this simple organizing project! Never loose a manual or piece again!

If you have a similar Lego situation on your hands and need to get your Lego kits under control, here is what worked for us!

*This post contains affiliate links. You can read my policies here.

Start by assessing your Lego situation and counting up how many different kits you have. I found the original Lego boxes to be quite frustrating (they collapse easily and don’t close up well after they are opened), so I went looking for a better option. I wanted boxes that had the following criteria:

  • Clear
  • Snap-top lids
  • Stackable
  • Fit the Lego pieces and manuals comfortably
  • Came in a variety of sizes (to hold a variety of sized Lego kits)
  • Were a common and easy-to-find option (so I could buy more down the road as we need them)
  • Inexpensive (because we’d need quite a few!)

I eventually landed on Sterilite® Clip Storage Totes in various sizes, specifically, the long flat size, the mini size, and the large deep box. (NOTE: I found mine at Target, but they are also available on Amazon.)

Get your Lego kits organized and labeled with this simple organizing project! Never loose a manual or piece again!

Once, you’ve settled on boxes, it’s time to painstakingly sort all your Legos back into their kits. Here are a few tips that helped us:

  • As painful as it may be, disassemble everything that is already assembled so you can accurately account for each and every piece
  • Use the inventory that is in the back of each Lego kit manual to identify which and how many pieces belong to each kit
  • Missing manuals? You can find every manual PDF HERE! #lifesaver
  • If you have a lot of jumbled up kits like we did, it helps to sort out the Legos by color first before you start assembling kits. As you need to identify pieces, start in the right color pile and narrow down from there.
  • Note which pieces are missing (more on that below!)
  • Get help…it goes faster as a team effort.
  • Turn on re-runs or a movie you’ve seen before to help pass the time because it can be tedious work!

Once you have all your kits re-assembled, load them into appropriate-sized boxes and include the manual.

Get your Lego kits organized and labeled with this simple organizing project! Never loose a manual or piece again!

As many of you Lego fans know, most kits come with extra and miscellaneous pieces. We loaded all of these random pieces into their own box; and we also made a box full of generic non-kit pieces that can be easily pulled out for playing and building. Right now, Henry doesn’t create his own creations, so having them all in one box is just fine. I am sure down the road we may need a more sophisticated storage system for free building.

Get your Lego kits organized and labeled with this simple organizing project! Never loose a manual or piece again!

Honestly, most of the small Lego kits came together quite quickly. I think we had all 9 sorted in an afternoon. However, we also have an Expert-level kit that contains more than 2400+ pieces. Our Ferris Wheel met an untimely end when it was accidentally pulled down during a playdate. Like our other, smaller kits, if we ever had hopes of putting it together again, it needed to be disassembled and inventoried. Accounting for all the pieces in the Ferris Wheel easily took us twice as long as all the other kits combined…but it is so nice to know we can eventually put it back together again with relative ease!

Get your Lego kits organized and labeled with this simple organizing project! Never loose a manual or piece again!

Keeping the pieces sorted by color wasn’t necessary for the smaller kits; however, reassembling such a large kit will be made much easier by having the colors already sorted out. As such, we loaded these bricks into Ziplock baggies before putting them all in a snap-top tupperware.

Get your Lego kits organized and labeled with this simple organizing project! Never loose a manual or piece again!

One of the most exciting things of this whole organizing adventure was to learn that ALL the little kits were complete (which is a true miracle!) and only 8 pieces were missing from the Ferris Wheel kit (another miracle)! Did you know that you can order replacement bricks from Lego? I am convinced we will find more bricks as furniture is moved out of this house…but in case we don’t..we now have a list of the exact pieces we need to order from Lego to complete the Ferris Wheel again!

Get your Lego kits organized and labeled with this simple organizing project! Never loose a manual or piece again!

