Category Archives: organizing

Tech Organization Helps

Tech Organization Helps

It is almost a new school year and most of us are trying to be more organized this year. So to further that effort, let’s talk organization and tools provided free on websites!

My biggest free tool is Google Calendar! It is free with any Google account, even ones that are through another domain. You can set up multiple calendars with multiple colors. I have a calendar that is my appointments, NerdDad’s appointments, and another with blog deadlines. You also can share calendars. My homeschool group has a calendar that I can overlay to look at. My husband can access my calendar to see what the family plans are and add to it.

Google Keep is a great list tool! Just like with the Google Calendar, you can share a list with people so everyone can add to the grocery list. I use the Google voice input to add rough drafts of articles or outlines for articles. I even keep lists of household facts like the measurements of cabinets and shelves. Then I know if something would fit when I am shopping. 

For those of you who want things a little more concrete, like paper, I have resources for you on that front too! I keep my calendar online but I do keep a binder with other organizational tools.

Donna Young is a great source! In addition to various sizes of traditional calendars, there are tons of housework forms, grocery lists and more. Donna Young also has a ton of homeschool printables too.

Organized Home also has a ton printables to go into a household notebook. They have seasonal chore lists, freezer inventory sheets and tons more.

Chart Jungle is another great source but they have a lot more ads. You just need to scroll down a bit. They also have a ton of great printables. They have planting charts under gardening, budget sheets under money and tons more!

So there are just a few sites that will help you to have a more organized year!!!

My Kids’ Favorite Toy Organization Tool

(This is a sponsored post by Pley, the awesome toy set subscription service. Netflix for blocks (and maybe Polly Pockets soon too).)

I know, it sounds weird to be talking about the kids’ favorite organization tools but I am a practical girl. I can do all the organizing, labeling, and containering I want but if the kids won’t use it, it is a waste. So I wanted to find out their favorite so I could deploy it as much as possible! I mean, don’t you want your kids tending and organizing all their own toys (if we dare to dream)? I see all these great systems on Pinterest that are supposed to be easy to use. But if I am the only one actually using them, I consider it a fail no matter how cheap or how pretty it looks. 

So I sat down with my kids and polled them about what was there favorite and why.

WP_20160127_13_50_25_ProThe hands down winner was the collapsible drawer/bin. And they had a variety of reasons!

1) It is 1 bin to take out and put away. So much easier than carrying out a bunch of little bits.
2) They can hold quite a bit. Like a whole set up of Legos for a project. If you are using smaller containers to organize things (like a pencil box for mini figures and bags of singles), they will hold all those little containers too!
3) They come in different colors so you can use a specific color for specific things.
4) They fold up so you can always have 1 or 2 empty, out of the way, and ready to go for any on the fly project.
5) They look nicer than laying out a bunch of bits on the shelf. So they don’t have to dust all the bits and I will let them sit on the shelf instead of finding a spot in the closet.
6) You don’t have to take everything apart in order to put things away and clean up!

I love them for all those reasons and the fact that they are so affordable! I have some from the Dollar Spot at Target and some from Michaels.

There are also very great for Pley subscribers! Keep an empty drawer or 2 set aside for those kits! Then when they come in you can just set all the pieces in 1 drawer and they will be contained! Playable yet very easy to keep track of! Then whe you are ready to send back your set to get another, you know where all the bits are! 

Do you use the collapsible fabric drawers? What do your kids like to use to organize all their toys? Especially those toys with lots of pieces? Let me know in the comments!


(Disclosure: This piece was sponsored by Pley but all thoughts and opinions are mine alone!) 


5 Steps for Simple Organization

Stuff, stuff, stuff. We have too much of it. We love it and hate it all at the same time! Maybe I am just projecting but I don’t think that I am alone in this. So how do we deal will all that stuff so we can both enjoy the things we have AND also enjoy the space we live in? One word, and I swear it isn’t a dirty one, ORGANIZING. It doesn’t have to be complicated or hard. Use these 5 simple steps to have a more organized, decluttered space!

1. Decide on an area to sort and start kind of small, like a desk versus the whole office;).

2. Set up 3 containers: One for keeping, one for garbage, and one for donations (or yard sale;).

3. Go through everything piece by piece and decide which container it should go in. Remember, don’t keep it just because it is in good shape. If you aren’t going to use it, bless someone else with it!

4. After you go through everything then and evaluate what you are keeping. Then (and only then) decide on what containers you will need to fit the space and separate everything. Don’t worry if you can’t afford to buy containers, you can use free things too! Target will give you all the shoe boxes you can handle and in all different sizes too.

5. Put everything into containers and label them. Live in your organized space!!!

That is it!!! 5 simple steps to organization and sanity!!!

Scout Clearance

Ok, I have said before how much I was in love with my large Scout bag, right? I love the polywoven fabric that is water resistant. I love the fact that I can fit everyone’s towels, sunscreen, bottles of water and toys in it.

Right now Scout is having a clearance sale for some of their awesome bags. But you don’t need a bag big enough for a small child;)? Have no fear! They have a ton of sizes and varieties on sale!!! I mean coolers, small bags, laundry bags, bags on wheels, etc!

But this sale is only until Thursday so go, shop!!!

Folding and Storing Sheets

Ok, so folding sheets is not the most glamorous of subjects but…If you have beds, you have sheets. And unless you just leave your sheets on the beds until they disintegrate, you will have to wash, fold and store them somewhere. The top sheet is basic. I don’t think that you all need any help there. Fold it in half lengthwise, then lengthwise again. But the bottom sheet, that is trickier. At least if you want to get it somewhat flat.



