Fairy Garden Jewelry Holder Tutorial

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #ItsMyMasterpiece #CollectiveBias

Fairy Garden Jewelry Holder Tutorial

Spring fever to clean, de-clutter, organize and recycle has kicked in full force and it’s all over social media and in conversations with friends. The bug has hit me, too, and I’ve been organizing, up-cycling, and prepping for the big move, which includes thinking ahead and planning for items that I know we’ll want and need since we’re about to expand into a much larger space! One thing that I’ve been looking for is new ways to display Amber and my jewelry collections. We have a beautiful display of bracelets, earrings, and necklaces between the two of us, but I’ve found that if it’s out of sight it’s out of mind and we rarely wear it, which is just sad! I was recently inspired by this awesome idea to make a jewelry stand using the Diet Coke “It’s Mine” Glass Bottles, and I decided to re-make the up-cycle using my own fun spin-offs and incorporating the super fun idea of using fairy lights that I saw in several different posts recently.

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Introduce a Few New Guys to Your Hottie’s Cleaning Crew

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser Irish Spring Signature products. All opinions are mine alone. #MySignatureMove #CollectiveBias

So my hubby is a hottie. He just is! One thing that I’ve always loved about him since we first met was how even as a teenager he always dressed super nice and was always super clean and amazing smelling *inhales deeply, aaahhhhhh!!!!*

Now, that’s not to say he doesn’t get stinky, I mean, he was in the military for crying out loud, and he still loves doing down and dirty projects with his dad in the shop or tackling things like building me a compost bin. He has discovered, however, how to get un-stinky in the most lovely of ways and how to get that good smelling man smell that I love so much back!

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How to Make the Most out of a Tiny Master Bedroom

How to Make the Most out of a Tiny Master Bedroom
Legalese Nonsense: Knowing that I love a great room but am in a small space the folks over at Bold Rugs contacted me to see if I’d like to add one of their great products to our room. All thoughts, ideas, and blue hued bedrooms are my own!

Welcome to another chapter in the Organizing in Small Spaces Series! Today I tackle a fun and much needed topic–the Master Bedroom! When we lived in our apartments and condo we were very fortunate that although our living space in general was small, the master bedroom and closets were quite generous! Now that we’re sharing a house with the in-laws, however, their master bedroom is the generous room and ours is, well, about the size of a normal child’s bedroom. I’m very thankful for it, however, after having much larger rooms in the past it felt tiny when we tried to move everything into it! Over the past year and 1/2 we’ve made it our own and found some tips and tricks for maximizing the space and so today I wanted to share them with you!

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5 Zero Clutter Gift Ideas

5 Zero Clutter Gift Ideas

Collect Memories, Not Things.

The first time I saw that phrase on Pinterest I wanted to yell, “Yes!!! Exactly!” Although you all know I love my things as much as the next person, as someone who tries to stay organized in every area of my life I really hate clutter. Clutter robs everyone of peace, joy, time, and effort. It makes homes feel anything but homey.

The tricky part is that when it comes to presents, what is treasure to one person, is clutter to another. I hate it when I see or hear about people who are holding onto things they hate–all because they feel guilty to get rid of them because they were given them as a gift.

So over the years I’ve come more and more to both give and ask for gifts that are “zero clutter”. Another way to put this is “experience gifts”. Because while things like packages of food, candles, and bath and body products are consumable; you’d be amazed at how many brand new Bath and Body Works products I pick up for pennies at garage sales because–you got it–some people consider these things clutter!

So here are my no-fail, clutter free gifts to give (and ask for!)

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How To Keep Your Day Organized

How To Keep Your Day Organized
Legalese Nonsense: Knowing how much I love to stay organized Levenger offered to send me their planner in exchange for me giving you all the scoop. All OCD tendencies and love of to do lists and spreadsheets are my own!

As you might imagine, since I work four different part time jobs from home, I get asked a lot – how do you do it all?! My first answer, always? I stay very organized using lots of different tools! You might not be quite as crazy as me and be juggling 4 jobs, 2 kids, one hubby, 2 in-laws, 3 dogs, and 1 God — but just in case you’re anywhere close I thought I’d break down how I keep a handle on things and maybe you can get some ideas too!

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How to Ditch the Massive DVD Clutter ~ Organizing in Small Spaces

How to Organize DVDs

Have you re-pinned my main Organizing in Small Spaces post yet? If not go ahead and do that now–no really. I’ll wait. Each week I do a post I go back in and link to it in that post–so if you pin it you’ll have all my posts in one easy location! If you’re not following me already on Pinterest be sure to do that while you’re there too!

As you know my hubby and I love watching movies and shows together! Because of this we have a decent sized movie collection. During our many moves with the Coast Guard we decided that we needed an easy way to organize our DVDs and take them with us each move. (sadly we heard many horror stories about stolen DVDs when packers were responsible for them!) We came up with a solution that worked so well we never moved away from it even when we weren’t in transit. I love how uncluttered and portable our collection is now! Want to know our secret? When you see it you’ll wonder why you didn’t think of it all along!

