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I {Heart} Target + Hobby Lobby

2 Aug

Two of my absolute favorite stores are Target and Hobby Lobby.  This past Saturday, I was fortunate enough to visit both.  I did a little shopping and thought I’d share my finds with you.

I went to Target first and picked up…

This is a weekly planner that had me at “better organizing”.  I have been looking for a family calendar for a while now, but I knew we needed more than just a monthly calendar on the wall.  Been there.  Done that.  Didn’t work.  So, when I saw this beauty, which would allow me to color-code {swoon}, I immediately placed it in my cart.

This is where I put it.  This is our family’s “launch pad” of sorts.  That bottom basket holds Little Man’s shoes.  The next shelf up, with the pink box, holds our files.  The next shelf holds two expandable filing folders; one of which holds medical-related paperwork and the other holds receipts {not my ideal system… will probably change it up soon}.  The top shelf holds my most referenced books, our “mobile command center“, and my umbrella.

Here’s a closer look at the very top.  I have an Eiffel Tower that I bought at Target a long time ago, an IKEA vase full of ultra-thin sharpies that I use as pens for color-coding inside my planner {OCD, much?}, and the little wooden tray holds this:

The notepads are for the weekly planner and I figured this was a good place for all of our stray “regular” pens.  In the photo above, the wooden tray has a photo of my sister and her husband poking out of it {in case you were wondering}.

This is another one of my Target purchases this weekend.  It’s just your run-of-the-mill, plain-jane, $9.99 monthly and weekly planner.  Here’s a peek at the inside pages:

The inside has a little bit of personality, but the front cover needed help.  So, I bought some of these at Hobby Lobby:

Got any idea what these are?

I kind of forgot to take a picture of the package before I ripped it open.  {What can I say?  I was too excited…}

But here’s what they are:

They are, as I’ve affectionately named them, “pink crystal swirly things”.  {Obviously NOT the technical term.}  This photo shows that I was able to “test out” how things looked before I permanently attached them.  Since I liked how things looked, I peeled them off the clear backing and pressed down.  Here’s what it looks like now:

Sorry for the poor photo {all of them aren’t that great because I used my phone}.  But you get the idea of how they look.

Ground-breaking?  No.  An improvement?  Yes.

Will these be what I keep on the planner?  Maybe.  At least, for now they are.

Other Hobby Lobby purchases include:

This is Zebra print scrapbook that I’m going to use it to create a “Dreams Book”.  I know it may sound a bit middle-school-ish of me, but I figure it can be something I look through when my road to business-ownership get a bit bumpy and tiresome.  I plan to include inspirational photos for things like: my future office, logo/branding, working wardrobe, and other business ideas.  I may share a few pages with you once I complete them {if you promise not to laugh at my scrap booking skills.}

Other Target purchases included a spiral notebook and a “Finn McMissile” car {from Cars 2}.  A certain little boy is in love with the Cars movies and I bought it because he was being such a good shopping companion.  {I had him for 4 hours, by myself, in and out of the rain – and was able to get in a grocery run!  That may not be impressive to some, but at the end of the day I felt like I had accomplished something!}

Other Hobby Lobby purchases included: those ultra-thin sharpie pens I mentioned earlier as well as some scrapbook paper for my “Dreams Book”.  I also bought two “refill packs” for the scrapbook because I knew I’d need more pages than what what provided.

DID YOU GO SHOPPING THIS WEEKEND?

WHAT DID YOU PURCHASE?

Organized Home: Products for an Entry/Mudroom

23 Mar
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A little over a week ago I shared some tips on organizing your entry/mudroom and as promised, I’m here to tell you about some of my favorite products for this area of the home.  I hope to show you both the items that we currently own as well as those that are on my wish list.  With that being said, if I show you an item that I already own, the version I use in this post may be a different brand or style from the one I have, but the idea is still the same.

The entryway is where I personally store my mobile command center, that way I can easily sort the mail as I come in the door rather than letting it create piles in my kitchen.  The file box I have was purchased from Target a while back, so I’m not sure if they still have it.  I checked their website but didn’t find it, however…

Mesh Tabletop File by Design Ideas®
I did find a look-a-like (above) from Organize.com for $19.99 (which sounds like about how much I paid for mine, if I remember correctly).  If metal mesh isn’t your style, check out this cute option:
Flora Desktop File Organizer - White with Blue Accents
This option is also from Organize.com and is $17.49.  Slightly cheaper than the first option and, in my opinion, way cuter!  🙂  Seriously, how cute would this one look with colorful hanging files and labels?
Now that you’ve got your mobile command center established to corral all of that paper clutter, the next thing to look at is a way to store all those keys, jackets, shoes, etc that seems to accumulate by the door! 
For keys, you have several options, but I have two to recommend to you.