With all of the kits sorted, accounted for, and loaded into new (sturdier!) boxes, you can certainly stop there. I, of course, had to add some labels so Henry could see/find what he had. If you’d like to do the same, here is how I did it:

  • Measure the tops and sides of your boxes to determine the best label sizes.
  • Use Google to find and save images of your Lego kits.
  • Using a graphic design program (PicMonkey, Illustrator, Canva, etc), create labels that include the Lego Kit name and number, as well as the picture (if desired).
  • Print the labels onto cardstock or photo paper and trim down with scissors or a paper trimmer.

Get your Lego kits organized and labeled with this simple organizing project! Never loose a manual or piece again!

In addition to the kits, I also made labels for our extra bricks and pieces…

Get your Lego kits organized and labeled with this simple organizing project! Never loose a manual or piece again!

My favorite hassle-free way to attach labels to plastic boxes is with clear packing tape. Cheap, quick, removable…and looks nice, clean and smooth!

Get your Lego kits organized and labeled with this simple organizing project! Never loose a manual or piece again!

I chose to label both the tops and sides of my boxes, so we can quickly and easily tell which kit is which.

Get your Lego kits organized and labeled with this simple organizing project! Never loose a manual or piece again!

Boy it sure is nice to have all those kits back together…but the cute little labels are pretty awesome too!

Get your Lego kits organized and labeled with this simple organizing project! Never loose a manual or piece again!

Get your Lego kits organized and labeled with this simple organizing project! Never loose a manual or piece again!

Now there is no mystery about what kits we have and where the pieces and manuals go when we come across them. Hopefully with these newly organized kits, we won’t have as many random Legos around the house as before!

Get your Lego kits organized and labeled with this simple organizing project! Never loose a manual or piece again!

Ahhhh…so much better!

Get your Lego kits organized and labeled with this simple organizing project! Never loose a manual or piece again!

Although it was somewhat of a happy accident, another reason these turned out to be the ideal boxes is that they fit perfectly on our IKEA Kallax shelves! #meanttobe (NOTE: I also bought a few extra boxes so the next time a Lego kit makes its way into the house, it can immediately be transferred to a better box, hopefully reducing the amount we loose after building!)

Get your Lego kits organized and labeled with this simple organizing project! Never loose a manual or piece again!

I will certainly be putting these away during future playdates and parties…but man it is so nice to have a tidy, functional, and accessible way to store our Legos now!

Get your Lego kits organized and labeled with this simple organizing project! Never loose a manual or piece again!

Get your Lego kits organized and labeled with this simple organizing project! Never loose a manual or piece again!

My goal was to get these kits back to a state where Henry could build them again. Half disassembled and parts spread across the house, there was really no way for Henry to play with his Legos anymore (since he’s not quite to a place where he can spontaneously build on his own). Literally within minutes of me placing all the Legos back on the shelf…Henry brought the little blue car kit into my office and asked to make it. Because of this organizing project, he could easily see and remember what he had again. We sat right down to make the car, and boy was it so nice to be able to easily complete it without having to rummage around or hunt for missing bricks. #gamechanger

Get your Lego kits organized and labeled with this simple organizing project! Never loose a manual or piece again!

Organize This

My Organize This series is all about (relatively) simple and quick organizing projects that make a big difference in your day-to-day life. These aren’t intended to be large organizational overhauls, but rather quick sessions you can accomplish in an afternoon or weekend! This Lego project may take a bit of time depending on how many kits you have, but with some good music and helping hands, it’s easy enough to do today or this coming weekend! Catch up on other projects in this series by clicking on the pictures below:

Organize This Bakeware-013 Organize This Printer Station-01 Organize This Recipes-001 Organize This: Recycling Storage Solutions for a Skinny Pantry Organize This: Thread Organize This: Laundry Supplies Untitled-1-16 Small Toy Storage Bags-001 Organize This: Fabric Organize This: Batteries Organize This: Your Gym Bag Organize Your Cleaning Supplies with these simple & colorful DIY cleaning kits! Is your purse a black hole you can't find anything in? Check out my solutions for creating order in this most used item of the day!