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How To Organize & De-clutter Your Closet in One Minute a Day

How To Organize & De-clutter Your Closet in One Minute a Day

How To Organize & De-clutter Your Closet in One Minute a Day

I mentioned recently that my motto right now is “work smarter, not harder”. This means that I try to organize and clean as quickly and efficiently as possible so I have more time to do other things–like work, spend time with family, and squeeze in some “me time” in there somewhere!

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Four Ideas to Organize Makeup That You’ve Never Thought of Before!

Lately I’ve been blogging a WHOLE lot about makeup. Which makes me very happy because I *love* the stuff! Because I have been I thought that it would make perfect sense if for this week’s Organizing In Small Spaces to focus on how to organize makeup!

At my Bible Study the other week I was talking about Organizing and one of the gals said that she wanted to be organized but she hated how anytime she read anything about it they wanted you to go to some expensive, specialty organizing store to buy all sorts of things. I hate that too and that’s definitely not how I organize–it’s much better to take things that you already have, can get inexpensively, and to use things for new purposes that can serve many different needs as yours change and evolve!

So here are Four Ideas to Organize Makeup that You’ve Never Thought of Before!

 1. Use Glass Jars, Vases, and Containers to hold brushes, eyeshadow, lipstick & gloss. You can see in the picture above that I have all of these out on display in our bathroom. I found that especially with these items for me out of sight meant out of mind and I just never used/wore them. So when I saw a few variations of this idea on Pinterest I knew it would be perfect for me! At first I used a Pickle Jar that I just removed the label of and washed! If you wanted to recycle your jars in this way here is a great idea for how to take their cute factor up a notch by coloring them! When I found the two pieces above for .50 cents a piece at a garage sale I “upgraded” to them!

2. Use a “Tackle Box” – you can find “tackle boxes” in the beauty section of Walmart or pretty much any large store like mine shown above. They’ve always been my go-to storage for all things beauty related and they’re super handy and travel well. However if you have a very large makeup collection that you want to keep in one spot you might consider just purchasing an actual tackle box like this gal did!

3. Use a Rotary Organizer! So I know that shopping the Office Supplies section wouldn’t be your first thought for organizing makeup, right? But it really can be one of the best places to do it! I had originally wanted the OIC26255 Recycled Organizer for Bob and his school supplies but when it arrived I thought that it would be too perfect to organize all my makeup! I love that unlike the tackle box everything is in its own little section so I can see it all at a glance (or a spin) without having to dig! I’m thinking to take the pretty factor up a notch I’m going to spray paint it silver which will really add a custom & glam feel to it! This is easy to keep out on your counter or it slides nicely underneath as well.

4. Use a Case! Just like the organizer above I got this OIC83382 Portable Dry Erase Case for hubby then stole it, haha! It’s the perfect place to store what I had in the bottom of the “tackle box” before and when stored like this it no longer is stacked upon itself so it makes things easier to find. The thin, long design is space saving as you can keep it underneath the rotatory organizer or stand it on it’s side and slide it along the side of the cabinet. Plus I love the dry erase board on the outside–it’s the perfect place to keep track of items I want, love, or am running low on! Again you could easily glam up the look using metalic spray paint–but since this won’t be displayed I probably won’t bother.

How do you organize your makeup? Do you have any awesome, crazy-cool ways that I don’t know about? Leave me a comment and let me know!

I was sent the rotary & case from Shoplet for my review–all opinions, pictures, crazy cool ideas, and other products are my own!
Nicole Elliott

Organizing in Small Spaces ~ Cookbooks

Today we’re going to jump into the kitchen and tackle an area that tends to be full of clutter for many people–the cookbook shelf/cabinet!
 If you’ve been around long you know that I’m huge on the importance of family dinner. I also cook at home virtually every night each week. Even with all of that the cookbooks that you see in the picture above are ALL of the cookbooks that I have and use–that’s only FIVE of them! (Well, to be completely truthful I actually have 2 or 3 more that we have in storage that are special because they are from churches or a camp, but these are the ones that I have out right now)

At one point I had a LOT more but I found myself never using them or when I did the recipes I made weren’t ones that my family wanted me to make again. Thanks to the *amazing* world of Pinterest I now get pretty much all of my new recipes online or from my magazines.

Whenever I come across a recipe I want to try out from my magazines I Xacto it out and put it in this super cute recipe holder my MIL got me for Christmas. I try to make one new recipe either from my magazines or from Pinterest every 2 or 3 weeks. If it’s a winner I keep it and add it to my menu plan, if it’s not I just toss it!

The same goes for my Pinterest Recipes–the  first time I make a recipe I just pull it up on my computer, then if it’s a favorite I print it out and add it into my binder and move it to my Elliott Family Favorites Board  , if it’s a no go I delete it or add notes to it if there was a mixed result (i.e. I liked it but my picky family didn’t, haha) some friends have “pin accomplished” boards which I find very clever and am considering doing at some point to easily see what I’ve done but wasn’t a favorite and what I need to try.

