Mom Things

The Mom Drawer

The kitchen is the heart of the home. It’s the pilot of the plane, queen of the castle, commander in chief, the central gathering place every time we host a get-together. No matter how hard we try to entice guests into other rooms of our home, the kitchen is the hub. Everything happens here and naturally guests want to be part of what happening. Cooking, drink shaking, conversation, dessert unveiling, guests like action. So why not make part of the kitchen more functional for what we do every day?

I started thinking about this idea when we had company over the holidays and I automatically shoved all of my “mom things” (check book, bills, pens, epi-pens, stamps, junk in general) into a drawer in order to appear to have a clean counter top. Thou shall not hide gorgeous iceberg quartz, right? The problem was that I could never find anything. So I decided to clean out a junk drawer (we have a few) and call it my MOM DRAWER.

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I found an old bamboo divider from Crate and Barrel and it works well.  Target has one similar that would do the trick. This is our Kitchen Controls Drawer / Mom Drawer. Now when guests come by, we still can quickly hide stuff, but now it’s organized and we will have easier access to the things we use EVERY. SINGLE. DAY.

Do you see the to-do list in there? The check book to pay the babysitter? Stamps. Calculator. Scissors. Thank You notes because you can NEVER write enough of these! And my favorite new creation is gift card storage. I know, nerd alert. The things that bring me joy now are quite funny.

This Christmas we received a crazy number of gift cards. Honestly, I am TERRIBLE when it comes to actually using them. The worst, actually. Since I left corporate life a few years ago, I didn’t need these business card holders anymore, so our gift cards replaced old business cards. Ta-da! Easy to access and everyone can see them now they are not buried at the bottom of my purse!

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So there ya go – Moms, take a drawer from the kitchen. You need it. SO much happens in this space, it is a game changer. Yes, most of this stuff belongs in our office downstairs, but life happens fast and having a mini-office in a drawer makes things so much easier until I have a chance to go downstairs and file.

One thing not pictured in the mom drawer is CHOCOLATE! I cannot survive a single day without some sort of chocolate. So add that.

Have a great week – it snowed here today and we had a ball sledding!

Thanks for stopping by 😉

Mom Things

Daily Organizing Made Easy

 

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It’s a new year and a time for all of us to set those lofty, unattainable goals. I’ve set three that I talked about on IG live the other day.

  1.  Read the newspaper every Sunday. I just renewed our New York Times Sunday edition that will begin this Sunday. This isn’t because I like reading sad stories. It’s because it’s real life. And when we are in touch with the world and everything going on around us, there is more empathy and understanding. A bigger picture. Plus, I’m a journalism major, so the paper has a special place in my heart. The smell. The touch. The writing. The pretty pictures of fancy people out in NYC. I love it.
  2. Be consistent with workouts. At least getting in some cardio three times per week. Anything above that is a bonus.
  3. Toy management. Clean out the toy room and both kid’s closets and put all toys + pieces back together. Eliminate old toys and organize new ones. This is for sure a 6 month project.

Those are my personal goals. Professionally, I’d like to continue to grow my blog. Next month will be my two year blogging anniversary. While I’ve grown a lot in the blogging community, I’ve only touched the tip of the ice berg. There is much more to learn and do. I’m excited to put to work the skills I learned at FaBlogCon now that things have settled a bit.

  1.  Incorporate professional photography into posts rather than cell phone pictures.
  2. Quality vs Quantity when it comes to content.
  3. Network more in WordPress and organically in my own community.

Over the past few weeks, I’ve had the opportunity to hang out with many friends and family, which I am so grateful for.  We have never been so busy with gatherings and friends and school events, but I wouldn’t have wanted it any other way. Stemming from these conversations was a common theme:  how to stay organized.

Today I thought I’d share how I try, TRY (key word!) to stay organized. I’m a planner by nature, and toning down my planning (in my family life) has been challenging this past year, but it has been working. I guess I was over-planning life a bit and I learned that quickly in September when things came to a screeching halt! Letting things happen organically has been refreshing, helpful and fun and without disappointment (by me).

  1. You have a busy life, so get a big planner. The planner I have is the size of a standard magazine. Big. I’ve been purchasing Kate Spade planners for several years, and hers are the best.  Lots of room to write. There are other sizes and styles, you can stalk the Kate Spade website or Nordstrom for other styles.  Also a notebook for lists outside your date keeping.

2.  Take advantage of all the “notes” pages in the Kate Spade planners! This planner is my one-stop-shop. When I have a school meeting, I bring this, and only this. There is plenty of room for me to write meeting minutes and check upcoming dates. Phones are nice, but they don’t allow your team to all look at the big picture, or you try and you’re all huddled over someones shoulder in their personal space and that gets uncomfortable and weird fast. Also, I’ve tried the phone/google calendar and TOOO many times it has lost or deleted or an update moved my appointment. So went back to good old paper and pencil. No fail. Plus, I LOVE TO CROSS STUFF OFF!

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3.  Each date has PLENTY of space to write all of your appointments, even the weekends! I try to only put appointments, meeting times, and important “to do” items in the planner. The notebook is more for list making and chores. Also, binder clips. I like to keep my planner out and open on my counter top or desk all day every day. This way there is 100% transparency in what I’m doing and what is coming up. My hubs also can see what we have going on if it’s not on our chalk board. This is easy communication without actually communicating. WIN WIN

4.  Tabs. Important dates coming up? Need a quick reminder for PTA meeting or doctor appointment? Stick in a tab. I like to use these over and over for big events coming up since I’m constantly flipping back and forth in my planner. From notes sections, to spring break week, to summer tennis camps, these tabs help me navigate quickly from one section to another. Don’t worry if you don’t have tabs, Kate Spade has built in tabs for every month making it just as simple. This is just one of those personal preferences I have 🙂

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5.  Stickers! who doesn’t love stickers. We live in a world full of crazy, serious, not-so-fun grown-up things.  Stickers take us back to a time of playful youth! Plus, when I have a special treat for myself, I can make it pop in my calendar with a fun “mani/pedi” sticker. Which never happens, but hey, when it does, I want to yell it from a mountain, but I can’t, so I use a sticker. I’m nuts, but you already knew that.

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6.  Last, but not least, the notebook.  This small notebook with one pocket divider is for weekly Monday thru Friday “to-do”s and the other half is for grocery lists and meals. This notebook is small enough to throw into my tote and car, it goes everywhere. In fact, I’ve left it at Metcalfes before, and they have called to tell me to come pick it up. I like RED because I can find it in my messy purse, and I’m less likely to leave it behind because it stands out among my stuff!

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Lastly, I LOVE keeping a planner and lists because at the end of the week or month or year, I can always look back and remember this time. A time that I thought was so crazy and unorganized in 10 years will probably look fun and completely under control. It gives us a story. I’ve kept my planners since 2003, they all look about the same, and I have them on a shelf in my office/craft room. They tell my story. The one I like the best is my 2009 planner, the year I got married. I thought life couldn’t get any crazier than that year, but looking back at it now, I was just a crazy bride. It gives us perspective. If you write a lot, like I do. I like remembering things, so I also write silly things in my planner like “first tooth” or “first ski trip” or “nutcracker” and save the tickets to that place. We’re so busy, we just don’t have time, right now, to create all these amazing Shutterfly books we think we’re going to make. So for now, this is a good substitute, and when I’m retired, I can make those picture books based on my own notes here.

There you have it. That’s my daily organizational routine. Maybe it helps you out! Hoping to share some more “Mom” things this year on my blog, you can find them under the sub heading “mom things”, or in the search box.

Have a great weekend!