We are just at the beginning of our Lego adventure with Henry, and I am sure our organizational needs will evolve over time as he explores different ways to play and create with them. For now, though, having each kit sorted, complete, and labeled will allow all of us to enjoy these kits again…and when he’s moved on from that particular creation…it now has a home to wait for Henry to come around again!

Get your Lego kits organized and labeled with this simple organizing project! Never loose a manual or piece again!

I hope you all are having a fantastic start to your week! Coming up on Thursday…my long-promised Linen Closet reveal! See you then!

Megan Signature

Organize Your Cleaning Supplies with Colorful Cleaning Kits!

Spring is in the air, and boy oh boy do I have an urge to get spring cleaning! Not only do we have a move coming up, but this time of year always makes me want to get rid of the clutter and sort and label every last thing we own! Please tell me I’m not the only one! This last weekend I got a bee in my bonnet (so to speak) about our cleaning supplies, and set to work not only cleaning them out, but making them pretty darn cute too. Today, I want to show you how to organize your cleaning supplies into convenient (and colorful!) cleaning kits. Not only are they adorable to look at, you’ll be sure to always have your cleaning supplies when and where you need them!

Organize Your Cleaning Supplies with these simple & colorful DIY cleaning kits!

There’s a secret you all should know about me: I love a tidy home and could literally organize clutter all day long…but I hate to clean. Hate it. Every bit of it. I’ve tried cleaning checklists and schedules. I’ve tried cleaning a little every day and all out once a month…nothing makes it easier or more pleasant for me, and I really haven’t come up with a system that feels manageable and successful.

You know what does work for me though? Hiring it out. I’m almost embarrassed to admit that (me who DIYs almost everything!), and I certainly don’t say it to sound snobby. We take money pretty seriously around here…which also means that we put it toward the things that mean the most to our family, help us out where it counts, and keep us happy. For me, having someone to come clean the house each month makes me a happier Megan and gives me the time to focus on Greg, Henry, projects and the blog.

This FREE 5-week email course will help you clean out and improve function in EACH area of your kitchen!

The cleaning lady we have here in Kansas does something I’ve never experienced, and I absolutely love. Instead of bringing her own cleaning supplies, she stocked us up and keeps everything here (so we can use it all between visits). That alone is pretty brilliant on her part. But wait, there’s more! She also planted a small collection of supplies in each bathroom and the kitchen in order to limit the amount she carries around the house. Typically, I am someone who likes all-of-one thing contained in a single spot. But over the last few months of using her system, I have loved being able to walk into the bathroom right before company is coming and clean it without having to dig out or go get the right supplies. I guess I could make a single caddy that could be carried throughout the house; but man, it’s just so convenient to have a dedicated cleaning basket in each bathroom!

Organize Your Cleaning Supplies with these simple & colorful DIY cleaning kits!

Until recently, all the supplies were just hanging out under the sinks in each bathroom. I (finally) went to go corral everything into baskets when (of course) I had to take a few minutes to make them extra cute! My sister is going to make fun of me when she reads this post. She and her husband are convinced I label everything. I tried to convince her that I don’t, but this post isn’t going to help my case! When I thought about creating dedicated kits for each bathroom, color-coordinating them was my first instinct! As such, I made super cute basket and spray bottle labels that match…and used a different color for each kit.

Organize Your Cleaning Supplies with these simple & colorful DIY cleaning kits!

How to Make Basket Labels from Chipboard

I wanted to make large, sturdy labels for each basket, but also wanted to do it using only things I had on-hand. I had some chipboard leftover from another project and knew it would be a great solution! While chipboard isn’t waterproof, it’s nice and sturdy and will hold its shape over time.