{{IMPORTANT!!!! When you have your computer in the kitchen be VERY careful and keep it on a surface far away from any food or liquid, maybe dumb but I literally ruined a brand new Mac by accidentally knocking a cup of water onto it while I was cooking dinner and using a recipe on my computer one night, talk about an expensive mistake learned the HARD way 🙁 }}

About half of the recipes I make are family recipes passed down from either my mom or Bob’s. For these I keep them together in 2 “write in it” recipe books like the one above and one 4×6 photo album that has recipe cards slid into where the pictures would normally go. (all were wedding gifts) They’re a great, easy, organized way to keep track of those great family recipes that I’m sharing with you all now!

While posting my last menu plan I saw that the gal who hosts the linky recommended the 2013 Cookbook Challenge–if you have more than 5 cookbooks 😉 I’d highly recommend you considering joining it to help you get to where organizing your cookbooks is a piece of cake–the biggest tip I can give in organizing in small spaces is to get rid of your CLUTTER!

How do you organize your recipes and cookbook collection? How many cookbooks do you have? Leave me a comment and let me know!

Nicole Elliott

Organizing In Small Spaces ~ Personal Care Products

I’m very excited to be kicking off the first week of my Organizing in Small Spaces Series! Before I dive into our topic today — How To Organize Your Bathroom ~ Personal Care Products — I wanted to give a brief word of wisdom. This series is designed for the busy mom who has most of her life somewhat under control but could use a better system to help her find things easily. If you feel that you are so overwhelmed that you don’t even know where to begin I’d recommend a few different things. First you might look into having a professional organizer come work with you. Just like you’d have a professional carpet cleaner come to your house if your carpets were soiled and stained, having a organizer help you know where to begin can really help! I’ve been delighted to hear several come and speak at different MOPs groups and I always come away with new great ideas! If you don’t have the money or don’t feel quite like you need that level I’ve taken several of FlyLady’s ideas and tweaked them to fit my life and I’d highly recommend buying her book Sink Reflections! (you can also sign up/find things on her website, but I’ve found it to be a bit overwhelming at times)

Ok, with that being said let’s dive in!

I feel like the bathroom is a great place to start because if you’re like me you have a BUNCH of things in there that need to be organized and unlike clutter you won’t really need/want to get rid of them. Our family of 4 seems to have each person needing a different kind of soap and shampoo for various reasons–add to that the fact that I love to get body products as gifts, and the fact that we both like having a stockpile–well, we always have a lot of personal care products!

One great thing  about living in a small apartment or condo is that you most likely have a nice sized bathroom (if you’re living in a small, older house this sadly won’t be the case!) If you do, however, be sure to take advantage of that space by using it wisely!

The First Place to Start is the tub/shower – you should only have out one of each type of item (one shampoo, one conditioner, one soap/bodysoap) If like us different people have different skin needs make sure to just have one thing per person, and see if you can’t streamline by having certain people start to share (for example Amber and Tyler both use the Mommy Bliss body wash) You can see for us that I also have Bubble Bath along the ledge, and a foot scrubby item (like I said–I love my body stuff!!!!)

The next obvious place is on top of the toilet – Especially if you’re in a small bathroom this is “real estate” you’ll want to take advantage of–but in such a way that it doesn’t look trashy! I take care of this by using a pretty basket to hold the lotion & Amber’s eczema medicine since I use it several times daily, along with our Glade Expressions Spray (which, by the way) is pretty awesome–for some reason I’m really into lavender scents lately!!

Our bathroom here doesn’t have a fan (boo to that) so to pull “double duty” against odors next to the basket I also have a Glade Expressions Oil Diffuser. It’s a pretty way to make the bathroom smell as great as it looks!

Now it’s time for all the “hidden away” spots-one that most bathrooms are guaranteed to have is under the sink – For ours we have it split into “my side” and “hubbies side” I keep one of each of the personal care items that I’m going to be using daily (hairspray, facewash, makeup remover, contact solution) and my “makeup tacklebox” which is where I store all of my makeup on my side. On hubbies he actually has most of his “stockpile” of personal care items so that way he doesn’t have to go digging through all of my and the kids things in the drawers since he uses fewer products than the rest of us.

Lastly it’s the drawers! The bathroom we’re using now has several nice, deep drawers to use. In the top one I keep all of the kiddos products and my toothpaste and various other products that aren’t under the sink. (hubby has a long skinny drawer that he keeps the rest of his items in)

In the very bottom deep drawer is where I keep our stockpile of “extras” of anything that we have. I also keep all my extras in the very top of our cabinet (see the top photo for those) As you can see I’m pretty well stocked up! Which brings us to the question–how much is too much? During her talk with us last week Miss Pary Moppins addressed this and I loved her logic. She said that in her family they use the “Rule of Twelve”. That means that for any item like shampoo or body wash you figure you might go through about one a month, if you have twelve you are provided for for a year–which is an ample amount. Anything above this you can stop buying items or donate ones that you get to worthy places ( Pregnancy Crisis Centers, Single Mom Pantries, or Homeless Reach Out Organizations are just a few ideas!)

Do you have any great bathroom organization tips that I missed? Please let me know in the comments!

Nicole Elliott