#1 – A good, “old-fashioned” key holder (which is what I currently use):
Brainerd 4-Hook White Key Rail
This is the 4-hook white key rail from Lowes (currently $6.42).  We actually have this exact key rail, except we painted ours black to blend into our decor a little better.
#2 – A bowl/mug to simply toss your keys in:

These cute monogrammed mugs from Anthropologie would be the perfect place to keep your keys from growing legs and walking off.  At only $6  each, I could get an “A” for me and a “J” for Hubby.  These mugs could also be used as a pencil/paint brush holder or could hold a petite flower arrangement.  Oh yeah, and you could also go the conventional route and drink your coffee from it.  🙂
Now, for all those pesky shoes that seem to multiply by the door!  We actually use a shoe shelf from Target that we purchased a long time ago, so I’m not even sure they sell it anymore.  But, I did find a similar option:
Product Image Honey-Can-Do 3 Tier Deluxe Bamboo Shoe Shelf
This one is also from Target and costs $39.99.  But, you could also store them like this:

Of course, this option is from IKEA and is more expensive than the first ($100 per four compartment unit) but I love that it keeps the shoes concealed.  Really though, $200 to get the kind of storage in the above photo isn’t bad considering something like this costs more:
Aubrie Shoe Storage Bench
This shoe storage bench costs $339 and that’s the sale price!  (Reg. $429!!)  Seriously?  I could buy two of the IKEA units above PLUS a chair or ottoman for much cheaper than that!
Next, let’s see what we can find to get those jackets and totes in order.  How about something like this?

Simple rows of hooks can’t be beat when it comes to getting those coats, purses, sweaters, and backpacks off the floor. 
Another tip for your entry/launch pad:
KASSETT Magazine box with lid green Width: 13 " Depth: 15 " Height: 11 ¾ " Package quantity: 2 pack  Width: 33 cm Depth: 38 cm Height: 30 cm Package quantity: 2 pack
These boxes are sold at IKEA and cost only $12.99 for a pack of 2!!  Assign a box to each family member for their lunch boxes/papers/etc so that their belongings don’t wander all over the rest of the house.  Plus, one could serve as an “outgoing” box by storing library books to take back, items to mail, or purchases to return.
Assigning things to each member of the family works especially well when younger kids are involved, especially if you put their name on it.  For example, placing your little one’s name above their coat hook and on their shelf in the mudroom gives them a sense of ownership and motivates them to use it.  Also, if you have several children, considering assigning a color to each child and use that color to identify their belongings (Johnny’s items are blue, Suzy’s things are pink, Emily’s belongings are purple and Ben’s stuff is green).
Of course there are a ton of organizing products you can use to get your entry/mudroom in order, including designing your own customized closet system if you have that kind of money/space to do so.  However, it’s usually the simple solutions that work the best.  In fact, you probably already own some things that you can reassign to your entry that would help you organize that space a little better.
How do you organize your entry/mudroom?  Is there a particular product that you love?  Please share!  🙂
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Organized Home: Entry/Mudroom

14 Mar
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Welcome to the first installment of the Organized Home Series.  My goal is to walk you through the typical rooms in a home and show you how it can be organized.  I’m thinking I will focus on one room per month.  So, for the rest of March, we are focusing on the Entry/Mudroom.

I once heard that the entry/foyer and mudroom to your home should ideally function as a filter between the chaos outside and the calm you’re aiming for inside.  Meaning, everyone in your family has papers, sports equiment, shoes, jackets, and much more that pass through your outer doors on a daily basis.  If your entry or mudroom is functioning as a filter, then it will catch clutter at the door before it has a chance to work it’s way into the other rooms of your home.

So, how do we get an entryway or mudroom under control?