To make labels using chipboard, you will need:

  • Chipboard (the thicker the board you choose, the sturdier your labels will be)
  • Acrylic paint (in the color of your choice)
  • Vinyl (in the colors of your choice)
  • Hole puncher
  • Brads (optional, for securing the label to baskets)
  • Tools: utility knife | pencil | scissors | paint brush | e-cutter

Start by drawing your label shape onto the chipboard with a pencil. I simply traced a planter saucer I had in my office!

Here is a fun and easy way to make DIY labels for your bins and baskets!

Next, cut out the shapes from the chipboard. Chipboard can be pretty tough to cut with a scissors. I found that trimming away most of the chipboard with a utility knife allowed me to then get in with a scissors to cut out the final shape. Once cut out, paint the chipboard with acrylic paint.

Here is a fun and easy way to make DIY labels for your bins and baskets!

I knew I wanted to have a silhouette image on my baskets (hence the black background). After playing around in Cricut Design Space with a few different images, I finally decided on a two-toned sprayer bottle that I then cut using an array of brightly-colored vinyl!

Here is a fun and easy way to make DIY labels for your bins and baskets!

Once cut, I applied the vinyl to the painted chipboard rounds!

Here is a fun and easy way to make DIY labels for your bins and baskets!

You can attach the labels to your baskets in a variety of ways (including Velcro, double-sided tape, etc). My new favorite way is to use brads, which require holes in the label. Chipboard is a bit too tough to punch with a regular hole punch so I used this snazzy little tool from StampinUp! I’ve had it forever and it makes putting in perfect holes a cinch!

Here is a fun and easy way to make DIY labels for your bins and baskets!

All that’s left to do is secure the labels to your basket using the brads (or any other method you prefer!).

Here is a fun and easy way to make DIY labels for your bins and baskets!

Of course I couldn’t just stop at the basket labels, I decided to add labels to the spray bottles for each kit as well! Our all-purpose cleaner is made from concentrate, so we use generic bottles and mix our own whenever we run out. The labels are made with more vinyl using images from Cricut Design Space.

Make colorful labels for your cleaning supplies with a Cricut Explore!

With the cute stuff done, it was time to load up the baskets!

Make colorful labels for your cleaning supplies with a Cricut Explore!

Bathroom Cleaning Kits

We have three bathrooms, so I made a kit for each one!

Organize Your Cleaning Supplies with these simple & colorful DIY cleaning kits!

These kits aren’t big or full, but provide just the things we need to walk in and get the bathroom clean in a jiffy. Here is what’s included in each:

The essential supplies for a bathroom cleaning kit!

All of our rags had gotten pretty gross, so I used this opportunity to stock up on new ones. I don’t shop at Walmart often, but when I found this really inexpensive kit of four different cloths, I knew they were perfect for these bathroom-specific kits. And the fact that they come labeled…they were made for me! (I can’t find them online, so check your stores!)

Fill your cleaning kits with multi-purpose rags and cloths!

I corralled all the supplies into my favorite Y-weave baskets from Target. I was in Target the other day, and they don’t seem to carry this “medium” size anymore…however THESE are a great alternative! Functional, simple and oh-so-cute…don’t you think?!?

Organize Your Cleaning Supplies with Colorful DIY Cleaning Kits!

Kitchen Cleaning Kit

In addition to having cleaning supplies in the bathrooms, I also like having some in the kitchen for quick and easy clean up after meal time, for regular wipe downs, and for when we’re entertaining! I organized our cleaning supplies a good long time ago, but as often happens…it had gotten a little out of control in recent months. Take a look:

Under the Kitchen Sink Storage for Cleaning Supplies | Before

Admittedly, these two containers weren’t working very well for us at all. Not only did we not use some of the items in here, but the stuff we did use wasn’t accessible or easy to maintain. The plastic caddy never seemed to be wide enough to hold most bottles and supplies; and the cardboard box was a pretty bad idea for under the kitchen sink!