We first go to fold the sheet corner to corner. But instead of matching them up you employ the trick. Take the 2nd corner, flip it inside out and fit it inside your first corner. Then straighten out the corner.

Then fold the sheet in half width wise, once again inverting 1 corner and tucking it up in the other. Square off your edges and continue folding the sheet just like you would a top sheet! 

Then stack up all your folded components. You could stop there but I take it one step further. I place the folded sheets (and any extra pillow cases) all into 1 pillow case. It makes it easy to grab and go change beds. No more digging through the linen closet to find the matching sheet or pillow case. Especially in the middle of the night when someone has thrown up in their beds;). Easy peasy lemon squeezy!

Good Cheap Organizing Tool

I have lots of kids with lots of toys. I need these toys organized but bins, containers and other organizers are quite pricey. I have found a cheap alternative (relatively). You know that disposable plastic ware that you use when you are willing to not get them back? Well they are the perfect thing to organize small toys. They are uniform in size so they can stack. They are clear so you can see in. And they come in different sizes.

What is not to love?

Scanalog WFMW and a Giveaway!

I am in love!!! I am a pack rat. I try to dress it up but it boils down to I can’t get rid of anything and especially information. I have a file box of clipped articles from various magazines, wait I HAD! With Scanalog all you need is a scanner and it can help you handle the rest. This boils down to a filing system for all those bits of paper you collect with the plan to use in the future. You can use this software in a couple of ways: either scan straight into it or pull saved images off your hard drive. Then you can “file” all of them into either the provided categories (11 Master Categories and 102 subcategories) or make some of your own. I like that you can add categories because I had to add some for homeschooling art projects and folder games that I see out on the web. I am even thinking about using it for the kids’ completed projects (since I already do pictures).

Now it does cost a little money, $49.95, but I think it could be worth it. I have said for at least 10 years that I need to find a way to write a database with images and I haven’t. Even if I did, it would take hours. At $49.95, it is a bargain of time, sanity and money.

The 1 drawback…. When you move your mouse over the top bar (you can see it in the picture) it makes a clicking noise that you can’t turn off.

So if you are a pack rat too, or just like keeping all the information that goes through you fingers (that sounds better doesn’t it;) go check out all Scanalog has to offer!!!! Tell them that NerdFamily Things sent you!

Win it!
So how would you like to win your own copy of the Scanalog software?
To enter:

* Go to Scanalog’s website and tell me what Feature you think you will like the most.
* A random winner will be selected and notified on Feb 28th.
* The winner will then have 3 days to claim their prize.

To earn extra entries, you may do one or all of the following. Each one counts as an extra ticket but you must leave a separate comment for each one.

* Subscribe to my feed.
* Mention this giveaway on your blog with a link back here.

This giveaway is open to addresses within the US. Please leave a way to contact you in case you win.

(This is a Family Review Network review)

WFMW: Organization Tool

I love plastic drawers! These little beauties are in a cabinet in my playroom organizing my crafting supplies. I don’t if you can see that in the top drawer I have stamp pads, then chipboard/stickers/sayings and then in the bottom I have cutting templates. Now these can get pricey but go through and figure out what you need to store your junk. Then buy them slowly. I wait to use JoAnn coupons or when they have them on sale for 50% off (which is fairly often). So that is a little something that works for me!

Clean ‘N’ Flip Charts: Review and Giveaway

Ever wanted your kids to help out around the house but they once again seemed to forget what they are supposed to do? What you think about a system that lays it all out for them so you don’t have to be there telling them what to do every step of the way? I can say that especially as a homeschool mom, I had to get a system because if I had to do it all…well, we would all be in trouble.

I recently got the opportunity to review a collection of Clean ‘N’ Flip charts from Trigger Memory Systems and their Laundry for Kids, Bedroom Cleaning for Kids and Zone Cleaning for Kids do just that. Each chart goes through step by step and tells kids what they need to do. It sets out to teach kids the logical way of attacking these jobs. The Laundry for Kids has check boxes where you can point out the jobs you want your kids to do (not erasable). The Zone Cleaning chart is dry erase chart so you can personalize with any extra jobs that go with each room. You also have a spot to assign a job to a specific job and a time of day to do.

Overall, I think this is a really great idea for anyone who doesn’t have an effective chore system. But at $30 for all 3 it is a bit pricey for the convenience of having it all laid out for you. But if you want to check them out for free….

Win it!

How would you like to win Laundry for Kids?
To enter:

* Stop by the Trigger Memory Systems before Saturday December 20th and check out the cool items they have.
* Then come back and mention in comments what you think is the best. That’s it!
* A random winner will be selected and notified on Dec 21st.
* The winner will then have 3 days to claim their prize.

To earn extra entries, you may do one or all of the following. Each one counts as an extra ticket but you must leave a separate comment for each one.

* Subscribe to my feed.
* Mention this giveaway on your blog with a link back here and to Trigger Memory Systems.

This giveaway is open to addresses within the US. Please leave a way to contact you in case you win.

This week I am only giving away Laundry for Kids but I will be giving away another chart next week!

Library Madness and Tools to Beat It!

As you can see we have a lot of library books. When I talk to others about using the free library they always say that they can’t keep all the books organized and separate. Well, this is my basic system. I bought a cheap plastic bin/crate from Target (the blue one) and that is where all materials from the library go. Then as we finish them and are ready to send them back to library, they go into the tan bin. Then, if I am going by the library I don’t have to go chasing books around.

So for about $6 (the cost of 2 of these bins and I know you could get them cheaper) I have unending peace in a situation that drives many batty!