STEP ONE: BRAINSTORM & PLAN
 
Stand in front of the space and visualize how you want it to function.  Remember, function comes before beauty.  It’s pointless if it’s pretty but you can’t use it!
This is the fun part: gather magazines and go online to find inpiration.  Clip them out and put them somewhere easily accessible: file away in a binder, tack up on a bulletin board, or paste to a poster board.  Gathering inspiration will help motivate you to begin because it shows you how your space can potentially look.
Based on what you know needs to be in this space; what systems are working and which ones are not; and what you’ve chosen as your inspiration, begin to make a plan.  If you know you’ll store your jackets here, then make note that you’ll need some sort of coat rack or hooks.  But be careful not to go out and purchase any new organizing tools just yet.  We’ll get to that, I promise!
STEP TWO: DECLUTTER

Begin by removing everything from the space and putting it in a pile somewhere that will allow plenty of room to sort and purge (Living Room Floor?).  After you have moved everything, the entryway should be completely clear so that it is a blank canvas.  You want to be able to look at the space in a fresh way so as to not merely jump back into your old way of storing things.
Once you’ve gotten everything in a pile, begin sorting.  If it’s trash, toss it immediately.  Any jackets or shoes that not longer fit can be donated to your local Salvation Army or Goodwill.  If an item belongs in another room, return it promptly.  Finally, categorize the items that are left: jackets, shoes, sports equipment, mail/paperwork, backpacks/purses, keys, sunglasses, cell phones, pens, recycling, gardening supplies, etc. 
Now that you can clearly see exactly what will go back in this space, refer to your plan and if necessary, tweak it.  Didn’t think you had this many shoes?  Make sure your new plan accomodates the number you actually have.  Once you’ve finalized your plan, you may shop for any new organizing tools that will help keep your entry in shape.  (Stay tuned: I will have a follow up post for you that outlines some of my favorite organizing tools for an entryway/mudroom!)
STEP THREE: CLEAN

Take advantage of your empty mudroom and deep clean all the nooks and crannies.  If your pressed for time, at least dust and sweep.  Remember, this is your opporunity to start fresh and you wouldn’t want dust bunnies to detract from your newly organized space. 
STEP FOUR: PUTTING IT ALL TOGETHER
 
Congratulations!  At this point in the game you’ve come a long way from the messy entryway that you started with.  You’ve found inspiration, made a plan, decluttered and sorted, purchased new organizing tools, and deep cleaned!  Now for the fairly easy and most rewarding part: putting it all together.
Using your plan, take what you’ve purchased and begin creating your new space.  Put together any new furniture (shelving, cubbies, etc).  Hang those hooks or shelves.  Place those baskets and bins where they’ll be most useful. 
When you’re done putting your entryway/mudroom back together, CELEBRATE!!  Go to the movies or get your nails done with a girlfriend.  Take your family out to dinner and tell them all about it (showing excitement is contagious so hopefully they’ll catch it and pitch in to help you keep the space organized).  You’ve worked hard and you deserve it!
STEP FIVE: MAINTAIN
Storage System
(Source Unknown)
This can be either fairly easy or very difficult depending on whether or not the new systems (shelving, baskets, etc.) you put into place are working for your family.  You want to keep in mind that it can take a while for a habit to be established.  For example, just because you now have hooks for backpacks doesn’t mean your son will use them immediately, especially if he’s been tossing it on the floor for quite some time. 
Give yourself and your family a month or so to adjust to the new set up.  Then, reevaluate.  Are your children using the hooks and cubbies you purchased or are they back to their old ways?  If they’ve reverted, why aren’t they using them?  You can simply ask an older child for feedback.  Generally if there’s a legitimate reason (hooks are out of his/her reach), they will tell you.  If they cannot give you a specific reason, it may be that they are being a little on the lazy side by not putting things where they go.
For kids, consider rewarding them during that first month.  Each day they put all of their things in their new home, they get a gold star.  Seven gold stars a week earns them $5, a new book, or lunch date with you at their favorite restaurant.  You know your kids, so you know what kind of rewards will motivate them.  You can get in on the rewards yourself because forming a new habit is often a challenge.  It’s okay to allow yourself to buy a new magazine, eat a piece of chocolate, or scrapbook for one, uninterrupted hour if you’ve put things in their rightful place all week.
THAT’S ALL FOLKS
And that, my friends, is the basics when it comes to organizing an entry/mudroom.  If you have any questions pertaining to your own space, feel free to leave a comment below or email me at ourtaylormadehome@gmail.com.  Remember to be on the lookout for a post highlighting my favorite organizing products for this hot spot and you may just find the perfect solution!
If you chose to organize your entryway/mudroom this month, email me with the before and after pictures.  And because I’d love an opporunity to brag on you, I may decide to feature them right here on Taylor Made Home.  I look forward to seeing what you’ve done!
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