Under the Kitchen Sink Storage for Cleaning Supplies | Before

I started by cleaning out everything we had under the sink. The cardboard box got tossed, and the plastic caddy was put into our garage sale pile. I then set out to make one more kit!

Make colorful labels for your cleaning supplies with a Cricut Explore!

Here are the things we really need under the sink. A bunch of rags, sponges and brushes to wash a variety of kitchen-related things, our all-purpose cleaner, some quick disinfecting wipes, and our metal polish. Everything else either got tossed or transported to our THESE (where we store our less-used cleaning supplies).

Under the Kitchen Sink Cleaning Supply Kit

Every now and then, it helps to add a basket inside a basket to corral things even better! A simple plastic shoebox holds our rags and sponges in a way that is a bit easier to maintain!

Under the Kitchen Sink Cleaning Supply Kit

Everything fits in comfortably; and it is all easy to pull out and to put back!

Under the Kitchen Sink Cleaning Supply Kit

The problem I wanted to solve under our sink was where to put used rags (other than tossing them in our laundry) and our dead batteries (to save for proper recycling). I dug out two tins I had in our stash and added new labels to them. Admittedly, I’d love a perforated tin/basket for rags, but this will do for now!

Make colorful labels for your cleaning supplies with a Cricut Explore!

They both fit perfectly (along with our dishwasher detergent) in a plastic tray (which is really a basket lid!)…and the whole thing can slide right under our kitchen sink!

Under the Kitchen Sink Cleaning Supply Kit

Ahhhh…much better, don’t you think?

Under the Kitchen Sink Cleaning Supply Kit

It’s pretty hard to make the cabinet under a kitchen sink look glamorous with all those pipes and such…but the baskets and sunny yellow labels sure do help! So excited to have our mess contained under here now!

Under the Kitchen Sink Cleaning Supply Kit

This FREE 5-week email course will help you clean out and improve function in EACH area of your kitchen!

Organize This

My Organize This series is all about (relatively) simple and quick organizing projects that make a big difference in your day-to-day life. These aren’t intended to be large organizational overhauls, but rather quick sessions you can accomplish in an afternoon or weekend! This cleaning kit project is exactly that: quick and easy enough to do today or this coming weekend! Catch up on other projects in this series by clicking on the pictures below:

Organize This Bakeware-013 Organize This Printer Station-01 Organize This Recipes-001 Organize This: Recycling Storage Solutions for a Skinny Pantry Organize This: Thread Organize This: Laundry Supplies Untitled-1-16 Small Toy Storage Bags-001 Organize This: Fabric Organize This: Batteries Organize This: Your Gym Bag Get your Lego kits organized and labeled with this simple organizing project! Never loose a manual or piece again! Is your purse a black hole you can't find anything in? Check out my solutions for creating order in this most used item of the day!

I hope this cheerful post motivates you to tackle your cleaning supplies if they are out of order! AND…if you are working you way through the Conquer Your Kitchen course…this is a great way to tidy up under the kitchen sink, don’t you think?

DIY Colorful Cleaning Kits to Corral Cleaning Supplies

Also, if you are looking for a great set of cleaning printables (including printable cleaning solution labels!), be sure to check out my collection of over 200+ kitchen organization printables to get every area of your kitchen, meal planning, and grocery shopping organized and on track!

Ready to organize your kitchen? These 200+ printable pages can help!

Megan Signature

P.S. Need more great cleaning kit inspiration? My friend Emily has an awesome Car Kit idea! You can find it here!

Car Cleaning Kit

Organize This: Your Gym Bag

On Tuesday, I shared with you all some great printable fitness trackers and food journals and promised I would be back with the post that actually inspired those printables: a look at my newly organized gym bag! Since getting back into teaching group exercise last Fall, I have been pulling a lot of hours at the gym. In addition to teaching 4 classes of my own each week, I’ve also been taking classes and subbing for others on a pretty consistent basis. While getting back to actually teaching classes was just like riding a bike, it’s taken me a little while to get back into the groove of the “logistics” of teaching, including prepping for classes, having all my supplies with me each time, and getting into a good routine with showering/getting ready at the gym after teaching. After being caught at the gym without my music, brush or towel one too many times, I decided my gym bag needed a bit of an overhaul…and it was the perfect project for my next “Organize This” feature!

Organize This: Your Gym Bag

A few years ago, I picked up this oversized tote from the Vera Bradley outlet for crazy cheap. I didn’t have a use for it then, but the size and colors totally won me over. When I went back to the gym a few months ago, it was the perfect bag because it was sturdy, cute…and very roomy! Until last week however, the roominess proved a bit of a hassle. Everything I brought and needed for teaching was often floating around the bottom; and then when I added in my towel, toiletries and clean clothes, everything was always stuffed in and downright inaccessible.

Organize This: Your Gym Bag | Before

I started like I do every single organizing project…I emptied out the bag, took stock of what I had in there, and determined what I really needed. I got rid of the stuff that didn’t belong and then went shopping for a few inexpensive supplies to help corral and organize things a bit better.

Organize This: Your Gym Bag | Before

A quick trip to Target and a few easy DIYs later, I now have a gym bag that is as cute as it is functional! Let me show you everything I have in here in detail!

Organize This: Your Gym Bag | After

One of the things I desperately needed was to assemble kits for the items I use for teaching, as well as the items I need to get clean and dressed afterwards. I found these striped totes in the Target Dollar Spot and knew they were the perfect size for what I needed to carry around.

Organize This: Your Gym Bag | Pouches

To help me tell the two pouches apart when I’m reaching for them quickly, I made some simple vinyl labels using my Cricut. The pouch with the dumbbell on it holds all of the little things I need for teaching. My microphone belt, microphone covers, extra batteries for the microphone, my old phone/charger for backup music, some extra adapter cords for connecting to the stereo, and a stopwatch are all I use these days. I realize most of you are probably not fitness instructors, but you could assemble a similar pouch to hold things like lifting gloves, heart-rate monitor, ear phones, music player, chargers, etc.

Organize This: Your Gym Bag | Fitness Pouch

The other pouch holds my basic essentials for getting clean and ready after a workout. I find that if I shower at the gym before coming home, my whole day goes much smoother. When I wait to shower at home, the next thing I know it’s 4pm, and I am still in my workout clothes because I got busy doing something. Time and time again, I found myself at the gym without my toiletries so I finally did the common sense thing and went and bought a second set of everything to keep in my gym bag at all times. Why oh why did I wait so long to do this? Just this week, I was running late and didn’t have time to find everything. Since it was all pre-packed, I just had to grab fresh clothes and head out the door!

Organize This: Your Gym Bag | Hygiene Pouch

Now all the little bits and pieces that were floating around loose at the bottom of my bag are corralled into cute little kits that I can grab with ease!

Organize This: Your Gym Bag | Pouches

Having my toiletries always at the ready is just part of the solution, however! I also needed a way to easily and compactly store my clean clothes and a towel.

Organize This: Your Gym Bag | Personal Items

In looking for a solution for my clothes, I remembered I had a bunch of packing cubes from EzPacking. They are designed to hold clothes perfectly…and sure enough, the medium size is perfect for holding a set of clothes, shoes, undergarments, and accessories with ease! It’s also perfect for wet, smelly clothes and shoes post-workout…now my bag can stay dry and clean no matter how hard I workout!

Organize This: Your Gym Bag | Pack Your Clothes

But my favorite solution in this entire overhaul? My towel solution. Before, I was using a big, oversized beach towel that took up my entire bag. Not only did I want some dedicated towels for the gym, but I also wanted a way to keep them tight and rolled up in my bag. I bought two $5 towels from Target and devised my own strap system that I am beyond smitten with. Now, I will always have a clean towel ready for my gym bag that isn’t too bulky but surely gets the job done…and it will stay wrapped up no matter what! Don’t worry, I have the full tutorial for these strapped towels coming up for you soon!

Organize This: Your Gym Bag | DIY Rolled Towel with Velcro Straps

Now on gym mornings, I just need to grab one of my dedicated gym towels and a fresh set of clothes, and I’m ready!

Organize This: Your Gym Bag | Personal Items

Last but not least, one more item in my bag that needed updating was my Fitness Binder. Each instructor has a different way of keeping track of notes, workouts, choreography, and routines…and my way has always been in a binder. My previous binder, however, was literally falling apart and had papers falling out of it in every direction.

Organize This: Your Gym Bag | Fitness Resources

While I was getting the rest of my bag in order, I figured I’d update my binder as well. I snagged a fresh white binder and made a snazzy new cover. I then finally labeled all my tabs by workout type…which is another small task I wish I had done years ago!

Organize This: Your Gym Bag | Fitness Binder

Behind each tab are all my routines and exercises. About 8 years ago (when I was teaching and training like a crazy woman) I had the forethought to actually sit down and type out all of my routines, exercises and programs. When I started back teaching a few months ago, I simply reached for my binder and everything was there, ready for me! I thank myself every single day for doing that years and years ago because it has made getting back into teaching so much easier. Each morning when I go to prepare a workout, I simply grab my binder and pick the routines/exercises for the day! Again, I realize many of you may not have a need for a binder…but if you follow certain workout plans, diet plans, lifting programs or are on a weight-loss journey and you are tracking your progress, assembling a binder is a great way to keep everything handy!

Organize This: Your Gym Bag | Fitness Binder

With everything now organized and corralled into functional sets, my bag isn’t nearly as full, and pulling certain items out doesn’t require me to empty my entire bag!

Organize This: Your Gym Bag

I’ve been using my newly-organized bag for about a week now and all I can say is “why did I wait so long?!?!” I love being at the gym, but don’t want to be there longer than I have to be. Having a dedicated set of toiletries and a teaching kit has helped me get in, do my job, and get out with ease!

Organize This: Your Gym Bag | Before & After

Organize This: Your Gym Bag | Before & After

Organize This

My Organize This series is all about (relatively) simple and quick organizing projects that make a big difference in your day-to-day life. These aren’t intended to be large organizational overhauls, but rather quick sessions you can accomplish in an afternoon or weekend! This gym bag project is exactly that: quick and easy enough to do today or this coming weekend! Catch up on other projects in this series by clicking on the pictures below:

Organize This Bakeware-013 Organize This Printer Station-01 Organize This Recipes-001 Organize This: Recycling Storage Solutions for a Skinny Pantry Organize This: Thread Organize This: Laundry Supplies Untitled-1-16 Small Toy Storage Bags-001 Organize This: Fabric Organize This: Batteries Organize Your Cleaning Supplies with these simple & colorful DIY cleaning kits! Get your Lego kits organized and labeled with this simple organizing project! Never loose a manual or piece again! Is your purse a black hole you can't find anything in? Check out my solutions for creating order in this most used item of the day!

I hope you guys enjoyed getting a glimpse into my “other life,” and if you’re a gym rat like me…hopefully I’ve inspired  you to take a few minutes to get your gym bag more tidy and organized. Like with so many of these smaller projects, the impact on your day-to-day life can be profound! Knowing I no longer have to fret if I have everything I need is a huge load off…and I can get my workout in and get on with my day with minimal hassle and stress!

A Look Inside My Gym Bag

I’d love to know what your gym bag looks like! How do you keep it organized? What kinds of things do you always take to the gym? If you have any great solutions, please share in the comments below! This week’s dresser makeover is taking me a  bit longer than the last 3…fingers crossed I have pictures up for you on Saturday! See you then!

Megan Signature